Social Security: They Want To Cut, We Plan To Fight

(9AM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

So if you’ve been following my work lately, you know that there is a renewed effort underway to change Social Security, and that the fight officially began just this very morning.

Now what’s supposed to happen is that a television ad buy sponsored by a Wall Street billionaire is supposed to get you enthused about cutting your own Social Security benefits in the future; this is the tip of a “disinformation iceberg” that is trying to get you to act, right now, because if you don’t you will never, ever, ever, ever, see a single dime of Social Security when you get older.

I was on a “let’s talk strategy” conference call today that laid out some ideas for the “next steps”; we’ll be talking about that call over the next couple of stories…but for today, we’re going to talk about something you can do that will bring the message right to your favorite Member of Congress.  

He is always plotting and carrying out great enterprises, which have always kept his subjects bewildered and astonished, waiting to see what their outcome would be. And his deeds have followed one another so closely that he has never left space between one and the next for people to plot uninterruptedly against him.

–Niccolò Machiavelli, describing King Ferdinand of Aragon, in The Prince

With the election a week behind us, the fight is on to get you to believe that you will never see a dime of Social Security, that the danger is so profound that we must act today, and that maybe a healthy cut in your future benefits isn’t really so bad after all.

To help convince you all this is true, a series of TV ads have been produced that imply that the only other solution, short of those benefit cuts, is more deficit spending and endless borrowing. (They have a catchy name for the effort as well: “OweNo”.)

As it turns out, that’s patently untrue, but as I said, that’s a topic for another day.

The idea behind the ads, of course, is to create a space for Members of Congress to vote for these kinds of proposals-but we’re going to strike first, before the ads can really gain a lot of traction.

So here’s the idea: we all have Members who are constantly having to “come home and face the District”; what we want to do is ask those Members, right now, on camera, if they are willing to vote for cutting Social Security benefits or not.

Myself, I like the question: “Are there any circumstances that would get you to vote for cutting Social Security benefits?”

If they say yes, try this: “Why do you like cutting benefits for middle-class people and not taxing 90% of the income of someone who makes a million a year?”

(If you make about $110,000 a year or less, 100% of your income is taxed for Social Security purposes. However, no income above that is taxed-so if you make a million a year, only 10% of your income is taxed, which seems a lot like “trickle up economics” to me…but what do I know?

As it turns out, removing that “income cap”, all by itself, would fix our financing problem for the next 75 years, without cutting benefits at all-again, a topic we’ll flesh out more completely another day.)

Now once we start gathering all these videos, we need a place to put them. Based on the call today, it looks like we’ll be going to the Owe No You Don’t! website, which, by a happy coincidence, is full of helpful resources for those looking to win this fight. The site is not ready to receive the videos today, however, but I will either update here or do a new story to let you know when it is, or if some new plans have emerged.

(Of course, if you get a good video, don’t be afraid to post it to this story as a comment as well.)

I also have available a big ol’ list of who in Congress has publicly said and done what regarding changes to these programs-and if you’re wondering exactly who in Congress supports privatizing Social Security, this is the list you’ve been looking for.

The next step is to put all this video to work: so how about starting right in your own home town? Send a copy of the video to the local newspaper, or the local TV station’s “tip line”. In the other direction, I’m going to try to encourage the folks operating Owe No You Don’t! (with whom I’m currently working) to use that video to get the attention of national media-which means video of Members “ducking and dodging” will be particularly valuable.

You might even get lucky and get a “Sharron Angle”-you know, the one where the person being asked just runs off without even acknowledging that they’re being asked questions, even though you’re right there next to them the whole time, following them and still asking the question, as they hop in the car and run away in fear.

So that’s today’s homework: charge up the camera batteries, go find your local Member of Congress, either pay a friendly visit at the office or catch ’em at a local appearance, and make them either answer questions or run away.

As we gather the videos, they become a media attraction, and we put even more pressure on these folks…and if we get really, really, really, lucky, we’ll find someone who “autotunes” the Members who run away into a viral video we’ll all be proud of.

Good hunting to you all, and in a couple days we’ll all meet back here and talk about the Social Security “tax cap” and financing stability.

