A good progressive counter-offer to Boehner: Lower the Medicare age

UPDATE: With all the Chained CPI news yesterday — Obama has offered it to Boehner as a “fix” for Social Security and Pelosi is signaling Yes — I want to add one item to the “ask” list is this post.

Remove the salary cap on Social Security and take catfood off the table. There, Social Security “fixed.” (Senator Sanders, you can start this tomorrow — just get your 29 letter-writers to co-sponsor the Begich bill.)

Earlier I asked why “our” side always asks for not much in these supposed cage matches with Republicans. As I wrote then:

They request a pony; we ask for a bitter pill.

Well, here’s a great strong counter-offer to Boehner’s last offer, from Cliff Schecter writing in Politico (my emphasis):

[N]ot only should there be very little compromise here, but here is what smart, progressive governance would actually look like in the current situation, if you consider [w]here the leverage is:

Elderly Medicare Social Security seniors

Woman via Shutterstock

1) Lower the Medicare age to 40

2) Bulk negotiation and reimportation of prescription drugs for Medicare

3) Double Social Security benefits (per the New America Foundation)

3) Add an additional tax rate for over $1 million per year of 50%, let’s call it the “First Term Reagan” tax rate, end the ridiculous Romney-ish “carried interest loophole” (per Warren Buffett)

4) Decriminalization of recreational drugs–you know, to save the billions wasted in criminal justice costs, if not for moral reasons (per Richard Branson)

5) Cut defense spending by at least $110 billion as Rep. Jan Schakowsky has called for (explained best by Red Dawn…sort of)

6) Get out of Afghanistan–yesterday (explained best by common sense, experiences of the last century and War Of The Worlds)

That, of course, is just a start. But it looks to me to be about equal to the victory that was won by progressives in 2012. It’s a helluva lot closer to the Democrats’ mandate from this election than the GOP one–which is to go slink into a corner somewhere with your self-proclaimed witches and theological-rape specialists and listen to actual adults discuss policy that works in the real world.

I love this list. Heck, give me that list and Obama’s aces — he’s holding two, you know — and even I could come out with a win. Sigh.


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Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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