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Thread: Reports: Pres. Obama pushing for cuts to Social Security, Medicare

  1. #16
    Gold Member Flak's Avatar
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    How about we stop just one of the wars we are in? Then we could fund these things plus healthcare and NASA with the billions we would free up.
    By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity -- another man's I mean. -Mark Twain

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    At this point, he's worse than Bush.

    Jesus Christ.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Taxes, Social Security fears cited in debt ceiling talks

    Obama: Social Security checks at risk

    Republicans propose fallback option certain to be rejected by Democrats
    Obama says seniors may stop receiving Social Security checks if a deal is not reached

    GOP leaders refuse to yield on their opposition to tax hikes in any debt ceiling deal

    The United States must raise its $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by August 2 or risk a default

    Washington (CNN) -- Partisan warfare over the looming debt ceiling crisis escalated Tuesday as GOP leaders once again refused to consider any tax hikes and President Barack Obama warned that, absent a deal, he can't guarantee older Americans will continue receiving Social Security checks next month.

    "There may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it," Obama said, according to excerpts of a CBS News interview scheduled to air Tuesday night.

    "We can't guarantee -- if there were a default -- any specific bill would be paid," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday afternoon.

    Top lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are scheduled to resume negotiations with Obama at the White House at 3:45 p.m.

    Administration officials have warned that a failure to raise the current $14.3 trillion ceiling by August 2 could trigger a partial default. If Washington lacks the money to meet its bills, interest rates could skyrocket and the value of the dollar could decline, among other things.

    Negotiators have been debating terms to generate savings of up to $4 trillion over 10 to 12 years, a response to GOP demands for significant spending cuts in exchange for any debt ceiling increase. Democrats are furious, however, that Republicans refuse to consider any tax hikes as part of a deal.

    Dems: American people will end up paying

    House GOP slams Dems' plan

    Obama admin. 'incredibly irresponsible'

    Dems, GOP search for debt ceiling deal "There are no tax increases on the table," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters Tuesday morning.

    "One hundred percent of the problem is on the spending side," said Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, another member of the GOP leadership.

    Senate Minority Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said he has lost any hopes of a "grand bargain" with the White House.

    "As long as this president is in the Oval Office a real solution (to the country's fiscal problems) is unattainable," McConnell said. Obama "will do almost anything to protect the size and the scope of Washington D.C.'s burgeoning bureaucracy."

    Democrats also dug in their heels.

    Republicans want to "protect the wealthiest among us -- the millionaires and billionaires -- and hurt the average, middle-class senior citizen," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York. "This approach is not balanced. It is not fair. It is not moral, and it will not be accepted."

    As the rhetoric intensified, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner warned that time is running out. The secretary said he wants to see a deal to raise the debt limit and cut projected spending by the end of this week -- or next week at the latest -- so that Congress will have enough time to turn the deal into law.

    "We know we don't have a lot of time," Geithner said. "Default is not an option."

    Before meeting with Obama at the White House, Senate Republicans offered a politically inspired fallback option to the debt ceiling impasse, proposing three short-term increases in the amount the government can borrow while at the same time registering the disapproval of Congress for such a move.

    McConnell told reporters that the process he described would only occur if no agreement is reached by August 2 to raise the federal debt ceiling.

    "If we're unable to come together, we think it's extremely important that the country reassure the markets that default is not an option," McConnell said.

    However, Republican senators briefed on the plan described it as more of political messaging device than a viable option to avoid default.

    The proposal is certain to be rejected by Obama and Democrats.

    Obama ruled out the possibility of signing a short-term extension of the federal debt ceiling Monday, insisting that the time has come to tackle the nation's most pressing fiscal problems in a comprehensive way requiring bipartisan compromise on both taxes and spending.

    The president continued to push for the largest deal possible -- an apparent rejection of a call by Boehner to focus more narrowly on spending cuts agreed to in an earlier round of negotiations led by Vice President Joe Biden.

    It's time to "pull off the Band-Aid" and "eat our peas," Obama told reporters. "Let's step up. Let's do it."

    Noting that Republicans have pushed for decisive action on debt reduction, Obama urged them to compromise from their blanket refusal to end Bush-era tax cuts for wealthy Americans. The president said he'd be willing to push Democrats to do something they don't like -- reform Medicare and other entitlement programs that are the party's political legacy -- in an effort to reach his goal of trimming the deficit by $4 trillion.

    Obama, who has promised daily meetings until a deal is reached, reiterated his warning Monday against either party taking a "maximalist position" in the ongoing negotiations. The president insisted he is willing to take "significant heat" from his own party on issues such as entitlement reform in order to get a deal done.

    Republican leaders should as well, he said, referencing GOP opposition to tax increases.

    For his part, Boehner said Monday he still has a sharp disagreement with the White House over not only taxes, but also the "extent of the entitlement problem, and what is necessary to solve it."

    "It takes two to tango, and they're not there yet," Boehner said in reference to the administration.

    The speaker asserted Tuesday that Obama "talks a good game" when it comes to making concessions for a deal, but "can't quite pull the trigger."

    A Republican aide with knowledge of Monday's meeting between Obama and Hill leaders said it included one exchange in which Boehner argued that his side also would find it difficult to vote to reform entitlements, which would likely include delaying or reducing some benefits in order to cut costs.

    When Obama pointed out that the Republican-controlled U.S. House had already passed a proposal that would overhaul the government-run Medicare health insurance program for senior citizens, the GOP aide said, Boehner responded: "Excuse us for trying to lead."

    According to multiple Democratic officials familiar with the meeting, Obama again made the case for a more comprehensive deal, but also asked House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, to explain spending cuts in a possible smaller deal based on terms that emerged from the Biden talks.

    Those savings totaled about $1.8 trillion, well short of the almost $2.4 trillion that the administration seeks to raise the debt ceiling through 2012. Boehner has said any debt ceiling measure must be accompanied by spending cuts of equal value.

    After Cantor's presentation, Obama made the case that bridging the difference between the spending cuts agreed to in the Biden talks and the Republican demand for a debt ceiling deal would require raising revenue, the Democratic sources said. At the same time, congressional Democrats said they need revenue increases through ending tax loopholes or other steps in order to get their caucuses to support an agreement, the sources said.

    Lawmakers involved in the White House talks have been asked to bring ideas Tuesday for closing the roughly $600 billion gap between negotiated spending cuts and further savings considered necessary for a deal, Democratic sources said.

    Negotiators are trying to salvage a deal after Boehner pulled back Saturday from Obama's preferred $4 trillion plan. The deal reportedly fell apart over a dispute regarding eventual tax increases for the wealthiest Americans by allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire at the end of 2012.

    Democrats are demanding revenue increases to reduce the impact of domestic spending cuts and ensure that the richest Americans shoulder some of the burden of a deal. House and Senate progressives, meanwhile, are balking at the idea of reining in spending on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

    The president insisted Monday that he is not looking to raise any taxes until 2013 or later. He claimed he has "bent over backward to work with the Republicans" and not force them to vote on any revenue hikes in the short term -- a politically toxic move for the GOP's conservative base.

    In exchange, Obama said, he wants to ensure that the current progressive nature of the tax code is maintained, with higher-income Americans assessed higher tax rates.

    Boehner has said that any such revenue-raising initiative would prevent the bulk of Republicans from supporting a more ambitious deal, even if it was one that included cutting spending and reforming entitlement programs.

    Over the weekend, the speaker insisted the talks' parameters should be scaled back to focus on budget cuts alone.

    The White House immediately pushed back, with a senior administration official saying Boehner had initially accepted the need to increase tax rates on wealthy Americans as part of a deal. But then, the official said, Republicans offered a different plan in talks with Obama that began last Thursday.

    Boehner insists he never discussed an increase in tax rates.

    During a meeting with House Republicans Tuesday morning, Boehner sought to clarify his negotiating position. The speaker, according to a prepared text of his remarks obtained by CNN from a GOP source in the room, said tax hikes were always "off the table."

    But "comprehensive tax reform" had been discussed as a way to "generate additional revenue through economic growth," Boehner said.

    The tax reform talks broke down, Boehner claimed, because Obama wanted to "increase the 'progressivity' of the current system -- a reference to Democrats' demand for more revenue from the wealthiest taxpayers.

    At the heart of the GOP resistance is a bedrock principle pushed by conservative crusader Grover Norquist against any kind of tax increase. A pledge pushed by Norquist's group, Americans for Tax Reform, has been signed by more than 230 House members and 40 senators, almost all of them Republicans.
    can't post pics because my computer's broken and i'm stupid

  4. #19
    Elite Member NVash's Avatar
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    Oh this is going to end well.

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    Elite Member mrs.v's Avatar
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    My dad is freaking they won't get their checks next month.
    eat a hot bowl of dicks.

  6. #21
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    All part of the plan, children. All part of the plan.

  7. #22
    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    And it is possible for us to construct a package that would be balanced, would share sacrifice, would involve both parties taking on their sacred cows, would involved some meaningful changes to Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid that would preserve the integrity of the programs and keep our sacred trust with our seniors, but make sure those programs were there for not just this generation but for the next generation. . . . I mean, itís not an option for us to just sit by and do nothing. And if youíre a progressive who cares about the integrity of Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, and believes that it is part of what makes our country great that we look after our seniors and we look after the most vulnerable, then we have an obligation to make sure that we make those changes that are required to make it sustainable over the long term. . . . With respect to Social Security, as I indicated earlier, making changes to these programs is so difficult that this may be an opportunity for us to go ahead and do something smart that strengthens Social Security and gives not just this generation but future generations the opportunity to say this thing is going to be in there for the long haul.
    [/URL]
    I'm reading that he wants to make meaningful changes and I agree there must be some serious changes or the whole system will soon collapse. I have not seen where he said he would cut the program or benefits. Rasing the age for Medicare by 2 years os less than they have already raised the age to get SS when we retire. The entire system must change.
    You don't engage with crazies. Because they're, you know, fucking crazy. - WitchCurlGirl

  8. #23
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default What a debt ceiling deal could mean for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security

    No matter what the outlines are for a final agreement to lift the debt ceiling, the deal will include cuts to some of the nation’s major entitlement programs: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. President Obama signaled as much in his remarks Monday, when he said he was willing to accept reductions in programs Democrats have long protected and millions have come to depend on.

    The details won’t be known until the final deal emerges — if there is a deal. But here are answers to some common questions about the options being considered.

    What’s all this talk about cuts in Social Security benefits?

    The president has been urging Republicans to agree to a “grand bargain” that would save $4 trillion over the next decade by combining big concessions on either side: Republicans would agree to higher taxes on the wealthy, and Democrats would agree to cuts in Social Security benefits, among other things. Congressional Democrats reacted warily, and House Republicans rejected the proposal outright.

    But Obama has continued to press for a “big” deal, and some outside budget analysts say that even a smaller deal, in the $2 trillion range, would be difficult to make without resorting to savings from Social Security. The most likely form this would take is a technical adjustment to the formula used to calculate cost-of-living increases in benefits. Experts have long argued that the formula overstates inflation because it does not take into account changes in consumer behavior in response to rising prices.

    Using a different formula, the “chained consumer price index,” would reduce the annual increase in benefits by, on average, about three-tenths of a percentage point, saving an estimated $112 billion over 10 years. The effect of the cut would grow over time — someone retiring at 65 could expect 3.7 percent less in benefits at 75 than under the current law, 6.5 percent less at 85 and 9.2 percent less at 95.

    Social Security boosters worry about the impact on older recipients. But switching to the “chained” formula also holds appeal for liberals because it would bring in $87 billion in revenue over 10 years by revising income tax brackets — a tax increase that Republicans might accept because it is technical in nature and coupled with Social Security cuts.

    Will Medicare beneficiaries feel any fallout from the cuts?

    Yes. But first, some context, because there’s been an awful lot of back-and-forth over Medicare cuts. The 2009 health-care law signed by Obama trimmed $500 billion from the program, mainly by cutting subsidies to insurers selling Medicare Advantage plans and by reducing the rate of growth in payments to medical providers. Then came the House Republicans’ recent proposal to overhaul Medicare by replacing it with subsidies that seniors would use to buy private insurance coverage.

    A debt deal will involve more Medicare reductions. The House GOP proposal would cut $250 billion from the program by, among other things, raising premiums for wealthier retirees, reducing payments for home health aides and raising co-payments for lab services. A major likely savings is restricting the Medigap policies seniors buy to supplement their regular Medicare, which fuel Medicare spending by making seniors less cost-conscious. Seniors who want the “first dollar” coverage that Medigap plans provide could instead be required to pay a supplemental Medicare premium.

    Then there is the option of lifting the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67, which Obama has been willing to consider as part of a “grand bargain.” Many Democrats staunchly oppose this. But some experts note that such a switch would be more feasible once the health-care law is implemented in 2014, when people in their 60s with preexisting conditions should have an easier time finding affordable private coverage.

    What will the impact be on the medical industry?

    Substantial. Teaching hospitals are bracing for a cut in funding for graduate medical education. All hospitals could be forced to pay more for patient debts that go uncollected. Changing the government’s inflation formula would mean slower growth in some provider payments. And pharmaceutical companies, who fared very well in the 2009 health-care law, could be forced to give the government rebates for drug sales to people who are eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare, which would bring in an estimated $112 billion over 10 years.

    Are people going to be cut from the Medicaid rolls?

    They might. House Republicans have targeted Medicaid — the joint state-federal program for the poor, disabled and elderly — for major reductions, and Obama proposed cutting $100 billion over 10 years. The cuts could take the form of waiving the requirement that states maintain their current levels of eligibility, letting them trim their rolls. Or the cuts could take the form of a new formula for the federal government’s share of Medicaid costs that would leave the states paying more.

    Because states are already burdened by Medicaid, this would probably lead to cutbacks in eligibility, to the extent allowed by Washington, and to cuts in already-low payment rates for doctors. These steps would greatly undermine the new health-care law, which calls for a big federally funded expansion of Medicaid eligibility in 2014, as well as higher Medicaid payment rates for primary-care doctors.

    How did it come to this?

    The entitlement programs face funding shortfalls in coming years, Medicare more so than Social Security. But many Democrats are dismayed that the programs are being targeted to close deficits that nonpartisan budget analysts say are driven in large part by the tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003. Better, these Democrats say, to address the future entitlement shortfalls separately. But with Republicans refusing to consider tax increases, the entitlements are an obvious place to look for budget savings. And Obama appears eager to use the debt-ceiling talks to address the longer-term entitlement problem.




    What a debt ceiling deal could mean for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security - The Washington Post


    Just as a sidebar- SS doesn't contribute to the deficit. It's not a part of the actual federal budget in that sense (neither is medicare or the federal part of medicaid). The federal gov borrows money from the SS trust fund, and when SS needs it back they call in the IOU.
    Last edited by witchcurlgirl; July 14th, 2011 at 10:15 AM.



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  9. #24
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Obama Warns Cantor 'Don't Call My Bluff' As Debt Talks Stall

    Lawmakers and the White House had what nearly every party is describing as a "tough" and "testy" meeting on the debt ceiling Wednesday afternoon, culminating in a stormy exchange between President Barack Obama and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

    It was the fifth straight day of talks, but the first in which attendees, speaking on background, were willing to admit that steps were taken backwards. According to multiple sources, disagreements surfaced early, in the middle and at the end of the nearly two-hour talks. At issue was Cantor's repeated push to do a short-term resolution and Obama's insistence that he would not accept one.

    "Eric, don't call my bluff. I'm going to the American people on this," the president said, according to both Cantor and another attendee. "This process is confirming what the American people think is the worst about Washington: that everyone is more interested in posturing, political positioning, and protecting their base, than in resolving real problems."

    Cantor, speaking to reporters after the meeting, said that the president "abruptly" walked off after offering his scolding.

    "I know why he lost his temper. He's frustrated. We're all frustrated," the Virginia Republican said.

    Democratic officials had a different interpretation. "The meeting ended with Cantor being dressed down while sitting in silence," one official said in an email. "[The president] said Cantor could not have it both ways of insisting on dollar-for-dollar and still not being open to revenues."

    Lost in the rush to frame the dramatic conclusion of Wednesday meetings was word of the actual substance of the talks. According to several attendees, negotiations stalled from the onset over the same issues that have proved irresolvable. Working off of talks that had been spearheaded by Vice President Joseph Biden, the president said he would be comfortable signing off on northward of $1.5 trillion in discretionary spending and mandatory spending cuts. With additional negotiations, he added, he could move that figure up to $1.7 trillion, and with a willingness to consider revenue increases and tax loophole closures, lawmakers could get to over $2 trillion. His preference, he said, was to continue to push for the biggest package possible, so long as it was balanced.

