“Most of the reactions to the President’s statement that Romney’s plan is similar to his plan to change Social Security have been to say that it is not true. I believed what Obama said, so I went to the news article about Diamond-Orszag plan which Obama linked to on his election website. A link to the Diamond-Orszag paper here.
The plan involves benefit cuts and revenue increases. Social Security as a self-funding system, which never pays out more than it takes in. The D-O plan claims that Social Security has an actuarial deficit which will kick in way out in the future where accounting identities can be mathematically configured to paint a frightening picture. Despite recent use of the Social Security payroll tax as a piggy bank for stimulus purposes, the myth of the conservation of Social Security revenues continues.”
“Yet there is a sense in which the election is indeed a referendum, but of a different kind. Voters are, in effect, being asked to deliver a verdict on the legacy of the New Deal and the Great Society, on Social Security, Medicare and, yes, Obamacare, which represents an extension of that legacy. …
If the polls are any indication, the result of that referendum will be a clear reassertion of support for the safety net, and a clear rejection of politicians who want to return us to the Gilded Age. But here’s the question: Will that election result be honored?
I ask that question because we already know what Mr. Obama will face if re-elected: a clamor from Beltway insiders demanding that he immediately return to his failed political strategy of 2011, in which he made a Grand Bargain over the budget deficit his overriding priority. Now is the time, he’ll be told, to fix America’s entitlement problem once and for all. There will be calls … for him to officially endorse Simpson-Bowles, the budget proposal issued by the co-chairmen of his deficit commission (although never accepted by the commission as a whole).”
“the fact is that Simpson-Bowles is a really bad plan, one that would undermine some key pieces of our safety net. And if a re-elected president were to endorse it, he would be betraying the trust of the voters who returned him to office.
Consider, in particular, the proposal to raise the Social Security retirement age, supposedly to reflect rising life expectancy. This is an idea Washington loves — but it’s also totally at odds with the reality of an America in which rising inequality is reflected not just in the quality of life but in its duration. For while average life expectancy has indeed risen, that increase is confined to the relatively well-off and well-educated — the very people who need Social Security least. Meanwhile, life expectancy is actually falling for a substantial part of the nation.” Paul Krugman
“But Obama has shown us, time and again, that he has made up his mind. He’s of the same mind as Bill Clinton, the entire DLC-led Democratic Party, and the Washington Beltway consensus (Digby’s Village). That betrayal of what the electorate truly truly wants — and frankly, what they really need as well — could sink the party.
The Republicans will certainly try. They know they have a generational problem — theirs is dying fast. What better stick to beat the Democrats with to win younger voters than the death-by-paper-cuts dismantling of Social Security the Dems seem determined to attempt.
■ The second disaster is even worse, in my opinion — Obama may well succeed. David Koch has given his go-ahead to tax increases — the only roadblock to the most recent Obama Grand Bargain attempt. The Koch-funded Tea Party office-holders (who are not the Tea Party voters) have been given their marching orders from AFP headquarters — get this done.
If those two — Obama and David Koch — succeed we could see the clock start rolling back before 1934. Once Social Security is means-tested, it’s welfare, not a universal insurance program. Once benefit cuts are started — via changes to the retirement age and cost-of-living adjustments, for example — where will they stop? As I see it, with manufacturing headed to Asia under both parties and belt-tightening the norm, the country’s going to be squeezed for at least another five years, if not decades. All of which is — yep, reason for even more cuts.” America Blog