Well, we hear now that Obama might "compromise" on these. Uhm... say wha? Is he wanting to be a one-term President? If so, a simpler way might be to do a LBJ and simply resign, yo! Because Social Security and Medicare are wildly popular for a simple reason -- *everybody* will eventually get old and receive them. And their problems are easily solved by simple mechanisms -- simply removing the income cap will keep Social Security solvent beyond the lifespan of every American living today, and Medicare can be kept solvent for at least the next 20 years via simply changing the drug program to have it administered via the same process that the VA's drug program is administered (i.e., competitive bidding), rather than the current "pay anything the drug companies demand" process. There's no need or reason to cut benefits on *either* of them.
I honestly don't "get" what the libertarian and GOP types and their sycophants are thinking when it comes to Social Security and Medicare. Everybody eventually becomes old and feeble and unable to work and has medical problems that exceed their income. Everybody. Old age and death are the fate of everybody living today. What that means is that every single one of these people trying to destroy Social Security and Medicare are trying to destroy something that they themselves will benefit from in the end. It's as if they're holding a loaded pistol to their own head and saying "Your money or your life"!
So... what's the deal here? Are libertarians convinced they will never get old and thus will never need Social Security and Medicare? Given the suicidal and defeatist nature of their philosophy I suppose that's possible -- they appear to be the sort of ideologues who would voluntarily do a Hunter S. Thompson and take a pistol through their head if they got to be too old and feeble to work anymore -- but for the rest of us, it looks like they're nuttier than a bag full of peanuts, yo.
-- Badtux the Baffled Penguin