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This week the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its new report, "The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014 to 2024.” The report shows solid deficit improvements over the next few years. Of course absent congressional action it shows the budget progressively increasing after 2016.

The big news from the report got little coverage—the impact of the baby boomers falling out of the workforce. Because dependence on the social safety net will increase, the budget deficits will increase. Republicans and many Democrats continue to talk about entitlement reforms. That is code word for breaking the pact made between the country and those who are retiring.

Many want to cut Social Security benefits, Medicare benefits, and increase the retirement age. The reality is none of that needs to be done. If Social Security taxes are applied equally to both the rich and the poor, then the problem would be solved. Social Security taxes should be applied to all income at all levels. It should also apply to realized capital gains.

Once again the traditional media succumbed to Republican talking points. Head below the fold to read what the CBO report said.

A portion of the report said the following.

How Much Will the ACA Reduce Employment in the Longer Term?

The ACA’s largest impact on labor markets will probably occur after 2016, once its major provisions have taken full effect and overall economic output nears its maximum sustainable level. CBO estimates that the ACA will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024, almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor —given the new taxes and other incentives they will face and the financial benefits some will receive. Because the largest declines in labor supply will probably occur among lower-wage workers, the reduction in aggregate compensation (wages, salaries, and fringe benefits) and the impact on the overall economy will be proportionally smaller than the reduction in hours worked. Specifically, CBO estimates that the ACA will cause a reduction of roughly 1 percent in aggregate labor compensation over the 2017–2024 period, compared with what it would have been otherwise. Although such effects are likely to continue after 2024 (the end of the current 10-year budget window), CBO has not estimated their magnitude or duration over a longer period.

The reduction in CBO’s projections of hours worked represents a decline in the number of full-time equivalent workers of about 2.0 million in 2017, rising to about 2.5 million in 2024. Although CBO projects that total employment (and compensation) will increase over the coming decade that increase will be smaller than it would have been in the absence of the ACA. The decline in fulltime-equivalent employment stemming from the ACA will consist of some people not being employed at all and other people working fewer hours; however, CBO has not tried to quantify those two components of the overall effect. The estimated reduction stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than from a net drop in businesses’ demand for labor, so it will appear almost entirely as a reduction in labor force participation and in hours worked relative to what would have occurred otherwise rather than as an increase in unemployment (that is, more workers seeking but not finding jobs) or underemploy­ment (such as part-time workers who would prefer to work more hours per week).

The traditional media, under the direction of the Republican talking-points machine, immediately misrepresented the above snippet from the report. They characterized it as job losses caused by Obamacare. MSNBC Chuck Todd sent out an incendiary tweet that said the following:
CBO essentially reaffirms GOP talking points on health care. Says it will cost jobs, feel as it raises taxes and contributes to deficit.
The “Obamacare kills jobs” lie was debunked months ago. Republicans continue to twist snippets to attempt to justify their false narrative.

Of course what the report really says is that people will choose not to work or reduce their workload because they are no longer subjects of their employers. They are no longer dependent on their employers’ health care pittance.

One CNN segment finally got it right. Carol Costello did not allow the Republican spin to go unanswered or misrepresented in the segment. The New York Times editorial page got it right as well.

The new law will free people, young and old, to pursue careers or retirement without having to worry about health coverage. Workers can seek positions they are most qualified for and will no longer need to feel locked into a job they don’t like because they need insurance for themselves or their families. It is hard to view this as any kind of disaster.
It is very disconcerting that once again Democrats fell behind the messaging curve. This report provides ample fact-based data to go on the offensive on many fronts for the values Democrats believe in. The New York Times snippet above is a start.

In these times where latchkey kids are the norm, this is a great report. In these times where unsupervised kids and teenagers are the norm, this is a great report. In these times where workers need to be re-educated and retrained, this is a great report. In these times where the American worker has become the slave of the corporation with no bargaining power, this is a great report.

This report implies Americans will be free to pursue their dreams and aspirations. No longer will the corporate chains be around their ankles because of their dependency on affordable health care only said corporations could offer. They can now start their own businesses. They can change employers at will.

There are many other snippets where Democrats failed to have the correct and truthful narrative prepared and ready. It did not take a CBO report to realize the obvious. Healthier workers increase productivity. More people seeking primary care increase employment in the health care industry and their suppliers and throughout the chain.

One must hope that in 2014 Democrats will go on the offensive with the middle-class-centric policies they passed and the ones they want passed. They must not be on the defensive. They should answer every Republican attack with a short factual whip and immediately go on the offensive defending working class policies. They must then demand the Republican answer.

Today Charlie Christ did just that on MSNBC. On the Daily Rundown he said the recovery in his state had nothing to do with Florida’s governor but with the current administration’s passed stimulus. He then said Republicans in his state are effectively causing the deaths of six Floridians per day.

Clay Aiken, who is running in North Carolina’s 2nd district, came out swinging at his opponent. In no uncertain terms he laid out how her vote for the government shutdown hurt specific people in the state and district. Clay Aiken did not run away from Obamacare. He said he believed in fixing what needed fixing. He does not believe in going back to the times when pre-existing conditions precluded one from getting insurance.

If Democratic politicians represent their Democratic values to Americans, they will win. They are now the sole defenders of American working and middle-class-centric values. Robust, fact-based, unrepentant messaging cloaked in personalization for the particular district should win 2014.

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Comment Preferences

  •  All the Democrats have to do..... (22+ / 0-) terms of messaging is say.

    the ACA is a Win for people who want to work less or not at all and felt trapped by the need for health insurance
    And then say....
    the other winners are those who want to work and will fill those now vacated positions.
    See wasn't that easy.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 10:09:32 AM PST

    •  might want to reverse that ........ (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      delver rootnose, radarlady

      In this age of Me, me, me, I, I, i, mine; it might get across quicker if you point out what the unemployed get before you highlight what's in it for ol' farts like me.

      21st Century America: The distracted, superficial perception of a virtual reality. Gettov Milawn

      by geez53 on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 10:22:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  could have denied the right a spin (5+ / 0-)

      it would have been sooooo easy for the cbo to just say:


      #1 my question is which so-called bipartisan (a/k/a limpuglicant hack) wrote the report?

      #2 whose job in the administration was it to read the damn report before it was published and released?

      That simple phrasing would have forced a correct explanation of why.

    •  And they HAVE said it; the media just doesn't (8+ / 0-)

      Democrats HAVE said it repeatedly; the media just doesn't amplify and echo chamber their comments the way they love to do for the GOP and right wingers.

      I am beginning to think that we are doing a disservice to Democrats when we 'click' through all the insane things the GOP says and fail to do the same for the Democrats.

