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The Biggest Progressive Victory of 2014 So Far Was Against Obama, Not With Him

President Obama removed the chained-CPI Social Security benefit cut from his budget, a victory for progressives.

Since we are only seven weeks into 2014 I feel confident calling President Obama’s decision to remove the chained-CPI Social Security benefit cut from his budget the biggest victory for progressives so far this year.

The change is bigger than simply the removal of a line from a budget. It symbolizes a victory over the entitlement-cutting “grand bargain” forces because it is an acknowledgement by Obama his hope is basically dead. This is a fight that has been going on for years against some of the best-funded organizations in Washington. A policy which would have hurt millions of Americans and made our retirement crisis worse appears to have been stopped – for now.

It is a sad comment about the current state of politics that the biggest progressive victory so far this year wasn’t a victory with the Democratic President, but a victory against him. While Obama did technically remove chained-CPI, he was the one who put it there in the first place. He is the one who has been consistently pushing for a grand bargain for years. He was the one who forced the Democratic party to temporarily back such a destructive and deeply unpopular position.

Obama only removed this policy from his budget because he was stopped by a combination of progressives (some) and mostly Republicans who refused to give him even token tax increases.

Official White House photo by Pete Souzza

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at