Open Thread (Wine Foil Art Edition)

So this Star Wars Imperial Walker required the foil of two wine bottles:

Imperial Walker

I didn’t consume both bottles on the same night, though the news these days is enough to make me want to mainline Everclear.

Oh, and these stupid* mofos? They remind me of a big, shambling hunk of still-dangerous metal ripe for being brought down by a couple of silly-ass Ewoks. Yub-yub, motherfuckers!

*H/T: MattF

187 replies
  1. 1
    MattR says:

    You forgot this moron.

  2. 2
    Betty Cracker says:

    @MattR: Updated. Jesus, these assholes are shameless.

  3. 3
    taylormattd says:

    I’d likely have enough to craft the entire Imperial Fleet after last weekend.

  4. 4
    Another Halocene Human says:

    yub to the motherfuckin’ yub

  5. 5
    beltane says:

    Things were better over the weekend when the Republicans had nothing to say about the shooting because all the things they are saying now terrify me as a parent.

    What is wrong with these people.

  6. 6
    👽 Martin says:

    You need to make a wine foil Tauntaun with a little cork Luke sticking out of it’s belly.

  7. 7

    The Govenor of Michigan vetoed SB 59, which would have allowed guns in schools. I guess he wasn’t looking forward to a mob of angry moms at his home and office.

    link

  8. 8
    Violet says:

    @MattR: Perry’s looking ahead to the next election for Governor. Gotta keep the gun nuts happy.

  9. 9
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Someone is going to go batshit insane (not very far for them to go) in some Texas white suburb and kill a bunch of white kids (the shooter will be white) and blam, Perry’s position will be beyond untenable.

  10. 10
    redshirt says:

    Awesomesauce! Wicked cool!

    What was the main function of the Imperial Walker? Troop transport or Rebel Destroyin’ Machine? Or both?

  11. 11
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    @Betty Cracker: And you hat-tipped the wrong Matt.

  12. 12
    👽 Martin says:

    @The Other Bob: The right will be apoplectic over that decision – what with him caving to the liberal media elite and all.

    Time to line up a primary challenger against that RINO.

  13. 13
    redshirt says:

    I shudder to think it, but I fear due to the coverage of Newtown there’s gonna be some copycat. Somewhere. It’s almost understandable.

  14. 14

    Time to line up a primary challenger against that RINO.

    Our AG would be the first in line.

  15. 15
    MattR says:

    @peach flavored shampoo: We all look the same.

  16. 16
    👽 Martin says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: They won’t care. Seriously – they won’t. Texas is the epicenter of the ‘American Gunslinger’ mindset. It’s unbreakable – at most you can hope to erode it over time.

  17. 17
    scav says:

    @MattR: you wear bow-ties? cool.

  18. 18
    Elizabelle says:

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The National Rifle Association said on Tuesday it is “prepared to offer meaningful contributions” to prevent future massacres like the Connecticut shooting on Friday, marking a sharp change in tone for the nation’s largest gun rights group.

    “The National Rifle Association of America is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters – and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown,” the organization said in a statement sent to reporters.

    The NRA plans a news conference on Friday after staying silent out of respect for families in Newtown, Connecticut, and as a matter of common decency, the statement said. (Reporting by David Ingram; Editing by Eric Walsh)

    Silent as a matter of common decency. Right.

  19. 19

    Yub-yub, motherfuckers!

    theatrical release represent

  20. 20
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MattR: The stupid is strong in that one.

  21. 21
    MattR says:

    @scav: We used to. But Tucker Carlson ruined that look forever.

    @Elizabelle:

    The NRA plans a news conference on Friday after staying silent out of respect for families in Newtown, Connecticut, and as a matter of common decency, the statement said.

    I don’t know if I should be amused or insulted by this BS.

    @Omnes Omnibus: He’s definitely a frontrunner in the GOP race to the bottom.

  22. 22
    👽 Martin says:

    @Elizabelle:

    prepared to offer meaningful contributions

    Like a national conceal carry law. Or partnering with Nickelodeon for a line of iCarly Bulletproof Backpacks w/EzReach™ Holster.

  23. 23

    @Elizabelle:

    The National Rifle Association said on Tuesday it is “prepared to offer meaningful contributions” to prevent future massacres like the Connecticut shooting on Friday, marking a sharp change in tone for the nation’s largest gun rights group.

    Their meanful contributions will be meaningless. They are offering up concessions becuase they are seeing that their ass is about to be handed to them.

  24. 24

    @redshirt:

    And why a walker? The Empire clearly has some sort anti-gravity, wouldn’t a levitating troop transport/rebel killer make more sense? A tracked ground vehicle makes more sense than a walker…

  25. 25
    dmsilev says:

    @👽 Martin: Or one could buy this, complete with “printed internal intestines”.

    (and from the comments down at the bottom of the page: “What’s the internal temperature of a Tauntaun? Luke warm”)

  26. 26
    👽 Martin says:

    Huh. I wonder if the California teachers knew their retirement fund owned Bushmaster? I’m thinking the answer is a big NO on that.

  27. 27

    BREAKING FISCAL CLIFF OF DOOM NEWS. BOOKMARK IT LIBS!
    http://www.theonion.com/video/.....-gi,30728/

    Also, nice work with the wine foilage, Betty.

  28. 28
    Elizabelle says:

    @The Other Bob:

    [The NRA] are offering up concessions becuase they are seeing that their ass is about to be handed to them.

    Bingo.

  29. 29
    redshirt says:

    @Certified Mutant Enemy: Precisely. As Luke has taught us, Walkers are pretty easy to take down too. They definitely have anti-grav tech in the SW universe, as seen in the Prequels, where the invasion of Naboo is conducted by anti-grav droid troop transport.

    Walkers are way cool, though, so there’s that.

  30. 30
    jl says:

    @Elizabelle: I heard in the news that a big institutional investor is getting out of gun companies that make automatic and other ‘assault’ type weapons.

    So, it is $$$. C.R.E.A.M. for the NRA. They are an industry front group. I am sure they have heard back room grumblings that certain arms and ammo manufacturers may not be considered respectable investment, at least for now.

    Our job is to keep the heat on and make that permanent.

    Hope I hear about more disinvestments in some gun and ammo manufacturers.

  31. 31
    JCT says:

    @The Other Bob: Oh my, I’ve been avoiding the gun nut forums for sanity’s sake of late — even though this is clearly some sort of dodge (yes, yes, that’s why we are waiting, hoping that things cool down). The gun nuts revere the NRA, the exploding heads over this will be epic, might be worth a look.

  32. 32
    MikeJ says:

    @👽 Martin:

    You need to make a wine foil Tauntaun with a little cork Luke sticking out of it’s belly

    If they made wine in Haiti she could make a tauntaun macoute.

  33. 33
    jl says:

    @ranchandsyrup: Onion nailed it. Thanks.

  34. 34
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Certified Mutant Enemy:

    The theory is the walkers are “more terrifying” than other vehicles.

    The actual reason for them is “looks cool!”

  35. 35
    👽 Martin says:

    @jl:

    I heard in the news that a big institutional investor is getting out of gun companies that make automatic and other ‘assault’ type weapons.

    The institutional investor managed the California Teachers Retirement Fund. This may not be as big a deal as people make it out to be. It’s not that owning these companies is perceived as toxic, rather that having public school teachers owning an assault rifle manufacturer is perceived as toxic. Especially in a state where assault rifles are illegal as is concealed- and open-carry.

    Why Cerberus even went there to begin with is beyond comprehension.

  36. 36
    Scott says:

    Gov Perry should first allow concealed weapons at the Texas Legislature and his mansion before he insists it be at any other location

  37. 37
    👽 Martin says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The actual reason for them is “looks cool!”

    I think the actual reason for them is the cost of special effects for hovering ships was prohibitive on the scale of all of the scenes involving the walkers.

  38. 38
    jl says:

    @👽 Martin: You have a link that explains more about this? I just heard a short report on the radio coming in to work.

  39. 39
    Platonicspoof says:

    On Martin Bashir this a.m. they mentioned Australia’s experience with massacre and gun control.

    From a google search:

    Robberies involving a firearm also dropped significantly. Meanwhile, home invasions did not increase, contrary to fears that firearm ownership is needed to deter such crimes. But here’s the most stunning statistic. In the decade before the Port Arthur massacre, there had been 11 mass shootings in the country. There hasn’t been a single one in Australia since.

  40. 40
    gene108 says:

    @Certified Mutant Enemy:

    Maybe it’s a armor-weight ratio issue?

    Maybe you can’t heavily armor an anti-gravity vehicle, with the firepower an Imperial Walker had and expect it to move at all.

  41. 41
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @👽 Martin: It can be a first step, though. Teacher and public-employee pension funds have a lot of weight to throw around. The move for divestment in apartheid-era South Africa took a long time to build up steam, and was not complete nor perfect, but it got up to public-nuisance value, at least, for a lot of funds, and arguably had at least some effect.

  42. 42
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Platonicspoof: You can even find a piece on that on the front page of this blog, from this morning.

  43. 43
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MikeJ: That was just wrong.

  44. 44
    Roger Moore says:

    @MattR:

    You forgot this moron.

    I definitely think I should be allowed to take a concealed weapon to the Texas School Book Depository. And into Rick Perry’s office. And into the secure areas of Texas airports.

  45. 45
    gene108 says:

    @redshirt:

    Precisely. As Luke has taught us, Walkers are pretty easy to take down too.

    Yeah, that’s why the Imperials never set foot in the Rebel’s base on Hoth…the Imperial Walkers were soooooooooo easy to take down…

  46. 46
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @jl: Here. I actually posted about that this morning.

  47. 47
    The Moar You Know says:

    and blam, Perry’s position will be beyond untenable.

    @Villago Delenda Est: I don’t know how Perry made it to adulthood; he’s obviously the kind of guy who likes playing with dynamite.

  48. 48
  49. 49
    LanceThruster says:

    @The Other Bob:

    Their meanful contributions will be meaningless. They are offering up concessions becuase they are seeing that their ass is about to be handed to them.

    They will rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic to give the appearance of action, when the express purpose in actuality is to foster zero changes.

  50. 50
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Silent as a matter of common decency. Right.

    @Elizabelle: I got their mailers for years. “Common decency” is not part of their platform, not now and not ever.

    Prepare to be utterly appalled on Friday.

  51. 51
    👽 Martin says:

    @jl: CNN has it.

    Freedom Group includes Bushmaster, maker of the rifle used in the shooting at the school in Newtown. Cerberus bought Bushmaster in 2006 before adding another 10 makers of firearms, ammunition and accessories to the group.

    Cerberus will hire advisers to carry out a sale of the company, and return the money to its investors, which include the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS).

    CalSTRS, which manages the pensions of California public schoolteachers, said Tuesday that its internal policies require it to consider the “social, human and environmental impacts” of where it invests its money.

    From Wiki:

    Acquired Bushmaster Firearms, Inc., from Windham, Maine native Dick Dyke for an undisclosed sum in April 2006, and purchased Remington Arms in April 2007. Under Cerberus direction, Bushmaster Firearms acquired Cobb Manufacturing, a manufacturer of large-caliber tactical rifles in August 2007. Cerberus also acquired DPMS Panther Arms December 14, 2007. Remington Arms acquired Marlin Firearms in January 2008. In October 2009, Remington Military products acquired silencer manufacturer Advanced Armament Corporation. These companies were combined into the Freedom Group.

    Cerberus manages a lot of funds, but CalSTRS, like CalPERS is huge. They’re the 8th largest public pension fund in the world, and like CalPERS they struggle to find investments to maintain their diversification. They have $150B in assets, so they can own, like, everything.

  52. 52
    redshirt says:

    Heh. I love that there’s a chicken in this photo. Look!

  53. 53
    PeakVT says:

    Apologies if this is a dupe: Nate Silver (remember him?) has some interesting stats on gun ownership.

  54. 54

    @Villago Delenda Est: The actual reason for them is “looks cool!”

    This is the underlying principle behind all of the Star Wars design aesthetic.

    Laser swords? Spaceships that look like a bow tie? Darth Vader’s entire costume? These things are not the logical outcome of the assumptions of a fully-realized science-fiction universe. These are things that are awesome. Things that make you go AW COOL.

    This is why I find Star Wars otaku so hysterically funny. It’s bad enough that nerds like to obsess over the finest details of Middle Earth or the United Federation of Planets; at least the producers of those works tried to make consistent mythologies. Obsessing over the details of George Lucas’s creation makes the mistake of assuming the details were ever there to begin with.

  55. 55
    cathyx says:

    Betty, you’re making me want to be creative again while I’m having my wine. I better get busy.

  56. 56
  57. 57
    redshirt says:

    @gene108: Imperial lover spotted!

    Yes, sure, the rebel base on Hoth was overrun by vastly superior forces. But that’s only because The Force needed Luke to go to Dagobah, and so sacrificed all those brave rebels to make it so.

  58. 58
    Ruckus says:

    @beltane:
    The list of what is right is much shorter and much easier to remember.

    What is right with conservatives?

    Nothing.

    If your language skills run like mine it goes like this:

    Not a fucking thing.

  59. 59
    taylormattd says:

    @MattR: At least she didn’t hat tip MattT, I hear that guy is a rat bastard.

  60. 60
    👽 Martin says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Yeah, it definitely helps. If you’re on the no-fly list for public pension funds, your potential investor pool just got a LOT smaller. US public pension funds owns between 10% and 20% of US equities. Toss in other funds and individual investors, and these companies stand to lose up to ⅓ of possible investors.

    And if Freedom Group is being put up for sale, how many funds have the money to buy them if that pension money is taken off the table? This could really hurt a lot.

    But it doesn’t mean that the broader investment community sees gun makers as toxic. I’m not convinced the public debate has moved that far, so I’m merely warning to not take this as evidence of that.

  61. 61
    👽 Martin says:

    @redshirt: 11-dimension Holochess, bitchez!

  62. 62
    MikeJ says:

    @👽 Martin: Ernest and Julio Gallo don’t pull people’s arms out of their sockets when they lose.

  63. 63
    jl says:

    @MikeJ: Well, except for other family members, they didn’t, as far as I know. Pretty ruthless with each other, though. An odd violent bunch, familywise.

  64. 64
    👽 Martin says:

    @PeakVT:

    More elaborate data-mining techniques, such as logistic regression analysis, suggest that gun ownership is a more powerful predictor of whether a voter is Republican than her gender, whether or not she identifies as gay or lesbian, whether she is Hispanic, or whether she lives in the South, along with many other demographic characteristics.

    Shorter Nate: all of that shit about left vs right during the election? Forget it. We’re divided on the gun issue. It more than immigration or social policy defines our party affiliation.

    The GOP will not go along with this. They can’t – it’s the true core of their party. The House won’t pass anything of substance because every member that signs on will get primaried from the right.

  65. 65
    efgoldman says:

    @The Other Bob:

    They are offering up concessions becuase they are seeing that their ass is about to be handed to them.

    The NRA represents the manufacturers. All the classes, etc are camouflage.

    Two suggestions, not original, which I saw over the weekend but don’t remember who to credit:

    1) Tax the living shit out of guns and especially ammo. This also drives up prices in the secondary (illegal street) market. Would have to be done on a state basis as long as the GOBP has any power in Congress.
    2) Divestment. It is likely that dozens or hundreds of otherwise reputable pension funds or non-profits own stock in arms manufacturers. Get rid of it.

  66. 66
    👽 Martin says:

    @MikeJ:

    Ernest and Julio Gallo don’t pull people’s arms out of their sockets when they lose.

    Obviously, you’ve never met them. Wine is a rougher business than you realize.

  67. 67
    Mandalay says:

    We have a fresh helping of tossed word salad from the dumbest of the dumb…

    Those who let themselves be terribly disappointed in political leaders as they ignore real problems, aided along with a complicit media bombarding us with irrelevant distractions in order to avoid facing the reality of a fallen culture, should know those distractions are to hide from a finger pointing to the main contributors to much of our problem.

    http://www.politico.com/story/.....ml?ml=po_r

    Got that?

  68. 68
    dmsilev says:

    By the way, did you hear about how Hillary Clinton had a concussion the other day? Totally faked so she wouldn’t have to testify about worse-than-Watergate Benghazi:

    If she has a concussion, let’s see the medical report. Let’s see some proof that she’s not just stonewalling. If it’s true, then we can all wish her a speedy recovery. But it’s ridiculous to expect us to take her word for it.

    That’s the long-form vault copy of the medical report, of course.

  69. 69

    @MikeJ: Ernest and Julio Gallo don’t pull people’s arms out of their sockets when they lose.

    New strategy: let the wino win.

  70. 70
    Violet says:

    A lot of stores are suspending sales of assault rifles in general and/or the Bushmaster in particular. What a bunch of cowards. They’re happy to sell it and make money off it until the product that is designed to kill does what it’s designed to do. And then all of a sudden the store management decides it’s not appropriate. Where the hell was that attitude when they sold it in the first place? The gun is designed to kill. It was used to kill. What’s their problem with that? They don’t like things designed to kill being used to kill, then STOP SELLING THEM.

  71. 71
    efgoldman says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Why Cerberus even went there to begin with is beyond comprehension.

    Why does any money go anywhere? In search of profit, why else?

  72. 72
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @dmsilev: Somebody never heard of HIPAA.

  73. 73
    JCT says:

    @dmsilev: So much insanity and paranoia, so little time.

    Brought to you by the same “people” who speculated that Aurora and Sandy Hook were actually “false flag” operations sponsored by the govt.

  74. 74
    Liberty60 says:

    @Mandalay:

    Got that?

    Sure!
    When ran through the translator, it says “Look over there! Gay folks!”

  75. 75
    Violet says:

    @Liberty60: Huh. My Palin-translator must be a little off. Mine says, “Look over there! Brown people!”

  76. 76
    Misterpuff says:

    @Violet: Luby’s,Luby’s,Luby’s
    Won’t Matter.

  77. 77
  78. 78
    Elizabelle says:

    Chickens, meet roost. From Bloomberg: Cerberus Founder Feinberg’s Father Is Resident of Newtown

    The father of Stephen Feinberg, the founder of the private-equity firm that owns gunmaker Freedom Group Inc., lives in the town where a Freedom Group-made rifle was used to kill 26 people in an elementary school.

    …Cerberus bought the Bushmaster gun operation in April 2006, one in a series of acquisitions Feinberg’s firm used to build Freedom Group into the nation’s biggest manufacturer of guns and ammunition, with nine plants and 3,100 employees. The decision to sell it came just hours after California Treasurer Bill Lockyer said he’ll propose that the state’s public pension funds, the two largest in the U.S., dump investments in firearm manufacturers that make guns prohibited under state law.

  79. 79
    J. Michael Neal says:

    It’s not turning into a productive day.

  80. 80
    Violet says:

    @Misterpuff: Sorry, I don’t understand. Are you talking about the Luby’s shooting in Killeen in 1991? What does that have to do with Perry?

  81. 81
    Roger Moore says:

    @efgoldman:

    The NRA represents the manufacturers. All the classes, etc are camouflage.

    No. The classes and stuff are classic sales support activities. You need a license to buy a gun? The NRA offers training so you can get it and spend your money. You’re afraid of having a gun in the house with your kids? The NRA will work to convince you that this is a safe combination so you’ll buy one. You already have a gun? The NRA will provide you with opportunities to shoot off your ammo and wear out your gun so you have to buy more. All this stuff will help the gun manufacturers to sell more of their products.

  82. 82
    JGabriel says:

    Betty Cracker @ Top:

    So this Star Wars Imperial Walker required the foil of two wine bottles…

    You had to drink two bottles of wine? By yourself?

    The sacrifices you make for us, Betty, never cease to astonish me.

    .

  83. 83
    👽 Martin says:

    @efgoldman:

    Why does any money go anywhere? In search of profit, why else?

    But surely the fund manager must have realized that investing in an assault rifle maker was a bad idea for the California Public Teachers pension fund, no?

    The gunman, Patrick Purdy, who had a long criminal history, shot and killed five schoolchildren, and wounded 29 other schoolchildren and one teacher, before committing suicide.

    That shooting was the catalyst for California banning assault rifles. The gunman was a white supremacist armed with a Chinese AK-47.

  84. 84
    beltane says:

    @Mandalay: I was waiting for Palin to say something. It looks like I’ll have to keep waiting because I couldn’t understand a word of that screed.

  85. 85
    👽 Martin says:

    @Violet: 23 people killed, 50 shot total, and Texas loosened gun laws as a result.

    There’s no evidence that Texas would respond to a mass shooting (or anything else, for that matter) with a tightening of gun laws.

  86. 86
    Baud says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    It’s not turning into a productive day.

    I share your pain.

  87. 87
    some guy says:

    according to Ezra, Obama seems puzzled that Boner hasn’t accepted his offer to cut Social Security benefits and raise taxes on working people. the cuts to Social Security weren’t deep enough, maybe ?

  88. 88
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Cris (without an H): This. Star Wars is so right-brained that it’s just sad to see someone go analytical on it. That’s not what it is. Star Wars is space opera. Wars is the fantasy genre with scifi clothes. Science fantasy, as some term it. That’s all it was ever intended to be.

    You can’t pit the imperial star destroyer and The Force against the Enterprise. Doesn’t compute.

    And the notion of heroism in the two worlds is utterly different. Take Kirk’s relationship with Alexander in Plato’s Stepchildren versus Luke saving his comrades from Jabba’s compound. Sure, Kirk can bring the derring-do, but when has Luke ever turned an enemy into an ally? When has he questioned the social structure of his world? When has he shown that sort of glowing moral core? Kirk is willing to sacrifice his body, but not his soul.

    (Wow, me defending Kirk. Geez.)

    Um, so, like, I enjoyed STAR WARS, remastered version or original. I thought the prequels were lame wastes of money and talent. But I can’t feel much enthusiasm for Star Wars as a world. I don’t want to play there. I don’t give a shit about hereditary heroes. I may think Kirk is a dick, but I’ll take that unassuming, Middle American champion of human… er… alien rights over The Agony of Marty Stu any day.

    My meh about who shot first is probably why I am not a total Wars fan, I think. Han being amoral is a lot of the appeal of the character? In that sense, Wars is a little more “real” than Trek (too cerebral, too moralizing). But it’s kind of a lie in the sense that we’re supposed to admire the rogues and glory in their depredations rather than face the true evil of what they do, the consequences. The prequels made this more apparent (the verdict on Yoda by fans, etc).

  89. 89
    Violet says:

    @👽 Martin: Yes, I’m aware of that. I’m still not sure exactly what the Luby’s shooting has to do with Perry specifically. And my comment that Misterpuff linked to was that Perry has to keep gun nuts happy. So, I thought I’d essentially said Perry and Texas will do whatever it takes to keep guns available and gun owners happy.

  90. 90
  91. 91
    JPL says:

    The local news is talking about Dick’s Sporting Goods removing sporting rifles such as the bushmaster from it’s shelf. WTF is a sporting rifle?

  92. 92
    Elizabelle says:

    @Mandalay:

    I hear bongo drums.

  93. 93
    beltane says:

    @JPL: In a sane world a sporting rifle would be something akin to an airsoft gun, not a killing machine. But I guess death is the great American pastime.

  94. 94
    Chyron HR says:

    @some guy:

    In other words, this is day 1,428 and counting of no Social Security cuts. But maybe tomorrow!

  95. 95
    JPL says:

    @beltane: It’s surprising to hear that the Bushmaster used to slaughter first graders is nothing more than a sporting rifle.

  96. 96
    Hill Dweller says:

    @some guy: Ezra told me Obama was going to raise the medicare eligibility age.

  97. 97
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @👽 Martin:

    But surely the fund manager must have realized that investing in an assault rifle maker was a bad idea for the California Public Teachers pension fund, no?

    Well, in fairness, it was indirect. CalSTRS was in Cerberus, which was in Freedom Group. Not like they were buying S&W shares directly. AFAIK they’re still in Cerberus, but got Cerberus to drop Freedom Group.

  98. 98
    👽 Martin says:

    @some guy:

    according to Ezra, Obama seems puzzled that Boner hasn’t accepted his offer to cut Social Security benefits and raise taxes on working people. the cuts to Social Security weren’t deep enough, maybe ?

    From what I’ve heard, Obama asked for changes to the PIA alongside the CCPI. Basically, the minimum benefit floor would be raised, but the COLA would be slower. The minimum SS payout would be increased substantially – so much so that the CCPI would never be felt for them. Even 25 years out they’ll still be ahead. The mid and top SS payouts would grow more slowly. It’s a very, very mild form of means-testing, while increasing benefits for those at the bottom. In the near term SS would pay out more, but on the 75 year calendar it would become more solvent because top recipients would be paid less (current max is $30K/year).

    The CCPI was also proposed at some point to be applied to tax policy, which means that brackets would go up less quickly, putting more people into higher brackets earlier. So at the same time that it saves money long term for SS, it increases revenues on taxation. That might also be in the offer as the move to CCPI was proposed to be across the board.

  99. 99
    👽 Martin says:

    @JPL:

    WTF is a sporting rifle?

    Something specifically not used for hunting, from what I understand.

  100. 100
    Mandalay says:

    @Liberty60:

    My Palin-translator must be a little off.

    You inspired me to use Google Translate to make sense of her wisdom, since it is clearly beyond our understanding. I translated to German then Russian then French then Spanish, then back to English. This is what I ended up with:

    Those who are terribly disappointed by political leaders as the real problems bombed media accomplices to take us to overlook, to avoid unnecessary distractions to look at reality fell Culture promoted, you should know how to hide these distractions causes paltsaosnovnye many of our problems.

    Google’s brutally mangled translation makes just as much sense as the original drivel.

  101. 101
    👽 Martin says:

    @Gin & Tonic: It’s not clear. I think CalSTRS has an account that Cerberus is managing directly, so it is indeed buying shares specifically for the pension fund, but CalSTRS only reports that there’s this big private equity block.

  102. 102
    some guy says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    and a hugely successful push back ensured that particular benefit cut never got past the trail balloon stage. thank god for liberals. let’s hope the liberals and the unions can stop Obama from cutting Social Security benefits and raising taxes on working people.

  103. 103
    hep kitty says:

    @Violet: It pissed me off to hear Joe Manchin whining, “I never dreamed it could happen to babies” but not before mentioning he was a “proud” gunowner member of the NRA.

    So with all these mass shootings which involved both adults and some children, by the way, in malls, hair salons, movie theaters, etc. it never occurred to you Manchin, that children, who are infinitely more defenseless, could be gunned down in cold blood as well. And yes, that would include possibly while they are at school.

  104. 104
    JPL says:

    @👽 Martin: Well Boehner said no. He wants to protect those earning between 400 and 1 million. We are going over the cliff which won’t effect me but I fear the slowing growth will lead us into another recession.

  105. 105
    some guy says:

    @👽 Martin:

    see, that didn’t take very long for one of the resident Center-Rightists to tell us why cutting Social Security benefits and raising taxes on working people is a GOOD idea.

    fucking idiot

  106. 106

    @Another Halocene Human: I don’t give a shit about hereditary heroes.

    This is why a certain part of my brain rejects even Empire. If you take the original Star Wars on its own, Luke is an everyman, just some kid who gets a tap on the shoulder from fate and rises above his humble origins to take down a giant. Sure, he’s the son of a Jedi, but the film leaves enough detail out that you can believe that’s about as remarkable as being the son of a Navy Seal.

  107. 107
    👽 Martin says:

    @some guy:

    see, that didn’t take very long for one of the resident Center-Rightists to tell us why cutting Social Security benefits and raising taxes on working people is a GOOD idea.

    Actually, it’s straight-up increasing benefits for those that most need the benefits, in exchange for slower growth from those who are far more likely to have other retirement plans. This is functionally equivalent to raising the payroll cap while increasing the floor for the poorest Americans. Yesterday you loved that plan. Today you hate it because Obama.

    And because of the nature of the brackets and how deductions are structured, the impact of CCPI on tax policy will mostly be felt at the top again, but it’s a very good tradeoff against extending the middle class tax cuts. We really can’t afford those long-term, so the CCPI would very slowly hand them back. The difference between the two, on average, is 0.2%, so after 10 years your $30,000 income under CPI will look like $30,600 under CCPI. Even at 25% on that last $600 you’re paying $150 more in taxes 10 years out. You’re better off under CCPI than under the Clinton tax rates.

    And, by the way, you’re now to the left of that DINO Nancy Pelosi, because she’s okay with the CCPI change. Obama wouldn’t have put it on the table without her okay.

  108. 108
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @redshirt: Nice. Somebody linked this to me recently:

    http://belladonna.org/Karen/po.....rwars.html

  109. 109
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Cris (without an H): Gay brown illegal terrorists sucking down our medicare!

  110. 110
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Elizabelle: Shades of Bowling for Columbine here, for reals.

  111. 111
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @redshirt: How? Out of pity for his own offspring? Cheap, man, cheap.

    And then we get the backstory, that Vader is basically a weak-minded chickenshit in a cape. That that was literally the only courageous decision in his life, and even at that, we already know his ambition to make his son supreme ruler, pushing Palpy-pants out of the way. The calculus was in favor. His sacrifice is hollow.

  112. 112
  113. 113
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @👽 Martin: Thanks for the explanation. I now regret calling Bill Nelson in a fit of pique over this CPI thing.

    Although I still think Congress ought to pay 20% of their health insurance premiums, with the rest of the peons.

  114. 114
    hep kitty says:

    oops

  115. 115
    Roger Moore says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Although I still think Congress ought to pay 20% of their health insurance premiums, with the rest of the peons.

    And I think everyone should have their healthcare paid for by the Government, just like Congress.

  116. 116
    JPL says:

    @Another Halocene Human: I think Congress should remove metal detectors and allow us to carry concealed weapons.

  117. 117
    bemused says:

    @hep kitty:

    Republicans are incapable of looking down the road for bumps ahead.

  118. 118
    General Stuck says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Thanks for explaining this tax math stuff. I try to learn it, and get the foggy noggin. It’s always a bewilderment to see so called progressives hate on that which is progressive, or favoring the lowest rungs of the econ ladder. Why we call em emoprogs, I reckon. Though moron would do.

  119. 119
    redshirt says:

    This also looks like a photoshop.

  120. 120
    redshirt says:

    @Another Halocene Human: There is no greater love than a Father for his Son. ;)

    Also, Christianity.

  121. 121
    👽 Martin says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Thanks for the explanation. I now regret calling Bill Nelson in a fit of pique over this CPI thing.

    Don’t. I mean, let’s not gloss over the fact that SS was supposed to be a safety net for the most needy and it’s that group which it doesn’t always serve best – particularly if we consider that health care costs are largely fixed for all incomes (bypass surgery for poor people costs the same as for rich people). So, alone, the C-CPI changes are a raw deal. But tie that to a change in the SS bend points so that low-income workers walk away with a larger piece of the pie in exchange for top earners walking away with slightly less, and continued work on lowering healthcare costs, and I think we’re getting somewhere beneficial.

    The main problem with the CCPI debate is that people really don’t understand the details of it. SS pays out based on the average of your top 35 wage years. But that number is indexed to wage inflation, not price inflation. Those are very different numbers, and wage inflation in the US is almost universally higher than price inflation. The effect of this is that when SSA calculates your AIME (Average Indexed Monthly Earnings), you’re getting (relative to costs) a pretty healthy bonus on what you earned, and that’s the starting point for where people’s benefits are calculated. You then get a COLA on top of that based on price inflation (CPI). To give a sense of the problem, wage inflation is cumulatively almost double the rate of price inflation – basically, we’re all getting richer on average relative to what we buy. Obviously that’s more true for folks at the top and not so much at the bottom, but folks at the bottom are getting their benefits boosted by the contribution of wage growth at the top, so it helps.

    The long-term effect of this is that SS benefits relative to the poverty line have been growing, but they’ve been growing at the top end as well, where top SS benefits is now about 80% of the median individual wage in this country. Frankly, that’s absurd, and those payouts are really blowing through the trust. Two options on the table to address this are to slow the AIME by indexing to a lower wage rate – but that hurts poor people because it lowers the starting point for benefits immediately, or keep the starting benefits high, but slow the rate of growth. (Other options are to raise the cap, change the retirement age, and means test benefits)

    The plan favored by Simpson-Bowles (stay with me) was to restore the benefits formula to something closer to what it looked like a generation ago by making SS benefits flatter – more money for lower-income workers and less for higher-income (less income disparity in retirement), and pay for that with a slower growth rate. I believe that’s what’s been proposed, but everyone is cherry picking the plan and complaining to Politico to make their case for not doing anything.

  122. 122
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Roger Moore: How would we incentivize Congress to apply the necessary discipline austerity to the healthcare market if they get their healthcare for free? Duh.

  123. 123
    some guy says:

    Actually, it’s straight-up increasing benefits for those that most need the benefits, in exchange for slower growth from those who are far more likely to have other retirement plans.

    actually it’s not. man, the lies just flow off your lips like honey.

    a few weeks ago you were telling us that Obama would NEVER EVER EVER use the Simpson Bowles Chained CPUI, and now you are telling us raising taxes on working people and cutting benefits for grannies is a GOOD thing.

    the bullshit you sling is just incredible.

  124. 124
    👽 Martin says:

    @General Stuck:

    It’s always a bewilderment to see so called progressives hate on that which is progressive, or favoring the lowest rungs of the econ ladder.

    The problem is that members of Congress are leaking out bits of the plan and painting a non-progressive picture of what’s being considered, when in total, it doesn’t look so bad (but they don’t reveal the good bits). What gets leaked isn’t inaccurate, but it’s almost always wholly incomplete, and you have to trust that Nancy wouldn’t sign onto something like CCPI unless there were components to the plan (which were unaware of) that helped more.

    The pieces I’ve mentioned pretty much always came along for the ride with CCPI, so I presume they’re still in the plan.

    And CCPI isn’t some regressive conservative thing. It’s a better way of calculating price inflation based on our ability to collect and work with VASTLY more and better data than we could in the 1960s. Computers and that shit. It’s simply a more accurate measurement, nothing more. It’s science, and it kind of pisses me off when progressives go all batshit when science doesn’t go their way.

  125. 125
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @General Stuck: It’s always a bewilderment to see so called progressives hate on that which is progressive, or favoring the lowest rungs of the econ ladder. Why we call em emoprogs, I reckon. Though moron would do.

    Everything you said, while contradictory, is correct. The key here is one very simple thing: fear. Fear is what drives emoprogs. Fear is what makes them morons. Fear is what makes them lash out against their erstwhile allies. Fear makes them the mirror image of the fraidy-cat dead-ender right wing keyboard kommandos (103rd Chairborne!).

    Trauma from 30 years of Reagan-Bushism? Well, I’m sure emoprogs come to emoproggism from a multitude of directions. But in the end, they are ruled by their amygdala, and this makes them Dumb.

  126. 126
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @JPL: Look at them, all huddling in a corner and covering their shriveled ‘nads because some spicy Borricuas tried to get fiery and passionate on Truman’s noggin.

  127. 127
    some guy says:

    a 5 percent cut over 12 years in SS benefits, despite Obama’s campaign promise that he would NOT cut SS benefits.

    repeatedly assuring us he wouldn’t cut benefits, only to offer to cut benefits, the only thing more unsurprising is the conservatives around here telling us this is a GOOD thing.

    just too funny

  128. 128
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Can any Michiganders explain to me why Carl Levin is trying to kill filibuster reform? Nothing Schumer or Pryor would do can surprise me, but I’ve always liked Levin.

