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Many folks are under the illusion that Obama will not touch entitlements after his re-election. His own campaign literature is indicating otherwise, and you should be aware of this. From his literature:

Both President Obama and Mitt Romney know that the program is solvent for more than two decades and that there’s a need for gradual reforms to the benefits that millions of seniors have worked for, paid for, and earned. [...]

The President knows that guaranteed Social Security benefits are not handouts, but a bedrock of the commitment to retirement security America makes to our seniors. He believes that no current beneficiaries should see their basic benefits reduced, and he will not accept any approach that slashes benefits for future generations.

I think the key word is "slashes". It is clear that the Obama administration is entertaining the notion of cutting benefits for future recipients.

•While all measures to strengthen solvency should be on the table, the administration will not accept an approach that slashes benefits for future generations.
"...all measures to strengthen solvency should be on the table"...
All measures, including cutting Social Security apparently for future recipients. That means you and I, if you aren't already retired.

From the debate the other night:

21:39:56: LEHRER: All right? All right. This is segment three, the economy. Entitlements. First — first answer goes to you, two minutes, Mr. President. Do you see a major difference between the two of you on Social Security?

21:40:15: OBAMA: You know, I suspect that, on Social Security, we’ve got a somewhat similar position. Social Security is structurally sound. It’s going to have to be tweaked the way it was by Ronald Reagan and Speaker — Democratic Speaker Tip O’Neill. But it is — the basic structure is sound.

Obama claims he has a "somewhat similar position" with Mitt Romney on Social Security? That's a curious statement he made. It's clear though, that cutting benefits is on the table, and possibly part of the plan to "tweak" social security.

I consider that any cuts to Cost of Living increases to be cuts to benefits. No cuts to entitlements should be tolerated when we the tax payers have provided massive bailouts to the banks for their criminal mistakes. Period.

This is going to be an issue that requires dissent ugly word for many who back the Democratic Party.

You're going to have to defend Social Security from attacks from either party. Obama has stated he opposes privatization of Social Security, so that's a good thing. It's clear though that we will have to oppose any effort to cut Social Security. This is a program paid for and it's time to defend it.

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Comment Preferences

  •  So We Should Do... What Exactly? (6+ / 0-)

    Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

    by TooFolkGR on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 07:28:50 AM PDT

  •  Really bad timing for this diary (17+ / 0-)

    Do you honestly believe we will be better under Romney than Obama?

  •  Of course he wants to (12+ / 0-)

    That's the core of Grand Bargain that remains the Holy Grail of his policy ambitions. Here's digby from yesterday:

    Hayes, made the point in his piece that ideology is really inevitable and it forms the basis for the decisions of even the most "pragmatic executive". So, if I had to guess at this moment, I'd have to say that he does have a list and at the top of his list is what Matt Yglesias calls his "white whale" -- the Grand Bargain. He's certainly been pursuing it relentlessly since January of 2009. I don't believe that it's a matter of pragmatism --- it's ideology.

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 07:29:49 AM PDT

  •  Tweaked the way it was by Ronald Reagan (7+ / 0-)

    Didn't Ronald Reagan raise the cap?

  •  Can we re elect him first?? if that's OK with you. (7+ / 0-)
  •  Social Security is NOT a fucking "ENTITLEMENT" (11+ / 0-)


    And yes, I'm shouting.  The GOP has done their Luntzian best to make EARNED BENEFITS sound like government handouts by using the word "entitlement".  Listen to Willard spit the term out in his 47% video.

    •  While I agree that Repubs have done their (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gramofsam1, qofdisks

      Luntzian best to make the word entitlement a dirty word, and that Romney sneered when he said the word, Social Security and Medicare are entitlements, just as agricultural subsidies are entitlements.

      The word has a legal meaning and it is in the legislation: "are entitled." This means that if you are in the group that is eligible  for the benefit, the government has to pay you; i.e. it is mandatory spending, not discretionary spending.

      Republicans want to make these programs not an entitlement and through their use of Luntzian techniques, they have many people saying that they are not entitlements, but they are and need to stay an entitlement.

      Just because the word is used in the vernacular to indicate its opposite (as in "sense of entitlement" where it means that one is not entitled to whatever), it does not mean that what the word means legally (and that is what is important in legislation) is not true or important. If Social Security and Medicare ever become not entitlements, we will be at the mercy of whoever runs the Budget Committee and they will cut it just as easily as they can cut any discretionary spending. They cannot cut entitlement spending per se; they can only change the parameters of who is entitled and what the benefit is. While that may seem a distinction without a difference, it is not.

      I do agree that we should call them "earned benefits." And I believe the President did so (or something very similar) in the debates. But that does not mean that they are not entitlements.

      You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

      by sewaneepat on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 08:07:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Entitled: To give a legal right or just claim. as (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gramofsam1, qofdisks

      in "We are entitled to life liberty and the pursuit of happinness." I think this is a bit of samantic outrage.

      Who cares if some people call it entitlement or not? The Right wing has made the word entitlement a bad word now? I see nothing wrong with using the word entitlement as there is nothing wrong in using the word "Liberal" as opposed to "Progressive".

    •  That's also exactly the point (0+ / 0-)

      the president makes. He gets it.

  •  AARP might have something to say about that (4+ / 0-)

    It could well be that Obama is merely making a head fake to the right to please beltway VSP's and get him off his back, and undercut RW calls to cut SS, while having no intention to cut SS in any way, be it by raising the age or changing the COLA formula. But we have no way of knowing for sure, and even if this is his strategy, it just further legitimizes calls to cut SS.

    So, sorry, no 11D chess pass on this.

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

    by kovie on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 07:32:55 AM PDT

  •  Yes, of course (13+ / 0-)

    He already tried to cut Social Security, but the no-tax-increase mania of the right-wingers in Congress saved us.

    It's just part of the irony of reelecting Obama (as I hope the country does): he's actually more likely than Romney to succeed in deforming Social Security, because there's no way Dems would allow a GOP prez to do so.

    So vote for him with eyes wide open and nostrils firmly clamped.

  •  The proper tweak (10+ / 0-)

    Is to remove the cap on FICA.  Or at least raise it to double where it is now.

    We get what we want - or what we fail to refuse. - Muhammad Yunus

    by nightsweat on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 07:33:32 AM PDT

  •  Have to disagree with some of this (10+ / 0-)

    How is changing the COLA formula a cut to benefits? It's not - it is a reduction of an INCREASE in benefits, not a cut. If this, coupled with raising the cap, will ensure social security's liquidity for not only me at 48 but my daughter who is entering the workforce this year, then that is the right thing to do.  We can't ignore the reality of fewer workers supporting more retirees.

    At the same time, no changes should be made without putting the cap back to where it covers 90% of wages, which is the funding formula on which benefits are based.  The fact that the mechanism used to increase the cap has been compromised due to income inequality should not stop the cap from being adjusted properly.

    I think the cap is an area of difference between the president and Romney, but the president is driving the conversation to maintaining the structure and type of benefits under social security (defined benefit, no privatization, etc.) - this is a big gain in my book that Romney dares not even try to run on changing it.

    Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

    by absdoggy on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 07:38:09 AM PDT

    •  excellent point about a cut to an increase (6+ / 0-)

      and these overly simplistic analyses just about always totally ignore the tremendous savings to seniors under obamacare.  eliminating the doughnut hole? hello!?!??  preventive screenings under medicare with no out-of-pocket.  buehler?  

      Die with your boots on. If you're gonna try, well stick around. Gonna cry? Just move along. The truth of all predictions is always in your hands. - Iron Maiden

      by Cedwyn on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 07:45:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also, the increase in Medicare premiums is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cedwyn, Quicklund

        limited by the increase in the SS COLA which mitigates the effect of any reduction in how COLA is figured.

        And it was around 1977 that the automatic COLA was enacted. Before that, benefits were the same no matter what the inflation rate was unless and until Congress passed a larger benefit.

        You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

        by sewaneepat on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 08:24:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's a cut in benefits that is due... (4+ / 0-)

      the recipients. Why should we stand for this? At a time when the largest banking institutions can commit economic crimes against homeowners, against all of us, and bring down our economy, we are going to allow a cut to cost of living increases to social security? I think there are many who would disagree with that stance. I won't give an inch on it. THere are other ways to "tweak" that won't involve cuts in actual and proposed increases that are due folks who depend on it now and in the future.

    •  If SS falls behind the rate of inflation then (7+ / 0-)

      people who rely on it will suffer even more than they are suffering now. And that is a cut. A cut to the lives of the less fortunate, the elderly, the sick. If you are not hurting the calculation of COLA is an abstraction. But if you are a recipient the calculation of COLA is the cost of a couple of meals. Or getting your meds. Or turning down your heat and freezing a little more in the winter.

