joe lieberman

Only Two Democratic Senators Back New Cut To Social Security Benefits — They’re Both Retiring

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT)

Earlier this week, President Obama offered a fiscal deal that enacts a so-called “Chained CPI” to calculate Social Security and veterans’ benefits. Under this plan, beneficiaries would get cuts in their cost of living adjustments.

There has been an intense backlash among congressional Democrats, but two members of the Senate Democratic caucus — Joe Lieberman (CT) and Kent Conrad (ND) — have indicated that they would be supportive of this cut to Social Security benefits.

The two share one common trait — they’re both retiring. They do not have to face accountability to voters, and they both will have the option of taking lucrative lobbying jobs  which will pad their retirements. Earlier this year, Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (I-CT) office specifically refused to disclose any job negotiations he’s having for his post-Senate career.

As The Atlantic’s Molly Ball argues, Conrad and Lieberman’s retirements clear the path for a new class of Democratic Senators who are more progressive: “North Dakota’s old Democratic senator was the moderate Kent Conrad; its new Democratic senator, Heidi Heitkamp, campaigned on a platform of ending tax cuts for millionaires and protecting Social Security from cuts.” As she notes, “Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson is out; Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, is in.”

Our polling in key swing states and President Obama’s home state of Illinois showed that voters overwhelmingly opposed cuts to Social Security benefits, and that they support Elizabeth Warren’s “balanced approach” of cutting military spending and corporate welfare while making the rich pay their fair. Voters gave these new Members of Congress a progressive mandate.

One would only hope that Lieberman and Conrad do not want their final legacy in the Senate to be one of helping hurt America’s retirees and veterans.

 

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Joe Lieberman Says Obama Must ‘Courageously’ Cut Medicare Benefits, Raise Retirement Age

The Wall Street Journal CEO Council is an event that brings together elite corporate leaders, journalists, and politicians. It is usually only lightly covered by the media, so the public ends up not seeing much of what goes on.

We’ve obtained a transcript of the event’s dinner meeting that took place earlier this week. At the meeting, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), making conversation with former Senate Minority Leader and current corporate lobbyist Trent Lott, suggests that President Obama should “courageously” cut Medicare by raising the eligibility age in order to combat the deficit:

LIEBERMAN: I’d say that sometime soon– both privately to Speaker Boehner and — and also publicly, he — he should– make clear that he’s prepared– to– to change some of — Medicare status quo. [...] But I think the President will have to make clear he’ll either support some– well, for instance, in– beginning to increase the age of eligibility. [...] Incidentally, increasing the age of eligibility to be more close (LAUGH) to the actual age at which people are living, as opposed to the age– that they were living in 1965, when Medicare was adopted, the average age It’s now closing in on 80 — saves a lotta money– every year. The president has to show the public, and the Republicans, who he’s asking to support higher revenue, or tax reform, that he’s prepared and Democrats are prepared to deal– courageously with– entitlements.

To be clear — Americans as a whole are not living longer. White-collar workers are, but blue-collar workers have barely seen any increase in life expectancy.

Raising the Medicare age “to 67 would cause an estimated net increase of $5.6 billion in out-of-pocket health insurance costs for beneficiaries who would have been otherwise covered by Medicare.”

What could Lieberman’s …

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