Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:51 PM
Segami (8,027 posts)
Obama PROPOSES Social Security CUTS
- " According to press reports Tuesday, the White House counter-offer to Boehner calls for reducing future cost-of-living increases in Social Security benefits by adopting an inflation index that is deliberately distorted to underestimate the amounts that the elderly will have to pay for the essentials of life. The new inflation index, called a "chained" Consumer Price Index, will cut as much as $225 billion in spending over the next 10 years, half of that from Social Security recipients and the rest from the pensions of retired federal workers and other benefit payments. There are other reactionary features of the White House proposal: limiting the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts to families with incomes above $400,000 a year, up from the longstanding Obama position of $250,000; allowing the partial payroll tax holiday to expire, effectively imposing a two percent tax on the wages of every American worker; and maintaining the 20 percent rate on dividend income, which goes overwhelmingly to the wealthy, instead of allowing it to rise to 39.6 percent as provided for in current law.
- All told, the White House plan would cut $400 billion from spending on federal health care programs, mainly Medicare, $122 billion from Social Security, and another $400 billion from other domestic spending, as well as saving $290 billion in interest costs. The historical implications of a bipartisan deal on such a basis were spelled out in a New York Times analysis by Eduardo Porter, who wrote: "The truth is that both the president and House Republicans have agreed to shrink a critical part of the government to its smallest in at least half a century. This is regardless of which trillion-dollar proposal gains the upper hand."
- "To put it in perspective," Porter continued, "this would cut the government's civilian discretionary budget to the smallest it has been as a share of the economy at least since the Eisenhower administration -- when a quarter of the population lived under the poverty line, thousands of children still contracted polio each year and fewer than one in 12 Americans older than 25 had a college degree." In other words, what is being worked out in the talks between Obama and Boehner is nothing less than the terms of a social retrogression of unprecedented dimensions. Using the concocted threat of a December 31 "fiscal cliff," when some $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts are scheduled to begin because of previous Washington agreements, the representatives of big business, Democratic and Republican, are proposing to begin the dismantling of the social reforms enacted in the 20th century.
The White House decision to propose cuts in future Social Security benefits is of enormous political significance. Social Security has long been characterized as the "third rail" of American politics -- touch it and you die. Obama and Boehner are seeking to break this taboo and create a new political framework for imposing brutal austerity measures on working people. Whatever the immediate outcome of the talks in Washington, whether or not a deal is reached before December 31, the overall direction is clear: entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are to be gutted. The only significant area of federal spending will be the military-police agencies required to defend the interests of the financial aristocracy -- overseas against foreign rivals and revolutions, at home against the American working class.
15 replies, 1363 views
Obama PROPOSES Social Security CUTS (Original post)
|rhett o rick||Dec 2012||#2|
|woo me with science||Dec 2012||#6|
|Mutiny In Heaven||Dec 2012||#11|
Response to Segami (Original post)
Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:57 PM
customerserviceguy (16,217 posts)
3. Doesn't matter, this isn't going through
Nothing is. We're going to have to accept the age of limits, I don't expect the next House to approve even an increase in the debt ceiling. At least we'll be trying to balance the budget with tax increases on everyone, and no more payroll tax holiday. Even the lack of political will to fix the AMT will provide desperately needed revenue.
Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #3)
Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:59 PM
woo me with science (27,860 posts)
6. Yes, it does matter.
Every single time he validates BULLSHIT right-wing lies and talking points about the need for austerity and the acceptability of putting poor and elderly Americans on the chopping block, it hurts ALL of us. It harms the nation.
We need a change of narrative.
It fucking matters.
Response to woo me with science (Reply #6)
Fri Dec 21, 2012, 07:26 AM
customerserviceguy (16,217 posts)
7. Look, we're going over the cliff
And while Social Security recipients are going to be "safe" for now, there are a lot of people who aren't going to like having to take minimum wage jobs because their unemployment ran out completely. There will be seniors whose doctors drop them because of the lack of a doc fix. There will be people who no longer get food stamps, and have to dumpster dive to feed themselves.
And everybody who gets a paycheck will notice it getting smaller. Yes, Geithner can hold off on implementing the new withholding tables, but he can really only do that for about a month, and if there is no compromise, no deal, then it's already set in stone as to what happens.
Sure, the Repukes will get the blame for awhile, but after enough time, the President will own it.
Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #7)
Fri Dec 21, 2012, 07:47 AM
Mutiny In Heaven (522 posts)
11. The way I see it, Obama has either gamed the Republicans or...
he thinks that it is going to cause an immense number of people a great deal of misery if no deal is reached. As to whether the SS alterations would be "disappointing" or "atrocious" I'd have to see what safeguards were proposed to protect those on the lowest income or most vulnerable.
I think that people under the impression that quick solutions will be found if there is no more movement are optimistic at best. Why would the Republicans suddenly come round and seek genuine consensus? They wouldn't have to, the onus - the spotlight - will be on everyone. Misinformation will reign and don't think that Democrats won't be finished for the next decade if they refuse to extend all of the Bush tax cuts in the event that it's the only way certain benefits are going to be fully reinstated. "Holding 99% to ransom because of an ideological crusade against America's success stories". You'll see it.
Response to Mutiny In Heaven (Reply #11)
Fri Dec 21, 2012, 06:27 PM
customerserviceguy (16,217 posts)
13. If you don't give your enemy an escape route
then you make him fight harder to do as much damage to you, if he's going to die, anyway.
I fail to see how making Boner look like the weenie he is helps the President get Rethug votes that he's going to need for crucial things that need to come out of Congress.
Response to Segami (Reply #9)
Fri Dec 21, 2012, 07:42 AM
SidDithers (33,514 posts)
10. Seriously? wsws.org?...
I miss laughing at that website.
Since Hannah Bell was tombstoned, almost nobody links there anymore. Even Hannah's zombie account hasn't continued the tradition.
But thanks for taking up the slack.