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Social Security card dangling off of fish hook
The AFL-CIO would not support a bargain, grand or otherwise, that included the cut to Social Security benefits known as chained CPI, two senior staffers told Huffington Post's Dave Jamieson.
"I don't see us supporting a deal that has chained CPI in it," said Bill Samuel, director of government affairs at the AFL-CIO, a close ally in Obama's reelection campaign. "It's a basic cut in benefits for seniors." [...]

"Chained CPI is the biggest dollar cut that anyone in Washington has put on the table in this discussion in a serious way," said Damon Silvers, the AFL-CIO's policy director. "It is clearly the one that would do the most broad-based harm to American families. It is structured in a particularly devious and pernicious way.

"It is not the sort of proposal that any Democrat who [supports] working people wants to be associated with," he added.

President Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have been sending clear messages that they'd be open to chained CPI as part of a larger deficit deal. Obama followed up those messages by telling progressive members of Congress that he would only agree to Social Security benefit cuts in the context of a deal in which Republicans accepted new revenue, and that since Republicans aren't budging on revenue there's no danger right now. But there's no question that chained CPI is on the table, which means that now is the time to make it clear how unacceptable it is, rather than waiting until it's too late.

Send an email to the White House telling President Obama to immediately stop proposing any cuts to Social Security.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:33 AM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, Social Security Defenders, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Anyone pushing the 11-dimensional chess theory? (23+ / 1-)

    I've had a bellyful of it.  Obama WANTS to cut SSI.

    The evidence is clear.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:43:04 AM PDT

    •  No, you assume intent from an offer of compromise. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cocinero, Stude Dude

      Why must Obama be demonized?  I support the AFL-CIO on this, but there is not going to be a Grand Bargain.

      It gets so simplistic here soemtimes.  Evil motives!  Maybe he thinks it's the least bad alternative in a compromsie offer, and maybe you and I disagree about it.

      The AFL-CIO is taking the right position, but there not casting all sorts of aspercions on Obama.  

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by TomP on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:09:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is, maybe you and I disagree with Obama (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        about an offer in a deal that will never happen.  It does not make Obama evil.

        Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

        by TomP on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:10:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Keeps getting put on the table. (13+ / 0-)

          Unless you're arguing that this is Charlie Brown and Lucy with the football.

          And I don't like the idea of Social Security as the football.

          Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
          I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
          —Spike Milligan

          by polecat on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:41:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  We should demonize the President (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dallasdoc, penguins4peace

          because if HE gets HIS way, HE will hurt people. What does it gain those at risk to treat his proposal, and thus him, with anything other than vociferous rejection?

          Will he be moved by our unconditional respect?

          We should make it clear that he will lose our support if he seeks to use it for harm.

          "I am confident that we're going to be able to leave the Gulf Coast in better shape than it was before." Barack Obama

          by quagmiremonkey on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:54:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm sorry TomP (6+ / 0-)

          I normally agree with you, but Obama has cut heating assistance, as well as other important safety nets and now he is trying to cut the three main safety nets, while he has been handing out trillions to Wall Street.  he listens to no one but Wall Street.  And it appears all his advice comes from Wall Street.  It was Lloyd Blankfein that made a public statement about cutting Social Security.  

          Obama is suppose to also listen to the people, not just Wall Street.  There are grey areas between good and evil and some of those grey areas really boarder on the bad side.  No President Republican or Democrat has ever offered up Social Security and Medicare as a barginning chip.  So, trying to see Obama in a good light is getting very difficult for me.  He is better than Republicans, but he is no Bernie Sanders.

          I'm sorry, but I learned long ago not to apologize to someone who is intentionally hurting me and others.  It boarders on the line of Dick Cheney's friend apologizing to Cheney for shooting him in the face.  I know the Republicans have been horrible to the President, but there are many like Bernie Sanders that would have the President's back in a fight against cuts, if that is what the President wanted.

          "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

          by zaka1 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:10:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It's his plan, he owns it (25+ / 0-)

        He doesn't get a free pass on this.  He has said time after time after time and he has produced plans in writing bragging about his zeal for "entitlement reform".  

        He wants to cut Social Security and Medicare.  Aren't you listening to him?

        Never does he ever say that he wants to find an alternative that does not include cuts to Social Security and Medicare.   In fact he calls them "smart" cuts.  He is doing it this very minute live on MSNBC.  Smart he says.

        Its is smart to cut Social Security he says.  That is an insult to seniors who need these benefits.

      • - see their own PDF (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        penguins4peace, darrow


        "Spending Savings from Superlative CPI with protections for the vulnerable - $130 billion"

        The Republicans didn't put that on the White House website.

        Not to mention $1.4 trillion dollars in cuts to "discretionary spending" much of which was support to the poor, like heating assistance, etc, which has already been enacted and signed into law.

        He appointed the deficit (catfood) commission. He put Simpson & Bowles into place as the co-chairs, fully knowing their reputation and positions. He has agreed with this from the get-go.

        Why would he bring up -- indeed, going back to the commission (Simpson has always hated Social Security) originate -- this concept if he didn't agree with it?  

        There is just no way around it. He even said during the 2012 debates that his position with Social Security and Medicare was similar to Romney/Ryan.  

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:57:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  who decides... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Who decides what makes some retirees, but not others, "vulnerable" in this "protections for the vulnerable" proposal?  

          When the cost of just one surgery/hospital stay can decimate the assets of a "solid middle class" family -- especially now that retirement often does not include either ongoing group-medical care options or defined benefit pensions for private sector retirees, as it did several decades ago -- I'd argue that all but the 1% retirees are vulnerable.  

    •  Good to know at least the AFL-CIO is on our side.. (8+ / 0-)

      ...even if Democrat policy makers aren't.

      Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

      by Love Me Slender on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:05:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree. Today I went to a CARA forum on (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      protecting Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid. One of the speakers was a professor from NY with ties to Strengthen Social Security. I asked him why prominent Dems, including the president, are not only not protecting Social Security and Medicare, but are calling for their degradation. He said, "These are not your father's Democrats." He also said that Social Security and Medicare don't have the same meaning to Obama that they have to older Americans. Obama doesn't care that much about those successful programs. He said Obama is more like an old style Republican like Nixon.
      I think it's true. I hope we will all march on Washington. One of the organizers suggested a one million senior march on Washington. "We'll bring our walkers, our canes and our wheelchairs and sit down in front of the WH."
      People should be calling their senators, reps and the president every day. We should ask our relatives and friends to do the same. We should tell them we want no cuts to SS, Medi/Medi; They should scrap the cap on taxable Social Security earnings (HR 649/Deutch/S308 Begich. They should negotiate for Medicare drug prices (S117/Klobuchar). They should institute a tax on financial transactions (HR6411/Ellison-The Robin Hood Tax). They should cut the military budget and repeal the sequester. Join the Alliance for Retired American.

      48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam> "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Edna St.V. Millay

      by slouching on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 12:25:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tragic That They Needed to Qualify "Democrat" (19+ / 0-)
    Democrat who [supports] working people
    Because that's definitely been a subset of the party for the last 45 years.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:45:36 AM PDT

    •  tragic, indeed.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      allie123, zaka1

      It is tragic that Democrat must be qualified that way.

      But remember that the Democratic Party began under the leadership of slaveocracy and endured in the embrace of Jim Crow. The pro-worker faction has NEVER been the majority of the Democratic Party coalition.

      •  That ignores significant realignment of the two (0+ / 0-)

        parties during at least two separate junctures in our history.

        Neither party has the same ideology or goals today as they did in 1860.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:59:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry, but no, It doesn't.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The realignment was quite real, but that doesn't take anything away from the fact that the pro-worker faction in the party was still a junior partner in the coalition. See: NAFTA, KORUS, etc.

          •  Agreed on being a junior partner. Even FDR went a (0+ / 0-)

            after unions.  As, interestingly, was rebuffed by the Supreme Court. That wouldn't happen with today's court!

            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

            by YucatanMan on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 11:11:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Shoot it down at any opportunity (20+ / 0-)

    Thanks to the AFL-CIO.

    Any of us who tend to write letters or call the WH or the Congress should keep shooting down the chained CPI at any and every opportunity.

    I call it the cat food index (CFI). They get the point.

  •  Good news, but it's not always (11+ / 0-)

    clear when a line in the sand is really that.

    "That means we won't support the bill if it doesn't have the public option in it," Trumka said.  
    Presumably this is different because unlike with health care, any upside for working people is hard to find.
  •  Can someone tell me how (17+ / 0-)

    the WH can say out of one side of their mouth that chained CPI is a better way to measure inflation for SS and out of the other side say it is a concession to Republicans?

    That makes no sense to me?  How could you concede something that you think is better than the alternative?

    What am I missing?

    "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

    by justmy2 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:46:46 AM PDT

  •  Thanks, Laura. But the heck with an email, ;-)! (11+ / 0-)

    I'm kidding.  They are great, too.

