Barricades, anyone?

It's time to go to the phones. Again.

Obama budget would cut entitlements in exchange for tax increases

Dave Johnson laid it out in an email:

The Obama budget is going to offer “Grand Bargain” cuts in Social Security and Medicare, hoping to get Republicans to offer tax increases. We are heading into a retirement crisis. The 401K experiment didn’t work. Companies have pulled back on pensions. And the squeeze that has been on regular people for decades means that people also do not have the savings they need to get them through old age. And all the money went to the top. The last thing the country needs is cuts in essential services for the elderly.

Susie Madrak has the skinny:

It's official, folks. The Grand Bargain is here.

Time to take action. If we don't unleash holy hell, this will go through.

Even though we've been warning you for a long time, it's still hard to believe that a Democratic president is offering up the crown jewels of Democratic policy -- and for a mere pittance. We need to fight back. You can call or write your congressperson or the White House if you want, but it's most useful to start with your senators. Tell them you're not willing to starve Granny to make the Republicans happy.

We're going to concentrate on the Senate, because they'll probably send a bipartisan bill to the House in order to bypass Boehner's Hastert rule. Even if you called last week, call today. Be prepared to call every day for the next week. (Here's the link.) Please leave a note in comments telling us how your call went

Joan Walsh writing at Salon, New poll: Seniors of both parties revile chained CPI:

AARP reveals that 70 percent of voters age 50-plus oppose the use of the chained CPI to cut benefits, and two-thirds of them – including 60 percent of Republicans — say they would be “considerably less likely” to support a congressional candidate if he or she backed a new way of calculating consumer prices. And 84 percent of voters over 50 say Social Security has no place in budget-deficit discussions, since it is self-financed.

Make those phones ring. Focus. Be. The. Phone.

(Cross-posted from Scrutiny Hooligans.)


Social Security at age 80-something....

is yet another example of a program ushered into existence with a boatload of promises (we'll never tax it, we'll never touch it for Congressional budgeting, we'll never means test people for it, etc.) most of which have been systematically broken over the decades. If a fight is going to be mounted over Social Security, we should demand that every "modification" to the program since it's enactment be repealed.

I called and emailed the Whitehouse yesterday.

I hope you will too. The comment line is 1-202-456-1111.

My wife and I worked at the local OFA office last election cycle doing our best to get out the vote for Obama...and we contributed $$ to his campaign. His capitulation...perhaps more changes to Social Security is just plain maddening and unfathomable. He promised not to allow this, much less initiate it.

There are many proposed fixes to the longer term viability of social security and medicare...most of which involve raising the earnings cut-off level where deductions cease for the year. I support this approach. It simply means the more you have the more you put in, and I think that's a reasonable approach.

Reality is that very few Americans have enough money set aside for their "golden years" to even eat well...much less handle unexpected expenses or raising prices. Some will likely say that's their problem...didn't live frugally enough/save/whatever...and I suppose there's a bit of truth in such criticisms. HOWEVER...when the median income is less than $50K, and the upward side of that number is skewed to a very few folks having all the wealth, reality is that lots of people are just barely getting by every month and saving for the future is a pipedream. So...if social Security is going to be the lifeline for so many, how can we consider reducing it when we can easily pay for it?

I know it won't happen, but when the assholes in Washington give up their tax-payer funded health care and exhorbitant retirement plans...and congressmen stop pissing money away on tea-pot museums and the like, then maybe we can talk about reducing government spending in a reasonable way.

Please take the time to call the whitehouse.

Stan Bozarth

Capitulator in Chief

Obama's been capitulating and selling out on promises made or alluded to since 2009. Hopefully this "grand bargain" will be enough to wake up all but the most fervent believers in brand Obama. I wish us all luck with calling the White House and applying pressure, but I don't believe there are enough of us to outweigh the stacks of money the tiny minority at the top can lavish on him or any other candidate/official. I'm afraid the federal level is lost. Our only hope now is to take back the states before the Popes and Kochs of the world can finish the job.


"...the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be."

Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail