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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press NYT: It's Already Been Decided, Social Security Will Be Cut

NYT: It's Already Been Decided, Social Security Will Be Cut

Thursday, 17 March 2011 04:47

The NYT told readers this morning:

"Once this year’s budget battle is settled, Congress will move on to potentially bigger fights over whether to raise the national debt limit and how to rein in the costs of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security."

Wow, huge majorities oppose cuts to Social Security (Medicare also), but the only debate in Congress is over "how" to cut the program. So much for democracy in America.

Comments (6)Add Comment
written by foosion, March 17, 2011 5:14
Huge majorities want the government to focus on jobs, don't want major cuts in any big program and want taxes on upper income earners raised. None of that is being discussed by politicians or the media.
Much like Bank Bailout
written by Hugh Sansom, March 17, 2011 8:48
Recall that the first attempt to bailout banks in September 2008 failed in Congress after a deluge of calls from voters in opposition. Then Congress rallied. After all, if 95% of members support policy X, how can you play one off against another?

The same is happening now. The oligarchs have ruled against Social Security. They know they will never need it, but in time there will be no one left to raise taxes on but the rich, so in time, if social programs are to be preserved, the rich will have to pay a share more closely representing the degree to which they disproportionately benefit in out society.

The solution is to kill social programs in their entirety, let the poor and middle classes suffer. Why? Congress and every president since Reagan have demonstrated repeatedly that they place a near-exclusive priority on the interests of the wealthiest (not just to the exclusion of others, but at the expense of others).

The political economist Carles Boix has argued that democracy thrives when the privileged perceive that the masses cannot vote away the wealth of those privileged. So countries with diverse and liquid assets like the U.S. can tolerate democracy. I suggest that the United States is proving Boix's argument incomplete. The rich are saying, again and again, "No!" to democracy.

It may be no more complicated than this: In a society where a huge majority show no interest in current events, politics, economics, justice, truth, government, why should power-brokers deal with democracy when they can just as easily — or more easily, given the population's passivity — deal without?
Harry Reid Doesn't Read the NYT
written by Paul, March 17, 2011 9:26
He said last night on Larry O's show that he won't allow any changes to SS for 20 years. Guess the Times never talks to Harry for some reason.
Social Security Plus
written by furiouschads, March 18, 2011 6:57
Rather than cutting SS, we need to expand it to cover more of the impending gap in retirement income. Call the expansion "Social Security Plus".

Private pensions are disappearing. We should recognize this and expand SS funding and payout accordingly.

The 401k project is recognized as a failure. We need to expand SS funding and payout accordingly. Why not let people buy more SS coverage by selling their 401k accts to the gov't? Important point: Keep Wall Street out of this expansion.
written by urban legend, March 18, 2011 2:43
Wow, we who simply want Social Security as it is protected are "leftists" now. Thanks, Washington press corps. The extent to which you have damaged this country -- every one of you who did anything whatsoever to advance this right-wing imagery -- is beyond calculation.
and how to rein in the costs of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
written by Patrick Tchou, March 19, 2011 11:23
Notice that the article says "....and how to rein in the costs of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security." Whenever those who want to demonize SS talk about a budget crisis, they always group the three together. Never mind that they are funded differently, have very different balance sheets, and SS cannot even be funded by Fed dollars. I don't count paying off the SS loans by the Feds as being "funded" by the Feds.

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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.