Obama loses key support for cutting Social Security, Medicare in “Grand Bargain”

A Quick Hits post on benefit cuts: I alluded to this news earlier, but wanted to bring it to you directly. President Obama may have just lost his battle to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits as part of some austerity-driven “Grand Bargain.”

One of the strongest proponents of benefit cuts in the Democratic infrastructure — the powerful think-tank Center for American Progress (CAP) — has just withdrawn its support.

Via Joan McCarter at DailyKos (my emphasis and paragraphing):

There’s a glimmer of good news for the nearly half of America’s seniors threatened with poverty: The grand bargain is nearly dead. The Center for American Progress, a key Democratic establishment institution and strong backer of President Obama, has abandoned austerity. The deficit, they say, is not the most critical issue facing the country in 2013. (And the sky has yet to fall.)

obama_gives_them_social_security_Braveheart_THUMBThe move comes in a report from the Center’s Michael Linden, who writes “Most policymakers, organizations, and policy leaders seem to be stuck in 2010, as if nothing has changed in the years since.” …

This is the first significant defection in the Obama team on austerity, and one that has some political potential. It gives lots of room for congressional Democrats who would have been necessary to any kind of grand bargain passing in the House to back out. Without CAP arguing for the necessity of making cuts to benefits to Social Security and Medicare, there’s no one to have their back if they choose to participate in making those cuts.

Here’s a key conclusion from the CAP report:

When considered all together, there is clearly no need for deficit reduction to take precedence over every other important issue facing the country. We need to stop allowing deficit concerns to hijack every other policy discussion.

McCarter has additional analysis here.

One down (perhaps), two to go — Keystone and TPP.

GP

To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States. Click here for more. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius and Facebook.

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  • LaurieFor

    Obama has cut federal funding for over 200 social programs which have been effecting people in the US for years now. Medicaid, Medicare, mass transit, postal service, energy assistance, all cut. Social security will less and less be adjusted for annual inflation rises which will be a huge impact on working people.

    The Center for American progress may have “abandoned” austerity measures (whatever that means) but Obama, the leading democrats and republicans have not. See Democracy Now! report here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMcC0DagNuA

  • 1228wt

    You were not the only sucker. Many “yes we can” and “change” suckers who did not care what the change was did change their vote. Why did he win, voting fraud. Until voting fraud is addressed by the American cowards that we now are, you cannot have a change. This is the reason the leftist have no fear to go against the will of the people. Your vote no longer counts.

  • Butch1

    Actually, I would because of his assassination drone project. He has blood on his hands especially after murdering that sixteen year old innocent boy and his cousin. Three out of four of those citizens were innocent! That is a lousy record and it needs to be stopped.

    This hypocrite won the Noble Peace Prize and just how many secret wars has he started since he became president? Then there is his assassination of American citizens program. This is truly outrageous; he belongs on trial for these crimes alone. If FDR were alive he would have a lot to say to him!

  • Mocas Dad

    Gaius, can you link to a list of the current signatories of Grayson-Takano?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Absolutely with you on this. Many of us here are in the same boat and Obama is helping drown us in misery. Quite frankly, I don’t know how some of us will survive if he is successful.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I would so like to see an impeachment movement, even if it’s by cracked pot Teabags.

  • Kim_Kaufman

    I believe the budget fight will be in July. And the debt ceiling fight, which Boehner has already started. I’m waiting to see how that goes.

  • Bill_Perdue

    It’s not mine.

  • Naja pallida

    Obama handed Republicans ~90% of what they’ve been asking for over 30 years, and they still turned him down. What’s worse, is there was scantly a peep from the other side of the aisle.

  • Butch1

    It’s not even HIS money; it’s OURS and we put it away for OUR retirement. it is NOT an entitlement. He needs to keep his hands off of our money. It is against the law to use it to balance the budget with it. He knows that yet, he still things he has the right to ignore those things with language like: “Chained CPI” and that is supposed to fool us. I have had it with these people stealing from us. He needs to do what he has been promising to do since 2008 and that is tax the rich! Just do it! No more lies. I am so tired of his stalling and lying about it. Force Congress to do it. Tell them you will veto every single bill that crosses your desk until you get what you want. Tax the damned rich for a change. It’s about time.

  • Butch1

    Please don’t assume that I am a republican complaining about democrats. I used to be a democrat and in fact I voted for Obama the first time around. I fell for his lies. Then my eyes were open when he turned 180 degrees the minute he entered the White House in 2008.

    I remember him talking about Universal Healthcare. I remember him promising to fight FOR it and all the while he was in the back room cutting deals with the Insurance companies assuring them that it would NOT be in his Affordable Healthcare Act. This is what I mean about him. He cannot be trusted. He tells us one thing and goes behind our backs and does something else.

    It is because of him and this damned turncoat party that I became an Independent. They have stabbed us in the back every time they get a chance and when we have fought hard to get them a majority in Congress or the Senate. They always screw us. Social Security is a Democratic Bill and has been protected by real Democrats for decades until this bunch came along. They cannot be trusted. I am a senior and I am a Veteran who happens to be disabled as well. I live and depend upon those checks. This bastard has decided to balance his debt on Seniors and disable veterans. What the hell is the matter with him? He is supposed to be a democrat protecting us. Where are all of the lazy democrats in Congress and why aren’t they outraged? They are behind him on this. The only person I have seen fighting this on the airwaves tirelessly is Bernie Sanders, an Independent! What does that say about the sorry state about the Democratic Party?: Yes, the Republicans are worse but just how worse can they be when this president has a hair up his arse trying to destroy my Safety Net? They both are bad as far as I’m concerned and I will vote for third party candidates to replace these traitors until we can remove all of them from office.

  • mhandrh

    I think we knew this was dead a long time ago — it was a big offer to the republicans by Obama, who surely knew how strong would be the opposition.
    This illustrates the intransigence of the GOP even in the face of overly-generous compromising offers from the president who risked enormous backlash from his supporters.

  • Sweetie

    The icon should be of Moloch.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Yes….a Republicrat.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Thank you. This lesser of two evils drives me absolutely bat shit. The idea that Obama is better than Romney and the GOP still has a hold on some Obot dimwits. Obama won. He stands on the facts of his history.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “Why does he think he has a right to continue to steal that money from us seniors?” Probably for the same reason he feels he has the absolute right to murder people on his say so alone. Obozo enjoys the power of tyranny.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    In addition to the news that the Harvard study supporting austerity was proven wrong and in substantial error by a grad student, who reviewed the facts.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    When you have to fight tooth-and-nail against someone who said he’s your friend and ally, it’s probably long since time to realize that he’s not really your friend or ally at all.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Well, Google, Apple, and Coca-Cola are on both.

  • nicho

    The people CAN’T be “tired of the Kabuki theatre” simply because so many
    of them keeping electing and re-electing the same puppets every cycle.

    The people have no choice. They get to choose between the two corporatist candidates that are presented to them. The claim that the GOP is worse is getting really really tiresome. It’s like the threat to the slaves that they would be sold downriver, if they didn’t behave. The idea behind that is that the slave owners downriver were meaner than the ones further north. But the fact that one slave owner was meaner than another didn’t make slavery OK.

  • JozefAL

    Well, you’re partly correct about the bulk of your ire but you forgot a key point: The GOPers’ position on SocSec is even worse. They have NOT explained how their “we’ll let you current recipients keep getting your regular payments while anyone under the age of 50 gets to opt out completely so they won’t be paying into the system, and you folks between 50 and 67 are just going to have to earn the million or so dollars so you can afford to retire at the future age of 70+ or work until the day you die” system could possibly succeed.
    As for your Congress-directed point, well that’s all well and good, unfortunately most politicians get out there and promise “No changes to SocSec” and, once they’re in DC, they work to change it. You might remember all those Teabagging protestors who didn’t want any changes to “their” SocSec and Medicare but they went right ahead and, in 2010, voted for the same sh#theads that have done nothing but promote MAJOR changes to both–and then RE-elected them last year. And take a look at the last two House election cycles, paying close attention to the GOP primaries. What happened in those primaries? Again. The Teabaggers threatened to bolt the party (since well over 95% of the Teabaggers were already in the GOP) if the “liberal RINO” incumbent didn’t appease the Teabaggers–or worse, they’d stay in the party and primary the hell out of an incumbent who didn’t kowtow to the Teabaggers. In both 2010 and 2012, we saw the GOP incumbents largely become “Teabaggers” themselves OR faced primary opponents (for many of the incumbents, it was their first REAL primary in years, if not decades) and, frequently, lose their bid to be re-elected (the only bright side being, the supercrazy Teabagger got his onw ass handed to him when he went too far to the crazy–like Mourdock and Akin).
    The people CAN’T be “tired of the Kabuki theatre” simply because so many of them keeping electing and re-electing the same puppets every cycle.

