Skip to main content

Paul Ryan sips water during the 2012 vice presidential debate
Paul Ryan is thirsty for austerity
Politico's Jake Sherman captures this bit of teeth-gnashing from Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) about the GOP's plan to deliver a budget that will achieve balance by 2023 (my emphasis):
“We are saying a 10-year balance — that’s tougher than the last Ryan budget,” said Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), a former Budget Committee member and currently an Appropriations cardinal. “There could be a significant number of Republicans that say, ‘I’m not going there because it would be too dramatic.’ I have said to my constituents, nobody is talking about changing Social Security and Medicare if you’re 55 years or over.’ I’ve been selling it for three or four years that way. So have many other members. Well, to balance in 10, that 55 years is going to move up to 58, 59, 60. It makes us look like we’re going back on what we were telling people when we were trying to sell this.
I actually wouldn't be surprised if Ryan comes up with a way to cloak these cuts beneath a veil of plausible deniability—the mother of all magic asterisks, if you will. Clearly, Ryan is sufficiently dishonest to do just that. But if his budget is honest, Simpson's concern is well-founded, because that's exactly what it will contain. And if Democrats aren't able to to recapture the House after the GOP proposes these sorts of cuts for people at or near retirement age, they should just get out of politics, because you really can't imagine a bigger political gift.

Update (Chris Bowers): Sign the letter from Daily Kos and the Congressional Progressive Caucus opposing any cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 02:47 PM PST.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders and Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Also, always keep in mind that any (25+ / 0-)

    Chained CPI always affect those of any age who are on SSDI.

                         Just my two cents,
                               Heather

    Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

    by Chacounne on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 02:54:35 PM PST

    •  I am looking forward to how far Ryan will (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cocinero, indie17, cspivey

      go to cover this one up.

      'Mother of all asterisks', once removed, may finally expose Ryan in  such a manner that even those in the media so enthralled with his supposed genius.....

       Ryans once bright bulb will fade to dim.......

       A little outside illumination should cast a beam on his low wattage nicely...............

      it tastes like burning...

      by eastvan on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 01:16:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Where did this "10-year balanced budget" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gilpin Guy, Janet 707

        dream come from?  Do Republicans just pull some time frame out of their collective ass to make their budgets as hurtful as possible?  Not to mention the impossibility of balancing the federal budget it 10 years.  Trying it would lead to a nosedive in the economy, millions of people would lose their jobs, and the already-stingy social safety net would be shredded.  Not that the Republicans would give a damn, but cutting enough out of the budget to balance it would doom any hope for a better future for the majority of the population.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 08:03:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, The President Or The Senate... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mkoz, OooSillyMe, Janet 707

      ...or somebody, anybody but US put out a budget. Stop us before we kill!

      I wasn't a great civics class student, but isn't it the job of the Congress to put out budgets? And as the majority party of inept lunatics in the Congress, wouldn't the Republicans be on the hook for that?

      The Republicans in the Congress remind me (among other unsavory things) as middle school boys.

      Time is an enormous, long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through & everything they gave their lives to flows down to me-Utah Phillips

      by TerryDarc on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 03:11:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How do you mean this, please. N/T (0+ / 0-)

      Mollie

      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

      "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

      by musiccitymollie on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 04:13:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Reality and its liberal bias are at it again... (32+ / 0-)

    It just can't seem to stop itself from making Republicans look bad.

    "It makes us look like we're going back on what we were telling people when we were trying to sell this."
    •  pols being held to keeping their word? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Trix, Lujane, Calamity Jean

      Now who is the silly rabbit?

      •  The promise to shield "near-retirees" from Social (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        entlord

        Security cuts during the Presidential election, probably won Repubs a few votes in 2012.  Personally, I never believed that (given the opportunity) the Repubs would follow through on this pledge.  And, it appears that the 'elites' of both parties (not necessarily all of the rank and file Dems) are determined to follow the "dictates" of the Fiscal Commission's recommendations, i.e., Bowles-Simpson's proposals.

        Please take a moment to read this relatively short proposal, The Moment Of Truth (PDF).  It lays out the recommended proposals, and approximately when they'll kick in.

        Here's the link.

        Indeed, they (the Fiscal Commission) break new ground by going after "current" retirees, if they pass and implement the "Chained or Superlative CPI."  For that matter, the Greenspan Commission's proposals mostly shielded those seniors in the near-retiree category, during the last major overhaul of Social Security.

        And don't forget, this Administration has never proposed to shield near-retiree seniors, starting with those age 55.  (In 2010, Alan Simpson made references to exempting seniors age 60 and older).

        The Administration's "framework" for Social Security cuts is the Bowles-Simpson Commission's proposals.  

        The President's own Chief-Of-Staff, Jack Lew, told Financial Times reporter, James Politi, in an interview about a year ago, that the Administration "supports all six pillars of Bowles-Simpson."  [I would link to it, but my subscription has expired, so I no longer have access to the FT video archive.  Sorry.]

        So, don't expect the Democrats to have the ability to make too much hay out of this change in the Republicans' proposal.

        At the most, it will help Dems mitigate the obvious unpopularity of their own proposed cuts to Social Security (which do not shield "near-seniors," starting with the 55-plus cohort).

        And, I guess that Dems could make the "flip flopper" charge against Repubs.  

        OTOH, expect the Repubs to point out that this was never a part of the Democrats' proposals.

        So, IMO, this will pretty much be "a wash."

        Mollie

        "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

        "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

        by musiccitymollie on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 04:58:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This would be so easy to fix if the congress (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          musiccitymollie

          just had the will instead of being hell bent on cutting the benefits associated with Social Security and Medicare.  Raise the cap on FICA contributions and negotiate drug prices in Medicare Part D.  Then watch the changes coming through the ACA and make adjustments depending on the results of those changes.

          The Republicans don't care about the deficit; they just want to come as closely as they can to destroying the programs.  And Democrats are just spooked by all the deficit talk.

          "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

          by SueDe on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 08:30:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree with some of your sentiments. I do think, (0+ / 0-)

            however, that the actual "deal" will be between the President and the Repub leadership.

            So, I believe, that while we need to lobby Congress, we must also diligently lobby the White House, and yes, even Speaker Boehner!  :-)

            Mollie

            "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

            "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

            by musiccitymollie on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 08:35:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Or easy to fix if the government (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SueDe

            paid back the money BushCo embezzled from the SS Trust Fund.

  •  Just turned 54, & it's suddenly sucking lots more. (15+ / 0-)

    Father Time remains undefeated.

    by jwinIL14 on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 03:06:50 PM PST

  •  Democrats Lost Age 40 and Over to Romney. (6+ / 0-)

    In 08 we carried the boomers and younger. Last fall we lost boomers and gen X.

    My worry is that the Dems may be looking at an issue they're willing to write off.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 03:30:32 PM PST

  •  SS Over 55s and Budget Scoring (7+ / 0-)

    current 55s are 11 years from collecting benefits and under 54s basically can only collect under OAS if they take early retirement at 62.

    Arithmetically this means you get zip in the way of 10 year budget scoring (as used by CBO and OMB) by cutting benefits in a way that exempts 55s and olders.

    And everyone of the crisis points from Debt Limit to Fiscal Cliff to Sequester to Federal Shutdown will have budget effects scored officially over the ten year window.

    It is actually not true that Social Security does not effect the deficit or Public Debt but it IS true under any scheme that protects people 10+ years from drawing benefits. Meaning that the Ryan Plan and all similar plans which do so will score a big fat zero when CBO scores their legislation.

    It is a little secret weapon for defenders. if 'reformers' want scorable 10 year savings they will need to screw elderly white folk deep and hard. AKA the Tea Party, the Base and the 26%.

    All it takes is a long term calendar.

    BTW the overall strategy made perfect sense when it was formulated in 1982. google Social SecurityLeninist Strategy. But it aged out by around 2005 and was on its last legs then. Now it is a arithmetic joke.

    socialsecuritydefender.blogspot.com - SocSec.Defender at gmail.com - founder DK Social Security Defenders group - (hmm is there a theme emerging here?)

    by Bruce Webb on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 03:39:35 PM PST

  •  So right. A huge political gift. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gordon20024, CuriousBoston, tomephil

    Keep talking, suckers. I'm ready to hit the campaign trail in a neighboring district. (My district is one of the bluest in the country and my congresswoman is having none of this).

    Jon Husted is a dick.

    by anastasia p on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 03:46:12 PM PST

    •  Freshman Dems gift it right back ... (0+ / 0-)

      Kyrsten Sinema and Grace Meng join with Ted Nugent's pal Steve Stockman in a bipartisan effort to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits:

      ... we must reform the Medicare and Social Security’s long-term financial obligations by addressing rising health care costs and changing demographics. The goal is to make sure these essential programs meet our obligations to our seniors and ensure that these bedrocks are available to future generations, while reducing our long-term deficit and debt issues.

      A liberal is a conservative who's been hugged.

      by raatz on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 02:19:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  OK I am a bit slow but SS is funded separately (13+ / 0-)

    from the national budget and really has nothing to do with the national budget so how will cutting SS benefits balance the budget?

    Paul must really learn to move the shells faster if he plans to game us rubes

    •  Yep - it's funded through the FICA taxes and are (12+ / 0-)

      collected separately from income taxes.  From what I understand, back in the 80's when the retirement age was raised to 67, it was also ordered that any excess funds SS collected (for future needs) shall be invested in special bonds.  These bonds would be redeemable when needed.  Now, several years into the 'boomers' starting to retire, the SS administration is starting to need to cash in those bonds.  

      The money that purchased those bonds were then lent to the US Federal General Budget.  Congress doesn't want to pay back those bonds 'sold' to the SS Administration.  Many in Congress, Republicans in particular, are claiming that SS funds are the same as the General funds, so all that money collects and loaned isn't subject to repayment - tough luck dudes - you should have planned better for your retirement.......

      •  The Social Security Trust Fund (11+ / 0-)

        And it's legal requirement to invest surpluses in Treasuries (which in historical practice has meant Special Issues) were established pursuant to the Social Security Amendments of 1939 and at that on,y codified practice established under the 1935 Social Security Act and were NOT effected by the legislation that ultimately emerged from the 1983 Greenspan Commission. That is a myth.

        Similarly the Trust Funds dipped into those assets multiple times between 1956 and 1982, in fact the SS Trust Funds were cash flow negative more years than not durning that time frame.

        Moreover the Disability Insurance Trust Fund has been cash flow negative since 2005 and been cashing in Special Issue principal since 2008, which despite a bunch of Bush Admin bluster and bullshit about 'Phony IOUs' has been silently accomplished by Treasury Secretaries of both parties. Similarly Reagan inherited a Trust Fund in 1981 that was rapidly depleting and honored every Special Issue right down to the last dollar, and by some accounts beyond James Baker having engaged in some fancy and marginally legal book juggling to keep benefit checks flowing.

        In light of the historical record the idea that the powers that be could actually abrogate existing Special Treasuries is a deliberate AEI/CATO/PGPF con. Never has happened and won't happen unless the rubes buy in.

        socialsecuritydefender.blogspot.com - SocSec.Defender at gmail.com - founder DK Social Security Defenders group - (hmm is there a theme emerging here?)

        by Bruce Webb on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 04:26:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It still boils down to the SS Admin purchased (5+ / 0-)

          special Treasury Bonds.  That money then went to the general fund and the Congress doesn't want to honor those special treasury bonds.

        •  No SocSec Trust Fund Contemplated in 1930s (0+ / 0-)

          That legal requirement to invest any Social Security surplus in government bonds was created in the 1930s because the surplus was expected to be a short-term (less than one year) cash management tool.  Nobody in the 1930s contemplated deliberately creating a Niagra Falls of cash to be used to help underwrite the retirement of a large portion of Social Security recipients.  That idea developed only in the 1980s when the politicians were deliberating on how to fund Boomers retirements and how to avoid the annual fights over Social Security cost-of-living increases.

          Economists were concerned that trying to finance Boomers' retirements solely on the "pay as you go" principals used since the creation of the Social Security system would drag on the economy far too much because of the much higher FICA taxes needed at that distant horizon with the smaller working population. Hence Boomers experiencing a doubling in FICA tax rates.  It also helped camouflage the ability to enact automatic COLA adjustments in Social Security payments, which took the debate off the table for both the Democrats and the Republicans.

          Where to put those excess funds from the 1980s modifications in Social Security was debated.  Some advocated for actually investing the money a la a Federal CalPers, but that got quashed by the conservatives very quickly. Some of them realized that such a program would have the workers owning the means of production in short order, and, as everybody knows, that is something which cannot be allowed.  So, instead they fell back on those Special Issue Treasuries because something had to be done with the accounting for the cash geyser the new law created. I'm just surprised that Bush didn't just go looking all over the WV repository for the notes only to find nothing just like he had done in the Press Club "skit" with the infamous Iraq WMD at which the attendees all guffawed.

          "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

          by PrahaPartizan on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 08:13:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You are mostly wrong (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PrahaPartizan, Mary Mike

            Google 'First Social Security Trustees Report' which will get you to a couple of blogposts of mine and links back to the original Report.

            First of all the Trust Fund came into existence on Jan 1, 1940 and so not a "one year cash management tool" created in the thirties. Second the Trust Funds were deliberately built up to even higher multiples of cost by 1950 than today, at one point the TF was over 2000 or 20 years of then annual cost (compared to 350 or so today). This was done in anticipation of the need to phase out Title 1 and fully phase in Title 2 (what we know as SS today).

            The legal target for the Trust Fund ratio is 100, or one full year of costs. Since payroll taxes can never go to zero but only lag anticipated levels a TF ratio of 100 is more like a one decade cash management tool than a one year. And this is basically how if functioned after 1971 when the TF went permanently cash flow negative but didn't actually reach crisis stage until 1981. And even this after the massive systematic shock created by the Stagflation attendant on the Oil Shock, the combination of high unemployment and high inflation being particularly deadly for SS finance.

            Thirdly at no point was there a "doubling" of FICA. The 1983 legislation phased in a 2 POINT increase in FICA not a 2X one and that over a period of nine years.

            Now it is true that the Commissioners didn't fully anticipate the balances of the 1990s, in part because they were not supplied breakdowns for such sun periods but instead had scores focusing on the standard 10 and 75 year windows. But they certainly knew that there would be SOME front loading.

            Fifthly the battle over annual COLAs was over by 1983, indeed the adoption of automatic COLA was a big contributer to the shortfall: Stagflation had benefits increasing a double digit annual rates while income was lagging due to unemployment. But that particular horse was out of the barn.

            Sixthly the 1939 Amendments MANDATED Trust Fund balances to be kept in "instruments fully guaranteed as to principal and interest" by the Federal Government, that is bonds and notes, and even before that there were Special fixed yield (and above market) securities created to hold these funds. That is by the time of the 1983 Commission Special Issues were already 58 years old and not in any reasonable use of the term a "fall back" and still less an innovation.

            I hate to be so harsh, because your intent is obviously right and I know where all the specific points you are advancing come from, and most are not from people of ill will. But the fact is that the inside workings of the Greenspan Commission were mostly a black box until a portion of Bob Ball's autobiography (originally a long chapter) was published under the title "The Greenspan Commission: What Really Happened". I happen to know some of the top staffers to the 1983 Commission and through them Ball's editor and so got an advanced copy a few years back. But it is in print now.

            Well worth reading. Because much of what we thought we "knew" especially in regards to the roles of Tip'N'Ronnie never actually happened.

            Couple this with the fact that few people ever have bothered to examine the actual year over year operations of Social Security between 1936 and 1982 and misconceptions abound.

            socialsecuritydefender.blogspot.com - SocSec.Defender at gmail.com - founder DK Social Security Defenders group - (hmm is there a theme emerging here?)

            by Bruce Webb on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 07:03:16 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  SS s special bonds (0+ / 0-)

          That must be re-paid as any bond.  Please stop spreading this false information.

          "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

          by noofsh on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 07:04:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  The national budget (7+ / 0-)

      ... has to repay the 2.5 trillion or so that was borrowed from the SS trust fund. Reducing payouts from SS means the debt to be repaid each year will be smaller. Congress loved it as long as SS ran a surplus each year. Now they hate it because they have to find a way to pay the debt.

      Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

      by ricklewsive on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 04:08:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In other words they are going to renege on (4+ / 0-)

        my $250 savings bond?
         I take it that to renege on foreign debt would have too many repercussions so they are trying to pick citizens' pockets?  That will not play well in Peoria

      •  Social Security Finance is Weird (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        concernedamerican, Mary Mike

        1. A common sense fix of Social Security on the revenue side (via cap increases or FiCA boosts) has the odd arithmetic result that the Trust Fund assets never have to be redeemed. It turns out that to meet long term measures of "actuarial balance" and it's stronger cousin "sustainable solvency" ALL TF balances have to be retained and indeed augmented somewhat on a year over year basis. Strangely enough a cap based fix dings the 90% of income folk while giving the top 1% a multi-trillion future break on transfers from the GF. That the billionaires are STILL putting out millions to kill Social Security just shows how deep their hatred of FDR and the New Deal goes.

        2. The first order effect of cutting Social Security cost via benefits cuts is actually to INCREASE debt to be repaid. That is any current year cut in cost or increase in revenue serves to increase TF year end balances, which increase scores dollar for dollar as an increase in Debt Subject to the Limit.

        Very little in SS Finance makes perfect sense at first glance, for example debt and deficit actually move in the opposite direction from what you would expect.

        As an example in FY 2000, the last full year of Clinton, the GF ran a moderate surplus, SS ran a substantial surplus and so obviously did the top line "unified budget surplus" reported in the MSM. But while this was reflected by a drop in Debt Held by the Public it resulted in an INCREASE in Debt Subject to the Limit/Total Public Debt. That is our idea of Debt being a simple sum of Deficits can break down at the margin as the TF scores as a real asset to SS but equally a mostly real debt to Treasury. (and even at that only "mostly").

        All the ugly details available in the archives of econoblog Angry Bear and at the successor site to the much missed MaxSpeak now transformed to EconoSpeak.

        socialsecuritydefender.blogspot.com - SocSec.Defender at gmail.com - founder DK Social Security Defenders group - (hmm is there a theme emerging here?)

        by Bruce Webb on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 07:21:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Fear mongering (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Janet 707

        Of course they are going to pay it back.  It's very simple.  Treasury can always print more money.  The only real danger is that money may be perceived as having a lower value compared to other international currency.  What is the best way to avoid that?  Stop fear mongering the debt.

        "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

        by noofsh on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 07:18:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The treasury doesn't print money (0+ / 0-)

          It prints debt in the form on bonds and gains the currency from bond buyers. If the bond holders then want to exchange the bond for currency they must find other buyers. If the Fed, in its manipulation of the economy, chooses to increase the amount of currency in circulation it can then buy those bonds and run a negative on its balance sheet. The fed creates the currency in circulation. The treasury circulates the currency via taxation and spending. If those don't balance the treasury creates a budget surplus of deficit.

          Not mongering at all.

          Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

          by ricklewsive on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 10:34:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Social Security is legally "off budget" (4+ / 0-)

      But when it comes to top line budget and legislation scoring that doesn't mean what you would think.

      Social Security surpluses are scored as positives for the top line number typically reported by CBO as constituting "The Deficit". Similarly Social Security assets are scored as a component of Debt Subject to the Limit.

      That is the only numbers actually reported in the MSM or on the Natioanal Debt Clock or in most papers released by Think Tanks INCLUDE Social Security.

      You can argue that their legal "off budget" status should result in numbers that isolate SS away from GF numbers in the way the law suggests they should. And if you delve into the data tables you can find those numbers.

      But those are just not the top line numbers used by just about everyone in almost all cases. Cutting Social Security benefits in the short term reduces current year and ten year deficits as those are reported. That may not be fair or arguably legal but it is what it is. And this Republican Rep at least recognizes that, though I doubt he will admit it in bold form.

      socialsecuritydefender.blogspot.com - SocSec.Defender at gmail.com - founder DK Social Security Defenders group - (hmm is there a theme emerging here?)

      by Bruce Webb on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 04:13:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cutting SS/Medicare = marching in streets (10+ / 0-)

    I said that well before Ryan's last budgetary wet dream.

    I was right, though the effect was disastrous for Democrats. An army of angry, retired or soon to be retired folk were sadly press-ganged into the service of those who actually despised the benefits they spent a lot of time screaming about keeping sacrosant.

    This happened right around the Tea Party decided that health care for all somehow meant that Medicare was going to be cut. It was a lie, of course, but one the Democrats were ill-prepared to effectively counter. Think though of the power behind that misguided crowd.

