And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

U.S. Deficit Commission Recommends Changes to Social Security – FoxNews.com

Posted on: November 11, 2010

U.S. Deficit Commission Recommends Changes to Social Security – FoxNews.com.

This article from FOXNEWS Home page.   I personally am all for every one of them except I don’t think they have gone far enough.  Yes, I will be “hurt” by some of the cuts and my children even more so.  BUT, my grandchildren and great grandchildren will not have to pay  my debts and the debts of my generation.   What do you think?  BB

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U.S. Deficit Commission Recommends Changes to Social Security

Published November 10, 2010

| FoxNews.com

A draft proposal by the deficit commission suggests curbing Social Security benefits and raising the retirement age.

AP

A draft proposal by the deficit commission suggests curbing Social Security benefits and raising the retirement age.

A draft proposal by the deficit commission suggests curbing Social Security benefits and raising the retirement age.

The co-chairmen of the panel appointed by President Obama to cut the U.S. deficit recommend raising the retirement age to 68. It is currently 67 years for retirees to receive full benefits. The panel leaders also propose reducing the annual cost-of-living increases in Social Security.

The increase to age 68 would be implemented by 2050 and then would increase again to 69 by 2075. A “hardship exception” would be provided for certain occupations where older retirement would be unrealistic.

According to a source who spoke to Fox News, the 18-member panel led by former Wyoming Republican Sen. Alan Simpson and former Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, also may propose reducing the base rate on corporate taxes, phasing in spending cuts over time, reducing foreign aid by $4.6 billion, freezing federal salaries for three years and banning congressional earmarks. It is unclear how the commissioners would define a congressional earmark.

The proposal would also set a tough target for curbing the growth of Medicare. And it recommends looking at eliminating popular tax breaks, such as mortgage interest deduction. The plan also calls for cuts in farm subsidies and the Pentagon’s budget.

The goal is to reduce $1 trillion-plus budget deficits. The panel, which was meeting Wednesday, was expected to provide a full set of recommendations on Dec. 1.

But any recommendations require a supermajority of 14 members of the panel for approval and that seems unlikely.

Cuts to Social Security and Medicare are anathema to liberals on the panel. Conservatives have difficulty with options on raising taxes.

“This is not a proposal I could support,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill. “On Medicare and Social Security in particular, there are proposals that I could not support.”

“It’s a very provocative proposal,” said GOP Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas. “Some of it I like. Some of it disturbs me. And some of it I’ve got to study.”

Speaking to reporters after the draft leaked, Bowles said it would be great if Congress could come to some agreement about the plan before the next term, but said there is no need to vote on anything right now. The approved proposals would have to go to the Senate for a vote before heading to the House.

Bowles said he is certain that this is a real plan that Congress can work from, and the draft will help “educate the American people” as to the “massive” task before them.

Bowles also joked that he and Simpson are now headed into “the witness protection program.”

“This is the first time in my memory in Washington … where it’s all there. We have harpooned every whale,” Simpson added.

 

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Another article with comments from some deficit commission members comments:

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  • Commission Offers Controversial Solutions to Axe Deficit — Members Balk

    by Trish Turner | November 10, 2010

    AP Photo

    AP Photo

    The top Republican and Democrat on President Obama’s bipartisan deficit reduction commission introduced an ambitious draft proposal Wednesday to slash the nation’s deficit by by $4 trillion over ten years, but both chairmen conceded that the focus is more on starting a national debate rather than actually accomplishing legislative action this year.

    The draft, laid out in detail to commission members during two closed-door, hours-long sessions, spares virtually no “sacred cow” programs, proposing dramatic changes to Social Security, once called the “third rail” of politics, pushes for limits to Medicare, axes the popular mortgage interest deduction in favor of lower income tax rates for all, freezes Defense Department salaries and bonuses for three years and noncombat pay at 2011 levels for the same period, and the list goes on.

    Sen. Kent Conrad, D-ND, a commission member, did not sound confident that 14 of the 18 members could agree on any proposal in order to move it to a vote in Congress. “We’ve had trouble getting 14 people to agree on what time of the day to meet,” the Budget Committee Chairman said.

    The often-comedic co-chairman Alan Simpson sheepishly exited the meeting, telling reporters, “We’re entering the witness protection program,” referring to his fellow co-chairman and proposal author Erskine Bowles, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton.

    Commissioners mostly commended the chairmen for attacking the problem and offering real, detailed solutions, but to a letter, not one member embraced the proposal, though Simpson and Bowles said they did not expect that. Still another member, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., called the Social Security changes “a nonstarter.”

    Schakowsky questioned the equity in the cuts, noted the “growing gap between rich and poor in this country,” and said, “This is not at all something I could support.”

    Outside the bipartisan group, members slung arrows at the draft proposal, as well. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., decried the plan as “extremely disappointing and something that should be vigorously opposed by the American people. The huge increase in the national debt in recent years was caused by two unpaid wars, tax breaks for the wealthy, a Medicare prescription drug bill written by the pharmaceutical industry, and the Wall Street bailout.”

    But some members cautioned against snap judgments. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., a member of the panel, said, “The greatest national security threat facing America today is our national debt and a Congress that has avoided tough choices for decades. The discussion draft describes some of the tough choices facing Congress and the nation,” and warned, “I would encourage taxpayers to view with great suspicion the beltway, interest group culture that often prefers demagoguery over honest debate. In the real world, no family facing tough economic times has the luxury of treating portions of their budget as sacrosanct. Neither should Congress.”

    Simpson encouraged people to read the proposal and said there is more than enough time for Congressional action, saying he and Bowles “laid it all out on the table. Let the American people start to chew on it..As I say, we didn’t leave anybody out of the crosshairs.”

    But Sanders was having no part of that, particularly the Simpson-Bowles proposal for Social Security that gradually increases the retirement age for benefits, possibly to 69 by 2075. Sanders blasted, “It is reprehensible to ask working people, including many who do physically-demanding labor, to work until they are 69 years of age. It also is totally impractical. As they compete for jobs with 25-year-olds, many older workers will go unemployed and have virtually no income. Frankly, there will not be too much demand within the construction industry for 69-year-old bricklayers.”Commission Executive Vice President Bruce Reed told reporters that the panel intends to reconvene next week to get down into the details of the draft document and offer alternative proposals. And though he said members are still aiming to have a plan released on December 1, Reed did acknowledge that if members do not agree, the co-chairmen will certainly promote their own product separately to the American people.

  • Read more: http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/11/10/commission-offers-controversial-solutions-axe-deficit-members-balk#ixzz14zxDHCBX

    3 Responses to "U.S. Deficit Commission Recommends Changes to Social Security – FoxNews.com"

    I write this in protest to this committee and any other attempt to lay on the citizens of this nation, the burden of attempting to fix the stupendous incompetence of our President and his Democratic congress who are both primarily responsible for the financial crisis that we find ourselves in.
    The plan that was “hatched” by the government that “put pressure on banks” to allow people with low credit ratings to purchase homes they were unable to afford, and then followed by the failure of the oversight that was intended to guide how Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac were to be administered were principally responsible for what started this debacle. Then, given the opportunity, the banks and wall street applied the final coup de grace with all the financial shenanigans.
    Those are things that are rarely mentioned when pointing fingers at everyone except the administration and the congress. This has been followed by the stupidity of voters who brought back for another “bite”, people like Barney Frank and other Democrats responsible for the insane performances.
    Social Security is not paid by the government, it is money that working people have been forced to place in the hands of these thieves who had the responsibility to safeguard this hard earned savings of our lifetime. And then they vote themselves big raises and deny us cola for two years.
    If this were a nation of people from 1775, these people would all be driven out of office and be fortunate to escape with their scalps intact.
    We are seeing the purposeful destruction of a once-great nation.
    Paul Comi
    Korean War Purple Heart Veteran
    San Marino, CA

    How could I have already said that, as you comment? I just wrote this in response to the article. Is it to honest for you?
    Paul Comi

    Not at all “too honest” for me Paul. I certainly hear you and agree with you on several points: This past two years of the Democratic Congress and Obama has double the deficit. And the last four years of a Democratic Congress (voted in in 2006) when Barney Frank and Chris Dodd ran wild pushing the mortgages to people who could not afford them did the job of finally tipping the mountain of Debt. Funding the Bush Prescription Drug Plan for the Elderly without making any provisions for either special rates for the elderly on drug costs or freezing the cost of drugs. Fact: This is a little known fact because people blame the pharmacy companies but really drug costs are set by the individual pharmacies ( friendly drug stores on the corner!) Check it out by calling every drug store in your town and asking them the cost of one of your prescriptions. I did it and found Costco to be the lowest priced drug store in my town by a whooping 900%. Yes that is one pharmacy was 9 times more expensive than Costco.
    These o0f course are only two of the horrendous things the last decade and especially the last two years has done to topple the nation.

    However, the debt has been building for the past 60 years since Johnson’s Great Society when promises were made that could not be paid for. And
    FD Roosevelt gave us Social Security.

    Fact: You will get back EVERY CENT you put in Social Security within the first two years of your retirement. Check it out by asking the Social Security office to send you a copy of your payment made over the years and prove it to yourself and do not continue to believe that you paid into Social Security and now you deserve it. You paid in approximately two years and after that every monthly check you get is senior welfare. (I get Social Security too).

    Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme that anyone would go to prison for fostering. It is a lie and a fraud perpetrated on the American people and allowing them to live to the limit of their income rather than seriously saving for their retirement. Our generation has been spoiled rotten because we thought we had an ace in the hole. Our children and grandchildren and great grand children will be paying the debt we mare making now.

    Fact: Medicare was another fraud perpetrated on the American people. It was Johnson’s pay off to the insurance/hospital/medical community who poured money into he Democrats campaign coffers. At the time Medicare took effect there were only 40% or less of the American older citizens who needed help. The other 60% were quite able to pay for their own health care insurance. But the insurance companies would not cover- only 40% of the elderly because they wanted the whole 100%. So we all got dumped into the Medicare fraud and the medical costs all over the board promptly went up by double digit every year after than. (Check out medical cost before 1965 as compared to after 1965).

    The same demand is being made by the insurance companies right now with the Obamacare bill: The insurance companies will not cover those who have special needs unless the entire population is forced to buy insurance.

    Quite agree with you on the Congressional pay and pay raises which they have made automatic so they can’t be blamed for voting themselves a raise, and also their HUGE pensions and allowances for offices and such after they retire. They should all be taken out and shot!

    As for the destruction of our nation I agree with you wholeheartedly and that is why I have been blogging about it since Obama was nominated for the Democrats presidential race. Actually however I have come to believe that Obama has been a gift to the American people. If the Progressives (Liberals) had only continued to nibble away at our liberties We the People would have gone along and never waken up. However Obama and the arrogant Democrats rushed their programs and we the People woke up and are now fighting back. One of the ways of fighting back is to take the cuts and the pain to pay our own way and our own debt rather than leaving it to our children to pay. Our generation and our parents generation have been like that person in the restaurant who orders the most expensive thing on the menu and then got up and walked out when it came time to pay.

    Hey Paul, Thank you for stopping by and sounding off. 🙂 BB

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