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Knox reports: "Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, one of Congress's most liberal members, is warning President Barack Obama not to 'go back on his word.'"

Sen. Bernie Sanders at a markup meeting of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, 03/21/13. (photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Sen. Bernie Sanders at a markup meeting of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, 03/21/13. (photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Sanders to Obama: Don't Touch Social Security

By Olivier Knox, Yahoo! News

05 April 13


ndependent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, one of Congress's most liberal members, is warning President Barack Obama not to "go back on his word" by offering to cut Social Security spending to reduce the deficit.

"Millions of working people, seniors, disabled veterans, those who have lost a loved one in combat, and women will be extremely disappointed if President Obama caves into the long standing Republican effort to cut Social Security and benefits for disabled veterans and their survivors through a so-called chained CPI," he said in a statement.

Sanders has been waging a campaign opposing the use of chained CPI, which would mean lower annual cost-of-living increases for Social Security benefits and veterans, and reduce help to the poor. Making the change would cut federal spending by roughly $130 billion over 10 years. But it would also adjust how taxes are calculated, generating about $100 billion in new revenue over the same period.

Obama will include it in his budget, to be unveiled April 10. Federal budgets are not like family budgets - they're non-binding spending roadmaps that serve chiefly as statements of political priorities and punching bags for political opponents. Even if Obama's budget passes both Houses (it won't), and he signs it into law, it's unlikely to have much impact on how Congress decides to spend federal dollars.

That's not to say that it's a wholly useless bit of theater. Washington has been at war over how best to reduce deficits and rein in the country's galloping debt. The budget says, in effect, what Obama might be willing to do to achieve those goals, which in turn puts pressure on congressional Democrats to fall in line.

Obama's support for that longstanding Republican wish-list item is not really a surprise. It's been a part of each of his "grand bargain" offers to the GOP for cutting the deficit. White House press secretary Jay Carney had said in his April 1 daily briefing that the proposal "remains on the table."

But Sanders, who chairs the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, recalled that candidate Obama promised Americans in 2008 that he would not cut Social Security.

"Having him go back on his word will only add to the rampant political cynicism that our country is experiencing today," the senator said.

How far would Sanders be willing to go to block chained CPI? His statement did not say, but in December 2010 Sanders won a lot of attention and liberal admiration for an 8.5-hour filibuster (quickly dubbed FiliBernie) against Obama's tax deal with Republicans.

"If Obama is serious about dealing with our deficit he would not cut Social Security," Sanders said. "Instead, he would support legislation that ends the absurdity of one out of four profitable corporations paying nothing in federal income taxes."

The lawmaker added, "He would also help us close the offshore tax haven loopholes that enable large corporations and the wealthy to avoid paying $100 billion a year in federal taxes." your social media marketing partner


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+137 # Barbara K 2013-04-05 10:51
Mr. President: We are counting on you to protect us. We have no one else we can count on who can do this. Keep SS, Medicare, and Medicaid OFF THE TABLE. Don't give in to the ones who are out to destroy us. They are using you do do that, don't fall into their trap. We have your back, Mr. President. Please have ours. We have no choice, but you do.

+79 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-04-05 13:03
Why would "someone" "cut" something we have bought and paid for? We, and our employers. When Bush said, "the account is stuffed with I.O.U.s," why did that not enrage us? I know that technically, this morning when I deposited money into my checking account, I was "making the bank a loan." If the government made loans from the Social Security account to the general fund w/o repayment provision (and no interest provision) that would normally be classified as fraud on the public. George Bernard Shaw:"the longer I'm here, the more I think this planet is used as an asylum for the insane."
+55 # RHytonen 2013-04-05 13:05
Quoting Barbara K:
Mr. President: We are counting on you to protect us. We have no one else we can count on who can do this. Keep SS, Medicare, and Medicaid OFF THE TABLE.

By the way, that should and MUST include SNAP and LIHEAP. Cuts there hurt the exact same people, and are thus IDENTICAL to cuts in SS or Medicare.

I don't know how to tell them America is ABSOLUTE on the rejection of the austerity approach that has Europe lurching from one recession to another, except to change your official registration to GREEN party - en masse- AND we absolutely MUST get UP, get OUT, and OCCUPY.

Blocking Fracking and the KXL Pipelne should be the poster child for our resistance.
+49 # Observer 47 2013-04-05 13:32
Wishful thinking, Barbara. Wake up and realize that Obama has the backs of the corporations, not the people. Always been so. You can wish and hope until the next election, but we still won't get "change we can believe in."
-5 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-04-06 12:40
One idea I am grateful for and I hope you share in my excitement. Obama did get the Affordable Care Act into law, helped bring the U.S. up to better international standards. Bill Maher, (hope you watched and enjoyed his show last night) defined some of those who tried to tried "pushback" progress, the Libertarians as "selfish pricks." And Mr. Maher has been affiliated with this party. Thinks this party is "going to hell."
+2 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-04-06 17:59
Well, I did not expect comment "green ink" regarding the comment Maher made, Libertarians. But then, I do not write for "green Ink" kudos. I got the title back from my brain, now in my possession. That happens when one leaves both, either of the two traditional parties. I vote as and registered as an "Indpendent." Such as Bernie Sanders. Much happier man for it.
+22 # lorenbliss 2013-04-05 15:08
Any member of the 99 Percent who still trusts Barack the Betrayer "to protect us" is no more than the U.S. equivalent of a "Good German" who supported Hitler – an ignorant, cravenly submissive voter whose lockstep conformity condemns us forever to the murderously exploitative realities of capitalism.

