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Sun Dec 9, 2012, 10:57 AM

Why Aren't We Talking About EXPANDING Social Security and Medicare?

Why Aren't We Talking About EXPANDING Social Security and Medicare?

by Troubadour

There has been a lot of rhetoric around fiscal talks in Washington that "everything is on the table," but as far as the media coverage of these talks is concerned, that hasn't even been remotely true - barely a fraction of the available options are reportedly being discussed, and ALL of them are basically conservative: All of them revolve around merely allowing current tax law to take its course vs. instituting suicidal cuts to the safety nets that underpin our nation's economy.

Where is the discussion of raising the top tax rates not by the mere 2-3% that would follow the expiration of Bush tax cuts for this bracket, but by 4%, 5%, 10%, and so on? Where is the discussion of reprioritizing America's federal budget toward actually serving its citizens and away from the wasteful culture of corporate subsidies and Pentagon corruption that now practically bury our economy? And where is the discussion of reducing the age of eligibility of Social Security and/or Medicare? Where is the discussion of increasing benefits for these programs?

There can be no "bargain" while the debate consists entirely of conservative viewpoints arguing with the radical right, and certainly not while Democrats are content not to rock the boat in such an obviously illegitimate and ill-advised state of affairs. Nor is it acceptable to just passively go along with a corrupt, propagandized media that grants sole legitimacy to the values and interests of the wealthy, pretending as if the only options on the table are to cut a little or cut a lot. Not only are those not the only options, those aren't even rational options under the circumstances, and Nobel laureate economists have lined up miles deep to tell us so.

Corporate profits and the wealth of the wealthy are not the reasons we have an economy, and are certainly not the definition of economy: They are luxuries, unlike education, transportation, communications, law enforcement, environmental protection, healthcare programs of every stripe, and Social Security - all things that conservatives are insisting need to be cut in order to facilitate the continued explosion of the former. This is literally an attempt by a vanishingly small group of people to turn an entire national economy and its government into their private property and everyone else into second-class citizens completely dependent on their voluntary largesse to even survive. That's insane and anti-American, and I will not stand for it.

As far as I'm concerned, the "discussion" has not even begun until these basic facts are acknowledged and we can begin debating the right question: By how much we raise top income and capital gains taxes, and by how much we expand Medicare, Social Security, and other economy-promoting programs. Negative numbers on either subject are not under legitimate discussion here. To whatever extent there is any "waste, fraud, and abuse" left to remove from these programs - probably about the same amount as the blood you can squeeze from a stone - all of the savings must remain in those programs rather than lightening the largely fictional tax "burdens" of those who have never and will never actually be burdened by them.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/12/09/1168407/-Why-Aren-t-We-Talking-About-EXPANDING-Social-Security-and-Medicare

Yeah, where is the advocacy?

The Rebuild America Act therefore replaces the Social Security COLA formula with one that better accounts for cost inflation in the products and services that older workers pay for. It raises benefits across the board. And it pays for these improvements and addresses the program’s long-term revenue shortfall by “scrapping the cap” – eliminating the loophole that shelters incomes above $110,100 from Social security taxes.

Can we do this now?
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021861071

Dem Senator Introduces Bill To Lift Social Security’s Tax Cap, Extend Its Solvency For Decades
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021871773



Note:

Kos Media, LLC Site content may be used for any purpose without explicit permission unless otherwise specified


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Reply Why Aren't We Talking About EXPANDING Social Security and Medicare? (Original post)
ProSense Dec 2012 OP
banned from Kos Dec 2012 #1
ProSense Dec 2012 #2
banned from Kos Dec 2012 #5
ProSense Dec 2012 #6
banned from Kos Dec 2012 #9
ProSense Dec 2012 #10
banned from Kos Dec 2012 #15
TheKentuckian Dec 2012 #20
Jackpine Radical Dec 2012 #35
Rex Dec 2012 #36
TexasBushwhacker Dec 2012 #43
brokechris Dec 2012 #46
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #44
Enrique Dec 2012 #3
ProSense Dec 2012 #4
leftstreet Dec 2012 #7
ProSense Dec 2012 #8
leftstreet Dec 2012 #13
ProSense Dec 2012 #16
leftstreet Dec 2012 #19
ProSense Dec 2012 #22
riverbendviewgal Dec 2012 #11
JEB Dec 2012 #12
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #31
L0oniX Dec 2012 #14
pasto76 Dec 2012 #32
Douglas Carpenter Dec 2012 #17
xtraxritical Dec 2012 #34
Zorra Dec 2012 #18
PDJane Dec 2012 #21
Doctor_J Dec 2012 #23
ProSense Dec 2012 #24
Fire Walk With Me Dec 2012 #25
Cleita Dec 2012 #26
burnsei sensei Dec 2012 #28
burnsei sensei Dec 2012 #27
AZ Progressive Dec 2012 #29
RB TexLa Dec 2012 #30
Spitfire of ATJ Dec 2012 #38
RB TexLa Dec 2012 #40
Spitfire of ATJ Dec 2012 #41
msongs Dec 2012 #33
Spitfire of ATJ Dec 2012 #37
ProSense Dec 2012 #39
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #42
Selatius Dec 2012 #45
ProSense Dec 2012 #47
ProSense Dec 2012 #48
mmonk Dec 2012 #49

