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Has Obama created a Social Security 'death panel'?

Fire Dog Lake - There’s a very important an article in the Neiman Watchdog this morning (Harvard’s journalism review, Deputy Editor Dan Froomkin). It’s written by Nancy Altman and Eric Kingson, entitled “Has Obama created a Social Security ‘death panel’?

Headlines like that are normally the reserve of DFH bloggers, so it’s notable that the academic world is talking about Obama’s Deficit Commission in that way. Even more notable are the article’s authors: Altman and Kingson both served on the Obama Campaign’s Retirement Security Advisory Committee, and then on the Advisory Committee to the Social Security Administration Transition Team.

Altman was on the faculty of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, has taught at the Harvard Law School, and was Alan Greenspan’s assistant when he chaired the commission that developed the 1983 Social Security amendments. She also served as a legislative assistant on Social Security issues to John Danforth, whose Danforth-Kerrey Commission was the predecessor to Obama’s commission. Kingson was also a staffer on the Greenspan Commission, and was Social Security Advisor to the Kerrey-Danfoth Commission.

Alex Lawson has been livestreaming the closed door of the Catfood Commission on FDL. They have refused to conduct their deliberations in public, but the committee is stacked with enough votes to cut benefits. It takes 14 out of 18 votes to pass any recommendation on the committee, and there appear to be a sufficient number of votes to do so based on the past positions of individual members. So Altman and Kingson raise important questions, but to my mind, none more important than these: Read more.


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