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SullivanB
11-01-2015, 09:34 AM
It's been so refreshing to see our representatives in government come together to pass new budget legislation, even going so far as to postpone the next debt limit showdown until after the election. There's nothing that'll generate a little bipartisanship and good intentions like the stress of an approaching election. It seems they really can work together when they want to, like that little thing they so quietly did with Social Security.

If you'll not yet be 62 years of age by the end of this year, though you may not know it, you've just been screwed by the Republicans in their most recent effort to chip away at, and ultimately do away with, Social Security. Hey, who can blame them? It's only the single most successful social safety net program the world has even known and we certainly can't have that going on in America. It does, after all, have the word "Social" in it, so it must be bad.

No surprise, there, but there's more to the story. It seems that our good friends, the Dems, helped them out. The party that professes to look after the middle class and the less fortunate, the party promising to defend and even strengthen Social Security, actually helped the Republicans do away with some of the benefits available to you and yours. Well, only some of you are affected, those who won't be at least 62 y.o. by January, 2016.

It's odd, isn't it? Usually, when Congress pulls the rug out from under the middle class and the poor folks, they do it gradually, at least allowing the pain to be realized slowly as a change in benefits is gradually phased in. Not this time, and one wonders why. Only a looming financial crisis that we the people didn't know anything about, something "classified" maybe, would have caused the Dems to sell out like that. Otherwise, there can be no excuse for the Dems to sell out and go the wrong way on Social Security. None.

If you're interested in the specifics, this article offers a brief description of what they've done and who's ox is being gored. If it's your ox, if you've been relying on these phased out options as part of your retirement planning, it's a big deal. Some will choose to see this as no big deal at all, but make no mistake. It's another victory for those who would ultimately kill Social Security, even if they have to do it piece by piece.

http://www.obliviousinvestor.com/

Reynard38
11-01-2015, 09:39 AM
If it's not in your account, and in your name it doesn't exist.

Gerarddm
11-01-2015, 10:09 AM
One of the mainstays of Bernie's platform is that he wants to expand Social Security.

SullivanB
11-01-2015, 10:12 AM
One of the mainstays of Bernie's platform is that he wants to expand Social Security.

It's one of the things that causes me to be a Bernie supporter, though I'll note that that he voted with the Dems for this budget bill.

Norman Bernstein
11-01-2015, 10:16 AM
It's one of the things that causes me to be a Bernie supporter, though I'll note that that he voted with the Dems for this budget bill.

Are you telling me that Bernie is actually less pure than the driven snow? :)

SullivanB
11-01-2015, 10:28 AM
Are you telling me that Bernie is actually less pure than the driven snow? :)

Hey, I've always said he was a shrewd, career politician smart enough to have found a unique niche that works. Problem is, he has to lower his high standards a wee bit in order to "associate himself" with the Dems. :ycool:

Norman Bernstein
11-01-2015, 10:30 AM
Hey, I've always said he was a shrewd, career politician smart enough to have found a unique niche that works. Problem is, he has to lower his high standards a wee bit in order to "associate himself" with the Dems. :ycool:

Any politician's first priority is getting elected... which is why no pure ideologue ever becomes President. The other kind of politician who never becomes President: the ones who are insufficiently pragmatic when it comes to engendering broad support.... which is a definition of Bernie Sanders.

RonW
11-01-2015, 10:37 AM
Any politician's first priority is getting elected... which is why no pure ideologue ever becomes President. The other kind of politician who never becomes President: the ones who are insufficiently pragmatic when it comes to engendering broad support.... which is a definition of Bernie Sanders.

And Hillary Rodham Clinton........


But in reading the S.S. article, I don't see the big problem, and since approx. 70% the federal budget now consists of social programs, thanks to the mismanagement of the
liberal left, changes have to be made. The balloon is ready to burst.

SullivanB
11-01-2015, 10:54 AM
Any politician's first priority is getting elected... which is why no pure ideologue ever becomes President. The other kind of politician who never becomes President: the ones who are insufficiently pragmatic when it comes to engendering broad support.... which is a definition of Bernie Sanders.

