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Democratic apparatchiks turn Jack Trammell into just another third-way, "Grand Bargain" loser

You remember the Trammmel (D) vs Brat (R) race, right? Brat, a conservative, took down House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia's 7th district -- from the right. In a stroke of fate, both Brat and Trammell were professors at Randolph-Macon College, setting up the possibility of a race where sharp distinctions could have been draw between both parties, even with a debate between the two at their own college! Well, that potentially useful bit of political theatre happened, and this is the result. This is just sad:

Brat, Trammell support raising retirement age to preserve Social Security

Dave Brat, the Republican candidate running for Eric Cantor’s former seat in the 7th Congressional District, and his Democratic opponent, Jack Trammell, don’t agree on much. But both propose raising the retirement age to ensure Social Security payouts for future generations.

Trammell said he would consider increasing the eligibility age by two years, “but that decision would need to be weighed against changes to other programs to be certain there are no gaps. There are many moving parts to these programs.”

Brat has proposed increasing the age by five years, but he said this measure alone won’t solve the problem of what he called an underfunded program.

While Trammell acknowledged that changes are needed to protect payouts of Social Security benefits for coming generations, he accused Brat of “promoting the illusion” that the program is in severe financial trouble.

“This is just not reality,” he said. “The truth is, Social Security has paid its benefits in full and on time for 76 years. It is a strong and effective retirement program that provides millions of Americans some financial security.”

Social Security, Trammell said, is projected “to deliver full guaranteed benefits through 2033 and with modest changes the program can meet its obligations indefinitely.”

So, it boils down to this:

Brat would raise the retirement age five years, and Trammell two. And there you have the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. And you know that they call "modest changes," right? They call it a "Grand Bargain." (Orman, in Kansas, is saying just the same thing.)

In a Facebook post I now can't find, Trammell, of this story, said something like "Read beyond the headline." I did, and when I subtracted the Democratic mealy-mouthed bafflegab and came to the concrete policy proposals, this is what I came up with. Again, just sad.

NOTE Readers know I can't stand Trammell's brand of identity politics. But merciful heavens, did it have to come to this?

NOTE You also know that when the sausage comes out of the machine, both parties will have agreed on three, because bipartisanship.

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Andre's picture
Submitted by Andre on

One of those squirrelly little items that contribute greatly to income inequality. I read recently somewhere that the biggest loser demographic over the last several years (how long?) in income were seniors, minus 8.1 %. . So incomes above 117 thousand do not pay money into the SS Trust Fund, but those who retire will have a benefit cut, and a long range one, by not being allowed to retire at the present age. And raising the eligibility age is most assuredly a benefit cut, and a long drawn out one. Bipartisanship? Where to, once you realize that “The villain is the system”?

Barmitt O'Bamney's picture
Submitted by Barmitt O'Bamney on

That is the question for me, too. All political scheming and dreaming has ceased in my mind. Oh but the Democrats have a good chance this year! Yeah, why should I care? All they do, when the worm finally turns their way, is to betray the people who voted for them. Short of a full scale meltdown here, nothing will change (and when it does change it will probably go from really bad to Apocalyptically bad very quickly). So the question is How do I get out of here, and the where the fuck can I go? But it has been dogging me for a long time now. Places that I used to see as viable alternatives like Canada or Europe are succumbing to the same evil that rules here. Pretty much anywhere that isn't Oceania or a vassal state thereof, is Eastasia or Eurasia. As in Orwell's story, there is no ideological difference between these 3 malignancies. Countries lying outside of or fallen in the grout between these empires are generally poor and unstable. You can visit them, but it's hard to say you can make a long term plan to live there in peace and security.

quixote's picture
Submitted by quixote on

(Look, I know this is juvenile, but ... Dave Brat? Really?)

Mindblowing: construction workers are supposed to retire at 69? Or 70? Plumbers? Road workers? Waitresses? Nurses? Truckers? Honestly. What planet do these people live on?

Submitted by lambert on

Or, if they are working for the Richistanis, pillars of the regime, as it were, they travel up and down the East Coast on the Acela, and if they look out the windows, the devestation doesn't register.

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

and Michelle Nunn.....I think that for the very first time in my life I am going to have to sit an election out. If I wanted to vote for a Republican there are plenty here in Georgia from which to choose. I get the "purple" BS, but at some point it just seems like we are encouraging them.

I read that the Dems in Washington are petrified of a low turnout next month because a lot of their more liberal constituencies are underwhelmed by their choices, but it seems like that is something that they should have been worried about a long time ago. At least I find myself in an identifiable demographic this year, which makes for a nice change, anyway.

Submitted by lambert on

.... but another theory is that we should vote against incumbents, regardless.

I'm with Ian Welsh's idea that the left must make Democrats lose elections, and be seen to. Low turnout is a proxy for that, but nobody is handling the "be seen to" aspect as yet.