Archive for August 12th, 2010

Washington Post Calls 85% Of America “Denialists”

Well isn’t this special…

The current focus of the Social Security denialists’ ire is President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which they view as a stalking horse for gutting Social Security. A new group, the Strengthen Social Security Coalition, which includes the AFL-CIO, the NAACP and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, asserts that the president’s two choices to chair the panel, Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson, “sent a clear message. Social Security is on the chopping block.” The groups’ list of what changes are unacceptable is longer than what it would consider: no increase in retirement age; no reduction in benefits; no “means testing.” Rather, they say, the adjustments should come from the revenue side. Though the possibilities are not specified, they include raising the payroll tax rate, raising the ceiling for income on which benefits are paid or finding a new revenue source, such as the estate tax or a new financial transactions tax.

We would prefer a more balanced solution, one that relies on a combination of revenue increases and benefit adjustments. On the revenue side, it’s essential that the funding source come from within the Social Security system itself. The coalition is correct that Social Security should not be used to deal with deficit problems outside the program, but the converse is also true: Getting Social Security on a sustainable footing should not add to the deficit. Raising the payroll tax ceiling to cover the same share of wages that it did in 1983 would make sense, but that would only solve about one-third of the long-term problem. Some adjustments on the benefits side, particularly making benefits less generous for the highest-income recipients, would also make sense.

…Or the payroll tax ceiling could simply be removed, which as I understand it would fix 100% of the problem.  Funny how “benefit adjustments” seems like a perfectly acceptable idea but removing the cap doesn’t.

But if the WaPo wants to call us denialists, we’re in good company:

Social Security turns 75 this week and remains an intensely popular program with voters of all ages, who strongly oppose cutting it to reduce the deficit, according to a new survey paid for by AARP and conducted by GfK Roper.

The poll, which was provided exclusively to HuffPost, finds that 85 percent of adults oppose cutting Social Security to reduce the deficit; 72 percent “strongly oppose” doing so.

Too bad there just doesn’t seem to be any political will for doing what a mere 85% of the country wants.

2 comments August 12th, 2010 at 11:39am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Economy,Media,Politics,Polls,Wankers

No One Could Have Anticipated…

Come on, did anyone really think that Congress would pass a financial reform bill that hurt Goldman Sachs?

As Wall Street scrambles to find the best and most profitable way to operate under the new financial reform law, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. — the firm that was expected to suffer the most under the legislation — could emerge practically unscathed.

(…)

[T]op Goldman executives privately advised analysts that the bank did not expect the reform measure to cost it any revenue.

“The statement was perhaps surprising in its level of conviction,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Guy Moszkowski wrote in a note to clients, “but we’ve learned to take such judgments from GS very seriously.”

(…)

The law, signed by President Obama in July, could force the trading of derivatives, a big business line for Goldman, onto exchanges. Regulators might allow the trading of some contracts over the counter but require that the resulting payments be handled by a clearinghouse.

Either way, “we think we are well positioned to be a market leader under the new rules,” said Jack McCabe, co-head of Goldman’s derivatives clearing service business.

Richard Bove, a bank analyst at Rochdale Securities, said he had changed his view of the law’s effect on Goldman.

“I thought this company was going to be really harmed by this bill; now I’ve figured out that it’s not going to happen,” he said. “They should win big here.”

It’s not Matt Drudge who rules our world.  It’s Goldman Sachs.

August 12th, 2010 at 07:07am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Economy,Politics,Wankers


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