Maggie Mahar – What Does the Tax Cut Deal Mean for Medicare, Social Security and Health Care Reform?
When President Obama struck a deal with conservatives on tax cuts, his opponents set the stage for 2012. With this legislation, the conservative agenda of the Bush administration once again becomes national policy. The goal: to redistribute wealth upward–even if that means letting the deficit balloon.
Not long ago, conservatives on the Deficit Commission were warning that the deficit represents a “cancer” that will “destroy the country from within.”
Now, politicians on the right are arguing for tax cuts that will add $858 billion to the deficit over ten years—plus $383 in interest over the same span—bringing the total impact on the national debt to $1.24 trillion through 2020. And somehow, that is suddenly a brilliant idea?
Trust me, there is a method to Mitch McConnell’s madness: The larger the deficit, the more compelling the conservative case for shrinking entitlements such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Health Care reform in 2012.
Part 2 here.
From the AFL-CIO Now Blog:
by James Parks, Dec 8, 2010
Here’s one big reason congressional Republicans and the deficit hawks are dead wrong about cutting Social Security benefits: According to a new study, nearly half (47.4 percent) of all Americans between the ages of 60 and 90 will experience at least one year of poverty or near poverty and seniors of color are twice as likely to be affected.
The study by Mark Rank, a professor of social work at Washington University in St. Louis, shows that 58 percent of seniors between 60 and 84 will, at some point, not have enough liquid assets to allow them to weather an unanticipated expense or downturn in income.
But if you are a senior who is black or unmarried or have less than a high school education, the likelihood that you will be poor at some point increases dramatically. Rank found that although 32.7 percent of white older Americans will experience at least one year below the official poverty line, the percentage for black older Americans was nearly double at 64.6 percent.
For unmarried seniors, the percentage experiencing poverty was 51.2 percent compared with 24.9 percent for married older Americans. Likewise, for those with fewer than 12 years of education, the percentage experiencing poverty was 48.4 percent compared with 20.5 percent for those with 12 or more years of education.
From the Economist’s View:
It’s nice to see the local paper highlighting this side of the Social Security debate:
From Economist’s View:
Raising the retirement age also raises disability applications, so this won’t save as much money as many people think, and could even make things worse if the early retirement age is changed (the early retirement age is currently 62):
Raise Retirement Age and More Become Disabled, by Merrill Goozner: Most people are working and living longer, so it seems like a no-brainer to raise the retirement age to help close the long-term Social Security funding gap. But the move could backfire and not save as much as predicted. Why? Not all groups are able to work longer, a new report from the Government Accountability Office says.
“Raising the retirement ages would likely increase the number of workers applying for and receiving disability insurance benefits,” which also comes out of Social Security, said the report…
This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget, state budgets, unemployment, food assistance, and Social Security.
- On the federal budget, we featured Bob Greenstein’s recent commentary on reducing the deficit, as seen in a New York Times “Room for Debate.” Jim Horney answered questions about key issues facing Congress during the lame duck session, and also looked at the budget plan from the co-chairs of the President’s fiscal commission. In addition, we showed how extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts would affect the national debt. And, Paul Van de Water noted that the Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform’s proposal places too much blame for the nation’s fiscal problems on the budget process.
- On state budgets, Nicholas Johnson explained why the President’s proposed tax break for business investment would be expensive for states, and Bob Tannenwald discussed why states pay a high price in allocating film tax credits yet receive little in return.
- On unemployment, Chad Stone discussed why demands that Congress offset the cost of renewing federal emergency unemployment insurance benefits are hypocritical or counterproductive. Chad also pointed out that unemployment benefits are important for middle-class families as well as those near the poverty line.
- On food assistance, Dottie Rosenbaum highlighted new data showing that food stamps helped keep hunger at bay despite the recession.
- On Social Security, Kathy Ruffing demonstrated that so-called “progressive price indexing” would not be the best way to fix Social Security’s shortfall.
In other news, the Center released a podcast on key congressional issues in the lame duck session, reports on the Bowles-Simpson and Peterson-Pew debt reduction proposals as well as on state film subsidies and progressive price indexing, and held a media briefing on state film tax credits.
View Off the Charts Blog:
- RT footage of Japan Kessenuma ‘ghost’ port city smashed by tsunami
- Doha Debates: This House Believes that Arab Revolutions Will Just Produce Different Dictators
- 500,000 March in London Protesting Public Spending Cuts and Corporate Tax Dodgers
- Naomi Klein on Anti-Union & Budget “Crisis” Bills and Shock Doctrine American-Style
- Naomi Klein on The Shock Doctrine: “My Fear is Climate Change is the Biggest Crisis of All”
- Senator Bernie Sanders
- Sen. Franken’s Floor Statement on the House Republican Budget
- Wonkette – BREAKING: NPR Person a Human Being, Has Personal Opinions
- Washington’s Blog – Guantanamo Show Trials Re-Started
- Chris Hedges – This Time We’re Taking the Whole Planet With Us
- Zero Hedge – The Shadow King Of Wall Street: “Markets Like Totalitarian Governments”
- ‘America Is NOT Broke’: Michael Moore Speaks in Madison, WI — March 5, 2011
- Stephen Lendman on “Hired ‘rebels’, civil war part of US plan to colonize Libya”
- Help Desk Geek – What is a Browser Helper Object and How Do I Remove It?
- Flouride: The Bizarre History 1 / 20