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Social Security card with $100 bill
Republicans seem intent on alienating the last group of voters that is hanging with them: old white people. First consider Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) adding Medicare to their shutdown and debt ceiling ransom note. Then add to that the demand of 50 House Republicans in a letter written by Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI) that House Speaker John Boehner include slashing Social Security in the hostage taking.

They seem to think that making Social Security cuts will allay the fears that they are creating by flirting with default. "Fixing [their word] Social Security," Ribble writes on behalf of the 50, "would send a strong message to financial markets that we are willing to responsibly address our nation's long-term fiscal issues." Yes, that will distract the financial markets from impending doom. Here are some of their demands for Social Security benefit cuts:

  • Cutting Social Security benefits with a chained CPI cost-of-living formula;
  • Raising the Social Security retirement age; and
  • Means-testing Social Security benefits.

[...] Ribble spells out exactly how the upcoming “fiscal deadlines” can be used to get these Social Security proposals through Congress. First, you increase the debt ceiling for six weeks, then in the intervening six weeks you attach Social Security legislation to a longer-term increase in the debt ceiling.

Hmmm.... Let's see, what did Boehner demand Thursday? "[R]aising the debt limit for six weeks in exchange for President Obama negotiating with them over their list of demands for ending the government shutdown."

Because Republicans haven't doomed themselves with every demographic segment of the country yet.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 11:49 AM PDT.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders and Daily Kos.

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