Monday, June 14, 2010


t sounds like something Glenn Beck would cook up: a powerful cabal of right-wing ideologues hatches a secret plan to force cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and they're on the verge of succeeding. 1 But it's true.

Right now, the stars are aligned for conservatives who've spent decades trying to cut Social Security—the heart of the New Deal. They're focusing public anxiety over the economy on the deficit—and even though the deficit is almost entirely a result of Bush cutting taxes for the rich while waging two wars, the "deficit hawks" want us to cut the programs vulnerable Americans rely on to survive—Social Security and Medicare. 2

And instead of articulating a progressive response, Democrats seem frozen, like deer in the headlights.

Against this backdrop, the President has appointed a "deficit commission" stacked with deficit hawks. Right after the election Congress will vote on the commission's recommendations.

Right now, this threat isn't even on most of our radar screens. So we have a special request: will you help us fund a major campaign to keep this from happening? We'll use every tool at our disposal, and the combined voices of 5 million MoveOn members, to demand that Congress deal with the deficit the right way—by helping the middle class get back on their feet and making Wall Street pay its fair share. And we'll show wavering politicians that cutting Social Security will cost them at home.

To do it, we need to raise $185,000. That means we need 52 people in Portland to make a contribution. Can you chip in $5?

Why does the deficit commission pose such a threat? Because almost all of its members have interests in seeing cuts to Social Security, Medicare and other safety net programs.

Here's an introduction to some of the folks on the Commission that we're up against 3:

  • Erskine Bowles, Co-Chair: An investment-banking millionaire who now sits on the Board of Directors for Morgan Stanley and General Motors. Bowles was Chief of Staff for Bill Clinton, where he was called "Corporate America's Friend in the White House" as he negotiated with Newt Gingrich for how best to cut safety net programs.
  • Alan Simpson, Co-Chair: A GOP power player during the Conservative movement's heyday, he led Clinton-era attacks on Social Security and is already crusading publicly for cuts to Social Security and Medicare to address the deficit.
  • David M. Cote: CEO of Honeywell, a defense contractor making millions from the Department of Defense and responsible for costing us millions of dollars in misconduct—including failing to test bulletproof vests sent to US troops.4

And they're just the tip of the iceberg.

We're planning a full-court press. Washington has to hear the stories of the real people who will be hurt by cuts. We'll run ads and organize in home districts of members of Congress considering cuts, work with progressive policy experts to push real solutions, and respond to the conservative propaganda wherever we can.

But we need to get started. Can you chip in $5 to make it crystal clear to lawmakers how the American people feel about Social Security cuts?

Thanks for all you do.

–Nita, Daniel, Duncan, Amy, Stephen, and the rest of the team


1. Obama's Deficit Commission: No Friend Of Social Security? Campaign for America's Future, April 2, 2010

2. "Whacking the Old Folks," The Nation, June 7, 2010

3. "Obama Packs Debt Commission with Social Security Looters," AlterNet, March 28, 2010

4. "U.S. sues Honeywell over bullet-proof vests," Reuters, June 5, 2008

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