Means Testing Emerges as a Social Insurance Pill Democrats Could Swallow

By: Friday December 14, 2012 10:05 am

It certainly looked yesterday as if the White House had dropped any notion of using an increase in the Medicare eligibility age as a bargaining chip in future negotiations on a grand bargain. While the White House has not ruled out increasing the age, some of its leading allies did, and Dick Durbin went so [...]

Liberal Groups Whip Senate on Social Insurance Cuts

By: Wednesday December 12, 2012 7:45 am

Liberal groups have targeted Democratic Senators in a campaign to forestall benefit cuts to social insurance programs as part of any deal to avert the fiscal slope. The groups, which include CREDO, Progressives United, the PCCC, DFA, MoveOn, the Campaign for America’s Future and Rebuild the Dream, have segmented the Senate into three categories, based [...]

Tim Geithner’s Lead Negotiating Position on Fiscal Slope Should Cause Concern

By: Tuesday November 27, 2012 12:21 pm

Matt Yglesias makes the astute observation that Jack Lew will be the next Treasury Secretary, and I agree. However, his reasoning for this overlooks one key detail: Why? Well because the White House has decided that it wants the Treasury Secretary to be deeply involved with budget issues, and who better than a former OMB [...]

Durbin Outlines Democratic Approach on Grand Bargain

By: Tuesday November 27, 2012 11:33 am

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), who has almost become the liaison to the left for cuts to federal health care programs in the grand bargain, gave a speech today at the Center for American Progress that included a couple important points: • Durbin sequenced the provisions of the deal, saying that Republicans would have to build [...]

Democrats Angling to Ignore Base in Fiscal Slope Deal

By: Tuesday November 27, 2012 7:45 am

I again think gridlock is the best ally of anyone who would rather not see a bad deal on social insurance put together. Clearly Democrats are dying to knife their base. What’s more, gridlock would put Democrats in a better position, particularly on taxes, because of what automatically results after January.

Pre-Holiday Ride on the Fiscal Slopes

By: Wednesday November 21, 2012 10:54 am

I’m ensconced in the relative comfort of the ‘rents home for the holidays, but let’s just lay this down as a marker for the austerity bomb negotiations to come. As I wrote previously, Democrats and Republicans have operated on separate tracks so far in the early stages, writing soothing press releases and assuring folks of [...]

Union Coalition Promotes “Jobs Not Cuts,” Directly Targets Democratic Senators

By: Tuesday November 20, 2012 8:15 am

A coalition of unions has released the first set of ads pressuring Democrats on the grand bargain, with an explicit message of “Jobs Not Cuts.” The ads target some Republicans as well Democratic lawmakers in several states who have made noises in favor of a grand bargain that would cut social insurance programs like Medicare, [...]

Over the Weekend on the Fiscal Slopes

By: Monday November 19, 2012 6:14 am

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi laid out a bright line this weekend, echoing many other Democrats in saying that merely cutting loopholes to raise revenues would not be sufficient for a deal.

Mark Begich’s Plan to Stop the Effects of Inequality on Social Security Finances

By: Friday November 16, 2012 10:52 am

I will be on Mark Thompson’s Make It Plain show on Sirius/XM – I’m actually on every Friday – and we tape early, so I can tell you that one of the things I’ll talk about is how Social Security’s long-term funding is an artifact of rampant US inequality. See, we have a payroll tax [...]

New Poverty Statistics Show Need for Bigger, Not Smaller, Social Security Benefits

By: Wednesday November 14, 2012 12:58 pm

New Census Bureau statistics on poverty show a shocking increase in the number of seniors below the poverty line, suggesting that this would be the worst time to add on benefit cuts to critical social insurance programs like Social Security and Medicare. Focusing on adequacy of those programs would make much more sense. The Census [...]

Change.org Helping Group Pushing Grand Bargain, Social Insurance Cuts

By: Monday November 12, 2012 12:17 pm

The fiscal madness in Washington has now intersected with a recent development, the sellout of certain progressive organizations. Change.org recently announced they would rebrand themselves as less a progressive social movement site, but a one-stop shop for anyone of any ideology that wants to use petitions to leverage a particular policy. Change.org allows users to [...]

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