White House debates what to do with Social Security
The Hill has an article with some interesting information about what the ConservaDems and anti-American-workers faction of the Obama administration want to do with Social Security as the budget fights move along.
Social Security reform is splitting President Obama’s economic and political advisers. Obama is being pulled in opposite directions by those whose priorities are fiscal and those whose No. 1 concern is electoral Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling and Sperling’s deputy, Jason Furman — leading figures in the president’s economic team — are pressing Obama to cut Social Security benefits if necessary, say sources familiar with their positions.
But Obama’s political team, led by David Axelrod, David Plouffe and Jim Messina, are urging the president to understand that backing benefit cuts could prove disastrous to his 2012 reelection hopes, sources say.
The political team is winning the argument so far, but internal debate rages at the White House as Republicans in Congress insist sweeping efforts to restore government finances must include Social Security reform. “Gene Sperling and Jason Furman and some of the Treasury people started with the posture that we’re the best people to reform Social Security — that was when the Democrats had a majority in both houses of Congress,” said a Democratic policy expert who has met Obama’s economic policy team over the past two years.
“The same people have continued to make that argument even as they’re now responding to conservatives who are stronger in the Congress,” the source, who strongly opposes benefits cuts, told The Hill. “There are two camps,” the source added. “One camp wants to be able to throw a bone to Republicans and some [centrist] Democrats.
“The political people would prefer not to be accused of being the party that cuts Social Security in those ways. Some political people would like to see the president out there defending the program and making the case that it has nothing to do with the deficit.”...read on
I label anyone who wants to cut benefits from Social Security anti-working-class family, so if this article is correct, then Geithner and that crew of "centrists" can go screw themselves. There is no problem with Social Security. Why would anyone with a D in front of their name want to cut benefits? It's nuts. Every poll shows quite clearly that even Republican voters do not want a cut in these benefits.
If Sperling's argument is about reforming Social Security and Medicare without taking away from them, then OK, but that's not what I'm reading here. Do these creatures only listen to Villager gasbags that want working class Americans to be the only people to share the sacrifice and suffer in America after Wall Streeters and their partners caused the Great Recession?
You can always count on Jonathan Chait to play the Beltway bipartisan fetish card:
There's a benefit in bashing Republicans for going after Social Security. But that assumes they do go after Social Security, which, despite all their rhetoric, is far from certain. I'd argue that, politically speaking, obtaining a bipartisan deal on the deficit is likely to be popular. While the specifics of cutting entitlements are extremely unpopular, the general meta-message of bipartisan cooperation is highly popular. And people tend to follow the broad heuristics of whether the parties are getting along rather than the specifics, which is why the health care law, whose policies were mostly very popular, was so unpopular.
Americans do like some bipartisan agreements, but not when it comes to cutting entitlements like Social Security and Medicare. It would be political suicide for President Obama to agree to any type of cuts because of some 'can't we all just get along" idiocy, and his base will not forget it. Americans will not stand for it either.
Let's be clear about something else that Geithner doesn't understand: Republicans who support cutting benefits for the Working Joe will never give Obama any credit for doing the wrong thing either.
The partisan breakdown of the results shows that Republicans, Democrats and independents agree that cutting Social Security is the least acceptable option of the three presented in the poll. It came in third among all respondents who made a choice.
The President needs to stand strong against the Republicans' call for for a government shutdown over the debt ceiling and insane budget cuts. If Obama's team is really looking for new ways to fire up the base, then this ain't one of them.
For now, the Obama team is unveiling few new ideas specifically keyed to firing up core constituencies. A recent White House conference call urged young voters to hold roundtables, which administration officials may attend, to discuss priorities and offer feedback.
President Obama has become a rallying point for Conservatives, so If Republicans do gain all the power in 2012 and then proceed to cut the programs, all hell will break loose. A Democratic President can never propose such an idea, especially when a program like Social Security is NOT in trouble.