Kudos to President Obama For Touching the Third Rail

third_rail President Obama submitted a budget wildly out of balance that increases taxes across the board. But he also stuck his tongue on the infamous ‘third rail’ of American politics by proposing chained CPI for calculating Social Security cost of living increases. Bravo.

We’ve Been Asking For This

Economic conservatives have pointed out for years that America’s entitlement programs are bankrupting the country. The $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities can’t go on. Accounting gimmicks only get you so far.

I proposed a phase out of Social Security in The Conservative Manifesto  in 1993. Obama’s proposal isn’t even a step in that direction, but it’s still an acknowledgement by the most liberal president in US history that entitlements can continue to grow.

Republicans Can’t Oppose Chained CPI

Sure, the AARP and other far-left groups are crying an gnashing teeth over the proposal—that’s why they call it the ‘third rail.’ But Obama’s move is strategic. Republicans have to sign on or risk being seen as hypocrites.

Already, the Club for Growth slammed Rep. Greg Walden for Walden’s take-down of the chained CPI proposal. Walden’s comment about Obama’s “shocking attack on seniors” threatens to put the GOP into position as defenders of Social Security, guardians of the third rail. For my entire life and longer, defending Social Security against any reform has been the job of Democrats.

Millennials On The Hook

I heard someone say that Obama’s “turned his back” on the people who elected him. Poppycock. The people who elected Obama, especially in 2012, were Millennials—the folks born after 1982 who begin adulthood with an anvil over their heads—the weight of unfunded liabilities under Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security. Meanwhile, the AARP’s members voted overwhelming for Romney.

Obama’s mild revision to COLA indexing benefits his strongest demographic group, and the group I’m most interested in winning over. This will be their country soon and for a long time.

This Could De-Energize the Third Rail

Welfare reform was possible only because Bill Clinton was President and Newt Gingrich was Speaker. When one party controls White House, Senate, and House, that party actually tends to play it safe. Why? They have no one to blame if something goes wrong, and they’re more worried about holding onto what they’ve got than advancing the principles that got them there. See Tom DeLay.

But when power is split, both parties want to gain the office they lack. Or, in the case of presidents, they want to solidify their legacy. Both sides, then, are willing to take chances.

Once Clinton agreed to welfare reform and the GOP signed on, it was a sure thing. A certain number of Democrats were sure to go along because Clinton was their president. Republicans were certain go go along because it was an issue they’d championed for years. And it got done.

George Bush could not have touched the third rail, because Democrats and the media—and some Republicans—would have destroyed him. Look what happened when he pitched privatizing part of Social Security.

But Obama has flipped the switch on the third rail. If the Republicans jump on that one issue fast, they may be able to make Social Security reform a debatable issue instead of a suicide mission. This is their chance to advance a principle instead of covering their asses.

Let’s hope they take it.

Two US House Members From Missouri Want to Protect Your Bank Deposits. You Can Help.

“Over my dead body.”Ann_Wagner_t670 That’s how Rep. Ann Wagner’s (R-MO) described her opposition to any attempts by the US government to seize retirement accounts or bank deposits.

Here’s the full quote: “I am solidly behind this resolution and over my dead body will the USG ever raid our personal savings or retirement accts!!”

Thank you, Ann, for that unequivocal statement on the matter.

Billy Long’s HR 129 To Protect Retirement Income and Bank Deposits

And thanks to Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) for introducing House Resolution 129 (HR-129). Here’s what Long said of the bill, via The Hill:

The government should not tax people's private savings accounts, which they have already paid taxes on, especially for the purpose of funding more bailouts. I was shocked by the news that some countries might be considering these kinds of taxes, and I think Congress should say that this kind of tax won't happen in America.

It’s a shame that a member of Congress would even have to say that, isn’t it?

Obama’s Budget Calls for Caps on Retirement Income

The Obama Administration wants to cap retirement savings at $205,000 a year. In other words, Obama believes no one should make more than $205,000 a year in retirement. No one, no matter how hard they worked, whether they invented the personal computer or the world’s largest social network, should enjoy the fruits of their retirement. From ZeroHedge.com:

Obama plans to set a limit of how much one can spend per year on retirement through tax-preferred retirement plans. As it turns out, according to the Obama administration it is only fair to spend a total of $205,000 in nominal dollars per year on retirement, but not more.

Tax-Consuming Federal Retirees Exempt

Except maybe retired federal workers.

According to USAToday, at least six retired federal workers make over $200,000 a year, siphoned from taxpayers. Another 2,100 make more than $100,000 in retirement.

Some 1.2% of federal retirees collect six-figure pensions. By comparison, 0.1% of military retirees collect as much. The New York State and Local Retirement System pays 0.2% of its retirees pensions of $100,000 or more. TheNew Jersey retirement system pays 0.4% of retirees that much. Comparable private figures aren't available.

Anyone who said of Cyprus, “this couldn’t happen in America,” was wrong. Obama’s already planning it.

Here’s What You Can Do

First, please contact Billy Long and Ann Wagner and thank them for defending your retirement and bank savings. Politicians rarely hear “thank you” from constituents when they do the right thing. They are people, after all. Positive feedback works, and expressing gratitude will make your life better.

Next, encourage your members of Congress to fight Obama’s money grab. His entire budget is study in media-manipulation and wealth destruction.

Finally, forward this post 3 friends who live in Missouri and ask them to thank Billy and Ann, too. Try a snail-mail letter or phone call instead of an email if you really want to stand out.

Ann Wagner’s District Office
Billy Long’s District Office
Ballwin Office301 Sovereign Court Suite 201 Ballwin, MO 63011 hours: M-F 9-5:00pm Phone: (636) 779-5449 Springfield, MO Office 3232 E. Ridgeview St. Springfield, MO 65804 (p) 417.889.1800 (f) 417.889.4915

 

Joplin, MO Office 2727 E. 32nd St. Ste. 2 Joplin, MO 64804 (p) 417.781.1041 (f) 417.781.2832