  129. 129
    some guy says:

    the Tax Policy Center calls this a regressive tax, the CPBB calls this a regressive tax, Paul Krugman calls this a regressive tax, the unions calls this a regressive tax.

    the only people who think this switch to a Chained CPI-U is a “progressive” thing are the Center-Right blowhards at BJ and the Third Way types out shilling for it right now

  130. 130
    cathyx says:

    @👽 Martin:

    , wage inflation is cumulatively almost double the rate of price inflation – basically, we’re all getting richer on average relative to what we buy. Obviously that’s more true for folks at the top and not so much at the bottom, but folks at the bottom are getting their benefits boosted by the contribution of wage growth at the top, so it helps.

    Wow, this is farcical. Wages are not growing faster than prices. They haven’t grown at all for the last 12 years. But we all know that prices certainly have. Only for the top wage earners have wages grown at all, and they cap taxing wages for SS up to $100,000. So those top earners you mention aren’t helping contributions at all.

  131. 131
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Exactly.

    The NRA was founded right after the Civil War to promote marksmanship…and sales, because these big firearms and ammo manufacturers who were needed during the Civil War suddenly didn’t have a market anymore…the war was over. So foster a market. All the other activities are designed to facilitate the sales of firearms and ammunition.

    The NRA has ALWAYS been about moving product, from its foundation onward. The product happens to be a tool that was designed from the get go to kill people.

  132. 132
    cathyx says:

    And don’t forget that social security has nothing to do with the ‘fiscal cliff’. It is not affected by the budget.

  133. 133
    General Stuck says:

    @some guy:

    Is it really cutting benefits when something takes away from the wealthy, and gives to the not wealthy? Obama says, and has said, any changes to entitlements, including SS, would only be for shoring up those programs. And not to pay down the debt. As I suspect could be why reports say Boehner rejects the alleged offer.

    Some primates sling shit
    others have tails
    that swing through the forest with ease.
    while others don’t dare
    to see that forest
    for the trees.

    Haiku of the damned – Grandma Stuck, in the year nineteen aught one.

  134. 134
    MattR says:

    @👽 Martin: The one thing I have not seen covered anywhere (probably because there are not enough details out to do so) is how this would affect the middle third of social security recipients.

    Also, from what I understand wage inflation has been near or behind price inflation for the past few years.

  135. 135
    👽 Martin says:

    @some guy:

    actually it’s not. man, the lies just flow off your lips like honey.

    Part of the proposal was to set minimum SS benefits at 125% of poverty.

    Currently, the minimum SS benefit is $1 per month. Yes, one dollar. The average SS benefit is $14,760 per year for an individual. The individual poverty level right now is $11,170. The proposal would be to raise the minimum from $12/year to $13,962, just a bit below the current average, and then at the top to flatten things waaaaay out, so that people who earned an average of $63K or more while they worked draw less. If you’re earning an average of $63K per year for 35 years, you better have a fucking IRA or pension, and even if you don’t you’re still going to be pulling 250% of the poverty level.

    9% of retirees are drawing less than $11,170 per year from SS. Another 6% (15% total) are drawing less than $13,962. For nonmarried women, that’s 25% total. For blacks and latinos, it’s 30% total. So, ⅓ of all retired minorities have retirement benefits near or below the poverty line (most are below). All of those groups get a HUGE boost under this plan, because they’ll be long dead before that 0.2% COLA cut catches up with the up-to-$13,950 increase in benefits.

    And you’re telling me this isn’t a progressive idea…

  136. 136
    JustAnotherBob says:

    @JPL: @JPL:

    The local news is talking about Dick’s Sporting Goods removing sporting rifles such as the bushmaster from it’s shelf. WTF is a sporting rifle?

    A gun designed for the sport of kiddie-plunking….

  137. 137
    Raven says:

    @JustAnotherBob: What the fuck is the matter with you? What a stupid motherfucking thing to say.

  138. 138
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Certified Mutant Enemy: Next you’ll be asking why someone thought it would be a good idea to put wheels on a robot (R2D2) when they had the technology to make them abulatory. Or why C3PO was programmed to be so concerned about self preservation. Or why no one though light shields would be a good idea. Once you go down that rabbit hole, it’s hard to get out.

  139. 139
    some guy says:

    typical wanker move:

    first:

    The problem is that members of Congress are leaking out bits of the plan and painting a non-progressive picture of what’s being considered, when in total, it doesn’t look so bad (but they don’t reveal the good bits).

    then:
    The pieces I’ve mentioned pretty much always came along for the ride with CCPI, so I presume they’re still in the plan.

    shorter Martin: those liberals are painting an unfair and incomplete picture, whereas the picture I am painting is totally fair and totally complete. I presume.

    too funny

  140. 140
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    SHIT! I just got in from a 12 hour trip home from Mexico. Looking forward to a day or two of downtime in Detroit. But before I had even left the airport I had a flight booked to Ottumwa Iowa for work tomorrow morning.
    I’ll bet it isn’t nice there. In the last 2 weeks I’ve been home for 10 hours total.

  141. 141
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Star Wars is so right-brained that it’s just sad to see someone go analytical on it. That’s not what it is. Star Wars is space opera. Wars is the fantasy genre with scifi clothes. Science fantasy, as some term it. That’s all it was ever intended to be.

    DING DING DING DING DING!

    This is why “midichlorians” were so upsetting to a lot of fans. It was a retcon sort of thing that tried to “explain” the Force, and it doesn’t fit well in a fantasy with SF clothing.

    Trek has many faults, but it always tries very hard to sound like there’s some scientific basis for it, even though science right now tells us that it’s fantasy.

    Lucas has no compunction at all in retconing on the fly, in a manner that would make Winston Smith’s superiors heads spin.

  142. 142
    Roger Moore says:

    @👽 Martin:

    And CCPI isn’t some regressive conservative thing. It’s a better way of calculating price inflation based on our ability to collect and work with VASTLY more and better data than we could in the 1960s.

    The bigger problem is that our normal CPI calculations use a goods basket that doesn’t accurately reflect typical Social Security recipients’ spending habits. They tend to spend a lot more on healthcare than is included in the CPI goods basket, and healthcare is an area where inflation has been faster than the rest of the economy. That means our current measurements underestimate the effect of inflation on SS recipients, and chained CPI will make things worse.

  143. 143
    some guy says:

    @👽 Martin:

    that’s correct, that’s what I am telling you. cutting benefits to the most successful government program ever is, in fact, regressive.

    horrible politics, horrible economics, horrible for those getting their benefits cut. dress it up all you want, this is a regressive cut that will also have a regressive impact on taxes.

    Obama repeatedly promised he wouldn’t cut Social Security benefits. Now he told Boner he would.

    Obama repeatedly promised he wouldn’t raise taxes on those making less than $250,000. he just promised Boner he would.

    And the second term hasn’t even begun yet.

  144. 144
    👽 Martin says:

    @cathyx:

    Wow, this is farcical. Wages are not growing faster than prices. They haven’t grown at all for the last 12 years. But we all know that prices certainly have. Only for the top wage earners have wages grown at all, and they cap taxing wages for SS up to $100,000. So those top earners you mention aren’t helping contributions at all.

    Wages are definitely growing faster than prices – just not for the bottom 75% or so. But the wage inflation rate isn’t capped. If the top one-percent earn so much more that they can pull the national wage average up by 1%, then everybody gets a 1% inflation raise to their AIME, even if the worker never saw a raise.

