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Catfood For Everyone!


Shorter Matt Miller: “Things are really bad for young people today. And yet our two-party duopoly resists the obvious solution: slashing Social Security and Medicare for current seniors as well as future ones. Because there’s nothing that would improve the prospects of a couple with 300K of student loan debt and bad, insecure jobs than having to financially support their parents after they move into their basement.”

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  • foosion

    Many people forget that young people some day may become old people, at which point they might like some Social Security

    • ny nick

      Mitt Romney paid an effective rate of 12% on an income of over 20mil last year. That that wasn’t news tells you all you need to know about the state of our economy. We can have a social safety net or we can have stupidly low tsxes for billionaires. We can’t have both. The funny thing is, we’re very likely to have the latter. Our leaders on both sides are horrible, evil people. We need new ones and fast

  • Pith Helmet

    Hear me, Americans under 35!

    35?! Try 55!

    • J. Dimon, World’s Greatest CEO

      Let me just say that Matt certainly has some great ideas. But in addition to ‘adjustments’ to the current SSI structure, we need to consider Privatization as the alternative to interference in the lives of America’s businessmen an obviously failed system.

      Our Financial Services Industry stands ready to squeeze every last dime out of Americans who aren’t of the ‘winner’ class assist in every way we can. Because the future belongs to the strong, and weak culls will have to be left in the forest to die can be bright and happy for me everyone!. We just need to pay ridiculously small bribes to politicians, relative to the returns we get find the political will to get us there!

      • Howlin Wolfe

        If you knew Jamie like you knew Jamie!

  • dp

    The bipartisan urge to gut Social Security for no good reason never ceases to amaze me.

    • Joshua

      This Social Security debate is such BS. All these fancy people with important titles and expensive cocktail party invites lie with impunity and make no sense. If they aren’t lying, they are talking out their ass (see: Bowles proving he can’t read an actuarial table, after decades of being the supposed go-to-guy on this matter). They just say terrible things about their fellow Americans (“time to drink your medicine”) that make each other feel good.

      It’s a perfect example (like the Iraq war) of why Americans don’t trust their leaders. David Brooks, of course, is in favor of gutting Social Security. As if.

    • mds

      Yeah, sometimes it does seem odd, given the lack of any “there” there. I know the Underpants Gnomes Maneuver is a rather shopworn internet tradition, but:

      (1) Things are really bad for young people today.

      (2) Gut Social Security.

      (3) ???

      (4) Young people benefit.

      No one ever seems to fill in (3) with anything that makes sense and would make it through Congress.

      • firefall

        anything that makes sense and would make it

        OR not AND

      • Joshua

        There is a 100% chance that Matt Miller knows he is writing complete grade-A bullshit. Think about that. He is writing for one of this country’s leading newspapers… and his column is complete and total crap. He knows it, his editor knows it, and anyone with any influence reading the column knows it.

        • Davis X. Machina

          Pecunia non olet, not E pluribus unum, should be on the currency.

          The latter, while time-honored, is suspiciously communitarian, if not flat-out collectivist.

        • Pith Helmet

          He’s writing FOR his editor, who is RW hack Fred Hiatt. You think Hiatt would let a defense of SS on his op-ed pages?

          Hacks have to eat too, donchaknow

          • Joshua

            Fred Hiatt knows it is bullshit too. That’s the point.

            Fred Hiatt is not a dumb man. He is high from smelling his own farts for decades, and he is lazy, but he is not dumb. He knows what is going on with SS. He was around in the 1980’s.

            He just has an ideology and gets aroused at the thought of screwing over working class people. That’s what drives him, not any concern for the facts.

            • Pith Helmet

              I think you give the man who keeps Will, Kraphammer, Gershon, Parker and torture-apologist Marc Thiessen on the masthead waaaay too much credit. If he is ideology-driven, how do you know he knows it’s bullshit. True believers really believe what they believe. It’s why people handle snakes.

            • Holden Pattern

              Stupid or evil is not an exclusive-or calculation.

            • He just has an ideology and gets aroused at the thought of screwing over working class people. That’s what drives him, not any concern for the facts.

              Bingo!! Which means most of our elites are evil!!!

              • sherparick

                But as Holden Pattern says, that does not exclude being extremely stupid as well. Hiatt is constantly surprised at the way the circulation of the Post is dropping like a stone.

                As usual in such column, Matt never discusses that the princely sum that average social security beneficiary receives in 2012 is $1,229 a month! It is really hard to find this figure as it is on this secret site: http://www.ssa.gov/pressoffice/colafacts.htm

                But Matt is a servant of the plutocrats and speaks on their behalf. $1,229 a month is far to much! We could use that money for more tax cuts for rich people.

    • B

      All that it is is the elite’s desire to steal the country’s pension fund.

      All else is the sort of lies told by/for the elites when they attempt to steal the country’s pension fund.

    • 1watt

      It’s quite simple, there’s $2 trillion in reserves that the banksters want to get their hands on.

      • Joel

        That’s pretty much it. And their ability to borrow that money at cheap government interest rates (which is not really borrowing in the normal sense, since Congress wrote the law that requires SS to buy bonds with its surplus — captive lending) — well, that ability has been neutered by SocSec turning the corner and paying out more than it takes in.

        Of course, it has been known for years that would happen which is why SocSec taxes were increased in the 1980s. The whole point of saving up all that surplus was so they’d have money when they turned the corner.

        Anyway, for a smaller scale example of this in action, take a look at the history of the Texas Teacher’s Retirement Fund. The state turned over the slush fund to private investors, who proceeded to get very rich while soaking aging teachers.

  • TT

    Simpson was right then. He’s still right now.

    That sentence right there should permanently disqualify Miller from ever commenting on public policy matters.

    • timb

      If only….

    • What about people who appoint Simpson to head a deficit-reduction panel?

      • dewces

        You mean the one where the Senate centrists demanded a commission for there votes on the budget.

        • mark f

          And since it didn’t actually produce anything worse than a few Alan Simpson appearances on Sunday morning shows I don’t watch, I think we can forego burning Obama at the stake and settle for merely impeaching him.

      • joe from Lowell

        Depends on what he does with the commission.

        There’s a reason why the term “blue ribbon panel” is treated as a joke.

        • gmack

          Lenny: “Did he say a blue ribbon commission?”

          Carl: “Well, you can’t do any better than that!”

        • rea

          “Refer the issue to a special commission” has long been Washington-speak for “kill it quietly.”

      • timb

        Obama should have appointed a commission of Paul Krugman, me, Scott, and Robert Reich. I’m sure Congress would have appropriated money for it.

        Oh, hold it, you mean there are Republicans in Congress?

        • Malaclypse

          I always knew you were a conservative sellout. The commission should have been Atrios, Chairman Bob Akavian, Loomis – not the real Loomis, but the rabid Juche theorist who haunts JenBob’s fevered dreams, and finally Zombie Howard Zinn.

          • timb

            Yours is better, since, after all, I have been conditioned by my bettors to actually do work and that is clearly not work.

          • Scott Lemieux

            You’re all forgetting who really should have chaired the panel — Ron Paul, who would have saved Social Security by eliminating all federal tax revenue.

  • c u n d gulag

    No mention of raising any taxes.
    Funny, that…

    Raising taxes, and not Social Security, is now the “Third Rail” of American politics – especially on the rich.

    I mean, who’s going to fund Super PAC’s to help alter elections in their favor, if they have to pay more in taxes?

    • Malaclypse

      No mention of raising any taxes.

      Or of fewer wars.

      • firefall


  • Mudge

    Raising Social Security is the way to go. More Social Security, more people retire younger, more jobs for those under 35. Lower Medicare to 55 and even more people will retire.

    • c u n d gulag

      That makes too much sense!

      What ‘r ya – some kinda godless-socialist- heathen-communist-fascist-Liberal?

      • Mudge

        Guilty. I am burdened with sensibleness. Gets me in trouble at bars.

    • rea

      You’re assuming that reducing unemployment is a legitimate goal, but our lords and masters would tell you that we need high unemployment to help bring down wages, and make workers less uppity.

  • Pith Helmet

    I have a proposal that all congresspeoples, high-level administration officials, and SCOTUS justices should only have retirement benefits less than or equal to the SS retirement benefits for any American. Shared sacrifice, bitchez!

    • Davis X. Machina

      Would have negligible effect. For the most part, their investments, or wages from their employment — you can make serious money for nominal ‘work’ giving speeches or serving on a corporate board deep into old age — not their pensions, fund their comfortable retirements.

      • Pith Helmet

        Really is sickening that.

        • Davis X. Machina

          The only people it would hurt are folks like this — and there aren’t enough of them in Congress as their is.

          • Davis X. Machina

            Damn autocomplete…

  • Joe

    Knowing people with cats, catfood isn’t that cheap.

  • Dana

    I think you guys are really mischaracterizing Miller’s column. I actually think Matt Miller’s on record supporting tax increases over spending cuts to reduce deficits. And his final comment about Alan Simpson can well be interpreted as a slam against Simpson and the commission’s recommendations–that they’ve clearly not acted in the interest of younger Americans, Simpson knows this, and the quote demonstrates that. Simpson also knows this is a political problem, or would be if younger Americans cared.

    Our budget battles are (or will be) as much a struggle between generations as between classes. If younger Americans do not stick up for themselves they will get screwed, I guarantee it. It is much, much, much easier to cut benefits for people under 40 than for people over 60.

  • It is much, much, much easier to cut benefits for people under 40 than for people over 60.

    It is much, much easier to get run over by a train than by a container ship. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to take the kayak down to Port Elizabeth.

    • Davis X. Machina

      It is much, much, much easier to cut benefits for people under 40 than for people over 60.

      People over 60 generally don’t serve in wars, either.

      All you need to know in one graph about American electoral politics….

      • Dana

        Good points. Those who assert their interests realize those interests.

  • KeithOK

    At the federal level, seven dollars go to programs supporting elderly consumption for every dollar invested in people under 18. Nationally (after taking account of the fact that most education is paid for at the state and local level), the ratio is still 2 1 / 2 to one.

    Shocking. Simply shocking. People who spent their entire adult lives contributing to Social Security and Medicare are getting more out of it than those who have contributed little or nothing.

    Oh the injustice.

    Guess what. The elderly are also taking more money out of banks and 401Ks than those under 18, and at a much higher ratio than 2 1/2 to one. We must bring an end to that.

    • Pith Helmet

      We must bring an end to that.

      They’re working on it.

      • Davis X. Machina

        Traditionally, one has saved for boning last the people who reliably vote for you — this just before one stops having meaningful elections altogether.

        If we turn out to actually need a government, why Sheldon Adelson will just buy one for us.

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