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Mon Feb 25, 2013, 05:12 AM

 

Fix the Debt (cut social security) is a true bipartisan operation

The Campaign to Fix the Debt is the latest incarnation of a decades-long effort by former Nixon man turned Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson to slash earned benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare under the guise of fixing the nation’s “debt problem.”

Ed Rendell is a co-chairman of Fix the Debt. In media appearances, he is only introduced as the former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania (2003-2011), yet he has extensive corporate and financial ties. Erskine Bowles is a Clinton man (White house chief of staff 1997-98). Bowles and Simpson are Obama men, hand-picked by our president to lead his personal “fix the debt” commission aka the Catfood Commission. Judd Gregg was the Republican that Obama wanted to install in his first-term cabinet...

Phil Bredesen is on Fix the Debt’s steering committee. As Democratic governor of Tennessee, he “presided over the largest state cutback of public health programs in the history of our nation,” according to health care advocacy group FamiliesUSA...

Vic Fazio is on Fix the Debt’s steering committee. He is a former member of Congress (1979-1999) who works as a corporate lobbyist. He has lobbied for AT&T, Corrections Corporation of America, Archer Daniels Midland, Shell Oil...

Sam Nunn is on Fix the Debt’s steering committee. He was the longtime (Democratic) chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee (1987–1995)...

Steven Rattner is on Fix the Debt’s steering committee. He is a former investment banker for two decades at Lehman Brothers, Lazard Freres and Morgan Stanley. Rattner was the Treasury Department’s point man on the 2009 bailout of the auto industry by the Obama administration. He is on the board of the New America Foundation, the Pete Peterson-funded parent organization of Fix the Debt...

Antonio Villaraigosa, a Democrat who has been Los Angeles’ 41st mayor since July 1, 2005, is on Fix the Debt’s steering committee. He was President of the United States Conference of Mayors in 2011-2012. He has previously been the Democratic leader and Speaker of the California State Assembly... He was also Chairman of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in September 2012. And that just takes you down through the steering committee....

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/02/the-democratic-turncoats-behind-the-fix-the-debt-attack-on-medicare-social-security.html

44 replies, 2755 views

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Arrow 44 replies Author Time Post
Reply Fix the Debt (cut social security) is a true bipartisan operation (Original post)
HiPointDem Feb 2013 OP
Skittles Feb 2013 #1
Veri1138 Feb 2013 #16
Skittles Feb 2013 #36
Veri1138 Feb 2013 #43
MotherPetrie Feb 2013 #2
HughBeaumont Feb 2013 #3
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #4
HughBeaumont Feb 2013 #17
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #24
Selatius Feb 2013 #7
fasttense Feb 2013 #11
HughBeaumont Feb 2013 #21
Veri1138 Feb 2013 #18
tclambert Feb 2013 #5
madville Feb 2013 #6
Selatius Feb 2013 #9
madville Feb 2013 #13
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #27
madville Feb 2013 #31
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #32
madville Feb 2013 #33
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #34
madville Feb 2013 #37
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #42
Veri1138 Feb 2013 #20
lib2DaBone Feb 2013 #8
Skidmore Feb 2013 #10
DonCoquixote Feb 2013 #38
reformist2 Feb 2013 #12
Veri1138 Feb 2013 #22
forestpath Feb 2013 #14
mtasselin Feb 2013 #15
xchrom Feb 2013 #19
Autumn Feb 2013 #23
woo me with science Feb 2013 #25
Yavin4 Feb 2013 #26
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #28
Initech Feb 2013 #29
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2013 #30
Cleita Feb 2013 #35
hay rick Feb 2013 #39
octoberlib Feb 2013 #40
limpyhobbler Feb 2013 #41
KamaAina Feb 2013 #44

Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 05:18 AM

1. CORRECT

"The difference? Republicans don’t want to offer any solutions to public needs, while Democrats will offer pretend or partial solutions — ‘cuz you know, they’re the party that cares."

They don't fool me one bit but check out how many DUers fell for ACA. Very disconcerting.

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Response to Skittles (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 08:23 AM

16. ACA will be excepted by many Democrats...

 

...because it is simply more than they have now. Despite the obvious flaws in ACA, they will accept it and the explanation of President Obama's 11th-dimensional chess playing that will result in single-payer in the future (sure, in the future when you are on the verge of open rebellion).

14 of 18 members, including those that President Obama appointed, of the Cat Food Commission are in favor cutting Social Security, chained-CPI, and raising the retirement age. The structure of the Cat Food Commission was convenient in that it allowed the stacking of deficit hawks-"Cat Food for Seniors" onto the Catfood Commission.

Nothing says solidarity with Republicans in cutting Social Security like President Obama's commitment to appointing people who want to cut Social Security. What Democrats have to worry about is that Congress, their Congress, passed ACA - a rehash of Heritage Foundation and Republican ideas from 1996 in response to HillaryCare. Oops.

How far will Democrats in Congress go in implementing Republicans and President Obama's Social Security benefits cuts depends on Congressional Critter Democrats, who already passed a Republican health care plan. So far, the rhetoric indicates, "not very far". Then again, we've been down that road before.

Now, where did Democrats put our single-payer?

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Response to Veri1138 (Reply #16)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 04:58 PM

36. settling for mediocre and calling it progress seems to be a theme

as far as Social Security and Medicare goes, this is all a giant dog and pony show - they have already decided they WILL be cut - it's just a manner of how to make the language so it doesn't disgust the voters

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Response to Skittles (Reply #36)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:40 PM

43. Republicans would not cut it because...

 

it would be too obvious and unpalatable by even the Republican base when they would have found out that they have to take care of grandma.

However, if the very party that forced through the passage of Social Security and Medicare just SOMEHOW found a candidate that would lead the charge... much harder, perception-wise, to argue. After all, how could the party that championed both be wrong about cutting...?

Perception management. And Obama is a master. Him and his team are absolute masters.

The sequester? The Catfood Commission? Who led the charge? Obama.

Democrats complain that Obama is a sucker. No, but he did find a lot of people to sucker. Democrats only need to look in the mirror to see the suckers.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 05:23 AM

2. You know none of these privileged fatcats ever goes to bed hungry

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 06:24 AM

3. "So elect progressive candidates!" HOW???

When you're at the upper echelon of politics, you're either a Third Way "Friendlier Republican" Democrat or a hard right neo-theofascist bastard. Anything to the left of that, you get no media or financial support. Proof positive would be the Josh Mandel campaign in Ohio, whose commercials swamped those of Sherrod Brown thanks to Koch money. Proof positive would be how we wound up with a Wall Streeter cockbag governor over the very capable Ted Strickland, who had the same Republican-ruined economy as 49 other states did.

I loathe the fact that economically, there really IS no option; we really have NO representation. It fuels the "both parties are the same" canard when they're only (and barely) divided by social issues.

When is America going to move with the rest of the world and elect progressives? When is America going to remove money from politics?

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 06:28 AM

4. are you talking to me specifically? cause i didn't say 'elect progressive candidates" & i don't

 

think the article did either.

i agree with you. ordinary people have no representation.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 08:24 AM

17. Oh sorry, no; it's just a general thing people tend to say in threads like these.

A nice thought and solution, but while Big Money and Big Media are still very much entrenched in politics, a pipe dream.

That and America still has an "Angry White Guy" problem of epidemic proportions.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #17)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 01:59 PM

24. true, that.

 

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:14 AM

7. If you run for Congress, you generally don't want to piss off the wealthiest/powerful constituents.

It's difficult enough to get citizens to donate enough money to a politician's campaign, much less vote for one. Angering the wealthiest among the 1% just guarantees that the politician in question will also face incessant attack ads and character assassination campaigns launched by those wealthy few. The result is that only a handful of senators are left of center, and only one of them is an avowed democratic socialist. The other Democrats are neoliberals.

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Response to Selatius (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:46 AM

11. That is why we have to change our economic system

Allowing a few handful of people to make excessive wealth off of our labor, then sets it up for those few handful of wealthy people to steal all the benefits of our society including controlling our political system. These rich fat cats have absolutely no right to make such huge profits off of our economic system. They have no right to impose their will on the rest of us just because they can rig the system with the money they make off of us. It's time to make our economic system democratic. You can't have billionaires and democracy at the same time.

The whole system is rotten and needs to be replaced.

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Response to fasttense (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 08:50 AM

21. The more money that makes it's way to the top, the worse it's going to get.

It's unbelievable that so many people in this country are so blinded by anger and hate for someone worse off than them, that they don't see it's the suppressive boot of the 1% that's keeping them poor. And it's effective . . . a handful of bastards make more than half of the country think that if you give their borderline-to-actual sociopathic clan the largesse, that's the best way to get an economy going.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 08:36 AM

18. The ugly truth?

 

You need a new political party. New leaders. New politicians. You need yourself and others like you with the time, dedication, and commitment. You need to start small. At local elections and to keep on focus. You need Democrats who have always voted Democrats to vote for you - unlikely.

Think of Oklahoma (or was it Kansas?) school boards. When Intelligent Design and other such pseudo-religious pseudo-science embarrassments to intelligence came along, liberals retook the school board and straightened things up. When the job was done and some sanity restored, Liberals left. Now, crazy religious zealots have returned to the school boards and things are even worse than before. Once you fix the job, you need to manage the job.

Beware the Democrats and Republicans. After Ross Perot, Republicans and Democrats joined forces to "tighten up" political party registration in some states. Even the Presidential Debate Commission came up with some funny rules and explanations to exclude third-parties from participating.

Beware Democrats who, if you ever seize any amount of power, who suddenly agree with you. Beware their operatives who will pose as you, while in service to the DNC (relabeled as the Democratic National Corporation). And beware the plutocrats, their banks, and corporations who will seduce you with money (Corzine when he ran for NJ governor, won, and then scuttled the state).

Another obstacle? Citizens United. Untold millions and billions of dollars can now be focused to destroy any nascent political movement that threatens the status quo Republicans and Democrats have established in our - well, their - government.

Oh, and you need to play dirty. They infiltrate you? You infiltrate them. They have plants and spread lies? You do the same.

Start looking at key boards and councils. Start there. Make your way to State. And hammer at the doors of the Federal government.

Most importantly? You need to talk to each person at a time and win them over.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 06:30 AM

5. How does cutting Social Security "Fix the Debt?" It has never contributed one penny to the debt.

Social Security has its own tax system, and has always run a surplus. Every other government program should do the same.

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Response to tclambert (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 06:58 AM

6. It depends how you look at it

The Treasury gets all Social Security's extra cash and in turn pays interest on it back to Social Security if it needs it, which it has needed the last couple of years since it was paying out more than it took in for the first time in 30 years, mainly due to the 2% payroll holiday, should have about broke even otherwise.

I've seen it argued that when social security eventually has to start cashing in it's treasury bonds to cover payouts that it will increase the national debt since we will probably still be running budget deficits every year. The money will have to come from somewhere so some changes will have to be made (like raising the income cap)



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Response to madville (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:40 AM

9. The Treasury would simply monetize those bonds, the way I understand it.

In other words, Social Security would turn in or redeem those bonds, and in exchange, the Treasury would hand over money to Social Security, which then goes into circulation in the form of checks to recipients. This is how I understand it, anyway.

Of course, if Social Security decided to monetize all 2.5 trillion of the trust fund right now, there would be massive inflation tomorrow with all that cash hitting the economy at the same time, but the likeliest scenario would be that the trust fund is monetized over the course of several years to several decades if Congress simply lets Social Security operate as is until the trust fund is exhausted.

At that point, Social Security would revert back to the pay-as-you-go program that it originally was, except that beneficiaries would only receive about 70% of guaranteed benefits instead of 100% because of funding shortfalls from trying to fund the Baby Boomers.

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Response to Selatius (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:56 AM

13. If nothing is done it will snowball

When they start having to cash in the trust fund it will also reduce the interest earned as the balance goes down meaning they have to take more out the following year.

The need to get rid of the income cap first. Means testing could also come into play, multimillionaires don't need a $2,500 monthly check anyway.

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Response to madville (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 02:02 PM

27. "in turn pays interest on it back to Social Security if it needs it" -- no, it pays interest

 

on a regular schedule, mainly because it borrowed $2.5 trillion.

no idea where you got this 'if it needs it'.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #27)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 03:32 PM

31. It's pretty simple

If Social Security runs a deficit, like this last year mainly due to the payroll tax holiday, the Treasury will actually pay some of the interest out to cover the shortfall if SS needs it.

If they break even or surplus, the Treasury issues more paper to the trust fund for the interest. So the Treasury only actually hands interest over in cash if there is a shortfall, like the last two years.

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Response to madville (Reply #31)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 04:00 PM

32. it's pretty simple. but that's not how it works. the Trust Fund gets REGULAR interest payments

 

credited to its account, just like any loan arrangement.

Because the Feds borrowed $2.5 trillion from that account, and are paying interest on that debt.


It's *laughable* to suggest that interest is paid only "when it's needed".

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #32)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 04:29 PM

33. It is paid out only when it's needed

You just repeated exactly what I said, we are saying the same thing. It stays in the trust fund unless there is a shortfall, then the needed amount is paid out "as it is needed" to cover any deficits in cash flow.

The Treasury pays cash out to Social Security as it is needed, anything else earned stays on paper in the trust fund.

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Response to madville (Reply #33)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 04:44 PM

34. you said: "it in turn pays interest on it back to Social Security if it needs it"

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #34)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 05:00 PM

37. Which is correct

They don't give Social Security their interest if it is not needed, they issue more debt to the trust fund, essentially giving themselves(the Treasury) their own money back.

So it is factual to say the Treasury isn't paying anything out unless it is needed, the remaining interest is credited to the trust fund in the form of treasury debt.

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Response to madville (Reply #37)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 01:21 AM

42. The TF is credited whether it's 'needed' or not, whether they 'pay out' or not.

 

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Response to tclambert (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 08:47 AM

20. Well, another scenario...

 

Is that Social Security would be converted into another tax and the money used to fund the government. The easiest tax is a tax that already exists and is being paid, just redirected to another purpose.

On another note, America already has privatized Social Security accounts - 401k.

The purpose of privatizing Social Security would be for Wall Street to gamble with your retirement. And fees Wall Street would be charging you every time they even looked at your retirement bank account - look up "churning". When the UK privatized their pension system, UK financiers managed to extract an astounding $12.4 BILLION in new fees in?

Two weeks. Paid by funds deposited into retirement accounts.

The UK government had to step in and offer a public pension option, once again.

Or Chile. Paul Ryan loves Chile and the private pension system established by some neoliberal who helped finance the mass murders and torture down there. Paul Ryan holds up Chile's privatized pension system as a model of success. Unfortunately for Paul Ryan, Chile has finally done away with their privatized pension plans after spectacular failures. Much like as the UK was forced to admit that privatized pensions run by financiers are merely scams.

Another estimate of how privatized pension scams in America would work is that they offer only 70% of the benefits that Social Security would offer. This was estimated sometime around 2005. What was not included is that fees from private pension managers could and would soak up to another 30% - skimmed right off the top.

So, for 100% of your contributions, you would receive 40% of the benefits, before inflation - which would further reduce your pension's valuation. Your payouts would also be affected by the stock and commodities markets. Either tank, and your pension tanks with it. Now, for an interesting exercise, value today's stock market in 2007 and 2000 dollars. Prepared to be shocked.

The ultimate goal of privatized Social Security is to relieve the government of a future burden while delivering Social Security monies into the hands of the wealthy. You see, Social Security is one of the largest concentrations of wealth that the US has left. And your plutocrats want it.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:40 AM

8. George Carlin was right.......

 

"They're 'comin after your Social Security... they want your retirement money.. they want every penny and they'll get it...".

The bastards in BOTH parties have taken your Social Security money and spent it on lavish golf vacations and bonuses.

