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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 12:41 PM
Original message
Social Security in America is about to become extinct.
"The deal on the debt limit allowed senators to head home while preserving Republicans' opportunity to debate the debt limit increase before President Obama's State of the Union speech next month...

The agreement sets up a Jan. 20 vote on a longer term debt limit expansion, which would raise the ceiling to about $13 trillion. It would include votes on several Republican amendments on that date, as well as related Democratic amendments. The amendments will need 60 votes to pass.

The most closely watched may be an amendment offered by Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and ranking member Judd Gregg, R-N.H., creating a special commission to recommend binding steps to reduce entitlement spending."

http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/1209/122909cdam1.htm

The amendment that Conrad and Gregg are pushing is to create a binding commission to reduce your Social Security. Seems the billionaire Pete Peterson has conned some idiot Senators (and of course a slew of ConserveDems and RepubliCONS in the House) to do away with Social Security. This is how the billionaire plans to steal your your social security dollars:

This creates a binding commission so that Congress can only vote up or down. Whatever the commission recommends must be voted on without any amendments. This is how Ronnie Raygun and Greenspan managed to borrow from the Social Security Trust Fund so that instead of keeping the $3 Trillion (That's T for Trillion) of social security surplus liquid and available, they borrowed it and spent it in the general fund. A nonpartisan commission headed by Greenspan recommended that middle class and poor nearly double their tax rate (while reducing the amount the rich paid in).

So, now that you have paid for both your parents and your own retirements it should be there for you, right?.

But the money you paid into Social Security will disappear if this commission that Conrad and Gregg are pushing has its way (by the way Obama likes this plan too). A binding commission does not answer to voters, baby boomers or anyone else. They can decide whatever they want, including stripping you of your well earned retirement money and/or benefits put away in the Social Security Trust Fund. This is nothing but a bait and switch. You paid in for 25 years and now they are telling you you are not entitled to what you have paid for. How is this any different then defaulting on loans we owe to China or Japan?

Contact your Senator before the 20th and don't let them steal our Social Security retirement money yet again. Let them know we are watching and will hold them responsible even if they try to hide behind a commission.

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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
1. This is why touching social security is like touching the third rail
Any pol who attacks it is not going to be in office long.

The truth is that the entitlements that need to be reduced all flow through the Penatgon to arms contractors. What we spend on the military in this country is insane. It's killing us. We have to stop.

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laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I don't get the impression we're going to know much about it until it's a done deal nt
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OHdem10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
21. Sorta like turning HC over to the Insurance Companies.
And I thought this was the Democratic Party.
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laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #21
27. Yep. It'll be sold as some sort of 'reform' for our benefit and when it's too late we will find out
it's another giveaway of our money to private interests just like HCR.

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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #27
44. The Repugs on the Baucus Committee that over saw the fashioning of the
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 06:17 PM by truedelphi
HCR bill were often talking about further "reform" of Medicare and Social Security being needed.

They early on understood the power given them now that the word "reform" is meaning anything but true reform.
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bjobotts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:18 AM
Response to Reply #44
68. Defense spending to 'entitlement' spending is about 1000 to 1. Political suicide.
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bjobotts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:19 AM
Response to Reply #68
69. Remove the cap on paying into SS...problem solved.
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bjobotts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:20 AM
Response to Reply #69
73. Conrad is exposing his hypocrisy as he and his wife fleece the nation.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 04:22 AM
Response to Reply #69
81. you've been misinformed about the problem. thus, the endorsement of the "solution"
approved by elites.
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #81
100. Please explain why you do not think lifting the cap on with holding
is a bad idea? In what way is making richer people pay more favoring elites? You understand that the cap is on contributions, not benefits. If we lift the cap, higher earners will pay the same rate we all do, and that they do now, only on all of their income or more of it. It means we'd take more SS tax from people who make more money. That cap has 'saved' money for me in the past. Money I really did not need, or know I was 'saving' or whatever.
I think we should all pay it on all of our earnings, no cap. Don't know if that is 'the' solution, but more money is part of the solution, and in addition, it is the fair and right thing to do.
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #100
123. It is the obligation of the conservative to tax labor higher than other forms of income
We must protect the take home pay of high income earners otherwise there would be less money for private investment. Funny how often private "investments" contribute very little to our communities. Too bad folks who adhere to this idea resist necessary public investment unless it is something like a new stadium.

It is weird to the extreme that anyone would equate lifting the cap as an elite idea. I think the DU'er must misunderstand. I hope so anyway.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #123
136. Social Security taxes ONLY labor income. It doesn't tax CAPITAL income, & this is where the truly
rich get their big money.

It's an obfuscation of the facts to suggest that raising the cap on SS = a blow against the rich.
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #136
139. Ok, nuanced. The misunderstanding may have been on my part.
Edited on Mon Jan-18-10 06:22 PM by Mithreal
You are saying tax both labor and capital income EQUALLY, correct? Assuming I understand you, you would also be in favor of lifting the cap, just not calling it the complete solution without fixing the other problem as well?

Edit to add, alrighty, saw your other posts. We agree, I think.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #139
141. Nope, not saying that at all. I'm saying:
1. SS is currently running surpluses; SS collects more than it needs to pay beneficiaries, & there's a $2 trillion+ Trust Fund projected to continue paying out for the next thirty years.

Thus, there's no immediate need to do a damned thing. The pressure we feel to "save" SS comes from relentless propaganda.


2. Even by the historically inaccurate mid-range projection of the SS Trustees, under current SS tax structure, the Trust Fund won't be depleted until sometime around 2040, by which time most of the baby boomers will be in their graves.

Thus, the current need is to ensure that the federal government repays SS taxpayers the money it borrowed from them, i.e. redeems the Trust Fund securities. There is NO need to raise SS taxes further -- not to uncap it, not to raise rates.

The repayment of the Trust Fund borrowings must come from INCOME TAXES, not SOCIAL SECURITY TAXES. And specifically, by raising income taxes at the top, the income segment whose tax CUTS for the last 30 years were partly funded from the borrowed SS funds.

Social Security taxes tax only wage income.

Income taxes tax wage income, but also tax corporate income, capital gains, etc. They tax CAPITAL.

The richer you are, the less wage income you have & the more CAPITAL income you have.

The call to lift the cap is a Trojan horse pushed by CAPITAL:

1. So capital won't have to repay what it "borrowed" in lower income tax rates.

2. So capital can continue the same low taxes while workers pay more.

3. So capital can set up conflict between a big group of low wage earners & the small group of high wage earners who would be paying 60-80% of all SS taxes were the cap to be lifted, & getting a pittance back in return -- a historic break with the original politically astute design of the program.

4. Meanwhile, capital would be mostly untouched. The head of Globocorp Inc. has lots of ways to move his wage income to other forms; he can arrange to take it in stock options, take it in another country, etc.

Whereas the state gov't bureaucrat or tech guy or working stiff making $150K/yr - can't. The wage income is most of his income, & he has a much harder time changing its form.

This segment of workers is the "richest" segment of workers, yes. But they're not "the rich." The "rich" don't make most of their money by working for someone else. They get it by making their money work for them.

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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #141
143. I fell for the trap. I understood #1. Hadn't heard the ideas in #2.
Did you figure this out on your own? Impressive. And again, thank you.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #143
144. partly, but lots of study involved with the trustee reprts & processing other people's work.
Edited on Mon Jan-18-10 07:36 PM by Hannah Bell
the other thing i forgot to mention, raising the cap just gives them more money to "borrow" if you do it anytime in the next 15 years.

(projected time when outgo exceeds tax revenues = 2017). assuming the midrange forecast is accurate, which historically it hasn't often been.

my article here:

http://dissidentvoice.org/2007/11/shock-therapy / (5 parts)

http://thomaspainescorner.wordpress.com/2007/12/26/shoc... /

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #100
145. My response here:
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #81
113. Hannah, you're a good egg, but your defense of those earning over $200K/year is always baffling.
Edited on Mon Jan-18-10 11:25 AM by Romulox
Perhaps approach the problem from a different angle: aside from basic fairness, what does it hurt for high wage earners to pay at least the same proportion of their wages into SS as do ordinary workers?

Your defense of the regressive nature of SS has never made sense to me in the past, and it still doesn't today. Especially in light of SS's insolvency (and to say that the rich must pay back the "Social Security Trust Fund" through income taxes is an argument that simply doesn't match reality, so if that's all there is to your argument... :shrug: )
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #113
135. It's not a defense of people earning over $200K. It's a defense of labor income over capital income,
& of the continuing integrity of the program.

You're a good egg too, but it seems to me we've discussed this before. I'll try again in the next post down but I've explained it lots of times.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #135
142. here:
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Flatulo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #68
115. No. SS is the single largest expenditure.
Mandatory spending: $1.89 trillion (+6.2%)

$644 billion - Social Security
$408 billion - Medicare
$224 billion - Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)
$360 billion - Unemployment/Welfare/Other mandatory spending
$260 billion - Interest on National Debt


Discretionary spending: $1.21 trillion (+4.9%)

$515.4 billion - United States Department of Defense
$145.2 billion(2008*) - Global War on Terror
$70.4 billion - United States Department of Health and Human Services
$45.4 billion - United States Department of Education
$44.8 billion - United States Department of Veterans Affairs
$38.5 billion - United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
$38.3 billion - State and Other International Programs
$37.6 billion - United States Department of Homeland Security
$25.0 billion - United States Department of Energy
$20.8 billion - United States Department of Agriculture
$20.3 billion - United States Department of Justice
$17.6 billion - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
$12.5 billion - United States Department of the Treasury
$11.5 billion - United States Department of Transportation
$10.6 billion - United States Department of the Interior
$10.5 billion - United States Department of Labor
$8.4 billion - Social Security Administration
$7.1 billion - United States Environmental Protection Agency
$6.9 billion - National Science Foundation
$6.3 billion - Judicial branch (United States federal courts)
$4.7 billion - Legislative branch (United States Congress)
$4.7 billion - United States Army Corps of Engineers
$0.4 billion - Executive Office of the President
$0.7 billion - Small Business Administration
$7.2 billion - Other agencies
$39.0 billion(2008*) - Other Off-budget Discretionary Spending
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #115
125. An expenditure that the worker paid into and should never be seen as a gift.
It's not something we are entitled to so much as something we paid for so the gatekeepers better get out of the phucking way. Just venting not directed at you.

I appreciate posts like yours.
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Flatulo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #125
130. Understood. I am only interested in accuracy. nt
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golfguru Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #115
140. Excellent facts and figures! K&R
that other poster who thinks defense spending is 1000 times
social spending could'nt be more wrong.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 05:22 AM
Response to Reply #21
84. It is exactly the same. OHdem10.
These Repiglicans and their DINO allies would do anything in the name of corporate profits.
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loudsue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. The military industrial complex will NEVER give congress the right/permission
to reduce their spending to pre-cold war levels again, like Clinton did. Congress has been completely bought and, occasionally sold, by the corporations that run this country, and now they need permission to do anything on behalf of the people. Permission, in case nobody has noticed, is usually withheld.
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sharesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. Own shares in publicly traded defense contractors and vote those shares according to your values.
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #14
29. There is no way in hell I am going to support a defense contractor by buying its stock
in the miniscule hope of my piss-ant share of stocks affecting the Board of Directors.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. How does buying something third party help the original seller.
When you buy or sell shares on market you are buying/selling with another investor.

If you buy 1000 shares of AAPL (Apple Computers). Apple doesn't get that money. The current owner of share does.
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. It's my impression that when someone buys a stock it shows that there is a demand for
said stock, so the price goes up, benefiting the shareholders and usually the administrators as well. Conversely, if a stock does not sell, the price drops.

It is not JUST about the investor making money.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. So how does that help the COMPANY?
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #33
39. Monetarily it doesn't directly affect the balance sheet. But it does make the company look
good on the stock exchange, which can enhance a company's image and help attract better talent for its administration. How that translates down the line to company image with the public vis-a-vis sales or marketing I don't know, but I'm guessing it might have a positive effect there too.

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Lucky Luciano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 09:33 AM
Response to Reply #33
107. A company's stock price determnes their ability to raise capital if needed - ask the banks. nt
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #107
116. Not true.
Stock price determinate rate of dillution for existing shareholders.

BofA could raise $100B at $10 per share = issue $10B new shares or at $50 a share = issue $2B new shares.

The only difference is the dilution felt by existing shareholders.
The lower the share price the more shares issues = smaller each slice of pie.

New purchasers receive a bigger chunk of the "enlarged" company however existing shareholders see the % of ownership reduced as the pie cuts cut more ways.
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Lucky Luciano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #116
117. I will reiterate - ask the banks. I was inthe trenches for this. nt
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #1
66. soc sec keeps old people alive. touch that and you will be dead. there
will be revolution.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 05:24 AM
Response to Reply #66
86. It also keeps some of
us 'not so old' alive.
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HillbillyBob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:30 AM
Response to Reply #1
76. I am thinkin more and more that the Pentagon budget should be
a national referendum vote.. We can fight about that instead of the health care and well being of our people.
We really need to change that dynamic.
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Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #1
124. The war machine DOES need to be reduced.
Social Security doesn't.

