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Here's Rep. Keith Ellison, co-chair of the House Congressional Progressive Caucus, on reports that Social Security cuts will be included in the debt ceiling. His message: Social Security isn't adding to the deficit, it "loans us money."

ELLISON: Social Security actually is not contributing to the deficit. Social Security loans us money. So at the end of the day, all this discussion about how we’re going to cut Social Security is very distressing to me because Social Security isn’t the problem…This is inequitable and regressive…We’re asking the poorest Americans to sacrifice. When are the wealthiest Americans going to step up and do the patriotic thing, which is to contribute to deal with this budget deficit.

That's the message from the caucus as a whole, delivered today in a press conference and a letter to President Obama.

This morning, in the wake of news that the White House is offering major entitlements cuts in exchange for $1 trillion in revenues from Republicans, the Congressional Progressive Caucus again laid down their marker, shooting off a letter to the White House saying they can’t support such a bargain. It reads:
First, any cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid should be taken off the table. The individuals depending on these three programs deserve well-conceived improvements, not deep, ideologically driven cuts with harmful consequences. These cuts would hurt households and damage the country’s economic recovery as well.

Second, revenue increases must be a meaningful part of any agreement. Tax breaks benefiting the very richest Americans should be eliminated as part of this deal. Republican insistence on protecting these tax breaks will force middle-class families to shoulder the burden of even deeper budget cuts, and this is unacceptable.

Do House Dems have any prayer of exerting leverage over the talks in service of realizing even a smidgen of what they want?

That's a good question on the part of Sargent, and it's going to depend on the ability of this caucus to hold firm where they haven't before (public option, tax cut deal). Sargent points out that Dem Rep. Peter Welch is pushing liberal Dems hard to fight a bad deal "on the idea that it’s the only way House Dems can break a dynamic which continues to leave them with little influence." That means to potentially be willing to vote against their president.

The full text of the CPC's letter to the President is below the fold.

Dear Mr. President:

The ongoing debt ceiling negotiations have distracted Congress from reducing unemployment and putting Americans back to work. As reflected in a June 24-28 poll conducted by The New York Times and CBS News, Americans agree that job creation is the most important issue facing the country – not deficit reduction. Yet, Congressional Republicans appear to believe that job creation has no role in the national conversation.

Although it is disappointing that Republicans in Washington have used the debt ceiling negotiations for political gain, the signatories of this letter know that failing to raise the debt ceiling is not an academic matter. We understand such a failure would cause lasting economic harm to families across the country, as well as to the global economy.

We write to share our viewpoint about what should be included in any final agreement on the debt ceiling.

First, any cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid should be taken off the table. The individuals depending on these three programs deserve well-conceived improvements, not deep, ideologically driven cuts with harmful consequences. These cuts would hurt households and damage the country’s economic recovery as well.

Second, revenue increases must be a meaningful part of any agreement. Tax breaks benefiting the very richest Americans should be eliminated as part of this deal. Republican insistence on protecting these tax breaks will force middle-class families to shoulder the burden of even deeper budget cuts, and this is unacceptable.

These points are essential for any deal on the debt ceiling, but more work to rebuild the economy will remain after these negotiations have concluded. We support The People’s Budget introduced by the Congressional Progressive Caucus in April, which would bring the country into surplus by 2021 and invest more than $1 trillion in job creation through public works, infrastructure upgrades and other popular measures. The New York Times, the Washington Post, The Economist and many other publications have written favorably about the proposal, with Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman calling it “genuinely courageous.”

We stand ready to work with the Administration responsibly to increase the debt ceiling. The middle class has experienced enough pain during the last three years. Republicans are willing to inflict even more. We will not join them.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 12:40 PM PDT.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Will they hold firm (27+ / 0-)

    and potentially vote against a bad deal?  That indeed is the question.

    It is likely the only way the president will take the progressive caucus seriously.

  •  "Loans us money" is precisely the problem. (25+ / 0-)

    The "experts" our intrepid politicians exclusively listen to have decided that paying that money back is unfeasible in a world where the rich can't be taxed, wars and defense spending only increase, and so on.

    So SS's benefits must be restructured so that it never ceases loaning general government money.

    There's a reason this debate is happening around the time the SS is scheduled to begin redeeming the trust fund over the long term.

    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

    by Robobagpiper on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 12:43:49 PM PDT

    •  It Was Always Gonna Happen At This Moment (15+ / 0-)

      which also coincides with the departure of the original New Deal generation from the political scene.

      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 Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 12:47:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which is why the Reagan/Greenspan/Moynahan (11+ / 0-)

        reforms were such a bad idea in the first place.

        The trust fund was supposed to be no bigger than would be needed to make up for a shortfall during a downturn; and SS in surplus no more than necessary to keep the trust fund that size.

        By putting SS into surplus for 25 years, it's just given DC an addiction to "free money" it's loath to break.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 12:52:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well then (0+ / 0-)

        we need a new New Deal. Otherise we have no democracy no equality and are at the mercy of the third Way assholes who are passing themselves off as Democratic. We need a new party and I say let call it Democratic. It is after all ours. I don't want a Third Way I want a democratic representative way.  They don't own this party we do.    

    •  it's a default (6+ / 0-)

      back then they said that Social Security's money belonged to Social Security, not general revenue, to justify raising the payroll tax. Then they said it wasn't really a tax increase (of a regressive tax), since retirees would eventually be paid back the money in the form of benefits.

      Now when it comes time to pay out they're saying Social Security's money doesn't really belong to Social Security but is part of general revenue. They are saying they don't believe in the legitimacy of the Trust Fund and that those promises that those retirees would get the benefits they paid for are null and void. They are defaulting on their obligations.

      So what was claimed to be an investment to strengthen Social Security turned out to be a highly regressive tax increase, almost thirty years later.

      And how will that tax money be spent? Well, we have this new war in Libya, see? We're gonna need some cash for that. And we might be there for a while, so...

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:12:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's a sneaky default (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        COBALT1928, liberte

        An overt default would upset foreign creditors.

        So in this case, they're trying to force their biggest creditor, Social Security, to cut its expenses so that it never ceases loaning money.

        But you're absolutely right. In effect, this turns FICA, in part, from a capped flat insurance contribution (with capped regressive benefits, as it should be) - into a backdoor regressive income tax.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:21:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not exactly... (0+ / 0-)

        ...the system is insolvent.  The boomers voted/promised themselves more in benefits than they set aside in payroll taxes.  If benefits don't get cut, who will make up the difference?  The younger generations will have enough trouble saving for their own retirement.  

        And SS is the easy one.  Medicare is even worse.  We can't even balance our own budget, much less payoff the debt and deal with explosive entitlement costs.

  •  Boner is going to need Dem House votes to pass any (9+ / 0-)

    bill.

    Let me repeat that:

    No bill left of "no new taxes (or repeal of tax cuts) gets out of the House without Pelosi signing off.

    The hysteria around here today is palpable. Please, DO call your congresspersons, but try to realize the deal ain't done, and believe none of what you've heard, and half of what you see at this point.

    •  Remember the public option (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      COBALT1928

      The Progressive Caucus was going to refuse to vote for a bill that didn't include it. They all folded. They will fold again.

      •  Called Pelosi (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stagemom, Massman

        and read my carefully worded message to please, please vote against raising the debt limit if the bill contained cuts to S.S. and medicare.

        I said that only she and Bernie Sanders seemed to be listening to us.

        My last sentence was 'we're crumbling out here, please help us.'

        Buy the end of the message i was holding back tears, and my voice had that squeek of impending emotion.

        It would be so nice if someone had our back.

      •  The PO passed the House; when it became clear it (0+ / 0-)

        was not passing in the Senate (much less make 60 votes), it was dropped.

        The PO wasn't understood by half the Dems, much less half the country.  Everybody knows what SS and Medicare are.

    •  He will get just enough of them to pass. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aznavy

      Then the Progressive Caucus can vote no and continue to raise money off that vote while the President, Boehner, and the Lords of Wall Street get what they want.  Everybody wins.  Except people who actually need those programs, but who cares about them?

      If the Progressive Caucus ever wants to be listened to again they need to blow something up.  They've caved on everything to this point, so nobody pays any attention to their threats.  If they voted "no," and forced the President to use the 14th Amendment instead of his stupid deal, they might get some clout.  Until then, who cares?

      I hope Pelosi is serious about today's line in the sand, but I've seen this movie before and it didn't turn out well.

      Take the pledge on Social Security

      by 2laneIA on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 02:03:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Holding my breath for Adept2 to take down... (22+ / 0-)

    the diary where it is stated that the Progressive caucus is marching in lockstep with what is being reported Obama is considering, despite numerous reports to the contrary.

    ....and waiting....

    •  Oh, he won't do it. (12+ / 0-)

      I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

      by slinkerwink on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 12:45:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I just hope all of the Obama (9+ / 0-)

      cheerleaders are very very rich.  Because, if not, once this adminstration is done with this country, they will have a very long and dark old age.

      “I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.”

      by owilde69 on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 12:54:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think some of them anticipate living (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        owilde69, COBALT1928

        on the same psychic wages that Republicans have been paying the white working class since Reagan.

        Of course, it's hard to put food on your family with psychic wages.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:23:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Please continue to hold your breath (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Loge

      This position is not in opposition to the President and the reaction to some news report is not policy.  This president has already stated that there will be no slashing of benefits, and restating his position is in fact defending the President.

      "I honor the place in you where Spirit lives I honor the place in you which is of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace, when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, then we are One." Namaste friends!

      by Adept2u on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 12:58:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He is open to cutting benefits, not "slashing" (12+ / 0-)

        benefits.

        I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

        by slinkerwink on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:09:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Be careful. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Robobagpiper, Philoguy

          I pointed out the weaselling difference between "cut" and "slash" earlier and the retort was a dictionary definition that defines "slash" using the word "cut", thereby proving, proving!, that it wasn't a weasel word, somehow.

          •  I think that's unfair: I doubt the caucus knows (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Adept2u

            what it means by "slash" any more than the kossacks who currently have hair on fire.  Basically, some cuts won't hurt and nobody can declare that they will never accept a penny of cuts of any kind without looking, well, like the Republicans do on taxes.

            Avg. Medicaid cost to New Jersey: $1936 per child per year. Avg cost of helicopter commute for Governor: $2300 per hour. Guess which one Christie wants to cut back on?

            by Inland on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:29:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  "Basically, some cuts won't hurt?" (0+ / 0-)

              The last time I responded to you, 13 damn fools troll-rated my comment. This time, I'll just leave my opinion of you and your latest comment to the imagination.

              "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

              by Ivan on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:56:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  And "slashing" means what? (0+ / 0-)

          I guess that's the problem with guessing without any real information on what people mean by the words they use.

          As far as you know, Obama is open and against the same things as anyone else; the only difference is, Obama isn't posturing with vague words like "slashing".

          Avg. Medicaid cost to New Jersey: $1936 per child per year. Avg cost of helicopter commute for Governor: $2300 per hour. Guess which one Christie wants to cut back on?

          by Inland on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:25:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Aww, why don't you man up... (6+ / 0-)

        and fix that diary which is factually incorrect or as we say out here, "a lie".  Thank You.

      •  Everything You Write is WRONG! (6+ / 0-)

        Your false claim that the P/C actually supports Obama's S/S cutting ways is based upon a single sentence that you have taken completely out of context.  

        I don't know why you want Obama to commit political suicide, but it is a lie that the Progressive Caucus wants to join him.  

        •  You are a liar (0+ / 0-)

          I never claimed that the PC supports cutting SS and it has not even been shown that any such thing is proposed or that the President supports it.  James Clyburn as well as several other ranking Dems have been at every meeting, and the contention that this is Obama's doing is all kinds of bullshit.  The pissed off progressive is even less impactful than a teabagger cause at least they'll get their bitching done in public, You stupid pissed off progressives got played by a newspaper article  and so what.

          "I honor the place in you where Spirit lives I honor the place in you which is of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace, when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, then we are One." Namaste friends!

          by Adept2u on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:25:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Here for the clearly unable to read english words (0+ / 0-)

          Is how I stated the PC spoke to the Presidents position.

          The Progressive Caucus has come out with some words regarding the President’s positions and words on Social Security, and they weren’t YOU SUCK.
          Your false claim that the P/C actually supports Obama's S/S cutting ways

          I made no claim the PC supports cuts, I would have disabused anyone of the notion that obama has SS cutting ways.  Man this shit is like an instant replay of the state of the union address when yet and yet again the pissed off progressive doesn't know the fuck they are talking about.

          "I honor the place in you where Spirit lives I honor the place in you which is of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace, when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, then we are One." Namaste friends!

          by Adept2u on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:27:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They Sure as Shit Didn't "DEFEND" Him as You Claim (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            icebergslim

            Sorry, but you are quibbling over semantics.  If the P/C was actually defending Obama as you falsely claimed, then they would also be "supporting" Obama.  

            •  Orly (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              raina
              Progressive Democrats called on Thursday for the president to keep Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid out of a final debt limit deal, but defended him for putting a restructuring of those programs on the table, so long as doing so did not impact beneficiaries
              But Grijalva and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), a vice chair of the caucus, defended the president for signaling he would be willing to take a look at changes to the programs, arguing there are ways to restructure entitlement spending to save money without hurting beneficiaries.

              That ain't me saying that chuckles.

              "I honor the place in you where Spirit lives I honor the place in you which is of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace, when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, then we are One." Namaste friends!

              by Adept2u on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:56:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  "so long as doing so did not impact beneficiaries" (0+ / 0-)

                Sorry pal, but you have zero evidence that Obama met the condition that would allow the P/C to defend him, namely that his proposed cuts "not impact benificiaries."  

                The P/C never said thay support him, as you falsely claimed.  Instead, they said they would in the future, if his proposal met their conditions, which it did not.  

                Like I said, you took a single statement made by the P/C completely out of context to support a diary that was intended to mislead readers.      

      •  Your diary is misinforming. Period. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TimmyB, jhawklefty, icebergslim, wsexson

        Let's just hope it scrolls off the Rec List quickly since it's almost embarrassing to see something that is so completely out of the realm of reality sitting on the Rec List. Particularly since most of us can actually read what the Progressive Caucus said and it sure as hell isn't what you asserted.

        I can just about forgive the Brits for starting our revolutionary war and burning DC to the ground during the war of 1812 for giving us Led Zeppelin.

        by Pager on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:26:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My diary is straight accurate (0+ / 0-)

          That it doesn't contain the pissed off progressive spin speaks volumes for why it's popular.  If anything should spin off the rec list it's slinkerwinks taking some dumb assed TPM's reporters assessment of Reading the Riot act as if any Democrat actually said or implied anything like that.

          "I honor the place in you where Spirit lives I honor the place in you which is of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace, when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, then we are One." Namaste friends!

          by Adept2u on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:29:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Seriously? (0+ / 0-)

            You really believe your title and content are accurate considering what I'm reading in the statement they just released? Good God, man, I don't appreciate you insulting my intelligence this way. I really don't.

            I can just about forgive the Brits for starting our revolutionary war and burning DC to the ground during the war of 1812 for giving us Led Zeppelin.

            by Pager on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:50:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  yeah seriously (0+ / 0-)

              The characterization of defend wasn't just mine.

              Progressive Democrats called on Thursday for the president to keep Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid out of a final debt limit deal, but defended him for putting a restructuring of those programs on the table, so long as doing so did not impact beneficiaries

              I don't appreciate you insulting mine..

              "I honor the place in you where Spirit lives I honor the place in you which is of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace, when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, then we are One." Namaste friends!

              by Adept2u on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:54:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If I've insulted you, I apologize. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Adept2u

                I guess I read this differently than you. Or perhaps I'm just not dug into the "defend at all costs even when the truth is staring you in your fucking face" defense.

                I can just about forgive the Brits for starting our revolutionary war and burning DC to the ground during the war of 1812 for giving us Led Zeppelin.

                by Pager on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 02:01:40 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I have the same idea about the attack at all costs (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pager

                  I have the same feeling about the questioning of this Presidents core beliefs.  Especially by such a privileged group.  You know what kills me too, is that there were several Democratic congresspeople appointed by their leader in these negotiations.  The idea that they didn't know they were discussing social security is beyond stupid and just wreaks of cowardice.

                  I have no personal issues with you Pager, and I'll even accept your reality might be different.

                  "I honor the place in you where Spirit lives I honor the place in you which is of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace, when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, then we are One." Namaste friends!

                  by Adept2u on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 02:08:24 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Your diary is dishonest (0+ / 0-)

            in that you selectively quoted from the progressive caucus and left out anything that didn't support your position.

            In very basic terms so that even you can understand it -

            If you want to keep crying that nobody knows what the president is actually saying yet, then we know two things:

            He said SS and other entitlements are "on the table".

            The progressive caucus says "We will not stand for seeing SS and other entitlements on the table."

            There.  That's the sum total of what we actually know.  You have a dishonest diary up claiming that the PC supports Obama on the debt talks, and according to what we know, it's a lie.

            Obviously you won't care about that as it also does no support your position.

            •  Ok since you are writing for me (0+ / 0-)

              What did I leave out since you are accusing me of selective editing.  I gave everything that was germaine in the article to the limits of fair use and linked the damn thing.

              Although it is disappointing that Republicans in Washington have used the debt ceiling negotiations for political gain, the signatories of this letter know that failing to raise the debt ceiling is not an academic matter. We understand such a failure would cause lasting economic harm to families across the country, as well as to the global economy.

              We write to share our viewpoint about what should be included in any final agreement on the debt ceiling.

              What I said is that they reacted to his words and stances like they don't equal YOU SUCK.

              So, one more time, did I claim the PC supports Obama on the debt talks or did I say they defended his position, did I say the PC was for cuts, no the fuck I didn't.  Does the PC think Obama is cutting and they are againt him, no they just expressed THEIR POSITION.  So kindly take your lie based or shall I just say POP for pissed off progressive uninformed spin to slinkerwink who can appreciate it.

              "I honor the place in you where Spirit lives I honor the place in you which is of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace, when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, then we are One." Namaste friends!

              by Adept2u on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 02:17:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I told you in your diary, but here's a repeat: (0+ / 0-)
                "We're not trying to be the skunk at the garden party in these negotiations," said Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-California, the caucus co-chair. "We just feel that a perspective, and a very wide perspective of this country, has not been part of the dialogue, and has not been part of the discussions and the deals that are being talked about."

                Grijalva warned of the political consequences to both parties if such program cuts were made.

                "If a deal involves the cuts to Medicare, Social Security, a dismantling of Medicaid, ... the consequences, all negative, would befall both parties," he said. "This isn't something that the American people are going to take very lightly."

                I'd say that he told them if any cuts at all are discussed, then yes, they do indeed suck, and will suffer the consequences.  They clearly are not supporting him, they are warning him.

                In addition, as I said above -  they do NOT support the president's ONLY clearly-stated position which is that entitlements should be on the table during the debt talks, and they stated that very clearly in their letter.

                If I can't assume the president is supporting cuts, then you can't assume he's not, which leaves the issue of him allowing it to even be discussed in the first place.

      •  Yes yes, and crop (0+ / 0-)

        circles are caused by extraterrestrials despite people coming forward and saying they made them and showing how.  You have a rather curious understanding of the world.

    •  I don't think it's clear WHAT the caucus wants: (0+ / 0-)

      It says to take all cuts off the table, but is then careful to note that "deep" cuts will hurt people.

      It's really not consistent to be against all cuts because  deep cuts hurt, is it.

      Looks like it was written by a conflicted committee who wanted to look both reasonable and yet draw an unreasonable line in the sand.  Looks like one of those reasons peop;le don't like congress.

      Avg. Medicaid cost to New Jersey: $1936 per child per year. Avg cost of helicopter commute for Governor: $2300 per hour. Guess which one Christie wants to cut back on?

      by Inland on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:11:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for correcting Adept2U's diary (21+ / 0-)

    I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

    by slinkerwink on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 12:45:38 PM PDT

    •  Correct it how? n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Loge

      "The United States will not be able to dictate the pace and scope of this change. Only the people of the region can do that. But we can make a difference." 3/28/11

      by BarackStarObama on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 12:51:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Erroneous (0+ / 0-)

      the news stories this morning were about changes to CPI formulae.  This doesn't mention this.  In context, the full letter talks about "deep, ideologically driven cuts," not minor changes in benefit formulas.  So, nothing in the letter counts as an attack on what the anonymous officals are reporting they're discussing.

      This and other stories also has the latent assumption that somehow Obama needs to be told not to go along with "deep, ideologically driven cuts" to beneficiaries.  If he's had to compromise with the GOP it's not out of agreement, it's because in his position he doesn't have the luxury of maintaining ideological purity.

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:01:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  so it is your contention this letter (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        brooklynbadboy, poxonyou, Clues, wsexson

        defends this?

        The President has always said everything should be on the table,” deputy communications director Jen Psaki told ABC News this morning in an interview in her office down the hall from the Oval Office.

        Psaki would not give specifics of any presidential offers on the table as talks move to a higher level, but she did say the President is ready to put his hand on entitlements often called the dangerous “third rail” of politics.

        “We wish there was an easy solution to bringing down the deficit and doing it in a responsible way but unfortunately, there isn't.” Psaki said. “That’s why we need to go after some of the  sacred cows in politics, things  like entitlement reform,  areas like changing the tax code. That’s a conversation the president is willing to have and he hopeful the Republicans will come to the table willing to have it, as well.”

        CPC

        First, any cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid should be taken off the table.

        Maybe it depends on the meaning of everything?

        Democrats such as Representative Jan Schakowsky of Illinois say the alternative index, which she called the “chainsaw CPI,” would mean cuts in Social Security benefits. Over 10 years, using the alternative index would reduce projected Social Security spending by 1.2 percent, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

        Schakowsky said the current inflation measure already understates the cost-of-living increases facing seniors because they spend more on medical care than the average American.

        “Seniors get the double whammy -- higher health-care costs and deeper benefit cuts,” she said.

        Even Democrats like Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who’s often voted with Republicans, rejected the idea. “At some point we have to look at Social Security, but that’s not part of this process,” he said today.

        http://www.bloomberg.com/...

        A stirring defense...

        "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

        by justmy2 on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:20:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Grijalva was himself quoted (0+ / 0-)

          as saying he was open to cuts in Medicare expenditures, provided they wouldn't fall primarily on beneficiaries.

          As far as Social Security goes, it depends on what counts as a cut.  The negative pregnant in the discussion is that the CPC didn't say word one about the specific CPI thing, though, yes Schakowsky did.  At the same time, Becerra and Polis seem to say chained-CPI might work depending on what the administration gets in return, per the Bloomberg piece.

          Anyway, who defends or criticizes who is less interesting than what the actual terms of a proposal might be, and here it's like electing a Pope -- those who know don't say and those who say don't know.  Some admin flunky speaking in banalities is not confirmation of anything specific.  

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:30:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So another broken promise is your recommendation? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            COBALT1928, schnecke21, wsexson

            http://strengthensocialsecurity.org/...

            "[Republican presidential candidate John McCain's] campaign has...suggest[ed] that the best answer to the growing pressures on Social Security might be to cut cost-of-living adjustments or raise the retirement age.  I will not do either."

            Why did the President make this assertion in 2008?

            We will agree to disagree on the earlier topic...

            "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

            by justmy2 on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:38:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Apples and oranges (0+ / 0-)

              McCain was making an argument that COLA adjustments or raising the retirement age should be done independently, as a way to prevent shortfalls in the SS trust fund, itself.  And he was probably discussing ending wage indexing, based on statements McCain made in one of the debates.  If HamdenRice's diary is correct, I would think chained CPI is too minor to count as a "cut."  Cuts have to break the skin.

              "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

              by Loge on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:46:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  seems a bit different than (22+ / 0-)
    Progressive Caucus DEFENDS President Obama on his Social Security Stance

    Regardless...this is a good day for the community.

    There have been the typical pie fights.  But mostly the discussion seems to be on this topic.

    I think a bit more action planning would be good, but overall, this is the time to debate the merits of these changes that we all knew would eventually be put on the table.

    If there was ever a time to pop a trial balloon, today is the day.

    "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

    by justmy2 on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 12:45:58 PM PDT

  •  I think this is the way it should be done. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP

    Obama has been put in the position to accept unpopular bargains for the sake of a larger goal.  This (potential) transgression may not be as acceptable, and I think laying out the terms by the caucus (and by viewers like YOU, albeit civilly and without Youtube videos of burning Obama/Biden signs) will make an impression.  

    There is a gulf between our stance and theirs.   If they do not compromise in any significant degree, David Brooks is right:  the Republicans will be blamed for it.

    The Obama/Biden Inaugural -- the exact moment when the world went from gray to colorful.

    by alkatt on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 12:46:54 PM PDT

    •  I respectfully disagree... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      COBALT1928

      ...David Brooks (and you) say that Republicans will be blamed if there is no compromise....BUT with Obama putting Medicare and Social Security on the table and the progressive caucus digging in their heals against this, then the progressives will be blamed for it. Obama has put Democratic ideals in an untenable position. But, not to worry, the progressive caucus will fold, after all, they are democrats.

  •  btw-the entire interview should be watched (11+ / 0-)

    especially when Ellison addresses Steve Rattner's condescension...which really was inappropriate.

    "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

    by justmy2 on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 12:47:26 PM PDT

  •  The strength of America is its Middle Class. (8+ / 0-)

    When the Middle Class is working, they are buying homes, cars, new appliances, improving their homes and yards.  They are consumers and they are driving the American economy.

    For the Republicans, its all about wealth.  Its the rich guys in the country club, at the banks, and on Wall Street.  The guys who create jobs . . . Bull Shit!  The Rich guys are the product of America's Middle Class.  When the Middle Class is growing, when it is expanding, when people in the Middle Class feel good about the future, America is booming.

    Look at America's future.  America's Rich Guys have never had it so good!  Their taxes are lower than they have ever been.  The guys in the corporate board rooms and the CEO's are enjoying 25% raises while America's Middle Class is struggling with stagnant incomes.  The Rich Guys are sitting on Trillions of Corporate profits and the Middle Class is wondering about what kind of jobs their kids will have when they graduate from the university.

    We need Joe to emphasize that fact.  Henry Ford knew it.
    He knew that the only way that Ford Motor Company  could make a profit was when the guys building the cars could buy the cars they built.  

    Today's Republicans are playing with Class Warfare.  They are destroying America's Middle Class.  Laying off teachers, highway construction workers, policemen, firemen, state workers.  It doesn't matter if the Rich Guys are getting richer when the Middle Class can't pay the bills and enjoy their vacations.  

    When the Middle Class kids can't aspire to be richer America won't have a future.  When the Democratic Party offers a brighter future to the Middle Class, they offer a brighter future to the United States.

    •  And yet, America is still so much more... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      COBALT1928

      ...mesmerized with American Idol and pretty, young white girls on trial for murder than what is happening to their own future right before their very eyes.  And as long as they have something shiny to stare at or someone less powerful than them to blame it on, it will only get worse...

  •  Kudos for Progressives Standing Up At Least In (23+ / 0-)

    messaging.

    Everybody knows that their ability to deliver is limited; the only other thing a politician can do in democracy is motivate. Good to see some of ours working that tool.

    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 Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 12:49:22 PM PDT

  •  Looks like Adept2U has an incorrect (16+ / 0-)

    diary posted.  That diarist can not combat the actual letter sent by the progressive caucus stating they will NOT support Obama if he goes down this Social Security walk.  But we will see if he has the spine to correct himself and that incorrect diary.

    •  Hahahahahahahaha! (4+ / 0-)

      Watch out or you'll be called a racist for questioning his spine or honesty!

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:16:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right. Or not adult enough to make a (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blindyone, RadioGirl

        criticism without referring to vertebrae or any other part of the body human.  Is that so difficult?  I can criticize and/or insult you for the next five days and guarantee you that no mention will be made of spines, viscera, or reproductive organs.  We can even go five more days and they will still be unremarked upon.

        Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.--MLK, Jr.

        by conlakappa on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 06:34:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Everyone has their own discussion style (0+ / 0-)

          Most of which have nothing to do with the substance at hand.

          But keep trying to misdirect, it's amusing.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 07:27:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Adept did the same thing slink did (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raina, conlakappa, RadioGirl

      got his title from the article he quoted.  he didn't invent the word "defend", or use it editorially.  it was a DIRECT quote from the article.  he blockquotes where he got it from.  he links the article.

      this whole "controversy" around what he wrote is STUPID.

      you sound petty fixating on him too.  this is like the 10th comment I've seen you make about this today.

      "I be the first to set off sh*t, last to run." ~Clifford Smith

      by mallyroyal on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 03:00:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We'll see - Obama has made "entitlement" reform (8+ / 0-)

    a plank of his philosophy since the candidate days - he is a child of Reagan politically.  When one notices how far the WH is reaching (and note there has not been any actual denial) - it's pretty clear they are doing more or less what they want here.

    I hope the Democratic Caucus holds its ground - but the unemployment and health care gluts were solved by clandestine end runs involving the President and Goopers, so history is not on the progressives side.  Indeed, speaking against the left is the topic on which Obama's post-inaugural oratory has generally been the most intense.

  •  The Progressive Budget Proposal (9+ / 0-)

    is the most realistic Budget that anybody in Washington has proposed.  The people who are concerned about their economic future need to contact their representatives and demand more support for that proposal.

  •  Does anyone remember why this whole debate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liberte

    is completely wrongheaded?

    Apparently not, so I gotta pimp my diary.

    I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

    by tote on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 12:52:57 PM PDT

  •  "you gonna bark all day, little doggie? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare

    Or you gonna bite?"

    That is the question I put to the progressive caucus.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 12:59:13 PM PDT

  •  L.A. Times finally reporting on this. (10+ / 0-)

    Obama faces heat from the left over Social Security

    (They're a bit slow sometimes on online updatage, but better late than never)

    The political left is steaming amid reports that President Obama is offering changes to Social Security and Medicare as part of a grand compromise to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

    A series of statements from liberal groups Thursday came as the president acknowledged that "there is going to be pain involved politically on all sides" as negotiators try to hammer out a deal by Aug. 2.

    Goes on to quote from Bernie Sanders, Moveon, DFA, AARP, denouncing the Thing (for lack of a newly coined phrase, such as Entitlement Porn or whatever enters our vocabulary for 2-3 days then fades away).

    [snip]

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney sought to quell the revolt among Obama's base, dismissing reports that he was open to reforming Social Security as old news.

    "When you talk about deficit reduction, dealing with the issues that have been before us in these negotiations for these many weeks, Social Security is not a factor. But it also remains true, as he made clear in the State of the Union, that he is willing to, and thinks it's important, to talk about the long-term strength of Social Security," Carney told reporters Thursday.

    But nothing. Unless we're actually and only going to talk about the strength of Social Security. OK, as Obama would say, I'd like to have that conversation. We really should strengthen Social Security by increasing the contributions of people making more than a quarter million clams a year. We're just talking.

  •  To Obama and the economic and political (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fredlonsdale, COBALT1928

    elites who control this country, the very idea that there are citizens proposing an alternative "People's Budget" must seem as both the height of impertinence as well as bemusement. The elites' arrogance today is boundless.

    We support The People’s Budget introduced by the Congressional Progressive Caucus in April, which would bring the country into surplus by 2021 and invest more than $1 trillion in job creation through public works, infrastructure upgrades and other popular measures.
  •  They can be opposed all they want (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    COBALT1928

    But until they have a majority, they have zero power.  Too many moderate dems are really republicans in dem clothing.  

    The leadership makes the decisions and at this point, SS and Medicare are on the table.  Even if it's token cuts, it's the next step in a landslide that started during the Clinton era.  

    The republicans scared America about the debt and blamed SS as one of the major contributors, unfortunately not one of the progressive dems got their message across.  

  •  The Progressive Caucus' protests and factual (9+ / 0-)

    talking points about SS will likely be met with the same attention that was given to their budget proposal (which was comprised of wildly popular ideas and did a better job of reducing the deficit than anything on the table now): virtually none.

  •  Caucus needs an editor. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse

    It says to take "any" cuts off the table because "deep, ideologically driven cuts" will hurt people.  

    Well, since small cuts aren't deep, and it doesn't say small cuts will hurt anybody, then why  aren't small cuts on the table?

    Avg. Medicaid cost to New Jersey: $1936 per child per year. Avg cost of helicopter commute for Governor: $2300 per hour. Guess which one Christie wants to cut back on?

    by Inland on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:08:31 PM PDT

  •  ah, the penultimate step! (6+ / 0-)

    when the progressive caucus and the liberal senators get all huffy, and finally start to get air-time in the media, and, I dunno, call a few angst-ridden press conferences, then you know that the deal is done.

    It's pathetically predictable at this point.  It means that the WH has a de facto deal, and that the deal stinks.

    It will be announced soon enough.  Just like HCR, bush tax cut extension, budget talks, etc etc.

    You know the deal-making is over when they let the lefties on stage to talk.

  •  Digby agrees: SS. has no bearing on the deficit (7+ / 0-)

    Digby

    "Strengthening" is in the eye of the beholder, of course. If it's the "chained-CPI" change we've been hearing about for a while now, it certainly will result in a benefit cut. The oldest people will bear the brunt of it --- mostly older women, and who cares about them? However, by injecting Social Security into the phony debt ceiling "crisis" despite the fact that it has no bearing on the deficit, they are ensuring that there will be no time for deliberation or discussion of what these "strengthening" policies really are. It's a classic Shock Doctrine tactic. - emphasis added

    Hold strong for Nancy Pelosi:
    Ultimately, though, the question of whether House Dems can exert any leverage over the talks lies with Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer. As E.J. Dionne notes today, if a sizable bloc of liberals can be counted on to vote No, that could actually strengthen the position of Pelosi and Hoyer, since GOP leaders will be relying on them and a sizable number of middle-of-the-road House Dems to vote Yes. - emphasis added

    As usual the Progressives caucus hold the higher ground, the ground that is the surest path for the Democrats in both the short & long run imo

    •  SS doesn't contribute to the deficit (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      flowerfarmer, cyb1851, Uncle Milty

      But paying back SS what it's owed would; because SS is about to start calling in those loans over the long haul.

