(Note: Pam Martens has provided written authorization to the diarist to republish this post in its entirety for the benefit of the Daily Kos community.)
Hell No! Martens: “Progressives Rage Outside the WH Over Plan to Cut Social Security…” (Pt. 2 of 2)
Wall Street On Parade
A Citizen Guide to Wall Street
April 10, 2013
In what is likely an historical first for a Democratic President, groups that were his most loyal and hardworking supporters during last year’s campaign massed outside the White House yesterday to pronounce the President a traitor to his people and his party.
Just five months after spending millions from their campaign war chests and an equal amount of volunteer hours, the progressive groups who delivered a second term to Barack Obama feel betrayed. Using unusually harsh language and delivering 2.3 million signed petitions, the President’s base came to warn Congressional Democrats against falling in lockstep with the President.
The uproar comes over the President’s plan, to be unveiled today in his budget proposal, to cut Social Security payments by indexing benefits to a chained Consumer Price Index (CPI), a process viewed as a rigged system of reducing payments over time to the Nation’s most vulnerable seniors, veterans and disabled. Under chained CPI indexing, it is estimated that a Social Security recipient could receive $1,000 less annually after 20 years.
A group that has typically had blinders on when it came to Obama, the National Organization for Women, delivered some of the harshest words. Speaking at the protest, Now President Terry O’Neill said that under the President’s plan women would be “swindled yet again.” O’Neill characterized the President’s motive as “either a highly cynical move to bargain with right-wing legislators or a willfully misguided move to undermine our Social Security system.” The word “deceitful” was also invoked by O’Neill:
“Because of the wage gap, and time taken out of the paid workforce for caregiving, hardworking women retire with less money than men — often with no savings or investments to sustain them other than Social Security. Those who say the chained CPI won’t make much of an impact are either hopelessly dense or just plain deceitful… Let’s face it: instituting the chained CPI is like tripping someone at the end of a race after forcing them to run on the outside lane the whole way,” said O’Neill.
Many of the groups made outright threats to work to defeat in their reelection campaigns any Democrat who votes in favor of the Social Security cuts. Damon Silvers, Policy Director at the AFL-CIO who sent members a strongly worded email on Saturday, said at the protest that “if that’s your agenda, there will be no cover.”
Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (www.boldprogressives.org) was at the protest and said one of their members had $3.71 left in his checking account after paying his bills last month. Taylor sent a chilling message to the President and his party:
“President Obama, it is morally wrong to take from our parents and our grandparents and our veterans. This is a crossroads moment for the Democratic party – you can’t call yourself a Democrat and support cuts to Social Security benefits…Over 1,000 of our members have said that they will challenge anyone who votes for Social Security benefit cuts, Republicans or Democrats.”
Bernie Sanders, who has consistently stood up to the President’s many sellouts to Wall Street, spoke at the protest, saying: “When one out of four major profitable corporations pays nothing in federal income tax, we know how we can deal with deficit reduction in a way that is fair.”
Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America, which has over a million members, called the plan “shameful” and said “Real Democrats do not cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. Period.” Dean added that “the era of triangulation is over,” and promised that any Democrat who votes for this plan will face a primary challenge when they run for reelection. “For the Democrats in Congress who have not made up their minds yet, you are either with us, or you are against us,” Dean said forcefully.
Manny Herrmann, from MoveOn.org, spoke at the protest on behalf of the organization’s 8 million members. “MoveOn members worked long and hard last November to elect Barack Obama,” said Herrmann, “and they had the understanding that he would work to protect Social Security and Medicare. But now, President Obama is considering proposing cuts to these vital programs. Under the President’s new plan, a typical 80 year old woman would lose the equivalent of three months worth of food every year. That’s outrageous. It’s unconscionable and MoveOn members won’t stand for it. We will make sure members of Congress, Democrat or Republican, who vote for this proposal are held accountable. And for Democrats, we have a special message: MoveOn members have a long record of mobilizing in Democratic primaries. The way we see it, any Democrat who votes to cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits is asking for a primary challenge. Just as we fought and defeated President Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security, our 8 million members will mobilize to fight and defeat these cuts. We will not stand by and watch a Democratic President chip away at one of the most successful government programs of all time.”
Max Richtman, President of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare said that “Contrary to the political spin, America’s seniors know this chained CPI proposal isn’t a ‘tweak’ or an ‘adjustment.’ It’s not more accurate for seniors but it is designed to cut benefits and raise taxes, largely on the poor and middle class. Any politician in Washington who thinks they can slip these benefit cuts by millions of seniors, veterans, people with disabilities and their families unnoticed is in for the shock of their careers.”
Two other groups at the protest were Social Security Works and Campaign for America’s Future.
It was as hot as a summer’s day in the Capital yesterday, but this lively protest delivered a cool, fresh breeze to the status quo of beltway politics. The question is, will the President listen?
Max Richtman, President of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, Speaking at the Protest on April 9, 2013 Outside the Whitehouse (Credit: Wall Street On Parade (www.wallstreetonparade.com) Senator Bernie Sanders Speaks at an April 9, 2013 Protest Outside the White House Over the President's Plan to Cut Social Security Benefits.
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© 2013 Wall Street On Parade. Wall Street On Parade ® is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
WallStreetOnParade.com is a public interest web site operated by Russ and Pam Martens to help the investing public better understand systemic corruption on Wall Street. Ms. Martens is a former Wall Street veteran with a background in journalism. Mr. Martens' career spanned four decades in printing and publishing management.
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Here's THE LINK to Part One of this two-part post!
DailyKos Blogathon -- Week of April 8th
(All times are Eastern, diaries published by the Pushing back at the Grand Bargain group)
Monday, April 8
10:00 a.m. Roger Fox
12:00 noon eXtina
2:00 p.m. Guest crosspost by Yves Smith
3:00 p.m. poopdogcomedy
4:00 p.m. Horace Boothroyd III
6:00 p.m. slinkerwink
8:00 p.m. joedemocrat
Tuesday, April 9
Wednesday, April 10
Thursday, April 11
Friday April 12
1. Call your senators and representatives and tell them "Hell No!" with a priority on contacting senators. U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. You can find email contact information here
2. Contact the White House and tell them "Hell No!". Switchboard: 202-456-1414. Email contact page is here.
3. Petitions. There are a number of petitions available. Choose from the following or preferably sign them all.
a. White House petition calling for no cuts to Social Security.
4. Social Media. Share this diary and promote this blogathon on Facebook and Google+ using the buttons at the top of the diary. Send this out on Twitter and add the hashtags #HellNo and #NoGrandBargain.
Blogathon diaries you might have missedMonday:
Hell No! #NoGrandBargain: "Pushing back at the Grand Bargain" by Roger Fox
Hell No! Chained CPI will reduce eligability for EITC #noChainedCPI by Roger Fox
Hell No! Dan Pfeiffer: "The President's Budget Shows That He is Serious About Solving Deficits" by eXtina
Guest Crosspost, Yves Smith: Obama Wants to Be the President Who Rolled Back the New Deal by Yves Smith via joanneleon
IA-Sen: Tom Harkin (D) Needs Our Help Telling Obama Hell No To The Chained CPI by poopdogcomedy
Hell No! Stop crushing the poor by Horace Boothroyd III
Hell, No! Social Security Contributes Nothing To Deficit by slinkerwink
Hell No! No Grand Bargain: Chained CPI: Social Security Means So Much To So Many by joedemocrat