Friday, December 10, 2010

FDR against payroll tax cut

Think! Think! It ain't illegal yet.
-- Funkadelic

About six years ago, maybe to the day, I was sitting up in the offices of Dean for America, and someone who had come to the campaign supposedly as a Labor representative came up to me and said, "Let's announce cutting the payroll tax." Now I had heard plenty of bad political ideas up in Burlington, but this one shot straight to the top. It's the political equivalent of suggesting we get a big gun and shoot ourselves in head, the reaction is instantaneous and primal.

I looked up and said, "Do you even know what the payroll tax is?" And then without waiting for an answer shouted, "It's social security. So, let me get this right. For the last month, Richard Gephardt has been pounding the shit out of us from one end of Iowa to the other, saying Howard is going to cut social security. He's doing this because the great vast majority of people who are going to caucus in a few weeks, are above, at, or near retirement age, few with savings, and even fewer with pensions. And you want to announce we're going to cut the funding mechanism for social security?!!!"

That's your big time Democratic presidential politics folks. At that point, it was getting darker and colder up in Burlington by the day. The campaign, which was really quite a beautiful thing, was being heavily infested by the DC leech class. These were people who normally would go with the established front runner, but Trippi and Dean had confused the issue way back in the spring. And by December, if you didn't know better, it seemed Howard was on his way to the nomination, so the leeches were attaching themselves to every campaign orifice. But ho-ho-ho Bubba, we had the last laugh on that one, didn't we?

So, when I heard about Obama's payroll tax cut, and even better it being reported as a Democratic gain, it was like a bad flashback. Yesterday, the Huffingtonpost had a piece making it all so clear stating,

But an array of other Clinton vets has stepped up to handle the sales job on taxes on the Hill and in town. Key names include: Lawrence Summers, Gene Sperling, Ron Klain, Jack Lew and John Podesta. Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, is an early Obama advisor, but he's philosophically in tune with the economic views of the Clinton types.
Doesn't that just conjure up the image of the capitol as rotting piece of flesh oozing with maggots?

Make no mistake folks, the payroll tax cut is a direct attack on social security. Greider has a good short piece to the nut, though he's far too kind to the bastards. He quotes Nancy Altman of Social Security Works. I ran across this Altman piece within hours of the payroll tax announcement, as she instantly realized the threat it was. She had a great quote from FDR, which says it all,

"I guess you're right on the economics. They are politics all the way through. We put those pay roll contributions there so as to give the contributors a legal, moral, and political right to collect their pensions and their unemployment benefits. With those taxes in there, no damn politician can ever scrap my social security program. Those taxes aren't a matter of economics, they're straight politics."
People need to think about this a good long while. Much of the creation and structure of social security goes against what gets purported as "liberal" economics and politics today. You're raising taxes in the middle of the Depression? You're making poor people contribute? We need to rethink a lot of things.

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