CEPR - Center for Economic and Policy Research


En Español

Em Português

Other Languages

Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Democratic Leadership Refuses to Rule Out Cuts to Social Security

Democratic Leadership Refuses to Rule Out Cuts to Social Security

Thursday, 23 September 2010 06:20

That fact would have been featured prominently in a good article reporting on the Republicans' "Pledge to America" and the response from the Democratic leadership in Congress. Instead, the Post reported without comment a statement from Speaker Pelosi's office that criticized Republicans for wanting to:

"turn Social Security from a guaranteed benefit into a guaranteed gamble."

This is a bizarre statement, since the Republican plan does not propose privatizing Social Security. The immediate threat facing Social Security are the plans to cut benefits and raise the retirement age, which are being considered by President Obama's deficit commission. Both the Republican and Democratic co-chairs of the commission have indicated support for this route.

It would have been worth pointing out that Speaker Pelosi's statement addressed a policy that is not currently on the agenda, while ignoring one that is. It would be comparable to coming out against the invasion of Brazil in the fall of 2002 when the country was debating the invasion of Iraq.

It is probably worth noting that the Post strongly supports cuts to Social Security.

Comments (5)Add Comment
written by izzatzo, September 23, 2010 7:16
It would be comparable to coming out against the invasion of Brazil in the fall of 2002 when the country was debating the invasion of Iraq.

Where's the inconsistency? Isn't birth control for teenage witches threatened by abstinence counseling as incumbents are replaced by teabaggers with a background in Policing and Regulation of Personal Values? Why isn't this in the headlines as well?
Stated social security positions
written by AndrewDover, September 23, 2010 7:38
This is the Post's position:
"We would prefer a more balanced solution, one that relies on a combination of revenue increases and benefit adjustments. ... Raising the payroll tax ceiling to cover the same share of wages that it did in 1983 would make sense, but that would only solve about one-third of the long-term problem. Some adjustments on the benefits side, particularly making benefits less generous for the highest-income recipients, would also make sense."



The pledge says:
"Reform the Budget Process to Focus on Long-Term Challenges:
We will make the decisions that are necessary to protect our entitlement programs for today’s seniors and future generations. That means requiring a full accounting of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, setting benchmarks for these programs and reviewing them regularly, and preventing the expansion of unfunded liabilities."
"With common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops, we will roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone and putting us on a path to balance the budget and pay down the debt. We will also establish strict budget caps to limit federal spending from this point forward."


"Permanently Stop All Job-Killing Tax Hikes: We will help the economy by permanently stopping all tax increases, currently scheduled to take effect January 1, 2011. That means protecting middle-class families, seniors worried about their retirement, and the entrepreneurs and family-owned small businesses on which we depend to create jobs in America."
"We will allow small business owners to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their business income. "

Just the usual mush: It blames rising spending, but exempts the main drivers: Military and Medicare. Complains about deficts, yet wants to cut taxes again.

written by diesel, September 23, 2010 12:44
"Come on Charlie Brown. I won't pull the football away this time. Really, I promise."
written by bailey, September 23, 2010 1:56
Who would expect differently from Obama & team after the HCR & financial Reform travesties it fought hard for & won. Shameful, just shameful! Only thing worse than Obama's White House performance is that I actually believed his campaign rhetoric.
You are the one person who has been consistent
written by LJM, September 23, 2010 5:20
about staying on top of what anyone wants to do to social security, especially the WAPO. Keep at it, because somebody has to do it.

Write comment

(Only one link allowed per comment)

This content has been locked. You can no longer post any comments.


Support this blog, donate
Combined Federal Campaign #79613

About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.