A Deficit Of Good Faith
Politicians who think our most popular and most efficient systems are a waste of money can't be trusted with our budget.
Connect: Our elected leaders will be judged for what they stand for and who they fight for when the chips are down.
Lead: In these times of tight budgets and struggles for ordinary Americans, we should be investing more in the most cost-efficient programs our country has to secure our retirement and health care.
Define: Instead Republicans in Congress are trying to use the deficit to scare us so we'll let them privatize Social Security, turn Medicare into a voucher, and wash their hands of Medicaid altogether.
Discredit: These are the same Republicans who exploded the debt during the Bush years and pushed the economic policies that got us the recession that's driving the deficit now.
Expose: It's irresponsible to make us to pay more for less value, shift the burden more to regular people just so the budget numbers look better on paper, and leave our children a weaker foundation for our country's economic greatness.
Bottom line: Washington politicians who think Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are a waste of money -- but not special tax loopholes for the wealthy -- can't be trusted.
ATTACKS AND RESPONSES
GOP EXCUSE: "The deficit is a national crisis -- the biggest threat facing America."
- They're actually saying that the deficit is a bigger threat than terrorists, climate change, or even the need to shore up Americans' retirement and get more value for our health care dollars.
- Of course our leaders should be responsible and careful with how they're using taxpayer dollars -- especially when times are still tough for regular Americans and unemployment is still so high, driving up the deficit that we're dealing with today.
- That's exactly why our leaders' first priorities right now should be to put Americans back to work and invest in the most cost efficient ways we have to secure our country's financial security.
- But instead of leaving a country for our children that's on even stronger economic footing, some Washington politicians want to shift the burden more to us so their numbers look better on paper.
GOP EXCUSE: "Medicare is in serious trouble and must be reformed to save it."
- Let's remember that the Republicans who like to say this want to privatize Medicare and make seniors fend for themselves against the insurance companies, armed with just a little coupon.
- This is about what Medicare means to America and our future as a country. Medicare is the foundation of our parents' and our grandparents' health care and financial security -- and it'll be there for the rest of us too.
- We work hard and pay into Medicare with every paycheck -- these are our benefits that we paid for already. In times like these, our leaders should be trying to get us more value for our dollars, shoring up our benefits, and putting Medicare on even stronger footing for the future.
- Instead some politicians in Washington are trying to shift the cost burden even more to the middle class just so their budget numbers look better -- while giving the wealthy and corporations more tax cuts.
GOP EXCUSE: "The best thing for Medicaid is to block grant it."
- When Washington politicians talk about turning Medicaid into "block grants," they're using Washington-speak for Congress slashing funding and washing their hands of the problem.
- Just look at the Congressional Republicans' plan for Medicaid, along with their plan to repeal the health care law -- it would cut $1.7 trillion from the program and throw 35 million Americans off their health coverage.
- How does making kids and seniors sicker or unable to go to the doctor make America better off?
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Even though it's the foundation of financial security for all Americans, including about one in every six Americans who are currently getting benefits, Social Security has extremely low administrative costs of 1% -- making it more cost-efficient than the Wall Street alternatives.
- In one study of 401(k) retirement accounts, an ordinary American family will pay, on average, nearly $155,000 over the course of their lifetime in effective total fees.
- Medicare and Medicaid are vastly more cost-efficient and control costs better than private insurance, which has administrative overhead as high as 17%.
- Most older Americans have very low incomes in retirement -- in 2010, half of seniors had an income less than about $26,000.
- Two-thirds of Americans support raising taxes on incomes over $250,000 -- that is, the richest 2%. National exit polling from this election also shows 60% think taxes should be increased.
- The Senate already passed and the President promises to sign a bill to extend tax cuts for 98% of Americans. But Republicans in Congress are refusing to end the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2%.
- The big corporations behind the so-called "Fix the Debt" campaign stand to get massive windfalls from their proposals, including over $130 billion from just one proposal to let them never pay any U.S. income taxes on the offshore profits they bring back home.
We develop messaging by aggregating, analyzing and distilling polling, tested messaging, and expert recommendations, and monitoring the media to identify what is and isn't working. See here for some of the experts and organizations we draw on.
Posted in - Health Care - Budget - Taxes - Economy - Seniors