Social Security card with $100 bill

Grand Bargain talk is once again revving up—after all, Democrats won something, so now the pundits think it's only fair they balance it out by caving preemptively—and we all know the roster of vicious, destructive cuts to Social Security and Medicare that will be under discussion. Anticipating that, AFL-CIO policy director Damon Silvers made the labor federation's position very clear in an interview with Greg Sargent:

“We are opposed to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits cuts. Period,” Silvers told me. “There will be no cover for members of either party who vote for such a thing.” [...]

“Cutting Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid benefits is not a route to a grand bargain; it is a route to deadlock,” Silvers continued. “We and a lot of folks are going to oppose it categorically, and everything will grind to a halt.”

Pressed on whether the AFL-CIO would support primary challengers to any Dems who support benefits cuts, Silvers demurred, but he said that all of the material created in such a battle — video, ads, etc. — would be available to any primary challenger, and added: “That’s the minimum we’re going to do. It only gets worse from there.”

The only constituency for chained CPI and other Social Security cuts is a handful of billionaires and the think tank fellows they fund. Unfortunately, in our political system a handful of billionaires has the ability to put massive cuts to virtually everyone else on the table and keep it there, even as ordinary people across the political spectrum are going "no no no NO NO NO." But this interview should serve as a reminder to any slash-happy politicians that even if it doesn't come from billionaires, there will be organized opposition.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders and Daily Kos.

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