Blue Dog Democrats and Republicans Are Out to Kill Social Security and Medicare

Wall Street Propaganda: Blame Social Security

Posted By Mike Hall On May 26, 2010 @ 5:04 pm In Economy, Legislation & Politics | 8 Comments

The President’s Fiscal Commission is holding its second pubic meeting today and when commission members say “everything is in the table,” the biggest things they are talking about are Social Security and Medicare.

The commission was created by an [1] Executive Order from President Obama in February after a move to create a commission with much broader powers [2] failed in the Senate. The current commission’s charge is to propose ways to address the nation’s growing debt. The 18-member commission will meet throughout the year and then present its recommendations to Obama after the fall elections. (For more information, visit [3] Social Security Works.)

Conservative groups and Wall Street insiders, says [4] Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research ([5] CEPR),

are spending more than $1 billion dollars to convince the public that slashing these programs [Social Security and Medicare] is the only way to protect our children and grandchildren from poverty.

But while we will see and hear more deficit horror stories from the corporate media and right-wing front groups, Baker says that as they “ramp up their anti-Social Security and Medicare crusade, it is important to remember, it’s just Wall Street propaganda.”

As William Greider recently pointed at [6] The Nation (subscription required):

Here is what the media don’t tell you: Social Security has accumulated a massive surplus–$2.5 trillion now, rising to $4.3 trillion by 2023. This vast wealth was collected over many years from workers under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) to pay in advance for baby boom retirements. The money will cover all benefits until the 2040s–unless Congress double-crosses workers by changing the rules.

According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, most of the deficit over the next 10 years will come from the Bush administration’s tax cuts for the rich, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the staggering economy and rising heath care costs–although the new health care reform law is expected to rein much of those costs. Says AFL-CIO President [7] Richard Trumka:

The main driver of the recent increases in deficit projections is worsening economic conditions–in short, the present deficit crisis is largely a symptom of the jobs crisis.

Barbara Kennelly. President of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare ([8] NCPSSM), says if the “commission’s goal is to get our nation’s fiscal house in order then its attention should be on programs which contribute to our debt and the revenue reforms necessary to improve the federal balance sheet.”

Unfortunately, too much attention thus far has been focused on using Social Security as the piggybank for fiscal reform.  Let’s be clear about this, Social Security has not contributed one dime to our current fiscal woes because that money was contributed by America’s workers over decades. Cutting benefits under the guise of “fiscal responsibility” is anything but responsible during a time when retirees and near retirees are still suffering the effects of this recession.

Trumka says that when the commission finishes its deliberations in December, “Congress should not merely rubberstamp its recommendations.”

Legislation of the magnitude likely to be proposed should be considered under the regular congressional process… Under no circumstances should deficit alarmists be allowed to circumvent the regular democratic process to advance their long-standing agenda of gutting Medicare and Social Security.

Article printed from AFL-CIO NOW BLOG:

URL to article:

URLs in this post:
[1] Executive Order:
[2] failed in the Senate:

[3] Social Security Works:
[4] Dean Baker:
[5] CEPR:
[6] The Nation:
[7] Richard Trumka:
[8] NCPSSM):

4 thoughts on “Blue Dog Democrats and Republicans Are Out to Kill Social Security and Medicare”

  1. In light of the BP oil calamity it’s quite obvious that something must be done, and fast, if we are to save our world from corporations that would prefer to place huge profits above that of our environmental and financial welfare.

    As large corporations gobble up smaller corporations in an attempt to seize an even bigger piece of the global economic pie, it seems that businesses have been allowed to grow, unfettered, into unwieldy corporate behemoths (a.k.a., British Petroleum) with little, if any, regulations regarding their obligations to national sovereignties or allegiances.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I believe that if a corporation begins its “life” in a particular country, than it has an obligation to that country and its people: due in part to the patronage of its citizens throughout the years in helping that corporation to grow. When I hear about American businesses pulling up stakes and moving to other countries in lieu of cheaper labor and supplies elsewhere, I feel both embarrassed and betrayed. (They would be nothing if it weren’t for people like you and me. After all, we purchased their services, time and time again, fostering them constantly by giving them the opportunity to flourish. Our final reward for all our efforts? Millions of fellow Americans out of work, all desperately hoping that their unemployment benefits never run out.)

    I agree that the bad news is not just happening here in America, but around the globe. I blame that on the evolution of the business model: over the years, it has been compressed into a precise science in an effort to squeeze every last drop of profit out of the proverbial “bottom-line.” I began to notice the change in the late 1970’s when I was in my teens. Back then, it was a different world for me and I didn’t seem to care too much. Today however, it is a different story.

    What can we collectively do as Americans?

    Contact your representatives in the House and Senate. Let them know that

    big business should be regulated and ask them to enact laws to:

    1.Ensure that all corporations “born” within the United States deter from any and all actions that would adversely affect our country;

    2.Place high tariffs on imports from American businesses that move their bases of operations (not to mention our jobs) to other regions of the world;

    3.Work to limit their corporate power and influence in Washington D.C. by passing laws whereby politicians, found to have ties with said corporations or corporate lobbyists resign.

    4.Endeavor to ban all corporate favors and corporate lobbyists from Washington D.C.

    Essentially, it’s up to us to fashion our own future. If we don’t, rest assured that someone, or some corporation will.

    •(I know that BP was not born and reared here in the United States. I was merely using it as a reference as to what corporations are capable of doing if left to their own devices.)

  2. On the Back Page (#15) of the Parade, May 9, 2010 Article “How Much Government” had a picture of Presiden Roosevelt signing the Social Security.
    I believe the woman in the picture is my late Aunt Mary A. Miller. She worked as a secretary for the Law Firm in New York which was hired to help draw up the plans for Social Security. She was age 40 at this time.
    I have been unable to get any information from Parade Magazine or David Gergen (the author of this article).
    I would appreciate any help you might be able to find. I have put together her history for the Mishawaka, IN Public Library
    and would like to include this information in her booklet.
    Thank you in advance. Very truly yours,
    Shirley J Nichols
    1648 Wheelhouse Circle
    RUSKIN, FL 33570

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