Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:22 PM
amborin (16,385 posts)
Labor Notes: Nothing Grand About A Grand Bargain (aka No swaps)
Nothing Grand About A Grand Bargain
"After months of campaigning vigorously for President Obama, unions made a “hard pivot” today and jumped into action to head off threats to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.....
fear Congress will reach what Obama and others have called a “grand bargain”: cuts to “entitlement” programs in exchange for letting the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy expire December 31. ....
"....Nancy Altman, co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security coalition, outlined three ways “grand bargainers” might cut benefits: raise the retirement age, change the cost-of-living formula, and reduce the benefits of “higher-income” people, supposedly to make the program more progressive—granting fewer benefits to those who need them least.
Altman calls the last ploy a “poison pill,” a way to lessen support for Social Security long-term. In order to save a reasonable amount of money, she says, such cuts would have to affect not just those at the top but millions of beneficiaries further down the ladder. “To make it ‘work,’” she said—to save the billions both Obama and the Republicans are looking for—“it would have to affect the top 70 percent, not the top 2 percent.”
What Explains Wall Street's Shift Away From Obama: Fat Cat Comments or Dodd-Frank?
"In an interesting column on President Obama as the last of the "New Democrats" presidents, Michael Lind brings up the idea that the financial sector has permanently moved away from Democrats. "In 2012, most Wall Street donors, offended by Obama’s mild criticism and alarmed by the support shown by many Democrats for Occupy Wall Street, have swung their support away from the Democrats to the Republicans.
It is unlikely that most of them will ever come back. In the aftermath of the Great Recession, moderate as well as progressive Democrats are going to emphasize deficit reduction through tax increases far more than even moderate Republicans...Any such reform will cut deeply into the incomes of many Wall Street rentiers whose 'progressivism' extends only to cost-free support for gay rights and abortion rights."
It'll be interesting to see if the political coalitions permanently shift in this manner. One reason for a shift is if Wall Street is leaving President Obama less for rhetorical reasons and more for economic and regulatory ones, especially when it comes to Dodd-Frank, which Democrats will continue to defend and Republicans will look to overturn.
The fact that Social Security covers everyone is what has made it popular with everyone, Altman said. Decoupling what participants receive from their wages would move Social Security toward a subsistence-level benefit—more like welfare—and thus shrink its political support among middle and higher earners.
Instead, union leaders say, Congress should keep Social Security intact and fund it with higher taxes on the wealthy.....""
Let's hope the New Dems don't panic and do something stupid to salvage things....
8 replies, 821 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Labor Notes: Nothing Grand About A Grand Bargain (aka No swaps) (Original post)
|Teamster Jeff||Nov 2012||#4|
Response to amborin (Original post)
Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:43 PM
hfojvt (37,163 posts)
1. I will kick this - being opposed to a grand bargain myself
but having the two articles in one OP sorta makes for too much to comment on.
However, I am not against reducing benefits for higher income workers.
I can see how unions would be against that, since many of their members ARE higher income workers.
Response to hfojvt (Reply #1)
Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:19 PM
amborin (16,385 posts)
8. soc security should not become means-tested as someone in the second article mentions;
i only included the second article because it seemed to suggest that new dems might feel pressured to do something that pleases wall street ---something stupid, such as ruin social security----since they may be believing that they are losing the support of Wall Street; this support was one of the planks of the new dem agenda, i believe.