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Pledge to America
Old 09-23-2010, 04:41 PM   #1
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Pledge to America

I went through the Republican's "Pledge to America", looking for items of particular interest to either younger or older retirees. There were just a few...

People on SS and Medicare seem to get a free ride on their only big spending cut
Quote:
With common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops, we will roll back government spending to prestimulus, pre-bailout levels
I'd guess this means "build public support for cutting SS and Medicare someday by publicizing the 'unfunded liabilities' "
Quote:
We will make the decisions that are necessary to protect our entitlement programs for today’s seniors and future generations. That means requiring a full accounting of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, setting benchmarks for these programs and reviewing them regularly,

And, of course, there is the healthcare bill
Quote:
Repeal the Costly Health Care Takeover of 2010

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Old 09-24-2010, 05:06 AM   #2
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And yet another thread that I hope survives without getting the "Political Boot."
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Old 09-24-2010, 06:10 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by RonBoyd View Post
And yet another thread that I hope survives without getting the "Political Boot."
Why?
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Old 09-24-2010, 06:17 AM   #4
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Why?
Not enough fun in my life?
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Old 09-24-2010, 06:29 AM   #5
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Well, the concept of repealing the Health Care plan is just blowing smoke, since even if the repubs take both houses there's no chance they'll have enough votes to override the inevitable veto as long as there's a dem in the white house.

As far as rolling back spending to pre-stimulus levels, as I remember spending under the small gov't bunch was pretty outrageous, too. I don't see anything world shaking there.

I think it would take a lot more cojones than most sitting pols have to offer a plan that would really address the spending problems this country has. Assuming one is of the group that thinks controlling spending is the way to solve our economic woes, it would be nice to see a plan that actually does some of it. Like Paul Ryan's plan, and that one still wouldn't balance the budget until 2063. If you are of the group that follows Paul Krugman's ideas of "live rich to be rich", a true Republican plan would give you something to rally against. But the way things are, you can't tell the players without a scorecard.

Edit: The only aspects of it I personally really like is the concept of certifying each bill as "constitutional" before it is passed, and the requirement to actually read a bill before it is passed. But I flat out think they are lying about those.
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Old 09-24-2010, 06:51 AM   #6
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And speaking of Krugman:

Downhill With the G.O.P.

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Once upon a time, a Latin American political party promised to help motorists save money on gasoline. How? By building highways that ran only downhill.
Quote:
On Thursday, House Republicans released their “Pledge to America,” supposedly outlining their policy agenda. In essence, what they say is, “Deficits are a terrible thing. Let’s make them much bigger.” The document repeatedly condemns federal debt — 16 times, by my count. But the main substantive policy proposal is to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, which independent estimates say would add about $3.7 trillion to the debt over the next decade — about $700 billion more than the Obama administration’s tax proposals.
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:15 AM   #7
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Neither party is serious about cutting the deficit. If they were they would stay with the original Bush proposed return to the Clinton tax level (with a temporary extension of the middle class tax cuts to let the recovery progress further). Instead the Dems would make the middle class cuts permanent because they are afraid of the truth and the GOP wants to make them all permanent to ensure the super-rich continue pulling away from the rest of us. Neither party is capable of cutting spending to a level that fits the current tax level.

It would seem to go without saying that discussions of taxing, spending, deficits, and deceit are relevant to an ER forum.
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:43 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by donheff View Post
Neither party is serious about cutting the deficit.
Yeah, but there are a few individuals that are making stabs at trying. For instance:

Congressional Pay Grows 15 Times Faster Than Social Security Checks

Quote:
Seniors who retired in 1990 with the average Social Security benefit have seen their annual payments increase by just $4,967 over the past 20 years. During the same time period, members of Congress have awarded themselves pay raises totaling $77,400 per year – a whopping 1,458 percent more than seniors.
Congressional Corner: By U. S. Representative Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ)

Quote:
I have dedicated myself to making the voices of the people heard. In addition to pushing my congressional pay cut bill, I voted to stop the automatic congressional pay increase for 2010 and 2011 and have co-sponsored bills to eliminate the automatic raise altogether.

I have also put my money where my mouth is, and I am returning five percent of my pay for this year. I am sending monthly $870 checks to pay down the national debt. I strongly believe that when millions of Americans are tightening their belts, they have the right to expect their elected officials to do the same.
The 27 Individuals.
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:31 AM   #9
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Perhaps reducing waxy buildup is just what this country needs...
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File Type: jpg pledge.jpg (30.0 KB, 291 views)
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:51 AM   #10
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Perhaps reducing waxy buildup is just what this country needs...
See. Now that's the fun part.
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:32 AM   #11
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Postcards from the Pledge...

Postcards From the Pledge - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - 9/23/2010 - Video Clip | Comedy Central
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:32 AM   #12
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And yet another thread that I hope survives without getting the "Political Boot."
Personally I am shocked it's still open.

(The day is young yet, I suppose.)
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:46 AM   #13
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"Neither party is serious about cutting the deficit."

