I must have dreamed of a presidential debate that happened all the way back in October:
MR. LEHRER: Mr. President, do you see a major difference between the two of you on Social Security?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know, I suspect that on Social Security, we’ve got a somewhat similar position.
I awoke today to a “News Alert” from The Washington Post, breathlessly informing me that President Obama’s new budget would cut Social Security and Medicare if Republicans agree to increase taxes on the wealthy. It links to this gag-inducing article, which I really do not recommend clicking, unless you enjoy reading things like this:
“It’s not our ideal policy. It’s a compromise that we’re willing to do to get a bigger deal,” a senior White House official said Friday. “We want to make clear that it’s something that we’re willing to do. To not put it in [the budget] would be a conversation disconnected with reality.”
Disconnected from reality? I think I just had an aneurysm.
Or this one:
The senior official added that including the offer was not a hard call. Failing to do so, the official said, would have provoked howls from Republicans that “you moved the goal posts.”
Oh no! Not howls from Republicans! What could possibly be more horrifying than that for the poor President of the United States?
Overall, the budget request reflects Obama’s stark shift in strategy over the last month, as he has adopted a far more congenial posture toward the opposition. He has begun a charm offensive, reaching out to rank-and-file House and Senate Republicans, dining and speaking privately with them in hopes they will take seriously his offer to overhaul entitlement programs in exchange for increasing tax revenue. Obama is set to have dinner with a group of Republicans on Wednesday night…
See, this is why we drink. And vote Green Party.
Anyway, this WaPo “alert” was followed by a missive from Robert L. Borosage, Co-Director for Campaign for America’s Future:
Subject: Chained CPI in Obama Budget ★ What Went Wrong and What You Can Do ★
The President has ignored the voice of the people and has cut Social Security with his new budget.
Social Security represents America at its best, and now it is up to you to defend it.
The president included the “chained CPI” in a foolish attempt to make a deal with Republicans. He has wobbled because we didn’t make ourselves clear.
Perhaps he was confused by your ringing endorsement for his reelection. You know, since he offered Republicans Social Security cuts as far back as July of 2011 and said he agreed with Romney on Social Security cuts at a televised debate in October watched by 67 million people, he may have erroneously thought that you wholeheartedly approved of his repeatedly stated desire to cut Social Security.
Next came one from Democracy for America:
Subject: Obama wants to cut Social Security
Nooooo! THAT CANNOT BE!!!!11!!!
News leaked today that President Obama’s budget will openly push for cuts to Social Security benefits — a shot across the bow for the progressives who called their neighbors, spent weekends knocking doors and donated millions to reelect him.
“News leaked?” How is it that a leading organization supporting Obama’s reelection thinks that (a) this is “news,” (b) and “a shot across the bow,” and (c) a press conference today at which White House officials released the budget overview to reporters is accurately described as a “leak”?
Then there was one from Progressive Change Campaign Committee:
Really. Do tell.
This morning, the New York Times reported that President Obama will propose cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits in his budget next week.
Join the mass movement and show your outrage.
The time to “join the mass movement and show your outrage” was before his reelection.
Obama is proposing the so-called chained CPI, which would cut cost-of-living adjustments for grandparents and veterans. Here are three facts about chained CPI that everyone should know:
1. Chained CPI is a Social Security benefit cut. If chained CPI goes into effect, a worker at age 75 will receive $653 less in benefits a year. A worker age 85 will receive $1,139 less in benefits a year.
2. Chained CPI cuts Social Security benefits for current seniors. The chained CPI will cut the benefits of all current retirees, including disabled workers – even after politicians have promised repeatedly that any changes to Social Security would not affect current beneficiaries.
3. Chained CPI hurts veterans. Under the chained CPI, a disabled veteran who started receiving VA disability benefits at age 30 would have his or her benefits reduced by $1,425 at age 45, $2,341 at age 55, and $3,231 at age 65.
What you can do…
1. Sign the petition to the White House, and join the mass outrage movement. We’re working with great allies at CREDO, MoveOn, Democracy for America, Social Security Works and our progressive heroes in Congress on an ongoing campaign to stop these cuts.
Oooh, a petition. YOU BETTER LOOK OUT PRESIDENT OBAMA! Or we’ll… we’ll…petition you! And then where will you be, huh? HUH?
2. Share these facts with everyone you can. You can forward this email, or click to share on Facebook and Twitter.
Social Security is the core of the progressive and Democratic legacy. The President has no mandate to cut these benefits, and we’ll do everything possible to stop him.
Well, everything except make your reelection support contingent on, oh…I don’t know… maybe a pledge not to cut Social Security?
As it turns out, cutting Social Security is now the core of the progressive and Democratic legacy.
The president just offered to cut Social Security again last December. Or did I dream that too?