Cain: On his campaign website, Cain talks tough about reducing government spending. “Though it might not be politically popular to modernize and eliminate some of our entitlement programs, responsible leaders should be willing to do it all the same,” he says, adding: “Nothing should be off the table. Every federal agency, every government program and expenditure must be reviewed and revised with a keen eye and a red pen…to shrink budgets by target percentages.”
Three programs he would slash presumably include Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. In his new book, This is Herman Cain! My Road to the White House, Cain writes that he would “take this entitlement society to an empowerment society” by making cuts. What size cuts is not yet known. But observers say a 20% reduction would be needed to meet Cain’s “9-9-9 plan.” Such drastic cuts far exceed what other Republicans have proposed, and would be politically risky for Cain too.
Obama: In light of the federal budget deficit, which has topped $1 trillion in each of the past three years, Obama has acknowledged the need to rein in spending. But it’s not exactly clear which programs he would support cutting back. The President is currently waiting on a “super-committee” to offer recommendations by Thanksgiving about what programs should be cut in a bid to slash the deficit by $1.2 trillion over 10 years.
In the meantime, the President continues to be criticized by Republicans and others who say Obama is too focused on government spending and taxing the rich. Obama has countered those critics by saying such spending on social programs is necessary to get the economy moving and to help cash-strapped Americans stay afloat.