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Chuck Schumer
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
It's a start, I guess. This is the first time a member of the Democratic Senate leadership has advised Democrats to break from the Catfood Commission chairs' recommendations. Unfortunately, it's not on the proposals in Bowles-Simpson to cut Social Security benefits, but on the tax plan to overhaul the tax code in order to give big cuts to top earners.
In a speech to the National Press Club, Mr. Schumer said he rejected the idea of a tax code overhaul as “little more than happy talk.” Taxes, he said, could not be changed to bring in more revenue, lower the top tax rates and still protect the middle class from tax increases.

Instead, he said that the top two income tax rates should be frozen, and any additional revenues generated by closing loopholes and curtailing or eliminating tax deductions and credits should be devoted to deficit reduction.

“It is an alluring prospect to cut taxes on the wealthiest people and somehow still reduce the deficit, but you can’t have your cake and eat it, too,” Mr. Schumer said. “The reality is, any path forward on tax reform that promised to cut rates will end up either failing to reduce the deficit or failing to protect the middle class from a net tax increase.” [...]

Republicans, Mr. Schumer said, will have to be lured to the negotiating table not by the prospect of lowering top income tax rates but overhauling entitlements, like Medicare andSocial Security.

All-righty, then. Here's a lame-duck session to look forward to, with Democrats already offering up the sacrificial lambs of Medicare and Social Security to the deficit, even before the voting—much of it hinging on protecting Medicare—even begins. What's more, the revenue raised by loophole closing should be reinvested in job creation, or has he forgotten about jobs, jobs, jobs?

Schumer's timing with this message, while helpful in pointing out that the Romney/Ryan tax plan is a sham, stinks. As the White House is still trying to do damage control over Obama's Social Security gaffe in the debate, the uneasy sense that Medicare and Social Security have become little more than bargaining chips for Democrats is settling in, and Schumer just confirmed it.

Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama have the opportunity to take entitlements right back off the table, starting with the VP debate this Thursday.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 11:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Democrats support Social Security and Medicare (34+ / 0-)

    If you are doing something else then do not blame me for ignoring the D by your name on the ballot.  (And the Senator who thinks campaigning with Republican car dealers is more important can forget about it.)

    •  Bowles-Simpson needs to be off the table (10+ / 0-)

      period, and the fact that Obama has repeatedly said that he will support its provisions is very disheartening for many of us.  And this is what is infuriating about reading the diaries on the recommend list today.  The common theme is: if you are a Progressive and you are attempting to get the President to reassure his base that he is not going to do something really stupid during his second term like making cuts to our social safety net programs, then you are a Republican troll trying to sew seeds of discontent.

      No we are not.

      Every time I hear someone make an assertion like that, I become more discouraged. It means Democrats are not listening, and that is the number one complaint I hear from my friends: Obama is ignoring us, just the way he has always ignored us, so nothing will be different during his second term, so why vote for him?

      Get the message?

      •  Why vote for Obama? (4+ / 0-)

        Because he is not Mitt Romney. He isn't trying to sell us trickle-down economic fairy tales. And he is does not have the PNAC war crowd dictating his foriegn policy. Obama isn't as progressive as he needs to be to really solve these problems, but he isn't a lying vulture capitalist skunk looking to roll back 50 years of progress and drain the treasury dry.

        •  Who has benefited the most from his (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          policies? The rich. Who has suffered the most because of his policies? The needy and the average Joe.

          If he's better than Romney, then it's time to start acting like he supports Democratic values.

          •  Excuse me. The healthcare needy got a great (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            daeros, dclawyer06, Panama Pete, TKO333

            ACT as did people who had pre-existing conditions etc. Car workers. Teachers who were not fired due to shortfalls. Veterans, women who want fair pay, etc.

            You are full of it.

            "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

            by Gorette on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 03:09:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  How about the incredible income equality (0+ / 0-)

              gap that just keeps getting larger under Obama?

              When someone mentions the consequences of Obama's worst policies, it's amazing how quick his supporters (on this site) will try to point the conversation in a different direction...and then they will say something extremely petty.

              But they will never acknowledge the lack of interest Obama has shown for helping the millions of Americans who have suffered the most during his term in office.

              After the debate, Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg told Obama that he had failed to address the concerns of single women:

              When I look at our great challenges, I say, we’re all in this together. But the Republicans say, you are your own. Well that’s given us a country of just rich and poor and the well-connected using their power to get more tax cuts and breaks. Well, we need to make our country work for the middle class again. Clean up lobbyists and big money. Let’s keep taxes low for the middle class and small businesses and use the budget to help the middle class by seriously investing in education, rebuilding America, and making sure Medicare is there.
              Sounds like good advice to me.
      •  I have sympathy for your point of view, but... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        2laneIA, daeros

        in a two-party system there are only two viable choices.  If you can't vote for one then vote against the other.  A non-vote is really a vote, it's just an indirect one that let's everyone else decide for you.

        "Some folks rob you with a six-gun, some rob you with a fountain pen." - Woody Guthrie

        by Involuntary Exile on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 02:47:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  or vote green (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          don't let the fucking third way assholes conclude that you "Swung" red.

 If the dnc dscc or dccc send you mailers, send that link back to them and tell them you won't send money to people who defend democrats who betray progressive principals! up yours!

          by daeros on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 02:59:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not that I'm FOR the greens mind you. (4+ / 0-)

            I'm just saying if you can't support either at least show up and help left wing causes SOMEHOW.

   If the dnc dscc or dccc send you mailers, send that link back to them and tell them you won't send money to people who defend democrats who betray progressive principals! up yours!

            by daeros on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 03:00:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Most of my friends are lifetime Democrats, (0+ / 0-)

            and without exception, they are not going to support Obama this year. Many have decided to vote Green, and the rest are just going to sit on their hands. They are so disgusted by this administration's attitude toward liberals that they are seriously considering leaving the party. That breaks my heart. I've always been a Democrat, and I would like to go out of this world a Democrat, but like them, I'm having a very difficult time supporting the idea that we only have two choices, which boils down to one Democratic selling point: the choice of voting for the lesser of two evils. As most of them say, you might as well not have a spine if you do that because you stand for nothing.

            •  If you plan to leave the Democratic... (0+ / 0-)

              party, then you also need to leave this site.
              I'm all for open debate but this is a democratic blog. If you've given up on the party, kindly take your show elsewhere.


              •  I just said that I wanted to die a Democrat, but (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dclawyer06, Panama Pete, PhilJD

                I guess somehow you found a way to translate that into me trying to put on some kind of show.  You are arrogant, otherwise you wouldn't believe you have the right to determine what Democratic ideals I should support and which ones I should reject.

                There are millions of Democrats who feel the same way I do and their voices, just like mine, are being drowned out by political idealogues who are more interested in supporting a man than Democratic principles. Obama is not the Democratic Party: he might be the standard bearer, but he doesn't represent traditional Democratic values.

                If you are trying to shut down my voice, then you are no different than the Republicans who are trying to disenfranchise voters. I am fighting for what I believe in: I believe that there have been far too many people in our nation who have gone hungry under this administration's watch, and way to many of them have been children. It made me angry when Obama ignored their plight while he made backroom deals with Wall Street insiders.

                I believe Obama made a very unwise decision when he filled his cabinet with Wall Street insiders, and I believe that decision is what caused him to ignore the impoverished members of his constituency while making the real criminals in this story richer than they could have ever imagined...and I care about that.

                He has shut progressives out of his administration, he has slammed the door in our faces when we tried to offer input, he has bent over backwards to please Republicans while dismissing us as the professional left. I think I have the right to be angry at him for dismissing us that way.

                But you've heard these complaints before because they have been posted thousands of times on progressive blogs all over the internet. You just believe the only important thing left to do now is to get Obama reelected, no matter what it means for our future or our children's future. I don't. We have lost too much ground under his leadership.

                I want him to change directions. I want him to fight for the people who sacrificed and worked hard to put him in office, the ones who gave up so much because they believed he would make a difference. You can't blame them for being disappointed with his leadership. They have been ignored too long, and they have been pushed aside - just like your trying to do to me - every time they made an effort to have their voices heard.

                When many of us complained about his policies, we were told to shut up, that the proper time to voice our complaints would be after the election...but you know as well as I do, that will never happen. If we don't pressure Obama now to make things right, then it will never happen. And what do you think will happen to the party after the election if he places Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid on the table?

                You know the answer.

                The problem is: you and the Obama supporters on this site don't want people like me to belong to the Democratic Party. We're the true believers, the ones who would rather stand on principle and try to protect the things we value than give an inch to the corrupt people in Washington who are destroying our nation.

                Obama could address our concerns. He has heard the complaints before. But he refuses to listen. And that decision might determine the difference in this election.

                Thanks for your advice, but the answer is NO. I would rather stand and fight for what I believe in.

                •  I agree with nearly every word... (0+ / 0-)

                  you've written.
                  But I ask you, please, close ranks for 1 month?

                  Don't let Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan get into office.

                  I'll be there the day after election demanding reform, and so will others....

                  •  I'm still with Obama.... (0+ / 0-)

                    ....but I'm discouraged by The Return Of Middle Man in the debate and his expressed amenability to cuts in the social safety net.  He also needs to stop persecuting medical marijuana users and dispensers.

                    At this point, my support for Obama is mostly to keep us from being saddled with Romney/Ryan for the next 4 years. I'll vote for the guy but my enthusiasm has dimmed substantially.  And if he doesn't hit some home runs in 1 or both of the remaining debates, he'll probably be toast.

                    See the children of the earth who wake to find the table bare, See the gentry in the country riding out to take the air. ~~Gordon Lightfoot, "Don Quixote"

                    by Panama Pete on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 10:53:55 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Wow . . . (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        smiley7, greenbell, daeros, roadbear

        I don't read all the recommend list diaries but if that's what they're saying the Dem Party has been as transformed by the Kochs et al., as has the Republican Party been transformed into the Tea Party.

        I'm old enough to remember when there was open, wide-ranging debate about economic philosophy and policy in this country -- and in the classroom. What right extremists have accomplished in the past 40 some years is to completely cut off free flow of ideas. There is only the middle right and the farther right, all ready to imbibe and then spew claims and resultant policies received through private interest  think tanks, lobbyists, bought and owned elected officials and media outliets.

        Don't ask me nothin' about nothin'. I just might tell ya the truth -- B. Dylan

        by ponderer on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 02:48:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Simpson Bowleshit (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        daeros, praenomen, roadbear

        is a policy designed by Teabaggers.  Anyone championing it has no credibility whatsoever.

        You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

        by Johnny Q on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 02:48:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think Obama likes to have progressives screaming (0+ / 0-)

        at him. It gives him some cover from the meme that he is a "socialist".

    •  And this Minnesota Senator (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Way up in the polls, safe seat, safe state, did not even sign the Reid letter supporting Social Security!  This is how screwed we are!

    •  Obama didn't support SS/MC, cave-in as usual (0+ / 0-)

      80 % of Success is Just Showing Up ! ! !
      So just go vote ! ! !

      by Churchill on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 05:07:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What Joe Biden said in the diner (33+ / 0-)

    made me hopeful that finally the administration was waking up to the fact that cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits was a politically stupid idea for Democrats.  After all the times the President has made it clear that he wanted to make cuts, it seemed like a refreshing reversal of direction, and certainly in keeping with what I think I know about Biden's views.  Then the President let the mask slip in the debate and millions of people heard that his views on Social Security are similar to Romney's.  And voila:  gender gap is collapsing.

    The Democrats are letting the plutocrats lead them over a political cliff and they will regret it long after construction on the Obama Library is completed.  That shift in the polls was not just because the theatrics weren't up to par.

  •  Boy...these guys know how to snatch defeat from (28+ / 0-)

    the jaws of victory?

    I can't imagine their reading of last week was hey...we didn't give Republicans enough credit?

    They make is tough to root for them don't they?

    “Mitt Romney is the only person in America who looked at the way this Congress is behaving and said, ‘I want the brains behind THAT operation.’ ” Former Democratic Congressman - Tom Perriello "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - MHP

    by justmy2 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 11:18:47 AM PDT

  •  I could understand this position (44+ / 0-)

    if it were accompanied by the following:

    1. An end to the capital gains tax as a separate entity. Income is income is income. It should all be taxed the same. So much for Romney paying 13%.

    2. Eliminate the SS cap.

    3. Eliminate most if not all subsidies to Companies. The government should lend money; it shouldn't give money.

    That would be a great start to overhauling our finances.

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 11:18:52 AM PDT

    •  Excellent plan (10+ / 0-)

      I wish I could rec it more than once.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning. Obama-Biden-Big Bird 2012

      by Puddytat on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 11:37:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I like your three suggestions (7+ / 0-)

      I really like and approve of your three suggestions. ALL income, from whatever source, should be taxed the same. And by all means, eliminate the SS cap and let it be a standard % of all income earned. Subsidies should be dispensed as loans, with heavy penalties for non-repayment. I have a 4th suggestion: do not extend the massive tax cut for the filthy rich, put them back into a meaningful tax bracket. They didn't "suffer" under those tax rates during the decades before their tax rates were reduced to almost zero, and they won't suffer if their rates go back up. They have plenty of money to spare. And they benefit more than anyone in any economic class from all of the infrastructure that our taxes pay for. Thanks for making a really clear outline of what needs to be done.

      •  I understand your point (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        howd, Mr Robert, 2laneIA, daeros

        But I think the marginal rate is not necessarily the main problem, and not even the key problem. The key problem is the  capital gains problem, which allows people like Romney to pay a lower rate than even other 1%-ers. So I would prefer a strategy that says, "no more free lunches at the people's expense" than "soak the rich". It will sell a lot better to the public and accomplish similar ends.

        For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

        by Anne Elk on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 01:59:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  High Marginal Tax Rates Create Strong Middle Class (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chira2, Catskill Julie, TKO333, daeros

          In my opinion, the primary point high marginal tax rates is not to soak the rich or raise revenue for government, but rather, to limit the greed of people.  

          In the 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s you had high marginal tax rates on excessive income and the money was more evenly distributed and you had a strong middle class.  Reagan cut the high marginal rates and income started to flow to the top.  In 1980 the top 1% took 8% of the income pie for themselves, today, since they can keep moss all of it for themselves, they are taking 20% and looking to take more.

          Poor man wants to be rich. Rich man wants to king. And the king ain't satisifed until he rules everything. B.Springsteen

          by howd on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 02:18:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The high marginal rate (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            howd, daeros

            could also be used to discourage the insane bonus structures on Wall Street that paid millions to the very people who bankrupted their companies. Maybe reining in the compensation with an 80% tax for anything over a half million would encourage them to be a little more conservative with their bets the next time.

          •  That's not as simple a correlation as you might (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            think. It's true that high marginal rates were associated with growth. But it's not clear whether these rates caused the rising strength of the middle class. I would argue that flat or declining real wages since the 1970's played at least as strong a role as the tax system. If wage earners's wages were rising along with the growth in the economy, we wouldn't really be having this discussion.

            However, one thing that is coming our way, and it's something that everyone is still blind to, is that a significant portion of the workforce may come to be permanently unemployable simply because robots will be doing many menial tasks that unskilled labor used to do. It's hard to see into the future, I grant you, but there is a new technology wave coming that will upend most of what we think about what work is, who gets to work, who doesn't and how everyone is supported. I guess maybe marx was right. Technology will bring about a final quandary. What do you do when you come to the end of work as a concept? OK, don't everyone yell at once!

            For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

            by Anne Elk on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 04:40:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Low Marginal Tax Rates = Flat Wages (0+ / 0-)

              I agree flat wages are what have weakened the middle class, but my opinion is that because the marginal tax rate has been lowered, the owners get to keep more of the money that their company earns, thus the disincentive to pay the workers what they are really worth.  If every dollar over $250k is taxed at 80%, like in the 50s, then the owners would be more apt to pay their employees more and not give it to the government.

              Poor man wants to be rich. Rich man wants to king. And the king ain't satisifed until he rules everything. B.Springsteen

              by howd on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 11:40:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  It's not a lot of revenue, however (0+ / 0-)

          Yes, it would be more "fair".  Raising capital gains would bring in less than $100 Billion per year.  I believe the figure is $70 Billion - and that is with the marginal rate increasing as well as the 3.8% ACA tax.

          But, whenever cap gains rates have increased in the past, revenues have gone down (and go up when rates are again reduced).  There is no reason to think otherwise this time around.

          $70 Billion sounds like a lot, but ten year's worth doesn't even cover 1 year of Obama's deficits - even if that figure held true on the revenue side.

          The only real way to increase revenues is to get the economy chugging again.  And that is why Romney's pitch about growing the economy at the debates hit a chord with voters.  Whether or not he can do it is besides the point if they believe it.

      •  Assets. (0+ / 0-)

        if you have a pot plant in your back yard we want it taxed every year.

        If you have a bloated savings account

        if you have an offshore account we can BRIBE caymans people etc into letting us know about the balance and owner of-it's taxed. Or face debtors prison.

        1% a year with a special exception: If it's in savings and it's invested into the economy in a way that creates jobs and stimulates demand  it's exempt. If it's spent on research it gains a credit for the next year. If the dnc dscc or dccc send you mailers, send that link back to them and tell them you won't send money to people who defend democrats who betray progressive principals! up yours!

        by daeros on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 03:19:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  mostly agree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chira2, RainyDay, TKO333

      But, I would raise the SS cap, not eliminate it.

      SS has a cap in benefit payouts, so it is only fair that a cap be put on payments into the plan.  However, they are much too low right now.

      And #3 - I would include all industries including agriculture and energy.

  •  Why does Schumer think (13+ / 0-)

    That you can't get by on $250k in NYC unless you are a senior getting less than $20k?  He must think that AARP card has awesome benefits.

  •  I personally (22+ / 0-)

    know a few old (rascist) republicans that were not going to vote for Romney specifically because of SS and medicare (one was going to vote for Obama and the other couldn't bring himself to vote at all because he can never vote for a Democrat).

    This is literally the ONLY reason Romney/Ryan wasn't get their votes.  I haven't talked to them since the debate, but I'm guessing Obama saying that he and Romney basically agree on SS removed their only reason to refrain from voting for Romney.

  •  Bingo (17+ / 0-)

    Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama have the opportunity to take entitlements right back off the table, starting with the VP debate this Thursday.

    Yes, this needs a "Policy Speech, asap.

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

    by smiley7 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 11:40:14 AM PDT

    •  But they WANT to cut SS and Medicare/caid (18+ / 0-)

      so that they can seem reasonable, I guess. Who the hell is telling them anything about the real world -- look at the failures of austerity in Europe, it's in the bloody newspapers anyone can read.

      Certainly, cutting the (paid-for) entitlements isn't going to help the budget. These guys need to get out of the Beltway Bubble, but I'm afraid they take that conglomeration of fools and crooks as the standard for Wisdom.

      The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

      by Jim P on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 12:03:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not sure this describes Biden (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pistolSO, ferg, scribeboy, smiley7, Jim P

        During the 2007 caucus campaign he was for raising the cap.  He has always understood the stresses on middle class people and been able to speak to them eloquently.  It's Obama who has said repeatedly he wants cuts. Biden is the one who announced that there would be no Social Security cuts, to patrons in a diner.

        "Hey, by the way, let's talk about Social Security," Biden said after a diner at The Coffee Break Cafe in Stuart, VA expressed his relief that the Obama campaign wasn't talking about changing the popular entitlement program.

        "Number one, I guarantee you, flat guarantee you, there will be no changes in Social Security," Biden said, per a pool report. "I flat guarantee you."

        I hoped the President had backed off his obsession with entitlement cuts to fix the deficit, but after the debate I lost that hope.  I don't know where Biden was coming from.  I hope he gets asked about it in the debate.
      •  assaulting the third rail is "Reasonable" (0+ / 0-)


        dies laughing If the dnc dscc or dccc send you mailers, send that link back to them and tell them you won't send money to people who defend democrats who betray progressive principals! up yours!

        by daeros on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 03:22:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This isn't a gaffe (29+ / 0-)
    As the White House is still trying to do damage control over Obama's Social Security gaffe in the debate,
    Like it or not, this coming lame duck session will be fraught with danger for Social Security and Medicare no matter who wins.  The Dems just don't want to talk about it before the election.  Just who are they kidding?
  •  Do I really have to vote for the lesser of two (17+ / 0-)

    evils? WHY are we having this discussion? President Obama, WTF? This is why Dems are still not sure of his intentions. As for his debate performance, my 80 year old dad said, "What the hell was wrong with him? He stood there like a damn wimp! I want a MAN for president. I'm sick of Democrats acting like a bunch of wimps." A little high on the testosterone level, but fundamentally I agree. I want someone to stand up to lies, and to, most importantly, stand up for my rights. I paid in to SS from age 15. Dammit, I NEED the president to assure me he's not going to let it be changed or be taken away.

    •  To understand how much trouble we are in (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      because of these issues, all Democrats need to do is read the comment sections in other liberal blogs. I constantly see things like this:

      The good news is Romney will probably lose: the bad news is Obama will probably win.

      This election we only have the choice between: screw you, or screw you even more.

      Those comments are from Progressives, not trolls.

      I just don't understand the logic of our Democratic leaders.

  •  Freeze tax rates? Is Schumer nuts?!? (16+ / 0-)

    There's absolutely no evidence that restoring Clinton era tap tax rates would hurt the economy or recovery (except maybe luxury yacht sales). It's raising middle class tax rates that could do that. It's nice that Biden doesn't want to legitimize the false economy of lowering tax rates by cutting deductions, but this isn't near enough. Dems have to make clear that these are lines in the sand:

    1 - No cuts to Social Security, including raising the age or reducing COLA

    2 - Any cuts to Medicare are cuts to costs, not benefits

    3 - Middle class taxes don't go up

    4 - Top tax rates go back up

    5 - "Tax Expenditures" that benefit the rich but not the economy must go

    6 - Defense spending goes down, per actual needs

    7 - Public spending doesn't get cut, e.g. PBS, schools, roads

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

    by kovie on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 12:29:21 PM PDT

    •  raising taxes on top 10% doesn't hurt economy (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert, cybersaur, smiley7, solliges, daeros

      there are economic studies that show that the marginal rates for the top 10% doesn't help or hurt the economy. So raising them to Clinton rates is a no brainer.

      For household, $120k is the top 10%. Even though they're not "rich", they can afford the Clinton rates more than the rest of the country can afford the B-S cuts.

      •  I once had a rediculous argument with a wingnut (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ferg, maryabein

        in a newspaper's comments section about this. He claimed that because the top X% of earners account for Y% of spending, raising their taxes by Z% would reduce their spending by some significant factor of Z. I countered that above a certain income level most peoples' spending levels off, and whatever earnings they have left is generally either saved, invested or speculated with, none of which is very stimulative. Raise their taxes by a reasonable amount, and the extra taxes they have to pay generally come out of the latter, not their spending, so it wouldn't have a negative effect on economic activity.

        Put simply, raise taxes on a middle income earner and they will usually cut back on spending since they have very little left to save or invest, and they'd rather sacrifice their quality of life than hurt their nest egg. Raise taxes on a rich person and they will cut back on their savings and investment, which are likely already significant, and not their spending, which they can still afford and would likely prefer to maintain. Fitzgerald was right about the rich--they're different.

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

        by kovie on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 03:14:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  See my comment below (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Is Schumer proposing freezing the CURRENT tax rates, or
      freezing the pre-Bush tax rates assuming the Bush cuts expire as planned?

      The former would be bad.  The latter changes the meaning of this article significantly.

  •  "Reid, Senate Dems oppose Social Security cuts in (12+ / 0-)

    debt deal"

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and 28 other members of the 53-member Senate Democratic caucus have signed a letter opposing any cuts to Social Security as part of a deficit reduction package.
    Before you say 29 is not enough remember that Sen. Reid is the Majority Leader and he does not have to let it come up for a vote at all.

    Brand new favorite RSS feed of Daily Kos Radio Podcasts
    Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

    by We Won on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 12:35:33 PM PDT

  •  Do they really believe they will lose votes by (7+ / 0-)

    simply supporting maintaining current benefits?  If not who are they representing?  Not voters.

  •  The recession'ish recovery will slog on for 10 y (7+ / 0-)

    hey may not agree on taxes but Wall St. and the Village are in synch to go after "where the money is" - SS and Medicare - to protect "financial markets" - not Americans.

    Sept. 13 2011 (Bloomberg) -- Economic growth is likely to be slow for years, increasing pressure on Congress to cut entitlement spending, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said in remarks before a Senate panel.

    “There is no credible scenario of addressing our current fiscal problems without inflicting economic pain,” he told a Senate Finance subcommittee today.

    The former Federal Reserve Board chairman said his preferred option for addressing the U.S. budget deficit is a plan put forth by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican. Greenspan told the Senate panel that because Ryan’s plan lacks votes for passage, Greenspan prefers a proposal from the Simpson-Bowles deficit-cutting commission, which addresses the deficit by ending tax breaks as well as through spending cuts.

    “I do not know if whether a U.S. budget crisis is immediately on the horizon or is years off,” Greenspan said. “What I do know is that if we presume that we have a year or two before starting serious long-term restraint, and we turn out to be wrong in that optimism, the impact on financial markets could be devastating.”

    Greenspan said the federal government needs more revenue and he recommended allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire... “go back to the tax structure that existed in 2001.”

    President Barack Obama has proposed allowing the tax cuts for those with incomes of more than $250,000 annually to expire at the end of 2012 as scheduled. Greenspan emphasized that “all of the Bush tax cuts” should be rescinded.

    While other panelists spoke about various ways to change the tax code, Greenspan underscored the importance of tackling the federal budget deficit.

    He cautioned against worrying about whether reformulations of the corporate tax code should be revenue neutral without reducing the deficit. “It is essential that we get the level of the deficit down as quickly as possible,” Greenspan said.

    Another witness before the Senate subcommittee, Harvard University professor Martin Feldstein, echoed Greenspan in urging lawmakers to overhaul entitlement programs. Feldstein was a chief economic adviser to President Ronald Reagan...

    “The key to those reforms is to reduce gradually the growth of the projected government benefits and to supplement those government benefits with universal investment-based annuities and health spending,” according to Feldstein’s prepared remarks.

    Feldstein said lawmakers should lower individual tax rates by reducing tax breaks, which, he maintained, have led to wasteful behavior such as overspending on housing.

    Lower tax rates would free money for education, savings and starting businesses, Feldstein said.

    Let all Bush tax cuts expire and , bring on the Sequestration cuts to defense.

    by kck on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 01:01:49 PM PDT

    •  Ironically, Goldman has turned completely against. (5+ / 0-)

      ...the President.  No firm benefited more from government largess than did the folks at 200 W. Street.

      From today's WSJ.

      Goldman Turns Tables on Obama Campaign

      When Barack Obama ran for president in 2008, no major U.S. corporation did more to finance his campaign than Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS +0.14%

      This election, none has done more to help defeat him.

      Prompted by what they call regulatory attacks on their business and personal attacks on their character, executives and employees of Goldman Sachs have largely abandoned Mr. Obama and are now the top sources of money to presidential candidate Mitt Romney and the Republican Party.
      [image] CNP/Corbis

      In the four decades since Congress created the campaign-finance system, no company's employees have switched sides so abruptly, moving from top supporters of one camp to the top of its rival, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of campaign-finance data compiled by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

      President Obama should have allowed for creative destruction in the financial arena.  Had GS failed, as it would have without government support, another financial firm would have taken its place.

      Unfortunately, the President and his team committed the same mistake that the Japanese rulers did twenty years ago.

      Instead of allowing an new, younger generation of Japanese to take the reins, the ruling party felt more "comfortable" with the status quo.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

      by PatriciaVa on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 01:59:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Looks like we may have to plan to show up (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, coloradorob, fabucat, 2laneIA, daeros

    after the election.   Occupying the Capitol building and pressing every elected official to keep Social Security and Medicare AS IS in the lame duck.

    Basically, if we take what Occupy should have been, and bring a focused narrow-message that says that earned benefits MUST be protected(and make sure that people know that we ARE the Democratic Party), that would certainly help pressure to kill the S-B plan once and for all.

  •  Current Law Eliminates All Fiscal Cliffs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coloradorob, daeros

    It's the law of the land. It's Constitutional, It's recent (1996) and it doesn't raise debt, deficits, or real costs to the public or private sector.

    All that's needed to implement it is a leader with the stones to to do it.

    Any takers?  

    After all we have 112 million Americans, including Veterans, burden by poverty, homelessness, unemployment, inadequate medical care, and coverage and here's an opportunity to resolve most of that suffering without having to go to Congress, since it has already authorized the President to use the authority in the Act.

  •  The Tragic Irony Is (8+ / 0-)

    That a very sensible policy would be to temporarily lower the qualifying age for Social Security retirement benefits and maintain if not increase the benefits level. This would have a stimulus effect on the economy and allow older workers to leave the workforce so that younger ones could take their place.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 01:47:22 PM PDT

  •  It's a start. And don't forget all it takes is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    one Senator to pull rank and stop anything from moving forward.  Maybe Schumer can help us after all.

    •  one? wouldn't the gop help them? n/t (0+ / 0-) If the dnc dscc or dccc send you mailers, send that link back to them and tell them you won't send money to people who defend democrats who betray progressive principals! up yours!

      by daeros on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 03:52:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Chuck's come a long way, not necessarily (0+ / 0-)

    in the right direction, since the long past days when he'd take courageous stands like taking on Big Cereal:

    From his Early Accomplishments:

    Chuck also:

    Exposed a 90% increase in breakfast cereal prices in a 1995 report entitled "Consumer in a Box", and demanded that the Justice Department investigate breakfast cereal antitrust violations;

    •Authored the 1992 Anti-Auto Theft Act, which requires car manufacturers to mark often-stolen parts with an indelible ID number in order to make it easier to crack down on theft. The bill also included an anti-car jacking provision; and

    •Sponsored the Hate Crimes Statistics Act, which organized data on crimes of bigotry, as well as the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which would allow federal authorities to prosecute these offenses.

  •  Suggestions for Value Added Tax: (0+ / 0-)
    The Graetz plan would use the revenues from a VAT to eliminate income taxes on Americans who make less than $100,000 a year.  It would also lower payroll taxes, by means of payroll tax rebates that would offset the regressiveness of the VAT.  As the tax expert Bruce Bartlett notes, the Graetz plan would eliminate popular support for income tax expenditures by eliminating income taxes on most of the middle class:  “The important thing is the basic idea of avoiding a frontal assault on tax expenditures that is likely to make trench warfare seem tame by comparison and instead just make them irrelevant to the vast majority of Americans.” A VAT can also be used to cut corporate income taxes that discourage production in the U.S., an option that the Urban Institute and the New America Foundation’s Economic Growth Program analyzed in a 2010 study

    There's lots to hate about a VAT or sales tax, but I bet it would be popular.  For some reason, people consider it more fair and less complicated than it really is.  One of the reasons I don't like it is why governments love it: it generates huge amounts of money in a non-transparent manner.  

    "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 01:52:36 PM PDT

    •  Preposterous (0+ / 0-)

      The only proponents of a VAT or a Carbon Tax are those who are not satisfied with the current income inequality.

      You want a National Sales Tax or Carbon Tax?

      Vote for Romney, who is sure to introduce one or perhaps both.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

      by PatriciaVa on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 02:03:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You'd be surprised. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        People don't hate sales taxes as much as they should, and a value added tax has the possibility of taxing higher incomes more.  

        "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 02:31:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Irrespective of who's behind the effort (6+ / 0-)

    We (the American people) need to fight like hell to protect and preserve SS and medicare.  My mom is approaching retirement within the next 2 yrs...And, even with SS, she will likely still need to work part-time (or, I guess, she cld continue working until she falls over...).  This is ridiculous and from what I have read and understand, there is no reason that SS requires adjustment at this time...On second thought, perhaps the regressive nature of the SS tax cld be adjusted...

  •  what entitlements? (7+ / 0-)

    the only entitled people I see in this country are the super rich

  •  Entitlement? What Entitlement? (9+ / 0-)

    I've been paying into Social Security since I was 16.  Paying me back is no more an "entitlement" that paying a bank back for a loan I took out.  And my Medicare policy is paid out of my monthly Social Security benefit to the tune of $330 a month.  It's just like any other insurance program, except there's no profit peeled off the top.
    Stop calling these programs entitlements because that's not what they are.  
    Rich people have entitlements, not us lower middle class folks.

  •  I'm tired of being horrified by Republicans and (7+ / 0-)

    Disappointed by Democrats.   Sigh.

    I can’t decide who’s cuter – the dead guy with the arrows in his chest, or the guy in the ditch with the seeping wound. -- Game of Thrones (Heard on Set)

    by prodigal on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 02:00:09 PM PDT

  •  I stopped giving to Obama after the debate (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, greenbell, smiley7, belzaboo

    because I heard those comments he made against SS, and I'm furious he would give away something so important to millions of Americans! PLUS, it makes me SICK that the deficit was caused by wars and mostly, tax cuts for millionaires I NEVER WANTED. Now, it's going to end up costing everyone else and Obama and some Democrats are evil enough to do it just to please Republicans, who are never pleased! I was prepared to offer more time, money, and support here in Colorado for Obama, but not until he tells every single Democrat he WILL NOT TOUCH SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE, and MEDICAID unless it is to STRENGTHEN them. Period! I'm not paying for Bush's disastrous policies!  ps don't think for a moment that the GOP won't run on Democrats killing SS, Medicare, and Medicaid from then on!

  •  I'm afraid Medicare DOES need work (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, maryabein

    but Social Security is something they need to leave ALMOST completely alone.   It's the one entitlement to which each of us really is unquestionably and completely entitled (at least, until you start screwing around with payroll tax "holidays", sigh).   Makes me so mad when they jeopardize it unnecessarily.  

