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Sat Apr 6, 2013, 11:01 AM

Digby (Remember Her?) ....."Ok, So What Do We Do Now?"

Itís Official: A Democratic President Proposes to Cut Social Security
by Digby

Ok, so what do we do now?

First, we cannot simply sit back and expect the GOP to do our dirty work for us. After all, the way things are going, the President could start offering up new tax cuts for all we know. Heís either a terrible negotiator or he really, really wants these cuts. Either way, counting on him holding the line is probably not a good idea.

So, we have to buck up the Democrats. I know, I know. But they still have to face voters while the president has run his last election. They should be made very, very aware of what they are contemplating: attacks from both the left and the right in the next election. Any incumbent Democrat who could face a primary challenge will be facing withering criticism for voting to cut SS, veterans benefits and medicare. And if they are lucky to fight them off and win they will be attacked by the Republicans challenger on exactly the same issues. These are very, very popular programs which, by the way, donít actually need to be cut. Anyone who votes for this will hear about it. If you have a Democratic congressional rep, give them a call and let them know that you will hold it against them. (Also too, if you have a Republican representative. They have to face voters too and it canít hurt to remind them of that. And after all, they are just looking for reasons to oppose this Ö)

And call your Senators starting today. The pattern so far has been that Speaker Boehner will only suspend the Hastert Rule (allowing legislation to the floor without a Republican majority) if it is already passed with a bipartisan Senate vote. Best to try to stop it here first.

Meanwhile prepare for a barrage of savvy, world weary commentary from your fellow liberals telling you that this is no big thing and that Democrats will not suffer even a tiny bit if they vote for a common sense proposal like this one. You will be shushed and told to calm down and take a chill pill. In other words, you will be gaslighted by fellow liberals who are embarrassed that you arenít being coolly accepting of something that is completely unacceptable. This is how this works. Tell them to STFU and move out of the way.

---snip---


The cool kids should think twice before predicting a complacent acceptance of this proposal because sometimes the people do stand up and object. Especially when it comes to these programs. They donít call it the third rail for nothing.

More at:

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/04/05-10

28 replies, 2289 views

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Arrow 28 replies Author Time Post
Reply Digby (Remember Her?) ....."Ok, So What Do We Do Now?" (Original post)
KoKo Apr 2013 OP
dembotoz Apr 2013 #1
riverbendviewgal Apr 2013 #2
redqueen Apr 2013 #3
bvar22 Apr 2013 #4
winter is coming Apr 2013 #5
WorseBeforeBetter Apr 2013 #11
winter is coming Apr 2013 #20
WorseBeforeBetter Apr 2013 #23
WillyT Apr 2013 #6
antigop Apr 2013 #7
timdog44 Apr 2013 #8
Capt.Rocky300 Apr 2013 #9
timdog44 Apr 2013 #12
zeemike Apr 2013 #10
timdog44 Apr 2013 #13
hfojvt Apr 2013 #14
timdog44 Apr 2013 #15
hfojvt Apr 2013 #19
timdog44 Apr 2013 #21
nashville_brook Apr 2013 #17
timdog44 Apr 2013 #18
duffyduff Apr 2013 #22
timdog44 Apr 2013 #24
whathehell Apr 2013 #26
timdog44 Apr 2013 #27
whathehell Apr 2013 #28
nashville_brook Apr 2013 #16
forestpath Apr 2013 #25

Response to KoKo (Original post)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 11:34 AM

1. yep

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 12:26 PM

2. Yes , the people must not give up

would you give up if your child had a disease and do nothing?

Watch this video...it is 16 minutes.

Toward the end of the movie..The speaker brought up some states. One was Connecticut. Last week Connecticut law makers passed the strict gun control bill.. How did they do it...watch the movie.

http://www.ted.com/talks/lawrence_lessig_we_the_people_and_the_republic_we_must_reclaim.html

There is a corruption at the heart of American politics, caused by the dependence of Congressional candidates on funding from the tiniest percentage of citizens. That's the argument at the core of this blistering talk by legal scholar Lawrence Lessig. With rapid-fire visuals, he shows how the funding process weakens the Republic in the most fundamental way, and issues a rallying bipartisan cry that will resonate with many in the U.S. and beyond.

Lawrence Lessig has already transformed intellectual-property law with his Creative Commons innovation. Now he's focused on an even bigger problem: The US' broken political system

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 12:29 PM

3. K&R nt

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 12:45 PM

4. DURec!


Putting Social Security On-the-Table is unacceptable to this FDR Democrat!



