Bill O'Reilly has been going off the deep end even more than usual, ever since the Trayvon Martin trial ended and since he's not beating up all black youths for wearing hoodies, he's turned to serious business: disparaging those in need of food stamps. It's obviously aimed at promoting Bret Baier's Great Food Stamp Binge special on FOX. With the economy still not helping the 98% of Americans and the need for assistance to eat has grown, you might think that conservative hard liners would at least ease up on the needy when it comes to food (since bankers and mortgage lenders with the aid of many conservatives helped destroy the world economy).
The food stamp scandal, right now, 15 percent of the entire American population receiving food subsidies,” the Fox News host announced. “And some of those people are conning the system.”
O’Reilly said that the president was to blame for changing the work rules for food stamps and allowing “anybody to get them if they know how to game the system.”
“I take one look at this guy and he’s making money off the books,” he explained.
“Now I’m not going to make any accusation on national television about how he’s making money, but this guy’s not just surviving on food stamps. Alright? He’s making money. The rat life entails a lot of different things.”
Do you want to know how the Beltway Villager elites feel about our safety nets? Just watch this segment and be horrified. Bob Woodward, a Grand Wizard among the beltway villagers was interviewed by CNN's Jake Tapper about the bad relationship President Obama has with Speaker John Boehner and he uses his book, The Price Of Politics to explore the idea. Woodward blames the stalemate between the two parties mostly on their frayed relationship which is in of itself a thoughtless argument to make because Boehner is not in control of his members any longer.
WOODWARD: No, no, but you don't. But what you learn is that the person on the other side of the table is your best friend because that's the person who can give you what you want and what you have to have. But to get to that point, you need to spend lots of time and, unfortunately, they have not spent the time on this.
BOEHNER: It's pretty clear that the president was re-elected. Obamacare is the law of the land. If we were to put Obamacare into the CR and send it over to the Senate, we were risking shutting down the government. That is not our goal.
Why does David Gregory hate seniors and poor people so much?
In a discussion over the government shutdown, Gregory laments that the intransigence preventing a debt ceiling agreement is also keeping congresspeople from sitting down to deal with the great, looming problem of "entitlements cannibalizing" the budget.
Why is it that those cushy, isolated and well-off Beltway denizens ignore that thirty years of kowtowing to irresponsible Republican policies have resulted in the worst level of income inequality in the developed world and the only answer that occurs to them is to make those who can least afford it suffer even more? We're creating more and more people who need to be able to rely on the government for a minimal level of subsistence, and David Gregory thinks taking more out of their mouth and reducing their health care options is what the congress should really be focusing on.
You're not helping, Dick. And Gregory? You're just flat out hating on the people in this country who are not at your socio-economic level (which is 95% of us, you insular hack). What's cannibalizing this country is the unmitigated greed and ignorance of Beltway chumps like you.
Methinks it's time for another "Modest Proposal". Let's start with Beltway pundits.
Proving once again that he who frames the debate wins the argument, it is disturbingly obvious how NBC News and their barely-useful tool David Gregory want to push for the "Grand Bargain", the solution that the Bowles-Simpson commission couldn't get approved by their own members, much less Congress. We have a fragile, slow recovery--one in which reputable economists have said would be damaged greatly by the Grand Bargain--and yet, these Very. Important. Villagers. inside the Beltway don't care how much their touted "solution" hurts America. So they get Simpson-Bowles Commission member and Honeywell CEO David Cotes (who has been pushing the Grand Bargain since before the election) to insist on easily debunkable talking points to convince Americans that it's far more important to reduce their Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security benefits so that the very wealthy (like David Cote) don't feel unfairly picked on by raising their taxes to Clinton-era levels.
SORKIN: David, I have a tax question for you. What do you think the ultimate effective tax rate should be on corporations?
COTE: The problem is from a fairness perspective, nobody would be able to stand it. But at the the end of the day, jobs come from companies and if we wanted to create the most effective foreign direct investment pipeline you’ve ever seen, we would have the lowest rate possible.
So the only barrier to a 0% corporate tax rate, in Cote’s mind, is that the plebeians might have a problem with it. Otherwise, it’s race race race to the bottom.
Right-wing corporate titan, fish gotta swim, no matter, right? Except that Cote sat on the Bowles-Simpson catfood commission designed to reduce deficits. And his instinct is to completely relieve the tax burden from corporations which are experiencing a record in profits as a percentage of GDP. Barack Obama appointed Cote to that position on the catfood commission. And the President is actually speaking at a Honeywell facility in Minnesota today (just over the border from Wisconsin, by the way, on the eve of the biggest election outside of November happening in just a few days).
Honeywell has been laying off entire plants of union workers and driving down wages and benefits for their employees, while its CEO took home $37 million last year. And as an additional reward for this, David Cote gets plum spots on Presidential commissions where he gets a platform to call for the elimination of corporate taxes, which considering that we already have one of the lowest corporate tax rates in effective terms in the world, and job growth is still basically a disaster, is bad policy in addition to being nakedly aggrandizing.
Self-aggrandizement aside, let me just state for the record: Cotes isn't holding off on hiring because of taxes or insecurity on the debt. That is bullpucky of grand bargain proportions. If the demand for more of Honeywell's products exceeded what they could manage with the current staff, damned straight that Cotes would approve hiring. The national debt is not scaring away investors. The Dow Jones is near its all time high levels. If anything, all of this media fear-mongering over the "fiscal cliff" (which is neither a cliff nor as urgent as the media would have you believe) and the fail safe of the deficit (which is not the same as debt, though frequently conflated in coverage) is scaring investors, and even then, not very much, as the record profits show.
I've said this before and I'll say it again: there are solutions to these problems that will not hurt the majority of Americans, especially those who can afford it the least. But before we can get to those solutions, we need to stop setting up the debate with only one side being represented.
In your upcoming speech about handling the deficit, we implore you not to raise the eligibility age of America's social safety net programs or cut benefits in any way. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid hold the core principles of the Democratic party. These programs have paved the way for millions upon millions of Americans for generations to pay into a system that guaranteed them important medical care and sustenance in their twilight years. They need to be protected by your office as well as the entire Congress and should not be subjected to harsh cuts in order to appease politicians who call for austerity measures in a time of recession.
While the county is still recovering from a horrendous global financial collapse caused by the greed of Wall Street CEOs, bank executives and negligent bureaucrats, senior citizens--both now and in the future--are the people who stand to lose the most. Social Security does not contribute a single penny to the deficit, so allowing the conservatives to frame this as a fiscally responsible choice is not only incorrect, but morally wrong.
There are many tools at your disposal to ease the federal deficit and at the same time protect the most vulnerable of our society. These social safety nets took decades to develop, not out of reckless government spending, but because past presidencies witnessed unspeakable horrors to the elderly and the poor and reacted to protect its own constituents.
If the eligibility age is raised, it will create an unnecessary burden from which not many will be able to recover. If you do in fact cut benefits it will destroy the very foundation of the party on which this country has relied and put in peril many millions of its citizens in the future.
We look forward to hearing you voicing your strong commitment to this Democratic Party bedrock in your speech tomorrow.
One reason reaching the age of 65 is such a relief to so many people is that it represents their chance, finally, to get out of the world of private health insurance and into Medicare. For the most part, it means the end of jumping between sources of coverage of wondering constantly which doctors will see them. (Despite what you may have heard, doctors are still more likely to take Medicare than private insurance.) Medicare has its problems but for most seniors it offers peace of mind that other sources of coverage simply don’t, at precisely the age when many of them are first experiencing serious health problems. Postponing the age at which seniors can get that security is not going to make them happy.
So the implications for policy are bad. And the implications for politics? Even worse, particularly given what we've seen this week.
As everybody knows, Republicans hammered Democrats in the 2010 midterms by attacking the Affordable Care Act's Medicare cuts, never mind how reasonable wonks like me thought they were. But when the newly elected Republicans voted for the Paul Ryan budget, which proposes much deeper cuts and would effectively end the program was we know it, the GOP seemed to relinquish whatever political advantage it had gained on the issue. A special election in upstate New York, in which a Democrat won and the Ryan budget figured prominently, seemed to confirm that.read on
"“We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace — business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering. ... Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me. And I welcome their hatred!"
Ever since FDR gave America the New Deal, the right-wing of this country has been trying to destroy it.
The recurring theme in the recovery plan was Roosevelt’s pledge to help the “forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid.”
The term New Deal was coined during Franklin Roosevelt’s 1932 Democratic presidential nomination acceptance speech, when he said, "I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people." Roosevelt summarized the New Deal as a "use of the authority of government as an organized form of self-help for all classes and groups and sections of our country."
FDR was considered a traitor by his rich friends, but he vowed not to be swayed by their hatred. I won't get into each different program, but he embarked on tremendous deficit spending and Keynesian economics to accomplish this because that's what the country needed to do recover from the Great Depression. From there many other social programs, civil rights/liberties legislation created along with Medicare and Medicaid which came from LBJ's The Great Society helped protect the middle class and poor of this country. History taught us this lesson all too well. There were deficit hawks going crazy over this and they later prevailed which then bogged down the economic gains FDR had achieved. Conservatives try to spin our social safety nets into the left wanting some imaginary super rich to pay for the lower 98 percent's rock and roll lifestyles while we're cashing our unemployment checks.
Now after the financial meltdown caused by the mortgage scandal, the federal deficit is high and what's coming out of many of these modern day deficit hawks is that we must raise the retirement age of Social Security and Medicare recipients to help reduce the deficit and save us all. Help, we're burning! It is a horribly cruel idea for many reasons, but it's being floated around as a way to get some economic stimulus pumped back into our struggling economy:
In broad terms, the needed elements are plain: further short-term stimulus combined with credible longer-term fiscal restraint. Cut the payroll tax, extend jobless benefits and subsidise new jobs; then curb entitlement spending by raising the retirement age.
OK, so most of our readers know about the loss of Wiener's old NY-26 seat in a special election to a tea party candidate named Bob Turner. But what you may not know is that a new tactic is emerging that will surely be used against Obama and the Democratic Party in the run-up to the 2012 election unless the President puts out the flames of the fire he has started with his grand bargain scheme---which includes reforms to our social safety nets.
That race in NY this week featured a lot of talk about Israel and a whole lot of analysis about ethnicity and demographics. But one thing very few have noticed was an important piece of standard 2010 messaging.
In two robocalls, Koch promised voters that Turner wouldn’t cut Medicare or Social Security. The weekend before the election, Hikind said the same thing, and bolstered his case by saying Democrats were risking the programs:
Actually, this disastrous election gave the Democrats a few hints. The party tried, and failed, to wound Turner by telling voters he’d provide one more Republican vote to weaken entitlements. That worked in New York’s 26th district, where Democrat Kathy Hochul tore pages out of the Ryan plan and made her Republican opponent eat them. In the 9th, Turner and his surrogates tried to neutralize the entitlement issue by promising not to cut entitlements. In two robocalls, Koch promised voters that Turner wouldn’t cut Medicare or Social Security. The weekend before the election, Hikind said the same thing, and bolstered his case by saying Democrats were risking the programs.
“The president of the United States is now a member of the tea party!” said Hikind. “He said, in his own words, that there won’t be Medicare and Social Security for my children and your children and my grandchildren unless we address Medicare!”
That’s not really a wedge issue – it’s the slow death of a wedge issue. It’s the start of a problem for Democrats, who have gone from attacking the Ryan plans for entitlement reform to vouching support for some undefined “everything on the table” entitlement reform. There might not be any way for Democrats to dodge this, and there's no sign that they want to. And that leaves all of them in the position of Democrats in New York's 9th. Their traditional base, weary of the recession, not sure what Democrats have to offer any more, are ready to be wedged.