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Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:12 PM

The offer of the Chained CPI is a 'Brilliant Strategy'! Could someone explain this please?

Last edited Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:49 PM - Edit history (1)

Republicans turned down the President's latest offer to reduce the Deficit, an offer that included what has been described as a 'stealth way to cut SS benefits'.

All over the country the inclusion of these cuts to SS in the offer has mobilized a huge Coalition of Democratic/Progressive Organizations, the Unions, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Bernie Sanders, AARP, SS advocacy groups, Senior Advocacy Groups, Disabled Organizations and millions of ordinary Americans to call their Senators to demand that they refuse to accept this offer and to go further, to demand it be removed from the Deficit Discussions where it clearly does not belong.

Republicans are also being bombarded with calls.

There are daily action alerts to remove the Chained CPI from any further offers.

Nancy Pelosi has unbelievably said she will 'support the President on the Chained CPI' because, she incredibly stated, 'it will strengthen SS'. See here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022042171

In the face of the fact that all of these huge organizations and some of the Democratic Leadership actually believe that the President was serious about this offer, we are being told that 'he is just playing games with Republicans' that 'he doesn't mean it' ]and that this is a 'brilliant strategy'.

I have tried to figure out how putting SS on the Deficit Discussion table can do anything other than create the impression that it belongs there, furthering the Republican lie that SS ever had anything to do with the Deficit. This is a dangerous game to play with SS.

Republicans, thankfully, turned down this offer. But they did not turn it down because of the cuts to SS, they turned it down because of the Tax Increases to the Wealthy.

So here is where I am having a problem with the claim that putting SS cuts on the Deficit Table is so brilliant.

Republicans would have turned down any offer that had tax increases for the wealthy. If the 'game' is to make them look like obstructionists, then all that was needed was to focus on those tax increases on the wealthy, a very popular policy with the American people.

There was no need to include cuts to SS in order to force Republicans to do exactly as expected.

I would love someone to explain to me why, when making the offer to Republicans, Democrats did not take the popular position of stating something like this:

Republicans do not want the wealthiest Americans to have to pay their share. Unfortunately, after 12 years of tax cuts the wealthy must now start contributing to reducing the deficit which was created by wars and tax cuts and now we must face the consequences of those policies.

They want us to include cuts to SS and Medicare in these discussions. We have refused to do so since SS had nothing to do with the Deficit.

We have made a fair offer and we are hoping Republicans will accept it so that we can get on with the job we are all here to do, work for the benefit if the American people.


Republicans would not have accepted it. The President would have come out of it looking like a defender of the American People. He would have been able to show that Republicans are the ones who want to cut SS and that they will fight FOR the Wealthy while taking from Retirees, the Disabled, Veterans and Dependent children. THAT to me would have been a 'brilliant strategy'.

Instead, Republicans are actually now getting credit for stopping cuts to SS however inadvertently while millions of Americans are angry at Democrats for risking SS cuts when they did not need to.

So how on earth does including the Chained CPI become some kind of brilliant strategy? So far I have seen no explanation of these claims.


Some clear statements from real Democrats in Congress on the inclusion of the Chained CPI in any offers related to the Deficit:

'Unacceptable': Democrats Sound Off on 'Chained' CPI Proposal

Democrats in the House are speaking out against a proposed Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) cut known as the “chained” CPI, which would severely harm the elderly and people with disabilities.

Here are some highlights and videos of written and public statements:

Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.):

Social Security has nothing to do with the debt problems that we're facing now. The seniors and disabled should not be held hostage by the Republicans. Their only priority in this debate is to protect America's wealthiest citizens. Under former President Bush, our nation financed two wars on the credit card and senior citizens should not be collateral damage. We lost trillions of dollars through irresponsible tax cuts and let's be clear, tax cuts are the same as spending when it comes to the deficit. And now the Republican Party's proposed solution is to make up the difference from taking money from seniors. That is unacceptable.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.):

In order to shield the wealthiest Americans from paying Clinton-era tax rates, Republicans are demanding cuts to programs that benefit the poorest Americans. Inequality in the United States is the worst it has been since the Gilded Age, and their cuts would make it worse, not better.

One proposal is to reduce Social Security’s annual cost-of-living adjustment through the use of the so-called chained CPI. It’s a benefit cut—pure and simple— an average earner retiring in 2011 at age 65 would lose $6,000 in benefits over 15 years. It’s particularly devastating for women—who live longer, rely more on Social Security and receive lower benefits.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.):

Everyone has a grandparent, a friend or a neighbor who relies on the Social Security benefits they earned to pay for medical care, food and housing. A move toward chained CPI would be a long-term benefit cut for every single person who receives a Social Security check.

The current average earned benefit for a 65-year-old on Social Security is $17,134. Using chained CPI will result in a $6,000 loss for retirees in the first 15 years of retirement and adds up to a $16,000 loss over 25 years. This change would be devastating to beneficiaries, especially widowed women, more than a third of whom rely on the program for 90% of their income and use every single dollar of the Social Security checks they've earned. This would require the most vulnerable Americans to dig further into their savings to fill the hole left by unnecessary and irresponsible cuts to Social Security.

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.):

The less money our Social Security recipients—including 9 million veterans—are able to spend, the less money goes to the businesses that create jobs. "Chained" CPI makes life harder for millions of retirees, weakens Social Security and doesn’t reduce the deficit by a penny. It’s a Beltway fig leaf that I will never support, and I call on my colleagues to make their feelings known as soon as possible before this becomes yet another piece of conventional wisdom that makes things worse.

Lifting the cap on high earners paying into Social Security is a real fix that would make the program solvent indefinitely. If we want to talk about solutions, let’s talk about that, not inventing reasons to take money from American retirees.


Are these Democrats too blind to see the 'brilliance' of including SS cuts in any offer to Republicans?

If so, someone needs to explain why. Otherwise, I am with them and with all the others who are currently working to make sure it is removed from further discussions of the Deficit.

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Reply The offer of the Chained CPI is a 'Brilliant Strategy'! Could someone explain this please? (Original post)
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 OP
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #1
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #2
MannyGoldstein Dec 2012 #4
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #6
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #7
mbperrin Dec 2012 #36
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #62
MannyGoldstein Dec 2012 #9
joshcryer Dec 2012 #12
MannyGoldstein Dec 2012 #15
joshcryer Dec 2012 #18
MannyGoldstein Dec 2012 #21
joshcryer Dec 2012 #26
truedelphi Dec 2012 #51
grahamhgreen Dec 2012 #19
pomkrazy Dec 2012 #93
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #23
MannyGoldstein Dec 2012 #25
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #32
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #5
joshcryer Dec 2012 #11
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #50
joshcryer Dec 2012 #55
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #56
joshcryer Dec 2012 #63
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #65
AnotherMcIntosh Dec 2012 #67
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #75
AnotherMcIntosh Dec 2012 #85
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #89
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #71
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #77
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #91
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #96
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #100
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #101
pomkrazy Dec 2012 #94
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #14
grahamhgreen Dec 2012 #20
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #38
grahamhgreen Dec 2012 #79
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #105
grahamhgreen Dec 2012 #106
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #37
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #53
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #66
Luminous Animal Dec 2012 #70
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #73
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #74
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #76
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #81
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #83
AnotherMcIntosh Dec 2012 #8
limpyhobbler Dec 2012 #61
Melissa G Dec 2012 #16
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #40
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #58
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #107
Melissa G Dec 2012 #78
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #108
Melissa G Dec 2012 #110
SugarShack Dec 2012 #27
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #42
Demo_Chris Dec 2012 #52
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #68
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #109
Liberalynn Dec 2012 #3
_Liann_ Dec 2012 #10
grahamhgreen Dec 2012 #22
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #64
ProfessionalLeftist Dec 2012 #13
nashville_brook Dec 2012 #17
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #24
SugarShack Dec 2012 #28
patrice Dec 2012 #30
840high Dec 2012 #45
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #43
patrice Dec 2012 #29
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #31
patrice Dec 2012 #34
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #39
patrice Dec 2012 #69
former_con Dec 2012 #33
patrice Dec 2012 #35
former_con Dec 2012 #41
madfloridian Dec 2012 #47
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #59
former_con Dec 2012 #92
CrispyQ Dec 2012 #90
stupidicus Dec 2012 #44
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #97
stupidicus Dec 2012 #104
madfloridian Dec 2012 #46
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #72
sulphurdunn Dec 2012 #48
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #82
bluestateguy Dec 2012 #49
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #54
leftstreet Dec 2012 #57
limpyhobbler Dec 2012 #60
grahamhgreen Dec 2012 #80
forestpath Dec 2012 #88
pomkrazy Dec 2012 #98
NCTraveler Dec 2012 #84
CrispyQ Dec 2012 #86
forestpath Dec 2012 #87
warrprayer Dec 2012 #95
Autumn Dec 2012 #99
HooptieWagon Dec 2012 #102
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #103

Response to sabrina 1 (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:18 PM

1. It is the football that Lucy currently holds so Charlie Brown can try to kick it.

I'd explain it this way.

Social Security exists. The GOP hates it. So it is in fact ALWAYS on the table.

Do you want to LOWER the age for Medicare or Social Security ... then you want them to be ON THE TABLE. Want to raise the SS income cap ... then you want it on the table.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:21 PM

2. I'm sorry, that doesn't make any sense to me at all.

When something is clearly wrong, such as pretending that SS had anything to do with the deficit, then you simply say so.

There are plenty of other tables to discuss SS and Medicare.

But since you think continuing to promote the Republican lie that SS had something to do with the Deficit, that it is 'broke' etc., what do you expect to be accomplished here?

What HAS been accomplished? I have seen people here claim there has been a huge victory. Where is the victory?

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:30 PM

4. Don't you see?

If Democrats propose something that's so hated by Americans, and the Republicans agree, then the Republicans will also look awful.

Of course, if the Republicans happen to not agree... well, whatever. Either way we'll have blessed austerity.

Regards,

Third-Way Manny

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:42 PM

6. Manny ... Is Obama going to cave and make a deal which cuts SS by the end of the year?" Yes / No.

Still waiting.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:45 PM

7. Do you consider the Chained CPI to be a cut to SS?

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 07:18 PM

36. Since it results in lower benefits over time than what would otherwise occur

by leaving SS alone, it's clearly a cut.

And I consider it to be a third rail issue.

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Response to mbperrin (Reply #36)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:37 PM

62. Thank you that is how I see it and that is how Veterans and all other Dem

Organizations and the Progressive Caucus sees it. But there are people here on DU who are claiming it is a great 'strategy' and a brilliant 'victory' to have included it in these discussions. I have asked over and over again for an explanation for the cheering on of this strategy, but so far no one has explained it. That is why I posted this OP, to see if I am missing something.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:51 PM

9. Can hookers be convicted for simply offering to shtup?

Or does actual shtupping need to occur before conviction can happen?

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:53 PM

12. So you agree with regressive anti-prostitution laws?

Wow.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #12)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:55 PM

15. Oh boy.

The gang's all here!

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #15)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:57 PM

18. Not going to answer the question? Anti-John laws have shown consistently...

...to be a better approach to the issue.

In this case, you'd be the... well, let's just say that you use what you consider "prostitutes" (the Democrats, as per your own analogy) to your own gain, as surely you get something out of false posting or you wouldn't do it.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 06:02 PM

21. Have I told you that I love you?

Well, I do. So there.

In any case, I'm probably in favor of doing what the Netherlands does, because it works well AFAIK. I'm also generally in favor of enforcing law. I probably should have written "can" rather than "should", and will correct the error. Thanks for pointing out how I can improve my post.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #21)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 06:13 PM

26. For what it's worth...

...over the past year I've become more and more inclined to believe the deal will be raw. I still have a wait and see attitude, though, because that's all you can do. It makes no sense to believe that the Republicans would vote for Chained CPI and taking nearly 4 million seniors out of poverty. The fact that they put it in there did show a willingness to compromise, but I think that people who post about Chained CPI don't understand what the compromise was. Nor would they care, I think, about those nearly 4 million seniors in poverty.

Pelosi is a very consistent progressive because she knows that Chained CPI, while a cut, would be re-distributive if it came with taking nearly 4 million seniors out of poverty. Note: to be clear here, I do not support Chained CPI, and it is obviously a cut, I am merely explaining what happened.

I would be more inclined to believe we get Chained CPI without the poverty exemption, if we get anything at all. And I would bet that Pelosi would come out against it. And a lot of people will mock her because they don't understand what her politics actually meant. Indeed, Pelosi got shit for Simpson Bowles because liars took her quote out of context. It'll be the same shit here.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #21)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:11 PM

51. And Happy Holidays to you Manny

While some of thee folks are here afflicting you, they can't be off on my topics afflicting me.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:59 PM

19. Yes - the Social Security tax cut. Cuts the amount of money going into SS.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 01:54 PM

93. Manny ... Is Obama going to cave and make a deal which cuts SS by the end of the year?" Yes / No.

Yes he is Joe as you can see its Obama saying whats on the line the cuts to ss,ect, He really lied to the American people and i don't know where 1of the posters thinks the normal person gets 17,000 per month i am 71 and still work a full time job I'm alone and cant not stop working and believe me i would not even get close to that amount! Also medicare is not cheap,i am very disappointed in Obama!
LET THEM GO OFF THE CLIFF NO DEAL IS BETTER THAN A BAD DEAL!!

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 06:04 PM

23. Well, I'm trying to see and understand the claims that this is some brilliant

strategy, and I'm trying to figure out how putting SS on the table translated into this great 'victory' people have been claiming. I mean, wouldn't the same thing that happened, have happened anyhow, Republicans would have refused to accept the offer because of the tax increases if the SS cuts had NOT been there anyhow?

'Cliff' = 'Austerity'. They are trying to implement the same disastrous Austerity programs that have destroyed Europe, starting with attacking their Social Programs.

Lol:

If Democrats propose something that's so hated by Americans, and the Republicans agree, then the Republicans will also look awful.


So we'll all be in it together then? That is definitely a 'Third Way' to do things.

My head is spinning! I thought Dems were the good guys who would protect SS not propose cuts to prevent the Republicans from looking like the bad guys all alone.

I guess I'm just 'politically naive'! Or something!

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #23)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 06:09 PM

25. Face the facts, babe:

We absolutely need to cut the hell out of strengthen Social Security, so the 1% Job Creators can have the Trust Fund contents which will no longer be needed to pay back recipients. That's trillions of dollars! Real money!

Yes, you are a political naif, not at all as wise and sensible as I am.

