Friday, May 23, 2014

Somebody Ask Alison: Do You Support Expanding Social Security?

Because it might just get her repug-lite ass elected.

David Atkins at Hullabaloo:

Greg Sargent has an underreported bit of Social Security news that should please progressives who long been arguing for similar measures:
Dem Senator Sherrod Brown, a member of the Finance Committee, tells me that GOP Senators have requested hearings into Social Security Disability Insurance this summer. Dems expect Republicans to attack the program as wasteful and fraudulent, in part because conservative media have already done so, and in part because at least one GOP proposal in recent days took aim at the program.

Brown says Dems should seize this occasion to get behind a proposal that would lift or change the payroll tax cap, meaning higher earners would pay more, while adopting a new measure for inflation that would increase benefits for all seniors. Instead of getting drawn into debates about “Chained CPI” and other entitlement cuts, Brown says, Dems should make the case that stagnating wages and declining pensions and savings demand an expansion of social insurance. 
“We should stop playing defense on Social Security, and instead talk about why Social Security is a public pension that we should be proud of, that has lifted tens of millions of people out of poverty,” Brown tells me. “The three-legged stool — Social Security, pensions, private savings — has seen two of the legs sawed off for a large number of people. It’s time to look at expanding Social Security as an issue of retirement security.”

Brown said he expects Republicans to renew attacks on disability insurance (as opposed to the retirement security portion) to divide supporters of Social Security and renew the push for structural changes to the program, and said Dems could use that to draw an effective contrast. SSDI’s trust fund is set to be depleted soon, but that could be solved by a reallocation fix that’s been done before, rather than a deep benefits cut, which Republicans may press for. 
“They want to separate ‘good’ Social Security (retirement security) from ‘bad’ Social Security (disability insurance), to win support for structural reform,” said Brown, who is holding a Senate Finance sub-committee hearing tomorrow on the overall program. “The attacks on disability insurance will accelerate. This is how they will try to back-door the dismantling of social insurance. But the public is with us on social insurance.”

Brown noted that such an issue could play well in the midterms. “The electorate is older, so the field is fertile for Democrats to talk about this,” he said. “We should turn up the volume.”
There's not a single Democratic voter in Kentucky who would not be thrilled to vote for a candidate who supported Brown on this.  In fact, the only Kentuckians who would not be so thrilled would be the very repug voters Alison is courting despite there being less than zero chance that they will ever, ever, vote for her or any other Democratic candidate.

I guess there really are some people you just can't help.

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