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Excerpt: "Obama made his position clear on Sept. 6, 2008, when he said: 'John McCain's campaign has suggested that the best answer for the growing pressures on Social Security might be to cut cost of living adjustments or raise the retirement age. Let me be clear: I will not do either,' Obama said. The American people expect the president to keep his word."

Bernie Sanders says Obama must keep his promise not to touch Social Security. (photo: AP)
Bernie Sanders says Obama must keep his promise not to touch Social Security. (photo: AP)

Hands Off Social Security

By Sen. Bernie Sanders, Reader Supported News

08 July 11


s Social Security emerged as a target in White House budget negotiations, Sen. Bernie Sanders insisted that the retirement program must not be cut as part of any deficit reduction deal. "Let us be clear," Sanders said. "Social Security has not contributed one nickel to our deficit or our national debt." The program that benefits more than 50 million seniors and disabled has a $2.6 trillion surplus, he stressed, and will be able to provide full benefits for every eligible American for the next 25 years. "I am especially disturbed that President Obama is considering cuts in Social Security after he campaigned against cuts in 2008," Sanders added.

Obama made his position clear on Sept. 6, 2008, when he said: "John McCain's campaign has suggested that the best answer for the growing pressures on Social Security might be to cut cost of living adjustments or raise the retirement age. Let me be clear: I will not do either," Obama said. "The American people expect the president to keep his word," Sanders said.

According to a coalition of seniors groups, Social Security Works, a change in the way Social Security cost-of-living adjustments are calculated would cost seniors hundreds of dollars a year in benefits. The Congressional Budget Office estimates adoption of the so-called "Chained-CPI," which would be used to determine Social Security's annual COLA, would cut be nefits by $112 billion over 10 years. The Social Security Administration chief actuary estimates the effects of this change would be that beneficiaries who retire at age 65 and receive average benefits would get $560 less a year at age 75 than they would under current law and get $1,000 less a year at age 85 - a 3.7 percent cut and a 6.5 percent cut, respectively. The proposal would cut $1.6 trillion over Social Security's 75-year valuation period - mainly from the oldest of the old, primarily women and those who are disproportionately poor.

Cutting Social Security is opposed by overwhelming majorities of Americans. A recent survey by Public Policy Polling in swing states echoed findings of other national polls. When voters in Ohio were asked this spring if they would support or oppose cutting spending on Social Security to reduce the national debt, only 16 percent favored that approach compared to 80 percent who were opposed. There were nearly identical results in other states. Meanwhile, strong majorities favor increased revenue from the wealthiest Americans and most profitable corporations should be part of any deficit reduction package. "In poll after poll, the American people agree there must be shared sacrifice," Sanders said.

Listen to the Senator and radio host Ed Schultz discuss the deficit and Social Security. your social media marketing partner


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+44 # rm 2011-07-08 17:45
Thank, Bernie Sanders. I hope you will filabuster forever if the bill to increase the debt limit includes ANY reference to Social Security. You are right. SS has not contributed to the deficit or debt. The opposite is true. SS surpluses have been used to cover part of the deficit for 30 years.

I'm really getting tired of Obama's bullshit. Here it is in 2008 -- "Obama made his position clear on Sept. 6, 2008, when he said: "John McCain's campaign has suggested that the best answer for the growing pressures on Social Security might be to cut cost of living adjustments or raise the retirement age. Let me be clear: I will not do either,"

Why does he concede to the republican lie of "growing pressures on social security." Once he accepts that lie, it is a slippery slope to cutting SS benefits. The pressures on SS are not growing. They are the baby boom generation and that bulge in retired people was accounted for in the 1980s. The SS trust fund can handle the baby boom bulge. When it is close to running out, the boomers will mostly be dead. Dead people don't get social security payments.

Of course, the republicans do not intend to pay back the social security trust fund. This is secret no one will mention. They will force homeowners with fraudulent mortgages to pay, but republicans in government won't pay back the trust fund.
+5 # AML 2011-07-10 20:58
We need to run a few ads reminding the President and the American people of exactly that quote. Perhaps the pressure, along with the polls, will make him keep his campaign promise.
+21 # Kayjay 2011-07-08 19:37
It's true, it's true, as said above that Obama is full of shit. In this time of gravity and need, how can a country trust a man like this. No change has transpired, it's just the same old song and dance with a different face behind the oval office desk.
+13 # Hors-D-whores 2011-07-09 00:17
If only we had more like Bernie Sanders in Congress! Is anybody really fooled by the GOP's continuance to obstruct any real progress with the economy, with jobs, with end of international conflicts. Their whole aim is to make the Democrats and especially President Obama ineffective. That the GOP insists that raising taxes on millionaires+an d/or corporations not a good thing, should be obvious to anyone with an IQ o 60 that they are totally beholding to them and don't give a good god fig about America or its people.
+4 # Sukumar 2011-07-10 21:12
Will this country EVER have the sense to elect someone like Bernie as President?
+11 # btbees 2011-07-09 00:41
All budget discussions immediately target cutting Social Security, Medicaid, and social services. It is politically incorrect to identify the main cause of budget deficit, Military Spending - the root of the budget crisis! We are in the “Business of War”. They are not “wars”, but “military conflicts of choice” and the financial elite are making a fortune. Teachers are being laid off, yet one missile will pay the salary of 280,000 teachers for one year. No Social Security COLA increase for two years, yet an amount in excess of what was needed has gone to one military contractor, Northrop, for unmanned planes, Drones. We now have Drones killing people in seven countries! In his Farewell Address in 1961 Dwight Eisenhower expressed his concern about the Military Industrial Congressional Complex and its future consequences.
+17 # propsguy 2011-07-09 04:51
why won't anyone deal with the obvious solution: get rid the the damn income cap on social security. that would fully fund it.
and if the program is in trouble, it's because the government has "borrowed" from it for their little wars
+10 # Sir Real 2011-07-09 07:31
Who will rise to challenge the Conciliator-in- Chief? There has to be a challenge to the President. He has failed to uphold the platform he ran on and has abandoned the base,the people and his party. A true champion of the people could win the nomination and the election if they were to follow through on the progressive reforms this country must undertake to right the economy.
If yu are collecting Social Security or ever hope to the Republicans and the T party do not represent you. If you are under water on your mortgage or worse,in forclosure,Repu blicans and the T party do not speak for you.
Sadly,this president has adapted the rhetoric of the conservatives and is intent on co-opting their agenda of austerity for the 99% of Americans.This is totally unacceptable and he must be challenged. If he comes around to the Democratic platform he ran on,good for him and the country. If he maintains his rightward lurch,he will lose, as he should. Is there anybody out there? Americans are waiting.
+1 # Sukumar 2011-07-10 21:14
You are too kind. He is the Capitulator-in- Chief
+10 # mtnview 2011-07-09 09:37
Obama has repeatedly failed to keep his word with the American people. Countless examples. If he trades Social Security and Medicare cuts, he will be one-term. Its time to put forward a democratic challenger that is not beholding to Wall Street and Banksters.
+7 # lark3650 2011-07-09 11:59
Good luck with that quest! As Thomas Paine said: "When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary." Our leaders have forgotten that it is their job to fight in defense of weak children and older folks. They have forgotten that it is their job to uphold the American form of government in which the people have a voice in the management of their own affairs. They have forgotten that they have a moral responsibility to do what is right for the American people.
They say: "We want to do what is right for the American people." Well, the actions do not match!
+3 # David Roth 2011-07-09 10:09
I agree with Sen Sanders. But let's be clear. His SS analysis is deeply flawed. (As is Harry Reid's) If the SS situation is analysed on a cash basis, it is clear that recently the cash inflow became less than the cash outflow.
But, the vaunted surplus cash has been raided and used up by the unscrupulous Bush. Thus, what remains is simply an obligation. And like all USA obligations must be funded by borrowing. (Additional taxation is clearly out of the picture.)
Like all our borrowing, this will add to our deficit (in this case, in the amount of trillions.) And will likely be monetized by the Fed to create even more massive inflation.
+1 # cadan 2011-07-09 11:56
David --- i don't think it's correct to characterize Sanders' analysis as "deeply flawed": it is just not in terms of cash flow.

