“On Social Security, I suspect we have a similar position.” – Barack Obama
IT IS anybody’s guess at this point. The euphemism right now is “strengthening” Social Security for the long term in a “balanced” approach. It’s all word salad, little sense.
David Axelrod’s explanation of where Social Security is at this point the first problem. The video above is from late in September. Coming after what President Obama said in last week’s debate, but also the OFA email, progressives are right to be worried.
The other issue is the media, with people like Mark Halperin a strong advocate in pushing the talking point that there is a dire problem with Social Security.
What is most troubling is that if progressives and Democrats want to deal on Social Security, what are they getting for the compromise? Right now, it’s nothing that should be accepted. The negotiating strategy so far is pathetic.
Huffington Post’s Sam Stein found supporters of the President “baffled.” It wasn’t hard to do.
“Oh my God,” said Eric Kingson, co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security campaign. “That is really very sad. Mitt Romney has written about it in one of his books … It also speaks to a lack of appreciation for the importance of this institution to our country … It really is remarkable that a Democratic president at this point in time would not draw a very dramatic line. They probably have to say, ‘I made a mistake, I misspoke.’”
Unfortunately, Obama and his campaign did anything but backtrack.
Another issue is that no one is seriously talking about raising the cap on income taxed, which is now at around $169,000. What should not only be on the table, but also campaigned for, is raising the cap for the top 2%.
Senator Bernie Sanders will once again be leading the fight to protect Social Security from Obama, Democrats and Republicans, all of whom have bought into austerity. It begins now, not after President Obama is likely reelected.
However, the first problem facing progressives is the national media. Now that President Obama has openly stated that Social Security needs to be fixed, which is basically the nut of it beyond the code words, the media has grabbed the talking point.
With Mitt Romney surging in battleground polls, regardless of the demographic reality, Barack Obama and Democrats are going to continue their reach out to “independents,” who love to talk about austerity, but are evidently clueless as to the consequences. “Reasonable people” will agree, right? Social Security is a problem that must be “fixed.”