What a Romney-Ryan presidency would look like.
What a Romney-Ryan presidency would look like.
Think Progress: Texas Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), a libertarian hero, last year said that allowing Social Security to exist is akin to permitting slavery. But during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today, Paul admitted to the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein that he collects Social Security checks anyway:
STEIN: A bit of a personal question then, are you on Social Security? Do you get Social Security checks?
PAUL: I do.
STEIN: Well, I mean, is there — you just told younger generations that they should ween themselves off this social contract.
PAUL: That is true.
STEIN: But you haven’t done it yourself…Don’t you think you chould have set a good example for the future generations. You’re not the wealthiest man in congress, I know that, but you have enough means to take care of yourself in retirement…Couldn’t you have set an example?
PAUL: No. I think the programs are so designed, just as I use the post office too, I use government highways, I do that too, I use the banks, the federal reserve system, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t work to remove this in the same way on Social Security.
It’s ‘the system,’ man. So while Paul got his, he’s working to cancel yours.
Report: Few Workers Would Be Affected By Change That Ensures 75 Years Of Full Social Security Funding – Currently, the payroll tax — which funds Social Security and Medicare — is only applied to an individual’s first $110,100 in wages, meaning that middle-class and low-income workers pay the tax on their entire income, while the wealthy pay it on only a fraction. As CEPR found, just 6.8 percent of workers would be affected if the cap were eliminated […] Eliminating the payroll tax cap would ensure Social Security could pay full benefits for nearly 75 years. However, this simple solution is ignored by conservatives, who would rather take the more regressive step of raising the retirement age, or simply privatize the program. And it certainly doesn’t help that the mainstream media consistently misinforms the public about Social Security’s financial health, ginning up a “crisis” while ignoring that one simple step would wipe the crisis away entirely. – ThinkProgress
DESPITE WHAT YOU MAY HEAR FROM REPUBLICANS, LISTEN TO DEMOCRATS ON SOCIAL SECURITY
Get ready for the pro-Paul Ryan austerity headlines that will predict an imminent demise of Social Security. On April 23, the Social Security Trustees Report for 2012 is expected to be released – and you can expect that the shills for the one percent will be blaring that seniors may need to live on cat food if the US is going to be saved from financial ruin. But an advance analysis of the report on the financial status of the program, posted on NiemanWatchdog, argues that “last year’s report projected that at the end of 2011, Social Security would have an accumulated surplus of around $2.7 trillion, which it now has. This year’s report will show that it will be even higher at the end of 2012.” That’s right, the current $2.7 trillion surplus of Social Security funds is expected to rise by the end of this year.
This seems to be a common theme of the Republican Teaparty: I’ve got mine. Screw you.
“For the next generation of retirees we should slowly raise the retirement age,” Romney said without giving further details.
The normal retirement age in the United States currently is 65, and 67 for people born after 1959.
Romney also waded into the divisive issue of Medicare, advocating partial privatization of the highly popular system that provides health care to seniors and the disabled.
“Medicare should not change for anyone who is in the program or who is about to be in it, we should honor the commitments we have made to our seniors,” he said.
But he added: “Tomorrow’s seniors should have the freedom to choose what their health coverage looks like. Younger Americans today, when they turn 65 should have a choice between traditional Medicare and other private health care plans.”
For those hard teapartying Republican freshmen, here’s what’s commonly known as “doing the people’s business:”
The Gang of Six, a bipartisan group of senators co-led by Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., worked behind the scenes for nearly six months to come up with a budget compromise.
In recent days, the group finalized a plan to cut roughly $3.7 trillion from the budget over the next decade. Members would trim domestic spending in such areas as defense and farm subsidies, would reform entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security and would increase tax revenues by $1 trillion by closing tax loopholes while eliminating the controversial alternative minimum tax.
“The complexity of the issue is evidenced by the fact that it took the six of us so long,” said Chambliss who, in recent weeks, as other bipartisan debt talks failed, redoubled efforts to help finalize the group’s plan.
The proposal stays largely clear of addressing raising the debt ceiling, but Tuesday Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he might be open to taking parts of the Gang of Six’s proposal and pairing it with a plan to raise the nation’s debt limit. Doing so might resolve some lawmaker concerns, said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass who called the plan’s prospects “very hopeful.
President Barack Obama also praised the plan Tuesday afternoon as the type of bipartisan cooperation that’s needed on Capitol Hill to help resolve the impasse over the debt crisis.
“The problem we have now is we’re in the 11th hour, and we don’t have a lot more time left,” Obama said. “The good news is that today a group of senators, the Gang of Six, Democrats and Republicans… put forward a proposal that is broadly consistent with the approach that I’ve urged.”
Compromise: earning your paycheck, working for all not just for a few.
In some quarters of the American political system, there are people — predominantly of the Tea Party Republican persuasion — who believe that Congress doesn’t need to raise the debt ceiling. If the U.S. government isn’t allowed to borrow any more money to pay its bills, runs their line of thinking, that’s fine and dandy. Finally, we’d be forced to tighten our belts and “live within our means!” Ignore the fearmongers predicting disaster — they’re just trying to scare markets and voters.
[…] Let’s start with the basic numbers. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, the U.S. Treasury will have about $172.4 billion in revenue in August that can be applied to $306.7 billion in outstanding bills. If the U.S. Treasury is forbidden from borrowing any additional funds, it will therefore have to cut total August spending by about $134 billion, or 44 percent. …Click on over to this cool interactive widget at Bloomberg Government and decide for yourself who gets paid and who doesn’t if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling.
[Spreadsheet breakdown above]
[…] Now, there are plenty of Tea Partyers who would no doubt be happy to get rid of the EPA, food stamps, unemployment benefits, Medicaid and any number of other government spending programs…
Since this is usually “all about me” when we’re talking teapartyers, and so many teapartyers are receiving Social Security and Medicare benefits, why shouldn’t the rest of us — the working people, the unemployed, the college students — all agree that Social Security / Medicare should be cut if the limit isn’t raised? Those two programs total $77.8 billion out of August’s budget — which is over 25% of all the money due. The majority of us don’t receive those benefits and we’re learning quickly that only two things should matter: ME and MINE as opposed to YOU and YOURS. In other words, boot straps.
…There are lots of different ways to divvy up government spending according to your personal priorities… if the U.S. government cut its spending [by 44%] for both August and September, GDP growth [c]ould drop by 2.3 percent from the previous quarter.
[…] Choose your poison: global market chaos, savage cuts to the social welfare safety net or recession. Or, heck, all of the above. …Slower economic growth means less tax revenue, which would force even more budget cuts. Laying off hundreds of thousands of federal employees would further boost the unemployment rate. And if the U.S. government ever did end up authorized to borrow money again, the yield it would likely have to offer to attract buyers for its damaged goods would undoubtedly skyrocket — putting further pressure on government finances.
Of course despite this alarming situation, those tax cuts for the wealthy are #1 on the list of important things for teapartyers and their corporate sponsors and their Republican leaders — Boehner, Cantor, Kyl and McConnell. This budgeting lesson should clearly illustrate how we’re all paying to provide the wealthy with their tax cuts. There’s no way the federal government obviously needs more revenue, right? We’ll just cut YOUR programs and services instead of mine.
“Despite good-faith efforts to find common ground, the White House will not pursue a bigger debt reduction agreement without tax hikes. I believe the best approach may be to focus on producing a smaller measure, based on the cuts identified in the Biden-led negotiations, that still meets our call for spending reforms and cuts greater than the amount of any debt limit increase.” — John Boehner, yesterday
I hope you’re listening, teabaggers. Your House Republicans will give up everything and anything to protect tax cuts for their patrons (the wealthy). There will be no “shared sacrifice” if they have anything to say about it.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV): “We asked Republicans to consider a balanced approach that would have required shared sacrifice, but they would not. We still need to make sure we avert the economic catastrophe that would occur if we were to let America fail to pay its bills for the first time in our history, and I am confident that we will. Americans have a right to expect their leaders to rise above partisanship and do the right thing for our economy and the middle class.”
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD): “It’s disappointing that the Republican fixation with protecting tax breaks for corporate special interests and the very wealthy prevented them from agreeing to a balanced and broad deficit reduction plan to help our economy and our country.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “Like the Speaker, Sen. McConnell has consistently said that we should cut Washington spending without raising taxes on job creators, particularly in the middle of a jobs crisis. And he remains concerned with the Democrats’ unwillingness to take steps to protect entitlement programs from bankruptcy, but hopes the President will be able to use Sunday night’s meeting to encourage them to take action on needed reforms.”
We shouldn’t raise taxes on the job creators. The job creators!! Is that what we’re calling them now?
“The revenue loss over the next 75 years from making all of those tax cuts permanent would be two and one-half times the entire Social Security shortfall over that period. Indeed, the revenue loss just from extending the tax cuts for people making over $250,000 — the top 2 percent of Americans — would itself be almost as large as the Social Security shortfall over the 75-year period. (See Figure 1.) Members of Congress cannot simultaneously claim that the tax cuts are affordable while the Social Security shortfall constitutes a dire fiscal threat.”
Republican members of Congress are hoping for two things: 1) that their constituents continue to watch Fox “News” so they’ll never be aware these facts and 2) that their Democratic counterparts will not appear on any and every cable news show they can to loudly and repeatedly point out the simple math illustrated above.
This information was published 5/24/11. Have the Democrats / MSM adequately educated the public on this information? No. Because Republican members of Congress are fearlessly digging in their heels on not asking for any sacrifice from the wealthy — specifically when it comes to expiring Bush’s tax cuts. It’s all about spending cuts for them, preferably to programs they hate such as: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and regulatory agencies like the USDA and FDA. Their attitude is probably summed up best by Senator Jim DeMint:
“We’re at the point where there would have to be some, you know, some serious disruptions in order not to raise [the debt ceiling],” he said. “I’m willing to do that.”
Holy Fuck. This is Sparta. Wow.
At best, Republicans say they’re willing to look at new Dem-proposed revenue sources…but only if they can give that money right back to stakeholders in the form of additional tax cuts.
[…] So rigid are Republicans on this score that Senate Democrats plan to force a symbolic vote Thursday, asking whether wealthier Americans should have to contribute to deficit reduction at all, in any way.
[…] “Millionaires can contribute to deficit reduction by spending part of their millions,” said Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
[…] “Create jobs, hire more people that pay more taxes, grow the economy, stay in America, don’t leave, hire people — that’s how millionaires can help, is create more workers, and if you raise taxes you’re gonna make it harder to keep the job you got,” explained Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
Ha ha! McCain and Graham have adorable ideas and plans! Because millionaires have used their massive earnings and extra income from tax cuts since 1980 to do just that, haven’t they? SO MANY JOBS. And all these spending cuts the Republicans want will certainly create so many more jobs, won’t they? America will be drowning in jobs if Republicans get their way!
[…] Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was unable to identify a single specific concession he’d ask of wealthy people. “Everybody’s going to have to contribute to it in one way or another,” he said. “We have a debt as big as our economy. We look a lot like Greece already. And it’s going to have to have broad impact on every aspect of our society in order to get this problem under control.”
I hope those teabaggers who are riding around on their government-paid electric scooters are really listening to what their chosen leaders are saying and are aware of these facts:
“The top 1 percent now gets almost a quarter of the nation’s total income — a larger share than at any time since the 1920s. The top 1 percent have also received about 40 percent of the benefits of the Bush tax cuts.” — Robert Reich
“Average income went from that $30,941 in 1980 to $31,244 in 2008. Think about that: the average income of Americans increased just $303 dollars in 28 years. That’s wage repression.” — Bill Moyers
“It turns out that when Social Security was passed, initially it was really unpopular, and all kinds of lawsuits were brought against Social Security. And people said we were going socialist. Sound familiar? And now everybody loves Social Security!” -- President Obama
“The scooters are because of Medicare,” he whispers helpfully. “They have these commercials down here: ‘You won’t even have to pay for your scooter! Medicare will pay!’ Practically everyone in Kentucky has one.” A hall full of elderly white people in Medicare-paid scooters, railing against government spending and imagining themselves revolutionaries as they cheer on the vice-presidential puppet hand-picked by the GOP establishment. If there exists a better snapshot of everything the Tea Party represents, I can’t imagine it. — Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone 09/28/2010 | The Truth About the Tea Party
Remember when Saint Raygun said this about Medicare in 1961?
Obama backs lifting income cap for Social Security and I agree:
“For the vast majority of Americans, every dime you earn, you’re paying some in Social Security,” Obama told college students in Virginia. “But for (billionaire investor) Warren Buffett, he stops paying at a little bit over $100,000 and then the next $50 billion he’s not paying a dime in Social Security taxes.”
[…] “If we just made a little bit of an adjustment in terms of the cap on Social Security, that would do a significant amount to stabilize the system,” Obama said.
Social Security will pay out more benefits than it collects in taxes this year. It will return to surplus next year and in 2015 start tapping into interest income and trust fund reserves. If Congress does nothing, the trust fund will be exhausted by 2037 and taxes will cover only about 78 percent of benefits.
Raising the income cap “is a progressive solution to the problem,” said Bill Samuel, chief lobbyist at the AFL-CIO labor group. “It is not a severe problem; it can easily be dealt with.”
Besides messing up Social Security completely (lookin’ at you Paul Ryan and Teaparty Republicans), can anyone else come up with a better solution for a system where the current workforce pays for the generation before it, a workforce with high unemployment and under-employement, with no middle-class jobs being created by the wealthy, AND with our nation’s largest generation, Baby Boomers, turning 65 years old daily, at the rate of 10,000 every day for the next 19 years?!