[Marxism] Obama threatens to withhold SS checks if no budget deal

Fred Feldman ffeldman at verizon.net
Thu Jul 14 11:32:03 MDT 2011


Comment before article on the threat to freeze SS: 

The president is clearly now on a war footing on against Social Security and
Medicare, determined to become known as the president who took on these
entitlements and the deadbeats who rely on them. The threatened freeze on SS
in the coming "crisis" would be a great way to introduce permanent cuts that
would be required in order to get the system back on line. 

Obama aims to convince the super-rich that there is nothing the Republicans
can give them that he cannot give them, and some things he can give them
that Republicans would fail to pull off. The collapse of the Ryan budget
plan and the comparative advance of the Obama campaign against SS so far are
examples. 

 

Obama is intelligently presenting his support for slashing these fundamental
programs that working people conquered through struggles in the 1930s and
afterwards as a way of fighting the Republicans. And slowly but surely his
fellow liberals are mostly falling into line slowly but surely and with many
squeaks and quibble. For instance, the Nation and Salon, both of which I
follow (as you know from my posts) both include articles with denouncing the
Republicans for blocking an agreement when Obama is willing, not to say
eager, to place Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block to save
the nation from the apocalyptic deadline on increasing the debt limit. 

 

And now supposedly left-liberal Democrats say "no cuts in Social Security
and Medicare UNLESS there are tax increases for the rich."  Oh joy, the rich
have to pay or evade with the help of their talented layers, some new taxes,
all of it taxes on wealth created by workers, working farmers, artisans
(there are still lots of people doing this today, and they don't all live in
Woodstock. 

 

He expects the reward to be going well over the $100 million-plus campaign
treasury his team is seeking for 2012. 

 

It may be hard to imagine a campaign against the unemployed in the spirit of
the campaign against welfare from the 1970s through 1994, when Clinton
pulled off "the end of welfare as we know it," decimating the program -- the
first major federal assault on the Social Security programs won under
Roosevelt. But I think this is clearly part of the logic of the situation. 

 

If you remember, welfare was the cause of weakening families, drugs,
unemployment, and crime among Black people in particular. I foresee that we
will soon start being told (probably not until after the 2012 and it may
take place slowly but surely but I think this process has already clearly
begun) that unemployment compensation is creating a "culture of poverty" and
long-term unemployment among those who receive these benefits..  Cutting or
eliminating  unemployment insurance would surely be a way to inspire
businesses to "provide jobs," and to force the long-term unemployed to get
out of the wagon and start pulling their share of the load.  Perhaps
unemployed workers will be expected to "volunteer" into the fields or into
Sheriff Arpaio's chain gangs in Arizona to qualify for the reduced checks. 

 

The campaign to "end welfare as we know it" began with the policy of "benign
neglect" of the Black community and the poor and nonwhite more generally
under Nixon, pushed forward by the liberal Daniel Patrick Moynihan.  Today,
it is clear that the Obama administration has set off on a couse of "benign
neglect" of long-term unemployment.  The unemployed are beginning to be
demoted from temporarily disadvantaged members of the "middle class" who
deserve help to get back to their pri0 0rbeing part of a more-or-less
permanent "underclass" who represent a threat to decent, hard-working people
(like the welfare recipients and "criminals" and Black youth in general, of
the 70s through the 90s). 

 

The stress on the idea that people are unemployed because they lack "skills"
is part of shifting them from being part of the middle-class people to
chronic problems and pariahs outside the "real" America and needing, like
Bachmann's husband says about gays, to be "educated" and "discipllined." 

 

As for the Bush tax cuts for the rich, these are now to all intents and
purposes part of the US constitution, and far more secure and guaranteed
that the right not to be tortured into confessing or freedom to be a Muslim
or  the 14th amendment. 

 

The liberals at the Nation and Salon are warning that Obama will lose the
election if the jobless figures remain high. I think that is oldthink, in my
opinion. Unless there is a sharp upturn in the class struggle, or an
economic break that endangers the position of the rich, Obama's course
promises to win him overwhelming support from the rulers, whereas any
tendency to hold the line on Social Security or Medicare or advocating new
jobs programs would shift ruling-class support to Romney. 

 

I think in the present circumstances Romney is actually tempted to run to
Obama's left. 
But increasingly strong support for Obama among the top ruling families may
actually strong support for Obama among the top rich may actually enable
Bachmann win the Republican nomination. Romney may well end up stranded like
Nelson Rockefeller, not because the rich opposed them but because they were
satisfied with what they had in the white house. -

 

This would smooth Obama's course to a second term in 2012, as Goldwater's
nomination did for Lyndon Johnson in 1964. 

Fred Feldman

 

 

 

Obama Warns Of Social Security Freeze If Debt Deal Breaks Down "There may
simply not be the money in the coffers to do it." 

By Peter Fulham | Posted Tuesday, Jul. 12, 2011, at 3:46 PM EDT 

 

President Obama warned for the first time on Tuesday that if lawmakers fail
to reach a deal on raising the debt ceiling by Aug. 2, Americans expecting
to receive Social Security checks may be left empty handed. 

 

"I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3 if we haven't
resolved this issue, because there may simply not be the money in the
coffers to do it," Obama told CBS Evening News in an interview set to air
later Tuesday. 

 

"This is not just a matter of Social Security checks," Obama continued.
"These are veterans' checks. These are folks on disability ... There are
about 70 million checks that go out each month." 

 

Obama has asked Republicans to agree to a deal that would cut the deficit by
as much as $4 trillion over 10 years, which would include cuts to
entitlements as well as tax increases for businesses and wealthy Americans,
according to the New York Times. But Republican House Speaker John Boehner
pulled back from that proposal over the weekend, pushing instead for a
smaller, $2 trillion deal without any new tax revenues. 

 

 




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