Durbin breaks from Dems on Social Security

posted at 10:12 am on April 19, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Things have certainly changed in the last three weeks.  In late March, Senator Dick Durbin dismissed the idea of Social Security reform, arguing that the entitlement program “does not add a penny” to the deficit, and called efforts to include it in entitlement reform a “deal killer.”  Suddenly, Durbin has awakened to the danger of allowing Social Security to proceed unchanged, according to ABC:

And while other top Democrats say Social Security should be untouched, Durbin says Social Security changes should be made now. …

Durbin criticized a resolution put forward by Sen. Bernie Sanders, a liberal independent from Vermont, that says Social Security should not be cut under a deficit reduction plan. Durbin said he would not vote for such a resolution.

“I think Bernie is going too far with his language,” Durbin said.

“In 2037, as we know it, Social Security falls off a cliff,” he said. “There’s a 22 percent reduction rate in payments, which is really not something we can tolerate. If we deal with it today, it’s an easier solution than waiting. I think we ought to deal with it. Many of my colleagues disagree, put it off to another day. But from my point of view, leaving it out makes it easier politically, including it, I think, meets an obligation, which we have to senior citizens.”

That’s a far cry from what he told Morning Joe’s audience in March:

It’s very hard, very difficult, when you get into the entitlements, but you can’t have a serious conversation about the future of our economy and our deficit without putting everything on the table. Social Security is a little different. It does not add a penny to the deficit.

What changed?  Paul Ryan moved the national conversation to the actual source of the massive deficits, entitlement spending, and opened up a debate on his terms for reform.  The White House hastily arranged a Presidential speech to counter Ryan, one that was so demagogic and dishonest that it might have forced Democrats on the Hill to rush to repair the damage.  Before, Durbin could afford to sing Harry Reid’s tune of “Wake Me When It’s Over,” but Ryan has forced the hand of Democrats, even if Obama doesn’t quite comprehend it.

Durbin’s putting his money on the Gang of Six, a bipartisan group in the Senate looking at budget reform, but he notes that time is running out.  Their relevance will rapidly dissipate if they cannot bring a competing proposal to the Senate floor before the Senate takes up the Ryan plan.  After the warning from Standard & Poor’s, the urgency to change the direction of runaway deficit spending has finally hit the Beltway.  If Congress doesn’t act, a lot of political careers will fall off a cliff before Social Security does.


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Behold a True Illinois Democrat!

Gifted with the ability to speak out of both sides of his mouth and lie through his teeth at the exact same time!

pilamaye on April 19, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Welcome to the real world

cmsinaz on April 19, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Flip-flop.

davidk on April 19, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Paul Ryan’s plan is not something that I would call “heroic” but it is close enough for horseshoes. It doesn’t actually go far enough, I hear, but what it has done is changed the course of DC enough to change entitlement reform from the “third rail” of politics to something that everyone belatedly realizes must be dealt with.

Mord on April 19, 2011 at 10:20 AM

If they had only listen to W 6 yrs ago…..

cmsinaz on April 19, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Swirling around and around and

DOWN the drain!

golfmann on April 19, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Harry Reid’s tune of “Wake Me When It’s Over,”

Don’t see Harry as being much of a Faster Pussycat fan.

loudmouth883 on April 19, 2011 at 10:23 AM

What “sacrifice” are the over 55 year old crowd going to make if deals are ever made?

All we hear is that no changes will be made for the over 55 year crowd. That means the under 55 year old group will further subsidized the the over 55 group. Howabout some fair share????

WashJeff on April 19, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Poor Durbin. Imagine REALITY walking up and punching you right on the side of the head.

GarandFan on April 19, 2011 at 10:27 AM

But if a vote ever miraculously appeared, Turbin would follow lockstep with his ‘rat compatriots; big talk from a big mouth.

Bishop on April 19, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Ot: headline on drudge

Someone actually questions dear leader and gets under his skin

Heh

cmsinaz on April 19, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Ryan’s plan doesn’t touch Social Security. Simpson’s plan does.

So is this the start of Democrats showing favor for Simpson/Bowles?

It might because it has “draconian” tax hikes. Tax hikes always warm Democrat hearts.

petunia on April 19, 2011 at 10:34 AM

What changed? Paul Ryan moved the national conversation to the actual source of the massive deficits, entitlement spending, and opened up a debate on his terms for reform.

What also changed was reality. They HAVE to do something about entitlements. I think a lot of these politicians thought they’d be dead or retired by the time the fit hit the shan, but they’ve suddenly discovered that something they thought they were leaving to the next generation has landed on their doorstep. That’s why you see a lot of Senators in seemingly safe seats running for the hills instead of running for reelection.

Doughboy on April 19, 2011 at 10:36 AM

The DailyBeast has an article by Eric Alterman that says from a liberal point of view the same thing I was saying the other day.

Obama can use Ryan as a way to reconnect with his base and his lousy budget “plan” to reaffirm his liberal bonafides.

But in the end… if public opinion remains for cutting, he can claim credit for anything based on Simpson/Bowles. Which only substancially differs from the Ryan plan in the emphasis on new taxes and medicare.

Obama has set himself up to claim victory no matter what.

This is just like Clinton crowing about Welfare reform.

petunia on April 19, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Behold a True Illinois Democrat! Gifted with the ability to speak out of both sides of his mouth and lie through his teeth at the exact same time!

pilamaye on April 19, 2011 at 10:16 AM

This turd is a demagogue’s Demagogue and a liar’s Liar. Assume that whatever position he is taking, it stands in contrast to fiscal sanity and is lined with treachery and deceit all for the purpose of electoral power for unionists and Democraps.

Believe nothing.

Jaibones on April 19, 2011 at 10:53 AM

What “sacrifice” are the over 55 year old crowd going to make if deals are ever made?

All we hear is that no changes will be made for the over 55 year crowd. That means the under 55 year old group will further subsidized the the over 55 group. Howabout some fair share????

WashJeff on April 19, 2011 at 10:25 AM

The 55 and over crowd can’t really change their investment and retirement strategies to take changes in Social Security into account. As much as it sucks to subsidize them, they would vote en masse to defeat a plan that does not protect them

Sekhmet on April 19, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Just like Oklahoma weather; wait a little bit, and he will change again.

itzWicks on April 19, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Count it!

/crr6

fossten on April 19, 2011 at 11:09 AM

As much as it sucks to subsidize them, they would vote en masse to defeat a plan that does not protect them

Sekhmet on April 19, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Can I at least get a written statement that admits they screwed over their posterity?

I hope that one day I get to see an election were the youth vote en masse with a collective “FU, we are not paying for your generous benefits that we will never see!”

WashJeff on April 19, 2011 at 11:21 AM

So… by may, Dick will be back to demagoguing anyone that suggests something needs to be done. Got it.

Midas on April 19, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Can I at least get a written statement that admits they screwed over their posterity?

I hope that one day I get to see an election were the youth vote en masse with a collective “FU, we are not paying for your generous benefits that we will never see!”

WashJeff on April 19, 2011 at 11:21 AM

That message… redone in nicer language… should be taken to college campuses.

Remember that first paycheck when you were so shocked at the money the government took out?

Yeah, explain about what that is about, and how to fix it.

petunia on April 19, 2011 at 11:25 AM

I don’t trust Dick Durbin.

SouthernGent on April 19, 2011 at 11:29 AM

You can’t trust Nazi Dick Durbin. After all he is a democrat.

BruceB on April 19, 2011 at 11:33 AM

That message… redone in nicer language… should be taken to college campuses.

petunia on April 19, 2011 at 11:25 AM

I just do not understand how the majority of youth do not understand what is happening. Their income is being transfered to a group of people that have had 45 years to accumulate wealth.

Remember that first paycheck when you were so shocked at the money the government took out?

I am miffed at the BIG checks I wrote yesterday!!!! Potential down payments for new business opportunities sent to the government…but I guess they can invest it better than I can.

WashJeff on April 19, 2011 at 11:33 AM

Right now, Social Security is running a cash flow deficit. Any solution that raises FICA taxes about the amount of this deficit will merely divert money away from Social Security into general revenues

The Obama solution will be to raise FICA taxes without looking at benefits, add additional IOUs to the non-existent trust funds and spend the money on his cronys.

Laurence on April 19, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Actually Durbin said months ago on Fox News Sunday that they could probably reach agreement to raise the starting age of SS a year or two.

PattyJ on April 19, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Durbin criticized a resolution put forward by Sen. Bernie Sanders, a liberal independent from Vermont

Uhm no. Sanders is not a liberal independent. He is a self described socialist.

angryed on April 19, 2011 at 11:50 AM

SS reform will be:

1. Taxes up
2. Retirement age up
3. Means testing

It will become just another welfare program no different than Section 8, WIC, Food Stamps or Medicaid.

angryed on April 19, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Over 55 crowd, if they were to offer me all the money I have paid in for the past 50 years plus a paltry 5% I would take it, never counted on SS to be solvent anyway, I can recognize a Ponzi scheme when I see one. Would just like to get back the money I was forced to invest at the point of a gun.
Maybe the gubberment would let me scrounge through their surplus stuff and do some horse tradin’.

Open The Door on April 19, 2011 at 11:55 AM

According to the Social Security Administration, there are 59,764,000 people on Social Security now.

Once Social Security collapses (and it will), each of us still earning a wage (139,864,000 of us according toBLS — I’d subtract about 10% of that for BS) will be taking care of 59,764,000/139,864,000 = 0.42 people. So for a two-wage-earning couple, it’s like having an extra person in your house.

Can’t I just have my widowed mom move in? My husband even likes her!

Mary in LA on April 19, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Rearrange the letters in Ryan and you get Ayn R… coincidence? I think not!

Ann on April 19, 2011 at 11:57 AM

What “sacrifice” are the over 55 year old crowd going to make if deals are ever made?

All we hear is that no changes will be made for the over 55 year crowd. That means the under 55 year old group will further subsidized the the over 55 group. Howabout some fair share????

WashJeff on April 19, 2011 at 10:25 AM

As one of those over 55, totally agree with you, WashJeff. SS has not factored into my retirement financial plans in quite some time and anything that I receive I’ll consider gravy. I don’t think I’ve ever taken those statements that SSA sends to me seriously. Also, ever since I turned 50, I’ve taken those AARP membership requests and returned them to sender with notes about what I think of their organization. Their “wrecking ball” commercials back in 2005 were the last straw. I wouldn’t join their organization even if they were giving away free trips to the Carribean.

RedinPDRM on April 19, 2011 at 12:00 PM

I don’t trust Dick Durbin.

SouthernGent on April 19, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Take a number and get in line!

What is a mystery here in Illinois is that the vast majority here think this clown is the next best thing to useless, but election after election, he gets re-elected to office again and again!

It is a testimony to just how corrupt things are in Illinois these days that Durbin is still in office!

pilamaye on April 19, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Swirling around and around and

DOWN the drain!

golfmann on April 19, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Try:

Around the bowl and down the hole!

belad on April 19, 2011 at 12:11 PM

All we hear is that no changes will be made for the over 55 year crowd. That means the under 55 year old group will further subsidized the the over 55 group. Howabout some fair share????

WashJeff on April 19, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Yeah but the 55+ crowd votes at 60-70% rates and has the AARP as a lobby group.

Those of us in our 30s vote at 50% rates and have no lobby on our behalf.

angryed on April 19, 2011 at 12:15 PM

First we had the Dark Ages
Then the Renesiance
Followed by the Industrial Revolution
Next, the Golden Era.

Now…brought to you by 100 years of mismanagement and personal promotion…

We are entering the Reality Era.

BobMbx on April 19, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Can I at least get a written statement that admits they screwed over their posterity?

I hope that one day I get to see an election were the youth vote en masse with a collective “FU, we are not paying for your generous benefits that we will never see!”

WashJeff on April 19, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Dude, I’ve been paying into SS for forty years. What, you telling me I get nothing in return for that? How about FU pal? The youth will have an opportunity to readjust where their money goes. For us oldsters, that adjustment is too late. I would have much rather kept my money and invested it my way but the Gubmint said I couldn’t and took my money by threat of prison if I didn’t give it up. So again, FU pally.

Big John on April 19, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Over 55 crowd, if they were to offer me all the money I have paid in for the past 50 years plus a paltry 5% I would take it, never counted on SS to be solvent anyway, I can recognize a Ponzi scheme when I see one. Would just like to get back the money I was forced to invest at the point of a gun.
Maybe the gubberment would let me scrounge through their surplus stuff and do some horse tradin’.

Open The Door on April 19, 2011 at 11:55 AM

And this pretty much says it all. Just give me back what I paid and I’d be happy. I’d even forego the interest. Just gimme back MY OWN MONEY.

Big John on April 19, 2011 at 12:50 PM

2037? The guy is still hopelessly in denial or mentally defective. Social Security is broke NOW. How many articles about it paying out more than it takes in are necessary to cut through the socialist BS?

dogsoldier on April 19, 2011 at 12:53 PM

“It might because it has “draconian” tax hikes. Tax hikes always warm Democrat hearts.”

I would go for an estate tax of 90% of disbursements from trust fund 40 or more years old. So the limousine liberals like Sen. Kerry get only $10k, instead of $100k. Won’t nick him, he married real money, but it would break a lot of the elite class, make them get a real job. They might like discovering they can actually earn their own living.

Big John on April 19, 2011 at 12:47 PM

I’m 61, I regard everything I’ve ever paid “into” FICA as lost. I haven’t counted on a penny from SS in my financial planning for decades.

LarryD on April 19, 2011 at 12:56 PM

I never expected that Durbin would show any sign of thinking seriously about a political issue. Lindsey Graham said some intelligent things during the lame session of the last Congress. You can never assume that anyone will always chose the path of stupidity. I bet even Nancy Pelosi has a good idea about something.

thuja on April 19, 2011 at 1:43 PM

I wouldn’t trust Dick Durbin if he were shackled to a chair in a secure location, under armed guard with someone to watch the guard and someone else to watch the watcher.

Slime like that is liable to just ooze away at any time.

Adjoran on April 19, 2011 at 1:57 PM

How can we morally justify screwing our seniors while we continue to provide lavish salaries, benefits, and pensions to federal government workers?

Any decrease in Social Security payments should be matched by a salary cut of the same percentage for all federal workers. Federal workers should not get raises or bonuses that are not matched for Social Security recipients.

slickwillie2001 on April 19, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Serious conservatives should be tag-teaming resistant Democrats (in both houses) to underscore the financial peril this country is in, and wear them down to pass entitlement reform. Divide them from their ignorant and/or malicious boy-king.

disa on April 19, 2011 at 7:58 PM

Durbin is normally a partisan ass. This coming from him is remarkable indeed.

WannabeAnglican on April 20, 2011 at 8:29 AM