Skip to main content

Received this e-mail today from our favorite Congressman Alan Grayson (FL-9):

As the quest for a so-called “grand bargain” to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits “in exchange for” modest tax increases on the rich lurches forward, we thought that you might enjoy this brief moment of clarity from a recent national TV interview with Congressman Alan Grayson:

John Fugelsang: You posted . . . that the President's offer, essentially to cut Social Security benefits for seniors, does break a promise to America's seniors. Some Republicans, of course, seem to like that.  So, will Democrats support it, or will they support cuts to other social programs?

Congressman Alan Grayson: Well, the President specifically said in September 2008 that he would not change the formula for calculating the cost-of-living adjustment. That [would] take $1,000 a year out of the pockets of 90-year-olds. As for whether the Democrats will support it, I don't know, but I know they shouldn't. We've lined up 35 Democrats here in the House already who say, in the “Grayson-Takano Letter,” that they will vote against any cuts in Social Security, or Medicare, or Medicaid benefits.

John: So let me ask you, is it worth keeping the sequester cuts and foregoing any new revenues, in return for keeping Social Security as it is?

Alan: That's not a choice that we should ever have to make. Social Security is not responsible for the deficit. The Social Security Fund has $1.9 trillion in it. It's the largest sovereign wealth fund in the entire world. The Social Security Fund has been operating at a surplus now ever since the fund was founded, ever since the program was founded. We are 25 years away from anything resembling a problem of any kind with the Social Security system. In the next quarter of a century, under current law, the beneficiaries can get all that they're entitled to. I don't understand why we're fretting over what might or might not happen in the year 2037, when we have 25 million Americans who are looking for full-time jobs [right now].

John: Well as you know, here on Viewpoint, we don't like to call these programs 'entitlements'--we call them 'earned benefits'. But is there no compromise to be had for the President, unless he offers something like that up?

Alan: That's just not the way you negotiate. The President has offered something up, in return for nothing. There's no sign that the Republicans have any interest in making any sort of deal with the President, and even if they did, we're not talking about things that are commensurate with each other. You can't equate cutting Social Security benefits, cutting Medicare benefits -- breaking the promise that we Americans have made to ourselves, the covenant that we make to ourselves -- you can't equate that with having millionaires and billionaires and multinational corporations finally pay their fair share of taxes.

John: With over 80% of the Bush tax cuts made permanent, I would add. So, let me ask you then, sir, for President Obama, is this an elaborate piece of political theater? Is he taking a page out of Dick Morris' playbook for Bill Clinton by triangulating against House Democrats on this issue? So he can put himself in the middle of the political spectrum, where they say most voters live?

Alan: He may think so, but he's making a terrible mistake. This is not a 'Sister Souljah' moment for the President. In fact, the President, I believe, is soon going to find through public polling that this is a terrible mistake. 90% of Democrats and 80% of the Republicans are against this specific proposal. If you're talking more generally about cuts in benefits, you find that 80% of the Democrats and 65% of the Republicans are against this kind of proposal. This doesn't make any sense, either from a policy point of view, or a moral point of view, or even a political point of view. In fact, the President is putting at risk all the progress that we've made in identifying the Republican Party as the party in favor of cuts for Medicare and Social Security benefits, and the Democratic Party as the party that will protect the public from the Republicans.

Click here to see the video, or to show your support for our Congressman With Guts:

https://secure.actblue.com/...

You can click here to donate to Grayson's campaign and watch his interview with John Fugelsang:

https://secure.actblue.com/...

Originally posted to pdc on Tue May 14, 2013 at 01:14 PM PDT.

Also republished by Pushing back at the Grand Bargain, In Support of Labor and Unions, and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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

  •  Middle of the political spectrum - HA! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musiccitymollie, aliasalias, 3goldens

    Gee, we don't really like you having the IRS mess with us but we'll forgive you if you cut our Social Security benefits.  

  •  Hear, hear, Rep Grayson! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias, 3goldens, greenbell, quill, chimene
    Alan: That's just not the way you negotiate. The President has offered something up, in return for nothing. There's no sign that the Republicans have any interest in making any sort of deal with the President, and even if they did, we're not talking about things that are commensurate with each other. You can't equate cutting Social Security benefits, cutting Medicare benefits -- breaking the promise that we Americans have made to ourselves, the covenant that we make to ourselves -- you can't equate that with having millionaires and billionaires and multinational corporations finally pay their fair share of taxes.

    Alan: He may think so, but he's making a terrible mistake. This is not a 'Sister Souljah' moment for the President. In fact, the President, I believe, is soon going to find through public polling that this is a terrible mistake. 90% of Democrats and 80% of the Republicans are against this specific proposal. If you're talking more generally about cuts in benefits, you find that 80% of the Democrats and 65% of the Republicans are against this kind of proposal. This doesn't make any sense, either from a policy point of view, or a moral point of view, or even a political point of view.  In fact, the President is putting at risk all the progress that we've made in identifying the Republican Party as the party in favor of cuts for Medicare and Social Security benefits, and the Democratic Party as the party that will protect the public from the Republicans.

    Couldn't have said it better myself.  

    Thank you, Rep Grayson.  And thanks pdc, for this diary.

    Grayson is one of several reps (from states other than my own) that I've supported with contributions in the past.  Anymore, I prefer to donate directly to candidates, and bypass organizations.   But that's just me.  ;-)

    Mollie

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


    hiddennplainsight

    by musiccitymollie on Tue May 14, 2013 at 01:45:07 PM PDT

  •  Problem is that he does not state the number (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbell, musiccitymollie

    as a percentage of every SS recipient to give a better idea of the loss to each recipient.  From memory it seems average payment for recipient is $1400 and about $100 goes to MC, leaving $1300/month.  SS provides about 60% of average retiree's income, from memory.  

    The Catfood's latest proposal is about a de facto across the board cut of 10% or $140/month.

    I invite the representative to join me living on the average income of a SS recipient for a couple of months and seeing how large a cut of $140/month looms.  I wager Grayson cannot come up with a monthly budget.  Are you listening, Alan?

    •  entlord, it's worse than you perceive, according (0+ / 0-)

      to Ms Janice Gregory, President of NASI (National Academy of Social Insurance).

      Here's a "Tweet" with a short video clip of Ms Gregory on this topic.

      According to Ms Gregory:

      Today's (this was in 2010) Social Security 'replacement rate' is 39% at age 65, AFTER paying one's Medicare Premium.

      And, that by 2030, the Social Security 'replacement rate' will be only 32%.

      And that does not even count the taxing of Social Security benefits (which may not apply to all Social Security beneficiaries--I'm not sure).

      Depressing, huh?

      Mollie

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


      hiddennplainsight

      by musiccitymollie on Tue May 14, 2013 at 04:42:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And the cost of any additional medical care, (0+ / 0-)

    supplemental insurance, long-term care, dental care, vision care--all sky-rockets when turns 90.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site