Skip to comments.Schumer steps up Social Security assault on House Republicans (forms caucus w/socialist Sanders)
Posted on 01/27/2011 5:36:31 PM PST by Libloather
Schumer steps up Social Security assault on House Republicans
By Alexander Bolton - 01/27/11 07:28 PM ET
Senate Democrats led by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are gearing up for a battle with House Republicans over Medicare and Social Security benefits.
Schumer and other Democratic strategists see Medicare and Social Security as winning political issues that can help them regain the momentum they lost over the last two years.
Schumer, who has taken over the Senate Democrats' communications operation, delivered some of his most direct shots at House GOP leaders.
They want to privatize Social Security, Schumer said of Republicans. Privatize equals end, no more.
Senate Democrats have unified over the issue after President Obama stayed away from proposing a cut in Social Security benefits at Tuesdays State of the Union address.
Democratic pollsters warned that if Obama called for raising the retirement age, it would create a schism in the party.
House Republicans have discussed advancing a proposal to privatize Medicare in the budget plan they expect to unveil in the next few weeks.
House GOP Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) said Wednesday that many Republicans would support a proposal floated by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to convert Medicare into a voucher system in which beneficiaries would receive $11,000 on average to buy certified plans.
Ryan has also called for letting workers under the age of 55 invest a third of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts.
Mike Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), has pointed out that Obama has also signaled support for Social Security reform.
President Obama and Republicans agree on the need to reform Social Security to protect benefits for future generations, he said. It seems like some of the presidents Democratic allies on Capitol Hill havent gotten the memo from the White House.
On Tuesday, Obama told Congress: We should also find a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security for future generations.
The president said Thursday the solution should not slash benefits for future generations or subject benefits to the whims of the stock market.
Sanders said he would like to hear a stronger pledge from Obama.
Jeb Hensarling of Texas said, and hes the Republican conference chairman, that theyre going to take Paul Ryans blueprint and use it, said Schumer. Thats privatizing Medicare . Theyre going to do the same for Social Security.
Their agenda: Privatize both programs, which means end them, said Schumer.
Schumer, Sanders, and several other Democrats have formed the Senate Social Security Caucus, which held its first meeting Thursday.
The meeting came a day after the Congressional Budget Office reported that Social Security would begin running deficits this year. The trust fund is projected to take in $130 billion less in payroll taxes than it will pay out benefits.
Most of that deficit is due to a one-year payroll tax break that President Obama and congressional Republicans agreed to last year, which knocked the payroll tax rate from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent for 2011.
Democrats note, however, that Social Security has a $2.6 trillion surplus that will increase to more than $4 trillion by 2039.
But Democrats also acknowledge that the trust fund will no longer be able to pay out 100 percent of benefits beginning in 2039.
Influential Republican senators have proposed raising the Social Security retirement age from 67 to 69, using a formula that Congress agreed to in the 1980s to raise the retirement age from 67 to 69.
We know what to do on Social Security; I put on the table [a proposal] adjusting the age from 67 to 69, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Wednesday. I dont know how in the heck we save this country from bankruptcy if we dont reform entitlements.
Why cant we do what Ronald Reagan and Tip ONeill did? Graham said in reference to the former Republican president and Democratic House speaker.
Sanders accused Republicans of hyping the fiscal instability of the program and the media of swallowing their spin.
If its raining tomorrow, therefore Social Security is in trouble. Whats the surplus for Social Security? he said.
Sanders said the trust fund is similar to businesses that take out loans from time to time to cover short-term costs but are fiscally sound over the long term.
The other members of the Social Security Caucus are Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Debbie Stabenow (Mich.).
The lawmakers met at the same time that the Senate Tea Party Caucus held its first public meeting in the Senate Hart office building.
A fourth Republican senator, Jerry Moran (Kansas), joined the caucus, which also includes Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah). A fifth GOP senator, Pat Toomey (Pa.), sat in on the meeting.
Democrats say the growing influence of the Tea Party in Congress poses a threat to entitlement programs.
The fact that five senators are for privatizing Social Security shows were not crying wolf here, Schumer said. This is a serious movement to undo the most successful government program of the 20th century.
Brown said: If they have five senators already in the first month of January, its likely going to be a major thrust of the Republican effort.
BRING IT ON
Here is how it is planned. Unemployed who can't find work and are over 55 1/2 are applying for Social Security in droves.
Obama has Social Security Payroll taxes reduced from 6.2 to 4.2%.
Result: A Manufactured crisis to pin on the Republicans.
Just wait and see.
This from the bunch that has CUT Social Security TWO years in a row and is CUTTING Medicare by HALF A TRILLION dollars.
Republicans need to remind everyone in America that UNIONS are the anchor dragging the American economy and THAT OBAMA is FULLY ENGAGED IN SUPPLYING THOSE UNIONS WITH EVERY SECTOR HE CAN TAKE OVER...This is one area that NEEDS to just be HAMMERED in every commercial, every campaign, etc. Don’t let OBUMMER slide on his bedroom coziness with every union thug out there!
Privatizing Social Security means its in an account that the politicians can’t steal.
Leaving it as it is means its already stolen. Its a ponzi, and normal people go to jail for stuff like this. Ask Madoff.
Repubs just have to make the point very clear to people who depend on Social Security, which is most people, that its already been stolen.
That limp-wristed squeaker has no bounds to his idiocy.
Seems to me that EVERYTHING the Gubmint touches turns to shit, and he won't admit that taking the money and handing it out to government-dole-parasites and those who funnel money into the DNC (AKA: Unions) has bankrupted this genration and those to follow, with debt up the ass.
Take on the argument on the issue, and point out the FAILURES of 6 years of Democrat Congress, piling up the debt and buying voters.....
This crap MUST end, and cutting expenditures and taking the Gubmint OUT of our lives is the ONLY way out.
H/C, cap and trade,finreg all winning issues per odumbos rats, that worked out well for them
Yup... Its like a fat man asking for an extra helping of steak and potato when he should be on a diet! That’s the Democrats’ notion of Social Security “reform.”
These are scumbags the RINOs went on a date with....
It’s worked before. I see nothing from the Repubs to counter such lies... again.
Perhaps the funniest statement I've ever heard!
A debt is still a debt... Sanders hasn’t taken an accounting class. Its like Enron counting liabilities as assets.
If Sanders tried that in the real world, he’d be carted off to prison!
can’t say what i think and how i feel!
Don’t worry, we know you hate those mother effing $on$ a Beeches cause those souless Bastiges are worthless cork soaking rat bastiges.
I hope i didn’t over emphasize
Nor will you.
Their agenda: Privatize both programs, which means end them, said Schumer.
"Ryan called for letting workers under the age of 55 invest a third of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts."
Chucky, do you understand the word, "letting?"
good job...you hit the nail on the head!
Is English your second language?
Are these the same Senators Schumer and Sanders that went on the record last year to vote for cutting half a trillion dollars out of Medicare?
Starve and terminate the welfare state!
"Letting" is equivalent to "freedom" here, and "Freedom" is something that Chuck Schumer simply will not tolerate.
I'd start by hanging a few of the socialists and throwing the rest of them in prison for grand larceny and fraud.