That Bernie and his ideas won't sell to meaningful numbers is not the foregone conclusion you suggest it is, though it may prove to be right. He's not well known enough to be able to say the public will reject either his agenda or him, personally. He's certainly not going to have a chance if he can't work around the full court press by DWS and others to limit his public exposure or if he refuses to clearly and aggressively distinguish himself from Hillary.

Too Little Time
11-01-2015, 11:07 AM
No surprise, there, but there's more to the story. It seems that our good friends, the Dems, helped them out. The party that professes to look after the middle class and the less fortunate, the party promising to defend and even strengthen Social Security, actually helped the Republicans do away with some of the benefits available to you and yours. Well, only some of you are affected, those who won't be at least 62 y.o. by January, 2016.

It's odd, isn't it? Usually, when Congress pulls the rug out from under the middle class and the poor folks, they do it gradually, at least allowing the pain to be realized slowly as a change in benefits is gradually phased in. Not this time, and one wonders why.

It would be useful if you did some research before jumping to conclusions.

Bill Clinton was the one who put the provisions that the allowed these schemes. His intent was to help the "middle class." I think he really meant the rich.

File-and-suspend is little used - it amounts to less than 1/2 billion dollars per year. It is used mostly by people who are rich.


My wife and I will benefit to the extent of about $48K from using file-and-suspend. I would be happy if they took social security away from all the rich and most of the middle class. It should serve the poor.

John Smith
11-01-2015, 11:09 AM
It's one of the things that causes me to be a Bernie supporter, though I'll note that that he voted with the Dems for this budget bill.

In spite of all the rhetoric, it's easy to vote for this stuff. Look how much more borrowed money this budget spends.

In regards to Social Security, raising wages and creating jobs would go a long way to helping put more money into its coffers.

RonW
11-01-2015, 11:10 AM
That Bernie and his ideas won't sell to meaningful numbers is not the foregone conclusion you suggest it is, though it may prove to be right. He's not well known enough to be able to say the public will reject either his agenda or him, personally. He's certainly not going to have a chance if he can't work around the full court press by DWS and others to limit his public exposure or if he refuses to clearly and aggressively distinguish himself from Hillary.

He's not well known enough......what rock do you live under ? Who in america don't know who bernie sanders, hillary clinton and donald trump are ?

SullivanB
11-01-2015, 11:10 AM
And Hillary Rodham Clinton........


But in reading the S.S. article, I don't see the big problem, and since approx. 70% the federal budget now consists of social programs, thanks to the mismanagement of the
liberal left, changes have to be made. The balloon is ready to burst.

Ron, I'd not expect you to see this thing as a big problem, being that you affiliate with a political party intent on seeing the entire program scrapped. But for the millions of folks who plan to rely or may have to rely on Social Security as part or even all of their retirement income, it's a raw deal. For folks who've been approaching retirement, or maybe who are already retired, and counting on the options just done away with, it's a real financial punch in the gut. In my opinion, it's unfair, unwise and totally unnecessary. It's also another sign that the Dems are quite willing to work with the Republicans to chip away at the program, even as they profess otherwise.

John Smith
11-01-2015, 11:15 AM
That Bernie and his ideas won't sell to meaningful numbers is not the foregone conclusion you suggest it is, though it may prove to be right. He's not well known enough to be able to say the public will reject either his agenda or him, personally. He's certainly not going to have a chance if he can't work around the full court press by DWS and others to limit his public exposure or if he refuses to clearly and aggressively distinguish himself from Hillary.

I'm not sure there's a lot of ways to distance himself from Hillary. If he tries too hard, he'll do himself more harm than good, IMO.

He did not, for example, vote against DOMA because he supported gay marriage; He thought it a state's rights. When he talks about trade, he is correct we are losing too many jobs to outsourcing. He is dishonest when he talks as if NAFTA began that.

It would be honest to suggest NAFTA was an effort to slow down outsourcing and didn't live up to expectations. Outsourcing was going at great speed for over a decade before NAFTA was signed.

All that said, he and Hillary both want to see equal pay, both support voting rights, a woman's right to choose, overturning citizens untied, expanding voting rights, etc......

John Smith
11-01-2015, 11:16 AM
It would be useful if you did some research before jumping to conclusions.

Bill Clinton was the one who put the provisions that the allowed these schemes. His intent was to help the "middle class." I think he really meant the rich.

File-and-suspend is little used - it amounts to less than 1/2 billion dollars per year. It is used mostly by people who are rich.


My wife and I will benefit to the extent of about $48K from using file-and-suspend. I would be happy if they took social security away from all the rich and most of the middle class. It should serve the poor.

For some reason, repealing Glass/Steagull was really popular. If I recall correctly, only 8 people in congress voted against it.

SullivanB
11-01-2015, 11:27 AM
It would be useful if you did some research before jumping to conclusions.

Bill Clinton was the one who put the provisions that the allowed these schemes. His intent was to help the "middle class." I think he really meant the rich.

File-and-suspend is little used - it amounts to less than 1/2 billion dollars per year. It is used mostly by people who are rich.


My wife and I will benefit to the extent of about $48K from using file-and-suspend. I would be happy if they took social security away from all the rich and most of the middle class. It should serve the poor.

That's nonsense. The value of, and the ability to use, the file and suspend option is hardly restricted to the wealthy. Plenty of middle class folks have used and would use the option, and it's they who most benefit from it in the form of basic economic security. It's not going to help the least economically fortunate because they're forced to file as early as possible, but the file and suspend and restricted application options can and do make a difference in the basic living standard for middle class folks, folks who are anything but rich.

Canoeyawl
11-01-2015, 11:29 AM
As we return to the days of Charles Dickens, they can bring back the poor house...
(My grandmother used to talk to us about that as of it were the greatest shame in the world. It seemed hard to believe such a thing ever existed in the halcyon days of 1960 but there you have it. She was a staunch republican, widowed at 65 she might have starved without social security).

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poorhouse

SullivanB
11-01-2015, 11:53 AM
As we return to the days of Charles Dickens, they can bring back the poor house...
(My grandmother used to talk to us about that as of it were the greatest shame in the world. It seemed hard to believe such a thing ever existed in the halcyon days of 1960 but there you have it. She was a staunch republican, widowed at 65 she might have starved without social security).

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poorhouse

There are plenty of folks who would starve without Social Security, and millions more who are just getting by with what it provides.

This is just another instance of chipping away at the program, rather than building on it which I believe is absolutely necessary to the nation's long term prosperity and even its security. Then, there's the Dems' collaboration in the chipping away, rather than than the building up of the program, as they would have us believe is their intent.

And the way this was done is indefensible. These file and suspend and restricted application provisions may not be uniquely necessary to the success of the program, but they're beneficial provisions that middle class folks have relied and some still are relying on as part of their retirement planning. It's one thing to gradually phase them out as part of a comprehensive plan to strengthen the program but it's another thing, altogether, to immediately do away with them just to appease the Republicans, especially when it materially disrupts the lives of folks with retirement just around the corner.

John Smith
11-01-2015, 11:53 AM
What I find amazing is how so many middle class people vote for those who keep not caring about the middle class.

Norman Bernstein
11-01-2015, 11:56 AM
That Bernie and his ideas won't sell to meaningful numbers is not the foregone conclusion you suggest it is, though it may prove to be right.

I'll wait and see, but it doesn't take a Rhodes Scholar to realize that the country has generally moved to the right in the last two decades. The successful Democratic candidate is the one who can manage to draw at least SOME support from centrist and center-right constituencies.


He's not well known enough to be able to say the public will reject either his agenda or him, personally.

That is another one of his problems: he doesn't do retail politics... he doesn't work the rope line, doesn't kiss babies, etc. (this was pointed out in a Politico article just the other day). Retail politics is essential for success.


He's certainly not going to have a chance if he can't work around the full court press by DWS and others to limit his public exposure or if he refuses to clearly and aggressively distinguish himself from Hillary.

Sorry, but DWS is not his problem. He's got a strong following, but he's not a good politician. He thinks that his ideology is all that is needed to carry the day... and it just ain't so.

