Bernie Sanders Praises Obama’s Budget For Not Cutting Social Security


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and much of the left, are praising President Obama’s budget today because he has dropped his proposal to cut Social Security via Chained CPI.

In a statement, Sen. Sanders said:

President Obama’s budget provides major investments on rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, expanding community health centers and improving the lives and educational opportunities of our children.  It includes smart investments in pre-school education and job training. It calls for expanded tax credits for 13.5 million low-income workers. At a time when the wealthiest Americans are doing phenomenally well, it asks some of the richest people in the country to start paying their fair share of taxes. At a time when the country is still struggling to recover from a terrible recession, the president’s initiatives would benefit Vermonters and all Americans by improving the economy and creating of millions of decent-paying jobs. 
As the founder of the Defending Social Security Caucus, I am especially proud that the president did not renew his proposal to cut Social Security benefits. With the middle class struggling and more people living in poverty than ever before, we cannot afford to make life even more difficult for seniors and some of the most vulnerable people in America.
As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to build on the many positive proposals in the president’s budget and address those areas where the president’s proposals fall short.

It is safe to say that Chained CPI is likely off the table for the remainder of the Obama presidency. President Obama only offered to cut Social Security, in an attempt to get Republicans to negotiate a “grand bargain” on the budget.

Since Republicans hate President Obama more than they despise Social Security, it didn’t work.


After the tried to sell his fellow Democrats on Chained CPI as part of a budget deal, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) joined with Sanders in promising that any deal containing Chained CPI would never pass the Senate. This proclamation from Reid killed Chained CPI. Outside of a deal with Republicans, there was never any incentive for the president to push for Social Security cuts.

Chained CPI is terrible policy. It is anything but a small tweak to Social Security. For example, disabled veterans would see their benefits cut by $1,300-$2,260 a year by the time they reach age 65. Republicans are trying to create more revenue by reducing the level of benefits for disabled veterans. If implemented, the chained CPI would push Americans who already in or teetering towards poverty deeper into economic distress.

There is a bit of confusion making the rounds today about whether or not President Obama’s budget cuts Social Security. The 2015 Obama budget contains no cuts to Social Security. There is no Chained CPI in this budget. If there was, you can bet that Sen. Sanders would not be praising the president’s budget.

Obama seems to have gotten Chained CPI out of his system, and has returned to the traditional Democratic role of guarding Social Security.

This is development that every Democrat and liberal should be happy about.

10 Replies to “Bernie Sanders Praises Obama’s Budget For Not Cutting Social Security”

  1. This is a wonderful thing, but Obama is not the big hero in this. The heroes are Bernie Sanders and the other 16 U.S. Democrat senators, and the 117 Democrats from the U.S. House that originally forced Obama’s hand. How ironic it would have been, if the first president in U.S. history to cut Social Security and Medicare, was a Democrat.

  2. Actually, you’ve got it wrong. Harry Reid made this happen. When the Majority Leader told Obama Chained CPI was never going to pass the Senate. It was dead. The House Democrats are worthless, because they are the minority in a body where the majority rules. Pelosi’s power only comes into play when House Republicans can’t agree on anything. Harry Reid was the big factor on that issue.

  3. The very short explanation for Chained CPI: if you want a tuna sandwich, we believe that you can give up fancy, name-brand, albacore tuna packed in water, and instead buy canned, cat food. Chained CPI is a cut. If I may be so bold as to quote you, “Get it right.”

  4. No look at it like this. My boss called me in. He said my pay wont be getting cut but your raise is not as much as might have expected. So my pay isnot getting cut but I wont be getting the raise I thought I was getting. Now tell me this how many workers have gotten raises in the past few decades? If anything their pay has stagnated to the point they cant keep up with the cost of living. Stop using the tunafish analogy. You are smarter than that

  5. You’re comparing people in the workforce (who have monetary options, even if it’s to increase their work hours, or get a second job) with people living on social security (a fixed income). If you’re living on a Social Security benefit, and your annual cost-of-living adjustment is reduced to be less than the annual Consumer Price Index, that is a cut. Those arguing for changing to Chained CPI as the method to determine annual social security adjustments, instead of the traditionally used Consumer Price Index, are arguing for the tuna analogy I posted above. Now if you still want to resort to name-calling, have at it.

  6. First I didn’t think I called you any names. Second most economist thinks using the chained CPI is a better way to go about it.
    I get a COLA and I can tell you more times than not I didn’t get it. In a perfect world all this is bullshit and we can make all income subject to FICA taxes. We don’t live in that world and if you can find the votes to do that then I am all ears.

  7. Sorry, I can’t share Senator Sanders’ enthusiasm about the president’s decision to eliminate chained CPI from his budget proposal.
    I’m still too shell shocked by his decision to include it in the first place.
    I mean, other than the sheer immorality of the concept (It would be tantamount to requiring struggling seniors to pay for Bush’s needless wars and gratuitous tax cuts for the Top .1%), it would also have handed the next several elections to the GOP who could have (truthfully for a change) accused Democrats of being the nation’s number one threat to a secure retirement for most seniors.

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