    But please allow me to provide the WH and Capitol Hill phone numbers.  Folks please put them to good use.

    It gets tedious calling, I know.  But Mr. Mollie and I have worked out a deal, taking turns calling, M-F.

    That's no quite so bad, LOL!

    The fight is on!

    Please burn up the phone line to the White House, to Speaker Boehner's Office, and to Capitol Hill.

    Here's the White House Comment Line (live and recording):  


    Here's two Capitol Hill phone numbers (for Speaker Boehner, our Senators and US House Representatives):


    [These are current numbers.]

    Oh, and I think it's great for the AFL-CIO to speak out against a Grand Bargain.

    But my question is:  Where are the 'rallies' against austerity measures?

    Seems like the unions have been strangely silent during much of these so-called fiscal crises.

    Kudos to them, for at least 'speaking out against it.'  

    But if you're listening AFL-CIO, how 'bout organizing rallies, please.


    "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson


    by musiccitymollie on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:48:38 AM PDT

  •  Glad about this. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musiccitymollie, Puddytat

    I think we are close to being able to stick a fork into the Grand Bargain.  It's done.  

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:07:46 AM PDT

    •  Totally disagree. (14+ / 0-)

      The Grand Bargain is the ONE thing Obama has fought for since he was elected. He put cuts on the table right away. He has used the deficit crisis to shape issues rather than frame with we need jobs. He will get the "Gran Bargain" And the most vulnerable people will suffer because of it.

      •  We will see. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        musiccitymollie, allie123

        So far, it has not happened.  I see no roadmap toward it happening.  

        Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

        by TomP on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:50:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I genuinley hope you are correct (8+ / 0-)

          The only thing that I see preventing it is if the Rep refuse to even symbolic revenue increase. I think it will pass w/Ds and a few Rs. It is not only heartless it is political suicide for the Ds.

        •  Here is an article (7+ / 0-)

          DC’s Worst-Kept Budget Secret: Lots Of Democrats Support Entitlement Cuts -TPMDC via @TPM

          Some liberals in the caucus, like Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Jerry Nadler (D-NY), say they strongly oppose any such cuts to entitlement benefits. But even they openly admit that a significant number of Democrats likely won’t join their opposition.

          “First of all, we have a diverse caucus,” Nadler said. “I imagine there are a fair number of people [who agree with Obama]. Well, 107 of us signed a letter saying we don’t like Chained CPI. That means a hundred others, roughly, didn’t sign the letter. … Some of them didn’t sign the letter because they didn’t agree with the letter. So you can’t assume the entire Democratic caucus disagrees with the president, though some of us clearly do.”

          •  Everyone Knows Obama Supports Entitlemen (5+ / 0-)

            Everyone Knows Obama Supports Entitlement Cuts — Here’s What They Are

            •  Thanks for the link (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              That clarifies Obama's position for me.

              The policies he openly supports are needed reforms.

              In the first category are a number of provider-side cuts to Medicare spending listed in Obama’s budget (.pdf).
              The biggest threat to Medicare is growing health care costs.

              We should be concerned about...

              policies Obama supports, but won’t outwardly champion unless Republicans agree to tax increases;
              That includes the chained CPI for SS benefits. That should be off the table! It also includes...
              greater means testing for Medicare outpatient and prescription drug benefits.
              We can be reassured that Obama will reject any of Paul Ryan's fantasies of voucherizing Medicare or cutting and block granting Medicaid.
              •  I don't understand (0+ / 0-)

                what the 1st one means, in terms of who will pay for the lowered rebates Medicare receives? Obamacare intentionally increases amount "consumers" pay for expensive treatments. It is based on the very right-wing idea that 1. patients over use treatments and making it more expensive will discourage over use. It is why I can not afford ms treatment. It hurts the sick and destroys any rational for insurance to exist at all. Since it pays stuff (you could pay 4 yourself instead of premiums) and makes the reason we pay premiums irrelevant because treatment is not affordable. He does this w/excise tax and by lowering quality of health insurance in general. Obamacare may help some w/preventive stuff but if you get sick or become disabled and your treatment is expensive then u r screwed.

                •  It's an effort to control health care costs (0+ / 0-)

                  The big problem with our health care system is that it costs too damn much. Providers, both for-profit and nonprofit, are inflating costs to fill the pockets of million $ administrators, equipment manufacturers, and big pharma. One specific idea is to allow Medicare to negotiate lower costs for prescription drugs.

                  I don't see where Obamacare does this:

                  Obamacare intentionally increases amount "consumers" pay for expensive treatments.
                  •  No they would say if they (0+ / 0-)

                    were going back on deal Obama made w/big pharma not to allow Medicare to negotiate prices and deals he made w/medical suppliers and hospitals.

                    The thing said Medicare would get smaller rebate which means less money to medicare not less money from medicare, right?

                    This is from Senate Bill numbers may have changed (I'm not sure) but the tax and other things in his bill to prevent "over use" by charging more for it are still the only cost saving things in his bill.

                    The Senate Bill Is Designed To Make Your Health Insurance Worse from @firedoglake

                    The harm this bill will do thanks to the excise tax on employer-provided insurance benefits is enormous. The health care bill is designed with the goal of making millions of middle class Americans’ health insurance coverage much worse. That is not a bug, it is a feature.

                    The excise tax is meant to force your employer to cut back your insurance benefits, reduce your coverage, and increase your co-pays and deductibles. This is not the conclusion of partisan think tanks, bloggers, or activists, this is the conclusion of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). They CBO concluded:


                      [A]n estimated 19 percent of workers with employment-based coverage would be affected by the excise tax in that year [2016]. Those individuals who kept their high-premium policies would pay a higher premium than under current law, with the difference in premiums roughly equal to the amount of the tax. However, CBO and JCT estimate that most people would avoid the cost of the excise tax by enrolling in plans that had lower premiums; those reductions would result from choosing plans that either pay a smaller share of covered health care costs (which would reduce premiums directly as well as indirectly by leading to less use of covered medical services), manage benefits more tightly, or cover fewer services.
    •  You don't know much about Henry Clay, do you? (6+ / 0-)

      "The Great Compromiser"

      Obama holds him in great esteem.

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      —Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:44:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I do, actually. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I was a history major, although my focus was primarily African history.

        You seem attached to the "Great Betrayal" narrative.  One of us will be wrong.  Time will tell.

        The beauty of the "Great Betrayal" narrative is that if betrayal does not happen, it always could and Obama can be attacked anyway.  I see it as inaccurate.  I think reality is far more complex.

        Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

        by TomP on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:52:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  As if attacking Obama is a long standing goal (3+ / 0-)

          of those on the left. Unlike maintaining and expanding the safety net, which they apparently have only cynically espoused these many decades in order to attack one guy who will never again run for office.

          Only those who support the President at all turns are concerned with matters beyond Obama?

          "I am confident that we're going to be able to leave the Gulf Coast in better shape than it was before." Barack Obama

          by quagmiremonkey on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:07:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You completely miss the point about holding his (0+ / 0-)

            feet to the fire.

            A "great betrayal" as TomP portrays it is best prevented before it can happen.  As we painfully learned with Clinton, trial balloons need to be shot down early and often.

            It could be that he's DEPENDING upon them being shot down, or that he's got an agenda.  Doesn't really matter.  The lesson that we've learned on the Left is to be vigilant and stop things before they can get worse as apathy causes terrible things.

            Witness NAFTA or Hoskins/Greenspan.

            Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
            I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
            —Spike Milligan

            by polecat on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 02:00:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  The worst evil about Chained CPI (21+ / 0-)

    is that the cuts get bigger as the person gets older.  As we age, more and more of our resources go to health care and other aging related costs.  And that's when the cuts keep on getting bigger year after year.

    In fact, seniors fall behind as they age already since the current Cost of Living Index, upon which SS inflation increases are based, fails to recognize the different spending patterns of older Americans.   Yes, inflation is kept low because many electronic devices are actually getting cheaper, but the biggest costs for seniors are health care and meds which massively increase year after year and are NOT reflected in the current CPI.  

    And while I'm ranting away, I'd like to encourage folks to stop calling Social Security and Medicare "entitlements" as though they're some kind of welfare program.  These are earned benefits that all but the upper middle class and wealthy pay on every single dollar they earn in their lifetime.  We pay for these until we're eligible to receive the benefits after a lifetime of work.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 12:02:20 PM PDT

    •  It is an evil and dastardly way to make any (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jeffersonian Democrat, Puddytat

      changes, assuming any were even necessary.

      Of all the possible "reforms" to Social Security, chained CPI (or now, in White House-speak: Superlative CPI - to better hide the meaning?) is the absolute worst.  It hurts people more the older they get, all through SS's future.

