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Axelrod On Questions About Entitlement Reform: "This Is Not The Time"

TIME’s MARK HALPERIN: “David - Social Security came up last night on ‘60 Minutes.’ Let me ask you in a second term, what is the president proposing to do to reform Social Security, save it for future generations, and will it involve lower benefits for anyone or higher taxes for anyone?”

OBAMA ADVISER DAVID AXELROD: “Well I think that there, too, Mark, the approach has to be a balanced one. We’ve had discussions in the past. And the question is, can you raise the cap some? Right now Social Security cuts off at a lower point. Can you raise the cap so people in the upper incomes are paying a little more into the program? And do you adjust the growth of the program. That’s a discussion worth having. But again we have to approach it in a balanced way. We’re not going to cut our way to prosperity. We’re not going to cut our way to more secure entitlement programs – Social Security and Medicare. We have to have a balance.”

HALPERIN: “So what is his proposal?”

AXELROD: “Mark, I’ll tell you what, when you get elected to the United States Senate and sit at that table -- this is not the time. We’re not going to have that discussion right now unless the Congress wants to sit at a table and says okay we’re ready to move on a balanced approach to this. The reality of Social Security is this is a much less imminent problem than Medicare. We have extended the life of Medicare for close to a decade through the changes that we’ve made and Governor Romney wants to repeal. But Social Security is a more distant problem. One that needs a solution. But it isn’t as pressing as a Medicare issue.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 9/24/12)

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