MoveOn.org may have been one of a number of progressive groups that helped land President Obama back in the Oval Office for another four years, but now it’s looking potentially to take him on publicly over the future of Social Security.
The organization emailed supporters Wednesday to express concern over an offer by the president to slash Social Security benefits by $112 billion over the coming decade as part of a deal to prevent the coming so-called fiscal cliff.
“Standing up to a President we fought so hard to elect, right after an election, isn’t easy. Which is why we urgently need your advice,” the email says. “As part of the ongoing fiscal negotiations in Washington, President Obama has offered a massive concession to Republicans: A deal that would slash Social Security benefits by $112 billion over the next decade. And we have to make a decision right now about what to do.”
The email asks supporters to reply and say whether MoveOn ought to fight the cuts to Social Security or not.
“This is a bad deal for current retirees. And it’ll hit future retirees even harder, because the proposal cuts Social Security more and more with each passing year. After 10 years, benefits would be cut by about $500 a year for the average retiree. After 20 years, benefits would be cut by about $1,000 a year. And beyond that, it just gets worse,” the email says. “But here’s the good news: There’s still time to block this deal. The U.S. Senate is full of Social Security champions. And Social Security is central to the Democratic Party’s legacy.
“Still, just like standing up to the President isn’t easy for MoveOn members, it isn’t easy for Democratic senators. But if Social Security champions who are rejecting this plan in the Senate know we’ve got their backs, we have a chance to push President Obama to do the right thing,” the email adds.
If supporters decide to back the MoveOn plan to take on Obama over Social Security, the organization says:
- We have a powerful TV ad that we can run in the states of vulnerable Senators who are up for re-election.
- We’ll make sure that champions of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid know we have their backs, by publicly thanking them and running ads in support of their leadership.
- We’ll continue to remind Democrats that MoveOn-backed primary challenges for those who vote to slash our social safety net are a real possibility.
- We’ll organize on-the-ground events at district offices, while Senators are home this week.
- And we’ll continue jamming phone lines in Congress and the White House, flooding offices with petitions, and doing whatever else we can to show significant opposition to any deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid.