Cantor criticizes Obama's budget, pledges GOP will include entitlement reform
February 14th, 2011
06:14 PM ET
12 years ago

Cantor criticizes Obama's budget, pledges GOP will include entitlement reform

Washington (CNN) - House Majority Leader Eric Cantor criticized President Obama for failing to address entitlement reform in his budget that was delivered to Capitol Hill Monday, and pledged that the House Republican budget coming out this spring would wade into the controversial area.

Cantor promised the GOP budget blueprint would be "a serious document that will reflect the type of path we feel we should be taking to address the fiscal situation – including addressing entitlement reforms."

The number two House Republican contrasted the upcoming GOP budget proposal with that of the Democrats, noting, "Unlike the President, unlike Harry Reid who doesn't even admit there needs to be any reform of Social Security. We are going to lead."

But at a press conference right after Cantor's weekly session with reporters, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan dodged repeated questions about how he would address entitlement reform in the budget he will draft, though he acknowledged he's personally advocated a controversial plan that calls for partially privatizing Social Security and Medicare.

"It's premature to talk about what's going to be in our budget given it's something that hasn't been written," he said. "We have to have a family conversation to get consensus."

But when a reporter said Cantor just promised that entitlements would be included, the Budget Chairman concurred that Republicans "need to go there."

"We have to tackle entitlements or they will tackle us," Ryan said.

Cantor said GOP reforms would focus on those Americans aged 54 or younger and made a point to say Republicans would not change benefits for those over 55.

"We're going to have to have to have some reforms to these systems in order to save them, " Cantor said.

Pressed on whether the GOP plan would include benefit cuts or changes to when Americans can access benefits, Cantor declined to offer any details, saying "all of it's on the table."

Cantor wouldn't say whether the Republican budget would address both Social Security and Medicare, the two major programs responsible for the bulk of federal mandatory spending.

A bipartisan fiscal commission created by President Obama failed to come to consensus last year on ways to reform Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. With the President opting not to include specific proposals in his budget, it is unclear how far Congress and the White House will get in dealing with the issue this year.

The top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee Jeff Sessions, Alabama, summed up the difficulty.

"Now we're faced with taking on something as complex as entitlements, as deeply emotional as entitlements, and the president of the United States is not even in the game? Doesn't even suggest it has to be done?"

Filed under: Budget • Congress
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Video Guy

    This project will need more brain cells than he has.

    February 14, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. Sgt Schultz

    "..controversial plan that calls for partially privatizing Social Security and Medicare" I'm under 54 Eric. Do not mess with my Social Security you creep. We know you're on the phone with your Big $ special interest lobbyists making a deal to give my SS away to Wall Street.

    February 14, 2011 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  3. Brett

    "We have to tackle entitlements or they will tackle us," Ryan said. Typical Republican fluff response to a serious issue. Cute and tacky little slogans that mask their incompetence and ineptitude.

    February 14, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  4. Dave

    I love how Cantor complains about Obama's budget, but he can't offer up any specifics on what the Redumblicans would do. Typical...

    February 14, 2011 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    ""We have to tackle entitlements or they will tackle us," Ryan said."

    Translation: "We have to take away more rom the poor and middle-class. They need to be punished for November 2008 and, if demographic studies are at all accurate, we've gotta get them learning some helplessness on a wider scale for the future, because we conservatives believe that most entirelement recipients are minorities and they're going to outnumber us white people soon...unless we can really get them as downtrodden as possible, they might get uppity again and send us packing like they did in 2008."

    February 14, 2011 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  6. Indie Woman in Denver

    GOP leadership: you CANNOT justify extending tax cuts for the rich, with NO addition of jobs, and then cut benefits to the poor & middle class. You do that, and your party will never be in the majority again, once people figure out what crooks you are.

    February 14, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  7. Kimo

    During the Bush administration, Republicans were going on about how the big bad government should trust Americans to invest their own money and privatized social security. A few years later the economy tanked and investors lost a good chunk of their life savings. Some people have never recovered. I bet they are mighty happy that the Republicans didn't get their way and that social security is still around to help when they retire.

    February 14, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  8. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Hey Cantor, you little creep! What about the entitlements that go to your wealthy masters?

    February 14, 2011 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  9. artraveler

    Okay Cantor, start with the House's entitlement programs including your pensions and healthcare as well as the gym and free mailings. Before you mess with Social Securioty, you had better be on an austerity diet of your own. Social Security , without Medicare D, did not cause the problem. There are issues but tax all income and they disappear for centuries.

    You and your hotheads just addedf $4 TRILLION to the national debt by continuing the ill-advised Bush tax cuts. You and your freinds already account for the $4 TRILLION that Bush added to the natuional debt for approving a war without having any damn iidea that somnebody has to pay the bills. There has been a tota lack of realitty amoung the Republicans for the past 10 years.

    February 14, 2011 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  10. Brian


    What about the issue of military-industrial complex reform? Surely a $600 billion chunk of our federal budget could be reformed a bit. Not to mention all of the non-budgeted cash thrown at all sorts of wasted military projects around the world.

    February 14, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  11. Indy

    Where are the jobs Cantor !!!!! Liar Liar pants on Fire !

    February 14, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  12. Marcus in Greensboro, NC

    Republicans didn't touch entitlements either, so is Cantor saying that they will change the proposal they have already put forth? I think that Cantor needs to stop trying to spin the fact that no one has talked about entitlements yet. They are 80% of the spending, so I hope he means they will consider it now that they realize they have to address it.

    February 14, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  13. Beverly - NYC

    The Republican sat on their hands for two years saying NO, NO and heck NO. It's easy to critize someone else's paln when you don't have one of your own. Thanks a lot Tea Party for giving these mental midgets the House. I guess the Republicans forgot to tell the suckers who voted for them that programs that benefit the poor and middle class will go first, can't have their millionaire buddies deprived can we. The Tea Party and their sheet wearing ilk talk a good game, the are all for spending cuts until it affect them. Then it leave my stuff make cuts on people who don't look like me. 2012 can't come soon enough to vote these Republican bums out.

    February 14, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  14. Mike

    If I have been putting money into a fund since the first day I started started working, how the heck is that an entitlement? If I work for 50 Yrs, putting money into Social Security how is that an entitlement? I retire at 65 yrs of age, and die at 72.... where did all the rest of that money go? I know!!! Bombing the Rights enemies and building useless tanks and bombs.

    Nice Country!

    February 14, 2011 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  15. Moderate Sean

    Oh, please Larry the Cable Guy has more intelligence then this dweeb Cantor, and as for Senator Sessions he is so mean spirited and hateful, he doesn't know what the word bi-partisian means! Stop criticizing you windbags, start working together, both parties!

    February 14, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  16. DAVE

    cantor is miss using the name "socisl sucerity" by saying it is an "entitlement" which is an invented name of the republicans to implay that it is a gift. cantor by using this name "entitltment " some how relates this is a gift and part of the budget problem. the truth is the real name is "a miss managed trust fund". the social sucerity tax witheld from your earnings plus the employeer's match payment of dollar for dollar has kept this trust fund paying out less than it is bringing in as revenue keeping it in the black so far. it will need some fixing in the future but is far from ever being broke or the cause of the budget problem. your 401k is not an "entitlement" because you payed for it just like social sucerity is payed for. social sucerity could be fixed by making it unlawful to borrow from the fund as well as raising the tax by as little as 2%. the budget needs to be balanced before fixing social sucerity which right now has nothing to do with the dificit budget problem.

    February 14, 2011 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  17. Roscoe

    A little man with a little man's complex, of course, Cantor will criticize but offer nothing to compete with the proposed budget. This is the same tune he's been singing for quite some time.

    February 14, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  18. kyle

    Oil companies are posting record profits, but the Republicans will not touch them for tax cuts.

    February 14, 2011 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  19. Adalbert

    Is there anything that that the do nothing republican Neanderthals would not criticize? No of course not. Criticizing is easy, any idiot can do it.

    February 14, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  20. I-cry-for-USA

    My major problem with Obama is that I can't understand why he tries so hard to please The Right, The Repubs, and The Fox News types!!!!! It blows my mind. I know that Obama is one of the smartest and most level headed Presidents America has had in decades. He was left with a terrible mess by Bush/Cheyney, and all he has tried to do is to right the ship. Yet, look at all the shameful hateful names and insults they have hurled at him!! Bush was not even elected for any of his two terms, yet he, in full throttle, carried out a 100% right wing, very un-apologetic, conservative agenda! Mr. Obama, why don't you just believe in yourself and simply, with determination, do what you feel is right and aim only to please your base plus other level headed and fair minded people???? There are millions of them out there, and at the end of the day, they will appreciate that you believe in something concrete, and will overwhelmingly vote for you in 2012. If you continue this path, you will end up alienating even your base, and will certainly lose in 2012. The Right and The Repubs made up their mind a long time ago that, no matter what, THEY WILL NEVER SUPPORT YOU ON ANYTHING. The large majority of the so-called "Tea Party" are a disguise of what I don't have to mention here, but fair minded people know who they really are. You will never get them on your side, NO MATTER HOW FAR BACKWARDS YOU BEND TO PLEASE THEM!!!!!!!! Mr. Obama, can't you see the light?

    February 14, 2011 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  21. kari

    Everyone has answers but none that apply to the real world.

    February 14, 2011 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  22. Tammy

    Eric cantor needs to work convince Obama instead of criticize.

    February 14, 2011 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  23. B

    Where was this moron when Bush was spending this country into oblivion?

    February 14, 2011 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  24. w l jones

    You guys taken longer than it took the Roman build theirs civilization, come up with a budget. Our people need job,,,,jobs from every coner of our country. Please Mister Republican the Ground hog said this will be a long

    February 14, 2011 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  25. Gobama!

    Cantor and Ryan are both disgusting skin puppets.

    February 14, 2011 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |