Obama Moves Toward Deal to Slash Social Programs
- Social Security HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BUDGET, it is what YOU AND I
PAY INTO, it's funding does NOT come out of the Budget!!!
Obama keeps offering it up for cuts? Whose going to get our money then?
They certainly aren't lowering our payments into the program!
SS IS NOT BUDGET MONEY, but Obama is trying to set the precedence that it
is. When we had Republicans in Office, we'd destroy them when they tried
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Obama, Republicans Move Toward Deal to Slash Social Programs
By Barry Grey
December 18, 2012 "Information Clearing House" - The orchestrated
negotiations between the White House and Republican House Speaker John
Boehner on a deficit-reduction deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff
moved toward their predictable conclusion over the weekend, when Boehner
offered to support a token tax increase on the super-rich in return for
massive cuts in social entitlement programs.
In a telephone call to Obama on Friday, Boehner dropped his opposition to
any increase in income tax rates and said he would endorse allowing the
rate for households making more than $1 million a year to rise from 35
percent to the Clinton-era rate of 39.6 percent. He also said he would
support raising the national debt ceiling for another year.
In return, Boehner demanded $1 trillion in cuts in the core federal health
care programs for the elderly and the poor, Medicare and Medicaid, and the
federal retirement benefit program, Social Security. Boehner reportedly
said he would drop Republican demands for an immediate increase in the
eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67, but would insist on changing
the formula for cost-of-living increases for Social Security and other
government-funded retirement and disability programs so as to reduce
benefit increases for tens of millions of people.
Republicans have also called for expanding means testing of Medicare, the
first step to ending the health insurance system for seniors as a
universal program and turning it into a poverty program. This would make
it make it easier to starve the program of funds and ultimately destroy
While Obama formally rejected Boehners proposal, leading Democrats
praised it as a step forward and a breakthrough. Obama and Boehner met
at the White House Monday along with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner,
the third face-to-face, closed-door meeting between the president and the
top Republican in the House of Representatives in less than two weeks.
Obama has sought throughout the fiscal cliff talks to insist on an
increase in tax rates for the rich in an attempt to provide a fig leaf of
fairness to his historic assault on the basic social programs enacted in
the 1930s and 1960s. In so doing, he is seeking not only to confuse and
deceive the working population, which overwhelmingly supports higher taxes
for the wealthy and opposes cuts in entitlement programs, he is also
working to ease the way for his liberal and pseudo-left supporters to line
up behind his anti-working class program.
Obama has called for allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire on January 1
for households making less than $250,000 a year, while allowing the rates
for those making more than $250,000 to rise. At the same time, he and
other leading Democrats have repeatedly said that no proposals for cuts in
entitlement programs and other social spending are off the table, as long
as the Republicans accept some token rise in tax rates for the wealthy.
The immediate aim of the current talks, held within the framework of an
artificial end-of-the year deadline before some $600 billion in tax
increases and automatic spending cuts begin to take effect (the fiscal
cliff), is to reach an interim bipartisan deal for spending cuts and
temporary tax increases on the rich that will serve as a down payment on
more far-reaching austerity measures to be worked out in the course of
Part of the agenda for the new year is comprehensive tax reform, which
will supplant any minor tax increase on the rich with major cuts in
corporate as well as income tax rates.
Obama has thus far publicly proposed spending cuts totaling $600 billion
as part of such a deal, but has signaled his readiness to raise that
figure as part of an agreement. Any new cuts will come on top of $1
trillion in cuts agreed to last year as part of the deal to raise the debt
limit and $700 billion in reductions in Medicare spending incorporated
into Obamas 2012 health care overhaul.
Both the cynicism and anti-working class character of the administrations
strategy are underscored by the support it has generated among corporate
CEOs. Last week, the Business Roundtable officially endorsed Obamas
position of a tax increase for the rich combined with massive cuts in
social programs. Corporate and bank CEOs and hedge fund managers have
streamed into the White House in recent weeks for closed-door talks with
Obama and other top administration officials.
Boehners proposed increase in the marginal tax rate for households with
incomes above $1 million, assuming that the multi-millionaires actually
paid the increased taxes, would affect a mere 443,000 households, or about
0.3 percent of American households. These families take in an average of
$3.3 million a year, and their tax bills would rise by an average of
$134,000 in 2013. That comes to only 0.4 percent, on average, of their
On the other side of the ledger are 48 million Americans who rely on
Medicare, more than 50 million on Medicaid, and 54 million who receive
Social Security benefits. The living standards of these millions of people
will be severely affected by the structural changes and cuts that are
being prepared by both big business parties.
Some prominent Democrats are already suggesting that Obamas threshold of
$250,000 should be raised to $375,000, $500,000 or $700,000. Earlier this
year, Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Vice President
Joseph Biden separately spoke of raising the tax rate on those making more
than $1 million. Others have suggested that the tax increase for the
wealthy be pared back to one or two percentage points above the current
top rate of 35 percent.
Meanwhile, White House spokesman Jay Carney reiterated last week that
Obama is prepared to make tough choices when it comes to slashing
entitlement programs. Charles Schumer of New York, the third-ranking
Democrat in the Senate, last week said of the Republicans, Were waiting
for them to go to the top rate and that opens the door to everything.
Right-wing Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma was quoted last week
as saying, Weve had conversations where [Obama] told me hell go much
further than anyone believes hell go to solve the entitlement problem if
we can get the compromise.
Last week in an interview with Barbara Walters of ABC News, Obama himself
predicted that the Republicans would drop their categorical opposition to
raising tax rates on the rich and added, If the Republicans can move on
that, then we are prepared to do some tough things on the spending side.
Asked about raising the eligibility age for Medicare, Obama replied,
[W]hat Ive said is lets look at every avenue.
This article was originally posted at World Socialist Web Site
Copyright © 1998-2012 World Socialist Web Site
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DrS · 1 week ago
The middle class should not allow themselves to be destroyed.
The ELITE don't want the middle class as they believe in democracy,
freedom and liberty. They believe in reform as well.
We will see a return to feudalism: the wealthy versus the poor.
Bondage/slavery is not far off.
la conformidad · 1 week ago
Was there ever a large or even significant middle class before the 20th
century US? Maybe not. What was the result of the emergence of the US
middle class? Hippies! Civil rights, women's lib, a gigantic peace
movement, environmental legislation. Kennedy. Marijuana. Music like never
before. 'the sixties.' Flower Power, Be ins , Love ins. An explosion of
creativity and optimism.
I was there, a fascinated young man, and I can tell you this: There was
magic in the air. Every day was exciting and special. We were on the
threshold of a Golden Age, an age whose memory and all hope of recovery
must now be obliterated for the wealth and security of the A-class
Reply2 replies · active 6 days ago
l conformidad · 1 week ago
How could I leave out Woodstock?
Kent State, the following spring, told us how hated was the flowering of
the middle class and all that it promised.
Reply1 reply · active 2 days ago
Mike Johnson · 1 week ago
The media is once again failing to produce meaningful journalism. There is
no question that everyone over $250,000/year needs to increase their
support of the elderly, sick, and needy. Everyone over $50,000 per year
can afford to give a little bit more.
Of course there is no need for them to do so. Trillions of $$ can be saved
by gutting the US military/CIA/terrorism complex. The millions of people
who rely on those jobs need to transfer to useful productive jobs. They
need jobs building infrastructure in the US and around the world. They
might not enjoy building as much as they enjoy murdering, raping,
destroying, and plundering, but that's the breaks. Suck it up.
JohnB · 1 week ago
Cuts and Bunker Busters, such a nightmare.
Reply1 reply · active 6 days ago
intotheabyss · 1 week ago
"The problem of entitlements"? Really? For whom are the so called
entitlements (insurance we have all paid for) a problem? Criminal
psychopaths hate it when they don't control everyone and everything.
Darryl · 1 week ago
The same "Republi-Cons" sat quiet when G.W. gave tax breaks to the rich
and burdened the middle class with increased taxes, and started two
wars. It is clear they want to destroy Medicare, and Social Security and
throw the average people at the whim of corporations. There is no shame!!!
proletariaprincess · 1 week ago
Conformidad makes good points. The 60s and 70s were a time of great change
and enlightenment. I was there too and believed that the US would never
return to the bitter days virtual wage slavery, stagnant culture and arts
and the shame of devastating poverty in the richest country in the world.
It seemed impossible to imagine that anyone would call those the good old
days. But they did. And they went further. They still blame all the ills
of society on those two decades of progress.
I have come to hate my country and wish I was well enough to emmigrate. I
am comparing the USA today with the HItlers Third Reich and finding our
country even more universally hated and feared than Germany in the last
century. There were still good people in Germany back then. Some of them
must have seen what was happening and been ashamed of thier country too.
Reply3 replies · active 6 days ago
proletariaprincess · 1 week ago
I thought the capitalists just wanted to control SSI and Medicare. I still
dont think they want to eliminate it entirely. How could they make any
profit that way? Same as food stamps. I think it is the criminal
institution, Citi Bank that has been allowed to administer that program.
Just add means testing to SSI and Medicare and we will have a Dicksonian
class division between the very rich and the very poor.
Reply1 reply · active 6 days ago
Banat German · 6 days ago
Here an idea. Instead of picking on Social Security people, how about
cutting 100 billion dollars a year from the military budget per year? How
about cutting 10 billion dollars from the foreign aid budget per year? Cut
billions of dollars in grants given to think tanks and non-profit
organizations. Cut out the earned income credit that would save 77 billion
dollars a year. So far, the total savings per year would be 193 billion
dollars a year. I could go on, but not enough time and space to list
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