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Current location: New York City
Member since: Fri May 29, 2015, 08:51 PM
Number of posts: 1,772

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Congress and White House Near Deal on Budget: cuts to Medicare and Social Security Disability


While congressional aides cautioned that the deal was far from certain, and the Treasury Department declined to comment, officials briefed on the negotiations said the emerging accord would call for cuts in spending on Medicare and Social Security disability benefits.

“We have worked assiduously to protect the privacy and confidentiality of those discussions,” said Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, because the negotiators have been operating under the principle that no single item would be agreed to until every issue under discussion had been settled.

My guess is that this was leaked by either side to blow up this deal. Now good luck getting anyone on either side to vote for the deal.

Why didn't Bernie use his bully pulpit in Vermont to fund single payer (which was already passed)?

Sure, sure. Bernie supporters always mock people who bring up this question and say it's not his job because he's not a local or state politician. He's a US Senator. Yeah we get that. Really.

But do people who are not in local/state government have the ability to influence public policy at the local/state government levels? Union leaders? Business leaders? Religious leaders? Civil right leaders? US Senators?

Was Martin Luther King Jr ever part of any local, state, or federal government? Was Susan Anthony?

Either Bernie didn't try (didn't care enough) or he tried and failed. Which is it?

If you embrace socialism you should embrace both the social safety net as well as the high taxes

Hence I would love to see Bernie embrace both aspects when he points to Denmark. I would love for him to explain this during his great speech on socialism: "under socialism, taxes are going to go up on everybody to pay for a robust social safety net".

Only then can we have a fair debate on policies and issues, which his supporters have been lording over others for months. But far they have been talking about the social benefits without the costs part. It's great to promise free health care, free parental leave, free state college tuition and room & board, expanded social security, extinguishing of student loans, etc, and bash Clinton for not promising all this. But what's the plan to pay? I agree with Clinton that we need a progressive who gets things done (not make promises that can't be funded). It's very unfair to her because she's realistic that she doesn't promise all this benefits when she knows it's not going to get funded. Why didn't Vermont fund single payer? Why was Obama forced to drop his plan to tax college 529 plans to fund free community college for all? These are the perfect examples of when dreams meet reality.

Hence I'm very excited that he's finally starting to talk about the costs part. This shows that finally he is getting serious about thinking of how to pay. His supporters should be as well. However I'm puzzled why many of his supporters are running away from a miserly 0.2% increase in the payroll tax to fund parental leave.

Let's put it to a fair debate on both the costs and the benefits. And let the people decide if they want to pay the costs for the benefits.

Here's the tax rates for Denmark

1 USD is about 6.5 DKK.

0%: Up to 41 000 DKK
37.48%: 41 001 – 279 800
43.48%: 279 801 – 335 800
59%: 335 801 and over

Sanders endorses small tax hike on all to fund family leave


Bernie Sanders says it's not just Wall Street and corporate America that would pay more if he's elected president: All workers would face a slight payroll tax hike.

The Vermont senator who's seeking the Democratic presidential nomination said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that the across the board increase would come as part of his push to guarantee paid family leave.

Sanders touted a measure sponsored in the Senate by Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand of New York that would impose a new 0.2% payroll tax to finance family leave payments. The proposal would allow workers to get up to 66% of their salaries as paid family leave for up to 12 weeks.

Thoughts? Do you agree?

I do. I believe that all the new government spending Bernie wants should be financed by everyone not just the top 1% or top 10%. That's what a real socialist society is about (everybody pays and everybody benefits).

I'm also very happy that finally he is getting serious about rolling out his policy positions on the "who pays" part and admitting that he can't raise all the money from the rich. Also, remember this is just one part of his platform. Soon I'm sure he will discuss how he wants to pay for free public college, universal health care for all (couldn't work in Vermont), etc.

Sanders supporters, do you still support him if he asks you to help pay for his policy platform?

One of the biggest criticism of Sanders is that he's pushing for a large expansion in government spending (free public college, universal health care, expanded Social Security, etc.) without specifying exactly how he's going to pay for it.

It's an absolutely fair question to ask whether people who support universal health care are actually willing to help pay for it. Look at Vermont where universal health care was ultimately too expensive for people to swallow. Look at people complaining about the Cadillac tax or how their ACA plan costs more because of benefits they don't use (by design, ACA gets the insured to subsidize the uninsured, men to subsidize women and the young to subsidize the old). Seems that people want universal health care in principle but not so much the paying part.

Sure he makes some vague references to a financial transaction tax (but of course the devil is in the details such as is he going to subject pension plans and 401k's to the tax? is the tax going to raise as much money as he thinks?) and raising the FICA cap (how does that change the benefits to people who pay more when they retire? Why does he have a donut hole below $250k?) and increased taxes on the 1% or corporations.

So, let's assume that Sanders has already risen taxes significantly on the rich and corporations and finds out that he needs more money. if Sanders proposes paying for his platform through something that affects you directly (you have to pay significantly higher taxes without getting net benefits), will you still support him? Let's say you're nearing retirement and he wants to pay for free college by taxing your pension or 401-k or Social Security. Or let's say you're a fresh graduate and he wants to pay for universal health care or expanded Social Security by raising your federal income taxes.

Here's the tax rates for Denmark

1 USD is about 6.5 DKK.

0%: Up to 41 000 DKK
37.48%: 41 001 – 279 800
43.48%: 279 801 – 335 800
59%: 335 801 and over

"I have a dream" speech is copyrighted. How do Sanders supporters feel about it?

Should King have sued companies who were violating his copyright?

Just curious because you seem to think that public interest trump copyright law and protection of intellectual property.

Why are Sanders supporters so upset (if Sanders crushed it)?

If the pundits are wrong and that the majority of voters think Sanders crushed Clinton in the debate, eventually this will translate into support and (well) votes in the primaries and the general election.

So just chill, ignore the noise and play for the long game.

Sprouting conspiracy theories about the media really doesn't help your cause.

Clinton was poised and presidential. Sanders seems like the Occupy crowd

angry and belligerent and ultimately went nowhere.

If all the headlines are about Clinton winning, it will influence people who didn't watch the debate

Clearly it was a great night for Clinton.

Not only does she get to block Biden, she had the most airtime (you might not agree with her policies but Sanders needed the publicity more) and gets the most headlines.

Why pundits matter if they all say Clinton won

Beyond the obvious that some people gravitate towards the winners, Sanders is the one who needs more publicity. Does not help him at all if all the news is about Clinton winning.
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