Tuesday, September 07, 2010

We're not fooled:

To those who may still run for office planning to privatize Social Security, let me be clear: as long as I'm President, I'll fight every effort to take the retirement savings of a generation of Americans and hand it over to Wall Street. Not on my watch."
Although to judge by the way this was reported at TPM (David Kurtz), "Obama takes a clear shot at House Republicans", maybe Obama has fooled some people who should know better.

UPDATE: Just to make it clear, Obama is fooling people when he speaks out firmly against Social Security privatization, yet never utters a word defending Social Security from proposals that would reduce benefits (e.g. by raising retirement age or other ideas his Deficit Commission will come up with).

This recent statement by Obama along with a weekly address last month was so obvious in that it hewed strictly to attacking privatization, but nothing else. Why doesn't he say more than that? Social Security is the least of our concerns, is in good shape for 30 years, and paid for. People would be much more reassured if Obama defended Social Security in toto, instead of merely attacking only one of the many approaches to weakening the program.

UPDATE2: If Obama comes out and defends Social Security, basically as it is (there can be some minor tweaks), then I'll salute him and apologize for the post above.


Unless you're in possession of some concrete evidence to back up your assertion, I'm afraid I'm going to have to conclude you've officially jumped the shark, Quiddity.

If Obama comes out in support of Social Security privatization, he can kiss any hope of a second term goodbye. I don't think he's that goddamned stupid. There's not a Democratic voter in the country to the left of a Blue Dog who'd support him, or anyone who came after him, if the Democratic Party acquiesced to Republican demands to dismantle Social Security.

This doesn't really surprise me. You were never an Obama supporter, anyway. You disparaged the guy throughout the '08 campaign. Some of your comments over the last two and a half years have approached Firebagger territory. I don't expect blind fealty, or even lukewarm support if you don't like the guy, but a little proof that Obama is lying here would help your credibility.

By Anonymous Death Panel Truck, at 9/07/2010 8:58 AM  

I take this to mean that a mix of retirement age raising, FICA cap lifting, and CPI-decoupling are under consideration.

Dems don't get it. Simple stances, "Taxes always bad"(R) "Hands off Social Security" (D) are the most powerful electoral tools.

"We'll give in just a little" is just demoralizing.

By Anonymous Emphyrio, at 9/07/2010 11:46 AM  

Emphyrio understands the point I was making. Obama is deliberately attacking only one approach to reducing Social Security - the privatization scheme. He has not said anything equivalent about defending SS from retirement age changes, means testing, or formula adjustments.

By Blogger Quiddity, at 9/07/2010 3:50 PM  

If I had a blog, I'd propose tripling the Social Security payout, and funding the increase through a wealth tax. Let the cat-food pushers argue against that. Eventually, if absolutely necessary, we could compromise on a doubling instead of tripling.

Arguing on the cutter's terms, on the other hand, is a losing proposition.

By Anonymous eb, at 9/08/2010 11:23 AM  

well, something is up. steny hoyer refused to rule out raising the retirement age.

cons who've said the same thing got dinged for it, deservedly so, yet hoyer's comment got sweept under the rug.

By Anonymous omen, at 9/08/2010 5:43 PM  

swept too.

By Anonymous omen, at 9/08/2010 5:44 PM  

The real thing to watch for will be the proposed "payroll tax holiday."

If the SSA stops collecting premiums through the end of the year, where is it going to get the funds to pay out benefits?

It's going to drain the so-called "trust fund." Forget about Social Security being solvent through, say, 2030. Once the payroll tax holiday starts, and it fails to help the economy, it will be extended endlessly. The "trust fund" will be drained to zero by the end of Obama's first and only term, and his legacy will be a truly-and-completely bankrupt Social Security program.

You heard it here first!

By Anonymous jms, at 9/09/2010 6:18 AM  

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