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Social Security Cuts Coming Unless People Raise the Roof

THE HEADLINE says it all and the emergency is very real.

Activist progressives across the spectrum have been working to defeat President Obama’s plan to cut Social Security and hand Republicans something they couldn’t do on their own. Social Security cuts are assured, with Nancy Pelosi and establishment Democrats joining President Obama, unless you get busy and get everyone you know calling and shouting.

Progressive insiders have been trying our best, doing what we do. We have reminded Democrats of all the promises they have made to not cut Social Security benefits. We have had the policy discussions about why this is a bad idea for poor and middle-class seniors and seniors-to-be. There have been full page ads in The Washington Post, and coalition meetings aplenty to coordinate lobbying strategies. There have been discussions with Democrats about why this is bad for them politically, showing them all the polls that make that point. Appeals to morality and the Democratic legacy on Social Security have been made. But as of now, it has all been for naught. The president is moving forward with his plan, Nancy Pelosi has jumped on board, and things are rolling. The way DC works, if the Republicans say yes (and they very well might, it has been their goal to cut Social Security benefits ever since it was created), this will happen. Unless the people speak out very, very loudly. – Mike Lux

The Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121. The White House number is 202-456-1414. You can sign a petition here.

That’s only the start of it.

Help MoveOn and Working America.

Talk to everyone you know.

Unless everyone gets busy, Social Security as we’ve known it since it was conceived and implemented by F.D.R. is gone with the wind.

This isn’t a Nixon to China moment; it’s Democrats opening the policy door that is sure to lead to further entitlement cuts in the future.

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18 Responses to Social Security Cuts Coming Unless People Raise the Roof

  1. jinbaltimore December 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    Social Security cuts will mean the US Government actually stealing from its citizenry in a way it has not quite done before.

    And if you consider the amount paid in vs. the diminishing return, it is also an increase in taxes.

  2. Joyce Arnold December 20, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

    See the YouTube video of Bernie Sanders talking about this at http://youtu.be/erKpdJnjQyE : “Mr. President, I must tell you that I am disappointed … “

  3. belltor December 20, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    Extremely disappointed in the President and lap dog Pelosi but if Boehner can’t get his caucus to vote for plan B how in hell will they go for Obama’s deal with the Soc Sec sweetner?

    The president really shafted the democratic caucus. Their main claim when campaigning was Soc Sec will not be in any budget deal. Even Trumpka at the AFL CIO is not screaming hgih holy hell on this one?

  4. Jane Austen December 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

    Repeat after me “social security is not part of the deficit.” Then write your congressman/woman, senators and the President and let them know that they are not to touch social security. As Bernie Sanders said, “if you want to discuss social security, do it separately.” If we don’t fight now the thieves in Washington will take the whole kit and caboodle in the blink of an eye.

  5. Cujo359 December 20, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    You know, we need to get started repealing the Twenty-Second Amendment right now. After all, sixteen years of this might not be enough time to get this country moving in the direction it needs to be. How many more of the likes of George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama do you think are out there? Bold leaders willing to stand up to the poor so we can underwrite the gambling fetish of the Truly Important don’t come along every day, you know. Heck, Obama’s in pretty good health. He should be able to hold the reins for at least another three or four terms. Heck, if he needs a rest, we can always put W. or Bill Clinton back in office for a while.

    On a serious note, I’ve always been choosy about whether I vote for Democrats. If the Democrats in Congress let this happen, though, or any other cut to SS, Medicare or Medicaid while they refuse to tax the rich their fair share, I will not vote for a Democrat for national office ever until all the current Democratic Congressional Caucus members are gone. Unless you’re willing to do something similar, I don’t think calling or writing them is going to do much good, because they know they have your vote anyway. Even if they’re not corrupt themselves, the other congressional Democrats have allowed this corrupt woman and the other useless “leaders” of this party caucus to remain in power. Until they’re all gone, the lesson isn’t going to sink in that they screwed up this time.

    • ladywalker68 December 20, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

      I’m with you Cujo. I emailed my Senator several days ago when news of the chained CPI was part of Obama’s compromise and urged her not to support it.

      What I didn’t say is that if she votes for this, I will never vote for her again, and I have voted for her in every election for many cycles. I am going to follow up with that message.

