Why, why why? Why is the President offering up Social Security once again as a bargaining chip in his self -and -party- destructive negotiations with those who will not negotiate?
And, more importantly, to me at least, what will be the consequences not just to the Party, but to people in general when we once again find that election assurances and promises and platforms are as vaporous as the breaths from the mouths from which they issue.
Chained CPI is a cut in benefits. I would hope we can at least agree upon that and not waste a lot of time disengenuously desribing it as a "strengthening" of the system like Nancy Pelosi did, or defending it with "a reduction in the increase is not a cut" as I have seen on this board. It's a cut. It's an unecessary cut that will literally take money out of the pockets of those who can least afford it in order to appease a segment of the population who for whatever reason hate to see any actual funds or benefits filter down and accrue to the 99%.
And, it is being introduced by our side and our President.
Words simply are inadequate to describe how I feel about this. But I did tumble onto to someone who did a pretty good job in summarizing almost exactly how I feel about all this. It's short, it's concise and I feel it is pretty darn accurate about the current situation.
And Democrats, if you do not rise up in protest now, it is clear that you never will. Social Security is the famous Third Rail, AS IT SHOULD BE. The New Deal, the Great Society, The Civil Rights Movement, the rise of Labor and the American worker, the creation of the middle class, the opening and forging of new opportunities for all people of all classes, is WHY DEMOCRATS EXIST. Will the bulk of Democrats decide that it is okay to stand by silently while dollars are picked from the pockets of those least able to afford it simply in order to show credibility that we can be just as cruel and stupid as the other party the in the negotiation gamesmenship that is being played with our lives and our economy ? God, I hope not, because then there is literally almost no hope for the vast majority of us.
Do we even remember how to be indignant? How to rise up? How to insist that some kind of basic decency and morality and sense of proportion and justice be displayed by those we elect?
With democrats ecstatic that political dysfunction has postponed their cutting the social insurance programs that Americans have paid for and count on for a few weeks, discussion of the intricacies of ‘chained CPI’ (Consumer Price Index) versus other measures of inflation used to adjust Social Security can now apparently wait for the New Year. Still, this probably isn’t a bad time to ask: why? Why cut Social Security? The program is currently solvent, is expected to remain solvent for decades to come, and projected shortfalls in the future could be better addressed by raising the incomes of the people who pay into the program, not by cutting payments to those who depend on them. What is to be gained by ‘solving’ a problem that isn’t?I hope you will read the entire article. It really speaks to me and for me. And I hope that you will join with me and tell all of our Democrats that this is the line they may not cross.
If cutting Social Security isn’t necessary, why then is it being proposed? Barack Obama provided copious evidence in prior proposals, television interviews and speeches that doing so is his intent. Congressional democrats and labor leaders quickly acceded to his proposal to do so, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi going so far as to actively lie that proposed cuts will ‘strengthen’ the program. And given the cuts will eventually put tens of millions of Americans into dire poverty from a program they paid into for all of their working lives, what rationale could possibly justify doing so?
A deficit-reduction deal that includes cost-of-living cuts for Social Security beneficiaries could cost Democrats the support of House liberals who might be needed to pass the bill, a number of lawmakers warned Thursday.********
Since it has been disputed in the comments whether the President "introduced" this option - almost every media source I have been able to come up with says the suggestion originated with the President. From the same link from the Hill above:
As part of the fiscal-cliff package Obama offered to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) this week, the president included the chained CPI provision as a sweetener to entice wary House Republicans to get on board. The change would reduce the inflationary raises made annually to the federal programs indexed to the CPI, including Social Security.But regardless of the mechanics of who introduced it into these discussions and when - it is on the table NOW. My position is that it is simply unacceptable. At some point in our lives someone somewhere suggests something that you as an individual find unacceptable, that violates your core beliefs and that you can't go along with.
I would equate Chained CPI to this:
Your boss leaves the store and your co-worker suggests to you that together you open up the till and take some money. Does it matter how much money is taken?
Some of you argue that the amount of the money taken is what really matters. I disagree. The crime occurs when the till is opened. That's where one draws the line. That's where we are now.
A Social Security BENEFIT CUT is on the table.