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Tue Oct 22, 2013, 07:36 PM

So here we go again. House Dem Van Hollen says possible cuts to entitlements on the table.

He does say they won't happen unless the Republicans agree to raise new revenue by closing some tax loopholes. That would be nice to close some loopholes that allow the rich to get richer, but Medicare and Social Security should NOT be on the table.

Senior Democrat pushes firm line in U.S. budget talks

The article title is misleading, I think. He is not holding firm on entitlements. I wonder just what the Democrats will agree upon to make that deal.

Maryland Representative Chris Van Hollen, the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, told the Reuters Washington Summit that he would be willing to consider some changes to big entitlement programs such as Medicare, the health insurance program for those 65 and older.

But Van Hollen said Republicans must drop their opposition to raising new revenue by closing various tax loopholes.

....Van Hollen said he would be open to finding savings in Medicare in ways that focus on giving care providers incentives to cut costs. He said he would want to avoid changes that reduce the benefits that Americans receive.

One idea that would be a tough sell with Democrats is a change in the way that cost-of-living increases are calculated in Social Security. The change would be made by adopting a less-generous gauge of inflation, known as the "chained Consumer Price Index," or chained CPI.


So Chained CPI is still on the table it seems.

Chained CPI is stealth cut to Social Security benefits. Not acceptable.

The Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) has published a brief on one of the proposed changes to Social Security under the “fiscal cliff” deal – this one known as the “Chained CPI.” The Chained CPI is a bit complex, but here’s the bottom line: it would cut benefits for Social Security recipients by shrinking annual cost-of-living adjustments.

CEPR calculates that it would equal a 3% benefit cut over 10 years, a 6% benefit cut over 20 years, and 9% after 30 years. For the average worker retiring at age 65, this would mean a cut of about $650 each year by age 75 and a cut of roughly $1,130 each year at age 85. This is especially significant given 3-out-of-5 seniors rely on Social Security for more than half of their income.

Some argue the Chained CPI is a more accurate calculation of inflation, but this is not the case for seniors. As we reported in an earlier post, seniors tend to spend more money on health insurance, hospitals, prescription drugs, and nursing care – expenses that are not taken into account by the current CPI calculation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which manages the CPI indices, has created an experimental index called the CPI-Elderly, which more accurately reflects the costs faced by seniors. The CPI-Elderly shows a rate of inflation about 0.3% higher than the current CPI calculation.

CEPR also reports the Chained CPI amount to a stealth tax increase on all Americans, but especially those at middle and lower incomes: “For example, workers with incomes between $10,000 and $20,000 would experience an increased tax burden of 14.5 percent, while those with incomes over $1,000,000 would just see an increase of 0.1 percent.”


It is not acceptable to put programs for seniors on the table.

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Reply So here we go again. House Dem Van Hollen says possible cuts to entitlements on the table. (Original post)
madfloridian Oct 2013 OP
Mass Oct 2013 #1
madfloridian Oct 2013 #2
Mass Oct 2013 #3
madfloridian Oct 2013 #8
sabrina 1 Oct 2013 #23
madfloridian Oct 2013 #25
Enthusiast Oct 2013 #52
ReRe Oct 2013 #96
PoliticAverse Oct 2013 #4
Vincardog Oct 2013 #93
geek tragedy Oct 2013 #5
madfloridian Oct 2013 #9
geek tragedy Oct 2013 #10
rhett o rick Oct 2013 #43
Fumesucker Oct 2013 #19
IronLionZion Oct 2013 #28
rhett o rick Oct 2013 #44
geek tragedy Oct 2013 #69
sabrina 1 Oct 2013 #30
madfloridian Oct 2013 #34
winter is coming Oct 2013 #39
sabrina 1 Oct 2013 #40
madfloridian Oct 2013 #42
JoePhilly Oct 2013 #63
Scuba Oct 2013 #6
msongs Oct 2013 #7
Iwillnevergiveup Oct 2013 #11
Cryptoad Oct 2013 #13
sabrina 1 Oct 2013 #35
Cryptoad Oct 2013 #50
whathehell Oct 2013 #82
sabrina 1 Oct 2013 #41
LiberalEsto Oct 2013 #12
Cryptoad Oct 2013 #14
nadinbrzezinski Oct 2013 #15
senseandsensibility Oct 2013 #16
maui902 Oct 2013 #17
Cryptoad Oct 2013 #22
madfloridian Oct 2013 #26
leveymg Oct 2013 #27
sabrina 1 Oct 2013 #32
sabrina 1 Oct 2013 #36
liberal_at_heart Oct 2013 #46
lark Oct 2013 #71
kentuck Oct 2013 #18
sabrina 1 Oct 2013 #37
whathehell Oct 2013 #91
Cryptoad Oct 2013 #20
okaawhatever Oct 2013 #21
madfloridian Oct 2013 #57
Swede Atlanta Oct 2013 #24
nevergiveup Oct 2013 #29
madfloridian Oct 2013 #56
Jack Rabbit Oct 2013 #31
WillyT Oct 2013 #33
Hotler Oct 2013 #38
madfloridian Oct 2013 #45
Recursion Oct 2013 #47
Chan790 Oct 2013 #48
grahamhgreen Oct 2013 #49
bravenak Oct 2013 #51
madrchsod Oct 2013 #53
madfloridian Oct 2013 #55
hobbit709 Oct 2013 #54
polichick Oct 2013 #58
LiberalLovinLug Oct 2013 #59
madfloridian Oct 2013 #60
Myrina Oct 2013 #62
JoePhilly Oct 2013 #61
madfloridian Oct 2013 #67
JoePhilly Oct 2013 #70
madfloridian Oct 2013 #73
JoePhilly Oct 2013 #74
madfloridian Oct 2013 #85
rhett o rick Oct 2013 #75
JoePhilly Oct 2013 #77
rhett o rick Oct 2013 #78
JoePhilly Oct 2013 #81
rgbecker Oct 2013 #64
awoke_in_2003 Oct 2013 #65
Cleita Oct 2013 #87
awoke_in_2003 Oct 2013 #92
iandhr Oct 2013 #66
Spitfire of ATJ Oct 2013 #68
Poll_Blind Oct 2013 #72
snappyturtle Oct 2013 #76
Owl Oct 2013 #79
AAO Oct 2013 #80
Jakes Progress Oct 2013 #83
NewJeffCT Oct 2013 #84
Cleita Oct 2013 #86
NuttyFluffers Oct 2013 #95
Name removed Oct 2013 #88
uppityperson Oct 2013 #90
Faryn Balyncd Oct 2013 #89
Faygo Kid Oct 2013 #94
IronLionZion Oct 2013 #97

Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 07:39 PM

1. Seems to me the article implies Van Hollen is against chained CPI.

This said, the media have never stopped supporting that. As for Medicare, it really depends what it is about. Of course, benefits should not be cut, but there are ways to save money without that (If anything, there are still a lot of money made by healthcare companies, as I can see with my 93 year old MIL. $2000 a week for something that has little results in her case is a lot.

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Response to Mass (Reply #1)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 07:42 PM

2. Yes, but it is the Democratics who put it on the table before.

From the article:

"Van Hollen said he would be open to finding savings in Medicare in ways that focus on giving care providers incentives to cut costs. He said he would want to avoid changes that reduce the benefits that Americans receive.

....Some Republicans have cited the "chained CPI" change for Social Security as one element of a possible deal. They note that the idea was proposed this year by Democratic President Barack Obama in his annual budget request to Congress."

They are still not taking it off the table.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #2)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 07:45 PM

3. Were they asked?

Because the article is very poorly written. It does not tell us anything about Dems and chained CPI except that at some point Obama was for it.

Of course, we need to be vigilant, but this article is as empty as they come. We do not know because we only have the reporter's opinion, nothing else.

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Response to Mass (Reply #3)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 08:05 PM

8. No, we have the offer to put it on the table.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022417077

Not in the article itself which really is poorly written.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #8)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 09:23 PM

23. Yes, we have the FACT that a Democratic President put that on the table. Howevever

at that time the excuse was that we had to compromise. Now we know, after the recent demonstration of Dems refusing to back down, that as the 'Left' always said, we do not ever need to compromise with the most extreme elements of the far Right.

Obama now has the advantage of the reality that when Dems stand firm against them, the Far Right WILL back down.

I am hoping therefore, that the Chained CPI will be removed from the budget.

This will tell us all we need to know.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #23)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 09:31 PM

25. Agreed, it must be removed from the table out loud so we hear it.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #25)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 06:35 AM

52. Plus one! Out loud!

We have ears.

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Response to Mass (Reply #3)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 06:47 PM

96. The article was written to CONFUSE

It's what the media does now. They confuscate.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 07:49 PM

4. The 'entitlement cuts in exchange for tax increases' seems to be part of the 'grand bargain'

that keeps coming up. Hard to picture the Republican House agreeing to any type of tax increases at
this point.

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #4)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 05:28 PM

93. We fix SS by eliminating the CAP. We fix Medicare by making the eligibility age -9 Months and

Requiring the Government to negotiate drug prices.
The COLA for SS has been understating real inflation for years.
After we eliminate the CAP we should double the benefit and lower the retirement age to 50.
What else have the repugs got?

