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There are rumors that President Obama is going to ask for cuts in Social Security in his State of the Union speech.  We have 4 weeks to stop him.  People, we can stop this.

Tell The President: Stand Up To The Hostage-Takers! No Social Security Cuts

Last week in Obama to blink first on Social Security, Robert Kuttner wrote that the President, in his coming State of the Union speech, might follow up on the recommendations of his deficit commission by announcing a plan to cut Social Security.

If this happens it would be an utter disaster for Americans and for the future of American politics.

Millions of elderly people now and in the future absolutely depend on Social Security as the only thing keeping them from eating cat food because they can afford nothing else.  On top of that, Social Security is the bedrock of people's faith in and understanding of government.  Politically, the Social Security program is the very symbol of what the Democrats Party is and does.   If the Democratic Party doesn’t represent protecting Social Security then it represents nothing.  

If these rumors are true we owe it to those elderly people now and in the future to do what we can to head this off.  We owe it to the idea of democratic government.  And we owe it to the President to stop him from listening to bad advice from advisors who are so out of touch with the American people!  There is an elite concensus in DC, created by expert Wall Street propagandists, that it is "responsible" to cut Social Security, and it is just wrong.  It is not a correct analysis, and it is the morally wrong thing to do because so many people depend on Social Security.  If anything the program needs to be expanded and increased because that is what would help the greatest number of people.

We CAN stop this if we mobilize.  We must spend the next month preventing this from happening.  We shouldn't assume that is is out of our control.  We should assume that we have it in our power to do something.  The vast majority of Democrats don’t want this to happen.  Heck, even most Republican don't want this to happen.  Cutting Social Security would harm everyone (except Wall Street), including the President.

People, we can stop this.  We have to mobilize to stop it.  Don’t assume that the President is going to do it -- we have to show up and make him not do it!  Get engaged in the fight.  Do not succumb to cynicism.  Go out there and ask the president not to do this.  Show up!

Action: Tell The President: Stand Up To The Hostage-Takers! No Social Security Cuts

This post originally appeared at Campaign for America's Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture.  I am a Fellow with CAF.

Sign up here for the CAF daily summary.

Originally posted to davej on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 10:13 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  you know what we can do? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    millwood, Sunspots

    Go down to the local senior center and get those folks riled up. Tell them Obama, the Democrats and the Republicans are all ganging up to cut social security and tale away the programs they all rely on to live all so some little snot nosed rich kid can get all his mommy and daddy's money.

    Hey, Rich People: They aren't taxes. They're Freedom Payments.

    by jbou on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 10:23:27 AM PST

  •  Mobilize over a rumor? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dasheight

    How about we save our energy for things that are confirmed?

    •  when the British are actually in town.... (8+ / 0-)

      I'll do something. Meanwhile Paul Revere should stop waking people up in the middle of the night. (William Dawes too.)

      Red Apple for President!

      by Shahryar on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 10:47:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obama will eat a live cat at the speech! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dasheight

        I read that just today.  We need to picket animal shelters around the country!

      •  not a rumor (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Big Tex, PhilJD

        this has been on his agenda for a long time

        Obama to outline $313 billion in Medicare, Medicaid spending cuts
        The president says his latest plan, which includes potential cuts to hospitals and pharmaceutical firms, will help curb costs as he seeks to expand healthcare coverage to the uninsured in the U.S.

        WASHINGTON — Under pressure to pay for his ambitious reshaping of the nation's healthcare system, President Obama on Saturday outlined $313 billion in Medicare and Medicaid spending cuts over the next decade to help cover the cost of expanding coverage to tens of millions of America's uninsured.

        The proposal comes on top of more than $634 billion in new revenue Obama suggested reserving for healthcare in his February budget plan.
        Ads by Google

        The president, who increasingly is focusing on his healthcare agenda as Congress struggles to craft legislation, said his latest plan would help control the country's skyrocketing healthcare tab.

        "I know some question whether we can afford to act this year," Obama said in announcing the proposal in his weekly radio address. "But the unmistakable truth is that it would be irresponsible to not act. We can't keep shifting a growing burden to future generations."

        Yet the proposal -- which includes potential cuts to hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and other providers -- also underscores the political delicacy of the administration's search for money for a massive healthcare overhaul that could cost more than $1.2 trillion over the next decade.

