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.


To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius

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

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  • patb2009

    Start taxing federal pension holders who work for entitites primarily funded by the Feds. If we stop a lot of the double dipping, we would do a lot better.

  • hduff

    I did that two years ago. I retired at 62 taking a smaller Social Security check per month. BUT! It opened my job to a young worker who wanted to live in the area. He had all the skills but couldn’t find a job. It has been a win, win, win. i won my freedom. He won a job. And the employer got a great new fresh employee who has years of energy ahead.

    Although it would have been easier if Medicare was available at 62 my wife and I have managed.

    It is a great way to open jobs for young people.

  • Naja pallida

    I kinda miss being able to see who ‘liked’ a post. Would be nice to see who the habitual down-voters were too.

  • ezpz


  • Bulldog

    Another token article from the boys that campaigned hard for the Obama / Pelosi team that are bringing us all those cuts we were told Republicans would unleash.

  • ezpz

    For the record, I replied to you, but I did not vote your comment down. Must be the same obamabot that votes mine down.

  • Who knew? Sarah Palin was right about Obama’s death panels.

  • ezpz

    No, he’s not ‘folding’ on anything. This is 0bama’s agenda. Has been all along.

  • Kenneth C. Fingeret

    Hello Gaius Pubilus,

    Even if the big “O” were holding a “Royal Flush” he would know when to fold em – this time and almost every other time if not every time.

  • ezpz

    Jane Hamsher:

    Can We Please Stop Pretending Obama is “Capitulating” on Social Security?

    Everywhere you look, the media narrative is that President Obama is “capitulating” to Republicans by agreeing to cuts in Social Security benefits.

    And I have to ask, where is this collective political amnesia coming from?

    Obama has made a deliberate and concerted effort to cut Social Security benefits since the time he took office. FDL reported on February 12, 2009 that the White House was meeting behind closed doors to consider ways to cut Social Security benefits, and that the framework they were using was the Diamond-Orszag plan, which was co-authored by OMB Director Peter Orszag when he was at the Brookings Institute….


  • ezpz

    Yeah, like that’s really gonna happen. Get real — Obama is not on “our” side. Never was, never will be.
    And I don’t mean “our” the same way this site means it. To me, “our side” is 99 percent of “we the people” as opposed to the blue team good/red team bad fixation that permeates just about every entry here – even the ones that criticize your person of the year.

  • Just think about it a bit down arrow. If the Republicans purge their bat shit crazies and rebuild their traditional band ( which I see as Eisenhower moderates—-Huntsman) they may be able to restructure DC, after the Obama Democrats slash the safety nets, destroy FDR’s New Deal once and for all; cause massive poverty among the elderly; find healthcare skyrocketing; the middle class wiped out, and a new depression lasting for years. If I were a strategist Republican I’d go there. If the Democrats go there I will spend my last vote against every single one of them.

  • AdmNaismith

    Yes. Yes, yes, yes.
    But that would help secure the Middle Class and that’s just not what we do here in America, anymore.

  • Naja pallida

    Now now, we can’t let the good be the enemy of the utterly shitty.

  • Ford Prefect

    The thought occurs that the biggest obstacle here isn’t Boehner. It’s Obama, since he’s the one making the shitty offer in the first place. If BO won’t consider your proposal, why would anyone else?

  • In addition, the Social Security age needs to be lowered to 60 or 62. We are never going to see all of our former jobs come back, and if we care about the devastating unemployment among the young, we have to get older people (and I am one of them) to give up their jobs, so the young can get a decent start in life.

  • Obama–traitor. Make the Obots pay dearly. The old have long memories. Republicans, you may have a giant resurgence in the near future.

  • nicho

    Works for me — but of course it doesn’t work for Obama and the rest of the 1% who want to destroy the middle class.

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