I certainly hope that Nancy Pelosi cannot convince most Democrats to risk their seats and prepare the way for a Republican sweep in 2014 by voting to cut SS. The Republicans will respond to this by casting themselves as the protectors of SS, and while this is ridiculous, the Democrats will not be credible in claiming that they are its protectors, and they will lose their identity as the protectors of the safety net, a very high price to pay for the sake of raising taxes on the rich by an amount that is insignificant in the greater scheme of things.
|By: David Dayen Friday December 14, 2012 4:34 pm|
It certainly looked yesterday as if the White House had dropped any notion of using an increase in the Medicare eligibility age as a bargaining chip in future negotiations on a grand bargain. While the White House has not ruled out increasing the age, some of its leading allies did, and Dick Durbin went so far as to say this was “no longer one of the items being considered by the White House.” But the Press
|By: David Dayen Tuesday November 27, 2012 6:08 pm|
The White House absolutely wants the Treasury Secretary to be deeply involved with budget issues. But we know this because they’ve already designated current Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in the lead negotiating role on the fiscal slope. So while Lew may have the resume, Geithner already has the job, and he has indicated he will not step down until the negotiation gets resolved somehow.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday November 27, 2012 4:16 pm|
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), who has almost become the liaison to the left for cuts to federal health care programs in the grand bargain, gave a speech today at the Center for American Progress that included a couple important points…
|By: David Dayen Tuesday November 27, 2012 8:50 am|
Somehow, the Democratic majority spent two years putting a health care bill together and they somehow forgot to restrain the growth in health care programs, even though that was the main watchword of the entire policy debate, is that what I’m to believe here? In fact, the Affordable Care Act committed the federal government to $800 billion more spending on Medicaid through 2022, 99% of the total federal-state costs in expansion. I support that as the major driver of coverage expansion in the ACA, and it’s all paid for. But now we’re told it’s completely unsustainable and needs to be dealt with RIGHT NOW, the base be damned.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday November 20, 2012 9:35 am|
A coalition of unions has released the first set of ads pressuring Democrats on the grand bargain, with an explicit message of “Jobs Not Cuts.”
|By: David Dayen Monday November 19, 2012 6:52 am|
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi laid out a bright line this weekend, echoing many other Democrats in saying that merely cutting loopholes to raise revenues would not be sufficient for a deal.
|By: David Dayen Friday November 16, 2012 2:50 pm|
I will be on Mark Thompson’s Make It Plain show on Sirius/XM – I’m actually on every Friday – and we tape early, so I can tell you that one of the things I’ll talk about is how Social Security’s long-term funding is an artifact of rampant US inequality. See, we have a payroll tax funding Social Security that gets capped at around $113,700 a year. That means that every dollar above that cap gets untaxed to pay for Social Security. When inequality widens, as it has, more and more compensation goes untaxed, draining the Social Security system of funds. Historically speaking, at least 90% of compensation gets captured by the Social Security system. Today that’s down to about 82%, the last I read.
So to the extent that Social Security needs to be fixed – and by “fixed” I don’t just mean brought into a 75-year balance, but made more adequate so less seniors slip into poverty – you need to raise that tax cap and capture more income. Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) has an excellent piece of legislation that would do just this.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday November 14, 2012 1:58 pm|
New Census Bureau statistics on poverty show a shocking increase in the number of seniors below the poverty line, suggesting that this would be the worst time to add on benefit cuts to critical social insurance programs like Social Security and Medicare. Focusing on adequacy of those programs would make much more sense.
|By: David Dayen Monday November 12, 2012 1:00 pm|
Bob Woodward leaked the deal memo from the proposed 2011 grand bargain, which didn’t happen for a number of reasons, none of them being Barack Obama’s reticence to cut a deal.