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 07:50 PM

5. Your post title is misleading to the point of being dishonest.

Van Hollen did not say he was open to benefit cuts, including chained CPI.

Van Hollen said he would be open to finding savings in Medicare in ways that focus on giving care providers incentives to cut costs. He said he would want to avoid changes that reduce the benefits that Americans receive.

One idea that would be a tough sell with Democrats is a change in the way that cost-of-living increases are calculated in Social Security. The change would be made by adopting a less-generous gauge of inflation, known as the "chained Consumer Price Index," or chained CPI.

Such a plan "creates a whole lot of problems within the Democratic caucus," Van Hollen acknowledged.






From April:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/10/chained-cpi-obama-democrats_n_3055343.html

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), ranking member of the House Budget Committee, told HuffPost he had both substantive and tactical concerns with Obama's adoption of chained CPI."There's the concern that Republicans will see this budget as the starting point of the conservation, not the end point," Van Hollen said. "Even though this budget was clearly an effort by the president to signal a willingness to compromise ... the history of these negotiations show that Republicans will try to pocket these concessions and then make more demands."

"That means the president's going to have to be absolutely firm about the fact that this is his best and final offer," Van Hollen said.

The Maryland Democrat noted Obama's budget and that proposed by House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) were as different as "night and day." Van Hollen expressed his own doubts over whether chained CPI is a more accurate reflection of cost increases for seniors.


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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #5)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 08:10 PM

9. Not dishonest at all. We know it is still on the table.

But this sentence I hope is very true:

"Such a plan "creates a whole lot of problems within the Democratic caucus," Van Hollen acknowledged."

Indeed it should create a lot of problems.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #9)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 08:13 PM

10. The article says van hollen is willing to consider measures other than cuts.

It doesn't say he's willing to consider cuts.

But, this is all hot air, since the Republicans will never agree to more revenue. This is Democrats pandering to centrists in an effort to appear reasonable, and make the (true) case that Republicans just can't take yes for an answer, and that if anything is going to get done, Republicans need to lose their House majority.



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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #10)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 12:18 AM

43. "He said he would want to avoid changes that reduce the benefits that Americans receive."

That's rhetoric. He didnt say that he would avoid only that he wants to avoid. I'd rather he said that he wouldnt entertain cuts.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #5)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 08:47 PM

19. That's not what the title says n/t

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #5)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 10:05 PM

28. +1 on the misleading title

which is why I clicked on this thread.

He's my congressman and I'll call his office to hold his feet to the fire on this anyway just to be sure.

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #28)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 12:19 AM

44. He clearly did not say that cuts were off the table. He said he wants to avoid. Pretty flimsy. nm

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #44)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 01:54 PM

69. House Minority members don't have the authority to declare anything off the table.nt

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #5)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 10:10 PM

30. No, it is NOT misleading, in fact it is very restrained. The very idea that ANY

Democrat would even consider putting the Chained CPI ( do they think we are STUPID?) ON THE TABLE is what is DISHONEST. We worked HARD to remove Republicans from power. We did NOT do that in order to have those we propelled into positions of power, BETRAY the people who elected them.

Answer ONE question please. WHY is the Chained CPI on the table in discussions of the FED BUDGET which has ZERO to do with the SS Budget? We've been asking this question for a long time and still have not received an answer.

NO cuts to SS. The Fed Govt does NOT own that fund WE DO. They have NO RIGHT to try to make it part of the Central Fund and get ready for a fight to stop this deception.

Explain please what exactly is 'misleading' about the OP.

Did this Dem President put the Chained CPI on the table or did he not?? A simple 'yes' or 'no' will suffice.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #30)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 10:19 PM

34. ......

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #30)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 11:13 PM

39. +1. These budget discussions always seem to skip initial and important questions.

We start with the base assumptions that the deficit is an urgent problem, and that social spending must offset any tax increases.

It's time to open the books and take a thorough look at where the money comes from, where it goes, and who's benefiting. It's time to remember that the SS fund isn't supposed to be a cash cow for government spending. It's time to look at what tax rates have been historically, and what effect raising and lowering them has had on our economy. It's time to look at what income equality does to our economy and to our stability as a nation.

Enough of starting at some artificially-imposed step 5. Let's start with step 1 and proceed from that using arithmetic instead of rhetoric. If we go on doing our "budgeting" by substituting politics for math, we're going to kill the already shaky economy we have.

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Response to winter is coming (Reply #39)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 11:18 PM

40. Excellent post, thank you!

I suppose the good news is we are no longer as easily fooled as we used to be. Trying to tie SS to the Deficit was the most ridiculous political ploy ever.

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Response to winter is coming (Reply #39)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 11:27 PM

42. Amen, great idea.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #5)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 01:34 PM

63. You are ruining perfectly good manufactured outrage!!!

Its definitely going to happen THIS time!!!

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 07:50 PM

6. For every dollar cut from SS or Medicare, I want $100,000 in new tax revenue from the wealthiest.

That sounds like shared sacrifice.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 08:04 PM

7. medicare change to cut costs: negotiate drug prices. nt

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 08:31 PM

11. Senator Mark Warner (VA)

said this on a Sunday talk show: "We all know at the end of the day...Democrats are going to have to give on entitlement reform."

I don't live in Virginia, but I'm sure as hell going to call his office. Talk about a stupid, untimely foregone conclusion.

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Response to Iwillnevergiveup (Reply #11)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 08:39 PM

13. Bullshit

Not with these TeaParty bastards..... it better to stagnate where we are than to give an inch to these people!

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Response to Cryptoad (Reply #13)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 10:27 PM

35. What does that mean?

If you are saying that we Dems should sacrifice Democratic Principles in order not to 'give' anything to these 'TeaParty bastards', you are on your own.

But I could be misunderstanding you.

What do the TP Bastards want? They want CUTS to SS and the eventual Privatization of SS. If I understand you correctly, you are saying we should GIVE THEM what they want.

I hope I am misunderstanding. Perhaps you can clarify what you mean as I do not want to misunderstand.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #35)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 05:54 AM

50. you are about 180 degrees off on my post

we don't need to give in on anything the TP Bastards want.

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Response to Cryptoad (Reply #13)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 04:32 PM

82. I agree completely. n/t



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Response to Iwillnevergiveup (Reply #11)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 11:19 PM

41. I already called Durbin's office. Will definitely call Warner's.

Who needs enemies with friends like these?

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 08:36 PM

12. Raise the income cap. nt

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #12)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 08:40 PM

14. Make Fica a progressive tax! nt

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 08:41 PM

15. So exactly how surprised should I pretend to be?

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 08:41 PM

16. Don't trust him

I used to really like him, but he should be giving an inch on this issue.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 08:41 PM

17. If Democrats are unwilling to make any cuts to entitlements, what would you see as a compromise

that would have a chance of passing both the Senate and the House? I understand the sentiment regarding no cuts to entitlement programs, but given the current state of affairs, including the sequester, which I believe has been borne disproportionately by the poor and powerless (and which will continue as long as we have no budget agreement), what would you be willing to offer to (1) prevent a filibuster in the Senate and (2) obtain majority support in the House? It's easy to say I won't compromise on anything, including no cuts to entitlement programs, and to suggest that any budget shortfalls be addressed to increased taxes and closing of loopholes, but such a position, if adopted by Democrats in the Senate and the House, insures that there will no deal on the budget. If there is no deal, we continue without a budget, and I think that outcome is worse than compromising a bit, provided (and this is a big IF) that concessions are made by the Republicans that justify the compromise. The only alternative is to bear the burden of the sequester, which hurts many Americans, until the next election, and hope Democrats can win control of the House and a filibuster proof majority in the Senate, something I that is possible but I wouldn't bet on.

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Response to maui902 (Reply #17)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 09:01 PM

22. This GOP-teabagger idiots

should be arrested and tried for sedition! Not negotiated with!

Not one inch of give,,,,,, ride it out. The can see there upcoming doom,,,, that is leverage!

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Response to maui902 (Reply #17)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 09:57 PM

26. There should be no compromise on these programs at all. No need for it.

Obama says he has cut the deficit in half during his term. That's progress. So why do they need to tinker with safety net programs.

There are other things to compromise on other than the safety nets. I find no reason they could be acceptable.

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Response to maui902 (Reply #17)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 09:57 PM

27. Most Dems view cuts to SS and Medicare as a moral compromise. No compromise on that. No deal.

Change the Senate filibuster rules if that's the primary impediment. Win back the House. No compromise on basic services.

There is absolutely no reason for the Democratic Party to bargain away SS/Medicare, either for fiscal or political reasons.

Each of these rounds of partial government shutdown only weakens the GOP House. I hope they try this again so their public approval ratings fall even further than the present 18%.

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Response to maui902 (Reply #17)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 10:18 PM

32. Explain please how cuts to a Fund that has zero to do with the Central Fund

will do anything to reduce the Deficit?

Do you know what caused the Deficit?

Do you understand that the SS fund has zero to do with the Federal Budget?

Why is SS even a part of this discussion?

What exactly caused the Deficit?

Hint, it was NOT SS.

SS should not even be a part of these discussions. SS did NOT contribute to the Deficit. I had zero to do with the Deficit.

SS is a fund OWNED by the American Workers who set aside money to pay for their retirement. It was NEVER part of the Federal Budget.

We are being SCAMMED. The good thing is we are not STUPID, so WE KNOW we are being scammed.

Any politician who votes to continue this scam will learn that SS really is still the 'Third Rail of Politics'.

So, to all DC politicians, stop with the nonsense. Go after those who actually caused the deficit. For once in your lives do the right think.

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Response to maui902 (Reply #17)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 10:34 PM

36. SS has ZERO TO DO WITH THE FED BUDGET.

Please stop promoting their agenda.

Do you not get it? They are LYING. Are you suggesting we go along with the lies of the TP?

SS has nothing to do with the FED Budget. It does not belong in any discussion of the Fed Budget.

What you are proposing is that we pretend they are telling the truth, the insane Tea Party is LYING and you are proposing we go along with their lies.

NO WAY!

I thought we had just learned, finally, that we do not have to 'compromise' with liars and phonies.

What happened? You have got to be kidding if you are suggesting that we should play along with these outright LIES.

Maybe you don't understand what is going on here. If that is the case we will be happy to explain why there can be NO COMPROMISE with LIARS. The TP are LIARS, and you seem to be saying we should humor them. I could be wrong, I hope I am wrong. So please explain how the SS has ANYTHING to do with the Fed Budget and WHY it is even part of these discussions.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #36)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 01:23 AM

46. +1000000

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Response to maui902 (Reply #17)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 02:09 PM

71. Compromise on something temporary, don't start cutting social security or medicare.

Those cuts will only grow greater with time and will eviscerate the Dem party. Reugs will run forever on Dems cut your hard earned Medicare, even though they forced the issue. It's what they do! Please Dems, wake up and don't fall for their trap!

I know something Repugs would vote for - stop the mandatory penalties for people with incomes up to 130% of FPL in states that didn't enroll in Medicaid expansion for the next two years. That's a win for poor people and a win for Repugs - for that they'd have to agree to keep in all the defense cuts from sequestration AND add either lowering top income from level 400,000 to 250,00 OR make companies pay $$ for every job they move out of the USA or stopping all subsidies for oil companies OR approve a big infrastructure repair bill. Use their tactics on them.

Of course the first thing is a wish of mine. My son is grossly underemployed and makes about 60-80% of the fpl, barely affords gas, rent, electricity. If he didn't work at a restaurant, he wouldn't eat sometimes. We live in red FL so no Medicaid expansion and the exchanges don't subsidize that low level of income. The cheapest policy we can find for him is $180/month and he just doesn't have the funds. So, not a huge fan of ACA because it causes the working poor in staes with Repug legislatures to be in worse financial condition than before. A huge oversight, IMO. Oh yeah, with the terrible economy in No. FL., we also can't afford to pay the subsidy for him.

Aargh.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 08:44 PM

18. It's all political pablum...

There are not going to be any tax increases and there are not going to be any cuts in Social Security.

But the trick is to get the other Party to say they want cuts in Social Security before they can agree to any tax increases. Who wins with that strategy? Democrats think they win. But it isn't really going to happen.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #18)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 10:37 PM

37. There SHOULD be tax increases on the wealthy and SS should not be a part

of these discussions. Period. It's simple, we can do what is right. Unless we don't want to.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #37)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 05:13 PM

91. +10000 n/t

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 08:54 PM

20. Has anybody heard

a GOP Congressperson say that tax revenue increases on the Rich are on the table?
I damn sure haven't

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 08:58 PM

21. Some important points: First it depends on if the Democrats and Obama switch to Chained

CPI-Elderly. As notied, that shows a rate of inflation about 0.3% higher than the current CPI calculation. Chained CPI in the form of Chained CPI-Elderly would actually be a pay increase. Could this be a compromise? Republicans get to insist chained CPI is a win, and actually using Chained CPI-Elderly which would be more in line with the Democratic party? Their elderly voters would acknowledge the difference but if the RW media didn't come after them for it, it wouldn't be noticed by the rest.

Second, once Obamacare takes effect, what would that do to chained-CPI in terms of fairness? I appreciate what the numbers show for costs in the past but what about the effect of Obamacare?

Are the democrats and Obama going after one of two things:
1. Take the end to the tax loopholes and increased spending now, knowing the SS cuts can be reversed in the next election, before they actually hurt anyone.
2. Get the seniors to fight for SS and bring it out in the open. Seniors vote majority Republican, if we don't put SS on the table, they'll stay Republican and hurt us 2014.

There's a lot to this, and I hope the end result is more Americans become aware of who is working for them. It could end up being a coup for the Democrats if the senior citizens start forcing the Republicans to fight SS, or switch voting in 2014.

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Response to okaawhatever (Reply #21)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 11:59 AM

57. The GOP already accused Dems of balancing budget on the backs of seniors.

So if we go the route of negotiation on this, they will shamelessly take the position to support the safety nets.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022653650

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 09:28 PM

24. No, No and HELL No....

Before we engage in cutting benefits for seniors we need to look at funding sources. Hmmm...how about those people that make gazillions of dollar but only pay for SS/Meidcare to around $100K?

Sounds like a good place to start.

How about the corporations like ExxonMobil, etc. that get untold BILLIONS in rebates and subsidies for what? For being profitable of course.

This crap has to stop, PERIOD.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 10:06 PM

29. In this political climate there will not likely be a "grand bargain".

The Dems will talk a lot about compromising and negotiating with Republicons but it will be little more than glorified lip service. There is not a chance in hell that the House will pass anything with Revenue increases. The Democrats know this but they must go through the motions. I also think President Obama has finally realized that these fools can not be trusted under any circumstances. I think the chances for a Chained CPI at this point are slim to zero. This doesn't mean I think we should relax. We should not let up on the pressure. Personally I would like to see 100,000 people march on Senator Durbin's office in Springfield

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Response to nevergiveup (Reply #29)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 09:41 AM

56. Agreed. We should not let up on the pressure.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 10:14 PM

31. Sure, I'll accept a change in Medicare

For instance, I would accept a change every American citizen/permanent resident eligible without exception.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 10:19 PM

33. Kick !!!


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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 10:51 PM

38. Here is what I say.....

NOT one cent of cuts to Social Security / Medicare. Get rid of the wage cap on SSI. Get rid of ALL subsides to corporate America (farm subsides also). Close ALL loop holes in the tax code (corporate jets etc.). Tax all trades on Wall St. All capital gains on Wall St. taxed as income. Prison time for anyone hiding their wealth off-shore. If they don't like it move out of the country. Repeal Citizens United. Random drug and alcohol test weekly for everyone in the senate and the house. Everyone in the house and senate must work 40-hours a week for 52-weeks, (7:30 am-4:00pm) docked for being late for roll call. Good God I could on and on and on.........

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 01:22 AM

45. What Durbin said...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/10/21/washington-is-still-stuck-in-the-wrong-conversation/

"Also, Dick Durbin was on Fox News yesterday saying some Social Security cuts might be considered as part of a deal.

First of all, our long-term deficit is 100% the result of projections of skyrocketing health care costs, which is the product of an extraordinarily dysfunctional health care sector, not overly generous social insurance programs. If we could bring our costs down to what even the bigger spenders like Canada shell out for health care, our deficit problem would vanish. Cutting Medicare and Medicaid benefits – the drivers of long-term deficits in these projections–would only push back the date at which those programs eat the entire federal budget. (Extrapolate far enough into the future and a single Advil will cost a quadrillion dollars.) Reforming the health care sector is what will actually make a difference, and Obamacare seems to be having some positive effects so far.

Second, not only is cutting Social Security completely unnecessary – the program is solvent into 2033 at least, after which point it can still pay 75 percent of current benefits, and could be patched up with only a couple minor tweaks — we actually should be increasing benefits, if anything. As Duncan Black never tires of pointing out, the 401(k) program has been an abject failure, and millions of people are about to retire with totally inadequate savings. Boosting Social Security is probably the only workable option to prevent a huge increase in senior poverty."

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 01:31 AM

47. Any grand bargain attempt is doomed to failure because of the sequester

It doesn't really matter what position this or that politician takes anymore, because there's no logic behind a grand bargain now at all; the "problem" it "solved" was eliminated by the sequester. Any grand bargain at this point will end up increasing deficits, and neither party needs to make painful concessions for that to happen.

That said, if this kabuki absurdity does become reality, we'll be trading some future mandatory spending for future discretionary spending, which is the part of this that worries me (I don't think the current way inflation is calculated needs to be set in stone, particularly since a chained CPI also increases revenues, I just don't think the Republicans will stick to the bargain when it comes time to increase discretionary spending later). Slowing the CPI both cuts entitlement spending and raises taxes, which is why it's kind of a bilateral concession.

