Those on the left think President Barack Obama has abandoned them on Social Security, and they aren’t taking it lightly.
They were especially upset when Obama said during Wednesday night’s debate that there is little difference between him and GOP nominee Mitt Romney on the issue.
“It was very distressing,” Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., told The Hill
. “It was very distressing not only because it is extremely bad public policy and will cause serious damage to a whole lot of vulnerable Americans. It was also bad because he’s going against what the vast majority of the American people want and it’s going to be very bad for his re-election effort.”
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At the debate, Obama said, “I suspect that on Social Security we've got a somewhat similar position. Social Security is structurally sound. It's going to have to be tweaked . . . But the basic structure is sound.”
The reason that upset liberals so much is that they strongly disagree with Romney on the issue. For example, they don’t like his support in 2007 for then-President George W. Bush’s idea for personal savings accounts.
Left-wingers also don’t like Romney’s position in favor of gradually raising the retirement age. And they don’t like his idea of means-testing Social Security, because they worry that would eradicate support for the program.
But others were happy to see Obama leave his base behind.
“This is a huge departure from Vice President Biden's recent statement that Social Security is fine and that the Obama administration would not support any changes to Social Security,” Jason Fichtner, former chief economist for the Social Security Administration, tells NBC.
“It's refreshing to see the president recognize the need for some reform to Social Security in order to maintain the solvency of program for future generations,” Fichtner added.
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