April 27th, 2014
09:00 AM ET
9 years ago

The “Inside Politics” Forecast: Conservative Democrats run to the left on Social Security

CNN's John King and other top political reporters empty out their notebooks each Sunday on "Inside Politics" to reveal five things that will be in the headlines in the days, weeks and months ahead.

1. Conservative Democrats running to Obama’s left on Social Security:  Many Democrats see the need to get distance from President Barack Obama this midterm election year and in many states that means demanding changes to the Affordable Care Act. We’ve also seen energy state Democrats, like vulnerable Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Mark Begich of Alaska, lambaste the administration for delaying a big decision about the Keystone pipeline.

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Now, Politico’s Manu Raju says there’s another movement afoot, being tested at the moment by Alaska’s Begich. His pitch: a warning to elderly voters that if the Senate turns Republican, that President Obama will negotiate Social Security changes that result in smaller annual cost of living increases for seniors.

The debate revolves around the so-called Chained CPI – a formula that would be less generous than the current way those annual adjustments are calculated. The President has been open to the proposal in the past, as a deficit-reduction tool and as a gesture of goodwill to Republicans, although we should note it was dropped from the election-year White House budget.

The Begich argument – and Manu suggests we watch for copycat pitches from other Democrats – is that the President will warm again to the idea if he has to learn how to make deals with a Republican-led Senate.

“Watch this be a dynamic in Louisiana, North Carolina – a way to run to the left AND run away from the President at the same time,” Raju said.

2. Republicans push back on “War on Women”: Jackie Kucinich of The Washington Post reported on another possible campaign copycat movement in the works – this one related to the Democrats’ assertion of a GOP “War on Women.”

As we noted last week on our Inside Politics segment on New Day, Michigan Senate candidate Terry Lynn Land has a novel new ad to suggest it is ludicrous for her Democratic opponent to suggest that the female candidate in the race is somehow anti-woman.

The ad is getting rave reviews, and Kuninich reports that GOP strategists in other races are taking note, and thinking of trying something similar in their campaigns.

“I had a Republican operative tell me this week that might be a template for other Senate candidates who are in similar electoral situations,” Kucinich said. “You might see that in a couple of the races going forward.”

3. Rick Scott woos Latinos: Maeve Reston of The Los Angeles Times teed up a key test for Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott.

Elected four years ago as a tea party favorite, with conservative views on issues related to illegal immigration, Scott is trying now  in a different 2014 climate to broaden his appeal to Florida’s large and diverse Latino population.

So he hit the airwaves recently with a Spanish-language TV spot, and has voiced support for allowing in-state tuition benefits for some children of illegal immigrants – something that is anathema to most Tea Party groups.

But Maeve reports the Florida “dreamers” legislation is in trouble in the state Senate, and raised the question of whether Scott has the juice to help it to the finish line.

“The bill seems to be dying in the Senate,” Reston said. “It will be really interesting to see whether or not he can put some real political pressure in there to pull that one out for his campaign.”

4. Mike Pence’s 2016 moves: Add Mike Pence to the list of 2016 GOP presidential prospects.

The Indiana governor is beginning to take a closer look at the race, CNN’s Peter Hamby reports, all the while trying to explore gently because of friendships with others who are considering the race.

Pence is in his first term, and was a prominent conservative in the House of Representatives before winning the governor’s office in 2012. Being on the job for less than two years is one of the reasons Team Pence has some caution, Peter reports.

But he also says the governor’s staff is not trying to dissuade reporters from adding him to the list of 2016 GOP potential candidates.

“He does have a fine line to walk because he has only been governor of Indiana now for a little over a year,” Hamby said. “And he does have friends – real friends – Chris Christie and Scott Walker who are way ahead of him at looking at this.”

5. GOP establishment spending big to defeat Tea Party: We are entering crunch time in the Tea Party vs. The Establishment GOP internal war, with several primaries over the next two to six weeks that will have a big impact on the  party’s 2014 prospects.

So follow the money, and I’m told in the week ahead the Chamber of Commerce will make significant new TV purchases in five states, Georgia and North Carolina among them.

Both states have crowded Senate GOP primary fields, and the Chamber is part of an establishment effort to nominate with it considers more mainstream Republican candidates.

In North Carolina, state House Speaker Thom Tillis is the establishment choice. In Georgia, the Chamber backs Rep. Jack Kingston.

Filed under: Inside Politics
soundoff (15 Responses)

    Hey, it's WORKED for 80 years , and will continue to work if every body plays by the same rules. The 106.000 contribution limit needs to be RAISED and updated so EVERYBODY plays by the same RULES. Not many people in the old days made the 100,000 income but today people make a lot more and are exampt from paying into the fund, just raise the limite to 500,000 , simple!!!!!

    April 27, 2014 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  2. Alan S.

    It's a simple equation. If your rich then you vote Republican. If you are Middle Class or Poor then you vote Democrate. To do otherwise is pure insanity and you need to get psychological intervention ASAP.

    April 27, 2014 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  3. Pete

    First off the Keystone pipeline should never be built..Simply because if it were not as toxic,polluting ,corrosive to piping,the environment the Canadians would have built it themselves period,long ago..It's not going to create the thousands of jobs either republicans keep lying about and how do they or you know because most here as they never worked a pipeline job..And this push back from republicans is a little late because of them historicly alienating themselves from all groups not just women..Seniors,minorities,children,immigrents,handicapped and all that are of not of their 1% contributors..Just back track ,research on both stories and you'll see how both are negetives and both have to be stopped one way or another...

    April 27, 2014 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  4. Hector Slagg

    No doubt some of you need to look up the Bible Musing sometimes called Scripture Matthew 15: 13-14, also Luke 6: 39-40. The Fund called Social Security has been emptied a long time ago but you have IOU's and tons of Red Ink. And now you have a Economy Killer called Obama Care. With fewer people working the Social Security Fund will stay empty, as well as will run out of 'Money" too soon for those that need it the most. No doubt many of you will continue to stick your head in the sand until the till is dry and then wonder why you are no longer receiving a government check. You can look at Rome for an earlier example.

    April 27, 2014 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  5. brownbuttonglutton

    Lol. If getting the money back that the govt forcefully took from you is to the left, I got some ocean front property in Arizona.

    April 27, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  6. tim

    The social security system is perhaps the most poorly designed system. It has no feedback mechanism and cannot sustain itself. Only working citizens and their employers contribute so whenever there is a recession and employment numbers take a hit, fewer and fewer people subsidize more and more. Not only that, but there is no wealth building included and if SS funds are invested they are in low return/extremely high risk instruments losing value over time. My recommendation is to fully fund Social Security for every child at birth through their own account. Give every child $2,000 at birth and place it in an account that is tied to the S&P index and not accessible until 65. At the average growth of about 9%/yr that would provide every single person born in this country a fund of $545,738.24. Certainly it could be more or less but let's look at the current system. Next year I am able to start collecting $1400/month or $16,800/yr for..up to 30 years. Let;s say you are lucky and I die in 10 years so I only received a minimum of $168,000...$336,000 if I go 20. I dare say such a system would grow to the point that it would be self sustaining. Example: If a person were given $2000 at birth, when that person reaches the age of 35, that fund may have grown to around $41,000. At the age of 50 roughly $149,820. It is conceivable to at some point apply a fee to reclaim and also subsidize new entries into the system. If a 50 year old started paying a .25% fee, that would amount to about $374.00 in year one. In less than 5 years that account would have repaid the seed money. If at 60 the account started paying this fee, it would be $886.70 per year very quickly paying off its initial funding and able to fund others. As all this wealth grew from citizen funding, then upon death of the fund holder any remaining funds not used in retirement are returned to the system to fund new participants and build a safety net for those periods when the economy was not able to deliver decent returns or be used to form educational and/or health programs in a similar fashion. Certainly, for me, I would never see the day when every single citizen retired with wealth and a greater ability to sustain themselves. Talk about leveling playing fields, providing a means for people in low socioeconomic positions to build that pool of funds. Social Security was a program to help us weather a certain storm but now it is time to improve a system shown to not be sustainable. I suggest seeding current new births at $2000.00 and maybe even up to 10 year olds ($4750.00/individual to make up for lost growth) and over the next 25 years growing the system to be self-sustainable while removing the 6.45% social security tax for both Employees and employers. Then out of that I would propose growing a similar system to deal with Medicare and health care expenditures so individuals grow a pool of money to be used in conjunction with high deductible health insurance policies. With these things working soundly, our government can get back to governing rather than being the parent that makes sure everyone gets the same size cookie so there will be no tears.

