— by ducksoup
The Republicans and other rightwingers vigorously and effectively portrayed Obama as a “socialist” or a “Marxist” or “too liberal.” The media people, being very stupid and afraid to say anything different, continued and repeated the rightwingers’ chant that Obama’s problem was that he was “too left-leaning.”
I even heard that turd David Gergen talking about Obama’s need to destroy Social Security (my verb, not his).
Obama’s problem is not that he has been too inclined to act in ways that pleased his base but that he acted in ways that infuriated his base, the very people who had voted for him: Democrats, liberals, women, gays, working class people, and independents.
He kow-towed to the corporate interests and big banks in his financial “reform” scam by not reining in the too-big-to-fail banks and cow-towed to the health insurance companies when be surrendered on universal healthcare and/or the public option without even making a pretense of a fight for those issues. He ducked and weaved on DADT and DOMA, further alienating the folks on the left to whom those were and remain important issues.
So, if Obama and the media whores now see this Republican sweep as a call for Obama to “move to the right” or further right, we are doomed.
The crazies on the Right are in the ascendancy, the Left is battered and subdued, the Right has all the passion, the Left has none. And the media goons will continue to press Obama to move further and further to the Right by cutting taxes on the rich, de-regulating whatever is still regulated (such as the safety of our food and the solvency of our pensions) and joining with the Republicans to end all pollution controls; end all wildlife preservation; end all efforts to keep our water supply safe and adequate; end all efforts to keep our air clean, safe and breathable; end all efforts to keep our roadways, tunnels and bridges repaired and safe; and in general end all efforts to protect the American middle class, the elderly, the poor, the children.
Next time anyone decides to vote for the Republicans to punish the Democrats for their wimpishness, remember what it is the Republicans plan to do to us and ponder if you like their plans and actions any better.
Just because it’s uncomfortable in the frying pan doesn’t mean that jumping into the fire will improve your body temperature or your life.
(c) 2010 by ‘ducksoup’. All rights reserved.
Ducksoup, a fine post; I’d followed on JWS’s site the unrolling debate. TL, you held your own against Alexei well w/ your riposte about conservatives not wanting charity not out of concern for their fellows, but out of holding on to their own wallets. And, may I add that only now did I find your “is it ok if we half-white guy gets only half the blame?” As he’s halfway through his term, that’s fair. But I thought he was half-black? Our first “African American” president, not our first multiracial one, is how he’s sold to us, as if the one-drop rule still rules now.
ducksoup has actually been the one providing the strongest concrete evidence that Social Security is not in any imminent danger, nor is it draining our federal resources.
That argument is a canard. The real opposition to SS & medicare is from people who think the recipients haven’t worked as hard / aren’t as smart as them, and so are “undeserving.”
Most libertarians try to trick you with specious arguments intended to mimic liberal ideals, while hiding their true agenda more jealously than the Pythagoreans hid the existence of irrational numbers. At least Alexei came right out and said what he really felt. And, as long as you’re straight, I’ll keep discussing. IMO, it’s still a heartless, war-of-all-against-all outlook, and I don’t want to live like Mad Max.
Since Big T brought up the topic of Social Security, I would just add this:
I think it is fair to say that Alexei does NOT grasp how Social Security works. He cites the fact that for a month or so, Social Security paid out more in benefits than it took in as revenue FOR THOSE MONTHS — and he concludes that proves Social Security is operating in the red and is bankrupt.
Social Security is NOT bankrupt.
Social Security has trillions of dollars in assets and merely dipped into its own fund to pay out benefits for these few months.
Alexei tells us how grandly the stock market has bounced back to normal — and how everything is swell again.
If that is all true, that means Social Security will quickly resume taking in more revenue than it pays out each month — and the Social Security Trust Fund will continue accumulating a SURPLUS, as it has done for decades.
Social Security is NOT broke, is NOT going broke, and WILL pay out benefits for the next 40 years even if nothing is done to boost its surplus. If Congress just ups the amount of income taxable for Social Security purposes, Social Security will continue to pay out promised benefits for at least the next 75 years.
Thanks, Fionnchú :-)
duck, since you’re our expert, are you up for writing a little primer on SS, to give us talking points to strike back at these lies?
Thank you for thinking I am some sort of expert on Social Security but I really am not. Back in 2005, when Bush was trying to privatize Social Security, there was a massive amount of information on the Internet that was available for those of us who wished to do battle with Bush and the privatizing Republicans; I have saved a lot of that information. Unfortunately it is stored on an old computer that I was using then, and I have to retrieve it from there — which I have already begun doing, but it will take a while. I also have more updated information which I will access as well. To begin with, probably the best thing I can do is to provide links to a lot of reliable data on Social Security and a lot of competent commentary from experts. Does that all sound good to you?
I would just add this thought: Everyone should beware of believing anything coming from Republicans and other rightwingers about Social Security. There is a well-funded and well-organized effort on The Right to destroy Social Security, and the perpetrators will usually resort to outright lying about the program and its solvency. Don’t believe a word they say or write about Social Security; those goons on The Right are despicable and dishonest.
Good call, duck. Obama lost because he listened to the corporate overlords instead of his base, not because he didn’t listen to the corporate overlords enough. For example, he lost women. You can;t win elections without women.
The LAST thing Obama needs to do is move more to the Right or “compromise” with these Republicans. Their idea of compromise is to do things THEIR way; they will never give up on anything they want.
There was a time when compromise with Republicans was possible and worthwhile; that day is long gone.
Obama has already compromised away all the issues he ran on and that people who supported him believed he would fight for.
I was a charter member of MoveOn.org and happily participated in its actions UNTIL it went against its own policies and backed Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in the primaries. That is when I quit MoveOn.org.
However and despite my negative feelings toward MoveOn.org, I am happy to note their fight to preserve Social Security. MoveOn has published a list of phony “facts” put forward by creeps like Alan Simpson who have devoted their adult lives to killing off Social Security. I almost cannot think of a politician I despise as much as I despise Alan Simpson — and that has been my feeling for a very long time and for very many reasons (not the least of which is Clarence Thomas on the Sup.Ct.).
Social Security protects more than elderly people; it also protects children and widows of deceased workers and it protects the disabled who are unable to work.
“One third of beneficiaries collect survivors or disability insurance, keeping millions of families with a disabled or deceased breadwinner out of poverty.” http://tinyurl.com/26hkkb6
Social Security has saved millions of Americans from grinding and heart-breaking poverty.
How DARE this creep Alan Simpson (who is independently wealthy) try to destroy a program that has functioned without scandal and on behalf of America’s most vulnerable populations for decades?
How DARE that creep?
Furthermore, creeps like Alan Simpson NEGLECT to tell the American public that Social Security — by law — has not added and cannot add one cent to the federal budget deficit. Social Security is a Self-Funding program.
Top 5 Social Security Myths
Rumors of Social Security’s demise are greatly exaggerated. But some powerful people keep spreading lies about the program to scare people into accepting benefit cuts. Can you check out this list of Social Security myths and share it with your friends, family and coworkers?
MYTH: Social Security is going broke.
Reality: There is no Social Security crisis. By 2023, Social Security will have a $4.3 trillion surplus (yes, trillion with a ‘T’). It can pay out all scheduled benefits for the next quarter-century with no changes whatsoever.1 After 2037, it’ll still be able to pay out 75% of scheduled benefits–and again, that’s without any changes. The program started preparing for the Baby Boomers retirement decades ago.2 Anyone who insists Social Security is broke probably wants to break it themselves.
MYTH: We have to raise the retirement age because people are living longer.
Reality: This is a red-herring to trick you into agreeing to benefit cuts. Retirees are living about the same amount of time as they were in the 1930s. The reason average life expectancy is higher is mostly because many fewer people die as children than did 70 years ago.3 What’s more, what gains there have been are distributed very unevenly–since 1972, life expectancy increased by 6.5 years for workers in the top half of the income brackets, but by less than 2 years for those in the bottom half.4 But those intent on cutting Social Security love this argument because raising the retirement age is the same as an across-the-board benefit cut.
MYTH: Benefit cuts are the only way to fix Social Security.
Reality: Social Security doesn’t need to be fixed. But if we want to strengthen it, here’s a better way: Make the rich pay their fair share. If the very rich paid taxes on all of their income, Social Security would be sustainable for decades to come.5 Right now, high earners only pay Social Security taxes on the first $106,000 of their income.6 But conservatives insist benefit cuts are the only way because they want to protect the super-rich from paying their fair share.
MYTH: The Social Security Trust Fund has been raided and is full of IOUs
Reality: Not even close to true. The Social Security Trust Fund isn’t full of IOUs, it’s full of U.S. Treasury Bonds. And those bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.7 The reason Social Security holds only treasury bonds is the same reason many Americans do: The federal government has never missed a single interest payment on its debts. President Bush wanted to put Social Security funds in the stock market–which would have been disastrous–but luckily, he failed. So the trillions of dollars in the Social Security Trust Fund, which are separate from the regular budget, are as safe as can be.
MYTH: Social Security adds to the deficit
Reality: It’s not just wrong — it’s impossible! By law, Social Security funds are separate from the budget, and it must pay its own way. That means that Social Security can’t add one penny to the deficit.1
1.”To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security” New Deal 2.0, June 14, 2010
2. “The Straight Facts on Social Security” Economic Opportunity Institute, September 2009
Click to access StraightFactsSocialSecurity-Sep09.pdf
3. “Social Security and the Age of Retirement”Center for Economic and Policy Research, June 2010
4. “More on raising the retirement age” Ezra Klein, Washington Post, July 8, 2010
5. “Social Security is sustainable” Economic and Policy Institute, May 27, 2010
6. “Maximum wage contribution and the amount for a credit in 2010.” Social Security Administration, April 23, 2010
7. “Trust Fund FAQs” Social Security Administration, February 18, 2010
8. “To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security” New Deal 2.0, June 14, 2010
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Read this at: http://pol.moveon.org/ssmyths/index.html