Friday, September 19th, 2014

A history lesson for Obama on Social Security, Medicare

President Obama defends a tax compromise at a press conference on Tuesday.
President Obama defends a tax compromise at a press conference on Tuesday.

In a Dec. 7, 2010, press conference, President Barack Obama cited Social Security and Medicare as programs that were products of legislative compromise that grew to be large and much broader.

"Not everybody agrees with us," Obama said. "I know that shocks people. The New York Times editorial page does not permeate across all of America. Neither does the Wall Street Journal editorial page. Most Americans -- they"re just trying to figure out how to go about their lives and how can we make sure that our elected officials are looking out for us. And that means because it"s a big, diverse country and people have a lot of complicated positions, it means that in order to get stuff done, we"re going to compromise. This is why (President Franklin D. Roosevelt), when he started Social Security, it only affected widows and orphans. You did not qualify. And yet now it is something that really helps a lot of people. When Medicare was started, it was a small program. It grew."

Our ears always perk up when we hear a historical claim, so we put Obama's claim to the Truth-O-Meter.