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flpoljunkie's Journal
Posted by flpoljunkie in General Discussion: Presidency
Sun Sep 11th 2011, 08:35 AM
(I do believe the cap would have to be lifted entirely to solve Social Security's shortfall. Have no problem with that. As for Friedman, his idea of 'entitlement reform' appears to be the 'grand bargain' whereby entitlement benefits are cut, not strengthened (the word President Obama used on Friday speaking at the University of Ricmond).
I’ve been arguing that the only antidote to this debilitating situation is a Grand Bargain between the two parties — one that cuts long-term entitlement spending and raises additional tax revenues to get our fiscal house in order, while making short-term investments in the sources of our strength (particularly new schools and community colleges, scientific research and roads, bandwidth, mass transit and airports) that can also cushion this recession. - Tom Friedman

Friedman's column

8.RLS
Virginia
September 11th, 2011

The inside-the-beltway crowd is determined to single out “entitlements” as the cause for our deficits. That’s wrong. Medicare and Medicaid have low administrative costs. The private insurance market takes 31 percent of every dollar for overhead, profit and administrative waste due to a patchwork system. Our drug costs are 2-3 times the price for the same drug sold in Canada or Europe. Congress simply lacks the courage to stand up to the insurance and drug industries.

Social Security is an earned benefit, not an entitlement. It has a separate stream of financing, can pay ALL benefits for the next 25 years, and has not added one penny to the deficit. Bernie Sanders will be proposing legislation to strengthen Social Security — not weaken it as the payroll tax cuts would do — by lifting the cap for those with incomes over $250,000 (an idea originally proposed by candidate Obama).

How did we get to such a large deficit? Congress deregulated Wall Street so they could basically do anything they desired. And they forgot to pay for two large and unwise tax cuts, a war in Afghanistan that has gone on too long, an unnecessary war in Iraq, a prescription drug bill that was a giveaway to Big Pharma, and a bailout for the crooks on Wall Street who caused this recession.

Critics are still wrong on what’s driving deficits in the coming years: economic downturn and Bush policies drive the numbers.


http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&...

Thirty years of progressive policies after WWII (progressive taxation, banking regulation, labor legislation, and investments in education, infrastructure and health care) gave us a strong middle class and a booming economy. Thirty years of a conservative agenda since 1980 (trickle-down economics, deregulation, outsourcing and a weakened labor movement) has left us with a shrinking middle class and put our nation in decline.

We know what works.
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