Liberals Are Already Freaking Out Over The Obama Budget’s Social Security Cuts

Barack Obama

Some of Congress’ more liberal members and various liberal groups are already expressing their displeasure with President Barack Obama over his decision to include a so-called “chained CPI” adjustment that would have a significant effect on the growth of Social Security.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and a host of liberal members of the House of Republicans pushed back on reports of the plan, as did the progressive public policy advocacy group MoveOn.

Sanders, an Independent known for his progressive views, released a lengthy, six-paragraph statement that accused Obama of putting deficit reduction “on the backs of some of the most vulnerable people in the country.”

“I am terribly disappointed and will do everything in my power to block President Obama’s proposal,” Sanders wrote.

Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, also criticised the chained-CPI proposal, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates could raise $124 billion in revenue and cut the deficit by $216 billion over a 10-year period.

In a joint statement, Grijalva and Ellison said that Obama was adopting what was essentially a Republican viewpoint toward entitlement programs. 

“Republicans have been trying to dismantle Social Security ever since President Roosevelt proposed it during the Great Depression,” they wrote. “We should not try to bargain for their good will with policies that hurt our seniors, especially since they’ve been unwilling to reduce tax loopholes for millionaires and wealthy corporations by so much as a dime.”

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, released his own similar statement decrying the proposal. 

And MoveOn appeared baffled by the proposal, lashing out at Obama in a statement from executive director Anna Galland, which noted that “Republicans in Congress aren’t even asking for this Social Security cut.”

“Millions of MoveOn members did not work night and day to put President Obama into office so that he could propose policies that would hurt some of our most vulnerable people,” Galland wrote. “Just as we fought and defeated President Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security, we will mobilize and stop this attempt to diminish the vital guarantee of Social Security.”