Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, December 03, 2017

As the tax cut legislation passed by the Senate early Saturday hurtles toward final approval, Republicans are preparing to use the swelling deficits made worse by the package as a rationale to pursue their long-held vision: undoing the entitlements of the New Deal and Great Society, leaving government leaner and the safety net skimpier for millions of Americans. Speaker Paul D. Ryan and other Republicans are beginning to express their big dreams publicly, vowing that next year they will move on to changes in Medicare and Social Security. President Trump told a Missouri rally last week, "We're going to go into welfare reform."

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Republicans are beginning to acknowledge as much. Ryan said at a town hall-style meeting last month that Congress had to spur growth and cut entitlements to reduce the national debt.

The Republican tax plan, he said "grows the economy." But, he added, "we've got a lot of work to do in cutting spending."

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida was more specific on Wednesday, telling business leaders that the tax cuts were just the first step; the next is to reshape Social Security and Medicare for future retirees.

"Many argue that you can't cut taxes because it will drive up the deficit," he said. "But we have to do two things. We have to generate economic growth, which generates revenue, while reducing spending. That will mean instituting structural changes to Social Security and Medicare for the future."

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Per the article ...

Mr. Trump spent his campaign promising not to cut Medicare and Social Security.

And Republicans will probably find, as they did when they failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, that the public rises up to defend the programs they are trying to cut.

Whatever political boost the Republicans could get for passing a tax cut could evaporate fast.

Many of the Republicans' natural allies have criticized the bill for adding to the deficit and not dealing with the costs that were already driving up the government's red ink.

In an op-ed in The Washington Post, the leaders of that 2010 commission, former Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming, a Republican, and Erskine Bowles, a Democrat who is a former White House chief of staff, accused the Republicans of "deficit denial," saying the bill incorporated only "goodies" and virtually no "hard choices."

"Republicans have been telling themselves for years that they wanted to get into power so they could balance the budget, reduce the debt, cut spending and fix entitlements," Ms. MacGuineas said. "They've just made it harder, not easier."

For weeks, Democrats and their allies have been accusing Republicans of a "two-step" deceit, warning that they would cut taxes now and then use the increase in the deficit they caused to demand entitlement cuts later.

"When you run up the deficit, your next argument will be, ‘Gee, you've got a large deficit,'" Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a former Democratic presidential candidate, said in an interview.

Some deficit hawks complain that Republicans have cast away any mantle of fiscal responsibility.

Robert L. Bixby, the executive director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan organization that encourages fiscal responsibility, complained of hypocrisy from Republicans who have been clamoring to lift the spending caps that were created by the 2011 Budget Control Act.

If the tax cuts do not generate the revenue Republicans are expecting, he predicted, "people will say, ‘No, we're not getting the growth because we should have cut taxes even more.'"

The United States is already facing a gloomy fiscal landscape.

The federal deficit this year topped $660 billion, despite healthy economic growth, and the national debt now exceeds $20 trillion.

Janet L. Yellen, the outgoing chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, appointed by President Barack Obama, warned last week that the national debt "is the type of thing that should keep people awake at night."

But Democrats and their allies -- and even some usual Republican allies -- complain that Republicans are dishonest not to debate changes in spending and tax cuts at the same time, as the Simpson-Bowles commission did.

Sharon Parrott, a senior fellow at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said Republicans understood how bad it would look to cut food benefits for poor families and health care for the elderly at the same time they were cutting taxes for corporations and the highest earners.

"There's a reason they separate them," she said. "They think they can get away with it."

But in an election year with high political engagement, she said, "I think it's wrong to count out the idea that the public will figure it out."


Effing douchebags ... we are far and away the richest country in the world, yet we argue over foodstamps and paying for healthcare.

Effing douchebags.

#1 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2017-12-03 03:36 PM | Reply

"They've just made it harder, not easier."

That's because they've been lying all the time. As several folks, myself included, have continued to point out.

#2 | Posted by Danforth at 2017-12-03 03:41 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"If the tax cuts do not generate the revenue Republicans are expecting, he predicted, "people will say, ‘No, we're not getting the growth because we should have cut taxes even more.'""

Ah, yes...The Kansas Miracle.

#3 | Posted by Danforth at 2017-12-03 03:43 PM | Reply

George Carlin was right, the real owners of the country want their money used for earned benefits (pejorative: "entitlements") for the rest of us, they want it back ... to give that money to their criminal friends on Wall Street.

#4 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2017-12-03 03:44 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"yet we argue over foodstamps and paying for healthcare."

How else can we eliminate the Estate Tax for Paris Hilton?

#5 | Posted by Danforth at 2017-12-03 03:47 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Once you get tired of the drama induced circle flapping, you will see that Ryan isn't wrong:

Saving Social Security

They aren't going to cut SS, but it will run out of $$ by 2030 if they do nothing.

Medicare for All is going to happen in the next 10 years, so quit hyperventilating and get your congressperson to focus on how to fix the shortfalls that the tax bill is projected to create, since no matter how hard you whine about it is will be a reality in about two weeks.

#6 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2017-12-03 07:44 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

"They aren't going to cut SS, but it will run out of $$ by 2030 if they do nothing."

Okay, so add one point to both the employer and employee side.

There. Now it's in balance into perpetuity (which in actuarial terms is 75 years).

"Medicare for All is going to happen in the next 10 years"

It will; economies of scale will demand it. And every day we delay is a day we spend more for the same services. What are we waiting for???

#7 | Posted by Danforth at 2017-12-04 12:35 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

Medicare for All is going to happen in the next 10 years, so quit hyperventilating

Here's Trump's money man, a multi-gillionaire named Robert Mercer with extreme libertarian views of the world and thinks government in all forms is bad ... www.newyorker.com

If Trump is somehow removed from office, we have Mike Pence who is backed by the Koch brothers and we know all about them.

Your glib response is ridiculous. I find these people reprehensible and un-American due to the inordinate-way-over-the-top amount of influence they have on the political process.

Like we should trust these guys funded by these d-bags to do the right thing (like not unnecessarily give tax cuts to corporations who don't need them) and fix social security.

#8 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2017-12-04 06:51 AM | Reply

"They aren't going to cut SS, but it will run out of $$ by 2030 if they do nothing."

So eliminate the cap on earnings subject to SS taxes. That fixes it permanently.

#9 | Posted by danni at 2017-12-04 09:15 AM | Reply

"They aren't going to cut SS, but it will run out of $$ by 2030 if they do nothing."

That doesn't seem to bother them when it comes to giving the 1% tax cuts.

#10 | Posted by danni at 2017-12-04 09:17 AM | Reply

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The problem that RoC is not addressing (or aware of) is that once the budget shortfalls rear their ugly heads and the debt and deficit start rocketing out of sight due to this Tax Scam the PayGo rules kick in automatically.

These will cause immediate funding cut mechanisms to initiate and Medicare, Medicaid and SS will all get reductions. It will not take long either, perhaps as little as 2 fiscal quarters. A variety of organizations are already anticipating that Medicare funding for cancer treatment programs will be slashed. Did you know that old people get cancer?

What a great country we're living in.

#11 | Posted by Reagan58 at 2017-12-04 09:42 AM | Reply

The social security mess is correctable, simply stop the pretense and call it what it is, welfare. Say an individual or household with an income of more than 50,000 a year is excluded from social security payments. At this time the poorest and richest population in America are the seniors. About 40% do not need Social Security as an income. As far as Medicare, more than half is spent during the last year of life. Old people get sick and die, that will not change in the foreseeable future.

#12 | Posted by docnjo at 2017-12-04 09:57 AM | Reply

The social security mess is correctable, simply stop the pretense and call it what it is, welfare. Say an individual or household with an income of more than 50,000 a year is excluded from social security payments. At this time the poorest and richest population in America are the seniors. About 40% do not need Social Security as an income. As far as Medicare, more than half is spent during the last year of life. Old people get sick and die, that will not change in the foreseeable future.

#12 | POSTED BY DOCNJO AT 2017-12-04 09:57 AM

Only a Republican would call something people pay into for their whole life and most collect less than they put in welfare.

The biggest drain on SS is caused by the longevity gap.

People in the bottom 20% of income have an average lifespan 16 years shorter than the people in the top 20%

As a result the people on the bottom pay in 0n every penny they earn but collect small checks for a very short time period, usually less than 3 years while the richest only pay in on a fraction of their earnings but collect the maximum payout for 19 years on average

But their mouthpieces have you rubes convinced that the poor people are the drain

#13 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2017-12-04 11:28 AM | Reply

#13 | Posted by hatter5183, You are ignoring some facts, the poor smoke and drink more than the more affluent, poor people have terrible diets, too much fat and sugar. Basicly more than 80% of chronic medical conditions are directly tied to lifestyle. Additionally, I stated that those who do not need social security should not get it. Means testing might be an idea who's time has come. Give welfare to those who actually need it.

#14 | Posted by docnjo at 2017-12-04 11:54 AM | Reply

"...the poor smoke and drink more than the more affluent..." - #14 | Posted by docnjo at 2017-12-04 11:54 AM

A context and fact-free assertion.

No surprise there.

#15 | Posted by Hans at 2017-12-04 11:56 AM | Reply

They aren't going to cut SS, but it will run out of $$ by 2030 if they do nothing."
Okay, so add one point to both the employer and employee side.

A better solution is to slowly increase the age of eligibility even by 2 or 3 years the cost-savings would be huge. Also, implement a mild form of means testing.

#16 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-12-04 02:43 PM | Reply

A better solution is to slowly increase the age of eligibility even by 2 or 3 years the cost-savings would be huge.
#16 | Posted by JeffJ

AKA - make old people work longer so rich people can still afford all the options on their private jets.

#17 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2017-12-04 02:49 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

A better solution is to slowly increase the age of eligibility even by 2 or 3 years the cost-savings would be huge. Also, implement a mild form of means testing.
#16 | POSTED BY JEFFJ AT 2017-12-04 02:43 PM | FLAG:

Why? I've been paying into social security since I was 16 working at blockbuster video.

Now. Because politicians decided SS was money available to them to play with and they squandered it. I should wait?

How about instead of giving billions to Israel or Pakistan or any of the other recipient nations of American taxpayer dollars, we put that money into social security?

Or cutting from the DoD?

#18 | Posted by ClownShack at 2017-12-04 02:51 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

How about instead of giving billions to Israel or Pakistan or any of the other recipient nations of American taxpayer dollars, we put that money into social security?

Or cutting from the DoD?

#18 | Posted by ClownShack

Or asking the people who got rich by rigging the economy, replacing humans with machines, or shipping their jobs overseas to pay for the elderly in the society they are ruining.

#19 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2017-12-04 03:12 PM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 2

SS wasn't created to supplement a long retirement. It was created to provide some stability very late in life. Average lifespan has increased substantially since it was passed. Also, Danforth's suggestion for increasing FICA by 2 points has no effect on the upper-income brackets. It would be a massive tax on the lower and middle class.

#20 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-12-04 03:24 PM | Reply

#20 ok so add 2 points (or 1 point total even) but eliminate the income cap. The Medicaid tax has no cap, correct?

Or, alternatively, keep the cap in place but reduce/cap benefits for people who earn above it.

If you make enough money to exceed the cap you make enough money to not require SS.

#21 | Posted by jpw at 2017-12-04 03:41 PM | Reply

SS wasn't created to supplement a long retirement. It was created to provide some stability very late in life.

I missed the explaination of how I'd have to be on death's bed to collect social security.

Coming from a member of the "keep your hands of my money" Party, suddenly you're okay with congress screwing with SS?

#22 | Posted by ClownShack at 2017-12-04 03:42 PM | Reply

"If you make enough money to exceed the cap you make enough money to not require SS."

we all know plenty of people who make above the cap and don't have a pot to piss in.

tell me how this works for someone like me.....I pay the max almost my entire working life.

then I turn 65 or 67...time to start drawing SS.

what do I get? what test do you apply to determine what I am eligible for? what I have in assets, IRAs, etc?

other income? let's say I retire completely and other than my SS, I will draw from my IRAs......do I qualify for the max benefit (because I paid in the max almost my whole life) or not?

#23 | Posted by eberly at 2017-12-04 04:02 PM | Reply

If you make enough money to exceed the cap you make enough money to not require SS.

#21 | POSTED BY JPW

I wouldn't go that far. Maybe receive slightly less. Although, Eberly brings up some good points I hadn't considered. How would means testing work? If it's based on assets, it would seem punitive toward those who planned responsibly and lived within their means and it would seem to reward those who may have made the same amount of money but blew it all on hookers and blow. I'm going to have to look more carefully at means testing. Raising the age of eligiblity - a little, not a lot - as IMO a common sense way to bring down costs.

#24 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-12-04 04:12 PM | Reply

"increasing FICA by 2 points has no effect on the upper-income brackets. It would be a massive tax on the lower and middle class."

Oh, we should raise the cap as well, substantially. And maybe taper the rates at higher incomes.

My point is, it's an equilibrium equation, and it CAN be put into balance.

#25 | Posted by Danforth at 2017-12-04 07:23 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"Also, implement a mild form of means testing."

Only if it's tied to working-income testing. Otherwise the saver subsidizes the wild spender, and the wise investor subsidizes the fool.

#26 | Posted by Danforth at 2017-12-04 07:26 PM | Reply

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