Showing posts with label Social Security. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Social Security. Show all posts

Dec 1, 2012

Party of No Says No to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

The GOP project of purposefully running up the national debt, then decrying the debt as forcing the phase-out of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is proceeding apace.

Oct 22, 2012

Feingold: Lame Duck Congress May Target Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

Update: Tommy Thompson says he Can’t Detail New Medicare Plan Until He Uses ‘The Computers’ in Congress.
"Congress may try to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid sometime after the election and before the new members are sworn in. At least that's what former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold thinks. A lot of other people do, too."
- Teamster Nation

Sep 28, 2012

Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan privatization schemes shining through now

Romney-Ryan on earned social insurance:
Let 'em die
George W. Bush's audacious scheme to phase out Social Security in 2005 died a sudden death as an array of political forces joined to defend the popular social insurance program.

Still, this election cycle the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan privatization schemes targeting not just Social Security, but also Medicare and Medicaid are being revamped as the GO-Tea Partiers repeat the billionaries' cry that these programs are unsustainable.

The AARP, with the ready backing of many allies, is 100-percent behind protecting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid against the newest efforts to destroy these popular programs, and that includes Tommy Thompson's promise to do wway with Medicare and Medicaid..

And the AARP is mobilized to politically strike at the heart of Romney-Ryan and the party's plan to destroy these programs, to save them, they now say.

Open GOP ridicule of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is playing with fire. Hence the "save" language.

Check out the AARP's 2012 election coverage, and watch the debates.

You've earned a say on the future of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the powerful AARP says.

Even if Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan disagree.

Sep 27, 2012

Tommy Thompson taking hits on hostile stance against Medicare, Medicaid

Trashing popular social insurance programs is not working for Tommy Thompson and GO-Tea Party.

From Daily Kos:

Thompson's poll numbers have suffered an epic collapse and now to make matters worse, he's had his own version of Mitt Romney's "47%" video, specifically a video from a Tea Party event in June dug up by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel where Thompson bragged about "finishing off welfare" and said he'd "do away" with Medicaid and Medicare. And not too surprisingly, Tammy Baldwin and her campaign are all over it:

"Tommy Thompson now says he wants to 'do away with Medicare,'" Baldwin spokesman John Kraus told TPM. "He supports the Republican plan on Medicare that will provide billions in new profits for big insurance companies and a voucher for seniors instead of the guaranteed benefit they paid for...It's clear Tommy is not for Wisconsin anymore."
Kraus swiped Thompson, formerly the state's governor and President Bush's Secretary of Health and Human Services, as a "quarterback for George W. Bush on a sweetheart deal for drug companies."

Sep 2, 2011

William Galston: Memo to Mitt Romney: You Have to Attack Rick Perry, and Here's How to Do It

Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme and lie

Every successful presidential campaign faces at least one defining moment when choices spell the difference between victory and defeat. Your first one has come earlier than just about anyone expected, and much depends on how you respond.

Up to now, you've pursued a steady-as-you-go, above-the-fray strategy, ignoring your Republican rivals and training your fire on President Obama. And for six months it worked well enough to keep you in the lead. Your campaign ignited little passion, but a majority of the party was willing to settle for you if no one better came along. And no one did: Many Tea Party favorites declined to enter the race, as did potential challengers for mainstream Republican support such as Mitch Daniels. And it was hard to regard the people in the race who excited the most grassroots enthusiasm--Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Herman Cain--as plausible Republican nominees. You were on track to grind out an uninspiring victory.

Then Rick Perry changed everything. Within two weeks he has established himself, not just as the Tea Party's champion, but as a figure who could potentially unite all the party's factions, including the business community that constitutes your base. Perry is a mortal threat to your candidacy. What should you do?

It will be tempting to keep on doing what you've been doing. After all, you're comfortable with it, and you've gotten good at it. Some of your advisors will say that changing tactics now would give off an air of desperation. Others will say that your best course is to allow Perry--volatile, undisciplined, the distilled essence of Texas--to self-destruct. After all, he has already used the language of treason to denounce a third round of quantitative easing. Surely there are many more unguarded moments to come. So let's let others help him take himself down, while we do as little as possible to antagonize people whose support we hope to get down the road.

