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Don't "wait 'til he does something" on Social Security

Digby explains why:

Hamsher has an update about the "Fiscal Responsibility Summit" that indicates to me that the administration is working on the fly. I think that the stuff we heard about the plan being the result of a small group within the White House operating on the fly in changing circumstances is the most likely explanation for why this thing is such a train wreck. Apparently, the story is changing from minute to minute, even about who's speaking at this thing and who is attending. [Jane Hamsher writes:]

On a conference call today arranged by Campaign for America's Future that included Roger Hickey, Jamie Galbraith, Nancy Altman and Dean Baker, Roger said that several of them had been told they might be invited to the summit, but no formal invitation had been issued yet (though Pete Peterson has his invitation). And while they had initially been told that the summit would address Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (which Ezra claims Orszag is desperately trying to separate), now they're hearing from administration sources that nobody is sure.

This is not the circumstances under which you want to meet with billionaires who have spent decades organizing for just such a moment. They know what they want down to the last penny. They have their marketing slogans all worked out. They have their "bipartisan" advocates. They have the villagers and the media, all believing one, simple thing: that the government is going broke because of "entitlement" spending. You don't face people like this not knowing exactly what it's about and what you hope to get out of it. It's not a friendly game of Twister. It's a death match.

Wouldn't the time to create the 360-degree shitstorm have been when Pete Petersen was invited to speak at all?

Anyhow, if they're still making it up as they go along, that means they can still be pressured. I'd say the best thing to do would be to call your Congresscritters and make sure that any any other outcome from a "entitlement reform" other than no Social Security cuts and an increase in Medicare coverage is acceptalble.

I agree that everyone must sacrifice. And with real wages flat for thirty years, and take home pay for the average American worse today than 2001, and everybody's 401(k) in the toilet, we've done our sacrificing. Why doesn't Pete Petersen donate a few billion or so to single payer advocacy, if he's so all-fired concerned about entitlements?

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Submitted by hipparchia on

that is the one tiny bright spot of hope in this, that they're still floundering in quicksand and can still be pushed back to safety on solid ground.

time for a massive blitz on the congresscritters: call, fax, phone, show up at their offices [with or without picket signs].

write letters to the editor of those things that call themselves newspapers too, though those can sometimes take awhile to get printed.

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

And as far as Atrios hoping that Social Security isn't in danger, as jawbone states, that's no plan.

*fires up blowtorch. walks toward third rail*

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

Do you mean to tell me that if you go into a high-powered negotiation/meeting, armed with bullshit facts (truthiness), and/or market hype-types, that you will have your ass handed to you when the real deal goes down and the other side blows your bullshit out of the water?

Well who in the fuck could have foreseen that?

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

Perhaps, in this one instance, that they are rumored to be winging this may actually give us some leverage, but the the "winging it" things has been the one thing that's disturbed me about this administration's performance, thus far, the most. If the president isn't in charge, it means someone(s) below him have already began to fill the vacuum, and who knows who those people are?

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

... the threat here is based on Obama's inexperience -- he simply doesn't have the background necessary to deal with economic and fiscal issues, and has surrounded himself with Wall Street goons like Geithner to explain things to him.
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The threat to social security isn't about "cuts", its going to be a raid on the trillions of dollars in assets held by the Social Security Trust fund to finance things like the bank bailout in a national debt shell game.
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An effort will be made to use the treasury securities held by the trust fund to "buy" other kinds of assets from institutions like failing banks. The argument will be made that Social Security will both be somehow "protected" through the convoluted asset buyout plan, and that the yield on the "assets" will be higher than those of the treasury notes held by the trust.
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Then, when the bottom falls out of the banks, rather than the trust fund holding treasury notes backed by "the full faith and credit of the United States of America", the trust fund will be full of worthless "assets" that are guaranteed only by a "rule" from the regulatory system.
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Its an "elegant" solution to the "fiscal crisis", because it converts the debt owed to the Trust fund to worthless assets, killing two birds with one stone -- eliminating the US obligation to pay off the debt held by the Trust fund while providing welfare to the 20% of Americans who control 90% of the financial wealth in this country.
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Once the trust fund has been looted, then the cuts become necessary....

a little night musing's picture
Submitted by a little night ... on

I was just thinking of you - missing your input.

Good to see you!

Submitted by jawbone on

the Wall St/hedge fund guys who richly funded his early time in the Dem primaries.

...he simply doesn't have the background necessary to deal with economic and fiscal issues, and has surrounded himself with Wall Street goons like Geithner to explain things to him.