Rep. Conyers: Obama Demanded Social Security Cuts–Not GOP

I’m thinking that people are getting tired of my seemingly tinfoil-hatted posts on Obama’s war on Social Security, but here goes…

Rep. Conyers: Obama Demanded Social Security Cuts–Not GOP

“We’ve got to educate the American people at the same time we educate the President of the United States.  The Republicans, Speaker Boehner or Majority Leader Cantor DID NOT call for Social Security cuts in the budget deal.  THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES CALLED FOR THAT,”  declared US Representative John Conyers in a press conference held by members of the House “Out of Poverty’ Caucus on 07/27/11.”

Conyers added “”My response to him (President Obama) is TO MASS THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE IN FRONT OF THE WHITE HOUSE TO PROTEST THIS.”

(Source: click here)

This declaration is significant both politically and morally as Conyers is not only the second most senior representative in the House, but was also the first member of Congress to endorse candidate Obama.  Conyers doesn’t merely draw a moral “line in the sand’ but he presents a candid picture of violent contrasts between himself and the first African-American president.

Days before his inauguration, Obama suddenly called for getting Social Security under control.  He created the Catfood Commission that was clearly designed to recommend deep cuts in Social Security – and they did recommend a 22% in average benefits over time.  He continues to use the tricky (and sometimes amusing) language that he’ll not “cut” Social Security for current recipients but not “slash” it for future recipients.

And now, what seems to be a unilateral call to cut Social Security.

Given that the odds are that Social Security is fully solvent for at least 75 years (tricky accounting aside), this seems to be a sick fetish for this president.


11 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. It's true

    I would quibble that he sprung it after the election, though. He talked about it during the primaries.

  2. I hate to say I told you so, but...

    …I favored Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama because I felt the former had a lot more experience. I honestly don’t remember much of the substance of what Obama said during the campaign about entitlements. I DO remember being nervous about his health care ideas because they sounded a little too close to Massachusetts with its mandates and such. His supporters insisted he was the progressive messiah based almost entirely on the idea that he always opposed the Iraqi campaign unlike Clinton and Edwards who both voted for it. I hope people think twice next time before they draw conclusions about an entire philosophy based on a single issue. I’m very disappointed, but maybe not as surprised as some because Obama DID constantly talk of bringing people together. Honestly I get that appeal; it appeals to me too. However I discovered a long time ago that working together is a negative for the other side whereas the President still seems to think he can make it work.

    • From the land of counter-factuals

      Quite possibly, in an alternative universe in which President Clinton is now presiding with sinking popularity and a rabid Congress, an Obama supporter is replying in just this way to the alternative universe’s christopher.

      There were lots of liberals around in December 2008 warning that a Democratic President would disappoint. He hasn’t, er, disappointed.

      President Clinton would have just disappointed us differently.

      • Ok, granted we'll never know for sure...

        …but I strongly suspect Clinton would have fought harder than Obama. The Clinton who DID become President certainly did!

  3. I've been saying this for days.

    Elizabeth Drew has the story:

    In early July, when Obama suddenly injected Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid into the deficit and debt negotiations, many, perhaps most, Democrats were dismayed. They believed that the President was offering up the poor and the needy as a negotiating gambit. (His position was that if the Republicans would give on taxes, he’d give on entitlements.) A bewildered Pelosi said after that meeting, “He calls this a Grand Bargain?” And she came down firmly against any changes in those programs that would hurt beneficiaries.

    Moreover, the Democrats had their own political reasons for opposing reductions in Medicare benefits. They had had great success in campaigning against Paul Ryan’s bizarre proposal, adopted by the House (despite even Boehner’s expressed misgivings), that would turn Medicare into a voucher system. According to Ryan’s plan the government would give future eligible Medicare recipients $6,000 and let them shop for private insurance. (Good luck.)

    Having made Ryan’s proposal the centerpiece of the campaign, the Democrats had recently won a special election in a New York district that had been held by the Republicans since the 1950s. The Democrats believed they were onto a good thing.

  4. Inflation is gutting Social Security anyway

    How can you defend Social Security when your party is happy to have all kinds of Quantitative Easing which will cut benefits through inflation?

    You are bravely holding the line on the number of dollars they will pay out… They will just get around you by inflating the dollar and paying out dollars that meet your numerical target but will be worth less.

    • What inflation?

    • But we're told that there's no inflation.

      That’s why there’s been no COLA increase the last two years. And, in fact, even the current formula for calculating COLA increases overstates inflation, we’re told.

      • oil prices?

        Isn’t it funny how everything is going up, food, gas, clothes, but somehow there is some discrete reason for every different product. Oil prices went up because of the Deepwater Horizon… no because of Libya… no because of the mean oil companies. Cars are expensive because of the tsunami in Japan and food is expensive because of Russia and the drought… no climate change…. uh something, but it’s not inflation… and gold is through the roof because of the AM radio ads.

    • Or to put it differently

      One gets concerned if government policy leads to a wage-price spiral. When that happens inflation gets baked in and it’s very difficult to bring it down; it’s very easy for it rise. Government policy should really avoid that.

      Currently, wages are frozen or falling. The danger of a wage-price spiral is minimal.

      The opposite danger is that this level of unemployment will become baked in and we’ll come to regard 7% unemployment as low.

      That is a real danger.

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