Most Americans aren’t aware of the stealthy way Democrats and Republicans have whittled away at Social Security benefits for the past thirty years and are continuing their efforts in that endeavor to this very day. First we had the Greenspan Commission during Ronald Reagan’s first administration, which recommended, amongst other things, pushing retirement age back and taxing Social Security payments. The Democratic congress adopted Greenspan’s recommendations.
Not long after the Greenspan Commission, we had the Boskin Commission. Many people are aware of the Greenspan Commission but few people know that the Boskin Commission is responsible for drastically reducing Social Security benefits. That commission redefined the Consumer Price Index (inflation) and has consequently underestimated inflation for the past twenty years. Instead of a real annual average of 7%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has been using several illogical techniques for lowering the CPI to an average of 2.5%.
More about the inflation manipulation will be discussed on this blog in the future. This post is an alert about the current efforts underway by the Republicans and Republican-wing of the Democratic Party elite in Washington to devise a way for Congress to reduce the deficit by robbing Social Security and reducing Medicare benefits.
The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility & Reform, apparently appointed by President Obama, is now looking at ways to reduce the deficit through “entitlements reductions” – this commission is stacked against the elderly. One of the few members of the 16 members that could perhaps be considered a friend of the working people, Andy Stern, recently retired head of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), told the Huffington Post today that he is in favor of investing the Social Security Trust Fund surplus in Wall Street.
This is a bad idea! Social Security has been just fine without Wall Street involvement. Fight it!
Here is the Commission:
Co-Chairmen: Alan Simpson (Conservative Republican), Erskine Bowles (Conservative DLC Democrat, Former Clinton Chief of Staff)
Executive Director: Bruce Reed (DLC Executive Director & Former Clinton Domestic Advisor)
Senator Max Baucus (D-MT)
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA)
Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI)
Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK)
Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND)
Dave Cote (Chairman & CEO Honeywell International)
Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL)
Ann Fudge (Former CEO, Young & Rubicam Brands)
Senator Gregg Judd (R-NH)
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)
Alice Rivlin (Brookings Institution)
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
Rep. John Spratt (D-SC)
Andrew Stern (SEIU)
Of these 16 members, only four could be said to be mildly liberal left of center – Jan Schakowsky, Richard Durbin, Xavier Becerra, and Andy Stern. Conversely, Tom Coburn, Gregg Judd, Paul Ryan, Max Baucus, Kent Conrad, Mike Crapo, Jeb Hensarling, Alice Rivlin, and John Spratt range from mildly right of center to extreme right-wing. Paul Ryan and Tom Coburn are right wing extremists. All but Schakowsky, Durbin, Becerra, and Stern have signaled their intent to “reduce entitlement benefits).
With the possible exception of Jan Schakowsky, you won’t see any members of the left wing of the Democratic Party on this commission. This is a set-up and it shakes my confidence in President Obama’s commitment to the working people and to the liberal side of the political spectrum. My support for him in the future is beginning to waver.