Entries in Liberals (3)


Liberals Bash Obama’s Fiscal Cliff Offer

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Liberals on Tuesday blasted the White House’s latest fiscal cliff proposal as a cut to Social Security benefits.

Perhaps it’s a sign that President Obama and congressional Republicans have moved closer to a deal.

GOP House Speaker John Boehner had suggested tying Social Security and other benefits to to a “chained CPI” (Consumer Price Index), which could slow benefit increases that are tied to inflation. On Monday night, the White House countered with an offer that included what it called a “superlative CPI,” which would cut less money over 10 years and would exempt the neediest beneficiaries from a CPI change.

The liberal Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) on Tuesday morning circulated criticism from a handful of progressive players, signifying that politicians and interest groups on the left, who have decried any cuts to Social Security or Medicare, will coordinate at least some degree of pushback against this movement toward a compromise.

“Everyone has a grandparent, a friend or a neighbor who relies on the Social Security benefits they earned to pay for medical care, food and housing. A move towards chained CPI would be a long-term benefit cut for every single person who receives a Social Security check,” said House Progressive Caucus co-chair Keith Ellison, D-Minn., citing estimates that a chained CPI (as included in the GOP’s proposal) would cost beneficiaries thousands over 15 years.

“The average Social Security recipient rakes in a whopping $13,000 a year. If we pass chained CPI, projected annual cuts for a typical retiree would be about $560 a year by age 75, $984 a year by age 85 and $1,400 a year by age 95,” said the Progressive Caucus’s other co-chair, Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz.

“MoveOn members overwhelmingly oppose cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits, and they’ve made clear that they would see any fiscal agreement that cuts such benefits as a betrayal that sells out working and middle-class families — whether the cuts come via a chained CPI, increased Medicare eligibility age, or in some other form,” said Executive Director Justin Ruben.  “If such a deal were proposed by the President and Speaker, MoveOn members would expect every Senate and House Democrat to do everything in their power to block it.”

“This proposed deal will cut Social Security benefits. Any deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits is unacceptable — and progressive organizations join with the overwhelming majority of Americans who oppose it,” said PCCC co-founder Stephanie Taylor.

And a progressive member of the Senate leadership, Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., has also criticized the GOP’s CPI-change proposal.

“We ought to deal with Social Security in a separate conversation that is not part of deficit reduction,” Durbin told The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent.

“The Speaker and many of his Republican friends are hell bent on Chained CPI,” Durbin told Sargent. “It may be part of an overall solution [later] but to do it at this stage is the wrong way to go.”

In late November, Durbin warned liberals at the Center for American Progress that they’ll need to entertain deficit-reduction plans other than taxing the rich. At the moment, it appears the progressive voice in Democratic Senate leadership is okay with a CPI change eventually — just not now.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Michelle Bachmman Charges Media Is Unfair to Her

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann suggests that if she was a liberal Democrat, the media would ignore her mistakes.

Last weekend, the Minnesota Republican told a crowd in Manchester, New Hampshire that "You're the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord."

Bachmann, who leads the Tea Party caucus in the House, was referring to the Revolutionary War.  She just got her states mixed up, since Lexington and Concord are in Massachusetts.

Angered that her gaffe -- which she made twice -- was so widely reported, Bachmann said Tuesday, "We all know there’s a double standard in the we know all 3,400 members of the mainstream media are part of the Obama press contingent."

She said that the media gave President Obama a pass when he talked about visiting 57 states on the campaign trail in 2008.

As for her own political ambitions, Bachmann remains coy about whether she'll seek the GOP nomination for president next year, saying "It’s something that is potentially on the table, but I haven’t made a decision on whether or not to do it."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Actor Matt Damon Breaks with Obama; Hollywood Honeymoon Over?

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Actor Matt Damon, one of the liberal elite's first celebrity Obama backers, told CNN's Piers Morgan Thursday that he has been disappointed in President Obama's performance. Asked if he was happy with the man he once so vocally supported, the actor responded, "No. I really think he misinterpreted his mandate. A friend of mine said it the other day and I thought it was a great line: 'I no longer hope for audacity,'" a take on Obama's Audacity of Hope book title.

On Afghanistan, Damon said he doesn't believe the "mission there has been very well articulated. And I think it would help to kind of reframe the way we're thinking about being there and why we're there." But Damon is not the first -- nor, surely, will he be the last -- of Obama's high-profile Hollywood supporters to express disappointment in the president's accomplishments.

Barbra Streisand in December complained about both Obama specifically and Democrats in general. Robert Redford said last summer that Obama was not taking enough action to clean up the BP gulf oil spill. Director Spike Lee also blasted the president for his oil-spill response, or lack thereof. In an interview with the British paper Guardian in January 2010, Glee star Jane Lynch called Obama a "huge disappointment" for not taking bolder action on gay rights.

Of course, Hollywood is hardly a monolith. And many of the president's supporters continue to stand by their man, among them George Clooney and Oprah Winfrey.

Obama's approval ratings fell by 11 percent across the board in 2010, according to the most recent Gallup poll.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio