President Obama does have the upper hand in public polling on fiscal cliff negotiations, and has had for weeks. That's still the case according to the latest polling from The Washington Post/ABC News poll. He has a 54 percent approval rating, though the public is sour on the fiscal cliff, with only 14 percent saying it is “very likely” that a deal will be reached.
And more appropriate to the news of President Obama's latest offer:
Yes, that's 60 percent of those polled opposed to a chained CPI; that's what "changing Social Security to increase at a slower rate" means. That's as many as are opposed to raising the eligibility age for Medicare. Only cutting Medicaid is less popular.
Democrats who pursue this policy will certainly not be held harmless by voters in 2014. Because Republicans won't let them be. They are absolutely gleeful about the prospect of running against Democrats who cut Social Security. It's a political dream come true for them.
Not that politics is the only reason not to make cut. It's not, at all. The reason not to do is that it's harmful policy that will hurt people, badly. For years to come. It's a bad policy that's likely to backfire on public spending, or what's left of it, in the future. If people can't afford to live on their Social Security, they'll be more reliant on Medicaid, food stamps, public housing and every other assistance program. This is cruel policy. It's short-sighted policy. And it's stupid politics.