In briefings by the White House today reporters were given advance looks at the President's 2015 budget.  In it are some pleasant surprises for seniors, veterans and the disabled who've been targeted with budget cuts in previous budgets.

"Last year’s Budget included policies like chained CPI - the number one policy change that Republicans had asked for in previous fiscal negotiations.  However, over the course of last year, Republicans consistently showed a lack of willingness to negotiate on a deficit reduction deal, refusing to identify even one unfair tax loophole they would be willing to close, despite the President’s willingness to put tough things on the table.  The offer to Speaker Boehner remains on the table for whenever the Republicans decide they want to engage in a serious discussion about a balanced plan to deal with our long-term fiscal challenges that includes closing loopholes for the wealthiest Americans and corporations, but the chained CPI provision will not be included in this year’s budget."  White House budget preview memo

“Reports that President Obama will not include cuts to Social Security through adoption of the Chained CPI in his 2015 budget is welcome news for millions of seniors, veterans and people with disabilities who are tired of their modest benefits being used as deficit reduction bargaining chips.  While it appears the White House has, for now, listened to the vast majority of Americans, of all ages and political parties, the President has still left the door open for more “let’s make a deal” bargaining with seniors’ benefits.  He’s taking one step forward by keeping the Chained CPI out of his budget.  We hope he won’t end up taking one step back by offering it up again later during any budget talks.

The chained CPI was a flawed idea from the start targeting both current and future retirees. It would cut benefits by 3% for workers retired for ten years and 6% for workers retired for twenty years. Three years after enactment, this translates to a benefit cut of $130 per year in Social Security benefits for a typical 65 year-old. The cumulative cut for that individual would be $4,631 or more than three months of benefits by age 75. We applaud the President for listening to members of Congress and Americans nationwide who have made the case repeatedly that cutting benefits to middle-class families is not the way to balance our books.

Unfortunately, it appears the White House will keep its plan to further means test Medicare in its 2015 budget proposal.  Further means-testing Medicare continues to undermine the social insurance nature of Medicare and ultimately raises costs for middle and lower-income seniors who depend on it.”...Max Richtman, NCPSSM President & CEO

You can read more coverage of the President's 2015 budget in this Associated Press story