  • Naja pallida

    We know not to trust Obama, but what I’ve learned from this is that the Center for American Progress isn’t. Which doesn’t really surprise me, it’s just depressing that even “progressive” groups are just astroturfing for the interests of the wealthy. That they came around, only years after report after report has said that austerity in general, and cutting SS benefits in the specific, is nothing but detrimental, is good… but if they are truly a progressive organization that bases their opinions on fact and reality, and not just political pandering, they never should have been there in the first place.

  • Butch1

    This lying traitor to the common citizen has gone directly to the Seniors and Disabled-Veterans with his Chained-CPI scam to try and balance his budget on the backs of us.

    Why us? The old and the disabled are the ones he has chosen to attack and steal money from to work on his deficit. Social Security has nothing to do with it and there is a law on the books that says this money is NOT supposed to be used for that purpose! Why does he think he has a right to continue to steal that money from us seniors? Why does he go after disabled veterans who need to money to survive after giving themselves to war and are unable to work in jobs like other full bodied persons? Why? We are easy marks for this cowardly president, that’s why.

    He’s not going to get away with it and there are a lot of angry seniors who happen to vote and will vote out of office their representatives, senators and any president who goes after Social Security.

    This fool should know better. He lies when he says it is for our own good. The hell it is. I am livid when he lies and acts like this is the only answer to fixing the debt. It has nothing to do with the debt and he knows it. This is an excuse by this government to go after our Social Security and pretend it is an emergency needing “fixing” when it does not! Just take the damned cap off of it and we will be just fine. He knows that; Congress knows that; if they were serious, they would start putting together a real jobs program together and get people back to work on a grand scale. All of them are hypocrites.

    The people are tired of the Kabuki Theater and want it to stop now. We are tired of the overreach and being spied upon and we would like this government to start working FOR us for a change and stop working AGAINST us. We are not the enemy of the state and they need to stop acting like we are. This Congress needs an ultimatum by the people that they will be primaried if they do not get their act together and soon. We have had enough of this.

  • basenjilover

    We can’t afford to be lax with Obama and he is NOT to be trusted. Regardless of CAP’s withdrawal in supporting Obama’s agenda on SS and medicare, he will find ways to make cuts to these benefits to appease Republicans and TeaBaggers.

  • BillFromDover

    Better yet, why not put them on a giant donkiphant?

  • BillFromDover

    Don’t hold your breath.

  • BillFromDover

    ” Blind faith has too many pitfalls.”

    Unless one is a bagger in which case, ideology trumps all, come hell or high water… mostly hell (conflagration/ forest fires) AND high water (inundation/floods) not to mention shunning any science that they can’t bend enough to fit into their mindset.

    Keepa pumpin’ those CO2s like there’s no tomorrow (literally) crazies,,cuz only God can affect the weather and – what the hell – judgement day is just around the corner, and the good guys will be raptured up anyways.

    Why do I have to pay for this bullshit?

  • ehmkec

    Liking and supporting Obama has become less of a binary position. Lately people are realizing that it is OK to support some positions and not support others. When we finally feel the public’s effect then we finally have a democratic republic. Blind faith has too many pitfalls.

  • GaiusPublius

    That’s a seriously accurate statement, nicho. Bill, if your the artist for the image, you might consider modifying your graphic. It’s good already, and this would make it even stronger.

    GP

  • nicho

    Only one problem with your graphic. Both animals should have the same corporate logos on them. The corporatocracy, if nothing, hedges its best.

  • condew

    I can’t imagine how Social Security cuts could look acceptable to any politician, ever; let alone when lots of people aged 50+ have been forced out of the labor market, or just after the government came up with many trillions to bale out Wall Street.

    Bankers turn their institutions into a casino and lose, and get bailed out. American workers simply contribute to a modest pension all their working lives, but they deserve punishment?

    Let me know when Holder finally gets off his ass to prosecute a few hundred bankers and brokers.

  • Sweetie

    So, what is even worse that’s going to make it through?

  • Bill_Perdue

    Obama’s second term is going to be much like those of B Clinton GW Bush, an unmitigated disaster. The reason is clear – all three are political prostitutes who service the rich at the expense of working people.

    Democrats are the enemy. (And so are Republicans.)

  • Indigo

    Right on!

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