President Obama addressed the nation for the first time since election night and there was a lot there for America’s seniors and their families to like. The Daily Beast put it this way:
“Obama just finished his remarks on the fiscal cliff, and he was direct and no-nonsense. Yes, I want to work with the other side, blah blah. But let’s pass the middle-class tax cuts now. The Senate has passed a bill already protecting incomes under $250,000 from higher rates. The House just needs to do the same. I have a pen, and I’m ready to sign it [brandishes pen, even!]. The 2009 Obama would not have been that direct and confident. Not even the 2011 Obama. This is new. He’s saying, “I am the president, I won. Deal with it, and deal with me.” Too often in his first term, he let the Republicans set the basic terms of debate. Not this time. He just set them.”
Our favorite line was:
“I’m not gonna ask students and seniors and middle class families to pay down the entire deficit, while people like me making over $250,000 aren’t asked to pay a dime more in taxes.”
We couldn’t agree more. But we’d go even further…let’s get rid of “entire” used by the President here as a qualifier.
“President Obama laid out an economic action plan that mirrors what the American people said loud and clear on Election Day. Americans are simply not willing to cut middle class benefits so that millionaires can keep their record low tax rates. The majority of Americans believe we should not cut Social Security and Medicare benefits to pay down the debt and that the wealthy should finally pay their share. In fact, the vast majority of voters polled report these issues influenced their vote on Tuesday.
America’s seniors, many of whom are living on an average Social Security income of $14,000 a year, are tired of being told they must continue to sacrifice to pay for tax cuts millionaires don’t need and our nation can’t afford. They know Social Security does not even belong in a debt debate because, by law, Social Security can not contribute to the debt. We’ve already seen effective reforms which save billions in the Medicare program while also improving benefits for seniors and adding years to the program’s solvency.
America’s seniors want fiscal sanity returned to Washington but they don’t believe we have to cut the nation’s most successful health and economic security programs to get there. President Obama is right, we should not ask students and seniors to pay down our deficit while the wealthy get another pass. The National Committee looks forward to the President’s outreach efforts here in Washington and nationwide to ensure that the voters’ clear message is heeded and benefits touching the lives of virtually every American family aren’t sacrificed in the name of deficit reduction.” Max Richtman, NCPSSM President/CEO