Snippet of an interview with Rep. Alan Grayson —
John Fugelsang: President Obama did meet with Senate Democrats today. And according to Politico — and I found this a bit disturbing — “He warned them that social insurance programs, including Social Security and Medicare, would need to be cut in some way in order to keep them going.” Now, we’ve discussed this before. The President also said Republicans would have to agree to more revenue before he’d agree to change those programs. What do you think of that particular bargain, sir? Do social insurance programs need to be cut in order to save them, and will this particular crop of Republicans ever agree to add new revenues anyway?
Congressman Alan Grayson: No. The answer is that they don’t. Social Security has almost $ 2 TRILLION in the bank. It is the largestgovernment fund in the world. That’s what they’ve got sitting in the bank, and that’s what the rest of the government and the American people owe that fund. Under current law, Social Security can pay 100% of its benefits for the next 25 years which is probably longer than I’m going to need it And after that, 85% to 95% of its benefits forever. A minor tweak like, for instance, raising the cap on who has to pay Social Security taxes above the current [limit of] roughly $100,000, or, for instance, making it apply to investment income — either one of those two things would make the program solvent forever. The situation is not terribly different for Medicare.
John: So does the President mean it when he talks about putting these cuts on the table, sir?
Alan: Look, I take no pleasure in saying this, because the President is my President. I voted for him twice, and he is the leader of my party. But in this regard, the President is wrong.
John: Before you go, Congressman, what do you think of the Senate budget that came out today?
Alan: I think the Senate budget that came out today is a stab at trying to deal with a lot of different problems, without focusing necessarily on our core problems. I would like to see all our effort devoted towards putting people back to work, improving education, making sure everybody who is sick can see a doctor, and making sure people who lose their jobs don’t end up living in their cars. That’s the America that I see in Central Florida these days. And these are the problems we should all be concentrating on solving. I think that this obsession – this preoccupation – this terrible preoccupation with austerity, with deficits, with debt is mistaken. The government has never been able to borrow at such low rates for my entire lifetime, and going back 100 years. The government has never been able to borrow at 2% before. That’s what the rates are these days. And that just shows you that there is no fiscal crisis. What it is, is that we’ve simply given into the Republican mindset of crisis – one crisis after another. The Republicans are crisis junkies. And they’ve all sucked us into the same sort of mindset.
Note, Obama met with Senate Democrats and told them Social Security would have to be sacrificed so that he can get his Grand Bargain with the Congressional Republicans. The DISSENTING DEMOCRAT has been saying this since September 2009 and have been repeatedly chastised by Liberals who are in denial. We said back then that no Republican could ever kill the last New Deal program and so Wall Street chose a black Democrat who they built up as a “Liberal”. Only Nixon could go to China, and only Obama could kill Social Security. We have been betrayed and not by our known enemies but by those who campaigned as our friends.