Failing To Respect The Third Rail

Setting aside the policy implications of Chained CPI, what the President and his men have discovered today is that there is still a lot of juice in the Third Rail. There are protests against characterizations of President Obama's budget proposal as a "fumble." The protest is 'these are smart people. They know what they are doing." I think this misunderstands the "fumble" description.

I'm not someone who thinks President Obama made this proposal knowing it would be rejected out of hand. I think he thought he could get to a Grand Bargain from this proposal, picking up a little support from the GOP and a lot of support from The Media and these combined would let him muscle this through the Democratic caucuses.

More . . .

It was a "fumble," imo, because this was a silly and unrealistic calculation. Why? Because Social Security is still a Third Rail. But this political myopia is not unique to the White House in Washington. Consider Matt Yglesias:

In principle there are lots of other kinds of sequestration rollbacks you could make. You could implement some of the entitlement program cuts suggested in the Obama budget, for example, in exchange for lifting some of the president's least-favorite sequestration elements. Or you could rescind some of the sequestration cuts that Republicans hate most in exchange for rescinding some of the ones the White House deems the most harmful. The Obama team has, probably wisely, not been interested in negotiating with me on this point. But it seems to me that if Republicans wanted to raise some alternative bargains, the White House might need to rethink this. After all, consider the case of getting liberals to swallow cuts in Social Security benefits. Is the argument "that's the price we had to pay to raise taxes on rich people" really so much more persuasive than "that's the price we had to pay to get a $50 billion infrastructure program to jump-start the economy" or "that's the price we had to pay to start building a universal preschool program"?

Support for Social Security is not a "liberal" thing. It is an American thing. Maybe you could sell Chained CPI in exchange for a $130 billion jobs/infrastructure program to enough liberals to have some working room. The problem is you won't sell it to enough non-"liberals" - can you say "hands off my Social Security?"

There's a reason Pete Peterson, Bowles Simpson, and all the Beltway Elites have been stymied in their attacks on Social Security- it is the most popular government program in history.

The politician who fails to understand this does so at his political peril.

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    Obama is not up for reelection again (5.00 / 7) (#1)
    by MO Blue on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 05:37:43 PM EST
    but Democratic Senators and Representative who are running for Congress in 2014 are going to be finding themselves facing ads claiming that the Democratic Party wants to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits. Bet they even emphasize that Paul Ryan's Republican budget contains absolutely no cuts to Social Security.

    And if you can believe the (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 07:40:46 PM EST
    "longtime Obama aide" who said this:

    "We're not going to have the White House forever, folks. If he doesn't do this, Paul Ryan is going to do it for us in a few years," said a longtime Obama aide, referring to the 2012 Republican vice presidential candidate who proposed a sweeping overhaul of Medicare that would replace some benefits with vouchers.

    you might get the idea that Obama thinks this is a race, and he doesn't want the Republicans to beat him to the austerity punch.  So, when Charlie Pierce says:

    There is only one reason for anyone in the White House to adopt this rationale, and there is only one reason for anyone in the White House to float this rationale in public. The only plausible reason for adopting this rationale, or for floating it in public, is because this is what you really want to do in the first place and you are groping for a plausible alibi.  The only plausible reason for it is that you've bought the deficit-hysteria to the point where you believe that you have to do this thing right now.

    you find yourself saying, "hmmm..."

    This is what Obama wants, and he can't stand the idea that Republicans might get the credit for it.

    If that's political acumen, I need to revise my understanding of the term.


    Expect to see this being repeated over and over (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by MO Blue on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 12:17:14 AM EST
    from now until the polls close in November 2014.

    Top GOPer Blasts Obama Budget As `Shocking Attack On Seniors'

    The only variation will be changing the verbiage to include all Democratic politicians.  


    I continent to think this (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 05:51:38 PM EST
    is the B'rer Rabbit scenario.  .  

    Please (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by cal1942 on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 10:13:53 PM EST
    you actually think this is some sort of multidimensional chess?


    This is what Obama mistakenly thinks will make his legacy.  He doesn't get that he's batting from the wrong side of the plate.  It'll make his legacy all right, but not the glowing legacy he expects.  And.  With his warped view of legacy he's helping to destroy the Democratic Party and put Conservatives in power.  


    Nope. I think the GOP (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 11:40:56 PM EST
    is suckering the Pres.