    When folks (or at least some older folk) merely thought (on the basis of significant misinformation) that the Federal Government was going to touch their retirements benefits and entitlements we did see real anger. We did see real moments of people on a lot of streets.

    True, they got there by virtue of fleets of buses hired out of the Koch brothers purses - but they were there. On the wrong side of the divide, but there nonetheless.

    They should have been squarely on the side of the Democratic Party, but they were not. A shell game had been played. The natural adherents of Democratic and progressive policies were drafted into protecting the interests of the very folks who plan to fleece their accounts, reduce their benefits.

    We cannot allow that to happen again.

    If this does come up in the manner Simpson describes, or even if it is merely raised as Ryan's <55 wet dream once more, it is vital that the Democratic Party steer the dialog to make clear who is really attacking Social Security / Medicare and how they are, and always have been, the only hope to keep these vital programs intact, funded, secure.

    •  I'll be happy to march in the streets (6+ / 0-)

      Even though this proposed change wouldn't affect me, I still believe in protecting the rights for fully funded SS for everyone younger than I.

      We can't let this program be undermined and dismantled and that's exactly what both the GOP and the WH are proposing.

      Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

      by Betty Pinson on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 01:06:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The GOP consistently makes the mistake that (7+ / 0-)

        everyone thinks like them:  "I've got mine, so screw you."  They think if they assure everyone over 55--those people won't give a hoot about anyone else coming behind them--including their children.  

        Why they think this "assurance" to everyone over 55 is some kind of magic message only makes sense to with people without empathy or a conscience.

        Happily, that is not the majority of individuals in this country.

        If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

        by livjack on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 01:18:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, but it is a majority of Republicans. (0+ / 0-)

          And since Republicans have taken over the legislatures and governorships of a majority of states and are busily working to take over the rest, they will eventually achieve their full agenda, albeit from the bottom up.

          A waist is a terrible thing to mind.

          by edg on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 03:55:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans really want to hurt women (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RadGal70, Womantrust, akmk

    As much as possible. They haven't been happy ever since the average people have been pooling their money to help each other, especially the women. They want women to have to depend on violent, cruel men to survive - that's what Republicans think a "family relationship" is.

    It really rankles them for women to actually help each other.

    Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 08:22:14 PM PST

  •  Key words: "But if his budget is honest" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bruce Webb, Womantrust

    Ryan is a grifter from day one. The chances of getting an honest budget from him are less than zero.  As he did before, he'll produce something that slashes taxes and predicts revenue amounts sufficient to balance by year 10.  Nothing will be provided to convince anyone that the numbers are more than fictitious except for the same old Republican Religion.  When taxes are cut the full potential of Americans to produce wealth is unfettered.  In fact if taxes are cut to zero the good citizens of this land wouldn't believe the good fortune that will come their way.  

    For anyone who dares to point out that cutting taxes to zero won't produce any revenue, no matter how much citizens prosper, there's a one word reply always ready.

    Socialist!

    "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

    by leftreborn on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 11:38:19 PM PST

  •  "Sell" being the operative word here (3+ / 0-)

    Snake oil salesmen scamming the local rubes.

    Peace on Earth was all it said.

    by BobBlueMass on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 08:11:31 AM PST

  •  SS has nothing to do with balancing the budget (4+ / 0-)

    Unless the federal government is planning to steal the money it owes the SS Trust Fund.

    They "think" they're going to get by with this public policy sleight of hand, but they won't.

    Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

    by Betty Pinson on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 01:03:09 PM PST

  •  I'm confused by this (0+ / 0-)

    Is he saying the eligibility age is going back up, and there's something wrong with that?

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 01:05:16 PM PST

  •  why are Republicans so thirsty always, LOL? nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Janet 707

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 01:07:48 PM PST

  •  They're going to have a hard time (5+ / 0-)

    finding enough ice floes for all the elderly, what with global warming and all.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 01:09:57 PM PST

  •  What's the Pope have to say about this, Ryan? (5+ / 0-)

    You cute little Ayn Rand worshiping catholic, you.

    Your father should've worn a rubber.

  •  Obama's Republican Budget (0+ / 0-)

    I think the Obama should propose a Republican budget that's honest, no magic asterisks, and say "here's the way do balance the budget by 2023. Vote for it, up or down." Then of course he'd say he'd veto it if it passed.