      That's why SS is in these negotiations: it's either cut defense, raise taxes, or stiff foreign creditors - or stiff the biggest domestic creditor (SS).

      If SS is not permitted to ever drift out of surplus, then paying SS back never has to happen. And the only way to do that is to increase SS revenues (not gonna happen) or force SS to cut benefits (bingo).

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:29:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Discretionary spending doesn't drive the deficit (0+ / 0-)

      either, but cuts to that have been on the table from day one.  I think most people understood that certain cuts in discretionary spending might be the price to pay to avoid defaulting on the debt, as a consequence of not raising the debt ceiling.  There's nothing magic or sacred about SS -- if anything, seniors have a lot more political power than the poorest Americans, and so who knows if these changes would even stick. In any event, what does or doesn't drive the deficit has never been the benchmark for inclusion in debt limit negotiations.

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:37:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What's magic and sacred about SS is that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eric Nelson

        it's a self-funding program with no revenue problem for 25 years (if that).

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:45:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In a vacuum, I wouldn't touch it, (0+ / 0-)

          but the actual changes being discussed are preferable to cutting on-budget anti-poverty programs, which generated considerably less of a freakout.  SS pays for itself because of accounting fictions.  We've all agreed to treat one set of taxes on ordinary income as disctinct from another.  You could make the case that anti-poverty programs pay for themselves in terms of mulitpliers, but they've been on the "table" for months.

          In an ideal world, the only things we'd look at for balancing the budget would be defense, tax rates, and health care costs.  But as has long been apparent, we don't live in that world, politically.  As long as the CPI changes are as miniscule as they appear, I wouldn't draw a line in the sand, where on the other side is defaulting on the debt.  That, by the way, could put a kink in getting SS checks out.

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 02:01:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  But then... (0+ / 0-)

          ...it becomes insolvent.  If you pay taxes from 20-65 for benefits collected from 65 to 80, a 25 year insolvency window is a big deal.  It means that the people who paid in didn't pay enough to cover the benefits they promised themselves.  The younger generations didn't get to vote on that.  It's (future) taxation without representation and it's intergenerational theft.

          •  Incorrect - insolvency is not going to happen (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wsexson

            SS trustees run multiple economic/demographic scenarios. After being burned by an unforeseen shortfall in the late '70s/early '80s, the scenarios were made far more pessimistic than any other economist would use.

            In the SS trustees' mainline scenario (which, as mentioned above, is pessimistic by any other standard), SS is, by 2037, able to meet only 78% of promised benefits when it returns to being a pay-as-you-go plan, assuming no adjustments to FICA are made. It should be noted that because of how benefits are scheduled, this scenario would have SS be more generous, still, than it is today.

            In a scenario that would be mainline by anyone else's standard, SS never sees a shortfall. The difference isn't revenues. It's jobs. You want to make sure SS never sees a shortfall, put people to work, and enact policies that end the stagnation of the median household income.

            If you'd been following Krugman since, oh, Bush's attempt to privatize SS in 2005, you'd know all this.

            Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

            by Robobagpiper on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 05:51:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Isn't 78% a cut? (0+ / 0-)

              Plus, those projections didn't forsee the economic collapse and job losses we've seen.  So, forgive me if I'm not willing to risk SS on the theory that the trustees are just too pessimistic.  It sounds like they were too optimistic.

              You're also not considering what will happen when the Feds try to borrow this 2T from China over the next 25 years, in addition to Medicare (which is far worse than SS) and repaying the current debt.  

              I'd argue that the current trustees haven't considered what this could do to interest rates or the value of the dollar, both things that lead to stagnating purchasing power.

              •  78% is a cut over *promised* benefits, but is (0+ / 0-)

                more than (even after inflation) is paid today. So it's not a good thing, but it's not catastrophic. And it would never come to that without FICA or the cap (or some combination of both) being lifted. Never.

                What the SS trustees' projections missed (in this pessimistic scenario) is that wages stagnated and didn't rise with productivity increases. That said, I reiterate, in long-term scenarios that use baselines any other economist would use, SS never sees a shortfall.

                That's why any panic now, 25 years from the date of the (pessimistically) projected shortfall, is the wrong response.

                Don't take my word for it. Go back and peruse the last 6 years of columns from a Nobel Prize-winning economist.

                Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

                by Robobagpiper on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 07:06:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  History has shown that the trustees... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...have always underestimated the future entitlement liabilities.  They had to fix it in the 80s and it needs another tweak.  The trends are working against them with employment severly lagging and people living longer.  Last time I checked, Krugman's outlook for the economy was far worse than that of the trustees.

                  Today the system pays 100% of the "promised" benefits.  The fix today could include small FICA tax increases, a modest increase in the retirement age and a tweak to the cost of living for those with higher incomes/benefits.  I'd rather have a few tweaks now than a big adjustment later.  If we tweak the system now and  you are right, the system will start running huge surpluses and the politicians will gladly give it all back.

                  If everyone is so offended by small adjustments for yonger workers in the future, just wait until people go to collect and they tell them we only get 78 cents on the dollar.

                  The longer we wait, the worse it gets.  Boomers inherited a system that was solvent and (thankfully) are living longer than they expected while (regretably) not as employable as they once were.  It's not their grand kids fault.

