President Obama’s decision to include cuts to Social Security benefits in his budget is wrong policy and dumb politics.
His chained CPI plan is wrong because it hurts Americans who have worked hard their entire lives and who need the support that Social Security gives them. It is wrong because Social Security is financed separately and does not contribute to the deficit. And it is dumb politically because:
1. Republicans will now call the chained CPI Obama’s proposal – or the Democratic proposal.
2. Republicans will try to pass these cuts – because cutting Social Security has always been their goal.
3. Whether the chained CPI passes or not, Republicans will attack Democrats in the next election for trying to cut Social Security.
Furthermore, in the 2014 Congressional elections seniors will vote in larger numbers than the rest of the population – and they will punish Democrats.
The best way to lower the federal deficit is to get Americans back to work so we can pay taxes and decrease deficits as a percentage of a growing economy.
Today’s jobs numbers are proof that misguided austerity is harming the recovery. America should be investing, not cutting.
Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit and should not even be part of this conversation.
Join the Campaign for America’s Future in fighting cuts to Social Security benefits. Sign the petition to President Obama: No Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid cuts in your budget.
Roger Hickey is the co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future, a center for ideas and action that works to build an enduring majority for progressive change. OurFuture.org