Wed Dec 19, 2012, 06:12 AM
eomer (3,480 posts)
For the 3000th time (*more or less*): President Obama has been promoting cuts to SS since 2011.
For my 3000th post, let me say one more time that the President has for quite some time been promoting cuts to Social Security. Below are some of the statements he made during the period of July and August of 2011, when he was negotiating for a "grand bargain" solution to the fake deficit problem. The deal the President is now offering is essentially the same one he was pushing over two years ago.
THE PRESIDENT: What I emphasized to the broader group of congressional leaders yesterday is now is the time to deal with these issues. If not now, when? I've been hearing from my Republican friends for quite some time that it is a moral imperative for us to tackle our debt and our deficits in a serious way. I've been hearing from them that this is one of the things that's creating uncertainty and holding back investment on the part of the business community. And so what I've said to them is, let's go. And it is possible for us to construct a package that would be balanced, would share sacrifice, would involve both parties taking on their sacred cows, would involved some meaningful changes to Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid that would preserve the integrity of the programs and keep our sacred trust with our seniors, but make sure those programs were there for not just this generation but for the next generation; that it is possible for us to bring in revenues in a way that does not impede our current recovery, but is fair and balanced.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. Youíve said that reducing the deficit will require shared sacrifice. We know -- we have an idea of the taxes that you would like to see raised on corporations and on Americans in the top two tax brackets, but we donít yet know what you specifically are willing to do when it comes to entitlement spending. In the interest of transparency, leadership, and also showing the American people that you have been negotiating in good faith, can you tell us one structural reform that you are willing to make to one of these entitlement programs that would have a major impact on the deficit? Would you be willing to raise the retirement age? Would you be willing to means test Social Security or Medicare?
THE PRESIDENT: Weíve said that we are willing to look at all those approaches. Iíve laid out some criteria in terms of what would be acceptable. So, for example, Iíve said very clearly that we should make sure that current beneficiaries as much as possible are not affected. But we should look at what can we do in the out-years, so that over time some of these programs are more sustainable.
THE PRESIDENT: So my general view is that if the American people looked at this, theyíd say, boy, some of these decisions are tough, but they donít require us to gut Medicare or Social Security. They donít require us to stop helping young people go to college. They donít require us to stop helping families who've got a disabled child. They donít require us to violate our obligations to our veterans. And they donít require job-killing tax cuts. They require us to make some modest adjustments to get our house in order, and we should do it now.
THE PRESIDENT: Good evening, everybody. I wanted to give you an update on the current situation around the debt ceiling. I just got a call about a half hour ago from Speaker Boehner who indicated that he was going to be walking away from the negotiations that weíve been engaged in here at the White House for a big deficit reduction and debt reduction package. And I thought it would be useful for me to just give you some insight into where we were and why I think that we should have moved forward with a big deal.
Essentially what we had offered Speaker Boehner was over a trillion dollars in cuts to discretionary spending, both domestic and defense. We then offered an additional $650 billion in cuts to entitlement programs -- Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. We believed that it was possible to shape those in a way that preserved the integrity of the system, made them available for the next generation, and did not affect current beneficiaries in an adverse way.
THE PRESIDENT: Absolutely. But what you saw -- and, again, youíll see this from the description of the deal -- essentially what they had agreed to give on is to get back to a baseline -- this starts getting technical, but there were about $800 billion in revenue that were going to be available. And what we said was when youíve got a ratio of $4 in cuts for every $1 of revenue, thatís pretty hard to stomach. And we think itís important to make sure that whatever additional revenue is in there covers the amount of money thatís being taken out of entitlement programs. Thatís only fair.
If Iím saying to future recipients of Social Security or Medicare that youíre going to have to make some adjustments, itís important that weíre also willing to make some adjustments when it comes to corporate jet owners, or oil and gas producers, or people who are making millions or billions of dollars.
THE PRESIDENT: So it is true that as the population gets older thereís going to be more and more pressure on the Social Security system. But the Social Security system is not the cause of our debt and deficit. (Applause.) So donít let folks fool you by saying that in order to get a handle on our debt weíve got to slash Social Security. There are some modest adjustments that can be made that will make it solvent for 75 years -- and thatís about as long as you can think ahead as a country.
And the way to do it is similar to the way that Ronald Reagan and Tip OíNeill fixed Social Security back in 1983. They said, okay, weíll make some modest adjustments that are phased in over a very long period of time; most folks donít notice them. But if we do that, and all the money goes back into Social Security -- it doesnít go anywhere else -- then thereís no reason why Social Security wonít be there for future generations. But, again, this is an example of where everybody gets so dug in on their positions.
And I have to say, in fairness -- because Iíve commented on the other side not always being flexible -- there have been times where our side -- when Democrats arenít always as flexible as we need to be. I mean, sometimes I do get frustrated when I hear folks say, you canít make any changes to any government programs. Well, that canít be right. I mean, most companies every year, theyíre kind of thinking, what can we do better? Are there some changes we could make in order to have the operation go a little smoother? The government should have to do the same thing. But that doesnít mean we have to make radical changes that dismantle what is the most important social insurance program that we have. But, again, the problem is not the program, the problem is our politics.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, let me separate out some of these programs. And Iím going to start with Social Security. People pay into Social Security. Itís a social insurance program. Theyíre not getting it for free. Itís not a handout. Itís taken out of your check. Itís been taken out of your check for a lifetime. And it provides you a floor when you retire.
Now, hopefully, people have other savings that help supplement their incomes in their golden years. But weíve got to make sure Social Security is there not just for this generation but for the next generation. (Applause.) Now, Social Security is not posing a huge problem with respect to our debt and our deficit. There is a problem that if we donít make any modifications at all, then in a few years what will start happening is, is that the amount of money going out is more than the amount coming -- amount of money going in. And people debate how soon, but in a couple of decades youíd start having a situation where youíd only get 75 cents on the dollar that you expected on Social Security.
If we make some modest changes now, the kind of changes that Ronald Reagan and Tip OíNeill agreed to back in 1983, we can preserve Social Security, make sure itís there for the future 75 years out. So Social Security is something that we can solve relatively easily. It doesnít mean that we donít make any changes at all, because there may be some tweaks that we can make to the program, but we can assure that Social Security is there for future generations.
The "changes that Ronald Reagan and Tip OíNeill agreed to back in 1983", that President Obama referred to as a model, included raising the retirement age and decreasing benefits (the latter by reducing cost-of-living adjustments):
During the past year several new laws were enacted that changed the Social Security program. By far the most important of these was the Social Security Amendments of 1983, which followed closely the recommendations of the National Commission on Social Security Reform that had been appointed by the President to find ways to strengthen Social Security financing. The main provisions of the 1983 amendments are listed below.
1. Coverage of newly hired Federal employees.
2. Coverage of employees of nonprofit employers.
3. Ban on termination of coverage of State and local government employees.
4. Six-month delay in cost-of-living adjustments.
5. Modification of cost-of-living increases during periods of low trust fund balances (stabilizer provision).
6. Normalized tax transfers.
7. Extension of interfund borrowing authority.
8. Elimination of windfall benefits (for workers receiving pensions from noncovered employment).
9. Increase in normal retirement age after the year 2000.
10. Increase in delayed retirement benefits.
11. Reduced withholding rate under the retirement test.
12. Taxation of Social Security benefits.
13. Changes in tax rate schedule.
14. Acceleration of State and local tax collections.
15. Increase in benefits for certain surviving, divorced and disabled spouses.
16. Change in financing basis of noncontributory military service wage credits.
17. Reimbursement of Social Security funds for uncashed checks.
18. Change in public pension offset (for spouses with pensions from noncovered employment).
19. Taxation of contributions under salary reduction plans.
20. Suspension of benefits to certain nonresident aliens.
21. Expanded use of death certificates.
22. Other changes without significant cost impact, including provision for two more OASDI trustees from outside the government.
15 replies, 871 views
For the 3000th time (*more or less*): President Obama has been promoting cuts to SS since 2011. (Original post)
|woo me with science||Dec 2012||#7|
|woo me with science||Dec 2012||#13|
Response to eomer (Original post)
Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:52 AM
woo me with science (26,855 posts)
7. Perhaps significantly earlier:
This article references 2006:
Obama and the Hamiltonian Democrats: "This is not a bloodless process."
Response to woo me with science (Reply #7)
Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:53 AM
TBF (24,959 posts)
10. This. And also re-read his State of the Union Speech in 2008 -
and his comments about "having a conversation about Social Security".
No one else was talking about it except him. This is not new and he owns it.
Response to eomer (Original post)
Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:59 AM
WorseBeforeBetter (9,924 posts)
11. Ack... HuffPo! Sputter... FireDogLake! %&#*... Greenwald!
CARNEY: "this is a technical adjustment ... and it is one sought by Republicans."
And that's precisely why I'm a Democrat, to give the Republicans what they want! GOBAMA!
Response to eomer (Original post)
Wed Dec 19, 2012, 06:28 PM
byeya (2,842 posts)
14. Obama promised to walk the picket lines with strikers and promised EFCA and other labor
So he didn't keep these promises, to be polite, but he can sure try to put the screws to the rank and file Americans.