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Defending Social Security

DCblogger's picture

Reid, Senate Dems oppose Social Security cuts in debt deal

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and 28 other members of the 53-member Senate Democratic caucus have signed a letter opposing any cuts to Social Security as part of a deficit reduction package. ...

...Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) also signed on.

The fact that Reid and Schumer (check the link) have signed on to this encourages me in the belief that something can be done.

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zot23's picture
Submitted by zot23 on

and his cohort of battlin' Democratic Senators. It is all but written in stone if they have made a pledge. Their word is worth ... well ... almost the time and effort it took for us to type this out.

But yeah, better than nothing (and all we'll get if we don't press them to the wall on this issue.)

CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

I predict the fighting Dems will go down trying to block Social Security cuts in a 60-40 cloture vote. So close.... I don't vote for any Dem, including Obama, who won't unequivocally support the current Social Security benefits schedule and single payer health care. That goes for any elected Democrat who won't defend Social Security with all their committee votes, their cloture votes, their votes on any amendment, and their votes on any omnibus bill.

Instead, I vote against any Democrat who is at all wobbly on Social Security or single payer health care in word or deed by voting for their strongest opponent in any general election even if that opponent is a Republican. I want every corporatist Dem to get voted out of office as a step toward the liberal rank-and-file taking our party back from these sell outs. By being willing to vote for a Republican my strategy costs the office-seeking neo-liberal Dem two votes, the one they would have gotten from me and the one their opponent gets. That gives me two vote clout and, if enough people join me, it'll be up to the Democratic pollsters to identify us and pass along what's going on to the careerists for whom they work.

We have a two party system and my Goal #1 as a voter is to get one of the two to represent me.

tom allen's picture
Submitted by tom allen on

"as part of a deficit reduction package" is the key qualifier. They don't say that they oppose any cuts to SS. They're opposing including it in the "fiscal cliff" deficit deal. That's something -- but Medicare and Medicaid are more at risk in the lame duck session. Social Security will be under attack as part of the Grand Bargain next year.

Also, of course, note that they can only get 29 Democrats to sign on -- just over half the caucus, and far short of cloture.

letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

wrong with the other 24 Dems?

Submitted by gob on

I wasn't surprised, but when I saw this reported a couple of weeks ago, I called up my "centrist" Democratic Senator to complain that he hadn't signed it.

You might want to consider doing the same.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

I'm sorry, but I'm not as hopeful that Reid will fight cuts to Social Security.

Here's the link to the July 2011 Las Vegas Times piece, entitled, "Harry Reid Willing To Deal On Social Security If The Deal Is Big."

I interpret the excerpt from the letter (in The Hill article) to be "weasel words." It reads, "To be sure, Social Security has its own long-term challenges that will need to be addressed in the decades ahead. But the budget and Social Security are separate, and should be considered separately," the letter states.

That's parsing words, imho, and leaves plenty of room for a bargain to be struck. after the so-called fiscal cliff is averted.

But, I could be wrong.