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Obama Cutting Social Security Funds in Deal to Extend Tax Cuts

by repost Thursday, Dec. 09, 2010 at 4:14 PM

To provide political cover for this giveaway to the rich, the plan includes an extension of federal long-term unemployment benefits for 13 months and a one-year reduction in the Social Security payroll tax from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent. While this would temporarily increase paychecks for tens of millions, it would also deprive Social Security of 0 billion in funding. The White House said this shortfall would be made up through general revenue sources, but these have not been specified. [And probably do not exist.]

From: "Obama’s Big Lie: Tax cut for rich will benefit workers," By Tom Eley,

8 December 2010 http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/dec2010/taxe-d08.shtml

The deal is in fact a total victory for Republicans and the wealthy. It includes the continuation of tax cuts for the highest percentile of income earners, couples with incomes above 0,000 per year or individuals whose income is over 0,000 per year. It exempts fortunes of up to million from inheritance tax, up from the previous mark of .5 million, and sets the rate at 35 percent, well below the 45 percent level that would have taken effect January 1 under current law. The plan also includes new and continued tax loopholes for big business.

To provide political cover for this giveaway to the rich, the plan includes an extension of federal long-term unemployment benefits for 13 months and a one-year reduction in the Social Security payroll tax from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent. While this would temporarily increase paychecks for tens of millions, it would also deprive Social Security of 0 billion in funding. The White House said this shortfall would be made up through general revenue sources, but these have not been specified.

Obama’s pretensions at sympathy for working people are demolished by his own record in office, a tenure entirely dedicated to protecting the rich. While overseeing the bailout of the banks to the tune of trillions of dollars, Obama put in place no measures to directly provide jobs. On the contrary, he spearheaded the ongoing wave of wage-cutting through his forced bankruptcy and reorganization of General Motors and Chrysler, while intervening to scotch any attempt to impose pay limits on the executives of bailed-out banks and corporations whose financial speculation set the global financial crash in motion.

The Democrats control not only the White House, but the Senate and the House, both by lopsided margins. For the tax cuts to pass, not only will Obama have to sign a bill, but large numbers of Congressional Democrats will have to vote for it. Beyond this, and as Obama himself observed in the press conference, opinion polls indicate that most Americans favor the expiration of the tax cuts for the rich.

In fact, while Obama lamented that the Republicans are holding the American people hostage, especially the unemployed, using the December 31 expiration deadline, the Democrats created the conditions for this to be done.

One of the first decisions taken by Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, shortly after Obama entered the White House, was to renege on their campaign pledge to rescind the tax cuts for the rich immediately. Instead, the White House decided to allow the tax breaks to continue until their scheduled expiration date, December 31, 2010.

Throughout the two years when they controlled large majorities in both houses of Congress, the Democrats took no measures to alleviate the crisis for working people, perpetually offering up minority Republican resistance as an excuse. Now the victory of the Republicans in the midterm elections is being seized on as a means to push savage austerity measures, including unprecedented cuts in entitlement programs.

***

All this is going on while there is a Democratic majority in the House and Senate as the new Congress is not in office until January 2011, yet Democrat Obama is making deals with Republicans to DESTROY SOCIAL SECURITY AND MAKE THE RICH RICHER. NEVER VOTE FOR ANY DEMOCRAT. Always vote Socialist or Green.

In California, you can vote for the socialist Peace & Freedom Party candidates at:

http://www.peaceandfreedom.org/home/

and the Green Party at:

http://www.cagreens.org/

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