During a review at an SSA office in 2008, [Wisconsin native Lawrence] Popp told his benefits counselor he “could not read small print, couldn’t bowl without bumpers used by children and couldn’t work.”
Federal agents then recorded Popp walking back to his car and driving away.
Although, ironically, it is the goal of the Democratic party to stave off the date of insolvency for just long enough for my generation to be dead of old age before the final crash. Which means that, by calling for drastic reform of the system, I’m actually arguing against my long-term interests, and in favor of those of the generation right after mine. Because – unlike the Democratic leadership – I’m not an evil bastard.
With sequester coming in less than a week, there’s a certain amount of sudden nervousness about it… among the DC/Beltway demographic (it’s never a real crisis until it affects the Imperial District, you see). So you can expect to see a few rhetorical Hail Mary plays being thrown, in the hope that one of them will resonate with the voting public… but, still. Is this really the best that the rabidly liberal Center for American Progress (CAP) could have done to scaremonger on the sequester?
The administration’s long reluctance to spell out the gruesome details “doesn’t entirely make sense to me,” said Scott Lilly, a budget expert at the Center for American Progress, a Democratic think tank. “I think Social Security will have to close a lot of offices. And the ones that make sense to close are the ones in the smallest communities. Which, by the way, happen to be predominantly Republican.”
While Social Security benefits are protected, Lilly said, “the White House would be advantaged to let people know that they’re going to have to drive 40 miles to put in their application or get information about their benefits.”
The short version: on Friday morning the US Social Security office at Casa Grande, Arizona, was targeted by an IED. Fortunately, nobody was hurt; and equally fortunately, they have already have a suspect in custody. His name is Abdullatif A. Aldosary, and you know where this is going, don’t you? …By the way, if you write the name out as “Abdul Latif Al-Dosari” you get a partial match with a guy (“Juma-Mohammed-Abdul-Latif-Al-Dosari“) who we have in custody already; I mention this not because it’s the same guy (it’s not), but because somebody else is going to notice that anyway, so we might as well establish that it isn’t the same person now.
At any rate, The PJ Tatler has a roundup of the coverage, or lack thereof (including a hysterical oopsie from at least one Online Left site on how this guy was clearly the vanguard of a bunch of right-wing small-government pipe bombers**). The problem here is not so much whether or not the Casa Grande bombing was part of an organized Islamist conspiracy: the fact that it detonated when the building was empty would actually argue against that. Islamist terrorists have never shown any interest in minimizing civilian casualties. No, the real problem here is that the Media – and, to the extent that they can be distinguished these days, the Obama administration – is so absolutely bound and determined to gateway the heck out of potentially awkward news, up to and including trying to downplay inconvenient details about any of the individuals featured in said news.
US News and World Report, in the process of pointing out that, hey, maybe we need a little whiteboard time in our political debate right now:
Courtesy of the White House pool report on Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Virginia, the same day as the Republicans-want-to-keep-you-in-chains comment. After a voter asked about Social Security, Biden said: “Hey, by the way, let’s talk about Social Security. Number one, I guarantee you, flat guarantee you, there will be no changes in Social Security. I flat guarantee you.” No wonder the White House has stopped issuing transcripts of Biden’s events. Even the Washington Post editorial board found itself “disheartened by his pandering comment,” given that unless changes are made, Social Security will be bankrupt by 2033. That’s when voters like me, who are in our 40s, will be retiring.
Ironically, I don’t really recognize this as a ‘change:’ I figured out about a decade ago that there will be no Social Security for me when I retire. The GOP being able to fix things to the point where there will be? …Yeah, that would be a change.
The above video (via The Lonely Conservative) is from that infamous moment during George W Bush’s 2006 State of the Union address where Democrats enthusiastically applauded their successful torpedoing of Social Security reform. Bush at the time, as you no doubt recall, advocated a partial privatization of the system that would have allowed individuals the option of creating investment accounts; the Democrats, as you also no doubt recall, fought this idea tooth and nail because it would have reduced the amount of Social Security ‘trust fund’ money that could be raided for social engineering. And the Democrats succeeded: no reform, nothing was done, and the can was kicked once again down the road.
Verum Serum is perfectly correct: we either have a cash reserve of 3.2 trillion in our Social Security lockbox, or we do not (we do not, by the way). If we did (we do not), then the President’s bluff of not issuing Social Security checks would have been even more stupid than it first seemed. Since we do not have that reserve, it is irresponsible for the Democrats to pretend that the money is there – but that’s actually an incidental point; the true point is that Jan Schakowsky can’t have it both ways. She has to pick one narrative, and live with the consequences.
The problem is this: somebody told The Hill that Obama’s advisers are broken up into two groups. The first group consists of the financial people, who are patiently explaining that Social Security is taking in less money than it puts out, that the supposed Social Security trust fund is actually a bunch of IOUs, that it’s a bad idea to borrow money to pay our Social Security obligations, and that it’s absolutely vital that Social Security be put on a sounder fiscal basis immediately. The second group consists of the political people, who are curtly saying things like “Touch Social Security and you lose the 2012 election.”
The political people will win the internal debate.
And there’s really nothing else to say about that, is there?
Eleanor Clift, in the process of depserately trying to encourage some strange alternate-world version of the President – one who actually believes in compromise and bipartisanship, and who might be willing to do some actual, unglamorous work – makes this howler:
Republicans stood together against Social Security and Medicare, and when those programs proved popular, opposing them left a residue of distrust for the GOP.
Not so. Jonah Goldberg reported: “The Social Security Act was passed in the House on April 19, 1935 by a vote of 372 yeas, 33 nays, 2 present, and 25 not voting. Eighty-one Republicans voted for it, fifteen against. Fifteen Democrats also voted against it. That’s over 80% Republican support.”
Also, Republicans backed Medicare in 1965, which was co-written by Republican Congressman John Byrnes. It passed 70-24 in the Senate and 307-116 in the House.
Goldberg link here, which was incidentally a correction of yet another liberal columnist getting the details wrong. Doesn’t anybody on the Left punditocracy do basic research anymore?
PS: I’d discuss the central thesis of Ms. Clift’s article itself, except that I generally try to avoid theological disputes in religions that I don’t follow.
A majority of voters under 50 say workers should be allowed to opt out. A plurality of those over 50 disagree.
Speaking as a voter under 50, let me say that both the under-50 and the over-50 positions make perfect sense. I’ve been putting money into Social Security for a quarter-century – and I don’t expect to see a penny of it, a quarter-century from now. Somebody retiring fifteen years from now? …maybe. Enough to roll the bones, at least. For myself, I’m tired of tossing good money after bad. Continue reading Half of the country wants *out* of Social Security.