The most recent Social Security bill, proposed by Alaska Sen. Mark Begich, includes such enhancements as full cancellation of the payroll cap — making the Social Security tax a simple flat tax and not a regressive one — and improves the cost-of-living adjustment by indexing it to the items most bought by the elderly. All round, a very good bill.
This bill also goes on offense, putting a stake in the ground that says Social Security benefits should be enhanced, not just kept the same. I hope you can see the negotiating benefit of that.
The 29 senators who signed the Sen. Sanders letter are playing excellent defense — drawing a line that says No Cuts to the safety net and No New Tax Breaks for the rich. (With the Bush–Obama Tax Cuts set to expire in December, renewing them is without doubt a new tax break.)
The list of senators who signed the Sanders letter — these are the good guys, remember — is here and also below, along with phone numbers. If you like, you could call or write them — be sure to say “thank you” — and ask if they’d please co-sponsor the Begich bill as well. Tell them that going on offense will make it easier for them to play effective defense.
And thank you to you as well. This is the next big fight. But it gets easier if we get past December 31 with no action. So stand firm, and ask these senators to continue to do the same.
Here’s that list of Sanders-letter senators, the good guys in this fight. Note that Mark Begich, the author of the Begich bill, is an organizer:
Bernie Sanders (I-VT) — (202) 224-5141
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) — (202) 224-2921
Mark Begich (D-AK) — (202) 224-3004
Al Franken (D-MN) — (202) 224-5641
Harry Reid (D-NV) — (202) 224-3542
Chuck Schumer (D-NY) — (202) 224-6542
Jack Reed (D-RI) — (202) 224-4642
Sherrod Brown ((D-OH) — (202) 224-2315
Ron Wyden (D-OR) — (202) 224-5244
Patrick Leahy (D-VT) — (202) 224-4242
Ben Cardin (D-MD) — (202) 224-4524
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) — (202) 224-4822
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) — (202) 224-2823
Tom Harkin (D-IA) — (202) 224-3254
Jeff Merkley (D-OR) — (202) 224-3753
Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) — (202) 224-3224
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) — (202) 224-4654
Patty Murray (D-WA) — (202) 224-2621
Barbara Boxer (D-CA) — (202) 224-3553
Maria Cantwell (D-WA) — (202) 224-3441
Daniel Akaka (D-HI) — (202) 224-6361
Tim Johnson (D-SD) — (202) 224-5842
John Rockefeller (D-WV) — (202) 224-6472
Daniel Inouye (D-HI) — (202) 224-3934
Tom Udall (D-NM) — (202) 224-6621
Robert Menendez (D-NJ) — (202) 224-4744
Carl Levin (D-MI) — (202) 224-6221
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) — (202) 224-4451
Joe Manchin (D-WV) — (202) 224-3954
This is your effective progressive coalition in action — we are that coalition, we the progressive voters and constituencies — urging those Democrats who often (but not always) side with us to join with us — not just us joining with them. We want an offense to go with the good defense these senators are playing. We want the midway line between the two negotiating positions to be No Action — not some flavor of a lesser bad action. We need these senators to help us, as we are helping them.
So do join in — call or write to say Thank You, and then ask for what you want. You have that right, and what we seek will help us all. This is effective progressive action. As I always urge:
“Block to the whistle. Tackle to the ground. Play to the end of the game.”
It’s the only way to win these fights.
To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius