You are viewing an obsolete version of the DU website which is no longer supported by the Administrators. Visit The New DU.
Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login

'If Obama Opposes Ryan’s Social Security Plan, Why Did He Appoint Him to the Catfood Commission?' [View All]

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-16-10 09:51 PM
Original message
'If Obama Opposes Ryan’s Social Security Plan, Why Did He Appoint Him to the Catfood Commission?'
Advertisements [?]
Jane Hamsher analyzes the White House's public response concerning Republicans who are again pushing to privatize Social Security (video of President Obama's statements at the link).

She also scrutinizes the members of the president's Debt Commission, tasked to examine Social Security.

August 14, 2010

The Democrats have decided to once again go on the attack against Republicans for wanting to privatize Social Security. Even Steny Hoyer is banging that gong. They’ve apparently remembered that they kicked the GOP’s ass in 2006 on the same issue, and thought it might be a good idea to revive it on the eve of the election.

President Obama devoted his weekly radio address today to Social Security, saying the Republicans were “pushing to make privatizing Social Security a key part of their legislative agenda if they win a majority in Congress this fall.”

Per the AP:

Democrats have been able to seize on the issue because of a proposal by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the top Republican on the House Budget Committee, that would allow younger people to put Social Security money into personal accounts.

Ryan’s idea is similar to a proposal pushed unsuccessfully by former President George W. Bush. It’s not been endorsed by party leaders and has attracted only a small number of GOP co-sponsors.

If Obama thinks Ryan’s privatization plan is such a bad idea, why did he appoint Ryan to the 18 member Catfood Commission tasked with dealing with Social Security? In fact, why did he stack the commission with privatizers and budget hawks in the first place?

Obama’s campaign/transition team advisers on Social Security, Nancy Altman and Eric Kingson, have called the commission “a Social Security death panel.” As they have pointed out, raising the retirement age to 70 (which Hoyer supports) is a 20% benefit cut. So if you “add” private accounts on top of that, it is in fact privatization. These “trims” to “save” Social Security are nothing more than a sneaky sleight-of-hand to trick the public into accepting something they very much oppose, giving the “unprofessional left” (i.e., the Jon Chait JournoList set) some nonsense to shove down their throats to pacify them.

If the President truly is interested in protecting Social Security from the privatizers, and not just demagoguing the issue for political advantage, he sure assembled a strange crew for the job. Extra points for appointing defense contractor CEO David M. Cote of Honeywell to the commission. It was recently reported that Cote opposed cutting defense contracting to reduce the deficit, and instead wanted military personnel to pay for their own healthcare.

No wonder the commission doesn’t want their deliberations open to the public:


(See link for extensive, detailed table of commission members and their positions on 1) whether they are open to cutting benefits, 2) whether they have expressed support for privatization, 3) whether they have conflicts of interest)

Update, 3pm ET: DDay points out that in the Executive Order establishing the Catfood Commission, Obama granted the right to the Minority Leader of the House to appoint three members, and that’s how Ryan made it on to the commission.

However, here’s Clinton’s Presidential Order establishing the Danforth Commission. As it shows, the precedent is for “30 members to be appointed by the President.” Granting that authority to the Republican leadership for the catfood commission was, yes, something the Obama was responsible for. You say technically he didn’t appoint Ryan himself, but if you choose to set the parameters like that, of course that means Ryan will be on. Privatizing Social Security is his baliwick.

You can’t tie your own hands and then say “they made me do it.”

(emphases added)

From the Executive Order:

(a) six members appointed by the President, not more than four of whom shall be from the same political party;
(b) three members selected by the Majority Leader of the Senate, all of whom shall be current Members of the Senate;
(c) three members selected by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, all of whom shall be current Members of the House of Representatives;
(d) three members selected by the Minority Leader of the Senate, all of whom shall be current Members of the Senate; and
(e) three members selected by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, all of whom shall be current Members of the House of Representatives.

It's most interesting that the president continues to give Republicans as much power to choose commission members as that given to his own party in majority power. This, after the voters repudiated Republicans and threw them out of control of the Senate, House and White House in November of 2008.

It's not only "The Professional Left" who are being slapped in the face.

And it is quite lovely that two of the most damaging choices sitting on this commission now examining Social Security are Max Baucus (D-MT) and Kent Conrad (D-ND). I suppose it's because they managed such a stellar job for the industry on health insurance reform.

What is ultimately most distressing about all of this is that while Obama and many Democrats are correctly pointing out the Republican overt threats to privatize/cut Social Security benefits, it seems it is being done in a way to exploit it as a political weapon in the upcoming election. So, what's the problem, you might ask?

The problem is that the very commission Obama has empowered and stacked with Social Security enemies, will likely bring to us the same outcome after the election.

The pain of betrayal is now a constant companion.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
  -'If Obama Opposes Ryan’s Social Security Plan, Why Did He Appoint Him to the Catfood Commission?' seafan  Aug-16-10 09:51 PM   #0 
  - don't pay attention to what is going on behind the curtain  Skittles   Aug-16-10 09:54 PM   #1 
  - the prettier they are,  amborin   Aug-16-10 09:57 PM   #3 
  - Obama wants to cut the debt  MannyGoldstein   Aug-16-10 09:56 PM   #2 
  - that word historic is starting to bug me.  fogonthelake   Aug-16-10 10:01 PM   #5 
  - Whenever Obama says "Make no mistake"  MannyGoldstein   Aug-16-10 10:04 PM   #7 
     - thank you  another saigon   Aug-17-10 07:50 AM   #21 
  - everytime they mess it up worse they make the same speech.  Hannah Bell   Aug-16-10 10:01 PM   #6 
  - make no mistake, your agenda is transparent as glass manny.  dionysus   Aug-16-10 10:10 PM   #10 
  - And what would my agenda be?  MannyGoldstein   Aug-16-10 10:21 PM   #13 
  - my sense of it, exactly.  nashville_brook   Aug-16-10 10:13 PM   #12 
  - When will people wake up to this?  Poboy   Aug-17-10 08:33 AM   #24 
  - I figure what will happen is the the Catfood Commission will come back with all sorts of  dflprincess   Aug-16-10 09:58 PM   #4 
  - "but if you can't be excited by the Dems (and obviously the fault is the critics' side), isn't the  MisterP   Aug-16-10 10:06 PM   #8 
  - After listening to Gibbs, Marshall, and the local booster club...  Marr   Aug-16-10 11:06 PM   #16 
  - Paul Ryan is an idiot. A dangerous idiot.  undeterred   Aug-16-10 10:08 PM   #9 
  - As long as we have a "constant companion"  Autumn   Aug-16-10 10:12 PM   #11 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Aug-16-10 10:31 PM   #14 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Aug-16-10 11:00 PM   #15 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Aug-17-10 12:13 AM   #17 
  - Jane Hamsher lies again.  johnaries   Aug-17-10 12:20 AM   #18 
  - Even granting that, Obama's picks fucking suck ass. Stern is the only decent selection  TheKentuckian   Aug-17-10 09:31 AM   #27 
  - Obama appointed both co-chairs, both SS slashers  MannyGoldstein   Aug-17-10 11:26 AM   #33 
  - And that's why Grover Norquist was invited to testify before the panel.  EFerrari   Aug-17-10 11:56 AM   #38 
  - Oh WTF  Ramulux   Aug-17-10 01:16 AM   #19 
  - The catfood commission is billionaire Pete Peterson's brainchild  ipaint   Aug-17-10 05:37 AM   #20 
  - The assault on Social Security will be the last straw.  seafan   Aug-17-10 07:53 AM   #22 
     - The health ins. give away was my last straw.  ipaint   Aug-17-10 09:01 AM   #25 
        - We can either look away from the truth or we can embrace it.  seafan   Aug-17-10 10:44 AM   #30 
           - Sarah Palin knows Russia exists because she can see it from her porch.  Jackpine Radical   Aug-17-10 11:45 AM   #35 
  - The question has to be rhetorical, as the answer is self evident. -nt  Poboy   Aug-17-10 08:20 AM   #23 
  - Just a reminder to democrats who think cutting entitlements is necessary to reduce deficits  ipaint   Aug-17-10 09:25 AM   #26 
  - Yes, but that sample is biased.  Jackpine Radical   Aug-17-10 10:23 AM   #28 
  - "The pain of betrayal is now a constant companion."  AtomicKitten   Aug-17-10 10:30 AM   #29 
  - knr. painful and truthful post. Thanks.  nightrain   Aug-17-10 11:06 AM   #31 
  - More on the conservative smoke and mirrors campaign against our social security.  ipaint   Aug-17-10 11:13 AM   #32 
  - Shorter Jane Hamsher:  geek tragedy   Aug-17-10 11:31 AM   #34 
  - We question why Obama bestows so much power back to the GOP after voters repudiated them.  seafan   Aug-17-10 11:49 AM   #36 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Aug-17-10 11:51 AM   #37 
  - The Commission's proposals are not going to be enacted. nt  geek tragedy   Aug-17-10 12:22 PM   #39 
  - Not only that, but when the republicans were in charge they totally ignored the Democrats  Kat45   Aug-17-10 12:52 PM   #40 
  - Bipartisan is a pretty meaningless word when one more tiny step to the right and  ipaint   Aug-17-10 01:14 PM   #41 
  - Real good question  blindpig   Aug-17-10 02:29 PM   #42 

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators

Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC