If you have "no place to go," come here!

In which lambert apologizes, again, for being prematurely correct


How Obama lost my trust on Social Security
This issue was been framed by many as Obama calling Social Security in "crisis." It was Atrios who blew the whistle on Obama on this point, and his argument, developed over several posts, was more subtle. His point was that Obama had put Social Security "in play" -- after the "angry left" with a great deal of toil, had succeeded in getting our craven Democratic leadership to take it out of play -- and that when Social Security is in play, it's in play by Beltway (Village) rules -- and everyone in the Beltway who is "serious" believes that privatization is on the table. So, Atrios sums up, Obama undid a lot of hard work by a lot of good people. And for why?

So far as I can tell, there was no reason whatever for Obama to put Social Security in play, except to score some meaningless points against Hillary in Iowa. I've seen the YouTube, and it's breathtaking in its "audacity": One sentence he's saying Hillary doesn't have a plan to deal with the "problem," and in the very next sentence he's saying he doesn't want to make it a political football. Dude, you just MADE my dignity in old age a political football, and all to pick up a tenth of a point in Iowa.

(See here, for a classic OFB reaction.)

New York Times, 2009-01-08:

Obama Says He Will Seek Overhaul of Retiree Spending
President-elect Barack Obama said Wednesday that overhauling Social Security and Medicare would be “a central part” of his administration’s efforts to contain federal spending, signaling for the first time that he would wade into the thorny politics of entitlement programs.

Speaking at a news conference in Washington, he provided no details of his approach to rein in Social Security and Medicare, which are projected to consume a growing share of government spending as the baby boom generation ages into retirement over the next two decades. But he said he would have more to say about the issue when he unveiled a budget next month.

So, Social Security is "in play" again. I wonder how our tribunes of the people will react this time around. Josh? Lord Eschaton? Are you ready to enter the lists once again?

NOTE Having already stolen two trillion for Hank Paulson's golfing buddies, it's only natural that the Village would try to loot Social Security. It's the only big pot of money left.

No votes yet


Submitted by WRhouse on

(over 25 years in retail doesn't really let one get a pension ), I was so mad that it's now "back in play" after all the promises that it was "off the table" made by people who supposedly care about us. What the h*ll are they going to do, raise Medicare/cade rates while cutting the reimbursements to care providers even more drastically, so that even more stop accepting it. Oh, and I wonder if they're going to roll back the big cost of living increase scheduled for this year?

(Don't worry Lambert, I've already earmarked your money for this month when I get it.)

Submitted by lambert on

As Anatole France said:

The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread. That is one of the good effects of the Revolution.

It's going to be a real dilemma. Throw my shoes -- or save them for eating?

NOTE Thanks, WRH. It is appreciated.

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

besides the apparent falsehood that the system is going to run out of money? I am furious with Obama for starting this crap again. I'm stunned that after what's happened on Wall Street, they're still talking about privatization!!! I do not trust these guys. Even if they claimed that rules and regulations were in place, I still wouldn't trust them.

I didn't have much faith in Obama before. He supported the bailout, which has turned out to be a gigantic rip-off. Now it's getting scary.

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

Maybe the bailout money has been put to good use.

Unfortunately, no one knows about the good use.

I guess when they all figure out the spin, we'll know?

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

The economy is so weak it can be drowned even with a Dem Congress and President.

zeezee's picture
Submitted by zeezee on

a Democratic Congress and President, that is. Republican pod people have taken over. Ever wonder where all the "moderate" Republicans had gone? Apparently they've disguised themselves as Democrats. Real Democrats are an endangered species on Capitol Hill and in the White House.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

some are already pushing back against the tax cuts too, thankfully.

esp in the House, as opposed to the Senate.

more and more, Obama is playing the Bush game -- "now, now, now!" -- and not at all caring about Congress and simply trying to force them to pass stuff --

it's a good sign for us, and they're already pissed about things -- precisely because they roll over for Republicans -- but never ever for Democratic Presidents.

BobbyK's picture
Submitted by BobbyK on

Think about the stunning audacity here when you consider the current melt down on Wall Street. Just what the fuck is O going to propose-"Put your money in the stock market it's got no where to go but up!!!!". I received an email from them requesting a contribution. Not that I expect them to read it but I emailed them back and said that if O actually manages to do this I'm done with teh Democrat party. Fuck these assholes. It truly is time for a 3rd party.

BobbyK's picture
Submitted by BobbyK on

were in the fore front of stopping shrub's little ploy. It's going to be interesting to see what they have to say about O trying this.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

read it and see how similar -- spending discipline, tax cuts, green fuel, SS, healthcare reform and technology, etc...

State of the Union 2005 --

... America's prosperity requires restraining the spending appetite of the federal government. I welcome the bipartisan enthusiasm for spending discipline. I will send you a budget that holds the growth of discretionary spending below inflation, makes tax relief permanent, and stays on track to cut the deficit in half by 2009. (Applause.) My budget substantially reduces or eliminates more than 150 government programs that are not getting results, or duplicate current efforts, or do not fulfill essential priorities. The principle here is clear: Taxpayer dollars must be spent wisely, or not at all. (Applause.)

To make our economy stronger and more productive, we must make health care more affordable, and give families greater access to good coverage -- (applause) -- and more control over their health decisions. (Applause.) I ask Congress to move forward on a comprehensive health care agenda with tax credits to help low-income workers buy insurance, a community health center in every poor county, improved information technology to prevent medical error and needless costs, association health plans for small businesses and their employees -- (applause) -- expanded health savings accounts -- (applause) -- and medical liability reform that will reduce health care costs and make sure patients have the doctors and care they need. (Applause.)

To keep our economy growing, we also need reliable supplies of affordable, environmentally responsible energy. (Applause.) Nearly four years ago, I submitted a comprehensive energy strategy that encourages conservation, alternative sources, a modernized electricity grid, and more production here at home -- including safe, clean nuclear energy. (Applause.) My Clear Skies legislation will cut power plant pollution and improve the health of our citizens. (Applause.) And my budget provides strong funding for leading-edge technology -- from hydrogen-fueled cars, to clean coal, to renewable sources such as ethanol. (Applause.) Four years of debate is enough: I urge Congress to pass legislation that makes America more secure and less dependent on foreign energy. (Applause.)

All these proposals are essential to expand this economy and add new jobs -- but they are just the beginning of our duty. To build the prosperity of future generations, we must update institutions that were created to meet the needs of an earlier time. Year after year, Americans are burdened by an archaic, incoherent federal tax code. I've appointed a bipartisan panel to examine the tax code from top to bottom. And when their recommendations are delivered, you and I will work together to give this nation a tax code that is pro-growth, easy to understand, and fair to all. (Applause.)


One of America's most important institutions -- a symbol of the trust between generations -- is also in need of wise and effective reform. Social Security was a great moral success of the 20th century, and we must honor its great purposes in this new century. (Applause.) The system, however, on its current path, is headed toward bankruptcy. And so we must join together to strengthen and save Social Security. (Applause.) ...

All these ideas are on the table.

I know that none of these reforms would be easy. But we have to move ahead with courage and honesty, because our children's retirement security is more important than partisan politics. ...

foxx's picture
Submitted by foxx on

That is where huge piles of his money came from. This is what they were paying for.

It is astonishing that, with Wall Street having ruined the country, they are still planning to turn Social Security over to them.

All these stupid, naive, white liberals who fell for a con job because they thought they were so smart they didn't have to actually research who Obama is have the destruction of our lives to answer for.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

"All these stupid, naive, white liberals"

Why single out anyone race? Their was poseurs of all kinds of backgrounds who fell for the man. That seemed like a gratuitous stab, to me, especially considering it was hardly the "white liberals" who tilted the victory for Obama. Maybe, you may want to rethink that, and use a mental filter next time. The race stuff really wasn't necessary or helpful, at all.