During the campaign season he said he’d go through the federal budget line by line, and this sends a pretty clear message that he intends to make some tough cuts.
President-elect Barack Obama will convene a “fiscal responsibility summit” in February designed to bring together a variety of voices on solving the long term problems with the economy and with a special focus on entitlements, he said during an interview with Washington Post reporters and editors this afternoon.
“We need to send a signal that we are serious,” said Obama of the summit.
Those invited to attend will include Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (N.D.), ranking minority member Judd Gregg (N.H.), the conservative Democratic Blue Dog coalition and a host of outside groups with ideas on the matter, said the president-elect.
Two programs that Obama has his eye on? Medicare and Social Security…
Obama said that he has made clear to his advisers that some of the difficult choices–particularly in regards to entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare – should be made on his watch. “We’ve kicked this can down the road and now we are at the end of the road,” he said.
If this doesn’t make the fiscal hawks out there happy, I’m not exactly sure what will. Of course it can’t just be talk, but the idea that a Democratic president will open up a dialogue about two political third rails a month into his presidency should count for something.