But, anyways, there's no longer any impetus to do it, which is why this will get no farther than any of the previous attempts.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 02:21 AM

48. Geez...you'd think CvH would be tired of hearing from me by now.

He represents a liberal district in the DC suburbs...he's one of the few Democrats that could strengthen his position by becoming even more liberal. He could afford to be a little less pragmatic and more of a strident liberal.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 03:26 AM

49. OMG Social Security does not add one nickel to the deficit. Tax cuts do.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 06:12 AM

51. They will never agree to anything anyway!!!!

We can offer them more Guantanamo prisoners, another war, ss cuts, Medicare cuts, and white only voting in 3 states and they would not agree. They'd want us to attack Cuba, have 3 more wars, kill the dept of education, end welfare, cut taxes to the top 1%, and white only voting in 12 states.
They are unreasonable.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 06:51 AM

53. the people in their 40`s and 50`s better wake up.

hell people on ss are getting screwed now!

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Response to madrchsod (Reply #53)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 07:58 AM

55. They should be fighting this battle constantly.

Younger people also need to be on guard. They should be thankful for these programs, else they would have to provide for their parents. Most have no idea of the consequences of tampering with them.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 06:58 AM

54. Then they should set an example by cutting their money first.

Is a Congresscritter really worth $175K a year?

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 12:01 PM

58. Dem leaders don't represent the people - that's where our side refuses to face reality.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 01:08 PM

59. Just once it would be nice

if the Democrats started their bargaining without handing the other side their cards first.

They could at least START with a position of no...no cuts to SS. Its not an "entitlement" Americans pay into it. We won't call it that.

I'd even like them to start with a position of investing MORE into SS. I don't get this constant pre-negotiation capitulation.

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Response to LiberalLovinLug (Reply #59)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 01:25 PM

60. "constant pre-negotiation capitulation."

I like that wording. Nice.

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Response to LiberalLovinLug (Reply #59)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 01:32 PM

62. It almost makes you wonder what they REALLY stand for, doesn't it?

If they're so willing to throw Granny and Gramps under the bus but not ask the Walton family for another dime ...


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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 01:32 PM

61. Key phrase ... "Here we go again."

Every couple months DU explodes in a panic with predictions that the Dems are going to agree to a plan to cut Social Security.

Endless OPs filled with posts predicting said cuts. "Here it comes!!! Any second!!!"

The lamentations begin. "Democrats suck!!!"

"Obama hates old people!!"

Blah blah blah .... and then ... POOF ... nothing happens.

And so ... "Here we go again" is actually a very appropriate way to start OPs like this one.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #61)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 01:43 PM

67. That is a very condescending post. I really resent it.

Shows a mindset that is unfortunately here too often.

It's a good post, a clear post. It stands for something....which is exactly what I expect our Democrats to do on the topic of senior safety nets. They are dead wrong to keep putting these issues on the negotiating table.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #67)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 01:57 PM

70. The same cuts to social security that you describe ...

have been predicted over and over here on DU for the past 4+ years. It happens every couple months.

Certainly you've noticed that.

And each time, the resulting threads are packed with folks who are absolutely positively sure the cuts are going to happen this time.

Obama and the Dems are going to CAVE.

That's what we are told. And then it doesn't happen because its not going to happen.

The Dems are allowing the GOP to chase a carrot that they will never be able to reach. And letting the GOP chase that carrot, in public, hurts the GOP.

In the last couple of days, there have been a series of these threads.

Folks on DU should remain vigilant, write their representatives, etc ... but the bashing of Democrats and the President, which always surfaces in these threads (as it does in this thread), quickly turns into a meeting of the Combustible Hair Club, with folks acting as if the predicted cuts have happened already, while ignoring the fact that all of the prior predictions on this point, have been completely wrong.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #70)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 02:26 PM

73. I do NOT bash the president. Never have, never will.

I am not an Obama hater, and I love my country. What I wrote is true, and the game playing with the lives of disabled and the elderly is getting on my last nerve.

I am tired of being treated like a 2nd class citizen here because I speak on things that concern me....and rightfully so.

All threads are not the same, all posters are not the same....take each one individually.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #73)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 03:06 PM

74. I said it happens in these threads.

And it is happening in this one.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #74)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 04:48 PM

85. No, it is not at all. I agree with Teddy Roosevelt.


The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.
Kansas City Star (7 May 1918).


Yet here it is often said there is to be no criticism of him. That is not a wise thing.




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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #61)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 03:19 PM

75. I dont understand the need to disparage others for being vigilant, skeptical and always

challenging their representatives. I think these are good Democratic traits unlike the blind faith that has gotten the REpublicans into the trouble they are in.

And claiming that anyone here thinks, "Obama hates old people", is absurd and shows that you have nothing to argue with except ridicule and strawmen.

I do agree with your suggestion of starting the OP with "Here we go again." Yes it's true every time Democrats drag out entitlement cuts, "here we go again". And hopefully the Democratic grassroots speaking out will again cause the "POOF ... nothing happens" again.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #75)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 03:31 PM

77. The claim that "Obama hates old people" ...

isn't a strawman.

In one of the other "OMG, the Dems are about to cut SS" threads, some one said ... "Obama doesn't care about the elderly."

So I may have modified it slightly, its basically the same.

Go back through this thread. The author of the OP, in a response lower in the thread, laments "preemptive capitulation" as if that's what's going to happen now.

And I think I said folks should remain vigilant and contact their reps. I did not disparage that behavior.

But I will continue to disparage hair on fire behavior on this topic.

It started back in 2009, and it happens every couple months as if its never happened before.

And did Democrats really "drag out" entitlement cuts? I mean, there are a couple of them saying "we'd consider, blah blah blah blah", but there doesn't seem to be a larger number of Democrats saying even that, letting alone calling for cuts.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #77)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 03:38 PM

78. The middle class has a lot in the last 30 years. IMO there hasnt been enough "hair on fire".

We are watching the wealth of the middle class drain away and some are saying, relax, Obama's got it. We've been relaxed too long.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #78)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 03:45 PM

81. Who said "relax"?

I didn't.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 01:40 PM

64. Bares repeating:

CEPR also reports the Chained CPI amount to a stealth tax increase on all Americans, but especially those at middle and lower incomes: “For example, workers with incomes between $10,000 and $20,000 would experience an increased tax burden of 14.5 percent, while those with incomes over $1,000,000 would just see an increase of 0.1 percent.”

More class warfare from the ultra rich.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 01:41 PM

65. Even the old way of calculating COLAs is BS...

since the true rate of inflation is never reported.

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #65)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 04:59 PM

87. It is and considering they raise the price of Medicare to

be close to the amount of the raise you gets nets you nothing in your pocket to meet actual inflation in the food you need to buy.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #87)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 05:28 PM

92. Like Carlin said...

it's a big club, and you and I ain't in it.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 01:41 PM

66. How many times...

.... have the people of this site set there hair on fire on this issue and how many times has it happend.


The President will ask for revenue. The GOP will say no, then this will not happen.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 01:44 PM

68. His JOB is now on the table.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 02:14 PM

72. K&R! nt

PB

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 03:27 PM

76. "No" to any cuts..nada, zilch, zero, nothing. nt

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 03:40 PM

79. So... "closing various tax loopholes" is a tax increase in Republi-speak?

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 03:44 PM

80. FUCKING FASCISTS!!

 

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 04:38 PM

83. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

I notice the regular crowd is out complaining about anyone pointing out that the cuts were first suggested by this administration.

To go from winning a battle with insanity to offering insanity. Not what a real leader does. Instead of building on the win, we retreat.

The only position that should be put forth is one you have mentioned already in this thread: Loudly and proudly announce there will be no cuts to SS or Medicare. None. Thump it loudly. Have another interview with Charley Rose. Make sure America knows that Democrats don't take from the sick and the elderly to prop up the obscene benefits to the rich.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 04:42 PM

84. Can we for once let Republicans make these offers?

please???

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 04:55 PM

86. I give up.

Stealing pensions from the elderly has to be as low as they can get.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #86)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 06:40 PM

95. never give up, fight back! WE NEED TO PRIMARY HIM, NOW!

power shakes when it realizes it has to spend resources to stay afloat. it undermines their authority and leaves them vulnerable.

for as much as we curse the tea party and their astroturf, they have power.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)


Response to Name removed (Reply #88)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 05:02 PM

90. Uh. Huh. eom

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 05:01 PM

89. Agreeing to steal EARNED & FUNDED benefits if tax loopholes are closed is NOT ACCEPTABLE










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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 06:33 PM

94. Van Hollen is my congressperson.

Let's wait and see. He's been solid to date, and responsive. "Van Hollen said he would be open to finding savings in Medicare in ways that focus on giving care providers incentives to cut costs."

That works. I don't like jumping on a solid Dem based on this, which is tissue thin. Let's be absolutely clear that cuts like chained CPI are unacceptable, and quit jumping down the throat of Chris Van Hollen based on this flimsy accusation.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 07:13 PM

97. His office says he's against using chained CPI

specifically because it would reduce the amount of benefits paid out to seniors.

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