Seductive, isn't it? And dead wrong. Perry's entrance into the race has highlighted your key weakness: People still don't know who you are and what you stand for. They're yearning for clear, strong, unapologetic leadership, but they don't know where your red lines are. And efforts to placate opponents--such as fudging your long-held views on climate change--will only make matters worse.

But Perry's emergence also gives you a unique opportunity to define yourself--against him. If you take it, you have a fighting chance of prevailing. If you duck it, you'll lose, just as Tim Pawlenty did when he booted away his chance to take you on.

How should you do it? Well, to the extent that the Republican nominating contest is a rational process, it's a search for a candidate with three characteristics. The nominee must be competent to serve as president, reliably conservative, and electable. You're never going to be able to make your party believe that the longest-serving governor in Texas history isn't fit to serve as chief executive. And despite some facts to the contrary, it won't be any easier to challenge Perry's conservative credentials. That narrows it down to one option: You must persuade the decisive portion of your party that Rick Perry is too extreme to be elected president.

Here's your theme: Rick Perry wants to repeal the 20th century. I don't. And neither do the American people.

That terrain of battle offers a target-rich environment. Where to begin? With Perry's stated desire to repeal the 16th amendment? With his opposition to the 17th amendment, based on the odd view that taking the power to elect senators away from state legislators and giving it to the people of each state somehow amounts to a national power-grab? Maybe. But if I were you, I'd begin with Social Security. Here are Governor Perry's considered views on the subject:

Certain [New Deal] programs massively altered the relationship between Americans and their government with regard to critical aspect[s] of their lives, violently tossing aside any respect for our founding principles of federalism and limited government. By the far the best example of this is Social Security ... . Social Security is something we have been forced to accept for more than 70 years now ... . By any measure, Social Security is a failure. (Source: Rick Perry, Fed Up!, pp. 48, 50, 62))
So ... Perry believes that Social Security is (a) unconstitutional, (b) an undemocratic imposition on an undefined "we," and (c) a failure, however you look at it.

To be sure, there are real problems with Social Security, and lots of us have spent a good deal of time figuring out how to address them. In the long term, significant adjustments are necessary and unavoidable. But if you can't figure out how to refute Perry, you don't have the political intelligence to be an effective candidate. And if you're not willing to say it, starting in September's debates, you don't have the guts to be an effective candidate. And you won't be your party's nominee.

Why should you pay any attention to me? After all, I'm a lifelong Democrat, even though my credentials have been questioned from time to time. Two reasons. First, I've been through six presidential campaigns, five of which went down to defeat in deeply instructive ways. When it comes to failure, I know what I'm talking about.

The second reason goes to my motives. Because I regard you as the most electable Republican with a serious chance of winning his party's nomination, this memorandum might appear to be what the lawyers call an argument against interest. Why then would I give you what I sincerely regard as good advice? Answer: If the current mood of economic desperation persists for another year, which it might, then candidates who wouldn't be electable in ordinary circumstances might capture that mood and ride it to victory. Not to put too fine a point on it, but a Perry presidency would be a catastrophe for the country. Not only does he have bizarre views on just about everything that has happened since the 1890s; if you think American politics is hyper-polarized now, just wait.

Bottom line: I'll vote against you and do what I can to assist President Obama's reelection effort. But I also want to take out an insurance policy: If Obama loses, I want the country to be in hands I regard as responsible--even if I'll end up opposing most of what you propose.

In the end, what I think doesn't matter that much. But I strongly suspect that millions of Americans feel the same way, even if you won't be hearing from them in the next few months.

Aug 25, 2011

VP Wanna-be, US Sen Marco Rubio: Social Security, Social Insurance Make Americans Lazy

Social Security and other successful Social Insurance programs make Americans lazy, say almost all elected Republicans today as the GOP becomes a rest stop for the Randian idiocy of Paul Ryan

By karoli

Yes, you heard it here first. Programs that have lifted the poverty rate, empowered people to live independently - saving lives have made us "weaker" according to VP wannabe, U.S. Sen Marco Rubio (R-Florida).

Speaking at the Reagan Library Tuesday night, Rubio said this:
These programs actually weakened us as a people. You see, almost forever, it was institutions in society that assumed the role of taking care of one another. If someone was sick in your family, you took care of them. If a neighbor met misfortune, you took care of them. You saved for your retirement and your future because you had to. We took these things upon ourselves in our communities, our families, and our homes, and our churches and our synagogues. But all that changed when the government began to assume those responsibilities. All of a sudden, for an increasing number of people in our nation, it was no longer necessary to worry about saving for security because that was the government’s job.
Such a big lie Rubio tells. Before Social Security, one in four senior citizens lived in poverty. Now that number is 14 percent.

The Social Security Act also precipitated adoption of far more employer-sponsored pension plans, and the union movement pushed those plans to be competitive and provide retirement security for employees. These are things that didn't happen before Social Security and Medicare. The same is true of health insurance. Health insurance did not have wide traction as an employee benefit until Medicare was in effect and unions negotiated health benefits for their members. Neither of these things weakened this nation. They strengthened it by keeping senior citizens out of poverty and giving families some breathing room. And of course, those dollars, such as they are, increase the number of consumer dollars available to stimulate the economy.

But perhaps the biggest lie of all is Rubio's lie about how the churches and synagogues cared for the poor. Here's an excerpt from testimony before Congress back in 1959 from one senior citizen ([See Our seniors testifying in 1959]):
I am one of your old retired teachers that has been forgotten. I am 80 years old and for 10 years I have been living on a bare nothing, two meals a day, one egg, a soup, because I want to be independent. I am of Scotch ancestry, my father fought in the Civil War to the end of the war, therefore,I have it in my blood to be independent and my dignity would not let me go down and be on welfare. And I worked so hard that I have pernicious anemia, $9.95 for a little bottle of liquid for shots, wholesale, I couldn’t pay for it.
Where were her churches - her synagogues? And note her own pride, not wanting to accept charity but willing to *work* for the right to access the medicine she needed for the anemia she contracted out of her hard work and poverty. What our social safety net did more than anything else was create something people had ownership in, that they'd paid for. I've heard all the stories about how they take more out than they put in, but that isn't their fault. That's the fault of a flawed attitude on the part of lawmakers, who demonize and butcher the intent of these programs in order to claim they harm "free markets" and "weaken us as a nation."

Jul 10, 2011

Paul Ryan toasts Medicare cuts with $350 bottles of wine

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), budget-hawk and free-spender, wines and dines with buddies [A Hedge Fund Manager and a University Of Chicago Economist; Cliff Asness and John Cochrane], downing two $350 bottles of wine, as witnessed by Rutgers Prof. Susan Feinberg. Outrage follows Ryan consuming $100s in wine while Congress tries to cut seniors' safety net. "F—— her," said one of Ryan's companions.

Jim Rowan's comment on TPM's piece by Susan Crabtree:
Paul Ryan lives large - Photos via AP/Susan Feinberg
 At the swanky Bistro Bis restaurant, where a website gushes:
An award-winning destination restaurant in Downtown Washington, DC, Bistro Bis is the place to savor and be seen - where Capitol Hill powerbrokers and politicians enjoy innovative interpretations of classic French bistro cuisine.

Owned and operated by renowned Chef Jeffrey Buben, this non-smoking, downtown DC restaurant is next to The Hotel George on the slope of the world-famous Capitol Hill. Senators, congressman, celebrities, entertainers and leaders come to experience bold French fare in the refreshing ambiance and chic luxury of one of he most enticing restaurants in downtown Washington, DC
More from the account of the dinner, the confrontation and an interview subsequently, all at Talking Points Memo:
Ryan and anti-working class friends live it up
Susan Feinberg, an associate business professor at Rutgers, was at Bistro Bis celebrating her birthday with her husband that night. When she saw the label on the bottle of Jayer-Gilles 2004 Echezeaux Grand Cru Ryan's table had ordered, she quickly looked it up on the wine list and saw that it sold for an eye-popping $350, the most expensive wine in the house along with one other with the same pricetag.
If you're a fiscal hawk, life is good in DC.

If not full of contradiction - - a long way from Janesville, Wisconsin, aina.

Jul 8, 2011

Sen. Whitehouse's Resolution: No Cuts to Soc. Security and Medicare

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) is introducing a Senate resolution to tell the President and congressional budget negotiators on both sides of the aisle in unambiguous terms: Cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits should be off the table.

No, President Obama is not a grandmaster at negotiations. He's veered into beltway land where our commitment to our seniors is seen today as better managed by the insurance industry and for-profit schemes.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: No Cuts in Medicare, Social Security Benefit on Debt Limit Bill.
From Whitehouse for U.S. Senate and the Democratic Underground:

Text of the Sense of the Senate on Protecting Social Security and Medicare
(a) Findings -- Congress makes the following findings:

(1) Over 34 million retired workers currently receive Social Security benefits -- averaging a modest $14,100 a year.
(2) In 2008, 23% of retirees receiving Social Security depended on it for all or almost all of their income.
(3) According to the AARP, Social Security kept 36% of seniors out of poverty in 2008.
(4) Reducing Social Security benefits would cause many seniors to have to choose between food and drugs and rent and heat.
(5) Ninety-five percent of seniors -- almost 37 million in 2008 -- get their health coverage through Medicare.
(6) Without Medicare, seniors -- many of whom live off of Social Security -- would have to turn to the costly and uncertain private market for health insurance.
(7) Social Security and Medicare are extremely successful social insurance programs that permit America’s seniors to retire with dignity and security after a lifetime of hard work, and relieve young American families of worry about their own futures, allowing freedom of opportunity in America.
(b) Sense of the Senate: It is the Sense of the Senate that any agreement to reduce the budget deficit should not include cuts to Social Security or Medicare benefits.

Jul 7, 2011

Mr. President, Are you really this dumb?

By Michael Leon

Update: David Sirota says not 'dumb,' rather that "we are watching a sort of Orwellian dystopia. Indeed, it is a sight to behold: a regime that believes it can say one set of things over and over and over again, and then do exactly the opposite."

Firedoglake says, "We’ll fight this, because it’s the right thing to do. We will probably lose. But we will make it as painful as possible for any politician from any party to participate in this wholesale looting of the public sphere, this 'shock doctrine' for America. And maybe along the way we’ll get a vision of what comes next. Because what we believe in as Americans, and what we stand for, is not something the Democratic party represents any more."

We expect you to lay down the law: Cuts in Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid are OFF the table.

If the Times piece is correct in reporting ...
The president’s renewed efforts follow what knowledgeable officials said was an overture from Mr. Boehner, who met secretly with Mr. Obama last weekend, to consider as much as $1 trillion in unspecified new revenues as part of an overhaul of tax laws in exchange for an agreement that made substantial spending cuts, including in such social programs as Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security — programs that had been off the table.
... then for me it's: See ya, Mr. President, you are not with me and I am not with you.

Same as it ever was?

Well, a new report says: Obama Aide on Social Security Cut Story: Times Report 'Overshoots The Runway.' It better.

You do not deserve a second term, unless this is simply a ploy. To the extent you are serious, you are one foolish jellyfish.

Guess the acoustics of defending seniors against the GOP vultures didn't play well with you.

Ralph Nader, guess we need you again in Florida, Wisconsin and Ohio again.

Honestly, President Obama has given every reason in policy, rhetoric and spinelessness to regard him as the same craven, chicken-hawk coward that we so fervently hoped he would not be.

Same as it ever was?