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Thu Dec 12, 2013, 08:51 AM

Do we really want our elected officials to get along?

This was inspired by learning that Chris Matthews apparently wrote some book about how wonderful it was during the Reagan administration when everybody was just all chumming together there in Washington.

First of all, that makes me wonder if drugs were really that much better back in the 80's, but seriously, would we really want that today? With this bunch? When you have a gang of people in Congress who want to cut any sort of social safety net, gut Social Security, cut food stamps, fight against raising the pathetically low minimum wage -- are these people that we would want Dems to be friendly with?

I know we've had discussion on whether or not we lay liberals can really be friends with conservatives, and I think we can, but I think it's different with the politicians. I really don't want to see the Obamas having dinner with the Boehners. Because Boehner is an obstructionist ass at the very least. When one side is trying to push us to a pseudo-theocracy that can better serve their corporate masters and the 1%, I don't want the other side playing nice with them.

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Response to LisaLynne (Original post)

Thu Dec 12, 2013, 09:14 AM

1. yes

Right now the alternative is for December headlines to say "the least productive congress ever" from now on (that seems to be the track we're on). If you think Obamacare is perfect, then we don't need cooperation. If you think there are major problems that need to be fixed, then both sides will need to get along to fix them. I won't get SS for 20+ years. You may not want changes now, but I do since there is currently no plan for me to get SS and I'd rather not have that can get kicked for another 20 years.

The country is pretty split and neither party is likely to have big house & senate majorities plus the president soon. We can either have the 2 sides trying to make each other look bad and win the next election. Or they can get along and move forward with issues from both sides.

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Response to alc (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 12, 2013, 09:18 AM

2. No plan for you to get social security?

Does the social security program have an expiration date? I wasn't aware of that - do you want to bring up those worthless IOUs (i.e. US Treasury bonds) next?

The truth is that while the Social Security fund will require regular tweaks like any program, the idea that it is falling apart and needs to be cut back in order to "save it" is a right wing myth.

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 12, 2013, 09:29 AM

3. Yeah, it's a myth they've been trying to get accepted for a long time.

My mother, who is far from political, spotted the trend a long time ago. She used to tell us, "They are trying to get you young people to accept the fact that you won't have SS." It's been in the works and it is a myth, I agree. There is no crisis there. If things need to be tweaked, we have time to explore that and make rational decisions. I don't think those people want tweaks -- they want to dismantle it and are hoping that freaking everybody out and convincing them it's failing will allow them to do it.

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 12, 2013, 10:18 AM

11. it's pisses me off when I hear

"The trust fund is solvent until 2035 (or 33 or 37) so don't worry". There are currently no plans to give "full" benefits after that. There is no decision on what to do at that point. If you don't believe ssa.gov then there's really no reason to talk about it (everything is great forever into the future). If you do believe ssa.gov http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v70n3/v70n3p111.html

cost to rise by 2035 so that taxes will be enough to pay for only 75 percent of scheduled benefits.
If trust fund assets are exhausted without reform, benefits will necessarily be lowered with no effect on budget deficits

So, what is the plan for after 2035? Cut benefits to 75%? Maybe cut to 50% and rebuild the trust fund? Or just shut it down since benefits are not guaranteed http://www.ssa.gov/history/nestor.html.

Right now the track SS is on is for benefits to be cut by 75% when I need them. They don't plan to do that. They don't have any plan, just knowledge that they will need a change. The way things compound, putting a small change in place now (i.e. tax increase) can fix things. But a big change will be needed if they wait (i.e. 75% benefits). They can't even talk about a plan without people on both sides spouting lots of BS.


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Response to alc (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 12, 2013, 10:25 AM

13. That's because most of the people who are worried about the trust fund running out of funds

would like to see huge cuts to benefits right now. Or alternatively to turn the thing over to wall street.

It's like finding out that your horse has a minor hoof injury - one trainer says "Let's take some moderate steps to fix the problem, and I'm sure things'll work out." The other shakes his head and says "Time to put down the horse."

Bryant

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Response to alc (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 12, 2013, 09:29 AM

4. Well, I don't think working together and getting along are the same things.

Not what I was actually saying. I work well with a lot of people at my job that I don't actually get along with -- I would never invite them over or go out drinking after work with them.

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Response to alc (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 12, 2013, 10:01 AM

9. The ACA didn't get any Republican votes

So what difference did it make in that particular matter as to whether the two parties "got along" or not?

Since you used the ACA as your first example I think this is a fair question to ask you.

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Response to LisaLynne (Original post)

Thu Dec 12, 2013, 09:39 AM

5. Sure I want them to get along. I don't want my side to agree with the rightwing wackos,

but I do want my side to be able to talk to them -- and usually pleasantly -- because otherwise the news stories are "Billy says Joey stuck his tongue out at him on the playground" and everybody gets wrapped up in bullshit about "Did Joey did stick out his tongue or not?" and "Did Billy deserve it?" and "Is Billy a sissy or is Joey a meanie?" and anything else that sucks everybody's brains into a vacuum where we can't discuss real issues

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 12, 2013, 09:55 AM

8. That's a good point and I can agree with that.

The bickering is distracting.

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Response to LisaLynne (Reply #8)

Thu Dec 12, 2013, 10:04 AM

10. Some people deliberately engineer bickering as a distraction

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Response to LisaLynne (Original post)

Thu Dec 12, 2013, 09:45 AM

6. Yep. I do.

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Response to LisaLynne (Original post)

Thu Dec 12, 2013, 09:49 AM

7. I want them to have dinner together and talk. That's their job. I do not want them to "get along"

as far as when it comes to votes.

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Response to LisaLynne (Original post)

Thu Dec 12, 2013, 10:22 AM

12. I expect them to act like

professional, mature adults whether they like each other or not.

In the real world, the rest of us have to perform our jobs even if we dislike/disagree with our colleagues and there is a standard of acceptable behavior.

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Response to LisaLynne (Original post)

Thu Dec 12, 2013, 11:50 AM

14. I want representatives who will fight FOR me

against the neoliberals, neoconservatives, the 1%, and the religious gestapo.

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