The Spectacle Blog

Liberals Fear Obama “Death Panel” for Social Security

By on 7.22.10 | 6:28PM

LAS VEGAS -- Earlier this week, I wrote about how liberals were increasingly concerned that President Obama's deficit commission would end up recommending cutting Social Security.

Right now, I'm at a panel at the Netroots Nation conference dedicated to this very topic, called, "Obama's Social Security 'Death Panel' Engaging Activists to Defeat the Drive to Cut Social Programs."

The moderator of the panel, Nancy Altman, of the group Social Security Works, opened up the discussion with the dire warning that the threat from Obama's deficit commission is greater than the threat posed to the program in 2005, when President Bush drove to create voluntary personal accounts within the program.

The clear consensus among the panelists was that Social Security did not present a problem to the deficit.

The blogger Digby said the reason why liberals defeated President Bush's Social Security effort was that they setted on a "mantra" that "There is no crisis."

Robert Borosage, president of the liberal group Institute for America's Future, not only argued that Social Security did not present a problem, but argued against worrying about deficits at all at a time when more government spending was needed to "transform" the economy. He said that conservatives effective attacks on the economic stimulus bill forced Obama to try to mollify deficit hawks by talking about long-term deficit reduction.

"This is just ridiculous," one frustrated audience member lamented. "Why is it that with a Democratic president and a Democratic Congress that we have to worry about this?"

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