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The Top Comment du Jour from the NYTimes article on killing the social insurance policies

The NYTimes writes with astonishment and confusion that Americans are not willing to eat their poisoned mushrooms where social insurance programs are concerned.  For some weird reason, they sent more liberal minded Democrats to Congress next term and those Democrats appear almost to be willing to represent their voters.  It looks like Americans who have for decades paid Social Security taxes, a Surplus tax (done because we are too menny) and Medicare taxes, are not buying the idea that Social Security is a drag on the deficit or that the burden to fix Medicare must fall solely on the shoulders of working people.

This in spite of the relentless media messaging that tells them that they must sacrifice more skin.  Maybe waiting until people have lost their careers, savings and houses in the biggest financial catastrophe since the Great Depression is not the best time to apply so much pressure to Americans that they cry mercy, especially since most of them won’t have big enough pensions (if they have them at all) to retire on.  You’d think the masters of the universe would have figured out by now that if you reduce or eliminate pensions and force everyone to “save” money in insecure and risky 401K programs that those dullards would naturally hang on to their social insurance programs with their dear lives and the politicians who are eager to cut a deal would start facing resistance.  Never fear, they’ll probably just threaten to eliminate the mortgage interest deduction, plunging the housing market into a further slump.  That’s more immediate than cutting Social Security and so Americans will take the deal.  I can almost see Mitch McConnell winding up for that pitch.


What I really liked was this comment in the Readers’ Picks section of the article.  This sucker from commenter Kevin Rothstein got over 350 recommendations.  It’s at the top of the list, which should tell the NYTimes what is really bouncing around in Americans’ heads:

Enact Medicare for all. Stop the political nonsense. Eliminate the Department of Homeland Security. Cut the defense budget in half. Leave Afghanistan now. Close most of our overseas military bases. Spend money on upgrading infrastructure. Invest in alternative energy. End our dependence on fossil fuels. Bring back tax rates prior to Reagan. There. Problem solved.

This is not rocket science.  Here’s another one from reader TS:

Mr Pear, Social Security and Medicare are NOT entitlement programs. It seems that the right has defined them as such but, as with many other issues, that doesn’t make it true. Anyone who draws a paycheck has SS and Medicare deducted. If the interest from those funds were untouched by greedy lawmakers they would be more than solvent. I PAY into Social Security. I PAY into Medicare just as I would an insurance policy. I’m not entitled to these benefits, I EARNED them.

Pretty much.   There’s more where that came from in the reader’s picks.  Oddly enough, the editor’s picks are calling the social insurance programs “entitlements” and think that we need to balance any cuts in “entitlements” with increased taxes and other cuts in spending.What’s really amusing is that those comments are getting less than half of the recommends than the reader’s picks.  So, I think we have to conclude that the unending propaganda and redefinition is not working.  The jig is up.  Americans know when they’re being conned.

We are assigned a Social Security number at birth.  That’s when we enter into the social compact to make sure we all have something to fall back on in case some young 28 year old asshole banker gambles away our futures, or our working parent dies or we develop a chronic condition and can’t work.  It’s sinful to take our money for decades, make promises based on actuarial data, take MORE money to cover a shortfall and then at the last moment, when there’s no way or time to make up the difference, pull the rug out from under a generation of Americans just so that we don’t raise taxes on the insanely wealthy.  To do that would be fraud and I’m agin’ it.


Later, a theory on what’s really behind the push to raise the retirement age and cut social security payments.  It’s only partially about taxes.

22 Responses

  1. Kudos Kim…
    Anyone who can stand up straight for 5 minutes without falling over backwards knows the real “entitlements” belong to the Wall Street/Washington DC Axis of Evil. Keep punching those villains! Float like a butterfly. Sting like a scorpion!

  2. Riverdaughter, you should read Kevin Drum’s latest piece in Mother Jones on how liberals should welcome cuts to their Social Security benefits. I could barely get through it without laughing. Briefly put, liberals must agree to reform to shut up those who keep demanding it. So the professional left has been enlisted to walk working people to their execution.


    • Thank you for reading it so we don’t have to. We knew this was coming, now we only have to put the names on the propaganda agents coming at us.

    • Kevin Drum? The same guy who said Iraq Invasion would be good for the US? The same guy who said Obama was a “liberal”? The same guy who said we should escalate the AF-PAK war? That guy? The guy who is wrong on every issue of the day? Yes, like a broken clock, he’s right every so often, but like a broken clock, he’s wrong/lying every time it mattered.

  3. Skin in the game… “I’ll sell one of my yachts, and you can sell one of your kidneys.”

  4. I also saw in Mother Jones (I am old enough to remember when it was a leftie magazine that attacked Bill Clinton as strongly as the right did), an article “debunking the myth that Obama caved in the tax cuts for the rich” the last time W’s law was renewed and enhanced. I tweeted mack my graphic from those times

    • Mother Jones is spinning in her grave , bless her.