        Among the proposed policy changes outlined by the president are:

        * Reductions in payments to providers to reflect increased efficiencies in the system, which the White House estimates could save $110 billion over the next decade.

        * Cuts in federal subsidies to hospitals that treat large populations of uninsured patients, estimated to save $106 billion in the next decade.

        * Cuts in how much the federal government pays pharmaceutical companies to provide prescription drugs to seniors and others, estimated to save $75 billion over the next decade.

        The president described the proposals as "common sense changes" that could make the system more efficient.

        http://articles.latimes.com/...

    •  i heard obama might make a deal to extend... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      davej, JohnInWestland, Big Tex, jennylind

      ...the Bush Budget Busters too...
      ...scuttle the public option..
      ...and pass retroactive immunity for the telecoms...
      ...drag his feet on DADT for another year (2009)...
      ...drag his feet on DADT for another year (2010)...
      ...drag his feet on DADT for another year (2011)..

      ...at what point do act? After the sky has already fallen around you?

      Are you a Proud Progressive running or thinking about running for office? Visit www.mpapolitical.com.

      by mp on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 11:09:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nope (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JohnInWestland, Big Tex, joanneleon, mp, PhilJD

        it is obviously too late then. And then, I will inform you that unfortunately it is too late once something has been done - it is all in the past and we need to look forward.  OF course, if you come to me ahead of time you are obviously being reactionary and need to chill out.  Catch 22.

        "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

        by newfie on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 11:12:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Better yet... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Big Tex

      We should always wait until events have run their course and decisions are set in stone, at which point we can earnestly bemoan, like a good liberal should, compromises and accommodations we can no longer change.

      When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

      by PhilJD on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 01:24:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It would be useful, although no longer a Kos norm (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dasheight

    to indicate what changes in SS you object to, and which ones you claim are going to be made, on what proof.

    I see no problem if the change in SS is that the ceiling cap on contributions is raised above 106K, which the experts have been saying for years would cure any funding issues it has, and would not change the results in the paycheck for any person with less taxable paycheck income than that. Such a change would not be damaging SS, and you don't know, or at least you didn't post, what changes you claim should arouse concern, so as to determine whether panicking Granny is a worthy activity. This feels too much like a diary written to be part of the wave of Anti Obama stuff, without having any factual basis because for so many here no factual basis is necessary anymore.

    •  Maybe you missed (10+ / 0-)

      the "deficit commission" and its recommendations to raise the retirement age? I wonder if you know why it was called the "Catfood Commission."

      What about the suggestion of cutting benefits for those currently under 55, when they retire?

      --
      Seeing The Forest -- Who is our economy FOR, anyway? Twitter: @dcjohnson

      by davej on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 10:51:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Um. No one at the WH endorsed those ideas. (0+ / 0-)

        May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.

        by dasheight on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 11:10:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Seriously - STOP REACTING TO POLITICO RUMORS. (0+ / 0-)

          May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.

          by dasheight on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 11:15:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yet. n/t (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Big Tex, joanneleon

          When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

          by PhilJD on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 01:23:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yet. The article specifically states (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joanneleon

          that he intends to "embrace much of the Bowles-Simpson plan — including cuts in Social Security" in his SOTU address.

          Proud member of the sanctimonious professional left and supporter of Wikileaks

          by Big Tex on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 01:42:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The two policies of raising retirement and (0+ / 0-)

            increasing the payroll cap have been discussed aloud for many years, and they are nothing new. And please don't tell me raising the retirement age is new either, as it happened in 1984 which is why I retire at 66 and not 65, and the cohort after me is at 67 already. If you're talking about something different state it and prove it please.

        •  Except 5 of 6 Obama appointees (0+ / 0-)

          to the Commission.

          Open your eyes. The Obama campaign economic team consisted of three men:

          Austan Goolsbee of the University of Chicago Business School (nerve center of what is known as 'Freshwater Economics' i.e. unfettered free markets). That Austan is considered left by his colleagues makes that term at best relative. That Goolsbee was George Will's favorite democratic economist tells you most of what you need to know. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/03/AR2007100302003.html) Note the column came out in Oct 2007.

          David Cutler a Clintonista via Harvard. Health care specialist who was a clear incrementalist.

          Jeffrey Liebman another Harvard Clintonista best known for Social Security policy and the author of the Liebman-MacGuineas-Samwick Non-Partisan Social Security Reform Plan, still hosted at his Harvard web-site:
          http://www.hks.harvard.edu/...

          Liebman started the Obama Admin as the number three guy at OMB under Orszag, himself the author of a Social Security reform plan that advocates benefit cuts in line with those of the Catfood Commission. You can read his plan here: http://www.brookings.edu/...

          So the number one and three guys at the Office of Management and BUDGET at the time the President named a very Social Security benefit cut friendly group to be HIS representatives on a BUDGET Commission, and of those two one whom was giving Obama his advice right from the beginning of his campaign BOTH turn out to be authors of Social Security benefit cut plans. And now that Orszag has left what has happened to poor Jeff? Well he is now the number two guy at OMB.

          "No one at the WH endorse those ideas". Dude all the evidence is that those ideas were DRAFTED by the WH Budget Office. Obama didn't pick either his campaign economic team, his OMB team, or his Commission team out of a hat.

          If you read Liebman's co-written LMS Plan you would see that it has a cap increase proposal much like that Obama put forth during the campaign, Plus it has a reduction in FICA going to Social Security, instead diverting 1.5% of it to personal retirement accounts. Are you willing to bet against the proposition that when the time comes for the Payroll Tax Holiday to come to an end that the 'compromise' will be to restore the tax but divert it to PRAs ala LMS?

          Back during the worst days of Czarist oppression it was common for the oppressed peasantry to say with a sigh "Ah, if only the Czar knew!" When the chances were pretty good the Czar did know or wouldn't care if he didn't.

          I have spent a lot of time defending Obama against his enemies, because God knows we would be in Hell if Cloud Waving McSame had been elected. But his centrist economic policy including a willingness to consider benefit cuts (if presented right) were pretty obvious via his personnel picks from day one.

          •  Initial economic team anyway (0+ / 0-)

            Things looked up when Obama brought Jason Furman and Jared Bernstein on board and then showed signs of being open to the views of people like Jamie Galbraith.  All of which went to shit when it became clear that people like Geithner, Summers and Orszag were going to grab the top slots at Treasury, the WH, and OMB.

            In the end the final shape resembled the initial shape, particularly after Bernstein was shuffled off to the OVP and Obama set his very first organized meeting with any Congressional Caucus with the Blue Dogs in early Feb 2009 and immediately agreed to convene a 'Fiscal Responsibility Summit' in March. The writing was on the wall for anyone to read: "Obama is not, was not, and will not be the initiator of New Deal 2.0"

            If anyone still needs their eyes open they can compare the OFA issues page today to the one that archives the campaign issues page. Notice anything missing from the newer one? Like any fucking reference to Social Security?
            http://www.barackobama.com/...
            http://www.barackobama.com/...

            It's like those commercials for disaster cleanup: "It is like it never happened".

  •  If Obama supports the catfood commission (7+ / 0-)

    he will destroy the democratic party and his own presidency, not to mention hurt regular people who need help.

    Everything he has done since taking office suggests he will do this.

    •  "Everything he has done"? LOL You people (1+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      skindig55
      Hidden by:
      dkmich

      are hysterical.

      The man passes bill after bill of the most progressive legislation this country's seen since FDR - they just repealed DADT three days ago - and now you're saying that "everything" he's done since taking office means he's going to cut Social Security - when he's said REPEATEDLY that Social Security and Medicare will "not be touched as long as I'm president".

      You alarmist maniacs are the ones who can hurt the Democratic party - the president's got an approval rating 10 to 15 points higher right now than Clinton, Carter, Reagan, or even Truman had at this point in their first terms, and over 80% approval with Democrats and over 70% approval with "pure liberals".

      The only people hurting the Democratic party are people like you and the diarist who WILL NEVER BE HAPPY unless you get 100% of what you want in every bill passed - which has never happened in the history of the United States - for ANY base.

      GROW. UP.

      May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.

      by dasheight on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 11:14:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It would be hysterical if it wasn't so sad (0+ / 0-)

        The response you are sure to get about this President getting DADT repealed will be that he didn't have anything to do with it. Congress did it all on their own. I read it right here on this site Saturday afternoon.

        All I can say is that this is indeed an interesting Democratic site for sure.