    I don't think the GOP is suckering him (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by cal1942 on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 10:29:34 AM EST
    He WANTS to do this.

    lol; you've missed the point... (none / 0) (#41)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 07:30:00 AM EST
    helping to destroy the Democratic Party and put Conservatives in power.

    the point being, that conservatives are already in power.  As Pogo said, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."


    How is the scenario of "Democrats want to (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by MO Blue on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 11:47:55 PM EST
    cut Social Security and Medicare benefits" going to help them in the 2014 elections? Over and over again the American public has overwhelming stated that they do not want to reduce the deficit by cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits.  

    Thanks to Obama, the Democratic Party owns these cuts whether they are passed or not. Do you really think that the ads that the Republicans will run on the Dems wanting to cut SS and Medicare benefits and raise taxes on the middle class will have no effect on the 2014 election? Unless the objective is to provide the Republicans with a veto proof majority in both houses of Congress, I fail to see this as either good policy or good politics.



    I agree. (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 06:14:53 PM EST
    "continent"? (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 05:52:18 PM EST
    Are you channeling your Roman empire (none / 0) (#10)
    by DFLer on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 08:41:49 PM EST
    persona, Incontinenticus Butticus

    I agree with what you (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 06:26:32 PM EST
    are saying BTD but I cannot believe anyone would be silly enough to continue the "Obama's got it" line of thinking. I mean that should have been gone long ago.

    Cutting Social Security is the stupidest political (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Coral on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 06:32:37 PM EST
    move a Democratic president has ever made since Social Security was enacted.

    It's essentially a no-win position for any Democrat. It will help the GOP more than anything  the GOP itself could have or would have done.

    Obama is either stupid, incredibly naive, or...

    Don't mistake (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by smott on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 06:37:59 PM EST
    Mendacity for incompetence...

    If Obama had more respect for those who (5.00 / 7) (#7)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 07:21:02 PM EST
    will be most affected by his policies, the Third Rail wouldn't even be an issue, because neither Social Security nor chained CPI would be on the table.

    President Obama seems to have convinced himself that he has some magic power to do things no other president has been able to do; I can't even fathom how much hubris that takes.

    Safety Net (5.00 / 6) (#8)
    by koshembos on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 07:23:52 PM EST
    Modern societies need and have safety nets. The US, especially under Obama, wants to make the net microscopic. Of course, politically the move risks a terrible damage such as GOP successfully takes over the senate, GOP eliminates the safety net, GOP eliminate Obamacare, etc.

    Obama doesn't care. Instead of occupying a significant place in history, Obama will join Hoover and W as worst ever.

    This is no surprise (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by cal1942 on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 10:34:45 PM EST
    This is the Obama many of us feared during the 2008 primaries.

    He really buys into this crap and it was there for all to see and nothing he's done in office has ever been contrary to that original assessment.

    The 2014 GOP ads just write themselves.

    The reason, IMO, that Democrats haven't been able to put away the Republicans, in spite of the perfidy of GOP acts, especially in the past decade plus, is simply that Democrats haven't been strident in offering a stark contrast easily recognizable to the average voter.

    Now Obama's come along and confirmed the opinion of many that there's no real difference between the parties and from a real world standpoint I can't really put up much of an argument anymore.

    In his eagerness to please big shots, Obama has plunged a dagger in the heart of the Democratic Party and left average Americans vulnerable to the tender mercies of today's neo-Confederate GOP.  A hell of a legacy.

    If this passes (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by kmblue on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 05:06:34 AM EST
    Obama will have the pleasure of seeing elderly citizens on the streets, because they won't ALL just die.  That's some legacy.

    If we think a jobs & infrastructure program (2.00 / 1) (#17)
    by vicndabx on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 06:31:33 AM EST
    is a good idea, why do we not support efforts to deliver one? How will the dynamic ever change if we who are supposed to be open-minded are not?

    The opinions of the left affects the narrative, which in turn affects the polling, which in turn affects the politics, which in turn affects the policy.

    ....and before people go there with "better ways to raise money" remember the even bigger third rail - higher taxes in the middle class.