    April 27, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  7. disqus_m4RzRjSnrs

    Always Medicare......the massive costs of Medicaid are rarely if ever mentioned.

    April 27, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  8. stormchaser101

    Rick scott bad for florida .he should be in prison for medicare fraud. Mike pence turned indiana into rtw state workers wages will suffer while the rich reap the rewards. Chamber of commerce is against workers making a decent living.teabagger repubs bad for america.All polititions look out only for themselves also very disapointed in pres obama.not much good news for america

    April 27, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. tim

    At Tim: Comparison above confusing.
    Current system: my first year of social security I receive $16,800. I have paid about $66,000 into system. After 4 years, I am taking more than I contributed and when I die, I simply stop taking.
    New system society only LENDS me $2,000 at birth. When I die, I give the system what is left over or portion off.

    Let's say I die at seventy: Old system I cost society $46,000 over 8 years.
    New system: I may return multiple $100s of thousands of dollars I did not use from my account.

    Run the numbers yourself using different return percentages and ask when it is best to fund a social security program for all.

    April 27, 2014 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  10. brownbuttonglutton

    Allen you're wrong. The democrat party is the party of George soros, warren buffet, and the owner of the clippers. All billionaires. The use uneducated minorities like pawns to giant money and power. The Democrat party is the.party of ge, solyndra, GM, and Goldman sacks. You have been bamboozled by government propaganda spewed by the lapdog media owned by said billionaires and their buddies (Ted turner?). You've been duped and you're assisting them in duping others

    April 27, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  11. daviddavid

    vote for JOBS and the economy............dems had control for last two years of Bushes term and for the first two years of BO`s term had complete control with Nancy and Harry in charge.
    The future looks great. The average income is down by 5% and your dollar buys 75% of what it did five years ago. Lowest number of people employed since 1974, lowest number of home owners in 20 years. US debt out of control and doubled in the last five years. Oh yea, the US is doing peachy keen.

    April 27, 2014 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  12. don in albuquerque


    Yes they did have control. And that was the only thing that kept the country from falling into a full fledged depression. Yes there has been a price to pay for dodging the soup line bullet. Would you have rather seen the effects of the opposite? Mean while, the deficit is dropping like a rock, unemployment is still dropping, and wall street is booming, and Obama has spent less then any president since Eisenhower . Wake up and read the newspapers.

    April 27, 2014 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  13. Brian

    Tim- You offer an interesting concept, but how is it not replacing one Ponzi scheme with another. What happens to stock prices when participants in the new system start taking withdrawals? Don't get me wrong, the near term rise in stock prices would be phenomenal, but once withdrawals start what keeps the bottom from falling out?

    April 27, 2014 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. J Anthony

    Look people, the key to finacial stability is a structural overhaul of our usurious monetary-system and taking back the power of currency-creation.. As long as the money-supply is created as a debt owed back to private banks at interest, the nation's wealth will continue to be drained off into private vaults, leaving (artificial) scarcity in its wake. Open your eyes please

    April 27, 2014 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. Chuck

    Middle of the Road
    Tea Party

    This is why the country is so messed up, too many parties from a Two party system

    April 27, 2014 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |