Republicans Attack Obama for Cuts They Wanted

obamasmileI’m not going to say I told you so, but I kind of did.

President Obama’s budget included a measure called chained-CPI, which would reduce the rate at which cost of living increases for Social Security are calculated.

Many conservatives said it wasn’t enough, while many liberals called Obama a sellout.

I called him brilliant.

You see, there’s been one constant with Republicans when it comes to President Obama.  They will instantly oppose damn near anything he supports, even if it’s originally a Republican idea.

There’s a joke I’ve seen going around the internet for a while now—“If Obama came out in support of oxygen, Republicans would suffocate.”  Sadly, this isn’t far from the truth.

He knew this, and with his budget proposal he suggested a plan he knew Republicans would never support.  Outside of his chained-CPI measure, he included funding for programs that help the poor and tax increases for the rich—two things Republicans vehemently oppose.

What were Republicans supposed to do?  For years, they’ve argued against “evil entitlements” and how they’re going to be the demise of our country.  They insisted any real effort to tackle our debt problem must include reforms to Social Security and Medicare—but not tax hikes.

So what did President Obama do?  He gave them a budget proposal that included both reforms to Social Security and tax hikes.  By tax hikes, I mean he mainly focused on closing tax loopholes wealthy individuals and corporations use to pay a lower tax rate than most middle class Americans.

That left Republicans with a few choices:

  1. Accept the deal as is, which would give them the reforms to Social Security they’ve been pushing for, but it would also anger their base due to the tax increases on the wealthy
  2. Propose a counter to Obama’s budget which removed tax increases—this would then most likely mean Obama removes the chained-CPI from his proposal
  3. Counter with smaller tax increases, which would still probably prompt Obama to remove the chained-CPI, and anger their base even more

Or they could do what they’ve begun doing—attack President Obama for his chained-CPI proposal and his “attack on seniors.”

Yes, you’ve read that correctly, Republicans (who’ve pushed Obama for years to cut Social Security) are now attacking Obama for proposing cuts to Social Security.

You just can’t make this up, folks.

What Obama has done is sheer brilliance.  He played the hand Republicans have used since January 20, 2009, the whole “oppose anything Obama supports” plan, against them.  They pushed and pushed for cuts to Social Security, then once Obama gave them what they wanted—now they’re claiming he’s attacking seniors.

This has opened the door for Obama to come out and say something along the lines of, “See, I proposed a plan which I felt reached across the aisle and gave Republicans something they’ve been pushing for, but instead of compromising, they would rather play politics.”

So fine, the chained-CPI that “attacks seniors” is now off the table.

The Republican base will be enraged as conservatives back off the reforms to Social Security they’ve sought for years, liberals should feel relieved as Obama will probably remove the chained-CPI from any budget proposal he supports and the President makes Republicans look ridiculous…

Once again.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Brilliant – he really knows how to play the politics game. Which in itself is sad, that he has to stoop to that in order to get anything done…!

    • He sure had many of us pretty nervous about it. I won’t breathe a sigh of relief until it’s completely “off the table.”

      • gailillly

        I too was nervous as we are seniors. But you have to give it to Obama, he played the pukes and he got what he wanted all along. So in the end the repukes loolk ike the fools that they are and the president looks like the smart wise FOX that he is. YES YES YES

    • Jane grace

      I think the Republican party has stooped so low they mean nothing in politics, but give late night comedians material. President Obama has many accomplishments and believe this country is going in the right direction. Thankfully, our president has great intellect with compassion, which intimidates what is left of the Republican Party.

  • Please don’t just drop a turd of information..
    Call out the Republicans who “Eligibly” did this.. NAMES-States..
    If anything this would be stipulation…

    • Phredd

      Please repost using standard English.

  • It doesn’t matter what he does, even if he totally AGREED with the republicans, he would be “wrong”. That’s just the way the republicans are. The rich keep getting richer. Why don’t they just stop voting raises for themselves, pay for their insurance like everyone else, MAYBE get a SMALL retirement, vote for term LIMITS. How’s this for an IDEA, Take a pay cut like everyone else!!!

  • I have received Social Security for Disabilities for the last 7 years and only received 2 increases, at least with the chained cpi there will be a cola increase every year, even if it is small. If you look over the last 7 years the measly 2.4% that I actually received would have been a little over 4% total with just the small increases every year (I did the math and the research). So those of you who are just taking the political arena at face value then maybe there should be a math teacher telling everyone what chained cpi really is and how it works.

  • LindaK

    It’s not brilliant to pull the rug out from under his base of support — from all Democrats’ base of support. And if this were a brilliant plan to make the GOP look stupid/recalcitrant/whatever (like no one could tell before), why didn’t he share that plan with Democrats ahead of time?

    No, it wasn’t a brilliant plan. He offered it up himself as part of his initial budget proposal. If any negotiations and compromises with the GOP occur over this budget, they sure won’t be negotiating UP on SS and other social programs being cut.

    Do you really take us for such fools?

    • Eric G

      This was predicted last week or so when the dems were raging that touching soc sec would be heresy. The commentator predicted the above reaction to the letter

      The prez is the leader and really doesn’t have to get signoff from all the other dems ahead of time.

      And loose lips STILL SINK SHIPS.

      • LindaK

        Cutting SS IS heresy for a Democrat, Eric. A President is the leader of his party in the US Congress — keeping “secrets” from at least the leadership is a pretty dumb strategy. Go ahead and continue rationalizing this particular action. I’ll continue to exercise my right to question it.

      • Eric G

        1) He knew that when he put it out there (touching ss is heresy)

        2) They may well have known. – politics is as much acting as it is law

        3) It WORKED – Maybe he got lucky or maybe he’s shrewd

        4) We should always question our leaders

        Like today, for instance. As much as I am an advocate for guns I think the rejection of background checks was stupid – but them follow the money not what makes sense.

  • Eric G

    Obama did not make the Republicans look ridiculous.. That’s just foolishness.

    They did it all themselves.

  • anniemoore

    I wish Obama really WOULD come out for Oxygen. Really promote it, ya know? It would be so much fun watching the Republicans chocking from holding their breath.

  • kleehoff

    I hope you are correct. I personally would like to see SS and veterans’ benefits chained to Investment Income: Any income beyond 100K would see SS and/or veterans’ benefits decline to 0 at 200K in investment income. If a senior can’t live well on $200K he needs to scale down like the rest of his contempararies are doing.

  • Jonathon

    The problem here is Obama is a hypocrite and you can’t believe anything he says. At some point he needs to lead and fix America’s problems instead of blaming others.

    • Krist

      In what way does he have the power to do so? He has much less power than you think I do believe. Anything to do with budget he can only propose action, but only the senate can set a budget into action. He only has a few things that he can do that “trump” the senate and usually they are only temporary, until senate can vote on it. But, I would like to hear your suggestions.

      • Jonathon

        You do realize that the Senate is controlled by Democrats so the fact that you think he needs to”trump” his own party shows his inability to lead.

  • He had us going there for a minute there, though!…But he should not play around with them ravenous, republican sharks!…He could have been eaten alive, like the working poor, and the elderly, and the college bound students already have!…He needs to just keep standing up for those of us who do not have representation, or an unlimited bank account!…The real fabric of America, that make the idea of America come to fruition!…The American Working Classes!…But,… I am just a messenger…Peace!

  • J.Barger

    This gets nothing done other than playing a useless game and p!ssing his base off. Brilliant!? I disagree this is retarded. He caved to the republican demands in hopes to try to strike at least one deal and it failed. What he SHOULD have done was stood his ground emboldened/empowered the left even further and in the coming months at the time of election he would have even more democratic seats to work with. Now the democrats are looking at him with a skeptical eye. Congratulations Obama I’m ashamed I voted for you. Should’ve voted 3rd party.