While our Professional and Serious corporate media have kept us informed about every little detail of Palin's extremely vital Tweets or Glenny's messianic tears.....they haven't had much to tell us about what's baking in the backroom oven in D.C.
If you are currently 55 or younger, you should know that the cake baking down in D.C is being baked for you. And it's sugarless.
In January, the Senate, rightfully, rejected a proposal to form a federal deficit reduction commission. The proposal included a requirement that Congress "accept or reject the commission's recommendations without making changes."
The requirement was for the purpose of offering political cover to elected officials. No one wanted to be identified as the one who proposed cutting grandma's Social Security or grandpa's Medicare.
The Congress is oh-so-courageous.
So, no Congressional deficit commission. But wait.....in February, along came Bipartisan Obama ordering a deficit commission....anyway.
It seems that President Obama was Extra Serious about handcuffing his own administration by insisting on mopping up the debt puke-fest left over from the Bush/Cheney frat party.....
He told lawmakers during his State of the Union address that he would go around their vote and appoint a version of a deficit commission.
Keep those two words...deficit commission.....in mind.
The only wiggle room Americans under 55 can count on is that the Obama deficit commission lacks any mandatory requirement for Congress to vote on it's recommendations.
The Commission is made up of 18 members, of which, 14 must agree for recommendations to be forthcoming.
"310 million tits" Senator Alan Simpson, Retired, (R-WY) co-chairs the Commission along with former Clintonista, Erskine Bowles.
The Commission will have their "report" ready by December 1st.....with enough time for a lame duck Congress and a hooked-on-unilateral-bipartisanship President Obama to cut Social Security benefits for those 55 and younger.
What's coming after the midterms is a proposal from the packed-with-deficit-hawks Commission which will recommend a reduction in SS benefits, most likely with some consumer price indexing smoke and mirrors, and, my favorite, a raising of the full-SS retirement age to 70.
That's considered progress in the age of the Oligarchs.
The Commission is packed with deficit hawks.....those uber-patriots who never saw a domestic government program which didn't need slashed...or burned. The Republicans on the Commission are more like deficit vultures. Whatever can be cut from those 310 million Americans Simpson says are sucking on the government's unlimited teats......these Republicans would channel back to Our Great American Saviour.....Wall Street.
Paul Ryan (R-WI), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Dave Camp (R-MI), Judd Gregg (R-NH), the spiritual advisor to John Ensign, Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) are the declared Republicans on the Commission. Each has expressed their preference to privatize or personalize....or more accurately, Wall Street-ize Social Security.
Republicans have been trying to eliminate or destroy Social Security ever since the ink dried on FDR's signature back in the 30's.....and these 6 GOP'ers are the 21st century version-on-steroids of FDR's fierce opponents.
From my count, there are only 3 progressives on the Commission. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Xavier Becerra (D-CA). TPM reports that Becerra is "one of the few people on the commission without a history of at least entertaining changes to Social Security."
It's easy to see that the members of Bipartisan Obama's handpicked deficit commission were picked for their willingness to slash the most popular domestic program in American history. It takes 14 out of 18 votes to advance recommendations......and there are only 3 potential votes to maintain Social Security.
Now back to those two words....deficit commission.
Social Security does not....and will not for the next 27 years.....add to the yearly deficit. That's the truth, no matter how many Serious and Patriotic deficit hawks tell you differently.
Social Security has a surplus of $2.5 TRILLION. Much more has been paid into SS than has been needed.....BECAUSE.....back in the 80's payroll taxes (Social Security) were increased to provide adequate funding for the huge number of upcoming baby-boomer retirees.
The fact that Congress has used that surplus to pay for other needless stuff.....has nothing, whatsoever, to do with the fact that SS will run a big surplus until 2037.
The point is this: Social Security is running a big surplus and does not add to projected deficits until at least 2037.....and that's if NOTHING is tweaked (rasing the cap on SS income) for the next 20 years.
So...why is Bipartisan Obama's handpicked Deficit Commission eyeing Social Security like a vulture, if, Social Security has nothing to do with adding, you know, to the deficit?
Because conservative fiscal hawks (in name only, mind you) cannot recommend ANY tax increases. Republicans would make Jesus cry if they even thought about increasing taxes, and our bloated $1 trillion-per-year defense spending spree can NEVER be trimmed or the terrorists will get us all while we're asleep...or something.
Serious conservatives on the Commission want to privatize, or voucherize, Medicare......some want to eliminate Medicaid altogether.....but no consensus, I predict, will be forthcoming from this Commission on those two programs.
So that leaves the in-surplus Social Security program. The only program which DOESN'T add to the deficit.
Alan Simpson gave us a glimpse of what Bipartisan Obama's Deficit Commission is thinking. No, not the "310 million tits" comment. This one: Seniors are "greedy geezers" who "live in gated communities and drive their Lexus to the Perkins restaurant to get the AARP discount."
Simpson is from Wyoming, home to America's most famous Dick....Richard Cheney. But Cheney, very obviously, is not the Lone Ranger Dick in that state.
Those 55 and younger need to be aware of what's being planned for their retirement years in the name of deficit reduction.
If Republicans take back Congress in November.....Bipartisan Obama will push Democrats in Congress to adopt the December 1 recommendations from his own handpicked Deficit Commission. The only consensus that Commission will agree on...is raising the retirement age to 70 and cutting Social Security benefits.
Bipartisan Obama, a Democratic President,....once again, I predict....will use a lame-duck session to begin tearing down FDR's legacy. His reason? To "prove" to those ignorant and uninformed Independent Voters out there looking forward to the 2012 general election.....that he's not really a socialist.
Pay attention to this topic moving forward....your retirement may depend on it.
Essential reading......The Catfood Commission
Essential video......Ezra Klein dismantling Villager Lawrence O'Donnell last night.....
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