Obama Put Social Security on the Table

AP tagline (08/14): “President Barack Obama used the anniversary of Social Security to trumpet Democrats’ support for the popular program and accuse Republicans of trying to destroy it.” Remember the (stacked) Deficit Commission?  Key relating quote: “everything on the table.”  That was President Obama – including Social Security in the “austerity” mix.  As a result, this is Ripe – as election season ploys (note recent articles on the sway of using Social Security as a mid-term campaign issue).  “Obama said he’s ‘committed to working with anyone, Democrat or Republican, who wants to strengthen Social Security.'”  Somehow, the person who put Social Security “on the table is also supposed to be the same person who is a champion of “strengthen[ing]” it?  (Word game/setup alert: cutting can lead to solvency, even if there are no actual solvency problems.)  On one hand, he scores points by “accus[ing] Republicans of trying to destroy,” based on the privatization issue.  On the other, he had already opened the door to destruction, based on “self-sacrifice” and “personal responsibility” (after 75 years – and millions upon millions have lost their jobs). This is what’s happening – with “everything on the table”: “Housing crisis reaches full boil in East Point; 62 injured.” This is what’s at stake – under the auspice of “Austerity: “Individual Mandates Bootstrap the Homeless.” This is what’s still going on – while we hear condescending updates on “Shared Sacrifice”: “How Goldman gambled on starvation.” Again, what was the (immediate) main target of Bush II after the 2004 (second stolen) election?  Social Security.  Since 1935, what has been at the top of ongoing goals for the conservative elite, as far as dismantling programs?  Social Security.  What was one of the main safety nets we Believed Obama would never allow to be Changed (gutted, step by step)?  Social Security.  As another domino is set to fall because of his administration’s continuous sellouts, there are no doubts of (progressive) betrayal remaining.  The “collective good” they promote is a fascist focus as a guarantee for chosen corporations – and bootstraps as the only guarantee for the masses.

FDR, August 14,1935: “Today a hope of many years’ standing is in large part fulfilled.  The civilization of the past hundred years . . . has tended more and more to make life insecure.  Young people have come to wonder what would be their lot when they came to old age.  The man with a job has wondered how long the job would last.  This social security measure gives at least some protection to thirty millions of our citizens who will reap direct benefits through unemployment compensation, through old-age pensions and through increased services for the protection of children and the prevention of ill health.”

And now, we are maybe two “only a sliverPR cycles (“heated rhetoric“) away from the next Change We Can Heave In. [Other notes: 1) Associated Press: “Unless Congress acts, Social Security’s combined retirement and disability trust funds are expected to run out of money in 2037.”  Pure talking points propaganda.  Reality: “The wildly pessimistic projections are based on assumptions that the economy will grow an average of 1.8 percent per year for the next 75 years – less than half the rate of the previous 75 years.”  2) Republicans: “An increase in Social Security taxes is out of the question, even for the wealthy.”  But, of course.] Update (09/04): Re: Labor Day Irony: The People Who Want to Cut Social Security All Have Great Retirement Plans More Labor Day reflections: The (robber baron) Deficit Commissioners crowd – the “elite” that Bush II referred to as his “base,” the group that President Obama allowed to be purposely stacked into a predetermined place – would have us forget, or evolve from (as in Social Darwinist Commission recommendations) certain history.  What are the origins of the Pullman Strike?  Why did President Cleveland want to “reconci[le]” with the labor movement?  Who was right – the oppressed workers being gouged to early deaths, or rampant, soulless corporatists?  What was right – taking the side of “the least among us” while they were under endless siege, or emboldening the assailants further by placating their ongoing looting mentality?  Further, where did the eight-hour work day/five-day work week come from?  Vacations?  Pensions/retirement?  Child labor and Safety regulations?  Minimum wage?  When corporate marauders crashed the (bubbled) system in 1929 (causing the Great Depression), who eventually stood up to Hoover’s status quo – while providing a mutually benevolent renewal of the rules (and opportunities)?  FDR. Now, under the most similar of circumstances, ask yourselves: Which president, Hoover or FDR, would have set up a Deficit Commission (selectively biased for the bourgeoisie’s desires)?  In relation, what would Bush II have done?  Final question: Who presented a populist campaign based on Hope and Change – then went in the opposite direction once at the helm? Update (11/10): “President Obama’s . . . deficit reduction commission just proposed slashing Social Security.” In relation to narratives created by Fox/Koch Brothers, etc., and what was the continuing mindset of the remaining minority, Obama appointed a biased Deficit Commission – during a Second Depression.  At the same time, he “Put Social Security on the Table.”  Then, the Deficit Commission’s (predetermined) recommendations were put off until after the midterms.  Now, with a new House, Obama and the remaining Blue Dogs will seek even more of that (veil of) “Common Ground,” and “Compromise” – while the sacrificed hear further sermons on the sanctity of sacrificing.

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26 Responses to Obama Put Social Security on the Table

  1. Bruce says:

    That was good stuff!

  2. seaclearly says:

    “What he fails to mention is that the Trust Fund has all been stolen (okay, technically borrowed) by the federal government to fund its own annual deficits, and given the national attitude towards taxes, it will never be repaid.” http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/08/16-7

  3. seaclearly says:

    In regard to the 08/16 article, “Which Party Poses the Real Risk to Social Security’s Future?,” note “Deficit Commission,” “everything on the table,” “privatization,” and “solvency” in my post from 08/15 (Obama Put Social Security On The Table.”

  4. seaclearly says:

    “These three revenue streams — lifting the payroll cap, eliminating the employer tax deduction for providing retirement, and capping or eliminating various wealth deductions — would raise 100 percent of the revenue needed for doubling the payout of Social Security Plus.” http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/08/18

  5. seaclearly says:

    A major flaw in the “austerity” push: Social Security has “a $2.5 trillion surplus” – which has been borrowed from and against. Also, refer to this quote from the Economic Policy Institute in FAIR’s “Situation Room Still Scaring on Social Security” alert: “emphatically not the cause of the federal government’s long-term deficits, since it is prohibited from borrowing and must pay all benefits out of dedicated tax revenues and savings in its trust funds.” In relation, Paul Krugman undercut the propaganda war with “Zombies Have Already Killed The Deficit Commission.” And, the bottom line remains: with “everything on the table,” “cutting can lead to solvency, even if there are no actual solvency problems.”


  6. seaclearly says:

    The Republicans are right to attack President Obama for creating a false crusade against Social Security privatization. It’s good to know that he’s against it, but we don’t need to know what his definition of ‘is’ is.”

  7. seaclearly says:

    In a letter to be sent to President Obama, obtained by TPM, House Democrats will pledge to vote against any legislation based on the commission’s report unless Social Security is taken off the table.

  8. seaclearly says:

    Paul Krugman: Paradoxes Of Deleveraging And Releveraging

    “Rational analysis and argumentation convinces only those capable of acting on the basis of rational decision rather than emotions, Paul, and personal bias. Argue as you will, but those in D.C.., especially the Republicans, know that our citizenry votes primarily votes on the basis of bias, prejudice, and emotional reaction. Even if they recognize intellectually like most of your readers that what you’re saying is the more likely accurate hypothesis, they can sit back in comfort as coached by Karl Rove and led by Boehner, McCain, Palin et al and watch as the voters gather like a storm to put back into the majority the very people who led the voters into this debacle to begin with.

    Remember, even the Hebrews were revolting against Moses after a few weeks in the wilderness and wondering why they’d left the comfortable oppression of Egyptians. If even God can’t convince human beings, you definitely have your work cut out for you.

    But keep it up. I’m cheering you on.”

  9. seaclearly says:

    So I campaigned on ‘Yes We Can!’ in a MLK tone, and PRed the FDR-style ‘Change.’ Didn’t it make you feel good?” (Laughter.) “[Since] a mandate was a solution, we [can now] try that to solve homelessness by mandating everyone buy a house.” (Laughter.) “In 2008, I said that drilling would not reduce gas prices ‘by one penny,’ nor would it significantly reduce the demand for foreign oil. Now, I’ve proved it.” (Laughter.) “[My] administration [asserts] it [can] continue to imprison non-U.S. citizens indefinitely even if they have been acquitted of terrorism charges by a U.S. military commission.” “Why? Because releasing a detainee who has been tried and found not guilty [is] a policy decision that [we] make based on estimate[s] of whether the prisoner pose[s] a future threat.” “1984! Ooh. What’s even more scary is we use verifiable psychics who create Minority Reports.” (Laughter.) “No, really, we do. There’s a guy down in the South who hasn’t committed a crime yet. But, our teams have been covertly targeting and harassing the subject, without charges, since the Clinton administration.” (Laughter.) Etc.

  10. seaclearly says:

    “[Since] a mandate was a solution, [are we now going to] try that to solve homelessness by mandating everyone buy a house[?]”

  11. seaclearly says:

    Re: Familiar GOP Plan Lives: Cutting Social Security to ‘Save It’

    The Deficit Commission, which was never “bipartisan” in goals, “due to issue a report Dec. 1″ ( as a means of bypassing more repercussions of the midterm elections), was “appointed by President Obama.” Remember this, when all the shockwaves and resulting commentaries on the outrages arrive on Dec. 2. Remember this, while reflecting on the following response to a cry for a foreclosure moratorium (50 state attorneys general involved) due to revelations of institutionalized (ENRON) Fraud: “This is not a problem for [us] to fix. This is a problem for the banks and servicers to fix. They can fix it as fast as they feel like it.” Remember this, as our president campaigns against extremist republicans with criticisms of their “Snake Oil Ideas.” Bottom Line: Obama Put Social Security On The Table http://wp.me/phRi4-vn
    And that, once again, reflects his true nature.

  12. […] Obama Put Social Security On The Table […]

  13. […] Obama, the Rodney Dangerfield of 2010, gets no respect for” . . . appointing a Deficit Commission, dead-set on gutting Social Security as “austerity”/”self-sacrificing” measures (but put […]

  14. […] ‘bipartisan’ deficit reduction commission just proposed slashing Social Security.”  “Obama Put Social Security on the Table.”  Then, the Deficit Commission’s (predetermined) recommendations were put off until after the […]

  15. SeaClearly says:

    Tell AARP CEO Barry Rand to End Back-Room Strategy Sessions With Safety Net Opponents http://my.firedoglake.com/bsonenstein/2012/03/16/tell-aarp-ceo-barry-rand-to-end-back-room-strategy-sessions-with-safety-net-opponents/

    “At long last, [1% elite corporatists], have you left no sense of decency?”

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