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Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:40 PM

 

Bargaining away Social Security: Obama can do it because of his electoral coalition.

There's a quote out there somewhere I can't dig up right now, talking about the changes that the Republican and Democratic parties have been through over time. Something along the lines of, the two parties have been in such a long, drawn out struggle, that they ended up wrestling themselves into each other's clothes. This has been true over many issues.

The problem right now is that the struggle has stripped the defense of Social Security from the Democrats, but the Republicans are in no mood whatsoever to put it on themselves, and so it lies abandoned in the dirt.

What happened? Obama's coalition of voters happened. No President can truly be elected by an absolute majority of voters without a certain amount of broad-based support across all demographics, and that's true with Obama as well. HOWEVER. It is undeniable that Obama's core coalition of voters consisted, both in 2008 and in 2012, of three groups:

1) Upper-middle-class bi-coastals. Call them yuppies or yupsters, latte liberals or iPad radicals, we all know who they are. These people are well-off enough that they do NOT have to rely solely, or even mainly, on Social Security in their old age. So they don't care so much about it. (These are also the same people who would tell us that "no-one can survive in NYC/San Fran on less than 250K a year...")

2) African-Americans. Considering the history of the United States, it is more than understandable that they turned out strongly and solidly for Obama, both at his election and his re-election. The great mass of their votes were expressions of ethnic pride, were celebrations of the fact that at last, it was their turn for one of their own at the levers of power. Somewhat in the way that Irish-Americans voted with pride for JFK and will always look back on him with a special affection. But when people vote for reasons of ethnic pride, actual political issues become relatively unimportant. In such situations, it's not about platforms or policies or even principles - it's about the person.

3) Kids. I remember being in my early 20s quite well. And I do not blame them one whit for not caring about what happens to them 40 years down the road. The concept of Social Security is properly not on their radar whatsoever. People sometimes say that getting old is better than the alternative (death) but when you're a kid, they both seem equally awful.

I don't see anything pre-planned or un-toward in any of this. It's merely an accident of history. Obama was elected and re-elected by a tripartite coalition of supporters that, each for it's own reasons, doesn't really care or won't mind too much whatever Obama does to Social Security.

And so the third rail becomes a bargaining chip. Sad, but true. Maybe we should blame, if we have to blame anyone, all the old folks who are voting Republican now!

32 replies, 1376 views

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Reply Bargaining away Social Security: Obama can do it because of his electoral coalition. (Original post)
downandoutnow Dec 2012 OP
doc03 Dec 2012 #1
dkf Dec 2012 #4
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #14
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #23
neverforget Dec 2012 #25
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #28
Angry Dragon Dec 2012 #2
leftstreet Dec 2012 #3
Autumn Dec 2012 #5
Enrique Dec 2012 #6
downandoutnow Dec 2012 #9
bigtree Dec 2012 #7
LeftInTX Dec 2012 #8
doc03 Dec 2012 #11
amandabeech Dec 2012 #29
BarackTheVote Dec 2012 #10
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #15
BarackTheVote Dec 2012 #19
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #20
BarackTheVote Dec 2012 #22
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #27
BarackTheVote Dec 2012 #30
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #31
BarackTheVote Dec 2012 #32
n2doc Dec 2012 #12
Poll_Blind Dec 2012 #13
NashvilleLefty Dec 2012 #16
downandoutnow Dec 2012 #17
BarackTheVote Dec 2012 #18
downandoutnow Dec 2012 #21
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #24
graham4anything Dec 2012 #26

Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:47 PM

1. I voted for Obama because the Republicans promised to cut SS

and Medicare and what do I get a Democrat that cuts SS and Medicare. I am retired and
depend on SS and will receive medicare in a couple months, I don't count.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:56 PM

4. I keep telling you all the numbers don't work.

 

It's inevitable the benefits will be cut, especially for Medicare.

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Response to dkf (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:25 PM

14. Yes you do, and it remains fallacious balderdash based on fantasy and idealogical guesswork. n/t

 

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Response to dkf (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:20 PM

23. Please stop with these false statements.

SS benefits should be raised to draw down on the surplus for one thing, and because the people own that fund, and to stimulate the economy.

SS has nothing to do with the deficit. How many times do people have to tell you that?

To claim otherwise is a Republican lie. And no Democrat is going to buy that being that they actually do understand how this works.

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Response to dkf (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:31 PM

25. Gee, we haven't noticed

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Response to dkf (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:38 AM

28. It is theft pure and simple.

The Reagan administration set up the Social Security Trust Fund, raising our Social Security and Medicare premiums ostensibly to cover the costs of the baby-boomers' retirement. Then he and subsequent presidents, in particular George W. Bush, borrowed from that trust fund as well as from the civil service retirement funds to pay for, in GWB's case, two wars and tax cuts that most benefited the very rich.

Since neither wars nor tax cuts for the very rich help our economy all that much, by the end of the Bush administration, the path that Clinton had cut toward a fiscally sound set of policies was overgrown, and the whole economy collapsed with certain investment houses and the banks falling first.

Obama came into office to find a horrible recession. He borrowed more from the Social Security Trust Fund and the federal employees retirement system just to keep the entire country from drowning in debt.

Now it is time to start paying the money from the Social Security Trust Fund and the civil service retirement fund back in the form of monthly benefits to a growing number of seniors, the baby-boomer generation who put the money into the Trust Funds and who are supposed to be getting it back in the from of monthly benefits.

Except the Trust Fund money is gone thanks to primarily three presidents, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush (most responsible for the theft or embezzlement) and Barack Obama. The money is gone, having been used to fill the pockets of defense contractors and the very rich.

So now those of us who paid extra into the Trust Fund anticipating the unavoidable fact that our children's generation is too small to support us in our old age are to be cheated out of our money. Congress is telling us to just turn down the heat, eat less and shut up.

That is the long and short of it. The US government is defaulting on pension obligations including on obligations to the military, the 14th Amendment be damned. And the Republicans, who vowed in 2010 to govern by the Constitution could care less. In fact they are clamoring for the default because they hate our country, hate our seniors and hate the Constitution.

No. They don't admit it. But they live it and have been living it for a long time.

And so here we are. Obama and Congress need to at least be honest about the fact that our Social Security, military pensions and civil service retirement money was stolen and that we aren't going to get it back from the thieves.

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Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:51 PM

2. ............

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Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:55 PM

3. The beatings will continue until morale improves n/t

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Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:56 PM

5. No, let's blame Obama and the pukes.

Social security adds nothing to the deficit, yet they want the cuts.

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Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:59 PM

6. maybe, but what about the Congressional dems? n/t

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Response to Enrique (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:02 PM

9. That's a good point. We can see what happens with them.

 

But the thing is, with grand bargains, you only need SOME of EACH party to vote for it.

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Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:59 PM

7. yeah, blacks are one-dimensional like that

" . . . when people vote for reasons of ethnic pride, actual political issues become relatively unimportant. In such situations, it's not about platforms or policies or even principles - it's about the person."

Piece of work.

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Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:00 PM

8. I'm white, middle aged, and middle class

I remember Obama bashing Romney/Ryan about Medicare vouchers/social security. And remember what happened when Bush tried to privatize ss. Always knew that social security was solvent until 2034. Didn't think it would be part of this.

I wish Pres Obama had started from an outrageous negotiating position. He shoulda said, "I got political capital and I'm gonna use by raising tax rates up to 90 percent".

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Response to LeftInTX (Reply #8)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:06 PM

11. He started the same way with health care. Instead of going for universal

health care he concedes to the Republicans and starts with the Heritage Foundation Romneycare alternative for Hillarycare and negotiates down from there.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #11)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:45 AM

29. Yup.

He's make a great Republican if he were one who would actually negotiate with the real Dems.

Old people can't do anything much for themselves at this point. Younger old can try to get a part-time job or cut their budget, if they can.

That, however, would cut jobs for younger workers and weaken consumer demand that's supposed to be so important for the economy.

I wish that I'd married someone from Canada, Australia or one of the prosperous EU countries. I'm 57, have had a hard life, and I'm worried.

And I've voted Dem all my life.

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Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:06 PM

10. All I hear is

blah blah blah kids and young people are short-sighted morons.

Need I remind you that the white middle-agers and elderly voted for Romney? I'd say the kids and yuppies saved all our asses

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Response to BarackTheVote (Reply #10)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:30 PM

15. I hope you save this reply so that you can look back in years to came and feel properly embarrassed.

 

I know you don't believe it now, but all of us that have survived the 30 years that still lie before you know exactly what you think and believe.

Don't take this the wrong way, but you don't understand nearly as much as you believe you do and most of what you know for a fact is completely wrong.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #15)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 12:19 AM

19. Uh huh

Given the fact that I am a 20-something "yuppie" as are most of my friends, and we all care a great deal about the future, I'd say the only thing I don't understand is the point of your reply, except that it is a classic case of ageism. We are the first generation in a long time that looks forward to making less than our parents; many of my friends, mostly college grads, by the way, are either on food stamps or eligible; we know that our retirement's going to be a bitch if these trends persist.

We overwhelmingly voted for Obama--ages 18-29, 60% to <40%. We're smart, we're highly educated, we're socially conscious, virulently anti-corporate, and we are pissed that the previous generations were such horrible stewards of our future. Reagan democrats--What. The. Fuck?

We don't need your condescend because if it were up to us, the corporados would be reigned in, gay marriage would be legal in all 50 states, contraception would be easily available, and public institutions and programs would get the funding they so desperately need.

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Response to BarackTheVote (Reply #19)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 02:56 PM

20. I replied to you because it struck me as one very like what I would've written 20-25 years ago.

 

To think you are the first to be who and where you are is a privilege of youth. I certainly hope that you turn out be the first that is right about any of that. But having been in your place and believed as you do, I learned that it is highly unlikely.

You and your friends will learn that you do not represent your generation. That the others, those who are not your friends, will take the opportunities offered in exchange for your ideals. That more than enough of them will fail to stand up for what's right in exchange for paying mortgages, advancing their careers, taking care of their families, etc.

You're not smarter than those of that came before you, and in this age of corporate education-for-profit and grade inflation, you're probably not even as well educated as we were. Mostly you have yet to realize that the game has been so successful because it is ingenious. It does offer a better life... for some, usually most. But it exacts the price of making life much worse for those that have no voice or opportunity.

Look at your reply. You assume that I'm what you imagine my, and the President's, generation to be, but I am the you that didn't sell out. I did the things that you probably plan to do and have lived the life that you probably believe you will. Don't get me wrong, it has been a great life, but Barack Obama is one of the others, as is going to be further demonstrated over the next four years.

And of course, you are not going to believe me now, but ignore what he has said and look at what he's done. Start with his speech at the 2004 DNC, then at his subsequent 2008 campaign and then contrast that with his appointments and the policies he directed. Do the selections and appointments of Emanuel, Geithner, Summers, Vilsak, Duncan, Panneta, Holder, etc. reflect an administration committed to changing the game to make life better for average Americans, or are they exactly the people you would select to protect the "corporados" from any potential change?

Just like you, I am and have always been socially conscious, virulently anti-corporate, believe contraception should be freely available, and would dramatically expand and fundamentally change most public institutions and programs. Health care is a human right. Education is a human right. Justice is a human right. And as essential human rights, none of them should ever be denied to anyone because they don't have enough money, period.

Oh, and ageism works both ways.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #20)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:18 PM

22. I am not making predictions

Maybe we younguns will sell out en-masse, I don't know. But that's not the point. The OP said that "kids" (which I find extremely patronizing and derogatory) and "yuppies" don't care about the future, and don't spare a thought for their standard of life in retirement, a broad generalization that I have experientially found to be false. All other things aside, you don't know me or my cohort, so seriously, dismount your high horse.

"I'm the you that didn't sell out"--What. The. Fuck? I haven't sold out yet and you don't have a crystal ball.

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Response to BarackTheVote (Reply #22)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:10 AM

27. I didn't say that you did or that you necessarily will. Try to reign in your anger for a moment

 

and read what was written from the perspective of well-meant advise. I can absolutely assure you, I have already been there, and I know where you are going.

You are putting your faith in someone that is going to screw you so hard you may well never recover from it. Be more skeptical.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #27)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 02:01 AM

30. I don't believe I said a thing about Obama and whether or not he's a closet corporatist

The OP insulted my generation in general and you yourself insulted by my generation AND myself. Forgive me for not taking that laying down. And if you think these feelings of mine of being attacked are unfounded, then maybe you should work on your tone.

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Response to BarackTheVote (Reply #30)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 02:36 AM

31. A. Your username and your statement in #19 are clear indications of your stance on the President.

 

B. I'm not speaking for the OP.

C. I've told you, twice, that you misinterpreted my words to find insult in them.

If you are looking to be insulted, you will certainly have no problem finding it here.

I am now officially sorry to have cared enough to notice you.

Bye.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #31)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 03:19 AM

32. I've had this user name since 2008

And with that,

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Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:08 PM

12. He isn't running again

He can screw over whomever he pleases, so long as he can get Congress to go along with it.

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Response to n2doc (Reply #12)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:11 PM

13. ^ This

Somebody made a joke a week or two ago, wondering aloud if the President was having to concede so much in order to assure his third term re-election.

This is it- he's gotten a second term. A smack in the face of the Republicans, a mandate to govern and steer the country in the direction he campaigned on. So he needs to do it.

PB

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Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:36 PM

16. WTF? Or, more correctly, W.T.F.?

" Obama was elected and re-elected by a tripartite coalition of supporters that, each for it's own reasons, doesn't really care or won't mind too much whatever Obama does to Social Security. "

Total BS.

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Reply #16)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:45 PM

17. Would you deny that both kids and yuppies don't care too much about Social Security? /nt

 

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Response to downandoutnow (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:58 PM

18. As a kid/yuppie

Yes, I do deny that.

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Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 03:27 PM

21. Shameless self-kick. /nt

 

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Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:26 PM

24. Nice try.

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Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:52 PM

26. there is a common thought here

 

raw demographics are interesting

like the fact that mass shootings are done by whites and not the stereotypes the rightwing who love guns say they are afraid of

I don't know anyone who voted for Barack Obama because of SS
That seems like an easy thing to say

but it was not one of the top 20 issues in the election

those people are the voting for other not for

The vast, vast, vast majority of Obama voters voted FOR him, not against the other guy

so when someone says they voted against the other guy, me, I am not impressed with them

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