Why a Democratic President Should Never Take Ownership of Social Security Cuts

Because the second he proposes the Social Security cuts the Republicans have been asking for, they instantly become his Social Security cuts, and the Republicans become the party trying stop Obummer’s War on Grandparents.

Brian Beutler explains:

Just like that, Chained CPI morphs from a thing President Obama is willing to offer Republicans into a thing Republicans dismiss as a “shocking attack on seniors.”

Follow the above link for video of some amazing, but also entirely predictable, cynicism, then follow me below the fold.

Here in Washington most people get that Chained CPI and other entitlement benefit cuts are measures Obama will back in exchange for Republican votes for tax increases. The Republican piece of the budget quid pro quo. Republicans put them on the table in 2011 debt limit negotiations, and have identified them in public since that time as the sorts of entitlement cuts that they’d need Obama to embrace in order consider increasing taxes.

That’s less well understood outside of Washington. And now that it’s an official part of his budget, Obama’s muddled the ownership history. He’s the one proposing it. And that’s going to come as a big and unwelcome surprise to at least some voters. For them, a Social Security cut is just that — a Social Security cut.

As I keep pointing out, the correct Democratic position is expanding Social Security, not cutting it. It makes no sense on the policy or the politics for a Democrat to propose cutting Social Security, or even engage on that idea. That is the Republicans’ plan, and it needs to stay the Republicans’ plan.

I see an awful lot of “If We Don’t Do It, They Will” excuses flying around trying to find a silver lining in the President’s strategy. The problem with that line of thinking is that nobody needs to do it. We shouldn’t do it, and we should make it as politically radioactive as possible for them to do it.

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