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Dean Baker
Published: Tuesday 31 July 2012
“Many of the same folks who brought the economy to ruin just a few years ago are now going to come up with a plan that is supposed to set the budget and the economy on a forward path. ”

The CEO Plan to Steal Your Social Security and Medicare

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Many people are following the presidential election closely with the idea that the outcome will have a major impact on national policy. However, according to Steven Pearlstein, a veteran Washington Post columnist and reporter, it may not matter who wins the election. In a column last week, Pearlstein told readers that the top executives of some of the country’s largest companies are getting together to craft a budget package that they will try to push through Congress and get the president to sign.

While Pearlstein clearly sees these backroom meetings of corporate chieftains in positive terms (he refers to them as “grown-ups” who have been noticeably absent from the conversation about the budget), the rest of us might view this plotting a bit differently. As Pearlstein openly acknowledges, this corporate coup is an end-run around the electorate. As corrupt as the political process may have become, at least we will get a vote in the election. Pearlstein’s plotters are not inviting the rest of us into the conversation.

Many of the same folks who brought the economy to ruin just a few years ago are now going to come up with a plan that is supposed to set the budget and the economy on a forward path. At the center of their proposal are big cuts in Social Security and Medicare.

The most popular Social Security cut among this gang is a reduction in the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) by 0.3 percentage points. They are betting that are ordinary people are too dumb to notice this cut since it is a relatively small amount each year.

However, the effect of this cut accumulates into a much bigger deal over time. After 10 years it is roughly 3 percent, after 20 years it would be close to 6 percent, and after 30 years it would be close to 9 percent.

If we assume that an average retiree collects benefits for 20 years, this implies an average cut in their benefits of 3 percent. Is that a big deal? Well there are a lot of would be Social Security cutters who are screaming bloody murder because President Obama wants to increase the tax rate on a portion of their income by a bit more than 3 percentage points. This means that if President Obama’s proposal to increase taxes on the richest 2 percent is a big deal, then the plan to cut the Social Security COLA is also a big deal.

The corporate CEO crew is also considering a plan to raise the normal retirement age for Social Security to 69. And, they want to reduce the benefit formula for high income workers, which incredibly they define as people who earn more than $40,000 a year.

Their main trick for Medicare is to raise the age of eligibility from 65 to 67. Apparently our CEO gang has not discovered that the health insurance market for older people is a disaster. They also continue to promote the misconception that the problem is Medicare and Medicaid.

These programs are actually much more efficient than private insurers. The real problem is our private sector health care system which already costs more than twice as much person as the average in other wealthy countries, with few obvious benefits in outcomes.

The scary budget projections that our CEOs like to tout assume that health care costs will exceed 20 percent of GDP in a decade. That would imply costs of more than $34,000 for a family of four in today’s economy. And these costs are projected to keep growing through time.

The normal response to this situation would be to focus on the need to fix the health care system. But, many of Pearlstein’s CEOs profit from the waste in the health care system, so they would rather cut our Medicare benefits. 

So there you have it, the richest people in the country – the big gainers from economic growth over the last three decades – have plans to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits for current and future retirees.

To get some perspective on this story, the typical near-retiree has about $180,000 in wealth, including everything, such as the equity in their home, their 401(k) and any other savings.  That is what our CEO gang makes in a week. The average Social Security check of $1,200 a month is more than half of the income for two-thirds of seniors and more than 90 percent for one third. Yet, the CEOs think seniors are living too well. 

But wait, there’s more. We’re all paying for their campaign to take away our Social Security and Medicare. We do this through several different channels.

First, many of these CEO and honcho types come from Wall Street. For example, Erskine Bowles, the co-chair of President Obama’s deficit commission, is a director of Morgan Stanley in one of his day jobs. Had it not been for the taxpayers’ generosity, the bank that Mr. Bowles directs would have died in the fall of 2008, so it would not be around to pay him his six-figure stipend.

The other way we are paying for this corporate effort to cut our Social Security and Medicare is by virtue of the fact that we allow the CEOs to pay for their campaign with pre-tax dollars. If most of want to give $100 to a political candidate or political cause we have to first pay taxes on our income and then make the campaign contribution out of what we have left.

