Progressive Dems threaten Obama over debt ceiling
July 15th, 2011
04:45 PM ET
3 years ago

Progressive Dems threaten Obama over debt ceiling

(CNN) – The liberal advocacy group Progressive Change Campaign Committee delivered 200,000 pledges to President Obama's campaign headquarters Friday, demanding he hold their line in debt ceiling negotiations or lose their support.

The group wants a potential agreement to include tax increases on higher income earners instead of cuts to entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicaid and Medicaid, the committee's co-founder Adam Green said Friday. Members of the group said they will not contribute to or volunteer for the president's reelection campaign unless their conditions are met.

Green said they delivered the pledges, signed by those who supported Obama's candidacy in the 2008 election, to Obama's campaign headquarters in Chicago Friday morning.

"Democrats need to support the will of the American people," Green said in a conference call with reporters. "Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid must be off the table."

"Our position is the middle class has sacrificed enough," Green added.

He said the signatories donated $17 million and 2.4 million volunteer hours to then-Sen. Obama's election effort in the 2008 election.

Cuts to entitlement programs are a sticking point in the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations as the White House and Congressional leaders attempt to reach a deal before the government potentially defaults on its obligations August. 2. Republicans reject tax increases and Democrats will only agree to reforms in entitlement programs if wealthy Americans pay more in taxes.

PCCC works to elect progressive candidates to federal offices.

During a press conference Friday, Obama said he was willing to consider changes to entitlement programs for future generations, as long as benefits for current beneficiaries remain intact.

Green said it was the first time Obama left the door open to cuts for those currently receiving benefits and the president cannot expect Democratic voter support in 2012 if he advocates for such cuts.

"Obama voters didn't come back out in 2010," Green said. "It's déjà vu all over again … every Democrat in 2012 has a right to be extremely furious with him."

Obama's campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said the president wants to "strengthen Medicare and Medicaid in the long run and supports finding a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security for future generations."

"Americans elected the President in 2008 to take on the big challenges facing our country, and he's engaged in an effort to do just that, promoting a balanced approach to reduce the deficit and promote economic growth that protects the middle class and seniors," LaBolt said.


Filed under: Congress • Debt • Deficit • Democrats • PCCC • President Obama
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. bill

    The American Taliban at work. They obviously want a Socialist Country where the Government dictates to the masses.

    July 15, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  2. ConservaFASCISTS/Domestic Terrorists/Taliban/Al Queda/TRAITORS

    I respect Mr. Green's passion and I agree with him on alot of things, but even I know that modifications need to be made to Medicare, and I'm a progressive. So I suggest this: MEDICARE FOR ALL!!!

    July 15, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  3. Democrat Class Warfare & Race Baiting - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    The liberal advocacy group Progressive Change Campaign Committee delivered 200,000 pledges to President Obama's campaign headquarters Friday, demanding he hold their line in debt ceiling negotiations or lose their support.
    ===============================================================================================
    So do these buffoons support raising it to $20, 50 or $100 TRILLION??? If we continue doing what we're doing, we'll need it at $100 TRILLION. These people are total imbeciles that can't balance a checkbook. Do they think this Democrat welfare state can spend, borrow and tax without ANY limit? They also seem to think they are entiltled to everything that people make. "Progressive" turns out to be more like communist if you ask me.

    July 15, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. Citizen Twain

    I don't think the Taliban are socialists. The government already dictates to us what we can and cannot do. The Patriot Act saw to that.

    July 15, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. ConservaFASCISTS/Domestic Terrorists/Taliban/Al Queda/TRAITORS

    "They obviously want a Socialist Country where the Government dictates to the masses."

    I'd prefer to live in a socialist society rather than a fascist one. Capitalism is long gone.

    July 15, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. A real American

    But but but... then how are we supposed to pay for more tax cuts for the "job creators?"

    July 15, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. Sank

    Looks like some people on Obama's side are getting tired of his threatening ways also. Grow up Obama. You can either do good are you be one of the most destructive Presidents ever. Which will it be? I have nothing against illegals but they are here illegally. Why should we support them in healthcare, education, feed their children three meals a day, give them food stamps. All this cost money. Trillions of dollars. In return they put on a display of their love for America last week by demostrating American flags laid out on the side WALKING AND SPRAY PAINTING GRAFETTI ON IT WHILE STOMPING THE FLAG. ALL THIS DONE UNDER OUR LAW AS SECURITY. I SPENT 30 YEARS IN THE US ARMY FOR THAT FLAG AND I AM MADDER THAN HELL. AT YOU OBAMA AND THE MEXICANS.

    July 15, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  8. A real American

    Sank
    "Looks like some people on Obama's side are getting tired of his threatening ways also. Grow up Obama. You can either do good are you be one of the most destructive Presidents ever. Which will it be? I have nothing against illegals but they are here illegally. Why should we support them in healthcare, education, feed their children three meals a day, give them food stamps. All this cost money. Trillions of dollars. In return they put on a display of their love for America last week by demostrating American flags laid out on the side WALKING AND SPRAY PAINTING GRAFETTI ON IT WHILE STOMPING THE FLAG. ALL THIS DONE UNDER OUR LAW AS SECURITY. I SPENT 30 YEARS IN THE US ARMY FOR THAT FLAG AND I AM MADDER THAN HELL. AT YOU OBAMA AND THE MEXICANS."

    Trillions of dollars??? Really??? I think you have Mexicans confused with Wall Street. Anyway Mexicans were the scapegoats last week. We're back to Gay Muslim Union Thugs this week.

    July 15, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  9. sue

    I am in agreement that SS and Medicare is not on the table for cuts.......but I am in favor of strenghtening both so that the elderly continue to get cost of living increases, and their medical taken care of......if the Republicans don't want to raise the Taxes on the Rich and get rid of their loopholes then they should stop making us the poor and middle class stop paying TAXES on our Social Security checks.....I will not stop supporting Obama.....he is up against the biggest bunch of idiots this country has ever seen, men with NO Cahones to stand up against these rabbid Tea Baggers.....they are the weakest bunch of men and women I have ever seen.......if you dont want the GOP to be run completely out of DC....you are going to have to stop pandering to these crazy idiots and letting them get elected or they are going to take over your party and the GOP as you know it will be no more......

    July 15, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  10. Democrat Class Warfare & Race Baiting - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    I'd prefer to live in a socialist society rather than a fascist one. Capitalism is long gone.
    =====================================================================
    With Obama and the Democrats in power, you had BOTH facism AND socialism. You must have been very happy then.

    July 15, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  11. Four and the Door

    Yeah, just give it all away and let the next generation worry about paying for it. I'm sure your kids will love paying 50% of their salary to China and no hope of ever getting ahead of the mountain of debt we are leaving them for the pleasure of our entitlements today. Get while the gettin' is good, you greedy slobs.

    July 15, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  12. A real American

    You'd think the republicans would love Obama. I mean, he finally got their healthcare plan from 1994 signed into law. Socialism indeed.

    July 15, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  13. sue

    Sank......I agree you have your figures kind of out of line here.......sounds like you are speaking from a Heart filled with Hate, sounds like you are a bigot and a radical racial idiot......you fit right in with the rest of the Tea Baggers.......and I bet you are one.....probably are against Gay in the Military too.......grow up people like you MAKE ME MADDER THAN HELL.

    July 15, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  14. bash

    Social Security and Medicare should be off the table. l agree. And we should go back to Clinton tax rates. Now, is it that hard...

    July 15, 2011 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  15. pmk1953

    I thought Gary Larson retired. It looks like both parties a being threatened by " The Far Side."

    July 15, 2011 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  16. Hammerer

    Ahh-–Obama can have another pep rally and pump-up the left with a few more promises and they will bow down and follow as they have always done and get the same results from their master.

    July 15, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  17. MisterMoney

    Yea, Sure. Who else are they gonna support, a Republican? Or just not show up? Give me a break. The Obama machine knows they own this group, their contributions and their time on the streets. This is noise and meaningless cacaphony at that.

