What the hell is wrong with the NYT, are they working for the Campaign to Fix the Debt? The plan for Social Security and Medicare is for cuts, as in reduce spending, as in pay out fewer dollars, not random "changes" that could lead to either more or less spending. How does the term "changes" appear in this paragraph:
"That opening bid [in further budget negotiations] should restart talks with Congress on an overarching agreement that would lock in deficit reduction through additional revenue, changes to entitlement programs and more spending cuts, to be worked out by the relevant committees in Congress."
Newspapers are supposed to be informing their readers, not trying to make their friends' agenda more palatable. There is no excuse for the word "changes" to appear in this article.