By Sam Baker - 01/05/13 03:17 PM EST
Entitlement programs must stay off the table in the next round of budget negotiations, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said.
Sanders said he's "not confident" that President Obama will try to protect entitlements — particularly Social Security — during upcoming talks about raising the country's debt ceiling.
During the recently concluded talks to avoid the "fiscal cliff," the White House had agreed to changing the way inflation is calculated for Social Security benefits. Sanders and other liberal Democrats strongly resisted the idea, and have also protested cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.
Obama has proposed raising the Medicare eligibility age in previous talks with congressional Republicans. That idea could resurface as Republicans look for spending cuts to accompany another hike to the debt ceiling.
"What we have got to say is, no, Mr. President, you`re not going to cut Social Security. You`re not going to cut Medicaid. You`re not going to cut Medicare," Sanders said.
He said Congress should raise revenue by increasing corporate taxes.