Obama and the Democrats Will Eliminate Social Security: Part III

That Was a Yes or No Question, Mr. President.

This is part II of a multipart series to demonstrate how everyone in Washington””and one-term President Barack Obama in particular””are telegraphing the fact that they will be gearing up for a major campaign to steal money from Senior Citizens by making drastic changes to ”œfix” the Social Security program. Part I can be read here. Part II can be read here.

Today at the top of Atrios’ (Duncan Black’s) website, he writes the question he asked about at a recent blogger conference with one-term President Barak Obama:

Q Mine is an easy question. Will you rule out raising the retirement age to 70?

More after the break.

Of course hilarity ensues, as the Plutocrat’s President deftly passes this tepid potato to the other ”œrevolving villains”””firstly the Catfood commission, which will conveniently give their recommendations to an unaccountable lame duck congress. Funny that one-term President Barak Obama created this villain himself with executive order 13531 when the Senate voted against doing his dirty work for him.

The President’s recent campaigning on the idea that the Chamber of Commerce is buying this election with uncontrolled campaign funding is just too rich, if you naturally gag on hypocrisy as I do, when you consider that he set up the Catfood Commission with private money from anti-Social Security ideologues after Congress refused his request to fund it.

He also mentions that Congress will consider the Catfood Commission’s recommendations so you know, he’s really third in line for the hostility and anger Americans will unleash when Harry Reid’s Senate slashes Social Security on a unanimous consent secret voice vote, Nancy Pelosi will have no choice but to put the bill to a vote since she already committed to do this. The Republicans and the Blue Dogs will constitute a voting bloc that will make this happen, but if it doesn’t pass the first time, look for bond market hijinks to get the point through, just as when the stock market took a hit when Congress refused to pass TARP.

He also says that he doesn’t want to impose hardships on beneficiaries that are counting on it:

But I think you can look at the statements that I’ve made in the past, including when I was campaigning for the presidency, that Social Security is something that can be fixed with some modest modifications that don’t impose hardships on beneficiaries who are counting on it.

Translation: If you’re not currently a beneficiary, or will be one soon, you can’t count on Social Securty being there for you. Fcuk you, anyone under 40 years!

The rest of this post is a linkfest. All the cool kids know what’s going to happen and they’re discussing it. The writing is on the wall.

Digby of Hullabaloo and Watertiger, two liberal bloggers who frequently have discussions with congressional staffers discussing at Liberally Speaking on BlogTalk Radio that the ”œCareer Progressives” in Versailles-on-the Potomac saying (and I paraphrase) ”œwouldn’t it be great if we solved this Social Security thing by, you know tinkering with it, because people are living for decades on life support to the age of 109 so we could probably raise the retirement age to 75 . . . .” As I recall it’s about 30 minutes in. Their conclusion: as soon as the vote is taken and he signs the bill, one-term President Barack Obama earns a primary challenger, and maybe a third party ticket comes along. Not possible without support from the African American community? Do you think that activists in the African American community aren’t on to Obama? Think again. They’re in open revolt. As Glen Ford at the Black Agenda Report writes, Obama Prepares to Triangulate Himself.

And more grist for the mill, as Ben Bernanke, whose Federal Reserve bank has as its job only three specifically stipulated (and darkly hilarious) mandates””maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates, recently broke his promise not to talk about US Government fiscal matters by opening up the entitlements line of BS.

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  • he set up the Catfood Commission with private money from anti-Social Security ideologues after Congress refused his request to fund it

    I can see a related assertion of such at the link, but not the source.
    can you back this up?

  • Here’s a better source for the information, Nieman Watchdog Group, in a piece called Has Obama Created a Social Security ‘Death Panel’? Scroll down about a quarter of the way for this paragraph:

    Q. Mr. Peterson has been on a decades-long crusade against Social Security. The day after the first meeting of the commission, which focused heavily on the need to cut Social Security, the co-chairs and two other members of the commission participated in a Peterson event that reinforced the same message. A Peterson-funded foundation is supplying commission staff. And Peterson’s foundation is funding America Speaks to develop a series of high-profile town halls across the country to host “a national discussion to find common ground on tough choices about our federal budget.” (For more background about Mr. Peterson, see William Greider in the Nation on Looting Social Security — Part 2.)

  • When Bismarck set up the German equivalent of what you call Social Security in the 1880’s (about the same type he set up Universal Medicare and Disability Pensions), he set the retirement age at 65 as most people didn’t live that long, particularly, people (mostly men) that were working in mining and manufacturing. So most of the people paying into the German Social Security fund never lived to enjoy it.

    Today, that game doesn’t work. So they are looking at finding today’s equivalent of the 1880’s 65.


  • . . . to the nineteenth century, with a domestic policy as progressive as Otto von Bismarck’s. What’s next, invasion of Mexico, renaming it Schleswig-Holstein, and pretending it was always a part of Texas?

  • In 1880’s Germany, the men supported a family on their wage. The Social Security paid survivors’ benefits. Today, that game doesn’t work. So we should look for the today’s equivalent of the 1880’s single wage earner paying for multiple beneficiaries.

    1880’s Germany was not as productive as 21st century America. In America over the past 100 years, productivity has about doubled every 35 years, so the American worker produces, what, 8 times what he or she did in the late 19th c. So we should look for today’s equivalent of having 8 times more resources available to the worker. We ought to be lowering the retirement age.

    Get the point? Pete Peterson and gang will give you all kinds of cherry-picked info. That’s their game.

  • This makes the case, particularly in the context of the current campaign. Where are the ads about Republicans planning to shut down Social Security. There’s plenty of evidence out there among that boundary-less crew. The campaign tactic can’t be used because, as you point out, the president created the catfood commission and stacked it in favor of whatever they bring forth. Having a former head of the DLC running the commission is the equivalent of the 9/11 commission having Condi Rice’s policy partner as director. They have total contempt for us. They think we’re idiots. Fuck them and the horse they rode in on. This will be their Waterloo. Their arrogance and greed assures it.

  • “A Peterson-funded foundation is supplying commission staff” is the not same as paying the commission staff. It just means the staff recieved their former paychecks from Peterson, not their current ones. I’d be happier if they weren’t on the taxpayers payroll.

    I hate to nitpick on this, but for now I think its very important to be factiually correct, lest you be dismissed by the factcheckers who will then miss the bigger picture.
    when you control the airwaves you can fudge the facts all you want

  • The President asked Congress to create this Presidential commission. They refused. So the President created it by Executive Order 13531, with a stipulation in its bylaws that says it would occur with funds from the Executive Office of the President. Congress refused to fund this. As far as I know it has no budget other than that provided by the same outside groups who are in turn funded by corporations who think of Social Security as the Last Great Piggy Bank they haven’t gotten their grubby hands on, and the same outside groups that provide many of the commission members. How does “A Peterson-funded foundation is providing commission staff” imply that the Peterson-funded foundation commission staff aren’t being funded by a Peterson-funded foundation? Am I missing something?

    If you would like clarification, you’re not alone. The records, minutes, work product, and paperwork of the Commission are recognized as Presidential records subject to the Presidential Records Act. They’re not cooperating with FOIA requests. But no matter. If someone were really curious, they could go sit in in one of the meetings. Oops! They’re held in secret. Maybe we should wait for the New Yorker investigative piece? Sorry Charlie, no one’s going to write that up until all is said and done. I think we’re going to have to wait for the chickenshit hindsight documentary from Frontline at least a year from now.

  • according to it’s charter

    7. Estimated Annual Operating Costs and Staff Years. The estimated cost for operating the Commission is $500,000 and 4 full-time equivalent employees. Annual operating costs include travel and other operating expenses. Members shall serve without compensation but may receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by law, consistent with the availability of funds.

    Commission Members
    Sen. Alan Simpson. Former Republican Senator from Wyoming.
    Erskine Bowles, Chief of Staff to President Clinton

    Executive Director:
    Bruce Reed, Chief Domestic Policy Adviser to President Clinton

    Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)
    Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA 31)
    Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI 4)
    Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)
    Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND)
    David Cote, Chairman and CEO, Honeywell International
    Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID)
    Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL)
    Ann Fudge, Former CEO, Young & Rubicam Brands
    Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH)
    Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX 5)
    Alice Rivlin, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute and former Director, Office of Management & Budget
    Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI 1)
    Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL 9)
    Rep. John Spratt (D-SC 5)
    Andrew Stern, President, Service Employees International Union

    please don’t get me wrong, I’m in total agreement w/ you that impetus and instigator is Pete Peterson and his desire to eliminate/privatize Social Security. But: a) that desire is widespread amongst the power elite/banks, and b) executive orders are not not illegal for some reason.

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