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Cutting Social Security by chained CPI is bad policy AND bad politics.
It would betray your campaign pledge not to cut Social Security benefits.
Chained CPI would unjustly cost retirees thousands of dollars of earned benefits.  Social Security has overwhelming popular support. The Senate voted unanimously in favor of Sen. Sanders motion to oppose chained CPI and any other cuts in Social Security. George W. Bush 's attempt to cut Social Security damaged the remainder of his presidency.
Social Security does not contribute to the deficit, which was caused by Bush's tax cuts for the rich, unfunded wars, and the financial crisis caused by greedy, deregulated bankers.  The deficit is already falling so fast that many thousands of jobs are being lost due to the negative stimulus.
Social Security will be able to pay full benefits for over 20 years even under conservative assumptions.  Any future shortfalls in the program can be more equitably paid for by raising the cap on income subject to the FICA tax.  
If you include cuts in your new budget proposal, the discredited GOP will take that as a sign of weakness and escalate their unreasonable demands, as they have done every time you made preemptive concessions.  They will shamelessly use it in the next election, as they used Medicare in 2010.

There is a time to compromise and a time to stand up to bullies. This is a time to stand up.
Peter Peterson and Grover Norquist will not support you even if you betray your constituents.  
Shame on you!

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Comment Preferences

  •  We keep hearing about how smart Obama is (5+ / 0-)

    but it looks like he hasn't learned much in 4+ years.

    Whenever he deals with the GOP on their turf and cedes the arguments to them his popularity plummets.

    His popularity rises when he takes them on and is seen as standing up for Democratic principles that help the average person, and taking on the "fat cats".

    Not to mention the fact the GOP policies are bad ones and don't work - in fact not only don't work but are devastating to the economy as a whole and to millions of individuals.

    Candidate Obama seemed to understand that. President Obama seems to keep forgetting.

    Blue is blue and must be that. But yellow is none the worse for it - Edith Sidebottom

    by kenwards on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 01:06:24 PM PDT

  •  he's not interested, not listening (6+ / 0-)

    there can be no doubt that he already knows and that he and his advisors have decided to ignore us.

    •  Exactly right. . . (0+ / 0-)

      . . .he is a "great statesman" and none of us are getting in his way. Well I'll tell you, my Democratic representative and those two Democratic  senators better be listening to what we are saying.

      Money ain't free speech and it won't buy you love.

      by waztec on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:22:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mike Lux said it better (6+ / 0-)

    (h/t Digby) but he is a pro while I am just a citizen activist:

    If Obama includes it in his budget, he is claiming this as a policy idea he supports before he even starts negotiations with the Republicans. This is terrible policy and terrible politics at the same time. In a budget document that has no actual policy impact but that symbolically represents what he stands for and who he wants to fight for, he will alienate senior citizens and the families who worried about taking care of them, he will split his political party down the middle, and– by being the first one to formally propose cuts to Social Security– he will hand Republicans a big political weapon to hurt Democrats in 2014.

    I understand the president has political reasons he wants to do this. He wants to look like the most reasonable guy in the room, and he wants the Republicans to look like they are the extremists who won’t compromise. He doesn’t want the attacks that will come from the deficit hawk crowd if offers nothing on “entitlement reform,” and he feels like this is a modest cut compared with the budget ax the Republicans are threatening. He feels like he can lessen the impact of the Social Security cuts by adjusting the formula to protect the oldest and poorest recipients.

    But, folks, this is rotten public policy, and all those political reasons pale in comparison to the damage he is doing here. With the demise or curtailment of most pensions, the drop in family wealth due to the collapse of the housing sector in 2008, the big unemployment numbers cutting into many families’ life savings, the flattening or decrease of wages for most workers, and the inflation in many essentials among those who are working driving down the ability to save for retirement, this is the absolute last time we should be looking at cutting incomes for retirees.

    As to the idea that Obama will keep the most vulnerable low-income seniors from harm, I am very appreciative of that fact that he cares about them and is trying to preserve them from cuts. Obama’s compassion for the poorest of the poor is something to be lauded, one of his best values. But I used to do a lot of organizing with moderate income senior citizens, and I know a lot of middle-income seniors. I can tell you that even for those a little above the cut-off line but still living mostly on Social Security, they are not living in luxury, they are in fact just making it. When groceries or utilities or out-of-pocket health care expenses spike, it hurts and hurts bad. I have been in the apartments of seniors when utility prices were going on one of their periodic jumps, have seen what they can afford to eat, have felt the cold in their apartments in the winter because they can’t heat their place. I know in my heart, because I have seen the evidence up close and personal, that for a lot of seniors the $500 a year they will have lost from chained CPI a few years from now if this cut goes into effect will result in more seniors dying of hypothermia or malnutrition.

    Most Americans, over 80 percent in polls I have seen, understand that cutting Social Security benefits is a terrible idea, and I believe that if that is what happens people will be angry. But even if the politics were not on our side, this is a moral issue pure and simple. The president should not propose cutting Social Security, and Democrats in Congress should raise hell and oppose him if he does. As Democrats, according to all that rhetoric I kept hearing during the campaign last year, we believe in fighting for the middle class, and this proposal punches the middle class– both older Americans and the families who care for them– in the gut.

    There's no such thing as a free market!

    by Albanius on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:09:24 PM PDT

    •  ... and here's Digby, on what to do now (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mary Mike, Eyesbright, KayCeSF, PhilJD
      First, we cannot simply sit back and expect the GOP to do our dirty work for us. After all, the way things are going, the Prsident or could start offering up new tax cuts for all we know. He’s either a terrible negotiator or he really, really wants these cuts. Either way, counting on him holding the line is probably not a good idea.

      So, we have to buck up the Democrats. I know, I know. But they still have to face voters while the president has run his last election. They should be made very, very aware of what they are contemplating: attacks from both the left and the right in the next election. Any incumbent Democrat who could face a primary challenge will be facing withering criticism for voting to cut SS, veterans benefits and medicare. And if they are lucky to fight them off and win they will be attacked by the Republicans challenger on exactly the same issues. These are very, very popular programs which, by the way, don’t actually need to be cut. Anyone who votes for this will hear about it. If you have a Democratic congressional rep, give them a call and let them know that you will hold it against them. (Also too, if you have a Republican representative. They have to face voters too and it can’t hurt to remind them of that. And after all, they are just looking for reasons to oppose this …)

      And call your Senators starting today. The pattern so far has been that Speaker Boehner will only suspend the Hastert Rule (allowing legislation to the floor without a Republican majority) if it is already passed with a bipartisan Senate vote. Best to try to stop it here first.
       

      -- Digby, via OurFuture.org

      Call Congress switchboard for both House and Senate: (202) 224-3121

      Call the President Phone Numbers
      Comments: 202-456-1111
      Switchboard: 202-456-1414
      TTY/TTD Comments: 202-456-6213

      There's no such thing as a free market!

      by Albanius on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:17:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They know that no one interested in a (0+ / 0-)

        long term career will challenge them against the wishes of the party machine in their home state.

        They don't fear primaries.  They're not Republicans.

        income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

        by JesseCW on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:46:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The fix is in (0+ / 0-)

    It won't fix anything, but it's in, anyway.

    Petitioning our captured government, and our "leaders" is about as useful and productive as yelling at clouds.

    How do you stop someone who will stop at nothing?

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:31:16 PM PDT

  •  I did an email at the WH website saying that he (0+ / 0-)

    has betrayed the most vulnerable, except for children, and that I presumed there would be another gift for Boner that would shaft them.  I also noted that the staff should put it on the stack.  (There may be occasional reports of numbers but I don't believe any politician, including the President, reads the incoming from constituents.)

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