I will continue to support Obama as I always have, but this Grand Bargain nonsense must be put to an end.
Follow me below the fold if you can stomach it.
Senator Bernie Sanders described the exchange to The Nation on Tuesday afternoon. “The issue came up. The president raised his concerns about the long-term sustainability of programs like Social Security, and indicated that he believed something like Chained CPI is an effective way—what he considers to be [an effective way], to protect the program,” said Sanders.What in god's name is going on in this man's head? What does the President think he or anyone else stands to gain from cutting social security?
This is not some big surprise. It's not as though Chained CPI came out of nowhere. I just don't think I've seen such a solid confirmation that President Obama is determined to take this path.
Fortunately there are voices in the Senate advocating on behalf of the majority of Americans who do not support cuts to entitlement programs:
Other press reports indicate that another Senator pressing Obama on Chained CPI was Tom Harkin, who told reporters outside the meeting that Obama was warned “We don’t want to start whacking away at Social Security … or Medicare or things like that, which we have pathways to get out of this one without putting it in some kind of a grand bargain that pulls the rug out from our elderly or our sick, our needy.”Of course there is no knowing whether anti-austerity Democrats hold enough leverage to avoid these devastating cuts. The article also notes Obama's change of heart since the heady days of the 2008 campaign:
Indeed, Obama’s preferred approach in 2008 was to move the ceiling on FICA taxes, which fund Social Security, to $250,000. (It is currently around $113,000.) He briefly raised this on the campaign trail in 2012 in an appearance before AARP members, but also embraced the general goals of the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan during his acceptance speech at the DNC, and is now calling for Chained CPI.Elections have consequences but so does the prospect of never facing another election again. If Obama succeeds in taking an ax to Social Security, it will certainly make our very corporate-friendly health reform law even harder to swallow. Not exactly the legacy I imagined for him.
Social Security kept me from growing up in poverty. For my grandmother, it is her entire income. All I can hope for is Democrats hold their ground against President Obama or Republicans absolutely refuse to join in on any Grand Bargain. This makes me sick.