    July 15, 2011 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  18. Adam Smith

    I want the same things as those progressives. But if I don't support Obama and the other Democrats, I will get even worse policies than we are getting now. Obama should try for the best deal he can get. Then progressives need to campaign hard for Obama and other Democrats in 2012.

    July 15, 2011 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "You'd think the republicans would love Obama. I mean, he finally got their healthcare plan from 1994 signed into law."

    hehe...and he gets credit for it while they don't...THAT is all this is about. Who gets the blame and who gets the credit.

    July 15, 2011 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  20. annie s

    I agree with this position 100% – cuts to entitlements should not be part of this deal because they are unnecessary. There are better ways to ensure these vital programs will be kept safe for this and future generations. However, I can't pledge not to contribute or volunteer for Obama's reelection because handing the Presidency to a Republican will be the death of this country. Their backward thinking, proven failed policies will destroy our economy and our education system, and leave us unable to compete in the new world order.

    July 15, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  21. RS, CA -- but OF COURSE CNN goons will delete this

    Progressive Change Campaign Committee - GO POUND SAND!

    When have you guys (little, tiny, immature, spoiled Lib children who have NEVER really had to WORK HARD for anything) EVER lived in a "progressive" (Socialist) state? I actually wish that ALL of you could spend a year in Venezuela or Cuba - BOY! Would YOU (little, tiny, immature, spoiled Lib children who have NEVER really had to WORK HARD for anything) ever change your tune!!!!

    July 15, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  22. Mikey

    The left wing equivalent of the Tea Party. Getting our financial house in order is going to require MORE REVENUE and SPENDING CUTS – period. The biggest line items are defense, SS, and Medicare. The rest of the budget isn't big enoug to contribute that much. Corporate taxes and those for the wealthy MUST increase. Sorry, but true.

    Here are some SS ideas – Lower the employee SS rate a little and significantly raise or remove the cap. Slowly increase the retirement age over time – life expectancy was about 65 when the age was set. It's much higher now. Sorry, America – you're probably going to have to work a little longer. Means test benefits both for income and for assets. Small changes phased in over time can have a big impact.

    Everyone needs to get used to it. We've been living well above our means and not paying for what we have been spending and it threatens the future of our country. It's time for everyone to get serious and bite the bullet. Follow our leader, President Obama. If those on the GOP want to help lead us in the right direction, it will be welcome – but pleae, cut the stupid rhetoric – it's not helping.

    July 15, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  23. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    so far the president has stood his ground and made the Republicans look bad and the last polling I saw tends to agree with that. I suggest all of you here that say raising taxes on the wealthy (which really is NOT what the POTUS has said his plan was totally, closing loopholes was a bigger deal for him) should check out WHO has had the best ride since the Bush tax cuts went into effect. How many jobs have those cuts REALLY created. The upper 1 to 2% have had income gains of over 23%, the rest of us have had far less, seen our wages stay the same or lower. And I don't begrudge anyone doing well for themselves, BUT when they have to step on the backs of the rest of us then I have a problem with it. The "job creators" the GOP is protecting have done little job creating and more cash hoarding. CEO pay is up. Profits in many major corporations are not. Not much hiring. Can't blame all of this on Obama although FoxNews says we are supposed to.

    July 15, 2011 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  24. TEGRULZ

    Unless I missed something in my US History Class which is unlikely considering I did a record time and a record score on my EOC, But aren't Progressives something that happened leading up to WW1! Why in the name of god do we still have left overs from 1912? I though Barack Obama was president not Woodrow "I'm a racist kkk lover" Wilson!

    July 15, 2011 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  25. Mikey

    @ annie s – Abolutely. The left needs to look at all that has been accomplished. Perhaps not perfect, but much better than the alternative. Healthcare reform – needs tweaking, but a good start. Financial reform – not perfect, but contains many important safeguards. Repeal don't ask, don't tell. Middle class tax relief – several times. Winding down war in Iraq – perhaps not as fast as you want, but moving in right direction. Rescued GM and auto industry.

    Everyone has seen what the GOP is doing in DC, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Florida, etc.

    Donate, volunteer, vote. Don't be stupid just because you don't get everything you want. Democracy is about compromise.

    July 15, 2011 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
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