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Forum Post: Obama’s Historic Assault on Social Security

Posted 1 year ago on Dec. 22, 2012, 4:25 p.m. EST by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

By Glen Ford

After four years of maneuvering, President Obama finally has his White Whale, Social Security, within harpooning distance. “Obama has largely neutered Social Security’s traditional congressional defenders, who know perfectly well what their president is up to, but will not directly oppose him.”

President Obama and his Republican partners in austerity have choreographed a kind of bi-partisan ballet, in which the dancers reach out to each other in slow motion, their fingers almost touching, teasing the audience. These cheap and transparent theatrics are designed to transmit a soap opera-like sense of drama: “Can the two parties come to a compromise for the sake of the country?” But, the fact is, Obama and the Republicans reached most of their grand bargain more than a year ago, when they slashed $1.7 trillion out of domestic spending over a decade. As liberal Obamite Robert Kuttner, of Demos, points out, there’s very little left to cut except Medicare and Social Security.

Social Security has always been Obama’s Great White Whale; he’s conspired with Republicans and right-wing Democrats to harpoon the mother of all New Deal programs since the very start of his presidency. But Social Security is not an easy mark. George Bush found that out in his second term, when he suffered his worst domestic defeat in attempting to privatize the program.

It would take a Black Democrat, fresh from a near-landslide election, to put Social Security on the chopping block, as Obama did in January of 2009. But before he could move in for the kill, Obama and his allies had to convince the public that Social Security is a major contributor to the federal budget deficit – which is a lie. Social Security runs on its own stream of revenues that go into the Social Security Trust Fund, totally separate from general taxation and debt. However, by endless repetition of the Big Lie – that Social Security adds to the federal deficit – Obama and other corporate Democrats and Republicans succeeded in maneuvering the program into the austerity debate, where it does not belong.

At this point it must be said that Obama’s insistence on making Social Security a budget deficit issue shows that he has always intended to make drastic cuts to the program. One of the reasons Social Security has long been thought of as “untouchable” is because President Franklin Roosevelt and his New Deal Democrats purposely insulated it from the conventional budget process. However, President Obama has largely neutered Social Security’s traditional congressional defenders, who know perfectly well what their president is up to, but will not directly oppose him. That’s why we at Black Agenda Report call Obama “the more effective evil”; he can accomplish what Republicans only dream about.

Obama’s scheme to cripple Social Security is to change the way inflation is measured, resulting in a drastic scale-back in cost-of-living increases in recipients. According to Dean Baker, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the cuts would amount to 3 percent over 10 years, 6 percent over 20 years, and 9 percent over 30 years. In dollar terms, Black Minneapolis Congressman Keith Ellison says retirees would lose $6,000 in the first 15 years of cuts and $16,000 over 25 years.

And that’s just the beginning. Once the untouchability of Social Security has been breached, it becomes just another social program to be carved up on austerity chopping blocks. President Obama’s true legacy will be to have begun the destruction of the crown jewel of what’s left of the nation’s social safety net.

http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/obama’s-historic-assault-social-security

21 Comments

21 Comments


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[-] 1 points by Shayneh (-482) 1 year ago

Lets not forget about this:

No term limit for President Obama? Here's the link:

http://www.examiner.com/article/no-term-limit-for-president-obama

[-] 1 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 1 year ago

LOL. That's going nowhere fast.

[-] 1 points by DebtNEUTRALITYpetition (638) 1 year ago

Obama already gutted Social Security by having two consecutive years of 0 increase. This in and of itself creates a cascading, ongoing lowering of Social Security outlays forever.

Yes, the two zero increase years were followed by a 4.7% increase, but those two back to back zero years still cut a dramatic amount of ongoing outlays.

The answer is in consumer debt reduction INCENTIVES, which, if you notice, NOBODY in power EVER talks about.

[-] 1 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 1 year ago

Ford is simply pointing out what's going to happen. We can expect more of the same in 2016 with you-know-who.

[-] 1 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 1 year ago

Is it Clinton you speak of?

