Cutting Social Security is the New TARP

Politicians who signed off on TARP lived to regret the day they did (especially Republican ones, just ask Bob Bennett and Mike Castle). Those votes will haunt the congressmen who supported the bailouts for years to come. That's the same exact thing that's going to happen to politicians who sell out the middle class by agreeing to cut Social Security.

Sign our Petition telling the President not to touch Social Security HERE

The chairmen of the Deficit-Reduction Commission just released a report that recommends that we cut benefits for current retirees by 3 to 6% and eventually raise the retirement age to 69. Why not make it 89 while you're at it? At that point, Social Security will be completely solvent forever because only three people will live long enough to collect it. Remember, it's not just that you can't retire till later, it's that you don't get benefits for those extra two to four years - that's a huge cut of your Social Security.

Plus, to add insult to injury they also propose to cap Medicare. Some worry this might even lead to rationing. This helps because the cuts to Social Security didn't hurt enough.

These are all non-starters. Social Security currently has a $2.5 trillion surplus. Anyone telling you otherwise is lying. They have created a fake crisis about Social Security not being able to pay full benefits by 2037. So, the answer is to shred benefits now? How does that help?

Of course, this proposal doesn't help you to collect the Social Security payments that you're owed after a lifetime of paying into the system. It helps them rob you. Now, those are stark terms, but totally justified when you consider the second part of this so-called Deficit-Reduction Commission. Instead of addressing the deficit by doing spending cuts and tax increases (both painful and both necessary to reduce deficits), they actually cut taxes. That's mental. That makes the deficit much, much worse.

They propose to cut the top rate from 35% to 23% for the personal income tax, and the corporate tax rate would get cut from 35% to 26%. What an unbelievable joke. So, you have to cut Social Security and Medicare because you just had to give the rich one more gigantic tax cut? They'll claim they are getting rid of some tax exemptions and credits, but that doesn't come close to making up for the tax cuts they have proposed.

But we have to thank them for making their intentions undeniably clear. This Deficit-Reduction Commission has nothing to do with the deficit. It never did. I was always thought it was an excuse to cut Social Security to pay for the tax cuts that went to the rich and ate up the Social Security surplus. It turns out, it's more audacious than that. It cuts Social Security to pay for whole new round of tax cuts for the rich. The balls on these guys.

A new poll out by PPP indicates that when asked how to balance the budget, 43% of real Americans said tax the wealthy, 22% said cut defense spending and only 12% said cut Social Security. They didn't stutter. That's crystal clear. If some of our current politicians make the mistake of backing these cuts for Social Security, those numbers are going to come back to bite them. And they'll be our former politicians. I, for one, will work the rest of my life to kick out of office anyone who signs off on this robbery. I don't give a damn what party they claim to be from. That includes the president.

Through all of my frustrations with the president, I have never called for a primary opponent against him in 2012. And I don't know any other established progressive that has. If he pushes for this plan, he should definitely get a primary challenger. Because I couldn't vote for a guy who agreed to rob the middle class like this. This is definitely the last straw. If he does this, then he was never on our side to begin with.

Sign our Petition telling the President not to touch Social Security HERE

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Tags: Alan Simpson, Barack Obama, Cenk Uygur, Alan Simpson, Debt, Barack Obama, deficit, Cenk Uygur, Debt, Deficit Reduction Commission, deficit, Erskine Bowles, Deficit Reduction Commission, Medicare, Erskine Bowles, Social Security, Medicare, TARP, Social Security, TARP, Taxes, Taxes, The Young Turks, Politics News, The Young Turks, Politics News (all tags)




The tax the wealthy mantra is just a another case of class warfare. If you ask someone who has less money if someone who has more to pay more, of course they say yes. Fact is, it has been studied to death, if you taxed everyone in the top tax brackers more, it still wouldnt balance the budget or pay off the debt. We dont have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. The government spends too much. We should cut the size of government, increase cost sharing of benefits for government employees and do away with defined benefit plans and transition to defined contribution plans. Taxpayer funded pensions are not sustainable and need to be made a thing of the past. Make everyone pay into social security and offer a defined contribution plan. Further lift the cap on SS earning so that everyone pays regardless of income. In regard to taxing higher earners that makes sense in terms of shoring up SS.

by BuckeyeBlogger 2010-11-12 08:54AM | 1 recs
RE: Facts

Having a vibrant economy means that you have a middle class that has enough money to buy unnecessary things.  The scale of that market is where all innovation comes from.  No one starts a business to cater to Bill Gates in the hopes that Bill will like their product.  Tons of people start companies selling to groups of people who have the same collective net worth of Bill Gates.

So we need the distribution of money to be a certain way for optimum results.  This isn't a rich poor thing, this is a maximize GDP thing.  

This is why the estate tax aka death tax is so important.  Its not to raise money.  Its to insure the distribution doesn't get too top heavy.  

Bill Gates doesn't have any expenses that are significant relative to his net worth, he is essentially able to live for free relative to his net worth.  If he gave his kids his money they could retire at 18 and never contribute to the economy and still have enough money to give their kids who would retire at 18 etc.  The only things acting against this are having more children and splitting the money up or having a larger one estate tax.

If our American distribution of money is different than it was in more prosperous times then we need to move the distribution to be more like it was during those times.  If I believed that a distribution will as many bill gates as possible and everyone else super poor would be the greatest good I would argue for it.  But I think the ideal wealth distribution is for as many families as possible to have $1,000,000 in assets.  

Bill Gates and Warren Buffet would together bring something like 50,000 families up to the one million in assets level.  Those 50,000 competing against each other to be a $2,000,000 family is where the economic job creation occurs.  But we need to have some $2,000,000 families for this to be plausible or even $10,000,000 families.  But its not clear to me that having $100,000,000 families really adds anything.


Its not about hurting the rich.  Its about maximizing GDP.  If you do it honestly, you actually maximize GDP.  If there is growth everything else takes care of itself.

by donkeykong 2010-11-12 01:02PM | 0 recs
15 Mind-Blowing Facts About Wealth And Inequality In America

Just ignore Buckeye. Here's a source of the data or reality.

The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Cliché, sure, but it's also more true than at any time since the Gilded Age. The poor are getting poorer, wages are falling behind inflation, and social mobility is at an all-time low. If you're in that top 1%, life is grand.

Read more:
There has been class warfare over the past three decades. And you know what: the wealthy have won. The war is over; the rest of us below the 1st or 5th percentile have lost.
by MainStreet 2010-11-12 11:46AM | 0 recs
Obama proposed to increase the capital gains/dividend rate from 15% to 20%.

Just how will that help. It's a bone to the wealthy. Why? Because according to 2000 figures, 85% of the stock market, and 90% of all business assets are owned by the top 10%. All those 401K and retirement fund investments we hear about: they constitute a measily 15% of the stock market.

I could agree that investors in new ventures that might increase employment should have a lower tax rate, but that is not what most stock investments consist of. In most cases, it is just another source of income, money making money.


by MainStreet 2010-11-12 11:54AM | 0 recs
Social Security needs to be cut

Social security needs to pay out what it takes in with a little left over for orphans, SSI etc.

Currently something is wrong with the payments where they are projected to exceed whats paid in (and not just while baby boomers retire).

Freeze payouts, raise the retirement age whatever.  But they need a tune up so that it isn't this monster eating up all the money with our congress believing they don't have the power to cut it.

As lifespan goes up so to should retirement age.



by donkeykong 2010-11-12 12:44PM | 0 recs
RE: Social Security needs to be cut

Eating up all the money? You mean eating up all the money that was paid in by SS taxes? There's still 2.5 trillion of that left. Oh, I forgot, Bush, Clinton, and Bush "borrowed" it. And of course it never has to be paid back to the people who paid it. Just used to fund more tax cuts.

by antiHyde 2010-11-13 09:38PM | 0 recs
Certain things, I like

Get rid of the mortgage interest tax deduction.  All it does is inflate housing prices.  Raise capital gains taxes.  Higher rates would make day-trading and stock-option bonuses less attractive.  Raising the retirement age is probably on the horizon whether we want to admit it or not.

Other things, I'm not as jazzed about.  Why cap income tax at 23%??  That's absurd.  I can see eliminating the Earned Income Tax Credit, but not when the top earners are paying 23%.  Again, absurd.

But this is an exercise in futility.  The only parts of this that will even get voted on are the reduction in the federal workforce and cutting taxes for the rich.  Thank God for the 40-vote filibuster.

by the mollusk 2010-11-12 10:58PM | 0 recs
Cut federal workforce

and hire more contractors. Doesn't sound like a good plan to me. Sounds like welfare for connected contractors.

by antiHyde 2010-11-13 09:40PM | 0 recs
Cut federal workforce

and hire more contractors. Doesn't sound like a good plan to me. Sounds like welfare for connected contractors.

by antiHyde 2010-11-13 09:40PM | 0 recs
RE: Certain things, I like

Getting rid of mortgage interest tax deduction along with being unfair to those who showed initiative and bought real estate is also stupid as it will just make the housing issue worse.

God wasn't fair when he gave out talent.  People like Steve Jobs being able to raise money is good for the country.

The number one place that money initially comes is from mortgages on real estate.

by donkeykong 2010-11-13 10:39PM | 0 recs
RE: Cutting Social Security is the New TARP

I may be a heretic, but I would like Dems to support this plan (hopefully with some modification).  While I don't like the Social Security cuts, getting the program on sounder financial footing would present opportunities in the future to expand the program again. We have all seen the "day of reckoning" pushed further into the future each year as long as the economy grows. We just must insist that the trust fund be sancrosanct.  Congress must appropriate the dollars to trust fund when it is needed.

Polically, it is also a big win. The senate republicans will filibuster it because of the tax increases, and Dems will be able to point out that they had already voted for a reduction package when the fireworks begin next year.


by pat0704 2010-11-13 02:24PM | 0 recs
RE: Cutting Social Security is the New TARP

"Polically, it is also a big win."


Totally agree.  But not for democrats. 

American's don't share the values with regards to liberals on social programs unless they feel rich and safe.

This is exactly the kind of thing that doesn't make people feel rich or safe.

You will find the political climate becomes VERY conservative VERY quickly if you try that much change.




by donkeykong 2010-11-13 10:44PM | 0 recs
Yoking the petition to twitter is not a good idea.

Not everyone likes to tweet. Get a generic petition up so everyone is able to sign it.

by MainStreet 2010-11-15 10:50AM | 0 recs


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