“Paul Ryan, in the worst budget ever presented in the history of the United States, did not mention Social Security, so of course [President Obama] owns it,” Sanders said as he left a rally outside the White House, where he and a handful of congressional Democrats, Social Security advocates, and labor leaders denounced Social Security cuts on Tuesday. [Huffington Post]
WHAT ISN’T understood by Senator Bernie Sanders, the intrepid hero of Social Security, is that President Obama is all too happy to “own” the chained CPI cuts in his budget.
So they’re back to the budget duel: House Republicans want major cuts. Obama wants big revenues from the rich.
(See full text of Obama’s 2014 budget proposal)
His $3.77 trillion proposal would reduce the deficit by $1.8 trillion by adding $580 billion in new taxes on the wealthy, according to senior administration officials. It also includes an estimated $230 billion in savings by reducing cost-of-living adjustments for federal entitlement programs.
But all of those cuts – which White House aides say the president is ready to make – depend on whether Republicans agree to new tax revenues, including requiring people who make $1 million or more to pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes and limiting deductions for the top 2 percent of earners.
Will Republicans really rebuff Obama on entitlements because of revenue, allowing him the tag line to this debate that starts like this, “I took on my own party on entitlements, but Republicans wouldn’t meet me half way…”? That offers them the mother of all campaign lines in 2014: Democrats cut your Social Security, we’ll protect and make entitlements stronger. Doesn’t anyone remember 2010?
President Obama is daring the right to blow this chance. Unfortunately, the game of chicken the President is playing with people’s only avenue to stay out of poverty in advanced age, which hurts women more than any other group, is actually what he believes should be done.
It’s certain that progressives and their allies will never forget that Barack Obama was the first Democratic president to suggest carving away F.D.R.’s New Deal. That chained CPI cuts are a shadow war on women, from none other than the first African American president in history, who certainly should know what this means.
But that’s not the storyline today.
If you want to know what the conventional media wisdom is on Obama’s chained CPI cuts in the budget, the snippet below reveals the thinking. It doesn’t matter that older women get hit hardest over this cut, or that disabled vets will too, it’s all about if Republicans hate it and liberals do too, the elite political analysis is that Obama’s budget must be good.
Liberals are howling ‘sellout’ over Social Security reform, and Republicans are readying their reflexive ‘tax and spend liberal’ attacks. That’s how you know Obama’s budget is a good one, says John Avlon. [Daily Beast]
Progressive groups and activists delivered a petition against Obama’s chained CPI cuts on Tuesday, organized a wall of calls to the White House and both houses of Congress. They’ve done all they can.
As for President Obama, he’s got his second term, but with the move of the chained CPI cuts, he’s lost a lot of respect. It’s just not what a champion of Democratic Party values would do.
That’s not Obama’s objective, to be a Democratic Party hero. This is about his legacy. It’s about him, which is why it’s so revealing, but also very predictable.