Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Threat to Social Security & Medicare Grows

According the The Hill newspaper, Senate Republicans and moderate conservative Democrats are looking at crafting a renewed attack on middle-class Social Security and Medicare earned benefits under the so-called “Grand Bargain” banner.

With Republicans now in control of the US Senate, "Wall Street Senators" of both parties are again attempting to revive misguided actions promoted in the flawed Bowles-Simpson deficit commission report of December 2010. Senators Erskin Bowles and Alan Simpson, were forced to issue their own report after they couldn’t get enough support from Senators of either party serving on the commission they chaired.

They took their Bowles/Simpson report (BS for short) on the road, backed by the billion dollar Wall Street anti-entitlement lobby, hoping to sell the idea that cutting middle class "earned benefits" and raising middle class taxes while also lowering taxes (even more) for the richest Americans was the path to fiscal sanity.   No one was buying it then, but that was before the GOP took control of the Senate in the November 2014 election.

Now, it appears corporatists of both parties in Senate hope to revive the BS “grand bargain”.
“He (Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) said he was willing to close “loopholes” in the tax code if Democrats were willing to make concessions on entitlements. That’s the ideological problem for some Republicans, but not for me. I would generate some revenue by capping deductions in the tax code if Democrats help me make some small entitlement changes that buy it back … a mini Simpson-Bowles,’ he said.”
We’ve already seen this “let’s make a deal” gamesmanship many times before.  The problem is those “loopholes” Republicans are willing to close are the tax breaks that impact average Americans like the mortgage interest deduction and targeting retirement savings and health insurance. They’re not interested in going after the trillions lost to corporations sending jobs overseas or gaming the system to avoid taxes entirely or lifting the payroll tax cap or instituting a financial transactions tax.

You can see why this plan is truly a “grand bargain” for America’s billionaires, the Business Roundtable and their supporters in Congress. It’s just a raw deal for everyone else.

Earlier this month, National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare grassroots activists delivered 2 million signatures to the Senate urging Congress to reject ongoing efforts to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits. Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) received the petitions and vowed to continue leading the fight to protect these vital programs.

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