“This is an example of the banality of evil.”
President Obama's reported decision to call for cuts in Social Security is a huge betrayal.
When he was running for the Presidency in 2008 and for reelection in 2012, he vowed to protect Social Security.
Now he's reneging on that vow.
It's a betrayal to elderly people on Social Security.
It's a betrayal to people with disabilities, who also will see their benefits shrink.
It's a betrayal to veterans. It "would result in significantly lower annual cost-of-living adjustments for more than 3.2 million disabled veterans," Senator Bernie Sanders has noted.
Sanders said that "more than 55 million retirees, widows, orphans, and disabled Americans" would be adversely affected by Obama's decision.
As Robert Reich points out, the current CPI already underreports the actual cost of living for people on Social Security. This is only going to make matters worse.
And it's not like people on Social Security are getting rich.
The average Social Security recipient receives around $15,000 a year, and for two-thirds of them, that's the lion's share of their total annual income. Now they'll be having to do with less.
The final betrayal is to Obama's progressive base, which elected him twice to the Presidency on the assumption that he'd stand up for basic Democratic programs.
As Jim Dean, the chair of Democracy for America, said, Obama's move is a "profoundly disturbing shot across the bow for the progressives who called their neighbors, spent weekends knocking doors and donated millions to reelect [President Obama]."
With this move, Obama gives progressives one less reason to work for Democrats -- and every American citizen one less reason to vote for them.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "Rumsfeld's Distorting Mirror on Iraq."
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter.