Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Senate Keeps Voting Against Social Security Cuts. What's with That?

I think it means that both Senate Democrats and Republicans -- maybe even the disingenuous leadership -- don't want to cut Social Security. Still, the media haven't noticed, and the Very Serious People keep pressing the view -- as if universally held -- that we must cut Social Security or die.

No, as Atrios points out, cutting Social Security, even just going to chained CPI, will kill people. Yes, kill people. If you have to depend on Social Security for your retirement, you really get whacked under chained CPI, losing a month of income annually by the time you hit your 90s. What do you give up, medication, food, dental, heat, air conditioning?

The Senate doesn't want to do it, the House, by adopting the Paul Ryan budget, does. President Obama keeps saying he'll accept it. The American people don't want to do it.

Dean Baker, via Atrios, chronicles this well. Let your representatives know your feelings. We don't want cuts to Social Security or Medicare. There are tweaks to solve this without cuts. We don't need meat cleavers that kill seniors. Literally.

Also, believe it or not, cuts to Social Security and Medicare are really, really bad for our children and grandchildren, regardless of all the rhetoric to the contrary. I'll write about this later, though to be truthful, I've wondered why nobody has figured this out (there's somebody out there I haven't discovered, I'm sure).

In the meantime, here's a puzzle: Why is the meme that we're stealing from the young and giving to the old such a big lie? It seems obvious to me. If I were a young voter, I'd be for raising Social Security and expanding Medicare, and I'd be happy to pay for it. Wouldn't you?

Update. Atrios drills down a little bit more into Dean Baker's comments on the "elite media" and their pushing Social Security cuts even though the bases of both parties and the vast majority of American citizens oppose them. Atrios suggests "oligarch" is the better term. I agree.

And almost right on schedule two former budget directors, Reagan's David Stockman and Obama's Peter Orszag warn that, among other things, we need to cut Social Security to lower our deficit.

Orszag, vice-chairman, Global Banking, Citigroup: budget director turned oligarch?

Update 2. Oops. I just referenced Jay Ackroyd posting at Atrios' Eschaton blog. It was not Atrios, but the point remains. We are ruled by oligarchs, and they don't care about us.

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