And now, they're coming for your Social Security money - they want your fucking retirement money - they want it back - so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all from you sooner or later. Because they own this fucking place. It's a Big Club: and you're not in it.
The size of that fix [required to keep Social Security fully funded] is significant, but not astonishing. Over the next 75 years, the shortfall will be equal to about 0.7 percent of gross domestic product. How much is 0.7 percent of GDP? To put that in perspective, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities calculates that it’s about as much as George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the rich will cost over the same period. Saying we can afford those cuts — which is the consensus Republican position — but not Social Security’s outlay is nonsensical. Coming up with 0.7 percent of GDP isn’t a crisis. It’s a question of priorities.
And this is precisely how it should be talked about every single time a microphone is turned on. Clear, simple terms that highlight the basic stability of the program, the relative ease of fixing it (as opposed to, say, Medicare), and its critical position as the only thing between catfood and dying in the streets for millions of elderly individuals who have by and large paid into it, fair and square. Oh, but now your deal has to change and you have to keep working at your labors until you’re 70. Just makes perfect sense.
The parallels to Wisconsin are striking: A group and the government enter into a deal. Now the government wants to change the deal ex post facto, and uses a bludgeon of “dread Unions” to paper over the fact that they the government are the one dealing in underhanded fashion. And, of course, the media blissfully reports it from the government perspective. This is why we fail.
But, if a few million folks show up on the doorstep of said government, well, things can change.
"Mr. Obama still has immense power, if he chooses to use it. At home, he has the veto pen, control of the Senate and the bully pulpit. He still has substantial executive authority to act on things like mortgage relief — there are billions of dollars not yet spent, not to mention the enormous leverage the government has via its ownership of Fannie and Freddie. Abroad, he still leads the world’s greatest economic power — and one area where he surely would get bipartisan support would be taking a tougher stand on China and other international bad actors.
But none of this will matter unless the president can find it within himself to use his power, to actually take a stand. And the signs aren’t good."
"The Republican leader of the House actually said that ‘this is not the time for compromise.’ And the Republican leader of the Senate said his main goal after this election is simply to win the next one.
I know that we’re in the final days of a campaign. So it’s not surprising that we’re seeing this heated rhetoric. That’s politics. But when the ballots are cast and the voting is done, we need to put this kind of partisanship aside — win, lose, or draw.
In the end, it comes down to a simple choice. We can spend the next two years arguing with one another, trapped in stale debates, mired in gridlock, unable to make progress in solving the serious problems facing our country. We can stand still while our competitors — like China and others around the world — try to pass us by, making the critical decisions that will allow them to gain an edge in new industries.
Or we can do what the American people are demanding that we do. We can move forward. We can promote new jobs and businesses by harnessing the talents and ingenuity of our people. We can take the necessary steps to help the next generation — instead of just worrying about the next election. We can live up to an allegiance far stronger than our membership in any political party. And that’s the allegiance we hold to our country"
— Barack Obama. Nice dream. Never going to happen. Plan accordingly.
This is, in other words, no time for moderation. And on the Mall today, you could believe it. The press was seated directly before the podium — I had a second-row seat to history, you might say — and behind us stretched the long lawn. And all we could do was gape. It was a sea of people. Millions of people. A mass of moving, yelling, dancing, joyous humanity, filling every patch of green and surrounding the Washington Monument. The image richly recalled the iconic photographs of Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington. And the assembled politicians knew it. Up on the podium, you could see senators snapping pictures on their digital cameras, pointing at the crowd, shaking their heads in disbelief. They weren’t pretending to be blase about the scene. This was different. This was dramatic. It was a screaming, laughing, cheering rejoinder to those who would constrain the scale of Obama’s ambitions, or question his political assets.
And, as somebody out there moving, yelling, dancing, and actively being humanity: I agree on all points. You’d think the members of both the “loyal” Democrats as well as both the vigorous/healthy and the lunatic, nothing-will-move opposition from the GOP side would look out and have exactly the same moment…and, upon hearing Obama’s own “the ground has shifted beneath them” line would combine the two streams of information and move out accordingly in the coming days and months. Instead, Jay Boehner gives us this:
I’m not sure that anyone knows exactly what [Obama] was trying to say.
Indeed, the meaning of the various threads at work on the day were quite muddy. I guess we know what we have to look forward to.