President Obama tried unsuccessfully to include cuts to Social Security in the recent so called "fiscal cliff" negotiations, but it's expected he will try again in upcoming "debt ceiling" debates.
Here's the president on Meet The Press on Dec. 30 talking about the fiscal cliff negotiations to NBC's David Gregory:
By "real technical," Obama means, "I think I can pawn this off on people and get away with not having to explain that it's a cut to Social Security, that it means I'll be forcing the Social Security Administration to use a different formula for calculating inflation when they calculate the cost of living adjustments to peoples' Social Security checks, so it means Social Security will no longer keep up with inflation, and that as time goes by, seniors, who paid into Social Security their whole lives and were depending on it and stupidly thought we in government would keep up our end of the bargain, will have to figure out how to get my on less and less every year, and it means that I, and the people who run the Democratic Party and support it with campaign contributions don't even need Social Security because we've done pretty well, and it means those masses of working class seniors who buy into our election year populist rhetoric time after time and vote for us year after year because we scare the shit out of them about what the Republicans will do, it means that they can whine and moan but they can kiss our well of asses because we'll still be doing alright."
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Here are some charts I used in an earlier post that talked about how Social Security has lifted millions of American retirees out of poverty. The charts also give an indication of how New Deal (Franklin Roosevelt) and Great Society (Lyndon Johnson) programs lifted many other Americans out of poverty.
The charts are by Robert Plotnick of the University of Washington who has spent his career studying poverty and cover periods starting when the US government began publishing data on each category. Note that the US poverty rate was well above 50 percent, which meant that for seniors it would be even worse.