    Higher taxes on the middle class? (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by MO Blue on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 08:27:15 AM EST
    Are you now advocating for the even bigger third rail - higher taxes on the middle class? Because if you are advocating for Obama's proposed budget that is exactly what you are doing. As has been stated numerous times that is what Obama's budget is proposing. His budget proposes a regressive tax increase on the poor and the middle class. The Republicans are already publicizing this fact and using it against Obama and the Dems.

    The quote from Americans for Tax Reform below is only the first salvo. Be prepared to hear more.

    On the tax side, all income tax brackets are subject to inflation.  Slowing down the inflation rate slows down the annual rate of growth in all income tax brackets.

    This means the Obama budget contains a tax increase on 100 percent of middle class taxpayers--anyone who pays the federal income tax. [...]

    More publicity for the Obama's proposed tax increase came Friday when the media asked if chained CPI represents a tax hike on the middle class and White House spokesman Jay Carney admitted that it was.

    We could only hope that that the opinions of the American people not just the left would affect policy since they are firmly against cutting Social Security and Medicare and having another regressive tax increase imposed on them. But unfortunately Obama is ignoring the opinion of the majority in order to pander to the "Fix the Debt" CEOs.


    Yes, a tax hike like when one gets a minor (none / 0) (#20)
    by vicndabx on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 09:53:13 AM EST
    bump in salary - possible change in brackets for some.  Republican talking points.

    MR. CARNEY:  I'm not disputing that, but I'm saying that it is not the President's ideal policy.  It is in a letter from the Senate Minority Leader requesting that it be part of a negotiation deal.

    You could choose to emphasize that part, but alas.....

    Yes, he wants to pander, riiiight.  Why not go w/the usual insults - he's not smart enough to realize the impact of what he's doing?  

    Or you could try some really radical thinking as I noted in another post.  Realize we can't (and probably shouldn't expect to) get everything we want.

    There will need to be some sort of reasonable compromise to move forward on things on our side.

    Everybody loses when nobody compromises.


    Republican talking points? (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by MO Blue on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 10:26:00 AM EST
    I just love how you provide quotes that validate my posts. In your response you have quoted Jim Carney agreeing that the chained CPI will impose a tax increase on the working poor and the middle class.

    And yes, Obama has provided the Republican Party with a whole bonanza of talking points complete with video footage and written documentation to use in their campaign against the Democrats in 2014.

    Can't get everything you want? Well the President is making sure that the Republican Party is getting a whole lot of what they want served up on a platter with a big bow on top. The Democratic Party owning the proposal to cut the most popular programs in the country. Obama is tenaciously doing their work for them and they can sit and tell the world that the Dems not them are want to starve granny. You may want to think about the fact that no where in Paul Ryan's budget are any cuts to Social Security.

    BTW you could try employing rational thinking rather than employing your tired techniques of building straw men when you do not have any valid argument to support your position.

    Why not go w/the usual insults - he's not smart enough to realize the impact of what he's doing?  

    These types of comments only point out that your position is so weak that you have no other option than to resort to these techniques.


    Have a great day. (none / 0) (#26)
    by vicndabx on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 10:57:43 AM EST
    How you and Obama are advocating (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by MO Blue on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 11:06:13 AM EST
    Pete Peterson's position.

    Or, to quote an email that Pete Peterson's deficit-hawk advocacy group, Fix the Debt, blasted out to its members on Monday, "Keeping ideas like `chained CPI' on the table is key to moving towards larger entitlement reforms."

    The first cut to popular, essential programs is always the most difficult; once it's been done, and that toe is in the water, there's the concern that future reductions could be more easily achieved. That's why the symbolism of a Democratic president attaching his name to - and owning - the cuts is so controversial and worrying for liberals. How hard would it be for Republicans to push future cuts through, when this is now a mainstream Democratic policy?



    Promotion of Republican ideas under the Dem banner (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by MO Blue on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 11:29:39 AM EST
    We're told that this bowing gesture will lead to a beautiful pas de deux -- or to a scornful rebuff which will benefit Democrats at the polls.

    That makes no sense. When has one party demanded that the other present its ideas -- especially its most unpopular ones -- as if they were its own? What's next: Will they ask the president to propose their Medicare voucher plan? Call for a flat tax? Join the Tea Party?
    The president leads his party. Unless Democrats mount a concerted opposition to this budget, they'll have gone on record as the party that wants to cut Social Security. link

    A quote from BTD in this post (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by MO Blue on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 09:45:42 AM EST
    Support for Social Security is not a "liberal" thing. It is an American thing.