Too Little Time
11-01-2015, 12:38 PM
That's nonsense. The value of, and the ability to use, the file and suspend option is hardly restricted to the wealthy. Plenty of middle class folks have used and would use the option, and it's they who most benefit from it in the form of basic economic security. It's not going to help the least economically fortunate because they're forced to file as early as possible, but the file and suspend and restricted application options can and do make a difference in the basic living standard for middle class folks, folks who are anything but rich.


The law's file-and-suspend provision allows married couples to start receiving some benefit to meet living expenses while they wait to get more later. It didn't get much attention until a few years ago, when the media started writing about it. A growing number of financial planners are recommending the strategy to clients. It's also getting better known through online services that help people maximize benefits.

File-and-suspend still is a small phenomenon, and the Social Security Administration doesn't have reliable data on its cost to the system's finances. But the administration seems interested in nipping it in the bud and is making the case that benefits flow to wealthy households that need it least.

"These strategies are sometimes marketed by financial advisers to upper-income beneficiaries who can afford to wait until they are older to claim their benefits," the White House official said.

It seems that the administration disagrees with you.

SullivanB
11-01-2015, 01:27 PM
What I find amazing is how so many middle class people vote for those who keep not caring about the middle class.

Man, that's the truth. It's been clear for years that to support the Republicans is to vote against the interests of the middle class. And more and more, the same has become true of supporting the Dems.

SullivanB
11-01-2015, 01:42 PM
It seems that the administration disagrees with you.

Yeah, that's the same White House and President that actually began their budget negotiations with the Republicans, back before the sequester, by offering to cut Social Security benefits for the poorest beneficiaries. If you're willing to trust this administration on Social Security, help yourself, but their record on SS is a disgrace. It's an administration that's, despite the lofty rhetoric, always manage to look after the rich at the expense of the poor. And that's already a part of the Obama legacy.

Like I said, when the Dems cut these provisions, they remove very helpful tools allowing middle class folks to plan more carefully for their retiremt. There's everything right and nothing wrong with these provisions, but if the Dems are going to cut them, they ought to do it gradually. People will be hurt, and I'm not talking about the filthy rich.

SullivanB
11-01-2015, 02:43 PM
I'll wait and see, but it doesn't take a Rhodes Scholar to realize that the country has generally moved to the right in the last two decades. The successful Democratic candidate is the one who can manage to draw at least SOME support from centrist and center-right constituencies.

That is another one of his problems: he doesn't do retail politics... he doesn't work the rope line, doesn't kiss babies, etc. (this was pointed out in a Politico article just the other day). Retail politics is essential for success.

Sorry, but DWS is not his problem. He's got a strong following, but he's not a good politician. He thinks that his ideology is all that is needed to carry the day... and it just ain't so.


There's clearly been movement of the Democratic Party to the right by our political leaders, starting with Clinton and continuing with Obama. I'm not so sure about the rank and file Dems. What I'd like to see is a fair opportunity for the Dem voters to decide.

As for Bernie not being a "good politician", it's true that he's not another slick Willy like our gal Hill. He's not polished, he's not deceitful, he doesn't change his stand at the drop of a dime and merely for political expediency, that, the finely honed specialty of the Clintons. No, he's not that kind of a "good politician".

As for DWS, you're quite obviously wrong. She's done her best to assure Clinton's coronation and that has hampered Bernie's effort. But more than being Bernie's problem, she's the Party's problem, as she contributes to that rightward movement you spoke of earlier. And there's nothing wrong and everything right with ideology as long as it's kept in perspective. Bernie's an old hand at doing just that.

John Smith
11-01-2015, 02:52 PM
Man, that's the truth. It's been clear for years that to support the Republicans is to vote against the interests of the middle class. And more and more, the same has become true of supporting the Dems.

I'm not sure I agree totally. I agree with the part that the GOP doesn't care about the middle class.

One of the big lies we get from the media is that having a majority lets gives a party the control of the senate. Obama suffered a record number of filibusters. If he'd had his way, we'd be quite busy now rebuilding and modernizing our infrastructure, using domestically supplied materials. That would have created a lot of good 'middle class' jobs. Obamacare is an improvement over what we had, but falls short of what we need, but it had to pass with only Democratic votes. Even though the Republicans had a great deal of input. none voted for the final bill. What we really need had no shot.

John Smith
11-01-2015, 02:54 PM
Yeah, that's the same White House and President that actually began their budget negotiations with the Republicans, back before the sequester, by offering to cut Social Security benefits for the poorest beneficiaries. If you're willing to trust this administration on Social Security, help yourself, but their record on SS is a disgrace. It's an administration that's, despite the lofty rhetoric, always manage to look after the rich at the expense of the poor. And that's already a part of the Obama legacy.

Like I said, when the Dems cut these provisions, they remove very helpful tools allowing middle class folks to plan more carefully for their retiremt. There's everything right and nothing wrong with these provisions, but if the Dems are going to cut them, they ought to do it gradually. People will be hurt, and I'm not talking about the filthy rich.

Again, the big banks don't like Dodd/Frank, and they must dislike it for a reason. The Consumer Protection Agency falls into the same category, and both were supported by dems and opposed by the GOP.

John Smith
11-01-2015, 02:57 PM
There's clearly been movement of the Democratic Party to the right by our political leaders, starting with Clinton and continuing with Obama. I'm not so sure about the rank and file Dems. What I'd like to see is a fair opportunity for the Dem voters to decide.

As for Bernie not being a "good politician", i's true that he's not another slick Willy like our gal Hill. He's not polished, he's not deceitful, he doesn't change his stand at the drop of a dime and merely for political expediency, that, the finely honed specialty of the Clintons. No, he's not that kind of a "good politician".

As for DWS, you're quite obviously wrong. She's done her best to assure Clinton's coronation and that has hampered Bernie's effort. But more than being Bernie's problem, she's the Party's problem, as she contributes to that rightward movement you spoke of earlier. And there's nothing wrong and everything right with ideology as long as it's kept in perspective. Bernie's an old hand at doing just that.

We will see. The Republican base is really FAR right. The more of the rest of the area the democratic candidate can win the better their chance of becoming president.

A LOT, maybe most, of what they would like to do is going to need congress. I'm happy to vote for any one of the THREE Democrats, as they are all in agreement on most of the issues that will be issues in Jan. 2017. Unless the dems pick up a LOT of seats in congress. none will get done what they want to do.

bobbys
11-01-2015, 03:59 PM
The TEA party is the only party intrested in cutting spending and not going into deeper debt..

This is all you need to know about why they are hated so much.

Keith Wilson
11-01-2015, 04:17 PM
There's clearly been movement of the Democratic Party to the right by our political leaders, starting with Clinton and continuing with Obama. Starting before Clinton, although he was the first Democratic president of that type, then reversing with Obama, although obviously not as far as you would like.

Sky Blue
11-01-2015, 04:42 PM
The Democratic Party has not moved to the right, for crissakes. It has moved Left, significantly so, indeed, so much so, Mr. Clinton could not even be the nominee with his positions on crime, gay marriage, trade, the ME, and myriad other issues.

As this editorial (http://www.unionleader.com/article/20151101/OPINION01/151109995/1004/opinion) notes, it is difficult to see where the modern party significantly disagrees with Mr. Sanders on any issue. Guns maybe?

SullivanB
11-01-2015, 05:36 PM
Starting before Clinton, although he was the first Democratic president of that type, then reversing with Obama, although obviously not as far as you would like.

Consider this article on Obama financial and economic policy. It's right on the money. That record does not represent a move to the left. For a Democratic president, it's been conservative policy distinctly to the right of anything the Party at least professes to represent.

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2011/07/22/Barack-Obama-The-Democrats-Richard-Nixon

That's just the money stuff. There's his downright scary position on the NSA and surveillance, his support of the Patriot Act, his chilling prosecution of whistle blowers while letting criminals who've inflicted severe harm on the country off the hook. Obama is anything but a traditional democrat. He's a conservative well to the right of Clinton.

