Obama alludes to Social Security, Medicare reductions

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A projected $1.2 trillion budget deficit looming on the horizon, President-elect Barack Obama suggested Wednesday that the administration may reduce spending for  Social Security, Medicare and other entitlement programs.

Speaking at a press conference, Obama did not offer specific details of his plans for the entitlement programs, but he acknowledged that discussions around the programs would comprise a "central part" of his administration's efforts to reduce federal spending. More information will likely be available sometime in February, he told reporters. Besides a rapidly growing population of senior citizens, declining tax revenues (which help pay for entitlement programs) and a shaky economic climate likely will factor into Obama's decision to cut Social Security and Medicare cuts.

Obama also has said that he wants to reduce wasteful spending to reduce the budget deficit. Nancy Killefer, the President-elect's nominee for chief performance officer, would be in charge of this task. Killefer served as assistant secretary for management, chief financial officer, and chief operating officer at the Department of the Treasury under President Clinton.