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I believe my head will explode if I hear another so-called "liberal" pundit proclaim that President Obama's comments (SOTU) were a victory for progressives.  Clearly the brief comments he made in reference to social security reform and the deficit were purposely vague, and his use of the word "vulnerable" was ambiguous, at best.  It was my take from an interview with former Governor Howard Dean that the tone of President Obama's statements regarding social security reform were more likely a strategic move, than a signal that he was not going to recommend any cuts to social security benefits.  (After all, it probably wouldn't go over too well to cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans in December, and go after Granny's Social Security in January.)  Text of State of the Union Address

Most of you are probably aware that Senator Bernie Sanders has formed the Defending Social Security Caucus to push back on GOP attempts to slash social security benefits.  Making Social Security Stronger  (video)  While I greatly appreciate their efforts, my concern is that the Senators are putting too much emphasis on preventing the privatization of Social Security, and not enough emphasis on protecting Social Security from the draconian cuts recommended by the Bowles Simpson Fiscal Commission in their report "A Moment of Truth."  Bear in mind, the cuts called for in this report are drastic, even though they do not call for personal accounts or set asides.

Here's an informative audio clip of the Majority Report's Sam Seder interviewing Professor James Galbraith.  In this clip, he explains that how deep cuts can be made to benefits through measures other than social security privatization.  Sam Seder Interview with Economist James Galbraith

Originally posted to Music City Mollie on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 09:58 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  okay, how soon will your head explode? (4+ / 0-)

    the widely pre-reported "We'll compromise on SS" speech where Obama was supposed to announce raising the retirement age - DIDN'T HAPPEN.  You might want to listen to the speech.

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 10:16:19 AM PST

    •  You must be kidding. (0+ / 0-)

      Do you really expect Obama to say that? He should be that honest. There are a million ways to trickery. He knows all of them.

      Remember President Obama's support for public health insurance? Here's what he was up to in secret:

      http://www.nytimes.com/...

      "We have an agreement with the White House that I’m very confident will be seen all the way through conference," one of the industry lobbyists, Chip Kahn, director of the Federation of American Hospitals, told a Capitol Hill newsletter.

      Re our president, the cat's a long time outta the bag.

      Anyone believing in any pol from either party has all but certainly screwed up.

      by Wom Bat on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 10:49:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A Victory for Progressives? (0+ / 0-)

      louisev--

      I thank you for your comment, but beg to differ with your analysis.  The fact that President Obama did not mention raising the Social Security retirement age in his address does not mean that "the American people" dodged a bullet, when it comes to seeing our social security benefits eviscerated.  

      In the first place, the corporate media (and many pundits on the left and the right) would have everyone believe that the only issue to be concerned with in regard to social security "reform" is whether Obama and the Dems will go along with Republicans on raising the eligibility age for social security beneficiaries.  However, if you go beyond media bullet points and read Section V, Social Security, Pages 43-50 of the Bowles Simpson Fiscal Commission Report, you'll see that raising the age is only one of several recommendations.  And, according to Professor James Galbraith, whom I referenced in my initial comment, the sum total of the Fiscal Commission's recommendations, if enacted,  would reduce the average monthly social security check by approximately 35%.  Remember, every social security beneficiary takes a 6.5% decrease in his monthly benefit for each year that he waits, after age 62, to begin to draw social security (according to the Congressional Budget Office or CBO).

      FYI, here's a link to the Bowles Simpson report "A Moment of Truth."  "A Moment of Truth"  (Fiscal Commission Report)

  •  You are quite right. (0+ / 0-)

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