Today At The Virtual Summit: Whose Commission Is This?

Bill Scher

Today at the Virtual Summit on Fiscal and Economic Responsibility for People Who Did Not Wreck the Economy hosted by Campaign for America’s Future…

Whose Commission Is This?: Roger Hickey flags that the White House deficit commission is working directly with chief deficit hysteria propagandist Pete Peterson to organize “grassroots” events.

… the White House appears to be using a self-described “independent, non-partisan” group, called America Speaks to carry out what appears to be an “astro-turf” campaign to simulate public discussion of these issues … Sounds like a cool, grassroots, online democracy kind of project – until you read further and find one of their big funders: the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. He is everywhere, manipulating the debate about our future!
Get ready for a fight, friends.

Still Want To Blame The Boomers?: Bruce Webb mocks the anti-Social Security posse for their short-sighted strategy — insisting they would not cut benefits for existing retirees while blaming Baby Boomers for the supposed “crisis.”

A central tenet of Cato’s “Leninist Strategy”, was that benefits for those in or approaching retirement should not be affected … This was billed as a matter of equity but was equally a bow to political reality. This tenet was maintained in the establishment of former President George W. Bush’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security in 2001 as the first of the six Guiding Principles, and most recently is a feature of conservative Rep. Paul Ryan’s “Roadmap To America’s Future,” which promises to hold at least initial benefits for workers 55 and older harmless…. [But] workers 55 to 64 ARE Boomers. It is pretty hard to hold them responsible for ‘Crisis’ and yet give them a free pass.

We Still Need Social Security: Kim Wright rebuts the fallacious caricatures of seniors being peddled by Social Security haters:

No one’s getting rich on Social Security. Social Security benefits are modest. The average benefit for today’s retiree is only about $14,000 per year — or about $1,300 per month.

Social Security is the cornerstone of retirement. From the program’s beginning, it was intended to be a base of protection, supplemented by private pensions and savings, not an individual’s sole source of retirement income. Today, nine out of ten people over age 65 receive Social Security benefits. Two out of every three Social Security beneficiaries receive over half of their income from Social Security, and it’s the only source of income for nearly one-in-five seniors. Without Social Security, most older Americans would live in poverty.

Does The Commission Know About Health Care? Finally, I note that the co-chairs of the White House deficit are spreading misinformation about the deficit-reducing health reform law we just enacted.

Neither Bowles or Simpson even acknowledged that we have taken this major step toward reducing deficits in the long-term. Worse, Simpson grotesquely implied that the health reform law has made the fiscal picture worse. A disturbing preview to tomorrow’s opening session.

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