Commission? We don’t need no stinkin’ commission!

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

"Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!" – Gold Hat, in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

There are times that Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) just makes me gnash my teeth with some of the things he does. Most of the time Sen. Durbin is a solidly reliable Democrat, but every now and then he will do something stupid like this. Top Senate Democrat Durbin proposes commission to offer Social Security fixes:

The Senate's No. 2 Democrat said Wednesday that he's preparing a plan
to create a commission to study Social Security's fiscal problems and
send a proposed solution to Congress for guaranteed votes in both House
and Senate.

Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin says he's got bipartisan backing for
the idea, which is patterned after President Barack Obama's 2010 deficit
commission.

Durbin wants the commission to make recommendations to make Social
Security solvent for 75 years. The panel would be expected to consider
increases in the payroll tax, a higher retirement age and a lower annual
cost-of-living adjustment for beneficiaries
.

"You would basically say to a commission, within a very limited time
frame, to come up with a proposal for 75-year solvency of Social
Security
and then — and this is important — it would be referred to both
chambers on an expedited procedure," Durbin told reporters at a
Washington breakfast sponsored by The Wall Street Journal.

"I'd like to get it done. I've proposed that to a number of people
and they've been receptive to it on both sides of the aisle. I think we
can move forward with it," Durbin added.

The commission would resemble the 2010 deficit panel chaired by former
Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles and retired Sen. Alan
Simpson, R-Wyo. . . . Durbin's proposed 18-member commission would contain an equal number of
Republicans and Democrats but require 14 votes to send a plan to
Congress.

Yes, because the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibilty and Reform (aka the "Catfood Commission") was such a stellar example of success — not! It was a miserable failure. Commissions are what Congress does when it wants to kick the can down the road and not accomplish anything. It is a way for Congress to take issues out of the public spotlight until the lazy media villagers lose interest. Perhaps this is the real objective of Sen. Durbin.

In any event, "We don't need no stinkin" commission!" We already know what will work. Congress could enact it into law today if it were not for Tea-Publican economic terrorists in control of the Congress who will oppose any and all tax increases on the wealthy. I posted about it last week. We're having the wrong conversation about the social safety net (snippet):

Today, the New York Time's Thomas Edsell makes a richly
detailed policy analysis for what we should be doing about the social
safety net, and is highly critical of the media villagers' self-serving
deficit-obsession. The War On Entitlements:

The debate over reform of Social Security
and Medicare is taking place in a vacuum, without adequate
consideration of fundamental facts.

These facts include the following: Two-thirds of Americans who are over the age of 65 depend on an average annual Social Security benefit of $15,168.36 for at least half of their income.

Currently, earned income in excess of
$113,700 is entirely exempt from the 6.2 percent payroll tax that funds
Social Security benefits (employers pay a matching 6.2 percent). 5.2
percent of working Americans make more than $113,700 a year. Simply by eliminating the payroll tax earnings cap — and thus ending this regressive exemption for the top 5.2 percent of earners — would, according to the Congressional Budget Office, solve the financial crisis facing the Social Security system.

So why don’t we talk about raising or eliminating the cap – a measure that has strong popular, though not elite, support?

* * *

The Congressional Budget Office estimates
that the amount of new revenue required to bring the Social Security
trust fund into balance over the next 75 years would amount to 0.6
percent of G.D.P.

The same C.B.O. document presents a
series of alternative ways to achieve such a goal, including the
elimination of the current $113,700 cap on income subject to the Social
Security payroll tax. If the cap or ceiling were lifted, the amount of
money raised would be 0.6 percent of G.D.P., the exact amount of income
needed to get Social Security out of the red — a striking coincidence
.

This approach has substantial public support, which is reflected in the finding in the extensive NASI survey that “a sharp contrast between what Americans say they want and changes being discussed in Washington.”

There you go, Dick, problem solved. There's your solution to 75 years of solvency in one eay step, with no benefit reductions and no raising the age limit like the Tea-Publican economic terrorists will demand. So let's cut the crap. There's no need to waste time and resources on yet another failed commission.

Oh, and you could extend the life of social security in perpetuity by enacting a small financial transaction (speculation) tax on the sale of securities so that the investor class is finally paying into the system. Just sayin'.

Here is Senator Dick Durbin's Senate web page. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin. You should contact him and tell him that "We don't need no stinkin" commission!"

Comments are closed.