HuffPo on Obama, Pelosi: “Social Security Sell-Outs”

The Huffington Post top story about the fiscal cliff shows a picture of President Obama and one of Nancy Pelosi, and above them the headline:

“Social Security Sell-Outs”


Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 8.32.36 PM

Gaius will be updating us in detail in the morning.  But for now, here’s where the HuffPo headline links to, a story about Pelosi saying the “chained CPI” proposal for cutting Social Security benefits would “strengthen” the program, which is typically Republican language for covering up “cuts.”

The cut involves swapping out the traditional method for calculating cost of living increases, based on the current standard for measuring inflation, for something called a chained CPI, or chained Consumer Price Index.

The chained CPI works by assuming that when the price of a product, such as beef, gets too high, consumers don’t keep paying the higher prices. Instead, the model predicts they will switch to something cheaper, such as chicken, keeping their cost of living lower and leading to a lower rate of inflation, as measured by the chained CPI. The lower rate of inflation would mean a downward adjustment in cost of living, and thus stingier benefits.

The cuts would start small, but wind up costing beneficiaries thousands of dollars over time, which is why Democrats have traditionally fought the idea.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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53 Responses to “HuffPo on Obama, Pelosi: “Social Security Sell-Outs””

  1. Papa Bear says:

    which is, unfortunately, just as much a part of her nature…

  2. Anthony_JK says:

    Dude, I’m already a registered Independent, and I will base my vote the same as I always have: on whomever better promotes my political values and issues.

    And it’s not to say that I wouldn’t support progressive/Left Democrats who come closest to my values (or even centrist ones when it’s vital to defeat TeaPublicans or Third Way Democrats).

    The maiin point is that prog/lib Dems need to rise up against being bent over and screwed without lube again and again by their corporatist leadership. And, President Obama needs to be reminded that the people who stood in long lines to vote for him against the TeaPubs/Mitt Romney will not stand getting stabbed in the back again.

  3. Butch1 says:

    That’s a good point.

  4. ezpz says:

    “… whereas MSNBC does put out the truth….”

    No, they don’t put out the truth because they leave out anything that would shed a bad light on Mr. Person Of The Year. Lies of omission are still lies – as bad as blatant ones.
    If they DO ‘report’ on something unflattering to the president, it’s always with a spin via omission or deflection and blame pointed at the bad gop.

  5. Butch1 says:

    Exactly. Or being put through a loop. How many times do we need to see an idiot reporter standing in a storm telling us it is bad? ;- Or asking an home owner the question after their home has been destroyed, ” How do you feel about seeing your home in this condition?” Who hires these idiots?

  6. Ford Prefect says:

    The final straw with me was during Sandy, when I was trying to get as much info as possible to figure out how my friends and family were going to fare in all that. Routinely flipping through news stations while doing research on-line, MSNBC could not say anything at all besides: “How will Hurricane Sandy affect Barack Obama?”

    I mean, that’s not just fact-free “reporting,” that’s fucking sick in the midst of a disaster of such proportions.

  7. Butch1 says:

    They’re hungry or defending their hive. She has no excuse. Pure evil and just sadistic I would guess. ;-)

  8. Butch1 says:

    I agree. If I want to find out whats really happening I tune in to a Canadian or European news station for the news. It is usually dispensed without all the “entertainment” attached and all the “experts” and their opinions as well. If I want opinions I will look for them. Just give me the news and that is all. Let me decide for myself what is happening and do not explain it for me. For goodness sake, I am an adult. She has to explain it three different ways, three different times and it drives me to the point where I shut her off when she does that. I dislike it when they start pontificating. I do not need it “explained” to me.

  9. Ford Prefect says:

    All good points and I agree. While both outlets serve the same purpose of distracting their audiences from stuff that actually matters, they do it rather differently. One big exception to that was when Rachel was trying to sell Dole-Romney-ObamaCare as “progressive,” which even the Democratic apparat knew was quite silly–it’s why they never tried to campaign on it… they knew that could backfire on them.

    But in the end, while DNCTV is more honest, they’re still in the business of turning their audience’s attention away from what the Democrats are doing 90% of the time. That’s why they were still bemoaning Michelle Bachmann’s latest gaff months after her aborted Preznitential campaign. No matter how irrelevant GOPer X is, they’ll still flog a crappy gaffe until the cows come home. It’s nothing more than filler for the time they could spend doing actual journalism.

    They’re not going to talk about the War Budget, except as an aside. That would mean pissing off GE, their parent company and one of the biggest defense contractors on the planet.

  10. Papa Bear says:

    I thought it was the rethugs who wanted to turn back the calendars…?

  11. Papa Bear says:

    Well, looking at how things are going, I’d have to agree with them…they ARE the entitled warlords. It’s up to us peasants to get them the heck out of there!

  12. Papa Bear says:

    Other than a great speech giver, in what way is the President a “great man”?

  13. Papa Bear says:

    No, the Republicans won — at least, they got the best Republican President they’ve ever had back in the White House…

  14. Papa Bear says:

    “Why she would try and screw us is what I am wondering. ”

    I suppose you also wonder why gaters bite and wasps sting?

  15. Butch1 says:

    I would say you are fairly true. The only difference is FOX still puts out disinformation and will not correct it whereas MSNBC does put out the truth. When they make a mistake they will correct it as soon as it is found. The problem with them is they will ignore big problems like this one regarding Social Security, which is a big issue for all these other stories and beat them to death. I think the fact that Pelosi lied along with Obama on this or perhaps this would no lie at all but a plan all along to deceive the people about their Safety Net so they would continue to support them and vote for them in the November election. You notice all this information is being dispensed after the election. ;-) Rachael Rah Rah has been silent but I hope she does say something about this and not just a second or two. She needs to spend a bit of time on it and ask them “What goes?” Us seniors do have a right to know what is happening in those smoke filled back rooms. Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit or the budget and shouldn’t even be on the table for negotiations.

    What about the Defense Budget? That’s fair game. There is only silence and crickets coming from the White House and Congress. That should tell you something.

  16. Butch1 says:

    They both are the 1%ers and Obama will not becoming back. Who knows what Pelosi will do. This doesn’t affect her pocket book one way or the other. Why she would try and screw us is what I am wondering. They lie to us so they can stab us in the backs. The democrats never used to be like this. She was involved in the Congressional insider trading scandal but there were no laws against it of course; THEY write the laws and they aren’t going to do anything that will hurt themselves. . . .sigh . . .

  17. karmanot says:


  18. goulo says:

    You asked “Where else do we have a forum like this to air truly liberal and progressive ideas.” as if you didn’t know there are plenty of sites to discuss such things, and I informed you that there are. That is not trolling.

  19. karmanot says:


  20. karmanot says:

    Have you seen the price of chicken lately? Its down to ‘parts’ now man.

  21. karmanot says:

    True, just try and criticize the precious Rachael Maddow and watch the down ^’s pile up.

  22. karmanot says:

    Obama, Pelosi are hell bent on destroying in one fell swop FDR’s established vision of a safety net for the poor and the old. To hell with them. Let’s make them pay dearly in 1214.

  23. FunMe says:

    But, but … he won Time Man of the Year. And a Nobel prize! That means something, right? ;-)

  24. karmanot says:

    So go there and let your inner troll out!

  25. FunMe says:

    And if they don’t burn their Democratic Party cards, then voters should boot them out in 2014.

  26. karmanot says:

    Congress could care less what the ‘people’ think. Once in DC, they think they are entitled warlords.

  27. karmanot says:

    “In many ways, Obama is a great man,” Not even that. He’s a calculating, traitorous apparatchik.

  28. karmanot says:

    Right, I’ve been making that argument too.

