The Progressive Change Campaign Committee's press secretary just sent a powerful message to our members, on why his past work for President Obama spurred him to sign our pledge not to donate or volunteer for the 2012 campaign if Obama makes cuts to Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security benefits. Please read his message below, and add your name with nearly 200,000 others who are calling on Obama to defend these vital programs against any attacks.
I worked for Barack Obama in 2008. And I want to support his campaign in 2012.
And that's why I'm asking you to join me and over 195,000 others who've signed the pledge not to donate to or volunteer for Obama's 2012 campaign if he cuts Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits.
Let me explain...
In 2007, I quit my job and moved to South Carolina to help win the state's early primary for an unlikely presidential candidate from my home state of Illinois.
I met hundreds of people who were dedicating their lives to the Obama campaign. Community leaders like Edith Childs, whose cheer "Fired Up, Ready to Go," eventually became a rallying cry for a nation-wide movement.
Each of us promised that Senator Obama would change the status quo and fight for regular people -- not the wealthy or special interests. And President-elect Obama asked us to hold him accountable to that promise.
When President Obama puts cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefits on the table -- and takes new tax rates for the rich off the table -- he's not being the president we promised he would be.
And if he agrees to a bad deal with Republicans, muddying the waters on which party fights for the middle class, that will hurt his own re-election chances in 2012.
Then, please pass this email on to others.
Thanks for being a bold progressive.
-- Neil Sroka (Chicagoland native, Obama 2008 staffer, and current press secretary for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee)
For those of us who worked tirelessly to elect Obama in 2008, here are the most depressing quotes from his press conference Monday:
1) "We’re going to have a sales job. This is not pleasant. It is hard to persuade people to do hard stuff that entails trimming benefits and increasing revenues."
Significance: This is the first time Obama admitted he is pushing "benefit" cuts that would hurt our grandparents, kids, and the disabled -- not just "savings" like negotiating lower drug prices.
2) "I want to be crystal clear -- nobody has talked about increasing taxes now. Nobody has talked about increases -- increasing taxes next year."
Significance: Polling shows that by 4 to 1, Americans want taxes increased on the rich. The "millionaires tax" proposed by House progressives would raise $1 trillion -- helping to take benefit cuts off the table. By his own admission, the president is not even asking for this.
3) "The vast majority of Democrats on Capitol Hill would prefer not to have to do anything on entitlements; would prefer, frankly, not to have to do anything on some of these debt and deficit problems."
Significance: The House Progressive Caucus proposed balancing the budget by taxing the rich, making companies like GE pay taxes, ending the wars, and other popular, progressive proposals. By his own admission, Obama didn't even try for these -- and then he attacks progressive Democrats with false, right-wing talking points.
4) "With respect to Social Security, Social Security is not the source of our deficit problems....the reason to include that potentially in this package is if you’re going to take a bunch of tough votes, you might as well do it now, as opposed to trying to muster up the political will to get something done further down in the future."
Significance: Why is a Democratic president going out of his way to help Republicans cut Social Security? That's not what we promised in 2008. It's not what Americans want now.