    So even if those wage increases aren’t fairly distributed over the workers lifetime, it’ll look to SS (after adjustments for inflation) like low-wage workers earned a lot more money when they were young and saw their wages decline over time. But that’s a good thing, because it’s giving the worker a retroactive ‘raise’ in their retirement calculation that they never saw in real life – so proportionate to their closing salary, their retirement benefits will be a lot better than it would have been otherwise.

    This says nothing about the problem of workers not earning real COLAs to wage inflation. That’s a real and unaddressed problem, but SS at least compensates for it as much as it can.

    None of what I’ve said up to now has anything to do with contributions, btw. But the difference between wage inflation and price inflation, combined with the cap, means that wage inflation that should have been more broadly distributed is instead piling up above the cap, and as a result, SS is getting starved there as well. But raising contributions, while making SS more solvent, won’t change the fact that the minimum SS payout is $1 a month. There’s a possible opportunity here to change that, provided the math long-term works out.

  145. 145
    👽 Martin says:

    @some guy:

    shorter Martin: those liberals are painting an unfair and incomplete picture, whereas the picture I am painting is totally fair and totally complete. I presume.

    Actually, shorter Martin: I trust Nancy Pelosi to back a fair proposal than I do some anonymous Politico source. So should you, yet you don’t.

  146. 146
    redshirt says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: Truly you are a citizen of the Americas.

    Demand days off man.

  147. 147
    some guy says:

    @cathyx:

    please try not to confuse Martin with reality.

  148. 148
    General Stuck says:

    @some guy:

    er, far as we know, Obama hasn’t promised anything. You can say alleged, but not that it is a fact.

  149. 149
    General Stuck says:

    @some guy:

    Shorter some guy – I’m too stupid to understand all this math shit, so I will holler and scream instead.

  150. 150
    👽 Martin says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The bigger problem is that our normal CPI calculations use a goods basket that doesn’t accurately reflect typical Social Security recipients’ spending habits.

    But the 75 year solution to that can’t be to just shove larger piles of money into the hands of retirees, to then just fork over to HoverRound. Proposals to fund SS distributions to match health care inflation are just a healthcare industry welfare program.

    The solution to healthcare inflation is to keep kicking it in the head until it’s in line with the rest of the economy. Long term, it’s the only solution, as anything else will eventually consume the entire economy. That’s 7th grade math right there.

    Get SS benefits growing with the best inflation measure we can come up with and pound the shit out of senior healthcare inflation until it matches that very same measure. There is no other workable solution that will last until most of us retire. Compounding interest is a wicked beast and will consume you whole given enough time. Did we learn nothing from the Tribbles?

  151. 151
    trollhattan says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Especially in a state where assault rifles are illegal as is concealed- and open-carry.

    California has concealed carry. Permits are issued at the city/county level.

    Betty, I’m loving your capsule art, and am boggled to think what you could have created back in the lead era.

  152. 152
    👽 Martin says:

    @some guy:

    that’s correct, that’s what I am telling you. cutting benefits to the most successful government program ever is, in fact, regressive.

    So raising benefits for some from $12 to $13,962 is a cut.

    The only people that see measurable cuts under that proposed plan are those who earned over $100K per year over 35 years. That’s the group you’re really pissed off about.

  153. 153
    gwangung says:

    @some guy:

    Details MATTER.

    Math MATTERS.

    It’s clear you’re not into either one of them. And BECAUSE of that, I think you’re an idiot, no better than a typical wingnut (because you’re falling for the same semantic games the Republicans play).

  154. 154
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    As far as I can tell, the vast majority of the “Obama is going to kill Social Security and Medicare!” squad are people in their 50s who lost a huge chunk of their 401(k) or IRA in the 2008 crash, and many of them also lost their jobs and have had a really hard time finding another one. They have realized that Social Security may end up being the only retirement income they have, and they are now panicking.

    I don’t entirely blame them for freaking out, but it would be nice if they would be constructive instead of running around in circles screeching about how we’re all doomed! DOOOMED!

  155. 155
    gwangung says:

    @some guy:

    please try not to confuse Martin with reality.

    Well, you’re one to talk; you’re confused by math.

    You shouldn’t be taken seriously.

  156. 156
    Baud says:

    Open Thread (Wine Foil Art Tin Foil Hat Edition)

    Fixed!

  157. 157
    some guy says:

    @👽 Martin:

    that bump does NOT happen up front, under Obama’s current offer.

    any other lies you want to share with us tonight?

  158. 158
    gwangung says:

    By the way, one of the friends I started my comedy group with has been able to put a decent career, and has a small arc on this season’s How I Met Your Mother.

    No matter what you feel about the show, I still think it’s neat.

  159. 159
    Mnemosyne says:

    @some guy:

    that bump does NOT happen up front, under Obama’s current offer.

    You have Obama’s full current offer? Give us the link, man. Klein and Krugman seem to only have “inside sources” telling them one or two pieces.

  160. 160
    some guy says:

    wow, it looks like every single Reason and Third Way talking point about SS is gonna be trotted out tonight by Martin.

    it’s almost like Pete Petersen himself, or one of his countless shills, has decided to join us. Serving Granny catfood has never seemed so “progressive” has it?

  161. 161
    gwangung says:

    @some guy: Reference. Or I’ll consider that a lie.

  162. 162
    gwangung says:

    @some guy:

    wow, it looks like every single Reason and Third Way talking point about SS is gonna be trotted out tonight by Martin.

    You’re better than this.

    Cite the source. Work the math. Show your work. You might regain your credibility that way.

  163. 163
    some guy says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    ask Martin, he seems to have the “complete” picture.

  164. 164
    gwangung says:

    ask Martin, he seems to have the “complete” picture.

    WEEEEEAAAAK.

    You’ve been asked for details and references.

    Obviously, you have nothing. You’ve been pulling this out of your ass because the arithmetic is too hard for you.

    Seriously, details matter.

  165. 165
    some guy says:

    @gwangung:
    I’m sorry that you don’t recognize the Third Way / Petersen Foundation rhetoric Martin is spewing here. really, I feel bad for you that you can’t recognize the lies he’s presenting as reality. educate yourself, there is no reason you need to cling to centrist bullshit just because the BJ Center Right Fight Club wraps their lies in reasonable sounding horse manure. you deserve better than that

  166. 166
    gwangung says:

    I’m sorry that you don’t recognize the Third Way / Petersen Foundation rhetoric Martin is spewing here. really, I feel bad for you that you can’t recognize the lies he’s presenting as reality. educate yourself, there is no reason you need to cling to centrist bullshit just because the BJ Center Right Fight Club wraps their lies in reasonable sounding horse manure. you deserve better than that

    Dude, I know math well enough that, from the verbal descriptions, I could construct a plan that would indeed screw seniors. Or I can construct one where they come out better. As I said before, the details matter. Math matters.

    I’ve asked for details and references twice. You have yet to put up.

    You, sir, are a liar.

  167. 167
    some guy says:

    Klein and Krugman seem to only have “inside sources” telling them one or two pieces.

    scroll up, you’ll see that Martin, unlike the incomplete pictures drawn by Klein and Krugman, has access to the complete picture, and his presumptions aside, seems to know details Klein, or Krugman, or anyone else following this negotiating know.

    I trust Dean Baker: “This loss would be cumulative through time so that after 10 years the cut would be roughly 3 percent, after 20 years 6 percent, and after 30 years 9 percent.”

