July 11, 2010

Mrs. Greenspan took some time away from the Aspen Ideas Festival to speak to the AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka about jobs and the economy. Of course like her fellow over privileged Villager Ruth Marcus, Andrea Mitchell just could not understand why the peons can't just be happy having their retirement ages raised so that we don't have to over burden her ilk with higher taxes.

Mitchell: You recently sat down with the editors of the Washington Post and they had some tough questions for you and Ruth Marcus wrote from that session "In the world according to Trumka, no benefits need be cut, no retirement ages adjusted. Simply requiring the rich to pay a fairer share would bridge the gap." She went on to say "The top two rates would have to rise to 72.4 and 76.8 percent, more than double the current level. You don't have to be anti-tax zealot Grover Norquist to think this would be insane."

I mean one of the things that they were asking about is just raising the retirement age, the Social Security benefits age, to 63, what would, what would be wrong with that?

Trumka: First of all you know, I love Ruth but her column is a very, very simplistic and a very shallow analysis of that whole conversation that we had. It was an hour and a half long and when I said...

Mitchell: Well we both love Ruth but... but her point is that you are not looking at the deficit side and that you just want to put the burden on the rich, so let me...

Trumka: Here's what I'm saying. In the short term we don't have a deficit problem. It's the long term that we have to look at and the Social Security problem is not contributing in major ways to that deficit...

Mitchell: The Medicare is...

Trumka: Medicare is. That's exactly right and that deals with health care and I think that we ought to strengthen the health care bill. We ought to have a strong public option. We ought to negotiate better drug price containment and we all ought to work to contain those costs. I think Ruth, her idea is to soak the middle class. My idea was look, the rich have gotten by and part of the deficit problem we have long term is because of the Bush tax cuts so let's take a little of that back. Let's make the system a little more fair and we can all win in this process.

It's easy for someone like her, whose biggest financial worry might be how to pay for their next vacation in Europe rather than whether their back is going to give out after years of physical labor, to talk about raising the retirement age from her perch at MSNBC.

She went on to ask Richard about the Chamber of Commerce's Tom Donohue carping about all the money unions are going to be pouring into politics after the Citizens United case and Trumka had to remind her that the unions were never going to keep up with big business and their donations and that he doesn't quite make the same salary as lobbyist Donohue does. I have a hard time believing that Mitchell isn't already fully aware that labor doesn't contribute the same amount of money as corporations do but that didn't stop her from playing dumb when asking him the question.

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