| Even though our last Democratic president was running consecutive surplus budgets and America was poised to pay off the national debt to Zero:
[I]n fiscal year 1998, the country reached a balanced budget for the first time since fiscal year 1969.
From fiscal years 1998 to 2001, the nation achieved a surplus each time for a combined total of about $559 billion. The last surplus budget year ended under President George W. Bush, but it began while Clinton was still in office.
(Mark Udall was in Congress at the time. Z)
The last time there were at least four consecutive surplus budgets was the period between fiscal years 1927 and 1930.
Our Democratic leaders, bless their little hearts, including President Obama and Democratic Senators Udall and Bennet are still hell-bent on cutting Social Security. The difference between their plan and the Romney/Ryan plan is that they say won't "slash" it:
"Social Security is structurally sound," Obama told Lehrer. "It's going to have to be tweaked the way it was by Ronald Reagan and Speaker -- Democratic Speaker Tip O'Neill. But it is -- the basic structure is sound."
True dat...Social Security is sound:
The 2012 Trustees Report shows that Social Security is 100 percent solvent until 2033, but faces a moderate long-term shortfall. In 2011, Social Security had a surplus - revenue plus interest income in excess of outgo - of $69 billion. Reserves are projected to grow to $3.1 trillion by the end of 2020. Then, if Congress takes no action in the meantime, reserves would start to be drawn down to pay benefits.
In the highly unlikely event that Congress does not act before 2033, the reserves would be depleted and revenue coming into the trust funds from workers' and employers' contributions would cover about 75 percent of scheduled benefits.
Social Security does not need "tweaking".
As Krugman has repeatedly said it would be politically suicidal for Dems to go along with Republicans to slash it á la Bowles-Simpson, the right-wing budget solution that Udall and Bennet seem compelled to enact:
To it's critics, the plan is shortsighted and is poised to enact irreparable harm to the economy.
Economist Paul Krugman is probably the foremost critic of the plan. He's called the plan and the people behind it "unserious." From a blog post penned at the end of September:
Simpson-Bowles is terrible.
Krugman criticizes one of the most significant portions of the plan as well, the decision to raise the Social Security retirement age, describing it as classist:
It mucks around with taxes, but is obsessed with lowering marginal rates despite a complete absence of evidence that this is important.
It offers nothing on Medicare that isn't already in the Affordable Care Act.
And it raises the Social Security retirement age because life expectancy has risen - completely ignoring the fact that life expectancy has only gone up for the well-off and well-educated (like Mark Udall and Michael Bennet - z), while stagnating or even declining among the people who need the program most.
Why do senior Democrats in Washington, DC feel compelled to do what's in the best interests of Republican politicians and their 1% Peers instead of what's in the best interests of those American citizens who've been paying into Social Security their entire lives and those who we are obligated to support by virtue of our nation's most compelling ideals?
Let me, your humble blogger, answer that:
Barack Obama is running against Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and the Bain-ing of our economy. He and his Democratic errand boys in the senate should take to heart the fact that the (D) behind their names represents the exact opposite of what Bain Capital has done to workers and corporations in America. It shouldn't take a wild-eyed, librul, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist or a dumb, Cheeto-stained blogger to point out the simple truth.