cat food watch

“Social Security is the piggy bank that Republicans seem to go to whenever it dawns on them that we’ve gotta do something about the debt, notwithstanding the fact that they passed a huge tax cut that added trillions to the debt and benefited mostly wealthy individuals and corporations,” says Max Richtman, president and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

Clearly we don't "gotta do something" about "the debt," since both Republicans and Democrats supported deficit spending for bailouts of the rich under the guise of coronavirus relief. But that's the story, anyway. And why limit the criticism to Republicans? Recall that his high holiness Saint Obama, in his first term, tried to cut social security and medicare by appointing a commission to "study" the "problem," which bloggers jokingly called the cat food commission, because the goal was to force your grandparents to live on cat food (or rely on your support). The commission recommended, of course, raising the eligibility age (a cut to benefits earned by workers) and cutting cost-of-living increases (another benefit cut). Like Trump, Obama also supported a benefits-weakening payroll tax cut.

Now endtimer nut Mitt Romney is following his former opponent's footsteps with a bill for another study commission, that is, another stealth attempt to cut Americans' benefits. Since reptilians have no irony, it's called the TRUST Act.

Note: added blog category cat food watch, to cover past and future coverage of trust outbreaks by our leaders.

falsehood catalog (biden)

Creepy Joe's lies came so rapidly and furiously in his recent debate with Bernie Sanders it was hard to tally them. Nina Illingworth has covered them here (scroll down to "Debate Fallout"):

"If anything, the debate was most memorable for the simple fact that Joe Biden spent the entire evening demonstrating that while he can’t tell his wife from his sister, he’s still capable of lying his ass off like a champ if the situation requires it. Please understand that I’m not talking about one lie here, or even Palooka Joe’s altogether routine habit of twisting the truth; Joe Biden went on CNN and bald-faced lied over and over while demonstrating the ability to falsify his publicly documented record in government on issues both large and small. Biden lied about his crusade to cut social security, his opposition to abortion rights, his opposition to the New Green Deal and the (late) timing of his conversion from an opponent of gay marriage, to a supporter. Palooka Joe also falsely accused Bernie of having 9 Super PACs (Sanders has zero), he once again lied about his support for the Iraq war; from the Hyde amendment to Medicare for All, Joe Biden falsified not only his current policy positions, but his entire voting record as a government official – at one point, Joe literally said he hated the Bankruptcy Bill he himself f*cking wrote."

biden on social insecurity

Biden didn't have any obvious senior moments in his debate with Sanders last night -- he was a slick, practiced liar* and some viewers may consider that presidential.
Sanders attempted to point out that Biden favors cuts to Social Security, which Biden denied several times. Sanders told viewers, "go to YouTube" to see Biden's true position.
Naked Capitalism commenter John went to YouTube, and here are some links:

Joe Biden Brags About Wanting To Cut Social Security

Joe Biden: “Let’s cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, & Veterans’ Benefits!”

Joe Biden Talks About Cutting Social Security And Medicare. Update: This clip has since been deleted so here's another, from the Young Turks on December 2018. Cenk Uygur says he likes Biden (yuck) but not enough to vote for him -- this is before Biden became the presumptive candidate to go against Trump. Curious if Cenk changes his tune and gets behind Joe in the general. Biden is super creepy in these clips, whispering "social security" like it's some taboo thing, and saying it "can stay but needs adjustments" (that is, cuts or changes to the retirement age). Biden shares with many conservatives the belief that the US can't "afford" social benefits but can "afford" a huge military.

*Update 2: See Nina Illingworth's catalog of these falsehoods.

public service message

One of Pres Trump's solutions to the pandemic is to cut so-called payroll taxes. This sounds great but he's deliberately confusing those taxes, which fund Social Security and Medicare, with regular income tax, which funds, among other things, elective wars and presidential salaries. He's taking advantage of a crisis to accomplish right-wing goals of cutting popular social programs. A letter to Congress from Social Security Works explains the scam [PDF].

sharing sacrifice for the few

Journalists in the Service of Pete Peterson

An essential and successful element of [idiot billionaire Pete Peterson's] strategy [of cutting Social Security] is to create an environment where it is widely if not universally believed that there is no alternative to his vision. In this view, it’s "not realistic" to believe the country can afford the same programs it once did. Those who are prepared to be "adults" will look at these "hard truths" without flinching and recognize that it is time to take citizens-have-to-do-with-less medicine.

The conceit is that those with "courage" will see past narrow, partisan concerns and embrace an ideal: a bipartisan consensus that has the strength to demand "shared sacrifice" from a childish and selfish populace.

A review of the proceedings of the [Peterson-sponsored] Fiscal Summits of the last three years makes agonizingly clear that most of the journalists who conducted interviews or moderated panel discussions both reflected and amplified the Peterson worldview — entirely unselfconsciously, it would seem.

So, for example, Lesley Stahl, the CBS 60 Minutes reporter, was fully a part of the Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson deficit-cutting team during her interview with both men: "You are going to have to raise taxes and cut things, big things, put restrictions on Social Security. Everybody knows that."

Virtually none of the reporters thought to ask about or suggest an alternative path, such as preserving Social Security benefits and bolstering the system’s reserve by raising the cap of wages subject to Social Security taxes (currently annual wages above approximately $110,000 are not subject to any Social Security tax).