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Obama Favors Social Security cuts
4 years ago

A subtle element of the "fiscal cliff" negotiations is that Barack Obama wants to cut Social Security benefits, but only wants to do so as part of a deal with Republicans in which lower Social Security benefits are a concession made to Republicans. This is a longstanding position of his but it's very subtle. See pages 215-216 of The Audacity of Hope:


Just as government policies can boost workers' wages without hurting the competitiveness of U.S. firms, so can we strengthen their ability to retire with dignity. We should start with a commitment to preserve Social Security's essential character and shore up its solvency. The problems with the Social Security trust fund are real but manageable. In 1983, when facing a similar problem, Ronald Reagan and House Speaker Tip O'Neill got otgether and shaped a bipartisan plan that stabilized the system for the next sixty years. There's no reason we can't do the same today.


Obviously it's a bit strange to say that a 1983 bill stabilized Social Security "for the next sixty years" but also be standing around a mere 22 years later talking about "the problems with the Social Security trust fund." But the key point is that while on a lot of issues Obama is happy to just lay down what he thinks should be done policy-wise, on Social Security he alludes to a past bipartisan deal to raise taxes and cut benefits and suggests a similar process rather than a desired outcome. So when Democrats ran the show he didn't try to move on Social Security. But with Republicans in control of the House, the stage is set for the preferred otucome of cutting benefits in the context of a bipartisan deal.


By the same token, debating Mitt Romney the president took the extraordinary step for a Democrat of saying "I suspect that on Social Security we've got a somewhat similar position," outlining his determination to keep the basic structure of the program intact, and then endorsing "tweaks" to the benefits.


This post was modified from its original form on 28 Dec, 6:15
4 years ago

Dude, if you knew what you were talking about, you'd be dangerous......

4 years ago

Of course Obomba favors cutting social security.  Not sure what made so many people believe a known serial liar then actually 'RE-elect' him -  unless it's insanity.  You would think that after just the FIRST year of his first term his followers would be PISSED that he broke so many (all) promises that got him elected.  If not then, then FOR SURE after four years of stealing the last of our Constitutional protections from the state/feds.

4 years ago

ARichie, who are you talking to?  First, SHEILA is not a "dude" ("dude" ? how old are you? 16?) And, what was wrong or untrue about SL's post - except that you are a"defender" of the serial liar/warmonger/Constitution-shredder?

This post was modified from its original form on 28 Dec, 9:59
4 years ago

I did not write that article, it is all over the internet, there are other sources who wrote same that Obama is cutting social security benefits.  I read where Katii mentioned this in another thread and found several articles ... I chose Slate as they are unbiased source. 


If you don't think deals are cut; then you live in fantasy world.  Obama will do what he wants to do as we have a man who acts more like a dictator and his infamous line:  "Sue me"  is incredulous. 

4 years ago

SL, he' s just hopelessly trying to defend his voting for theserial liar/warmonger/Constitution-shredder twice. Personal insults slung at the messenger is all he has. We see it in thread after thread. Never any documented information or citations unless it comes from the media, the government, or from the DNC' s own propaganda machine. That's his story and he' s sticking to it; he will not be confused by facts - like OBAMA selling out our SENIORS (I thought S was one of a "progressives" favorite bones to chew, that and being "anti-war" (cough)

4 years ago

Obama does not want to cut Social Security Benefits. You can all go home now and worry about something that's real.......

4 years ago

"want" or not want, he OFFERED to cut SS (which is what I said). Gawd you are thick.

4 years ago

Because, of course, Romney had planned to increase Social Security.

4 years ago

Christian, so because Romney may have or would have cut SS, that is your defense of OBAMA doing the same f'ing thing? Are you serious? Why do you think Romney did so poorly?? Because his policies are JUST like Obama's. His problem is that he's slimier than Obama and he's the evil people 'don't' know. And the only person here that I'm aware of who supported Romney was SL. So you should probably stop making blanket statements that put ANYone who didn't support your agenda into Romney's camp like you have been doing. So how DO you feel about OBAMA putting SS on the chopping block, Christian? Archie? Anyone? Cat got your tongue?