    Cantor, who has taken over the mantle of chief Republican negotiator from Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), responded by insisting that revenues were off the table and that without steeper cuts, the votes likely didn't exist to pass anything but a smaller, more temporary package. House Republicans needed the administration to go to a higher number, he added.

    The president reportedly responded: "It is easy to get to a higher number when you are not asking anything difficult from yourself."

    From there, the friction continued. When the White House pushed for an extension of unemployment insurance as part of the final package, Republicans objected. The White House was forced to explain that it would be offsetting that extension with cuts elsewhere. When the president pushed to lock in savings from cuts to the Department of Defense, Republicans objected again; this time, they were joined by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who urged (conversely) for the president to go further in pulling savings out of the Pentagon.

    According to a Democratic official, the most contentious debate came when talks turned to discretionary spending, and, specifically, whether to count longterm savings based on current spending baselines or by tying them to inflation. Republicans wanted the former. It was, the official said, a debate over the "measurements of savings as opposed to the savings themselves."

    From there, the conversation moved to how to enforce those savings in the long run. Those discussions, which took place between Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and top economic adviser Gene Sperling, were described as cordial compared to the earlier ones. But lawmakers quickly found themselves back on the same sticking point.

    Unhappy that negotiators remained at approximately $1.7 trillion in cuts, Cantor pressed again for a shorter deal or for negotiators to find their way to $2.5 trillion. The president, growing more agitated, argued that attendees were simply looking for ways to say no.

    "Talk about arbitrary," he said of Cantor's figure, according to a Democratic attendee. "I am totally willing to do the hard stuff to get well above what you need and you won't do it because you can't put one penny of revenue on the table."

    "At least Mitch McConnell, to his credit, was willing to work for a solution," the president added, acknowledging the proposal by the Senate Minority Leader to, essentially, give him the authority to lift the debt ceiling without passing commensurate cuts.

    "I have reached the point where I say enough," Obama concluded, according to Reuters. "Would Ronald Reagan be sitting here? I've reached my limit. This may bring my presidency down, but I will not yield on this."

    Before Obama left the meeting, he gave lawmakers a directive. By Friday, the president said, the people in the room needed to have figured out what path they were going to pursue so that they could start hammering out the details.







    Obama Warns Cantor 'Don't Call My Bluff' As Debt Talks Stall



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  10. #25
    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    These meetings need to be PPV for the tax payers. Cantor says the Pres walked out but others there say it was Cantor who was badly behaved. Let us see the footage!
    You don't engage with crazies. Because they're, you know, fucking crazy. - WitchCurlGirl

  11. #26
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    They should show them. On every channel, like when the President gives a speech. People have a right to know what really happens, and not the bullshit we get in the speeches.

    The sad truth is those bastards were probably in there having a cocktail and a laugh over how they're exploiting this manufactured crisis.



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  12. #27
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sluce View Post
    I'm reading that he wants to make meaningful changes and I agree there must be some serious changes or the whole system will soon collapse. I have not seen where he said he would cut the program or benefits. Rasing the age for Medicare by 2 years os less than they have already raised the age to get SS when we retire. The entire system must change.
    No, the whole system WILL NOT COLLAPSE if the government didn't keep raiding SS and stealing the money to fund their idiotic wars.

    Chop the Bush tax cuts off, raise corporate taxes off the bottom of the floor, and close the damn loopholes and you will be solvent.

    NONE of that will happen. It's just easier for the masters to fuck over everybody else.
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  13. #28
    Elite Member qwerty's Avatar
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    ^^Grimm's right. Too bad greedy, self interested corporations run the country.

    Leave the old people alone and give them their hard earned benefits.

    It's unbelievable what's become of this country.

  14. #29
    Elite Member NVash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    No, the whole system WILL NOT COLLAPSE if the government didn't keep raiding SS and stealing the money to fund their idiotic wars.

    Chop the Bush tax cuts off, raise corporate taxes off the bottom of the floor, and close the damn loopholes and you will be solvent.

    NONE of that will happen. It's just easier for the masters to fuck over everybody else.
    Okay, Im confused. It wont collapse you say? Then what will happen? Hasnt it already been said that the US is heading towards becoming a third world country? Would that not be considered some sort of collapse?

  15. #30
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Nothing will happen.

    And when people say the US is heading towards being a third world country it's hyperbole.



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