Regards,

Third-Way Manny

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #25)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 06:54 PM

32. Lol, this must be true because no matter how hard I try, I cannot figure it out, this

great victory we are being told we had. And no one seems willing to explain it.

So we are supposed to support 'Job Creators' who borrowed from OUR fund refusing to pay it back? Lol, okay!

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:41 PM

5. Where did I say that SS contributes to the deficit???

The fiscal cliff fight is not simply about the deficit. Parts of it started there, but those are not the only economic discussions on the table.

Or, if YOU believe that the fiscal cliff is only about the deficit, then YOU must also think that Obama's efforts to extend unemployment benefits, or to obtain other forms of stimulus (which Obama is trying to do) should also be off the table during any fiscal cliff debate ... yes????

Of course not.

I hate to break the news, but both sides will put things into a negotiation like this just to see what they can get. Then items fall out. The GOP wants SS cuts. Obama is letting them chase them.

Its not going to happen.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:52 PM

11. Yep, the poverty exemption assures it will not happen that way.

I still can't rule out cuts but the fact that Pelosi put the poverty exemption in there assures, 100%, that Republicans will not vote for it. There is no way they will allow nearly 4 million seniors to ascend from poverty by in some cases doubling their income.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #11)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:09 PM

50. How does exempting the poorest from the Chained CPI lift them out of poverty?

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #50)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:19 PM

55. Their base income is increased to some value above 125% poverty.

They are exempted from Chained CPI in that while Chained CPI would effect the new income adjustment, later on down the line, they would be getting a quarter or even double what they were getting before. 25%-200% increase in income.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #55)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:22 PM

56. Where did you read that?

I haven't seen that. All I've seen is that they would get COLA allowances under the current formula.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #56)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:38 PM

63. That's because Pelosi is taken out of context by liars.

The administration insisted that there would be "protections for most-vulnerable populations" perhaps by indexing the changes so that they don't affect those with low-income.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/17/obama-fiscal-cliff-offer_n_2319075.html


Earlier in her press conference Wednesday, however, Pelosi seemed to be expressing opposition to the concession. "I’ve said to the members: 'express yourselves,' you know, 'speak out against,' because I’m not thrilled with the president’s proposal, I mean, it is what it is in order to save the day," she said. "But that doesn’t mean that we’ll all identify with every aspect of it. So, they go forth with my blessing."

She also noted that Obama’s plan protects low-income individuals from the Social Security changes, which should quell some of the concerns among Democrats.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/19/nancy-pelosi-social-security_n_2333285.html


The basic idea is outlined by the (very liberal) Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=3690

As usual people shit on Pelosi because she's a politician who weasels and wants to get things done.

But let's be honest with ourselves here. There's no fucking way in fucking hell the Republicans vote to bring 4 million seniors out of poverty. It's not happening. No how, no way. We'll see if the Democrats cave. It would be stupid if they did, but we'll simply see. My conclusion when I read about the poverty exemption was that it had to have been a bluff.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #63)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 09:07 PM

65. I tend to trust Pelosi

Are you talking about this: "As a result, a modest benefit increase for people who have received benefits for many years should accompany the switch to the chained CPI. Both the Bowles-Simpson and Rivlin-Domenici plans include this adjustment along with their chained CPI proposal. "

I didn't see anything about protecting those who only have their SS benefits to live on in old age.

I receive SS now, but I also have a pension so the chained CPI won't take food off of my table.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #65)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 09:57 PM

67. You tend to trust Nancy impeachment-is-off-the-table Pelosi? Good for you.

 

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #67)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:38 PM

75. Is that you Newt?

By the time Nancy became Speaker the warning signs of an economic meltdown were becoming clear to those paying attention. I think she already knew there was trouble coming at us. Just how much worse do you want the political divisiveness to become?

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #75)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:57 AM

85. War criminals should be in prison. They should not be walking around free, rich, and happy.

 

Impeachment would have been a good first step, except for those who approved and ratified the criminal activity.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #85)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:19 AM

89. So you would

imprison most of the US congress? Works for me. Of course that group includes Hillary and Joe.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #65)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:16 PM

71. Nancy Pelosi said this week that the Chained CPI will 'strengthen SS' and that

she will support the President's offer to include it in the Grand Bargain.

See here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022042171

She cannot be reached for comment on this outrageous claim.

To see how wrong she is you need to read what Bernie Sanders has to say about the Chained CPI. I guess t hey think we are all stupid or something. Either that, or she is so out of touch with ordinary people she doesn't get that the loss of six thousand dollars even over a period of several years, can mean the difference between eating and not eating to the poor, the disabled, veterans, dependent children and widows. But we'll never know because she doesn't seem to feel the need to respond to requests for clarification of her remarks.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #71)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:14 PM

77. Last year the Treasury had to borrow

$103 billion to make up the shortfall resulting from the payroll tax holiday. It had to borrow another $57 billion to pay the Social Security Administration when it redeemed that amount of Treasury securities held by the SS Trust Fund. The SS Trust Fund is the largest holder of U.S. debt...and while it can be argued the money from the Trust Fund should never have been placed in the General Fund in exchange for Treasury debt, it was done and Americans enjoyed all the tax cuts they have received since Reagan began the tax cutting nonsense.
You can't have everything. It is a bit of a distortion to say that Social Security doesn't add to the deficit or is not in danger of running out of money. As the largest creditor, Social Security is in grave danger if the US doesn't get a handle on the debt.

I love Bernie Sanders, but he bases his numbers on the maximum benefit paid out to people who work to their full retirement age. Right now about 70% of current retirees began collecting at age 62. To date 51% of the Boomers eligible have opted to begin collecting at age 62. That means a benefit reduced by 20% and most of those did not pay the maximum into SS. The average benefit is a bit over $1,200 a month today. The Chained CPI will cost that beneficiary $4.00 a month....That's $48. for 2013. There were no COLA increases in 2009 ( for 2010 benefits) and 2010 (for 2011 benefits).

Both Pelosi and Obama have said they will exempt the poorest from the effects of a chained CPI. Our politicians know we are stupid...all this fuss over the Chained CPI keeps us from demanding better wages, which would solve a whole bunch of problems.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #77)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:57 PM

91. The SS Fund has more than one source of revenue. That is why despite the

shortfall in SS Taxes, the fund still showed a surplus every year over the past several years despite the economic collapse and high unemployment. It will show a surplus this year also.

You are correct that SS has already been cut by this administration by refusing to pay a COLA for two years using the egregious claim that there was no inflation during those years. And in the coming year there will be a further cut making the claim that inflation is lower than it actually is for those dependent on SS.

Another attack on SS was the 'tax holiday' which certainly made no sense IF the WH really believes that SS needs 'strengthening'. The last thing that should have been done was to deprive it of any funds whatsoever.

Cut funds, cut benefits, this is what we got from a Dem Administration and now promises of more cuts.

Since most of those finally receiving their earned and paid for benefits ARE the poorest and most vulnerable Americans, Veterans, Retirees many with no other source of income, dependent children, widows, the disabled, that sort of makes these promises questionable at best.

But most important of all is the fact that SS is solvent, it needs no 'fixing' at the moment, it receives interest on the bonds as do all other creditors, and it definitely does not belong anywhere near this discussion which a majority of Americans, including some of those who are the most informed about the issue, agree on.

