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Social Security Under H. Clinton?

 
 
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2016 09:49 am
POLITICSWhat’s scarier than Donald Trump? Hillary Clinton’s plans to gut Social SecurityTom Cahill | October 20, 2016
http://usuncut.com/politics/clinton-social-security/
As the sun sets on Donald Trump’s presidential ambitions, a likely Hillary Clinton victory means her intent to defund Social Security may come to fruition.

The Democratic nominee recently came under fire in revealing articles by Naked Capitalism’s Yves Smith and International Business Times’ David Sirota, for her potential plans to introduce mandatory retirement savings accounts set up to enrich Wall Street — rather than expanding Social Security.

Under the new mandatory accounts, Americans would pay a 1.5 percent payroll tax to go directly into retirement accounts managed by Wall Street banks that would invest in private equity, hedge funds, and other investments that would come with hefty fees for fund managers, all courtesy of U.S. taxpayers. One of the biggest proponents of mandatory retirement savings accounts is Blackstone CEO Tony James — one of Hillary Clinton’s biggest campaign donors — who is a possible pick for Treasury Secretary in a Clinton administration.

In an email to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta leaked by WikiLeaks, James laid out the details of the retirement savings account proposal, while simultaneously making the case to dismantle Social Security.

“We do not believe the problem can be solved by making Social Security better funded and/or adding a higher minimum benefits for several reasons,” James wrote. “Social Security was designed as a safety net for those facing poverty in old age. It was never meant to be a vehicle to guarantee a middle class retirement,” he continued.

However, according to the Social Security administration’s website, Social Security was designed to “assure workers that their years of employment entitled them to a life income.”

If Clinton wins, and appoints Tony James as her Treasury Secretary, the retirement savings accounts may become more than just a pipe dream. As David Sirota wrote, the biggest beneficiary of the program that may replace Social Security would be the fund managers themselves, extracting fees for managing retirement savings

“If this gets enacted, there are going to be thousands and thousands and thousands of asset managers that will benefit I suppose because more savings and more investment benefits all asset managers of every stripe,” James said in an interview with Bloomberg News.

When placed side-by-side with George W. Bush’s plans to merely introduce voluntary personal retirement accounts in his 2005 State of the Union address, Tony James’ plan for mandatory accounts is far more sinister.

“As we fix Social Security, we also have the responsibility to make the system a better deal for younger workers,” Bush said. “And the best way to reach that goal is through voluntary personal retirement accounts.”

While Hillary Clinton’s closeness to Wall Street executives like James may seem innocuous as a former U.S. Senator from New York, the possibility of a Tony James appointment becomes more probable when looking at Clinton’s past statements to closed-door audiences on the topic of Social Security and Medicare.

In another WikiLeaks release, excerpts of Hillary Clinton’s paid speeches reveal the Democratic presidential nominee endorsed the Simpson-Bowles plan — which proposes cutting $1.4 trillion from Social Security — saying it “put forth the right framework.” In another paid speech to apartment industry lobbyists, Clinton made an impassioned argument for austerity, referring to Social Security and Medicare as “entitlements” in the same way Tony James did in his email to Podesta.

“Do we have to do something about entitlements? Yes. Do we have to figure out what we want to be as a nation and then pay for it? Yes. Do we have to restrain spending so that we don’t bankrupt ourselves and undermine our position at home and abroad? Yes,” Clinton told the National Multi-Housing Council in 2013.

While Clinton tweeted during the Democratic Primary that she would expand, not cut Social Security, she also said on certain issues, she had a position used for the public, and a separate, private position reserved for closed-door meetings.

“If everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least,” Clinton said in the same 2013 speech. “So, you need both a public and a private position.”
 
Blickers
 
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Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2016 10:06 am
Quote article:
Quote:
In an email to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta leaked by WikiLeaks, James laid out the details of the retirement savings account proposal, while simultaneously making the case to dismantle Social Security.

I stopped reading right there. An Email by somebody to John Podesta stolen by the Russians counts for exactly zero, since we can count on the Russians to adulterate the Email to suit their foreign policy needs. In this case, the Russians' number one foreign policy priority is to get rid of NATO. Their number two foreign policy priority is to get Trump elected so he can get rid of NATO for Russia. Nice try, though, Edgar.

What did Bill Clinton do to Social Security when he was president? He strengthened it. 16 Million Full Time jobs paying into Social Security and Medicare pushed back the year the funds would run out of money quite a bit. Both Social Security and Medicare are Democratic programs and have been kept afloat by Democrats since their inception. For some decades, Republicans jumped on board, but since the rise of the Tea Party, these programs have been under attack and Democrats have been fighting the good fight to keep them in roughly their original shape. The idea that Hillary would do anything to end Social Security as we know it is nonsense, and since the source is Wikileaks via Russia, we know it's nonsense.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
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Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2016 10:59 am
@edgarblythe,
An email to Podesta is not the Clinton policy position on Social Security. She spoke about this in the last debate and made her policy position completely clear - raise the Social Security wage base. I'm sure team Clinton gets all sorts of policy proposals from various factions. I can't see why I would immediately assume those proposals were going to be adapted.
edgarblythe
 
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Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2016 11:23 am
Clinton is almost certainly getting elected. When you buy a pig in a poke you got to look at it with suspicion until they do/don't do the right thing.
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
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Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2016 01:57 pm
@engineer,
If only Hillary would actually tell anyone what her actual plans were. Instead, all we get are Trump jokes from her.

glitterbag
 
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Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2016 02:00 pm
@McGentrix,
You hear what you want to hear.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
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Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2016 04:06 pm
Podesta
Was a founder of Podesta Group.

The Podesta Group is a lobbying and public affairs firm based in Washington, D.C.. It was founded in 1988 by brothers John Podesta and Tony Podesta and has previously been known as Podesta Associates, podesta.com and PodestaMattoon.[1][2][3] The firm most recently reorganized in January 2007 after current Chairman Tony Podesta split with former business partner Dan Mattoon.[3]

Podesta Group represents U.S. corporations, as well as non-profits, associations and governments.[4] It "has close ties to the Democratic Party and the Obama administration"[5] although its CEO, Kimberley Fritts, is identified by the group as "a fixture in Republican politics," having worked for former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. [6]

The firm reported earning $27.4 million in lobbying fees in 2011.[7] In 2007, Chairman Tony Podesta was ranked by his peers as the third most influential lobbyist in Washington.[8]

Lobbying and public affairs activities[edit]

Tony Podesta with Senator Kay Hagan and husband Chip at a 2009 party hosted by Podesta Group
The Podesta Group has been retained by Wal-Mart, BP and Lockheed Martin."[5] Other clients include Abdisalam Omer, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, Amgen, Bank Of America, Cherokee Nation (Casinos), Cintas, Covidien, Duke Energy, Egypt, Genentech, General Dynamics, Harrah's Entertainment, Heineken, Merck, Michelin, National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), National Public Radio (NPR), Nestle, Novartis, Orange County, Florida, Raytheon, Reed Elsevier, Republic of Albania, Republic of Georgia, Sallie Mae, Sunoco, Synthetic Genomics, TJX Companies, Tyco Electronics, Republic of Kenya and United Technologies.[9][10][11]

In addition, the Podesta Group acts as a lobbyist for Egypt on U.S. policies of concern, activities in Congress and the Executive branch, and developments on the U.S. political scene generally,' according to forms filed with the Justice Department in 2009."[5][12]

They also received revenue of $900,000 over the last two years from the "European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, a Brussels-based organization sympathetic to Viktor Yanukovych and his political party".[13]

The Podesta Group also carries out public relations work for the government of Azerbaijan for a monthly fee of USD 60,000 plus expenses.[14] According to human rights watchdog organizations, the government of Azerbaijan in mid-2014 has "intensified its already authoritarian crackdown on independent political and other public voices" and has imprisoned at least 40 political activists, human rights defenders, journalists and others "on various trumped-up charges, including drug possession, tax evasion, and even treason". [15] [16] Similarly, the former government of Albania, led by former prime minister Sali Berisha, a leader with autocratic tendencies, is another in the list of questionable clients for whom the Podesta Group has lobbied in Washington DC.

Krumple
 
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Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2016 04:26 pm
@edgarblythe,
The thing is SS is already insolvent. They will deny it but it's true. Ss was oringinally created to help prepare people for retirement. The corupt political leaders see all this saved money and decided to start spending it. Now it became a system where the employed paid for the retirement of others.

Essentially the government said people were too stupid to save for their retirement so they came up with a way to force them to save. But it got mishandled by the government and now can no longer support itself. So those who are and have been paying into might not actually get any when they do retire.

The government created the problem and abused the solution and now it's a new problem.
Blickers
 
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Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2016 06:57 pm
@edgarblythe,
Quote edgar's article:
Quote:
They also received revenue of $900,000 over the last two years from the "European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, a Brussels-based organization sympathetic to Viktor Yanukovych and his political party".[13]

Ummm, say what? Yanukovych has been out of power and out of the picture in Ukraine for two years. They didn't receive money over the last two years from his party at all.
0 Replies
 
Blickers
 
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Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2016 08:17 pm
@Krumple,
Not surprising it's insolvent, we are recovering from an economic crash where 11 Million Full Time jobs were lost. That's a lot of Social Security and Medicare payments that never got made.

However, the Social Security Trust Fund won't run out until 20134, and with the improving economy will be set back farther than that. Social Security is one of the most successful programs ever, it prevents people from being without funds in their old age which was the case before it was ever enacted.

It is a great program which deserves our support.

cicerone imposter
 
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Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2016 10:54 pm
@Blickers,
Under hillaryclinton.com:
Social Security isn’t just a program—it’s a promise. As president, Hillary will:
Defend Social Security against Republican attacks.

I know she can't be trusted, but why would she destroy her own legacy as president by destroying social security?

As blickers said above, social security is funded until 2034. To expand it, all they have to do is make some adjustments to age and payroll taxes.

That seems pretty doable to me! As 2034 becomes closer, the people looking forward to retirement is going to have a revolution in this country unless the elected officials take care of it. I'll be long gone.
glitterbag
 
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Reply Sat 22 Oct, 2016 12:05 am
@cicerone imposter,
if they just allowed SSI to be taken out of wages longer instead of cutting it off at a fairly low wage, it would fill the coffers. But even as it stands, those who contribute to SSI will receive benefits when they retire. I will not receive SSI retirement because I contributed to a Federal Employee retirement plan.
cicerone imposter
 
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Reply Sat 22 Oct, 2016 08:26 pm
@glitterbag,
I've kept track of my earnings and social security contributions during my working years. I have received more in benefits than I have paid into it.
If that is true for most beneficiaries, I wonder why congress doesn't act on it to make the necessary adjustments. Baby boomers are now retiring in droves, and they will outnumber workers soon. The writing is clearly noticed by everybody, but congress doesn't seem interested in addressing the long-term issues.
Blickers
 
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Reply Sat 22 Oct, 2016 08:37 pm
@cicerone imposter,
There will always be people who collect less from Social Security than they paid into it. Like the 55 year old guy who dies in a car crash.
glitterbag
 
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Reply Sat 22 Oct, 2016 11:54 pm
@Blickers,
Many people die before they are old enough to collect, and even though baby boomers are retiring and most of them had fewer children this those who came before us, a ton of younger workers are entering the workforce, and it all evens out eventually. More retirees now but more younger workers who are having more children, coming up from behind.
cicerone imposter
 
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Reply Sun 23 Oct, 2016 05:18 pm
@glitterbag,
Here's a report on labor force change from 1950 to 2050. The increase in Asian workers is quite significant.
http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2002/05/art2full.pdf
Some interesting stats in Silicon Valley.
http://brandongaille.com/42-interesting-silicon-valley-demographics/
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