[-] 1 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 1 year ago

Well if you're going to put me on the spot, yes. The party doesn't seem to have plan B at this point.

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

We need a real liberal in 2016. Not a pro-war centrist democrat who along with republicans pushed the WMD Iraq threat lie and supported a new war in Libya.

I would love to see Alan Grayson or Dennis Kucinich run. Or depending on her future voting record, hoping she stays true, maybe a Warren run. She gathered a big name with her recent win.

[-] 1 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 1 year ago

I'm not optimistic. I think we'll have to endure 32 years of C student boomers.

[-] 1 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 1 year ago

Yeah she's next.

[-] -2 points by town (-374) 1 year ago

he's already gutted medicare, taking out over 700 bil to pay for obamacare.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

But Medicare is now solvent for 12 years as a result of Pres Obamas efforts. That is longer than any time since Medicares creation. So it is healthier than ever.

Understand.?

Social Security Chained CPI is a disgraceful compromise republicans insisted on.

I submit to you though that it is a small number of our annual budget. And I assume we will replace that money.

WE the people must agitate all pols for that replacement of earned benefits.

We can do it. I predict before the midterms.

Are you with us?

[-] 0 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 1 year ago

No.

And what of his attack on small businesses? Due largely to changes in corporate structure, by the year 2000 this country had lost almost half of its previous 100 top companies; these gaps in employment created America's small businesses. And any tax as low as 250 will impact them. So what's up with that? Or are they just so greedy for tax dollars they'll attack anyone?

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

What? Hasn't Pres Obama proposed tax cuts forr 100% of small businesses on their income up to $250K. And hasn't Pres Obama cut small businesses taxes 18 times in the last 4 years.

What are you talkin about.?

[-] 0 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 1 year ago

hahahahaha... do you know of a single, profitable, small business employer that makes less than 250 in the metro area? He's intentionally taxing small businesses and the middle class, why - so that he does not have to tax the rich, close corporate loopholes, or address his mad spending.

He's one of "Them"; he's not, and never has been, one of us. They simply do not care about tax payers.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

97% of small businesses make $250k or less. And 100% of small businesses will benefit from the tax cuts on income under $250k.

Whatever he is, this proposal will help every small business.

Do you understand this fact?

[-] 0 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 1 year ago

You're joking, right? That's not a small business, it's a sole proprietorship. He's definitely attacking small business and he's doing it for a reason, albeit tremendously distorted.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

You do not know that a sole proprietorship is a small business? But you know they aren't large business right.

Saying he is attacking small business does not prove he is. How is he doing so?

97% of small businesses make $250k or less. And 100% of small businesses will benefit from the tax cuts on income under $250k.

Whatever he is, this proposal will help every small business.

Do you understand this fact?

[-] 0 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 1 year ago

You've got to be kidding. If he wants to tax the rich, he taxes the rich; he is NOT doing that - he is taxing the middle class who are far more often self-employed.

This is the very reason these people should not be empowered in government; they haven't got a clue, they're in way over their heads. And they don't give a shit about tax payers.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

He has cut middle class taxes and is fighting for extending middle class taxes.

Your repubs won't pass extending taxes on the middle class unless millionaires get taxe cuts also.

Beohner couldn'r even get House repubs to extend middle class taxes with because it included raising taxes on Billionaires!

Just because you say something doesn't mean it's true. Reality intrudes, facts are persistent things.

You partisan lies are transparent and old. You lost the election. Get over it.

[-] 0 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 1 year ago

Dude, wake up - Republicans or Democrats, we're paying higher taxes thanks to mismanagement, wanton spending, and corruption. And while our people starve, hundreds of billions are leaving this country so they can play corporate politics. NONE of them are any good; government is never going to save you, it will never be your savior, it will only make the lives of all Americans, rich or poor, that much worse.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

We are taking back the peoples govt and we WILL force it to serve the 99%.

You have been asleep if you haven't noticed the slow progress we've made.

It will take years of sustained hard work in the streets and voting both. There will be setbacks but we will succeed.