During the 2008 campaign, I offered money (not much) to anyone who could name three major issues on which Barack Obama had not "modified" his position. Here's one: Social Security
While many Democrats are expressing shock and outrage that President Obama, a Democrat, would propose to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, the truth is they shouldn’t be surprised. Obama’s desire to make these cuts dates back at least four years – since before his presidency, even — and has been in largely plain view. We just chose to willfully ignore it, and pretend it wasn’t true.
Just four days before his inauguration in January, 2009, a Washington Post headline blared, “Obama Pledges Entitlement Reform,” and detailed “a wide-ranging 70 minute interview with Washington Post reporters and editors,” in which the president-elect endorsed efforts by congressional Republicans, and “the Blue Dog Coalition of fiscally conservative Democrats,” to cut Social Security and Medicare. A small group of progressives were disturbed at what their friends in Congress were leaking to them about Obama’s commitment to doing this, and a few blog posts were issued to ring alarm bells publicly about it.
The next day, Paul Rosenberg at the then-influential blog, openleft.com, wrote a post entitled, “Obama’s ‘Mandate’ To Slash Medicare, Medicaid & Social Security,” and presented polls showing that the public not only didn’t want to cut any of these programs, but that 74% wanted Medicare and Medicare spending increased, and 62% wanted Social Security spending increased. Even 65% of self-declared “conservative” Americans wanted the medical programs increased, and 62% of them wanted Social Security spending increased.
Often during the subsequent years, Obama drove both Pelosi and Reid to fits with his back-door efforts to cut “entitlements,” such as when, in 2010, he appointed the conservative Democrat Erskine Bowles to serve opposite the conservative Republican Alan Simpson as the two co-chairs on the White House’s “bi-partisan” federal debt commission concerning entitlement “reform.” (The Commission heads produced recommendations that congressional Democrats roundly repudiated for slashing entitlements, and that Republicans condemned for increasing taxes).
Sorry for such a lengthy quote; the entire piece is definitely worth your time.
Of course, none of this is necessary. To save Social Security, like, forever
, there's an easy fix. Obama need only do what any resident of Dundalk, MD, would do if he happened to pass by someone he truly respects (such as the head of R.J. Reynolds): Raise the cap
Meanwhile, the Republicans are opportunistically transforming themselves into the party of saving
entitlements. (We're supposed to forget all about that stuff Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan said.) GOP bigwig Greg Walden
says that Obama is mounting “a shocking attack on seniors.” And damn if the sumbitch ain't right...