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Does President Obama Want to Impose a Crushing Burden on Our Children? (Dean Baker)

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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 02:47 AM
Original message
Does President Obama Want to Impose a Crushing Burden on Our Children? (Dean Baker)
Edited on Tue Sep-13-11 09:00 AM by chill_wind


Does President Obama Want to Impose a Crushing Burden on Our Children?

Dean Baker
September 12, 2011

Sorry deficit fanatics, this one has nothing to do with the cost of the stimulus or the deficits run-up during the Obama years. Were talking real money here. Were talking about plans to raise the age of Medicare eligibility to 67.

To deficit hawks everywhere this is a great way to save the government money. Life expectancy at age 65 is roughly 20 years. Therefore raising the age of eligibility for Medicare by two years would shave roughly 10 percent off the programs budget. (The actual saving would be somewhat less since it is cheaper to treat people when they are 65 and 66 than in their 80s or 90s.) For a program that is projected to cost more than $1 trillion a year (at 5 percent of GDP) in a decade, and even more in following decades, this would amount to real savings.

But the cost of this savings is a much higher health care bill for beneficiaries. As it is now, millions of people in their 60s struggle to hang onto jobs that provide health care insurance or do without, hoping that they can make it until 65 without a major medical problem. This proposal pushes the magic age out two more years.

(snip)

This would be roughly equal to the average Social Security benefit for someone turning age 65 in that year. In other words, for the majority of workers who will have retired by age 65, the proposal to raise the age of eligibility to 67 implies that they will have to spend more than half of their income on health care.



much more: http://www.cepr.net/index.php/op-eds-&-columns/op-eds-&...
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 02:48 AM
Response to Original message
1. just like repukes
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 03:29 AM
Response to Original message
2. Does Dean Baker want to kick puppies and steal candy from children?
I mean, so long as we're making up shit.
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Demit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 04:00 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. What part is made up?
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Yeah, I got your made up shit right here:
Raise Medicare eligibility age to 67 (-$124.8 billion, CBO).

While various permutations are possible, one option is to phase-in an increase of the eligibility age by two months per year, achieving age 67 by 2027.

(see the memo)

This policy idea was floated by the President near the end of the debt ceiling debate.

http://thehill.com/images/stories/blogs/healthwatch/hea...

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Doctor_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #2
10. Yeah, he also wants a pony,
and never liked Obama, and is a racist. Just to fill in the talking points you left out.
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #2
13. Can you explain what is made up? Baker is not given to making
stuff up.
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. Hope no one's holding their breath for a better response. Cowardly
hit and run.
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Looks like I won't be getting a response, so I did a quick
search myself, and can't find anything to back up the assertion. :-)
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. I meant anything to show the Dean Baker makes stuff up
Another one under the bus, which is confusing because I just saw a blue link somewhere USING Dean Baker to back up the President's tax holiday. So clearly he was pulled out from under the bus temporarily, I think.

My head is spinning. Is Baker making stuff up in the blue link, or is he making stuff up here? :rofl:
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Using his support of temporary payroll tax cuts in principal
Edited on Tue Sep-13-11 05:08 PM by chill_wind
while concertedly ignoring, I can't help but add, his caution just a month or two against continuing them in political reality. "A form of stimulus that progressives should oppose."

The only thing that has seemed to matter in that discussion is that he called out the NYT on something. Anyone paying attention to Baker would know calling out NYT and WAPO on the deficit fetishism and entitlement reform propaganda is what he does best, pretty much all day, every day. And god knows with WAPO especially, he's had his work cut out for him.

If there's been a new statement from Baker that he actively endorses the latest proposed payroll tax cuts, I haven't see one. The only thing I've seen from him in response to the jobs speech was a press release praising the job sharing piece of it, which he has been advocating for a while.

Statement on the American Jobs Act and Work Sharing
For Immediate Release: September 8, 2011
Contact: Alan Barber, 571-306-2526

Washington, D.C.- Following the President's address to Congress and the announcement of the American Jobs Act, CEPR Co-Director Dean Baker released the following statement:

"It is encouraging to hear that President Obama included work sharing as part of his jobs agenda. This is a job creation measure that both has been shown to be successful and has the potential to break through partisan gridlock.

the rest:
http://www.cepr.net/index.php/press-releases/press-rele...

He's been supportive of that since Jack Reed and DeLauro began working on it over the summer:

Work Sharing Should be Part of the President's Job Program
September 7, 2011
http://www.cepr.net/index.php/press-releases/press-rele...