        "No one can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending." Maria Robinson

        by skindig55 on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 11:20:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  mmm (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Magick Maven

        The man passes bill after bill of the most progressive legislation this country's seen since FDR

        where to begin

        first, Congress passes the legislation, not the man.

        second, the recent tax bill is not at all progressive. It asserts trickle-down. It is terrible. FDR's legislation helped build middle-class American. This monstrosity works in the opposite direction.

        third, FDR started social security. Obama defunded it. They are not on the same page.

        open your eyes.

        Te conozco bacalao, aunque vengas disfrazado - Hector LaVoe

        by mightymouse on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 11:24:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Grow up indeed. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joanneleon

        The man passes bill after bill of the most progressive legislation this country's seen since FDR [...]

        This is unmitigated horseshit, as anyone who remembers the LBJ administration can tell you. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Immigration Act of 1965, Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, food stamps, Work Study, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, the NEH, the NEA...nope, no progressive legislation there. Move along folks!

        You alarmist maniacs are the ones who can hurt the Democratic party - the president's got an approval rating 10 to 15 points higher right now than Clinton, Carter, Reagan, or even Truman had at this point in their first terms, and over 80% approval with Democrats and over 70% approval with "pure liberals".

        Also not true. His approval rating with Democrats is at 79%, and with all liberals is at 69%. And at this point in their presidencies, Reagan was at 41%, a mere 5 points lower than Obama is now; Clinton was at 42%, a mere 4 points lower than Obama; and Carter was at 51%, 5 points higher than Obama.  As for Truman, it's hard to make comparisons because he initially assumed office on the death of FDR -- in December of 1946, after his first midterms, his approval was at 35%, 9 points lower, but he hadn't been in office as long; Truman hadn't served as many days in office as Obama has until March of 1947, and by then he had a 60% approval rating, 14 points higher than Obama.

        It's hard to take people like you seriously when you can't even get your facts straight.

        Proud member of the sanctimonious professional left and supporter of Wikileaks

        by Big Tex on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 02:05:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  "The most progressive legislation" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joanneleon

        Uh no. If you want to see progressive legislation you could examine the House Tri-Committee Health Care Bill drafted under the leadership of Dingell and passed out of all three House Committees with jurisdiction back in July 2009. Or you could examine the Kennedy-Dodd Senate HELP Bill similarly  passed out of that Committee under regular order. Since revenue bills have to originate on the House side it would have been perfectly in order for Reid with Obama's backing to take the House Bill, make whatever changes were needed to accommodate the specifics of those parts of the bill under HELP's jurisdiction, and instruct Senate Finance Committee Chair Baucus to one) keep his proposals limited to the actual matters under the jurisdiction of his Committee (in this case revenue and Medicare changes) and two) put those proposals through normal order, meaning full Committee participation and voting out the bill based on something I like to call "majority rule". Which since SFC had a three vote Dem majority should have meant something for Reid to bring to the floor in August that was a hell of a lot closer to the House Bill and included the input of Kennedy.

        Instead Baucus was allowed to spit in the faces of Dingell and Kennedy, form a rump group that not only excluded all progressives from his own Committee but originally had a fucking Republican majority and started the whole process from scratch. And in the end got nothing in return. Except of course dragging out things until a dying Kennedy passed from the scene and so taking with him a filibuster proof majority.

        And where was Obama when Baucus launched a coup against the democratic process? Did he call Baucus on the carpet and tell him to knock that shit out and pass a Democratic bill in line with what the other four committees had agreed to (and in very good alignment with his own campaign promises)? Hell no, he apparently decided that being 'post-partisan' was well worth six months of  every day being Punch a Progressive Day.

        The Health Care Law should have been better and could have been better and we could have had a WH lawn signing ceremony by Obama's own deadline of August. And avoided all the demagoguery of those August astro-turfed death panel town meetings. Obama caved at a time he had 60 Democrats in the Senate. He and Reid could have gone to end-stage negotiations with Dems Nelson and Landrieu (which they had to do five months after anyway) and gotten something truly progressive. Not enough to satisfy the Single-Payer Now! people who were occupying much of the space on the actual left of the left, but something that would have delivered a great outcome for the whole center-left coalition that got him into office to start with.

        Yeah the resulting health care sausage is edible, at least it is better than outright starvation even if the meal comes two years later than it should have, but it tastes a lot more like Oscar-Meyer bologna than anything you would get from the Deli. It is like being grateful because you managed to score a second bowl of gruel at the workhouse.

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