      Too many Democrats see Social Security in the abstract and do not see the faces of the recipients.

    •  Because Inflation is an economic fact (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lostinamerica, Ginger1, Sunspots, qofdisks

      The nominal dollar amount doesn't matter, only what it is in relation to the cost of living.  If the amount you get in SS falls relative to the cost of living (as it will under a reduction in the COLA calculation formula) then life gets harder for seniors relying on SS over time.

      How is that not a cut?  You retire at 65 and can afford your rent, say 10 years later your SS no longer keeps up with your rent and you have to move to a smaller/cheaper apartment or cut back other things like food or cable TV.  Your lifestyle will have been cut.  

      SS is already too stingy.  It should be increased, not cut.  

    •  Raising the cap to cover 90% of (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lostinamerica, Sunspots, qofdisks

      wages is a good idea So good that Even S-B mentions it.They just want to take about 40 YEARS to get back to that historical average. (guess Alan Simpson's crisis mode only targets "lesser people".)
      Now, chaining the CPI,aka cutting COLA,is not something any Democrat should be supporting. We never transitioned to using the  CPI-E (a better measurement of what seniors actually buy) as was suggested back in the 1980's,and that is partly why US SS benefits are already among the lowest in the 'developed' world. Making future benefits even lower,at a time when wealth is concentrating ever quicker in the top 2%, is short-sighted at best.

      "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

      by tardis10 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 08:21:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It is a cut and a no vote for me (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sunspots, qofdisks

      I have read it could effectively cut real benefits in half over time.  Heck I  remember when gas was $.23 a gallon and a movie was $.50.  

      But then I am old so this is one blazing hot 3rd rail for me.

  •  This thing again...sigh. This is what the (14+ / 0-)

    President said in terms of social security. He spoke of it as a program that should be protected and note his concern that the program would be undermined by referring to his grandmother:

    "She [The President's grandmother] worked her way up, only had a high school education, started as a secretary, ended up being the vice president of a local bank. And she ended up living alone by choice. And the reason she could be independent was because of Social Security and Medicare. She had worked all her life, put in this money and understood that there was a basic guarantee, a floor under which she could not go. And that’s the perspective I bring when I think about what’s called entitlements."

    Please stop pushing the meme that Barack Obama wants to cut or gut social security. The President did not say that.

    The President did refer to tweaking the program to make it stronger a la Medicare, but did not say he would undermine the program, in fact he said the program is SOUND. Let's not take the President's words out of context.

    •  aoei (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lostinamerica, Ginger1, Sunspots, qofdisks
      Please stop pushing the meme that Barack Obama wants to cut or gut social security. The President did not say that.
      The diary specifically discusses the stuff the President says about not "slashing" SS which is different from saying he won't cut it.  He has never said he wouldn't cut SS.  Chained CPI is a real benefit cut, a senior getting SS COLA increases on chained CPI will lose ground over time and find life harder even if they buy the same products and live at the same consumption level.  That's a cut.

      He further already offered to cut it during the negotiations with Boehner over the debt ceiling.   This isn't theoretical.

      •  The President has always talked about (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elmo, Sylv

        cutting inefficiencies in these programs or making these programs better. Just as he has done with Medicare. The problem here is this, as it is through the entire blogosphere when individuals discuss this issue.

        We are debating devoid of the President's own perspective and intent. Speculation is just that...speculation. And when an individual speculates that the President is going to cut the Program, one imagines that the President will undermine the program....

        I remind you, there was similar outrage over Medicare. So many individuals vilified the President for even considering tweaking Medicare, attributing all sorts of nefarious motives to this man with cries that "No real Democrat would dare touch Medicare!" Well...guess what??? He has made the program better.... So much for the outrage....

        •  SS (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Administration costs are less than 1%.  There's no fat to cut.

          And you're wrong that this is "speculation" - Obama already put SS cuts on the table during the debt ceiling fracas.  SS wasn't cut because Boehner couldn't control his caucus to take yes for an answer.

          I actually don't recall "similar outrage" over medicare.  Progressives were happy to see the corporate welfare program known as Medicare Advantage get cut.  There was certainly progressive opposition to the ACA for other reasons, and some did remark that Republicans would cynically run against those Medicare "cuts" in 2010 - which they did to great effect, but I don't rememeber any particular outrage about provider cuts and MA overpayments ending.

          •  Progressives were wrong on the Medicare issue as (0+ / 0-)

            some were wrong for wanting to kill the ACA. A lot of the negative views surrounding the ACA is due today, to not only the Republicans, but to some Progressives who attacked the program just as forcefully.

            In terms of Social Security, you seem to be inferring that there is no possibility for the President to improve SS through tweaking and not undermine the program.... To me the ultimate point of concern is whether or not the program will be undermined and I don't think the President would do that....

            He has spoken countless times about his belief in Social Security, and we cannot, as some have done, choose to use some of the President's words which spoke of tweaking the program and omit his words where he spoke of protecting the program.... When we do that it is simply spin and unfair.

            •  well (0+ / 0-)

              You don't cite any progressives opposing the medicare cuts per se and I don't remember any so I can't really respond re Medicare.  Whether they were wrong to oppose the ACA is to be seen.  I support it, but I don't dismiss the points they raised.  The ACA isn't "working" yet and the politics of it have been really bad for Democrats for most of its short life.  If Romney wins and it dies at birth, it's a failure.  

              Regarding SS, saying "tweaks" is incongruous with how villagers treat the problem.  If SS in in a "crisis" then how can a "tweak" save it?   If all it needs is tweaks, why is it so urgent to do this?   On the top 10 problems afflicting the nation, SS should be #14.  

              •  Well the President did say that the program is (0+ / 0-)

                sound, so he did not express a sense of urgency in terms of SS.

                Regarding the ACA, I absolutely dismiss the fight by some who described themselves as progressives who wanted the program killed, because it did not go far enough.

                The law has already helped millions of older Americans with the cost of their prescription drugs and helped adults under 26 to access care by staying on their parents plan, not to mention dealing with the issue of pre-existing conditions and, so far, has created hundreds of clinics across the country that will help in preventive care...

                I'm sure you've heard all of this before, and for the last two years, it is reported that health care costs have been under 4 percent in both years for the first time in 50 years.

                My take on some progressives, and I say some, because the President is strongly supported by an overwhelming majority of progressives, is that, as it relates to President Obama, they attack and even vilify first, and learn the facts later. In many instances they end up contributing to voter apathy, which is destructive. But if that suits them, let them go at it.

      •  Chained CPI is HUGE! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Scientician, Sunspots, qofdisks

        And I am fed up with Democrats who are trying obscure what this will do.  The whole intent is to dirty trick the public into making this a done back room deal before there is a chance to stop it.

        Obama needs to renounce this NOW!

      •  It's not theoretical. It's bass-ackwards (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        When President Obama says SS is sound and needs some fine-tuning, the ODS crowd insists those words mean: President Obama is going to ruin SS!

        When President Obama says his preference for this fine-tuning is to modify the cap caluculations so wealthier Americans contribute more, the ODS crowds response is

        ... to go back to talking about how President Obama is going to slash SS and ruin it.

        The words slide in one ear and out the other like a bead of mercury on wax paper.

        No matter what President Obama says, the ODS crowd will interpret his words as further 'proof' his philosophy is somewhere to the right of Dick Cheney.

  •  Write your reps and senators to raise the cap (12+ / 0-)

    on social security-- or eliminate it entirely like medicare taxes. Why should someone making up to $107,000 pay tax on 100% of their income while those earning more pay on a smaller percentage?  

  •  Obama's Social Security answer in the debate was (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, Cedwyn, tardis10, sewaneepat, Quicklund

    a brain cramp. It reflected whatever was going on in his head at the time but is not his position and was clearly rejected by his spokesman later.

    As to whether there will be changes to Social Security, there have been numerous changes to Social Security since it was created in 1935. Benefit levels have changed, premium levels have changed, actual benefits have changed, age requirements have changed and so on. To expect that there will never be any other changes in Social Security is ahistorical. Many people here advocate lifting the cap. That would be a change. Any person who argues that there will never be any changes is simply not paying attention.

    The key for us now is to point out that Romney and the Republicans want to privatize Social Security, a position that the president and the Democrats adamantly oppose. This is the issue in this election, not whether or not there might be some minor tweaks down the road.

    Further, affiant sayeth not.

    by Gary Norton on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 07:39:33 AM PDT

    •  Maybe a brain cramp or (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gary Norton

      maybe the POTUS was trying to lure Money Boo Boo into delineating the differences between their two approaches?

      "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

      by tardis10 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 08:24:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "changes" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbell, Sunspots

      Which up until the Greenspan commission were always to increase the generosity and coverage of SS.  

      Is there anything the Villagers are talking about that would be any kind of a positive change for SS?  It's all about how much to cut benefits, how much to increase the retirement age (a cut), how to cut the COLA increase (a cut), means testing (a cut, and conversion into a "welfare" program with predictably declining public support, and opening the door to ever lower eligibility thresholds).

    •  NOW!!!!! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sunspots, qofdisks

      Obama and the Democratic party need to say where they stand now.  That they will not tells you all too much.  

    •  Perspective! Thank you for the fresh air (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sylv, Gary Norton

      The phrase "changes to SS" is not a klaxon call announcing the end of the world. It is something that has happened scores of times and will happen scores of times again.

      Insist that any talk of "change to SS" can mean only one thing: an attempt to undermine and ruin SS are not helpful. It is untenable to insist there be no changes to federal systems, ever. It's untenable and unwise. As national demographics change, the formulae behind our support systems must change. That is  math, not ideology.

    •  The problem is proposing changes in the wrong (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      direction.  I would welcome a lowering of retirement age for example especially since unemployment of middle aged and elderly is at crises.  Retiring persons leave job gaps to fill.

  •  Yet another pointless whinge. (6+ / 0-)

    Are you voting for President Obama or not?  If yes, delete this diary.  If no, delete this diary and get lost.

  •  There are a lot of liberal ways to strengthen (11+ / 0-)

    SS's solvency. Since you actually quoted Obama saying "we will not accept an approach" that slashes benes for future generations, and the AARP has put a TON of effort to re-elect Obama in 2012, I'm going to bet on the liberal efforts.

  •  It's not even Saturday (4+ / 0-)

    One bad debate, and they're out in full force.  

    "My dear friends, your vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have to create a more perfect union." ---Representative John Lewis

    by SottoVoce on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 07:51:08 AM PDT

  •  The lesser of two evils (6+ / 0-)

    It is one thing to be willing to compromise.  It is quite another to want desperately to compromise.  And that is what Obama wants, with all his heart. He has an ideal image of himself as one who will go down in history as the great conciliator, the one who crafted bipartisan solutions, the one who achieved the grand bargain.  It is the image toward which he strives incessantly, and so much so, that he will gladly make concessions that would have been anathema to the liberal politicians on whom we once could depend to protect the entitlements.

    During the 2008 primary, Obama indicated that raising the cap on the payroll tax would put Social Security in the black all by itself; and in an interview, he ruled out changing the index on which the COLA is based to one that is chain-weighted.  But like Romney, Obama only said that to get the nomination.  Once elected, he quickly appointed his cat food commission, whose recommendations he will embrace once he wins reelection.

    And the heck of it is, we have to vote for him, because for all the cuts Obama wants to make on Social Security, such cuts are still preferable to the privatization schemes of the Republicans.

    How did we ever come to this?

  •  I AM VOTING (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    manyamile, Loquatrix, elmo, Quicklund, Sylv

    for Obama today , tomorrow and if possible forever if it will count. He has given a lot of people a chance to live through the ACA law which will not happen if mittens is elected.

  •  Obama Used the Term "Crisis" For Social Security a (5+ / 0-)

    number of times in his 2008 campaign, so it's safe to expect him to make changes.

    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 Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 08:09:12 AM PDT

  •  Rmoney/Ryan will **GET RID** of SS/Medicare (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, Sylv

    At least Obama does not have the ultimate destruction of the programs as his goal, as the GOP has had since 1935.

  •  SS should not even be on the table at this time, (6+ / 0-)

    that program is not affecting the debt and deficit.  This shows what the austerity games are really all about, which isn't the debt and the deficit, but rather a deliberate plan to dismantle the social programs.
    Ya get what ya pay for, or in this case, vote for.

    "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 08:13:18 AM PDT

    •  unfortunately (0+ / 0-)

      It is impacting the deficit since that 1% payroll "temporary" tax cut introduced during the debt ceiling fracas.

    •  Bob Kerrey on O'Donnell last night (5+ / 0-)

      Saying we need to cut SS (and Medicare) to lower the deficit, with O'Donnell not calling him out on this lie. Kerrey is not a senator right now and may well lose the election, but he's a longstanding member of the Very Serious Person's Club of current and former beltway insiders who want or are at least willing to cut SS to "balance" the budget, so Obama doesn't even have to lead the charge to do this. He merely has to talk about compromise and bipartisanship and all the hosebags will praise him for being oh so serious and non-partisan.

      This is about ideology, politics and ego, not policy.

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

      by kovie on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 08:55:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And Al Franken asked me to send money to (0+ / 0-)

        That Benedict Arnold.

        Democrats should be on Crusade against candidates like him not funding more people who believe destitution for the vulnerable is our only option.

        •  Well (0+ / 0-)

          Much as I despise his position on this and other issues and his sell out the base politics I'd still rather have him in the senate than the wingnut running against him. Hell, I'd rather have Chuck Hagel instead of him. Doesn't mean I won't object to his stance on specific issues such as this.

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

          by kovie on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 09:15:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Let's not make easy adjustments in advance (0+ / 0-)

      Let's wait until the last minute and make adjustments that are hard and painful. Hey! This strategy is working great for climate change.

      Who says the Chinese are the masters of long-term planning? OK maybe they are but fuck long-term planning. USA! USA! USA!

  •  it's mid october, how about some GOTV? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    or push back against  some real bad news
    the election of more GOP to screw with everything  on a much grander scale


  •  "Entitlements" is a right-wing meme. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Social security provides BENEFITS that people have EARNED.

  •  And _I_ think (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elmo, Sylv
    I think the key word is "slashes". It is clear that the Obama administration is entertaining the notion of cutting benefits for future recipients.
    I think you'll parse every statement looking for such a word so you can charge President Obama with meaning the exact opposite of what he says.

    The mechanism President Obama proposes to adjust SS is to raise the cap on the taxable portion of one's income.

    This statement by President Obama you totally ignore. What is the matter? Could not find way to twist that position into the opposite of its meaning?

    •  All options are on the table... (5+ / 0-)

      including cuts to benefits. He may choose to propose cuts to cost of living increases. I consider that a cut. I said "may" btw. Since it is on the table, it should be talked about. Having a thin skin about dissent won't serve your interests either.

      •  The problem is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        You discuss "options" as tasks accomplished. Well, the ones that paint President Obama in an unfavorable light that is.

        If your diary is meant to discuss all options being on the table, why does you diary completely ignore the cap-raising option? President Obama has said he is willing to negotiate. But he has also indicated his preference for hos those negotiations turn out: cap adjustments.

        Cap adjustments, which you ignore, are his preference. Ruining SS as a viable safety net is something he said he will not agree to. So "all" items are not on the table. Yet your diary insists the President Obama does intent to ruin SS, and the diary does entirely ignore the alternatives.

        Criticism is fine. But this is Jr high-school stuff. It is easy to "prove" something when you insist white is black and paisley is monochromatic.

    •  So when Obama says that all options are on (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the table, he doesn't REALLY mean ALL options are on the table, and you know which ones he means and which ones he's just head faking on?

      Given that you're such an Obama insider, what are you doing posting here?

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

      by kovie on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 08:50:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  I take "all options to be on the table" (0+ / 0-)

          to mean just that, which includes both cutting benefits (one way or another) and raising the cap, among others. Just because it includes the one you claim Obama prefers doesn't mean that it excludes the one you believe he does not.

          Let's hope that this is just negotiation posturing and not something he's actually willing to consider. Because if it is, it would be bad (and unnecessary) policy as well as terrible politics. It will cost Dems the 2014 midterms.

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

          by kovie on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 12:10:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The reactions to this diary (4+ / 0-)

    Convince me that not only will Obama cut SS in a Grand Bargain with the GOP (combo of retirement age increase and new reduced formula for COLA increases) but even as he does, these same people saying "we have to elect him first" will switch to defending the cuts.

    Yes, it will be "cuts:  It's very simple:  Predict how old you'll live to (say 80), decide you will retire at 67 and calculate what 13 years of benefits will be, with COLA increases under the current formula.  Get a dollar figure.

    When the Grand Bargain deal is announced do the same thing for the new retirement age and COLA formula.  I guarantee the dollar figure you arrive at will be lower.

    That's a cut.  You'll get less to retire on.  Anyone saying differently is employing sophistry or has been duped by it.  Cutting is the point of the exercise, they're convinced it will become insolvent at 2035 or whenever and will save americans from future benefit cuts by cutting benefits today.  

    It would be nice to think the people saying "not now, election first" would actually oppose benefit cuts when the time comes, but depressingly few of them actually will.  I wish I knew how to change that mechanism as nothing I've seen ever seems to get through.  Progressives have some power to affect events or at least the discourse when they're united.  They won't be anything like that here and that dischord will give the Democratic villagers enough cover to support this.

    •  The older you get, the less you'll have to live on (0+ / 0-)

      Thirty percent less in real money at 95 - probably hard to go find a second job at that point.  Nice.  Really nice.

      And the chained CPI means that it doesn't count as a decrease if you can substitute cat food for hamburger.  You can always buy something cheaper, though it may not be real nourishing.

    •  Living longer does not mean that people can work (0+ / 0-)

      The WWII generation was incredibly fit and trim compared to the over weight and obese coming down the pike.
      I don't think most will live as long as their parents.

  •  I don't need these Diaries (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund, Sylv

    My president is behind and I have to sort through this crap about Obama trashing SS?

    No fucking wonder we are losing some traction. OUR OWN are spending time helping the opposition.

    •  It is Obama losing traction with us and not the (0+ / 0-)

      other way around.
      He simply needs to clarify that he will not cut SS or increase retirement age.  Rather he can talk about the income cap.
      Simple.  We do stand for progressive principles here.  That is why we vote for Democrats.

  •  I can tell you in the election literature I (4+ / 0-)

    have read and received from AARP about this item, SS I have no major concerns about Obama cutting benefits, at least at this point, but I keep reading anything I can get my hands on because SS is currently my sole source of income. Romney getting elected?......I worry about this alot!

  •  So, do you support the reelection of the President (0+ / 0-)

    I guess that's the bottom line question here, considering your criticisms.

    •  In other words... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sunspots, qofdisks

      Keep your mouth shut. Dissent is not welcomed here. That's already been pretty apparent for some time now.

      •  That's silly. It's a very basic question (0+ / 0-)

        I didn't state that you weren't welcome here. I observed that it didn't seem like you were reelecting the President, so I asked if, in fact, you were.

        I'm still curious about that.

        I see no aversion to dissent in my post, not to mention my life, which is a Northern California sort of world filled with people of all political ilk, though slightly devoid of Republicans.

        So to return to my question, or would you rather explain why you won't answer it?

        •  So my right to vote is subject to review... (0+ / 0-)

          so what I do in the ballot box, I must reveal to you? I don't think so.

        •  You don't want to argue the merits (0+ / 0-)

          of the issue, so you resort to casting a shadow over my post, by bringing up how I will vote, in the privacy of the voting booth, which no, I won't reveal to you. You claim to welcome dissent, but apparently, not at the moment.

          •  Well, dissent from voting for Obama isn't welcome. (0+ / 0-)

            Distracting from the election effort is just stupid attention getting.   Refusing to say if you'll vote for Obama is unacceptable.  

            "The one big advantage to being a boring candidate is that you give the appearance of calm and stability. But, suddenly, Romney seemed to want to go for a piquant mélange of dull and hotheaded."-- Gail Collins

            by Inland on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 10:21:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'll leave that to the moderators... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Why don't you just create a loyalty pledge for Obama? That would take care of any dissenters or those who are undecided.

              •  I'd rather you get a little smarter, honest. (0+ / 0-)

                I don't care about loyalty: I care that someone is either so stupid or so secretly republican that they can't figure out who to vote for, or find some weakass shit like refusing to say because free speech, to them, means taking the fifth like a street perp.

                IoW, don't expect cookies for dissent that's stupid.

                "The one big advantage to being a boring candidate is that you give the appearance of calm and stability. But, suddenly, Romney seemed to want to go for a piquant mélange of dull and hotheaded."-- Gail Collins

                by Inland on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 11:27:24 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You like that word...stupid. (0+ / 0-)

                  So it's "stupid" to bring up the social security issue for discussion in terms of how the candidates might act on this issue after the election? Hmmmm

                  •  Notably, you weren't talking about "candidateS". (0+ / 0-)

                    You weren't comparing candidates, either because you're secretly trying to hurt Obama, or because you're too stupid to concentrate on the real threat to social security an more.

