For a week I have watched people who should know better panic and freak out over the idea that Obama is proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare. What the White House has actually been saying does not appear to be the same as what people here are claiming.
As someone who has been receiving SSI benefits and Medicare/Medicaid benefits for five years now I feel like I have a vested interest in getting the story straight. I expect that for most of us the fact that chained CPI has Grover Nordquist fit to be tied should provide a clue as to where Obama's Grand Bargain is headed
For Democrats the purpose of government has always been to create a more perfect union, and to be stronger as a group by protecting the weak. For
Republicans corporations the difference in perspectives comes down to trying to find ways to label every investment in the economy that helps people have a better quality of life as tax and spend. That's the mission of the right wing think tanks as they have been set up by the lobbyists.
Republicans corporations the mission of government is to de-regulate and/or de-stabilize any obstacle to maximizing profits including democracies socialist regimes that want to re-distribute the wealth.
Given his actions as regard Affordable healthcare, DADT, DOMA, Marriage Equality, Gun Control, Immigration, Woman's rights and his foreign policy does it really make sense to you that the legacy Obama wishes to leave behind him is the betrayal of everything the Democrats have worked for since FDR?
In researching the proposed cost of living adjustments to the present system called CPI-W, I learned that because Elderly people spend more on healthcare and medications than younger people, their CPI-W cost of living "basket" underestimates their actual cost of living and it has been proposed that a CPI-E be implemented to correct this. The result would be more benefits for the poor and the elderly.
The Whitehouse Budget includes a chained CPI, CPI-U which it is proposed would offer at least two different types of protections.
The Budget contains two types of protections:I'll allow that when the POTUS proposes a budget that benefits the poor and the elderly at the expense of the rich and the powerful the administration still has to find a way to sell it to Congress. We can say that the protections are not enough, that the minimum wage and the Cap should be raised more, but lets remember that so long as we fail to get a deal we get nothing.
Benefit Enhancement for the Very Elderly and Others Who Rely on Social Security for Long Periods of Time
The benefit enhancement would be equal to 5% of the average retiree benefit, or about $800 per year if the proposal were in effect today.
It would phase in over 10 years, beginning at age 76, or (for other beneficiaries, such as those receiving Disability Insurance) in the 15th year of benefit receipt.
The benefit enhancement would begin in 2020, phasing in over 10 years for those 76 or older (or in their 15th year of eligibility or beyond) in that year.
Beneficiaries who continued to be on the program for an additional 10 years would be eligible for a second benefit enhancement, starting at age 95 in the case of a retired beneficiary.
Because of the benefit enhancement for the very elderly, the Budget proposal would not increase the poverty rate for Social Security beneficiaries, and would slightly reduce poverty among the very elderly according to SSA estimates.
For most of my lifetime, going back to when the New Deal was still in its infancy, Republicans have been trying to cut back and ultimately to get rid of Civil Rights, Voting Rights, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Healthcare safety nets, unemployment insurance, public education, and everything else the government does other than make war.
Republicans, who spend so much time worrying about the deficit and austerity for social programs which they consider discretionary spending are delighted to double or triple the deficit with unnecessary warmongering.
The Civil War, Spanish American War, WWI, WWII and the Cold War spent ever more massive amounts of money on creating a standing army, a navy with a global fleet, building up huge foreign bases, turning the USA into the worlds largest arms dealer.
In the sixties we began simultaneously thinking seriously about having enough overkill in our doomesday scenarios to survive a nuclear war and developing special forces for covert actions. In the seventies Johnson tried to redirect our spending into a war on poverty but ran into calls for benign neglect and then from 1980 onward our military budgets began to enter the realm of science fiction with Reaganomics and "Star Wars" until Gorbechov finally put an end to that arms race by introducing sanity depriving us of an enemy.
What Obama is trying to do with his Grand Bargain is achieve the sort of detente between Republicans and Democrats that the Russians introduced three decades earlier to bring an end to the insanity of the cold war. The prize in the box of cracker jacks is the peace dividend.
It looks like Republicans are catching on that the consequences of four years of obstruction are looking more and more like what happened to the Whigs. They are losing the ability of the NRA to call the shots on gun control, and the ability of the climate change deniers to convince us that the destruction of our cities by storm surges and rising sea levels is a hoax, and the ability of Citizens United funding to buy elections, and the ability of insane right wing governors to suppress the vote, make war on women, replace elected governments with managers, treat the children of undocumented immigrants who have been born and spent their lives in the US as illegitimate.
Meanwhile Obama has 80% of the country backing his play and all of a sudden the people whose ideas I respect the most are loosing their cool because they don't trust him to continue to look out for the best interests of the elderly and the poor rather than corporations.