Is there any reason to think that what's going to be proposed now isn't going to be just as bad as what Dubbikins tried to do in '05?
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laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 12:46 PM
Response to Original message
2. You just know it's coming! Everything has been moving this direction
They aren't going to be happy until we're back to the days when starvation was the number 1 cause of death among elderly people.
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laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
4. UnRecs? Seems there are those who would prefer we not know what is going on with this. nt
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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. There are those who would prefer that we know nothing about anything. nt
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abelenkpe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Libertarian wannabes
out un-reccing anything that appears to be against doing away with social security and entitlement programs in general.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 05:28 AM
Response to Reply #4
87. Stealth Repiglicans, Teabaggers and DINOs.
They are all over DU.

When you hear a TV figure telling us the country is 'center right' this means they feel the time is right to do away with the old time "liberal social contract" meaning Social Security and Medicare.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
6. there is nothing wrong with social security that raising the cap on taxed income wouldn't fix
hell, if we raised it far enough, we could actually LOWER the rate for everyone since it's a flat tax on the first $100K or so of income.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. there's nothing wrong with SS that raising income taxes on the rich & making them repay the money
they "borrowed" wouldn't fix.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. yep--and making investment income subject to SS & Medicare tax
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #15
35. Or simply ban states from "opting out" of paying Social Security
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 04:26 PM by tonysam
This is a big one involving literally millions of state and local government workers. There are about 15 states where state employees, including teachers, do not pay into Social Security, and as a result, they get shafted from SS if they have put in any significant time paying into the system in other jobs. The feds reduce the monthly SS by counting state pensions as "social security." It's called WEP/GPO.

Only if one pays at least 30 years into SS does the reduction not happen. If it's below 20 years, workers REALLY get the shaft.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #35
48. I'm one of them. The GOP calls us ''double dippers'' because we'd get two government pensions
if we were allowed to have SS, which is more than most people get. So since the private sector is screwing their employees out of private pensions, it only makes sense for the public sector to screw us out of the one pension the state can't steal, and Arnold tried to do with our teachers retirement fund here.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #48
55. If I paid into SS, by God I am going to get my FULL amount
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 08:58 PM by tonysam
I only got five years from Nevada PERS before I was illegally shitcanned.

I am hoping in my planned lawsuit I will get what I am entitled to.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-19-10 01:21 AM
Response to Reply #55
153. I hope so too. Write your union and secretary of labor about getting this changed
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #15
146. No. SS & Medicare are paid for by workers. If you're going to bring in capital income,
Edited on Mon Jan-18-10 07:50 PM by Hannah Bell
you may as well just fold up those programs & push for universal healthcare & income floor, all funded through income tax.

Otherwise, you've got a big can of exploitable worms.
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oxymoron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #6
18. +1
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SammyWinstonJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #6
36. +1
:thumbsup: But that won't happen and we all know it.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 05:31 AM
Response to Reply #6
88. It doesn't even need to be raised.
It is stuffed and there is a surplus. It is the only thing in this government that is in good shape. Just because the government borrowed the money doesn't mean shit to me. Take it out of the MIC.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-19-10 01:39 AM
Response to Reply #88
154. I'd rather cut out the middle man and go straight to rich bastards who got richer on the MIC dime
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #6
111. True...and yet it will be complicated and the Petersen Foundation will
make sure it becomes a mess like the HCR Bill has become. They've been putting out dire warnings that SS is bankrupt earlier than anyone imagined. Bottom line: Folks are not buying into the Stock Market because of fear and that many have no money, no job. But, one proposal seems to be to cash out your SS and put it into an Annuity, run by the same folks running 401-K's and IRAs.

And, Obama's frisky Budget Director is onboard with this.
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
7. knr - n/t
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inna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
11. OMG.

:kick:
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
12. K&R.
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SOS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
13. A factual error
It wasn't Reagan and Greenspan who folded the SS trust into the federal budget, it was Lyndon Johnson.
Every President/Congress since has been looting the trust to make the federal budget look less catastrophic than it is.
Gore's "lockbox" was ridiculed at the time, but he was right.

The SS trust must be separated from the federal budget.
Separate the trust from the budget and SS is in fine shape for many years to come.

Of course then they would have to produce an honest budget, with huge cuts and massive tax increases.
And what politician (other than Gore) has ever had the guts to face that fact?

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #13
49. Not quite. SS was always "in the federal budget," in this sense:
The original legislation specified that excess collections had to be invested in US gov't securities. In practice, this means the gov't borrows & spends the money, puts a bond into the SS Trust Fund, & repays it later.

This has always been the case & has never changed. But up until Reagan, the $$ borrowed in Trust didn't grow larger (in constant $$), but stayed within a band equal to about a year's worth of SS disbursement, i.e. the TF didn't grow, except to adjust for inflation.

This was within the terms set by the original law, which actually required a one-year cushion in the TF.

All Johnson did was change the way SS collections & the TF were shown on paper in the US budget:

"Most likely this myth comes from a confusion between the financing of the Social Security program and the way the Social Security Trust Fund is treated in federal budget accounting.

Starting in 1969 (due to action by the Johnson Administration in 1968) the transactions to the Trust Fund were included in what is known as the "unified budget."

This means that every function of the federal government is included in a single budget... "on-budget."

This budget treatment of the Social Security Trust Fund continued until 1990 when the Trust Funds were again taken "off-budget." This means only that they are shown as a separate account in the federal budget. But whether the Trust Funds are "on-budget" or "off-budget" is primarily a question of accounting practices--it has no affect on the actual operations of the Trust Fund itself."

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/history/InternetMyths.htm...


What Reagan did was much more serious. SS collections had always been pay-go, which means that money collected from workers was approximately equal to disbursements in the same year. The gov't took the money from your check & passed it through to grandpa.

Reagan jacked up SS taxes ahead of scheduled hikes -- so for 30 years, an extra .5 to 2% was collected over & above current retirees' needs. This was mostly *unprecedented*, & it's why there's two trillion plus in the TF today, significantly bigger than the US debt to any foreign country -- including China.

At the same time, Reagan reduced taxes on the rich & corporations. In effect, he borrowed from the workers to give to the rich.

The people got scammed, & they continue to get scammed. Now that it's time to pay back what they "borrowed," they don't want to, though they're perfectly capable of doing so.

This is what the SS "crisis" is: the rich want you to take it in the shorts, by reduced benefits, higher taxes, and longer waits for retirement or disability.
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Generic Other Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
16. How do they plan to re-imburse us all for the monies already taken?
Anything short of that is monumental theft. Not that I would accept such a settlement anyway. But how would any such policy reversal stand in a court of law? Even Indians eventually won in the courts system.

If we want to see the US government fall or turn into a complete police state in order to enforce the policy, this seems the way to do it. Not to mention turning the entire country into an economic dead zone. Who is going to support the destitute retirees? Their equally poor children and grandchildren? Do big pharma and the healthcare industry believe seniors will simply pay for everything out of pocket? When the pockets are turned inside out? Empty pockets mean empty cash registers and empty bellies for everyone. Maybe the coffin-making industry will get richer. The war machine stronger. But that money doesn't benefit most of us.

