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Please begin with an informative title:

Sen. Dick Durbin
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)
We can add Senator Dick Durbin, the Majority Whip, to the list of influential Senators who are beginning to form a wall of defense for Social Security:
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that Social Security should be left alone when it comes to deficit reduction.

"Social Security does not add one penny to the deficit," he said. "Not a penny."

That's correct. So lets stop talking about Social Security and leave it out of these discussion. He joins Majority Leader Harry Reid and Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad to do just that.

Winning the initial battle on Social Security is extremely important for those Democrats who A. Support the president in wanting a deal, or B. want to kill the deal. Is is important because with Social Security's revenue surplus off the table, negotiators will have to find more of their deficit reduction from either tax increases or cuts in other parts of the government. Like defense, for example. That is the only way they will be able to make their deficits trend downward. But if Social Security is on the table, chances are they will screw with it in order to grease skids for smaller taxes and smaller cuts in the rest of the budget. "To get bipartisan agreement" they'll cut Social Security. And that's a shitty deal all around.

Or, the negotiators could find the hurdles too difficult to overcome without tapping into Social Security. In which case, the whole thing will collapse Super Committee style.

So no matter if you are for a deal that is mostly tax increases, defense cuts, and provider cuts in Medicare and Medicaid as the president is (and so am I), then you should want Social Securiy off the table. And if you're for killing any Grand Bargain at all (an outcome I'd accept as well), you should want Social Security off the table.

The Democratic leadership in the Senate is pretty clear. Now all we need is a statement from the White House: Social Security is off the table.


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Originally posted to Triple-B in the Building on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:01 AM PST.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders.

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