Daily Clips 3-30-12

Strengthen Social Security Campaign (SSSC) / Social Security Works Clips Friday




The Wall Street Journal (NY)

Why I'm Optimistic About Cutting the Deficit

Erskine Bowles


In The Wall Street Journal, Erskine Bowles notes that two years ago, Congress balked even at creating a fiscal commission, but today tax reform and spending cuts are bipartisan concerns.



Huffington Post (NAT)

The Bowles-Simpson Medicine Show Is Back in Town

Richard (RJ) Eskow


When millions of dollars are being pumped into Washington by anti-government and anti-tax ideologues, you're bound to find Democrats willing to play along. And when your Washington press corps can't be bothered to get even the smallest details right -- well, that must mean the Bowles-Simpson Medicine Show is back in town.



Washington Policy Watch (DC)

Iowa Senator introduces bill to revitalize middle class, strengthen Social Security

Alex Stone


For Social Security beneficiaries, the “Rebuild America Act” would increase benefits by about $60/month for the average beneficiary – a boon for seniors, disabled workers and survivors living on fixed incomes. It would also change the way the Social Security Administration calculates benefits from the current CPI-W calculation to the CPI-E, which more accurately reflects inflationary cost increases faced by seniors.



Esquire (NAT)

The War Against Youth


Stephen Marche

The recession didn't gut the prospects of American young people. The Baby Boomers took care of that.



LA Times (CA)

Taxation’s legality is key to health reform

Michael Hiltzik


One afternoon in 1934, Supreme Court Justice Harlan Fiske Stone decided to quietly help Labor Secretary Frances Perkins out of a jam.


Her quandary was how to write a Social Security law that would survive scrutiny by the court's conservative bloc. Stone, a progressive, pulled her aside during a tea party at his home, glanced around to make sure he wasn't overheard, and whispered, "The taxing power of the federal government, my dear; the taxing power is sufficient for everything you want and need."



The Associated Press (NAT)

House approves Republican deficit-cutting plan


Alan Fram

"A vote for Cooper-LaTourette is a vote for deep cuts in Social Security benefits, cuts in Medicare benefits and Medicaid" and tax breaks for the wealthy and for U.S. firms shipping jobs abroad, said a letter the AFL-CIO sent lawmakers.



The New York Times (NY)

Broccoli and Bad Faith


Paul Krugman

This week’s Supreme Court hearings on the health care law seemed to suggest that some justices were embracing any argument they could use to kill reform.



Cato (DC)

Are Individual Mandate Critics Showing ‘Bad Faith’?

Michael D. Tanner


Paul Krugman is the latest to suggest that advocates of personal Social Security accounts are guilty of hypocrisy in criticizing the constitutionality of Obamacare’s individual insurance mandate.  After all, they contend, are not personal account supporters arguing in favor of a federal government mandate that individuals purchase a specific commercial product (i.e., stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or whatever)?



Politico (DC)

Hoyer steps in to defend Critz

Alex Isenstadt


House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer is playing referee in a contentious Democrat-on-Democrat death match, defending Pennsylvania Rep. Mark Critz after Rep. Jason Altmire aired a TV ad attacking him. In the ad, Altmire accused Critz of not voting “against the tea party budget that would dismantle Medicare and gut Social Security”- a reference...



The Hill (DC)

Boehner: Ryan budget 'vision' of what GOP would do if in control

Pete Kasperowicz


"While we did a budget last year, we're doing another budget this year, we're making tough decisions to help preserve Social Security and preserve Medicare, the United States Senate… it's been 1,065 days since they passed a budget," he said. "



Market Watch (IL)

Increased Worry Among Retirees Doesn't Equate to Action


While American retirees are more concerned about retirement risks than in previous years, a new study by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) shows there has been little change in their risk management strategy over the past two years and concern among the survey researchers that many may be at risk of running out of assets.



Health Law's Unfunded Obligations More Than Double That Of Social Security


U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, spoke on the Senate floor today to share the Committee's finding that the president's health law will grow our nation's unfunded liabilities by $17 trillion beyond our existing obligations, putting current entitlement programs in much greater jeopardy. The new $17 trillion unfunded obligation is more the twice Social Security's$7 trillion unfunded obligation, and represents a modest estimate based on the administration's own optimistic assumptions.



Daily Finance (Blog)

The $7 Trillion Issue Presidential Candidates Are Avoiding

Adam J. Wiederman


Social Security has promises to pay out $41.4 trillion in future benefits, but it has just $34.5 trillion in assets and expected income to cover those promises. You do the math.





The Daily Beast (NAT)

When Cato Loved Mandates

David Frum


If the healthcare mandate is unconstitutional, how can compulsory private retirement accounts be permissible?



The New Republic (NAT)

One Simple Argument Could Have Saved Obamacare. Too Bad Verrilli Didn’t Make It.


Jeffrey Rosen

In the oral arguments over the constitutionality of health care reform, John Roberts and Anthony Kennedy seemed at times to be looking for a reason to uphold the law despite their doubts. Unfortunately, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli didn’t give it to them. Verrilli’s error wasn’t his nervous presentation—the sips of water and coughs followed by long silences now unfairly mocked by a Republican National Committee attack ad that plays the audio of his stammering over the headline “ObamaCare: It’s a Tough Sell.” Instead, Verrilli’s error was substantive: He failed squarely to answer Roberts and Kennedy’s repeated questions about what limits he envisioned to Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce. Verrilli’s evasions weren’t only unhelpful—they were also unnecessary.



FDL Action (Blog)

Individual Mandates and Unraveling the Great Society

Jon Walker


If Conservatives get their way and the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate to buy health insurance, it would be a real victory for them; but



NextGen Journal (NAT)

Courage, Cop-outs, and Simpson-Bowles


Victor Tolomeo

Simpson-Bowles tackled the problem in a thoughtful, measured way. It prescribes deep cuts and overhauls to all of the traditional sacred-cows, like Social Security and the defense budget, while reforming the tax code to provide some additional supplementary revenue. The cuts clearly outweigh the few slight tax increases in the plan. Sounds good, right? It’s a chance to get America back on the path to fiscal health which doesn’t follow an all-or-nothing path. Yet only thirty eight Congressmen had the courage to vote “aye” on it.



The Washington Post (DC)

Supreme Court could open door for single-payer health care

Eugene Robinson


A single-payer system would become inevitable.


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