I believe my head will explode if I hear another so-called "liberal" pundit proclaim that President Obama's comments (SOTU) were a victory for progressives. Clearly the brief comments he made in reference to social security reform and the deficit were purposely vague, and his use of the word "vulnerable" was ambiguous, at best. It was my take from an interview with former Governor Howard Dean that the tone of President Obama's statements regarding social security reform were more likely a strategic move, than a signal that he was not going to recommend any cuts to social security benefits. (After all, it probably wouldn't go over too well to cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans in December, and go after Granny's Social Security in January.) Text of State of the Union Address
Most of you are probably aware that Senator Bernie Sanders has formed the Defending Social Security Caucus to push back on GOP attempts to slash social security benefits. Making Social Security Stronger (video) While I greatly appreciate their efforts, my concern is that the Senators are putting too much emphasis on preventing the privatization of Social Security, and not enough emphasis on protecting Social Security from the draconian cuts recommended by the Bowles Simpson Fiscal Commission in their report "A Moment of Truth." Bear in mind, the cuts called for in this report are drastic, even though they do not call for personal accounts or set asides.
Here's an informative audio clip of the Majority Report's Sam Seder interviewing Professor James Galbraith. In this clip, he explains that how deep cuts can be made to benefits through measures other than social security privatization. Sam Seder Interview with Economist James Galbraith