Supercommittee Dem and Repubs to safety net: Drop Dead? — Brooklynian

Supercommittee Dem and Repubs to safety net: Drop Dead?

The chatter websites on both sides are reporting that today, Supercommittee members from both parties each released their own proposals that would make large and painful cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

...the details have yet to be hashed out, but this sounds serious.

Comments

  • Social Security is solvent for decades to come.

    It will require tweaking as the years go by to improve it and account for more users.

    But there is no need or reason for dramatic cuts.

    I feel very sorry that these rich white men feel otherwise.

  • Both parties seem to disagree with you.

    They seem to believe that the forces FOR cutting the programs are more powerful than those against.

  • A bunch of rich white men want to cut benefits to poorer people?

    I find this completely shocking.

    Also, I'm open to actual evidence that my claim is wrong.

  • Your claim that SS is solvent has to be believed, not simply true.

    Sorry.

  • I'm just here to tell the truth. People can and will believe whatever they want to believe.

    There are people more powerful than me who want social security phased out of existence.

    In this country, if you have the money, you have the access to power.

    Poor and middle class people don't have the money.

    Thanks to hikes in the Social Security payroll tax in the 1980s designed to create a surplus to handle the crunch of baby-boomer retirements, the program's trust fund is projected to grow steadily for nearly 20 more years — until 2027.

    After that, officials estimate there will be sufficient money to pay 100 percent of benefits until 2041, when the surplus is expected to be exhausted. From that year on, payroll tax revenue alone should be able to meet 78 percent of the program's obligations — even if no changes are made.

    'I have no doubt that Social Security will be there for a couple generations,'' said Teresa Ghilarducci, professor of economics at the New School for Social Research in New York. ''Looking at the numbers right now, Social Security is one of the most financially sound programs that we have in the federal budget.''

    http://www.ohio.com/news/social-security-more-solvent-than-most-americans-realize-1.111266

    Despite what you may have seen or heard, the Social Security Trust Fund today has a $2.5 trillion surplus that is projected to grow to more than $4 trillion in 2023. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, Social Security will be able to pay every nickel owed to every eligible beneficiary until the year 2039. Let me repeat that. According to the people who have studied this issue most thoroughly, Social Security will be able to pay out all benefits for the next 29 years. At that time, in 2039, it will be able to pay out only 78 percent of benefits. What that means is that while the system is strong today and for many years to come, it’s important that we make some changes soon so that Social Security remains strong and solvent for the next 75 years. And there’s a pretty easy way to do that.

    http://vtdigger.org/2010/08/16/sanders-a-way-to-make-social-security-solvent-for-the-next-75-years/

  • that's all true, but the war for public opinion may have been lost.

    The politicians seem to be concluding that the detractors of SS are more powerful than its supporters.

    When Obama implemented a "temporary" SS tax reduction about a year ago, the writing was on the wall ...this program is among those that will likely be dismantled, and Obama will support same.

  • whynot_31 said:

    The politicians seem to be concluding that the detractors of SS are more powerful than its supporters.

    What took them so long?

    Our political processes are a joke.

    One only has to look a sh-t like this in order to realize that there is no political process:

    http://www.washingtonspectator.org/articles/20111015postedprices.cfm

  • ...this program is among those that will likely be dismantled.

    and our nation's march towards self destruction continues.

    our current track of distribution of wealth and resources is completely unsustainable. for their own sake I hope the top 10% realize this before the society around them starts falling apart and all the sudden their money doesn't get them anything b/c there's nobody to get it for them in the first place.

  • While you may believe that the political process is a charade that largely keeps people under the illusion of democracy, you may be simply avoiding the cruel truth: This may be a country that is quite happy electing people solely on the basis of their beliefs on god, guns and gays.

  • Some people are idiots.

    They want to keep the government out of their medicare!

    They think federal tax breaks on mortgage payments isn't benefitting from govt programs.

    They are against social programs that benefit other people, but for ones that benefit them.

    Many Americans claim ignorance.

    But they're not the ones writing the laws, the 10% are.

  • shhhh.

    People think everyone in Washington is corrupt except their candidate.

    ...it works wonders.