Statement on Introduction of Work Sharing Bills by Senator Reed and Representative DeLauro
July 6, 2011
http://www.cepr.net/index.php/press-releases/press-rele...


New Report Suggests Work Sharing as Best Means of Preventing Layoffs and Lowering the Unemployment Rate
June 23, 2011
http://www.cepr.net/index.php/press-releases/press-rele...

However, there's nothing in there supporting the latest proposed payroll tax cuts, even though he is not in the "past stimulus didn't work" camp. Maybe he will say more about this again soon, but all we have is what he last said about their feasibility in the ongoing face of the certifiably insane GOP. If he does say something new or counter to what he said in July, I will be prepared to listen.

(Apologies for the long lament. I know you and so many already know this and I don't mean to preach to the choir, but the selective and persistent distortion of Baker's stuff by the blue links to suggest he is on board with a new round of payroll tax cuts has been maddening.)

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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Yes, I got that he was making a correction, not defending the
policy. But it keeps being posted for some reason.

What I can't get an answer to from those who support this, is how it has worked to create jobs and stimulate the economy over the past nine months? It's not as if it hasn't been tried already! But no one seems to know, or care, whether or not it has worked as they claim it will/has!

I appreciate the long post, so no problem :-)
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. FDR: "With those taxes in there, no damn politician can ever scrap
my social security program. Those taxes arent a matter of economics, theyre straight politics.



In the course of this discussion I raised the question of the ultimate abandonment the pay roll taxes in connection with old age security and unemployment relief in the event of another period of depression. I suggested that it had been a mistake to levy these taxes in the 1930s when the social security program was originally adopted.

FDR said, I guess youre right on the economics. They are politics all the way through. We put those pay roll contributions there so as to give the contributors a legal, moral, and political right to collect their pensions and their unemployment benefits. With those taxes in there, no damn politician can ever scrap my social security program. Those taxes arent a matter of economics, theyre straight politics.



-Larry DeWitt
SSA Historian's Office
July 21, 2005

http://www.ssa.gov/history/Gulick.html

(historian's note: FDR also mentioned the psychological effect of contributions in destroying the relief attitude.)

What FDR said is precisely what Baker is arguing these many years later:

There are the economics, and then there are the politics of the "damned politicians."

And suddenly Baker's wrong among some to talk about the reality of the politics. Good progressive economists get bashed here all the time as naive, unrealistic know-nothings about "actual politics" and the GOP. Yet here's, Baker speaking frankly and taking the hostage-taking loons into complete account, a progressive who's spent a couple decades now doing intense policy briefing work with how many Congresses- and he's the silly knave.

The stuff that just keeps you going "Hmmm."

Thanks for all your good feedback in this thread, Sabrina, and others, (and for letting me vent.)

:hug:



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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. ETA- Yes
(I knew what you meant and completely agree)

:-)
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saras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 04:03 AM
Response to Original message
4. What he "wants" is not accessible to us. He did, whether he wanted to or not.
Of course, I consider environmental damage, the Patriot Act, mideast wars and the consequent damaged veterans, to be more of a burden than mere money, which can always be created again.
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 10:50 AM
Response to Original message
5. DU: This needs to be better known and discussed.
Edited on Tue Sep-13-11 11:27 AM by chill_wind
Not buried.

What prompts Baker's concern and why Obama needs to say NO:




Ways and Means Democrats described two dozen policy changes in a memo prepared ahead of the supercommittee's quest for roughly $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction.

The biggest-ticket items on the Ways and Means list are, of course, the most politically charged. Raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67 could save about $125 billion over the next decade, according to the committee's summary. But the document warns that "raising the Medicare eligibility age would be a radical departure from current policy and is only possible if the (healthcare reform law) is retained."

President Obama proposed raising the Medicare eligibility age as part of the debt-ceiling agreement, but Democrats are hardly united behind the policy.

Republicans are largely opposed to the other triple-digit option Ways and Means described extending rebates for prescription drugs so that they apply to people who receive both Medicare and Medicaid. That policy would save the federal government $120 billion over 10 years, and Ways and Means Democrats said the pharmaceutical industry's objections are mostly baseless.



House Dems outline healthcare savings for supercommittee
By Sam Baker - 09/07/11 05:15 PM ET
http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/medicare/180017-ho...

From the Ways and Means Memo:



Raise Medicare eligibility age to 67 (-$124.8 billion, CBO).

While various permutations are possible, one option is to phase-in an increase of the eligibility age by two months per year, achieving age 67 by 2027.

Discussion: Raising the Medicare eligibility age would be a radical departure from current policy and is only possible if the ACA is retained. If ACA were subsequently repealed or otherwise substantially changed, this policy would result in a significant increase in the number of near-elderly uninsured persons. Even assuming current law with respect to the ACA, some people over age 65 who are subject to the new policy may become uninsured if they no longer have access to employer sponsored insurance (ESI) and cannot afford coverage through the exchanges. Furthermore, this policy does nothing to control costs, it simply shifts substantial costs from Medicare to other parts of government and to private and public employers. More specifically, this policy would increase costs for employers as more near-elderly retain employer-sponsored insurance. It will increase Medicaid costs, as more low-income near-elderly would remain on Medicaid for longer and others who would become eligible for coverage through the exchange may be eligible for the new Medicaid expansion through the ACA. It would also increase government costs for subsidies in the exchanges, because some people who would otherwise receive Medicare will remain in the exchanges for longer. It would increase premiums in the exchanges raising costs for other individuals and raising government spending for the tax credits as the risk pool gets a little worse when the population shifts to be slightly older and more costly. Similarly, this policy may also slightly increase Medicare per capita costs as the population shifts to be slightly older than it is today by excluding the youngest and generally healthiest beneficiaries. This policy idea was floated by the President near the end of the debt ceiling debate.



And more on how we even got to this question:

TNR: As If Privatizing Medicare Wasn't Enough (April 2011)
http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-cohn/87378/5-worst-rep...

Krugman: Raising the Medicare Age (April 26, 2011)
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/26/raising-the... /

Bloomberg: Senators Propose Raising Medicare Entrance Age to Cut Costs (Jun 28, 2011)
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-28/senators-propo...

WAPO: Top Democrats reject new plan to cut Medicare spending (June 28, 2011)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/top-demo...

Stein: Obama Offered To Raise Medicare Eligibility Age As Part Of Grand Debt Deal (July 11, 2011)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/11/obama-medicare...

TPM: Obamas Offer To Raise Medicare Age In Debt Deal Goes Over With Dems Like A Lead Balloon (July 12, 2011)
http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/07/obamas-offer...

USA Today: White House proposal would raise Medicare age (July 13, 2011)
http://www.usatoday.com/NEWS/usaedition/2011-07-14-medi...


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Doctor_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. This disaster makes a tiny dent in the "deficit"
While consigning millions of seniors to poverty and/or ill health, is saves a mere $125 billion over 10 years. that's six fucking months of occupation in the middle east. this president's priorities are not the same as mine.
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. +1000
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #5
14. Aside from the disastrous effects this would have on seniors,
what a slap in the face to everyone who worked so hard to try to help Democrats do the exact opposite, to lower the age for medicare.

Talk about betrayal if this is even being considered.
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woo me with science Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
7. Strong K&R. We need to be talking about this, loudly.
They will try to do all of this quietly and in the background right up until deadline so that Americans do not have the time or information to respond. Don't let them.
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. Thank you, Woo! Supercommittee has a website up now and a contact form:
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Doctor_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
9. One thing DC could do to help the next generation is
make it so their parents have jobs.
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. Yes, that would be the solution, but it makes you wonder, why
won't they do it? They are in fact, doing the opposite. What makes zero sense is the firing of public workers which only makes things worse.

The logic of it all boggles the mind. Especially since this is the Global Corporate solution, NOT an American solution and it has failed miserably in Europe which is still on the brink of disaster as a result of almost these very same 'solutions'.


What needs to happen is to fire everyone who is advising this president, they are not working for the American people, and install a whole new cabinet. It is the President's duty to do this as the country, or so we are told, is in a state of emergency.
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
16. kick
Edited on Tue Sep-13-11 01:46 PM by chill_wind
despite the unrec squad's wishes to not see this discussed.
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Faryn Balyncd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
24. Any politician that once claimed to favor a public option, or a Medicare buy-in option, and that now
Edited on Tue Sep-13-11 09:16 PM by Faryn Balyncd




....supports RAISING the Medicare eligibility age, is less than truthful, and is NOT an ally of the American worker, or of the (vanishing) American middle class.




:hi:




K and R





:kick:



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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. It's a really lousy idea.
Thanks, FB.
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