    The point is this. They'll deny that this is what they want, but they'd have at least some pressure to get all bogged down in how they can achieve their purported goals any other way. Also, it would set up an alternative scenario that's far worse than tax raises.

  •  Simpson had no idea what his (0+ / 0-)

    colleagues were up too

    Really. He just showed up on the floor one day and discovered some of the representatives talking about how the price of cat food was soon to go up.

    And then he started to put two and two together...the budgets, Sarah Palin, canada, Sarah Palin,

    and it hit him! The Republicans are scamming America!
    And then he realized he was a Republican!

  •  If it were only so easy (0+ / 0-)
    And if Democrats aren't able to to recapture the House after the GOP proposes these sorts of cuts for people at or near retirement age, they should just get out of politics, because you really can't imagine a bigger political gift.
    Gerrymandering has already made this a tough nut to crack. The Dems won the majority of the vote in 2012 and still lost the house because of the ultra Gerrymandered districts the Republicans created after 2010. it's going to be a long haul, even with the most brilliant of politics. I think there are a lot of Republicans who will gladly cut off their noses to spite their face if it means denying benefits to those who aren't "deserving" of those benefits.
    •  Exactly right (0+ / 0-)

      The deck is stacked against the Democrats in the House. Maybe, if the GOP puts up a very weak candidate against Hillary and she wins in a landslide, then the House might turn. More likely it will stay GOP until after the 2020 census.

  •  And, all they have to do... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Womantrust

    Is remove the cap on FICA taxes, which currently stands at $106,000 per year.  Those making more than that don't have to pay more right now, although their total earnings figure into the amount SSA pays them.  Removing the cap ensures solvency without the Republicans ripping off those that can afford it least.

    •  They could, but interestingly no one is (0+ / 0-)

      proposing that.  Have you heard even one pol promote this idea?  I haven't.

      The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

      by helfenburg on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 02:31:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not right (0+ / 0-)

      Benefits are not figured on total earnings but only on earnings under the then current caps during their working life's.

      Which current cap is $113,700 up from $110,100. Your $106,800 number is "so 2010 dude".

      Making your implied argument that a cap increase is automatically equitable because richer retirees are already getting higher benefits based on above cap earnings in need of some recalculation.

      As it turns out a simple elimination of the cap on covered earnings would eliminate the actuarial gap but there are all kinds of arguments from equity, efficiency, and crowding out that are simply missing from "Just Lift the Cap".

      socialsecuritydefender.blogspot.com - SocSec.Defender at gmail.com - founder DK Social Security Defenders group - (hmm is there a theme emerging here?)

      by Bruce Webb on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 03:07:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  That poor congressman (7+ / 0-)

    here he was, innocently selling his constituents on the idea that only their children would be utterly screwed, when in fact everybody was going to be utterly screwed. Poor guy. That's quite a burden for him.

  •  No it doesn't ... (0+ / 0-)
    I’ve been selling it for three or four years that way. So have many other members. Well, to balance in 10, that 55 years is going to move up to 58, 59, 60. It makes us look like we’re going back on what we were telling people when we were trying to sell this.
    It's just highlighting the fact that people 55 must face:  They're going to be 65 and 66 someday when Medicare and Social Security become realities.  It's harder to pay in the future the closer to the future you are.  Time is a funny thing.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 01:36:11 PM PST

  •  Did I miss the shared sacrifice part of this? (0+ / 0-)

    Close tax loopholes
    Eliminate carried interest exclusion
    Raise SS income threshold
    Cut DOD bloat

  •  GOP on suicide watch. Do not make an effort to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Womantrust, a2nite

    interfere.  Unfortunately, the Democratic Party has a nasty habit of grasping defeat out of the jaws of victory.  Slow down folks, and let the other side screw up.  Then think once, twice, and then act.

    There is no hell on earth appropriate enough for those who would promote the killing of another person, in the name of a god.

    by HarryParatestis on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 01:39:10 PM PST

    •  I have recently come to the conclusion that (0+ / 0-)

      Democrats are tacitly, quietly supporting Repubs.  There's no other plausible explanation.  They are too intelligent to be enabling Repubs so effectively because they just can't figure out how to oppose any more effectively than they do.

      I won't vote for them anymore.  I"m finished with them.

