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Social Security card dangling off of fish hook
While the nation is being diverted by the antics of Sen. Ted "Calgary" Cruz, the deficit fetishists smell blood in the water. Budget fight? That means they have a chance to get those entitlement cuts that they've devoted their lives to, because while President Obama said he wouldn't negotiate on the debt limit, he said no such thing about resolving the budget crisis. The cuts to Social Security and Medicare he offered up in his budget are still on the table, and the catfood crowd sees their opportunity, Richard Eskow explains.
It’s all part of a wider Washington offensive. As another recent Politico news item reported, “Fix the Debt is ramping back up its lobbying efforts as government funding fights become the topic du jour on Capitol Hill.” Politico listed a group of Republican and Democratic politicians who “met Monday with Maya MacGuineas, head of the campaign, and members of the group’s CEO council and small business members.” [...]

But can they really come to a deal? Tea Party Republicans are demanding Obamacare’s repeal in return for a budget deal. The President says he’ll refuse to negotiate. Things look hopelessly gridlocked.

Look again. Boehner will want to give his party’s Tea Party wing something in return for dropping their futile Obamacare attacks, and entitlements would be the perfect prize. As for the president, in a terse conversation with Boehner on Friday he merely said “he wouldn’t negotiate with him on the debt limit,” according to Boehner’s office. The president and White House officials have consistently echoed the line taken last Sunday by presidential economic advisor Gene Sperling on a reporters’ call. “The President is not going to negotiate over the debt limit,” said Sperling. (emphasis ours) [...]

And Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma said this: “If we found $700 billion in savings from entitlements—Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security—it would relieve pressure on the Pentagon and on non-mandatory spending. All the cuts they need are there to avoid a possible shutdown.”

So tempting for would-be compromisers among the Democrats, and so unnecessary. Republicans are well aware who is going to get the blame if the government shuts down, and they are the ones over a barrel. Furthermore, a willingness to allow the Republicans to see this out would go some distance to convince the GOP that, yeah, there's no negotiating the debt ceiling.

Something else Democrats should think about: cuts to Social Security and Medicare are even more unpopular than a government shutdown would be. There's no need to go there. At all.

Join Daily Kos and CREDO in telling the Senate now is not the time to think about cuts to Social Security. Now is the time to support the Harkin and Begich plans to strengthen Social Security.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 02:53 PM PDT.

Also republished by Pushing back at the Grand Bargain, Social Security Defenders, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (139+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, wdrath, tampaedski, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, puakev, carpunder, annan, dance you monster, Simplify, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, erratic, poopdogcomedy, whaddaya, MartyM, greenbell, VirginiaBlue, marykk, Mary Mike, dkmich, Assaf, NonnyO, kevinpdx, Shockwave, MrWebster, Tunk, implicate order, librarisingnsf, ItsSimpleSimon, edg, eagleray, elwior, ferg, miracle11, oceanview, thomask, PhilK, poliwrangler, jbsoul, Involuntary Exile, CitizenOfEarth, Jazzenterprises, Gooserock, rapala, highacidity, CT Hank, Sylv, buckstop, democracy inaction, 3goldens, PJEvans, Betty Pinson, Dem Beans, JerryNA, Williston Barrett, retLT, Debs2, Alumbrados, LeftHandedMan, lunachickie, Johnny Q, Kingsmeg, LABobsterofAnaheim, blueoregon, jabney, mollyd, 84thProblem, Throw The Bums Out, HappyinNM, enhydra lutris, marina, Jim P, GeorgeXVIII, notrouble, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, profundo, Brooke In Seattle, OldSoldier99, bluezen, doingbusinessas, Jackson L Haveck, ctsteve, geordie, YucatanMan, SpecialKinFlag, yoduuuh do or do not, Eric Blair, tidalwave1, bluicebank, linkage, revsue, Just Bob, quagmiremonkey, Liberal Thinking, wasatch, bnasley, bobswern, KJG52, kurt, Teiresias70, PaloAltoPixie, rmx2630, monkeybrainpolitics, radarlady, riverlover, Mark Mywurtz, profh, PedalingPete, triv33, pundit, jbob, Lily O Lady, run around, anyname, scorpiorising, eeff, suzq, Harper, fabucat, Powered Grace, MKinTN, BeninSC, cslewis, ratcityreprobate, Ishmaelbychoice, terrybuck, fixxit, MO Blue, priceman, vigilant meerkat, rbird, Capt Crunch, valadon, 2laneIA, myboo, sphealey, splashoil, Phoebe Loosinhouse, Australian2, Robynhood too

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 02:53:17 PM PDT

  •  actually, that's not a bad idea... (50+ / 0-)

    ...the Democratic Party should write in stone, in our platform and everywhere else, the following three rails of politics: No messing around with Social Security, Medicare or the Affordable Care Act.

    That should be one of the bedrocks of the Democratic Party going forward.

    •  I don't mind them messing around (13+ / 0-)

      as long as it makes those programs better.  But I could get behind "no cutting..."

      Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

      by democracy inaction on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:03:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't qualify it! (13+ / 0-)

        Please! If we "acquiesce" to the idea that they can "mess around" with the programs, they'll fuck them up.

        NO.

        This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

        by lunachickie on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:59:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Is this snark? (0+ / 0-)

          That's a legitimate question, I really can't tell.  In case it's not, please see my response here because I think you and several others here have totally misinterpreted what I said.

          Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

          by democracy inaction on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 04:06:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, it's not (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greenbell, suzq, claude

            and I know you don't want cuts, but seriously. "Messing around with" something is not the same as "fixing it".

            We know what can actually fix it. If we're going to acquiesce to even letting this bunch touch it, though, then the only touching they are to do would be the obvious: raising the cap, for example.

            This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

            by lunachickie on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 09:34:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There is no reason to raise more taxes to pay (0+ / 0-)

              for SS, thats not how Govt financing works.  The US dollar is a fiat currency that only the Congress can create.  Nobody ever worries about running out of money for defense, its only the stupid so-called "trust fund" that allows the illusion of SS running out of money to endure.  Just fund a national retirement program and be done with it.  Get the money from the same place all money comes from, nowhere

              MMT = Reality

              "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens. Please join our Kos group "Money and Public Purpose". The gold standard ended on August 15, 1971, its time we start acting like it.

              by Auburn Parks on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 02:16:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

              Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.  You and I have the same view but we're arguing over semantics and that's seriously fucked up.

              If we're going to acquiesce to even letting this bunch touch it, though, then the only touching they are to do would be the obvious: raising the cap, for example.
              That's the same thing that I said.  So why am I still being lectured about it?  Do you have any idea how annoying it is to be lectured at by people that you are in total agreement with?

              Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

              by democracy inaction on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 05:27:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  'reform' means 'destroy' in DC-talk. (16+ / 0-)

        Until we have a representative government, and a representative party, let's stay away from 'improving,' 'modernizing,' and all that crap.

        With the exception of raising the CPI-allowance (to reflect reality) and Medicare-for-All. Less than that, ... 'they say bipartisan when they mean to really screw you' to paraphrase George Carlin.


        Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

        by Jim P on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 06:52:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am for Medicare for all, (7+ / 0-)

          SSI be strong, and available for the retired (as well as the COLA be realistic to what real costs are).

          "Death is the winner in any war." - Nightwish/Imaginareum/Song of myself.

          by doingbusinessas on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 07:31:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

          You think I don't realize that it's the right's wet dream to destroy those programs?  Geez, give me some damn credit.  You are saying exactly the same thing that I am saying.

          Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

          by democracy inaction on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 04:11:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And the centrists probably want him to split diff. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          claude

          You would think that if the centrists of this country really believed in moderation, they would have noticed that Obama has been a lot closer to their position from Inauguration Day, 3009.

          I really have to wonder if they'd even be satisfied if Obama actually took the Republican position, or would they complain that it still isn't exactly halfway between itself and the GOP.

          The Democratic leadership has been wooing the centrists since Jimmy Carter, and they haven't noticed. I say it's time to return the snub.

          Freedom's just another word for not enough to eat. --Paul Krugman's characterization of conservative attitudes.

          by Judge Moonbox on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:03:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  messing around, as in (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenbell

        the Republicans' never-ending effort to try to kill them off...and (some) Democrats falling into their traps.

      •  "I don't mind them messing around" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenbell

        it's folks like you that embolden Obama to take risks with what little safety net there is. Recent pushback suggests that  congressional Dems have learned that the leader of our party is more interested in his legacy than good policy so I doubt they'll follow him over this cliff.

        •  The idea that "messing around" with (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          democracy inaction, sweatyb

          any safety net is automatically going to be bad or blasphemous is something Democrats need to get over.  Sooner or later SS and medicare are going to need tweaking and we the supposedly grown up and intellectually superior crowd ought to be able to articulate and debate ideas that "mess around" with SS without hitting the panic button.

          Right man, right job and right time

          by Ianb007 on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 12:28:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            stellaluna, rbird

            That was my entire point.  I'm really nonplussed by the "hair on fire" responses to what I said, which is wholly uncontroversial.  The ACA didn't go nearly far enough and I, for one, sure as hell hope that it is improved somewhere down the line.  I hope they raise the cap on SS and I'd love to see them open Medicare to let anyone of any age enroll.

            But all that would be "messing around" with them, making changes to them.

            I am firmly opposed to them being cut in any way, which I thought - silly me - that I had made clear when I said "no cutting."

            Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

            by democracy inaction on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 04:01:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Tweaking? (0+ / 0-)

            That's corporatist centrist spin for slashing the hell out of Social Security because they can't corrupt it.  The money just goes directly from the Treasury to the citizen.

            •  This is the exact type of post that I was referrin (0+ / 0-)

              to.  Sooner or later something is going to have be done with SS.  THis is not centrist or leftist or right wing nuttery.

              It's the SS board of trustees.

              http://www.ssa.gov/...

              It's going to be tweaked sooner or later.  The sooner we do it the better.  There are many tweaks that can be done that won't cut benefits, however freaking out about the term 'tweaks" almost guarantees nothing is going to be done until the last minute where the only options left are all bad.

              Right man, right job and right time

              by Ianb007 on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 02:36:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  But tweaks is one of their lie words (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                splashoil

                I refuse to listen to them until they stop lying.  As long as they are in let's trick the seniors mode, I'm not getting on board for any changes at all period.  

                Obama put CCPI on the table and he did not put raising the cap on the table.  What kind of Democrat has priorities like that?!!!  Third Way, neoliberal, screw the middle class Democrats.  

                They thought they could get CCPI by the folks but the folks aren't as stoooopid as they think.  

                So when stop lying to me, when they stop tweaking and strengthening and reforming and bullshitting me then we can talk.  

          •  No no no, you are spreading blatant falsehoods, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Reston history guy

            now I know thats not your intent and you believe that the federal Govt's budget works the same way as a household budget, but its just completely false.  Our nation can never run out of money.  Modern money is a unit of measurement, it comes from nowhere, it be like saying accountants can run out of numbers with which to count.  Its totally illogical.  Just because neither you or I have the authority to create our national currency, doesn't mean the same rules apply to the Federal Govt.  Which is a great thing, We The People control our supply of money.  We don't leave it up to the mining industry (gold standard) or a non-elected bureaucracy (the ECB).  Its time we all ackowledge the wonderful benefits we could be having by properly provisioning the private sector with enough new money each year through the deficit to maintain full employment, health care, and retirement for all Americans

            MMT = Reality

            "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens. Please join our Kos group "Money and Public Purpose". The gold standard ended on August 15, 1971, its time we start acting like it.

            by Auburn Parks on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 02:22:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Printing more money to fix fiscal problems? (0+ / 0-)

              Not sure it's a great idea.

              Right man, right job and right time

              by Ianb007 on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 02:27:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  all money is printed. All deficit spending is (0+ / 0-)

                printing money, surely you don't thinkn the US dollar exists in nature.  

                "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens. Please join our Kos group "Money and Public Purpose". The gold standard ended on August 15, 1971, its time we start acting like it.

                by Auburn Parks on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 02:29:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Printing too much money is not good fiscal (0+ / 0-)

                  policy.  I don't think even Stiglitz or Krugman would recommend this.  Sure deficit spending to jump start an economy is one thing and  I can agree with that,  however a long term plan to use printing money to fix a problem that can easily be fixed by say raising the income cap on SS is not smart IMO.  However I'm not an economist so take that with a grain of salt.

                  Right man, right job and right time

                  by Ianb007 on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 02:44:39 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I too would never advocate for printing too (0+ / 0-)

                    much money.  But thats really the issue isn't it, how much is too much?.  SS payments to our retirees are not a problem that needs to be fixed.  Its not like people are getting 100K a year.  We are talking about a pretty meager income.  The economy needs the debt free (from the private sector POV) income that the deficit provides each year.  Look at this graph, you will notice that the private sector historically saves about 3% of GDP each year.  The two extended periods of surpluses in the last 100 years came in the mid 1920's and the late 1990's, both periods were followed by the only two depressions since 1920.  Because when private sector debt gets too high, people are forced to deleverage and since private sector debt is a form of money, this shrinks the money supply.  Thats why its healthy and necessary for the Govt to contribute each year to private income, plus we need to make up for the drain in private income that comes from the trade deficit of ~$500 billion each year.  So from a simple accounting POV, if the Private sector wants to net save, the Govt deficit must be bigger than the trade deficit.

                    Govt balance = Domestic private balance + Foreign balance

                    Every dollar spent by one person or sector is a dollar of income for another person or sector.

                    Here's the 3 sector budget balance going back to the 1950's :
                    http://soberlook.com/...

                    Here's the level of private debt going back to 1900:
                    http://static.seekingalpha.com/...

                    "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens. Please join our Kos group "Money and Public Purpose". The gold standard ended on August 15, 1971, its time we start acting like it.

                    by Auburn Parks on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 03:02:38 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Then, no taxes are required? (0+ / 0-)

              We can get rid of the IRS and just create all the money the government needs? All that tax money is unnecessary and, actually, doesn't fund the government?

              That actually makes some sense. Of course, it causes inflation and that becomes the new "tax". It's difficult to evade and has no loopholes. It requires no administrative effort for the "taxpayer". It's sort of a flat tax. Of course, it would alter behavior -- people would avoid holding dollar denominated assets and interest rates would go sky high to go along with the sky high inflation.

              •  Right, taxes are not required to "fund" govt (0+ / 0-)

                expenditures in a nominal sense.  Taxes do 4 things in our modern monetary system:

                1) guarantee a baseline value for otherwise worthless fiat paper currency

                2) remove aggregate demand from the private sector to make room for the spending of the Govt sector.  If the Govt just spent the $4 trillion a year they do now, but collected no taxes, we'd probably get some increasing inflation, how much? nobody knows since it depends completely on the private sector economic environment.  If the private sector is deleveraging which shrinks the amount of credit (which is a type of money), then the Govt should replace the decreasing amount of credit with Govt money, in order to maintain full employment and output.

                3) To battle income inequality and prevent excessive wealth (which ususally means power) hoarding and accumulation.

                4) To penalize negative activities.  Carbon is bad, tax it.  Financial speculation is bad, tax it.  Cigarettes are bad, tax them.  Its the old axiom, if you want less of something, then tax it.

                MMT = Reality

                "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens. Please join our Kos group "Money and Public Purpose". The gold standard ended on August 15, 1971, its time we start acting like it.

                by Auburn Parks on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 03:09:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think you may be... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...underestimating a couple things.

                  While I agree that the government could just print money instead of collecting taxes, it would be a political and economic disaster.

                  First, there's no question it would increase inflation (there is no "probably" about it unless the Federal budget is shrunk to $0).

                  Second, it would reduce the resistance to excessive, and wasteful, spending. Right now we have too much wasteful spending but imagine if no one had to pay Federal income or payroll taxes. Most pushback on most spending, wasteful or otherwise, comes as a result of the link between taxes and that spending - few object to the spending, mostly they care how much that spending results in an increase in their taxes. For example, only the most sophisticated voter would make the link between an increase in inflation from 17% to 17.2% and additional subsidies given to powerful political players such as large corporations.

                  Third, inflation is very damaging to the middle class in particular (using a rough definition of "middle class" as those that can consistently save some money for a rainy day and save some money for retirement). They lack the sophistication, access, and time to protect their assets from inflation (by buying real assets). The poor, especially, will generally be "behind" the inflation curve with respect to salary -- i.e., employers rarely raise salaries to keep up with inflation consistently. The rich will of course do well as they have enough money to profit from most any economic situation because it's worth it to spend a lot of time and energy protecting/growing $500M (not so much $5K - esp. when you have a full time job other than managing and growing your assets).

      •  Perhaps an inapt choice of words (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        splashoil

        but I agree that if the goal was improvement, I would not be opposed.  Unfortunately, that is not the goal of any of the proposals associated with a so-called Grand Bargain. The goal is not to have to pay off the retirement of the baby boomers, who have been paying more and waiting longer ever since Tip'nRonnie agreed to raise the eligibility age and contributions.

        Chained CPI is not a more accurate measure of inflation.  There is no evidence for that, and there is evidence that it underestimates senior living costs.  It is also a stealth tax hike on the middle class.  Not an improvement, although it is most certainly "messing around."

    •  they should (5+ / 0-)

      commit it to memory, so that they never, ever can forget it.

      (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

      by PJEvans on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:14:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  When last 2 Dem presidents extol CFC's glories (15+ / 0-)

      in their respective speeches at the 2012 DNC, that's kind of hard to do.  Our president has made his desire for a Grand Bargain in which "entitlements" are cut very clear.  The prior Dem president, whose WH served as a hiring hall for this one, shares that viewpoint.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:40:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, but instead we're using the ACA (5+ / 0-)

      as leverage to get Social Security cuts.

      I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:42:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We have a platform? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q, Betty Pinson, greenbell

      I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:42:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  NO (6+ / 0-)

      in big block letters, a foot high, on either end of that sentence:

      NO. No messing around with Social Security, Medicare or the Affordable Care Act. NO.
      None of these things. No qualifiers. Just NO.

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:57:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  FDRsecurity, LBJcare, and Obamacare. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Harper, Judge Moonbox

      No wonder they are so full of hate, they haven't done anything but rob and pillage.

      give the NRA the Royal Flush join Stop The NRA

      by 88kathy on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 10:37:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What about science, education, regulations... (8+ / 0-)

    are they all on the chopping block again?!  We protect what we think are our holy grails and we sacrifice the heart of what makes a society work.

    This isn't necessary if the Dems make a counter offer they can negotiate with, like restoring the budget to pre-sequester levels.

  •  I wouldn't bet on that one. (6+ / 0-)

    Next move is for Republicans to claim ACA was a major concession on their parts. All part of the grift.

  •  Can't think of a better way to kill ACA than to (20+ / 0-)

    let the Republicans blame Social Security or Medicare cuts on the ACA.  I would guess that's one reason the ACA is so unpopular among seniors already.  They see it as threat to their own well-being.  

    •  I don't know about other seniors (12+ / 0-)

      But as a senior on Social Security and Medicare (and having to pay extra for Medicare Part D for the corporate prescription insurance on top of the Medicare Parts A & B which are taken out of Social Security before it's deposited in my account each month), I don't see Obamacare as a threat.

      See my comment below, but with Medicare Part D (which passed under Dumbya) seniors and disabled were told to "buy corporate prescription insurance or else!"  Many seniors and disabled did not immediately buy the corporate insurance plan until they had to (I was one of them).

      That's the model that's been used by the corporations who wrote the legislation for Obamacare, only they changed it to "buy corporate medical insurance or pay a fine of $1000!"  A dutiful Corporate $COTU$ magically made it into a tax, so people are forced to contribute to the future record-setting profit margins of insurance corporations as well as medical and pharmaceutical corporations.

      Medicare Parts A & B are a not-for-profit single-payer medical insurance plan..., and IMHO the rest of the nation should be allowed to buy into it and Congress should change Medicare Part D to be covered under the same plan, not force anyone to buy corporate prescription insurance.

      It could be SO easy and simple..., and because of the increase in paperwork the government would have to hire new employees to handle the paperwork..., and their withholding taxes and ability to spend money because of new jobs would be felt on local, county, state, and federal treasuries, not to mention businesses, within a month of their being hired to handle the extra work.  [What ever happened to "Jobs, jobs, jobs?"]

      So, I may be only one senior, but I just feel sorry for the younger generation who will be trapped into making sure corporations have huge profits when it's so totally unnecessary.  Those who are working already have Medicare deducted, so it wouldn't be like they're getting health insurance for free.  Seniors and disabled have Medicare withheld before Social Security or SSDI are deposited into their accounts as is (right, we do not stop paying into Medicare after retirement or disability).

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:06:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I remember that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NonnyO, Betty Pinson

        my mother was trying to sort that out ... she was recovering from cancer surgery, at the time. Died before it took effect, which I think may have been a good thing, because Part D has been a disaster for everyone but the insurance companies.

        (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

        by PJEvans on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:20:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think confusion on ACA makes seniors uneasy (0+ / 0-)

        And for that matter, the administration and the centrists have sent so many mixed signals on what their end game is on SS and Medicare that I don't blame them.  

        •  Seniors with all their mental marbles... (0+ / 0-)

          ... know exactly how ACA is going to work for the younger members of their family.  It's patterned on Medicare Part D that came with the instructions to seniors and disabled people "buy this corporate insurance to cover your prescription drugs or else" - except Obamacare has "buy this corporate medical insurance or pay a fine of $1000."  This time they put some teeth in the bill they wrote after they found out seniors and disabled people didn't buy their cockamamie private insurance immediately (and I was one of them; I didn't buy it immediately because I resented the government telling me to contribute to record-setting profits for insurance corporations as well as pharmaceutical corporations).

          When it comes time, the young people who are being forced to buy corporate medical insurance will be assigned to an 'explainer' [I forget the job title I read in the paper], that person will as a bunch of questions, plug the info into the computer, and up will pop a long list of names of insurance companies to choose from.  [That's essentially how I was introduced to prescription drug insurance, at any rate.  It was just after I'd been diagnosed with high blood pressure, so I gave the case worker the names of the drugs, she checked to see if plans covered all of them, and the computer spit out names.]

          This whole medical insurance shift could have been SO much easier if people had been allowed to buy into Medicare and if Medicare Part D was switched to regular Medicare since we pay for it from the time we have our first job until we die (Medicare A&B premiums are withheld from Social Security and SSDI checks before the remainder is deposited in one's account.

          Medicare parts A & B are not-for-profit single-payer medical insurance, paid for by taxpayers.  Everyone should be able to participate in that....... NOT be forced to contribute to record-setting profits for insurance, medical, and pharmaceutical corporations.

          I pity the young people coming up who will be forced to engage in this sham for the sake of corporate profits.  Scams have already started.  I expect it can only get worse in the future.

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 05:44:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  And here I hoped they were just (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Betty Pinson

      believing that because of Republican propaganda. Now we find out it's true! Awesome!

      I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:43:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Please cc copy of this note to the POTUS (11+ / 0-)

    thanks.

    And it is NOT the "catfood crowd" it is CARJACKERS.

    Please stop wimping out when labeling these murderers.

    Austerity will be more than an inconvenience.

  •  Trading SS and Medicare cuts for (15+ / 0-)

    Obamacare and more military spending?  That would go over like a lead balloon.

    •  2014 is going to be awesome. Soc. Sec. cuts, yay! (8+ / 0-)

      Now all we need for a finishing touch is another Middle Eastern War.

      I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:45:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Relax. We've got the TPP and drones coming. (6+ / 0-)

        Our Party will not let the Republicans suicide themselves, without us jumping off the ledge with them. After all how can you have our Holy two-party system if one of the parties dies?

        We're saving demockcrazy!

        Seriously, Trans-Pacific Partnership is going to infuriate every one, regardless of Party. And the drones will start being seen over our heads in 2014, and full coverage by 2016.

        Sequester. Cut Social Security. Free Trade. Full surveillance brought to your backyard. What's not to attract voters?


        Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

        by Jim P on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 06:58:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Appealing to the voters is so 2008. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenbell

          That's old-fashioned politics. We're in a new world now.

          I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 12:22:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  SS used to be a "third rail" (12+ / 0-)

    Medicare should also be a third rail.  We should only have to fight for Obamacare.

    And it would be smart if Obama figured how to enlist those who think the ACA does not go far enough.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 03:41:59 PM PDT

  •  If Social Security is the third rail,... (25+ / 0-)

    ...it will only be because someone is still going to zap the living daylights out of anyone who reduces it.  Are we going to do that?  Will this site brook that kind of blowback on Dems?  Or will it, will we, cave?  Not aimed at you, Joan, but more widely.

  •  Social security and Medicare are as negotiatable (0+ / 0-)

    as ACA - and ACA has been negotiated very intensely.

    So I am not sure, what you are saying here. There needs to be the means to pay the programs. If there aren't, one has to think what to do. This is actually rather easy.

    He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

    by Sophie Amrain on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 03:58:17 PM PDT

    •  Social Security is solvent (10+ / 0-)

      and its not supposed to be "tapped into" to pay for other programs.

      ACA is affordable, the budget can handle it and it will lower health care costs well into the next decade.

      So, yeah, both programs are separate.  Neither needs to rob from the other.

      "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

      by Betty Pinson on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:26:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You are misinformed. Social Security has, if (12+ / 0-)

      anything, been bailing out the rest of the budget, not vice versa.

      It's like borrowing money from your mom and spending it all on crap, and then blaming your mom because she has less money than she used to, even though she's still managing to pay her bills. But her savings accounts are lower now. Well, yeah, of course they're lower:  you (meaning the government) have been drawing the down to pay for other things.

      That's one reason why it's so egregious for the Obama Administration and others to keep pushing the message that Social Security is insolvent, costs too much, etc.

      I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:52:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Every penny ever put into the Social Security (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lucy2009

        account is accounted for. If there's less money in the account, it's because there are fewer people paying in, and more people taking out. It may not look like a lockbox, but it's a lockbox. Your idea of what's happened to the Social Security funds is a myth perpetrated by those who really want to steal it.

        •  The federal govt borrows from SS Trust Fund (4+ / 0-)

          The problem is that, for the first time ever, they don't want to pay it back.

          SS Trust Fund surplus is used to buy US Treasury bonds. That money is used to pay for wars, tax cuts and everything else in the budget.

          Yes, SS has a large surplus suficcient to cover retirements until 2037 or so.

          Yes SS HAS A LARGE SURPLUS.

          "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

          by Betty Pinson on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 11:19:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Betty has got it right. (0+ / 0-)

          See below.

          I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 12:26:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  or rather, see above. (0+ / 0-)

          yes, it can cover everything till around 2037. yes, it has a large surplus. no, it doesn't have the amount of money it should, because the fuckers don't want to put back in what they took out.

          I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 12:28:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  That money was to be kept separate (7+ / 0-)

      That this government has a debt somewhere else they need to pay for is not the problem of the last retirement account that many Americans have.

      That money has been there all along. And it is not to be touched, no matter how many times people come along to try to acquiesce us to the idea.


      NO.

      Social Security is not negotiable. Neither is Medicare.

      Frankly, Obamacare shouldn't be either, considering how much it has already cost. But there go the Lords and Ladies of the Manor, who keep adding to its cost by insisting that some of its stupider members try to repeal it endlessly,  thereby creating unnecessary drama.

      Fuck these people. Medicare works. And my Social Security is  MINE. Your Social Security is YOURS. We paid into it. They can't have it.

      Not. Negotiable.

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 06:36:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lords and Ladies" - I think somebody finally said (0+ / 0-)

        what I've been looking for in this comment section.  Why do we have to cut anything?  

        When the 1% in this country own more wealth than 50% of the rest of us, we need to raise TAXES, not cut benefits.  

        The capital gains tax is way too low.  The top tax bracket is was too low.  

        The idea that you can't tax the 1% because they are the job and wealth creators is a myth.  

        Historical study of tax rates, when they were raised, by whom they raised, why they were raised (mostly to finance wars), shows that today the 1% has historically low rates.

        TAX them I say.  Don't cut Medicare, Medicaid, or SSI.  

        And I say this as a family that earns over 250K.  Tax me, I say.

        We are all in this together.

        by htowngenie on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 03:04:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Shoulda called them RooSecurity and JohnsonCare (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, Betty Pinson

    I guess.

    "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

    by JesseCW on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 04:14:41 PM PDT

  •  I would amend that (8+ / 0-)

    Social Security and Medicare Parts A & B are NON-NEGOTIABLE.

    Medicare Part D could be negotiated to be covered under regular Medicare Parts A & B - which we ALL pay for from our first paycheck through death, even if/when we go on Social Security because Medicare Parts A & B are deducted from Social Security before it's deposited in one's account (I'm on Social Security and Medicare).  Medicare Part D was enacted under Dumbya with the stipulation "buy this or else" and seniors and disabled people who qualified for Part D had to fork over extra money to private insurance corporations to get prescription drugs covered (another scam since now some corporations have exclusive rights to ALL profits for certain meds and in at least one case the generic version which only cost nine cents per pill and had no food coloring is prohibited from being made; colchicine was first mentioned as a medicine three thousand five hundred years ago..., but had never gone through an FDA drug testing, and one Japanese company did the testing, added food coloring to make itty-bitty tiny purple pills, and now charges $4.35 for EACH pill, so they're raking in a fortune; really, it's not like a lot of testing needed to be done - correct dosages were developed many centuries ago and side effects have been known about for longer than that).

    When insurance companies discovered people who qualified for Medicare Part D were not buying prescription insurance until they needed to (let's face it: on Social Security income, whether SSI or SSDI, every little bit saved is important), they changed the wording for Obamacare:  'Buy corporate health insurance or pay a fine of $1000' (at least that's the amount I last heard it was - for all I know that may have changed by now)..., and in due course, Corporate $COTU$ justices made it a legal tax so they could declare being forced to buy corporate insurance is constitutional.  Otherwise, I don't know that legislation forcing people to contribute to corporate profits by mandating they buy corporate insurance (or corporate anything) would be constitutional.

    So, for the sake of people who can't afford corporate insurance and don't feel good about being forced to contribute to record-setting corporate profits, I'd be willing to let them buy into Medicare for health insurance.  They pay for Medicare anyway when they're out in the working world (plus they're already forced by state laws to buy car, house, and life insurance for various things; enough is enough).

    This is the kind of common sense health care I'd like to see in the US.  This news story from two years ago is still valid, and I happen to know Norway and Denmark have similar Parental Leave.  This is just ONE aspect of their health care systems since all medical care is paid for by taxes that everyone contributes to - and if they have catastrophic illnesses, they have paid sick leave and jobs to go back to when they're well.  They don't mind the high tax rates because everyone is covered from king or queen down to commoner.  They also have free education from kindergarten through college, also funded with taxes, so no one starts out their young adult life in debt for their college education.  In these countries they believe free education and high-quality medical care are rights, not privileges.
    Sweden: Land of the Stay-At-Home Dad

    Here's the YouTube video of what's on the ABC web site:
    Paternity leave in Sweden

    So, as far as I'm concerned, if it will get young people a better deal where they do not have to pay corporations and contribute to record-setting corporate profits for insurance, medical, and pharmaceutical corporations, and they could buy into Medicare or some version of health care that closely resembles what is in the Scandinavian countries, then, yes.  By all means, negotiate Obamacare out of existence..., but get corporations OUT of government!  We've got to start freeing ourselves from corporations somewhere before we're officially a fascist country with our constitution officially suspended, changed, or voted out of existence..., so we may as well start with the one thing everyone needs from birth through death: common sense medical care that is our right.

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 04:19:29 PM PDT

    •  Should probably make that comment a diary. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO

      n/t

      •  It's so simple... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Betty Pinson, denise b, greenbell

        ... everyone should be able to figure it out without putting too much thought into it.

        I have followed this survey for a couple of years.  Notice the top ten are mostly countries where education and health care are considered rights, not privileges only the richest can afford.

        The Happiest (and Saddest) Countries
        LiveScience Staff | September 09, 2013 07:04am ET

        The United Nations General Assembly's second World Happiness Report ranks countries based on several measures of well-being and analyzes the factors that contribute to that well-being. Here are the country rankings, based on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the most satisfied with life. The scores are an average of results between 2010 and 2012.

        1. Denmark (7.693)
        2. Norway (7.655)
        3. Switzerland (7.650)
        4. Netherlands (7.512)
        5. Sweden (7.480)
        6. Canada (7.477)
        7. Finland (7.389)
        8. Austria (7.369)
        9. Iceland (7.355)
        10. Australia (7.350)
        [For a complete list of 156 countries, go to the link.  The US ranks #17.]

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:49:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There's more to it than just that (0+ / 0-)

          For example, let's say you hate your job - unbearably so.  But you don't have much money.  Maybe you hate your whole career field.  What do you do?

          In the US, you're kinda screwed.  But here, if you quit, first off as you note, nothing changes with your healthcare.  So and your family are not going to die because you quit your job.  Secondly even though you quit, you still collect unemployment.  Even if you're fired you still collect it.  And it's a lot more than in the US.  And third, if you're unemployed, the state helps with or even flat out pays for new job training.  And of course college itself is far cheaper if your new preferred field requires a degree.

          The basic result is that as a general rule, people simply don't get stuck in dead-end jobs, at least not for financial reasons.  People switch around until they find something they enjoy and are good at.  And isn't that a good thing for everyone?  :)

          Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

          by Rei on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 02:22:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices (8+ / 0-)

      Is a no brainer and has been discussed millions of times by activists.  Problem is that neither Dem or GOP leadership wants to discuss.  Trad media even ignores it.

      "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

      by Betty Pinson on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:30:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A not-for-profit single-payer plan... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Betty Pinson, KJG52

        ... could be SO easy to implement...!

        I notice after making health care one of the issues in the '08 campaign that when the Dems got to discussing it in Congress, the FIRST thing they did was go for the corporate option..., and from that position they never, ever wavered.  Want to the Dems to stand up to someone?  Notice how they stood up to the people who elected them and rolled over for corporations and the Repukes, and the Dem "leaders" - Reid and Pelosi, especially - were first in line for the corporate options?  When anyone mentioned not-for-profit single-payer [Dennis Kucinich, for one] everyone pooh-poohed the whole idea and blamed the other political party members for their intransigence and unwillingness to cooperate, and that was always with vague nonsense like "the numbers aren't there."  Totally illogical.

        As Obama said in one of his early '08 campaigns after he had the nomination tied up and had voted for FISA fiasco '08 but before the DNC convention in some Q&A [I never remember the precise words] but it was to the effect that it was too late and Dems didn't have any choice; it was him and no one else.  The implication was clear: voters could only choose him as the lesser of two evils because no sane person would vote for the Lecherous Old Man who clearly lacks "leadership" ability and the Tundra Tramp.

        I could feel the nation deflate like a balloon losing air as those of us who knew Obama would not be good for this nation resigned themselves to more of the same as the Bushista regime, especially when Obama started naming his cabinet and DoD personnel and they are almost all exclusively leftovers from the Bushista years, and we learned early on that we wouldn't be leaving Iraq as soon as we wanted, nor Afghanistan, and 'whoops!' but golly, gee whiz, Gitmo isn't going to close either.

        Et cetera, and so on and so forth.  We can all recite the disappointments by heart, usually in chronological order now.

        The giveaway to corporations who will now be making record-setting profits off of the medical misfortunes of Americans is only one of the many things that is all wrong with our government, and we only have one champion of the common people now and that's Bernie Sanders of VT.  All the others who voted for this corporate crap have betrayed us.

        They don't deserve to be re-elected.

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 09:06:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  So sad that this diary is needed (17+ / 0-)

    to remind "Democrats" about the policy pillars of this once great Party... so sad.

    The Republicans are crazy, but why we follow them down the rabbit hole is beyond me.

    by Jazzenterprises on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 04:38:38 PM PDT

    •  Neolibs/Third Way crowd still wants cuts (9+ / 0-)

      Not sure why, probably because they're being paid to keep pushing it.

      Obama made some little noise a while back about it being "off the table" but I doubt that's the case.  Both parties are circling the controversy, trying to get each other to take the lead.

      Some of these lunkhead "think tanks" have convinced them they can cut SS and Medicare w/o political backlash.  They're fools if they believe it.

      "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

      by Betty Pinson on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:33:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Haha! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Betty Pinson
        "Political backlash"
        makes it sounds like "the pushback from the Constituents" would be little more than "op-ed/media critiques".

        As if it would be that tame...

        This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

        by lunachickie on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 06:40:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  They can't corrupt Social Security (0+ / 0-)

        So what good is it to the Neolibs/Third Way? I don't think "centrism" has anything whatever to do with moderation.  It's all about corruption.  It's not about representing the middle class or middle America.  It's about representing lobbies.

        Seniors may not all have much money but we have votes.  I'm collecting Social Security and my mother is 30 years older than I am and she is still voting.

  •  Only 2 More Social Security Wars Before Christmas (10+ / 0-)

    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 Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 04:39:38 PM PDT

  •  Whiney ass republicans threaten to (5+ / 0-)

    shut down the government every single time they do not get their way.  I looked it up and under Reagan it did shut down a lot because of his extremism.

    NOW.. everytime they don't get their way they yell we are shutting down the government.

    Check this out.  It basically started with Carter.   Now with Reagan...HE shut it down.

    Democratic President Jimmy Carter became the first president to face the issue of budget fights in Congress leading to the threat of government shutdowns
    Why does every single republican hate America ?

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 04:48:18 PM PDT

  •  Here's a different angle: Medicaid for all (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonnyO, Betty Pinson, Johnny Q

    Check out the graph from the CBO, as cited by Paul Krugman, is quite interesting: Medicaid costs have not risen in more than a decade.  Key grafs from PK:

    First you say that our health cost problems are so severe that we must abandon any notion that Americans are entitled to necessary care, and go over to a voucher system that would leave many Americans out in the cold. Then, informed that we can actually control costs pretty well, while maintaining a universal guarantee, by slightly reducing choice and convenience, you declare this an unconscionable horror.

    So, I’m not proposing that we turn the whole system into Medicaid any time soon. But what I take from the data is that if and when we feel the need to make tough choices — really, really make tough choices, not use the rhetoric of tough choices to justify what conservatives wanted to do in any case, namely privatize everything in sight — health cost control won’t turn out to be that hard after all.

  •  I think the administration will give away... (12+ / 0-)

    the store at the end of these "negotiations." There won't be anyone at the table---certainly not from this WH--- to protect SS and Medicare.

    Only wolves.

  •  Great. We get the ACA in exchange for (9+ / 0-)

    deep cuts in Medicare and Social Security.

    That'll go over like a lead balloon, but I've been watching this show too long to think Obama will care. He didn't care in 2011 when he still had an election coming, so he sure as hell won't care now.

    But are the Democrats willing to go into 2014 having pushed for Social Security cuts?

    Kiss your collective partisan ass goodbye, if that happens.  And say hello to 2010, 2.0.

    I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:41:11 PM PDT

  •  We have a choice (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson, librarisingnsf, KJG52

    That is the beauty of it.

    We choose not to accept the "inevitable" and the "inevitable" doesn't happen.

    We can raise holy hell, again, and again, and again, and make it so politically painful and toxic to get with Pete Peterson and Simpson and Bowles that the austerity cult gets thwarted again.

    The key is not to get discouraged.

    Not to listen to the concern trolls and the apologists and the deficit fetishists who don't give a damn if a Democrat ever wins another election ever again.

    I look forward to being on the side of the vast majority of the American people once more.

    Cutting Social Security is bad policy and bad politics.

    Nobody who has tried to defend the idea as good policy or good politics has avoided looking like an idiot.  

    I look forward to humbling and humiliating those stupid enough to even toy with the idea that cutting Social Security is a good idea that they will be rewarded for.

    It is actually a good thing that we are hearing this news now, rather than in the middle of a stealth push we get sandbagged with.

    Every time it's news, the bad guys stand a better chance of getting their asses kicked up and down DC.

    You even flirt with trying to fuck with Social Security, we fuck with your careers.

    I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

    by LeftHandedMan on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:59:25 PM PDT

  •  If this is true, then I guess I'm out of step (8+ / 0-)

    with contemporary rank-and-file Democrats.

    Because as far as I'm concerned, Social Security and Medicare are far more "non-negotiable" than Obamacare.

    This is for several reasons:

    1)  Social Security and Medicare are tried and true programs that work.

    2)  Social Security has no funding crisis.  Period.  In fact, it has an enormous surplus.  Many of Medicare's funding issues could be solved by ending corporate giveaways like Part D.

    3)  Social Security and Medicare are, respectively, a truly public pension system and a single payer health care system, (albeit only for 65+ and totally disabled people).  Since executive pay packages and stockholder returns play no part in them, they are far more efficient than privatized alternatives.

    Obamacare, meanwhile, is at best an incremental improvement over what we had, and its improvements come with some very serious drawbacks.  In order to best serve the American people, it needs massive, fundamental changes.  Does this mean I want it repealed?  No.  But it is very far from sacrosanct to me.

    And if this means I'm not a good Democrat, then I'll just have to start saying the party left me.

    © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 06:00:25 PM PDT

  •  damn this crap (7+ / 0-)

    i am so sick of fighting for very scrap.  what the hell is wrong with this country.  how many of us are rich enough that we won't need social security and medicare?  its just freakin foolishness.  you do not fix something that is needed by cutting it.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 06:41:03 PM PDT

  •  the aarp is ramping up their members. mr. bluezen (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson, KJG52, pundit

    got petitions in the mail last week to guard & strengthen ss & medicare (which he signed) that the aarp is going to forward to the wh, harry reid, john boehner, & our sens & congresscritter "when appropriate."

  •  Needs to be a part of the platform.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lucy2009, KJG52, greenbell, Dem Beans

    And any Democrats who votes for cuts should expect primaries. Every one of them.

  •  I smell Kabuki theater in the air. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lucy2009, Just Bob

    Smells like defeat.

  •  Here's What We CAN Negotiate Over (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJG52

    We need to cut military spending back to where it belongs. I advocate the 5X level, which is the equivalent of the next five largest military budgets in the world. That would limit military spending in the U.S. to about $400 billion a year. From there, we could fine-tune it down to something reasonable. Whether that's the 4X level or whatever we can decide once we get to $400 billion.

    So, since we're at $750 billion a year plus, I think we should have a program to cut about $35 billion a year for ten years. That would get us down to about the 5X level.

    But I'm not doctrinaire about it. I would settle for a little less cut each year if we had to extend it out a few extra years. What's not negotiable is the target level. It has to be 5X , nothing more.

    Now, I don't want anyone to suffer from these cuts, so I suggest that each year we take the $35 billion we cut from the military budget and spend it to create new civilian jobs and civilian enterprises in those areas of the country where we currently spend military dollars. This will help us convert the economy from one dependent on military spending to a more productive economy where we are producing things to help people instead of to destroy them.

    If the Republicans want to negotiate, I'm willing to deal. I'm willing to look at their plan. How do they plan to solve the problem of overspending on the military? What's their idea of a solution?

    Help me find out. Demand that your member of Congress come up with a plan.

  •  Change the name Medicare to LBJcare legally. (0+ / 0-)

    If it were 1965, they would be saying the same things about LBJcare. In fact, they did.

  •  Let's see if I have this right (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sweatyb

    Because White House spokespeople are specifically addressing the current specific threats coming from the GOP about not raising the debt ceiling but are not additionally mentioning SS/Medicare, this somehow means that Obama is chomping at the bit to cut those programs.   Is that about the gist of it?

  •  The republicans have it completely backwards: (0+ / 0-)
    Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma said this: “If we found $700 billion in savings from entitlements—Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security—it would relieve pressure on the Pentagon and on non-mandatory spending. All the cuts they need are there to avoid a possible shutdown.”
           The 700 billion savings to protect Earned Benefits can and should be found in the "defense" budget most of it by simply not building weapons system not asked for by the military.

    "Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can't afford to double-down on trickle-down." Bill Clinton

    by irate on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 01:05:54 AM PDT

  •  Reminder: a robust economy will fix the debt! (0+ / 0-)

    Just in case anyone forgot....

    "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

    by bartcopfan on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 02:03:40 PM PDT

  •  who gets blame (0+ / 0-)

    A recent Pew poll claims that both sides would be blamed about equally for a shutdown.  Republicans are probably well aware of this poll, whether it is right or wrong.  Probably a lot of Americans do not really understand the issue and will not really know whom to blame until the shutdown happens. These are the independents, who are not paying attention - those affiliated with a party will blame the other party.

  •  A Politico article? (0+ / 0-)

    Politico exists to drum up false narratives like this one.  It's possible there's an actual story somewhere behind the scenes, but it's almost assuredly not the one that Politico (or this diary) are pushing.

    •  nm, clicked on the wrong link (0+ / 0-)

      I still think it's a false narrative.  

      It's way too late for anything to happen with the budget.  Whatever comes out of the Senate is likely to be what we get.  (The question there is whether Reid has the balls to try to fix the sequester.)  

      The Republicans can't stop Obamacare, and Congress can't pass a budget.  Obama is not going to negotiate over the debt ceiling.  There's not going to be a Grand Bargain.

  •  SS is always on the table with Obama (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dem Beans

    He's wanted to get his hands on SS since the get go.

    I believe he will not leave office without cutting it. It's always been his target.

    Let him and your reps no now no more cuts to the Big 3 or food stamps! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

  •  Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Obamacare (0+ / 0-)

    are the 99%'s safety net and we don not want it messed with, thank you very much Cruz,l et al.

  •  Before this is all over... (0+ / 0-)

    Obama will have caved on SS and Medicare. It would be typical: great speeches followed by ... static.

  •  They're MORE non negotiable as they are superior (0+ / 0-)

    signed.

    Those who deflect debates about the issues with complaints about tone usually have a lot to atone for.

    by priceman on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 02:57:24 PM PDT

  •  Hands off of Social Security, etc. (0+ / 0-)

    If Obama caves on these programs, he will become the most effective Republican President ever.

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little. " --Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by jg6544 on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 02:58:52 PM PDT

  •  I am so confused (0+ / 0-)

    I see being forced to purchase totally defective, unreliable, over-priced health unsurance products from amoral, insatiably greedy private corporations (with no public option what-so-ever) as the biggest most deviously disguised pro-corporate-welfare (at our expense) scam ever passed over on a misled and misinformed public.  I love SS and traditional Medicare, but just don't get why progressives would support Romneycare on steroids (Obamacare)...Rombamacare...whatever.

    •  Keep Medicaid expansion, roll out the exchanges (0+ / 0-)

      without the fines for individuals (like Obama did for corporations)...and don't put the mandates back in until we have a real (not fake like the ones Democrats offered but did not pass) public option at the very least (like roughly 75% of Americans said we want in poll after poll).  The so-called "consumer protections" have no teeth so are really more suggestions than mandates, but it does not hurt to leave them in anyway.  I am just so angry at being fed to the wolves, and forced to pay them to eat us alive.  The public is even paying now to advertise their lousy unreliable products for them, and we're going to be paying corporate subsidies that go to them not us, out our wa-zoo.  They are genius and we are idiots.

  •  To reduce Social Security and Medicare will (0+ / 0-)

    start a third party movement involving disenchanted dem progressive and even a few disenchanted republicans as soon as they shut down the government.

    2016 may be a sea change.

     

    Sarcasm on...It is so nice I live in a post racial America...Sarcasm off.

    by wbishop3 on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 03:23:26 PM PDT

  •  I support raising (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kmt1923

    retirement benfits, not cutting them. One of the easiest ways to do that, as we all know, is to remove the cap entirely. Everyone's income should be taxed for the benefit of this program. Currently we are just perpetuating a two-class system.

  •  At the end of the day (0+ / 0-)

    if you think Obamacare isn't going to be changed, you've not been paying attention.

  •  Over our dead bodies (0+ / 0-)

    Social Security IS NOT part of the deficit and never was.  Not only that, but the Republicans have already voted to SLASH Food stamps from the welfare programs.  The next thing on the chopping block SHOULD be excess military programs and the billions of $$$$$ Halliburton is reaping from wars.  What should also be eliminated as all the politicians "pet programs" for their cronies that aren't necessary.  Citizens of America need food, a roof over their heads, jobs and their retirement.  If these IDIOTS would QUIT trying to start more wars, we wouldn't need so much for the military budget, which is already greater than the total of ALL the countries in the world.  

  •  The most important thing never discussed (0+ / 0-)

    by any of these corporate PACs working to cut and destroy Social Security and Medicare is how much money the cuts will take out of the economy. You can argue all day long about fewer young people working to support the seniors, but one sure way to make sure no one works is to cut the social safety net. People pay taxes on Social Security, and they spend the rest and it goes into the economy. Without Medicare, recipients will have less disposable cash after paying for health care. Cut the programs and end them and all that economic activity will be gone. All by itself, it's a depression waiting to happen.

    "If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal."--Emma Goldman

    by ebgill on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:35:23 PM PDT

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