Skip to main content

View Diary: Lawrence O'Donnell : EPIC comments on Obama v FDR on SocSec (118 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Well, yes, but the block quotes in the diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gary Norton

    are about Democrats in the 1970s & 1980s.

    •  Yes but (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gramofsam1, terrybuck

      the title of the diary is?

      This is the same fallacy of the excremental title "Did we elect Barry Goldwater" diary.

      It's just as stupid.

      •  Agree, the author could change the title to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gramofsam1

        better reflect what is covered in the diary.

        •  Let's not hold our breath (0+ / 0-)

          It was the same BS that O'Donnell pulled.

          Because saying Jimmy Carter would approve does not work.

        •  What? (0+ / 0-)

          The whole point of the video (which is all this diary was meant to showcase) was a comparative analysis of what FDR (and Frances Perkins) originally intended with Social Security and how those intentions align or conflict with the changes proposed by current politicians.  He plays actual speech of Francis Perkins about the need to change the policy over time and to provide further context he shows a trend of similar policy changes that impact Social Security benefits from the 1970's, the 1980's and the 1990's.  

          He also uses archival video and audio to highlight the original goal of clearly separating Social Security from ever being any kind of Welfare Program (or "Dole" as FDR described it) but rather as Wage Insurance.

          I also thought it relevant that FDR's intent was a direct response to the fact that the elderly were the most impoverished segment of society, yet now that is reversed and the elderly are the least likely to be in poverty and children have become the most likely to live in poverty in today's America.

          FDR is wholly relevant to the entire point.

          Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

          by Wisper on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 07:55:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And none of that (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greengemini, expatjourno

            supported the conclusion that FDR would have supported Chained CPI.

            It was all bullshit.

            You must know that.

            •  But FDR+Perkins DID support making changes (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              keuka77, delphine

              It always had to be adjusted.  She designed the program and knew it from the outset.  It also had to be recalibrated to make sure it was never part of "The Dole", that was what FDR's welfare program was for.

              So the idea that Social Security must always be changed and calibrated to protect it from future politicians and policy mandates, that is must always be independent, that it must always pay back 100% of an individual's contribution, that no one should ever be taxed in their youth without the guarantee that the program will be there in their old age...

              Are you just fixated on "FDR never said he supported Chained CPI"?  Well gee... you got me there.  And Thomas Jefferson never said he'd favor Net Neutrality either so whaddya gonna do?   That sounds more like Scalia's arguments on the Constitutionality of abortion then any form of useful historical analysis.

              The idea is that these changes (as opposed to things like privatization, using it to fund welfare payments to non-contributors, funding it from the general treasury fund, allowing younger people to opt out, etc) are in line with the openly recorded sentiments and intentions of the two people most responsible for inventing the program in the first place.  

              Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

              by Wisper on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 08:25:54 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I think the conclusion was that (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Onomastic, keuka77

              FDR wouldn't react so emotionally, and wouldn't let discussion of Chained CPI overshadow the rest of the budget proposal.  

              The most interesting part of the piece -- which was too long, even by O'Donnell's standards -- was where he noted that today, the highest concentration of people in poverty are children.  If a reduction in percentage increase of a benefit that excludes means-tested aspects is the price to pay for ending a series of budget cuts that do target children and leave in place tax loopholes  that exacerbate income inequality much more than the Chained CPI would, I think the historical record shows that FDR was enough of a pragmatist he'd be open to it, and enough of a liberal he's be happy with every other piece of the budget that would actually increase standard of living for the elderly (by, for example, fully implementing Obamacare) more so than chained-CPI would reduce (though not by as much as iif it weren't there, obvs.)

              Whether it makes political sense is a separate question, and rests on a number of unknowable assumptions like how serious the proposal really is, and whether and to what extent the white house actually wanted this reaction.  It's also a less interesting question, since the political reaction depends on what people make of the idea, itself.

              If this were the only thing on the table, I'd be against it, for most of the sensible arguments advanced against it here (not including the arguments from the Wobbly fringe or people who've hated Obama from day one without interruption).  But it's not.

              O'Donnell also threw in some interesting points about the political risks of raising the cap, insofar as they'd expand the class of people who'd take out less than they'd put in; and noted the alternatives that could have been considered might include raising the retirement age or increasing taxes on benefits that are not what Obama proposed.  Some of these, Obama's resisted to a great degree.  But since I see general agreement on the plusses or minuses of chained CPI in the abstract, the interesting questions are about the rest of the budget, and whether the good outweig  hs the bad -- and if they don't, what should or could we pass instead (or leave in place).  

              However one comes down, I think the piece added to the discussion, more so than the 98th iteration of the same old arguments.

              Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

              by Loge on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 10:58:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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

                Thank you for a thoughtful, respectful, comment.

                "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

                by Onomastic on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 11:42:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  FDR was enough of a DEMOCRAT that he would... (0+ / 0-)

                ...have welcomed the hatred of the plutocrats and kicked Republican ass instead of sucking up to plutocrats and kissing Republican ass from day one of his presidency.

                You want to know the kind of pragmatic politician FDR was? THIS is the kind of pragmatic politician FDR was:

                FDR crushed Pete Petersons and Jamie Dimons of the day and Republicans and sent them crying to their mammas. He welcomed their hatred, he did not kiss their asses.

                What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

                by expatjourno on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 12:52:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  and i presume you care more about (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Onomastic

                  what Obama says than what he does, as well, for consistency.  I think a material number of people on this site praising FDR, were they alive then, would have been for Huey Long.

                  The O'Donnell piece isn't really about FDR, anyway.  There's enough in FDR's legacy for each side that the issue is at least indeterminate whether anyone really has a prior right to enlist FDR in one side of an argument or another.  It would be one thing if this really were a debate about the soul of the democratic party, but the invocation of FDR was to show how it really isn't one.  The "plutocrats" really only come into play in the specific budget frame with respect to the tax increases and eliminations of deductions that Obama has just proposed to put on them (with the chained CPI a limited gesture to Republicans to get them to go along).  

                  I at least see the Chained CPI issue as contentious enough that I wouldn't accuse anyone of endorsing those deductions by opposing a budget containing it.  Perhaps, O'Donnell was a bit uncharitable, but only because in a perfect world, I completely agree that social security benefits should be going up.  FDR had a much different world, one where the Southern racists were still economic populists and in his own party.  

                  Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                  by Loge on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 01:10:13 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Why would you presume that? (0+ / 0-)

                    And how is it relevant to the comparison between a president who kisses Republican ass and a president who kicks it?

                    Do you even remember the 2008 landslide?

                    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

                    by expatjourno on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 01:13:24 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The closest thing to a modern day (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Onomastic

                      republican in FDR's day was his first Vice President.  

                      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                      by Loge on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 01:51:53 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  WTF? (0+ / 0-)

                        A modern day Republican would have been ahead of his time in FDR's day. Seriously, WTF?

                        Garner had been Speaker of the House. FDR's next VP was probably the most progressive VP in history.

                        What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

                        by expatjourno on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 01:58:14 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Cactus Jack hated two things (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Onomastic, expatjourno

                          the new deal, and black people.  He played good soldier in exchange for patronage.  In fairness, I don't think Roosevelt really wanted him, and Garner tried to challenge him in 1940.  Wallace and Truman were cool.  The laissez-faire wing (Coolidge, mainly) was around, but they differed from today's R's in that they were more isolationist and didn't believe in running deficits for the express purpose of cutting taxes.  Hoover was in many ways ahead of his time, just not on economic dogma.  

                          This is pretty far removed from the diary, which isn't really about FDR anyway.  He's a maguffin for this purpose.

                          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                          by Loge on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 03:15:52 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site