Iow, this Fund belongs to the people. Erskine Bowles, Alan Simpson, Pete Petersen, Republicans and/or Democrats have zero right to touch it other than to make certain that not only are there NO cuts, no matter how they are dressed up as Chained CPIs or anything else, but that the people get the MOST out of their own fund.

This issue can be discussed by Congress, publicly with the people's approval, where the best way to extend the solvency of the program will be to raise the cap, stop the wars, end the Bush Tax Cuts, increase benefits and leave as little in the fund as possible so that the Gamblers in Congress cannot borrow from the fund for their various gambling habits. But it should never ever have been attached to any discussion of the Deficit, which it did not cause and like all other creditors, it needs to be repaid.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #91)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:29 PM

96. I don't disagree...

But we have been told for at least a decade that Social Security was going to have a problem and according to the Trustees Report for 2012, the problem is already here.

The Fund shows a surplus because it holds so much US debt...As of May, 2012 $2.67 trillion worth. But while we argue over the Chained CPI, which can always be changed, the fact that the entire reason SS has any financial problems is because wages have been too low for too long is being ignored.

Like you, I was not happy with the payroll tax holiday. In fact, I was horrified. I blame the actions of both parties over the past 35 years.
Dems controlled the House when Reagan and Greenspan transferred the SS surplus to the general treasury.

http://www.ssa.gov/oact/trsum/index.html

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #96)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:34 PM

100. Well, I think we basically agree. The main point though is that while SS

will always need to be protected, right now eg, a raise in the cap would extend its ability to pay out all of its obligations for several more decades and you have to wonder why this simply 'fix' is not even being discussed, it definitely is not in any immediate danger of not being able to meet its obligations even considering the worst scenario, high unemployment and a bad economy.

This is why people are so amazed that it is once again being brought into a debate about a problem that it had nothing to do with creating. And raises suspicions that every time the Fed Govt gets into trouble it is used as an excuse for the anti-SS crowd to try to fool the people into agreeing to cut benefits and eventually privatize the fund.

It was never intended that SS would be tied to the Fed Budget and for good reason. The good news now is though, that people are way more informed about the program works making it far more difficult to fool them as we are seeing by the huge coalition of organizations that represent millions of people, letting politicians know that we are far more informed than they thought and they need to stop trying to deceive the people.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #100)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:50 PM

101. I'll tell you what really worries me about

this seeming willingness on Obama's part to go to the Chained-CPI...I am very worried that they are seeing projections of double digit inflation in the not too distant future. In 1980 and 1981 the COLA adjustments were 14.3% and 11.2% respectively. I lived through the double digit inflation of those days...it was not pretty.

I suspect we agree on many issues.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #71)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:00 PM

94. Nancy Pelosi said this week that the Chained CPI will 'strengthen SS' and that

Nancy doesn't care when she stops working she has her 174,000 per year, her retirement and her medical what does she care? And after the new-year they can all vote themselves a raise and it wont be 1.7%. Terrible

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:54 PM

14. So then Nancy Pelosi was wrong to say she will support Obama's inclusion of the

Chained CPI in the offer because 'it will strengthen SS'? Has she misread the President's willingness to include those cuts? I never thought of her as being a stupid woman, so why would she give her support to something you say 'will never happen'? Doesn't that make her, and Steny Hoyer, look pretty foolish?

And I still do not see why SS is part of any discussion of the Fed Budget since SS is solvent right now and does not take anything from the Fed Budget other than what all other creditors take.

And if both sides get to put things on the table, and presumably take things off, why don't Dems make it clear that SS is off the table especially since we control the Senate and the WH meaning what Republicans want is irrelevant?

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 06:01 PM

20. But Obama put them on the table - that's the problem

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #20)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 07:29 PM

38. Those programs exist, the GOP hates them, therefore, they are always on the table.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #38)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:40 AM

79. They hate the 14th amendment, why not put that on the table? Because it has nothing

to do with the deficit!

Just like SS.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #79)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 08:50 AM

105. Is Obama going to make a deal that cuts SS by the end of the year ... yes or no.

That's been the breathless prediction.

What's your prediction on that?

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #105)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 12:36 PM

106. No, but only because we've raised holy hell about about it. That said,

he did try. Look at his offers:




The other big thing the neo-cons want to accomplish is preventing the military budget from being cut.

If we enact the Budget Control Act of 2011 (Fiscal Bluff), we get real, serious cuts to the bloated military budget that is one of the major drivers of our deficit.

He may be able to prevent that from being cut.

Although he might get Social Security too, that's why we need to call:

Call the White House 202-456-1111, and your rep (202) 224-3121!

Tell them no cuts to Social Security, it does not add one nickel to the deficit! Cut "defense" instead.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 07:25 PM

37. I think ...

No one truly thinks (except, possibly, a few republicans) that SS has anything to do with the deficit; but rather, it is being framed as so because that's how the gop is framing it.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #37)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:15 PM

53. Well, that was not the question though. There are people here on DU who

are claiming that despite the huge outcry from Democrats and Democratic institutions, including Veterans' Organizations and the Unions, that when the President offered the Chained CPI in the latest offer it is some kind of victory. I am at a loss as to how ever tying SS to the Deficit can be any kind of victory.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #53)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 09:38 PM

66. Because ...

Read the arguments ... What many are reacting to, legitimately, is a Chained CPI, but without the exemptions.

The fact is, a chained CPI, with the often ignored exemptions protecting the most vulnerable of beneficiaries that resident Obama has offered, strengthens SS.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #66)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:14 PM

70. Why should everyone else receive cuts?

It will also result in a tax increase the burden of which will impact the poor the most... the 1% will barely feel it.

And I have no doubt when chained CPI is back on the table, those who reject it for all beneficiaries of EVERY program that it impacts will be met with, "IF THIS DOESN'T PASS, OLD PEOPLE WILL DIE!!!!!!"

The triangulaters will try pit those who want to strengthen SS without benefit cuts (and yes, chained CPI will result in a cut to benefits), against the poorest of poor.

The 1%, YET AGAIN, will sacrifice nothing while laughing at how the rest of us got fucked over.

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #70)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:26 PM

73. Okay n/t

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #66)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:31 PM

74. What are these exemptions? Bernie Sanders and many other respected Dems

must be missing this information also otherwise they would be pointing out these 'benefits' to Veterans, Seniors, Widows, Dependent children and the disabled.

I will trust dozens of Dem Organizations, the Unions, dozens of Veterans' Groups, countless Democratic/Progressive Organizations, the entire Progressive Caucus to mention just a few of those now uniting as part of a huge and growing coalition to stop this Chained CPI from ever reaching the point where we are dependent on a presidential veto, over someone telling me 'it's a good thing' on the internet.

I have read the figures, and I see nothing about this that is NOT a devastating cut to millions of current and future beneficiaries who paid into this fund and who own it.

Aside from all of that, there is virtually NO excuse for SS to even be a part of this discussion, none whatsoever, good or bad. It simply has no place in these discussions. So naturally when most people know this, its presence in the discussions, approved of now by both parties, raises huge suspicions as to what they are up to.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #74)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:51 PM

76. That's my point ...

everyone, including Sanders, is reacting to the term "Chained CPI", without considering the other part of Carney and President Obama's statement that the language of the offer provided exemptions.

Aside from all of that, there is virtually NO excuse for SS to even be a part of this discussion, none whatsoever, good or bad.


Yes there is ... Like it or not, in a divided goernment of competing parties, everything that you or your opponent wants on the table IS on the table. That is a political fact!

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #76)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:44 AM

81. No, there is not any reason for a Fund that is independent of the Fed Budget

that belongs to the people who funded it, to be any part of any discussions about the collapse of the US Govt's Economy, none whatsoever.

It is absolutely beyond believe that people do not see this. To even consider making the people pay for the corruption and lies that caused the deficit and the bad economy to begin with, is simply NOT acceptable.

This is like rewarding a thief by giving him what an honest person has saved because he got caught and is demanding to be bailed out.

At one time no Democrat would even suggest such a thing. We now have a Dem President who has done so and as a result we have a few, a minority thankfully, of other Dems who are trying to cover for this terrible decision.

If Bush was doing this, there would not be a single person on this board even trying to defend it.

Our elected officials screwed up by voting for Bush's Tax Cuts for the wealthy, by voting for his wars and then by continuing to vote to fund them. NOW they are trying to force the most vulnerable Americans to pay for their lies and bad decisions. And the people are telling them loud and clear that they better think twice before they do this.

We will see, considering the majority of Americans are saying 'no' to this ridiculous idea, another BAD policy that WE will pay for, once again, just who they are going to listen to, Wall St, the MIC or the people who elected them.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #81)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:36 AM

83. Okay n/t

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:49 PM

8. Nonsense.

 

And if you are going to rely upon a mataphor instead of reality, you should know that picking up a football and running in the wrong direction is not sensible.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #8)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:36 PM

61. LOL

this is the perfect analogy for a Democratic President offering to cut SS.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:55 PM

16. There is no reason for Social Security to be in a deficit discussion

and NO good reason for a Dem to put it there. The GOP is not going to do anything nice to Medicare or Social Security in this context and the proposals the Dems are putting up are not improvements.
Obama is not offering to lower the age for Medicare or Social Security.

This is a deficit discussion. Social Security and Medicare are not deficit drivers. The WAR machine is a deficit driver.

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Response to Melissa G (Reply #16)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 07:34 PM

40. Its more than a defict discussion. Always has been.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #40)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:31 PM

58. And how does a discussion of the problems with the Fed Budget have anything to

do with the SS fund?

Explain please how a totally separate fund paid for and with a two trillion dollar surplus which is NOT in trouble, has anything to do with the bank account of the Fed Govt?

That's like me saying to you 'Well, I see you have a good savings account and I gambled away all the money I borrowed from you, so now I'm going to insist that rather than paying you what I owe you, I am going to force YOU to pay my gambling debts'. It is ludicrous.

Cutting SS will do zero to help with the failed policies that destroyed the economy. Because it is a totally separate fund and had nothing to do with the failed economy.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #58)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 01:27 PM

107. Yes, and that doesn't matter.

It is not uncommon for a piece of legislation to pass and include elements which are outside or tangential the primary focus of the legislation.

Regardless, SS won't be in the final deal, if a deal happens by end of the year at all, prior to the cliff.



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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #40)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:30 PM

78. Your posts are not complete or logical.

It makes rational discourse with you difficult.

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Response to Melissa G (Reply #78)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 01:31 PM

108. I'm simply stating facts.

It is not uncommon for legislation to pass with unrelated or tangential items included.

In this case, for all the howling here on DU, SS won't be in the final deal if a deal occurs prior to the cliff.

And as I have said in other places, those programs exist, the GOP hates them, and so they are always on the table.

Now, if you think Obama is going to make SS cuts in a deal prior to the end of the year, say so.

My prediction is that its not going to happen, just like it has not happened the last 6 or 7 times that DU burst into flames with Nate Silver like confidence that it was definitely, absolutely, about to happen. See last year's debt ceiling fight as the most recent prior example.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #108)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 03:28 PM

110. You are NOT simply stating facts.

You have no idea what will or will not be in a final deal. None those assertions are facts. Just your predictions.

What I will say on record is that it is DAMAGING to social security for a Democratic legislator or president to put cuts on the table, especially since neither social security nor medicare are deficit drivers. The WAR machine is a deficit driver.

There was another thread on DU talking about an anti lynching law which never passed. The rhetoric about the law created a reality that basically made the law unnecessary. That is a case where language helped shift reality in a positive way.
Misleading language can create a negative outcome around social security. It can create a reality that makes cuts more probable and Dems should not be complicit in this... In Any Year.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 06:20 PM

27. But that is not what was offered when SS was put on the table! it is cutting benefits!

 

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Response to SugarShack (Reply #27)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 07:35 PM

42. So do you predict that Obama will agree to a deal that cuts SS by the end of this year? Yes or No.

Its not going to happen.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:15 PM

52. Respectfully, that's ludicrous.

 

Yes, Social Security might always on the table as a topic of discussion, but CUTTING Social Security is absolutely not. In fact, it's never on the table. It practically taboo. Congressmen would rather discuss almost anything other than this, and the reason is that even suggesting such a thing is widely (and correctly) viewed as the political third rail.

So again, no, Congressmen do NOT casually discuss cutting Social Security. Instead they play word-games, and even that's a bad idea. NO ONE wants to cut Social Security. Just ask them and they'll tell you. They want to SAVE it! They just want to juggle the numbers and fuck with the names and hope no one notices. Or they make changes aimed like a Bushmaster at future recipients, with the promise to current beneficiaries that their cash is secure -- and if their kids and grandkids are screwed what of it, they never call anyway.

But cuts? No way! The program doesn't pay enough as it is, there is no freaking room to cut benefits and everyone knows it. Everyone knows it, except Obama. The guy who just a MONTH ago won reelection promising to be the White Knight Guardian of the Social Security Grail, is now leading the GOP Crusade to toss it to the pigs.

So now, NOW, it's on the table. Thanks to the guy we just reelected it's forever on the table. The GOP didn't bring it up, the leader of the Democrat party did. You know... the "Radical Leftist Socialist." Even HE thinks we need to cut Social Security, and if the radical leftist thinks we need to make these cuts boy do we ever need to make these cuts. In fact, now that I think about it, the GOP has a point. Maybe they're right! If even our champion President Obama thinks that we need to cut Social Security, then wouldn't you say that some significant and immediate cuts are called for?

Right?

Right! I think all of us, Democrats and Republicans, Liberals and Conservatives, can agree on this. And it took a leader, a uniter like Obama, to show us the way. My only complaint (and I admit that this is unimportant in the face of the Bipartisan Statesmanship like Obama has demonstrated) is that he spent the last year lying his fucking ass off. But hey, that's okay too. He's great with kids.





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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #52)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:03 PM

68. If this ends up being part of a deal made with Republicans, Democrats

will pay dearly for it in the 2014 elections. THIS is what they are being told now by the coalition of organizations which totalled, represent millions of Americans.

Maybe in the end, it will be a good thing. People are no longer willing to trust their futures to any politician which is why this coalition has formed. Rather than donate and work for candidates chosen by the Dem leadership, these organizations will now put their efforts into candidates WE choose.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #52)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 01:34 PM

109. So is your prediction that he will make a deal to cut SS by the end of the year. Yes or No.

For the 6th or 7th time in the last 4 years, DU is full of flaming threads in which some of the participants are absolutely sure Obama is about to cut SS.

Is that your prediction as well?

Clearly if Obama is "leading the charge" that must be your prediction, right?

This time its absolutely, positively, going to happen.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:22 PM

3. +1

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Response to sabrina 1 (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:52 PM

10. No more GRAND DEALS including the kitchen sink.

If you want to raise taxes or lower then do that in one bill with nothing else.

If you want to raise the debt ceiling or lower it, a one page bill is the way to go.

Extend unemployment weeks? Make a bill for that.

Cut military contractors? Do it in a separate bill.

The sneaky crap that they put in these complicated grand deals is undemocratic and hostile to good governance.

If you can't get things done with bipartisan bills -- then one party rule and no DINOs, no bluedogs allowed.

The 2014 and 2016 campaigns have already begun. Don't be late and LOSE the hose gain!

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Response to _Liann_ (Reply #10)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 06:02 PM

22. +1

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Response to _Liann_ (Reply #10)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:50 PM

64. Couldn't agree more, but if they did things the logical way as you laid out,

they wouldn't be able to fool the people with their excuses and phony crises' like the Fiscal Cliff and the Debt Ceiling.

We really have to start electing honest politicians for a change.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:54 PM

13. I fail to see the "brilliance" in the President ...

...negotiating away (pretentiously or otherwise) money that is NOT HIS to negotiate with. Money that for many people now or in the future will be their only means of survival.

It's not "brilliant". It's not "funny". It's not "football". It's not "chess". And it's not HIS money. It's OUR MONEY and OUR retirement he's allegedly diddling with. And this diddling is a lot of things. But "brilliant" is (IMO) not one of them.

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Response to ProfessionalLeftist (Reply #13)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 06:08 PM

24. I agree, but I am being told here on DU that putting SS cuts on this table

is a brilliant strategy that resulted in a huge victory. So, I'm trying to find out some details from those who make this claim as to why they think this is the case. No one has provided any details so far. They have attacked those of us obviously too stupid to see the brilliance, but not one has explained why they are running around celebrating this great strategy.

I completely agree with you btw.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #24)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 06:21 PM

28. because many here just can't believe Obama would do such a thing, but he HAS!

 

So instead of going after him...they come up with the brilliant strategy bullshit.

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Response to SugarShack (Reply #28)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 06:38 PM

30. Respect? How do you know how people came to the decisions they have? If you can say that

about those with whom you disagree, it is just as legitimate to say the same thing about you, only with the polarities reversed.

And if you can't admit that that is true, you PROVE my point.

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Response to SugarShack (Reply #28)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 07:46 PM

45. Thank you.

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Response to ProfessionalLeftist (Reply #13)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 07:36 PM

43. So is your prediction that he will make a deal to cut SS by the end of the year.

That seems to have been the consensus for the last few weeks.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 06:34 PM

29. It speaks to Repubs' 47%. Getting MORE people to stand up to their "representation" is good, that is

***IF*** they actually do stand up etc. and aren't persuaded more or less indirectly by what calls itself "the Left" to decline that effort in a calculation that goes something like, TTE, "Keeping my master and his cohort in power will result in more for us, so fuck the CPI."

If it comes to that, I trust PO to know more about what to put into the pot for that particular hand than I do a bunch of anonymous demagogues on the internet, who very possibly are more interested in base-building for their cohort than they are in actually making anything better as soon as possible for those who need it the most.

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Response to patrice (Reply #29)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 06:51 PM

31. Well, we're not talking about 'demogogues on the internet' we are talking about

the entire Progressive Caucus, Bernie Sanders, several other Democrats who have spoken out publicly against placing SS on the chopping block and risking these cuts for present and future generations.

We are talking about every reputable Progressive Org that worked hard to get Democrats elected, including Moveon, Colorforchange and a whole host of others who spent the past year getting Dems elected. We are talking about the Unions, SS advocacy groups AARP and virtually every Organization that protects the interests of the American people.

So I'm not sure what you mean by 'demagogues on the internet'. If all these millions of people do not agree with something a politician does, and if those who claim they do cannot explain why, then I think there is a consensus that putting SS cuts on the Deficit Table is the wrong thing to do.

But as I said, if someone can explain why all these people are wrong, then please do so.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #31)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 07:06 PM

34. The only thing from Sanders about the CPI that I have seen was a chart showing the slowing in the

growth of SS and the respective dollar amounts, to which several members here posted surprise at how small all of it would be.

What am I missing here, do you really expect that I should accept the proposition that SS, in its totality, = CPI?

Slowing in the growth rate of SS isn't cuts if the cost of living declines, depending upon the ratio of the slowing to the decline in the index. That's only one novice-grade question about CPI and, as I understand it, there's at least a few CPI architectures out there.

I'm just surprised that ANYTHING that could happen in this situation in that regard (including things affecting the right to organize, which I'm beginning to suspect that some of the more anarchistic types on this board don't give a fuck about) is lumped in a very propagandistic fashion, depending upon under- or mis- information, with wild statements about "cutting SS", when cuts to SS is a much broader category of policies including much much more than a CPI would. The logic of this rhetoric appears very disingenuous to me.

Has anyone heard from Senator Sanders specifically on CPI, not actual cuts to SS - which we all agree about, btw - lately?

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Response to patrice (Reply #34)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 07:31 PM

39. Bernie Sanders on the Chained CPI:

STATEMENT BY SENATOR BERNARD SANDERS ON THE CHAINED-CPI

We are here today to tell the White House and the leadership in Congress: do not balance the budget on the backs of disabled veterans who have lost their arms, legs, and eyesight defending our country.

Do not balance the budget on the backs of the men and women who have already sacrificed for us in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Do not balance the budget on the backs of the wives, husbands, and children of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

And, do not balance the budget on the backs of the men and women who served our country in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, and other conflicts by cutting Social Security benefits.
Do not adopt the so-called chained-CPI.

My Republican friends and some Democrats have said that lowering Cost-Of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) through the adoption of a chained-CPI would be a “minor tweak” in benefits.

But, let’s be clear: for millions of disabled veterans and seniors living on fixed incomes, the chained CPI is not a minor tweak. It is a significant benefit cut that will make it harder for permanently disabled veterans and the elderly to feed their families, heat their homes, pay for their prescription drugs, and make ends meet. This misguided proposal must be vigorously opposed.

Supporters of the chained-CPI want the American people to believe that the COLAs that disabled veterans, senior citizens, and the surviving spouses and children who have lost loved ones in combat are too generous.

That is simply not true. In two out of the last three years, disabled veterans and senior citizens did not receive any COLA. And, next year’s COLA of 1.7% is one of the lowest ever. Lowering COLAs even further through the adoption of a chained-CPI would be an absolute disaster.

This nation has made a commitment to our military and our veterans: if you get permanently disabled defending this country, if you get seriously wounded in battle, we will always be there for you. The Veterans Administration will provide you with the disability compensation benefits you need to live in dignity and those benefits will keep pace with inflation.
Today, more than 3.2 million disabled veterans receive disability compensation benefits from the Veterans Administration.

Under the chained CPI, a disabled veteran who started receiving VA disability benefits at age 30 would have their benefits cut by more than $1,400 at age 45; $2,300 at age 55; and $3,200 at age 65.

I challenge anyone who supports a chained-CPI, to go to Walter Reed. Visit with the men and women who have lost their legs, lost their arms, lost their eyesight as a result of their service in Afghanistan or Iraq. We made a promise to these veterans. Cutting their COLA’s would be reneging on those promises and we cannot let that happen.

We have also made a commitment to the surviving spouses and children who have lost a loved one in battle by providing them with Dependency Indemnity Compensation benefits that average less than $17,000 a year.

Like many of my colleagues in the Senate, I have attended the funerals of brave soldiers killed in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

I remember telling their grieving spouses and young children that our country would never forget their sacrifice and loss. It would be absolutely immoral to cut the very modest benefits they receive by adopting a chained-CPI.
Further, we have made a promise to every American: Social Security will be there for you in your old age, or if you become disabled. And, those benefits will also keep up with inflation.

Today, over 9 million veterans receive Social Security benefits; and more than 770,000 veterans receive Social Security disability benefits. We’re talking about those who served in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and many others.

Under the chained CPI, average seniors who retire at age 65 would see their Social Security benefits cut by about $650 a year when they reach 75 and more than $1,000 a year once they turn 85.

We simply cannot renege on the promises we have made to our nation’s veterans by cutting the very modest benefits that they have earned. That’s exactly what the chained-CPI would do and that is exactly why it does not belong in deficit reduction.

And, let me be very clear: the American people strongly support the position we are advocating for today, including the AARP, the AFL-CIO, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and many other groups representing senior citizens, working families, and the disabled.

In poll after poll, including one that appeared just yesterday in the Washington Post the American people have been extremely clear: do not cut Social Security, do not cut Medicare, do not cut Medicaid benefits, and do not lower COLAs.


It’s time that Congress and the White House listened to the people who have put their lives on the line defending this country and to the American people.


Bernie Sanders, along with all the groups he mentioned in this speech, have been very publicly outspoken about the disaster the Chained CPI would be for Veterans, Widows, Dependent Children, Seniors and the the Disabled.

I trust all of these people to look out for the best interests of the American people.

You can find a lot more on the Chained CPI by Bernie Sanders and others. I am still waiting for someone to tell me why Sanders and all the other Dems and Unions are wrong about this.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #39)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:10 PM

69. Thanks, Senator Sanders is good enough for me. nt

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Response to sabrina 1 (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 06:55 PM

33. What I find amazing...

let me caveat (I am new here and don't want to look like a disruptor, I am not) Is that Democratic politicians are being dragged around like a dog on a leash by the Republicans who are the ones steering the ship of this discussion..... Why are you folks even talking about Social Security, next there will be some discussion on Medicare or Welfare..... I know how the right thinks, I have been there and done that.....

Why are there no discussion on a national VAT?
Why are there no discussion on increasing rates on the weatlhy to upward of 60 percent?
Why no discussions on wealth confiscation? (on the insanely rich)
Where are the discussions on a wall street transaction tax? (even only a couple pennies per transaction)
Why no discussions on government regualtion on the prices charged for Healthcare and medicine?

If you don't steer this discussion than you will lose it everytime.

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Response to former_con (Reply #33)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 07:14 PM

35. Why? in a word, Congress. And what calls itself "the Left" is getting all of the mileage it can out

of whatever they can grab. Fuck ALL of the other stuff at play here, as I mentioned in my post above. Nothing matters but that "the Left" (Ha!) proves itself.

I kind of like VAT, with exclusions for groceries and the necessities of life. (?)

Wouldn't it be great to talk about raising the bottom of the top tax brackets? They're CRAZY wide, from just under $300K to the moon. That doesn't seem right. Would raising the bottom, creating tax reductions for the low end of what is currently the highest tax bracket, free up some authentically entrepreneurial capital (unlike the incomes above that which might be kind of locked into sustaining the whole ponzi scheme, so their options to do NEW stuff are kind of limited). I think the Progressive Congressional Caucus floated this idea late in 2010 and it got wash away in everything that happened in Congress that winter.

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Response to patrice (Reply #35)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 07:34 PM

41. Yep

That is an excellent idea in fact historically high tax rates even on the bottom of the top tax brackets are what were used during WWII and into the Eisenhower years.... We are talking 80 -90 percent rates with a bottom bracket of 200K....

Anyway these are truly the discussions that should be taking place the status quo of it's SS and Medicare driving the debt needs to be countered at every opportunity, and further on the SS there is no possible way that there should ever be a deficit in SS never it should run surplus forever but of course when you limit the deductions to incomes up to 106K that is the problem right there increse it to 1 million or whatever and you sustain the program forever.

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Response to patrice (Reply #35)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 07:51 PM

47. I gather you are not impressed with "the Left".

I am becoming more a part of that group as I have seen our party going more and more to the right and compromising with right wing extremists.

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Response to patrice (Reply #35)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:34 PM

59. What do you mean by 'the left'? Maybe I am misuderstanding you but you seem

to be mocking what you call the 'left'. Isn't this a left wing forum, I mean we are not a right wing forum.

Could you clarify what you mean by this statement:

Nothing matters but that "the Left" (Ha!) proves itself.


Proves itself how? I am not at all clear as to your meaning.


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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #59)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 01:28 PM

92. I took it to mean the poster is

mocking the moderates on the left.... in fact my point was that on the right both moderate and far right teabag nuts both set the details of the debate. The moderate left just goes along willingly in agreement with their premise... i.e. that spending in D.C. has a spending problem and that taxing people is not the solution. Many even on forums like this have bought the notion when the Left should be steering the conversation by helping out the people i.e. lowing SS and Medicare age not raising it, taxing the wealthy to 70 percent not going back to the 36 percent Clinton years, lets talk Vat, lets talk bank transaction tax, lets talk trading transaction tax, lets talk about really helping the poor and the unemployed with a government work program, lets talk government controls on the cost of healthcare and medicine... so we buy into this crap about the right refusing to raise taxes on the rich as if we get anything out of a 5 percent increase and it is some kind of huge victory for the people, status quo is being sold as victory....

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Response to former_con (Reply #33)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:53 AM

90. Why, indeed?



First order of business: Get money out of politics.
Second order of business: Paper ballots.
Third order of business: "Fair and Balanced" journalism has got to go.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 07:38 PM

44. good luck

I've made the same case more times that I'd care to go back and count in response to the kind of stuff you're addressing here, going all the way back to months before the election when the debate was over if he would or wouldn't put it on the table -- and we know how that turned out.

I suspect it's the same suspects that were trying to silence those like me that got it right, that are now pushing the "brilliant!" "Nth dimensional chess" BS.

All I can or will say at this point, is that as a long time chess player, if this is the best game BHO has, I'd stomp him blindfolded on the chess board, and here's why.

It's pretty much common knowledge now what the net impact of all the dem base disappointments and disenchantment resulted in in 2010, which this http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/15/AR2009011504114.html played a role in -- repubs getting the redistricting power that left the house in their incapable/rightwingnut hands. Why he'd wanna inject such discord of this kind into political landscape and the equations of the voters one can only speculate about, but one things for sure -- it's not a sacrificial continuation of any discernible kind that would lead to a greater gain in the forseeable future. That's the only reason to offer a sacrifice - because the opponent accepting it leads inexorably to a greater loss for them.

WHere is the loss for them that he can't compel by other means minus this sacrifice is what I'd like to know.

This is why I'm convinced it is simply a move he wanted to make for the interests other than those of who elected him.

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Response to stupidicus (Reply #44)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:39 PM

97. Good post.

WHere is the loss for them that he can't compel by other means minus this sacrifice is what I'd like to know.