      The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

      by helfenburg on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 02:29:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  let the gop (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Womantrust

    commit suicide then the dems can increase taxes on those that have been draining the treasury at the expense of the 99%, and cut benefits logically to help balance the budget and keep the safety net reliable for those that have been giving for all their years, and the !% takers, screw them as they have been taking and screwing the 99% since 1980 and the beginning of the reagan bigoted racist revolution.

  •  I still don't get how (0+ / 0-)

    cutting Social Security helps to balance the budget. What it actually means is taking money from the SS fund to balance it, which means stealing money from the lower classes' retirement fund, basically.

    Am I wrong?

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 02:28:19 PM PST

    •  No, you're right, but they don't want you to say (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      La Gitane

      it so openly and forthrightly.  It embarrasses them.

      The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

      by helfenburg on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 02:32:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well I guess if you're (0+ / 0-)

        Running the country like a corporation, then raiding workers' pensions is how to do it. Just ask Mitt.

        "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

        by La Gitane on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 06:29:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure thing. Honoring promises to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          La Gitane

          employees and former employees?  So 20th century.  Not the way we do business in 2013!

          The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

          by helfenburg on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 04:02:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Important! (0+ / 0-)

    Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are vital to health of must of our seniors and the poor. We must look at the stimulus to the local economies these programs are. The money circulates back in FICA taxes paid by those working in the jobs created by the spending of seniors. Plus unless we are ready to let our seniors and poor die, they will be taken of care when their needs are critical and far more costly. The FICA tax should be raised slowly to .072 and the upper cut off of income now $110,000 should slowly be raised to $250,000.  The increases in income to the programs and the sharp attack on waste and abuse, will lead these programs to solvency far into the future. This is not just the humane thing to do. It is right thing to do for the over all health and well being of our local communities and the nation.

  •  Not a real budget (0+ / 0-)

    House Republicans aren't governing like a majority party, so this isn't a real budget anyway. It's a political statement. So they actually don't need to cut anyone's SS or Medicare. I don't understand why they wouldn't just make the numbers up from whole cloth, the way Republicans always do with their tax cut plans.

    •  CBO Scoring? (0+ / 0-)

      If you closely read the CBO score of the previous two rounds of the Ryan Roadmap they basically call out "bullshit!" on revenue projections, pointedly noting that BY THE DEMAND OF RYAN STAFFERS they just accepted magical fairy dust supply side dynamic scoring of revenue.

      A ten year balanced budget would require even huger helpings of Fairy Dust augmented by Magic Beans and would never survive the scoring leading to actual legislation. Elmendorf (the current CBO head) has rightie leanings but I don't think even he can bring his whole staff along or afford to be quite this degree of figure of fun. (the dude is almost painfully serious)

      socialsecuritydefender.blogspot.com - SocSec.Defender at gmail.com - founder DK Social Security Defenders group - (hmm is there a theme emerging here?)

      by Bruce Webb on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 03:15:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  GOP to Cut Social Security: Excellent Idea (0+ / 0-)

    The American people await the next great cut to their well being with baited breath, but a baited breath can go in one of two ways, I wonder which way the GOP will experience the teeth of the American people?

    GOP Motto:  CUT ELDERS:  THEY CAN TAKE IT

  •  the GOP plans to GET RID of SS and Medicare (0+ / 0-)

    ... for everybody currently under 55.

    GET RID OF IT.

    ABOLISH, ELIMINATE, ERADICATE.

    GOT THAT?

  •  Fuck the gop (0+ / 0-)

    They can keep coming up with more and more extreme stuff.  That is actually good and will help in 2014.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 06:59:47 PM PST

  •  Raise Wages; Get Jobs (0+ / 0-)

    No changes to Social Security should be considered if they are "balancing the budget" because Social Security and Medicare don't have anything to do with the budget.

    But if anyone is concerned about funding those programs, what they need to do is raise wages and get more people jobs. That will automatically raise funding for both those programs and make them immune to Republican interference.

  •  And also... (0+ / 0-)

    Re: SEQUESTER:

    The “smarter cuts” that Paul Ryan is currently touting are so extensive that they would eliminate food stamps for 1.8 million adults and children --- and would also eliminate Meals on Wheels, federal funding for child protective services, and healthcare for disabled adults and children.

    http://www.politicususa.com/...

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site