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Huff Post: “Hillary Clinton refuses to rule out any and all benefit cuts to Social Security”

PCCC: “It is an absolute must for a Democratic nominee who claims to be progressive to take Social Security cuts off the table.”

PCCC & Social Security Works Launch Online Ad Buy in NH

Today, after Sec. Hillary Clinton’s campaign made clear for the first time that she will not commit to never cut Social Security, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Social Security Works have launched an online ad buy in New Hampshire to increase pressure on Clinton to make that explicit promise before Tuesday’s primary.

Minutes ago, the Clinton campaign told the Huffington Post, “She has no plans to cut benefits.” The Huffington Post accurately reported, “Hillary Clinton refuses to rule out any and all benefit cuts to Social Security.”

The PCCC and Social Security Works in response announced an online ad buy statewide across New Hampshire today. The Facebook and Google ads will target likely Democratic voters, including Clinton’s supporters.

Stephanie Taylor, Co-founder of the PCCC issued the following statement:

“Hillary Clinton says she has ‘no plans’ to cut Social Security — but George W. Bush had ‘no plans’ to invade Iraq. That is not a promise, and our grandparents and veterans need a promise.

“It is an absolute must for a Democratic nominee who claims to be progressive to say clearly and unequivocally that they will never cut Social Security benefits. Bernie Sanders has made that commitment. Hillary Clinton should make that commitment before the New Hampshire primary so Democrats can focus on expanding benefits.”

Statement from Alex Lawson, Executive Director of Social Security Works:

“The American people stand united against cuts to Social Security benefits, all Americans. Ninety-four percent of Americans stand against benefit cuts. We need Hillary Clinton to promise to never cut Social Security benefits, no cuts, no buts, now or ever.”

Neither group has endorsed a candidate for president.

Facts on Social Security:

  • Two thirds of American seniors rely on Social Security for most of their income.
  • The average benefit received by women in 2014 was $13,016—just $1,346 over the federal poverty limit for an individual.
  • The average Social Security benefit is just $16,092 a year, less for African Americans and Latinos. This barely clears the poverty line.
  • 94% of Americans oppose cuts to Social Security, and vast majorities of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans support expansion.

hrc-social-security-google-ad

See all the ads

Thousands of people have also signed a petition in the last 24 hours calling on Sec. Clinton to promise never to cut Social Security: ExpandSocialSecurity.org.

See the initial challenge to Sec. Clinton by PCCC on Fox & Friends Feb 2nd

 

 

Watch Out! Now Marco Rubio Is Coming For Your Social Security Too

Cutting Social Security would push millions of seniors into poverty.

The Republican presidential candidates claiming that we need to cut the Social Security and make Medicare a voucher program, giving more money to private insurance companies who are already raking Americans over the coals for coverage, just added another member.

Yesterday in Henniker, Marco Rubio said he wants to cut Social Security and privatize Medicare. 

Watch the video by clicking here.

We’ve been down this road before. Jeb Bush, in Manchester, said that he’d “phase out” Medicare, while John Kasich wanted to cut Social Security and once told a voter that “you’d get over” the cuts. Marco Rubio is just following the GOP tune of cutting Social Security benefits that over 200,000 Granite Staters currently depend on.

Social Security is not going bankrupt as Rubio and other talking heads claim.

Currently the Social Security Trust Fund holds a $2.7 trillion dollar surplus and is fully funded for the next 20 years. After those 20 years Social Security will continue to pay out at 77% of the current benefit rate for eternity.

By law Social Security cannot add anything to our national debt and is fully paid for by payroll taxes. Because Social Security is funded through payroll taxes if workers wages were to rise – say by raising the minimum wage – then more money would be invested in the program strengthening the system.

Social Security is an earned benefit that we have been paying for since the day we entered the workforce.

 

“Democrats believe that Social Security is a pledge to our seniors, but Marco Rubio and Republicans want to make it harder for those who have worked their entire lives to get what was promised to them,” said Lizzy Price, New Hampshire Democratic Party Communications Director. “Granite Staters deserve someone willing to fight to keep their benefits, not claim that Social Security and Medicare have ‘weakened us as a people.’”

Cutting Social Security will push millions of seniors who are currently living on the edge of poverty over that edge.  In 2013, over 63 million people collected their earned benefit from Social Security with a national average of about $14,000 dollars a year.

For too many, Social Security is the only thing they have to live on. The sad fact is that 1 in 3 seniors collecting Social Security rely on their Social Security check for 90% or more of their monthly income.

The two leading Democrats in the presidential primary have plans to ensure that seniors will be protected now and for future generations to come.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton vowed to protect Social Security and Medicare from any Republican privatization scheme.

“I will also defend Social Security and Medicare from the efforts of the Republicans to privatize both of them….As your president, I will defend it. I will not let anybody think that they can privatize it. But we’re going to have to make sure that we shore it up so that it is there not just for those who are currently recipients but for generations to come.”

Senator Sanders also wants to strengthen Social Security and increase benefits by lifting the cap on the payroll taxes that fund it.

“By lifting this cap so that everyone who makes over $250,000 a year pays the same percentage of their income into Social Security as the middle class and working families. This would not only extend the solvency of Social Security for the next 50 years, but also bring in enough revenue to expand benefits by an average of $65 a month; increase cost-of-living-adjustments; and lift more seniors out of poverty by increasing the minimum benefits paid to low-income seniors.”

Eliminating Social Security will push many seniors into poverty and allow politicians like Rubio, Bush and Kasich to steal the trillions of dollars in our hard earned money under the guise of reform.

We must not let them take our hard earned benefit away.

 

(Featured image by Gage Skidmore)

Sanders Asks Clinton To Support “Scrap The Cap” On Social Security

Sanders Also Releases a New Television Ad in Iowa, New Hampshire

 Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday urged Hillary Clinton to back a plan endorsed by leading Democrats and seniors’ advocates to strengthen Social Security.

Sanders has introduced legislation to make the wealthiest Americans who make more than $250,000 a year pay the same share of their income into the retirement system as everyone else. Current law now caps the amount of income subject to payroll taxes at $118,500.

Sanders’ plan is patterned after a proposal to scrap the cap first brought forward by President Barack Obama in 2008. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada in the last session of Congress was a cosponsor of Sanders’ legislation to scrap the cap on the payroll tax.

“I hope Hillary Clinton joins us because I believe that we’ve got to stand with seniors,” Sanders said. “We need not only to extend social security benefits, we need to expand them,” he added.

Social Security is the subject of a new television ad being released on Wednesday to stations in Iowa and New Hampshire, where polls show Sanders gaining ground or leading Clinton. “I hope we can keep this campaign focused on the important issues facing our country including the economic security of seniors and disabled veterans.”

Pressed repeatedly, Clinton has stopped short of endorsing the proposal. She also has left open the possibility that she would support raising the retirement age at which seniors become eligible for Social Security. “I would consider it,” she told a town meeting in New Hampshire last Oct. 28.

Under Sanders’ plan, a senior making less than $16,000 a year would see income go up by more than $1,300. On average, Social Security benefits would go up by an average of $65 a month.

The measure also would increase cost-of-living adjustments. This year, for only the third time in 40 years, seniors on Social Security are not receiving a cost-of-living increase. Sanders’ legislation would increase COLAs by accurately measuring the spending patterns of seniors. Under current law, the consumer price index used to calculate annual benefit adjustments does not accurately reflect how inflation in health care costs and prescription drug prices impact seniors.

The proposal to lift the cap would raise taxes only on the wealthiest 1.5 percent of Americans.

Strengthen Social Security, Rein in Drug Prices, Bernie Sanders Tells Iowa Seniors

social securty 1NEWTON, Iowa – Meeting on Saturday with Iowa seniors, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders challenged Hillary Clinton to support his proposal to boost Social Security benefits and strengthen the retirement program for decades to come.

Under Sanders’ plan, the wealthiest Americans who make more than $250,000 a year would pay the same share of their income into Social Security as everyone else. Current law now caps the amount of income subject to payroll taxes at $118,500.

“I hope that Hillary Clinton joins me because I believe that we’ve got to stand with seniors,” Sanders told the crowd of 160 at the Jasper County Community Center. Clinton has said raising the cap is “something we should look at” but she has stopped short of endorsing the proposal. She also has left open the possibility that she would support raising the retirement age at which seniors become eligible for Social Security. “I would consider it,” she told a town meeting in New Hampshire last Oct. 28.

Sanders’ proposal to lift the cap would raise taxes only on the wealthiest 1.5 percent of Americans. The new revenue would expand Social Security benefits by an average of $65 a month, increase cost-of-living adjustments and lift seniors out of poverty by boosting benefits for low-income beneficiaries.

