his apparent enthusiasm for privatizing Social Security and other parts of our social safety net.
Never understood the terror about “privatizing” parts of Social Security. The goal should be what yields the best results for seniors, not the method being used.
Transforming Social Security from a dependable retirement benefit into a risky personal investment account was a major conservative policy aspiration in the early 2000s.
Disingenuous statement. Just because part (or even all) of Social Security funds are exposed to the public markets does not mean they are suddenly more risky. The question to be asked is, “Does the government guarantee the promised payouts, or not?”.
This proposal arrived like a lead balloon, and was ultimately abandoned amid widespread public resistance.
Yep. Ignorant ideologues undermined the proposal, which would have maintained guaranteed payments to recipients regardless of what happens in the markets. Considering Social Security is currently scheduled to cut payments by 30%-ish percent in 2034, which will undoubtedly lead to thousands of senior citizens being kicked out of their homes and residences ….. it was worth a closer look.
We do not — and may never — know what role Kavanaugh played in the administration’s Social Security scheme.
Well, without evidence that he played any role at all, people of character assume “none”. And if he did play a role, we can congratulate him for his apparently ability to think outside of the existing Social Security interest “trap”.
Senate Republican leaders have barreled ahead to schedule his Supreme Court confirmation hearing while refusing to honor a bipartisan request to see his White House staff secretary records first.
Screw that. It’s not going to change anybody’s votes.
However, I do have a proposal for the Democrats. If they don’t like Kavanaugh, fair enough. Pick somebody else from Trump’s list and confirm them quickly and without any fussing. Nobody on the right will be disturbed if you prefer Barrett or Kethledge.
But we do have Kavanaugh’s judicial records, and those hint that he carries on the right-wing dream of turning over Americans’ retirement benefits to Wall Street.
In the end, the court upheld the constitutionality of the ACA. But Kavanaugh dissented. And he used his dissenting opinion in part to shape a right-wing silver lining to the court’s decision, arguing that if the ACA was constitutional, then Social Security privatization would be, too.
Well, that’s kind of obvious, eh? Social Security is not mentioned in the Constitution, after all. It exists in whatever form Congress votes it to be.
“The majority opinion’s holding means, for example, that a law replacing Social Security with a system of mandatory private retirement accounts would be constitutional,” Kavanaugh argued.
Ah. This isn’t really an opinion about Social Security privatization PER SE, but an opinion about the constitutionality of forcing citizens to purchase a product, which is *not* constitutional (we hope), which is why the individual mandate was ruled to be a tax, in order to get around that little legal problem. It is more likely here that Kavanaugh was floating a balloon, reminding the lefty justices that if they upheld the challenge to the ACA, they were establishing precedent that could later be used to uphold something they don’t like so much.
Indeed, Kavanaugh seemed to prefer privatizing social services of all kinds. He expressed hope that the government would follow a “blueprint . . . to partially privatize the social safety net and government assistance programs and move, at least to some degree, away from the tax-and-government-benefit model that is common now.”
As I said previously, let’s do whatever works. Other nations around the world expose some of their social spending to public markets to increase returns and stabilize their systems; there’s no reason why we should think doing so is taboo.
Last year, he voted to strike down the Obama administration’s Net Neutrality regulations (which have since been repealed by the Trump administration), arguing that they violated the free speech rights of big Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon.
Do they? No matter how much you love net neutrality, if it’s unconstitutional, well, sorry. That’s called the rule of law.
But his sympathy for that policy goal is telling. Stripped of judicial varnish, Kavanaugh is a run-of-the-mill entitlement-cutting, pro-business, anti-regulation Heritage Foundation conservative.
I know. Don’t you just love him? :-)
But if Kavanaugh is confirmed by the Senate, those same politics will linger on the Supreme Court for decades, even as they are rejected by more and more of a changing American electorate.
Well, as much as I am suspicious of Ryan-style corporatism, it is at least a stabilizing force. As much as I would love to see a libertarian justice on the Court, better to have a conservative/corporatist than somebody who doesn’t respect the constitution.
If progressives win back political power in the coming years
Win back? Progressives have never had political power. Pelosi and Schumer (and your last president, and the one you tried to foist on us in 2016) are as corporatist as Ryan and McConnell; they just believe in slightly higher tax rates and slightly higher levels of social spending.
That sets up a collision course with the vestiges of the anti-government conservative movement hanging on to the Supreme Court. And then what?
Probably a lot more of this: