Whose Sequester Is It Anyway?

February 19, 2013 5:07 PM

President Obama, accompanied by emergency responders — workers the White House says could be affected if state and local governments lose federal money as a result of budget cuts — speaks in the Eisenhower Executive Office building in Washington on Tuesday.

President Obama, accompanied by emergency responders — workers the White House says could be affected if state and local governments lose federal money as a result of budget cuts — speaks in the Eisenhower Executive Office building in Washington on Tuesday.Charles Dharapak/AP

By now, it’s widely accepted that indiscriminate spending cuts in defense and domestic programs due to start March 1 are likely to occur owing to the failure of President Obama and the Republican-led House to reach an agreement to avoid the budgetary cleaver. Continue reading “Whose Sequester Is It Anyway?”

AFGE Statement on Simpson-Bowles Deficit Reduction Plan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 19, 2013

Contact:Tim Kauffman
202-639-6405/202-374-6491
kaufft@afge.org

AFGE Statement on Simpson-Bowles Deficit Reduction Plan

WASHINGTON – American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. today issued the following statement on the latest rehash of the failed deficit reduction proposal from ex-Senator Alan Simpson and Morgan Stanley Director Erskine Bowles:

Mr. Simpson and Mr. Bowles seem to have missed the fact that America had an election last November and that voters overwhelmingly rejected the regressive and idiotic ideas they were peddling on behalf of their corporate masters. We rejected more tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. We rejected cuts in Social Security and Medicare benefits. We rejected taking away earned retirement benefits from public employees. We rejected an accelerated race to the bottom for the middle class and the working poor. Continue reading “AFGE Statement on Simpson-Bowles Deficit Reduction Plan”

The Real Referendum

New York Times
Op-Ed Columnist

The Real Referendum

By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: September 30, 2012

Republicans came into this campaign believing that it would be a referendum on President Obama, and that still-high unemployment would hand them victory on a silver platter. But given the usual caveats — a month can be a long time in politics, it’s not over until the votes are actually counted, and so on — it doesn’t seem to be turning out that way.

 

 
Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Paul Krugman

Yet there is a sense in which the election is indeed a referendum, but of a different kind. Voters are, in effect, being asked to deliver a verdict on the legacy of the New Deal and the Great Society, on Social Security, Medicare and, yes, Obamacare, which represents an extension of that legacy. Will they vote for politicians who want to replace Medicare with Vouchercare, who denounce Social Security as “collectivist” (as Paul Ryanonce did), who dismiss those who turn to social insurance programs as people unwilling to take responsibility for their lives?

 

If the polls are any indication, the result of that referendum will be a clear reassertion of support for the safety net, and a clear rejection of politicians who want to return us to the Gilded Age. But here’s the question: Will that election result be honored?

I ask that question because we already know what Mr. Obama will face if re-elected: a clamor from Beltway insiders demanding that he immediately return to his failed political strategy of 2011, in which he made a Grand Bargain over the budget deficit his overriding priority. Now is the time, he’ll be told, to fix America’s entitlement problem once and for all. There will be calls — as there were at the time of the Democratic National Convention — for him to officially endorse Simpson-Bowles, the budget proposal issued by the co-chairmen of his deficit commission (although never accepted by the commission as a whole). Continue reading “The Real Referendum”

Does President Obama Want to Cut Social Security by 3 Percent?

https://i2.wp.com/www.sanders.senate.gov/images/structure/bg-header.jpgDoes President Obama Want to Cut Social Security by 3 Percent?

Monday, 17 September 2012 09:56 By Dean Baker, Truthout | News Analysis

Source: Truth-out.org

September 17, 2012

That is a pretty simple and important question. Unfortunately, most voters are likely to go to the polls this fall without knowing the answer.

If the backdrop to this question is not immediately clear, then you should be very angry at the reporters who cover the campaign. One of the items that continuously comes up in reference to the budget deficit is President Obama’s support for the plan put forward by the co-chairs of his deficit commission, Morgan Stanley director Erskine Bowles and former senator Alan Simpson. On numerous occasions, President Obama has indicated his support for this plan.

One of the items in the Bowles-Simpson plan is a reduction in the annual cost-of-living adjustment of roughly 0.3 percentage points. This would be accomplished by using a different index that, by design, would show a lower measured rate of inflation. It is important to recognize that this is an annual cut that would accumulate over time. After a retiree has been receiving benefits for ten years, the cut would be 3.0 percent; after 20 years. it would be 6 percent. If a typical retiree lives long enough to get benefits for 20, years the average benefit cut over their years of retirement would be 3 percent.

Continue reading here.