Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Absent Progressive Uproar, Social Security and Medicare Face Axe

Common Dreams
October 22, 2013

If U.S. citizens are increasingly concerned that the Democratic Party is no longer willing to fight off the right-wing attack on Social Security, Medicare, and other key social programs, Sen. Dick Durbin, President Obama and other party leaders have recently offered plenty of evidence to increase that worry.

Since the end of the government shutdown and standoff over the debt limit ended last week, Obama has repeatedly said that he wants to find a "balanced" solution to the ongoing budget debate with Republican lawmakers.

Unless a broad-based populist movement against such a deal manifests—and soon—the American public should expect some scenario in which programs like Medicare and Social Security receive long-term cuts in exchange for a short-term budget deal with Republicans. 

In his first public remarks following the reopening of the government, Obama said his goal would be a "balanced approach to a responsible budget" and later declared: "The challenges we have right now are not short-term deficits; it’s the long-term obligations that we have around things like Medicare and Social Security."

On Sunday, Durbin repeated another familiar GOP talking point by telling Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace: "Social Security is gonna run out of money in 20 years. The Baby Boom generation is gonna blow away our future. We don't wanna see that happen."

But as the Huffington Post's Zach Carter, reporting on Durbin's Fox appearance, immediately pointed out:

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