FULL DISCLOSURE: This post was written with the support of the CAF State Blogger’s Network Project.

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  1. …that strains tea from voters…so go fire up those tea strainers and let’s get the video out there for all to see.

  2. … the Democrats from doing this, btw ?

    Tom McClintock (R, Absentee Landlord aka Elk Grove Automall, CA 04) said he will not rest until reforms are implemented, when I looked at what specific program he was referring to it was to raise the retirement age for people over 55 currently.   He also has all his Republican party surrogates pushing this “reform” idea already where they say the exact same things as above “you’ll never see a penny of it, if it had been privatized and you could invest in stock market, you’d have a bigger investment nest egg already.”   Several of them claim to have never paid into Social Security in the first place, so that’s icing on the cake of living under the table or not telling the whole truth on the internet.

    He does not do public events that are in the district, unless they are very heavily scripted at a private venue and organized by the Tea Party.  The amazing thing is the Tea Party people are so brainwashed you could tell them that he wants to cut Social Security, and they’d agree with him that it’s a good thing because “Social Security is already broke and the deficit is more important than entitlements.”   The answer they have to not taxing the wealthy is that ONLY the wealthy “create jobs” and if you tax them you contribute to unemployment.  

    The local media already KNOW exactly what Congressperson Tea Party thinks about this, and could not give a flying rat’s a$$ about it.  They like having the Republicans back in because the Republicans will vote to cut their taxes further.

    So, thanks to Mr. Reluctant, who is currently touring Asia, and is of course letting the Republicans get in front of this discussion, which we should not even be having, the Vichy Dems are already plotting how to bend over some more.  Even my supposed very liberal Dem Senator said before the election she could see extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest.  Oh, goody.

    I already know what my Congressperson thinks on this. Now you know. Tell me how to convince the remaining dregs of the Senate not to start WW III in the political spheres because after watching Mr Reluctant for 2 years, I don’t trust him any farther than I could toss him.  

  3. that amount to defeating the EVERY single piece of shit disgracing the name of “leader” in the $ell-0ut-0-fuck party (AKA as Democratic Party.)

    I don’t care about the fascists – they’re supposed to treat us like toilet paper, kleenex, doormats and boot lickers – they’re fascists! duh.


  4. I’m reposting a comment from the other day made late in the diary!

    I find it had to contain my anger when speaking of this subject.

    Social Security/Medicare are the ONLY constants in the lives of Americans.  It is a bedrock for those (and that would be most) Americans who, during their lifetime of work and FICA contributions, could not amass an adequate amount of funds for retirement.  And as the disparity of wages between the so-called “middle-class” and the Ceos has grown so great, just in the last 10 to 15 years alone, the stagnation of wages has rendered it next to impossible to garner sufficient funds for retirement.  When considering the many benefits that other western civilizations provide their citizens through taxation, etc., the U.S. offers little to its citizens, who work hard over a lifetime and pay their FICA and all taxes.  These FICA funds are paid into by us and our employer(s) over our working life.

    The FICA funds are separate trusts and the government is to act as a fiduciary.  Of course, we know the government has been “dipping” into our funds for a long time and leaving their IOU’s, which are becoming due by them to the Funds — about $2.5 or more trillion dollars.

    But since when does the government have the right to even put our FICA funds under consideration for whatever manipulation of them that it may have in mind?  Since these monies DON’T BELONG to the government, on what premise can the government even place the Funds under its scrutinization for its disposition?

    Increase the retirement age?  How many employers would keep a worker until age 70, without finding some excuse to get rid of them?  So, what would people do in the interim between actual date of retirement and required date of retirement?  Moreover, why should people have to work that long period?  It’s bad enough as it is right now — 66!!!!  

    People need to be made to understand that the manner in which “fiscal responsibility” and “entitlement reform” is being handled (propagandized) makes it seem as though those monies are handouts to the elderly, disabled, etc. It’s disgusting the guise under which our FICA entitlements have been portrayed.  WE CAN FIX THAT, IF WE BECOME VOCAL ENOUGH!!!!!

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