    Martin’s evasions and outright lies I don’t trust

  168. 168
    some guy says:

    For those of us making between $30-40,000 a year, guess who gets the biggest percentage increase in our taxes if we switch to Chained CPI_U ?

  169. 169
    some guy says:

    @gwangung:

    Tax Policy Center
    Dean Baker
    Paul Krugman
    Ezra Klein

    do you ever read newspapers?

  170. 170
    Roger Moore says:

    @gwangung:

    You might regain your credibility that way.

    Did he ever have any credibility to start with? Isn’t “some guy” one of our old trolls who got banned and came back with a new nym?

  171. 171
    gwangung says:

    @some guy:

    Let’s put it this way…it matters to get a reference. It matters because of dates. It matters because I can make a better determination which people are indeed working off of better or more recent data.

    You, sir, are sloppy. After three times, you STILL fail to give a reference. You cannot be trusted because you are not precise, you are not good on details and it’s clear that neither matters to you.

    Why would I treat anyone so sloppy, so careless with details with anything like respect? I consider it quite likely that your sloppiness and carelessness with details will lead you into a wrong answer, even with the best of intentions. And I don’t consider you to have the best of intentions at all.

    You’re making claims. You’re not backing them up.

  172. 172
    gwangung says:

    @Roger Moore: Probably.

    That’s why I don’t feel any guilt about letting the bile fly.

  173. 173
    gogol's wife says:

    @redshirt:

    That is so cool! Thanks for pointing it out. It’s like a Brueghel.

  174. 174
    Darkrose says:

    @👽 Martin: Would this just effect the SS retirement benefits, or does it include SSDI?

  175. 175
    General Stuck says:

    @Darkrose:

    Would this just effect the SS retirement benefits, or does it include SSDI?

    I posted earlier from the same breathless sources of a deal that Obama is insisting on protections for the disabled among other vulnerable populations. I don’t believe any of it is completely accurate, the reporting.

  176. 176
    👽 Martin says:

    @Darkrose: Probably would affect SSDI as well. The argument for using it is to use it everywhere that you’re looking to index to price unless you have a specific argument to index to one of the other measures.

    SSDI is a much bigger problem, though. It’s bankrupt in less than 5 years. CCPI is the least of the problem of people on SSDI – something almost wholly different is going to need to be created for SSDI – either significant changes in how we fund the program, or significant changes in benefits. I have no idea what anyone has in mind for SSDI – unlike retirement, which can be nudged a bit, SSDI needs really big things done and done soon, and nobody wants to talk about that. At the moment, the plan appears to be to let SSDI run deficits and to cover their outlays from the retirement pool, which turns the ‘Social Security isn’t in trouble!’ talking points into ‘Oh shit, Social Security is in real trouble!’

    Nobody is paying attention to SSDI.

    Edit: I should add, there’s a strong case to be made to index SSDI to wage inflation rather than price. Retirement presumes that workers had about 40 years of wages to squirrel some away for retirement in addition to SS.

    That doesn’t apply to SSDI, where beneficiaries can be any age and may have had little or no time to prepare for a disability. They need something much closer to wage replacement. That makes the program (politically) harder to return to solvency, but makes more sense if it can be achieved.

  177. 177
    Corner Stone says:

    Again, why is SS even mentioned in a breath during the “fiscal cliff”?

  178. 178
    General Stuck says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Because the republicans want to talk about it and they are part of the equation to get any deal mitigating the fiscal cliff. It is their primary target for all this bullshit, and Obama is using his own style of engagement with them, but on his terms. I seriously doubt Obama is making SS a big deal, or considering anything that would be cuts used to pay down the deficit. But if the goopers want to include it in talks, might as well talk about it in progressive terms for any changes democrats would accept. It neutralizes the meme that democrats are brittle ideologues that don’t care about spending and paying for stuff.

  179. 179
    Corner Stone says:

    @General Stuck: I love this answer. I love it!
    Thank you so much.

  180. 180
    General Stuck says:

    @Corner Stone:

    You are very welcome. Now let us not speak of this again.

  181. 181
    👽 Martin says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Again, why is SS even mentioned in a breath during the “fiscal cliff”?

    Main reason?

    Because SS is bringing in less in receipts than it’s paying out. It’s only solvent because it generates more interest than the revenue shortfall, but that interest is there to cover the inflationary costs of the program, so it is, in the long run, running a deficit itself. And it’s the SSDI portion that causing the problem, not the retirement portion. Retirement is fine, disability is, to be blunt, a fucking disaster.

    When people talk about ‘Social Security’ they often hack off DI as a separate thing, but in reality they draw from the same trust. We can’t just throw away everyone on disability for the sake of those of us who are likely to only need retirement.

    But this year OASDI came up $50B short. By 2015 that’s expected to climb to $86B. At a minimum, that needs to at least head toward a balance, rather than away from it.

    But remember that when we talk about ‘deficits’, we’re not talking about ‘budgets’. They’re annoyingly completely different things. You can solve the deficit through short-term budget tactics, but you can take MUCH bigger hunks out of the deficit by going after long term baseline changes and if you already need to deal with that $50-$86B problem and can do so on the baseline, you’re going to get upwards of a trillion in deficit benefits from it just by solving a problem you already need to solve.

    So rather than try and get another trillion in taxes out of Boehner, or trim another trillion from the budget (even just from DOD, which I approve, but will be damn hard to get even Dems to vote for), why not fix SS and give him his trillion there?

    The problem with SSDI is that there is zero discussion on how to fix the problem. I mean, none. Nobody want to talk about kicking people off of disability, or reducing benefit payments, or increasing payroll taxes (especially when workers aren’t paying any). Now, there’s probably a bunch of people on disability that shouldn’t be there, but qualifying for DI is grueling now, and tightening those screws without fundamentally changing how we manage the program (which is probably necessary because it sucks for the most deserving people now). But nobody at all is talking about how to fix it. Nobody.

  182. 182
    Mnemosyne says:

    We have someone who has gone on the record about the chained CPI rumor and he says it’s not true.

    Who do you believe, Krugman’s anonymous source or Dick Durbin?

  183. 183
    General Stuck says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    This may cheer liberals who are worried that the White House is giving too much ground to Republicans by proposing “Chained CPI” for Social Security as part of a final fiscal cliff deal — in effect agreeing to a cut in Social Security benefits.

    That’s assuming the true blue liberals want to be cheered up. Debatable.

  184. 184
    NR says:

    @Mnemosyne: What rumor? The president offered Boehner Social Security cuts. This is confirmed.

  185. 185
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NR:

    Er, no, the president didn’t “offer” cuts. He considered Boehner’s demand for chained CPI:

    The Speaker and many of his Republican friends are hell bent on Chained CPI,” Durbin continued. “It may be part of an overall solution [later] but to do it at this stage is the wrong way to go.”

    How do you “offer” someone something that they’re demanding from the start? When I order a hamburger at McDonald’s, did they “offer” it to me without me asking for it?

  186. 186
    Darkrose says:

    @👽 Martin: Thank you for that explanation. I had the sense that “Social Security” in all these discussions meant “Retirement”; sounds like that’s the case.

  187. 187
    NR says:

    @Mnemosyne: Are you serious with this shit? It’s sad that you’ve been reduced to arguing about what it means to “offer” something.

    He did more than “consider” Boehner’s demand for a chained CPI, he agreed to it. And for all we know, it could have been Obama’s idea in the first place.

Comments are closed.