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Social Security is one of the only things standing between a significant portion of the retired female population and poverty, so it takes some real nerve to argue that their benefits should be cut. It'll be really interesting to see egomaniac billionaire Pete Peterson, who owes his fortune to favorable taxation rates on hedge funds and private equity, lecture everyone about why old women should be eating cat food so the nation can be "fiscally responsible."

It would be nice to see others on the A list focus how "entitlement reform" [gag, spew] would affect women, instead of arguing for complacency.

Honestly, if the left doesn't get "twitchy" when a winger billionaire who wants to gut Social Security is on the same fucking continent as an "entitlement" reform commission, let alone presenting at it, what will the left get twitchy about?

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Submitted by jawbone on

not all that much time for those close to 55 to build up savings. Especially with so many being laid off, downsized, having their companies fail, and so forth -- with a possible long-running L-shaped recession/depression. Along with the market meltdown. And when rehiring begins, employers are so likely to hire those in their mid-50's.

This is like not looking at real universal healthcare: These folks have theirs and damn those who don't. Obama really does spend too much time with banksters, Repubs, and Blue Dogs,

Did Laura Tyson show these tendencies when she was in the Clinton administration? Now she's a supporter of the "Diamond-Orszag" plan, mentioned in this paragraph from Hamsher's post, proposes that those 55 and under have retirement age raised and SocSec benefits cut.

[Laura]Tyson has been a proponent of the "Diamond-Orszag" plan, which calls for the retirement age to be raised and for Social Security benefits to be cut for those 55 and under as a way to be "fiscally responsible." So anyone waiting to hear the voice of a progressive like Jamie Galbraith, say, who thinks that Social Security should be increased, or even someone who doesn't assume that Social Security is in the midst of a "crisis" and needs to be "fixed" -- don't hold your breath. (My emphasis)

In these economic times, I cannot believe this is considered a wise and viable proposal. It can only further undercut consumer confidence -- and voter confidence in Dems -- as many now have seen 401Ks rapidly losing value, most younger workers and many 55 and below have no company pension plans, and SocSec is the only secure thing for them in their old age. After this economic meltdown, they want people to trust the market?

Obama, please get a grip. (Unless he knows very well what he's doing and wants those post-presidency board memberships, the invites to join Carlyle Group and its which case he has a firm grip on what he wants to achieve.)

And stay away from those Blue Dogs, mmmkay?

I checked TPM yesterday and saw nothing about SocSec or the "fiscal responsibility" summit, the SocSec "fix" commission. I think I can posit that he's STFU so as to not have to address this as coming about bcz of Obama.

BTW, which are the A-List Blogs nowadays?

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

The government should be fiscally responsible without breaking the backs of we, the people, who pay for its continued operation! And without allowing private enterprise to be fiscally IRresponsible so that the government, thanks to the taxpayers, has to bail it out.

Peterson is one of millions of taxpayers, one who probably doesn't even have to pay his fair share. AFAIC, his opinion has less weight than ours does. His concern for fiscal responsibilty is suspect, to say to least.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

I think to many high traffic lefty blogs (I refuse to use the term A list) are complacent, they just cannot accept the evidence of their eyes. Kudos to Jane for keeping on this.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

There's definitely that.

There are also those that feel fixed in the "2% less evil" justification. So much so that the majority of their time is spent extolling the 2% (or 5%) than dealing with the 98% that is overwhelming so many of us. Seeing Biden's picture on the WH website is worthy of a laudatory post, while there is demonization of someone because of their shoe selection.

It's almost at the point of parody.

campskunk's picture
Submitted by campskunk on

...even over on that overrated blog, the consensus among the vets there is that obama has somehow been fooled and these nasty SS "reformers" have snuck into the tent. they hope he'll wake up soon. yeah, right.

i've been covering this on alegre's blog:

jane woke up. digby woke up.

here's orszag's plan to "reform" social security in all its glory, even though it ain't broke:

i'll be covering this on an ongoing basis. the plan is to create a time crunch, with the "fiscal responsibility summit" only days before obama's budget speech. the summit will only have time to rubber stamp the plan orszag will helpfully provide, which will look a lot like the above link (with the brookings institute letterhead removed). then it's on to congress for a straight up-or-down vote - no amendments allowed - and obama hopes to get the republicans and bluedogs to outvote the progressives and seniors. done deal, he hopes.

koshembos's picture
Submitted by koshembos on

Being one who never confused Obama with a progressive or a smart political operator (if he surrender to the right and the dog, they'll just ask for more and not play nice), the only option I see is fight against Obama on that front (and other stupidities he already started).

We start with the AARP and the unions; that's a powerful start. If drag in the the unemployed and the leftovers of the old left (all 5 of them), we stand a chance of stopping the incarnation of John Kerry, i.e. Obama, from succeeding demolishing SS.

campskunk's picture
Submitted by campskunk on

but aggregate numbers back in 2005 say that without social security payments, the number of seniors living below the povery level would be 46.8%, not the actual 8.7% . that's a pretty big effect. the 13 million americans lifted out of poverty by social security are probably 60-65% female, given the differences in life expectancy. let's say 7 or 8 million women.

Submitted by jawbone on


I appreciate that people get twitchy whenever "entitlement reform" comes up, but I haven't been too worried about the administration's plans in this area. Hope I'm correct!

-Atrios 11:30

Since when is hope a plan in the realityy-based community?


Fredster's picture
Submitted by Fredster on

in an earlier post about Soc. Sec. that had an econ (?) or someone who stated that Soc. Sec. can continue to pay out benefits for the next 40 years. (will have to dig for that)

Also, during the primary debates, Obie said something about possibly increasing the income cap on Soc. Sec. withholdings. What happened to that?