The road to political and economic ruin for the Democrats began in the late spring of 2013, when President Obama agreed to a budget grand bargain that cut deficits by 2.8 trillion dollars over ten years, deflated a fragile recovery, and left no room for more than token domestic spending on jobs or infrastructure. The cuts were somewhat "back-loaded" -- bigger later in the decade. But in 2014 they took $200 billion out of the budget. According to CBO, that cut the growth rate by a full percentage point. As part of the deal, more Medicare costs were shifted to patients, and the cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security was cut. Both changes, proposed in Obama's own budget, reduced purchasing power by over $100 billion among the elderly -- who surprised experts by backing Republicans by a margin of 59-41, according to exit polls. The 2013 budget deal, according to Roger Hickey of Campaign for America's Future, "left the Democrats with bragging rights as deficit hawks, but not on the real economy."