President Obama emphasized just days before his inauguration in 2009 the necessity of entitlement reform, in an interview with the Washington Post editorial board on Jan. 15, 2009:
OBAMA: Real problem with our long-term deficit actually has to do with our entitlement obligations and the fact that, historically, if our revenues ranged from between 18 and 20 percent of GDP, they’re now at 16, it’s just not sustainable. So, we’re going to have to craft a—what George Stephanopolous called a “grand bargain,” and I try not to use the word grand in anything that I say, but we’re going to have to shape a bargain. This, by the way, is where there are going to be some very difficult choices and issues of sacrifice and responsibility and duty are going to come in, because what we have done is kick this can down the road. We’re now at the end of the road, and we’re not in a position to kick it any further.