    Jeffery- I'll try to remember to add the fourth G next time.

  • (Republican voters) don’t have much tolerance for too many facts or too much information.

    -Republican pollster Ed Rogers 10/24/2011

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_10/an_aversion_to_too_many_facts033197.php

  • (Democratic voters) don’t have much tolerance for too many facts or too much information.

    -Brooklynian pollster Whynot_31 10/31/2011

    http://brooklynian.com/forum/brooklyn-politics/dem-and-repubs-to-safety-net-drop-dead#post-745898

  • Apologies, but I don't find your credentials very compelling.

    You understand.

  • Have you inferred that I think non-Democratic voters have more of a tolerance for facts? You'd be wrong.

    (American voters) don’t have much tolerance for too many facts or too much information.

    -Brooklynian pollster Whynot_31 10/31/2011

    http://brooklynian.com/forum/brooklyn-politics/dem-and-repubs-to-safety-net-drop-dead#post-745898

  • No, hadn't inferred that.

    Although when it comes to social programs, one side yells about socialism and death panels.

  • Yes, but the other extreme spends their time yelling about the evils of capitalism and sees government authority as the answer to all.

    I suspect most people just wish each extreme would just admit they are loudly pursuing their own self interests.

    ...but then cable TV "news" and most internet "news" sites would have nothing to talk about.

    Look on the bright side, after the cuts, maybe people will miss social security, medicare and medicaid enough that they conclude their own representative is part of the problem. (nah, everyone else is the problem)

    P.S. A lot of federal HUD funds and local funds related to shelter and homeless prevention is being considered for cuts as well. ...this could be quite an adventure.

  • If you think the number of Democrats who yell about evil capitalism is equal to the number of Republican voters who didn't support health care reform b/c of death panels and socialism, you're simply not credible on political commentary.

  • I look forward to re-electing whoever my representatives are again in November.

    Because I live in Brooklyn, I bet they are Democrats.

  • Not related to my comment.

    When it comes to social issues, and especially health care or social security, Republican voters have a well-known aversion to facts.

    The same thing does not exist on the left when it comes to these topics.

  • For the fun of it, let's assume your assertion is correct.

    Does it matter that the left has an aversion to facts on different topics? At this point, are the Democrats equal to what is left of the left? The Democrats haven't appeared very smart lately.

    Do folks get smarter as one moves from center, and then become dumber as we reach the extremes?

  • If we're talking about health care and social issues (which I thought we were), yes, it matters that only one side believes things as irrational as death panels and Obama wants socialism.

    Or that the govt should stay out of their medicare.

  • I repeat once again, BOTH sides seem to be willing to cut entitlements. They seem to believe that the forces FOR cutting the programs are more powerful than those against.

    ...so, regardless of your perception of what they believe, they are both acting the same.

    Can't I judge political parties based solely on their actions?

    This isn't about who uses the most flowery language, right?

    ...maybe they are doing it because they feel it has to be done, not because they want to.

  • I repeat once again, BOTH sides seem to be willing to cut entitlements.

    And I repeat again: a bunch of rich white men are willing to cut services that largely help the poor, and disproportionally help nonwhites?

    This is ground-breaking news.

    Can't I judge political parties based solely on their actions?

    You can do whatever you want, but if you don't think money and power are directing these decisions, not what's actually best for the country or what most voters actually want, I pity your naivete.

  • Of course money and power direct these decisions, and the politicians are dismantling these programs largely because they perceive that these programs as no longer having enough support.

    If we are not going to incur even more debt, people can't just want programs, they have to be willing to pay for the programs or be able to soak someone else for the costs.

    Yes, I choose to judge the parties based on their actions and not their rhetoric.

    Although you may not like what they are doing, they are finally cooperating and getting something done.

  • whynot_31 said:

    Of course money and power direct these decisions, and the politicians are dismantling these programs largely because they perceive that these programs as no longer having enough support.

    You are really underestimating the power of money in politics. Politicians can successfully sell bad ideas to the public if they have $$$ incentive to do so.

    Cutting Social Security is a great example.

    Health care reform is another. Perhaps the best there is.



    If we are not going to incur even more debt, people can't just want programs, they have to be willing to pay for the programs or be able to soak someone else for the costs.

    Do not talk to me about debt if you're not talking about health care reform.

    Medicare can't negotiate with drug companies. So instead of changing that, we're cutting medicare?

    Now why would we do that? Hmmmm.

    And Social security is not part of our debt. It needs to be completely left out of this conversation.

    Yes, I choose to judge the parties based on their actions and not their rhetoric.

    Although you may not like what they are doing, they are finally cooperating and getting something done.

    I couldn't care less.

    The parties "got something done" with invading Iraq too.

  • money and power :)

    ...the rest is rhetoric.

    I'm glad you are coming around. Let's vote for the party with the most flowery language in 2012.

  • ...the rest is rhetoric.

    Um, you're the one talking about what the public wants and what the Super Duper Committee thinks the public wants, as if those play central roles when rich white guys and health care companies cut support for poor, disproportionately non-white people.



    Let's vote for the party with the most flowery language in 2012.

    I don't like either party most of the time, but on social services, Democrats don't believe horsesh-t like "health care reform is socialism and death panels" or that Social Security is in trouble and somehow has something to do with our debt.

    Make no mistake:

    ALL Republicans and 3 Democrats killed real health care reform, yet these are the people yapping to use about our debt.

    It's a joke that Repubs are taken seriously on debt.

    Let me repeat that again lest you attempt another false equivalency:

    ALL Republicans and 3 Democrats killed real health care reform, yet these are the people yapping to use about our debt.

    I dislike both parties but on many topics, such as the one you started here, the Republicans are much worse.

    See how both can be true?

  • Yes, elections are a choice between the lesser evil.

    We also must realize that politicians must use this same logic when they consider social policies. For example, the democrats and republicans might genuinely love to reform health care, tax the rich, or abolish the Federal Department of Education but they do not have the power to do so.

    Democracy, when combined with economics, can can be a real drag.

    As a result, they must do the best they can. By making incremental cuts to social programs, they have concluded that is better than ending up like Greece or Italy.

    ...tough choices.

  • By making incremental cuts to social programs, they have concluded that is better than ending up like Greece or Italy.

    What a miserably misleading way to present our options.

    Nice one.

  • If you can't raise taxes, you have to cut spending.

  • We have a choice: we can raise taxes, we can cut spending, or we can do a combination of the two. It's time for the Democrats to become as obstinate as the Republicans and to say, "there will be no spending cuts until after a tax increase.". Then the Republicans will be voted into power and the Dems can refuse to participate in democracy, just as the Republicans have done.

    After the Revolution, when all lobbyists are castrated and killed, perhaps we can return to a working democracy.

  • I expect to live in a "working democracy" in which the most powerful votes are cast by dead presidents.

    An exception will be made for Benjamin Franklin.


  • The leading website that tracks campaign and lobbying money in politics:

    http://www.followthemoney.org/index.phtml

    We’re thankful for new support from Public Welfare Foundation, Open Society Institute, and Rockefeller Family Fund for a project to document and report on independent expenditures in state elections before and after the groundbreaking US Supreme Court decision: Citizens United v. FEC.
  • whynot_31 said:

    If you can't raise taxes, you have to cut spending.

    There are many other factors. There's a major one you're completely ignoring.

    Hint: I already highlighted it in this post.

  • Boygabriel said:

    There are many other factors. There's a major one you're completely ignoring.

    Hint: I already highlighted it in this post.

    While you work on yours, government will hopefully work on mine.

    P.S. Assuming the supercommittee makes no progress on getting the debt under control, that Follow the Money website will continue to serve as great guide on where to invest.

  • It's hard to take you seriously if health care reform isn't at the top of your list for getting debt under control.

  • It is hard to take anyone seriously who believes that health care be reformed in this country in light of the fact that:

    a. Most people state they want reform, but then state they do not what ever reform anyone proposes.

    b. The influence of the health care industry over our political processes.

    .

    .

    I have two pieces of advice:

    1. Forget about even the idea of health care form.

    2. Stay very healthy.

  • whynot_31 said:

    a. Most people state they want reform, but then state they do not what ever reform anyone proposes.

    Actually when polled on specific proposals, most Americans support many aspects of Obamacare, or even more far reaching reforms.

    b. The influence of the health care industry over our political processes.

    I didn't predict anything will happen. I just said the super committee is a joke. If they really cared about debt, they'd show leadership and reform health care.

    But they don't. They're tools of corporate money. Like most elected officials.

  • You want a committee that is only supposed to exist for a few months to attempt to tackle health care reform?

    ...so far, the committee has not even managed to agree on what spending to cut.

    It is looking more and more likely that our debt will receive a lower rating, because we can't get our acts together to cut spending AND/OR raise taxes.

    Hopefully, it would be nice if such a downgrade spurned our government into functioning, but I am not optimistic.

    The only winners may be those who are able to hold US debt....

  • I want CONGRESS to tackle health care reform.

    This committee was a stacked deck of predetermined cuts and legislative failure.

    Good work everyone.

  • Congress had lots of time to avoid the creation of a Supercommittee, and has been talking about Health Reform since before Clinton was in office. I don't know why you feel they can (or will) do anything now.

    ...don't worry, the Supercommittee seems to be no more effective than Congress and the Senate. We seem likely to get no spending cuts and no tax increases, just a lower bond rating.

    Only those who are wealthy enough to hold our debt will win.

    It will take the US a while to realize that it is no longer in charge and has to make hard choices. So far, it has only decided the worst option: Choose not to decide.

  • Good work Congress.

  • whynot_31 said:

    shhhh.

    People think everyone in Washington is corrupt except their candidate.

    ...it works wonders.

    Jeffery- I'll try to remember to add the fourth G next time.

    I would also accept, "People think everyone in Washington is corrupt incompetent except their candidate."

  • Are you talking to me? B/c I'm pretty sure you have no idea how I feel about my 3 congressional representatives.

    But your continued assumptions are amusing.

  • Actually, I was talking about the general electorate and it's propensity to believe that somehow their representatives are not part of the problem; every other district's is.

    Ready for Austerity? It might come not as a result of voluntary spending cuts, but because the debt begins eat away more and more of our budget.

  • Oh, see, because you and I were having a back and forth, then you responded with a non sequitur, unless you were directing it at me.

    Congress is a bunch of spineless, corporate puppets, and most of the super committee is the creme de la creme of this amazing group.

    at least John Kerry refused to take political donations while he served.

  • It's like design by committee: Independently the individual ideas might work, but when combine with everyone elses', we hate the end result.

    Let's now discuss whether the problem is too much democracy, or not enough.

    That way we won't get caught up in the coming pro vs anti austerity hysteria.

  • Let's now discuss whether the problem is too much democracy, or not enough.

    Wrong question.

  • OK, let's agree to not talk about what is the right amount of democracy.

    Can we at least get excited over austerity? ....some in the Nursing home industry are saying the medicaid cuts are going to force patients into the streets.

    I wonder if they are driven by their own interests, and not those of the patients....

  • No, you brought up that line of questioning, don't abandon it after one post like you do with everything else.

    The problem with congress is NOT whether there's too much or too little democracy.

  • You said Democracy was the wrong question, so I moved on.

    What is the problem with Congress?

    ...After explaining the Congress problem, will you let me know whether I can get excited over austerity?

    A lot of people seem to think the problem is that Congress can't live within its means, because they are unable to make people give them more money and because they are unable to control spending.

  • whynot_31 said:

    You said Democracy was the wrong question, so I moved on.

    What is the problem with Congress?

    Also:

    Pay to Play, among about 1,000 other things.

    ...After explaining the Congress problem, will you let me know whether I can get excited over austerity?

    You can do whatever you want, but your habit of non-sequitur responses when I respond to a specific point you make is a poor silencing technique.

    A lot of people seem to think the problem is that Congress can't live within its means, because they are unable to make people give them more money and because they are unable to control spending.

    And a lot of people think medicare isn't administered by the government, or that they're not beneficiaries of government programs, meanwhile, they love their mortgage deductions.

    Americans are probably the least informed electorate in the developed world.

    There's an entire political party who talks about nothing but entitlement reform, as if that's all there is to our budget issues. And that's precisely the way wealthy people want it.

    See?

  • yea, Karl Marx and C. Wright Mills have good points.

    But is there a government in the world that isn't run by the rich?

    If we were rich, wouldn't we be buying government to forward our self interests?

    ...isn't the US "rich", isn't that how we conduct ourselves worldwide?

  • But is there a government in the world that isn't run by the rich?

    All oligarchies are not equal. Not even close.

    So you'd probably do well to stop having so much faith in the ability of our democracy to reflect the will of the people or reflect what politicians actually think is best for the country.

    If we were rich, wouldn't we be buying government to forward our self interests?

    You're showing your own values, but don't speak for society. There are a large number of wealthy people who want to be taxed at fairer (higher) rates.

    ..isn't the US "rich", isn't that how we conduct ourselves worldwide?

    Is this some kind of justification for our status quo? B/c it actually proves my point.

  • I have no illusion that we live in a democracy.

    ...I am among those who would like to be taxed at a higher rate, because I believe it is in my self interest. I believe that people like me lack the power to have such policies implemented.

  • whynot_31 said:

    I have no illusion that we live in a democracy.

    Oh please, in this thread alone you've referred to politicians doing what they think is right for this country.

    ...I am among those who would like to be taxed at a higher rate, because I believe it is in my self interest. I believe that people like me lack the power to have such policies implemented.

    Much better. Speak for yourself, not for society.

  • Politicians are no different than anyone else: They do what is ultimately best for them.

    If they perceive the ballot box as being powerful, they will speak populist rhetoric. If they don't, they will pass policies that reward donors, or their own bank accounts, or whatever.

    This isn't rocket science. Those who support the safety net need to be powerful, and few people perceive them as such.

    A lot needs to change before a lot changes.

  • Agree.

    So to recap with my 2nd post in this thread:

    A bunch of rich white men want to cut benefits to poorer people?

    I find this completely shocking.

  • I assume you are being sarcastic.

    Why would you be shocked that someone would vote against their self interests?

    Haven't there always been ruling groups in every society?

    This is why I wish to live in a benevolent dictatorship.

  • You're the one who deemed this development post-worthy.

    The day this miserable committee was announced I could have told you the super (wealthy white) hero committee would support cutting social services.

    We didn't need to wait for leaked reports 9 days before the deadline.

  • I think it is important to figure out what we should do now that we will have a more frayed safety net.

    Here are the regular choices:

    Should citizens settle for jobs that pay below minimum wage?

    Should citizens blame illegal immigrants?

    Should citizens elect people that will reinstate the safety net?

    Should citizens elect people who will attempt wealth redistribution?

    Should citizens attempt to save for our own futures because we know the government won't come to our aid?

    Should citizens "Discover" a belief in a god so we will be eligible for aid that is passed out by religious groups to believers only?

  • There are other players besides citizens.

    As we established, our democracy is not very functional.

  • Corporate citizens have already decided how they will protect their interests: They support those who are fraying the safety net.

    As a regular citizen, your choices are listed above. I'm open to other suggestions.

  • I think it's important to talk about how little power people have.

  • While you talk about the distribution of power and/or protest the coming austerity measures, most will continue to choose from the regular choices I list above.

    Cheers.

  • People are frequently not offered real choice. Such as the health care debate. Those in power want it that way.

    Ignoring our structural problems and focusing on things like the American electorate is an exercise in pointlessness.

    Tah tah.

  • If you do not focus on the electorate, and attempt to seize power, your cause will be called undemocratic.

    ...you will be viewed as being similar to what you are stating you wish to replace.

    Why should people believe your band of saviors will be any better than those presently in charge?

  • Your beltway wisdom about how to win elections? That's what this conversation is?

    Yikes.

  • Nah, I'm not a big fan of elections.

    As a result of the government being subject to larger economic forces and powers, I've decided my best move is to spend as little time as possible thinking about which party will implement the coming austerity (ie "lack of a safety net"), and most of my time preparing for it.

    I'm proactive.

This discussion has been closed.