To the Phones: No Cuts to Social Security

(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Cross posted from The Star Hollow Gazette

As you know, if you read this blog, or any of the true left wing sites, like FiredogLake and Corrente, that Pres. Obama has once again gone back on his word that cuts to Social Security were off the table as a bargaining chip for a “Grand Bargain.” He has proposed to use  the chained CPI to calculate cost of living increases in Social Security benefits. Now House Minority Leader Nancy is saying that she could live with tying Social Security to the chained CPI, plus she said Democrats would stick with the president to avoid going over the fiscal cliff.

David Dayen at FDL News summed up Pelosi’s meaning and later White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said at the press briefing:

Pelosi tried to emphasize the unformed idea that there would be “protections” for the most vulnerable. For example, the disabled on Supplemental Security Income might not be subject to chained CPI, and there could be a “bump-up” for people aged 80, to compensate for the cumulative effect of the benefit cut. Again, the vulnerable are a massive part of this population (pdf). This is almost the entire income source for almost half of seniors, and for 3/4 of widows or unmarried women. And 15.1% of seniors live in poverty. And if you hold all of them harmless, you erode the actual savings you can derive from this. The three-legged stool of retirement has withered away, especially since the dot-com bust and the Great Recession. This argues strongly for increasing Social Security benefits, not cutting them and not even mitigating cuts.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney called this a “technical fix” to better calculate inflation. Bullshit. If this were just a technical fix, you would adjust so that the fix wouldn’t hit beneficiaries in a regressive fashion, with the most pain at the bottom. This plan doesn’t, to any real degree. The goal isn’t to properly measure inflation, it’s to save money for the federal government. It always has been.

Well, it time to make noise and fight back. Atrios has sounded the alert and we should take to the phones:

White House


Your senators

Your House member.

No cuts to Social Security.

Keep it up everyday, jam the lines until the President and Congress get the message:

No cuts to Social Security.


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  1. TMC
  2. Xanthe

    I’ve not been blogging for a bit because I do not believe in our Congress anymore at all.  But you are still here saying all the right and good things.

    We have been sold out – and we will continue to be sold out.

    Recently Dick came out saying that SS should not be part of what is laughingly called the fiscal cliff

    – he never came out strongly against the cuts.

    In any event, he is a liar.  As they all are.

    However, I continue to call Rep. Lipinsky (mostly because he has nice staffers.)  

    Question:  has anyone here ever heard obama mentioning FDR, Harry Truman, LBJ, Kennedy (well maybe Kennedy) in his magnificent speeches — I don’t recall.  Just askin.


  3. terryhallinan

    It sounds now almost certain the loons will take us over the fiscal cliff.

    Obama’s current surrender seems sure to be rejected.  Of course nothing prevents another surrender in 2003.

    Best,  Terry

  4. tahoebasha3

    I’ve been at the phones off and on all this week and last, e-mailing, writing, rallying, etc.

    Note how careful they’ve all been to avoid any talk about cutting the Defense Dept. budget significantly?  Or watching over Defense Dept. waste?  Or suggest, gawd forbid, that the oil company subsidies be dropped?  ETC.

    No, let’s go after the people who have already sacrificed until they’re black and blue, you know, the so-called “middle-class.

    What “sacrifices” has the top 2% “shared” in these past twelve years?  Does anyone know what they were? They’ve profited, instead — they’ve profited from the wars, the Bush tax cuts, the foreclosures, the 401-k’s, the bank bailouts, the tax code loopholes and even not having to contribute to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, while the consequences of all of the foregoing have been borne by the now decimated so-called “middle-class”. Yet many of those 2% rich paid little, if any, taxes at all. And whatever taxes they paid were nowhere near in proportion to their incomes, while the “middle-class” paid proportionately more on their incomes right down the line.

    There is a concerted effort, it seems, by our government, to continue to drive this country into a third world status.  (The corporations would be only too glad to come back then.)

    I plan to call everyday.  The lines were very tied up today, including Obama’s.  In that case, I call their local offices.  I urge everyone to get on the bandwagon and call until your fingers drop off from dialing!  (Well, maybe, not to that extent, but close!) Obviously, the matters at hand concern each of us today and the future for our children and grandchildren.


  5. Xanthe

    a lot of noise right now from the village press.  

    but it would be ironic if they turned down the beginning of the gutting of the social networks.  They’re surely not that crazy.  

    Then I remember that Monica Lewinsky was responsible for the severing of the clinton-gingrich plans.

    Perhaps fate will step in again.  

  6. tahoebasha3

    I’ve been urging that we go over the mythical “fiscal cliff.”  I think that’s exactly what we should do.  The Bush Tax cuts, in reality, saved very little in the way of taxes for the average American worker.  Obama has said repeatedly, “it would save the Americans making under $250,000 about $2,000 a year.”  Those must be the people making just short of $250,000 per year that would save that much.

  7. Xanthe

    long time no see.  Hope you are well.  Merry Holidays.

  8. What's Left

    I agree with you Basha. In my opinion the Bush tax cuts should expire because they were never paid for.  The Republicans don’t seem to care if they spend money when it helps the upper crust.  Also, by draining federal cash, conservatives can say how the only sensible thing to do is to cut the social safety net (something they don’t need), so more money can be channeled into corporations to help the economy when all it does is to help businesses build overseas.

    No one can argue the SS needs help, so why aren’t the democrats suggesting things like raising the maximum income that is taxed for SS?

  9. banger

    Yes, the “cliff” is largely a fantasy and a device to begin a period of major cuts to all social spending but it does, in the short-run, have the end result of stalling the economy (which may or many not be a good thing).

    How this thing shapes up will certainly be fascinating–it’s a complex political game with a complex bunch of political forces working. I don’t think any of us know the nature of what forces are working and for what reasons or what ends.  

  10. tahoebasha3

    Yes, it’s been a while. I, too, have been absent for a spell, but not absent in efforts, for whatever they may be worth.

    Doing alright, that is, as much as any of us can be doing alright.  “‘Tis the season to be jolly . . . Ho, Ho, Ho! “They” certainly know how to instill the holiday spirit, n’est que c’est pas?

    Happy Holidays to you!  

  11. tahoebasha3

    Not much, that’s for sure.  Catchy handle!

    There has been a concerted effort for 12 years plus to find the means to dismantle and ultimately, destroy Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and the effort becomes more intensified each year or thereabouts, right around Christmas time. It’s particularly despicable, since the most vulnerable are being targeted.  And, considering that Americans have already lost just about everything, their jobs, their healthcare, their homes, their savings, their 401-k’s, all from which the top 2% have profited, what’s left to them?  The Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid Trust Funds, which belong to us, and not the government, are all that’s left to and for them.  The Trust Funds are not in any imminent danger and a solution for longevity, of course, is to lift the cap of $110,000 all the way to the top, or to say, $500,000.  Bush’s bad drug plan prevents negotiations with insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies for discounted rates, but even that could be dealt with and would lower Medicare and Medicaid costs.  Bear in mind, that the government’s role in relation to the Trust Funds is one of a Fiduciary.  

    FIDUCIARY:  A fiduciary duty[2] is the highest standard of care at either equity or law. A fiduciary (abbreviation fid) is expected to be extremely loyal to the person to whom he owes the duty (the “principal”): he must not put his personal interests before the duty, and must not profit from his position as a fiduciary, unless the principal consents. The word itself comes originally from the Latin fides, meaning faith, and fiducia, trust. .  .

    When a fiduciary duty is imposed, equity requires a stricter standard of behavior than the comparable tortious duty of care at common law. It is said the fiduciary has a duty not to be in a situation where personal interests and fiduciary duty conflict, a duty not to be in a situation where his fiduciary duty conflicts with another fiduciary duty, and a duty not to profit from his fiduciary position without express knowledge and consent. A fiduciary cannot have a conflict of interest. It has been said that fiduciaries must conduct themselves “at a level higher than that trodden by the crowd”3] and that “[t]he distinguishing or overriding duty of a fiduciary is the obligation of undivided loyalty.”[4]  . . . .  [

    I think the “chained CPI” will be the surreptitious means by which they will funnel monies to Wall Street and/or the wars (using the regular COLA amount and taking the difference between it and the “chained CPI” . . . . similar to the backdoor method of the so-called “tax cuts” for the past two years, wherein an employee got a 2% break in his/her FICA taxes and the employer got a 2% all the way up to 6.5%, depending, break on it’s FICA taxes, which defunded the Trust Funds by those amounts and the difference was funneled to the Federal Treasury . . . . one pays taxes on his total income at the end of the year, which shortened the 100% payouts from 27 years to 21 years.) Anyway, that’s what I surmise of the situation.

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