                    So stupid, dishonest, and any other shoe that happens to fit.  

                    Of course, you think of yourself as a brave dissenter who should get pets and praise just for dissent, no matter how silly or dishonest.  You fail your own selfimage because you're too chicken to even say what your voting intentions are.   You pat yourself on the back as being a victim of censorship, when in reality the only person who censoring you is yourself.  

                    Oh, and before I forget: thanks for nothing.  I have to keep rememberig to post that in diaries like yours.

                    "The one big advantage to being a boring candidate is that you give the appearance of calm and stability. But, suddenly, Romney seemed to want to go for a piquant mélange of dull and hotheaded."-- Gail Collins

                    by Inland on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 01:38:10 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You are incredibly rude... (0+ / 0-)

                      and acutally, I'd be careful with that "stupid" mantle, because you're not sounding too intelligent at the moment. I pointed out in my diary that Obama is opposed to privatization, which is a good thing. I mostly quoted him through his campaign literature, and to the best of my ability, attempted to interpret his words. I'm anticipating what actions may be taken towards social security, and I think preparing for this is a "smart" thing. I made no mention whether or not people should vote for him. I focused on an issue that is important to me, and many others. Take it or leave. Save your insults. They seem childish and out of place here.

                      •  No, I'm not going to take it or leave it. (0+ / 0-)

                        Unless you're declaring that dissent isnt welcome here.  Or that nobody has a right to wonder why someone on a democratic political blog declares her own vote to be a forbidden subject.   Is that your position?  

                        "The one big advantage to being a boring candidate is that you give the appearance of calm and stability. But, suddenly, Romney seemed to want to go for a piquant mélange of dull and hotheaded."-- Gail Collins

                        by Inland on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 02:36:17 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Your form of "dissent" is designed to (0+ / 0-)

                          chase away dissent. If you really were okay with debate and dialogue on the issues, you'd forego the insults. You kind of show your true colors, in other words. As for my vote, yea, it's off limits. Have a nice day. Let me know when the blog gets that loyalty oath started.

                          •  You must think we're the dumbest rubes ever. (0+ / 0-)

                            We know why you don't say who you're voting for; it's the same reason Mitt won't release his tax returns.  You know it'll reveal something that will hurt your arguments.  

                            So you come up with some shit to the effect that asking you who you are voting for is an act of censorship, so that your dissent is cool and wonderful, but our asking your questions is squelching debate.  

                            All for the purpose of deflecting attention from the real threat to the country to some possible cut of some small size to cola for social security.   Right in the middle of the election's final days.  

                            Did I remember to say "thanks for nothing"?  Because if I did, I want you to know that "nothing" overestimates your contribution.

                            "The one big advantage to being a boring candidate is that you give the appearance of calm and stability. But, suddenly, Romney seemed to want to go for a piquant mélange of dull and hotheaded."-- Gail Collins

                            by Inland on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 11:45:50 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

    •  No it is not. This is black and white thinking. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
  •  I'm voting straight ticket dem.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Scientician, qofdisks

    but will oppose any attempts to slash the social safety net while preserving our absurd military budget. I expect President Obama to be on the other side in this fight. And I will oppose him too...

  •  We are not asking him to legalize pot (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt, Sunspots, qofdisks

    All we are asking given the incomprehensible statements on his position is to make a commitment to maintain Social Security and Medicare retirement age and benefits.  If he intends something else he owes us an answer before the election.

  •  Optimitically, perhaps Mitt would not be able to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sunspots, BigAlinWashSt

    cut SS anymore than Bush could.  It is such an unpopular move.  
    Obama is going to be elected and he is going to cut.

  •  Progressives can obstuct too. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It would only take one secret Democratic senator to filibuster this dog.

    •  Nope (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Sanders can try (unlikely anyone else would), but I guarantee they'll get cloture one way or another very quickly.  Unless Reid is facing a full caucus revolt because their offices are getting flooded with calls against, a Democratic filibuster will not stop this thing.

      They'll do it via reconciliation if they have to.  They've already made noises about passing a special "we can't filibuster this one bill" law.  The filibuster is an imaginary obstacle that only works when the Senate allows it to work.  It's great for stopping action on Climate Change because there aren't 51 senators who really want to take action on Climate Change, but terrible at preventing cuts to the safety net.

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