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View Diary: Al Gore was Right -- We DID Need a Lockbox (203 comments)

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  •  WTF? I never thought in my lifetime (10+ / 0-)

    that I would see a President with (D) after his name, adopt Republican economic thinking, use Republican talking points, and demand action to begin dismantling the remaining core of the social safety net in America.  All apparently to rebut charges he is a Socialist, and to boost his chances at re-election by betraying his own base.

    I knew Obama was no progressive/liberal, especially compared to John Kerry, Al Gore, and perhaps even Bill Clinton; but, I didn't know he was willing to sacrifice these core values and principles for individual political gain.

    Oh, I will probably do it--cast the vote for him in 2012, as the Supreme Court is too important; but, this donor (max) and volunteer (90+ hours), in 2012 will provide

    not one penny

    not one hour

    not one phone call.

    He can get those from his Wall Street buddies.

    •  Repub position is privatizing S.S. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jamess, Eric Nelson

      Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

      by Bush Bites on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 10:22:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Since when is cutting SS and Medicare-- (6+ / 0-)

        and Medicaid--unnecessarily, according to every credible economist--the Democratic position?

        •  I'm just telling you what the Repub position is. (0+ / 0-)

          Not saying I agree with cutting SS and MC/MC, though I'd have to see some of the cuts before I knew for sure.

          (I could see cutting MC/MC down the road, if HCR doesn't what it's supposed to do regarding the cost curve.)

          Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

          by Bush Bites on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 10:36:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The democratic position has always been... (0+ / 0-)

          ...To make sure SS can pay social insurance benefits far into the future.

          The Democratic position is not that the current level of benefits or the current level of taxes must exist forever.

          In 1977 and 1983 Democrats voted to raise taxes and cut benefits and in doing so kept the program running strong for another 50 years. Undoubtedly something of the sort will be required again.  The head in the sand caucus is determined that someone else pay the bills, but that is a minor detail

          The republican position on Social Security is that it should be turned into a defined contribution plan instead of social insurance

          People who can't distinguish between the two approaches are mostly unhelpful.

          •  People who can't distinguish between needed cuts, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jamess, Kentucky DeanDemocrat

            and those manufactured solely to obtain political gain, are mostly unhelpful.  

            Social Security helps keep 55% of the disabled--and over a million children--out of poverty.  It also keeps 13 million elderly Americans above the poverty line.

            Here's three suggestions by economist Robert Ball as alternatives to further cutting benefits:

            • Gradually increase the maximum amount of earnings covered by Social Security so that the traditional goal -- covering 90 percent of all earnings -- is once again achieved. This change would affect only the 6 percent of earners...

            • Allow Social Security to improve earnings by investing some of its assets -- up to 20 percent, say -- in equities, as just about all other public and private pension plans do.

            • Provide a new source of income by retaining a residual estate tax and dedicating it to Social Security. ... Dedicating the income from the tax to Social Security would considerably improve the progressivity of Social Security financing as well as increasing revenue.

            Mr. Ball was the former Social Security Commissioner, and was a member of the 1983 Greenspan Commission.

            •  Bob Ball had a six point plan (0+ / 0-)

              4. Effective December 2006, base the OASDI COLA on a new CPI-W series that would reflect a superlative formula, of the type currently used for the new "chained" CCPI-U. This provision is assumed to reduce the OASDI annual COLA by an average of 0.22 percentage point. This provision alone would reduce the OASDI actuarial deficit by an estimated 0.35 percent of payroll.

              Look it up here:

              In any case Bob Ball was not an elected official. Elected Democrats, when push came to shove were willing to slightly decrease benefits and increase revenue for the much larger sake of keeping the program stable for many many years to come.

            •  Except for a slight little problem: (0+ / 0-)

              the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation is underwater because so many pension plans are in bad shape because of those equity 'market' forces.

              During fiscal year 2010, the PBGC paid $5.6 billion in benefits to participants of failed pension plans. That year, 147 pension plans failed, and the PBGC's deficit increased 4.5 percent to $23 billion. The PBGC has a total of $102.5 billion in obligations and $79.5 billion in assets.[3]

              And the much touted 401k pension plans can end up as disasters too, depending on the timing of a persons retirement and the pricing of that good ol' 'market' (which is far from a free one).
              • Allow Social Security to improve earnings by investing some of its assets -- up to 20 percent, say -- in equities, as just about all other public and private pension plans do.

              "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen auf das Vierte Reich! Sie Angelegenheit nicht mehr.

              by Bluefin on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 10:24:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  You can take those hours and dollars (9+ / 0-)

      and put them towards electing decent Democrats downticket, especially in the House and Senate.

      Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes

      by Cali Scribe on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 10:28:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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