However if you are a CEO who wants to cut Social Security and Medicare, the Supreme Court says you can make your contributions with pre-tax dollars, in effect deducting this contribution as if you were giving money to charity. According to Pearlstein, the CEOs “charitable” contribution for cutting Social Security and Medicare will be on the order of $278 million.

For most of us, that sum would be real money, but not for CEOs who control trillions of dollars. And, with the rest of us subsidizing through our tax dollars this effort to cut our Social Security and Medicare, how can the CEOs not take up Pearlstein’s call?



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ABOUT Dean Baker
Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He previously worked as a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute and an assistant professor at Bucknell University. He is the author of several books, including Plunder & Blunder: The Rise and Fall of the Bubble Economy, The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer and The United States Since 1980. He was the editor of Getting Prices Right: The Debate Over the Consumer Price Index, which was a winner of a Choice Book Award as one of the outstanding academic books of the year. He appears frequently on TV and radio programs, including CNN, CBS News, PBS NewsHour, and National Public Radio. His blog, Beat the Press, features commentary on economic reporting. He received his B.A. from Swarthmore College and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan.

well, politics matters and we

well, politics matters and we dont need a country called "America Inc." google "mccain romney pdf vp", and take a close look at the report mccain used to eliminate willard, it 200 pages long, take your time, it is shocking who this idiot really is.

well, i am not into violence, but one never knows for sure. someone mentioned drones. well, at this point, the usa has 64 drone only bases across the usa, and being stocked up right now. and no, this is not a right wing conspiricy thing, it is real. google "drones usa home bases", complete with a map and locations. hehehe, just a side note. peace.

richard you are correct soc

richard you are correct soc sec is not an entitlement any more than car insurance is [they pay when you have an accident soc pays when you become disabled or old] and to others
name calling will not change demographic

Bozoadult! Identify with

Bozoadult! Identify with your frustration your anger, but in America we have a system, that presently, works. Vote!!! That is how the other side gained power on the local level, then the National level. Organize, teach, but civil war has never achieved any legitament ends. We have a system of voting that is being attacked right now by the "militant right wing" in order to block millions of voters from the polls. Fight that!! You do not need a gun to do that!!! You need your voice and voices of like minded people. Recruit!! Speak! Take people to vote!!! Teach people, and self, about how this country came into being! It was not only in the Revolution!! The undemocratic wealthy, one world folks who came with industrtalization made the poor practically slaves and for many generations they became even more wealthy off them; then the Crash and the Democratic spirit of the masses arose, and they found a leader, Roosevelt, the product of old money in America. We need another Roosevelt type. The Robber Barons are winning again as they did in the late 1800's and until the 1920's economic crashes, that finally ended with the big one in the 1930s. Read, teach, have meetings and teach, teach, teach and discuss!! Ideas, formulated in democratic meetings move peoples hearts and minds. Move them, motivate them, fight all movements to limit the vote to any group or anyone!! Limiting the franchise is the first step to totalanarism!! Boycott Fox, talk to family, point out the bigotry and lies and misinformation they spout!!! One by one, state by state, talk, discuss. But do it smart. Never advocate violence without trying all other avenues first. Voting, teaching, speaking at the grass roots, and organizing or joining, or organizing groups locally who are working towards DEMOCRATIC ends is the right way.

It’s rare to see the total

It’s rare to see the total amount paid out annually by Social Security so a few years ago I went to the Social Security.gov website and wondered through the accountant's maze of financial reports until I finally found an annual expense to participants of $52 billion Dollars. I was initially a little surprised at this number but when you consider that this payment is made to approximately one sixth of the population that includes the disabled, dependents of the disabled, survivors of the disabled, and finally actual retirees who paid into this system throughout their working years. As far as the lame argument concerning the money being paid in not equaling the benefits paid out, all insurance programs pay out more than the total of the original premiums and actuarial tables point out the enormous savings due to early deaths, that's why they call it insurance. The most important factor often overlooked by deficit hawks is the fact that the system pays this money directly to recipients and none of it is filtered through some state or federal agency. This equates to an annual infusion of 50 + Billion Dollars directly into local economies all over the country. Since few retirees or disabled people are independently wealthy, almost every dime is spent in local businesses and local taxing authorities. Considering the record of Wall Street, private business, and corporate banking over recent years, why would we want to hand this money over to this group, currently making 6 and 7 figure bonuses as well as multi-million dollar CEO bonanzas during the worst economy in 75 years, for their exclusive use and then just hope for the best. They don’t need another tax payer bailout !

Thank you, Richard. Excellent

Thank you, Richard. Excellent post.

The stimulative effect of social security and medicare is completely overlooked. We see it in our small community. All the money is spent. It props up the local economy.

I get nose bleed whenever I

I get nose bleed whenever I hear so called economic experts, right wing politicians and especially journalists describing Soc. Sec. as an "entitlement" and lumped in with the rest of the federal budget, where it was never meant to be. Just yesterday no one less than Terry Gross was discussing with the economics editor of the WSJ the federal budget deficit and the language being carelessly, (intentionally?) thrown around was maddening. Soc. Sec. has not contributed one thin red penny to the federal deficit. They spoke of it as "federal resources", which is assuredly is not, and part of the entitlements that the federal government gives to retirees, which is assuredly does not. The Soc. Sec. fund is not a government giveaway like Aid to Dependent Children, or the Food Stamp program or even the massive giveaways to the Pentagon. The Soc. Sec. fund is not government owned tax money. It's a fund built up by workers and employers. The federal government does not own the fund. It's owned by the workers. And now they want to steal it. It is not broke. It's not about to go broke. The federal government is broke, but the Soc. Sec. fund is not part of that.

right on

right on

What we need is a good ole

What we need is a good ole large asteroid impact to reset the evolutionary process for humans. Wisdom and intelligence has been overpowered by hysterical idiocy which is leading humanity to disaster anyway. The strong and intelligent will survive and the world will be a better place for it.

After reading all of these

After reading all of these posts it has made me realize how sick and sad our political system has become. It galls me when ever I read that both party's are to blame, if they were equal then we'd never have any problems and they would do what they were hired to do, serve the people of the United States, not the corporations, bankers, Wall Street, and the super rich. No folks, you'll always have one party doing more damaging things to our country than the other, and it's usually the party that's out of Power. I'm a rare bird who has paid close attention to our country's politics since I turned old enough to vote, I'm a registered Dem but have voted for old man Bush and Regan.
The Republican party realizes that they are soon becoming the minority in this country and are becoming desperate to survive, this is why I attribute their tactics against Obama, the past three years and now the upcoming election to be the most ruthless by any political party , ever.The actuations, name calling, blatant outright lies, voter suppression BS, One rich person being able to influence the outcome of an election because of our !! Superior!! ( not Supreme ) Court. !! = above all of us. It has had a devastating effect on all of us and if this party gets any more power than it now has without changing their ways, God help all of us. Other wise it will for sure be, rich verses the poor, with the middle class non existent.

TAX THE RICH OVER THE FISCAL

TAX THE RICH OVER THE FISCAL CLIFF IN 2013.

no cap on wage for soc sec

no cap on wage for soc sec while a feel good proposal and should be done the number of employees per retired is going down when bismark set up age 65 retirement average age limit on germany factory worker was 55 solution ? 2030 will be here soon

One good look at history

One good look at history should tell the story about SSI,Corporations,CEO's and Wall Street Banks. The fact is the destruction of SSI has been going on sense 1934 with a plot to over throw the US Government and FDR. The Republicans and right wing at that time felt this was a communist program. The Dickstein-McCormack House Committe On UnAmerican Affairs confirmed the plot in closed door hearings in 1937. The case was opened in 1967 and again confirmed. The "Business Plot" the planned detruction of all socila programs like SSI,SNAP,Unemployment Insurance and aid to farmers. Oh Yes. The same familys that was involved in the plot control the right wing today.

FDR was able to convince a

FDR was able to convince a thin majority of the wealthiest business leaders in the 1930s to finance the New Deal and he would negotiate with the Labor Unions, Socialists, and Communists parties to not pursue the destruction of Capitalism. A thin majority of the wealthiest business leaders refused to participate in FDR’s plan. Given this support by a slim majority of the wealthy, FDR was able to change the tax laws and raise taxes on the wealthy to 94 % during the war. When FDR died in 1945, the remaining Capitalists who turned down FDR's offer quickly began a movement to wreck the new deal and destroy labor unions and all the programs that FDR created with this tax windfall. We are now facing a virtual collapse of this country with no FDR to mediate a solution with the unions and the forces of Socialism and Communism who wielded a mighty axe in the 1930s when the wealthy refused to take any action to remedy the financial problems of individual citizens. They can again when and if the American people finally understand the serious nature of this present crisis and ask for their support. The wealthy Capitalists have no FDR to save them this time.

What makes me bleed is that

What makes me bleed is that all this can be stopped with a Democratic majority in congress. If only Americans that don't vote would get out there and vote for the party that is willing to stand up and stop all this. Why won't Americans vote? Are they really just lazy? Don't they take an interest in what is happening even as their bank accounts dry up? Obama hasn't turned the country around yet so they will try the other party again. Do they really think politics is that simple?

Hi Mark. The answers to your

Hi Mark. The answers to your questions are: apathy; mostly; for a maddening majority, no; yes, I must say, with clenched teeth and fists... I do not get their apathy towards their own best interest and their families.
I call them:

BLIND from the nose outward and DEAD from the eyebrows up.

Why DO SO MANY vulnerable Americans have to suffer the fires of hell (sometimes known as Texas!) before average Americans can, finally, begin to extract their heads from their own anal material and actually notice the GOP tsunami wreacking havoc
on, "the least of these," all around them?

Oh, yes, yes, cut Medicaid and Medicare, by all means and throw those fakers and low-lifes O-U-T!

Out of the, Obama gubmint' system, where the poor-planning-poor and the elderly
and disabled retire to fancy nursing homes and care centers, where they receive such extravagant perks as beds and wheelchairs (with and sans straps) to, "lounge" in; high-carb-low-nutrition foods and *hydration.
*In this most extreme Texas drought ever.

Yes, throw them out, out, OUT! ALL of the malingering freeloaders.
Roo-Ha! That's the American Capitalist Way!

Hey...what are you doing? Wha? Who? No...wait. Wait a minute! NO! Not MY Nana! Not MY Pawpaw! NOooo!!

If it comes down to armed

If it comes down to armed revolution where will our boys in the military stand? Will they shoot their relatives, their neighbors, their brother? Their houses are in foreclosure as they serve their country. They are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan while their homes are being taken from under them. Will they stand by us or the powers that think little of them? These CEO's aren't getting the message. What do we need to do to get them to listen?

No shooting involved. They

No shooting involved. They will bomb us to from drones controlled by someone far away. Example: Syria

Why won't Americans vote to

Why won't Americans vote to save the American way of life? Those that do want to vote for the Republicans again, are their memories so short that they want to elect someone they generally haven't even heard of before. Romney made lots of money for himself with his own companies so that translates to them somehow? He has proven that he can make large company owners rich by farming out jobs to China India and Mexico and avoiding American taxes by putting his money in places like the Caymon Islands; how does that translate to helping the average American? Average American = 98% of 300 million people. Get out and vote! Does a cartoon explain things better to Americans? Then watch this episode of the Family Guy called Tea Peter==>> http://www.yourtvseri.es/family-guy/season-10-episode-21-tea-peter/

What I find amazing is that

What I find amazing is that we are even having a discussion on this topic. This experiment began in Greece and seeing as the the Greeks did not rise up in mass rebellion against the bankers this methology will be used over and over.

In America the test of public fortitude to oppose the bankers were the bailouts to the tune of some 26 trillion dollars. With that kind of money the government should have let them fail and capitalized new publically owned banks, but seeing as they are a spineless corrupted entity we were sold out. Some day they will pay for this. Anyway, as there was no mass rebellion of the people from across the political spectrum, the (non essential to the banker's agenda) differences sown to divide the populous has obviously been working, as it has for many a decade. The American working class is to be reduced to fighting over the scrapes that fall from their masters table and so will pose no concentrated problem worth worrying about.

Our governments at practically all levels are under the control of the present form of capitalism and the centuries old bankers system of a privately owned debt based money supply. Legislation is practically dictated as is economic policy when it comes to the essentials effecting the masters agenda. Otherwise we can do as we want as long as it doesn't interfere with the financing or promotion of their agenda. If the social saftey net is considered a hinderance to the masters plans it will awkwardly be eliminated or curtailed.

If we as a people do not coalesce soon to oppose our own destruction Orwell's 1984 may not appear to be so much a work of fiction, excepting that "Big Brother" was a socialist regime and as prols we could be worse of than those portrayed in Orwell's novel under a lassiez faire capitalist regime.

An excellent acessment,

An excellent acessment, there's no escape from the coming collapse and expecting a dumbed down population who has refused to fight any of the wars their government has financed and fought with volunteers from the poorest areas of our economy will just moan and complain until their masters invoke a final solution to rid the country of all those useless eaters !

Mr. Townsend, thank you! I am

Mr. Townsend, thank you! I am 75, and scared for this land of ours and its people! Especially for my children and family! "Darwinism" , as popularized, has almost conquered the minds of big Corps across the world. Too many little people have learned to play their game in the last 20 years, added to their ranks, and the sheep, who this group expl0its the most, vote to continue their own and their offspring's rape!

Having acquired some

Having acquired some accidental perspective (my TV broke & I don't have cable), the majority of voters (which, sadly, is a tiny minority of Americans) are hypnotized by mainstream media. These days I can barely converse with most people because the conversation must revolve around the latest TV series or faux news they just watched. Which I can't. We've become the proverbial frog in the soon-to-be-boiling pot of water.

You have a broken TV and

You have a broken TV and hence can't watch TV. I have a big screen TV and another one too but I don't watch it most of the time. Yes, I agree we are like the frog in the proverbial pot getting cooked gradually but many of us don't even realize it because it is getting comfortable as it warms/heats up and before it is time to realize it we are getting cooked. I don't converse with people on TV shows. I guess, most people are obsessed with entertainment and violent action that there is no time for thinking at all. Do I just wring my hands and hope for millions of people like me to take action at the ballot box? I am afraid history might repeat itself to take us to 1789.

I wouldn't advocate violent

I wouldn't advocate violent overthrow of our system, but I would predict it with a great deal of certainty. It's the only way that we can overcome a purchased government and the entrenched interests behind it, especially with a corporate owned media. That violence may be in the form of an eventual resistance against a totally fascist state that is inevitable in our future, or it may come as part of a national awakening in another financial doomsday event. Either way, don't expect the status quo to go quietly into the sunset as a result of any number of politicians we elect. The stakes are simply too high now and they would assassinate or falsely discredit any threat to their power, even at the cost of $$billions$$ or lives. We have allowed the fox to take up residence in the hen house and he has too great a taste for chicken now to ever expect him to leave without a lot of snarling and biting. Throw in the fact that whoever controls government controls the military and a greatly militarized police force ideologically predisposed to "fox=good" and you have a combination that will guarantee blood in the streets to fix.

Oldngrumpy: I am with you

Oldngrumpy:
I am with you 100% in your thinking. The problem with capitalism is that every person thinks he can become wealthy and hence does not want to rock the boat. In reality 99% of us do not become rich let alone wealthy. Capitalism is tolerated only because it is the most tolerable of all evils. But it is a disease that wants to segregate wealth to the detriment of the majority.

Another old and grumpy also

Another old and grumpy also agree! Seen lots of political water go under the bridge in my 75 years, and for the first time I am terrified at what I sense and read is happening in this country of ours! I responded to one comment a few months ago, calling this land of ours a Democracy and some man responded, in a highly upmanship manner that meant I was stupid, that this land of ours is not a Democracy, but is a Republic. I have a degree in History and am totally conversant with EXACTLY what his point was!!! This is scarey stuff and hope another revolution does not have to be fought in this land of ours to win freedom for the masses over exploitation and manipulation by the rich and influential. Wake up people!! Stop watching Fox News!!!!

Just want to express my

Just want to express my agreement with the drift of comments from Jeffrey, Ang, Bozo, Larron, et al. The point I'd like to emphasize, which the article only hinted at, is that OBAMA PUT CUTS TO SS AND MEDICARE ON THE TABLE, AND HE WOULD SIGN THE BILL THIS ARTICLE DESCRIBES. Neither Repubs NOR DEMS are serving the 99%.

BOZO: Come on, I have anger

BOZO:

Come on, I have anger and indignation, too, believe it or not, but this is not the place to start advocating violence to achieve our aims.

Who would operate the head-choppers? Who would assign individuals to having their height shortened? Remember the excesses of the French Revolution after it started with the best of intentions.

I think the time will come when radical groups of "exterminators" will seek out and assassinate the worst of the heartless 1%. But I sincerely hope it will never come to that, because once the violence starts, when does it end?

Be careful of what you wish for.

I agree! Totally!! We have

I agree! Totally!! We have a system of redress!! Talk and vote! Organize! Teach! Bring groups together! Support financially Democratic movements that believe in the masses!! and the popular vote!! Remember the French Revolution!!! Don't know anything about it? Educate yourself!! Reread their long history and violent search for Democracy!!! Stand up, speak out! Take folks to vote! Influence people with information, facts!! Use that anger not for destructive thoughts, but with a plan to spread your influence and share ideas; start with family; have history to back up your ideas! Get books, bring folks together, family, and read together about Jefferson and his writings and speeches! They are empowering and inspiring!! But even with Jefferson and our countries forefathers, Our true democracy began in the 1930's with Roosevelt and his cadre of like minded Democrats, liberal , progressive thinkers who truly believed in the "little man" . Universal education, in PUBLIC SCHOOLS, taught the principles of Democracy and increased the dignity of the poor and the middle class as worthwhile beings and worthy of all the freedom and opportunity as the rich. It was a reinforcement of the principles taught by Jesus to the poor masses of his time. He was the Savior of the poor, the slave, the hungry and the sick!! Is that not what "democratic" principles practice!!??? Your voice not your bitching and grumbling and advocate violence is what will turn this country and peoples heart back to the WAY of civil and economic justice again. Do what can be done locally to stop the pied piper of totalarinism pipe Americans to all our destruction!

This has always been the TEA

This has always been the TEA PARTY AGENDA,to get people to vote against their own BEST INTERESTS!

The only industrie we have

The only industrie we have left to make money off of is real estate so take all underwater homes under eminent domain raffle them off for three times as much as currentr market value and repay our debt once the debt is paid off you wont have to cut social security. This method does not tax the wealthy so why would they complain it is a method to save our selves. I would challenge aany county in the USA to do this and watch their cities coffers fill back up. Real estate is our only peaceful weapon against the rich and powerful who have destroyed our way of life by keeping wages low and rigging the political system.
So a push for just one county in the whole country to do this as an expieriment
is all we need to push for just one county to turn all real estate sales into a raffle system. This will create new sources of revenue as well as revive the home repair and upgrade business not to mention put a lot of people to work.
It is better than a revolution as many will be hurt or killed we need action to put the money back in average citizens hands.

They are already stealing our

They are already stealing our social security. Doesn't anyone realize they are taxing our benefits at 85%. Yeah, the money we contributed all those years with virtually no return is now given back to us and taxed at 85%. Who's kidding whom. Why isn't anyone complaining about this?

Some of those talking about

Some of those talking about reducing Medicare, Social Security and raising the retirement age are comparing today to the 1960's in payments. And they are making the argument that we cannot afford it today as it has been raised with the cost of living adjustments.
HOWEVER, the thing the LEAVE OUT of their arguments is the situation of taxation today compared with the 1960's. The top 1 and 2 % were paying a lot more in taxes during the 1960's compared to today.
middle high income brackets
1954-1963 - 20% 91% Census

1964 - 16% 77% Census

1965-1967 - 14% 70% Census

1968 - 14% 75.25% Census

1969 - 14% 77% Census

Why should retirees have Social Security, Medicare cuts when the top bracket will not even consider a tax rate increase today of even close to 50% to help off set the deficit? A deficit caused by cuts on their taxes during two unfunded wars, and the bailout (of some of those very CEO's) of the banks and Wall Street and the collapse of the world wide economy. Many of those in that top bracket also made a huge profit either through stocks in or employment at the corporations supplying the Pentagon during those unfunded wars. Also, it must be easy for someone who works in a cushy office to think of retirement at 17 opr 70, but not for those who have worked on their feet, straining their back, and doing real labor for 40+ or 52 years at their jobs.

If Americans buy into to the ideas of 'budgeting' for America, without fighting back tooth and nail against what those CEO's are planning or backing , then we deserve what we get! We can no long be the 'silent majority' or we will be permanently silenced.

Your article needs

Your article needs editing:

'If we assume that an average retiree collects benefits for 20 years, this implies an average cut in their benefits of 3 percent. ...'

This should read '6 percent'! n-phm

I am angry too, but never

I am angry too, but never mind the guillotines, though maybe not a bad idea. More importantly , what can we ,the 99%, do about it? I am sick of reading doomsday articles, no matter how much truth, without realistic suggested attempts at solutions to the problems.

I suggest you read YES

I suggest you read YES magazine for all the many ways people have found to stop corporations, support local businesses, form cooperatives and non- profits. The solutions are out there - what we need is the critical mass of both understanding and action. Try it, Ekaran... YesMagazine.org (Although I recommend you subscribe because the mag is a non-profit and they need our help, too.)

Ang Gree's picture

I think you have the right

I think you have the right idea, Bozoadult... altho there are probably more effective tools than guillotines ;)

people have got to get it thru their thick skulls that we are not up against the sort of problems that we can just vote away, or ask the slightly less corrupt party to fix... they are both to blame. and voters are not doing themselves any favors by doubling down on party loyalty.

one of the ways the Corporate Right keeps their "conservative" voters from confronting reality is by pushing the meme about "big govt" and how the federal authorities are out to get them and want to destroy their "way of life" (whatever that means). in other words; be afraid of the government, keep your guns loaded, and vote GOP! for gullible know-nothings, that's enough.

but here's what the Left needs to start thinking: don't fear the govt... the govt should be Afraid Of Us! the Occupy Movement is a good start, and joining the Green Party won't hurt either, but we gotta push harder. don't wait for the Democrats to do something... they won't!

we gotta Stop Thinking Liberal - Start Acting Radical!

I guess no one has any

I guess no one has any thought about the other side of the ledger. You know, the one labled "Income". When the country was driven into recession by Wall Street and it's supporters in the Bush Administration, government revenues fell like a rock in a pond. All the while the spending on the wars and unlimited military buildup continued. As the the recession deepened, the states and cities found their receipts falling dramaticly. The resultant spending cut backs at the local and state level further exacerbated the recession. Conservatives in DC screamed about the growing debt, though they were silent about it during the Bush years when it doubled. When you live in a free country, you must understand that the only thing that is free is you. Everything else has a price tag. If we want a government that works, we have to be prepared to pony up the money to pay for it. That's called taxes. During my working years, I was modestly successful and I always stated the obvious: "Give me the money, I'll pay the taxes." It now seems we only want the benefits but are not willing to pay for them. Those who can pay the most, should as they benefitted the most. So, what's the problem?

jussmartenuf's picture

If corporate America can kill

If corporate America can kill soc sec they drop billions to their bottom lines in tax savings. Same for Medicare. They are vultures, not worker advocates.

I have wondered how long it

I have wondered how long it would be before a shooting "spree" such as occurred a few days ago in a theater would involve some group of CEO's/Banksters etc. I would wager that when these folks get together, security is very tight. And I would further wager that such a possibility has occurred to these scum. dh

End the taxable income limit

End the taxable income limit of $106,800.00 on Social Security and make the filthy rich pay FICA taxes on every cent they are paid.

End Congressional pensions and retirement healthg care benefits so they have to live on Social Security and Medicare and they have a financial incentive to quit trying to abolish the social safety never for the 99%.

Bravo, Jeffery

Bravo, Jeffery

Of course this is totally

Of course this is totally correct. Anyone with half a brain can see that. But so long as the monied interests in DC control the agenda, it won't happen.

The suggestions made by Mr.

The suggestions made by Mr. Jeffery Hill would go far toward solving a lot of problems, and should obviously enacted post haste, but don't hold your breath. dh

We know Dean Baker is

We know Dean Baker is speaking the truth.

How do we know this? Because the only dialogue about social security that is ALLOWED on our propaganda networks is that social security is driving the deficit. And the only words you will hear from Obama on social security are weasel words designed to evade the truth.

At least the filthy Republicans will come right out and admit they want to cut your social security and medicare.

But I have a better suggestion on what to cut. I suggest we wheel out the guillotines. And I mean this with all my heart.

I'm sorry. Didn't anyone

I'm sorry. Didn't anyone proof read this before it went to press?

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