  •  Speaking of socialist black Muslims (8+ / 0-)

    Perhaps it's time we elected an ACTUAL one to be president? I want Ellison to be a major force in the party someday--SOON.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:12:28 PM PDT

  •  Pelosi talking about the meeting with Obama (5+ / 0-)

    She said that the House Democrats won't accept Social Security and Medicare benefit cuts in a final package.

    http://www.c-span.org/...

    President Obama, May 5, 2011: "When we say we will never forget, we mean what we say".

    by Drdemocrat on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:14:05 PM PDT

  •  White House (5+ / 0-)

    Comment line has been busy all day.  How to start a good shit storm.

  •  Keith Ellison is a good man (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ophelia, COBALT1928

    Folks in Minnesota are lucky to have him.

  •  Couldn't/shouldn't a Senate Dem block (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    COBALT1928

    this entire thing with a filibuster?  I mean, Republicans have filibustered over less.  Can't Bernie Sanders filibuster any social security cut he feels is morally wrong?

  •  Wow! The Progressive Caucus sent a letter! (4+ / 0-)

    I wonder if it will be as meaningful as their letter promising to vote against any health care bill without a public option?

  •  I find it truly funny (0+ / 0-)

    that people are still rec-ing the diary that this post and the CPC letter directly contradicts.

    •  well...apparently they don't contradict if you (0+ / 0-)

      read some of the comments in this diary

      "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

      by justmy2 on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:24:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am going to trade mark "Kill the Deal" (0+ / 0-)

    and the customary epithet Deal-baggers, Deal-Killers...and any variation of them.

  •  btw, SS probably IS NOT lending money anymore. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poxonyou

    We won't know for a while, but I'd be really surprised if SS revenues covered expenditures last year.  We've been at that tipping point for a while, and with the high unemployment, the system is probably calling in its loans to the general fund now.

    Avg. Medicaid cost to New Jersey: $1936 per child per year. Avg cost of helicopter commute for Governor: $2300 per hour. Guess which one Christie wants to cut back on?

    by Inland on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:23:18 PM PDT

  •  Politically this is (5+ / 0-)

    the most bizarre move the president could make.  Any cuts in these programs will lead to commercials slaughtering us in 2012.  What the hell is he thinking?

    •  He's thinking "re-election" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      COBALT1928

      If anyone thinks he truly is for democratic candidates or the democratic party, they're fools.

      He will do anything and everything necessary to get re-elected.  

      Chicago politics at its best...self-serving.

      -- **Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.**

      by r2did2 on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:34:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This response does not make sense (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Philoguy

        the commenter said: this will not help his re-election,....you respond by saying Obama is doing this to be re-elected?....does it make sense to you?

        •  So, since he said that????? (0+ / 0-)

          If you don't think it is about his re-election, that's your belief.  I offered up mine.  I don't just take anything and everything said as what's true and correct.

          Thanks for responding.

          -- **Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.**

          by r2did2 on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:54:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Ads like this: (4+ / 0-)

      Obama took your investments away.  All those years, all your hard work; all that money taken from your paychecks for Social Security and Medicare... he took it away.

      Obama, big spender of your money. Vote Republican.

      "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

      by smiley7 on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 01:41:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm optimistic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    COBALT1928

    I think congressional Dems may have reached their limit and are willing to say, 'no' to the Reps and to their President.

    •  I wish I was as optimistic as you (0+ / 0-)

      They will cave, and the Republicans will win the senate and presidency in 2012 (to go along with the house), and I will help by not voting for Obama.

      With Democrats like Obama, who needs Republicans!

      The future is just a concept we use to avoid living today

      by MetalMD on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 02:10:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  contact info Pelosi/Hoyer (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, COBALT1928, cybrestrike

    Contact Nancy Pelosi

    Washington, DC Office
    Representative Nancy Pelosi
    235 Cannon HOB
    Washington, D.C. 20515
    Phone: (202) 225-4965

    San Francisco Office
    Representative Nancy Pelosi
    90 7th Street, Suite 2-800
    San Francisco, CA  94103
    Phone: (415) 556-4862

    Contact Steny Hoyer

    1705 Longworth House Office Building
    Washington, D.C. 20515
    Phone - (202) 225-4131
    Fax - (202) 225-4300
    Office Hours - Open Monday through Friday except Federal Holidays
    9 a.m. to 6 p.m. when Congress is in session.  9 a.m. to 5 p.m. otherwise.
    E-mail Congressman Hoyer

  •  And the language parsing begins (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    icebergslim, wsexson

    A reduction in COLA is not a slash.  It may be a "cut", but it's not a "deep cut".  We are just "strengthening" SS, and that justifies cuts, but not slashes.

    We've got a boatload of wars going on, have just finished bailing out wall street, taxes are the lowest they've been in decades...can someone tell me why we're even talking about SS then?

    NO CUTS.  That's my line in the sand.  I don't care how painless some politician thinks it would be...NO CUTS.

    And someone should ask one of these geniuses if their cuts really only account for a tiny miniscule amount, how the hell they plan to use them to fix trillions of dollars in debt.

  •  Though the CPC is one of the biggest, (0+ / 0-)

    if not the biggest, Dem caucus in the House, it is one of the least influential. I hope this stance is taken seriously by the WH.

    This is no class warfare, this is class genocide. The middle and lower classes are being decimated. -- @sunshineejc

    by Black Max on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 02:32:27 PM PDT

  •  Progressive Caucus (0+ / 0-)

    More empty threats by Progressives, who proved during the health care debate over the public option, that they are all talk and no action.
    We were supposed to have a progressive president, but let's face it progressives, we have been deluding ourswelves over Obama. He will screw us just as bad as the republicans would have.

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