Now they are going to weasel out becasue they don't want to put your money back. They are money whores and represent NO ONE.

Pete Peterson is a SNAKE. Why Obama would bring him into the discussion is sick.... never mind.. I just answered my own question.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:43 AM

10. Which is exactly why I loathe Rendell.

And they trot him out at every opportunity to represent the left as an analyst.

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 05:38 PM

38. and considering ed rendell

was Hillary's staunch supporter, people can see why the thought of a President Hillary is only slightly better than a president rubio..enough to get my ass out to vote, but I know I am merely choosing a throw of the dice rather than certain doom/.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:48 AM

12. Slashing SS is the #1 goal of the 1%... because their taxes will go up big time otherwise.


Because that $3 trillion trust fund that Social Security has? That represents the dollar amount that needs to be paid back over time by the general fund, whose revenues come from corporate and individual income taxes. The tax bill of the 1% is coming due, and they don't want to pay it.

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 08:50 AM

22. Social Security represents...

 

... one of the last bastions of concentrated wealth the American public has. And the plutocrats want it. They literally have nothing left to loot in this country.

Except, of course, Social Security.

Their banks are busy practicing fraudclosure, seizing the land. And then renting it right back to Main Street. Banks, the new slum lords.

The MIC has the Pentagon. Rumsfeld never did explain where that missing $1-$2 TRILLION disappeared to on Sept. 10th, 2001. Seriously, 47% of the world's military spending and our army doesn't even employ as many people as China's? All the billions spent on weapon systems that never made it? The Fail-35 and TWO DIFFERENT ENGINES Congress wanted? The $1.5 TRILLION lifetime costs (and rising) of the Fail-35, which already under-performs current Russian fighters - a plane made to battle last decades third-world fighter planes.

The National Security State soaks up over half of government revenue (including the Pentagon). Even Chertoff managed sweet PornoScanner contracts right after he resigned as head of the DHS.

Banks are busy receiving $85 billion dollars from the Federal Reserve, every month. Quantitative easing. On top of the $27 trillion they've received. Hint: They are not even profitable and are quite bankrupt still - except that a lot of plutocrats used banks and financial companies to store their wealth - companies that went bankrupt and vaporized the wealth of the plutocrats.

On that last note, the government is busy recapitalizing the plutocrats and reimbursing the plutocrats for the wealth that was vaporized because of plutocrat's negligence. While busy grabbing the land for the new aristocratic slum-estates.

One way to control a population? Impoverish them and make them dependent on the new lords and ladies.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 08:00 AM

14. K&R

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 08:02 AM

15. Notice

They are always bringing out these people that agree with them, it starts with our prez who by the way voted for twice. They just don't want to pay back the 2 1/2 trillion dollars that both parties have spent over the years. What a bunch of assholes.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 08:38 AM

19. Du rec. Nt

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 09:05 AM

23. rec n/t

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 02:01 PM

25. K&R for a truth nobody can afford to deny anymore. nt

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 02:02 PM

26. The one good thing about having Republicans in charge of the government

You'll never ever hear about the debt and deficit ever again.

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Response to Yavin4 (Reply #26)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 02:04 PM

28. true, that. it was funny how that just went away as an issue under the reign of bush.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 02:38 PM

29. Fix the Debt: privatize the shit out of everything so the billionaires don't have to pay taxes.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 02:52 PM

30. Yeah, "bipartisan" in the same sense as a gang rape is "bipartisan".

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #30)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 04:48 PM

35. Good one!

I so sick of the bi-partisan language. Compromise, maybe if it's real compromise, however, we haven't had bi-partisan agreements from either side of the aisle for decades. If we had, there would have been a buy in for Medicare or the Public Option offered in the Obamacare exchanges. We who wanted bi-partisan agreement on this were told to shove it and by our own Democratic Party.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 09:02 PM

39. K&R

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 09:42 PM

41. kick

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:44 PM

44. I am officially off the Villaraigosa for Governor bandwagon

He showed some cojones in touching the third rail of California politics, Prop 13. But then I found out he's big-time into ed deform. And now this.

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