      And it is a flat-out White House lie that it "strengthens" Social Security.  Hogwash.  Not in benefits received which are necessary to live on.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 12:03:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  yea, sucks to be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that 18-year-old disabled Afghanistan vet, maybe they will finally have tackled the homeless veteran problem before her compensation fails to keep up with her inflationary rent and heating rates

      Don't be a dick, be a Democrat! Oppose CPI cuts! Support Social Security and Veteran Benefits!

      by Jeffersonian Democrat on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 02:17:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't think the Democrats care what (9+ / 0-)

    the AFL-CIO thinks as long as they keep giving those huge donations:

    "Give us your money, then sit down and shut up."

    When we hang onto our money and use it to build up huge strike funds, then the Democrats will start listening to us again.

    WE NEVER FORGET For March: Francis Estep, UMWA Martyr

    by JayRaye on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 12:05:58 PM PDT

  •  Kudos to them (3+ / 0-)

    by Paleo on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 12:34:23 PM PDT

  •  Yet another example of AFL-CIO irrelevance.... (2+ / 0-)

    The chained CPI is the keystone to Obama's grand bargain and the opposition of the AFL-CIO is powerless to stop it if the Republicans agree.

    I don't know why Samuel and  Silvers make statements like this when it only highlights labor's weak position within the Democratic Party coalition and its utter irrelevance in the grater partisan debate.

  •  Somebody has to hold the line, and I am glad to.. (4+ / 0-)

    see it's organized labor.

    T & Rec'd.

    "The sun is shining........"

    by LamontCranston on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 03:58:12 PM PDT

  •  Reject the grand betrayal (5+ / 0-)

    It's no answer to the sequester.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:05:18 PM PDT

  •  Been waiting for Big Labor to say something... (7+ / 0-)

    Glad to see the AFL-CIO make this statement.  But I hope that behind closed doors they are making it clear to Obama and the Democrats that the party can go screw itself in the 2014 midterm elections if they buy into the Grand Bargain nonsense.  Democrats need to be scared silly that they are going to lose Labor's support.

    "Politics is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex." ~ *Frank Zappa

    by Eagleye on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:09:19 PM PDT

  •  Even on its face (4+ / 0-)

    this isn't a very strong statement.

    "I don't see us supporting a deal that has chained CPI in it,"
    It's not that hard to say:
    We will oppose any deal with chained CPI in it

    Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity. Notes on a Theory

    by David Kaib on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:21:40 PM PDT

  •  Oh, The Humanity (7+ / 0-)

    What kind of human, let alone a Democratic president bends over backwards and repeatedly puts cuts to Social Security and other working class social programs on the table in a quixotic pursuit of some "Grand Bargain"? What is the purpose of a "Grand Bargain" except as a subterfuge to cut social programs benefiting the working class, poor and elderly?

    If I was a communist, rich men would fear me...And the opposite applies. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

    by stewarjt on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:24:02 PM PDT

  •  So What? The AFLCIO Can't Filibuster Anything. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Nuclear Reactor = Dirty Bomb

    by olo on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:28:26 PM PDT

  •  AfL-CIO (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    progressivevoice, penguins4peace

    I voted for Obama as the obvious lesser of two evils,but make no mistake about it,he is if anything,a "Blue Dog" Democrat.He has every intention of cutting Social Security benefts,and he could care less what the AFL-CIO,or for that matter,any other union,thinks.He has shown absolutely no desire to support the union effort.

    •  I think he does care (0+ / 0-)

      I think he takes pleasure in sticking it to the unions and reminding them who has the power (hint: It is not the unions), just like he takes pleasure in sticking it to the f*ing retarded progressives, the base of the Democratic Party, and the elderly, poor, and disabled. The New Democrat - Friend of the Plutocrats, Enemy of the People.

      "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
      Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
      Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

      by Sanctimonious on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 03:09:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Okay (8+ / 0-)

    Let me see if I have this straight.

    The Social Security cuts, and a Chained CPI is a benefits cut, haven't happened for one reason and one reason only, because the GOP won't take 'yes' for an answer, not because they aren't on the table.


    I'm supposed to give the Democratic leadership credit, as if they are doing something smart or saavy, because the GOP's extremism has not allowed the Democrats to fuck themselves. As if a bad outcome thwarted by the opposition party being nuts, is the same thing as the Democrats never having stupidly stumbled into this fucking tar pit in the first place. Like this is all good politics misunderstood.

