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View Diary: If you think sequester will be bad, wait until they gut Social Security (195 comments)

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  •  The lack of coverage of this inconvenient TRUTH... (43+ / 0-)

    ...within this community is, at least in part, due to people pointing to other aspects of the email, and acting like the MUCH more important facts weren't even there (in the email), is truly pathetic!!!

    F*ck the pissing war between Sperling and Woodward. Read what the hell Gene Sperling just stated. The GREAT BETRAYAL is fully underway, and hundreds, if not thousands of people in this community--ALONE--are in total f*cking denial! (Opting to focus upon bullshit/unimportant commentary, rather than acknowledging the greater truths Sperling just stated.)

    It's a f*cking travesty!

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 07:50:49 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  It's about being f*cked over by our own Party! n/t (26+ / 0-)

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 07:51:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Cant rec this enough. (23+ / 0-)

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 08:01:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  gnashing of teeth and rending of garments (0+ / 0-)

      The truth is there!  Ignore what the President is saying, ignore what his aides are saying; this one email from a guy in the administration to Bob Woodward lays out THE ONE AND ONLY TRUTH!

      How can you not see it?!  All you have to do is ignore everything Obama has said and done and every legislative achievement Obama has had and just focus on a few sentences in this one email.

      •  If you don't think president supports SS CPI chain (24+ / 0-)

        then you haven't been paying attention.  Why else did he appoint an aging GOP crank who depises SS and a DINO who wants to cut SS to co-chair the Catfood Commission?  Why did both of the last 2 Dem presidents hail the CFC in their DNC speeches?

        Do you think that this is all an accident?

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 09:03:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  if he wanted to do it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TheLawnRanger

          he would have done it.  right?  he could just say, "John Boehner, Harry Reid, the federal gov't needs more money.  So let's just do this Chained CPI thing."  No negotiations.  The bill would be on his desk and signed in a day.  Done.

          Obama doesn't want chained CPI.  He's offering chained CPI to the Republicans because it's something they want.  

          In return he gets, well, what?  That is the question.

          If all he gets is a debt ceiling raise or a short-term extension of UE benefits or something like that, then it's a terrible terrible deal.  But if the deal gets rid of the debt ceiling and generates significant new revenues, then that's probably an OK deal.  If those additional revenues go towards real stimulus, then that's a great deal.

          •  The chained CPI isn't (14+ / 0-)

            a great deal no matter what he get in return for it.

            "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

            by zaka1 on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 09:33:45 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Four years from now (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mollyd

              if the economy is healthy and the deficit projections are normalized, Congress will "fix" chained CPI.  that's why it's a good deal (and why Republicans wont take it).

              if the economy is still stagnant and revenues are still down, the required cuts to entitlements will dwarf chained CPI.

              •  The Republican Congress won't repeal it (5+ / 0-)

                and there will be a Republican Congress and President once Americans figure out how Democrats have screwed them on Social Security.  

                As I keep saying, I will vote on this alone.

              •  Four years (4+ / 0-)

                from now, you think the disabled and elderly can wait that long.  With the history of our government especially the way it works now and for last fifteen years, nothing will be fixed, but more will be taken away.  

                "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

                by zaka1 on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 11:32:54 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  this is about inflation adjustment (0+ / 0-)

                  the effects of the switching to chained CPI wont really start to hit until the 5-10 year range.  

                  I know every dollar counts.  I understand that.  I respect that.

                  My point isn't that chained CPI is a great idea or even a good idea.  I recognize that it's a lousy option.  But I also believe that until and unless we get real economic growth, the options are ALL lousy.

                  •  another point along these lines (0+ / 0-)

                    if chained CPI comes along with a bump in payments to SS people that starts today, if it comes along with other adjustments that ensure that poorer recipients get more, is it really the Armageddon event you all are making it out to be?

                    until we have a deal, until we have the outlines of a deal, there's no way to evaluate it.

                    •  What other adjustments did you have in mind? (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      PhilJD, RFK Lives, Panama Pete, zaka1

                      I hope not the laughable "Special Minimum Benefit," that Bowles-Simpson include in their proposal, The Moment Of Truth.

                      Please folks, take a hour or so, and read this proposal.  It is the "framework" for all that is happening, right now.

                      You know, the special benefit that CBO itself admits will only apply to a small percentage of low income folks, because of the LONG WORK HISTORY REQUIREMENT, which the poorest among us, rarely have.