4 years ago

Notice that Christian defends Obama again and again? Now the lame comparison to Romney? Fact is, Social Security can only be paid by either monetizing the debt or by cutting government spending to pay for it. The politicians will not cut spending, so they will continue to monetize,  According to John Hussman, this is reducing the wealth of (mostly) middle class Americans by $500 Billion/year. 

Why democrats must Break with Obama on SS cuts
4 years ago


Why Democrats Must Break With Obama on Social Security Cuts

There are a lot of complicated ways in which to describe the schemes being floated by President Obama and congressional Republicans to abandon the traditional Consumer Price Index in favor of the so-called “chained-CPI” scheme. But there is nothing complicated about the reality that changing the calculations on which cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients are based has the potential to dramatically reduce the buying power of Americans who rely on this successful and stable federal program.


So the word for what is being proposed is “cut”—as in: President Obama and congressional Republicans are proposing to cut Social Security.

“This is a cut affecting every single beneficiary—widows, orphans, people with disabilities and many others. It is a cut which hurts the most those who are most vulnerable: the oldest of the old, those disabled at the youngest ages, and the poorest of the poor. Perhaps fittingly, this will be done during the holiday season, when the American people are distracted,” says Nancy Altman, the founding co-director of the advocacy group Social Security Works. “They will cut Social Security not openly but by stealth—through a cruel cut known colloquially as the chained CPI.”


This is what Democrats—and most Republicans—said during the recently finished campaign that they would never do.

If Obama cuts the deal, he will, in the words of CREDO political director Becky Bond, be engaging in a “massive betrayal” of his own campaign commitments, and of the voters who reelected him barely a month ago.

The question is whether the president’s backers will back the betrayal.

The only responsible response is to say “No!”


The American Association of Retired People has does just that, rejecting the “chained-CPI” scheme as a “dramatic benefit cut would push thousands more into poverty and result in increased economic hardship for those trying desperately to keep up with rising prices.”

In this case, AARP speaks not just for seniors but for the vast majority of voters. Sixty percent of voters say it is unacceptable to change the way Social Security benefits are calculated so that benefits increase with inflation at a slower rate than they do now, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll.


Needless to say, those numbers put congressional Democrats and progressive interest groups in a bind. They can look the other way as President Obama cuts a deal that cuts Social Security, or they can do what the American people expect them to do: raise their voices in loud objection—so loud that the president has no choice except to keep his campaign promises. For congressional Democrats, the stakes are much higher than they are for Obama. The president is done with elections. But the Democratic Party must compete in elections to come, and the fight that is now playing out will define whether they do so as defenders of Social Security or as a party that is always on the watch for ways to compromise with House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan and other Republicans who salivate at the prospect of weakening and eventually privatizing Social Security.


No one will be surprised that Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent who has been a stalwart defender of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is objecting.

“I want him to keep that promise,” Sanders says of the president’s commitment on the campaign trail and in the early stages of the fiscal-cliff negotiations to keep Social Security “off the table.” Adds Sanders: “I hope the president stays strong.”


Nor will there be much surprise with labor’s opposition.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is calli

This post was modified from its original form on 30 Dec, 5:13
4 years ago

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is calling on Congress “to reject any cuts to Social Security, Medicaid, or Medicare benefits, regardless of who proposes them.”

That “regardless-of-who-proposes-them” stance is spreading. Rapidly.


Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown calls Obama’s “chained-CPI” proposal “terrible.” Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, an Obama campaign co-chair, says: “I hope that offer…will be reconsidered.” A frustrated Schakowsky said what every Democrat must if the party is to retain its image as the defender of Social Security: “This should be off the table.”


A lot of Democrats, many with close ties to the president, are saying the same thing.

Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Keith Ellison, the Minnesota Democrat who was one of Obama’s earliest and most enthusiastic backers in 2008, did the math: “The current average earned benefit for a 65 year old on Social Security is $17,134. Using chained CPI will result in a $6,000 loss for retirees in the first fifteen years of retirement and adds up to a $16,000 loss over twenty-five years. This change would be devastating to beneficiaries, especially widowed women, more than a third of whom rely on the program for 90% of their income and use every single dollar of the Social Security checks they’ve earned. This would require the most vulnerable Americans to dig further into their savings to fill the hole left by unnecessary and irresponsible cuts to Social Security.”


Ellison’s bottom line: “I am committed to standing against any benefit cuts to programs Americans rely on and tying Social Security benefits to chained CPI is a benefit cut.”

Joining Ellison in opposition were other House Democrats who played critical roles in getting Obama elected in 2008 and reelected in 2012, including Schakowsky, California Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Michigan Congressman John Conyers, who says: “Any debt deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits is unacceptable.”

For Obama, these voices are significant. He is losing the allies who should be in the forefront of the fight to seal any deal he reaches with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. Without a solid base of Democratic votes in the House and Senate for it, this deal won’t be done


And make no mistake: a fiscal-cliff compromise that compromises Social Security should not be done. Period.

That’s the message coming from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which as usual has moved rapidly — and effectively — to build mass opposition to a cut that will only happen if Americans are unaware of the threat.


Former US Senator Russ Feingold’s group Progressives United has partnered with and leading progressive groups to develop a “whip count” that names the names of Senate Democrats who are “Weak-Kneed,” who are “Part-way there, or Wavering,” and who are “Champions” committed to opposing any deal that cuts Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefits.

Like this article? Support this journalism with a $5 donation now.

The president has placed himself in the “Weak-Kneed” camp.

Congressional Democrats should not stumble with him.

As Senator Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon says, “We had an election, and the voters sent a message to Congress to focus on jobs and fairness—not cutting benefits for people who have worked all their lives and are now making ends meet on fixed incomes. The formula we use to adjust cost-of-living changes for seniors needs to reflect the real costs they face, not the budgetary fantasies of Washington.”

No matter who is peddling those fantasies.

Low-income, elderly women will be the hardest hit by benefit cuts. Check out Bryce Covert’s coverage

4 years ago

Obama is a politician first and foremost and one schooled in the Chicago Style politics.  He is no more interested in his image in history, and he does not want to go down as the spoiler, the one who destroyed the economy.


The democratic party will be at odds with him because they are more representative of the people and their seats are coming up for election as well.


All of these people are phonies!

4 years ago

Obomba doesn't care anymore what his "backers" in Congress say - it's his last term. No need to impress anyone but the banksters and their army, the CIA.

"Why democrats must Break with Obama on SS cuts"
4 years ago

Because they all want to be re-elected to the easiest personal wealth generator in the world for untalented and very ignorant people: Being Congressman.

4 years ago

I agree with you Katii on both of those statements.   BO cares about his legacy in history first and foremost.  I wish some others could get this and not get suckered in so easily.


We are already over the cliff and have been when he started spending endlessly.  He wants to hit the reset button again and use bandaid measures which don't work in the long run.



Hey look!
4 years ago

President Obama didn't cut Social Security, did he? Why no, he did not. So was this thread a bunch of paranoid nonsense? Why yes it was. In fact, Obama just saved Social Security for ya, because Romney and Ryan were going to slash it for sure and the Republican congress would cut it, gut it, raise the retirement age and privatize it in a heartbeat if they could get away with it.

<P>So if you really care about Social Security it's time for you to thank the president and those who voted for him. Are you gonna do that? Why no, you are not.....

4 years ago

No, we're not. Because they didn't save it in the right way.

Ron Paul wanted to cut the military to save SS.

Congress didn't cut the military budget, and theyall voted for higher taxes, including that of the middle class.

Plus, we are now going to be soon seeing the medical excise tax added to receipts to help pay for Obamacare.

4 years ago

Archie:  we are heading for 3 more cliff hangers and Obama is planning this cut.   His party is against him on this; but he wants to preserve his place in history and not be the president who brought this economy down.   The GOP is pushing him yes to cut all of the entitlement programs in a big way.  He will compromise and won't go on their terms as his party will turn on him.  Obama is the leader; the economy stops with his decisions.


Obamacare will be a huge mess.  They should have cleaned up all the fraud existing in Medicare first.  Now, more fraud will be on the horizon with Obamacare.


I hope Rand Paul runs for POTUS.  I think he can present his father's platform but he will not be as rigid.  It is interesting to know that Ron Paul took a lot of votes away from Mitt and no one is open about how much he got in those states.   I found out that a lot of people in MA voted for Ron Paul and because MR lost, they don't want to give out accurate figures.


I heard O'REilly state last nite that MR made massive errors in that campaign and was very weak candidate.   Ron Paul presented his platform out front and Romney had no platform; it was vague and no one trusted him.    However, Obama had none either except for Obamacare which had passed and was awaiting to be implemented.


 Social Security and Medicare will be broken soon, not in our decade but it is not in good shape and thanks to the Republicans and democrats who raped it and put in false IOUs and took the money out of it and ran.  They are all thieves with the people who put that money into a system with their paychecks.

4 years ago

The bottem line is that voters trusted Obama over Romney/Ryan on their Medicare, soc. security benefits.  The GOP have a nasty habit of attacking these benefits and calling them entitlements and they are PAID for by the people who worked hard their entire lives.


Many senior republicans sat home and Obama won easily because the GOP was not to be trusted.  I got emails from organizations asking me to tell my senators NOT to compromise soc. security and medicare with GOP cuts.  I know the lines were inundated with people calling to save both and obama was mentioned in this email as one pushing for cuts along with the GOP.  I am not saying Obama wants same as republicans; but he is going to make a deal.

He is more interested in his legacy in history than the people.  This goes for all of them.

They all stink.  

The bottom line
4 years ago

is that Obama is doing a good job in the face of huge resistance from the right, that is why the people reelected him. He came through for us Monday and he deserves our thanks. He deserves our thanks for getting the Affordable Care Act passed against the wishes of the billionaires and their bought and paid for gop minions, too. Rand Paul for president? Get a grip on reality, dude, yer losin' it.............

4 years ago

Archie, when our ins premiums go up and the cost of care goes up under Obamacare for the vast majority of Americans, how do you see that as "affordable" ? How is that a "good thing"? How did he come through for us Monday? He's the one who wanted to raise taxes/cost jobs & hours. He is the one who OFFERED to cut SS benefits to help skim more money for WAR. And for the love of God, how does a piece of "feel good" legislation get "thanks" in light of all of his criminal, and quite deadly, actions? Would you let Manson out of prison because he was nice to puppies ?? Obama has ILLEGALLY killed THOUSANDS more people than Manson ever dreamed of. Shouldn't he be in prison too?

Sorry, but you don't know what's going on
4 years ago

in the real world.

You don't know any more about "Obamacare" than you do about Social Security. You keep piling right up ridiculous wing propaganda on top of more ridiculous right wing propaganda. Hey, you have a right to think for yourself and a responsibility to educate yourself. Don't go through your whole life being a fool.

You were wrong about Obama cutting Social Security. Admit it. You are wrong about the Affordable Care Act. Educate yourself. Don't be duped by the billionaires.

4 years ago

US population 2008:305 million

Obama vote 2008:  69,498,51

US population 2012:  315  million

Obama vote 2012:  65,899,583

So, despite an increase of 10 million Americans, if the country is so enthusiastic about Obama and his policies, how is it that he received some 4 million less votes?  

  1. BTW, it was the billionaires that supported Obama care. Insurance companies get some 30 million more customers. Big Pharma, medical device and diagnostic machine producers got guarantees of more business with no negotiation of prices paid. Big Pharma got extensions how long their patents would give the monopolies. Regional monopolies were kept intact. Defensive medicine was unaffected driving prices even higher and more. The wealthy and powerful corporations love Obama care. And the numbers of people on Medicaid are going to expand dramatically. Since half the costs will be covered by the states, nearly bankrupt states will be even worse off.

Jim S:
4 years ago

More proof that ignorance is bliss....

CBO figures on costs grow dramatically
4 years ago

l of $1,221 billion.

4 years ago

So......  CBO projections show a increase in the estimated 10 year costs of Obamacare as $916 Billion over the original estimates.  And this is BEFORE it even starts.  Estimates within my state are showing an unofficial increase in state costs due to the unfunded Medicaid portion as about $135 billion over the 1st 10 years.  To cover that, taxe revenues in this state would have to go up by about 12%. 