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:02 AM

1. Both are already expanding in cost terms

 

So an upward adjustment on the caps is therefore in line.

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Response to banned from Kos (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:06 AM

2. The OP isn't about cost, and

"So an upward adjustment on the caps is therefore in line."

...does this mean you agree with the point made?

I mean, the proposals by Senators Begich and Harkin are well-thought out.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:19 AM

5. Yes, I believe that caps should rise before benefits are cut.

 

Absolutely. Even though high income earners already pay more for the same benefits.

(They may already rise according to some index. I distinctly recall the SS cap was 96,000 when I hit it sometime around 1998-99ish)

I am still in favor of reforming Medicare though.

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Response to banned from Kos (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:25 AM

6. WTF?

"Yes, I believe that caps should rise before benefits are cut."

The OP has nothing to do with cutting benefits.

I asked if you agree with the OP's point, which is:

"Where is the discussion of increasing benefits for these programs?"

Do you agree with Harkin's proposal?

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Response to ProSense (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:33 AM

9. I would not change the eligibility ages at all.

 

Sorry, I don't dodge questions. I was thinking about adjusting the cap upward.

So I WOULD raise taxes to pay for our current commitments.

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Response to banned from Kos (Reply #9)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:35 AM

10. You're

"Sorry, I don't dodge questions."

...dodging the question. I didn't ask about the "eligibility age."

Do you support increasing benefits as the OP and Harkin's proposal advocates?

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Response to ProSense (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:43 AM

15. No, current benefits are generous.

 

Although I don't see any examples in the shaded portion of the Kos article.

Hell, I was against Medicare Part D.

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Response to banned from Kos (Reply #15)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 12:02 PM

20. Generous as compared to what?

I was against part D too but not because seniors didn't need help with drug costs but because it is a give away to the pharmaceutical industry that allows them to plunder the treasury on inflated price points.

Too generous? Most are barely keeping up and some are sinking.

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Response to banned from Kos (Reply #15)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 01:51 PM

35. Generous? Wow.

The average recipient gets maybe $1000 a month, and that's all the income many elderly have. Then they have Medicare premiums & sometimes co-pays. Try making it on about $800 a month for everything & get back to me on "generous."

Better yet, check out what ordinary Canadians get in the form of government-sponsored retirements. I have some cousins in Saskatchewan who are doing very well after retiring from ordinary jobs.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #35)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 01:53 PM

36. You're wasting your time imo.

nt.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #35)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:42 AM

43. After putting into the system for 30 years, my disabled roommate gets $811 SSDI

and $17 in food stamps! When she was working she made up to $50K a year, although she was making less when she became disabled. Yes, if the average recipient gets $1000, that means half of them get less, sometimes a lot less. If they are going to make cuts to Social Security, my question is, WHERE? There's just not any fat to cut.

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #43)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 05:26 AM

46. wow! My lazy good for nothing brother

who spent most of his life in a drug addicted haze and probably didn't work a total of 4 years in his entire life got declared disabled at the age of 50. He is getting 950 per month--but no food stamps.

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Response to banned from Kos (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:51 AM

44. Benefits should NEVER be cut. Never. Benefits should be increased.

The SS fund has a two trillion dollar surplus and it will double by the year 2023 even if the economy and employment rates stay as they are now.

This fund is separate from the Federal Budget so money going out from that fund has nothing to do with the Fed. Budget.

To increase benefits now, would stimulate the economy, it would be a stimulus that the people themselves already paid for and it would not come from the Federal Budget.

People paid into this fund. The morons in our Government who borrowed from to pay for the Bush tax cuts and their insane useless, wars for profit, had no business doing so. They lied about the wars and the cost, they lied about the Bush cuts which cost this country 2 trillion dollars. WE had to pay that Welfare check also.

The only reform Medicare needs is to lower the eligibility age, remove any middlemen and let the Government run it, as they successfully ran medicaid until the private corps got involved there also, raising the overhead for profit.

Medicare for all paid for the way every other civilized country pays for theirs.

But don't even think about cutting benefits. That money belongs to the people and no member of Congress, or unelected moron like Alan Simpson, or greedy lying Corporation has any right to touch that fund other than to make sure it goes to the people who own it.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:09 AM

3. because we vote for centrists in primaries

because any candidate who might propose such a thing is marginalized, even by progressives.

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Response to Enrique (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:12 AM

4. Begich and Harkin

"because any candidate who might propose such a thing is marginalized, even by progressives."

...are not being "marginalized." In fact, Begich's proposal was well-received here.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021871773

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:28 AM

7. Why isn't Obama talking about it? n/t

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:33 AM

8. We have to wait for President Obama to talk about it before we do?

Begich and Harkin are talking about it.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:41 AM

13. Well he's kinda the leader of the Party

Begich and Harkin...who? Sounds like a consulting firm

Maybe Obama is unaware that many of his constituents HAVE been talking about expanding these programs

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #13)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:45 AM

16. Does he lead our mouths?

"Maybe Obama is unaware that many of his constituents HAVE been talking about expanding these programs "

The thing about advocacy is that you have to keep doing it (verbally and visually...thinking it doesn't count) until more people become aware and understand the need to support your position.

"Make him do it."

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Response to ProSense (Reply #16)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:49 AM

19. blah, blah, blah, feet to the fire, yeah yeah



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Response to leftstreet (Reply #19)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 12:21 PM

22. Good thing you're

not the leader of any kind of movement.





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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:38 AM

11. good article

K & R

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:39 AM

12. If you want to stimulate the economy

expanding either of these programs would certainly help do that. The 1% seem so short sighted. They stand to benefit more from a healthy vibrant economy (at least in terms of dollars) and yet their only concern is short term tax relief. Medicare for all would bring a lot of healthy people and their money into the system. Talk about your economic stimulus. Business would have a lighter burden and individuals would mostly spend the extra money they didn't have to pay the private blood sucking insurance companies. If they want to cut something, try the lard ass Defense Dept. with all their corrupt contractors (war profiteers). Anybody who votes to shortchange old and sick people, just so the rich can horde another sliver of cash, can FOAD.

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Response to JEB (Reply #12)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 01:26 PM

31. The 1% isn't concerned about more economic benefit, they already won that war. They are concerned

 

with making sure that we can never come back and threaten their position again.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:43 AM

14. Because this country is all about screwing people!

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #14)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 01:28 PM

32. no, because 47% voted last month to cut the benfits because they beleive the bullshit

if you are not talking extensively at work and in your social life about SS and medicare truths, then you are part of the problem.

My right leaning co-worker was _stunned_ when I showed him an article that showed, but for 2010, SS had taken in more money than it gave out. "but its been bankrupt for years" is what he says.

Really? who told you that? Rush?

they believe it because, frankly, the left does not dominate the public info the way it should.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:46 AM

17. for the U.S. to meet the standards of modern western democracy it would have to expand a great deal

It is is kind of ridiculous that this is not a part of mainstream discussion. Within the lifetime of many of us - expanding such programs was supported by both parties including the vast majority of mainstream Republicans. How did our political economy and our fundamental morality ever fall so low?

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Response to Douglas Carpenter (Reply #17)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 01:41 PM

34. Money is speech, corporations are people, corrupt Congress, that's how.

 

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:48 AM

18. Good question. Rec'd. nt

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 12:09 PM

21. That's the one question that isn't politically correct to ask.

When the whole system is tilted towards the wealthy, there isn't much left for the rest of us. There is a solution, but it will take a lot of complaining by we, the people.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 12:29 PM

23. Because we have no representatives in DC

Big Insurance pays for representation, we have none. And the president is an appeasing right-wing coward whose main goal is to not get impeached, and so he adopts Republican position on most issues, hoping that Hate Radio and Fox "News" will leave him alone.

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #23)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 12:35 PM

24. The proposals in the OP

"Big Insurance pays for representation, we have none. "

...are by Senators Begich and Harkin so that's at least two.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 12:39 PM

25. Because wall street have been planning to steal that money for years and years

 

and the government isn't really about the voice of the people.

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #25)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 01:10 PM

26. +1000

That's the last untapped fund in Washington that hasn't been raided yet and they are gunning for it.

