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View Diary: Simpson-Bowles weigh in on fiscal cliff deal: Not enough catfood (110 comments)

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    •  The President's Men -- what winners! (7+ / 0-)

      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

      by divineorder on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 06:22:47 PM PST

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    •  Oh, come on, Slink. (12+ / 0-)

      These guys just have our best interests at heart. They've presented a set of serious policy proposals that definitely need to be addressed in order to rectify the issues the deficit have on our economy.

      Oh, okay, that's about as far as I could go without gagging.

      That pair of millionaire geriatric sociopaths need to get the hell out of the public discourse and they need to stop spreading horrible ideas and policies that will end up hurting a lot of normal people.

      Unfortunately they were given a huge place in the national discussion by the President.

      These are his guys, and they just popped out their lair of reprehensibly immoral ideas to remind everyone that yeah--we still want our cuts.

      So they're going to get their cuts. And we're all going to suffer for it. Well, the 99% that is...

      The Grand Bargain must be stopped at all costs to protect the 99%.

      by cybrestrike on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 06:35:09 PM PST

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      •  You really think (0+ / 0-)

        Erskine Bowles is a sociopath? Immoral? Do you actually know him?

        •  Yes. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          If he's advocating cutting the Social Safety Net, which will result in a lot of people being harmed because of it, then yes.

          Bowles doesn't, and never will know anyone who will ever need the Social Safety Net. To him, the people who will be affected are just numbers on a spreadsheet. And the "savings" from entitlement cuts will just go to his friends on Wall Street. That's some pretty sick shit.

          So yes, I find him to be a terribly loathsome human being as a result. He brings nothing positive to the national discourse in regards to economics when it comes to the needs of ordinary people. His class is doing great. Us, not so much. In fact, we're still sinking, albeit slowly.

          Everything I've read about him and seen about him pretty much affirms that if I did know him--I'd still find him absolutely and irredeemably loathsome.

          So, should I give him a chance? Maybe he's a nice guy? Doesn't matter to me...the policies he advocates will hurt millions of people. And I'd do everything I could within my means as an activist to prevent him from doing that.

          The Grand Bargain must be stopped at all costs to protect the 99%.

          by cybrestrike on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:29:21 PM PST

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          •  You do not know this (0+ / 0-)

            "Bowles doesn't, and never will know anyone who will ever need the Social Safety Net. "

            and your response belies of your blind hatred.

            I know some of his relatives and have met him. He is a decent and dedicated (and comes from a long line of) public servants. And by the way I suppose you think the President is also "a terribly loathsome human being" and  "do everything I could within my means as an activist to prevent him " as well?

            Just what is your workable plan that would you preserve SS? Medicaid? Medicare? Reduce the deficit?

            •  Here's a link below to Mr. Bowles' proposal (1+ / 0-)
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              entitled, The Moment of Truth (PDF).

              Mr. Bowles' personality and perceived public record aside, I implore you to read this document.  I would be very surprised if you would be willing to defend him, after doing so.  

              The cuts that he and Mr. Simpson prescribe, will mean a loss of up to 35% of the monthly Social Security benefit for many seniors.

              Don't take my word for this.  Here's a link to the Reuters article entitled, "The Sham of Simpson-Bowles."  This is an op-ed written by Illinois US Representative Jan Schakowsky.  She quotes the above statistic in her piece.

              So, yeah, in a nation in which literally '1 in 2 Americans Are Now Poor or Low Income' (here's a link to my diary on that subject), I don't consider it a stretch at all to say that Bowles' proposal is very loathsome.

              “If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

              by musiccitymollie on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 10:12:46 PM PST

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              •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

                I am familiar with the proposal. And there are parts i do not like and parts I do. And parts I think could use further discussion. But the big picture is that they DO have a plan. the fact that you and Grover Norquist BOTH hate it speaks well of it.

                In 2033 when SS starts reducing benis by 25% maybe this plan will look better.

                Your 35% stat is misleading (hence the "up to" qualifier). That figure reefs to total outlay reductions over time. Look, the plan IS progressive. The benefits are reduced in growth but not "cut". The poorest and disabled will see increases. The income cap is raised. The alternative is a shortfall in 2033.

                •  "the fact that you and Grover Norquist BOTH hate (0+ / 0-)

                  it speaks well of it."  "Huh?"

                  That is the most perverse logic (and right-wing talking point) that I've ever heard.  You may think that you know someone about Norquist, but you clearly know nothing about me.  So making that judgment is quite a bit of a stretch, to say the least.

                  Could use"further discussion" is an understatement, don't you think?

                  The idea that right-wingers want to "preserve" Social Security and avoid cuts amounting to 25%, by cutting the monthly benefit by up to 35% for the bulk of middle class and more affluent seniors IS LUDICROUS ON ITS FACE.
                  And even more ridiculous, the Bowles-Simpson "formula" starts the reduction of monthly benefits at $9,000.  That's absolutely worse than 'loathsome' policy.

                  "Look, the plan IS progressive."  ROTFL.  

                  So NOW it's acceptable to achieve progressivity or equality in benefits by "lowering" the benefits of those seniors who are middle and higher income, so that they are more in sync with those of low income seniors.
                  Another right-wing talking point:  "The benefits are reduced in growth but not cut."
                  ANY CHANGE IN FORMULA that "reduces" benefits, IS a cut.  Period.
                  The raise in the income or wage cap is paltry, and happens over MANY YEARS.  Should be lifted completely--IMMEDIATELY, OR WITH A MUCH SHORTER PHASE-IN.
                  According to the CBO analysis, only a very small portion of the lowest income seniors will qualify for the due to the fact that most, having not had dependable transportation, child care, etc., will not met the 30-year full career requirement to reap this benefit in full.  [BTW, this is nothing new.  The Greenspan Commission included this benefit, which became obsolete by about 2010.]
                  Here's the excerpt from The Moment of Truth:
                  BENEFIT FOR LOW-WAGE WORKERS.  

                  Create a new special minimum benefit that provides full career workers with a benefit no less than 125 percent of the poverty line in 2017 and indexed to wages thereafter.

                  Social Security reform must ensure that the program can continue to meet its basic mission:  to prevent people who can no longer work from falling into poverty.  The Commission recommends creating a new special minimum benefit which provides full-career (30-year)
                  minimum wage workers with a benefit equivalent to 125 percent of the poverty line in 2017 and wage-indexed thereafter.

                  The minimum benefit would phase down proportionally for workers with less than 30 but more than 10 years of earnings.

                  And surely you "jest" that the following policy, which will raise the Social Security benefit by a paltry 5%, AFTER THE BOWLES-SIMPSON COMMISSION RECOMMENDATIONS 'LOWER' SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS BY AS MUCH AS 35% FOR MANY SENIORS, is a sufficient or acceptable "20-year bump up."

                  Here's that excerpt:


                  Add a new “20-year benefit bump up” to protect those Social Security recipients who have potentially outlived their personal retirement resources.

                  [My words here:  Again, this is a 5% benefit 'bump up' AFTER TAKING AWAY UP TO 35% of a beneficiaries' initial monthly benefit.]

                  The oldest old population – those over age 85 – is projected to expand rapidly over the coming decades: from 5.8 million this year to 19 million in 2050. To better insure against the risk of outliving one’s own retirement resources, the Commission proposes a new “20-year
                  benefit bump-up” that offers a benefit enhancement, equal to 5 percent of the average benefit, 20 years after eligibility.  The enhancement is phased in over five years (1 percent per year).  Eligibility is defined by the earliest eligibility age (EEA) for retirees and the
                  determination of disability for disabled workers.

                  You know, the Brits went to "means-testing," or progressive price indexing decades ago.  And guess what?  They had to implement a supplemental senior welfare program because the cuts that resulted from indexing benefits were so steep.  [And generally speaking, Brits were much better off than their American counterparts, since they also have (or had) defined benefit retirement plans.  This type of retirement plan has all but 'withered on the vine' in the US for almost 40 years.]
                  Generally, what the indexing does is "flat-line" the actual benefit amount.  IOW, "indexing" disengages one's monthly benefit, from one's lifetime earnings.
                  Therefore, eventually "a Bill Gates-type" and his janitor will receive about the same Social Security stipend.  Not in the next couple of decades, but again, years down the road, this is the effect of "indexing" Social Security.  Some experts project that this will be achieved by approximately 2100.
                  As a matter of fact, Senator Tom Harkin, IA, has already presented a plan to institute mandatory private retirement accounts.

                  Here's an excerpt and a link to his plan, entitled, "The Retirement Crises And A Plan To Solve It":

                  The first proposal would rebuild the private pension system by providing [mandatory] universal access to Universal, Secure, and pension plan that would give people the opportunity to earn a secure benefit and would be easy for employers to offer.
                  I have VERY mixed feelings about a "government mandated" private retirement savings account.
                  I especially feel this way due to the current push to eviscerate our social insurance programs.

                  How would one know but what future politicians would want to (and find a way to) raid those funds for deficit reduction.

                  I hope when the real push comes for this, and I believe that it will be soon, that the progressive community will actually put partisan politics aside, when they evaluate his plan.  

                  From what I've seen lately, many will jump on board without so much as an inkling about his proposal.  IMO, he needs to spend more time actually standing up against cuts to Social Security, not coming up with plans to implement mandatory "private" retirement savings accounts.

                  Bottom line, Mr T, "to each, their own."  You have as much right to advocate for what I consider to be 'draconian cuts' to our social insurance program, as I have to fight against them.

                  All I know is that I will continue to share the link to the Bowles-Simpson proposal, The Moment of Truth, every chance that I get.  It's only 66 pages long, and written in plain English.  So I hope that more and more folks will take the time to familiarize themselves with what "austerity coming to the US," will look like.

                  I sincerely do NOT believe that most Americans would find this proposal to be an acceptable solution to deficit reduction.  

                  But, I guess time will tell.

                  [This is a bit of a mess. Sorry.  Major time constraints.]

                  “If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

                  by musiccitymollie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:41:40 AM PST

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                  •  Ok (0+ / 0-)

                    a few things as I am pressed for time. I should have more accurately said since the left and right seem to be highly dissatisfied with it, I'd say it is a good middle ground.

                    Not sure where your quotes are coming from?

                    as for "right wing talking points"? Please ...

                    Harkin's plan is an outline with no specifics and no proposals.

                    Your 35% stat is all wrong. That is possible for some very high income retirees. Which is much preferred over ALL losing 25%.

                    It is very simple actually. Things that cannot be paid, will not be. SS is not able to continue as currently construed.

                    So there is a plan, and you and me and others may disagree. But that does not make Erskine Bowles sinister.

            •  I think cybrestrike's response is just fine. I (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              don't care how strongly worded the personal feelings about Bowles are.  Here's what matters - "the policies he advocates will hurt millions of people. And I'd do everything I could within my means as an activist to prevent him from doing that."

              Thank you, cybrestrike.  With all the fatalism I've been hearing around here, it's good to hear from someone who sounds like he intends to fight.

            •  Anyone gunning for benefits... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              musiccitymollie, Nespolo, cybersaur

              ...that working people earned over working a lifetime deserves any scorn I throw in their direction. The middle class, working poor, and the poor didn't create this deficit. Bowles and his allies economic policies did.

              Erskine Bowles and his allies are dead set on cutting the Social Safety Net for the benefit of Wall Street and the corrupt investor class. The only service he wishes to deliver is to them and their interests. He has no interest in the lives of ordinary Americans. Because if he did, he'd be leaving the Social Safety Net alone.

              We paid into those programs. We earned those benefits. Now the oligarchs and elites want that money.

              It doesn't belong to that band of overpaid, over-respresented, elite, out of touch gamblers. They want even more money after shattering the economy and getting away with it. They created the conditions for this deficit hysteria...and they want to complete their Shock Doctrine tactics by stealing from us "for our own good" and for "shared sacrifice".

              I don't care about the President. He's a neoliberal (moderate conservative in general) as well, and I've made clear my feelings towards him in the past (I don't like or care for him either because of his conservatism). And I've called up my congresspersons (on both sides of the aisle) to urge them to oppose any policies that I felt were harmful to ordinary people that he has proposed (Catfood Commission, NDAA, Trans-Pacific Trade, etc).

              The Grand Bargain must be stopped at all costs to protect the 99%.

              by cybrestrike on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 10:18:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hear, Hear! N/T (0+ / 0-)

                “If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

                by musiccitymollie on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:07:04 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  You are a fool (0+ / 0-)

                for posting among the other tripe, this especially:

                "He has no interest in the lives of ordinary Americans."

                As I said you do not know the man or his intentions or values. One can disagree without thinking the opponent is vile. Well, civilized people can anyway. The blind incoherent hatred on this site can be so fatiguing.

        •  Hell yes! (0+ / 0-)
          You really think Erskine Bowles is a sociopath? Immoral?
          That clueless sociopath is advocating for policies that will hurt and kill people. Yes, he is an immoral sociopath that can go suck a box of snake dicks then go die in a fiery car wreck. Fuck that fascist sonofabitch!

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