Of course

It’s really funny, how much crap I took over at C&L for saying we’d be sold out on Social Security. They seemed to think that as long as Obama didn’t talk about it in the SOTU, it wouldn’t happen:

Meanwhile, AARP has quietly dropped their blanket opposition to Social Security cuts. The reason? They figure they’re inevitable. “The ship was sailing,” John Rother, AARP’s policy chief, told the Wall Street Journal. “I wanted to be at the wheel when that happens.” That makes it much likelier that Social Security will see reform later this year. But perhaps more importantly, it shows that the major players in Washington are entering dealmaking mode. And that’s usually a pretty good predictor that some deals are about to be made.

Remember, this is nothing more than our elected representatives saying austerity should come out of our hides, and not their wealthy friends.

Roger Hickey has more.

23 Responses to Of course

  1. Major Kong June 17, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    Obama: Better than Hoover!

  2. jawbone June 17, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    Crap! I just paid money to AARP to join it — to get their Medicare Supplemental insurance (which was the best plan at the best cost for me here in nothern NJ).

    But, I almost thought about calling to check on their current stand on SocSec. I would have been given the tel rep dance, of course.

    Oh, crap.

  3. dcblogger June 17, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    jawbone – put your insurance first. but nobody else should join.

  4. Adams June 17, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    Toll-Free Nationwide: 888-OUR-AARP (888-687-2277)
    Email: Member@AARP.org
    Can’t wait for Monday’s WSJ headline:
    AARP UNLEASHES SHITSTORM
    BTW, one term, Barry.

  5. snuzy mandrake June 17, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    the AARP says the wall street journal report is wrong. i don’t know why anyone pays attention to that murdock rag.

  6. pragmatic realist June 17, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    We went through a whole year talking back and forth about the “public option” and whether the President was going to advocate for it. We were practically reliving the days of Kremlinology when people were reading Pravda inch by inch to discern Soviet policy in a few words buried on the back pages, and looking at pictures of the May Day parade to see who was standing next to Brezhnev. The truth is that if the President wanted the public option he would say so. The same thing is being played out with the Elizabeth Warren nomination. Its not going to happen; never was going to happen. If he was going to do it, he would have done it.

    He never said that he was going to protect Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. He is not going to. He is going to sell us out. He is working for the other side. The moment he said the word “cut” either in “tax cut” or “deficit cut”, it was all lost.

    Crooks and Liars is interesting. Most of the posts are just kind of whiney “nyaa, nyaaa look what some republican said” useless ranting. (Of course, not yours.) You seem to have attracted a group of trolls with a mission of attacking you personally by name. I generally put them on “ignore” when I see them. On your last post, I checked the comments and just saw a long line of “User Ignored” entries down the page, all but about three out of twenty were from the same troll people. What do you think is going on?

  7. susie June 17, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    I would have to assume there’s something about my perspective that threatens their sense of reality.

  8. snuzy mandrake June 17, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    He never said that he was going to protect Social Security…

    uh, sure he has. several times in fact. like for example this statement.

    of course there is an issue of whether he will keep his promise. but whenever he has been pressed to comment on social security, obama has always said encouraging things.

  9. pragmatic realist June 17, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

    “whenever he has been pressed to comment on social security, obama has always said encouraging things.”

    Of course he has. This is the neuromarketing working on you. Words, symbols, even colors and scents are chosen to trigger off positive feelings and impulses to purchase (or vote). But never concrete words or promises. Those have to go up through the frontal cortex for a rational thought and decision process, which is what we really want to avoid. We want to make people believe that we have made a commitment without never actually making one.

    When in doubt remember: “I never campaigned on the public option” or ” I don’t know how people got the idea I was a big spending liberal.”

    As the saying goes, “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and you can fool some of the people all of the time. Those are the ones we want to concentrate on.”

  10. Soullite June 17, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    Um… that ‘walk back’ isn’t a walk back. it’s a ‘The wall-street urinal was wrong. We didn’t change our position; we have always believed this’.

    That isn’t a walk-back. That’s a confirmation.

    (Not staying; don’t worry.)

  11. jawbone June 17, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    AARP Pushes Back on Claim About Social Security Concessions as Lawmakers Push Reform

    This might be a misleading headline, once one reads the copy:

    <blockquote<…but at the same time acknowledged “benefit adjustments” would be necessary to make the system solvent.

    The flurry of reports and statements left unclear whether AARP was opening up to new concessions in the debate over Social Security, as several lawmakers place reform proposals on the table.
    SNIP
    AARP CEO Barry Rand later issued a statement calling the article “misleading” and claiming “AARP has not changed its position on Social Security.”

    He said AARP remains opposed to cutting Social Security for the sake of deficit reduction and to any privatization plan. “We are currently fighting proposals to cut Social Security to pay the nation’s bills,” he said.

    However, AARP legislative policy director David Certner told Fox News that Social Security needs a “package of revenue and benefit adjustments … to make it solvent.”

    While the AARP claims its position on strengthening Social Security remains unchanged, others outside the organization detected a shift. <(My emphasis)

    Ya think???
    Oh, and thanks a lot, Obama, for putting SocSec, Medicare and Medicaid “on the table.” NOT!

    No votes, no money, no calls, no canvassing. I regret so much the Dems made this guy their nominee and our president. We so did not need another Hoover (and, yes, I realize I do disservice to Hoover when comparing Obama to him).

  12. jawbone June 17, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    Adams, t/u for playing Ready Reference for us!

    You get an automated Betty White as the voice of the automated menu — took a couple tries to get a human. The woman answering the phone was lovely, sounded very concerned. took time to type in gist of my comments, thanked me, etc. Did not have any firm statement to read.

    Remains to be seen what AARP is really up to.

    And, yes, Adams, “shitstorm” would make a good headline!

  13. dcblogger June 17, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

    all we need is 40 senators who will filibuster any cuts to social security, including raising the retirement age. Just 40 senators, we should be able to do that.

  14. Adams June 17, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    @Soullite: Where you goin’? Not back to Matty’s place, surely!!

  15. jawbone June 17, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    Now the NYTimes chimes in with AARP Is Open to Future Cuts of Social Security Benefits.

    AARP, the powerful lobby for older Americans that has been seen as one of the leading opponents of Social Security benefit cuts, said on Friday that it was open to modest reductions in benefits for future recipients.

    “Our goal is to limit any changes in benefits,” John Rother, the group’s policy chief, said in a telephone interview, “but we also want to see the system made solvent.”

    Mr. Rother said that the group’s stance on possible cuts, which was first reported in The Wall Street Journal in Friday’s editions, should be seen less as a major change in position than as a reflection of the political and financial realities facing the Social Security system and the country as a whole.

    “You have to look at all the tradeoffs,” Mr. Rother said, “and what we’re trying to do is engage the American public in that debate.”

    Nonetheless, the group’s openness to the possibility of unspecified cuts was seen as a significant development by people on all sides of the Social Security question, because of AARP’s powerful voice on federal policies affecting older Americans, including Medicare, prescription drugs and many more. (my emphasis)

    I haven’t tallied yet, but it seems like more AARP spokespersons are on the side of cutting and changing than are even on the side of no change in AARP’s position.

    One even agrees with Soullite, not a change, just what they were going to do all along.

    Has anyone else called? Responses?

  16. jawbone June 17, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    ABC News reported this evening that there was a big internal battle about what AARP should do, and the decision came down on the side of increasing age of full retirement benefits from SocSec, higher payments into SocSec*, and I can’t remember the third thing. Benefit custs?

    *We did that back in the mid-80’s when Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan made their Grand Bargain wherein workers would pay higher amounts into SS’s Trust Fund, retire later (gradually up to 67) for full benefits. Oh, and the Republicans raided that Trust Fund to give the wealthy big tax cuts.

    And now they want us to pay AGAIN for those tax cuts!

    How do get rid of these feckless and mendacious politicians?

  17. jawbone June 17, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    FDL posts on this topic
    :
    With AARP Supporting Social Security Benefit Cuts, It’s Time to Burn My AARP Card
    http://firedoglake.com/2011/06/17/with-aarp-supporting-social-security-benefit-cuts-it%e2%80%99s-time-to-burn-my-aarp-card/
    By Eric Kingson

    Debbie Wasseran-Schultz: Social Security Benefit Cuts Off the Table
    http://news.firedoglake.com/2011/06/17/debbie-wasserman-schultz-social-security-benefit-cuts-off-the-table/
    By David Dayen

    I do hope Debbie can make Obama listen to her…but based on this quote she speaks for herself and the House. And Obama does like his behind closed door negotiations and capitulations.

    I asked DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz about all this today, as she greeted attendees at Netroots Nation. She was fairly blunt. “I will tell you that benefit cuts are not on the table,” she said. “They’re not on the table for me and they’re not on the table for our party in the House.”

    As AARP Abandond Social Security, FDL Refuses to Give Up the Fight
    http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2011/06/17/as-aarp-abandons-social-security-firedoglake-refuses-to-give-up-the-fight/
    By Brian Sonenstein

    And, just because it was just posted, this from Dayen:
    Al Franken: “I Think We’ve Ceded Too Much Ground” In Deficit Debate
    http://news.firedoglake.com/2011/06/17/al-franken-i-think-weve-ceded-too-much-ground-in-deficit-debate/

    Article does not offer much hope that we’ll get anyone to try to reclaim what’s been ceded. Especially since it’s the president doing the ceding….

  18. G3 June 17, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

    Jawbone,

    Here’s a way to get rid of the capitalist a$$wipes that are our current day pols – we need a mass party of labor. Here is a start :
    http://www.masspartyoflabor.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1&Itemid=2

    (full disclosure : I attended a handful of meetings of the group).

  19. G3 June 17, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    Susie,

    Please read my comments @ #17 above. I am not sure if you are connected to AFL-CIO. But here is an open letter to Trumka from CMPL :

    http://www.masspartyoflabor.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=26:open-letter-to-afl-cio-president-richard-trumka-from-the-campaign-for-a-mass-party-of-labor&catid=6:cmpl-news&Itemid=9

    It will be interesting to know Trumka’s response to the above.

  20. lambert strether June 17, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

    That Obama was completely untrustworthy on Social Security was crystal clear as far back as the IA primary, when Obama put Social Security in play when there was no reason to (Atrios) — and after a lot of hard work destroyed Bush’s plan to privatize it.

    Now, everybody but the most die-hard shill knows what those who paid attention in the IA primary knew.

  21. lambert strether June 17, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

    #16 The “third thing” is decreasing life expectancy, as in the Soviet Union. That has great actuarial benefits!

  22. lambert strether June 17, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

    Snuzy must think readers here just fell off the turnip truck. I went to the transcript to look for those “encouraging things,” and it’s the usual Obama-esque haze of content-free bromides. For example, do you find “your benefits won’t be cut” or “your eligibility age won’t be increased” there? Didn’t think so. And if Obama wanted to say that, it would have been very easy for him to do.

    Here’s one choice quote:

    I’m also encouraged by the reports of serious bipartisan work being done on this and other issues in the fiscal commission that I set up several months ago.

    That’s the Catfood Commission, which Obama actually staffed from Peterson’s organization (which wants to get Social Security).

    More word salad:

    You should have the peace of mind [From what? “Share sacrifice”?] of knowing that after meeting your responsibilities and paying into the system all your lives, you’ll get the benefits you deserve [Peasants deserve… What, exactly?].

    I’d quote more, but I don’t have any more brain bleach. As usual Obama fans are full of it.

    * * *

    I guess it is encouraging that Obama won’t privatize Social Security, at least for now — but when Versailles can hand over $13 trillion to the banksters, no questions asked, you have to wonder why Obama thinks Social Security has any problems at all.

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