  6. Art Pronin December 20, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

    All of you get your family and friends to make those calls like Ive been doing. do it NOW. called reid, pelosi and wh plus my sens etc..

  7. Uh-oh December 20, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    This cannot be blamed on the Republicans. This is 100% totally OBAMA’s FAULT! He has wanted to do this from the get go. His legacy is all about destroying the Democrats. And everyone who voted for him is complicit in this.

  8. ladywalker68 December 20, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    Does anyone have a link or article that explains the “arithmetic” involved with the chained CPI? The lame “chicken versus beef” analogy makes no sense to me whatsoever. Screw beef, I rarely eat it. But if the cost of chicken keeps going up and my cost of living increase keeps going down, at some point I won’t be able to afford eating chicken. So after that I guess it is Cup ‘O Noodles with chicken flavor??? But I digress….

    I need a translation of this animal food analogy to arithmetic. So far, the Democrats keep saying that in the long run, this will “strengthen” Social Security. If that is the case, then fine. Show me the math that proves so. At this point in time, the articulation of why this is a good long term strategy is pathetic.

    On a similar note, I am posting something I found elsewhere what sounds like a talking point in defense of the CPI:
    ” I don’t fully understand “Chaining the CPI for Social Security,” but I read somewhere that it would cost the average retiree on Social Security about $11 a month as a result of using a different inflation measure. In the aggregate over time it would help offset the rising cost burden that Medicare is putting on the system. So, it might not be too serious, and a fair trade-off if it helps preserve Medicare coverage. (Doctors will tell you that Medicare is the elephant in the corner that’s threatening to sink the ship.) BUT it is just an idea being floated as a negotiating chip and it’s premature to be panicking about it.”

    First of all, $11 can be HUGE for some people. If you think it’s no big deal, that is the first sign you have no clue what it is like to scrape by from month to month on a limited income. Secondly, again your hit might be “only” $11 a month in income, but as I mentioned before, if prices are going up while your income stagnates or goes down, then it winds up being more than just “$11″ per month. Also, I am skeptical of this analysis because my understanding of how much you would get in a month depends on how long and how much you paid into the system. So my guess it that it could be more or less than $11 but I am just guessing because nobody has clearly explained exactly how chained CPI works.

    So I am all eyes and all ears to anyone who can articulate the math in a simple way that your average schmuck can understand.

    Where is Bill Clinton on this????? If it is beneficial and if the benefits can be clearly articulated, then he would be up to the task.

    My gut is that it is all smoke and mirrors being used to raid Social Security to pay for something els.

    • ladywalker68 December 20, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

      I found this from the Bureau of Labor:
      http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpifaq.htm

      And I sort of get an idea of what they mean. My apologies, it was pork versus beef. They say if pork goes up people will switch to the cheaper alternative. So rather than just provide an across the board Cost of Living Increase, the idea is to factor in that people will be creative and save money by switching to using cheaper stuff. Chained CPI is a way to try to “guess” how much not to adjust upward.

      Pork, chicke, beef, who cares? It all sounds like hogwash to me.

    • Cujo359 December 20, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

      Here’s a site that does a decent job of explaining the idea. This paragraph gets the idea across pretty well:

      start quote:

      Besides, what would it mean if we adopted the chained-CPI mentality? What are we saying about ourselves if we calculate our cost of living by subtracting out all the things we can no longer afford? The chained CPI is institutionalized pessimism. It’s a way to prefabricate our own shrinking future, to accelerate an ever-diminishing way of life while hiding the truth from ourselves.

      end quote

      It’s a sneaky way of cutting the cost increases due to inflation. That site estimates it will amount to about $45 a month for a “typical” pensioner. That’s $540 a year, or thereabouts. And frankly, even if you’re only doing without $11 a month, when that’s out of what is now about $900 a month, and that’s your income, you are doing without something. The people who are talking about this as being “only” $11 a month don’t have any damn idea what it’s like to live on $900 a month.

      I don’t know if that’s helpful, but the folks who make these excuses want you to get lost in minutia and forget the big picture, which is that it’s already hard to live on this income, and they’re trying to make it harder, then congratulating themselves on what great leaders they’re being.

      • Cujo359 December 20, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

        Oh, and speaking of minutia, let’s not ignore the most basic fact here – Social Security is not contributing to the deficit. Maybe I should write that louder:

        Social Security is not contributing to the deficit.

        SS is completely funded through the end of the period they’re projecting the budget. It would be completely funded even beyond then if they raised the limit slightly on how much you need to contribute each year before they stop withholding from your paycheck.

        It’s amazing to me that these folks are so concerned about the deficit, which is basically just an accounting identity based on the way Congress decided to handle funds, but they seem completely unaware that this same sort of accounting practice says that SS is funded.

        Well, it would be amazing if this weren’t DC, and it wasn’t in the best interests of these people to have this problem recognizing basic facts.

    • Cujo359 December 20, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

      Well, being someone who understands math, sometimes I overlook an obvious point, too. Here’s one such point:

      start quote:

      While they try to minimize this backdoor benefit cut, the truth is replacing the current COLA formula with the chained CPI will mean the typical 65 year-old, who filed for benefits at 62, would lose about $130 per year in benefits. By the time that senior reaches 95, the annual benefit cut will be almost $1,400, which is a 9.2 percent cut.

      end quote

      The big problem with this, the one that I thought was obvious but probably isn’t, is that the effect is cumulative. The longer your benefits are calculated this way, the bigger the cuts are going to be. Plus, as Eskow said in that other link I provided, it’s a race to the bottom. When people stop using pork and buy beef, then the benefit goes down, because beef is less expensive. Then when they settle for chicken, the benefit goes down once more. Before long, the price of tofu is what we’re tracking. By “goes down”, of course, I really mean the COLA benefit is less, but that means money that SS beneficiaries don’t receive.

      • Cujo359 December 20, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

        The quote came from here, BTW.

        • ladywalker68 December 21, 2012 at 12:16 am #

          Thanks so much for all of the information, Cujo! It really helps and as I suspected, the Democrats minimizing this or saying we have got to give up some things as a compromise either:
          1. Have no clue what these decisions will do to the beneficiaries.
          2. Just don’t give a darn.
          3. Both of the above.

          And the way you explain the decrease in benefits going from $130 a year at 65 to $1400 a year at 95? Guess what? The older you get, the more help you need because most people can’t function nearly as well at the age of 95.

          My dad is an amazing 93 years old, but his hearing site and mobility have decreased significantly over the last year. They are such that he needs help getting dressed and fixing his food and the assisted living places are socking it to you starting at about $1500 a month for a bare minimum just for a roof over your head and 3 meals a day. Then the other things such as medication reminders etc, usually start around $450 per month, with a 1-time community fee of around $1000 just to get in the door. In home care starts at about $20.50 per hour with a 2-hour minimum per day. He is fortunate to have a small pension. He actually had a job where the pension worked out, but a lot of people are not in the same boat.

          Unfortunately, it appears as if most of those we send to D.C. have no clue what it is like to live in the real world. Thanks again.

  9. fangio December 20, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

    Raise the damn cap. That they are not even talking about it is revealing in itself. If there were a problem with the system ( which there is not ) raising the cap so people who benefit from SS pay their fair share is the most logical solution. By not mentioning it ( in what seems to be a conspiracy ) they are showing that they really don’t care about it and would like the whole thing to just go away. This is why Labor supporting democrats is so foolish. Democrats no longer represent them and they should get used to it. I would also appreciate it if all those organizations emailing me to call my representative and sign a petition urging members of congress to reject SS cuts would instead send me a petition calling for raising the damn cap.

  10. Ramsgate December 22, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    The Left (Democrats/Liberals/Progressives) will never learn. Scream, march, yell, bitch, write as many letters as you want, it will make no difference. They know you’re not going to primary them so you’ll just have to take it and like it until the next time.

    They have contempt for you, don’t you know?

  11. jjamele December 23, 2012 at 9:46 am #

    Contempt many of us richly deserved- I’m talking about the “he’s playing chess, the Republicans are playing checkers, Just You Wait Till The Real Obama Shows Up, Hey He’s Doing The Best He Can, He’s Better Than The Alternative” crowd that sneers at any criticism of Our Young President or his party.

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong