Why Senior Voters Should Vote Against McCain

Bump and Update: I wrote the post below on Wednesday but am bumping it as Sen. Barack Obama has now released a new ad attacking McCain's proposed Medicare funding cuts.

Steve Benen at Washington Monthly has more. I think this could be key to the Florida vote. Steve writes that Obama made the argument in Virginia today, and notes back in June, Jonathan Chait wrote that cutting Medicare in a election year is political suicide. Here's the voice-over text of Obama's new ad:

"John McCain's health care plan -- first we learned he's going to tax health care benefits to pay for part of it. Now the Wall Street Journal reports John McCain would pay for the rest of his health care plan 'with major reductions to Medicare and Medicaid.' $882 billion from Medicare alone. Requiring cuts in benefits, eligibility, or both. John McCain, taxing health benefits, cutting Medicare. We can't afford John McCain."


Original Post: 10/15/08

Why Senior Voters Should Vote Against McCain

The Democratic National Committee is airing a new ad (video here)against John McCain in Florida. On its website, McCain v. Florida, there's a section devoted to social security:

  • According to the Social Security Administration's 2007 figures, 3,476,594 Florida residents relied on Social Security Payments and 2,579,434 of these beneficiaries are 65 and older.
  • McCain’s campaign has said that he is considering raising the retirement age and reducing Social Security cost-of-living adjustments. [Wall Street Journal, 3/3/08]
  • McCain has said he supports President Bush's plan to privatize social security.[St. Petersburg Times, 6/22/08; LA Times, 3/24/08]
  • McCain voted for tax cuts 32 times, mostly for the wealthy, instead of funding Medicare.
  • In 2004, McCain voted against protecting the Social Security Trust Fund.[S.C.R. 95, Vote #33, 3/9/04]

The site also provides McCain's record on other issues of interest to Floridians, like housing, jobs and equal pay, and a wiki-type page called Count the Lies, listing 133 (so far) McCain whoppers.

< Supreme Court Blocks Ohio Voter Registration Rematch | McCain Can't Win With Six Remaining Toss-Ups Alone >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    And we must not forget (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by shoephone on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 04:22:55 PM EST
    the latest outrage to seniors that you blogged about a few days ago: the fact that McCain intends to raid Medicare and Medicaid to fund his phony health care plan.

    Why the Obama campaign isn't focusing on this I don't know. I called the Obama campaign yesterday and asked them to make sure he mentions it in tonight's debate.

    And now, two days later, (5.00 / 0) (#22)
    by shoephone on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 03:52:46 PM EST
    I am pleased the campaign has finally done this. It's so important. I do, however, wish that Obama had mentioned this in Wednesday's debate because I think it would have flipped McCain's rehearsed performance on its head.

    Better late than never, I guess, especially since it's still almost three weeks until election day -- more than enough time for Obama to hammer away at the McCain Medicare cuts but not enough time for the McCain campaign to successfully fight the charges off.


    Senior Dems Beware (1.00 / 8) (#6)
    by dhagan on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 05:01:10 PM EST
    Definitions of Socialism on the Web by A REGISTERED DEMOCRAT

    An economic system in which the basic means of production are primarily owned and controlled collectively, usually by government taxes under some system ...An "economic, social and political doctrine which expresses the struggle for the equal distribution of wealth by eventually eliminating private property ownersahip and business class. ...

    Hey Obama supporters you are walking the plank with a blind folder on.



    Brain-dead troll (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 05:45:24 PM EST
    can't even spell the "H" word he's so terrified of correctly.

    There used to be a better class of trolls around here. Place is going to h*** in a handbasket, IMHO.


    I like that he expects us to (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by WillBFair on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 07:04:04 PM EST
    believe he's a democrat terrified of socialism, and thinking that's what Obama will create. Please. It must have escaped his notice that the Clintons made the party fiscally responsible sixteen years ago. Another dingbat on the loose.

    Hardcore Socialism.... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 01:42:25 PM EST
    scares me, but anybody who thinks Obama will bring about hardcore socialism is seriously drunk on the kool-aid.  It's nowhere near his agenda.

    Hardcore socialism... (none / 0) (#23)
    by coigue on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:54:01 PM EST
    you mean like in France?

    And the GOP is bailing out the banks (none / 0) (#19)
    by coigue on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 01:42:42 PM EST

    LOL. Patriotgames gave him a "5" (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by coigue on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 01:41:34 PM EST
    LOL (5.00 / 0) (#16)
    by coigue on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 01:40:53 PM EST

    I feel enlightment (5.00 / 0) (#21)
    by samtaylor2 on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 03:00:53 PM EST
    It is your insightful comments on socialism that have lead me to realize the error of my ways.  However, it is the fact that your are a Democrat that ultimately leads me to trust your wise words.  Only through electing John McCain can we do was is BEST FOR AMERICA (In caps).  

    Maybe he's changed his ways . . . (none / 0) (#2)
    by nycstray on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 04:30:18 PM EST
    since those dates. They are all pre-Hillary  ;)

    McCain called the whole pay-as-you-go structure of (none / 0) (#3)
    by Don in Seattle on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 04:40:56 PM EST
    Social Security an "disgrace":
    Americans have got to understand that we are paying present-day retirees with the taxes paid by young workers in America today. And that's a disgrace. It's an absolute disgrace, and it's got to be fixed.
    Of course, the pay-as-you-go structure is intrinsic to Social Security. Social Security has always worked this way. And the only possible ways to "fix" this "disgrace" would be for:

    • the benefits of present-day retirees to be substantially reduced or eliminated altogether, or
    • present-day retirees to suddenly somehow start paying their own benefits, or
    • some outside third party (neither "present-day retirees" nor "young workers in America today") be found, to take on this multi-trillion dollar liability.

    The first option is obvious political suicide. The second is nothing more than a disguised variant of the first, with perhaps some grossly redistributionist scheme to force wealthy retirees to pay the benefits of the less well off. The third option is the political equivalent of planning to receive a totally unexpected inheritance. It's a pipe dream. Why would we expect anyone without a stake in the Social Security system to materialize and pay this obligation?

    Those present day retirees are our (5.00 / 0) (#4)
    by nycstray on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 04:46:38 PM EST
    parents, grandparents, etc. Cut off their SS, and guess who's gonna pay for it?

    well let's see... (2.00 / 2) (#10)
    by bocajeff on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 06:08:28 PM EST
    Your parents and Your Grandparents and you want strangers (taxpayers) to pay for them so you don't (even though you are a taxpayer).

    Gee, how about one family living under one roof helping each other out, babysitting, cooking, doing homework, and caring for one another if they need help...Nah, to selfish...


    Actually, my family is operating more like (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by nycstray on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 06:32:25 PM EST
    you describe and will more so in the future (I'm moving back to be available for elder care with my niece's help). I only have parents, but they are my niece's grandparents. We have 2 generations contributing to SS, and I suspect when my sister and I are retired, we will still have 2 more generations contributing. My parent's couldn't live on SS alone and they never planned to. With longer life cycles, I'm guessing that's a good thing for future generations as they are less taxing on other areas.

    You can say strangers are paying for my parents, but that would make me paying into SS for strangers, right?

    The point is/was, if SS becomes non-existent or falls short in it's goals, families would step up. Based on the economy, how many can really add another person or 2 to their family? What would that do to the overall economy? People stretching their dollars farther, tells me only the big multi national companies will benefit. More toxic waste for the people and environment. Can I interest you in some melamine with your dinner and lead with your hard goods? Forget medical care, that'll just bankrupt you.


    If I'm a taxpayer, I'm also helping to support (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Don in Seattle on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 10:00:17 AM EST
    other seniors, widows, their minor children, and people who become disabled, all through my Social Security taxes. Yes, that is Social Security. Yes, that has always been the deal. It takes care of even the seniors who have no descendants who can support them, as well as those who have descendants who perhaps could pay for their support, but for whatever reason don't.

    In exchange for my supporting Social Security through my taxes, I get the promise from my government (that is, from my fellow citizens) that in my old age I will be similarly provided for by future generations of Americans.

    That, as I understand it, is the deal -- Social Security in a nutshell. It has been the deal for about 70 years now. Certainly Social Security has its funding problems --  longer-lived seniors and declining fertility rates mean the workers-per-retiree ratio is declining.

    But I disagree with John McCain: I don't think the basic deal -- Social Security itself -- is a "disgrace".

    If you think it IS a disgrace, Jeff, of course you are free to say so. But I expect you would get more support on some Ayn-Rand-ish objectivist board than in an avowedly liberal forum like this one.


    Absolutely! (5.00 / 0) (#15)
    by coigue on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 01:38:23 PM EST
    My parents paid into their SS, and now they are getting it back. They are entitled.

    They also live with us. Both can be true.


    Fourth fix: (none / 0) (#14)
    by coigue on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 01:36:46 PM EST
    Raise the outdated income cap.

    Fifth fix: Lock box it like Al Gore said.


    McCain first said his budget "freeze" (none / 0) (#5)
    by alsace on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 04:57:46 PM EST
    applied to the the discretionary part of the budget, except for spending for defense and veterans.  Lately, he's dropped the word "discretionary," which leaves me wondering whether he intends to apply it to Social Security, Medicare,  federal pensions, etc.  Probably he, himself, has no clue what his buddy Phil had in mind when gave him those words...

    with the stock market on a slippery slope (none / 0) (#7)
    by thereyougo on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 05:11:03 PM EST
    can we risk a McCain "retirement plan for the future?"

    We're lucky we have families still having babies - the real future of SS. In Europe, Spain specifically, the government is paying women to conceive so their retirees have a pension.

    I doubt anyone over 65 is voting McCain. People are paying attention now and they can't try that tactic again.

    As to the troll that says don't vote Obama, I would not vote for him if McCain were even half descent, truth is he's not! McCain is horrible his choice in running mate is a joke on SNL.

    I can't have another George Bush for 4 more of the same, the country will not survive for sure.

    Austan Goolsbee on McCain's new economic plan (none / 0) (#8)
    by imhotep on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 05:18:00 PM EST
    on an NPR yesterday emphasized that (of course) wealthy seniors would benefit, not low- or middle-income seniors.
    Lowering the capital gains rate only benefits those who have taxable income invested in the market.  The average saver has tax-deferred (IRA, 401k, 403b) money in the market and would not benefit from lowering cap gains tax.
    Goolsbee made several points about how the McCain proposals sound good, but really only affect the top tier investor.

    but but (none / 0) (#20)
    by coigue on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 01:43:25 PM EST
    then those wealthy would hire MORE of us peopns to wait on them.

    Keep your hands off my Medicare! (none / 0) (#24)
    by DeanOR on Sat Oct 18, 2008 at 12:54:58 AM EST
    Threatening Medicare SHOULD be suicide with the elderly vote, but it has had a low profile in this campaign. Medicare and Social Security are the two most popular government programs in our history. Medicaid is not quite as sacred to many people because it is a program benefiting the poor, and it is always vulnerable. As a senior, I can tell you that we love Medicare, but I'm not sure McNasty's proposals are well-known among seniors, and it is certainly late in the campaign to make it an issue. I guess they are planning on winning on the economy and perhaps even writing off Florida. It should be a hot button issue, and normally I think it would be, but it is not prominent in the media now. We should hit if hard in the remaining time. Medicare isn't socialism, it's community, it's decent concern for others and for the common good. The selfish wingnuts can call it whatever they want, we still love it and don't want them to tamper with it. They assume that they will have plenty of money to pay for their medical care, but no one knows that for sure. Oh, I forgot - gambling in the stock market is a sure thing. Not everyone has a family either. The government does  NOT make your medical decisions under Medicare (or under Obama's health care plan either). We can easily pay for it in the future, e.g. by not starting stupid, immoral, pointless wars. Don't tell me that America can not afford health care for children, the elderly, and the disabled, especially when we just magically found hundreds of billions of dollars to throw at Wall Street.

    I agree. I want (none / 0) (#25)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Oct 18, 2008 at 01:27:55 AM EST
    Al Gore's lockbox on my social security and another for medicare. By the time I get to old age, I'll probably need medicaid too. I've paid in since I'm 16 years old, it should be mine when I need it.

    Glad to see I'm not alone.


    I'm well over a senior citizen and ... (none / 0) (#26)
    by Yotin on Sat Oct 18, 2008 at 11:18:46 AM EST
    this is what I hear from other senior citizens. They believe firmly in trusting more those who have earned it. Seniors spent their lifetime to earn every bit of what they have. Candidates should have the records to prove they have earned to be the next President of the USA.

    Many seniors I talked to believe that campaigning and talking your way to the office are not the ways to earn it. Promises are easy to say and seniors have heard plenty of them in their lifetimes.

    It's records that don't lie. They reveal character, ability and foretell how they'll behave when elected. As we know it, requiring and checking past credit records have been made into a science by creditors --- because it works. (until greed got into the mix by no doc mortgages). And yes, we have a case here of someone with a good long history of public service and another with no doc. You know how no doc got us into this financial mess.

    The pundits can say all they want. But it's really easy to pick the right candidate when you base it on records and not on promises. An analogy is, the credit card company would tell that one to come back when he has compiled good credit records.

    McCain's record (none / 0) (#27)
    by DeanOR on Sat Oct 18, 2008 at 11:06:37 PM EST
    John McCain has a record all right. He has a record of voting against veteran's benefits. He has a record of voting with Bush 90% of the time. He has worked to dismantle government regulations that could have prevented the current financial crisis. He has a record of reckless behavior as a pilot and poor performance at the Naval Academy. He has said Social Security is disgraceful, and he has supported privatizing it. He has now established a record for campaign lies and smears against his opponent. For a man with experience, he chose a VP candidate who is totally inexperienced in national issues. He has a record of praising a Nixon-era political terrorist.
    He has a record of opposing torture and then turning around and voting to allow it. He has a record of being censured by the Senate ethics committee and a record of favoritism toward lobbyists. This is just a brief introduction to his record. His credit does not pass the test, and this senior wants nothing to do with him.

    Thanks for your list... (none / 0) (#28)
    by Yotin on Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 06:06:24 AM EST
    of talking points. This senior has read them all.

    There are 2 sides to a record. No doc has no sides at all.