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In an otherwise very sympathetic story to the plight of older workers America, CBS tags the story with this:

Increases in the retirement age seem inevitable as the White House creates an 18-member panel to look at changes in Social Security.

For the record, the so-called Fiscal Commission, which we've renamed the Catfood Commission, was established with this mission.

President Obama created the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to address our nation's fiscal challenges. The Commission is charged with identifying policies to improve the fiscal situation in the medium term and to achieve fiscal sustainability over the long run. Specifically, the Commission shall propose recommendations designed to balance the budget, excluding interest payments on the debt, by 2015. In addition, the Commission shall propose recommendations that meaningfully improve the long-run fiscal outlook, including changes to address the growth of entitlement spending and the gap between the projected revenues and expenditures of the Federal Government.

It was not formed to "look at changes in Social Security," at least not ostensibly. Given the skewed nature of the commission--weighted conservative commissioners who have a history of promoting cuts to Social Security, as well as benefits cuts-happy Dems like Alice Rivlin, the story that has emerged from the commission is that it's all about Social Security.

Since Republicans on it are not only refusing to increase taxes, they're demanding more tax cuts, there's really not much else for them to discuss except Social Security. But there was a reason why this wasn't created as a Social Security commission--because Social Security didn't create the deficit and even gutting it won't solve the financial mess the country is in.

Meanwhile, an awful lot of Dems are staking their races on protecting Social Security. If they manage to eke out their majorities in 2010 after making the promise to protect it, the surest way to destruction of the party in 2012 is cutting Social Security.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 06:40 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ok So lets review (36+ / 0-)
    1. Even 50 Year olds can't find work
    1. Manual Labor past 60 is problematic

    But hey let's raise the age anyway.

    We Destroyed this Village in order to save it from the Viet Cong er um Taliban

    by JML9999 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 06:42:47 PM PDT

  •  Does it blow anyone else's mind here how (30+ / 0-)

    the global plutocracy can cram down "austerity" on 6.5 billion people in order to benefit probably under 2,000 ultra-wealthy families globally?

  •  heh. (11+ / 0-)

    the surest way to destruction of the party in 2012 is cutting Social Security.

    If the Party destroys itself, can we be banned for pointing it out?

    Hell, when the blog's own namesake can't even be counted on to support the Democratic senatorial candidate in Florida over a Rethug (yes, I know he did so today -- finally, and reluctantly), what's left?

  •  Today's headlines... (8+ / 0-)

    are "all over" the fact that "Obama" (sic) isn't granting an increase in SS this year. It's pegged to the cost of living, Froggie...and COLA hasn't gone up, mainly because there is a contrived definition of what it costs to live.

    Obama CAN change this formula, by formulating a more realistic definition of what it costs for a senior to live.

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

    by MrMichaelMT on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 06:44:14 PM PDT

  •  Cut Defense in half (19+ / 0-)

    Cut welfare for all corporations.

    Raise taxes on the wealthy.

    Stop funding the beltway bandits.

    After that is done, then consider changes in funding Social Security.

    The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

    by freelunch on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 06:44:15 PM PDT

  •  Great points. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob, bablhous, greenearth

    This is like how the Fed is supposed to maintain full employment, but seems so concerned about inflation (in a deflationary cycle) that they are unwilling to take the necessary and decisive action to get it done.

    The Fiscal Commission is stocked with the absolutely most wingnutty, ideologically-rigid, idiotic, foolish, worthless Republicans in Congress, plus Alan Simpson, who seems more interested in what he can destroy than in what he can rebuild.

    22 days to Election Day. Sign up at OFA today.

    by Benintn on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 06:44:23 PM PDT

  •  Anyone who votes (10+ / 0-)

    or promotes raising the age for SS better already have a lobbyist job lined up.  

    "We think the truth is bad enough. It obviously is." -- Fishgrease

    by gchaucer2 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 06:45:04 PM PDT

  •  The Democratic Party (18+ / 0-)

    will pay a steep price if their fingerprints are all over Social Security austerity. The GOP will say 'thank you' and get their policy shift, and watch gleefully as the Democrats take all the political pain. It boggles the mind that it's even an issue during a period of Democratic majorities.

    Alan Simpson being on a panel sat by a Democratic President, by his choice, is bewildering.

    There's no spin you can put on it. Social Security has nothing to do with the Mega-Deficits that supply side economics and open-ended neoconservative wars have created.

    •  They do this with abortion rights (10+ / 0-)

      Meanwhile, an awful lot of Dems are staking their races  on protecting Social Security. If they manage to eke out their majorities in 2010 after making the promise to protect it, the surest way to destruction of the party in 2012 is cutting Social Security.

      There are millions of voters who vote for the Democratic Party because they actually believe in the right to choose and that we need a robust social safety net.

      At some point, if what you say you stand for is all negotiable, people start getting the idea that.... everything you say you stand for is negotiable.

      •  Ah, yes, abortion rights. (6+ / 0-)

        "Sure it's legal.  And if you have a pile of cash and know the right people, you can actually have one if you need one."

        Hell, that was f***ing Dan Quayle's position.

      •  Cannabis legalization in 2012 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nchristine

        This is another issue that will get out the vote in 2012, especially of younger people, and increasingly of older people who are becoming aware of the medical benefits of cannabis.

        One reason an initiative in Washington State legalizing cannabis failed this year is because some people stayed on the sidelines, thinking the timing in 2012 will be perfect. If the thing in California passes, it will get interesting.