SullivanB
11-01-2015, 05:48 PM
The Democratic Party has not moved to the right, for crissakes. It has moved Left, significantly so, indeed, so much so, Mr. Clinton could not even be the nominee with his positions on crime, gay marriage, trade, the ME, and myriad other issues.

As this editorial (http://www.unionleader.com/article/20151101/OPINION01/151109995/1004/opinion) notes, it is difficult to see where the modern party significantly disagrees with Mr. Sanders on any issue. Guns maybe?


How can it be that one so obviously capable, intellectually, is so blind to the even more obvious? Read this.

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2011/07/22/Barack-Obama-The-Democrats-Richard-Nixon

That's from one of the Reagan conservatives. And there's lots more of the same, from both sides. Hillary is playing populist because Bernie's there, because her hand has been forced. She's anything but a liberal. And maybe we need to make this clear. Their stance on the social issues don't mean squat. It's the money that counts.

Obama's just about the same as Hillary, heart and soul, a big money guy, married to the idea that big money must come first. He actually believes it's best for the country. And just like Hillary, what he says he'll do means near nothing. It's what these people actually do and don't do that counts. With leaders like these, the Party is clearly moving to the right.

Too Little Time
11-01-2015, 08:00 PM
Yeah, that's the same White House and President ... despite the lofty rhetoric, always manage to look after the rich at the expense of the poor. And that's already a part of the Obama legacy.

Like I said, when the Dems cut these provisions, they remove very helpful tools allowing middle class folks to plan more carefully for their retirement. There's everything right and nothing wrong with these provisions, but if the Dems are going to cut them, they ought to do it gradually. People will be hurt, and I'm not talking about the filthy rich.

figures 6 and 7
http://www.epi.org/publication/retirement-inequality-chartbook/

According to those figures the median income at retirement is about the same as the median income of the entire population. I expect that your definition of rich is different than the one I use - 200% of the median income.
I don't mind sudden changes. In the past a number of Social security provisions have changed suddenly.


There are a number of issues with the definition of income on that link. Lump sum distributions from retirement accounts are ignored. And non-retirement accounts are not accounted for. So the incomes are understated.

Norman Bernstein
11-01-2015, 08:24 PM
There's clearly been movement of the Democratic Party to the right by our political leaders, starting with Clinton and continuing with Obama. I'm not so sure about the rank and file Dems. What I'd like to see is a fair opportunity for the Dem voters to decide.

There's going to be a convention... isn't that fair?


As for Bernie not being a "good politician", it's true that he's not another slick Willy like our gal Hill. He's not polished, he's not deceitful, he doesn't change his stand at the drop of a dime and merely for political expediency, that, the finely honed specialty of the Clintons. No, he's not that kind of a "good politician".

You know very well what I was refrring to, and you're just trying for a distraction. Politicians need that personal touch that Bernie doesn't do. Policiy and ideology alone won't elect a President.


As for DWS, you're quite obviously wrong.

A person can't be 'obviously quite wrong' when it's a subjective judgment.


She's done her best to assure Clinton's coronation and that has hampered Bernie's effort. But more than being Bernie's problem, she's the Party's problem, as she contributes to that rightward movement you spoke of earlier.

Are you suggesting that today's Democratic voters arent more to the right of where they were, say 20 years ago?


And there's nothing wrong and everything right with ideology as long as it's kept in perspective. Bernie's an old hand at doing just that.

Bernie is not an 'old hand' at running for President. In this particular instance, Hillary has experience with the process.


Obama's just about the same as Hillary, heart and soul, a big money guy, married to the idea that big money must come first. He actually believes it's best for the country.

He 'actually believes' this? You have some sort of pipeline into his consciousness? :):)

Sky Blue
11-01-2015, 09:21 PM
How can it be that one, so obviously capable, intellectually...

Perhaps my source material on these questions is a touch broader than yours, Sullivan B. Your arguments are all starting to sound like a variation on the same theme. The idea that the Democrats have taken a sharp left turn is not a new one. Broaden your scope a bit.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/27/opinion/have-democrats-pulled-too-far-left.html?_r=0