I think TheMomCat was half kidding when she said that we should cover this like gravy on a waffle (not from the South? Try Syrup) but I’m up early so why not? First, from Atrios, your action agenda-
To The Phones
No cuts to Social Security.
Gaius Publius @ Americablog offers this helpful digest-
What are we protecting?
We’re protecting three social insurance programs. These are:
■ Social Security
What are we protecting them from? Anything that:
■ Reduces benefits
■ Turns the program from insurance to welfare (which only the “deserving” have access to)
How are these programs being threatened?
As near as I can tell, these are the threats. Note to foxes – this is the hands-off list. Each of these seven items is a benefit cut:
1. Raising the retirement age
2. Chained CPI instead of current COLA
3. Means-testing benefits
4. Raising the eligibility age
5. Increasing Part B premiums
6. Increasing “cost-sharing”
7. Shifting costs to the states by any means, such as “federal blended rate,” etc.
Now today’s installment, from Robert Reich (contrary to a rumor I just made up, there is NO indication he has a cameo in The Hobbit)-
Cliff Hanger: The President’s Unnecessary and Unwise Concessions
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
These concessions aren’t necessary. If the nation goes over the so-called “fiscal cliff” and tax rates return to what they were under Bill Clinton, Democrats can then introduce a tax cut for everyone earning under $250,000 and make it retroactive to the start of the year.
Social Security should not be part of any such deal anyway. By law, it can’t contribute to the budget deficit. It’s only permitted to spend money from the Social Security trust fund.
Besides, the President’s proposed reduction in annual Social Security cost-of-living adjustments would save only $122 billion over ten years. Yet it would significantly harm the elderly.
It defies logic and fairness to give more tax cuts to the wealthy while cutting benefits for the near-poor.
The median income of Americans over 65 is less than $20,000 a year. Nearly 70 percent of them depend on Social Security for more than half of this. The average Social Security benefit is less than $15,000 a year.
Hands off Social Security. If the Republicans are willing to raise tax rates on high earners but demand more spending cuts in return, the President should offer larger cuts in defense spending and corporate welfare.