You are browsing the archive for Medicare.

Even Larry Tribe Now Agrees: Fourteenth Amendment is a Viable Option. So Why Won’t Obama Use It?

1:16 pm in banality of evil, Financial Crisis by Phoenix Woman

Is the much-touted “Fourteenth Amendment option” a viable end run around the debt-ceiling nonsense that threatens to destroy the world?

Charles Grassley thinks so. Bruce Bartlett thinks so. Former president Bill Clinton definitely thinks so: He’s said he’d do it “without hesitation, and force the courts to stop me”.

As for whether the courts or anyone else would or could try to stop Obama should he invoke the Fourteenth, even Laurence Tribe, who is known to be close to the Obama administration — close enough to carry its water, as he blatantly did with his pronouncement earlier this month that the Fourteenth Amendment didn’t trump the debt ceiling legislation — has admitted that this is highly unlikely: “This is not a circumstance in which the courts have any plausible point of entry.” Tribe even went so far as to dismiss the threat of impeachment as “not politically a very plausible scenario.”

So, knowing all of this, and with so much on the line — why, then, won’t President Obama admit that this is an option? Why, instead, is he pushing to put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block — and getting various liberal “Veal Pen” groups to echo his call for cutting Social Security?

Could it be it’s because he’s been planning to attack Social Security and Medicare — and whatever else is left of the New Deal and the Great Society — all along?

It sure looks like it. As Glenn Greenwald says: Read the rest of this entry →

Government Beats Business: Pension and Health Plans Edition

9:17 am in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

For all the billions lavished over the decades on “government bad, business good” propaganda by obscenely rich men like Pete Peterson and their tame media flunkies like David Leonhardt, the facts show that in direct comparisons in similar fields, the Federal government — starved and beaten as it’s been over the past thirty-odd years — still bests private industry in terms of the quality of services provided.

Let’s look at pension plans like Social Security and the Federal Employee Thrift Savings Plan, or TSP. Executive compensation (or lack thereof) is a big reason why the Federal government kicks the private sector’s ass when it comes to old-age insurance.

See, aside from a few Barclays technical staff — who I wager don’t get a fraction what the Barclays CEOs do –the Thrift Savings Plan is largely run by Federal workers, whose pay, even when adjusted for high-buck locales like NYC, tops out at around $157,000 per annum. And the Barclays people don’t even run all of the TSP’s funds — the G fund is run by Feds. Social Security has to pay for the expenses incurred in analyzing disability claims, which requires the testimony of outside medical experts, but SSA is run from stem to stern by Federales whose pay tops out at $157K and not, say, $7.1 million a year as does the pay of Prudential’s CEO, John Strangfield. (Or the $3 million and change pulled down by Prudential’s CFO, Richard Carbone and its COO Edward Baird.) By the way, typical total Federal compensation is well under $30K, so even with health insurance and other benefits the top Feds will still get well under $200K a year. I know law clerks at white-shoe private law firms that pull down more than that.
Read the rest of this entry →