For only the third time in 40 years, seniors on Social Security this year are not receiving a cost-of-living increase. Sanders’ legislation would increase COLAs by accurately measuring the spending patterns of seniors. Under current law, the consumer price index used to calculate annual benefit adjustments does not accurately reflect how inflation in health care costs and prescription drug prices impact seniors.

More than 616,000 people in Iowa – nearly 20 percent of the population – receive about $9 billion annually through Social Security. The benefits go to more than 430,000 seniors, 78,000 people with disabilities and more than 38,000 Iowa children.

Sanders also detailed plans to lower prescription drug prices, which soared more than 12 percent in 2014, the biggest jump in a decade. He has introduced a bill in the Senate authorizing the U.S. Health and Human Services Department to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland introduced a companion bill in the House. The measures also would make it legal to import less expensive drugs from Canada and other countries.

In NH, Bernie Sanders Advocates For Expanding Social Security

DOVER, N.H. – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders told seniors at a community center here on Tuesday that more than half of workers nearing retirement have no savings so protecting Social Security is a top priority. He also called for reining in runaway prescription drug prices and stopping cuts to Medicare.

“Millions of seniors including many in New Hampshire and Vermont are struggling just to keep their heads above water,” Sanders told the crowd of 150 people, mostly seniors. “Not only will I oppose any efforts to cut Social Security benefits. What we are going to do is expand Social Security benefits.”Social Security is a key source of income for 42,000 people in New Hampshire whose benefits last year averaged about $15,000. Without Social Security, more than 41 percent of the elderly in New Hampshire would be living in poverty. With Social Security, the elderly poverty rate in New Hampshire is 5.7 percent.

Under current law, the payroll taxes which fund the retirement program are capped at $118,500. Under Sanders’ proposal, the wealthiest Americans who make more than $250,000 annually would pay the same share of their income as everyone else. Lifting the payroll tax cap would only raise taxes on the wealthiest 1.5 percent of Americans. The new revenue would expand Social Security benefits by an average of $65 a month, increase cost-of-living adjustments and boost benefits for low-income beneficiaries.

“Senior citizens with an income of less than $16,000 would see their benefits go up by more than $1,300 a year. Very low-income seniors who put in a lifetime of work would see their benefits go up even more,” Sanders said.

On prescription drugs, Sanders has introduced legislation to rein in prices that jumped more than 12 percent last year, the highest in a decade. “Americans should not have to live in fear that they will go bankrupt if they get sick. People should not have to go without the medication they need just because their elected officials aren’t willing to challenge the drug and health care lobby,” Sanders said.

He noted that the pharmaceutical industry spent nearly $230 million on lobbying last year and employed more than 1,400 registered lobbyists.

Legislation by Sanders and Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland would authorize the U.S. Health and Human Services Department to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. Their bills also would stiffen penalties for drug companies that commit fraud and lower barriers to the importation of less expensive drugs from Canada and other countries.

Sanders has fought Republican efforts to end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher program. “Instead of cutting Medicare, instead of privatizing Medicare, instead of limiting the number of Americans who qualify for Medicare, we must join every other major nation on earth in recognizing that health care is a right, not a privilege and that right should be guaranteed to all, regardless of gender, income, age, or race,” said Sanders, the Democrats’ leader on the Senate Budget Committee.

In South Carolina, Sanders Makes Case for Family Leave, Social Security

ST. HELENA ISLAND, S.C. – Speaking to 600 people packed inside the Penn Center’s Darrah Hall, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday called for paid family leave for new parents and expanded benefits for seniors who rely on Social Security.

Sanders is one of 19 Senate co-sponsors of the Family and Medical Leave Act introduced by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Rep. Rosa DeLauro is the chief sponsor of a companion bill with 112 co-sponsors in the House.

Under both measures, workers would be entitled to three months of paid leave to care for a newborn child. The legislation also calls for a small payroll tax totaling $1.38 a week for a typical worker.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton does not support Gillibrand’s bill, aides have said. Sanders urged all presidential candidates to join him in supporting the legislation.

The senator from Vermont also called on other White House hopefuls to join him in supporting a boost in benefits for retirees and the disabled.

With Social Security recipients facing a coming year with no cost-of-living adjustment for inflation, Sanders’ Social Security Expansion Act would make sure annual inflation adjustments are based on a formula that better measures seniors’ spending. Increasing medical costs and rising prices prescription drugs disproportionately impact seniors, Sanders told the audience here in South Carolina.

Legislation he introduced in the Senate also would increase Social Security benefits and scrap a cap on income subject to the payroll tax. Now, someone making millions of dollars a year pays no more than someone making $118,500 a year. Levying the same tax rate on annual income greater than $250,000 would only impact the top 1.5 percent of wage earners while boosting benefits for millions of retirees.

“I would hope that every Democratic candidate for president of the United States is prepared to lift the cap and expand benefits for millions of seniors in this country who desperately need to see those benefits expanded,” Sanders said.

According to published reports, Clinton has not categorically ruled out benefit cuts including an increase in the retirement age.

Sen. Sanders’ plan to expand and extend Social Security would boost the income of a typical senior making less than $16,000 a year by about $1,300 a year. It would also make sure that Social Security could pay every benefit owed to every eligible American for the next 50 years.

How Raising Wages Effects Seniors And Social Security

Lucy EdwardsLucy Edwards, President of the NH Alliance For Retired American talks about the importance of raising wages for seniors.

A few of the moronic people running for President of the United States, think they will get elected by attacking seniors.

Jeb Bush wants to “phase out Medicare.” Chris Christie and Marco Rubio want to “raise the retirement age” and reduce benefits to those who are collecting a retirement from their former employer.

This would all be good if the system was overstuffed with wealthy seniors who are lapping it up with their luxurious Social Security checks.

The fact is that the average Social Security payout in New Hampshire is $15,739 a year. This is literally on the verge of poverty. There are too many examples of seniors who have been force to sell their lifelong home because they can no longer afford it on Social Security.

Senator Bernie Sanders has been advocating expanding Social Security to help ensure that seniors do not slip into poverty. He also wants to lift the cap on the payroll tax.

On Saturday, Lucy Edwards, president of the NH Alliance for Retired Americans, addressed the more than 200 attendees at the Raising Wages Summit, on the benefits of raising the wages for seniors.

Raising the minimum wage has a direct connection to seniors and specifically their Social Security. Social Security benefits are based on the amount of money you made in each qualifying year. This means that if a worker makes more in their early years, which will benefit them in their later years.

There is another benefit to Social Security that comes from increasing the minimum wage, more payroll tax. Social Security is funded by the minuscule payroll tax automatically comes out of your paycheck. By increasing wages, more money will be collected by the Social Security Payroll tax solidifying the solvency of the program for years to come.

Edwards also highlighted one more reason why we need to raise wages for workers and close the income inequality gap is because we will all live longer. That’s right, inequality can be bad for your health.

Part of the reason low-income workers have a shorter life expectancy is because they tend to work in highly physical jobs that take a strain of their bodies, access to healthcare from an early age and continuing that care as an adult.

Edwards is an outspoken advocate for seniors and all working families. She wants everyone to live well and be able to retire with dignity and security.


Below is the full video from the Lucy Edward’s speech at the Raising Wages Summit.

Speaker Ryan Has Three Goals: Destroy Social Security, Medicare And The USPS

Paul Ryan (FLIKR CC Starley Shelton)

Paul Ryan (FLIKR CC Starley Shelton)

Koch Brothers darling Multi Millionaire Congressman Paul Ryan is leaping back on to the national stage as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Mr Ryan was initially hesitant citing family concerns (despite the fact he is an opponent of paid leave for ordinary Americans)  but eventually was swayed by other GOP leaders to take the job. Ryan, who seems fixated on reducing retirement benefits for both the American public and especially federal workers, will have a larger platform to try to make these cuts a reality. Clearly these ideas are unpopular to many but as Paul Krugman brilliantly stated, Ryan is “the best con man they got.”  Republicans are using him to sell their treasure trove of unpopular policies to the apathetic American Public

Ryan was an architect of George Bush’s  failed plan to partially privatize  Social Security in 2005. More recently Ryan has teamed up with Congressman Darrell Issa to push the idea of reducing Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) benefits for Federal Workers. In a letter to the Congressional Budget Office they emphasized that the CBO should consider “different options for reforming FERS, based on changes made in recent years to other large pension plans, both public and private. The report should include, but not limit itself to, adjusting the retirement contributions of federal employees, altering the formula for computing pension benefit payments, and expanding the defined contribution component while reducing the defined benefit component.” This sounds quite ominous for Federal Workers. The intent is crystal clear.

As outlined in The New Yorker Ryan believes the only reason privatization failed in 2005 was because of the way it was marketed.

“The Administration did a bad job of selling it,” he told me. Bush had campaigned on national-security issues, only to pitch Social Security reform after reelection. “And . . . thud,” Ryan said. “You’ve got to prepare the country for these things. You can’t just spring it on them after you win.” The lesson: “Don’t let the engineers run the marketing department.”

 

Here is where the job of being an elite con man comes into play.

10404189_10153548324976418_913827613849190064_nAfter repeatedly emphasizing he did not want the Speaker’s job he abruptly changed his mind and accepted it. Publicly he worried that “its a job for a empty nester” not a person with young children.  “I cannot and will not give up my family time,” he told reporters before abruptly changing his mind.  Curiously Ryan has been a staunch opponent of paid family leave despite the fact the United States is the only industrialized country in the world that does not offer paid family leave.  Astonishingly this country ranks last in government supported time off for new parents.

“Paul Ryan is rightly concerned about his job’s impact on his spouse and children,” said Judy Conti, federal advocacy coordinator at the National Employment Law Project. “Yet [he] isn’t willing to guarantee that all workers… have the necessary tools to balance their work and family obligations.”FT_13.12.11_parentalLeave

“For workers without paid family leave, taking time off to care for a new baby or a seriously ill loved one can have devastating long-term financial consequences, ranging from racking up credit card debt to raiding savings to bankruptcy,” Dina Bakst, co-founder and co-president of A Better Balance, told ABC News. “Paid family leave would provide a critical safety net for these working families in their times of need.”

Make no mistake Speaker Ryan will be pushing an agenda that is quite friendly to Multi Millionaires children at the expense of working families.  “My greatest worry is the consequence of not stepping up, of some day having my own kids ask me, ‘When the stakes were so high, why didn’t you do all you could? Why didn’t you stand and fight for my future when you had the chance?'” Ryan said to reporters. His children do not have to worry he will make life easier for children of the wealthy at every turn.

Speaker Ryan will try to dismantle the three of most popular parts of the federal government to continue the GOP fixation of shrinking government.

Speaker Ryan accepts millions of dollars from individuals and groups that will profit by turning medicare/medicaid into a voucher scheme and by the privatization of Social Security.  He targets for “reform” include vital government services like the US Postal Service, Social Security Administration, and Medicare/Medicaid all services that benefit ordinary Americans.  The wealthy have no need for a safety net. They want to profit by its demise.

Speaker Ryan will now play the role of con man daily on a national scale. He surely will be selling day for night.  We all must call him out on his continued  hypocrisy before our countries safety net vanishes.  Ryan and his fellow multi millionaire politicians are in politics for the wrong reason. They want to accelerate the wealth of the few at the expense of the many.

 

 

Congress Pushes Budget Deal To Avoid Shutdown, Delays Sequester, And Partially Preserve Social Security

Today the White House and congressional leadership announced a budget agreement that sets government funding levels for two years and extends the nation’s borrowing limit through 2017. The agreement provides the defense and domestic discretionary budgets with equal relief from mandatory spending cuts.

“This budget agreement provides a balanced approach to funding the federal government over the next two years,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen. “I’m very encouraged that leadership in Congress and the White House were able to find a bipartisan compromise that lifts the debt ceiling and provides much needed relief from across the board budget cuts known as sequestration. More blind budget cutting would be disastrous for New Hampshire families and our state’s economy. It’s my hope that Congress can quickly approve this legislation and avoid any last-minute brinkmanship that could threaten the full faith and credit of the United States.”

American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. praised the deal as it relieved workers from the fear of another government shutdown and forced unpaid furloughs. 

“This budget deal is an exceedingly rare example of what can be accomplished when elected leaders put aside their partisan bickering and govern in a responsible way that benefits working families.

The bipartisan budget deal announced by congressional leaders and the White House would suspend sequestration for the next two years and provide much-needed increases in military and domestic spending.

Federal workers have endured $159 billion in cuts under the guise of fiscal restraint, and our members were united in opposing any budget that would target them for additional sacrifice.

The budget also is good news for federal retirees under the Civil Service Retirement System, who will no longer be facing a 53% increase in their premiums under Medicare Part B.

Federal employees are relieved that they will no longer be facing the threat of another government shutdown or unpaid furloughs. We urge the Congress to repeal the Budget Control Act altogether so that these manufactured crises will no longer occur.”

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka appeared to be more relieved than joyful over the deal.

“Congressional leaders and the President successfully eluded the traps set by a conservative faction in Congress who have tried to hold our economy hostage to achieve their radical agenda.

The full faith and credit of the United States will be preserved as we pay our bills on time – preventing brinksmanship over the debt until 2017.

