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GOP proposes new 'fiscal cliff' offer to Obama

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 3, 2012 at 2:17 p.m.

— House Republicans negotiating with President Barack Obama on avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff are proposing to increase the eligibility age for Medicare and to lower cost-of-living hikes in Social Security benefits.

The proposal is a response to Obama’s offer last week to hike taxes by $1.6 trillion over the coming decade but to exempt Medicare and Social Security from cuts to beneficiaries.

The GOP plan also proposes to raise $800 billion in higher tax revenue over the decade but would keep the Bush-era tax cuts — including those for wealthier earners being targeted by Obama — in place for now.

House Speaker John Boehner said the GOP proposal is a “credible plan” for Obama and that he hopes the administration would “respond in a timely and responsible way.”

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RonalFos says... December 3, 2012 at 3:25 p.m.

I think the President should agree to the Medicare and SS recommendations if the Republicans will agree to his tax increases as long as Republicans are willing to take responsibility for what they are asking for. Solving the debt issue will take pain on all sides. I feel badly for folks on SS but the truth is they are the ones who for decades let their elected representatives spend SS funds instead of paying as we went.

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Pobucker says... December 3, 2012 at 4:02 p.m.

We here in pobucker land are hoping we can maintain enough gridlock to actually go over the cliff. Sure, it will be a shock, but it is really time for citizens to get a dose of reality. Increase everybody's taxes, cut military and social spending all in one whack. It is a fix, not a faux pas.

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nwar says... December 3, 2012 at 4:21 p.m.

RonalFos -- I don't know what people could have done about it -- when Social Security was made part of the unified federal budget, both parties were free to use the excess generated by higher payroll taxes for other purposes. It was the perfect way to mask what should have been deficit spending -- politically too tempting to reject. Personally, I believe we should enact a surtax on income over the current maximum taxed for SS purposes until those billions are re-paid. Afterall, we had funds generated from a highly regressive tax on even the lowest paid workers used for general government programs and operations, including wars. It seems only fair that the upper incomers repay that debt.

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Jjackk says... December 3, 2012 at 4:53 p.m.

Greenspan said taxes go up and down no matter what party is in control. But to get budget cuts they need to take every one they can get now. He also said no matter what happens expect a dip back into recession because any cut in spending affects the economy. Taxes don't matter because all the tax money winds its way back to the economy anyways.

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Packman says... December 3, 2012 at 6:52 p.m.

BH Obama won fair and square and should tell the Republicans to stick their proposal where the sun doesn't shine. Jjackk is absolutely correct. One way or the other, all tax money ends up where it started. This isn't about cutting the deficit or anything other than creating as much dependence on the federal government as possible. BH Obama won, let him do his thing and see what happens with the mid-terms in 2014.

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cliffcarson says... December 3, 2012 at 8:13 p.m.

To say that no one knows who took the money from SS would not be correct. There is a record of those "withdrawals". I know that because that is how I was able to find out how much money was taken out of the fund to spend otherwise.

When I get some time I will go back thru those records and see who was President and who was in the Congressional majority when the charlatans absconded with the funds.

Whoever too the money, just remember this: Since SS was initiated there has not been a year that more money was paid out for SS than was collected. What this means is that we don't need to change the rules for SS except for one: We need to make it a criminal act - lets call it theft, if it happens again. And we need to be able to put the thieves in Jail, look and see who approved the transfer and send them to jail.

And while we are at it, we need to vote against anyone - Republican, Democrat, or otherwise, that wants to cut SS before the Government pays back the money they stole.

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NoUserName says... December 3, 2012 at 9:36 p.m.

I was under the impression that excess SS funds are required by law to be used to buy government backed bonds. In effect, it dumps SS into the general treasury. I'm pretty sure *every* president 'spends' those funds (or is it more accurate to say Congress?). That's why we owe multi-trillions to SS.

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FreeSpiritMan says... December 4, 2012 at 1:42 a.m.

Was there any cuts to defense in the GOP plan? Get out of the damn wars and cut defense.

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Reason says... December 4, 2012 at 7:51 a.m.

In 1935, Social Security was set up as a pay-as-you-go system.
Payroll taxes collected, less benefits going out, less administration cost.
The excess goes into the "general account" in exchange for interest bearing bonds that goes into the Social Security trust fund. Currently there are $2.7 trillion in bonds in the Social Security trust account.
For the sake of bookkeeping... On the books there is an account for Old Age/Survivors and an account for Disabled.
The excess goes into the general fund but that does not mean that Congress had to spend it. But they did.
Congress is legally bound by law: Title II-Federal Old-Age Benefits Old-Age Reserve Account
Section 201 (2)(e) All amounts credited to the Account shall be available for making payments required under this title.
Furthermore, the US Constitution Amendment 14, Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.

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T6 says... December 5, 2012 at 9:04 a.m.

thegatewaypundit. com/2012/12/brutal-photo-of-the-day-protesters-in-egypt-slam-obama/

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