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #25)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 01:17 PM

28. Ironically, Edmund Burke criticized the National Assembly in France

because the first cash cows they went after in financing their new government were the social service organizations of the church.
Who suffered for all this new "freedom"? The poor, of course.
The conservative business/political class of this country is no different. They want money, and the first place they'll go to get it is the social service apparatus of the government.
1789-- 2012--- no difference.
The Wall Street crowd are the New Jacobins. Instead of bringing the nobility and clergy to the guillotine, they're sacrificing the lives and well-being of the impoverished.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 01:13 PM

27. The reasons an expansion of these programs

has not been discussed are simple--
1. political cowardice
2. selfishness and greed
3. social rigidity and stupidity
4. a refusal to define sustenance as a human right
5. the dialogue of the deserving versus the undeserving in need
6. sheer stubborn cruelty

Stop buying the aluminum siding and mouthwash the conservatives are substituting for genuine thoughtful policy.
We are, deservedly, the laughingstock of the rest of the world because of our refusal to look after our own.
This is a massively self-deceived country with a government that reflects the worst of the self-deceptions.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 01:21 PM

29. We let corporations and the right dictate what we talk about

Seriously, I'm tired of Democrats and other Liberals playing ball on the Right Wing / corporations field, where they get to dictate what subjects we talk about and what aspects of them do we talk about. For instance, we let them focus the conversation on cutting the deficit, and we talk about different ways to cut the deficit rather than even if we should pay much attention to the issue at all (was there a whole stink about the deficit back in the Bush years) or if we should care more about stimulating the economy (so revenue would be raised) rather than focus on cutting spending. As a result, they are able to put Democrats on the defensive and pressure them to "shoot Santa" (according to Jude Wanniski's theory of keeping Democrats from giving "gifts" to the people.) Another example is that we let them get away with branding big corporations as "job creators" thus making it that we can't upset the job creators otherwise we won't have more jobs, thus we are beholden to them instead of focusing attention on regulating corporations.

Who said that Republicans and the rest of the Right Wing should dictate the conversation all the time?

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 01:22 PM

30. It has been expanded and is being expanded


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Response to RB TexLa (Reply #30)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 03:01 PM

38. These charts are deceptive....

It's not that people are living longer, it's that they aren't dying younger.

Infant mortality is down from what it was due to vaccinations and people learning simple things like preventing "crib death". Then there's stuff like bike helmets and child seats for cars.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #38)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 10:29 PM

40. Lower infant mortality has the same effect on life expectancy and are part of the chart


nothing deceptive.

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Response to RB TexLa (Reply #40)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:30 AM

41. Republicans MAKE them deceptive by claiming people live longer...

The argument is that people live longer so we shouldn't be paying for them to lounge around when they should be working...

Isn't it amazing how they talk about how people should be in the labor force when they are anti-labor?

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 01:38 PM

33. because conservatives control the white house and congress nt

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 02:54 PM

37. Lower the retirement age to 55....

That do two things, pump money into the economy because not EVERYONE 55 and older would quit their jobs but the extra income WOULD be spent and not SAVED

For those who DID retire it would have the other effect.

There was a time when you worked until the day you died. When Social Security allowed older workers to retire it made it so younger workers could fill those jobs.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #37)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 05:46 PM

39. Yes. n/t

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:32 AM

42. it's not on the table; because the table is set by the ruling class.

 

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 05:22 AM

45. We lack Franklin Roosevelt's 75 seat Democratic Senate majority and a powerful US House caucus.

The Democrats of today aren't the New Deal Democrats of the 1930s.

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Response to Selatius (Reply #45)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:42 AM

47. Yes, that would help, but

do not underestimate the power of advocacy.

The RW repeats its distortions over and over, attempting to convince gullible people. Democrats spend a lot of time countering the lies.

In 2010, Republicans successfully used the "Obama cut Medicare" lie.

Oh, and for all those older Americans who voted GOP last year because those nasty Democrats were going to cut Medicare, I have just one word: suckers!

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/04/privatizing-medicare/

People didn't buy it during the 2012 campaign because Democrats successfully presented the facts. All it takes is a sustained effort to educate the public about the facts in contrast to the lies, which cannot trump the truth.

Just 4 weeks ago, Republicans were blaming Democrats for cutting $716 billion from Medicare.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021930783

Yes, Mitt was pushing the same tired argument hoping for a repeat: sucker!

Advocacy works.



What the millionaires want versus what the voters want
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/12/07/1162018/-What-the-millionaires-want-versus-what-the-voters-want

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 09:44 AM

48. Kick! n/t

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 10:11 AM

49. Because both parties operate primarily out of or within

the Reagan/Friedman playbook as opposed to the Progressive/Keynesian playbook. Only those of us who haven't assimilated to propaganda realize this.

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