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U.S. representative (R-WI) Paul Ryan attends a vigil in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, August 7, 2012. The killings of six worshippers at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin has thrust attention on white power music, a thrashing, punk-metal genre that sees the white race u
Still eager to get granny's rainy-day money into the stock market.
As on so many other issues, when it comes to the Romney-Ryan ticket's stand on Social Security, things get a little slippery when the details are examined.

In Thursday night's debate, Paul Ryan did not directly support privatization or say the word, but the echo of his past statements in that regard was clarion:

If we don't shore up Social Security, when we run out of the IOUs, when the program goes bankrupt, a 25 percent across-the-board benefit cut kicks in on current seniors in the middle of their retirement. We're going to stop that from happening.[...]

For younger people. What we said then, and what I've always agreed is let younger Americans have a voluntary choice of making their money work faster for them within the Social Security system.

That spurred Biden to note, twice, during the debate:
[W]ith regard to Social Security, we will not -- we will not privatize it. If we had listened to Romney, Governor Romney, and the congressman during the Bush years, imagine where all those seniors would be now if their money had been in the market.
Just how far Mitt Romney would go in privatizing Social Security, or a piece of it, is unclear. He's backed private accounts in the past. But he has never been anything like a full-throated supporter of that idea. And he's studiously avoided taking a stance in favor during the current campaign.

But Ryan supported partial privatization in 2004-05—the Bush plan—and led the charge for moves in that direction in 2010 with his "Roadmap For America’s Future" proposal. Under that plan, not only would benefits be reduced, but also a portion of Social Security payroll taxes would be directed into private retirement accounts. Call it a political experiment. Once that is approved, plans can be made to implement the next step: additional privatization. The Ryan budgets of 2011 and 2012 that House Republicans so strongly backed had roots in the "Roadmap." But the GOP wasn't yet ready to push its Social Security and Medicare changes.

Economist Brad DeLong points out the problems with the 2005 Bush Social Security-privatization plan that Ryan backed:

It would have whacked a hunk out of existing Social Security, provided no protection for people who invested their Social Security money and lost it all, and it was set up "so that the government was basically lending you your Social Security benefit money at an interest rate of 3% plus inflation--and requiring that you pay it back."

The numbers of the Bush plan were such that it meant that an awful lot of people older than 70 would be destitute under such a system—but for a Randite like Paul Ryan, destitution of the unthrifty (and unlucky) old is a virtue.
If the Romney-Ryan ticket were somehow to overcome the odds and ride to victory in November, Paul Ryan wouldn't be president, of course. But his influence on budgetary matters would presumably be significant. Nowhere are his prescriptions more damaging than when it comes to the social safety net. From Social Security and Medicare to food stamps, he has adopted the let-the-devil-take-the-hindmost approach to economics. For those of us already eligible for Social Security, that might not matter, although that too is arguable.

What's not arguable is the impact on younger Americans. Ryan's proposals would wreck the country's most crucial and most effective social program and put at risk the population it was designed to shield from the worst ravages of an impoverished old age.  Not the sort of fellow who ought to be one heart attack away from the presidency.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 10:35 AM PDT.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You Have to Believe He'd Allow a Dollar to Be (19+ / 0-)

    withheld from the financial markets to be managed at no profit by the government, to believe he would not privatize the entire thing once he got into position to do it.

    The whole thing's going down if any of it goes.

    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 Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 10:37:40 AM PDT

    •  And we have to watch this long-term... (19+ / 0-)

      Two very scary, major stock market crashes (2000-2002 and 2008-2009) are in our collective recent memories, and to a large extent the memory of these events represents the primary reason why a large number of people are against privatizing Social Security.  Be honest, this was Joe Biden's most effective argument contra last night.  

      Suppose the stock market goes on a 10-year roll from now (not implausible); the risks would be the same, but would you expect privatization to be so unpopular at that time?  Would privatization have been so unpopular if it had been proposed in 1999?

      But all of this is beside the point.  Risk of loss is a downside to privatizing Social Security, but that's not the fundamental reason why privatizing is a bad idea.  Social Security is NOT like an IRA or 401(k), where you invest while you work and withdraw when you retire, even though this is how it is described popularly (I "paid in" and expect to get "paid back" later).  Rather, Social Security is an inter-generational agreement, in which working-age people pay into the pool to cover current retirees, with the expectation that the next generation of employees will pay for them, et seq.  It is a collectivist plan to provide a basic, minimum guaranteed standard of living to retirees.  These are the features that guarantee the program's solvency in perpetuity (provided the right minor tweaks are made to the inputs to and outputs from the system)---there will ALWAYS be working people to contribute to the system, and benefit recipients have NO EXPECTATION of huge gains, just a reasonable, minimum income stream.  

      But guys like Paul Ryan simply can't wrap their heads around the concept of Social Security.  Collectivism is evil and CAN'T work, despite any evidence to the contrary (e.g., eight decades of the Social Security program).  They hate Social Security simply because it is a collectivist program, regardless whether it works.  Moreover, they can only see Social Security as a financial scheme rather than as a pay-it-forward arrangement---which is why they frequently refer to it, incorrectly, as a Ponzi scheme.  To them, everything with a financial bent has to provide an opportunity for huge, maximized gains, where you balance risk and reward.  It boggles their minds to have a program in place---let alone one voters actually like---into which people pay 6% of their income with no possibility of receiving more than a few thousand dollars a month in retirement...which is the whole point---the current generation pays for the last one, providing them with retirement income at NO RISK.

      •  The first thing they did (13+ / 0-)

        was get  us working schlubs to start investing in the stock market. In other words, get their hands on our savings.

        Next they managed to get their hands on our pensions. They got shot to hell in the past 15 years, if they survived at all. Mosty the idea of a pension has been turned into more money for them to play with (401Ks, etc)

        Now they want to do the same thing with Social Security.

        Yet they somehow resent us, because we feel entitled to housing and food.


        These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people... -Abraham Lincoln

        by HugoDog on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 12:53:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ryan can wrap his head around SS well enough (7+ / 0-)

        to tap the funds. He already has collected survivor benefits.

        •  But that doesn't stop him from being willing (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          divineorder, 714day

          to end it in the future.

          Paul Ryan has his. He doesn't care about anyone else.

          Of course he isn't practiced at telling everyone everything they want to hear the way the Republican candidates have been doing lately. McCain and Romney are particularly adept at pandering to everyone.

          The GOP is the party of mammon. They mock what Jesus taught.

          by freelunch on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 02:27:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Social Security (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        2laneIA, barbwires, KenBee, divineorder

        A Social Security benefit is a government-guaranteed fixed annuity with inflation protection. You cannot buy that from any investment firm because it doesn't exist anywhere else.

        Such an annuity makes an ideal complement to mutual funds, stocks, bonds, real estate, and other assets that most working Americans have in their 401k, IRA and personal investment accounts. So why financial guys like Romney and so many other Republicans would be against it, or want to change its nature, is a bizarre mystery to me. Any financial expert worthy of the name would say you are spreading the risk and assuring yourself a floor of guaranteed income. And that's a tough combination to beat.

        The people who allegedly would benefit by investing their SS contributions in other places in pursuit of higher returns really don't need to do this because they already are doing so at work or will be at some point in their lives.  

    •  Dems would win an all out fight to the end... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbell, KenBee, seabos84, divineorder

      ...of a Republican push to death of SS/Med by guillotine.

      Tragically, "we" are more likely to play the cheerleaders than fighting the Democratic push to maiming and disfiguring SS/Med by the knife of bipartisanship.

      The Republicans win by losing.

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

      by kck on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 02:00:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ryan's Smoke Screen (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Since being added to the ticket, Ryan has tried to avoid talking about his personal views and positions on issues, and has repeated the scripted campaign line, "Mitt Romney it the head of the ticket, it is his budget we are runnng on", "it is his policy we are running on", etc. Ryan is running for VP. If anything should happen to Romney, Ryan would become president. Does anyone believe that Ryan would continue Romney's agenda in lieu of his own? What Ryan really believes himself matters.

      The Republican Party has been taken over by the corporatists and christian fundamentalists. The corporatists will force you into poverty, and the christian fundamentalists will force you to live under biblical law; daily gruel and scripture for all.

      by glb3 on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 02:21:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  one cloud: the 760 million stolen from Medicare (0+ / 0-)

        as long as they keep throwing that up we can spend time arguing about that instead of very short time most voters actually spend at this to debunk the SS privatization golden goose.

        This campaign is one  long choreographed Gish Gallop.

        This machine kills Fascists.

        by KenBee on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 02:31:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  That guy scares me . (16+ / 0-)

    I don't want him near any of the controls ever .

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 10:39:05 AM PDT

    •  It's funny how we're so aware of the ... (5+ / 0-)

      ... dangers of religious fundamentalism in other countries, but seem fairly comfortable with it here at home.

      I know we're not supposed to talk about the religious component of the Ryan/Romney ticket, but the notion of these two men at the helm of our nation, with their core beliefs being what they are, is nothing short of chilling.

  •  We need more SS privatization on main page/blog (7+ / 0-)

    All the focus is on the lack of specifics on taxes--which is true.

    But I'm surprised by how little this has been picked up on. Hopefully Kos, Jed, Meteor or one of the gang can put up a SS post later.

    This, plus Ryan's apparent hint that he's for banning abortion.  Those two nuggets are HUGE, and I hope the moderator for Tuesday follows-up on them.

    •  McJoan is the dK Soc Sec Goddess (15+ / 0-)

      And posts regularly on the FP on Social Security and Medicare. So you could just 'Follow' her. Or since I religiously repost everything she puts up on this topic plus 90%+ of all other posts using the 'Social Security' Tag on the Social Security Defenders Group you could pick up all her stuff and more by Following or Joining SSD.

      SS Privatization has been on the back burner recently, and while the initial Ryan Roadmap included it, it was carefully held back from the Ryan Budget as passed by House Republicans.

      But not everyone is asleep, some of us are watching this one closely. Because Privatization may Sleep, generally it is the fitful Sleep of the Undead, and Halloween is as likely as not the time to keep an eye on that graveyard.

      by Bruce Webb on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 11:27:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting that (11+ / 0-)

    the Republicans always refer to the Social Security bonds as IOUs. Then they should call Treasuries owned by U S citizens IO me's.

    Ceiling Cat rules....srsly.

    by side pocket on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 10:52:05 AM PDT

  •  Key Biden point last night: the Social Security (20+ / 0-)

    Trust Fund is currently solvent to 2034, and can be easily extended well past that by raising the income deduction cap which is currently around $100,000.

    Everytime Romney, Ryan, Republicans, or other regressive suggest Social Security is in a crisis and they need to destroy it to save it, we need to shout "NOT!"  

    I"m less knowledgeable of the details of the Medicare fund. My understanding from what I've read in news reports  is that President Obama's ACA changes extend Medicare's solvency into the 2020s - if Romney and Ryan repealed it we would have a Medicare crisis by 2016, but that would be of their own making.

    The idea that Romney and Ryan are the "savors" of Social Security and Medicare is preposterous and needs to be reputed at every opportunity with an extra notation of serial brazenness of the deceptiveness, where exactly the opposite of what they are saying is the actual truth.

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 11:09:46 AM PDT

    •  And the other thing is (8+ / 0-)

      the current 'crisis' will solve itself in 30 yrs, when most of the baby boomers die off and the demographics get back to a more normal bell curve.

      It will still skew a bit older, because of the lengthened life spans from when it was first enacted, but a normal demographic curve will help a lot.

      •  You make this sound like "good news." For (0+ / 0-)

        a second you lifed my enthusiasm until I realized you were talking about me!  

        Ha! Society will soon discover us baby boomers are harder to get rid of than you think. We are already busy reading up on longevity supplements, genetic telemere repair, and even the extremes of diet and exercise which is suggesting average lifetimes may go up to over 100 in a few decades..  

        You younger folks are going to have to pry our Social Security check from our cold dead fingers.   Bwa, ha, ha, ha.  

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 04:55:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Beware the word privatize (7+ / 0-)

    What you hear from the administration is that they will not do that word.   And oh what they are not saying!!!!! They do not say they will not raise age or cut the COLA.  Republicans are doing both parties of plutocrats a favor.  The bar is now so far right.  The gang of 8 rich white guys are coming for your retirement.  You are being conditioned to thank them.

  •  I don't know how R&R think they are going to (8+ / 0-)

    sell this idea to current grannies and grampas. Most of them want their offspring to have at least as much security as they do and the roller coaster market won't offer it. Most of that generation was "thrifty" and still they were crushed by the banksters and marketeers playing shell games with their investments. This is not a winner for the GOP except with the privileged few they already represent.

    •  All Republican SS Plans since 1983 (9+ / 0-)

      have explicitly exempted those "in and approaching retirement". At least from open programmatic changes.

      By 'explicitly' I mean spelled out in what became their overall strategic gameplay outlined in a paper by Stuart Butler and Peter Germanis in the Fall 1983 Social Security themed edition of the Cato Journal. The paper was called "Social Security Reform: Achieving a "Leninist" Strategy and has in recent years drawn a significant amount of attention by the DC based defenders of SS (and they do exist). You should be able to find a bazillion links by Googling 'butler Germanis Leninist strategy'. Including BTW a very early dKos diary by User something or other.

      But the point is the whole strategy has three prongs:
      Reassure Granny
      Scare the crap out of Gen-X/Millennials
      Blame Greedy Boomers

      by Bruce Webb on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 11:36:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I understand this. I just don't think it floats (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        2laneIA, divineorder, cocinero

        with most folks. Not that it matters what we the people think. I have fairly deep concern that the Dems are also a bit wobbly on this, too, and may soon be wrapping their arms around Mr. Simpson and Mr. Bowles recipe for shit soup.

      •  But current retirees have not been exempted (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder, cocinero

        from ALL the changes that came down in that 1983 "reform."  Income taxes being levied on SS payments were included in that plan too.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 01:24:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This could be an alternative to means testing SS (0+ / 0-)

          Along with ending the Bush tax cuts on those making more that $200K ($250K family) make their SS benefits 100% subject to federal income tax and apply the revenue to the SS Trust Fund. That's in addition to lifting the payroll tax cap.

        •  The Leninist Strategy was published (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          AFTER the legislation that came out of the Greenspan Commission.

          So when I say "since 1983" I should have said "since the Summer 1983 Cato sponsored conference whose papers, including Leninist Strategy were published in the Fall 1983 issue of the Cato Journal IN DIRECT RESPONSE to the Greenspan Commission"

          I suspect the authors of the Leninist Strategy as seeing all those dollars collected from the upper reaches of the middle class in the form of income taxes on SS as lost opportunities to fund private accounts. Certainly the Right is unalterable opposed to any sort of revenue based solutions to SS today. To that degree 'solvency' is for them a blind, their worst fear is that people will see that given some true tweaks (that don't involved sending gramma to the catfood aisle via things like Chained CPI) Social Security is a Big Government Program that Works. In their words "Is the Solution and Not the Problem". At which point their cognitive world cracks into two.

          by Bruce Webb on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 05:33:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Ryan to 2020adam's grandkids: get back to work. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    714day, NoMoreLies, divineorder
    [S]lowly raise the retirement age over time. It wouldn't get to the age of 70 until the year 2103, according to the actuaries.
    He's basically proposing this in the hopes that 2103 sounds so far off that you shrug your shoulders and say Whatever. And I worry that it could work with the leaders of our Party if ever coupled with at least the plausible claim that they're getting more revenue.

    "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

    by 2020adam on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 12:01:34 PM PDT

  •  Ryan's plans blow chunks (0+ / 0-)

    A malevolent Jughead Jones.

    Mitt Romney treats people like things. And he treats things - corporations - like people.

    by richardak on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 12:50:22 PM PDT

  •  The funniest comment I heard about this debate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Joe Biden should be charged with child abuse!

  •  I liked how Joe said, You guys have been against (8+ / 0-)

    social security and medicare from the beginning.

    How true, Republians have been against both of these programs since the beginning.

    Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

    by wishingwell on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 12:52:48 PM PDT

  •  Won't someone be clear that its NOT bankrupt? (10+ / 0-)

    As good as Biden was last night he didn't criticize the premise that Social Security is going bankrupt. I think Raddatz started it (though I could be remembering incorrectly) Still, I'm appalled that Biden didn't correct it and TEACH.

    "We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers..." -- Bayard Rustin

    by BK here on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 12:53:41 PM PDT

  •  WISH (5+ / 0-)

    If only there was one major political party in the US that would come out and forcefully state they will protect Social Security no matter what.  There will be no benefit cuts and the cap on wage income will increase to include 90% of income as the Greenspan commission recommended in the early 1980s.

    If I was a communist, rich men would fear me...And the opposite applies. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

    by stewarjt on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 12:54:24 PM PDT

  •  Look at Ryan's insidious language (6+ / 0-)
    let younger Americans have a voluntary choice of making their money work faster for them within the Social Security system.
    he makes it sound like investing in markets is nothing more than a "choice" to get a higher "return" than ones benefits would give.  Right.  The stock markets always do what we choose...

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 12:55:53 PM PDT

    •  They already have that choice (6+ / 0-)

      You can invest PRE TAX money in an IRA. And you can select various investment options for that IRA, some of which are pretty risky.

      You might get lucky, or you might lose it all. That's your choice.

      But you'll still have SS, so you won't wind up destitute.

      That was the entire purpose for SS from the beginning - to make sure that the elderly had some safety net when they could no longer work.

      When you don't have family that will take you in, or that CAN'T take you in, or that can't properly care for you, having an income that is YOURS becomes more important.

      Or we could just have free old folks homes for the poorest, where they'd get fed pink slime and live in minimal conditions, with no real medical care and no creature comforts.

      Sounds like a horrible waste of talent to me. And extremely Dickensian.  

  •  Funny , I could have sworn (6+ / 0-)
    If we don't shore up Social Security... a 25 percent across-the-board benefit cut kicks in on current seniors in the middle of their retirement.
    that Ryan would be PLEASED for retirees to get hit with an across-the-board 25% benefit cut.   Isn't reducing the dreaded entitlements his avowed goal?

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

    by lgmcp on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 12:56:25 PM PDT

    •  crazy argument, eh? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp, cocinero

      If we do nothing, and things are as bad as they claim, in a decade or so the SS benefits will be cut by 25%. What have they proposed doing to address this? Cutting benefits by 25+% and raising the retirement age. Huh.

  •  I find the Romney-Ryan ticket even more (7+ / 0-)

    terrifying than McCain-Palin, simply because they are more adept at masking their insanity, and because rethug king makers know they'd be a snap to control, just like W was.

  •  Doesn't the time line for when (7+ / 0-)

    the cuts start come closer to when Ryan would be collecting, than anything that will happen in the next four years? The Trustee's report put the 25% mark out about 2033, moved up three years because of the financial collapse and subsequent unemployment and greater outlays as people claimed early retirement/disability.

    Of course, we could raise the cap, use a donut hole in necessary, capture payments on all income instead of giving breaks on capital gains and carried interest instead of killing the program.  Middle class Americans are willing to pay more tax.

    So why the rush to kill it and why won't the administration defend sensible approaches and kill the rumors that they will cut benefits.

    If we take a sensible approach on naturalizing current non-papered immigrants, captured the economic benefits of that, improved employment, reversed the concentration of wealth so that real wages for workers increased, invest in infrastructure to create jobs and stimulate businses, we'd fix a substantial part of the short/mid term short falls.

  •  We have alternate Social Security Plans available (6+ / 0-)

    today.  A 401(k) plan or many of the other similar plans allow for directed savings.

    Leave social security alone.

  •  Clarification, Mr. Blades, please. (6+ / 0-)
    He's backed private accounts in the past. But he has never been anything like a full-throated supported of that idea.
    In fact, in his book "No Apology," beginning on page 160, Romney does call for privatization, calling the social security system "corrupt."  Both he and Ryan backed George Bush's 2005 privatization push and, when Romney ran in 2007 he was still adamantly for it.  Remember Romney saying in the 2007 campaign, "You call it privatization.  I call it private accounts."?

    I'd scout out some links for you, but I've got to run to a meeting here at work.

    PS:  You're still the awesomest, MB.

  •  Goodness! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Paul's nose is even longer this morning.

    "It's too LATE to stop now!" - John Lee Hooker

    by Rolfyboy6 on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 01:01:41 PM PDT

  •  How on earth (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmacdDE, vcmvo2, cocinero, divineorder

    could you ever sell this idea to people who've lived through the past 12 years of the stock market? It boggles the imagination.

    We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

    by denise b on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 01:02:36 PM PDT

  •  In 1983 (5+ / 0-)

    Reagan and a Democratic congress “tweaked” Social Security to make it solvent forever by raising the retirement age, increasing FICA contributions and subjecting up to 50% of SS benefits to federal income tax for individuals with income of at least $25,000 ($32,000 for married couples).  In 1993, under a Democratic president and congress the amount of SS benefits subject to the income tax was raised to 85%.

    What makes anyone think a Democratic president and divided congress won't "reform" Social Security to the detriment of wage earners again?

    Wage earners have made enough "sacrifice" for the sake of the federal budget.  It's time to either subject all income to the FICA tax or lift the cap entirely on contributions based on earned income.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 01:10:03 PM PDT

  •  Ryan and Social Security (7+ / 0-)

    I am 57 and I am insulted to the point of blind rage when these Republicans try to reassure me that because I am of a certain age, their plans to wreck Social Security and Medicare are of no concern to me. Do they tjink all of us are selfish bastards like so many of them are?

    I have paid my SS and Medicare taxes for my entire working life without complaint and in the knowledge that this is part of the dues of being an American. So as far as I'm concerned, the next generation after me deserves no less, and if that means raising or broadening taxes or changing the benefits formulas, so be it. I can't see why there is an SS earnings cap, for example (and my salary is well in excess of the cap).

    I guess I'm not supposed to care about the rest of society or that the richest country in the world is actually talking about stripping the old and the sick of their safety net as long as I've got mine.

  •  Let's rule out the possible 25% benefit cut (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2, cocinero

    someday by simply cutting the benefits today.  Thereby making the cuts certain.  Hooray?  

    Fact is, all of Ryan's plans just change our SS scenario from a possible future cut to a guaranteed present cut.

    "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 Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 01:12:24 PM PDT

  •  Dear Front Pagers and Editors: ACTION? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm like dyin' here......reading wise documentation of facts, reading clear analysis.........

    But maybe we could find a way to include ACTION to defeat Romney-Ryan.

    If not here, then where?

    Can we hold ourselves and each other accountable?

    Can we find a way to measure what works?

    For example, if anything written on Daily Kos has moved readers to take positive action, to do boots on the ground volunteering, to donate money....could we have it re-posted?

    thank you.

    •  You bet your ass. (0+ / 0-)

      As Founder-Admin of the dKos Social Security Defenders Group I see EVERY post and diary that has the tag 'Social Security' attached. And repost the overwhelming majority of them to the Group.

      If any reader has been moved to some positive action they can either write up a brief diary with tag 'Social Security' or message the Social Security Defenders Group. Or me, it all works out the same in the end.

      For that matter there is a huge mass of material in the Group already which can be reviewed in List form or searched by key word.

      SSD has not been real active the last year because the topic wasn't that active. But it is still no 31 on the list of 'Most Prolific' with 790 posts/diaries.

      by Bruce Webb on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 07:01:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Where the hell are his lips?? (0+ / 0-)

    Seriously - the man has almost no lips.  Genetics aside, this is a common characteristic of ultra-conservatives.  It's a sign of retentive anger and  cold soul.

  •  Relaxing and thinking (5+ / 0-)

    You know, when I watched the debate online I had a perspective many Americans don't — a slight delay. I really thought Biden was going to say bullshit . I would have applauded so we are clear on that.
    The thing I think most people do not realize, or are not explaining is that privatizing S.S. and or Medicare is just another way to mine the resources of the working class. If any of us were to suppose banks were to big to fail (I think they were, but should have only been recused with mass firings-seriously, if you or I screwed up as bad as they did we would be fired, union or not.Consider that) let us suppose retirement is tied to the stock market, then every investment is to big to fail.
    Seriously , we could use facebook as the perfect example. They started out at (I think) $48 a share and are now worth $8 a share. If say 30% of retired people or any % of retired people made that investment WE HAVE TO BAILOUT FACEBOOK ! Why ? Because if we don't then old people will starve.
    I will be the first to say I will vote for Obama and I hope he actually drops the conservative shit and goes center left or even a step left, Christ, just do something facing left and I will be happy.
    The problem with us, here on the left is we never just explain things in the simplest of terms. Like the stock market is essentially a bunch of unsecured loans that we may be lucky enough to collect on quarterly or lose our shirts on. Please do not lecture me on how wrong I am ; Enron never paid me back a single penny- it was an unsecured loan that has no recourse for collection. Explain it , SIMPLY. There is no need to go to John Kerry and ask him to be the spokesperson nor is there a need to get an economics professor . In simple terms - if social security is in the stock market and the stock market collapses YOU NO LONGER HAVE SOCIAL SECURITY and the people who lost it will get bonuses and not be held responsible for what they did.
    THAT is what Obama and Biden need to explain. That is how they need to explain it. Simplicity of facts often leeds to understanding.

    you can't remain neutral on a moving train

    by rmfcjr on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 01:24:23 PM PDT

  •  Romney/Ryan - SS-Medicare Privatization- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, KenBee

    On the record now.  All Dem candidates- repeat 24 hours a day.

  •  Arithmetic is easy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, divineorder

    If you allow a percentage of $$ in Social Security to go to private investment, it IS going to affect those 55 and over because in the future there will be less money going into the SS Trust fund -- arithmetic says all minus some is less.  

    I think one reason so many people don't realize this is that the lies are so ubiquitous and constant (and mostly unchallenged) that the lie seems plausible.  That and far too many people prefer magical thinking to critical thinking.

  •  It will affect you too. (5+ / 0-)
    For those of us already eligible for Social Security, that might not matter, although that too is arguable.
    If the chained CPI is adopted as the COLA (cost of living adjustment) formula, it will hurt current seniors as well.  The President favors this, as he showed in the failed grand bargain.  The Republicans would vote for this as well, and it will probably be part of the lame duck surprise that Dick Durbin and the GangofEight are preparing for us. The good news from their perspective is that chained CPI cuts benefits across a range of programs, not just Social Security.  Daniel Marans:
    The chained CPI is a more modest measure of inflation. It increases 0.3 percent less on average than the CPI-W (Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Workers and Clerical Workers), which is currently used to determine Social Security’s COLA. The COLA is an annual increase in Social Security benefits that beneficiaries receive at the end of the year to ensure that those benefits do not lose value due to inflation. There is not a COLA every year; it is only provided when the CPI registers inflation. In fact, because of the recession, there was not a COLA for the past two years.

    The chained CPI is seen as an attractive change in the current bipartisan deficit talks in Washington, because when applied government-wide, it both cuts spending and increases taxes. In addition to Social Security, when applied to several other programs that provide COLAs, such as Veterans Affairs benefits, federal employee pensions and other program’s whose benefits are based on inflation (such as Supplemental Security Income), the chained CPI would dramatically reduce government spending. When applied to the tax code, it would slow the rate at which tax brackets and refundable deductions like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) increase, thereby increasing revenue.

    And the new CPI would work its magic through a technical change that both Democrats and Republicans can spin as not selling out their principles. In total, two-thirds–$145 billion–of the $217 billion in savings from the chained CPI would come from benefit cuts, and one-third–$72 billion–of the savings would come from revenue increases, according to CBO. From Social Security alone, the chained CPI would save $112 billion from benefit cuts–more than half of all savings from the measure.

  •  It is unconscionable to not have a social safety (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, cocinero, KenBee

    net in one of the most advanced countries on  earth with the most bloated military in the world - I am a veteran who served honorably - I can say that, including single-payer, universal health care w/out insurance companies - (the rest of the civilized world learned this long, long ago).

    I was raised Roman Catholic in the '50's and '60's.  The nuns who taught me (elementary & High School), were a few members of a missionary order who came to Northern Kentucky from Germany after WWI when the Kaiser kicked them out of Germany.  We were taught a true Social Gospel - no evangelicals and fundamentalists anywhere near where I grew up.  The Beatitudes.  A loving and caring Jesus as prophet who multiplipled the loaves and fishes to stretch food to a large gathering, and who changed water into wine.  A very different church from Ratzingers right wingers and his sycophant  American bishops.

    Joe Biden was exactly correct about the Catholic church not controlling & the US Constitution controlling laws in the US, a diverse and multicultural, multi-faith melting pot.  The right wing Catholic Bishops are wrong.  That was not Jesus message - the prosperity gospel/every man for himself/social Darwinism.  No politician should even think of implementing religious laws (which faith, which denomination, which sect, which so called "true church?).  It is asinine on its face.  To outlaw abortions in violation of an established precedent  of decades of jurisprudence, protected by the constitution is an affront and an insult to the people of the United States.  Do they really think Americans will vote them in?  Is the dumbing down that complete and irreversible?  This has been settled law since 1973.

    What the hell happened to the country I served to protect and defend in the USAF?  

  •  Behind Blue Eyes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, KenBee

    Atlas still shrugs.

    I don't believe Paul Ryan's disavowal of Ayn Rand for one second.

  •  Why doesn't anyone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ever ask him if SS would have been there for him, if it worked when he used it, like it would if he gets his way?

    We used to have a 3 legged option for setting up our own retirement in this country. We usually had a company pension program that if we stayed at the company long enough, we got a monthly pay check that was some percentage of our original paycheck. We could by stock in the stock market, and save something that way, if we were lucky and we had social security.

    Now we still have the stock market, and the pension programs have been replaced by the 401K program (stock market) and social security.

    And, they're trying to make it that if we want to retire, we will have to save for it by buying into the stock market, only.

    Keep moving. Its harder to hit a moving target.

    by KatGirl on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 02:58:47 PM PDT

  •  The GOP's plan is to GET RID of SS/MC (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It has been ever since 1935.

    Only an idiot would think they would change their plan now.

  •  Privatized Social Security would lead to everyone (0+ / 0-)

    over 40 spending their day watching stock prices and their Soc Sec investment values.

    The Boss's secretary at the company I worked at received stock options which vested after a required hold period (say 3 years). When I asked her why she sold her options the day they vested, she said she couldn't stand to watch the stock price go up and down because she would calculate the impact on her (modest) personal balance sheet. She said it made her sick every time the price went down and worried when the price went up.

    Now extend that kind of financial worry to an entire nation of working people AND every single retired person. Even if they avoid the risks of day-trading, bad investment advice, market crashes, and thieves, they will carry the "I could have done something differently" burden for upwards of 4 decades. The anxiety level would only increase up to retirement and turn into absolute paranoia at retirement.

  •  if privatizing SS was considered such a great (0+ / 0-)

    idea, most likely FDR would have done that in 1935, when the law was passed. the whole purpose of making it a gov't run program was specifically to keep it out of the hands of wall street speculators, who had already crashed the economy in 1929. it was a shitty idea in 1935, and it remains a shitty idea in 2012.

    wall street speculators will always speculate, it's their nature, like a scorpion. let them speculate (and lose) their own money, or their rich investor's money, not the money of people who can least afford to lose it.

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