      In the eyes of the media look at it this way: GOPers and conservatives click on whatever outrageous thing their spokes(mad)men say. Democrats and progressives ALSO click on the same just to become horrified, I guess.

      So the media is led to imagine that the right wing positions are actually more popular…

      •  Great point MyMy (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        unfangus, FiredUpInCA

        Also , the media and dem voters will not get on message if DC dems are not on the ready when reports are published like this , the hammer should have been cocked and all players on station when this was released , the GOP were sure ready

        We can not blame the MEDIA when the DC dems are a "no show" , they are not going to just pull for the dems on their own , and DC dems should know by now they are  fighting an up hill battle with the corporate media , that means they should be making TWICE THE NOISE !!!!!!!

        Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

        by Patango on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:28:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Or maybe the Dems' problem is simply a failure of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          imagination.  It's hard to see how rational, reality-based human beings could put themselves into the minds of wingnuts and grasp the wingnut view of something like the CBO report (and so much else).  Is it possible to brace yourself for the impossible to imagine and have zingy rebuttals to hand?  I dunno.  Maybe it is and maybe the Dems should be faulted.  I can't see how, though, and I guess that's a failure of imagination on my part.  

          We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

          by Observerinvancouver on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:59:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bizarro World doesn't need to sense (0+ / 0-)

            I concur that reality-based humans literally, not figuratively, but literally can't anticipate what absurd assertion will capture the wing nut imagination.

            Frank Luntz is a professional at fictionalizing facts.

          •  The real culpit (0+ / 0-)

            What people do not understand is that FOX sets the agenda as to what is reported until someone gets the courage to challenge them. All of the created scandals that are false were pushed by FOX. They even had 60 minutes lying because they were afraid to challenge FOX, and still have not until this day. FOX comes out with a lie and the so called liberal news media jumps on the band wagon. The only reason for this is because the news media would rather report a lie than challenge the liars on FOX. Look at all of the created so called scandals and see where they originated, at FOX. Need I say more

    •  Being cynical, one might also state that if pigs.. (0+ / 0-)

      had wings they would, and could fly.  The Democratic Party doesn't have the killer instinct to go out there and fight a gun fight with a gun.  Instead, the go armed with a knife, and even then drop it to the ground, and in many cases, run the other way.

      No guts, no glory.  Case in point, here in North Carolina, I am waiting for just one single Democratic voice to give the Raleigh Tar Heel Taliban hell, but it probably won't happen.  Instead, it takes the voices of Rev. Barber and others that march for Moral Mondays to do the "heavy lifting" that the Democratic party should be working on.

      As Mr. Natural (Fred Natural) created by the comic artist Robert Crumb sez:  "Twas ever thus."

      It's the ironic twist that is frustrating..  Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

      "It's only the giving, that makes what you are." - Ian Anderson

      by LamontCranston on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 07:54:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama fails to hold press conferences (6+ / 0-)

    For whatever reason, Obama does not hold press conferences.  He could get his message out, but elects not to do so.

    He goes on photo ops trips on occasion, but knows that those will not be covered by the main stream media like a Presidential press conference would.  In fact, they are largely ignored or barely covered.

    •  well (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chira2, MyMy

      he sees himself as a counter-puncher.

      So he will try to keep ducking and dodging, waiting for the right time to strike back

      Do not tell me what DFA aspires to do. Tell me what its candidates have actually done

      by GideonAB on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 11:51:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That never works as a strategy for success... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Patango, unfangus, StrayCat

        It looks defensive...because it IS defensive.

        Reagan used to go out in front of the public and take his message directly to them. He went right over the media. Obama could be successful doing the same thing, if he chose to.

        The problem is, I don't think he wants to.

        Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

        by Love Me Slender on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:02:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  okay but (4+ / 0-)

          how about the fact that Reagan is a right-winger and the right wing seems to get different treatment

          Do not tell me what DFA aspires to do. Tell me what its candidates have actually done

          by GideonAB on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:07:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Then here is your approach if you're Obama: (4+ / 0-)


            I'm serious.

            The media just wants ratings and controversy. If you want to get things done and get validation at the ballot box, you go around the media and straight to the voters.

            THAT is why Reagan won two elections losing a total of eight states (total) and got his agenda through a Democratic congress for the better part of 8 years.

            Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

            by Love Me Slender on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:20:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  are you talking about (0+ / 0-)

              videos on the whitehouse web site?

              I guess that could work

              Do not tell me what DFA aspires to do. Tell me what its candidates have actually done

              by GideonAB on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:37:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No...I am talking about visiting American cities.. (0+ / 0-)

                Taking the case for increasing the minimum wage, talking about ACA benefits, debunking lies...the works. The American public LOVES Barack Obama on the stump.

                But, as others have noted in this thread, he has no more elections to win. He would have to do this because he believes in progressive causes...and I'm just not sure he does.

                Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

                by Love Me Slender on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 02:35:13 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  And if Obama did not handle the GOP (3+ / 0-)

              with kid gloves , the media would cover what he says more , if Obama repeated a condensed version of what Sen Elizabeth Warren has been saying the last year , the GOP would have a melt down and the media would have no choice but to cover it , and no one sees Sen Warren as a RUDE PUNDIT by any means , but her message is a wreaking ball to the GOP sound bight machine

              Obama walks softly with no stick

              Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

              by Patango on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:38:32 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

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

                the media likes conflict.

                So, I think we should play into that and provide conflict for them.  The people have some ability to figure out who is on the level

                you wait until the fight is over, one guy is left standing. And that's how you know who won.

                by GideonAB on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:44:17 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Why would he? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      he's done being elected to office.

    •  this all strikes me as very reactive... (0+ / 0-)

      constantly playing defense.  This is really all great news for workers.  You may not be stuck it that shitty job you hate.  YOU HAVE OPTIONS now that you never had without harming your family.  These are great developments.  Why do we end on defense?

      Wendy Davis, please.

      by tinfoilhat on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 01:56:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You assume they have them. (10+ / 0-)
    If Democratic politicians represent their Democratic values to Americans, they will win.
    Obama talked a good game and drove a nail in the coffin of Democrat's credibility by looking forward on torturers, perjurers, and banksters, giving the keys back to the guys that drove the economy into a ditch,  TPP, NSA/spying, extending the Bush tax cuts, and repeatedly pushing cuts to Social Security.   I could go on but my point is, it takes more than "saying it".   After Obama's brilliant con job, nobody will believe a word that comes out of Hillary or Biden's mouths in 2016.

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 10:19:34 AM PST

  •  The Dems Have Had A Messaging Deficit For Decades (6+ / 0-)

        And the next sign of recognition of this from the Democratic Party leadership -- never mind action -- will be the first one.

       At some point, one must conclude that it's intentional.

    "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

    by Buzzer on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 10:20:15 AM PST

  •  Medicare in the 1960s would be the same (9+ / 0-)

    When Medicare was started in the mid-1960s millions of workers over 65 would have made the same choice.  They would no longer have to continue to work in order to have medical insurance .

    Too bad that media people like Chuck Todd were too dumb last week to make that inference.

    •  Given Chuckie's track record, you have to think (0+ / 0-)

      it's willful dumbness.  IIRC, he got his start as a number-crunching poll interpreter working for (I think) Charlie Cook.  He can't hide behind innumeracy as an excuse.  

      We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

      by Observerinvancouver on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 01:05:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Stating the obvious. (9+ / 0-)

    If in fact the ACA is so bad, then why does the right wing have to perpetuate lie, after lie to convey their position?
    Look at the long litany of bullshit they've streamed about it. None of it is true. The fact that they stoop to such tactics is, in itself, an indictment of their position.
    The fact is, and we here know it, is they are well aware that are lying. They depend on the ignorance of the obtuse, and emotionally fragile masses to believe it. THAT is our biggest problem.

  •  Wait, Republicans Are Concerned About Job Loss: (6+ / 0-)

    and unemployment?

    Yeah, that's why they've defeated the extension of Unemployment Insurance; several times, and have put forth so many jobs bills in Congress...LOL

  •  No, no, no, no, no, no ... It's not the Dems fault (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leonard145b, Victor Ward, chira2, DocGonzo

    It's the mean lying Repubs and the Repub controlled media who are to blame.  The Dems have no role in this at all.  The truth will out ... eventually.  Don't you read dkos or sumpthin'?

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 10:27:14 AM PST

  •  One Chart, One Message on Obamacare & Jobs (9+ / 0-)

    Egberto is of course right that Democrats should also press the argument that breaking job lock provides workers with greater freedom and choice -- something, by the way, that Republicans used to support. But, in fairness, the White House and Congressional Democrats have actually been pushing that message all week.

  •  I contended this for a long time. (4+ / 0-)

    And also use it as my argument for single payer.

    This report implies Americans will be free to pursue their dreams and aspirations. No longer will the corporate chains be around their ankles because of their dependency on affordable health care only said corporations could offer. They can now start their own businesses. They can change employers at will.
    This is an absolute fact. Even more so the more progressive we make our healthcare system. Rather than "making us lazy", as some goober politician said today, it will make us dream bigger.

    The U. S. Constitution doesn't guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.

    by Tony Stark on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 10:31:02 AM PST

    •  The corporate masters (2+ / 0-)

      wouldn't have control over us, and that is the bottom line.

      If you are not the lead dog, the view never changes.

      by RepresentUsPlease on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:02:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. I copied that same quote Tony Stark used (0+ / 0-)

        and planned to make the point you just did.  

        I think the CBO declined to make any estimate (tough to quantify) of how many new jobs might open up now that people feel free to start their own businesses without facing health problem Armageddon.   If a significant number of those new businesses are successful, they'll want to add employees.  And if they remain small they'd be exempted from providing health care but the employees could get coverage under the ACA.  

        The wingnuts are also concerned about the reduction in the labour force.  They've been living the effects of the post-war baby boom for nearly 70 years but can't figure out that there'll be a drop in the number of people in the labour force when that demographic bulge morphs into its next stage.  

        We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

        by Observerinvancouver on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 01:23:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  will the Dems ever get out in front of something (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joe Bacon, chira2

    before shit like this happens?? I am not holding my breath. Communication from the top down, has GOT to get better unless we like the GOP gaining MORE control of Congress!!!!

    •  No. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chira2, dfarrah

      They're spineless.

    •  As of now, I would say it is an 80% certainty... (0+ / 0-)

      ...that the GOP will control the entire U.S Congress this time next year if things remain as they are right now.

      Say what you will about the loudmouth freepers: They are dedicated to their causes, and they beat the crap out of their party leaders when they get pissed off. They carry water for NO ONE, unlike so many on our side.

      We could use a little genuine spirit in this party, IMO, to accompany principles designed to help the people.

      Maybe I'm dreamin...

      Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

      by Love Me Slender on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:07:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The traditional media are very competent (8+ / 0-)

    in getting out the corporate spin on the news. That is what they are and what they are paid to do. Corporate propaganda. This is not a coincidence when it dovetails nicely with Republicans talking points, as the Republic Party is also a wholly-owned subsidiary of international capital. It's propaganda, folks. Don't hyperventilate. It is what it is.

  •  With "liberals" like Milbank (0+ / 0-)

    leading the explanation, who needs the bullshit republicans spew out?

    I thought Milbank was a liberal, can't tell based on this tidbit I took out of todays paper.

    If you are not the lead dog, the view never changes.

    by RepresentUsPlease on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 10:42:56 AM PST

    •  You have to admit...he has a point about the CBO.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's like public-opinion polling. When it goes our way, we LOVE it. When it runs against us, we HATE IT.

      Just look at Rasmussen Reports polling. For years people have ragged Ras polling as RW, yet right now RR is the only major polling organization with Obama's JAR above 45%, so people lay off the vitriol.

      The ACA has long been trumpeted by CBO reports with regards to the good it does. Then, when they release a report that, at minimum, gives people cause for pause, we hate their guts.

      Can't have it both ways.

      Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

      by Love Me Slender on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:12:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  All good suggestions above (0+ / 0-)

    I'm in favor of all good suggestions above as to the need for Dems to get the messages and the memes out to the public, to present a solid positive front to push the Democratic party agenda and commitments. WHY there is so little "push" of the messages and the memes (FACTS alone would be a good start) is a mystery to me. Obama should be on television and talk shows and internet EVERY DAY, Biden too, pushing the program and showing charts, statistics, predictions, and where we're going to go with all this. This is so frustrating to me to see the lack of guts and confidence to push forward when the facts are definitely on track and on our side. Jeesh!

  •  You want Democrats to end Social Security (4+ / 0-)

    as we know it?

    Because -- unless you are advocating paying hundreds of thousands of dollars  -- or even millions of dollars -- a year in retirement benefits to people who are already very very rich, that is what this would do:

    If Social Security taxes are applied equally to both the rich and the poor, then the problem would be solved. Social Security taxes should be applied to all income at all levels. It should also apply to realized capital gains.
    Social Security is not a tax.  It is wage insurance -- where the amount of benefits you get in retirement is directly tied to the amount of wages you insure.  If you "insure" $75,000, you get paid the same retirement benefits regardless of whether you have no other assets or you are a trust fund baby with $5 million in the bank. Your retirement benefits are based on what you paid in, and that alone.  

    FDR specifically designed it that way so that it would not be welfare for the elderly -- he called it "the dole"-- and thus easier to kill. (How quickly Democrats forget "welfare reform").  If you allow people to insure all income, regardless of how much and regardless of the source, you have two choices.  Either (1)  you tie the retirement benefits to the amount insured, in which case you pay HUGE retirement  benefits to very rich people; or (2) you literally end Social Security as we know it and turn it into welfare for the elderly, exactly the program that FDR was adamant against.  

    Social Security's structure, which allows people to maintain the notion that they "paid for" their Social Security, and that they are entitled to what they paid for, is what accounts for the overwhelming public support for Social Security.  End that, and you turn it into "the dole" in FDR's words.  It is the same thing as means testing for Social Security, where you penalize people if they've saved a lot and have a lot of assets or other income when they retire.  It would fundamentally end the system as it was designed.  It would make it far, far, far easier for those who are against it to reduce benefits and even to argue for its demise, since people on Social Security would be one more group getting a "government handout."  

    And what makes this suggestion even more objectionable is that Social Security is not the huge long-term problem that Medicare and Medcaid are.  For Social Security, we historically have allowed people to insure up to 90% of the earned income in this country (the "cap.") We're now down to 82% or 83%.  If you raise the "cap" back up to 90%, and raise retirement benefits accordingly, since benefits are somewhat progressive, you'd probably go a very long way to a remedy for whatever issues Social Security has.  I would vehemently object to Democrats being the party that "ends Social Security as we know it" by severing the link between what you insure and the amount of retirement benefits you get.  You can maintain some progressivity, but you need to maintain enough of a link so that the system remains, in the eyes of the middle class, a "you get what you pay for" system.  

    It is that perception -- that Social Security is "you get what you paid for, that seniors can say "I only want what I paid for" with respect to Social Security -- that is the fundamental basis for the popularity of the system.  The genius of FDR was that he understood exactly that.  I am disappointed that so many in today's Democratic party do not.  

    The real long-term problem is in Medicare and Medicaid.  Address those programs.  Don't destroy the most popular government system that exists right now.

    •  Unrelated (0+ / 0-)

      How does including all income in SS taxes equate to people not paying for their own SS benefits?

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:58:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because it severs the tie (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        travelerxxx, VClib, MKSinSA

        between what you pay in and what you get in benefits.  

        If people insure $10 million a year under SS, then their retirement payout needs to be based on $10 million a year under existing law.  

        If you say, you insure $10 million a year, but your retirement payout is based on $100,000 a year, then you are paying for everyone else's benefits, not yours.  That undercuts the notion that everyone is "getting what they paid for."

        SS is insurance.  Here's an example.  Federal Flood insurance was (at the time of the Army Corps of Engineers Disaster that most people call Katrina) capped at $250,000.  If my house was worth $250,000, or $1 million, I paid premiums based on $250,000 and my payout, when my house flooded, is based on $250,000.  That's what SS is.  If you insure $100,000, your premiums are based on $100,000 and your payout is based on $100,000, whether that's your only income, or whether you have $1 million a year coming in in unearned income from a trust fund.  

        What you are suggesting is that for those two houses, Person A pays premiums based on $250,000, and person B pays premiums four times as high, to insure $1 million, but when the flood happens, they both get $250,000. That's not a "you get what you pay for" system.  That's a "the rich subsidize others" system -- what FDR called, "the dole."  

        •  Oh, coffeetalk. People pay into SS and Medicare (0+ / 0-)

          for all their working years and never collect a penny because they die short of retirement. If they have no children or their children are adults, there isn't even a survivor benefits payout. My mother collected SS for 7 months before she died, she worked into her 70s. Only 2 years of survivors benefits were collected by any of my Dad's kids. The money they threw into the kitty helped others, and had they lived longer they would have collected, or if their children had been younger when they died, benefits would have been there for us.

          I don't begrudge a penny of my parents SS being used for other American kids and retirees who deserve a decent retirement and some security. I'm glad children who needed benefits because a parent died, were assisted in part because of my Mom and Dad. They served their fellow Americans in peace and war.

          SS and Medicare taxes are a way for Americans to tribe up and take care of each other. And yes the poor millionaire and billionaire will not see a return on their pay in if they are taxed more. And the rich greedy unpatriotic shit heels wouldn't miss it either.

          Pity the poor billionaires. What the fuck is wrong with them?

          •  It's not about the millionaires. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            It's about the middle class being able, with credibility, to say, "I paid for my Social Security benefits, so don't touch them."

            No, it's not exactly true, but the structure of the system was so that this attitude would have some credibility.

            It was about the middle class not being on, in FDR's words, "the dole."

            It was about the program not being welfare -- the dole.

            If it's "the dole," then, by definition, you get it only by the generosity of others -- because someone is giving you something that you didn't earn and you didn't pay for.  And if that's what it is, it's far, far, far easier to say, well, we don't have the money, so we can't be as generous in giving you something you didn't earn yourself.  Since it's "the dole," it's easier to cut it, because the recipients don't have any moral claim on a benefit that they didn't pay for.

            FDR understood that there is a significant difference in public perception between a program where you can say you are paying your way and a program where you are on "the dole."  

            FDR understood that the only way a program can garner strong middle class support is if it WASN'T the dole, and if the middle class who got the benefits could legitimately say they were paying their way -- that they weren't being given something free that somebody else paid for.  That's why it was structured as wage insurance -- an insurance in case you outlived your ability to work for a living.  It is NOT -- most emphatically NOT -- welfare for the elderly who didn't earn enough or save enough to pay for themselves in retirement.  

            I do not want to turn it into that.  

            And it really surprises me that there are so many Democrats who literally want to end the program and replace it with "the dole" for the elderly.  

            •  SS is an insurance against being left to the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              kindness of strangers.  But times change and the idea that the old and infirm or the young and helpless should be the responsibility of all of us is the only civilized answer. If SS and Medicare are simply pay in and then draw out until your account is empty, most people are in for a Dickensian nightmare in old age and children are off to the match factories. If we agree that SS and Medicare are financed by all of us paying an agreed percentage of income, no matter how great or small that income, and think of that pay in as a duty to others and our country as much as to ourselves, then we're all fine.

              The dole? FDR knew he had to make SS a regressive tax in order to fly the program in 1935. Do we still think assisting our fellow citizens to a dignified retirement is the dole? What flavor asshole thinks that we shouldn't fund the healthcare of people to meet what they need, not what they paid in payroll taxes over a 40 year period of declining wages and income, save for the very richest among… I mean above us.

              If we agree that we all pay into these programs with the understanding and expectation that some will receive less than they paid in, others more, and some nothing, there is no dole.

              Working people understand this, some of the rich can't. They are used to getting full value for what they spend and often a profit. Making a bloodless sacrifice for, or feeling a fellowship and obligation to other Americans is off their radar.

              Baron Otto Von Bismark pushed thru the 1st social retirement plan in Europe and the 1st national healthcare plan. The Iron Duke was no bleeding heart, but he understood how these programs appealed to the Kaiser's subjects and he provided them thru state taxes and outflanked the Socialists by doing it. These barebones programs helped the Germans become the healthiest people in Europe. The Junkers who had to pay for something they didn't need bitched their heads off. Why should they care if the urban poor could eat in their old age? But Bismark ignored them and Germany prospered and had less social tensions and public misery to be endured or displayed than her neighbors, for a time.

              We should take care of our own. The rich should be ashamed of themselves.


              •  Grabber - while SocSec is a flat tax (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Grabber by the Heel

                the rich don't really care about it because of the cap. However, while the tax rate is flat the benefits are highly progressive. It's a great retirement deal for low income workers and a poor one for high income earners. However, because of the cap, and the fact that each new dollar of earnings does increase your benefit, there is a bipartisan view across all income classes that SocSec is fair.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 05:22:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  It is the only retirement for low wage workers. If (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  the cap is pushed up it can become a better retirement benefit for wage earners bringing home more income. SS has become more important to working and middle class workers because 401s are such an unreliable and unstable way for middle income workers to fund retirement. In 1980 60% of American workers had a defined benefits pension, now only 8% do and fewer and fewer people have a secure retirement. The 3 legged stool has lost a leg or even two.

                  All the pressure for a stable income in retirement is increasingly on SS because of the un-predictability and unsuitability of 401ks for middle income earners. Part of the SS fix should be an overhaul of the 401 and the  creation of a defined benefits pension for the 21st century.

                  It would also help if billionaire Wall St crooks, Repugs, and Wall St Dems would stop lying about how average Americans got into this retirement mess after 50 years of progress since the 1930s

                  We are going to have to go to where the money is to solve America's problems. Trade, finance, fair compensation for work, secure retirement, education, and healthcare, all these problems were created and they can all be fixed. The rich are going to have to give back some of the swag they've been looting since the 80s and lose some of the rules they made to do the looting. The looters will try to make the middle class pay until they are bled out and they will blame anyone poorer for the bleeding. But this play gets weaker and weaker as more and more middle class families see their kids become the working poor they are supposed blame.

                  SS and Medicare can become programs that have what Americans need no matter what they have paid in. We just have to agree to think it and do it. The Dole is a pineapple.

                  We should take care of our own. The rich won't like it, but the rich will always be with us…the bastards.    

          •  Grabber - I wrote a diary about the fundamental (0+ / 0-)

            building blocks of SocSec. You can find it here:


            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 02:55:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks VClib I'll check it out. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
            •  I did read this. And didn't agree with your (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mickT, MKSinSA

              conclusions with a 2nd reading.

              Lincoln once said, "As our case is new, so must our thinking be new". A real discussion about the future of SS and Medicare as we move into the 21st century has to take place with the freedom to break free of Edwardian "certainties".

              We have to consider and accept that some will pay more and receive less. And that this is simply the civilized thing for a modern nation to do.

              I also think that retooling the program to a progressive tax system or raising the cap, is not a middle-class issue, but an issue for the wealthy. And the wealthy not only don't want to pay, they want the SS money for play. If we don't design and secure SS for the working and middle classes, the wealthy will loot the program as they have every other pile of wealth the public, all of us, have built.

              I'll read your piece again, VClib. I may have eyeballed it with more attitude than openness.  

              •  Grabber - the weathly are certainly not looting (3+ / 0-)

                Social Security. The payout system has a very strong progressive bias. A dollar paid into the system by a low wage worker earns four of five times what a dollar near the cap amount earns. However, every dollar up to the cap earns an additional benefit, even if it is small. That's the foundational part of SocSec, it's a plan were you earn your benefit and each dollar of contribution improves the amount of your retirement benefit. If we lose that foundation then we have a welfare program and at some point we will have "welfare reform".

                Thanks for reading my diary. It's OK not to agree with me, many people here at DKOS don't.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 05:10:35 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

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

          SS pays for itself out of a combo of SS taxes and the interest from the SS fund buying Treasuries. Any shortfall is taken from the new taxes on people not yet retired, instead of buying Treasuries.

          There is no reason that the current system can't have the ~$110K cap and special treatment for non-labor income eliminated. Yes, rich people will get paid a lot by SS because they paid in a lot. But the system will just scale up. It will not get bent the way you're talking about.

          Unless we decide it should. There is nothing wrong with using SS taxes on the richest to pay more to the less rich who aren't even living at the poverty level, while the richest retire on hundreds of $millions or $billions. Progressive taxation is entirely accepted by all but the greediest and most unreasonable. But that's not what we're talking about here.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 02:56:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  The SS benefit is calculated based upon the SS (0+ / 0-)

        taxes paid.

        The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

        by nextstep on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 01:27:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  DocG - I wrote a diary about it (0+ / 0-)

        and you can find it here:

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 02:53:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  There is an easy fix coffeetalk (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We are going to implement a " trickle down tax " on high income / profits earnings outside the payroll tax by making that conservative "theory" come to life , certainly conservatives will have no problem with their theories coming true ..Right ? This will make up for all the wage theft from the last 50 years , we will give it all to wage earners , so you can also refer to this new program as

       " wage insurance "  

      We can just add the lingo to the Social Security ...Problem solved

      Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

      by Patango on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 01:20:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Advocating higher marginal rates on high income (0+ / 0-)

        earners and corporations and using those additional taxes to fund transfer payments to low income residents is one of the fundamental tenants of progressive public policy. That seems to be what you are suggesting.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 02:57:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

          it also plugs the holes of the blanter you people present about the limits of wage insurance , problem solved

          Embrace " trickle down" as a reality and not a myth , another problem solved for conservatives whose policies ended up failing , I imagine this would make them happy :)

          Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

          by Patango on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 03:20:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Patango - it's not blanter (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            It's the foundation structure of Social Security and the reason it has such broad bipartisan support.

            I have no issue with higher tax rates and more transfer payments, just keep them out of Social Security or be honest about what you are proposing.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 03:56:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have presented nothing that is dishonest (0+ / 0-)

              , unlike the way you people frame your argument , you are against any additional taxes to keep SS secure , then you people pretend you are all for a strong safety net  , fortunately you do not fool everyone with this act  

              And please stop lying about what I said

              Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

              by Patango on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 04:36:57 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  If you read my diary and comments on SocSec (0+ / 0-)

                you would know that I favor raising the cap to an amount in the $200,000 range, and indexed for inflation, which would keep SocSec solvent for a generation or two. What I don't favor is using SocSec as a backdoor second income tax.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 05:04:12 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Not having jobs tied to health care (2+ / 0-)

    provides a little freedom of movement to some people. It's still not going to be easy to change jobs because we all have to pay the rent or mortgage, buy food, pay for utilities and gas, etc. Not everyone can afford to retire at 65 regardless of health care.

    I've mentioned this in comments on the same topic. I lived in a country with universal health care, my husband grew up in another. Not having to consider health benefits when looking for work or starting a business isn't part of the stress equation--or the selection process for a job. And if you do hit a rough patch, you're looked after.

    Other countries have employment and job creation issues. Health care isn't on the table if it's already universal.

    The ACA doesn't go far enough to make the notion of freedom to change jobs or start a business really true. And it doesn't answer to all the other life expenses that we have to consider when deciding to make the jump to something new or not.

  •  maybe I missed it, but (9+ / 0-)

    One thing I didn't understand about this CBO report:  If 2 million people leave the work force voluntarily (thanks to the ACA), doesn't that mean that 2 million jobs become available?  Isn't this a job-maker?

    •  Another point that Chuck Todd missed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elizaveta, Laconic Lib

      If these jobs are necessary to the employers then replacement workers will be found.  The jobs are not being killed.

      The rate of unemployment is getting smaller even with a small number of new jobs.  Some of that discrepancy could be due to workers voluntarily leaving the workforce as made possible by ACA.

    •  The problem conservatives have is, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laconic Lib

      the people replacing the ones that quit will be able to demand a higher wage. As we all know, conservatives do not want better wages for any reason.

      If you are not the lead dog, the view never changes.

      by RepresentUsPlease on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:08:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The CBO report requires a lot of study. It's not (0+ / 0-)

    easy to make sound bites out of such a complex report. For example, what message can Democrats make out of this: a result of the ACA, between 6 million and 7 million fewer people will have employment-based insurance coverage each year from 2016 through 2024 than would be the case in the absence of the ACA. That change is the net result of projected increases and decreases in offers of health insurance from employers and changes in enrollment by workers and their families....

    Because of the net reduction in employment-based coverage, the share of people’s compensation that takes the form of nontaxable benefits (such as health insurance premiums) will be smaller—and the share that takes the form of taxable wages will be larger—than would otherwise be the case. That shift will boost net federal receipts. Partially offsetting the federal savings will be an estimated $8 billion increase in Social Security benefits that will arise from the higher wages paid to workers. All told... those changes will reduce federal budget deficits by $206 billion over the 2015–2024 period.

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 10:54:23 AM PST

  •  2.3 Million Vacancies (8+ / 0-)

    The Dem messaging on this was terrible today on the Sunday morning circuit.  "2.3 million job openings."  That's the message.  Please stop with the wonky labor supply side crap.  "Obamacare is allowing those who want to retire, start a small business, or work less to do so.  This means 2.3 million vacancies for people looking for work."  It's so &$?@ing simple!

    If Murphy's Law can fail, it will. - Scruggler's Law of Optimism

    by Scruggler on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 10:58:03 AM PST

  •  dems can't message squat until they fix the radio (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lunachickie, FiredUpInCA

    same as usual- the lies around this particular event are well based in months of previously unchallenged repetition.

    dems will always be on defensive until they do something about the RW radio advantage

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 10:59:35 AM PST

  •  Lies are more sensational than facts (3+ / 0-)

    Our sensational driven corporate media would rather report on pomp, circumstance and innuendo to gain ratings. The republican big lie theory is tell the lie to a big audience and retract at a later date to the much smaller audience. Sunday morning TV talk shows are excellent stages for launching the GOP big lies and continues 24/7 on the mother of misinformation Fox "news". I refuse to watch either.

    If we lie to the government, it's a felony...but if they lie to us it's politics.

    by rmb on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 11:02:03 AM PST

  •  Nothing new. Nine times out of ten, Democrats fail (0+ / 0-)

    on messaging. With Obama, I'd say its 99 times out of 100.

  •  Here's a hot story making the conservative rounds (0+ / 0-)

    Why Obamacare is a Plague on America in 13 Quotes

    I don't understand Elmendorf's claim below, point 13 of the con argument.

    Elmendorf’s answer was simple, short, and devastating. “It is the central factor in slowing economic growth,” he said. “After we get out of this current downturn, but later in this decade and beyond, the principal reason why we think the economic growth will be less than it was for most of my lifetime will be a slower rate of growth by the labor force.”
    I'm looking for help here on rebutting this bs.

    What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

    by TerryDarc on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 11:04:16 AM PST

    •  Baby boomers will be leaving the workforce. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TerryDarc, Elizaveta, FiredUpInCA

      Simultaneously, the birth rate in the USA is falling.  Therefore, you will have fewer workers to replace those leaving the workforce.

      This is actually another great argument FOR immigration.  We need to allow more people into the country to fill those positions.

      •  I understand about immigration filling the gaps (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but how does the economy shrink b/c of O-care? By fewer workers making fewer widgets? Or is that simply the effect of fewer workers with or without med insurance?

        What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

        by TerryDarc on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 11:43:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I believe the CBO was talking about decreased (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          productivity.  With all those workers no longer available/willing to work those hours, there will be vacancies -- at least until a replacement is hired.  It is presumed that the remaining workers will not be as productive as they would have if there was full staffing.

          This will also cause wages to go up as employers try to entice other workers to fill those positions.


          •  I wish he'd elucidated or someone had (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            asked the question for a response, like on the people choosing not to work issue.

            As an aside, how does the CBO compute this stuff? Based on what?

            Thanks, BTW.

            What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

            by TerryDarc on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:08:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  2 million people will be better off. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Actually more than 2 million.  Since almost all of the reduction will be due to people who choose not to work (or choose to work less), each person who makes that choice is unambiguously in a better position,  They will simply have an option that was not available before the ACA, and they will see that option as better for them than continuing to work.  Every person who makes this choice will regard it as an improvement to their lives; otherwise, they could just keep working.

    It's a great message.  Democrats need to beat that drum until the conservative lies are drowned out.

    See you in Heaven if you make the list. R.E.M.

    by Akronborn on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 11:04:41 AM PST

    •  one word "Freedom" (0+ / 0-)

      and not the Republican version people get confused with .... "Freedumb".

      The 1% are becoming sociopaths. PERIOD. That wealth is making them sick. Entitled and unanswerable to anyone.Personal responsibility is for the suckers, er, the middle class and poor.. -- cagernaut, 30 October 2013

      by billlaurelMD on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 01:17:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If R's really wanted us to stay in our lousy jobs (3+ / 0-)

    they would push for pensions.  Now THAT was a reason to stay in a horrible job your whole life.   And it actually made sense to have that connected to your job.  But it is cruel to correlate someones life/health with what work they do.  

    My husband wants to retire from Engineering (he's 54) and work at a micro-brewery.  Couldn't do it before because they typically don't offer health insurance and the pay is low.  Now he can open up his high pay Engineering job to a younger worker with a family and enjoy his hobby!  Thank God for the ACA!  

  •  "Disincentive to work" (2+ / 0-)

    Counter with "To Republicans, Americans are only of value when they are working for the 1%"

    If Murphy's Law can fail, it will. - Scruggler's Law of Optimism

    by Scruggler on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 11:12:30 AM PST

  •  RWMSM repeats Rethug lies; it's a feature not a (0+ / 0-)


    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 11:20:24 AM PST

  •  I am not saying you're wrong (7+ / 0-)

    about ANYTHING other than this:

    Once again the traditional media succumbed to Republican talking points.
    and this, in the title:
    Democrats fail at messaging.
    When do we all move past these two idiotic, contradictory tropes? To imply on the one hand that The Media is "Stupid" because they "succumb to the GOP talking points" and imply on the other hand that "Democrats Fail" to get their message out makes no sense when taken together. One can't be possible in the presence of the  other.

    The American Media is either Stupid or it's Not Stupid. If they're the stupid ones, then they are the ones that fail. NOT the people or entities which are being reported on (badly).

    And if they really aren't stupid, then they are deliberately, systematically, with malice aforethough, lying to the people of this country.

    When so much else in this diary, in particular, is so correct and so true, it it infuriating to read those tropes--which do nothing at all other than appear to want to excuse our lying-ass corporatized bought-off bullshit-ridden press.

    I do not think that's deliberate on the part of our diarist. I want us simply to move past these things and call these entities what they are--they are propaganda outlets.

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

    by lunachickie on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 11:22:31 AM PST

  •  what the report really says (0+ / 0-)

    Even the quoted portion above says that among the people who "will choose to supply less labor...the largest declines in labor supply will probably occur among lower-wage workers."

    So, who are these lower-wage workers who apparently have the choice not to work? What factors will be going go into that free choice? Am I supposed to understand that they will have all left their current  jobs in order to now "pursue their dreams and aspirations?"

    •  These are lower-paying jobs on the margins which (0+ / 0-)

      put the worker at/near the income requirements for subsidies.  At some point, the worker will have to choose between working more hours (perhaps a 2nd/3rd part-time position) and losing the ACA subsidy OR working fewer hours and garnering a larger subsidy.

      This is true with all means-tested entitlement programs.

      Republicans refuse to deal with the real "cure" for this which is to ensure everyone a living wage.

      •  Having to choose (0+ / 0-)

        You say that these lower-paid workers will have to choose between taking on additional work or cutting back on work to avoid losing the subsidy. CBO is predicting the latter, blandly characterizing that as "choosing to supply less labor," which makes it sound like some freely arrived-at abstract decision. In any case, it doesn't much resemble anything I'd call pursuit of dreams and aspirations.

    •  Some reduced hours, some not working (0+ / 0-)

      Most likely cases would be for a spouse who makes near minimum wage.  The combination of reduced ACA subsidy, payroll taxes, income taxes could mean for each dollar of wages, less than $0.50 is realized. Throw in the cost of working from transportation, clothing, etc.. and the conclusion may be for the spouse to stop working.  If there were childcare expenses or other expenses that could be avoided by not working that would be an additional incentive.

      This also brings very very high incentives to "work off the books." So the spouse not working maybe able to earn tax free income that ACA subsidies don't see through child or senior care for others or other cash work.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 05:30:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The talking point should be (0+ / 0-)

    The affordable care and jobs mobility act. When you have portable insurance you are free to go where the better opportunities for employment exist. If you are no longer handcuffed by your job because you  were afraid to lose your insurance you are Now free to start your own business.

  •  The 2.5 jobs "lost" in the next decade are (2+ / 0-)

    actually  job vacancies.  For every worker who decides for whatever reason to leave the workforce because having medical insurance is accessible, there will be a worker waiting in the wings to take his/her place.

    It is harder and harder to buck the continuous wave of Republican false claims against most everything Obama.  Not only does the public get it from the media, but from their Representatives in the House and Senate; who know better, but are dedicated to their TParty thugs and are fraid of their own electorate.

    Statements are rebuffed, but get little play and, particularly when the base of Repubs are told time after time their president is a liar, illegitimate, a socialist, a fascist, and a communist wrapped into one, that's hard to undo.

    To raise the cap on Soc. Sec. is a no-brainer.  To support Obamacare also will decrease the deficit and lower costs; it is all in the CBO report, a no-brainer.

    What this country needs the Repubs won't give in to, and that is a stimulus package that will not only put workers to work for years, but will address are crumbling infrastructure.  Waiting for another bridge collapase, a broken levee, and grids and water reservoirs, roads, and ill-fitted schools to become so bad repairs are fruitless, and would be more costly, we should be getting Congress to (Boehner), put jobs, jobs, jobs, on the table.  Real jobs, not the ridiculous plan of the GOP to give more to corporations and reduce regulations; according to their jobs plan that is all that is needed and the jobs will just trickle down.  Fat chance.

  •  We better throw everything we can at this... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chira2, Laconic Lib

    newborn zombie lie.

  •  Two Republicans show how to deal with Republicans (4+ / 0-)

    First - Jan Brewer Governor of Arizona

    For what ever reason she decided that her state needs those Medicaid dollars from the federal government.
    The Republican legislature in Arizona wouldn't comply. She informed them she would veto every bill, no matter what it was about, until they complied.
    The Republicans figured they could treat her like a Democrat and get away with it. So they sent not one, but seven bills to her desk to be signed.
    Brewer vetoed them all. Next thing you know - the Republicans complied and the Medicaid expansion is now taking place in Arizona.

    Second - Charlie Crist - formerly a Republican and now running as a Democrat against Rick Scott for governor in Florida.
    I'll just quote Egberto from his previous diary:

    Charlie Crist came out swinging. Chuck Todd in his every move apparent appeasement of the Right, attempted to give Governor Rick Scott credit for Florida’s unemployment rate drop. Charlie Crist would have none of it. He boomeranged Rick Scott Obama embrace attack by embracing it. Christ said categorically that the improvement was a result of President Obama’s stimulus. He even said he was grateful to the President during the interview.

    But it would get better. Charlie Crist channeled Congressman Alan Grayson. "About a million of my fellow Floridians are not getting health care today.” Charlie Crist said. “And I am told by friends at SIEU that means that six people in Florida die every day as a result of that. Every day." When Chuck Todd came to the defense of Rick Scott by claiming that factual statement was a “tough allegation,” Charlie Crist did not back down.

    “That’s right,” Charlie Crist said. "If people are sick, and they aren't getting health care, what happens? They usually get sicker, or they die. … In addition to it, it is economically stupid."

    That's how ya do it.
    Are you listening Democrats?
  •  Sibelius Sucks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Patango, dfarrah

    Sibelius should have been waiting for this CBO report ready with PR blazing about how it creates 2 million jobs, because the bosses still need the work that newly insured workers do less of because they're not compelled to do it out of insurance need. At increased pay becauses the labor demand stayed the same while labor supply dropped.

    Instead, the Republicans landed another severe blow on Obamacare among American voters as the 2014 election campaign gets underway. Just like they did to win in 2010.

    After her catastrophic rollout of the Obamacare website, Sibelius should have been operating at top form to recover at any milestone still coming up.

    Instead she demonstrated that if the Obamacare rollout didn't get her fired, nothing would.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:55:38 PM PST

  •  or the Dems can say (0+ / 0-)

    Another typical GOP lie. Call it for what it is - a lie, and do not mince words. Say that lying is all the GOP has to offer - they have had over 40 years to show to America what they can do, and for those 40 years, all they have done is make the rich, richer, and they have driven the middle class, the engine that drives the American economy, into poverty. The Democrats should challenge the GOP to show how they have improved the lives of the average American, and show us their plans, instead of spending their time lying and attacking to cover their track record of failure. Forget responding directly to GOP lies- just call them chronic and proven liars and failures to their faces.

    "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government" T. Jefferson

    by azureblue on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 02:19:27 PM PST

  •  Perhaps "Forced Indenture" is the Southrn Strategy (0+ / 0-)

    Perhaps "forced indenture" is the new southern strategy.  At least that was my thought as I pondered yesterday the hoopla over the CBO report.

    I started thinking about how the past 5 years have progressed.  Koch brothers et al are front and center in organizations promoting business interests.  Congress and GOP run state legislatures have dug in their heels with austerity and cutting off those in unemployment need.  And GOP governors have made their primary strategy with ACA to be denying people more freedom.

    Then the very cynical thought dawned on me:  Creating a situation of high demand for jobs with low supply of jobs was their goal from the beginning.  That keeps wages low, thereby helping business owners earn higher profits - Which they would presumably give to the GOP for being so astute to the needs of business.  Throw anything into that mix that might make the plebs feel optimistic, and the one-sided strangle-hold would break.

    Meh, what to do what to do.  

  •  Pelosi and Reid are tired.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Scruggler, dfarrah

    They are letting the crooks and liars bitch slap them over and over. We desperately need new, energetic leaders and messaging.

    Considering the bigoted anti-science freaks in charge of the GOP, we should be slaughtering their asses. Yet, we risk losing the Senate? Failure on steroids.

    What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

    by Cpqemp on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 03:29:58 PM PST

  •  CBO is not a prophet (0+ / 0-)

    The whole thing puts too much value on the "projections" of the CBO.  It has the job of trying to evaluate the impact of laws on the budget, but it can't foretell the future.  It has always been assumed that the ACA would allow some people to drop out of the workforce, and the new CBO report only changes the estimate somewhat.  But the CBO doesn't know how many people will drop out - the number they give is just a wild guess.

    Under current conditions there will be little or no reduction in hours worked anyway, since the dropouts will be immediately replaced by the unemployed. This will reduce unemployment, not hours worked or production.  It doesn't reduce total demand either - that may be increase if government spending increases.

  •  It's all about the messaging (0+ / 0-)

    The time for playing nice is over. Democrats need to start deciding what the "message" should be.  Stop letting the Republicans and the TV hosts define what the message is.   IE: Affordable Care Act -it helps Americans afford health care.   Pro-life should be re-branded as Forced Pregnancy, enough with the term "entitlements' when referring to Food-Stamps, Medicaid, and Unemployment Insurance.  I don't think those who receive governmental assistance feel they are "entitled" to it, it is more of a government-funded social initiative.    Most of the Tea Party have no shame, and it is time for them to be called out, and time for the progressives to speak out.

  •  anything for a buck (0+ / 0-)

    When did todd & gregory become nothing but 30-bit-o-coin whores that they are? todd has never had enough money to pay a woman to be willing but will spread those cheeks for 1 piece of silver.

  •  If you make just $1 over 138% of poverty level... (0+ / 0-)

    …then you will not be able to afford the lousy unreliable over-priced rent-but-not-to-own private coverage (the only kind offered in the exchanges since there is no public option), even with the corporate subsidies. If you are poor, but rich enough to be able to afford the private health unsurance premiums with corporate subsidies, then any increase in your pay will result in decreased corporate subsidies and corresponding increase in premiums paid out of your pocket, which means private health unsurance corporations win either way while you lose either way (because you will have NO chance what-so-ever of increasing your income, no matter what, for as far as you can see). 30 MILLION (out of 48 million uninsured when ACA was signed into law) WILL REMAIN COMPLETELY UNINSURED AFTER ACA IS COMPLETELY IMPLEMENTED. Tens of millions will remain or become dangerously under-insured, and tens of millions with the forced privatized (so-called) "coverage protection" will have NO money left over after being forced to give it to the private health unsurance corporations to be able to pay doctors for necessary medical care.  Obama and Democrats say they know this and planned it this way on purpose. They did not plan for states to refuse to expand Medicaid, which makes ACA even worse than it was to begin with (which is horribly bad for us and terribly good for private health unsurance corporations).

    •  Private health unsurance is often very unreliable (0+ / 0-)

      bait-and-switch scam. Forced privatization is the opposite of what we need. Obamacare is Romneycare on steroids. Even though Romneycare did (and Obamacare will) reduce the number of people who do not have private health unsurance (which is not the same as gaining access to medical care at all), it did nothing to reduce medical bankruptcies. We are being duped like we've never been duped before.

  •  Medicare for All starting with Obama and Congress (0+ / 0-)

    Quentin Young is the Father of the Single Payer Movement in America and former personal physician to both Martin Luther King and Barack Obama. He is as knowledgeable about the truth based on evidence and facts as anyone, and has not sold it out for money in politics. This is what he says. Obamacare Worse Than Doing Nothing

  •  ACA forces poor people to stay poor... (0+ / 0-)

    ...while private health unsurance corporations rake it in like never before. It is the biggest, most deviously disguised pro-corporate-wefare scam ever passed over on a misinformed and misled public…by FAR. And we are collective idiots.

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