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Senators Say Mulvaney Will Break Trump's Promises on Social Security, Medicare


#1

Senators Say Mulvaney Will Break Trump's Promises on Social Security, Medicare

Nadia Prupis, staff writer

Senate Democrats are calling for President Donald Trump's pick for director of Office of Management and Budget, Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), to be disqualified over his track record of supporting cuts to safety net programs.


#2

"Mulvaney also said he supported increasing defense spending,": In other words, since older people start dying off around their 70th year, they should just work until they drop dead because he wants more 'defense' spending, a.k.a. warfare. And more, black folks' life span is even less so they should subsidize the wealthy retirees who generally live longer? This is was perversion looks like. Resist. Total, non cooperation.


#3

The thing is, they know there is no popular mandate to do any of this. They know they weren’t elected to do this, they know these things are deeply unpopular. These policies are also a choice, they don’t have to do any of this. So, create massive social costs so private interests and the rich can profit. Externalize costs, privatize profits, which is basically what capitalism has come down to. It’s really interesting, because if you designed an economic philosophy that was intentionally trying to make everything worse for most people, this is basically what you’d do. There’s no way they’d even think of this if they thought the Democrats had the capacity to hold them responsible. However, the Democrats have named Schumer to lead them in the Senate, Pelosi in the House, they are backing neoliberals for the DNC chair and they are refusing to critically self-reflect on why their nominee lost to the most unpopular major party nominee ever. They see them lining up to get Booker the nomination and man, must they feel good. It’s hard to have faith in this system or either party. The left’s ideas are popular, but there’s no party pushing for them and even with these immensely popular programs, the right wing still wants to gut them. Having said all of this, if we had a truly progressive opposition party these people wouldn’t have power in the first place, and that is ultimately why everything is crumbling. Cause that isn't likely to emerge, especially if the left continues to throw all its eggs in the Democratic basket.

It’s also telling that the Democratic Party is being slightly dragged to the left and towards popular, progressive positions on issues by someone (Sanders) not officially in the party. It’s frustrating though, cause to me it doesn’t look like he is rescuing something worth rescuing. It looks like he’s hitching his sails the to the Titanic, and he’s letting neoliberal creeps attach themselves to him to gain credibility they don’t deserve as a means of trying to maintain power and legitimacy, without actually changing in ways that challenge their largest donors.


#4

I have to say, I really don’t like the resist phrasing. For one, it’s led by a lot of the people we should be resisting. Secondly, it’s defensive, necessarily. Most importantly, my entire life as an activist of the left has been protesting this or that, defending this or that. We are in this position because we haven’t created a viable comprehensive alternative to neoliberalism that we are organizing around. We should fight against these horrible things, but if we don’t go on the offensive, we’re toast. Our ideas are popular, but the left’s overall economic vision comes across as incoherent, and it shouldn’t be. Thatcher said, decades ago now her TINA comment (there is no alternative) and the left hasn’t really responded to her challenge since that time. Until that is the case, we won’t escape the downward spiral we’ve been on for decades now. Even if Trump loses in 2020, what if he loses to Booker? Well, obviously things will continue to get worse, just not as worse. Then what? Then another Trump emerges, maybe even a worse version, since things have gotten even worse than they are now. If the left doesn’t create a coherent vision that breaks with neoliberalism, soon, then it all may totally collapse economically and environmentally.


#5

Yes, I've been saying it for years. If the Dem's were not in bed with the same donor group as the Repugs they could put up a fight. They are compromised and can't be that opposing party. If they were we wouldn't be here. Hell, if Obama had been worth a shit we wouldn't be here.
Now it's just a matter of what Dem's will reach across the isle for and what they won't. Don't see much hope there.
The power is in the people and hopefully a new progressive party, if not, we're toast. It will be a revolution or climate change will level it all out. Maybe both.


#6

Bernie Sanders - the People's President - still speaking out for the little guy and gal and the Common Good, while establishment Dems vote with R'Cons on CIA torture nominee and big-pharma rip-offs of the people - those Dem sellouts will "normalize" with what is very much not normal, or moral.......as usual!


#7

Aside from the point that Booker is crap, which of course he is, are progressives only capable of thinking in 4 year segments? Stein appears to have re entered her four year nap.


#8

Wow that is the most coherent description of the present political climate that I have read in 1 place yet. Thanks for this Joan. I am going to cut and paste it to post elsewhere.


#9

Excellent summary.


#10

Social Security is a complicated issue, as is true of Medicare/Medicaid, and it's being spun out of control. It's worth noting that it is Democrats (the Clinton wing) that took the first steps to "reform" (phase out) Social Security, targeting the disabled.

Today's liberals specify that Social Security is a retirement program for workers. In fact, it is more than that. Social Security was established back when Americans still had a concept of "the common good." It provides needed benefits for the elderly and the disabled. Today's media redefine it as a savings account for workers. In fact, millions of women who were never in the workforce, paying into Social Security, were able to survive their senior years because of it. Workers who became too disabled to maintain gainful employment are able to survive because of it.

What came to be called AFDC (welfare) was first included in FDR's Social Security Act, later separated to focus on the specific needs of young families in poverty. The Clinton admin. got rid of that, and took the first steps to target the disabled, slashing benefits, etc. Liberals virtually ignored the consequences, leaving the door wide open for the further dismantling of Social Security itself, as well as Medicare/Medicaid.


#11

I like Sanders, but he became a "some people's" presidential candidate. He no longer acknowledges the masses who are far worse off than low wage workers. This is a distinct disconnect from reality, in a country that spent decades shutting down/shipping out jobs.

What matters is who we mean by, "We the People." Over the past 20 years, even liberals have redefined this to mean only those above a certain economic line.


#12

The coherent vision should be economic democracy. Wealth inequality lies at the root of all our grievances. There is a specific way to create an economic democracy..


#13

We are about to witness the dismantling of the democracy itself.


#14

Before I answer your question, I have to ask one of my own: Are you only capable of communicating with progressives by always making them defend your broad brush straw men? I did comment on things other than the 2020 race, but oh well. I guess the assumption is that since other stuff matters I can't also comment on the obvious trajectory the Democratic Party is going down? I say lots of stuff about lots of stuff, but I will take note. What time segment should I confine my thoughts to? I can't think of a better person to ask. You have never been wrong about anything, as far as I can tell.


#15

You're speaking my language amigo. There are lots of different visions and conceptions of economic democracy, so I would argue that that there is no specific way, there are many ways to think of it and to create it. Robin Hahnel has his own vision, Mary Mellor has hers, Costas Panayotakis has his (although he's heavily influenced by Hahnel), David Schweickart has a vision of economic democracy, Jessica Gordon Nembhard is an expert on cooperatives and she has some really interesting stuff, if you haven't read her yet, among many others. I happen to be researching this stuff now somewhere, so I will provide links, in case you are interested.

Here's Schweickart's ideas, from Gar Alperovitz's Next System Project: http://www.thenextsystem.org/economic-democracy/

Here's Hahnel's: http://thenextsystem.org/participatory-economics-and-the-next-system/

Here's Jessica Gordon Nembhard's paper for the Next System Project: http://www.thenextsystem.org/building-cooperative-solidarity-commonwealth/


#16

Not to bombard you with links, but if you (or anyone else reading this) are interested, here's a good paper by Hahnel on markets and democracy. If you have access to academic journals, I would highly recommend reading his paper "The Case Against Markets". Agree or disagree, he's a well-respected economist and he'll make you question things most assume away:

http://www.thecyberhood.net/documents/papers/market09.pdf


#17

Mulvaney said he wants to increase defense ( really offensive war ) spending.
Mick is not stupid because he knows he will be confirmed by both of the war parties no matter how eviscerating his proposals to cut S.S. and medicare!

Yeah Mick, raise the retirement age and cut S.S. so America will have more $ to protect its oligarchy!


#18

A buffet of alternatives exist and are practiced in other countries. What we haven't done is muster the courage to fight the enemy as though it were cancer. Until we disabuse ourselves of the notion we are just temporarily embarrassed millionaires in a capitalist system where we think we will someday find success, indeed we are toast.


#19

We need to push a vision, not just resist, as many of you have said. If they are going to repeal ACA, fine, we should demand it be replaced with single payer, Medicare for all. Imagine if everyone who protested Saturday called their Senator and said give us Medicare for all. The aide to my "liberal" senator, Martin Heinreich didn't even know if he has a position on single payer. Without fighting for a positive vision, we have no chance of taking back the government.


#20

Stein may have done that, but then again, where is Hillary?