Barack Obama’s Social Insecurity

[Please Note: AARP DEBATE TONIGHT – 8:00 P.M. ET, 7:00 CST. We’ll be blogging the debate. Hillary will be on several talk shows this Sunday morning. Right now we know of Meet the Press and Fox News Sunday, with Chris Wallace. Does Hillary ever sleep?]

Today the Quad-City Times notes that Obama will be at a fundraiser in Atlanta (with Usher and Dominique Wilkins) instead of at tonight’s forum The forum will also discuss important issues which have been on the back burner so far. Should the Social Security retirement age be raised for white-collar office workers (who have relatively “easy” jobs) and blue-collar workers (such as mine workers who have their bodies broken by years of hard work at early ages)? We won’t get an answer from Obama – he’s busy raising more money.

AARP scheduled this forum to elevate some issues that haven’t gotten top billing in this caucus campaign: health care and financial security. Remember Social Security? Four years ago, these pages were filled with letters and columns demanding immediate change to save this teetering entitlement. When the president’s plan to privatize a portion of it failed, the entire issue seemed to disappear.

The attempt to destroy Social Security was THE big Bush agenda item for his second term. The failure to pass schemes which were Trojan horses meant to destroy Social Security effectively destroyed the Bush government immediately after it had supposedly won re-election. Karl Rove pushed for the privatization schemes and the other ploys such as “personal” accounts (which were politically meant to shift resources from public program Social Security into “personal” accounts, none of which actually did what they were advertised to do – because the real aim was the destruction of the Democratic and successful New Deal and Social Security). Democrats understood the real purpose behind the Bush proposals and opposed them effectively and in unity. TPM on privatization:

This is all another way of saying that the Democrats do have an alternative on the table: preserving Social Security rather than phasing it out. (Once again, let me say that in a later post I’ll discuss why our values are only honored by a system like Social Security.) Democrats already have and will continue to propose adjustments to the system to handle potential shortfalls which are decades in the future. But this debate — for anyone who understands it, indeed even the White House now concedes the point — is not about solvency. And the fact that Kristoff does not grasp that point is not their problem, though his confusing the two issues certainly complicates preserving the program.

Obama has problems with Social Security and the issues surrounding financial security. Perhaps that is why Obama is missing tonight’s forum – because Obama does not want to answer questions before a very knowledgeable audience and side by side with his Democratic opponents.

Instead of debating his opponents in front of the national media and a very knowlegeable audience of seniors Obama is leveraging his big money purse to buy ads speaking about financial and Social Security and health care with ad buys instead of speaking to voters impacted by these issues, or as he derides them “special interest voters”. Obama is supposedly writing an op-ed article for publication on Friday to discuss Social Security and hosting his own “Senior Town Hall” in Ames on Friday.

What is Hillary’s vision on financial security and Social Security?:

“Just seven years ago we had a balanced budget and a surplus and we had a plan to ensure Social Security’s solvency until 2055,” the presidential contender and former first lady told thousands of senior citizens attending an AARP lifestyles forum. “Now we have been set back, by endless deficits.”

To groans from the audience, Clinton added: “You know, right now we’ve basically funded the two big priorities of the administration – tax cuts for the wealthiest and the Iraq war – from two sources,” the Social Security trust fund and borrowers such as China.

“I do not think that those are policies that will make America strong again, and I reject them,” she said.

Clinton, now a New York senator, jabbed at rival Barack Obama. She suggested the Illinois senator is wrong for considering raising the retirement age or payroll tax rates to help ensure Social Security’s long-term solvency. Clinton favors improving the national economy to avoid any more trust fund withdrawals.

“Putting everything on the table is not the right answer,” Clinton said. “Raising the retirement age is not an answer. Cutting benefits is not an answer. We need to get back to the fiscal responsibility that we had in the 1990s, when we weren’t draining the Social Security fund any more.”

On July 23, 2007 in an article called CNN/Youtube Debate – Desperate Househusbands Vs. Hillary Clinton we wrote:

Obama is going to have some explaining to do on his social security answer as well as his “meet the dictators” answer. Obama has as one of his advisers Jeffrey Liebman (we’ll have to have a bigger post on Obama/Liebman at some later date).

We have not forgotten that promise. We will be discussing Jeffrey Liebman (a top Obama advisor who co-wrote a “personal” accounts plan with John McCain advisor Maya MacGuineas and Obama’s positions on Social Security and the Trojan horse of “personal” accounts as well as Obama’s promise to “put everything on the table”, regarding Social Security.

Let’s understand, Obama is afraid of being confronted on Social Security. Tonight’s AARP debate will not take place before a Naderite crew of bobby-soxers in love with an airbrushed poster of a candidate. Obama is afraid of being called out by Hillary before a very sharp audience in a televised forum.

Hillary offered what was a pretty rare shot at one of her rivals speaking to the AARP convention in Boston this afternoon, on an issue that doesn’t get lots of media buzz these days but matters a lot to, among others, the aging Iowa caucus goers.

“I’m going to make putting Social Security on a sound track one of my highest priorities. I’ll tell you, putting everything on the table is not an answer. Raising the retirement age is not an answer. Cutting benefits is not an answer. We need to get back to the fiscal responsibility that we had in the 1990s so we’re not draining the Social Security trust fund anymore.”

That “putting everything on the table” line is a reference to Obama’s May statement, in an interview with George Stephanopolous (after the jump), that “everything should be on the table” when it comes to reforming Social Security, including raising the retirement age and raising payroll taxes.


23 thoughts on “Barack Obama’s Social Insecurity

  1. is anybody watching this idiot trippi on hardball? f**ing guy is on a anti-hillary tirade and mathews is letting him do it for the most part.

  2. Saw it terrondt. The other day was much worse. We’ll have an article this weekend on Matthews.

    Don’t worry about Trippi. Edwards, like Dean, will regret hiring him. He stabbed Dean in the back after the campaign. He’ll do the same to Edwards. Oh, and Trippi wastes money. Edwards does not have much money to waste.

  3. mathews had a very weak counter about trial lawyers money but he let trippin trippi go on and on. i swear mathews is bi-polar. one minute he is a liberal dem, the other he is a anti-hillary attack dog. he really slapped down that right winger ingram. i don’t get him.

  4. thanks admin. after watching hardball i will need watching another good hillary performance to get me in a better

  5. i just learned about the vote in the senate. bravo for hillary’s vote against the bill. im puzzled on obama’s excuse on not voting at all on the bill? i thought this guy was supposed to be the anti-war savior of the left left nutkooks?

  6. Obama missing the vote is a big mystery. He was going to a fundraiser but the vote was 15 minutes after a previous vote Obama had cast. Why did he not wait another 15 minutes? He missed that vote (so important to Big Blogs) and now he is missing the AARP forum.

    Maybe he just wants to raised lots of money and then quit and transfer all that money to his senate campaign fund.

  7. admin I posted this in the previous thread regarding webstreaming.

    I’ve been looking for a long time now for an online streaming of the debate, that won’t happen cause I found this on Iowar Public television

    “The full debate will be available online the day following each forum. Check back for video of the Democratic forum Friday, September 21, and of the Republican forum on Friday, October 26.”

  8. is one of the few liberal blogs that do not rabidly attack hillary. i may be wrong becuase i do not visit the site often. i do get email alerts and a online member.

  9. We’ll be doing an instant transcript as the debate proceeds, so that might help. Then we will get some video after.

  10. admin,

    Obama abstained on purpose. He got hammered by Matt and Chris. Big blogs are not happy. An endorsement from Obama’s major constituency is unlikely. LOL.

    From ‘openleft’…

    Here’s Obama on why he didn’t vote on this.

    The focus of the United States Senate should be on ending this war, not on criticizing newspaper advertisements. This amendment was a stunt designed only to score cheap political points while what we should be doing is focusing on the deadly serious challenge we face in Iraq. It’s precisely this kind of political game-playing that makes most Americans cynical about Washington’s ability to solve America’s problems. By not casting a vote, I registered my protest against this empty politics. I registered my views on the ad itself the day it appeared.
    All of us respect the service of General Petraeus and all of our brave men and women in uniform. The way to honor that service is to give them a mission that is responsible, not to vote on amendments like the Cornyn amendment while we continue to pursue the wrong policy in Iraq.

    So he’s willing to vote for the Boxer amendment condemning speech but not the Cornyn amendment, because one is empty politics and the other isn’t?


    He doesn’t even have the guts to act like a Republican. Wow, Jim Margolis is awful.

    UPDATE: Actually, here’s a shout-out to the crappy Obama advisor circle, David Axelrod, David Plouffe, Jim Margolis, Devorah Adler, and the whole gang out there. You suck!

  11. Hey guys, there is a poster at openleft named Jenifer Fernandez Ancona. I think it is so losery that she posts all these pro-Obama comments without noting that she works for that Obama 527 in California.

  12. Hillary is up 21 in new Harris poll.

    Among 769 likely Democratic primary voters, Sen. Hillary Clinton leads Sen. Barack Obama (46% to 25%) in a national primary; former Sen. John Edwards trails at 14%, former V.P. Al Gore at 9%.

  13. Who is Obama and what does he stand for? Does he know? Does anybody know? I guess it’s still a movement and a new kind of politics, whatever that means? What a lame candidate! I am not sure if he knows what party he’s even in! I think Obama stands for Obama, big opportunist!! An Obama Presidency would benefit the Obamas – period. I though Edwards was a joke, now he almost looks better.

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