Friday, June 3, 2016

Obama pushes expansion of Social Security

This came in his speech at Elkhart, Indiana - reporting by Steve Benen (MSNBC/MaddowBlog).

Sources close to President Obama have made no secret of his eagerness to hit the campaign trail, ready to work aggressively to ensure he’s succeeded by a Democrat. One White House source said this week the president expects to “explode onto the scene,” recognizing his unique ability to get his party “fired up.”

The president had plenty to say – he spoke for nearly a full hour – in part because of the location. Elkhart has long held a special significance for Obama, and the fact that the city’s unemployment rate has gone from about 20% to 4% since he took office makes the Indiana community a model for the president’s economic successes.

Here's the big news.

“We can’t afford to weaken Social Security; we should be strengthening Social Security.,” Obama said. “And not only do we need to strengthen its long-term health, it’s time we finally made Social Security more generous, and increased its benefits so that today’s retirees and future generations get the dignified retirement that they’ve earned. And we could start paying for it by asking the wealthiest Americans to contribute a little bit more. They can afford it. I can afford it.”

Obama, Clinton, and Sanders are now in agreement that Social Security should be expanded, while Trump says he supports Social Security cuts “from a moral standpoint,” but he thinks it’s political suicide and won’t include the idea in his platform.

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