Republicans Launch Fresh Attack Against Social Security

Republicans are so hell-bent on protecting the wealthiest Americans, even if it means raising taxes on the middle class, that they’re now looking to cut Social Security benefits just to protect millionaires and billionaires. That’s worth repeating: Republicans who have shown they’ll do anything to protect the wealthy, even if it means raising middle-class taxes, are now eyeing Social Security cuts in order to pay for a middle class tax cut that could give families an additional $1,500 in their bank accounts every year.

Today, House Republicans introduced a plan that allows workers to continue receiving the benefits of the middle-class payroll tax cut as long as they agree to delay their Social Security benefits for every month they receive the tax cut. The plan, as a result, cuts the total amount of Social Security benefits a beneficiary would receive over his or her lifetime.  It’s just the latest from Washington Republicans who are doing everything in their power to protect the wealthiest Americans, even if it means raising taxes on the middle class or destroying a social safety net on which seniors depend.

“We already knew that Republicans were going to do whatever they could to protect millionaires but this new proposal takes the cake,” said Matt Canter, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “Only Republicans in Washington – the same folks who tried to end Medicare in order to protect Big Oil – would think it’s a good idea to cut Social Security in order to protect millionaires. Their endless, undying devotion to millionaires and billionaires is going to be an enormous vulnerability next year.”

BACKGROUND:

Today, three House Republicans offered a bill to allow taxpayers to continue the 2 percent payroll tax cut next year only by delaying the receipt of their Social Security benefits by one month. Taxpayers could continue to make this arrangement each year, adding another month’s delay for Social Security each time. [The Hill, 12/06/11; H.R. 3551]

Democrats’ bill protects Social Security benefits by mandating that Social Security should be made whole by transferring the amount that the program has lost due to the pay roll tax cut from the general treasury. [S.1917]

Romney is plagued by multiple political personality disorder

Mitt Romney’s 20-year political career has been characterized by one reboot after another. If you combine the number of times Romney has “revamped” his approach to his various campaigns and his positions on the issues, he could easily be diagnosed with multiple political personality disorder (MPPD).

Take a look:

1. The Unabashed Social Liberal: When he ran for the Senate in 1994, Romney was an unabashed social liberal, proclaiming to be more of a champion for gay rights and a woman’s right to choose than even his opponent, Ted Kennedy.

2. The Competent Manager: By the time he ran for governor in 2002, Romney was portraying himself as a moderate Republican who promoted the role of government in solving tough problems like health care and climate change—and who was still a social liberal on issues like abortion.

3. The Social Conservative: By 2007, when he started running for president, Romney ran as a social conservative—appearing before every right-wing social gathering he could find to promote his brand-new anti-choice, anti–gay rights social views.

4. The Economic “Mr. Fix-It”: After personality No. 3 failed to win Romney the 2008 nomination, he tried to become an economic “Mr. Fix-It” whose private-sector experience was supposed to set him apart. Gone were his desperate appeals to social conservatives to accept him. Instead Romney focused on the economy and shied away from personal political attacks on his primary opponents.

But while Romney campaigned as the presumed nominee against President Obama, an unexpected roadblock popped up in the form of Newt Gingrich—which brings us to today’s reboot.

5. PalainRich (Palin-Cain-Gingrich): Romney has morphed into some bizarre version of Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, and Newt Gingrich. Overnight, he has adopted the far-right-wing view that the middle class and people trying to enter it should simply be left to fend for themselves.

The problem for Romney is that his latest reinvention is no more likely to be successful than the last—or the one before that—because it feeds the very problem his reinventions seem to be trying to solve: With Romney, you never know what you are going to get, and you simply can’t trust him to lead.

Read the full memo here.