Black People : Will there be cuts in Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare?

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Ankhur, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Obama Cuts Deal To Reduce Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid
    January 20, 2010 ·

    Hopes for any pretense of liberal change from the Obama administration collapsed yesterday, and not only because of the election in Massachusetts. While the Massachusetts voters were casting their ballots to install the upstart Republican Scott Brown to Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, the White House was hammering out a closed-door deal to cut entitlements. Obama won the support of Democratic leaders for a plan to issue an executive order that would inevitably lead to reductions in Social Security, and especially Medicare and Medicaid.

    The plan represents a capitulation to conservatives in both parties, and would leave Democratic liberals accepting unconditional surrender not only on health care, but on the most basic of all New Deal programs. As hopes of even a tepid health care reform wane, the effect of this plan, if accepted by Congress, will be to undermine the only single-payer health care programs this nation has ever known–Medicare for elders, and Medicaid for the poor. As an attack on entitlements, it has the potential to go beyond anything the Reagan and Bush administrations were able to achieve.


    full article;
    http://unsilentgeneration.com/2010/...social-securitymedicare-and-all-entitlements/
     
  2. London

    London Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    There will be cuts all round. Can we organise for ourselves ?
     
  3. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    thank you

    I will bump up my post on that made a minute ago
     
  4. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    vThe masters of corporate media proclaim that their raid on social security, is a done deal. “Entitlements,” their code word for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, will be cut in the lame duck session of Congress, with Democratic president Barack Obama taking the lead. Though the outlines of this raid have been clear for months, what passes for black America's political leadership class have been silent. As far as we know, they have not been ordered to shut up. They have silenced themselves, in abject deference to the corporate black Democrat in the White House.

    It took a Republican Richard Nixon to open relations with China in the seventies. It took Democrat Bill Clinton to impose draconian cuts in welfare and end college courses for prisoners in the nineties. And today, only a black Democratic president can sufficiently disarm Democrats, only a black Democrat can demobilize the black polity completely enough for the raid on “entitlements” to be successful.

    For the current crop of black leaders, the only legitimate “black” issues are voting rights, (but not for the incarcerated or formerly incarcerated) minority contracting, and funding for HBCUs and various “civil rights” museums and memorials. But in the real world where most African Americans families live, proposals to raise the retirement age,and cut Medicaid or Medicare are dire economic threats. In the U.S. which existed before social security, elders with dwindling assets and little savings unable to work simply went hungry, or were a financial drain upon younger members of their families until they died. This is the real world that corporate Democrats and Republicans intend to bring back.

    The president, as BAR's Glen Ford warns, is about to triangulate himself between the extreme pro-corporate demands of his own “deficit commission,” and voters, in order to inflict a fatal wound on social security, Medicare and Medicaid. Many among the current Congressional Black Caucus are utterly unprepared to stand against the corporate onslaught to gut social security because it is backed by the same forces who have made their political careers possible, and spearheaded by a black Democrat in the White House. The NAACP and similar advocacy organizations too have neutered themselves with a generation of corporate financing and the “reward” of regular meetings with White House officials.

    “If real black leadership existed right now, it would stand up for lowering, not raising the retirement age.”

    In the real world, very few elders, and percentage-wise, even fewer black elders will be able to lead anything like a dignified life off retirement savings and 401K plans. If real black leadership existed right now, it would stand up for lowering, not raising the retirement age. Besides obligating millions who are physically unable to seek or sustain employment far into their seventh decade, raising the retirement age will add millions of unemployed elders to the work force, where they will compete with their own children and grandchildren for scarce employment opportunities. If black America had a real voice you'd hear it on the radio and TV explaining that lowering the retirement age would open up millions of jobs for deserving younger workers. You'd read in black newspapers and magazines that a modest rise in benefits would encourage more people to retire, and that those benefits would be immediately spent to fire up the economy, unlike the hundreds of billions in “quantitative easing” doled out to banksters who aim to use it to buy up foreign assets.

    Inflicting a fatal wound on social security has been the aim of America's business class for generations. It is a project upon which some of them have spent billions. Thanks to our lack of a functioning black press, or electronic media that address black audiences, most African Americans don't know who billionaire Pete Peterson is.



    www.blackagendareport.com
     
  5. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Published on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 by Labor Notes
    Billionaire Launches Campaign to Slash Social Security
    by Jane Slaughter

    Why does a billionaire want to take away your Social Security benefits? [1]

    Peter Peterson is 84 years old. He's old enough to relax and enjoy the fruits of the years he was well paid for managing other rich people's money. Why is he spending his fortune to convince politicians they should ruin the average guy's retirement?

    Today Peterson announced the next facet in his long campaign to hack Social Security, including a joke Presidential candidate named Hugh Jidette ("huge debt") and a website called Owe No. His aim is to convince Congress to raise the retirement age, cut Social Security's cost-of-living increases-and raise the payroll taxes we pay for Social Security and Medicare.

    It wouldn't matter what one cranky octogenarian billionaire had to say if he weren't putting $6 million into ads, funding "expert" commissions, and spreading lies designed to panic the populace.

    Maybe Peterson figures offense is better than defense-he's got a lot to defend. He made his fortune as a hedge fund manager-that is, moving money around-so he ought to be living in fear. Someone might get the idea he and his buddies would be good folks to tax. It's like Willie Sutton, the famous bank robber, once said. Asked why he robbed banks, Sutton replied, "Because that's where the money is."

    Peterson and pals are the ones George Bush gifted with big tax breaks that are set to expire December 31. Although he says his top priority is reducing the deficit, Peterson doesn't want to cut that deficit by putting his own taxes back where they were in the 1990s.

    It's hard to get your head around how rich Peterson is, and how many rich people there are in this country. But here's how to put their money in perspective, in relation to Social Security. If Congress decides to extend those tax cuts, for households making $250,000 or more (the top 2 percent of earners), the money the Treasury will lose would be enough to put Social Security in the black for 75 years--and raise benefits by 2 percent.

    First They Took Your House
    Meanwhile, we have a big chunk of near-retirees today who have barely seen their wages rise at all during their working lifetimes, the last 30 years. They couldn't save a huge amount; what they saved they had in home equity. And that was wiped away by the financial shenanigans of Peter Peterson and his ilk. There are millions of potential retirees who will have next to nothing except Social Security if they're ever able to retire. It wasn't enough for Wall Street to rob us of our houses' worth and what we had in 401(k)s. Now they want to take Social Security too.

    Like I said, I don't understand it. Is there no shuffleboard court where this man could spend his golden years?

    www.commondreams.org
     
  6. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The Fight to Save Social Security Begins


    By Shamus Cooke

    Global Research, November 12, 2010


    With national elections barely over, Republicans and Democrats unveiled their real political agenda, in the form of Obama's Deficit Reduction Commission. The bi-partisan commission has a nightmare vision for working people that, if implemented, will remold American society to mirror the current ruler of U.S. politics -- the corporations and wealthy.

    http://www.fiscalcommission.gov/news/cochairs-proposal

    The commission openly attacks Social Security and Medicare. The retirement age would be raised from 67 to 68 (for those born after 1959) and from 68 to 69 (for everyone born after 2006). This is divide and rule at its best, meant to target only specific ages of the population in phases, while ignoring those who are currently about to retire.

    But current retirees will be affected too. The social security cost of living adjustment will be unhinged from the inflation index to save money, meaning, that payments will decrease via inflation on a possibly annual basis.

    Medicare will be cut too. Beneficiaries will pay an estimated $85 billion out of their pockets [!] from 2011-2020, in the form of increased co-pays, deductibles, and other measures. Payments to doctors will decrease, meaning, that fewer doctors will accept Medicaid. This attack on Medicare comes on the heels of the assault Obama launched in his health care "reform;” the program is being reduced to shambles.

    Shockingly, one of the commission's options for tax reform worsens the measures that caused the U.S. deficit in the first place. The Reagan/Bush/Bush Jr. tax cuts for the very wealthy -- that depleted federal revenue -- would be further increased so that the tax rates would be reduced from 35 to 23 percent (The Obama Administration has recently signaled that it is willing to renege on its pledge to overturn the Bush Jr. tax cuts).

    Corporate taxes would be likewise lowered from 35 to 26 percent.

    Consequently, taxes on working people are proposed to be raised, albeit indirectly: those fortunate enough to own a home will no longer get a tax deduction for home mortgage interest.

    Workers with employee health care will see their health care taxed as income [!].

    The federal gas tax will be doubled.

