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Social Security Under the Bus

MsExPat's picture

The money graf, buried in the middle of the latest NYT story on Social Security "reform":

Proponents of acting soon also argue that changes to benefits or taxes could be delayed so that current retirees and those nearing retirement are unaffected, and yet the promise of future reductions would immediately reassure global markets fretful that the United States’ debt is already its highest since World War II.

An agreement on Social Security “would send a very important signal to the world,” said Robert D. Reischauer, a former Congressional Budget Office director.

In other words, this is how we pay for the NOW NOW NOW financial bailout, and guarantee that the US financial services industry won't have to deal with a collapsing dollar (at least before they've had a chance to--of course!-- leverage their bets against it).

We raid the last remaining treasury. We throw Social Security under the bus.

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Submitted by libbyliberal on

MsExPat-I link to Philip Giraldi on my Oprah blog this quote:

Another Wall Street plot to rob the people of their social safety net programs is the recently renewed attack on the once-sacred entitled programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Having piled up huge sums of national debt and deficit (through bank bailouts, military spending, and tax cuts for the affluent), Wall Street champions, firmly ensconced at the Congress and the White House, are now singing the “fiscal responsibility” song as a prelude to chip away at Social Security and other entitlements. This ominous scheme is clearly reflected in President Obama’s recently appointed “National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform,” a bi-partisan group that is tasked with reviewing the Social Security and other entitlements in an effort to further “trim” social spending in order to pay for the sins of major banks and military contractor.

The bipartisan nature of the attack on Social Security indicates that the plan to undercut economic safety net programs cannot be blamed solely on the blatently [sic] neoliberal Republicans. It shows that, with few exceptions, Democrats are as much indebted and committed to the powerful financial interests as are Republicans. The neoliberal economic policies of the Obama administration, crafted by his economic team of ex-bankers/Wall Street advisors, should dispel any illusions that he is committed to “change” in favor of the people.


Submitted by lambert on

They're going to try to get us to sell out the kids. Unbelievable.

mass's picture
Submitted by mass on

better not whip for this! Well, look at the cuts they have already made to Medicare. Does it surprise anyone?

Submitted by jawbone on

the Obama commission and ways to cut SocSec and Medicare.

They are even using language reminiscent of the health care reform debacle: "everything is on the table". Here’s one of the co-chiefs of the Obama team that would look at social security "reform", courtesy of the same article:

Erskine B. Bowles, a former White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton who is the commission co-chairman along with Alan K. Simpson, a former Republican senator from Wyoming, said: “As Senator Simpson and I have said all along, everything is on the table. No one has mentioned to me taking anything off the table.”

Actually, lot’s of things are already OFF the table: like really increasing the paltry minimum benefits that some social security recipients make; like making the COLA more realistic; and like making a quick and easy fix to any financial problems SS might have by simply extending the social security tax to all income earned. But those kinds of ideas would benefit common Americans and are already "off the table" despite Erskine Bowles’s comments. We will see the same song and dance on this as we saw on "health care reform" when single payer and the public option were never really on the table. Only measures to shore up the status quo will be considered, just as ObamaCare really props up private, profit making insurance companies.

Look for more corporatist approaches from Obama et al.

Submitted by lambert on

1. Everything is on the table

2. Except a real solution

3. And also except a fake solution that sucks all the oxygen away from the real solution.

It's #3 that's the GENIUS part.

If that's the playbook, look for a policy entrepreneur a la Jacob Hacker to shortly arise from the "progressive" ranks.

MsExPat's picture
Submitted by MsExPat on

that, with respect to Social Security, there's no "solution" necessary--except to improve benefits, widen the income tax base, etc.

It's the NOW NOW NOW bailout that's caused the crisis, and Social Security is about to be sacrificed on that altar.

There has to be some preemptive meme we can start in order to head this off. Already so many of my educated well intentioned friends believe that Social Security is on the verge of bankruptcy.

Submitted by lambert on

As soon as you understand that our elites aren't able to charge us rent for "managing" (looting) our own money, everything falls into place. That's how they understand the problem.