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There is NO support for cutting Social Security

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Candidates Who Backed Bowles-Simpson Plan To Cut Social Security Went Down In Flames

Charlie Bass: Bass was a strong supporter of the Bowles-Simpson plan, and the plan’s authors even personally endorsed him. He was defeated last night by bold progressive Annie Kuster.
Bob Kerrey: Kerrey, a Democrat, endorsed the Bowles-Simpson plan and got their endorsement in return. But promising to cut Social Security did not mobilize voters on his behalf, and he lost to his Republican opponent.
Brendan Doherty: Rhode Island Republican Brian Doherty — who proudly touted his support for the Bowles-Simpson plan and his endorsement by the plans’ authors — lost to David Cicilline.

This comes form Bold Progressives, but we should use it none-the-less. We should throw it out every time someone starts talking up the Grand Betrayal. William Black's phrase and we should spread it around as mush as possible. This is a betrayal and no one should suggest otherwise.

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Submitted by YesMaybe on

It is a betrayal in the sense that it's screwing over the people, including the very ones who supported Obama. But it's also not exactly a betrayal, since Obama publicly endorsed Simpson-Bowles and 'tweaking' social security at one of the debates, so in a sense he's really just doing what he said he would.

Consider this: against the list of candidates defeated who endorsed Simpson-Bowles, we can chalk in Obama as a candidate who endorsed Simpson-Bowles and won.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

enact all three cuts that B-S proposes, it would be draconian. Some experts (I've heard James Galbraith, and an expert Eric Kingson from Social Security Works) say that the cuts will amount to as high as 35% for some folks.

I'll be posting more clips from the 1983 Panel of Greenspan Staffers soon, and I've already heard Janice Gregory say (in 2010) that the lowest four quintiles depend heavily on Social Security.

Ms Gregory was hyperventilating because before the Democrats took the lead during those negotiations, the Reagan Administration proposed a 25% cut. That got negotiated down.

So, tweak (for Reagan) is more appropriate for what the Reagan Administration did, compared to what Obama is getting ready to do.

And, BTW, it was a Democrat (Senator Claude Pepper of Florida) that led the charge back then to raise the Social Security retirement age.

Here's a link to Bowles-Simpson's "The Moment of Truth."

They are proposing something that Reagan wouldn't touch--progressive price indexing (means-testing). It basically disengages the benefit from any relationship to wages. It is the most draconian of all the reductions. Which is why it is also NEVER mentioned.

Unfortunately, since the lamestream media only talks about the age increase and the lowering of the CPI-Index (to lower COLA). So, a lot of folks don't realize what Obama's self-described "tweaks" will amount to.

But yes, he warned us. And certainly it is understandable that he's not been frank about what he's getting ready to do. He would never have been re-elected.

That's why I have, and will continue to harp on it. And truthfully, I get plenty tired of it myself. But somebody's got to do it. ;)

Submitted by YesMaybe on

to counter their spin. Because, though I am not versed in the details of soc. sec. or Simpson-Bowles, one thing I can guarantee is that he will refer to it as 'tweaking' regardless. Like you say, of course he wasn't going to call it what it is during the campaign, because that wouldn't have sold. Likewise, he's not going to call it what it is now that he's reelected.

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Submitted by propertius on

Now that he's a lame duck, why would he care?

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Submitted by DCblogger on

but many Democratic Senators up for election in 2014 will care.

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Submitted by pmj6 on

...for cutting Social Security, in the one place where it matters--Washington, D.C. I suspect the only parts of the Grand Bargain that haven't been ironed out is how to do it without suffering political consequences, but here Obama is absolutely indispensable--he is the insulated blanket through which to grab the third rail.

Besides, what are the people who voted for Obama gonna do? Vote GOP in the next election? Nope. There is nowhere else for them to go, so the can be safely ignored. My guess the only reason we haven't seen a Grand Betrayal yet is that Boehner smells a rat--he doesn't want himself or his party to be the scapegoat for policies the Democratic establishment wants enacted. Obama could always turn around and blame Boehner for making him do it.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

support of Social Security.

Adam Green is pretty cool. Actually, I think that they "cherry picked" their analysis a bit, since I can name several folks who ran on "B-S" (including Tim Kaine, VA) and won, but I won't take issues with that.

Bottom line--it is correct that the American People don't support cuts to Social Security, and that's all that should matter.

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Submitted by pmj6 on

...but this is America. My big fear is that "Obama is going to gut Social Security" is not going to gain traction in the same way that "Romney is going to cut Social Security" or "Bush is going to cut Social Security" would and did. The "progressives" with rare exceptions did not stick to their guns on the healthcare debate or anything else, they will likely fall in line this time as well.

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Submitted by Andre on

It sickens me to think that he will start the process of privitizing Soc Sec, but he will do it. Here's the thing: he has to be told that if he proceeds, he will pay. And if he does it, we must make him pay. If we do not, all future presidents will see that it can be done, and eventually it will be privitized. How do we make him pay? A consumer boycott could do untold damage to his legacy, if it is very extensive. If he signs away any of the three programs, the tendency on the part of those who are betrayed, and that probably includes 99 % of us, will be an inclination not to buy, and in that scenario formalizing it as a national boycott would cause it to be pretty extensive. Unfortunately a lot of people would be hurt. What else could we do?

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Submitted by Alexa on

worth considering. But, who's going to led the effort?

We know that unions are "in the tank for this administration." Can't depend on them. So how does one organize this? I can't figure out how, to save my life.

I hope you have more answers, than I.

Andre's picture
Submitted by Andre on

We don't need unions. Here's the thing: during Bush's tenure I had the frame of mind that my financial well being was at risk, so I would always be on the side of 'not buying', as opposed to thinking, "Life is good, I'll buy it". During Clinton's tenure, life was good, and we bought and it made Clinton look good. So really, we not only vote on election day, in a capitalist society we also vote when we buy, or refused to buy things. Let him make life miserable for us and we will take away his legacy of prosperity. Turning this concept into a movement would be the thing. And letting him know what we're doing would also be the thing. In fact people now are saving more than spending, so they are also voting against him. He really thinks it's his greatness that got him re-elected, but it was the Republicans that got him re-elected. People are still voting with their money and the vote is negative.

Submitted by hipparchia on

are there any details on groups doing this?

Submitted by lambert on

Worth a post.

Nice because it goes toward Wal-Mart efforts, since Obama fans will be addled by post-ObamaGasm glow for months, if 2008 is any guide.

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Submitted by Alexa on

action that you know of?

I hear through a very good acquaintance that Wal-Mart's not exactly having their strongest Christmas season, so far. (He's a Wal-Mart manager, actually.)

This would be an opportune time for this type of action. I'm game.

Submitted by hipparchia on

you can still organize a walmart boycott among your friends, family neighbors who may still shop there.

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Submitted by twig on

I was also mulling over writing something along the lines of "Save money by shopping at thrift stores, where you can buy well made, gently worn clothing that will last for years, instead of cheap junk that can't survive one trip through the washing machine." Quite a few thrift stores benefit charities, too, so you can feel good about where your money is going, the exception being Salvation Army.