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After the news broke yesterday about President Obama putting Social Security cuts on the table in the debt ceiling talks, the White House immediately went into CYA mode:

“White House spokesman Jay Carney commented on the reports concerning Social Security cuts Thursday morning.

“There is no news here,” Carney said. “The President has always said that while social security is not a major driver of the deficit, we do need to strengthen the program and the President said in the State of the Union Address that he wanted to work with both parties to do so in a balanced way that preserves the promise of the program and doesn’t slash benefits.”

Carney is right about one thing, there is no news here. The president has been consistent in his plans to “strengthen” and “preserve” Social Security. Like appointing Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles co-chairs of the so-called Debt Commission, which turned much of its focus to cutting strengthening Social Security by raising the retirement age (a benefit cut) and re-figuring the COLA (another cut). Never mind that SS has nothing to do with either the debt or the deficit. Simpson has made no secret of his contempt for Social Security and its recipients:

“I’ve made some plenty smart cracks about people on Social Security who milk it to the last degree. You know ’em too…We’ve reached a point now where it’s like a milk cow with 310 million tits!”

And it was Erskine Bowles who, while serving as Bill Clinton’s Chief of Staff in 1997, was in the process of negotiating a deal with then-Speaker Newt Gingrich which included the partial privatization of Social Security before the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke and blew (so to speak) that out of the water.

Nothing new to see here. Move along.

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