How many Americans depend for their lives on these EARNED entitlements? Old age insurance is not welfare. Entitled means you have the right to have it. It was not "given" to us. We pay for this "entitlement" out of pocket. Cease cutting those checks and you abdicate power. You don't have the right to continue functioning as a government. Instead you need to sell off all your assets to pay back your creditors. And then you go out of business.

I don't understand why anyone Republican or Democrat would fail to see that. Defaulting on promises made may be the way our government has always done business, but when you default on 100% of your people, the end result will not be pretty.

I wonder if they have decided that retirees who can't afford to live without their benefits will be able to go on welfare and receive smaller payments. They aren't that crooked (or stupid), are they?

I especially don't understand any American worker who does not believe this is an entitlement worth shedding blood to protect. We wouldn't let corporations do this to us without screaming bloody murder. Why would we let our own government get away with it?

Old age insurance. Disability insurance. Insurance for our families in event of our untimely deaths. Social security is the best government program ever devised. How could anyone oppose it? Unless you are trying to cover up evidence of your massive theft of the one program that benefits workers in this country over special interests.
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laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. " They aren't that crooked (or stupid), are they? "
Sad to say, I think they are.
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onethatcares Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
19. was it ronnie that started the raid on SS?
for some reason, I was under the impression that the borrowing started as soon as the program began. I would really like to have the particulars on that.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. by the original law, any excess collections had to be invested in US gov't
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 01:55 PM by Hannah Bell
securities. But up until Reagan, collections were geared so as to produce about 1 years' excess -- which was also specified by the legislation, as "cushion". So the SS Trust Fund stayed around this level 1947-1982 (in constant dollars).

What Reagan/Greenspan did was jack up SS tax rates so as to produce rapidly increasing excess collections for 30 years -- so the Trust Fund grew to unprecedented levels, in constant dollars (& current dollars).

It was a stealth way to tax the working class more & borrow from them while reducing taxes at the top. Too bad people didn't catch on at the time -- it was billed as a way to "save" SS - same as this current proposed theft is.

Thirty years of propaganda will probably make people go along again, thinking it's a good thing. Even here at DU, supposedly an informed arena, so many people buy into the SS "crisis" & proposed remedies for it, which are, without exception, ways to steal more from the workers & give them less.
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. +1 Exactly right on all points....
The vote on the 20th could be one of the most important all year. And yet it will get little or no coverage.
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laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. Deadly accurate! nt
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onethatcares Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #22
40. thank you for the information.
Hannah Bell.

I have a limited amount of knowlege concerning these things and appreciate the input. I'm going to research this deeper because I hear a lot of "Social Security" can't last type of comments. Mostly, I wonder where we would all be if the social security monies were invested in the stock market during the last attempt. The safety net would have been gone in my opinion.

One other thing, this program is being denigerated as an entitlement program due to the pay out to those that have not contributed to it. Do you know if the collections are geared to support those?

Thanks again.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #40
45. You can't receive SS unless you've paid into it - or your spouse or parent has, in
the case of dependent payments after death.

What people may be talking about is disability. There are two kinds of disability payments, Social Security disability (SSD) & "SSI," or Supplemental security income.

Social Security disability is funded by TAXES ON WORKERS' WAGES, & only workers who paid into the system can get it.

SSI is completely different. It's funded by GENERAL INCOME TAXES on ALL income, & anyone who's disabled can get it, whether they paid into the system or not is irrelevant.


The right has spun the meaning of "entitlement". Entitlement actually means you are entitled to it because you've paid into the system. Social Security is an ENTITLEMENT because part of your every paycheck is held back for you to collect later. You EARNED it, & you're entitled to get what you worked & contracted for.

"Welfare," on the other hand, is NOT an entitlement program, because there are no specific withholdings from workers' wages to pay for it. But the right has spun it so entitlement = "welfare". Totally backwards.

Hope this helps. Learning how Reagan had totally lied & spun the SS situation, & how every admin since, both Dems & Pubs, had spun the "crisis" as well, was a large reason for my political disillusionment.

Both sides are lying. the only "crisis" is elites want to pay us less & tax us more for fewer benefits -- so they can pocket the difference,
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 05:37 AM
Response to Reply #22
89. They can achieve
their aims because the M$M will tell the American people whatever the official story is.
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #22
101. Hannah Bell Thanks for setting the facts straight.
Sometimes in my rush to explain something I miss some of the details.

Thanks for filling in the gaps.
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katandmoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
20. Even repugs were smart enough to lay off SS. Apparently Dems of all people aren't.
And Obama likes the plan. Figures.
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laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #20
28. All according to plan
The Republicans could never have sold us this bailout of the insurance industry as health care reform. But the Democrats will be thought to be working for our good until we're screwed and it's too late.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #20
42. Obama gets away with things NO Republican would get away with
Exhibit one: His and Arne's relentless attack on public schools. This is NOT a Democratic stand to take.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 05:39 AM
Response to Reply #42
90. I have become very suspicious
of President Obama.
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jonathon Donating Member (284 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #42
134. I agree.
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INdemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 07:09 AM
Response to Reply #20
96. I have posted several comments about Obama following a conservative ,
Republican style agenda with the support of a Democratic majority but then I deleted them. I just dont know how to describe as a Democrat how betrayed I feel after hearing all those speeches about change, how he would do this and that and no more lobbyists running our government etc etc ..Yes they were great speeches..And now after one full year I see absolutely no difference between Obama and Bush..
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vanboggie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
23. Well then I want my money back
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 01:57 PM by vanboggie
I'm pushing 60 and know a couple of very good attorneys. Oh wait, they will be sure to include a clause to prevent those darned liberals from suing the government. Bastards.
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blues90 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
26. I contacted Barbara Boxer asking if she was aware of this issue and
What she planned to do to stop it. I don't expect more than a form letter as usual.

I read the link but there is little more than one short paragraph one it , so I ask where you came to your conclusion and what this web site you linked to is exactly?
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Telly Savalas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #26
37. Is Sen. Boxer supposed to personally respond to all correspondence she gets
from each of California's 37 million residents?
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blues90 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #37
38.  did i say that?
why bother to respond if all you have is some swarmy stupid remark?
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senseandsensibility Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #37
53. Weird response
This place is really going to the dogs. They've got us fighting each other. All according to plan, but it couldn't happen unless some allowed it to.
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PJPhreak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 03:41 AM
Response to Reply #53
80. As I have stated many times...
One of the best ways to defeat your enemy is "Divide and Conquer"

and the crap that our Elected Officials keep telling us is designed to do just that.

And we (The Democratic/Independent Liberals)Have fallen for it...Hook,Line and Sinker

And before anyone here decides to flame me on this,remember we Here at DU only make up a VERY small percentage of the Democratic party. (Approx 150,000 DU Members out of what,150,000,000 or so registered Democrats)

If one adds all of us and the rest of the Dems/Libs that are truly informed on most issues We as a group make up less than 10% (My Guess)

This means that the average person that calls themselves a Dem/Lib/Independent is not informed...Making up the other 90%. And They Don't Care To Be "Informed",They are just "Too Busy"

Like I said..."Hook,Line and Sinker"

I love My County...I Absolutely Distrust My Government,No matter Who Is In Charge!
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varelse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #37
59. If 10% of the correspondence is on the same subject, I'd expect a response
to the issue raised, at least. Even if it were a form letter.
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snot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
30. K&R'd
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
34. K&R
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
41. Actually, I found another article which said
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 05:51 PM by pipi_k
that Obama is NOT in favor of this and that it's unlikely we'd ever be subjected to it.

http://openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=11314


Second paragraph from the bottom:


"Fortunately, both Speaker Pelosi and President Obama oppose this plan, according to the same article I linked above. So, we are unlikely to be subjected to such an atrocrity."


Apparently, the bigger problem is....


"However, it still speaks volumes about who President Obama appears ready to make Commerce Secretary, and without any benefit of having 60 Senators."


PS...added:


I don't know how anyone else interprets it, but it appears VERY unlikely that SS is going to "go extinct" during an Obama Administration.

I don't wanna be snotty or anything, but geez...don't people bother looking shit up before getting all "the sky is falling!!!!" about it?

And to outright state a falsehood...that Obama is actually in favor of wiping out SS...

sigh...



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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #41
46. A later link from the same site....
One of the stories we have been following on Open Left is a threat from roughly 15 Senate Democrats that I have termed a "national suicide pact." Here is the threat:

These 15 Democratic Senators will refuse to raise the debt ceiling, thereby causing the United States to default on its debt by mid or late December. Such a default will vastly increase the overall amount the federal government has to pay on its debt.

UNLESS

Speaker Nancy Pelosi turns over Congressional power on Social Security and Medicare to an unelected commission that will almost certainly propose significant cuts in Social Security and Medicare benefits. The recommendations of this commission will be sent back to Congress in the form of legislation that cannot be amended, which will be granted a vote, and which will pass with the support of 60% of both branches of Congress.

I have learned from a source that Kent Conrad is meeting with President Obama, tonight. While the details of the meeting are unknown, Conrad is the ringleader of this group of Senate Democrats, and so it is highly likely that the meeting concerns the proposed independent commission for Medicare and Social Security.

...


http://openleft.com/diary/16185/exclusive-kent-conrad-d...

What concerns me is how little play this is getting in the media...

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #41
51. Obama is on the record as favoring SS "reform". What that means to him isn't completely clear,
but since no reform is needed except to reduce rates back to the traditional pay-go formula & jack up income taxes on the rich so they can repay the money they "borrowed" these past 30 years, I'm leery.

Social Security reform = "We're going to screw you again."
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dflprincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #41
54. Yeah, and Pelosi & Obama both said any health care bill had to have a public option
I wouldn't put a lot of faith in anything either one of them are saying about this.

Rahm and his pals at the DLC have had Social Security and Medicare on their hit list for years - and we know who Obama listens to.
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #41
105. Your quote is from 2 February 2009. Things have changed
over the past year.

Congress is scheduled to take up this binding bipartisan commission amendment on January 20th, 2010.

I hope you are correct but I fear you may be wrong.

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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #41
126. Rhetoric and action have too often been opponents for me to be reassured.
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FormerDittoHead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 05:58 PM
Response to Original message
43. Does it need to be signed by the President?
So let me get this straight, WHEN REPUBLICANS WANT SOMETHING DONE THEY DON'T NEED 60 VOTES, THEY DON'T NEED A MAJORITY to get a up/down vote.

But will this "binding commission" override a Presidential Veto too?

Just wondering, because it never ceases to AMAZE me how Democrats "can't" get anything done and they "can't" stop the Republicans from doing exactly what they want...

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shadesofgray Donating Member (350 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:27 PM
Response to Original message
47. One of the many reasons I will not support ANY "moderate" or "blue dog" ever again.
The Democratic party has left me. I didn't leave it.
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:49 PM
Response to Original message
50. k & r
:kick:
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senseandsensibility Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:52 PM
Response to Original message
52. k and r
Keep this kicked, please.
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mikehiggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
56. These people are CRAZY!
So this is just another political maneuver to make even more money available to our overseers?

I beg to differ.

Am I the only one in the world who thinks screwing with Social Security will lead to wide-spread violence from coast-to-coast?

Does the right really think that even the TeaBaggers will stand for having their SocSec benefits cut?

And do only fundamentalists know how to build IED's, or shoot a gun?

How far down do these clowns think they have pushed the American public?

As a lifelong American I would never advocate anything like this butI fear for the future if this is what is waiting around the corner.
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boomerbust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:19 PM
Response to Original message
57. Never happen
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RedCloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:34 PM
Response to Original message
58. Stop fleecing our deposits to pay for wars of agression!
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nightrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 10:17 PM
Response to Original message
60. knr. Thanks for posting this. Keep it kicked for visibility. Like others have said,
if Republicans were doing this kind of crap, Dems would be raising a huge stink. But, since those with (D)'s are doing it, it's sacrosanct.

I thought I had heard in the Fall that Obama was for this "reform", that it was part of Rahm and Zeke's plan. Sickening.

Please keep posting information as you get it.
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icee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 10:33 PM
Response to Original message
61. The day that happens you will witness a revolt so fierce nothing
would be able to stand in its way. Even Progressives, that are not inclined to violence, would be on the streets with everyone else. The government not only wouldn't have enough troops, the troops they did have would join the people. Let Obama even hint that he is in favor of this plan.
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 10:35 PM
Response to Original message
62. I paid in a lot more than 25 years. And I'll probably never get it.
But I can be proud to be American, because I'll get WAR INSTEAD.
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pundaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 10:37 PM
Response to Original message
63. We can't have constant wars, bases in most nations on Earth, rich bankers, healthcare reform paying
off insurers and pharmaceutical companies, and social spending too.

The people in Congress do not work for us. Believe you are a winner because there is a Democratic majority if you want, but that belief will cost you in the long run.

