8:44 am ET
My “Morning Joe” colloquy with David Axelrod in which he suggests the time for details is later:
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?
AXELROD: Well, I think, you know, there too, Mark, the approach has to be a balanced one. We’ve had this, we’ve had discussions in the past and the question is, can you raise the cap? Right now, Social Security cuts off at a lower point. Can you raise the cap so people paying a little more, 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. You can’t, you know, 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: What’s his proposal?
AXELROD: Mark, I’ll tell you what. When you get elected to the United States Senate, we’ll sit at that table. We’ll have — 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 say, OK, 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 and so this is not, you know. Medicare, we’ve extended the life of Medicare by 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 the Medicare issue.
So the President’s position on Social Security seems to be the same as Mitt Romney’s on tax deduction changes — there should be no real details or debate to inform voters before the election.
Watch the video above.