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Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:37 PM

Compromise or betrayal? By Joan Walsh


If Democrats cut Social Security, they're breaking a campaign promise and fostering cynicism about politics

BY JOAN WALSH

Time magazine named President Obama its 2012 “Person of the Year,” and it makes sense. Just two years ago he came out of the 2010 shellacking battered, his chance at a second term diminished. Instead he put together an astonishing coalition of America’s future, and became the first president in 75 years to win more than 50 percent of the vote twice. Aware of historic second-term overreach, most notably when George W. Bush tried to privatize Social Security, Obama says he nonetheless has an ambitious agenda for the next four years.

It would be sad if he launched it by doing what Bush never did: cutting Social Security benefits for seniors by agreeing to a change in cost of living calculations called the chained CPI.

Once a topic for only the wonkiest of wonks, now the intricacies of the chained CPI are being debated by the hackiest of hacks. The bottom line is this: The longer you live, the less your benefits would grow. We still don’t know how it would work; anonymous White House sources have promised any deal would include protections for the poorest seniors, the disabled and veterans.

It doesn’t much matter. If he agrees to benefit cuts, the president is breaking a Democratic campaign promise and sacrificing gains he and his party made in November. Make no mistake: In 2014, Republicans will make them the party that slashed Social Security. And honestly, if they go ahead with it, they’ll deserve it.

As always, columns about the fiscal cliff negotiation must start with a warning: Many trial balloons go up in the air and crash. We’ve already seen that happen with the shocking suggestion that the president might agree to a hike in the age of Medicare eligibility. Obama is dealing with such extremist opponents that he could promise to divorce Michelle Obama and marry Michele Bachmann and know he’ll never have to do it, because House Speaker John Boehner doesn’t have control of his wingnut caucus.

-snip-

http://www.salon.com/2012/12/19/compromise_or_betrayal/

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Reply Compromise or betrayal? By Joan Walsh (Original post)
DonViejo Dec 2012 OP
cui bono Dec 2012 #1
Bluenorthwest Dec 2012 #2
Filibuster Harry Dec 2012 #3
budkin Dec 2012 #4
forestpath Dec 2012 #5
blkmusclmachine Dec 2012 #6
lucca18 Dec 2012 #7

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 04:11 PM

1. Betrayal.

There. I said it.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 04:49 PM

2. Betrayal.

Unforgivable, paradigm changing, Party ending betrayal.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 04:51 PM

3. The "cliff" discussion should not even include social security. I think they should let the payroll

tax of 4.2% expire to 6.2%. That decrease applied to ALL people on their first $ 110,100 of wages no matter how much you earned. It replaced the Working Pay Credit which only applied to the first $ 20,000 of wages of those people who qualified for it -- NOT EVERYBODY.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 05:41 PM

4. Joe Biden's Presidential aspirations just went down the tube.

He "promised" that nothing would change to Social Security. Guess Obama didn't get the message. Oops.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 05:45 PM

5. Joan Walsh gets it. And yes, it is a betrayal of the most egregious, one that

 

shows a serious lack of moral center.

I have had my differences with President Obama, but I always though of him as a decent man. But no decent person would go after the most vulnerable in our society to protect the wealthy.

That is what Republicans do.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 07:08 PM

6. Betrayal.

But then, again, it's obvious that they're not working for US.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 07:47 PM

7. I really worry about this:

"If he agrees to benefit cuts, the president is breaking a Democratic campaign promise and sacrificing gains he and his party made in November. Make no mistake: In 2014, Republicans will make them the party that slashed Social Security."

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