My congressmen support the corporate line. My congressmen have done nothing for the ordinary citizen. What has your congressman delivered to you? Don't vote against them because they are Democratic or Republican. Vote against them because they have sold the power you gave them to corporations, so they could keep it. Fire the bastards!
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johnaries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 11:53 PM
Response to Original message
64. A total misrepresentation of what the commission is for.
This is total tin-foil hat stuff, plain and simply.
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 03:22 AM
Response to Reply #64
78. Well, then what is a "correct" representation?
There's nothing "tin foil hat" about monied interests going after SS money under the guise of "entitlement reform".
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Kermitt Gribble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #64
112. Prove it, then.
Your opinion is useless with no facts to back it up.
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:08 AM
Response to Original message
65. OH NO!!!...i guess i`m shit out of luck! no ss payment this month!
where`d you find this fucking right-wing tea bagging bullshit?

i know..ss is a big ponzi scheme and we need to invest it in 401k like investments!
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:22 AM
Response to Reply #65
74. Dude.... you need to learn to read.
OP saying the opposite of what you think it does.
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #74
114. it`s just a natural aversion to the social security "debate"
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bhikkhu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:17 AM
Response to Original message
67. I gave up on SS long ago
I don't expect to ever retire, and if I ever get SS checks they will never be enough to pay the bills. Its a ponzi scheme dependent upon continuous growth. The world is finite - it doesn't work at all, at least at our level of consumption vs production.

I understand its a mess for politicians and a mess for everyone who has become dependent, but I'm not going to criticize anyone on any side who tells the truth - that SS doesn't work, can't work, and your money is gone.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 03:32 AM
Response to Reply #67
79. it *can't* work? of course it can, & has, for 70 fucking years.
the only reason it might not work in the future is because big players prefer to have the money themselves.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 05:10 AM
Response to Reply #67
83. and it's not a ponzi scheme, either. people who say this either don't know what a ponzi scheme is,
Edited on Mon Jan-18-10 05:11 AM by Hannah Bell
or don't know how SS works, or don't know how the real economy works.

Anyone who says "social security can't work" must logically believe that people too old to work must die, since it's "impossible" for younger workers to produce enough material surplus to meet their needs.
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bhikkhu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #83
147. Its a ponzi scheme on the scale of lifetimes
...and it has existed for less than one lifetime. As long as we have economic growth and population growth it does ok, assuming good stewardship, but we live on a finite planet. Growth can't occur endlessly, and I'm inclined to think we are near the limit of practical growth.

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #147
150. you're simply wrong. a ponzi scheme is when one group of investors is "paid"
by a later, bigger group of investors, who must in turn be paid by another, later & still bigger group of investors.

It's a simple transfer of money without any real investment or production of goods. A gets B&C's money, who get D,E,F & G's money, who get H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O & P's money, etc. When you run out of people willing to put up money, the pyramid collapses because there was never any "business" in the first place, just money changing hands.

We live on a finite planet, but that has nothing to do with the structure of Social Security, because Social Security works with declining population, expanding population, or steady-state population. So long as workers produce enough to feed, clothe & house the population, SS works.

If there's not enough resources or production to feed, clothe & house the population -- NO RETIREMENT SCHEME WORKS. But Social Security has nothing to do with causing a lack of resources or production.

Social Security isn't a Ponzi scheme. We've had this conversation before.


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bhikkhu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:02 PM
Response to Reply #150
151. Okay, decent rebutal. I'll give up the "ponzi" part.
...and after that we could probably agree that it could work if we drastically reduced military expenditures and drastically improved our productive economy. Nothing is going to last long at the rate of our military spending, particularly how much is spent overseas, and no country exists long solely by shuttering its own production and buying products other countries make on credit.

There are the bare glimmers of hope on the manufacturing side. And if Obama reviewed and shut down just one obsolete cold war era overseas base, I'd start having some hope that things were going in the right direction there.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #151
152. I agree. The issues are production, resources, & distribution of income between capital & labor,
not Social Security. Social Security works fine so long as production occurs & labor's cut matches productivity gains.

The true crisis of SS is that capital wants a bigger cut of profits from production.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 05:52 AM
Response to Reply #67
91. Can't work?
It is the single most successful thing the nation has ever done. It can work. Not stealing from it would be a start.
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PatrynXX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:19 AM
Response to Original message
70. Social Security is set up to fail.
Dads going thru it. Can only work so much , then if you go over they chop SS off. Wouldn't it be easier to allow some who took SS early because of disability (the VA is being rather prickly over his) to temporarily go off it so he can work a full time job. It would save money in the end on SS. (Ironically he is a bit of a teabagger too. which wants to eliminate SS. But since I don't have a job right now, I don't want to wish shit on him for now....
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:20 AM
Response to Original message
71. Where is the Obama administration on this issue?
We all know where they should be.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:25 AM
Response to Reply #71
75. My guess? In planning sessions. Obama favors "reform". "Reform" is the code word for
"we're going to screw you."
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New Dawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:20 AM
Response to Original message
72. K&R - Wake up, America!
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 02:32 AM
Response to Original message
77. Keep kicked. As long as you are on the phone for Coakely--
--call all your senators and representatives as well, even the repukes.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 04:27 AM
Response to Original message
82. Funny, George Will seems to think the commission will result in tax increases and no spending cuts
Edited on Mon Jan-18-10 04:27 AM by Hippo_Tron
http://www.middletownpress.com/articles/2010/01/18/opin...

Quite frankly, I think it will just amount to a whole lot of nothing given the supermajority requirement to recommend anything.
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #82
104. I have a hard time believing any Congress-critter could pass up
voting for reduced spending while hiding behind a commission. It's way too tempting for our politicians.
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pattmarty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #82
106. Does anybody here actually give a fuck WHAT George Will...................
........thinks? This stupid motherfucker is supposed to be one of the "intellectuals" of the RW and all he does his come up with baseball analogies.
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ezmerelda39 Donating Member (118 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 05:24 AM
Response to Original message
85. Entitlements
Social Security and Medicare are entitlements according to
Wikipedia.  According to their definition Congress itself
could be an entitlement program. Perhaps Congress would like
to change the law that insures their cost of living expenses
no matter what (Congress can change laws) while Social
Security did NOT have a cost of living raise for the first
time since its inception, a decision made by whom?  Congress.
Do you suppose any Congress person has trouble sleeping at
night after having made that decision?  Or for any of their
self interest decisions? Our Congress is like an enormous
pack of vultures circling over anything that is not tied down
and when the Financial Industry gets its hands on SS it is
going to be 5% of the people looking out on the remaining 95%
of unemployed, elderly and sick people, excluding whatever
percentage is utilized to fetch and carry for the top 5%.  Is
it possible for the 95% of unemployed, elderly and sick to
overturn the 5%.  The odds would be yes but first that 95%
needs motivation and anger and unification.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 06:05 AM
Response to Original message
92. Pete Peterson bio: 149th on the "Forbes 400 Richest Americans"
Peter George Peterson (born June 5, 1926) is an American businessman, investment banker, fiscal conservative, author, and politician whose most prominent political position was as United States Secretary of Commerce from February 29, 1972, to February 1, 1973 under Richard Nixon.

He was the Chairman and CEO of Bell & Howell from 1963 to 1971, and Chairman and CEO of Lehman Brothers from 1973 to 1984.

He was Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations (succeeded David Rockefeller) until retiring on June 30, 2007, after being named chairman emeritus.

He currently serves as Trustee of the Rockefeller family's Japan Society and of the Museum of Modern Art, and was previously on the board of Rockefeller Center Properties, Inc..

Peterson was Chairman and CEO of Lehman Brothers (19731977) and Lehman Brothers, Kuhn, Loeb Inc. (19771984). He co-founded the private equity firm, the Blackstone Group. In 2008, he was ranked 149th on the "Forbes 400 Richest Americans" with a net worth of $2.8 Billion.

He was also Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York between 2000 and 2004.

In 2008, he established The Peter G. Peterson Foundation with a $1 billion endowment...an organization devoted to spreading public awareness on fiscal sustainability issues related to federal deficits, entitlement programs and tax policies.

PGPF distributed the 2008 documentary film I.O.U.S.A.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_George_Peterson

In 1992, Peterson was one of the co-founders of the Concord Coalition, a bipartisan citizens' group that advocates reduction of the federal budget deficit.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 06:08 AM
Response to Original message
93. Looting Social Security By William Greider
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


This article appeared in the March 2, 2009 edition of The Nation.

Governing elites in Washington and Wall Street have devised a fiendishly clever "grand bargain" they want President Obama to embrace in the name of "fiscal responsibility." The government, they argue, having spent billions on bailing out the banks, can recover its costs by looting the Social Security system. They are also targeting Medicare and Medicaid. The pitch sounds preposterous to millions of ordinary working people anxious about their economic security and worried about their retirement years. But an impressive armada is lined up to push the idea--Washington's leading think tanks, the prestige media, tax-exempt foundations, skillful propagandists posing as economic experts and a self-righteous billionaire spending his fortune to save the nation from the elderly.

..These players are promoting a tricky way to whack Social Security benefits, but to do it behind closed doors so the public cannot see what's happening or figure out which politicians to blame. The essential transaction would amount to misappropriating the trillions in Social Security taxes that workers have paid to finance their retirement benefits. This swindle is portrayed as "fiscal reform." In fact, it's the political equivalent of bait-and-switch fraud.

Defending Social Security sounds like yesterday's issue--the fight people won when they defeated George W. Bush's attempt to privatize the system in 2005. But the financial establishment has pushed it back on the table, claiming that the current crisis requires "responsible" leaders to take action. Will Obama take the bait? Surely not. The new president has been clear and consistent about Social Security, as a candidate and since his election. The program's financing is basically sound, he has explained, and can be assured far into the future by making only modest adjustments.

But Obama is also playing footsie with the conservative advocates of "entitlement reform" (their euphemism for cutting benefits). The president wants the corporate establishment's support on many other important matters, and he recently promised to hold a "fiscal responsibility summit" to examine the long-term costs of entitlements. That forum could set the trap for a "bipartisan compromise" that may become difficult for Obama to resist, given the burgeoning deficit. If he resists, he will be denounced as an old-fashioned free-spending liberal. The advocates are urging both parties to hold hands and take the leap together, authorizing big benefits cuts in a circuitous way that allows them to dodge the public's blame. In my new book, Come Home, America, I make the point: "When official America talks of 'bipartisan compromise,' it usually means the people are about to get screwed."

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090302/greider
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #93
103. In 1983 they made serious cutbacks in Social Security benefits
Increases the delayed retirement credit in gradual steps from 3 percent for workers reaching full benefit retirement age (age 65) before 1990, to 8 percent for workers reaching full benefit retirement age after 2008.

Raises the age of eligibility for unreduced retirement benefits in two stages to 67 by the year 2027. Workers born in 1938 will be the first group affected by the gradual increase. Benefits will still be available at age 62, but with greater reduction.

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/history/1983amend.html

You can thank a bipartisan commission and Ronald Reagan for your reduced pre-paid benefits. They've done it before, and they'll do it again.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #103
138. yep. the "reform" all benefited the ruling class, not the workers.
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mortfrom Donating Member (32 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 06:19 AM
Response to Original message
94. Borrowing the fund
The thing that often seems to get lost in any discussion of SS is that, of course the money is not piled up in a huge cave somewhere. It is invested. Historically, what's the safest investment that can be made? That's right, you heard right, US Government Bonds, aka T-Bills. That's another word for the government borrowing money. Unless the US government defaults on its loan obligations in general, I can't see how it can selectively default on some of its obligaitons. They'd never sell another t-bill. People on both sides of the aisle seem to use the notion that the money exists only as a pile of worthless IOUs to frighten the electorate to believe the requisite sales pitch. I'm not saying that Conrad isn't doing what is suggested above, but I would be surprised if he is.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 06:47 AM
Response to Original message
95. This commission MUST be unconstitutional. .
Is it within the scope of Congress to abdicate its responsibility for fiscal decisions?
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 07:15 AM
Response to Original message
97. Here it comes.....

the new Gilded Age, in full bloom.

We have lost a century.
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WVRICK13 Donating Member (930 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 07:39 AM
Response to Original message
98. Sounds Typical For OUr Government
I believe the tax breaks for the wealthy still exist. We are about to give the insurance companies a huge present. Does anyone out there still believe our government represents the people? Prove to me that the Democratic party I have supported all of my life is any different than the Republicans. They are both the corporate party and the parties of the wealthy. The only saving grace is contract law. Maybe we can sue if they kill social security.
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Ganja Ninja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 07:58 AM
Response to Original message
99. We can always count on the bluedogs to do the dirty work of the GOP.
:grr: Remind me again why I should support the Democratic party when one of our own is willing to work hand in hand with the GOP to destroy Social Security. Social Security should be to the Democrats like abortion and tax cuts are to the GOP. No compromise no way. The fact that a Democrat will even entertain the thought of cuts in Social Security sickens me.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 08:34 AM
Response to Original message
102. Social Security is NOT broken! Don't let those bastards say it is!
:grr:
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #102
120. Damn right and every Democrat who propagates these lies should
be kicked out of office on his or her ass. Could care less if these same people are heroes to some of us here.

Would be so "civilized" not to kick the asses of any DU'ers who parroted this lie as well.

Beyond angry, I am. :mad:
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #120
128. I hear ya.
:grr:
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appal_jack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #102
129. +1 n/t
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Faryn Balyncd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
108. K and R
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L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 10:24 AM
Response to Original message
109. End the yearly 700 billion military spending and SS will be just fine.
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Mark D. Donating Member (420 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 10:59 AM
Response to Original message
110. Reagan & Greenspan
More weapons to use against Republicans when they not only claim to be the party of 'low taxes' but heroize Reagan for his 'tax cutting'. He paid for tax cuts for the rich by looting Social Security, and doubling working-class and the impoverished people's tax rates. It's that simple. He raised taxes on most Americans more than anyone in history. While I'm definitely having issues with a lot the current prez has done, I give him credit for passing the biggest tax cut on the working class in history (nearly a trillion over a decade). It amazes me, it's so easy to win debates with this kind of logic and show the righties how deceived they are by the corporatist powers that be, that created this mess.

When they get uppity about 'guns', remind them there is a law passed on gun-rights by this administration. When they start to ignorantly go off on it limiting them, advise them it actually expands rights, as it allows them to be carried at national parks. I'm not here to speak for or against those rights, I'm just giving you something to use in your future debates. But the time for mere debate may be over. If this administration and Democratically controlled Congress & Senate vote to limit or endanger Social Security as the above shows is possible, and it passes, I'm moving to Canada. I can only take so much of this two-party as two-sides-of-the-coin system I see emerging. It's just getting worse.
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
118. I won't overreact. But this feels like it has the potential to be a final straw.
I dare anyone to defend breaking this social contract with the people. Just know that if you do, you come down on the wrong side of the people and expose your stupidity.

Franklin Roosevelt made a famous remark about the Social Security payroll tax, to the effect that he designed Social Security to use a payroll tax so "no damn politician can ever scrap my social security program."

"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid." Eisenhower

The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it comes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group, FDR

President Obama cuts social security, there is going to be a lot more tombstoning here. I really hope DU comes down on the right side of this then. No reason to flush out any more aggressive progressives.

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/history/
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StreetKnowledge Donating Member (921 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
119. How about this idea, morons?
The top limit on what you pay Social Security on gets removed entirely. That would put many billions into the pot. Something which dimwits like Conrad know, but don't want to propose because it would piss off their corporate masters.
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #119
121. Absolutely.
:toast:
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newspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #119
127. when my hubby had his decent paying job
they would quit paying into social security after he made a certain amount of money. We would have had no problem in continuing to pay the amount for social security, as we were normally use to the amount on his pay check after the deductions. I see no problem in taking the cap off of wages.
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B Calm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #119
131. I been saying that for years. It's time for our democratic majority to make it a reality!
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #119
137. that's a moronic idea. & it was fed to you by the same people who want you to believe SS
needs "reform".

and you pass it on, just as intended.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:33 PM
Response to Original message
122. Disgusting ....
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mikehiggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
132. Death Panel
In terms of defining the terms I would suggest that anyone interested write/email/tweet/blog something to the effect that this proposal would actually constitute an actual "death panel".

There is no way the powers that be can "reform" SS without cutting benefits to lots of people, many of whom are on the poverty line, or below, and barely surviving as it is.

Conrad's Death Panel. I like it.

And maybe we could start up a Social Security Democrats wing in our party dedicated to ensuring that ANY Dem that votes for this idea be targeted.

No matter what this panel comes up with, if O doesn't veto it he'll have a fine job with Goldman Sachs to look forward to after 2112.

And how sad is it that something like that might actually be necessary.
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jonathon Donating Member (284 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 03:54 PM
Response to Original message
133. A logical next step. No money for the people -

Obscenely profit from citizens' labor and squeeze the people until they break. They will go as far as they are allowed to go. And, we don't have politicians in place willing to fight them. They have been co-opted.
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ShadowLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
148. The problem with social security is the age of retirement staying the same all the time
I know it's not going to be a popular thing to say, but to balance social security's spending in the long run we have to raise the retirement minimum, we ought to make it go up automatically by 1 year or half a year after so many years, based on how the average lifespan is expected to grow overtime.

When social security was first enacted people retired at 62, and didn't often live long past 65 from what I've read. Now we have lots of people who retire and live well into their 80's, or even to 100. If you live for over 100 years then you're collecting social security benefits for almost as many years as you work (assuming you retire as early as you're eligible to start collecting social security). That is quite simply unsustainable, for two reasons. 1) Each decade people are living longer then ever, longer then their parents did, so the time retirees spend collecting social security benefits will only increase overtime. 2) If the ratio of people collecting social security to the people working and paying into social security gets too close to a 1 to 1 relationship (1 person paying in for each person on social security) then quite simply you can't afford it anymore, no matter how high you raise the social security tax on people working.

Already I think 1/6 of the nation is on social security or something similar, and that's before any baby boomers retire. Sure raising the social security tax will help some, and getting rid of the cap on how much of your money you pay the social security tax on (the cap should definitely be removed by the way), but it'll only delay the inevitable problem, too many people retiring too early when they still have several decades too live.

I will admit, I'm 25, and nowhere near retirement, hence why I take a long term view on social security's survival that I admit would probably be political suicide to enact.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 09:28 PM
Response to Reply #148
149. Social Security Act of 1935 set the minimum age for full retirement benefits at 65.
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pressoffice/IncRetAge.htm... .

Retirement age was phased in to 67 in the Amendments of 1967.


Life expectancy for those (white males) who reached age 60 was 15 years in the 30s.
Today it's 20 years.

The big increase in life expectancy from *birth* comes from fewer babies & children dying. Very little of it comes from old people living longer.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005140.html

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005148.html


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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-20-10 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
155. Obama today agreed to create the Social Security Commission....
White House, Democratic lawmakers cut deal on deficit commission

Faced with growing alarm over the nation's soaring debt, the White House and congressional Democrats tentatively agreed Tuesday to create an independent budget commission and to put its recommendations for fiscal solvency to a vote in Congress by the end of this year.

Under the agreement, President Obama would issue an executive order to create an 18-member panel that would be granted broad authority to propose changes in the tax code and in the massive federal entitlement programs -- including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security -- that threaten to drive the nation's debt to levels not seen since World War II.

The accord comes a week before Obama is scheduled to deliver his first State of the Union address to a nation increasingly concerned about his stewardship of the economy and the federal budget. After a year in which he advocated spending hundreds of billions of dollars on a huge economic stimulus package and a far-reaching overhaul of the health-care system, Obama has pledged to redouble his effort to rein in record budget deficits even as he has come under withering Republican attack.

The commission would deliver its recommendations after this fall's congressional elections, postponing potentially painful decisions about the nation's fiscal future until after Democrats face the voters. But if the commission approves a deficit-reduction plan, Congress would have to act on it quickly under the agreement, forged late Tuesday in a meeting with Vice President Biden, White House budget director Peter R. Orszag, and Democratic lawmakers led by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (Md.).

...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...


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Grand Taurean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-20-10 08:54 PM
Response to Original message
156. One term wonderdom here we come.
:argh:
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