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Is it just me? Do you ever find yourself wondering how we can finance wars everlasting on the credit card, we can allow the financial industry to rebuild their reserves by lending them money at 0% and allowing them to lend it back to us at 3%, we can willingly pay more than the rest of the world for healthcare and life savings drugs, but we just can't allow Granny that little bit of extra money to have a spare can of cat food in reserve in the cupboard?

When faced with the the perplexing dilemma of who must pay for the financial quagmires we have entangled ourselves in, the politicians, the media, the beneficiaries of said quagmires, and the rest of the 1% all know that the answer is blindingly obvious -

"THEM! The little people! Those 99% who are too stupid to be born into our ranks or who lack the drive that we have to claw our way to the top on their drained carcasses. They live to support us."

Don't you wish they would just say it out loud so that we can stop with the stupid and condescending blather about "tough choices" and "shared sacrifices"?

I for one am sick of it.

Changing COLA in SS to chained CPI is estimated to bring in 112 billion over 10 years according to the Washington Post in Three cuts to Social Security that are way, way, more progressivethan chained CPI

The fiscal cliff deal is finally taking shape, and from the looks of it, it’s likely to include the adoption of “chained CPI” as the government’s preferred measure of inflation. As I explained last week, that measure mainly matters for taxes — where the income cutoffs for various brackets are indexed for inflation — and Social Security, in which benefits are raised annually to keep pace with inflation. Adopting chained CPI would, in effect, cut Social Security benefits and raise taxes.

That’s a big slice off Social Security — $112 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office — and the first such cut in a while. Of more concern is how the change would affect taxpayers: It’s regressive. The tax cut hits the working poor much harder than millionaires:

Now if you read the actual article the author gives 3 other possibilities and I am not for the first 2 he mentions - Change the Preliminary Insurance Amount (PIA) formula  and Adopt progressive price indexing (PPI) which are basically setting up a two-tier system of benefits where the wealthy receive less and their benefits are calculated differently. I see plans like this as stigmatizing Social Secuirty and turning it into welfare for lower wage workers instead of the social safety net insurance that applies to everyone that it was designed as originally. So, I don't agree with the title of the Wahington Post's artlicle.

But the third option of raising the cap to apply to ALL wages would:

So some have proposed setting the cap on wages subject to the tax so that it always grabs 90 percent of American worker’s wages. According to the CBO, that raises almost $500 billion over 10  years, all from rich households earning over $100,000 a year. That’s about five times what chained CPI brings in, and, again, it’s much more progressive. Eliminating the cap altogether would make Social Security solvent in perpetuity.
I don't know about you, but I can bend my head a lot more easily around that than cutting the way cost of living increases are calculated that will actually TAKE money out of the pockets of the poorest among us.

Another simple easy solution that is ridiculously obvious to anyone with a single brain cell is to NEGOTIATE DRUG PRICES IN MEDICARE something the President promised to do in his first election and which the White House traded away in negotiations to get Pharma behind the ACA initially.

Here's pretty decent article about the history and the pitfalls which I tumbled across while writing this diary: Using Medicare's Clout to Negotiate Drug Prices - Did Obama Put That Back On The Table

It's from April of 2011 but I think it's just as relevant today as the day it was written. One interesting thing in that article is a link to FACT SHEET: The President's Framework for Shared Prosperity and Shared Fiscal Responsibility, also from April of 2011 which contains this nugget:

Reduce Medicare’s excessive spending on prescription drugs and lower drug premiums for beneficiaries without shifting costs to seniors or privatizing Medicare. Combined Medicare savings of at least $200 billion over 10 years.
So, I would prefer to see either and preferabley both of these suggestions implemented which combined would bring in 700 billion over 10 years and placing that burden on the backs of the wealthiest Americans and the Pharmeceutical industry who can both well afford it. This is 600 billion more than the chained CPI suggestion and places the burden on the most robust backs in our society as oppsed to the frailest.

What exactly is wrong with a President and 2 political parties who collude to pick the pockets of the poorest while simulataneoulsy protecting and lining the pockets of the wealthiest? What exactly is wrong with a citizenry that rolls over and accepts this kind o morally bankrupt and ethically challenged reasoning as the best they can get from their elected leaders?

Originally posted to Phoebe Loosinhouse on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 07:57 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  We've spent enough in Iraq and Afghanistan (21+ / 0-)

    to pay for universal healthcare, employ every able citizen over 18, lower the retirement age to 55, and do so many other things...

    When you're a wealthy country, there's always enough money for the things you prioritize. Unfortunately, there's rarely enough for the greed of those who hold the money.

    The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

    by teacherjon on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 08:20:17 AM PST

  •  Well said Phoebe, there are so many better ways (7+ / 0-)

    I posted this link yesterday. Hoping this works again today.
    (i am not too good with these linky things) but the jist is there are lots of cuts that could do more than this chained CPI thing. argh

    "
     I just read this one on Huff post with 8 ways to.. (2+ / 0-)

    ....save $ (including on military) that are very good! Its short. Please read!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/....   "

    .....it's on the table, under the watermelon she demurred. Thanks, I was planning on shaving anyway he replied.

    by pdx kirk on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:50:40 AM PST

  •  They stick it to the powerless. (4+ / 0-)

    When the ''Democrats'' do it, it's called bipartisanship.

  •  They do it by demonizing us. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoebe Loosinhouse

    Really quick now.  What's the first thought upon hearing this song?

    If it's damn dirty commies/socialists, you've already bought into their narrative.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 12:31:45 PM PST

  •  Obama needs to explain himself (4+ / 0-)

    to those this recent proposal has bearing the burden

    elderly and disabled.

    to those who post that we "just want to feel betrayed"...try  crawling into our shoes knowing that the cuts to our very existance (more elders own their own home outright than disabled peopple, and have no rent or morgage which takes up the bulk of a SS/SSDI check) have been made.

    Because people who live so close to the bone can afford to loose NOTHING. Even ten dollars makes a difference per month.

    We get our cut directl juxtiposed to continued funding of the 250-400K tax cut yet we know those people likely can bare the "loss" of the tax cut much more easily than we can. We doubt that their lifestyle would change. If it did, it would not change in the life and death stuff that it does for us...heat food shelter medicine. Because those are the only things we can afford. We don't buy for pleasure...we only buy what we need to live. No luxuries such as cable TV or a smart phone for most people on disabilty. Just a pipe dream

    SO Obama needs to explain his offer to us. Why he thinks it was necessary. "caus it seems otherwise I, a disabled person am carrying it all on my back so the very well off can have their tax cut

  •  All of this about something that hasn't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoebe Loosinhouse

    happened.  It was an offer that was refused. Do you think, maybe, Obama knew that?  He said as much in his last press conference.  It doesn't matter what he presents them, they refuse. Yes, the offer is still on the table and it is being ignored.

    •  Why is he offering up Social Security in the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      flowerfarmer

      first place? He was the one to introduce last time, he was the one to introduce it this time. Why is he making bargaining overtures that are anathema to most people and the vast majority of his own party? Why is he making an overture for chained CPI that his own Senate majority leader says he will not support?

      To show how bi-partisany he is? To show he is willing to take the money out of the pockets of the neediest just like Republicans? To foster the goals of inhumane and morally corrupt deficit hawks like those he surrounds himself with and appoints at every opportunity?

      Reids Assures Sanders He Won't Agree to Cuts in Social Security

      Or what about

      What's not widely understood amidst the talk of cutting Social Security is that it's already been cut. Legislation in 1983 gradually raised the age for claiming full retirement benefits from 65 to 67, amounting to an average 13 percent reduction in lifetime benefits for anyone born after 1960. A little less than 10 percent live below the poverty line, and another 35 percent have household income less than twice that level. Nearly two out of three seniors get more than half their income from Social Security. The average monthly payment to retirees was only $1,176 in 2010.

      Social Security kept some 21 million people out of poverty last year, according to the Social Security Administration. Even modest cuts in benefits could push these people into hardship or worse, because for many of them -- and for many workers approaching retirement -- Social Security and Medicare are the only reliable sources of retirement income support they have left.

      It's sad to watch the President and others throw away the moral, ethical and political underpinnings of the Democratic Party and cast the weakest astray so that he can secure some type of stupid Henry Clay type legacy as a Great Compromiser. He would have a more impressive legacy if he championed the causes of the people over the causes of the connected.

      “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

      by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 01:08:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  SS was not meant to fund the government. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    flowerfarmer, Phoebe Loosinhouse, wbr

    The system still has an enormous surplus, about 1.7 trillion dollars. People in charge of our government, including some Democrats prefer to keep this system a "cash cow" instead of raising taxes on the wealthy. The tremendous deficits we now face were caused by poor decisions, a costly and unnecessary war in Iraq , a costly new entitlement which forces Uncle Sam to pay full retail for prescription drugs and a bailout of an ungrateful financial sector that is responsible  but unprosecuted  for fraud resulting in the crash of the world economy.

    "Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can't afford to double-down on trickle-down." Bill Clinton

    by irate on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 02:57:05 AM PST

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