    And it's wrong to want to speak out about this debacle, or I'm hurting Obama, Reid, and Pelosi unfairly because, somehow, it's a bigger sin, blatantly unfair, to recognize that there is no upside to Democrats pushing the meme that they are the party of Social Security cuts, even if a deal never goes down, and there is no good outcome for the Democrats to go where they are going on the policy.

    Let's say there is no chance of a "Grand Bargain".


    That makes it even stupider to put your fingerprints on Chained CPI, not less.

    That helps the GOP sell the scare frame even more.

    The pivot there is that the threat from Democrats to Social Security is ongoing. You gotta get us Teahadi in there to stop them from doing this in the future.

    The GOP is going to sit back, let the Democrats talk Chained CPI until its in the public's mind that it's pure Democratic policy, and then, passed into law or in limbo because there is no "Grand Bargain" they are going to run on the Democrats putting Chained CPI on the table in 2014, as if they are the party of Social Security, and they are going to frame the issue as the Democrats need to be turned out because the GOP is fighting their Social Security benefits cuts and their desire to cut the program. The GOP is a bad faith borg.

    They fucked the Democrats on Medicare in 2010 already.

    We have seen this shitshow before. There is no way to spin this in a way that there isn't an easy low-information voter friendly Citizen's United shinejob to package.

    This is why you don't put it on the table.

    Bad politics as well as bad policy.

    There is literally no upside for the Democrats to cut Social Security benefits. None. It's all downside. But there is also no upside to the Democrats agreeing to be seen by the American people as wanting to cut Social Security if only the GOP will work with them.

    What is the GOP's pivot? Policy or no? Deal or no?

    "I opposed the Obama/Democrat Party/Pelosi/Reid Social Security Cuts".

    American CrossRoads is responsible for the content of this ad.

    Putting this on yourself is fucking idiocy. It will sting even if no Grand Bargain occurs. The Democratic Parties entire brand is tied up in being seen as the party of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

    The only way to lose that advantage is to give it away.

    If you can't be against the policy because you are fine with benefits cuts to Seniors, you should be against the policy because you are going to go into an already bad election cycle for Democrats having handed the GOP a simple easy to Citizen's United in all 50 states, meme to carpet bomb all Democrats with.

    There was no reason for Social Security to be on the table at all.

    It's bad policy as well as bad politics.


    I am from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner wing of the Democratic Party

    by LeftHandedMan on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:36:23 PM PDT

    •  I understand (4+ / 0-)

      that it is vastly easier to say that people who see this as a tremendous gift to the GOP, and a completely self-injurious place to go under any circumstances, are just Obama haters, or purity trolls, or drama addicts who just hate the Democratic Party in an irrational and broadbrush magic pony way.

      But this is bad policy, bad politics, and there is no upside for anyone in the Democratic Party to be seen as the advocates of cutting Social Security benefits, in a time where the economy is still in the shitter for millions, and before a really brutal offyear election for the Democratic majority in the Senate.

      I'm not worried about magic ponies or purity.

      I'm worried about what happens to Barack Obama, a man I voted for twice, if this ill-conceived push helps to create an election cycle where Senator Ted Cruz ends up having a very real and very dangerous US Senate Committee Chair, a gavel, an army of lawyers and investigators, and a stack of subpoenas for the administration.

      There is no Obama Derangement Syndrome in not wanting to wake up one day to Paul Ryan being selected as a House Impeachment Manager on CNN, as the Village grabs its popcorn for the most entertaining time of their lives since Clinton term two.

      I am from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner wing of the Democratic Party

      by LeftHandedMan on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:45:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans say (6+ / 0-)

    "capitulation on any tax increases will mean political death."


    Capitulation by Democrats--sorry Mr. President--will mean death...literally, to many........

    Capitulation  is not what we fight or fought for White House!

    No bargains.  Please.

    "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

    by smiley7 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:50:52 PM PDT

  •  Chains (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dallasdoc, quagmiremonkey

    There is no need to give in on chained CPI. The Ryan budget repudiates it so it is off the table.  Take them to task. They said no. We should too.

  •  Well, that's a bit of good news. I'm still not (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeffersonian Democrat

    too optimistic, given the administration's repeated raising of "SS reform to 'strengthen it'" and their history of beginning the focus on the deficit with the commission full of conservatives and neo-liberals.

    Back-room deals which get pushed through before people know what is in the legislation are the worst form of "compromise" possible.

    "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

    by YucatanMan on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:38:14 PM PDT

  •  You should add Nancy Pelosi. She's the minority (0+ / 0-)


    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam> "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Edna St.V. Millay

    by slouching on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 12:06:00 AM PDT

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