The Wall Street Journal, February 3, 2011
House Republicans are debating whether to propose new limits on the growth of Medicare and other entitlement programs, weighing a gamble that voters are more concerned about trimming the federal deficit than holding on to promised benefits. Some Republicans are warning that the party faces a backlash if it fails to produce a budget that limits entitlement growth, given the anger at federal debt that drove the party's mid-term election gains. Efforts to curb entitlement spending have long been an element of the budget debate, often discussed, but rarely acted on because of their political sensitivity. Rather than aim immediately at entitlements, leaders of the new House Republican majority have focused on fulfilling their promise to cut domestic discretionary spending to 2008 levels, which would require about $100 billion in cuts.