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Minnesota’s liberals lead the charge against Obama’s budget

MinnPost photo by Devin Henry
Rep. Keith Ellison leading a Progressive Caucus press conference on Thursday against proposed cuts to Social Security.

“I don’t think we should be trying to induce Republicans to come back to the table by throwing Social Security out there,” Ellison said. “They’re not coming his way. They’re actually telling him, come a little closer without giving us anything.”

Republicans: Cuts ‘modest’

“He’s always negotiating with himself. He’s making the compromise before he got into the negotiation,” Nolan said. “He put together the grand compromise, and negotiations haven’t even begun.”

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Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/12/2013 - 09:24 am.

    Zero sum solutions won’t work

    There’s not point in extracting republican support for taxes that simply balance budget cuts. We need to increase government spending and pay for it, it’s that simple. If you want to cut something, the most obvious place to start would be the defense budget, how many of our 14 aircraft carriers, 70 submarines, and stealth bombers did we just use in two wars?

    This is NOT an opening salvo, this budget battle has raged ever since Obama got into office and his strategy of offering more to the republicans for nothing in return has obviously failed. Why would he think it’ll work now? And even if get some tax revenue with this plan, new taxes under these conditions are a wash.

  2. Submitted by Tim Milner on 04/12/2013 - 10:35 am.

    Someone help me

    but I thought the change to using the chained CPI was going to SLOW the growth in Social Security benefits the future. Not cut any present benefit. Just smaller increases in the future. Is this correct?

    If I am correct, I find it fascinating that the terms “cuts in government spending” now applies equally to any action taken to slow government spending.

  3. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 04/12/2013 - 12:47 pm.


    The GOP is salivating over the prospect of running in the off year election, hanging all Dems with the “Obama wants to cut your SSI” tag. Seniors make up a greater portion of the electorate in off year elections. In 2010 those seniors voted tea Party in big numbers.

    In the healthcare debate, Obama opened by compromising. Rather than single payer, he offered a more moderate plan that didn’t attract a single GOP vote any way. He is a terrible negotiator, and hasn’t gotten any better since his first term.

    • Submitted by James Hamilton on 04/12/2013 - 05:42 pm.

      Must it all

      be about the next election and not at all about facts, reason and good ideas?

      As for being a terrible negotiator, it seems to me that he got his healthcare bill through Congress by opening with a reasonable proposal rather than one doomed to failure (i.e., single payer).

      • Submitted by Jackson Cage on 04/15/2013 - 09:38 am.

        I concur Jim

        Those who think he should have opened with a Single payer strategy seem to forget about the disaster of the Clinton health care proposal.

  4. Submitted by James Hamilton on 04/12/2013 - 03:33 pm.

    What cut?

    Opponents of adopting the chained CPI portray it as a cut. Technically and in real terms, however, it’s intended to reduce future benefit increases by more accurately reflecting increases in retirees’ costs of living. If the Chained CPI more accurately tracks COL changes for the majority of retirees, then it makes sense to me to use it. If some feel that benefits are too low, whether for all or some, then let’s have that discussion rather than oppose a change in methods of dertermining the actual increases in cost of living experienced by retirees. (Including me, btw.)

    While I can see where some retirees have little room left for changes in their buying habits, I’m not convinced that the majority are in this position.

    Before reaching your own conclusion, I suggest reading this:

    and this:

  5. Submitted by Karen Sandness on 04/13/2013 - 11:52 am.

    Tim Milner: If the Chained CPI leads to growth slower than

    real inflation, then it will be a cut, especially for the longest-lived Americans.

  6. Submitted by Patrick Wells on 04/14/2013 - 07:03 am.

    “Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit” is a quote from Ronald Reagan.

    Ronald Reagan was correct in the above quote. In fact, Social Security is the largest creditor of the US Treasury. The Treasury’s debt obligations are in the form of Treasury notes evidencing the Treasury’s borrowing from Social Security to fund the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., the Bush tax cuts, and the recession. Reduction of payment of this debt to Social Security is a thinly disguised debt default.

    Social Security, analyzed separately, is solvent for many years going forward. From the Social Secuirty Actuarial Report:

    “The last 5 Trustees Reports have indicated that Social Security’s Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds would become exhausted between 2036 and 2041 under the intermediate set of economic and demographic assumptions provided in each report. If no legislative change is enacted, scheduled tax revenues will be sufficient to pay only about three fourths of the scheduled benefits after trust fund exhaustion. Many policymakers have developed proposals and options to address this long-range solvency problem.”

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