4 years ago

You are like a child Archie.  You can't dispute or debate the facts so you just claim others are ignorant or subject to propaganda.  You have nothing to back up your  rhetoric. 

This post was modified from its original form on 03 Jan, 10:12
4 years ago

You said Obama was going to cut Social Security. You were wrong. You say "Obama Care" is going to raise everyone's insurance rates That is wrong. Take a step outside the Weirdville Echo Chamber, open your eyes, and take a breath of fresh air. You've got to get tired of being wrong all the time sooner or later.....

4 years ago
  • Where did I say that about Social Security Archie?  
  • And I didn't make a statement that Obama care was going "to raise everyone's insurance rate" either. If you are going to make claims on what I said; be accurate. 
  •  I did point out the costs are not going to be what we were told. The CBO agrees with me. 
  • And you are attempting to divert.  Using more rhetoric and attempting to disparge another is hardly convincing.  
  • You claim I am "wrong".  Go ahead.  Prove it. 
4 years ago

I notice a theme here.  Those that disagree with progressive ideology are "loony"."kooky".  "crazy", "insane" and now in a "Weirdville Echo Chamber".  No real response here.  Just Ad Hominem attacks.  Sophomoric.   Or are you really arrogant enough to believe that only you know the truth and others are ignorant or delusional?  Really? Or could it be you are that well conditioned?  .

4 years ago

Jim- you will probably give me ten bullet points about why I am wrong.  But here is my personal opinion.  All those increases are just scams.   I think it is all a giant scam.  Get people all worked up about something and they will overeact and pay anything.  (many people anyway).  I do realize that the CBO can and does do economic analysis and those numbers are credible.  Or are they incredible.  Just my own little conpsiracy theory.  And I now apply it to almost anything.  Gas prices?  Why do they always go up just before a holiday?

4 years ago

First, the claim was that Obama OFFERED to cut SS. He did. So, you are wrong, Chile, to continue pretending like something else was said (Jeszus, how childish). ..… HOWEVER, when SS benefit increases don't even come close to the costs of Obama's inflationary policies (devaluing the dollar, out of control debt and deficits, etc) we can say in all truth that he has "slashed" SS (and your savings accounts, if you even have one) by not changing the 'statist quo' course. He could have. He didn't. He did nothing to stop the Fed from setting artificial interest to banks at what? Zero%? it's all on him, because HE is the President and has authority over "the Bernanke" - Period.

4 years ago
  • Nancy, I think Jim's bullets are how he manages to make paragraph breaksbreaks because Care2 s editor won't.
  • I wish I could do that from my firefire.
  • I'm gonna try.
4 years ago
  • Oh cool,  It worked !  
  • Mine will be bulleted now too lol (thanks Jim, for thinking of it!)
4 years ago

Now I wish I could figure out how to turn off FireFire's (<--- see? I did not type that!) autospell thing. It gives itself far too much authority! 

4 years ago

Actually though, in business writing it si ALL about the bullet. 


I LOVE bullet points.


Some one had said that when you want a line break, you should hit the space bar a few times on that line and then the editor knows there should be a line there.  That works too for paragraphing purposes.

4 years ago
Correct Katii. I am now unable to make separate paragraphs as in Care2, they all bunch together. Could be a Microsoft "upgrade" that caused an incompatibility too. I don't know.
4 years ago
  • Nancy:  "All those increases are just scams." .......... Or were the orginal projections the scam Nancy?   Is the CBO now trying to adjust to the real costs?....  IMO: YES. 
  • Nancy:   "I think it is all a giant scam."  Yes it is. I know a lot of number crunchers, including one that works in the Medicaid field.  She says with no doubt, the government vastly underestimated the costs.   The others all concur.  
4 years ago


I think that many mainstream republicans see government as the problem but support corporations.

I think that many democrats see corporations as the current problem but support the government.

Libertarians see both as the problem perhpas?

4 years ago

I don't label myself as anything but an individual, but absolutely both are the problem. They are the same problem because one could not exist without the other; meaning big government and unfree markets (the result of "corporations" $$influence$$ in big government).

I think it's just multinational (especially) corporations and big government types that support  corporations and big government.

4 years ago

The corporations and the government  along with the media and the political class are essentially the State.  It's all one problem. 

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