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Department of All The Damn Gall

Alexa's picture

Sanders Colludes With Kabuki Theater: President Will "Go On The Road" To Sell Already Signed "B-S" Framework Bill [REVISED]

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The absolute gall! The President will take to the road in January, after the Bowles-Simpson-type "framework" has already been passed and signed into law. And he will lead the charade that there is still time to change the outcome of "entitlement reform." Even worse, he will do this with the backing of none other than Senator Bernie Sanders.

I reach this conclusion because of the wording of one of Ed's questions to Senator Sanders:

"So Senator, you want President Obama to hit the road after the first of the year (to which Sanders nods), and go sell the American people, just like Bush did in 2005, when he won relection?"

Read below the fold...
Alexa's picture

"Sanders Convenes Social Security Caucus," An Object Lesson In Senate Doublespeak, or Parsing Words [04:13]

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This is an interesting video. An excellent example of "Senate Doublespeak," by pretty much every senator who spoke at this press availability. Read below the fold...

Alexa's picture

The Pete Peterson Foundation Hosting Forum NOW On C-Span 2 Television [Friday, November 16, 9:00 a.m.] Link Below.

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"Fiscal Cliff As A Policy Opportunity" -- PLEASE WATCH.

Pete Peterson calls Bowles and Simpson "heroes and patriots."

Alan Simpson calls Peterson "a Prince."

Bowles says: "Pete Peterson laid the foundation for this, we stand on his shoulders."

Then Bowles states the real reason for eviscerating the social safety net: "We have to have the money for investment (infrastructure, R&D, education) to compete in a knowledge-based world." Read below the fold...

twig's picture

Wouldn't This Be a Lot Easier with Drones?

Seriously, if you want to wipe out large numbers of people, why bother with entitlement cuts when you've got high-tech weaponry available? It's fast, impersonal, and you can just hose down whatever's left and voila! Problem solved!

Unfortunately, it looks like Obama prefers the slow, painful method of saving us from the debt.

From a Healthcare NOW email [bolding added]:

Just because President Obama won another term doesn't mean that Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are safe. Far from it. Obama's seeking a "grand bargain" with the Republican-controlled House by January 1.

Read below the fold...
Alexa's picture

Video and Transcript of Ed Rendell--"The President Can't Sell This (Grand Bargain) Twice To His Base"

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CNBC, Squawk Box
With Joe Kernen, Becky Quick and Andrew Ross Sorkin

[Hat Tip to Mr. Alexa for tipping me off to this interview.]

This entire video is rather interesting, if you want to know what the PtB are planning regarding the implementation of Simpson-Bowles.

[The first 2:06 minutes of this video is interesting, in that Ed Rendell's remarks regarding members of the Democratic Party base, are rather insulting, IMO.]

The transcript immediately below, pertains to that portion of this video.

BTW, this is the real face of the Democratic Party. To think that this "big time" neoliberal and fiscal hawk, Ed Rendell, recently served two terms as a Democratic Party governor is truly mind-boggling.

I was also not impressed with Rendell's "snickering" at host Joe Kernen's derisive remarks "about the 47% who voted for raising taxes on the wealthy." No different than Romney's comments, IMO. Read below the fold...

Alexa's picture

Sunday Grand Bargain Alert! Woodward Leak--Obama-Boehner "Grand Bargain" Agreement

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Gang of Six - Cartoon
Gang of Six -- Cartoon
Are you ready for some "shared sacrifice?"
DonkeyHotey photostream, flickr

[Hat Tip to Mr. Alexa for tipping me off to this leak.]

White House Grand Bargain offer to Speaker Boehner
Obtained by Bob Woodward Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:58 AM EST

Below are documents obtained by the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward that show a grand bargain proposal the White House was prepared to make in July 2011, in order to reach agreement with the House Republicans last year. This is how Woodward described the documents on Meet the Press this morning:

"This is a confidential document, last offer the president -- the White House made last year to Speaker Boehner to try to reach this $4 trillion grand bargain. And it's long and it's tedious and it's got budget jargon in it. But what it shows is a willingness to cut all kinds of things, like TRICARE, which is the sacred health insurance program for the military, for military retirees; to cut Social Security; to cut Medicare. And there are some lines in there about, "We want to get tax rates down, not only for individuals but for businesses." So Obama and the White House were willing to go quite far."

Read below the fold...
okanogen's picture

Congrats to "Rent-seeking"!

Go little meme! Go!

You know a meme has achieved success when its targets adopt it:

Critics of tax credits for wind energy projects are intensifying their push to kill the incentive with a study that calls it “rent seeking” by an established industry that doesn’t need the subsidy.

Read below the fold...
Alexa's picture

Less Than 48 Hours After The Election: Is a 'VAT' Tax a Possibility? [2nd Update]

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Grand Bargain Watch - Save Social Security
Grand Bargain Watch -- Save Social Security
DonkeyHotey's photostream, flickr

I just finished listening to a live discussion about "The Lame Duck Session and the New Congress," hosted by CQ Roll Call's Mort Kondracke, with Thomas Mann (Brookings) and Norman Ornstein (AEI). Read below the fold...

Alexa's picture

A Panel Discussion by the 1983 Greenspan Commission--"Social Security Not Primary Source Of Deficit Problems," Clip #2 [0:27]

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https://twitter.com/Alexa__Blogger/status/266398681987686400

Here's the direct link.

Main Point:

According to Janice Gregory, President of the National Academy of Social Insurance, "Social Security is not a major, primary source of our deficit and mandatory spending problems. It just isn't. It's nearly a flat line."

The reason that I've included this "very basic clip" is to provide readers with a knowledgeable source (Ms. Gregory) to quote, if called upon to substantiate the claim that Social Security does not contribute in a major way to the deficit.

“If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” — Woodrow Wilson Read below the fold...

Alexa's picture

A Panel Discussion by the 1983 Greenspan Commission--"Social Security Replacement Rates Already Going Down," Clip #3 [1:17]

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https://twitter.com/Alexa__Blogger/status/266425861153099776

Here's the direct link.

Main Points:

According to Ms. Janice Gregory, President, National Academy of Social Insurance, Social Security benefits are already going down in the future (without further cuts).

Benefits are modest, approximately $14,000 annually.

After paying Medicare premiums, the Social Security "replacement rate of lifetime average earnings" in 2010, was 39%.

By 2030, it will be 32%.

Neither of these rates count "taxing" Social Security benefits, so it understates the problem.

“If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” — Woodrow Wilson Read below the fold...

Alexa's picture

Peter Orszag says ". . . the best thing to do is (cut/reform) Social Security." November 7, Bloomberg Video [06:23]

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Enact Fiscal Austerity With A Delay, Orszag Says

Here's my own "partial" transcript of Orszag's words:

"To get a significant debt limit increase, I think there's going to have to be some entitlement reform, as part of that.

If I were in the Administration, I think the single best thing to do (cut/reform) at this point, is Social Security.

Read below the fold...
Alexa's picture

"No, Mr. Clinton. 'Means Testing' Does Not Make Social Security A More Progressive System" [Corrected/Revised]

After further reading, I felt that I had "mis-conflated" Mr. Clinton's words to refer to the Special Minimum Benefit.

I will address the importance of the 'Special Minimum Benefit' and the 'Hardship Exemption' in a later post. It really should be important to all of us, for several reasons. The foremost reason is that 'we' should collectively care about the most vulnerable members of our society, and this benefit is essential. Secondly, we need to realize that the PtB are "out there" strongly implying that the proposed increase in this benefit, is one reason that it is necessary for the rest of us to "take a haircut." And this is absolute hooey.

Indeed, his reference to 'how his Social Security benefit might be lowered, or done away with,' clearly demonstrates that his intended reference was to the (B-S) Fiscal Commission's recommendation that Social Security benefits be subjected to progressive price indexing, or 'means testing.'

This glaring error demonstrates that 'it is best not to start writing a blog at almost midnight.' ;)

Alexa's picture

Can You Say, "I've Been Punk'd." (Revised)

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Joe Biden - Caricature
Joe Biden - Caricature
DonkeyHotey's photostream, flickr

Remember all the jubilation in the "progressive community" after VP Biden's trip to the Coffee Break Cafe in Stuart, Virginia. According to the White House pool report, when a diner there said, "I’m glad you all are not talking about doing anything with Social Security," Mr. Biden responded: "Hey, by the way, let’s talk about Social Security. Number one, I guarantee you, flat guarantee you, there will be no changes in Social Security. I flat guarantee you." Read below the fold...

Alexa's picture

Bowles-Simpson Cuts Majority, or 60% of "Very Low" Earners ($10,771) Retiring At Age 65

Here's the Strengthen Social Security website.

https://twitter.com/Alexa__Blogger/status/264586834045190144

PLEASE RETWEET ME! :)

“If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilsonafter claiming "to reduce poverty among the very poor." Read below the fold...

Alexa's picture

Please "Retweet Me!"

https://twitter.com/Alexa__Blogger/status/264576600832610304

Thank you. ;) Read below the fold...

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