    Medicare on the other hand needs more than minor tweaks.  It is kind of a runaway train, and we have to figure that out.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 02:07:12 PM PDT

  •  David Brooks will be crushed. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Stop. You make me want to up Chuck!!!!! (0+ / 0-)
  •  An Easy Tax Compromise (0+ / 0-)

    Keep the Bush tax rates in place, but remove the distinction between ordinary income and capital gains income from the tax code.  Something for everyone to like.

    •  it's not enough money (0+ / 0-)

      which is why the CBO is needed for any real proposal.

      The Bush tax cuts are $4 trillion. I believe equalizing cap gains is less than $1 trillion. It's a good step, but not enough on its own.

  •  TPM seems to have a different spin on this: (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ozymandius, ferg, 2laneIA, smiley7, katesmom

    Schumer Tells Dems To Grow A Spine In Tax Negotiations With GOP.

    If one reads the TPM article, it makes it sound like Schumer is arguing that Democrats have leverage (assuming Obama wins, of course) over the GOP due to the expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts, and they should use that leverage to avoid any new tax rate restructuring that reduces the top rate while paying for it by ending middle-class-targeted deductions.

    A key point, I guess, is what is meant by "top two income tax rates should be frozen".  Frozen at what level?  The Bush Tax Cut levels?  Or the pre-Bush Tax Cut levels.

    Furthermore, the TPM article says:

    Those concessions would not include privatizing Medicare, Schumer insisted, but could amount to hundreds of billions of dollars in savings. “Democrats will never sign on to a shredding of the safety net because it isn’t necessary to change the fundamental way Medicare works,” he said. “But we can find ways to reduce Medicare costs by hundreds of billions of dollars.”
    I don't mind reducing Medicare costs, if there isn't a corresponding drop in care quality--kind of like Obamacare tries to accomplish.  Part of the problem is we've got a mammoth healthcare industrial complex, sucking the money ought of the broader economy; reining this in is an important piece of both budgetary and healthcare reform.

    Obviously, if further context makes it clear that Schumer is proposing throwing grandma under the bus a month before an election, than anything nice I've said here is retracted.  

    But some clarification seems in order.

    •  I would like to see Medicare Advantage junked. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Medicare Advantage is a sop to the health industrial complex.

      That is the only significant change that I can really applaud for Medicare -other than the option of Medicare for all- since it provides a high amount of value for its relatively low cost.

      But as you say - Schumer is being smart with this position. Simpson-Bowles is the kiss of death for any enthusiasm among the Democratic base, just one month before an election. The Democratic members of the "gang" must be terminally tone deaf to consider Bowles' and Simpson's spiteful policies.

  •  A start is all it is (0+ / 0-)

    Schumer never does anything that doesn't benefit himself first and foremost.

  •  Senator Schumer, WTF ?? ??? ???? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Are you NUTS?

    If you do not defend, Medicare, Social Security, AND MEDICAID,

    hear me


    Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

    by Catskill Julie on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 02:31:24 PM PDT

  •  Fantastic news! Blessings on you Chuck! (0+ / 0-)

    It's about time someone said this loudly.

    "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

    by Gorette on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 02:34:31 PM PDT

  •  will any Sen filibuster in lame duck to stop the (0+ / 0-)

    Will any Senator filibuster in the lame duck session to stop ANY attempt to avoid the fiscal cliff?  The fiscal cliff automatically results in the repeal of the infamous Bush tax cuts for the rich.  The fiscal cliff thus can be a good thing, at least temporarily.

    In other words, doing nothing and letting the mere passage of time occur until Jan. 2 or Jan 3 results in the automatic repeal of the Bush tax cuts.  Since time will be very limited in the lame duck, might Bernie Sanders or others who want the Bush tax cuts for the rich to expire filibuster any "compromise" (or capitulation) by the Senate Dems (or Obama) on the Bush tax cuts?  It may be better to let the fiscal cliff happen, let the Bush tax cuts die, and days AFTER THAT HAPPENS then propose the new Obama tax cuts limited to the middle class and poorer taxpayers (no more tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000 a year (or $1M a year).  If the Repubs seek to amend the Obama tax cuts to add tax cuts for millionaires, then Senate Dems could filibuster and stop that amendment and the Repubs would need 60 votes to proceed.  I am coming to see the fiscal cliff as a good thing, not something to be feared, because days after it occurs the worst parts can be corrected (with bipartisan and overwhelming support in the new Senate and House) and the bad parts (the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 1%) can be prevented.

    Of course, a newly reelected Obama would be in a strong position to make that happen - since he could veto anything that fails to meet his acceptability.  

    Voting Green or other silliness that helps elect Mitt Romney would increase the odds of the Bush tax cuts being extended indefinitiely.

  •  a Wall Street transaction tax should be on the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    2laneIA, Medium Head Boy

    table. Time to pay us back for bailing them out.


     By contrast, in their quest for every possible source of savings, Bowles and Simpson seem never seriously to have considered a financial speculation tax that would target the country's bloated financial sector. The United Kingdom has imposed taxes on its financial sector for centuries, and much of the European Union is considering a tax that could go into effect as early as next year. A tax comparable to the one the UK has on stock trades, but applied to all financial assets, could raise close to $1.5tn over the course of a decade.

        There is evidence that our overgrown financial sector is a serious drag on growth, pulling resources away from productive segments of the economy. In addition, the financial sector is also where many of the highest earners get their income. This means that a tax on financial speculation could be a real win-win-win: it could raise money to reduce the deficit; make the economy more efficient; and reduce inequality. That should place it on top of anyone's list for deficit reduction.

        But the tax apparently didn't make it to the Simpson-Bowles list. While we may never know why, it is worth noting that Erskine Bowles sits on the board of directors at the huge Wall Street investment bank Morgan Stanley, where he is paid several hundred thousand dollars a year. Interestingly, Bowles also sits on many other corporate boards, also being paid millions for his services over the last decade.

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

    by smiley7 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 02:45:27 PM PDT

  •  Joan, how different the debate might have been (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, oysterface, greenbell

    if, rather than further obscuring the differences with Romney over SS and Medicare, Obama had simply said, "You'll change SS and Medicare over my DEAD BODY."

    But he wouldn't do that.  In fact, it was peculiar how he wouldn't do that.  To those of us that are worrying about the coming Grand Compromise (which looks more and more, from this diary, as a Grand Concession), it was telling.  To those who hadn't been worrying over this, it was probably just puzzling, Obama being timid and non-aggressive, etc.  It starts to make sense, though, if you realize Obama has his own plans to cut SS and Medicare that he doesn't want to discuss but he doesn't want to rule out.

    I had hoped that Biden's and Obama's next debate would give him the opportunity to lock in the safety-net loyalists through an "over my dead body" 100% commitment.  Are they too arrogant to do that?

    I'm also saddened to see that this is affecting Warren's race, which I feared.  I don't think Obama can lose, but his arrogance could and apparently has now hurt the downballot.

  •  Today I took my 401K (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gorette, artisanrox

    and rolled it over into a IRA at the Credit Union.  It will not earn much and I lose the employer match, but I do not trust that Congress will not take us over the fiscal cliff, and I only have 11 months to retirement.  I don't have time for it to build up again.  Plus, the higher income (even tho I'm going to put the same amount as I did before into the IRA) from not having it as a pre-tax deduction will up my Social Security payout.   The market has been going down and I don't trust the Republicans.  If PBO wins they'll be angry - if Mitt wins they'll refuse to compromise.

  •  Sorry to have made comment assuming I knew (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    what this diary was about. Yikes. Get a grip, Gorette and read first. Sheesh. Embarrassing.

    "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

    by Gorette on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 03:13:29 PM PDT

  •  "It is an alluring prospect to cut taxes on... (0+ / 0-)
    ...the wealthiest people..."
    ...if you are a despicable asshat.

    The case against Assange debunked:

    by expatjourno on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 03:26:14 PM PDT

  •  Schumer is one reason I won't to give to the DSCC. (0+ / 0-)

    What a politically tone-deaf douche nozzle. He's good on some issues, but he's always on the wrong side when it comes to Wall Street.

    And WTF! Social Security and Medicare are fundamental, and he can't get them right? He hasn't figured out that Republicans don't give a shit about debt and deficit except as pretexts to dismantle the New Deal? Puhleeze!

    I talked to a friend yesterday who asked why we can't have a viable third-party alternative, emphasis on "viable." I told her I'd be happy with a real Democratic Party.

    I don't live in NY, so fortunately I don't have to decide whether to vote for Schumer.

    The GOP can't win on ideas. They can only win by lying, cheating, and stealing. So they do.

    by psnyder on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 04:47:40 PM PDT

  •  You wanna know where the looming crisis is? (0+ / 0-)

    It's not with us boomers. Minor tweaks will cover our generation.

    I am a female, 59, who spent years at home raising children and more years in low-paying jobs. I earned my bachelor's degree in my early 40s and continued to a master's degree. Having underestimated the impact my age had on my hireability, I spent a couple of years working sporadically as a temp before landing my current position three years ago. It's basically entry-level and will stay that way until I retire.

    Had I started this job in my 20s or early 30s and progressed professionally I would have a semi decent income now and a not-too-awful retirement of Social Security and state pension. As it is I don't make much and if I had to depend on SS I'd work till I died.

    My work history is not all that different from many women of our generation. The fortunate among us (like me) have a husband's SS to take us through our final years. We won't be rich or maybe not even comfortable but we will probably survive.

    My work history is the result of a series of life style choices. The young people who entered the workforce (or should have entered) in the 21st Century have an early work history like mine. Not by choice, they have been unemployed or underemployed during the crucial years when they should have been reaping the benefits of their educations and establishing their careers.

    There's no reset button. Those years are gone. They will never make up that lost income and their retirements will reflect the loss.

    That's when the crisis will hit. Prior to their retirement we boomers will have sucked out any surplus and dwindling numbers of workers (including them and those older but not the boomer generation) will have paid and paid less into the system.

    If we don't plan for them, they will be working until death or eating catfood in their retirement.

    Social Security requires a working population making decent wages.

  •  Anything that kills the Grand Bargain is OK! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smiley7, greenbell

    If President Obama gets his Grand Bargain, where a budget balancing deal is agreed on by 'reforming' Social Security and Medicare with cuts, etc. - three things will happen.

    1) Republicans will take any savings and screw up everything again as soon as they take power, which..

    2) Will be the next election cycle, because they'll campaign against Democrats for cutting Social Security and Medicare, and

    3) No one in their right minds will ever trust Democrats to look out for them again.

    The Deficit Fixation and the Fiscal Cliff are just gimmicks to fool Democrats and Very Serious People into "being adults" so the Republicans can get the Democrats to do for them what they've always wanted - finish ripping the safety net to shreds.

    And God help us, there are Democrats who'll count that as their greatest accomplishment.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 04:53:54 PM PDT

  •  The political reality as you say... (0+ / 0-)

    " they'll campaign against Democrats for cutting Social Security and Medicare,"

    Yep, the ads are probably cut already

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

    by smiley7 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 04:57:24 PM PDT

  •  social security gaffe? No, Obama meant it (0+ / 0-)

    he won't go to bat for social security

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up ! ! !
    So just go vote ! ! !

    by Churchill on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 05:09:23 PM PDT

  •  Stupid move. (0+ / 0-)

    No matter who wins the election - Medicare and Social Security has to be handled. The costs of keeping them will spiral either way. Even though, it's clearly not popular here at DK - it seems a stupid strategic move to box oneself into a corner. Not that it matters, but I prefer a Bowles-Simpson deal to 60% income taxes/40% corporate taxes.

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