In essence, Obama seemed to rule out any restraints in the growth of the entitlement programs of Social Security; Medicare, which pays for health coverage for the elderly; and Medicaid, which provides health coverage to low-income people.
Those programs, which automatically grow every year, are the driving force behind projected deficits for the next decade.
“It wasn’t terribly encouraging on that front, I’m afraid to say,” said Robert Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan organization in Washington devoted to smaller deficits.
“Social Security and Medicare have been positive accomplishments that we should be proud of,” Bixby said. “The problem is they are not sustainable in their current form. No matter how proud we are of the past, the future is cloudy.”