The Nation

Obama Flips on Social Security—a Big Win for Bernie Sanders

t was only a few lines in the president’s lengthy speech in Elkhart, Indiana. The New York Times and The Washington Post both missed the story. President Obama declared his commitment to sustain and defend Social Security but also to expand its benefits for retired people.

“We can’t afford to weaken Social Security,” Obama said. “We should be strengthening Social Security—and not only do we need to strengthen its long-term health. It is time we finally made Social Security more generous and increase its benefits so that people get the dignified retirements that they have earned.”

That statement alone is a 100 percent reversal of where Barack Obama started on this issue seven years ago. Then he aligned his presidency with billionaire financial gurus like Pete Peterson who are pressing for so-called “entitlement reform.” That is, whacking Social Security on the grounds that the government can no longer afford it.

In Elkhart, Obama blithely rejected the crabby reasoning of Wall Street.

“We could start paying for it,” Obama explained, “by asking wealthy Americans to contribute a little bit more. They can afford it. I can afford it.”

(Read the rest here.)