                      'Nice try, but no cigar.' :-)

                      Mollie

                      "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

                      hiddennplainsight

                      by musiccitymollie on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 12:21:07 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Oh, and let me add--low income meaning "SSI" level (3+ / 0-)

                        of poverty.  REAL low income.

                        And the 'Special Minimum Benefit' is clearly written so that most of these folks won't qualify due to the required years of work (or vesting period).

                        It was clearly written in as a "talking point," so that Bowles-Simpson could better "peddle" their very draconian cuts.

                        See Rep (IL) Jan Schakowsky's Reuters Op-Ed.  Here's an excerpt below, and a link to piece entitled "The Sham Of Simpson-Bowles."

                        [snip]

                        Have Simpson-Bowles’ champions read it?

                        Given any real scrutiny, this plan falls far short of being a serious, workable or reasonable proposal – from either an economic or political analysis. . . .

                        Somehow, being willing to cut “entitlement” benefits has been called a “badge of courage” for those who purport to be serious about deficit reduction– despite the fact that Social Security has not contributed one thin dime to the deficit.

                        Under Simpson-Bowles, long-term solvency for Social Security is achieved mostly by cutting benefits.

                        Seventy-five years out, the ratio of spending cuts to revenue increases is 4 to 1.
                        They propose raising the age of full Social Security benefits to 69 – claiming that everyone is living longer.

                        But a sizable percentage of Americans, mostly lower-income workers, especially women, are actually living shorter lives, and a large chunk of other Americans just can’t work that long – even if they can find a job.

                        Their plan cuts benefits for current and future retirees by reducing the cost-of-living adjustment.
                        For future retirees, all these changes taken together would reduce the average annual benefit for middle-income workers – those with annual earnings of $43,000 to $69,000 – by up to 35 percent. . . .
                        [snip]

                        If this isn't worth fighting for, I don't know what is. ;-)

                        Mollie

                        "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

                        hiddennplainsight

                        by musiccitymollie on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:23:07 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  What your not realizing (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    musiccitymollie, Panama Pete

                    is that those of us who are disabled will feel the CPI sooner than most because we will have been on Social Security and Medicare for an extended period than most people.  

                    And most of us are already compensating because Social Security is not like working, in my case it less than half of what I was earning while working, so I've already cut to the bone.  As of now, I'm turning off my heat (it is 20 degrees outside) and living indoors with temps between 60 and 63 degrees.  I am the living dead, just waiting to die, but struggling every day until I do.

                    "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

                    by zaka1 on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:28:35 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  And if we keep interest rates (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Panama Pete

                    at zero then inflation doesn't happen with the way things are calculated now.  However all the other things not included in the calculation of inflation such as food, gas, ulitilies, healthcare costs, etc., etc., are rising faster than a speeding train.  The chained CPI will hurt even more because the CPI as it is now does not reflect the true cost of living.  The chained CPI will actually be more of a reduction because it will be based on replacements for actual goods and the truth is everyone I know is already using cheaper goods as replacements now.  There is no replacing room, just doing without is the next step.  

                    We are already falling behind on the rising costs that are not considered as part of the true measurement of inflation.  

                    "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

                    by zaka1 on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:40:52 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Your power of the president is a little warped. (0+ / 0-)

            He isn't a king. While he DOES have requests (health care reform) and can lay out a vision (we need cuts!) he can have Congress try to fulfill his agenda. But to think he can wave a magic wand and install policy is a fantasy. And I don't want him to...because you never give your guy the power you wouldn't want your worst enemy to have.

          •  yeah, but . . . (0+ / 0-)

            If is a really BIG word.

          •  No matter what Obama gets in return.... (0+ / 0-)

            ....chained CPI is utterly, totally and irredeemably FUCKED. Try living on SS for awhile before saying such stupid garbage.

            If Obama and the Dems acquiese in slashing my SSDI, I will never cast another vote for any Democrat.

            See the children of the earth who wake to find the table bare, See the gentry in the country riding out to take the air. ~~Gordon Lightfoot, "Don Quixote"

            by Panama Pete on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 12:57:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Hear, hear RFK Lives! And thanks. N/T (0+ / 0-)

          Mollie

          "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

          hiddennplainsight

          by musiccitymollie on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 11:05:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Read what Sperling f*cking wrote... (24+ / 0-)

        ...just a few days ago! DSon't tell me what Obama's "saying." Look at what his people are DOING! (Paraphrasing Meteor Blades!)

        Sperling: Obama Wanted Sequester to Force Democrats to Accept Entitlement Cuts
        By: Jon Walker
        FireDogLake
        Thursday February 28, 2013 8:41 am

         “The idea that the sequester was to force both sides to go back to try at a big or grand bargain with a mix of entitlements and revenues (even if there were serious disagreements on composition) was part of the DNA of the thing from the start.”

        The way Obama has handled basically every manufactured crisis from the debt ceiling, to the Bush tax cuts expiration, to the sequester has been about trying to force both Democrats and Republicans to embrace his version of a “grand bargain.” While it is clear this has been the driving force behind Obama’s decisions, if you pay close attention to his actions is is rare than an administration official will directly admit this. This is actually what I think it most interesting about the recently leaked email exchange between Bob Woodward and Gene Sperling up on Politico. Sperling wrote:

        But I do truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying saying that Potus asking for revenues is moving the goal post. I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim. The idea that the sequester was to force both sides to go back to try at a big or grand bargain with a mix of entitlements and revenues (even if there were serious disagreements on composition) was part of the DNA of the thing from the start. It was an accepted part of the understanding — from the start. Really. It was assumed by the Rs on the Supercommittee that came right after: it was assumed in the November-December 2012 negotiations. There may have been big disagreements over rates and ratios — but that it was supposed to be replaced by entitlements and revenues of some form is not controversial. (Indeed, the discretionary savings amount from the Boehner-Obama negotiations were locked in in BCA: the sequester was just designed to force all back to table on entitlements and revenues.)

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 09:11:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Obama is willing to negotiate with the Republicans (0+ / 0-)

          that's what the parts you bolded say.  Obama has been saying that entitlements should be part of the conversation for months, so nothing new there.

          Now why is Obama willing to negotiate on entitlements at all?  He should just tell the Republicans to go stuff themselves, clearly.  

          Unless he's concerned that the Republicans will use the power of the purse to intentionally undermine the economy.  If the economy stalls and tax revenues drop the danger to Social Security and the whole safety net will make chained CPI look like peanuts.

          So Obama wants the Republicans to give him something that will guarantee that the economy continues to recover and grow.  So he offers the Republicans something that they want.

          That's how negotiations work.  Both sides give things up what the other side wants.  And lately, these negotiations have usually ended with the Republicans giving up a lot and Obama giving up very little.  Which is why Boehner and Mcconell spent so much time the last couple days saying they will not compromise.

          •  Who told you that the economy is growing? (14+ / 0-)

            Certainly not the year after year increases in the numbers and percentages of people on food stamps, losing homes, losing wages, burning up their savings, out of work for so long they are no longer counted in the unemployment statistics, etc.

            Given the reality which all the Austerity nations have experienced -- that cutting back HURTS the economies further -- why would anyone expect different in our case?


            We live in a nation where doctors destroy health; lawyers, justice; universities, knowledge; governments, freedom; the press, information; religion, morals; and our banks destroy the economy. -- Chris Hedges

            by Jim P on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 10:09:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  google "GDP" (0+ / 0-)

              and yes, I am very aware that economic growth has not been shared equally and that many people are still suffering the effects of the Great Recession (and the Bush policies that preceded it).

              But the economy is growing.

              I am also aware that austerity right now is a really terrible idea.  But it strikes me that many (if not all) of Obama's proposals are of the "austerity later" variety.  Almost like he's trying to balance the short-term goal of economic growth with the long-term goal of getting the debt under control.

              •  But the GDP figures are as cooked (4+ / 0-)

                as the unemployment figures. The official "economist" world of abstract notions has long been divorced from the real economy. Hell, the big banks all reported profits last year, every penny of which came from government and Fed aid. Otherwise they would have reported losses.

                Whatever graphic you have with an up-pointed arrow, the reality of people's lives -- in tens of millions of lives -- has been a steady deterioration. Surely you've noticed.

                We're living in a Great Depression.

                The official reality of our politicians is not reality as lived by humans and we shouldn't enable them by adopting their premises.

                Both parties are working for the 1%. The only difference is whether it's the faction of the 1% who are plainly heartless or the faction which regrets having to act in a heartless manner.


                We live in a nation where doctors destroy health; lawyers, justice; universities, knowledge; governments, freedom; the press, information; religion, morals; and our banks destroy the economy. -- Chris Hedges

                by Jim P on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 11:28:39 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  well that's one way to look at it (0+ / 0-)

                  no good news, ever!  If you hear good news, it's a lie.  If you hear bad news, the truth is worse.  The only way you can know something is true is if the news is so bad your ears start to bleed as soon as you hear it.

                  •  Horse hockey! (4+ / 0-)

                    Using real people's lives, are things improving for them or getting worse? The counting stats are what they are. If feeling good or not feeling bad is your concern... well that's a different thing that what is actually happening, isn't it?

                    Food stamps, unemployed, homeless, foreclosed, wage decrease, cashing in 401K and retirement accounts, increase in children living in poverty, decrease in numbers of employed, inflation of life necessities (which affects only 95% of the people) at 9% and growing, continual outflow of good paying jobs off shore, raising of federal and state and local taxes....

                    All these are increasing. So there's figures showing rich people and companies are getting richer, but they also don't put the money into the US, and that's like, what? cheery news?

                    And about GDP as an indicator here's a thought experiment: say 300,000,000 Americans have to go into the hospital today for an overnight stay. Given a one-day cost of hospitalization at $10,000, the GDP will officially rise by $3,000,000,000,000 ($3 trillion). In fact in the real world, 19% of GDP comes from medical/insurance costs. See why it doesn't really tell you anything about the actual production of an economy?

                    Sorry I'm not happy we're in a Great Depression and the politicians are doing what they can to make it worse for people.


                    We live in a nation where doctors destroy health; lawyers, justice; universities, knowledge; governments, freedom; the press, information; religion, morals; and our banks destroy the economy. -- Chris Hedges

                    by Jim P on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 11:49:31 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  No he just wants to STEAL from Social Security (5+ / 0-)

            so he can pay off defense contractors.   This is the ultimate payoff to fat cats and lobbyists.  And it won't be the last time.

            All those Republicans who told you Social Security wont' be there when you need it?  

            Well the DEMOCRATIC PARTY is going to make sure the Republicans were right all along.

        •  Stealing from Social Security for Defense (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Panama Pete

          Let no believe that there is anything remotely connected with reform in this proposal.  This is just robbing seniors to pay for the Iraq War and wars to come.  Nothing to do with reform.  This is just screw you, we took your payroll tax, spent it, and the joke is on you suckers, most particularly you suckers who wasted the last 40 years voting for the party that is screwing you now.

        •  Spot on, Jon. N/T (0+ / 0-)

          Mollie

          "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

          hiddennplainsight

          by musiccitymollie on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:24:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Ignore what the President is saying? (12+ / 0-)

        would you kindly tell us what the president is currently saying about social security?

        Has he come and said as he did back in 2008 that he will not cut social security- and the rest of us missed it?

        "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

        by allenjo on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 09:16:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  not just one email (7+ / 0-)

        Get your facts straight if you're going to treat the retirement security of millions now and for generations to come so dismissively.
        The president has said, in his own words, many times, that he's willing to accept chained CPI as part of a precious "grand bargain" to screw us all over.  
        That you treat the fact that the President is willing to do this in such a dismissive way is disturbing.  
        He's willing to raise the Medicare eligibility age as well, another major cut that will hurt millions who can least afford to be squeezed any more.

    •  Hear, hear, bobswern. Thanks for tellin' it like (5+ / 0-)

      it is!

      We SO NEED TO REFOCUS our efforts on what really matters--stopping the train wreck of beginning to dismantle our social insurance programs.
      "Sequester-Gate" is 'old news.'  The heck with Bob Woodward!

      Woodward can probably 'buy and sell us all,' and all the screaming about him in the world, won't change his power among, or his message to, the Washington elite.

      But our voices lifted in unison "that cuts to Social Security and Medicare are unacceptable," just might make a difference.

      Please everyone, follow Laura's link.  Let's fight this travesty called 'a Grand Bargain.'  And thank you, Laura, for this diary.

      If you guys are really serious about 'taking the House,' surely you'll want to jump into this fight.  
      Does ANYONE seriously believe that a Democratic Party President can sign a bill to make a major cut (or cuts) to Social Security and Medicare, and it won't leave the Democratic Party in the wilderness for years to come?

      The fight is on!
       {I hope.}  :-)

      P.S.  Please burn up the phone line to the White House, to Speaker Boehner's Office, and to Capitol Hill.

      Here's the White House Comment Line (live and recording):  

      1-202-456-1111

      Here's two Capitol Hill phone numbers (for Speaker Boehner, our Senators and US House Representatives):

      1-866-220-0044
      1-202-224-3121

      {Just called and made sure that these are current numbers.}

      Mollie

      "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

      hiddennplainsight

      by musiccitymollie on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 11:04:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Woodward was (0+ / 0-)

      A shiny set of car keys.  

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