        Back to Social Security, there seems to be opposing views on what the FICA tax is. The actual fact is the FICA tax for Social Security is collected for a specific purpose, which is fund Social Security. This is the law. The rethuglicans seem to think this "tax" just goes into the general fund, like all other taxes. This is why they claim it is gone or "nothing but IOU's." The actual fact is the FICA tax is collected and if there is excess, it is invested in the safest investment on earth, US Treasury Bills. Our Social Security trust fund isn't gone. What might be gone is the money the US government borrowed from the working class of America. They recklessly wasted it on wars which were based on a pack of lies. They wasted it on corrupt defense contractors. They wasted it on huge tax cuts which primarily benefited the rich. The money they borrowed might be gone, but the money they owe us for the loan is still legally there.

        It all comes down to the upper 1% wanting to take one of the few things in life that benefit average working people. It isn't enough they get virtually everything, they want it all. They are drunk on money. Like a vampire, they are sucking America dry.

        Everything I write is within a margin of error of precisely 100%.

        by Bailey Savings and Loan on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:07:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  They're about to pay a steep price regardless. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk

      Think about it:

      How badly have the administration and Congressional Democrats screwed up to face a likely beating this November when the alternative is a bunch of do-nothing Party of No Republicans that the country despises?

      Next time:

      Take care of the biggest, most pressing needs first, the agenda and legacy second.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:08:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wanna make Wall street Scream? (15+ / 0-)

    Slap Social Security Tax on Capital Gains

    We Destroyed this Village in order to save it from the Viet Cong er um Taliban

    by JML9999 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 06:47:22 PM PDT

  •  SS is as progressive an issue as there is and to (9+ / 0-)

    accept incremental cutbacks would be a complete game changer.   It has to be completely unacceptable to all democratic voters, and that must be made clear.  

    The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism.

    by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 06:47:36 PM PDT

  •  Impossible. I have it on good authority... (7+ / 0-)

    ...that Rivlin wouldn't cut benefits or raise the retirement age (which is the same thing as cutting benefits). It's just not in her to support that.

    < /snark>

    Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 06:47:44 PM PDT

  •  Re (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob, jarhead5536, dinotrac

    because Social Security didn't create the deficit and even gutting it won't solve the financial mess the country is in.

    Well, the "problem" is that the government spent the Social Security trust fund to pay for other deficit spending.

    So now, to replenish it, the only option is to raise taxes to pay off the debt.

    So there are only two options: raise taxes, or cut SS benefits.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 06:48:54 PM PDT

    •  Right. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      devtob

      If the trust fund had been left alone we wouldn't be in this mess...

      No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

      by jarhead5536 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 06:52:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

        But if I hadn't gotten drunk earlier tonight, I wouldn't be barely able to type right now. But I am.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:02:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That myth is a right wing talking point. (5+ / 0-)

        get the facts

        "The truth: Because Social Security takes in more in taxes than it spends in benefits, it has a current surplus of $2.6 trillion invested in bonds. A bond is like a loan to the federal government that earns interest. While the federal government uses the money loaned by the Social Security Trust Fund to pay for other government spending, just as with other holders of U.S. securities, the government is legally obliged to repay the holder when the bond comes due. There has not been one case of the government failing to pay a bond holder."

        http://www.ncpssm.org/...

    •  Yuppers. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk

      Which means SS is a  holdin' great big bunches of government IOUs, which means a looming pickle as the feds figure out how to pay benefits AND pay to run the country.

      Oh -- and debt ain't even going to be cheaper than it is now, so expect the problem to escalate.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:10:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Those 'government IOU's' (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bablhous, nchristine

        are special bonds issued only by Social Security that can be purchased only by the Treasury Department. They rest on the "Full Faith and Credit of the United States of America". Defaulting on them to maintain an artificially low tax rate would crash the world's economy.

        "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

        by johnmorris on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:18:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Did you read what you just wrote?/// (0+ / 0-)

          How does defaulting on bonds that are held ONLY by the federal government going to crash the world's economy?

          They're not.

          But the government isn't going to default on them, anyway.

          However, the government will have to go into the debt market to pay them.

          And that could hurt.

          According to most Democratic leaders, Social Security will not be able to pay more than about 80% of promised benefits to workers who are currently 38 or younger.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:29:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you're willing to default on your own people, (0+ / 0-)

            you're willing to default on 'strangers'.  It will basically be saying that 'the full faith and trust of the US' is a sham.

            •  That would hurt the US economy, not the world's (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sparhawk

              because the world doesn't hold any of that debt.

              Besides, you've probably got that backwards.

              From an international perspective, better to screw yourself than to screw your creditors.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 08:41:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The 'world' (0+ / 0-)

                holds about 25% of our public debt, possibly a little more. In another discussion the deficit hawks would be screamiing bloody murder about how much power that gives them so its nice to know that, when we're talking about money owed to ordinary Americans, its irrelevant. In point of fact, a default on bonds by the US Government would mean a general devaluation of the reserve currency of the international trading system. You would be able to hear the resounding gurgle as the economy went down the drain.

                "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

                by johnmorris on Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 12:12:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  No (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bablhous, wsexson

      they spent it to pay for tax cuts for their buddies. We have been cutting public expenditures since Reagan. Our infrastructure is crumbling, our schools leak and we have too few teachers and R&D spending by the Federal government is at all time lows. Its not a spending crisis or an entitle3ment crisis, its a tax crisis.

      "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

      by johnmorris on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:15:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Re (0+ / 0-)

        they spent it to pay for tax cuts for their buddies.

        This may well be true, but it is irrelevant.

        The only question is: do we raise taxes and for who? Or do we cut SS benefits? The math only supports these two solutions, nothing else.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:17:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's nonsense (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bablhous, ravenwind

          first, Social Security is in no way connected to the debt. Social Security is in surplus for the next 30 or so years. Second, at the moment the Government is borrowing money at 0% interest. If they were private money managers and told you that you had to pay it up right now, you could sue them for failure to perform their fiduciary duty. Third, Taxes on the rich, capital gains and inheritance are at historic lows. That has always presaged recession. The best thing we could do for the economy right now is raise their taxes by a lot. 70% is good level. The last time we were there growth was 6% and unemployment was 3.6%.

          "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

          by johnmorris on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:24:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  No, there is only one option, raise taxes. The (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bablhous, greenearth, LaneJ

      tax increase needs to be placed primarily on income over 300k.  Capital gains tax needs to be increased.  Corps should actually be paying taxes on earnings in the US, instead of shuffling things around on acct 'tricks' to get out of paying up.

      I agree that spending needs to be curtailed, but most certainly not in SS, Medicare, Medicaid, Veteran Services, or Education.  Just about everything else is up for discussion from my point of view.

      •  They know how to solve many of our problems. (0+ / 0-)

        They just won't do it.  Everything, and I do mean everything now is strictly for the benefit of the upper percentile.  Anyone who can't see this at this point is purposely ignoring it.

        •  Yeah, I know.... we are in a police state and (0+ / 0-)

          working fast to a fascist one.  I'm trying to be optimistic.....

          •  Yeah, I didn't want to say the "F" word, but... (0+ / 0-)
          •  Not fascist (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bablhous

            Rather, neo-feudalist.  

            Think about it: concentration of wealth in as few hands as possible, inherited position as well as wealth (think of the Bush dynasty), advancement based on personal loyalty rather than merit (cronyism), no rule of law, no limits on the elite (IOKIYAR), and quasi-theocratic rules over the peasants.  That pretty much sums up what they want, doesn't it?  Sounds a lot like France circa 1600.

            •  IMNSHO, it could go either way right now - (0+ / 0-)
              - between neo-feudalism (circa 1200, 1600 the 'people' had too many 'rights') and fascism.  Not that one is better than the other.....

            •  Yes, there are many names. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bablhous

              Neo-feudalist is one.  I use the word Fascism because I think of it as the complete merging of the government with corporations, in our case mostly, Wall St and the banksters.  But any big corp like military contractors, Pharma, health ins. companies, etc.  The big private industries are the same as the the government now so I like Fascism.  Throw in Pravda MSM, basically state/corp run media, and we are just toast now.

    •  Absolutely not true! (0+ / 0-)
      We can print money.  And that's what we should do.

      Jim
      commentsongpe.wordpress.com

  •  Of course deferred eligibility is "inevitable"... (7+ / 0-)

    ...because that's what members of both parties have been saying since this clusterfuck commission began (and why it was stacked with deficit hawks in the first place).

    This, however, is my line in the sand when it comes continuing to vote Democratic. I cannot, in good conscience, continue to support a party that doesn't support the people's interests.

  •  Democrats in tight races (7+ / 0-)

    who run against the Catfood Commission's plan to seriously cut Social Security will win.

    Those who don't will wish they had.

    A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

    by devtob on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 06:50:52 PM PDT

  •  Look. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk

    We progressives can and should complain to high heaven about cuts to entitlements, but to be blunt there is no way to rebalance the budget without spending cuts AND tax increases.  

    And we all know it.  

    Even the other side knows it, as they complain to high heaven about tax increases...

    No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

    by jarhead5536 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 06:51:13 PM PDT

    •  Fine. There are several wars (9+ / 0-)

      in Islamic Asia they could "cut."

    •  Bullshit (5+ / 0-)

      First, there is no real reason to balance the budget. In fact there are good reasons not to:

      Balanced budgets and depressions
      American Journal of Economics and Sociology, The,  April, 1996  by Frederick C. Thayer

      Since 1791, the earliest data available, the national debt has been increased in 112 years, decreased in 93 years. 57 of those balanced-budget, debt-reduction years have been concentrated in six sustained periods of varying length. Also since 1791, there have been six significant economic depressions among the innumerable "business cycles." Each sustained period of budget-balancing was immediately followed by a significant depression. There are as yet no exceptions to this historical pattern.

      This is the record of six depressions:

      1. 1817-21: in five years, the national debt was reduced by 29 percent, to $90 million. A depression began in 1819.
      1. 1823-36: in 14 years, the debt was reduced by 99.7 percent, to $38,000. A depression began in 1837.
      1. 1852-57: in six years, the debt was reduced by 59 percent, to $28.7 million. A depression began in 1857.
      1. 1867-73: in seven years, the debt was reduced by 27 percent, to $2.2 billion. A depression began in 1873.
      1. 1880-93: in 14 years, the debt was reduced by 57 percent, to $1 billion. A depression began in 1893.
      1. 1920-30: in 11 years, the debt was reduced by 36 percent, to $16.2 billion. A depression began in 1929.

      There has been no sustained period of budget-balancing since 1920-30, and no new depression, the longest such period in our history.

      The question is whether this consistent pattern of balance the budget-reduce the national debt-have a big depression is anything other than a set of coincidences. According to economic myths, none of these sequences should have occurred at all. How on earth, for example, could we virtually wipe out the national debt in the mid-1830s, then fall immediately into one of the six recognized collapses in our history? Those who write about the desirability of reducing the national debt frequently praise Andrew Jackson for his vigorous pursuit of such a goal, but do not mention "depression" in the same breath. It is helpful to the maintenance of economic myth to say little about depressions in textbooks, thus making it easy to avoid looking at connections considered impossible anyway.

      The mutual finger-pointing now underway is aimed at the 1996 elections, Democrats and Republicans each blaming the other for the agreed disaster of high deficits and debt. Yet the deficits of the 1930s and recent years were trivial, relative to GNP, when compared with the wartime deficits of the 1940s that ended the Great Depression. Federal deficits in World War II ranged from 20 to 31 percent of Gross National Product. For a few years, the national debt was greater than GNP, the only such period in U.S. history.

      The national debt is now less than 70 percent of Gross National Product (GNP), much below the 130 percent debt of the late 1940s, and a debt that remained higher than today's debt until the mid-1950s. According to economic myths, that wartime spending should have made things worse, not better.

      Those who look closely, therefore, will see some obvious intellectual dishonesty at work. It is dishonest to avoid looking at depressions and wars when discussing the evils of deficits and debt, and to propagandize by using absolute levels of deficits and debt when only relative comparisons are valid. It is dishonest to write textbooks in which there is no mention of what Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, and noted financier, Bernard Baruch, had to say in the early 1930s about causes of the Great Depression. The belief at that time, even if rejected by economists, was that "overproduction," "excessive" and "destructive" competition were to blame. To be sure, nobody has suggested that government underspending can massively contribute to big depressions, even though this is only the flip side of overproduction. Put another way, if the market for consumer goods cannot do the job, there is every reason to turn to the production of public goods, always in short supply anyway.

      The tragicomedy of economics is easily displayed. If someone borrows money to build a brewery, the money is officially listed as "investment" in national income accounts. If government borrows money to build a bridge that is needed by the brewery, these funds are not listed as "investment" because the bridge is considered "waste." To think that this sort of logic undergirds public policy is to experience pure fright. Economics, of course, is not the only "discipline" that fills the world with unsupportable myth, but it is among the leaders.

      [Frederick C. Thayer is a Visiting Professor of Public Administration, George Washington University, Washington, DC 20036 and Professor Emeritus, Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh.]

      COPYRIGHT 1996 American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc.
      COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

      Second, we have been cutting spending for everything but the military for 30 years. The reason that bridges are collapsing and dams are breaking is that we have deferred maintenance on our infrastructure since Reagan to transfer the money to the rich through tax cuts. We desperately need to increase spending on transportation, education, health care and power transmission as well as environmental protections and R&D.

      Third, look at the history of taxation in the US. Growth tracks perfectly with the rate of taxation on the highest income group. The higher their taxes, the higher the growth rate, the lower their taxes, the lower the growth rate and there are no exceptions to that rule. The reason is pretty obvious; rich people sequester money. If you tax it away from them and spend it on public goods, it stimulates the economy. Let them sack it away in "safe investments" where it is free from risk and it does society no good at all. The idea that high taxes would lead the rich to withdraw from society hasn't ever worked out like that outside of an Ayn Rand novel.

      "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

      by johnmorris on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:12:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Waving the reality flag again here. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bmcphail

        Military spending is not going to be cut, EVER.  This is the effing United States of effing America, and part of our identity is having THE military force on the face of the planet.  Indeed, one the main reasons that our allies are able to maintain such small armed forces is that they know that we have taken on the role of global policeman and will rush to their aid when the need arises.

        As much as progressives would like to cut the military down to a border defense posture, it's just not going to happen.  Really, it's not...

        No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

        by jarhead5536 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:28:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ok, so our old and infirm can just go out (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bablhous, wsexson, Willa Rogers

          to a corner somewhere and die already??  Then we could go back to having to haul our own water, sewer, and food because the infrastructure has become unusable from disrepair.... But, damn, we've got one fine military set up.

        •  We could cut it by half (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bablhous, nchristine, Willa Rogers

          and still be THE military force on the face of the planet.

          BTW: do we REALLY still need 75,000 personnel and around 37 facilities/bases in Europe?  to protect us from the looming Soviet threat?  I'm not unreasonable; I understand that we must liase and that prepositioning is good, but....really.....

          Baz

          We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

          by bmcphail on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 08:11:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This is what Eisenhower warned us about. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bablhous, LaneJ

          The monster is now its own justification, tempting politicians to atrocity and battening on the poor like a vast tick.  We could be "strong" with a fraction of what we have.

          We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

          by bmcphail on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 08:13:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The Party That Cuts SS or Raises Age Limits (7+ / 0-)

    will find out the rage is real, doesn't matter which Party it is.

    With no Cost of Living increase this yr following last yr without one is going to be bad enough. Pray the Republicans don't blame it on the Dems first.
    With the price of everything still going up the retired and disabled are being slowly starved to death as it is. No COLA again this yr will be enough to turn off many from voting.

  •  Please remember (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob, greenearth, bmcphail, Loli

    that the last time it got to this point, in 1982, the commission was appointed by Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neil and chaired by Allan Greenspan. They came back with two alternatives; privatize Social Security or double the payroll tax so that baby boomers would be the first generation in history to save for their own retirement. Congress took the proposals home for the summer break and the voters told them, in overwhelming numbers, to raise the tax and save social security, so they did. Now Reagan, Reagan, Bush, Bush used it to give their rich pals tax cuts but that doesn't mean we're supposed to make those bastards whole. Social Security is, and ought to be, the third rail of American politics. Nancy Pelosi has promised that, no matter what the catfood commission says, cutting SS won't come to a vote while she's the Speaker so we all need to get out on the street and make sure she stays speaker. If you can't do it for yourself, do it for your dad or grand dad. They earned it.

    "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

    by johnmorris on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 06:51:51 PM PDT

    •  Didn't she also promise a vote... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LaneJ

      ...on the Kucinich amendment to PPACA?

      Yeah; no--I don't trust Dem leadership when it comes to legislating the catfood commission's recs. In the end, Reid and Pelosi have done what the administration wants them to, and there's no reason to believe they'll stand firm against his executive-ordered commission, either.

  •  If Obama signs a increase in retirement age (9+ / 0-)

    Then its time for a real primary challenge in 2012.  We should not be taking this anymore.  

  •  If anything (13+ / 0-)

    the Social Security age should be decreased to say 55 or 60. These people would then be free to start small business' if they wished. It would also allow younger people to be promoted into these jobs, the over 55/60 left.

  •  Rethugs swiftboating Dems on Medicare Advantage (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    A right wing group in Delaware mailed anti-Murray cards to seniors in WA State claiming that her support of the health care law would reduce Medicare Advantage coverage.  Murray should be backing Rossi into a corner on Social Security but now the Republicans have grabbed onto the issue and described themselves as the protectors of Medicare Advantage.

    •  PPACA *does* slash Medicare Advantage... (0+ / 0-)

      ...and seniors will be paying more in out-of-pocket costs after the changes are fully implemented. I never thought I'd see the day when Democrats slashed a successful public program like Medicare to fund subsidies to private insurers (nor the day when it'd be the GOP valiantly defending Medicare), but there you have it.

      •  Medicare Advantage is NOT Medicare (0+ / 0-)

        It's a privatized insurance program that charges more for similar but not necessarily identical coverage.

        That's what makes it so easy for the Republicans to make hay with this particular issue - they can say black is white and get away with it. THEY are the ones protecting the insurance companies' insane profits, while claiming to "protect" the public.

        If it's
        Not your body
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        AND it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 09:52:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's the most solvent government program (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, corvo, bmcphail, Willa Rogers

    So of course it's the one they want to cut.  You look at all the big line items -- Medicare, Medicaid, Defense, Social Security, farm subsidies etc., and Social Security is the only one, the only one that has grown significantly slower than the average for all government spending.  Even with health care reform, Medicare has simply improved from catastrophe to crisis.  Medicaid's just as bad.  Defense is mired in procurement waste, bureaucratic inefficiency and foreign wars.  Everything else; protected by politicians with conflicts of interest.  But social security, the one that's growing several percent slower than other government spending, the one with a mere two percent overhead, the one that provides the only defined benefit pension for a majority of Americans -- that's what they attack.  It's a fucking disgrace.

  •  History repeats itself... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, greenearth, bmcphail, Willa Rogers

    Scrap the commission.  Their recommendation will be no different than the one created by Mr Reagan led by Greenspan back in 1982, I believe.  And they recommended then (drum roll please): Raise the retirement age, increase the wage limit subject to FICA withholding.  28 years later anyone think they will come up with anything new?

  •  A Social Security Fix? So, stupidly simple. (9+ / 0-)

    Raise the Social Security tax cap from $106,000 per year to 212,000 per year. The 2039 shortfall disappears and no one is hurt. Sure the most wealthy pay an extra ten to twenty dollars in taxes ... I suspect they can muddle through.

    Really, what we have here is a tempest in a Tea Party's Pot.

    Political Correctness Police: may your puckered, disapproving lips forever cover your donuts.

    by FeloniousMonk on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:08:38 PM PDT

    •  Ten to twenty? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk

      Let's see...

      Somebody making $120,000 a year -- good, but not exactly wealthy in some places -- would pay an extra $2,000 a year.

      Somebody making $200,000 a year would pay more than $13,000 a year.

      That might be ok with you, but it's not exactly 10 or 20 dollars.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:16:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So you believe we should cap their benefits? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bmcphail, Willa Rogers

        Ok, ten to twenty dollars extra per ... what pay period? Most of us are paid weekly or bi-weekly. According to Social Security Online the rate paid by an individual is 6.2% on earnings up to $106,800. That amount is matched by the employer.

        Figure it out. If you think you are going to earn enough to support you in your old age, buy a factory in China and opt out of the U.S. Economy. That's your choice. If you don't have that much confidence in your own abilities, maybe you'd like to opt-in to Social Security. ... but, do me a favor, don't whine about having to make a choice ... you sound like a Republican.

        Why should the highest earners NOT help pay for the least fortunate in our society. Are you a Democrat or not?

        Political Correctness Police: may your puckered, disapproving lips forever cover your donuts.

        by FeloniousMonk on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:35:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Matched by the employer" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk

          If you're not into reality, there's no point in going over the numbers.  For the benefit of others, however, I did make an error in my math -- force of habit from figuring out self-employment taxes.

          14.1% is combined social security and Medicare taxes.
          It's not 15.3% because of the way you calculate it. The so-called employee's share is calculated on the net after the so-called employer's share is deducted from the employee's true gross wage.

          The correct number for just social security, however, is not 14.1%, but 11.7%.

          BTW --

          You might consider learning to read.  I made no statement about right or wrong, unless you think truthful discussion of actual numbers is some kind of evil campaign.

          For the record, let's adjust that extra for the $200,000 earner to reflect the correct number.  That comes to $10,900.  To be twenty dollars, that would require 545 pay periods, so... I guess it would only be twenty bucks a pay period for somebody who gets paid twice a day.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 08:50:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ok, in the interest of accuracy, the extra (0+ / 0-)

            would be calculated like this.

            1. 200,000 - 106,800 = 93,200 (additional income)
            1. 93,200 * .062 = 5,778.40 (additional SS Tax)

            Then you would be paying 6.2% on 100% of your earnings, just like the huge majority of Americans pay all their lives. There now don't you feel more like the rest of us now? Don't you feel as if you're contributing as much to our society as the rest of us do?

            Oh, yes, I did leave out the employer contribution ... you see most taxpayers don't make that contribution. If you do, you made that choice when you became self-employed. No point in crying about it now.

            And, yes, you are paying more than $10-20 per pay period. Then again, that is if you are in (or very near) the top tax bracket. Most people are not in that bracket. Thus it is statistically likely that the average additional SS tax payment would be as I stated.

            Political Correctness Police: may your puckered, disapproving lips forever cover your donuts.

            by FeloniousMonk on Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 07:12:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No. Most taxpayers DO make the contribution. (0+ / 0-)

              They don't see it on their paychecks. It's hidden from them.

              That is, quite literally, the only difference between the "employer" and "employee" contribution.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 09:41:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Sure they do. No disagreement, but (0+ / 0-)

                that's not the argument you have been making. Instead, you've been looking for sympathy because your employer contribution comes straight, visibly out of your pocket.

                You can't have it both ways. The huge majority of employees take the brunt of SS taxes (both employee and employer) on 100% of their income. You have some nerve to gripe because you don't want to pay as much as most of us do.

                No sympathy.

                Political Correctness Police: may your puckered, disapproving lips forever cover your donuts.

                by FeloniousMonk on Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 09:50:08 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't think you are reading what I'm writing. (0+ / 0-)

                  My argument is that Social Security taxes are unfair because they are

                  a) regressive.  Same rate for dollar 1 as for dollar $106,800.

                  b) irrational.

                  Because of the way SS taxes are done, middle income earners pay a higher rate on marginal dollars earned than do high earners. Just plain weird.

                  The other example I gave was the case of a two income family paying higher taxes than a family of the same income but one earner.

                  Social Security taxes should match what Social Security is and should fit into overall tax policies and structures.

                  LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                  by dinotrac on Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 09:57:44 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Wow ... now it's no longer a personal problem. (0+ / 0-)

                    Okay, let's deal with that.

                    First, let's look at your argument that the SS tax is regressive and irrational. The irrational argument is undefined, so I must assume that you feel it is irrational because it is regressive. On that basis, I'll ignore it awaiting your reason for labeling it irrational.

                    Now, is the SS Tax regressive? Maaaybee, you're right. After your foregoing argument about the distress it would cause you to contribute as much to SS as the rest of the taxpayers, I doubt you'd like a truly progressive tax. You see, that would entail higher earners to pay a larger percent of SS Taxes.

                    Rather, I consider the regressive nature of SS taxes to be logical. You see, lower earners are more likely to draw SS income than are those who earn more. Why is that? Because the rules of SS reduce your benefit proportionately as your non-SS income rises, until you draw zero SS.

                    Based on that ACTUAL fact, the regressive nature of taxation is offset by the reverse-regressive nature of the payments.

                    While on the surface, two-income families are double-taxed, the resulting benefits are tied to the actual payments made, thus the benefits would also be proportionately higher.

                    Also, I would object to co-mingling SS tax collections with the income tax. Why? Because had that happened over previous years, SS would not have a $2.5 Trillion surplus. Instead, Congress would have lumped it in the General Fund and pissed it away in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. I'll stay perfectly happy with SS funds staying safely locked up for the use of Social Security recipients.

                    Political Correctness Police: may your puckered, disapproving lips forever cover your donuts.

                    by FeloniousMonk on Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 10:18:37 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Still not reading. (0+ / 0-)

                      I have expressed no distress over my personal SS contributions -- especially given the fact that I am unemployed and making none whatsoever at the moment.

                      Your arguments would have some merit if,ummm, they were true.

                      High earners are not precluded from collecting Social Security and many do. There is no means test for Social Security, and no restrictions on earnings for recipients who are 65 and older.

                      Beyond that, Social Security benefits and payments in are only loosely related.  SS acts much more like a government welfare program than an insurance program but its funding scheme doesn't reflect that fact.

                      As do co-mingling funds...HELLOOOO!!!! Reality knocking...

                      The funds are completely co-mingled now.  The SSA holds onto promissory notes that the government will repay, but that means money coming out of the general fund which means more money to borrow.

                      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                      by dinotrac on Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 10:52:02 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Let's see now. (0+ / 0-)

                        You state you made a math error from  "force of habit from figuring out self-employment taxes." But, now you are unemployed. Maybe you understand my confusion. For an unemployed person, you seem awfully eager to protect the $200K earner from contributing an equal percent of income to Social Security.

                        You're right ... now. High earners can receive SS Benefits, but for those receiving benefits between age 62 and 65, reductions do come into play, and historically, applied to even those over 65.

                        I have not said there is a direct ratio to earnings and SS Benefits. You seem to agree there IS a relationship, therefore ones earnings DO affect their SS benefit.

                        Co-mingling of funds has happened. But, BUT, BUT, the funds that have been BORROWED from the Social Security fund MUST be repaid. They are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.

                        Now unless you are hypothesizing the U.S. will be defaulting on that debt, your distinction is moot.

                        Reality knocks back.

                        Political Correctness Police: may your puckered, disapproving lips forever cover your donuts.

                        by FeloniousMonk on Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 11:45:11 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  There is this concept called passing time... (0+ / 0-)

                          Not making money now. Have made it in the past.
                          Sigh. The good old days before the current (for many of us) Depression.

                          I don't know where you get the impression that I am eager to protect $200k earners as opposed to anybody else.

                          I would REALLY like to see middle income earners treated more fairly.

                          I also see calls to include Social Security taxes included on all earnings as ridiculous attempts at misdirection.

                          Why?
                          Not because they ask high earners to shell out like low earners -- although that would be nice, but becuase they amount to a huge money grab.

                          Extend the taxes but rationalize them.  Instead of 11.7% paid by the lower part of the scale, how about 7% paid by everybody or some such thing? Or even a sliding scale, or SOMETHING that isn't so silly as we've got now.

                          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                          by dinotrac on Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 12:18:22 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

          •  Now, to be clear. YOU'RE PERSONAL (0+ / 0-)

            issues are irrelevant.

            It's a sad thing that you may have to pay as large a percentage of your income to SS tax as the vast majority of taxpayers ... maybe it's time you sucked it up and paid your share. No sympathy from me.

            Now, try and get your head out of your ... income statement ... and think about what's good for the nation ... something Congress could stand to do too.

            Otherwise, it sounds like you really need to spend more time with the Tea Party since they seem to better incorporate your self-absorbed values.

            Political Correctness Police: may your puckered, disapproving lips forever cover your donuts.

            by FeloniousMonk on Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 09:44:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  And what is so bloody awful (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock

    about raising the retirement age?  When these sorts of things were first decided, the average lifespan of an American man was around 64.  We are living longer and living healthier now, and I for one plan to work until at least 70.  The retirement age should be pegged to average lifespan...

    No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

    by jarhead5536 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:10:21 PM PDT

    •  And what is so bloody awful about taxing the (9+ / 0-)

      ultra wealthy FIRST before we do anything else in the name of "fiscal responsibility"?

      •  We need to deal in reality here. (0+ / 0-)

        The ultra wealthy, thanks to recent SCOTUS decisions, can buy whomever they please to forestall unpleasant legislation.  That is reality, and it's not going to change anytime soon no matter how many tantrums we throw about it.  Their time will come, but it's not going to happen today.  

        It just makes plain common sense to me that the retirement age today is too low, and people really should work as long as they are physically able.  These days that period stretches at least into the late 60's...

        No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

        by jarhead5536 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:18:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not True. (5+ / 0-)

      That lifespan includes high levels of infant mortality.

      Lifespan of the average retiring worker when SS opened up was around 10 years. Today it's still under 20 I'm pretty sure.

      NEVER peg it to "average" lifespan but to "retiree lifespan" or, at worst, average lifespan of new young workers.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:15:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're kidding, right? (8+ / 0-)

      The problem is that anyone over 50 who loses a job these days is in great danger of never finding another one. It doesn't matter what great shape one is in if nobody will hire them at any job.

      No income from 50 to 67 or 70 is a damn long time to exist on nothing.

      And I know from personal experience, nobody is hiring people over 50 in great enough numbers to make a dent in our unemployment rate.

      Our insurance costs are too high.

      Anyone who is for raising the retirement age needs to start lobbying hard for changing the hiring practices of businesses -- they only want healthy people between 18 and 45 these days.

      "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

      by Brooke In Seattle on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:19:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you've got a desk job and don't develop (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ravenwind, greenearth, bmcphail

      dementia before hitting 70, you're good to go.  However, those that work physical jobs most likely won't be able to work that long.  My dad had to retire at 60 because he could no longer haul the computer equipment around and his knees were shot and other ailments from numerous electrocutions while in the USAF.

    •  Demographic fallacy. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nchristine, Willa Rogers

      The greatest rise in life expectancy in the US has come from a drop in infant mortality, distantly followed by lowered mortality across the board because of improved public health, occupational health, pollution control, and geriatrics. Plenty of people live to an overripe old age earlier in the century.  

      Baz

      We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

      by bmcphail on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 08:21:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Regressive idea (0+ / 0-)
      The average working person is getting screwed in all areas of life today and for the past 4 decades at least.  To cut retirement benefits would be outrageous.  
  •  They Figure the 30 Year Insufficiently Answered (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo

    SS battlefield softening by conservatives has rendered the voters unable to throw politicians out of office for starting to wind down the program.

    I often say I don't know anyone younger than boomers who believes SS can be fully there for them.

    This is pandering to donors with the expectations that voters will not rebel over it.

    It might be wrong but it's a reasonable expectation.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:12:24 PM PDT

  •  Social Security (0+ / 0-)

    is based on the premise that a certain critical mass of working age people will pay into a system to look after a vastly smaller number of retirees.  The numbers of both these groups have been almost exactly reversed in the last generation.  The model may well be unworkable and we need to deal with that...

    No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

    by jarhead5536 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:13:57 PM PDT

    •  Yes, by creating more jobs. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wsexson, corvo, Willa Rogers

      And hiring workers of all ages and abilities to fill them.

      Those workers will pay taxes and thereby replenish the money needed by the system.

      The system's not working because there aren't enough people working and paying in.

      "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

      by Brooke In Seattle on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:23:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Modern technology and globalization (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sparhawk

        are making the need for large numbers of skilled laborers unnecessary.  The twentieth century, the "American" century, was predicated on American manufacturing might, and that is going away if not gone already.  We need to come up with something else to occupy 300 plus million people...

        No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

        by jarhead5536 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:32:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  bull (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wsexson, Willa Rogers

      the numbers have barely changed since the 1983 Reagan changes to social security to "deal with that".

  •  I you cut SS but not the withholding (6+ / 0-)

    isn't that a huge tax increase on the middle class? I mean how does raising the age, and thereby the benefits, without cutting the payroll withholding not amount to and increase tax on the non-rich?

    If you cut the payroll withholding, there is no savings.

    Wouldn't it make more sense to get rid of the cap on how much of a wage earners income is subject to SS withholding?

    I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but this makes no sense. You cut the spendable income of both the prime wage earning middle class AND the aging Americans guaranteeing a reduction in consumer sending, which hurts the very same small business dry cleaner on the corner that the Republicans claim to support.

    Four out five sock puppets agree

    by se portland on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:14:59 PM PDT

    •  Depends on the Problem You Intend to Solve nt (4+ / 0-)

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:16:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  SS taxes screwed up bed of lies to begin with. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, se portland

      Never mind that the so-called "employer's" is not shown on employees' checks so that they can't see how much they're actually paying, or that

      there is no longer very much of a relation between what you pay in and what you get out -- which is why any mention of private accounts gets an uproar.

      Social Security has become just another government welfare program, but it is funded in a horrendously regressive and unfair way.

      Because of Social Security, an individual making $200,000 a year actually pays LESS in federal taxes per additional dollar earned than one making $40,000 a year.

      Two families, each making $150,000 a year will have very different tax obligations, depending on whether one or two incomes make up the total.

      Two people making $75,000 each true (ie, including hidden taxes) gross earnings will pay more than $21,000 in social security taxes.

      A single earner family making that same $150,000 will pay
      a bit more than $16,000, so --

      The family with the greater needs -- it costs money to hold two jobs, probably requires some kind of child care, etc -- pays more in taxes.

      Great.

      Gotta love it.
      But -- nobody's ever going to fix it.  

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:26:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Velocity of money (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ravenwind, dinotrac

        I guess I am tuning into an old FDR economic fan boy, but I have to quibble on one point. What you call an 'another government welfare program' is the wealth of the nation.

        Money is only effective if it is held in the hands of a multitude of people. The Koch brothers can have a quadrillion dollars in money, but it will only simulate the economy to the extent that they spend that quadrillion dollars. Money sitting in the bank doesn't help.

        If you put the same quadrillion dollars in the hands of the vanishing middle class, they will spend it. Whether it is at the dry cleaner on the corner, or me buying a Roku Box from the inventive American company located in Saratoga, California, they will spend it. That dollar spent at the dry cleaner allows the owner to re-spend that same dollar at the butcher's, or to buy flowers for his wife. The florist then spends that dollar for...I don't know what...a Roku Box. The worker in Saratoga, California, secure in his job, spends that same dollar at Subway for a sandwich.

        Four out five sock puppets agree

        by se portland on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 08:49:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Calling it another government welfare program is (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk, se portland

          not the same thing as saying it has no value or serves no purpose.  It merely acknowledges what Social Security really is.  We pay taxes in and receive benefits that are only loosely tied to what we paid.

          Once upon a time, Social Security may have resembled an insurance program, but those days are long gone.  Social Security is paid for out of the general fund just like any other social welfare program, the sole difference being that it holds IOUs against the government for money.

          It would be much fairer to recognize that reality and make Social Security taxes more equitable and more rational.  It's just ludicrous to tax additional earnings by somebody making $50k a year at a higher rate than we tax additional earnings by somebody making $500,000 a year.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 08:58:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  BTW -- I used the wrong figure for my numbers. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        se portland

        Used the 14.1% that is effective rate for SS+Medicare instead of the 11.7% effective rate for SS alone.

        Sigh.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 08:53:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  re-tagging the Fiscal Commission (0+ / 0-)

    "...which we've renamed the Catfood Commission"

    um yes...and too clever by half

    I'm not sure I'd take credit for it at this point if I were "we"

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:22:34 PM PDT

  •  "Too Old to Work Too Young for Social Security" (5+ / 0-)

    Checkout this great short video against raising the retirement age.

    "www.ncpssm.org - Some in Washington want you to work until 70 as a way to cut our national deficit. Raising the Retirement Age is a benefit cut that will hit millions of retirees and their families, reducing Social Security's already modest benefit and threatening many with poverty in their retirement years. Social Security didn't cause our fiscal crisis and shouldn't be used to balance our books."

    •  Seems pretty effective to me. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wsexson

      who wants to listen to the advice of a committee that is going to make elders eat catfood?

      We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

      by bmcphail on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 08:31:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Only our Enemies say "SocSec is in trouble." (7+ / 0-)

    I don't give a shit who they are, either. If anyone repeats that line, they act as an enemy of the average person, pure and simple. And need to be called on it.

    Raising the age not only has the "benefit" that a fair proportion of the entitled will die off before getting there. It strengthens the argument that people should be "free" to choose a private plan, one that might pay you sooner.

    So the age-raise is not only a short-term undermining, it's a long-term undermining of Social Security.

    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:47:11 PM PDT

  •  Why doesn't Obama come out and assure (0+ / 0-)

    everyone that he won't let the retirement age be changed on SS?

    He doesn't ever say anything about the Catfood Commission does he?

    I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

    by Lucy2009 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 09:56:29 PM PDT

  •  Why'd you have to point this out? (0+ / 0-)

    Meanwhile, an awful lot of Dems are staking their races  on protecting Social Security. If they manage to eke out their majorities in 2010 after making the promise to protect it, the surest way to destruction of the party in 2012 is cutting Social Security.

    It's not like Democrats haven't found plenty of ways to piss off their base for the last two years, but why give them directions?

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 10:17:28 PM PDT

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