  29. Ford Prefect says:

    MSNBC is the Democrats’ Fox. Their job is to distract their audience from the crass behaviors of their own party, by focusing on the horrid behaviors of the other party. They’re somewhat different in terms of content and style, but the function is the same: It’s all about avoiding the truth, by invoking fear and hatred for The Other Party.

    And it works. It worked like a charm this year and it will probably work again in 2014.

  30. Butch1 says:

    Isn’t that the truth! They got their votes in November now it business as usual and MSNBC will do their best to make this a low priority. Obama and Pelosi are too much of an embarrassment.

  31. cole3244 says:

    actually whether the people realize it or not they are the ones that put right of center politicians in office, the electorate has bought into the meme that liberalism is to blame for all of americas problems that except for a very small minority of voters that support liberalism most in america treat libs as lepers and refuse to support them.

    until the electorate put aside their prejudices and hate america will continue down the rw road to despair and fascism without interruption, and the voters will continue to blame everything but themselves for their own and americas plight.

  32. Ford Prefect says:

    MSNBC will remain focused on Sandy Hook, guns and the NRA. They can probably flog that until all this gets signed by Obama on New Year’s Eve. Also too, there’s Richard Engel’s agit-prop “kidnapping.” And there’s always a Thug out there saying something horrible that can dominate their programming for a few days. (“Look, there’s nothing up my sleeves…”)

    Heckuva way to say “Happy New Year!”, isn’t it? Sorry granma, but the Dems just aren’t into you anymore. Let’s just hope you bought lots of Purina shares in your youth!

  33. Butch1 says:

    Good! This is the truth and this is what the country needs to see! No more hiding the truth! The seniors need to see what they got when they voted for him this time around and he needs to try and tap dance his way out of this one.

    Let’s see Ed Schultz and Rachael Maddow try and Pom Pom this mess. They can’t spin this in a positive light. Perhaps, they can get on their tails and broadcast the actual truth as to what is really happening for a change. Both have spoken to Pelosi and she has lied through her teeth about protecting Social Security. Now she has flip-flopped after telling both of them the biggest lies about protecting it. Now it is her turn to say “Yes or No” Did you not say that the democrats would protect Social Security and would NOT slash at it at all? Why did you lie to us? She needs to come clean NOW if she is ever going to gain any respect or have people listen to her again. I knew she was lying from the beginning as well as Obama. Now in the eleventh hour, they are letting the people know what they are going to do. They are going to cave to Boehner just like they do each and every time. Even though they are holding the winning hand, it won’t matter. The democrats ALWAYS snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. You can count on it.

  34. citizen_spot says:

    Actually, the oligarchy of this nation is right and far right. The people, not so much. Policies that poll as popular with the people rarely get adopted, while those that poll poorly are rammed through much to the delight of the rich and powerful. And the rest of us are expected to be happy with the shit sandwich the elite give us.

  35. Tim Kane says:

    Obama’s second inaugural address:

    “Ich bin ein Republicaner”

    In many ways, Obama is a great man, but in economics and in negotiations, he’s a bozo.

    Rich people are arguing over how much surplus comfort they are going to be allowed to keep, for poor and the elderly its how much discomfort they are going to have to endure.

    This is completely immoral.

  36. ronbo says:

    So, can you switch from gasoline to something else to run your car? Electric or gas to heat your house? Can the impoverished go the the store without funds and get food?
    No. Our leaders have led us to the cliff and are asking us to jump. I’m not jumping. Unless it’s away from the Democrats into the socialists or Greens. I can’t imagine a worse leader for the Dems than that mild Republican Obama.

  37. VictorGNYC says:

    Progressive Democrats need to prevent these cuts, my US Congressman will stand against it. Every Democrat in Congress must oppose Pelosi & Obama. They are disgraceful in selling out the middle class, and why? Because they are corporate shills whose generous tax-funded pensions made their Social Security retirement pay redundant. Let’s cut their benefits instead! And tax every single Wall Street transaction.

  38. Canyon2 says:

    Thank you. What you suggested should actually happen. The Republicans will be resurrected again in 2014 because the Dims will have to run against the fact that they cut SS, Medicare and Medicaid.
    Geez, they are really, really dumb.

  39. Chicken? Who in hell can afford chicken? Hell I’m already down to bullion.

    Where do I go from here, Nancy?

  40. And registering as Independent will solve exactly what as your choices to vote are gonna be mostly democratic or republican?

  41. Do anything, but don’t throw me in the briar patch!

  42. goulo says:

    Hmm? There are plenty of forums where liberal/progressive/leftwing ideas are discussed. Including some which have been far more critical of Obama.

  43. FunMe says:

    The Impeachment-is-off-the table Woman needs to be IMPEACHED for her failure to live up to Democrat and Americans ideals. She protects only her kind … the 1%. How “liberal” San Francisco continues to reelect her is beyond me. She is CORPORATE WHORE and that is why she is selling us out. IMPEACH her!

    Obama … what can I say? Another day. Another SELL OUT. And to think he was reelected and most fell for him again. Fell for his LIES!

    They are going to pay Political Hell. KARMA baby!

  44. cole3244 says:

    this has been a nation of right and far right for decades regardless of party label, this is just another example of that.

  45. usagi says:

    Progressives and Democrats need to take a lesson from the Tea Party on this. Ask simple yes or no questions: Will you vote to expand Social Security benefits? If they answer no or waffle, spend the next two years primarying the fuck out of them.

  46. karmanot says:

    No need to be rude to john for Christ’s sake. Where else do have a forum like this to air truly liberal and progressive ideas. I understand your anger and am furious myself, because we have been on Obama’s case for years to mostly deaf ears.

  47. Hue-Man says:

    It’s obvious that American Democrats are much smarter than dumb Canadians who have seen defined benefit plans disappear while Canada Pension Plan (=U.S. Social Security) is miserly compared to the U.S. – maximum annual benefit $12,144 vs. $30,156. This week: “Canada’s finance ministers have announced a “way forward” on expanding the Canada Pension Plan, but put off any decisions until June to make sure the economy survives a potentially rocky few months.”

    As expected, employers are crying foul while often not providing any retirement pensions to their workers – they support American policy of cat-food for seniors. (BTW, I have zero employer pension benefits from nearly 30 years of full-time employment so this issue is not theoretical for me. Fortunately, Canadian seniors generally don’t have Medicare premiums to pay.)

  48. ezpz says:

    If the republicans were smart (I know, I know), they would ‘save’ us from these cuts. That would put the final nail in the democrats’ coffin

  49. emjayay says:

    You can switch from beef to chicken, you can buy clothes at Kmart instead of Macy’s (although retired people at the low end aren’t buying any clothes and have already switched to chicken) but you can’t shop around for needed medical care and rent or property taxes and home repairs, the main expenses for older people. Medicare doesn’t exactly pay 100%.

  50. nicho says:

    All the pundits are saying this election will be the death of the GOP. It’s looking more like we’re watching the death of the Democrats. And Obama is the assassin.

  51. Bulldog says:

    John – Please go on and tell us again about how Democrats will protect Social Security. Tell us again about those differences between Democrats and Republicans.Pelosi has a worth in the same stratosphere as Romney, but you don’t take her to task for these positions.

    You’re no Progressive. You’re a party hack. A shill.

  52. In fairness, since we lost the presidential election we can’t expect Democrats to use any political capital to protect Social Security. Oh wait — we WON the election?

  53. Anthony_JK says:

    If Pelosi does attempt to push this through, the entire Progressive, Black, and Latino caucuses should simply burn their Democratic Party cards and declare themselves Independents. THIS IS SIMPLY UNACCEPTABLE.

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