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Progressives Push Back Against Obama's Social Security, Medicare Austerity

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Source: The Nation


President Obama's plan to include Social Security cuts in his budget plan is well summed up by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders as a "bitter disappointment."

Obama closed his 2012 campaign with a populist flourish that seemed to suggest he was finally coming to believe his own rhetoric about the need for growth, as opposed to austerity. The strength of his message earned the president a mandate: a popular vote margin of almost 5 million, a landslide win in the Electoral College and significant gains in Senate and House races.

But, now, he proposes to squander that mandate in pursuit of a "grand bargain" with House Republicans -- a bargain that would replace the current approach to calculating cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients with a "Chained-CPI" scheme. The change will harm not just seniors, children and people with disabilities but a fragile economic recovery.

Additionally, the president is reported to be prepared to propose some means testing for Medicare.

This is not Paul Ryan privatization. But it is a classic austerity cut.

It is wrong economically, and politically.

"Social Security is not driving the deficit; therefore it should not be part of reforms aimed at cutting the deficit. The chained CPI, deceptively portrayed as a reasonable cost of living adjustment, is a cut to Social Security that would hurt seniors," says former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich...

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

Nichols writes about politics (more...)
 

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At the time Obama first ran for the presidency our... by Dennis Kaiser on Sunday, Apr 7, 2013 at 6:25:12 AM
Obama is as skilled a liar as GW was.Within 1 mont... by kappie on Sunday, Apr 7, 2013 at 8:20:22 AM
 It's funny that the last major increase in t... by Mark Oetting on Sunday, Apr 7, 2013 at 9:08:25 AM
wasn't he president when Glass Steagall was remove... by Janet Gaudiello on Sunday, Apr 7, 2013 at 10:40:45 AM
The Clinton era brought us NAFTA and other "free t... by Dennis Kaiser on Sunday, Apr 7, 2013 at 11:24:19 AM
Yes, you are right. He did all the things you wrot... by Janet Gaudiello on Sunday, Apr 7, 2013 at 1:05:30 PM
Continued....The American government wants war wit... by Janet Gaudiello on Sunday, Apr 7, 2013 at 1:12:41 PM
Clinton is presented as a hero by the Corporate Me... by Dennis Kaiser on Sunday, Apr 7, 2013 at 7:21:16 PM
   Actually the original NAFTA required ... by Mark Oetting on Sunday, Apr 7, 2013 at 1:38:38 PM
   Yes Bill Clinton was president when G... by Mark Oetting on Sunday, Apr 7, 2013 at 1:18:05 PM
First, my response was not intended for you origin... by Janet Gaudiello on Sunday, Apr 7, 2013 at 2:12:03 PM
President Clinton supported NAFTA, and the votes i... by Blaine Kinsey on Sunday, Apr 7, 2013 at 3:09:22 PM
Toward the end of Bill Clinton's governorship of A... by Janet Gaudiello on Sunday, Apr 7, 2013 at 5:05:25 PM
I used to think Bill Clinton was an OK president, ... by Deborah Dills on Sunday, Apr 7, 2013 at 6:58:48 PM
The two party system is a fraud, it is a good cop,... by thepiffler on Sunday, Apr 7, 2013 at 9:09:16 AM
The two-party political system is definitely a fra... by Janet Gaudiello on Sunday, Apr 7, 2013 at 10:44:15 AM
I love Gerald Celente too as he is one of the best... by Deborah Dills on Sunday, Apr 7, 2013 at 7:10:01 PM
Fascism is the merger of corporations and governme... by Janet Gaudiello on Sunday, Apr 7, 2013 at 10:56:34 AM
Ever since I updated my voter's registration from ... by Hooker Jay on Sunday, Apr 7, 2013 at 12:49:12 PM
He should be impeached. He promised that he would ... by Ginger McClemons on Sunday, Apr 7, 2013 at 1:23:01 PM
Not only have voters begun to connect the dots bet... by Deborah Dills on Sunday, Apr 7, 2013 at 7:17:51 PM