What put the suggestion in my mind was Tamara Keith's comment on Morning Edition that the Democrats support "small" cuts to Social Security and Medicare as part of a small bargain with Republicans over the budget. The preferred cut to Social Security is to reduce the annual cost-of-living adjustment by roughly 0.3 percentage points annually. If the typical beneficiary collects benefits for twenty years this would amount to roughly a 3 percent reduction in benefits.
Social Security accounts for more than 90 percent of the income for 40 percent of seniors. It accounts for more than half of the income of 70 percent of seniors. As a result, this proposed cut would be a larger share of the income of the typical senior than the hit from the restoration of pre-Bush era tax rates on the typical wealthy person. Morning Edition's reporters never described that tax increase as "small."
It should have been a simple matter to save time in the piece and increase its accuracy to leave out the word "small" in referring to the cuts that President Obama and the Democratic leadership want to impose on Social Security and Medicare.