After all, if i have $10,000 in the bank and i'm drawing it down for expenses, then it is negative cash flow, but the bank still has to pay me, selling off its assets to do so if necessary.

Likewise, if for a few years there is more outflow from SS than contributions, they should be paid for by the "bank" (the govt) which after all took our "deposits" (our SS taxes), selling off its assets or canceling wars if necessary.

This is not a prediction of what will happen, of course.

But i think i can predict that if the govt does manage to reneg then its (and our) fate will be like that of a dishonest bank. Even after stealing the SS surplus we will not win our crusade against the Moslems and Arabs, but instead we'll be left with a collapsed empire, and the "bankers" will eventually go off to "prison".
+4 # Zora L. Kolkey, MFT 2011-07-09 16:59
This President has sold out continuously from the very beginning starting with his appointments of Clinton retreads to his cabinet. Guantanamo is still open; there is much less transparency now than during the Bush years; more military personnel fighting in the Middle East; more attacks on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. I could go on and on. Someone has to run against him on a progressive Democratic platform or we have to be serious about starting a third party!
+1 # geraldom 2011-07-09 18:16
I respect and I support Senator Bernie Sanders, but he's only one person, one Senator. I've heard him speak very strongly about many things in the past, Bills that he would not allow to be passed, but they got passed anyway because the Senate Democrats will not support him. When he filibustered the Senate, he knew that he would lose because there wasn't enough Democratic votes to maintain it. If the Senate Democrats do not support him this time, if he can't get 40 other Senators to back him up, and if the Senate Democrats once again act like Lemmings and follow Obama off the cliff by once again caving in to Republican demands, Senator Bernie Sanders can in no way prevent any cuts to Social Security, or Medicare, or Medicaid.
0 # Sukumar 2011-07-10 21:18
not if WE convince our Senators, Representatives and President that NO WAY can they get re-elected if they fool with Social Security or Medicare.
0 # Regina 2011-07-09 20:44
We have to hope that people will listen to him, and stop to think about what he's saying and why it's opposite to the propaganda they're being fed by the connivers. Then we have to hope that the awakened people can get to the polls and vote, in spite of the tricks and traps now being enacted in "red" states to make them ineligible.
+6 # giraffee2012 2011-07-10 13:43
Mr. Sanders - if there is sufficient funding - would you consider running against President Obama for the 2012 election? I ask bc 1) if the President gives in the the GOP (re Social Security, etc), the Democrats will not vote for him (or just not vote) in 2012. 2) If he does not cave in the the GOP/TP will not raise the limit, again he will be blamed and lose his base bc of all of us who will lose a big chunk of our savings and receive no Social Security/Medica re (etc) 3) The Medical reform bill took $500B from social security and now Congress is going to take another (don't know the # of billions to fund "trade" agreements with Chili (etc)) -- and thus Social Security will be bankrupt about 2020 (or sooner)

Therefore, President Obama is between a rock and a hard place AND "we the people" want to vote OUT TP/GOP and not default to another R president (such as Rick Perry or one funded by the Koch Mafia)

I may not have the $$ correct but close enough to make my point.

Friday the House approve another large budget for military for Iraq/Afghanista n (which includes building their rodes/schools etc) while there is no $$ approved for such jobs in the USA.

The only interest the GOP has is "not" for USA but to control the W.H. and that is unacceptable.

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