Graham: Obama budget 'timid'

Feb. 20, 2011 at 2:39 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham Sunday called President Barack Obama's fiscal 2012 budget "politically timid" and said it does nothing to trim entitlements.

Graham, appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," said rather than putting the U.S. economy on a more stable path, the budget would allow the federal debt to triple by 2019.

"This budget does nothing, his budget does nothing on entitlement spending and we all know that's where the money's at," Graham said. "It's a politically timid budget. It's a fiscally timid budget."

Graham called for a 1980s-style overhaul of Social Security to put it on a "sustainable glide path."

Graham said rather than raising the retirement age, means testing should be adopted to "save Social Security from bankruptcy … in 20 years."

He also called for a flattening of the tax code to do away will all deductions except home mortgage interest and charitable giving.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., appearing alongside Graham, said there's a better approach, the proposals made by former White House budget director Alice Rivlin and former Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete Domenici, R-N.M., that called for a new 6.5 percent national sales tax, a revamping of Medicare in 2018 and sizable benefits cuts and tax increases for Social Security.

"We need to move on Social Security, but let's put it on a track that runs parallel but separate to deficit reduction," Durbin said.

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