Granny Bird Award: Barach Obama
This Granny Bird Award, given from time to time to those who go out of their way to harm the interest and benefits of the elders, goes to President Obama for his unconscionable proposal to cut Social Security benefits.
From the Los Angeles Times:
As part of his new budget, President Obama will propose cutting Social Security and other government benefits by lowering the cost-of-living adjustment, putting a key GOP negotiating demand into a formal White House proposal for the first time.
The proposed change to the government's inflation measure, the consumer price index, is opposed by many congressional Democrats, although House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) recently suggested she was willing to consider it, if it could be done in a way that did not hurt the poor. ...
A senior administration official said that the president’s budget, which he will send to Congress next week, was not his “ideal deficit reduction plan,” but also said, “This is a compromise proposal built on common ground, and the president felt it was important to make it clear that the offer still stands.” ...
Organized labor, as well as seniors and veterans groups, has raised objections, and the Senate unanimously rejected the proposal in a symbolic vote last month as Republicans, too, appeared uninterested in pursuing it. [Emphasis added]
Of course the Republicans are uninterested in pursuing it: conservative elders already on Social Security and those 55 and older don't want it. They all know that the chained CPI actually lowers the benefit appreciably, especially over the life-time of the plan. It is simply bad for elders, all elders.
And by opening negotiations with this "capitulation," President Obama has made it clear that he simply doesn't care about Social Security or the elders. He just wants his "Grand Bargain" as detailed by Simpson and Bowles.
What he also doesn't care about is the 2014 elections, during which the GOP will run campaign ads pointing out that it was the Democrats who want to destroy this key benefit, thereby making it difficult for Democrats running for the House and Senate.
Congratulations, Mr. President. You've gotten this Award the old-fashioned way: you earned it.