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Rick Perry has made Social Security a "white hot" political issue once again. We hear about the financial and political security of the New Deal's most popular legacy.  Also, President Obama lays out his plan to cut the deficit by over $3 trillion, and the bankruptcy of high-tech solar-panel maker Solyndra. Was it caused by low-tech competition from China? 

Banner image: People line up outside of the Social Security Administration office in San Francisco, California. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Making News Obama Lays Out Plan to Cut Deficit 7 MIN, 47 SEC

President Obama offered his deficit reduction program today: $4 trillion over 10 years. In a White House speech full of passion and political talking points, he wants to cut federal taxes for middle class workers and increase them on the wealthy, a move Republicans call "class warfare." To reduce the deficit and invest in education, medical research, and transportation he demanded an end to tax loopholes for corporations and people "who've done extraordinarily well." Jamie Tarabay is White House Managing Editor for the National Journal.


Jamie Tarabay, Al Jazeera America (@jamietarabay)

Main Topic Social Security: 'Ponzi Scheme' or 'Monstrous Lie?' 36 MIN, 41 SEC

In today's speech on deficit reduction, President Obama said Social Security should be treated separately — at some later time. But Rick Perry's talk of a "Ponzi scheme" and "a monstrous lie" have made America's most popular government program a possible presidential campaign issue next year. Does Perry's attack make him unelectable, as Mitt Romney claims? Will Republicans in Congress push for privatization? Should the income cap on Social Security taxes be raised? What about the retirement age? Should benefits be reduced before young workers retire?


David Lightman, McClatchy Newspapers (@LightmanDavid)
Frank Newport, Gallup Poll (@gallup)
Max Richtman, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
Stephen Moore, Heritage Foundation (@StephenMoore)

Polling Matters

Frank Newport

Reporter's Notebook Can US Solar Companies Compete with Cheaper Chinese Rivals? 6 MIN, 32 SEC

Solyndra has filed for bankruptcy and laid off 1100 workers. It's being investigated by Republicans in Congress and the FBI. The Obama White House has taken heat for pushing $527million in federal subsidies for the California-based solar company as a provider of jobs in the "green economy." Now the Labor Department is looking into the impact on competition from China. Before Solyndra went bankrupt, President Obama called it "a testament to American ingenuity and dynamism." Chris Martin is clean-tech and renewable energy reporter from Bloomberg News.

Christopher Martin, Bloomberg

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