      I hate the mind fucking.

      Why can’t they just say

      “We are cheerleading the .999 % taking your money.

      What’s so hard about that?

      • I knew there had to be a catch for why Kevin Drum got a paying gig. It isn’t his writing. It’s just the good old boy’s network rewarding someone they can depend on. So, he got hooked up with someone at Mother Jones.
        Not at all surprised. Patronage never goes out of style.

      • Looking for a segue to interject:

        How women could be the big losers in the fiscal cliff deal –

        …women are more likely than men to rely on Social Security for a majority of their income in retirement, and would be more likely to live in poverty if not for the program. Moreover, women make up more than two-thirds of those eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, a reflection of the fact that not only do they live poorer, they are also more likely to need the supplemental coverage for treatment of a long-term disability.http://qz.com/32957/how-women-could-be-the-big-losers-in-the-fiscal-cliff-deal/

        The Daily show is funny and Jon Stewart is smart sounding but he ain’t on our side.

        1 day ago we watched as Jon Stewart hyped up the doom-and-gloom headlines over the ‘fiscal cliff’ he used the phrase “Entitlement Reform” repeatedly-
        -Rich Daddy

        “Entitlement Reform” Is a Euphemism For Letting Old People Get Sick and Die
        George Orwell would be proud. The latest Washington catchphrase deserves a place of honor in the 1984 lexicon, right between “War Is Peace” and “Love Is Hate.” It’s a virus of the language that’s spreading faster than the stomach flu.
        …Gotta hand it to ’em. This phrase is a masterstroke that’s successfully concealing a brutal plan to slash funds for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

        Franklin Roosevelt

        Social Security “entitlement.”

        Excuse me?

        Social security, signed into law by President Roosevelt in the 1930s, was meant to be a safety net. The idea remains a sound one: an insurance policy for those who pay into it, a safety net against poverty in old age.

        Most of us have been paying into the fund for our entire working lives, and so have employers on our behalf.


      • Anyone who draws a paycheck has SS and Medicare deducted. If the interest from those funds were untouched by greedy lawmakers they would be more than solvent. I PAY into Social Security. I PAY into Medicare just as I would an insurance policy. I’m not entitled to these benefits, I EARNED them.

        What the hell does he think ‘earned’ means? It means you ARE entitled to that.

        I wonder if there’s some secret semantic think tank that started the usage ‘entitlement’=’not entitled’?

        • I’ve been wondering this very thing for over 30 years when I first heard the sneer behind the words. And that we’ve (whoever we are) given in to this attack (same thing with sneering at the word Liberal — whatever) depresses me.

          I want my language back!!

  5. I would like to add, that we stop taxing other states to send money to Texas who complains about Social Security. Send that money to Social Security and Medicare. I am tired of people who complain and complain when their State is getting more back in Federal Funds than they sent in.

    Yup, pass a War Tax or END THE WARS! End the Bush Tax Cuts for the ultra RICH and start fixing things at home. We need a HOME focus, a focus on the Middle Class that every politician said they were working for…the time is now to see if they are going to do something or keep their corporate/rich buddies RICHER .

  6. Since I assume you will write about your “other reason” theory later,
    I might as well offer my “other reason” theory now. Raising the age for
    Social Security and Medicare elegibility is a conscious plot to kill millions of upper middle aged and “early-old” people through over work and health-care deprivation . . . and make it look like a “demographic accident”.

    • Nope, that’s just collateral damage. Unfortunate if it happens to the beneficiaries if my theory is correct.
      Remember what I said before about feeling like a crop that needed to be harvested? It’s along those lines.

      • Which reminds me . . . a subunit of Michael Moore’s “Roger and Me” film was subtitled “Pets or Meat”.

  7. WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans’ newfound willingness to consider tax increases to avert the “fiscal cliff” comes with a significant caveat: larger cuts than Democrats seem willing to consider to benefit programs like Medicare, Medicaid and the president’s health care overhaul.

    Are we supposed to buy this horse shit? Why do they bother?

  8. Judith Miller, that name ring a bell?

    That’s all you have to know about integrity at the New York Times.

  9. Kevin Rothstein should run for President. I’d campaign for him.

  10. And note Obama/Obama supporters rushing to make a deal before a new, more liberal congress is seated.

    Obama…extremist right-wing…or a guy just out to bend the arc of liberty back to tyranny?

    • People could tell their officeholders that if Catfood Obama passes, they will never vote for Dems for federal office ever again. And/or if it passes the Lame Duck, they can tell their “next Congress” officeholders that if Catfood Obama is not repealed over Obama’s veto, they will never vote for Ds for federal office ever again.

      I suppose people could also tell Republican officeholders that if it is Republicans who successfully obstruct (or repeal) Catfood Obama, then we will vote for those Republicans who got it killed or repealed.
      If the TeaPublicans want to become the We Saved Social Security party while the Obamacrats become the We Hate Social Security party,
      I will certainly reward that reversal.

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