Keep the Government’s Hands Off My Medicare and Social Security!

The Teabagger’s concerns aren’t too far off the mark. With an eye on running for Governor of California, Senator Diane Feinstein has unveiled a plan to create a super-commission tasked with gutting the country’s most popular and effective social programs, Social Security and Medicare.

According to the article on Credo, Calfornia’s senior Senator is willing to cripple the federal government by blocking any increase to the debt ceiling unless she gets her way. And her way is to create a commission that’s given extraordinary legislative powers:

“The commission would be able to offer legislation in both chambers of Congress that could not be filibustered or amended and that would pass on simple majority vote.”

So, it appears that Democrats can operate with resolve. Rather than make Social Security solvent by removing the cap upon which wages can be taxed – Income over $100,000 per year is Social Security Tax-Free – meaning the wealthy get a tax break, but not the minimum wage earner — Senator Feinstein would cut benefits to retiree’s whose sole income is Social Security.

Now, I must admit, I am a bit biased against Senator Feinstein. She lost my vote when she voted for a Constitutional Amendment aimed at restricting a particular form of political speech, flag burning. But she’s revealing her true Corporate Colors now.

And, one more thing to think about. If a super-commission can be created and given the powers to introduce legislation that cannot be filibustered, cannot be amended, cannot be blocked:


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9 thoughts on “Keep the Government’s Hands Off My Medicare and Social Security!

  1. Cutting Social Security benefits to people that rely totally on these benefits is cruel and targets the poor. Once again, the poor and middle class will be the losers while the rich, well, they can have their cake and eat it too.

  2. I’m looking into this in some depth. What I want to know is how this “commission” gets created? Does the bill come out of the Senate Budget Committee?

    Let’s say it does. Assuming all ten Republicans would vote for it, and two Democrats on the Budget Committee are part of this group threatening to vote against a debt ceiling increase, so it can be assumed they would also. That’s 12 out of 23 votes. The question then becomes, would Chairman Kent Conrad allow it to be considered by the committee?

    Assuming it clears the Budget Committee, all 40 Republicans are sure to vote for it, and the ten Democrats, including DiFi, listed in this article, gives them 50 votes. This would get them close to a majority, but could the bill be filibustered? Not if it were offered under budget reconciliation, which it should qualify for, under Senate rules. Then, of course, will Harry Reid cave and allow the bill onto the floor? I’m betting he will, so the petition needs to go to him, also, not just Dianne Feinstein.

    So the place to stop this bill is not the Senate, it’s the House. We have a much better chance to stop it there. But if the ten Democrats and the forty Republicans make good on their threat to refuse to raise the debt ceiling anyway, and Reid can’t raise it with fifty votes plus Joe Biden, cuts will be made anyway.

    This is shaping up as a nasty fight between advocates of the “haves” versus the advocates of the rest of us. As important as this could be, I bet it doesn’t take a tenth as long to be decided as healthcare reform has taken.

    I’d also like to know the makeup of the commission. If the right people were on it, in proportional numbers, a lot of good could come out of it. Once it’s created, though, if the Republicans ever got control again, it could be our worst nightmare.

  3. According to the article, Feinstein is willing to shut down the federal government if she doesn’t get her way.

    So, unless she’s bluffing and Reid calls her bluff, she’ll get her way. Social Security and Medicare will be cut.

  4. Matt Yglesias had a piece on this back in November, too.

    “You rarely do have the leverage to make a fundamental change,” said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), who said he hasn’t ruled out offering the independent commission legislation as an amendment to the healthcare reform bill.

    Now we have to watch out for this to come up during the healthcare debate!

  5. This makes me sick to my stomach. It’s unbelievable that anyone would try to do such a thing, especially someone purportedly on “our side.”

    What does Feinstein think this will get her? Certainly not the governorship of California.

    I’m sick that we are even at the point of slashing funds for those who most need it — for political gamesmanship.

  6. AARP should be looking into this. They are a powerful lobby and will put tremendous pressure on Congress to NOT cut Social Security and Medicare. Making the proposed cuts to SS and Medicare will be political suicide. As they say, SS and Medicare are the “third rail”.

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