Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Obamabot Alert: Joy-Ann Reid

Joy-Ann Reid wrote that she was extremely dubious that President Barack Obama would cut Social Security and Medicare.

When that “unnamed source”-laden Washington Post story came out earlier this week, claiming the White House was putting Social Security and Medicare cuts on the table, I was extremely dubious.

The Washington Post and Politico versions of the story quoted no one, cited no “unnamed administration officials” — only “sources with knowledge of the White House’s thinking” — always a sketchy concept. And the reports claimed that the White House was dangling entitlement cuts in front of cut-happy Republicans in exchange for ending the Bush tax cuts for the rich. But that made no sense, because everyone knows Republicans will never, ever go for it. Besides, Democrats don’t need to deal that hand, since those cuts will expire at the end of 2012, after the election is over, when regardless of the outcome that November, Democrats can let all of the Bush tax cuts die (including the ones Democrats want to keep, like the child tax credits, but there you go…) by simply refusing to bring them up for a vote in the Senate.

The problem is I tweeted to Reid instances when President Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden said that Social Security and Medicare were on the table. Reid was defending Obama. She didn't care about Social Security and Medicare. Reid is now defending cuts to Social Security.

@mygirls3333 not just Clinton. Tip O'Neil and some Dems who are still in Congress, voted for that 1983 plan that raised the Soc Sec ret age.

This tweet is laughable.

@ClarissaW no, I don't think he's proposing that. He did propose slightly increasing the existing means testing in Part D in his budget.

Means testing is a Republican talking point for cutting benefits. Means testing is reducing the number of people that qualify for Social Security. The current program is that any American can receive Social Security benefits when they retire. John Rother of the AARP points out how stupid means testing would be.

The notion that the benefits are an earned right separates Social Security from means-tested income-support programs. Social Security can help everyone. Means testing is a feature of taxpayer-funded welfare programs designed to help the poor. A means test would inevitably erode the universal and contributory nature of Social Security and some of the popular support that has sustained it for nearly 75 years.

We also should remember that Social Security already makes distinctions based on income. Lower-wage earners get a higher return on their contributions. Higher-income retirees pay income tax on a portion of their benefits. Given these progressive features, it's not logical to add a means test. In fact, Social Security is far more progressive than any other retirement program.

Social Security has a payroll tax that Americans invest into the SS system. These people are entitled to their benefits. There is no short term Social Security crisis. If Congress was really worried about Social Security they would stop raiding the fund and eliminate the $250,000 tax cap.

Reid went from Obama's is not cutting Social Security to means testing isn't cuts. What a joke.

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