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Obama's New Treasury Secretary Pushes Austerity That Spreads Global Misery

Business  (tags: politics, world, economy, ethics, society, government )

- 1900 days ago -
Lew spends Spring Break in Europe with fellow austerity hawks who promote harmful economic nonsense.

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Past Member (0)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 5:12 am
I'm not certain that these guys really understand austerity, has he heard of Skype?

Past Member (0)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 7:03 am
These people dont have to live on the same money so how would they know what austerity is

David King (3148)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 8:33 am
I am a supporter of President Obama, but I have to stand with Senator Elizabeth Warren on this issue. Here is a letter from her:

Hi David,

My brother David has always had the special spark in our family.

Like our two older brothers, David served in the military. When he got out, he started a small business -- and when that one didn't work out, he started another one. He couldn't imagine an America where he wasn't living by his wits every single day.

Year after year, my brother paid into Social Security. He never questioned it. He figured he was paying so that he -- and a lot of other people -- could have a secure retirement.

Today my brother lives on his Social Security. That's about $1,100 a month. $13,200 a year.

I'm telling you my brother's story not because it's unusual, but because it's like the story of so many other people. I can almost guarantee that you know someone -- a family member, friend, or neighbor -- who counts on Social Security checks to get by.

That's why I was shocked to hear that the President's newest budget proposal would cut $100 billion in Social Security benefits. Our Social Security system is critical to protecting middle class families, and we cannot allow it to be dismantled inch by inch.

The President's policy proposal, known as "chained CPI," would re-calculate the cost of living for Social Security beneficiaries. That new number won't keep up with inflation on things like food and health care -- the basics that we need to live.

In short, "chained CPI" is just a fancy way to say "cut benefits for seniors, the permanently disabled, and orphans."

Two-thirds of seniors rely on Social Security for most of their income; one-third rely on it for at least 90% of their income. These people aren't stashing their Social Security checks in the Cayman Islands and buying vacation homes in Aruba Ė they are hanging on by their fingernails to their place in the middle class.

My brothers and I grew up in an America that invested in its kids and built a strong middle class. An America that allowed millions of children to rise from poverty and establish secure lives. An America that created Social Security and Medicare so that seniors could live with dignity.

We can't chip away at America's middle class and break the promise we make to our seniors.

Thank you for being a part of this,



David King (3148)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 8:37 am
Please cut and paste thie link below to sign the petition:

David King (3148)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 8:43 am
President Obama unveiled his budget this week, it will included $112 billion in Social Security cuts. If this passes, President Obama would be the first Democratic President ever to propose (and pass) cuts in Social Security!

The administration says these cuts would come about only in the context of a so-called "balanced" compromise. But the numbers tell a different story. Economist Dean Baker notes that these cuts would hit the average retiree three times as hard as the recent tax increases hit the top 1%.

I worked for this President. I voted for this President. But even the most beloved Presidents make mistakes and missteps. This one would be a doozy.

Help: Tell President Obama not to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits.

We can't let ourselves be fooled or confused by all of the jargon coming out of D.C. We keep hearing about this scheme called "chained-CPI." Simply put: this proposal would change the fine print on cost-of-living adjustments so that benefits would rise slower than inflation. In other words, while food and medicine get MUCH more expensive, your Social Security check gets only a little bit bigger -- and you end up with less.

Not only that, his budget would increase Medicare premiums for middle-class seniors. In short, Americans who paid into Social Security and Medicare for decades will get less under the Obama budget. What the President is endorsing are cuts, plain and simple.

Yes, progressives must be willing to reform programs like Social Security, precisely because they are so important. Fortunately, there are much better ways to solve the problem.

For instance, we can shore up Social Security for decades simply by raising the cap on taxable income -- so that it is not just poor folks whose entire paychecks are taxed.

We can make the cost-of-living adjustment more accurate. But there are ways to do this without slashing benefits. And in fact, the most accurate adjustment for inflation would actually give seniors more, because prices are rising even faster on things like healthcare, which the elderly consume at a greater rate.

Budgets are a vision for the country expressed in dollars. President Obama's would cut Social Security -- which does not add a dime to the deficit -- to pay down a deficit caused by the Bush tax cuts, the Bush wars and the Bush recession. That is not what we voted for.

Sign the petition: "We will fight to kill any bill that includes these cuts."

Thousands of Rebuilders have called Congress already. Dozens of progressive champions in Congress have pledged to vote against cuts to social safety net benefits. In November, millions of Americans voted to grow our way out of the deficit instead of relying on trickle-down nonsense that got us here.

We are winning the argument. This is not the time for surrender.

Let's stand together,

Cut and paste the link to sign the petition:

Gene J (290)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 11:58 am
"Economists have known for at least 75 years that austerity is likely to make economic contractions more severe. The eurozoneís infliction of austerity has produced precisely the self-inflicted damage that economists predicted. The European leaders who caused this wholly gratuitous economic disaster, unsurprisingly, will not admit or remedy their errors."

Yes, they have known, since FDR economists AND politicians, including every republican president since Nixon, that austerity in recession or depression crashes economies. The republican party has abandoned their own tactics simply because they would rather see the American crash than allow an iota of credit to go to the President. Now, his appointment of this fool, is ridiculous, to listen to him would be ridiculously egregious malfeasance. It seems the only person of note who understands this is Paul Krugman. These are the times that call for massive public spending and hiring as long as that spending focuses on infrastructure, ours is rapidly crumbling and in desperate need of repair and replacement, the deficit will take care of itself when the economic engine is roaring again. Keynesian economic theory is not difficult, it is tried and true. So how is it politicians of this age are so ignorant? So driven by ideology that they would let the world economy crash rather than risk the wrath of the 1% with deficit spending at at time that virtually screams for it? Fools and poltroons. We're led by idiots and that's being generous.

Birgit W (160)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 2:45 pm

David King (3148)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 3:50 pm
In 2008, President Barack Obama pledged he wouldn't cut Social Security benefits, or Social Security cost-of-living increases. On Wednesday, he released a budget that would do exactly that.

Cutting cost-of-living increases will hurt seniors, veterans, and the disabled. Independent studies show that the current cost-of-living adjustment already is too low; this would drive it even lower. This is a terrible idea. If we wanted it, we would have voted for Mitt Romney instead of Barack Obama in 2012.

There is no reason for doing this. None. The Social Security Trust Fund has over $1,800,000,000,000 in it, and Social Security does not contribute one penny to the federal deficit.

Step One is to make our army grow. So far, over two million of us have signed our "No Cuts" petition. 34 members of Congress have signed on. But we need more.

We Need YOU. Please sign on at

Then, please share this message on Facebook.

Over the course of this week, I'm going to be talking to the media about this scheme to rip us off. I'll be working with my colleagues in Congress to deliver this message to the White House: "Hands off our Social Security and Medicare!" And I'll be offering suggestions for what you can do to have an impact.

Shirley B (5)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 4:22 pm
Well Cal, I cut, pasted and signed but if he hasn't paid attention to Bernie Sanders delivery of all those signatures before, I doubt he will pay attention to more petitions. What Elizabeth Warren left out is that out of the meager amount you receive they deduct your Medicare payments each month and that widowed spouses get only half that amount. Imagine Michelle trying to eat healthy on that (if she has a kitchen at all). Many women in that position are already living on the street. Now, imagine being old, sick and female and sleeping on a subway train. Is this what we have come to?

Lois Jordan (63)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 4:34 pm
Noted. Obama has drunk the Kool-Aid, and I'm here to tell him to please spit that nasty stuff back the GOP. I still had a bit of hope that Obama would stand strong against austerity and stand FOR the majority of Americans in his 2nd term. But, as he continues to surround himself with 1%-ers who only want to protect the wealthiest and multi-national corps, he continues to throw anyone with a progressive idea under the bus. Our POTUS seems to have two faces.

Jason S (50)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 6:51 pm
Good posting, thanks

robert zank (0)
Friday April 12, 2013, 4:33 am
The campaign Iíve been working on to stop political corruption, Represent.Us, is hosting an incredible event on April 13th in Washington, DC. Itís called ďThe K Street 5kĒ ó a 5k run/walk with hundreds of people dressed up as $100 bills to protest corrupt lobbyist bribery. Itís a free event with a fun marching band and funnier costumes. We even got Ben & Jerryís to come with free ice cream for participants. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday at the peak of DCís cherry blossom season!
Itís going to be fun and creative. But itís only going to have the necessary impact if we get tons of people to show up. Can you help me spread the word to everyone we know in or around DC?
Hereís a link to the website: ó can you pass it along?
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