You will know them by their WORKS,
not by their excuses.
Solidarity99!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 12:47 PM

5. I think the President is doing this because it's the only bait left that might get Rs to the table.

Think about that for a minute. Obama's trying to negotiate with people who will be satisfied with nothing less than the destruction of our safety net. Instead of adopting their memes, he needs to call them out for what they are: destroyers of America.

The current crop of Republicans will never play nice, and it's time to stop pretending they might.

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Response to winter is coming (Reply #5)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 02:01 PM

11. We've known for-fucking-ever that they don't play nice.

At least the Loud Left has. Who (besides Obama, evidently...) hasn't figured that out?

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Response to WorseBeforeBetter (Reply #11)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 04:33 PM

20. The Serious People seem to be conveniently ignorant. n/t

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Response to winter is coming (Reply #20)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 04:41 PM

23. It pays too well not to be.

Nice work if you can find it. I guess.

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 12:50 PM

6. K & R !!!


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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 01:21 PM

7. but we can't tell people to STFU on DU --- against the rules, isn't it? Nt

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 01:41 PM

8. I need someone to explain

what you mean by "cutting" Social Security. Does that mean if I am making $1000 a month that when the cut happens I'll only be getting $900? Or are you talking about a different way of COLA?, and so instead of $1050 next year it will be more like $1025? Also, is there not some additional part of the budget he proposes that compensates the people who don't make x amount of $/month?

Just so you don't think I am trying to undermine things, you should know that my wife and I are both on Social Security. We have never seen what the proposals in his budget actually mean. We are also very left wing Ds and have never, ever voted for a R. I am saying this because I don't want some antagonistic sarcastic replies, not that I think it would be you, I just know how things go on this kind of subject. Thanks in advance for the information.

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Response to Capt.Rocky300 (Reply #9)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 02:09 PM

12. Thanks for video.

I like Robert Reich and think he has always been pretty right on about his opinions.

This is a hot button subject. I am having a hard time trying to decipher Pres. Obama making the offer, especially when no one else seems to be wanting to put it on the table.

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Response to timdog44 (Reply #8)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 01:58 PM

10. The point is this.

What has the cost of your food done?...or all the other expenses you have?

If you get a 25 dollar raise in your SS and your expenses go up 50 are you getting more or less?

I too am on SS, and I can no longer eat meat regularly...which is probably a good thing.
but as the prices of food goes up I must eat less quality of food...and I seldom eat out....and cook everything from scratch.
the last time I bought a battery for my car I paid 50 bucks for it...about 4 or 5 years ago....just had to buy one again and it cost me 100...yet my income did not increase by 100 percent.
Those are the built in cuts to SS that the COLA was supposed to solve.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 02:14 PM

13. And thank you for the response and example

of what has happened. I think it a sin, that in this wealthy country, anyone should have to make tough choices about food and medical care, or any normal daily cost of living. So, as I see it, what would happen with the chained CPI is, we would be losing ground faster than we already are.

And as in my response to the above, I don't understand why Pres. Obama is putting this on the negotiation table when no one else seems interested in having there.

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Response to timdog44 (Reply #8)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 02:47 PM

14. well I decided to look at the last decade

here are the colas http://www.ssa.gov/cola/automatic-cola.htm

2001 - 3.5%
2002 - 2.6
2003 - 1.4
2004 - 2.1
2005 - 2.7
2006 - 4.1
2007 - 3.3
2008 - 2.3
2009 - 5.8
2010 - 0
2011 - 0
2012 - 3.6

so $1.000 a month has grown to $1,361.14 a month by 2012.

Now some might think that is a huge growth, and think that if it was reduced to $1,300 that that would not really be a "cut". Because, after all $1,300 is still more than $1,000.

But that is not what really happens. Consider, for example, the price of gas. In 2000, gas was selling for, let's say $1.25 a gallon. (I think it was less, but it was increasing from the low of 89.9 in late 1999 and I remember it increased just in time to hurt Gore in the election even though it was probably higher than $1.25 when Clinton was elected in 1996. I remember that too, because it was right when I bought my 2nd car in 1996 and gas was about $1.30.

Anyway, that $1,000 in 2000 would buy you 800 gallons of gasoline. By 2012, $1,000 would only buy about 300 gallons of gasoline.

The same is true, although I cannot remember prices, of things like bread and milk and any number of other items. Some items held steady. For example, I remember buying a Trek bicycle in 1990 for about $300 and then a new one in 2002 for $300 and then another one in 2004 for $275 (because they had a sales tax holiday)

So $1,300 in 2012 would only be equivalent, in general, to $975.03 in 2000. http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?cost1=1300&year1=2012&year2=2000 If the COLA does not keep up with inflation, then you are going backwards even as the nominal value of the check goes up, the real (non inflation) value is going down.

However, it does appear that past COLAs for Social security have been beating the rate of inflation. At least for the period from 2000-2012. The $1,000 growing to $1,361.40 beats the inflation rate of $1,333.3. Or, put another way, the real value of $1,361.40 in 2000 dollars is $1,021.11.

But the COLA has probably not been keeping up with the increasing costs of food, gasoline and medicine.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #14)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 03:48 PM

15. So, from you say,

for the period 2000-2012, SS has basically toed the line with COLA being implemented with the CPI it uses. I'm curious. Does the $1300 figure you use reflect what the chained CPI Pres. Obama is offering? Because that would be $61 a month less which would be significant to a lot of people. Also, I think I saw something in his budget offering, that would supplement the lower income people. Is that so? And if so, would the supplement to those people make up for the $61? Not trying to be difficult, just trying to figure it all out.

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Response to timdog44 (Reply #15)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 04:25 PM

19. actually, to my astonished amusement, it does

I used $1,300 for a random example of a cut, but the chained CPI from 2000 to 2012 was 130. Which would make $1,000 grow to $1,300. At least according to this source http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/SUUR0000SA0

As for the other details, I don't know. I read on DU that Obama's proposal raises the minimum benefit, but social security tells me there is no minimum benefit. I think my dad gets $60 a month and my mom gets $30 a month. http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/254/~/minimum-social-security-retirement-amount

I know Obama's Catfood Commission proposed changing bends points in a way that would increase benefits for those at the bottom and cut benefits for those at the top, but I don't know if that is part of this proposal.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #19)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 04:37 PM

21. I guess I had to know

there was a minimum, but never thought it would be $1.

Catfood Commission. Describes about what the $90 your parents get. Enough for cat food. Amazing, and not in a good way.

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Response to timdog44 (Reply #8)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 04:15 PM

17. they want to cut approx $660/yr if you're 65. at 85 you lose $1,147 a year (it's huge)

Chained CPI is a benefit cut that gets worse the longer a person is eligible for benefits. The average earner retiring at age 65 would get a $658 cut in annual benefits at age 75, a $1,147 cut at age 85, and a $1,622 cut at age 95. What is far more severe is the cumulative effect of the COLA cut as it compounds over time. The average earner retiring at age 65 would get a cumulative cut of $4,631 at age 75, $13,910 at age 85, and $28,004 at age 95. Proposed increases in benefits at older ages do not adequately compensate for the cut.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #17)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 04:19 PM

18. Well I have been educated, and thanks to all.

I just don't understand the reason to put it on the table when even the Rs have not even offered it up. What is the possible rationale?

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Response to timdog44 (Reply #18)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 04:40 PM

22. Short answer: Obama believes in it

He's a neoliberal and is a tool of Wall Street interests.

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #22)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 04:45 PM

24. It breaks my heart

to think a Democrat as president, would go for something like this. Wall Street does well, the rest of us don't.

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Response to timdog44 (Reply #24)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 05:26 PM

26. I know how you feel...The thing to remember is this: almost anyone can put a "d" after their name

but it doesn't mean they are democrats..It may simply be convenient

for one or more reasons to call themselves democrats.

You might recall Obama's former Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel.

Now Mayor, Rahm used to be be a congressman in my district of Chicago, and

he had a reputation of getting Republicans to run as "democrats"...Not to

"change" into democrats, ideologically, but to simply "say" they were Democrats and run

on a democratic ticket. That's how dirty politics work these days, so I identify

Democrats now only by what they DO, not by what they call themselves.

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Response to whathehell (Reply #26)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 06:54 PM

27. I am from just south of Joliet.

I know the people you talk about. Rahm is an a_____________, as far as I am concerned. He was a friend of Os somehow. Just like that a___________ Arne Duncan. All with Ds after their names. I am not sure how far to go with this. The Emanuels have a loyalty that is not to the USA and obviously not to Chicago. Just like Daley and his brother. Being a Democrat, and unapologetically so, I don't like the things they have done or have been.

So, I guess what I am getting to, is I have to admit that anyone can put a (D) after their name. In local politics around here everyone is an (I). Does not tell you anything.

And actually what I am trying to say, is, thanks for understanding. It is nice to know I am not alone.

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Response to timdog44 (Reply #27)

Sun Apr 7, 2013, 09:18 AM

28. Hey timdog44

You're more than welcome, and you are certainly not alone.

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 04:03 PM

16. big f'n k 'n r

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 04:49 PM

25. K&R

 

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