The way it seems to me is they don't lose. They get SS cuts and can now blame Democrats for it. Dems think that their base will be more accepting of cuts if they come from a Dem administration.

It's all about Austerity, concealed by deceptive language. And one of the major goals of Austerity is to privatize all Social Programs. Watching what is happening in Europe, Social Programs were targeted there too. But the word has become a bad world considering the failure and devastating results to the people of Europe, so here we use words lie 'Fiscal Cliff' etc.

The good news is that this time the people are not fooled. But we gave up so much power for such a long period of time, it's doubtful they will care much right now about what the people want.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #97)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:03 PM

104. that's it in a nutshell alrighty

they grow less responsive to the will of the people by the year.

It's bad situation. The only cure is to get the money out of politics, but there's no real incentive for them to do anything but pay lip service to that idea too, given the way our "liberal" media profits so highly, and even more so post "citizen".

The rightwing interests are just too entrenched and have a stranglehold on DC, which is why we see DC drifting rightward in this center/left country of ours. The choice appears to be between moving that way slowly or swiftly, as we are all ignored until the next vote is needed.

ANd indeed, the chained CPI is a baby step only a dem could take, and is being made only because of acquiesence after the baby steps that smashed our toes that came before it.

and I doubt it will be the last such step taken either, and it's not like they're confined to economic issues either.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 07:46 PM

46. Doggone it, Sabrina. There you go playing checkers again.

And don't forget what David Plouffe said in a recent college speech....that Medicare and Medicaid are the "main drivers" of the deficit.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/101788461

It's amazing what political word games are played.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #46)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:25 PM

72. Omg, did Plouffe really say that? I can't believe it! Who are these people who

have infiltrated our party and are pushing these lies under the banner of the Dem Party? It's hard to keep hoping that this President really is just 'playing games' bad as that might be, rather than doing exactly what he wants. Or what those who really are in charge of this country want.

This is why I am happy to see that the people are finally organizing and are no longer willing to trust those they elect to look out for their best interests.

IF Dems go along with this, there will be, as one member of Moveon said recently 'Hell to pay' in 2014.

Sorry about the checkers game, MF, I'm not that good at Chess, but bad as I am I could do better than this.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:01 PM

48. Between six and seven

out of ten Americans have made it abundantly clear to their elected representatives in both parties that they object to any discussion that would reduce SS benefits. The subject shouldn't even be on the table. We should be discussing how it came to pass that the increase of the nations wealth going to 1% of the population is greater than that going to 80%, why their income is increasing 10% annually while the income of the bottom 80% is flat or declining and how raising taxes on the wealthiest incomes a paltry 3% is not doable while cutting SS benefits is inevitable.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #48)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:20 AM

82. Exactly, that is what we should be discussing. But even here on DU I see

excuses being made for this, and I also have seen statements that this is some kind of brilliant strategy. I have tried to get answers as to why any Democrat would consider putting SS on the chopping block in discussions about an issue it has nothing to do with. But so far, I have not yet received any explanation for those declarations.

I completely agree with your post.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:01 PM

49. Right now I am focused upon what is happening in Newtown

Don't give the "fiscal cliff" hysterics the attention they crave.

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Response to bluestateguy (Reply #49)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:19 PM

54. We can do both. It won't help Veterans, Seniors and the most vulnerable

Americans if we engage in tunnel vision and focus only on one thing at a time.

Cutting benefits to all of these people can have disastrous results so I don't see why we should ignore the threat to millions of Americans when it is not necessary.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:22 PM

57. I thought he was just going to wash Boehner's car



DURec
Thanks for putting all this together

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Response to sabrina 1 (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:35 PM

60. Maybe Obama secretly wants to cut social security.

I would love someone to explain to me why, when making the offer to Republicans, Democrats did not take the popular position...
Well it's pretty clear he doesn't feel the same way about it as we do, or as the progressives in Congress, or the other activist groups we are paying attention to.

I think Obama has wanted to cut it for a while because he's pretty tight with Wall St. guys like Tim Geithner. The big banks hate Social Security. They don't like the idea of a public pension fund because they can't control it and make money off of it.

It would be a pretty simple explanation to say Obama is a Wall St. Democrat who buys the into the idea that we should start ending Social Security.

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Response to limpyhobbler (Reply #60)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:42 AM

80. DING DING DING! We have a winner!

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Response to limpyhobbler (Reply #60)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:10 AM

88. +1

 

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Response to limpyhobbler (Reply #60)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:40 PM

98. Maybe Obama secretly wants to cut social security.

No. 1 why did Obama have lunch with Romney? buy a bottle of wine costing 165.00 so thats how the rich live! Why he take money off the oil companies? Why did he go behind closed doors and give defense 598 billion dollars? Thought the country was broke! Wars over in 2013 right? What Obama is offering the Republicans IS PUTTING IT ON THE BACKS OF THE MIDDLE CLASS AND AND VETS,And the Republicans are getting what they for Romney Ryan plan
He said no lobbyist but there they are! He wants everyone to have a good education, Everyone! My grand daughter voted this year 1st time for Obama , he will cut the school grants, Pell Grants also.. I worked to hard all these years and never asked for help to raise my son. without child support so why should i some where down the line have to eat CAT FOOD ? Maybe the president and his political friends should eat it . the congress who makes 174,000 per year and Boehner who makes 210 per year what do you know about going without?Cant think anymore!!!

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Response to sabrina 1 (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:38 AM

84. There is nothing brilliant about....

There is nothing brilliant about a Democrat helping to create the public perception that SS is part of the problem.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:06 AM

86. I'm waiting for the entire democratic party to say what Representative Brown said:

"Social Security has nothing to do with the debt problems that we're facing now."

~ Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.)

And waiting & waiting & waiting . . .

Chained CPI is not a strategy, it's a sell out. The dem party needs to come out & say what Rep. Brown said, in a unified, amplified voice & that includes the man at the top.

Still waiting & waiting & waiting . . .




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Response to sabrina 1 (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:09 AM

87. It's a huge betrayal and kick in the teeth to vulnerable people.

 

No politician who votes for cuts to SS will ever get my vote.

This will kill what's left of the Democratic Party.

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Response to forestpath (Reply #87)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:06 PM

95. this n/t ^^^^^

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Response to sabrina 1 (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:45 PM

99. You go with what you got. If that's all you have, you use it.

I am of the opinion that the offer for a chained CPI is offensive as all hell.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:11 PM

102. Its a sleight of hand.

CPI is the consumer Price Index, which is the governments way of measuring inflation. Chained CPI is a distorted way of measuring inflation. In essence, it says that if the cost of chicken rises, and consumers switch to baloney, that instead of measuring inflation by the bofore and after chicken prices, it will now be measured by the difference between the costs of chicken and baloney. This also affects the manner in which tax brackets go up as inflation goes up.
So, the proposed Chained CPI is not only a cut to SS, its also a tax increase for lower and middle income people...without the govt admitting the reality of what they really are proposing.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #102)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:42 PM

103. Thanks, that is correct. It is the attempt to deceive that has angered so many

people also.

And this method of gauging inflation doesn't take into account the constant changes in the price of gas, and home heating oil. Or the cost of medicine all expenses the elderly have to deal with.

And when the cost of baloney rises, what do the poor do next? Eat cat food?

It really is a disgrace to even consider such a method to take money from those who can least afford it, AND to take it from their own fund, which they paid for during their working years.

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