How true.

The last time they were in power, the republicans increase discretionary spending by 48.5% in Bush's first term & 20.6% in the second.* And they can't blame the democrats for the first 6 years as republicans had control of both houses then. And remember the Iraq/Afghanistan wars were off budget.

*first term figure from

Bush is the biggest spender since LBJ | McClatchy


second term calculated from page 5 of

http://http://www.cbo.gov/budget/data/historical.pdf
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Independent View Post
I went through the Republican's "Pledge to America", looking for items of particular interest to either younger or older retirees. There were just a few...
The Republicans have very bad marketers in their camp. The mistake they make is that they give people the club with which they get hit over the head.

They do not learn from the Democratic Party that you make
amorphous proclamation that people and groups of people can think talks to/for them.

In the end, neither party will address the deficit, it will just be kicked down the road.
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Old 09-24-2010, 11:19 AM   #15
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And yet another thread that I hope survives without getting the "Political Boot."
Odd. I was careful to select only those items with direct impact on retirees. My take is this:

Older retirees get one more assurance that they get a free pass. No politician is willing to cut benefits for people who are already "seniors".

Younger retirees can feel pretty good about SS, at least for quite a while. If the strongest statement the R's can come up with is to "look at some numbers carefully", it's going to be a long while before SS takes a hit.

Younger retirees buying their own individual health insurance (or near retirees thinking about it) have opinions on whether that bill helps or hurts them (may depend on their health status). But I'll agree that as long as we have a D in the Whitehouse, the law won't get completely overturned. Even the R's say later on in the "Pledge" they would require insurer's to "provide coverage" for pre-existing conditions.

(That said, I agree with the multiple comments above that neither party is willing to address the deficit, in spite of many vague claims otherwise.)
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Old 09-24-2010, 11:32 AM   #16
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Seniors who retired in 1990 with the average Social Security benefit have seen their annual payments increase by just $4,967 over the past 20 years. During the same time period, members of Congress have awarded themselves pay raises totaling $77,400 per year – a whopping 1,458 percent more than seniors.
Looks like the Senior Citizen League is a little math challenged. Using the link:

SS retirees got a 75% increase (exactly equal to CPI-W)
House members got 80%
Senators got 77%
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Old 09-24-2010, 12:50 PM   #17
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1) you will know that people are serious about reforming social security when they declare the Spousal Benefit to be welfare
2) you will know that people are serious about the deficit when they target agricultural price supports.
3) you will know they are serious about size of government when they count the TOTAL of government employees and contractors.
4) You will know they are serious about pork barrel politics when they make and keep a "no earmarks" pledge

Until then its just same old same old
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Old 09-24-2010, 12:54 PM   #18
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Personally I am shocked it's still open.
Probably because it *is* in the politics section, it is referencing issues related to retirement (particularly Social Security, Medicare and health care reform) and because name-calling and flames haven't erupted yet. As long as that remains the case, it is not against the Community Rules. If it turns nasty or blatantly partisan/ideological, the Pig could make an appearance -- but not yet.

Now carry on and stay civil.
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Old 09-24-2010, 01:00 PM   #19
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Remember, it was the Republicans who let PAYGO and the spending caps of the 1990s expire so they could cut taxes and increase spending at the same time while already running a deficit. There was no fiscal offset to enacting Medicare Part D or to the dividend tax cut, for example.

I saw Jon Stewart's piece on The Daily Show when it replayed this morning. It was great.

I agree that neither party is serious about cutting the deficit. Donheff's post (#7 above) is on the mark.

I always get annoyed when I hear the Republicans say, "Now is not the time to raise taxes....", implying that there is a "right" time to raise taxes. You can be sure that whatever the economic situation is, the Republicans will ALWAYS say, "Now is not the time to raise taxes..." and give some reason to support that statement. This is because their position is to never raise taxes and to then figure out a reason later to justify that preconceived position. This is the opposite of how the reasoning process should take place. [Jon Stewart touched lightly on this the other night on The Daily Show. I wish he had expanded on it.]

Minor point about the degree of Republicans being in charge while Bush was president - He had a total GOP congress for just under 4 1/2 years of his 8 years. That would include his middle 4 years from 2003-2006 and about 4 1/2 months in 2001 (from January 20 until ~June 6) before Senator Jeffords switched parties and gave control of the Senate to the Dems until the GOP recaptured the Senate after the 2002 elections.

This Pledge is basicaly an "I hate Obama and Democrats" platform along with the typical "reduce the deficit but keep cutting taxes" contradiction, a "cut spending but don't touch entitlements, national defense, or interest on the debt" (that's most of the spending!), and a social conservatives wishlist (against same-sex marriage, against abortion, favor religion).

How are these Republicans supposed to be any different and more fiscally responsible than the ones who got us into this mess?
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Old 09-24-2010, 01:04 PM   #20
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Keeping the discussion focused on how the OP contents would be directly effecting retirees might help keep the thread open. Bashing either political party won't.
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