Tight budget caps on defense and non-defense spending will be eased, restoring funding for vital programs and stimulating the economy. While it fails to provide Medicare beneficiaries with full relief from higher costs, it reduces a spike in deductibles for everyone and avoids a sharp increase in premiums for many. It ensures that 11 million Americans on Social Security Disability Insurance continue to receive full benefits through 2022. It avoids across-the-board benefit cuts of nearly 20 percent starting in 2016. 

While it does not offer long-term solutions for these problems, it provides relief without yielding to the conservatives’ extreme “entitlement reform” approaches that would have done real harm.

Now that we have again kept our country from going over the edge, we hope lawmakers will work on a raising wages agenda that can bring better lives to working families.”

Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans was pleased that Congress avoided massive cuts to Social Security and Medicare and vowed to continue pushing for a more accurate way to calculate the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly. 

“Movement to prevent a default and avert a government shutdown is welcome news for all Americans, but the deal is not perfect.

The Alliance for Retired Americans is relieved that this budget deal would protect millions of seniors from significant increases to their Medicare Part B deductibles while preventing a 20% cut to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits in 2016.

The reallocation between the Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and SSDI trust funds would prevent a massive cut in benefits for the disabled. The transfer would not impact the long-term solvency of Social Security.

We would have preferred no increase to Medicare Part B premiums; however, limiting the increases of those who are not ‘held harmless’ is a step in the right direction. In early October, Virginia Alliance President Ron Thompson of Ivor, Virginia spoke at a Capitol Hill press conference on how the increase would financially harm him. Over the last two weeks more than 30,000 Alliance members contacted their Members of Congress saying that a 52% premium hike was unfair and unwarranted. Our voices were heard.

While it appears a crisis has been averted, we have not improved retirement security for our nation’s seniors by expanding their earned Social Security benefits. We will continue to fight to make that a reality by urging Congress to implement a more accurate way to calculate cost-of-living adjustments: the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E).”

Congress Votes Tomorrow On Everything That Will Happen For The Rest Of Obama’s Presidency

Congress West Front Late last night, House GOP leadership announced a compromise bill that will (temporarily) end all the Congress-created crises by setting the federal budget and suspending the debt limit through the end of the Obama presidency.

The House is expected to vote on the bill tomorrow (Wednesday). A draft of the bill is available here.

What it doesn’t do, from the perspective of the Right Wing:

  1. It doesn’t try to force through the Keystone XL Pipeline.
  2. It doesn’t try to de-fund Planned Parenthood.
  3. It doesn’t try to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
  4. It doesn’t try to voucherize Medicare.
  5. It doesn’t try to privatize Social Security.

What it doesn’t do, from the perspective of the Working Class:

  1. It doesn’t rein in corporate giveaways to stockholders, such as dividends and buybacks. (Trillions of dollars that corporations could have used to create jobs, pay fair wages and make long-term investments.)
  2. It doesn’t end the tax preference for unearned income. (Most investment income is still taxed at about half the rate of wage income.) Ending this tax preference could end the budget deficit.
  3. It doesn’t eliminate the Social Security wage cap (which would strengthen Social Security, long-term).
  4. It doesn’t raise the minimum wage.
  5. In its current form, it doesn’t do much to reverse previous cuts to Food Stamps, veterans benefits, and other safety-net programs. It doesn’t mention the 2.1 million American workers who are long-term unemployed… or the 1-in-five American children who are living in poverty.

What it does do:

  1. It loosens the Sequester budget restrictions, both for defense and non-defense spending – and it also increases an off-budget military spending account.
  2. It completely rewrites the procedures governing IRS audits of business partnerships. (Call me cynical, but I’m guessing that part of the bill was written by somebody’s lobbyist.)
  3. It diverts some Social Security tax revenue into the Social Security Disability Trust Fund, and *privacy alert* it also creates a new information clearinghouse (presumably, to be used to detect fraud).
  4. It reduces payments to some Medicare providers and regulates the increase in Medicare supplement policy premiums.
    AND
  5. It renames the small House rotunda… in honor of the House Freedom Caucus.

It does some other things. Please take the time to read through the bill yourself – and encourage your Congressional representatives to do the same. Contact information for those representatives is available here.

————-

Having watched this impossibly deadlocked Congress — and its impossibly intransigent Right Wing

Personally, if this “grand compromise” happens, I don’t expect anything else to get through this Congress until President Obama leaves office.  (Remember, GOP extremists have been working to “submarine his presidency” since the very first day of his first term.)

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