The time is long past for pleading to this president's humanitarian instincts, because he has made it clear he has none. His beneficence extends only to the One Percent – the Big Business/Wall Street aristocracy he serves so obediently – and at such terrible cost to all the rest of us.

Thus the petitioning of Barack the Betrayer is already proven pointless. Instead he should be jeered publicly for what he truly is: a moral imbecile, the most outrageous liar ever to occupy the White House, a reanimated Richard Nixon stripped of boorishness, outfitted with maliciously deceptive eloquence, wrapped in Afro-Democrat disguise and sold to the gullible by the same obscene huckstering that prompted an infinity of mothers to cripple their children with thalidomide.

Let the Ruling Class cocoon this all-time liar with whatever lavish and protective mantel it has promised him in repayment for his treacheries. Let us of the Working Class always remember him for what he is: not just Barack the Betrayer – the most maliciously dishonest president in U.S. history – but final proof our alleged “democracy” is the biggest of Big Lies.
-4 # Mannstein 2013-04-07 18:36
In 1933 Germans had to choose between Communists or National Socialists. The mainstream political parties of the Weimar Republic which were in and out of power since 1918 were a complete disaster and gave democracy a bad name. The Germans chose the lesser of two evils.
+27 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-04-05 18:18
When Gerald Ford was in office, he made the comment:"all wars are fought over natural resources." Why would a country that encourages us to say, ...... "with liberty and justice for all," then wage war against its own citizens and steal their, our money. Paper money may not be a natural resource, yet the labor one provides, the intelligent energy, is a human natural resource and we get paid in the form of currency for our energy expended. U.S.A., "the greatest country in the world." If i hear that quote again, I'm going to puke.
-4 # Mannstein 2013-04-07 18:37
Every time I hear that quote I reach for my side arm.
+27 # Sweet Pea 2013-04-05 18:51
Quoting Barbara K:
Mr. President: We are counting on you to protect us. We have no one else we can count on who can do this. Keep SS, Medicare, and Medicaid OFF THE TABLE. Don't give in to the ones who are out to destroy us. They are using you do do that, don't fall into their trap. We have your back, Mr. President. Please have ours. We have no choice, but you do.


Sorry, but I guess we can't trust anyone but ourselves. My father often said, "Don't ever let the government touch Social Security. It doesn't belong to the government--it belongs to the people, and if the government will keep their hands off of it, it will never be broken." Now, I understand that our government has "borrowed" from the fund, and it doesn't have enough money to meet the current payments, so the payment will have to be cut.
Have they paid interest? My Father must be turning in his grave today!
+7 # SMoonz 2013-04-06 02:31
This is where so many get things wrong. By placing your faith on one person or even on government to rescue us only leads to a false sense of security. Government and elected officials don't have your best interests at heart. It is up to you.
+17 # David Starr 2013-04-06 13:40
@Barbara K: Indeed, who can be counted on in the current vicious circle of Democrat and Republican rule?

They are few, like Bernie Sanders. Then there are many, like Obama, Dem leaders who have made it a habit of caving in. Yes, we've had Obama's back. But he has stuck a "knife" in ours'.
+91 # DPM 2013-04-05 10:58
I'm sorry Senator Sanders (one of my hero's), but President Barack Cave-in Obama will do what he has always done. He'll talk a good game, then do something else. He has done it for over four years and I can't see him changing. Many of his supporters, that I know, have finally come to the realization that he is not what he presents himself as being. He is a Republican. Just not as far right as many.
+6 # DeadlyClear 2013-04-05 12:47
Maybe what we see is a Hawaii culture that dates back hundreds of years of respecting and doing the bidding of the big land owners. I doubt it's an easy balance to be your own man in the Oval office. Sometimes the realization hits that US Senators have more independent power.
+16 # Observer 47 2013-04-05 13:34
Glad to see someone speaking the truth about Obama. What a huge disappointment- ---but not surprise----he' s been.
-16 # MidwestTom 2013-04-05 18:13
Social Security is already under heavy attack. When you it was reported today that 500,000 dropped out of the work force I strongly suspect that Social Security is one of the reasons. What do U mean? In 2009 SS was paying disability benefits to 3.4 million people with physical disabilities. However, Congress in late 2009 added Depression as a disability worthy of receiving SS benefits for life. By July of 2012 the number receiving Disability SS payments had grown to 8.5 million; by the end of February 2013 the number receiving SS disability benefits has exceeded 14 mullion. It appears that almost anyone can claim depression at any age, get a doctor to confer, and go on SS. Is this a great Country, or what? Work harder those of you with jobs, I feel depressed.
+10 # CTPatriot 2013-04-06 16:12
From the SSA's Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program 2009:

"In December 2009, over 8.9 million people received Social Security disability benefits as disabled workers, disabled widow(er)s, or disabled adult children. The majority (87 percent) were disabled workers, 10 percent were disabled adult children, and 3 percent were disabled widow(er)s."

and 2011 (2012 not released yet):

"In December 2011, just over 9.8 million people received Social Security disability benefits as disabled workers, disabled widow(er)s, or disabled adult children. The majority (87.5 percent) were disabled workers, 10 percent were disabled adult children, and 2.6 percent were disabled widow(er)s."

Rhetorical Question: Will right wingers ever stop publishing lies and talking out of their asses?
+2 # Rain17 2013-04-07 21:21
And the other fact is that the vast majority of people who apply to get benefits don't approved the first time. This link proves that point:

But inevitably every right-winger has the same story about the same able-bodied friend he/she has out there supposedly getting a very large check and not working. The facts just don't support that.
+4 # Rain17 2013-04-07 21:18
A few weeks ago I posted a link to a CBO study from 2010 on SSDI. One of the biggest myths that conservatives rant about is that "it's so easy to get disability.". If there is any social program that angers conservatives, indeed even more so than TANF/welfare, Medicaid, and foodstamps, it is SSDI. Almost every conservative friend of mine invariably provides the same story about that supposedly able-bodied person they know who is collecting benefits and defrauding the system.

Here are the facts:

Less than 50% of those who initially apply get approved for benefits. Of those who appeal their denials even a smaller number get approved.

Look at this link:

The article states that the average monthly benefit is $1065 per month. So how many people can live on that? At least in the DC area that doesn't even cover rent for a very modest apartment.

So who are all these people getting approved for benefits? The numbers are clear that getting approved is very difficult and that the process takes a long time. That's why there are tons of attorneys out there who represent those trying to get benefits. And they take 1/3rd of the retroactive benefits.

The facts just don't support your argument.
-78 # Johnny 2013-04-05 11:08
What is this "one of Congress' most liberal members" bullshit? Do we really need chickenshit propagandists like Knox to draw our conclusions for us? How about more news and less labeling?
+7 # RHytonen 2013-04-05 13:07
and more "ANONYMOUS" BLOCKING (not just voting against )by the Senator, instead of finally voting FOR bills like the Monsanto CR.
+15 # RHytonen 2013-04-05 13:21

The GREEN party (Mountain Party in WV) is the only non-corporatist party, and our ONLY hope to break corporate rule - (or, as a beginning, send the message we intend to do so at ANY cost (whch we should.)

It has to start somewhere.

And if that enabled even ORE corporatist rule (GOP) them at least the revolution we need would be better populated. Apparently some STILL have to be (figuratively)' hit over the head with' the truth: that they're WRONG to be 'conservatives' - if they have their own interests at heart.
-2 # Rain17 2013-04-07 21:26
Sorry I can't support the Green Party. The US system is not proportional like Israel, where even fringe parties can win seats in the Knessett if they get 2-3% of the vote. And furthermore, as a gay American, I can't afford the luxury of throwing elections to the Republicans.

Had John McCain or Mitt Romney won the election they would both appointed judges hostile to gay rights. They would have ensured that the ban on gays in the military remained. They would continue to defend DOMA. I can't afford to vote Green, lest have my hard-won civil rights taken away, just because Obama didn't deliver a perfect agenda. I can't make the perfect the enemy of the good.

I also had a relative die because she didn't have health insurance. And had the ACA been around at the time she fell ill, although I can't say for certain she would have lived, she would have had a better chance. She wouldn't have avoided seeing the doctor until it was too late. And although the ACA is not what I wanted and only stops some of the more extreme abuses of the US healthcare system, it is a lifeline for many Americans who would go without any care whatsoever.

I can't make the perfect the enemy of the good. The Greens are incapable of winning any major elections. And I can't afford the luxury of throwing my vote way because, should the GOP win, I would be paying the direct price for you all "sending a message".
+11 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-04-05 13:46
The real question is, "whether or not Bernie Sanders has enough power votes to make a difference?" I Like senator Sanders, made contributions to his campaign from my pension funds. But, if he does not have the vote power, huffing and puffing merely helps the chamber air conditioning system recirculate stale air.
+18 # Merschrod 2013-04-05 14:30
I agree - why is the conservation and protection of promises and a social contract called liberal in the first place?
+18 # phrixus 2013-04-05 11:08
"ndependent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, one of Congress's most liberal members, is warning President Barack Obama not to "go back on his word" by offering to cut Social Security spending to reduce the deficit."

Hell, Bernie. What HASEN'T Obama lied about? It's a pretty short list. In his own way, this President has been nearly as big a failure as Dubya. And that's saying something.
+12 # Merschrod 2013-04-05 14:33
Now that you mention it - Obama has continued the failures of the Bush administration. Smarter perhaps, more exciting as a speaker/propaga ndist, but he has failed the middle class as well as the down and out around the world in US war torn nations. He is also edging toward wars in N, Korea and Iran - same old same old from the past 20 years. And the press keeps its reporters in line.
0 # Rain17 2013-04-07 21:30
I'm sorry, but the ACA will help lots of people. It would have helped my family and my relative get a better chance of fighting the cancer that killed her. I'm also gay and realize that none of the progress that has been achieved the last few years with regard to gay rights would have happened under McCain and Romney administrations .

So, while I understand the frustration many of you have toward President Obama, as a gay American, I am grateful that he--and not John McCain or Mitt Romney--are President. And frankly, if either of them had won, none of the gay rights gains over the last few years would have happened.
+7 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-04-05 14:50
Campaign promises are poetry. Prose starts to push the poetry into the trash can when the successful candidate takes office.
+39 # DLT888 2013-04-05 11:22
We'll be more than disappointed. We'll be eating out of DUMPSTERS in our retirement. Obama has never been for the people. It's been a big show and he's an actor. When he was in the Senate, he always voted on Bush's side and never for the people. Why did people think he would change when he became president/dicta tor?
+10 # LML 2013-04-05 13:48
Please don't insult actors. He's a sell-out
+77 # DLT888 2013-04-05 11:24
Also - what Obama wants to do is THIEVERY! Social Security -- every cent -- is from people's paychecks!! It is OUR money for ourselves when we retired. We should never ever trust this government again.
+1 # HowardMH 2013-04-05 11:26
Obama the Wimp

Obama the Wimp

Obama the Wimp

Obama the Wimp has been taking advice from Bushie, ever since Bushie left the White House.

It all comes down to Bushie is still running things and Obama the Wimp is saying yesaa masser whatever you say.
+62 # PrinceDarrell 2013-04-05 11:36
1st and foremost.. Social Security needs to be separated from the federal budget, forever, a real lock box. The only thing it should be invested in is real estate, as in retirement villages where the people can do participatory budgeting... and older folks can support one another.
Talking about it in the same discussion is ridiculous.
1. Tax investment income at normal rates
2. Audit corporations, max out tax deductions
3. Audit and tax Not for profits and churches on non service materials and businesses
+7 # Merschrod 2013-04-05 14:36
Prince - please do not shuttle me off to depend on fellow old duffers - we need the youth to survive just was we supported the youth. Intergeneration al responsbility is important!
+71 # PrinceDarrell 2013-04-05 11:38
Oh and investigate offshore accounts. Offer an amnesty. Pay what you owe, or don't set foot in our borders our we'll arrest you.
+47 # cafetomo 2013-04-05 11:39
The GOP wet dream is to gut social services and hang it on the Dems.

Why is it we are given to expect one person as capable of redirecting generations of entrenched self interest?

At least this one seems to be trying to trade up, in our long list of injustice and grievances.

This POTUS may be a tool, but the last one was a patsy. The next will be a corporate prostitute, if we are not careful.
+13 # RHytonen 2013-04-05 12:58
Quoting cafetomo:
The next (President) will be a corporate prostitute, if we are not careful.

Name one indication that THIS ONE - for whom I voted -the first time- is not a corporate prostitute.
+6 # cafetomo 2013-04-05 14:14
Had we evidence, 'twould be matches to burn the witch. But allegations garner pledges that alligators will be prosecuted and little else.

Still, so many paranoid conspiracy freaks have been vindicated of late, is seems little more than a matter of time.

I'll get back to you when they put George on trial.
+15 # Observer 47 2013-04-05 13:38
Appointments of Geithner, Summers, Immelt; bail-outs and hand-outs to the banks; abandonment of single payer to give insurance companies tens of millions of new customers.....u h, don't look now, but Obama IS a corporate prostitute. Big-time!
+7 # Regina 2013-04-05 18:13
The last one was a crony, not a mere patsy.
+58 # giraffee2012 2013-04-05 11:42
If President Obama touches Social Security (etc) he will bring down the decent Dems in congress along with himself.

And if President Obama does screw with these "entitlements" - I'd join any revolution around even though I'm old and don't have any idea how to shoot a gun. (And probably would shoot myself in the foot in trying)
+68 # reiverpacific 2013-04-05 11:55
This would put Obama firmly in the "Fink" (betrayer of his own kind or in his case, those who voted for him in the hope of some progressive legislation) category.
I only know that since the combination of the appalling US for profit medical non-system and the Bankster-caused depression, my wife and I, both formerly successful and reasonably profitable small business owners, would be out on the street but for S.S.
Maybe that's what "they" want but any cuts would simply cause further hardship -and we are better off than many as we are healthy and housed.
Is it going to take a massive upsurge of new skid-rows and tent cities in and around US metropolises like blights and reminders of their own greed and inadequacy, to bring these smug, elitist bastards in both major parties to reality -or would they just turn the militarized S.S.-type Darth Vader police squads on us to flush the scum out to unseen swamplands?
-Or a new revolution?!
Pity that Sen' Sanders is one of the few courageous (Independent Socialist) voices to keep hammering away at the status-quo kind of like the US's ersion of vGeorge Galloway.
I remember Harry Reid just a couple of (pre-election) years ago stating loudly that he'd fight anything which tried to touch S.S. and related programs for seniors and disabled, and Ob' talking up the safety net in his campaigning -no wonder people of all political stamps trust their non-representat ives about as far as turning their backs on a charging Rhino.
+35 # jonahsbud 2013-04-05 12:18
Dear Mr. President, please don't cave in to the GOP's demands, I sincerely believe that
the Well to do, and especially the Filthy Rich can afford to help out, and will continue to believe it for the rest of my life! Ira D. York
+7 # LML 2013-04-05 13:50
He is not caving in - it is what he himself believes and wants. He tricked us....
+5 # cafetomo 2013-04-05 20:00
You cannot negotiate with people who say, "What's mine is mine, and what's yours is negotiable."

~John F. Kennedy

If you vote against Obama because he can't get stuff done, it's kind of like saying, "This guy can't cure cancer. I'm gonna vote for cancer.

~Chris Rock

If you think electing any one person into office will solve anything, then the electoral system is working perfectly.
+5 # DPM 2013-04-06 23:17
No thinking person expects that one person can, or should, be able to direct this government. What they do expect is that people stand up for and say what they believe. This president does neither. His party has become worthless, for our non-corporate citizens and the opposition is little more than a bunch of immoral criminals.
0 # Rain17 2013-04-07 21:31
You know what, as a gay American, I have to disagree with you. None of the advancement in gay rights would have happened had McCain or Romney won. I can't afford the luxury of living under anti-gay Republican presidents.
0 # Madmedic 2013-04-12 20:53
Quoting Rain17:
You know what, as a gay American, I have to disagree with you. None of the advancement in gay rights would have happened had McCain or Romney won. I can't afford the luxury of living under anti-gay Republican presidents.

we get the point that your are gay and proud of it, but that makes you a single issue supporter of this president. That's fine, so far as it goes, which isn't very far when you consider all there is to life other than just being able to love the person of your choice.

You are right to be grateful to Obama for what he's done for gay rights, but I hope that eventually you and other gays begin to realize that this president will be taking food off your table, a roof from over your head, and so many other negative things in your lives if you stay stuck in the rut of blindly supporting him simply because he stood up for what should have been your right(s) all along.

Even the freed slaves eventuallly realized that there was more to living than simply being FREE, like food, clothing, education, housing, etc. Your cause isn't going to backwards if Obama were to leave office, as he most certainly will some day. Ditch the euphoria and get a grip on your future as a full fledged member of our society. In the long run, gays, lesbians, bis, transgenders are all human beings and they have the same human needs as their straight brothers and sisters. Obama bears correcting, as he isn't doing what is best for ALL OF US.
+6 # Shar 2013-04-05 12:29
The action of the north korean appears to be very much like the repupublican ways, maybe they are making mmoney for themselves by training him or worse, paying him to train them.
The USA is no longer, when will we the people wake up to it?
+26 # jonahsbud 2013-04-05 12:31
Did I just read that right? Big corporations, most likely companies, etc. that move off shore probably pay nothing in taxes, and The GOP wants President Obama to cut say Vital Programs just so Filthy Rich Individuals, and their companies can say skate on Taxes! That's Outrageous!!!
Ira D. York
+11 # James Marcus 2013-04-05 12:37
Obama 'back on his word'; Seriously questioning this?
Obama is a pathological, and very intelligent, Liar. I do not even listen to the 'Change (etc) you can believe in', anymore.
Does anyone actually take him seriously, at face value?
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!
Devil-in -Disguise; now a pretty thin disguise.
Yes, I voted for him, first time around......
+19 # isafakir 2013-04-05 12:47
betrayal of fundamental principle. selling the family jewels to buy a pizza. takıng away the hard earned savings of the poor to make the rich even richer. takıng the food oıff the table of the old the sıck the dısabled and veterans to buy an even more cleptomanıac corporatocracy. taking our blood to feed a pig literally.
+19 # RHytonen 2013-04-05 12:56
Any "Democratic" Senator who does noti put a PERSONAL BLOCK on the overall budget bill OR CR

containing ANY cuts to SS benefits(which the chained CPI IS,)or to SNAP or LIHEAP

- and not just voting against the overall bill or an amendment in it-


No exceptions - not even Bernie. (yes I know he's an independent. But even HE has voted, for instance, for the MonsantoImmunit yAmendment-cont aining CR.He should hve BLOCKED it at any and ALL costs - very much including a government shutdown. The world food supply and survival of the human race DO trump any and all consequences of a U.S. government shutdown!

There is nothing more frightening than a givenrment that has ALREADY turned 100% Fascist - even its token Socialist.

You do NOT constantly be the only one who compromises, and you NEVER compromise with a monolithic, intransigent opponent.
+1 # Rain17 2013-04-07 21:33
You know what, if you have problems with Bernie Sanders, no elected Democrat will satisfy you. Unfortunately you and many other people on this board make the perfect the enemy of the good. Bernie Sanders is a great Senator and it's really unfair to judge him by one or two votes that he cast that didn't match your interests. Not everyone is going to vote 100% the way you want 100% of the time.
+5 # warrior woman 2013-04-05 13:28
It's been the plan all along: U.S. needs to make progress on deficit, IMF warns
"U.S. officials must act quickly to control government deficits or face slower growth and even more difficult choices in the future, the International Monetary Fund said Thursday in a report criticizing the tepid U.S. response to its rising public debt...
He noted that President Obama called for a freeze on discretionary spending during this week's State of the Union address. IMF officials have welcomed the step but said that spending cuts in pension and health entitlement programs are also needed."
+19 # PABLO DIABLO 2013-04-05 13:31
REMEMBER, Bush and Cheney borrowed from Social Security to fund the Iraq War off the books. Now they don't want to pay back that I.O.U. Wake up America. Vote the scum out.
+37 # NAVYVET 2013-04-05 13:35
To me even touching Social Security, except to increase benefits, is an IMPEACHABLE offense. Any others agree?

We need a new uprising like OCCUPY, only more people, more anger, more demands--and this time we must form a brand new Peoples Party. When the two bloated parties ask us to choose between Hitler and Goebbels, that is when we know the nation is no longer running from Constitutional principles. I thought disgusting Rahm Emmanuel had brainwashed Obama. Maybe it was the other way around.

I'm 77 and have been contributing my savings to Social Security from age 15, and worked for an income until I quit my last job at 67. No "retirement" for me. Who nowadays gets a pension?

Those SocSec contributions included periods where I'd been laid off during a recession, couldn't find permanent work, and had to pay twice to earn a living as a private contractor. My monthly SocSec deposit is MY money -- not an "entitlement" -- although I despise the trolls who treat "entitlement" as a dirty word, as if it's a bad thing to help our poorer neighbors! However you look at it, though, Social Security isn't an entitlement. It's OUR MONEY--not to be touched. Hands off, B.O.
-14 # Quickmatch 2013-04-05 15:03
Of course, if you got back only your money you'd be getting a lot less. Fact is, you paid for retirees retirement until you were 67, now have workers paying for your SS. Perhaps you need to look up the term entitlement. It's not a perjorative word. It just means guaranteed access to benefits established by legislation. At age 77 I don't think you will see any loss of SS benefits from Chained CPI that would reduce benefits by 3% or 4% by 2050--37 years from now. I for one, at age 71, would be very happy to see my SS benefits reduced by 4% by 2050--when I will be 108 years old (I should live so long!).
+9 # NAVYVET 2013-04-05 21:38
I guess you never heard of the word "investment."
+16 # independentmind 2013-04-05 17:11
It is insurance - not a free handout.
+2 # DaveHOz 2013-04-05 21:56
Quoting NAVYVET:
I thought disgusting Rahm Emmanuel had brainwashed Obama. Maybe it was the other way around.

I knew Rahm Emmanuel was disgusting long before Obama came along... Maybe I'm wrong, but I still believe the Obama presidency has been less "The West Wing" and more "Yes, Prime Minister", with Emmanuel (and others like Geitner, Axelrod, etc) having functioned as Sir Humphery Appleby to Obama's "now thoroughly house-trained" James Hacker.
+10 # jonahsbud 2013-04-05 13:40
Sorry Senator Sanders, it appears that someone quite possibly turned a deaf ear to what you were saying!!!
+7 # Michaeljohn 2013-04-05 14:01
Here is critical review of the NPR Planet Money story on Social Security disability payments. (
Fixing whatever problems may exist with SS requires better staffing and much more efficient processing, not cuts in support which is not likely in the current demonization of public sector employees.
+13 # Susan1989 2013-04-05 14:13
Shame on you, Mr. President. You lied to us all. Give the GOP hell...and do not cut what we paid into all over our working lives! Why is it that nothing is being done about the major corporations who are getting rich and paying no taxes...these are the real entitlements!
+13 # Vardoz 2013-04-05 15:27
Obama never did have a backbone- we are sorry we voted for him but Mitt would have been much worse. We need to vote out all the reps that support cutting Soc. Sec. We have already emailed Obama. There is no justification for cutting Social Security!!!! We are outraged!
+15 # Grr 2013-04-05 15:38
You're my man Bernie! God bless you, you tell it like it is. Sure wish there were more like you! It kills me to believe Obama has taken me... and the country as he has. I, along with many mny others have believed in him and worked and pledged our hearts out for him.How low can you go Obama? on soooo many critical issues you have failed us!
+11 # Vern Radul 2013-04-05 16:01
The comments above abjectly begging Obama to "Please sir don't cave to the republicans. Please sir be nice to us. Please??" are the epitome of insanity and self delusion.

It has been public knowledge for a long time - since long before the 2012 election - to anyone paying attention, that Obama has been planning this.

It is not Obama's fault that even though he promised transparency there are still some people who are still unable to see through him.
Everything he’s ‘accomplishing’ he’s accomplishing on purpose, because it’s what he sets out to accomplish.
He is NOT caving. When someone continually and repeatedly goes along on everything with someone else whom they 'claim' to be opposing, it's not 'caving'.

It's the plan. The INTENTIONAL plan.
“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,” Conyers, who has served in the House since 1965, said. “My response to him is to mass thousands of people in front of the White House to protest this,” Conyers said strongly.
0 # Madmedic 2013-04-12 21:22
You make sense here. one of the biggest problems we have is that Obama is now trying to establish his "legacy." He still thinks that he has a chance to go down in history as "the great compromiser" or something similar. He will do anything, including selling out future Social Security recipients to establish himsel as "the great dealm maker."

There's really very little power that anyone has over a president in his second term. The one clear power that is left over a 2n term Pres. is the power of impeachment. I think that it needs to be clearly established for Obama that if he keeps going down the road he has started on with Soc. Sec., a large group of his former supporters will begin calling for his impeachment. Let him contemplate that nightmare as another possible legacy for himself.

A successful impeachment is farfetched, but just the ideaf the word associated with his name in future history books should be enough to convince him to back off from his Soc. Sec. cave in and maybe some of his other neo-con type positions. If he were to be succesfully impeached and removed from office Biden would succeed him, leaving Biden as an incumbent in 2016. At this point I trust Biden a lot farther with the averge American's welfare than I do Obama.

I know some say "petition him," others say "demonstrate," but I think the real, perhaps the only, way to get this President's attention is to threaten his legacy.
+5 # Vern Radul 2013-04-05 16:35
Romney would have been as bad as obama.

The lesser of two evils 'argument' is pathetic. It's not even an argument. It's an excuse.

Lesser of two evils voting for decades is what got America into the pathetic shape it's in now.

If you voted for romney or for obama you chose evil, with eyes wide open.

If you voted for obama you won. You got what you asked for.

You won not having to spend 4 years pretending all over again to be opposed to imperial wars, murder of innocent kids around the world with hellfire missiles, global US Govt. state sponsored terrorism, huge handouts being shoveled out the Treasuries door for insurance CEO's and wall street, corporate ownership of a puppet in the oval office, torture of American prisoners in American prisons, etc., etc., and all the other bullsh*t obama has been getting away with so effortlessly that neither Romney nor any other republican would ever have a hope in hell of putting over on people without every democrat screaming for impeachment for 4 years, while the country continues it's ever more rapid slide over the edge.

And he won't have to listen to protests from his supporters while he forges his grand bargain to give Wall Street control of Social Security so they can get rich bankrupting it with fees till it's time for them to organize another "crash' so Obama can bail them out again. With guess whose money...

More people now have more hope for more real change they can believe in than ever before.
-3 # Rain17 2013-04-07 21:38
As a gay American I didn't "choose evil". I'm sorry, but I can't afford the luxury of demanding the politically impossible, making the perfect the enemy of the good, and then throwing elections to Republicans by voting third party. Many Americans can't afford to make the perfect the enemy of the good.

I'm gay and I do know that a Romney or McCain administration would have defended DOMA. I also know that they would have appointed conservative judges hostile to gay rights. And the ban on gays in the military would still be there.

Secondly I lost a relative because she didn't have insurance. And the ACA would have helped her and at least given her a fighting chances. Yes the ACA was hardly perfect and doesn't come close to solving the horrors of the US healthcare system, but it at least offers hope to many Americans who would have no coverage at all otherwise.

I'm sorry but I really resent your argument that I "chose evil". No Democrat, even someone like Barbara Lee or the Independent Bernie Sanders, could satisfy you.
+12 # Vern Radul 2013-04-05 16:37
On March 1, 2013, across-the-boar d cuts of $85 billion [went] into effect, wreaking havoc on most government operations. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and what’s left of welfare are not directly affected, but these so-called “entitlement” programs have, in fact, always been the primary targets of this cascade of manufactured crises... Obama is fully complicit in the corporate-impos ed charade.
It was Obama who swallowed whole the corporate argument, previously championed by Republicans, that the national debt was Crisis Number One and that entitlement programs were the root cause. From the moment in January of 2009 when Obama served notice that Social Security and all other entitlements would be put on the chopping block, he became the chief mover and shaker for so-called entitlement reform. He created the model for austerity, through his Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction commission. It was Simpson-Bowles that provided the basis for the massive cuts offered by President Obama in 2011. When the Republicans balked at even a modest tax increase for the rich, it was the White House National Economic Council Director, the corporate deal-maker Gene Sperling, who came up with the sequestration scheme, which was timed to explode right after the 2012 elections. The idea was to make every popular constituency in the country scream – and accept the inevitability of massive entitlement cuts.
+10 # Vern Radul 2013-04-05 16:39
Something has to be done to put a stop to republicans - and democrats - caving to obama.

He bends over backwards and falls all over himself to compromise and - pre-emptively - give republicans anything they want. He's a republicans wet dream of a president. And his supporters still fall all over themselves to make excuses for him and cheer while he drones them.


Thousands of Medicare patients lost chemotherapy because of Obama's sequester.

In one series of clinics in NY, over 5,000 Medicare chemotherapy patients are now being turned away because of the sequester. Multiply that nationwide.
0 # Madmedic 2013-04-13 09:33
[quote name="Antemediu s"]Something has to be done to put a stop to republicans - and democrats - caving to obama.


Thousands of Medicare patients lost chemotherapy because of Obama's sequester.

In one series of clinics in NY, over 5,000 Medicare chemotherapy patients are now being turned away because of the sequester. Multiply that nationwide."

Undoubtedly some of these patients will die because of this unconsionable cutback. Obama and his neo-fascist neo-con co-conspirators will be equally to blame for their deaths. This is just another case where the "chess playing" Obama has been out foxed by the "checkers playing" good old boys of the tea party republicans.

Obama just doesn't get it. You can't compromise with the neo-cons. They eat compromisers for lunch. Even Obama's supposed crowning achievment, the Affordale Care Act is subject to their ultimate destructive desires. He allowed it's eventual destruction to be built in when he gave up on the single payer concept and opened the door to the henhouse for the insurance industry to eventually bankrupt the program through their involvement in it. Sad, sad, sad.
+11 # independentmind 2013-04-05 17:06
Instead of going for the chained CPI we should have no limit on the amount subject to social security taxes. Inherently this tax favors the higher income vs the dual earner households. Why is there a ceiling? Why are federal, state and municipal employees in different systems?
+10 # Group_Capt_Lionel_Mandrake 2013-04-05 19:02
Organize a "march on Washington." We need to start a campaign of intimidation. The so-called elite took our eyes of the ball with their "anti-gun" and "gay marriage" issues, which have captured the headlines. Those are second-rate issues. This is the Big One.
+4 # FLAK88 2013-04-05 19:20
Nothing makes me more angry than another man causing me to doubt my own judgement. Right now, I can care less if this sinks the Dems in 2014.
0 # Madmedic 2013-04-13 09:52
YOu hit the nail squarely on the head with your comment!

There's no more passionate enemy than a former supporter you've screwed over for the last time! This is why I say it's time to start using the "I" word whenever we see/hear Obama proposing to sell us out to the one percenters.

If we really want to get the President's attention, we/ve got to be at least as big a threat to his legacy as the republicans. What's the biggest personal fear among most presidents? I say it's the fear of having their name go down in the history books in that short list of President's who were impeached. Forget about their being convicted ... just the association of that word with their name sends shivers down their backs.

We may have been hood winked, even for a second time, but that doesn't mean we are helpless!
+11 # Vern Radul 2013-04-05 20:04
"Austerity" definition....

Something 310 million Americans subject themselves to by acting like they are outnumbered by a few thousand wall streeters, media moguls, insurance company and weapons manufacturer and oil company execs and other assorted 'plutocrats', 100 senators, 435 congresspeople, and maybe a couple of hundred in the US Administration.

And while preparing to live as slaves under neo-feudalism for the next 500 years.
+6 # jky1291 2013-04-06 23:44
It is doubtful humanity will survive another 50 years at the rate of decline we are witnessing. That is why it is so ludicrously disingenuous for the Republicans to show any concern about the deficit they created or the future of Social Security whose recipients they obviously intend to make victims of their insidious brand of genocide, through exploitation, abuse, deprivation of housing and healthcare, and finally starvation. The time is rapidly approaching when the spirit of the American Revolution will once again arise in the citizens of this nation to overthrow the intransigent status quo. Unfortunately, the greedy ruthlessness of the 1% will probably lead to a result resembling the French and Russian Revolutions, which was a tragedy for thousands of people, especially the wealthy aristocracy. Those who choose to ignore the collective will of the people would be wise to be careful for what they wish, because they may get their wish with results they cannot survive. Those who ignore the lessons of history make victims of themselves in its repetition.
+7 # the all seeing eye 2013-04-05 23:26
President Obama, While you sleep in comfort, and, eat in comfort, and, your servants are at your beck, and, call, We seniors are trying to make ends meet. AS a senior, Social Security is my only means of survival. I do not receive any other income. If the government hadn't stolen from the Social Security, fund in the first place, we wouldn't be in the fix we're in. What are we seniors supposed to do, commit suicide? Hasn't the government taken enough of our incomes up till now? Are you proud of the way seniors are treated in this country?
+4 # DRPJJ 2013-04-05 23:43
Our Planet as the Theatre of the Absurd perhaps? Where there was hope, there is now utter contempt for him and his entourage of sycophants. Or is it the other way around. Where there is no need to fight, much noise is made to show how "of the people" he is, but where the need is great to show strength of convictions, he slides his slimy capitulations into bills when there would appear something else at stake so the addition won't be noticed. We can shout and cry, but the die has been cast to take away the one thing that was solvent, and would continue to be ad infinitum, and WAS NOT NOR EVER WAS A PART OF THE BUDGET is so unconscionable! ! Cast the bugger out as the treasonous gnarly hypocrite he is. Social Security is NOT an entitlement, but a paid for benefit for years worked. Now I'm no longer proud to be an American, but ashamed to think we've allowed ourselves to be played for fools, and left struggling to understand our stupidity. Neither "party" had the PEOPLE'S interests at heart, but now we KNOW what those craven, greedy liars, really think of our nation!!
0 # Madmedic 2013-04-12 21:34
The threat of IMPEACHMENT, a "tarnished legacy" is the one thing that can throw the fear of God into a second term president, especially this one who so wants to leave a "positive legacy."

I say the threat of IMPEACHMENT needs to be used loudly and frequently when Obama starts going off the deep end with his plans for restructuring Social Security.
After all, Soc. Sec. is about all that remains of the American Dream for most of us peasants and our children and grand children.
+5 # Vern Radul 2013-04-06 07:18
You all know what has to be done...
+4 # grouchy 2013-04-06 09:50
For this crazy stuff, I'd love to see another Berniefilie!

Love 'ya Bernie! You my man!
+6 # Vern Radul 2013-04-06 10:04
There is a quote attributed to Voltaire:

"The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor."

Perhaps that is the basis of Obama's eleven dimensional plan to kill off enough of the poor to break the backs of the rich? Isn't he wonderful?

The rich will never suspect or see it coming.

Before it's too late....
+7 # tuandon 2013-04-06 12:17
I have been paying into Soc Sec since I was 16. If these schmucks "cut" it, I am going to rebel. I have had it with the lot of them inside the Beltway, and want to see ALL of them turned out of office. BUT...Even with Obama's "offer" I notice the Rethuglicans are balking. There seems to be no pleasing them.
+6 # PABLO DIABLO 2013-04-06 13:59
"There is infinite hope, but not for us". --- Kafka
+1 # Mannstein 2013-04-07 18:52
This is just the beginning. One day people will wake up and be told their bank account balances are half of what they were the day before. Cyprus is the model of the future. I've just moved what little money I have to the Banco di Matress for safe keeping.
+1 # lark3650 2013-04-08 11:32
A lone voice in the Senate....a loud voice of the people, by the people and for the people.
+1 # lark3650 2013-04-08 11:39
When the banks were supposedly heading toward financial ruin, who bailed them out?....the American supposedly social security is in trouble - gee, seems like reciprocation is in order, don't you think?

We don't a president...we need a Robin Hood!
+1 # tanis 2013-04-10 14:18
Need money? How about dismantling the Military Industrial Complex? One of the few democratic institutions left is social security. Please do not touch it.

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