    Maybe repeating that will help in you in understanding that "Support for Social Security is not a "left" thing. It is an American thing.

    Also, campaigning on we the Democratic Party want to cut your Social Security and Medicare benefits and raise taxes on the middle class but the Republican Party won't let us is not going to be a winning position come November 2014.  


    Republicans tried that in 2012 with Medicare (none / 0) (#21)
    by vicndabx on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 09:54:45 AM EST
    and lost.

    That's because it (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 09:59:00 AM EST
    was cuts in Medicare vs. Elimination of Medicare. This time the GOP is not offering up deeper cuts in Social Security. The GOP is doing nothing to Social Security.

    How soon you forget (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by MO Blue on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 10:38:01 AM EST
    Would you like to review how the Republicans took over the House in 2010. Just like 2014 there was no presidential election in 2010.

    The Republicans ran on Obama cutting Medicare and won. The people who objected to the cuts to the Medicare budget turned out in force. Obama's fan club not so much.

    This time the cuts are not only to Medicare but to Social Security and not to leave anything out Obama has added tax increases to the middle class and the working poor to sweeten the pot for the Republicans in 2014 in another off year election.



    Lessons from 2010 Midterms (none / 0) (#29)
    by vicndabx on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 12:02:09 PM EST
    The people who objected to the cuts to the Medicare budget turned out in force. Obama's fan club not so much.

    Absolutely true.  What makes this interesting is there were very little, if any cuts to services provided to beneficiaries. The fear narrative won the day and we on the left allowed that to happen because, wait for it - we didn't get everything that we wanted on some other item (e.g. Public Option, Guantanamo Bay, Prosecution of War on Terror, etc.) and chose to take our toys and go home.

    Always this is the pattern w/the Democratic big tent.  We forget the meaning of the tent - it is there, IMO to provide overall policy direction w/emphasis on different priorities given the moment.  In other words, the reason for the sacrifice has never been effectively sold to the American public at large because in-fighting hasn't allowed us to focus on the larger message - investment in our future.  While I'd like my children to have SS when they need it (and me as well,) it just as if not more important to have industries they can work in and an economy that is growing.

    Seems to me we may want to try our approach to midterms a little differently this time.

    No (5.00 / 4) (#30)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 12:26:55 PM EST
    the real problem goes back to 2008 when Obama failed to unite the party around issues. Twice he has run as the other guy is worse not staking out any issues that are relevant to people's lives and also Obama gave the GOP mouth to mouth resuscitation when he should have been stomping on their necks and telling them to get with the program. He failed to completely explain what was going on with the ACA and let the GOP jump in a define it for him.

    It's been all about him and his "awesomeness" which has been his downfall. He does not relate well to the voters and really does not care to it seems. The only people he seems to listen to is the Very Important People.

    Yes, people sat home but people sat home because what was the motivation to come out? Obama would just lay down and let the GOP roll all over him. People don't respect that and are not motivated by it. If he had tried to do somethings and lost it would have been better than not trying at all which is what he did.  

    And he is codifying those bad Republican ideas with the way he does things. He seems to think GOP ideas are superior and has even said so in the not so distant past.


    Once again (5.00 / 6) (#31)
    by MO Blue on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 12:58:22 PM EST
    We on the left did not allow anything to happen. You may have allowed the health insurance protection act to be implemented. The left did not. The left was not even allowed at the table on health care. You keep sprouting Obama's talking point about us not getting everything we want. It was nice of you to point out several of the items on which the president has broken campaign promises but you have definitely reduced the items to the bare minimum. Promises to negotiate on drugs and to allow for drug reimportation was broken in back room deals with Pharma. Promises not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 in any way whats so ever, promises to raise taxes on people making $250,000, promises to prevent U.S. companies from deferring tax payments by keeping profits in foreign countries rather than recording them at home, promises not to implement the chained CPI to reduce the COLA for Social Security, promises for more transparency in government, promises to fix the backlog at the VA is being replaced with proposals to cut veteran benefits, promises to "fix" FISA are just a few more promises that the President has not only broken but done a complete 180 on them. Hmm let's hear from one of his supporters on this:

    "I feel terribly betrayed," said a woman who identified herself as Susan, a 67-year-old campaign volunteer from Alexandria, Virginia, who knocked on doors for Obama in 2008 and 2012. "The president reneged on his promises ... This hideous betrayal haunts me."

    The reason the "shared sacrifice" message is not being sold effectively is not for lack of effort by this administration but because the American public knows that the message is complete BS and they are not buying it. They know without a doubt that the few pennies that the rich have been required to take out of their petty cash fund are not sacrifices and will in no way change their standard of living. Real sacrifices that will have a major impact on the lives of sick, the poor, the elderly and the middle class are only being demanded from them. They know that while they are asked to smile and accept lower pension benefits and to absorb the cost shifts for health care in Medicare, tax supplemented Congressional pensions and health care are extremely generous and these benefits have not been reduced. Sh!t, the taxpayers are still subsidizing the Senate barber shop. No shared sacrifices there either.

    You do not invest in the future by forcing a large segment of the population to the brink of poverty. You do not increase demand by forcing people on Social Security and Medicare to live from hand to mouth. This is really a simple concept. People who don't have money cannot buy stuff. Reduced SS benefits and increased medical costs for those on Medicare results in less spendable income = reduced demand. Reduced demand = less jobs. Less jobs = reduced spendable income. Reduced spendable income = less demand. Reduced demand = less jobs.    


    What world do you live in where huge tax (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by vicndabx on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 02:35:51 PM EST
    increases will pass this Congress?  Did you even read the budget proposals?  Are you aware of the tax proposals the budget contains?  I'm sure that even if you did, I know what your answer would be - "well, we can't trust him."

    The brink of poverty?  Seriously?  Most of the programs for the poor you worry about are means-tested and won't be impacted by Chained CPI COLA changes.  I'm also assuming you didn't see the proposed increase in VA spending - mostly on medical care.

    For that reason, the Budget includes
    protections for the very elderly and others who
    rely on Social Security for long periods of time,
    and only applies the change to non-means tested
    benefit programs.

    .....and please, I represent nobody but me and my family.  your personal attacks cheapen the discussion and IMO detract from any factual argument you attempt to make.  I don't always agree w/the president.  Can't y'all just talk on this website?  Must everything be some jab or snide remark?!?


    Still waiting for you to tell us whether (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 03:33:28 PM EST
    you would be supporting all of these proposals if they were signed, "President Romney."

    And if you could, please provide the definition of "very elderly."  Because in the world I live in, I read that and think, "so if 'very elderly' is determined to be over 85, say, does that mean that chained CPI would apply to SS benefits for those between 66 and 85?"  And if that's the case, what is your response - that, oh, well, we can't always get what we want?

    I say this in all sincerity and with not one iota of snark: I truly do not know how anyone takes these kinds of "assurances" at face value, not given a history of the details proving to strip the sparkle dust off the sales presentation.


    Who the president is is irrelevant (none / 0) (#34)
    by vicndabx on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 04:13:12 PM EST
    issue is very simply whether the proposals make sense, what the savings are to be used for and the context in which legislation is pursued.

    Why does it matter?  Why the litmus test?  Your implication is silly (I support bad policy because it's Obama) and is actually a little insulting.

    Why can't I simply disagree w/you (and others) and that be it?

    To be clear, I don't think this stuff is a great idea, but considering short term needs and longer term goals and this Congress' hard-headedness, I see little option for
    progress.  The first link below I would say best describes my feelings on this whole thing.

    Commentary: The Debate Over the Chained CPI

    Second link describes impacts and possible remedies:

    Even with such a change, the chained CPI will still understate inflation for many elderly people. While the effect would be small in any single year, it would compound over time, hitting beneficiaries hard in their 80s and 90s. This is a particular concern because as people grow older, their other income typically shrinks and they may exhaust much or all of their assets, even as their medical costs continue to rise.

    Policymakers can mitigate this problem through other modest adjustments in Social Security and SSI. Both the Bowles-Simpson and Domenici-Rivlin plans proposed a bump in Social Security benefits -- essentially an average increase of 5 percent phased in over several years -- for beneficiaries after they have been receiving benefits (and hence, reduced COLAs every year) for 15 or 20 years. Both Bowles-Simpson and Domenici-Rivlin proposed that the bonus be an equal dollar amount for all eligible beneficiaries (rather than an equal percentage increase) in order to target the benefit adjustment toward those who need it most, an approach that the Administration backed in the Obama-Boehner negotiations last summer.

    I guess the difference between us is (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 06:11:25 PM EST
    that you seem to have bought into the idea that we have no choice but to do this, and it would be better for Obama to do it than to wait for how the GOP would do it.

    I don't buy that this is something we have to do; there's simply no reason why we have to solve imaginary fiscal problems on the backs of those who have the least.

    It's bad policy, and in that regard, it shouldn't matter what the party affiliation is of whomever is proposing it, but did you ever in a million years think you would be watching as a Democratic president pushed this hard for so long to start what will be the dismantling of the social safety net?

    Because this is where it's all going, maybe not right away, maybe not for 10 years, but if you believe that those - like Simpson and Bowles - who really would like to take it all apart will be satisfied with this so-called minor tweak, I think you are in denial.


    I would much rather we do something different (none / 0) (#38)
    by vicndabx on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 07:25:54 PM EST
    e.g. raise the income threshold for SS taxes.  Or, even better, raid these rich b@stard's coffers to pay for the least among us.  Problem is politically, these options are even less palatable the chained CPI.  Further, on the rich b@stard's front, I'm not sure even they would have enough to pay for what is needed.

    Something you might want to consider (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 07:34:35 AM EST
    In a previous comment, you talked about selling the idea of shared sacrifice more effectively.

    In other words, the reason for the sacrifice has never been effectively sold to the American public at large because in-fighting hasn't allowed us to focus on the larger message

    So in the case of selling sacrifice (i.e. pain), where the sales pitch is not working, you are suggesting that the politicians come up with a better sales pitch. Do it more effectively rather, than drop the product.

    Yet you are not advocating that the Dems sell the idea of raising the cap on SS more effectively. In fact, you are not advocating that the politicians even try to sell the solution that you think would most effectively solve the problem e.g. raise the income threshold for SS taxes.

    IOW, you are recommending that our politicians try and sell an idea that is bad policy, does not solve the problem and is completely unpalatable to the majority of our citizens more effectively and if they cannot sell it, cram it down their throats by passing the legislation against their wishes.

    The preferred solution for SS is an easy sell to the American people because the majority of them already agree with that solution. They agree that it is the best solution the same as you do.

    I am suggesting this not as criticism but as food for thought. What if by limiting our options to what politicians tell us is possible, we are shortchanging ourselves and allowing only corporate sanctioned policies to be passed into law. What if we all continually advocate for the very best solution and tell our politicians that bad policies and half baked ideas are not acceptable. I would refer you to how the advocates for reversing "Don't ask, don't tell" refused to accept what was deemed politically possible the last several years and forced the president to evolve and pass good legislation.


    Brink of poverty - Yes really (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by MO Blue on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 04:16:18 PM EST
    Research (all of which has been linked to previously) indicates the so called protections for the elderly just don't do the trick. No protections for the average SS recipient until they reach 76 years old just benefit cuts on SS and increased out of pocket expenses for actual medical care due to cost shifts in Medicare. People who are now at the lowest level of the middle class will gradually be brought down to the brink of poverty by the reduced benefits and increased out of pocket medical expenses. That is the reality.

    I am glad to see that his just released fact sheet that indicates he doesn't want to use the chained CPI used on "most" of the means tested programs. Trust really has nothing to do with looking at how politicians continue to perform when these circumstances occur. Looking at his actions in all the past manufactured financial crisis, Obama has proven that his "firm lines in the sand" can and will be moved to make a deal.

    Once again WOW. Your normal comments (a direct quote) to me and others on this site contain real gems like this:

    Why not go w/the usual insults - he's not smart enough to realize the impact of what he's doing?

    and you want to lecture me about distracting from factual arguments and whine that you are being personally attacked when someone calls you on using those techniques.

    BTW, anyone who has read my comments would know how far from reality or "factual argument" the above insult really is. My opinion has always been that Obama is doing exactly what he want to do. He knows exactly what he is doing and he is smart enough to manufacture events to provide him with cover when he accomplishes what even Bush failed to accomplish.


    OK. Peace MO Blue (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by vicndabx on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 07:29:25 PM EST
    Let's just agree to argue and disagree but maintain respect for one another.  While I don't always agree w/your spin, I have great respect for the perspective and information you bring to these posts.