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Earlier today we saw some Senate Democrats embrace an attempt to expand Social Security benefits.
The new proposal is called the Retirement and Income Security Enhancements Act, or RAISE Act, and it would increase benefits specifically for groups who have seen their retirement security eroded by recent economic trends [...]
This is known as a no-brainer. Yet only "some" Democrats in the Senate have embraced it. It should be adopted by ALL Democrats. Why wouldn't you want to promise more stuff for the people most likely to vote, and people who genuinely need the extra help in these economic times?

Democrats appear more concerned about the Washington Post op-ed than in the people who could actually vote for them. As Atrios said:

It's a mystery to me how people are paid lots of money to tell candidates not to promise to give the elderly more and better benefits.
Seriously. Let Republicans argue for austerity. Let Republicans explain to seniors why they should keep voting GOP when it's Democrats who are offering them a better deal.

Originally posted to kos on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 12:14 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wall Street Has a Sad (21+ / 0-)

    and that gives Democrats The Shy.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 12:29:29 PM PDT

    •  Why should seniors vote for Democrats (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OuijaForestCat

      ... when only "some" Democrats support it, and not enough to actually do anything?

      In order to make an argument to voters, you actually have to promise something other than feckless sometimes-good intentions.  If the Democratic party were a Liz Warren party -- not a Hillary Clinton party -- maybe they'd have a claim worth listening to.  But they're not, and so far they don't.

      We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

      by Dallasdoc on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 04:33:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Kos must think seniors are blithering idiots. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dallasdoc

        Obama and Pelosi's "Grand Bargain" with its intended cuts to Social Security benefits only fell through because piggish Republicans couldn't take yes for an answer; but now Kos expects seniors to forget all about that unpleasantness and buy into the notion of the Democratic Party as Noble Protectors of Social Security.

        How fucking gullible would seniors have to be to buy into that crap?

  •  as I now have observed enough cognitive (15+ / 0-)

    decline during the senior years, it's ever more important to turn the now older Boomer generation to the most obvious issue:
    the false consciousness of 'bagger astroturfed ideology


    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 12:30:42 PM PDT

  •  I'm Not Surprised (11+ / 0-)

    there were a number of them who felt Chained CPI wasn't a cut.

  •  I am also uncertain (18+ / 0-)

    why expanding Social Security would turn off any younger voters.

    30, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 12:33:48 PM PDT

  •  The RAISE act includes raising the cap to $400K (22+ / 0-)

    something that many of us have been calling for and economist, like Krugman and Stiglitz have backed up with facts.
    But in GOP parlance, that's a new tax, particularly a tax on the Rich. Can't have that.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 12:43:47 PM PDT

  •  When good policy meets political benefit (12+ / 0-)

    it is a beautiful thing. Many seniors are on the edge of poverty, many have already fallen off that cliff.  

    Roman Catholic by birth---thoroughly confused by life.

    by alasmoses on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 12:57:43 PM PDT

    •  When you get to be seniorish (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      keyscritter, OHdog

      it's difficult to balance on the old poverty line. Falling off the destitution threshold and scrambling back up over and over again wears us down and makes it hard to be cheerful for those hours greeting folks at Walmart. And shortens our, um, careers.

      Young people, you don't really want to have to support us yourselves, do you? Vote to increase our Social Security and you'll get at least a few more years to yourselves before Grumpy old Gramma a lovely old lady becomes a permanent fixture in your life.

  •  Raising the income cap to 90% (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tekno2600, elwior, wasatch

    probably has a better chance in the Senate than the RAISE Act, and would raise about 35 billion, increase the lowest SS benefits by $1500, while the average senior would see a $2000 increase, and increase SST revenues slightly for future generations.

    The RAISE Act might raise 3 or 4 billion.

    Do we propose raising SS benefits by 10% or 1%?

    .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 01:05:53 PM PDT

    •  Not sure that has a better chance. (0+ / 0-)

      For better or worse (well, mostly worse), people see those making 100K-200K a year as middle class. So although almost everyone in that bracket could afford it, raising taxes on them is less palatable than raising taxes on 400K+ types. Most people know someone making 100K-200K - but not someone making 400K.

      On the other hand, "better chance" is academic, since this won't pass the House. It's about messaging. And "increasing Social Security benefits" is an excellent message, regardless of the details.

  •  My mother is 90 (11+ / 0-)

    and voted by mail for the first time last week. She did ask me to help her with the ballot, also a first, but she was not going to skip voting; she cares what happens in California.

  •  Republicans voting against seniors in an election (12+ / 0-)

    year: Priceless!

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 01:10:59 PM PDT

  •  It's much easier to support and elect Democrats (11+ / 0-)

    who act like Democrats.

    decent wages don't eliminate jobs. Republicans eliminate jobs; and workers, and prospects, and then excuse it all and call for more austerity. there is no end to their ignorant, arrogant avarice. only political dinosaurs support their treachery.

    by renzo capetti on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 01:14:08 PM PDT

  •  ^^THIS. (6+ / 0-)
    Give seniors what they want. They vote!

    Why do I have the feeling George W. Bush joined the Stonecutters, ate a mess of ribs, and used the Constitution as a napkin?

    by Matt Z on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 01:22:33 PM PDT

  •  I put in well over 150,000 and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Militarytracy, Eric Nelson

    get 500 Retirement of 500 a month.  I do need a raise.

    Just how much Koch do Right Wingers want in their life? . United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 01:32:43 PM PDT

    •  I mean only 500 a month ... and what sucks is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO, keyscritter

      this thing about Champ VA.  When I turn 65 I have to buy into part B which is totally cost free now but I have to get part b for Champ VA to pay anything, after next year.
      In other words I lose about 100 of my social security next year.

      Just how much Koch do Right Wingers want in their life? . United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 01:34:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And every year you go (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vetwife, cocinero, tardis10

        without buying in to Part B, the cost goes up 10%.

        Ceiling Cat rules....srsly.

        by side pocket on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 01:44:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What most people do NOT realize... (4+ / 0-)

        ... is that on top of Medicare payments all one's working life, once a person has to go on disability, or once a person gets Soc Sec Retirement, then the Medicare payments are deducted from SS or SSDI before the remainder is deposited in one's account.

        In other words, we never stop paying for Medicare until we die - and Medicare is, BTW, a not-for-profit single-payer medical insurance.  [This is why I always thought it would have been SO much more expedient to have everyone now on ACA to buy into Medicare, plus change the "parts" to all-inclusive coverage.  Plus, to cover the added paperwork, new Medicare employees would have had to be hired to handle the extra paperwork: instant jobs, jobs, jobs!  Of course, that common-sense, easy solution to health insurance coverage was just too complicated for our dim-witted Cretinous Congress Critters and President to comprehend since they were all bought off by insurance, medical, and pharmaceutical corporations, among other financial institutions like Casino Wall Street..., and it's just too much to contemplate that us little peons could take money out of the pockets of the majority of our Cretinous Politicians....]

        The exception?  Medicare Part D, the prescription section voted in during the Bushista years.  It is the corporate medical insurance that Obamacare (ACA) is modeled on.  Part D came with the warning "Buy this or else."  (Many disabled & seniors did not buy it until they were forced to do so because of illnesses which needed drugs that cost big bucks.)  ACA came with the warning "Buy this or pay a fine of $1000."

        Until they or their family members get old enough or disabled enough for any of this to kick in for them, the way Cretinous Congress Critters and Poli-Sick Pundits talk/write implies they think Medicare is a "free welfare" program instead of a monthly payroll deduction, just as many do not make the connection between FICA and paying into Soc Sec, so they think that's a "free welfare" program, too, which is apparently how/why they buy into the false meme of 'these "entitlement" [free welfare] programs are increasing the deficit.'  We The People know the difference..., but our Idiotic Congress Critters don't seem to most of the time [exception: Bernie Sanders knows the difference, and when he entered office a couple of years ago, my new Dem Rep knew the difference when he mentioned it in his election night speech].

        Nothing could be further from the truth: we pay for these programs BEFORE we get them, and in the case of Medicare, we continue to pay for it from our first paycheck deductions and then via Soc Sec deductions until the day we die.  I'm quite happy I paid for Soc Sec Insurance and Medicare Insurance all of my working life; if I hadn't lived long enough to use either one, then a relative would have done so.  That is the point of "insurance" programs of ANY kind - private or public sector.  We pay for this insurance whether we use it or not!!!  The downside is that private insurance corporations use any profits toward insanely high bonuses for their executives.  In the public sector the monies have to be used for We The People (and Casino Wall Street and private insurance corporations want that money funneled their way to use for executive bonuses and sending offshore where they don't have to pay taxes).

        The glitch?  Any itty-bitty little teeny-tiny increase in Soc Sec payments means Medicare fees increase..., and if one is additionally getting HUD assistance, the landlords increase the rent accordingly, and if it's a high enough increase for both, that means even less Soc Sec than before the raise is deposited in one's account and available for the disabled and senior citizens to use as necessary expenses.  ("Disposable income" is not even a factor when it comes to being dependent only on Soc Sec.  It just doesn't exist.  Every cent is necessary for something - food, if not higher medical costs or other necessary expenses.)

        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 Jun 10, 2014 at 03:24:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Kos, not only should democrats embrace it, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wasatch, Eric Nelson, navane50mg

    they should then use the idea as a cudgel against every republican who voted, in contrast, to cut Social Security benefits and raise the recipient age to 69.

    Every republican in the House voted for this Ryan budget.

    I still have no idea why each and every democrat does not use this republican voting record against each and every republican opponent.

    If democrats can syphon off the white seniors, who do not believe republicans voted for such changes, then republicans would lose the House, not just the White House.

  •  The squeaky wheel gets the grease. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    By the authority vested in me by Kaiser Wilhelm II, I pronounce you man and wife. Proceed with the execution...and the kiddie pool needs to stay open 24/7!

    by HarryParatestis on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 02:14:48 PM PDT

  •  Two ways to help the SSN Trust Fund: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, NonnyO, Eric Nelson, navane50mg

    1.  Raise the Minimum Wage.  Raising the minimum wage would provide more income to a majority of people in the USA, but another benefit would be that the additional SSN wages would be raised for both the employees and employers and the result would be a tremendous increase in the amount of funds deposited in the SSN Trust.
    2.  Remove the Cap on Earnings subject to SSN  Every dollar of earnings should be subject to SSN.  Employers should pay and the CEO's and high wage earners should also pay into the system.  As it is currently, the cap is an incentive to pay the CEO's more and the regular earners less because of the tax incentive.  If there were no cap, the SSN trust fund would be secure for the foreseeable future.

    It probably makes too much sense for any Republican to ever vote for.

    Voters should select people to represent them in their government. People in government should not select people who may vote!

    by NM Ray on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 02:19:07 PM PDT

  •  It's like quid pro quo (0+ / 0-)

    But legal.  And actually helping people.

    It's almost as if some Democrats are afraid to giving people what they want because it looks too much like pandering.

  •  Why do we have to keep scratching and clawing for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BenderRodriguez, Militarytracy

    the senior vote? Almost all of them are above water only because of Dem initiatives like Social Security and Medicare  yet most of them vote GOP.

    And they are the front line of crackpots like the Tea Party.

    What is it going to take to get some sense into them?

     

    •  A lot of the older white people vote Republican, (0+ / 0-)

      but there are also a lot of older white people and other older people who are not white who either don't vote for Republicans, or don't vote at all.  

  •  There is no downside (0+ / 0-)

    Seniors tend to be the biggest demographic slice of the chronic voter electorate. They tend to skew Republican as well. In electoral math, getting a chronic voter to switch is the equivalent of earning two votes. Its twice as valuable as just getting someone who otherwise wouldn't vote on election day to actually show up. There is also no significant constituency of voters that oppose strengthening social security and extending benefits.

    Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings. Steal a little and they throw you in jail. Steal a lot and they make you king.... Dylan

    by bywaterbob on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 02:23:54 PM PDT

  •  Well, if the argument of "political advantage" is (0+ / 0-)

    what it takes to get Democrats on board . . . so be it.  I'd rather the argument was "what is best for the country and our fellow citizens" but . . . well . . . uh huh.

    sarcasm style="tears"
    After all, the only reason, LBJ embraced the Civil Rights Movement and the War on Poverty was that it ensured the continuing dominance of the Democratic Party Brand. /sarcasm

    "The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”" -- Paul Dirac

    by Rikon Snow on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 02:30:50 PM PDT

  •  All well and good, but those "savvy" seniors... (0+ / 0-)

    voted for Romney by a 56-44 margin.

    Youth: Much savvier

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 02:36:03 PM PDT

  •  GOP Seniors take benefits with one hand (0+ / 0-)

    and vote Republican with the other. I know many who do it regularly. Making sense is not their strong suit. They don't discuss anything. They Limbaugh their way through life, stick their fingers in their ears, and say "la la la la la".

  •  Let's focus on young voters maybe (0+ / 0-)

    The elderly vote no matter what, and their political preferences are probably set in stone. The point for us is to make sure that young voters turn out at the same rate as the elderly. That would bury the GOP given current demographic trends. Young voters won't turn out due to a promise of higher SS benefits.

  •  Let Them Try (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonnyO, JG in MD, Eric Nelson

    I would like to see those Democrats who aren't pushing this try and live on the poverty level Social Security that people like me have to live on.

    They need to realize that seniors are not automatically going to vote Republican any more. Too many people my age are beginning to realize that the Republicans do not care if we live or die. They are out for themselves and big business.

    If the Democrats want to win big they are going to have to make a concerted effort to bring the seniors on board. We are living on nothing. Give us something and you will have our votes.

    "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." Oscar Wilde

    by michelewln on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 03:12:53 PM PDT

  •  Very few Social Security recipients receive more (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonnyO, WakeUpNeo

    than $1,200 to $1,400 a month.  A lot receive far less, and from that Medicare takes a cut.  Very few people who worked in the private sector have much of a pension or savings to go along with that.

    •  Many people I know who survive on Social Security (0+ / 0-)

      receive just enough monthly income that they do not qualify for any other form of state or federal government assistance or benefits (food stamps, housing assistance, etc.).

  •  Yes, we Senior Citizens DO Vote! (0+ / 0-)

    We are the most faithful of voters, in fact.  I head out to vote first thing in the morning on election day and the faces I see are all old and wrinkled - like me.

    I have always voted a straight Democratic ticket.  I inherited that tendency from my folks because they were both Democrats.  In fact, they stopped to vote in the morning before we headed out of town for the funeral of my mother's first sibling who died in a one-car accident and left five children, the youngest only 20 days old (the eerie thing was, more than two decades later she also died in a one-car accident for which there was no visible cause, and left three children orphaned).

    That stopping to vote before heading out for a funeral impressed me like nothing else could about the importance of voting (I wasn't old enough to vote yet).  One had to put aside one's grief long enough to vote.  My parents always provided good examples of how to live an ethical and moral life, no preaching involved, no 'do as I say, not as I do.'  They just lived exemplary good lives without any fuss or fanfare and just did things because 'it was the right thing to do.'  Yes, I do know how fortunate I was to have good parents who lead by example.

    When one has parents like that, it's pretty difficult to go out in the world to discover that as I get older (I've outlived Dad and I'm close to outliving Mom), more and more people - particularly our politicians and "leaders" - live entirely self-centered and greedy lives because they can be bought off by corporations or Casino Wall Street or bankster monies.  99.99% of our politicians do not vote for legislation that benefits the entire nation.  They don't DO things "just because it's the right thing to do" - as my parents taught me by example.

    I repeat my partial mantra for all politicians:

    Give We The People back all of our rights and STOP spying on us!!!  Repeal, in full, the unconstitutional and illegal AUMFs, Patriot Act(s), MCA '06, FISA fiasco '08, the additional MCA '09 (passed under Obama).

    Disband and de-fund the illegal and unconstitutional 'office of faith-based initiatives.'  It's the back door to introducing a state-sponsored religion for all, and they've already influenced how laws are written to take away the right to personal autonomy for all females.  That's all wrong on every level.  We need to go back to a strict separation of church and state.

    Stop outsourcing government functions to corporations!!!  We are supposed to be a Republic, according to our Constitution, not have a fascist corporatist form of government.

    End the illegal and unconstitutional wars and drone bombing programs and bring ALL of our troops, wherever they are stationed in the Mideast and Africa or anywhere else, back to US soil.  Cut the Pentagon and military budgets in half..., then start cutting more and more of the military budget (we outspend the entire world combined when it comes to military forces; we can't afford it!!!).

    Close Gitmo & other black sites and END torture once and for all.  This has been a point of shame for many Americans (and I'll be ashamed and embarrassed to call myself an American until those horrors are closed and stopped!).

    Change the medical insurance to a fully-covered not-for-profit single-payer medical insurance [preferably, just simply change the law to allow everyone to buy into Medicare, end the "parts" and make coverage all-inclusive for clinic, hospital, and prescriptions ~ it's way past time for the US to join civilized countries with far better health services than we currently have; corporations should not be allowed to profit off of our health issues, major or minor].

    Medical research should include investigating ways to stop such horrors as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, or other mentally or physically deteriorating conditions, and current research into things like ending AIDS-HIV need to continue..., and medical corporations should NOT be allowed to copyright or profit off of these technological or medical advances.  Ending medical horrors of ALL kinds needs to be in the public domain and costs should not be prohibitive.

    Invest in solar and wind energy at every level to stop at least one element of world-wide pollution.  We need to learn to lead the way in cutting down pollution at every level and develop alternative sources of energy.

    Global warming isn't going to be stopped..., but ways of slowing it need to be found.  Stop these idiotic "carbon exchanges" (or whatever they're called), and just make ALL manufacturing places install technological equipment that can cut down on carbon or other toxic emissions that harm humans and animals.

    Upon pain of NOT being elected or re-elected, ALL politicians need to realize that Social Security (retirement or disability) is vitally necessary for people to maintain some sort of dignity and independence (as long as possible) their entire lives after they must leave the work force.  If that means putting caps on rental units as well as mandatory repairs that don't inconvenience residents, so be it.  Those who must rely on old age residences or homes for the disabled need to be treated with the respect and dignity that everyone deserves.

    There are many improvements that could be done to make the US deserving of the "We're #1" jingoism.  Whether or not we have the cooperation of our politicians in the next decade or two is going to be the #1 challenge.

    I'm prepared to vote for progressive Democrats or Independents to accomplish some common sense policies throughout this nation.  [I will NOT vote for a Repuke - ever - and I will NOT vote for DINOs who don't think the robber barons need jailing for stealing from us, and who espouse more wars and US military presence elsewhere in the world, and that includes HRC who is a definite warmonger.]

    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 Jun 10, 2014 at 04:35:46 PM PDT

  •  As a semi-senior myself (0+ / 0-)

    I would support strengthening SS...but only if it was linked to an increase in the minimum wage and indexing the latter to the inflation rate. Let's lift all boats.

    Gun rights? OK, let's start this discussion with the same words the 2nd Amendment does: "well regulated"

    by DocDawg on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 04:39:53 PM PDT

  •  Seniors who are Republicans (0+ / 0-)

    The problem isn't inherent in seniors voting Republican.  The problem is that we aren't doing a good enough job of keeping them/us informed and educating the public about what's happening.  It's only been since Obama's presidency that typically reliable news sources have began to quote only a Republican viewpoint without bothering to give an opposing viewpoint.  So when something like CPI went around, it sounded reasonable . . . until anyone independently realized that it was a cut especially when paired with Medicare co-pays, increased cost of medications, increased costs of physician services which cost us more in the 20% copays, etc., which made the CPI cut even more drastic to seniors living on set incomes.  I went searching for groups and organizations who felt like I did about CPI, but I'm not the typical person, I don't think.

    Yes, we vote.  But I think we've been around long enough, I hope, to be wise enough to vote in our best interest, not just because we may overall agree with the old Republican platform.  Heck, I don't think the majority even realize how much that platform has changed, that it's now dead set on abolishing social security and Medicare.

    Our goals have to be education and informing.  I don't think the typical senior Republican voter realizes that they are voting to cut their own purse strings, and then being told in a heartless dismissal that it's their own fault for not saving for their old age.

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