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Obama Moves Toward Deal to Slash Social Programs

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  • scotpeden@cruzio.com
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 25, 2012
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      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 Boehner’s 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 Obama’s 2012 health care overhaul.

      Both the cynicism and anti-working class character of the administration’s
      strategy are underscored by the support it has generated among corporate
      CEOs. Last week, the Business Roundtable officially endorsed Obama’s
      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.

      Boehner’s 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 Obama’s 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, “We’re 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, “We’ve had conversations where [Obama] told me he’ll go much
      further than anyone believes he’ll 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 I’ve said is let’s 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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      Comments (27)
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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.
      Revolution anyone?

      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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