Saturday, June 18, 2011

The US Could Really Use a Third Party

Here is Cenk Uygur laying into a Representative Earl Blumenauer, who, as a member of the Progressive Caucus, is supposed to fight for the middle class against the Republican efforts to turn over even more of the economy to Wall Street.

But even Blumenauer acts like he gets his talking points from Paul Ryan. What the hell is wrong with Democrats when they say that raising the retirement age for social security is negotiable?

This is not specifically about the retirement age; that issue alone is not a cure-all, and it isn't the end of the world either. The huge problem in all of this is that Republicans have set the parameters and they have got at least some feckless Dems, including Blumenauer, to negotiate within those parameters. The result is that every piece of budget-related legislation that has come from the House has involved funding cuts for America's poor, its children, its elderly, the dispossesed, and the working class, or it involves tax cuts, and deregulation for the investor class.

What Blumenauer needs to say is that it is ridiculous to even be discussing a raise in the retirement age for social security in the first place. Instead of shit about people living longer, he should be hammering home the fact that even in this slow economy, SS is once again running a surplus, a fact that completely undermines scare talk about "fixing" it.

Social security was able to run up a $2.6 trillion surplus thanks to tweaks made in the early 1980s (under Reagan!). The problem is not with social security, which has worked extremely well; the problem is that politcians "borrowed" that surplus and blew it on other programs, wars, and tax cuts for the wealthy. And now they do not want to pay it back. Republicans want you to think that SS is a huge drain on the federal budget. They are lying through their goddamn teeth.

So why can't guys like Blumenauer make these points? Dems are not fighting back on issues like social security, which should be easy to defend. It's a freakin slam dunk as far as the facts are concerned. 

Cenk hammered him for it, and Cenk was absolutely right.

hat tip to

1 comment:

  1. A few days after this was written, Cenk was was gone from MSNBC. What a shame!!! You can imagine the pressure on these commentators and their struggle to give an honest opinion. Sorry to hear this though it was not unexpected with Keith's departure. Looking forward to your blog about the situation.