    And lastly, the federal workforce will be reduced by about 200,000 by 2015, while those who are retired will see their pensions reduced.
    These proposals were explained as a "starting point,” with the implication that cuts could be even deeper.


    www.globalreseach.ca
     
  7. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Obama Deficit Commission Criticized for Proposals to Slash Social Security, Medicare
    The co-chairmen of the bipartisan presidential deficit commission released a list of recommendations Wednesday on ways to reduce the nation’s deficit by $4 trillion by 2020. Co-chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson have proposed raising the retirement age for Social Security to 69 by the year 2075, decreasing the cost of living benefits for Social Security recipients, imposing new limits on the Medicare health insurance program, and ending several middle-class tax breaks. We speak with economist Robert Kuttner. [


    Robert Kuttner, Journalist and economist. He is the co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect magazine, as well as a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the think tank Demos. His latest book is A Presidency in Peril: The Inside Story of Obama’s Promise, Wall Street’s Power, and the Struggle to Control our Economic Future.
    ...
    JUAN GONZALEZ: On Wednesday, the co-chairmen of the bipartisan presidential deficit commission released a list of recommendations on ways to reduce the nation’s deficit by $4 trillion by 2020. Co-chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson have proposed raising the retirement age for Social Security to 69 by the year 2075, [decreasing] the cost of living benefits for Social Security recipients, imposing new limits on Medicare health insurance programs, and ending several middle-class tax breaks.
    Many of the proposals read like a wish list for the Republican Party, including the elimination of funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the capping of jury awards in malpractice cases, and a major reduction in corporate income taxes.

    But the commission is also making significant cuts to the Pentagon budget. The draft proposals call for the closing of one-third of the nation’s overseas military bases, a temporary freeze on Defense Department salaries, and a reduction on the Pentagon’s reliance on private contractors.

    AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka slammed the commission’s proposals. He said, quote, "The chairmen of the Deficit Commission just told working Americans to 'drop dead.' Especially in these tough economic times," Trumka said, it is, quote, "unconscionable to be proposing cuts to the critical economic lifelines for working people, Social Security and Medicare."

    The commission’s co-chair, Erskine Bowles, said Wednesday that the nation is facing an economic crisis if the budget deficit is not addressed.

    ERSKINE BOWLES: We are on the most predictable path towards an economic crisis that I can imagine. The path we’re on today is not sustainable. And I don’t know a soul on this commission or anywhere else in the Congress that believes it is. The arithmetic is compelling. This debt is like a cancer that will truly destroy this country from within if we don’t fix it, and we can’t grow ourself out of this problem. We could have double-digit growth for decades and not solve this problem. We can’t tax our way out of this problem, and we can’t cut our way out of this problem. It’s going to take some combination thereof.

    JUAN GONZALEZ: To talk more about the deficit commission’s proposals, we’re joined by the journalist and economist Robert Kuttner. He’s the co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect magazine. His latest book is called A Presidency in Peril: The Inside Story of Obama’s Promise, Wall Street’s Power, and the Struggle to Control our Economic Future.

    Welcome to Democracy Now!, Robert Kuttner.

    ROBERT KUTTNER: Thanks so much for having me. Thanks so much for having me.

    JUAN GONZALEZ: Your reaction to the preliminary proposals, because obviously the commission has not yet even voted on these proposals. This is sort of the outline of what they’re considering. Your reaction?

    ROBERT KUTTNER: Well, the only thing worse than the economics is the politics. The economics are totally perverse. Bowles talks about being on a path to an economic crisis. Of course, we’re in an economic crisis. We’re in a prolonged recession that bears more resemblance really to a depression. And you cannot get out of a depression by austerity. The idea that you should have an arbitrary set of cuts in the deficit at a time when you need more public spending is totally perverse. It’s the economics of Herbert Hoover. It’s the politics of the Republican right. And it’s one more indication of the capture of the Obama administration by Wall Street.

    I mean, Erskine Bowles gets over $300,000 a year for attending a few meetings of Morgan Stanley, the investment bank, on whose board he sits, so he gets more money in board fees than 99 percent of Americans earn. And you’ve got three privately funded commissions by the Peterson Foundation, Pete Peterson, proposing the same stuff. It’s intended to create a drumbeat to carry out a wish list that has long been the goal of fiscal conservatives, that has nothing to do with this crisis. Social Security is in surplus for the next 27 years. So, the idea that you can somehow get the budget closer to balance by cutting Social Security is perverse. It’s politically insane.
    And if the President had the kind of spine that we hoped he had when we elected him, he would be saying, "No way are we going to balance the budget on the backs of working people." Instead, I think the risk is that the President is going to embrace some version of this. And the hope is that the four progressives on the commission, three of whom have already said "no way," plus Max Baucus, the chair of the Senate Finance Committee who’s on the commission, will view this as a threat to his prerogatives as a Senate committee chairman. The best thing about this commission is that maybe it will deadlock.

    JUAN GONZALEZ: And when you say the four progressives, who are the other progressives that you are expecting to stand up on these issues?

    ROBERT KUTTNER: Well, Jan Schakowsky, who’s a member of the Democratic House leadership, she’s a very progressive member of Congress from Chicago; Xavier Becerra, also a progressive; and Dick Durbin, the senator from Illinois. They have said "no way." Andy Stern, the former head of the Service Employees International Union, is on the commission. Andy is a bit of a free spirit. Andy loves to see if there can be some kind of a deal. But I think this particular deal will even stick in Stern’s craw. So, I think the hope is that the Republicans, some of them, will say, "Well, nothing that reduces defense spending or reduces tax loopholes are we going to support," and the liberals on the commission will hang tough and say, "No way are we going to cut Social Security and Medicare."

    I think the problem is that the editorialists of this country—if you read this morning’s New York Times editorial—are saying, "Well, gee, anything that the left and the right don’t like must be pretty good." And that’s exactly wrong. I mean, this is a case where the so-called center just completely has it wrong. You cannot get out of a depression by having deeper cuts in spending. And I think if you look at the criticism of the Federal Reserve policy of buying treasuries because it doesn’t know what else to do, in the hope that that will lower interest rates and somehow stimulate recovery, the Fed is doing that as a last resort because Congress is opposed to increasing social investment. The only way you can really get out of a prolonged slump like this is to increase social investment in job creation, in the infrastructure, in the clean energy that the country needs. And yet that path seems to be blocked. And instead of fighting for some degree of public investment, Obama, who, after all, appointed this commission, is at risk of embracing at least some of its proposals.

    www.democracynow.org
     
  8. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    So clearly there was a previous agenda to mess with Social Security and this whole making it a Good Cop/ Bad Cop ; Circus show before the election is really a shamPublished on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 by TruthDig.com


    Debt Madness Was Always About Killing Social Security

    by Robert Scheer


    This phony debt crisis has now passed through the looking glass into the realm where madness reigns. What should have been an uneventful moment in which lawmakers make good on the nation’s contractual obligations has instead been seized upon by Republican hypocrites as a moment to settle ideological scores that have nothing to do with the debt.
    Hypocrites, because their radical free market ideology, and the resulting total deregulation of the financial markets, is what caused the debt to spiral out of control this last decade. That and the wars George W. Bush launched but didn’t have the integrity to responsibly finance. The consequence was a banking bubble and crash leading to a 50 percent run-up of the debt that has nothing to do with the “entitlements” that those same Republicans have always wanted to destroy.
    Even Barack Obama has put cuts in those programs into play, warning ominously that a failure to lift the debt ceiling could cause the government to stop sending out Social Security checks. Why, when the Social Security trust fund is fully funded for the next quarter-century and is owed money by the U.S. Treasury rather than the other way around? Why would we pay foreign creditors before American seniors? The answer, offered as conventional wisdom by leaders of both parties, is that we cannot endanger our credit by failing to back our bonds, even though the Republicans have aroused the alarm of the main U.S. credit rating agencies by their brinkmanship on the debt.
    What a topsy-turvy world when the same credit rating agencies that gave the thumbs up to the bankers’ toxic mortgage-backed securities and credit default swaps now threaten the AAA rating of U.S. Treasury bonds. According to them, it will not be enough to merely lift the debt ceiling—what had been assumed by both Republican and Democratic presidents to be a routine act. In addition to that, as the credit agency Standard & Poor’s has insisted, more than $4 trillion has to be cut from programs that mostly benefit the victims of the banking meltdown. Otherwise the agencies will downgrade the U.S. credit rating, leading to higher interest rates that will destroy what remains of the U.S. housing market, dim the prospect for any improvement in employment and further enrich the Chinese government and other holders of U.S. debt.

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/07/27-5
     
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