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View Diary: What the fiscal cliff means for the middle class (54 comments)

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  •  Are you (suggesting) that cuts ... (1+ / 0-)
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    Pluto

    ...will have to be made in some of our domestic social and health programs wether we want to or not or else face the issue of increase spending (more debt) without raising revenue ...think taxes.  Pres. Obama repeatedly stated he would not do during this past election run-up.

    Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

    by kalihikane on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 03:37:49 PM PST

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    •  Me? (1+ / 0-)
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      kalihikane

      I'm merely saying there will be no military cuts under terms of the bill that passed deadlining that reality on January 1, 2013. The President made that clear. He also said that there would be tax hikes on high earners.

      The only thing that is not clear -- which he said nothing about -- is the fate of entitlement programs. So one can only guess. One analyst I trust predicts:

      It appears that the bargaining chip Obama is most likely to deploy in his upcoming negotiations with the Republicans in Congress is an increase in the age before which Americans become eligible for Medicare or for Social Security benefits, from the current 65 to 67, or 68, or perhaps even higher. The common justification for raising the age of eligibility is the increase in life expectancy since initiation of the program almost eight decades ago (for the population as a whole, it was 62 years then, versus 79 years now.

      Does it somehow follow from this that the US should raise the age of eligibility for Medicare and/or Social Security and make them more regressive?

      Even if it were true, as Obama asserts, that a majority of Americans actually voted for «cooperation», «compromise», «consensus», and «action», they would not have had $4 trillion in economic contraction or a gutting of entitlement programs in mind.

      The single goal of conservatives is to put the Federal government out of business. That's kinda the only game in town.


      A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

      by Pluto on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 04:01:08 PM PST

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      •  Not sure how I feel about your... (1+ / 0-)
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        Pluto

        ...(clarification) of the possibilities to come.  Both wife and self have medicare (senior preferred) via local hospital and social security.  We are satisfied with both and feel strongly that we paid upfront for social security and do not want it to change.  But, we have children and grand children and want to see affordable health care and an affordable retirement safety net that is secure not at risk to "market" fluctuations and mismanagement. To achieve this we are open to fair modifications to existing programs to secure them.

        Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

        by kalihikane on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 04:46:47 PM PST

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        •  I think you will see fair modifications. (1+ / 0-)
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          kalihikane

          Today's "fair" however, does mean that the people who came before were the sweepstakes winners of the safety net lotto.

          It means that what we consider the bottom of the rung now will actually be middle class as far as lifestyle expectations in retirement in the future.

          This is only the first year of the baby boomer retirement explosion. That goat hasn't even begun to be digested by the boa constrictor. The US decline will see us revisiting this issue again and again.

          All to maintain the lowest tax rates of any nation on the planet.


          A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

          by Pluto on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 06:02:53 PM PST

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          •  Like I said, we believe it is as much ... (1+ / 0-)
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            Pluto

            ... our responsibility to accept fair modifications to what entitlements we receive now to ensure those coming after us have those same opportunities. As you aptly state, we are the richest nation on the planet but we are unable to get a large enough majority of our population to understand that providing these basic services provides all of us with greater opportunities and security for all of us.

            Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

            by kalihikane on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 10:45:50 PM PST

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      •  Raising the age for Medicare (1+ / 0-)
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        Pluto

        eligibility is the worst idea of any that have been floated...it could even increase costs. Raising the age for Social Security retirement again is a bad idea and propbably won't save much money as more and more people are forced to take early retirement due to lack of work.

        The best thing to do on entitlements is kick the can down t he road. The least objectionable "reform" would probably be jiggering the COLA formula.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 08:45:11 PM PST

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