Missouri Radio 6/28/11: "Retirement"

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Male party guest: We're here tonight to celebrate Eddie's retirement. No one's worked harder or longer.

Male party guest: But if you want to afford health care, looks like you'll have to keep working a lot longer pal.

Female Anncr: If Republicans get their way and end Medicare as we know it, this could be you. The Wall Street Journal says the Republican plan will "essentially end Medicare", ultimately forcing seniors to pay thousands more a year.

Wall Street Journal: Ryan Plan Would "Essentially End Medicare." The Wall Street Journal wrote, "Republicans will present this week a 2012 budget proposal that would cut more than $4 trillion from federal spending projected over the next decade and transform the Medicare health program for the elderly, a move that will dramatically reshape the budget debate in Washington. The budget has been prepared by Rep. Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican and the new chairman of the House Budget Committee, and it represents the most complete attempt so far by Republicans to make good on their promises during the 2010 midterm elections to cut government spending and deficits. [...] The plan would essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills. Mr. Ryan and other conservatives say this is necessary because of the program's soaring costs. Medicare cost $396.5 billion in 2010 and is projected to rise to $502.8 billion in 2016. At that pace, spending on the program would have doubled between 2002 and 2016." [Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11]

Female Anncr: But first they have to get past Claire McCaskill. She's fighting to protect Medicare and our seniors.

McCaskill Called on the White House To Protect Medicare, Vowed To Oppose Ryan Proposal To "End Medicare As We Know It." "In a letter cosigned by Senator Claire McCaskill and four other Democrats, the group called on Vice President Joe Biden to keep Medicare changes as proposed by House Republicans off the table during negotiations regarding the deficit and raising the debt ceiling. '[A]s the working group moves beyond areas of consensus and into parts of the budget that will require the toughest choices, we wish to identify in advance one proposal that we cannot support in any form the House-passed plan to dismantle Medicare,' the group wrote. 'As you know, the House-passed budget would end Medicare as we know it by destroying the guaranteed-benefit system and instead requiring seniors to enter the private insurance market. Despite the public's overwhelming rejection of this proposal and even after the Senate vote against it, many top congressional leaders are now saying they want the plan included as part of a package to reduce the deficit.' The Senators, including Sen. Bill Nelson, Sen. Ben Cardin, Sen. Sherrod Brown, and Sen. Senator Jon Tester, in addition to McCaskill, thanked Biden for holding the negotiations and called on him to continue to oppose the Ryan plan. 'We encourage you to remain unwavering in opposition to this scheme. For the good of the nation's seniors, it must remain off the table,' they urged Biden." [Politico, 6/6/11]

Female Anncr: Just like she's fighting to end tax breaks for big oil and cut spending.

McCaskill Voted To End Tax Breaks For Big Oil Companies, Sought To "Hold Big Oil Accountable" As Gas Prices Rise. "The Senate on Tuesday blocked a Democratic proposal to strip the five leading oil companies of tax breaks that backers of the measure said were unfairly padding industry profits while consumers were struggling with high gas prices. Despite falling eight votes short of the 60 needed to move ahead with the bill, top Democrats said they would insist that eliminating the tax breaks to generate billions of dollars in revenue must be part of any future agreement to raise the federal debt limit. 'We have to stand up and say, ā€˜Enough is enough,' " said Senator Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota. 'While oil prices are gouging the pocketbooks of American families, these companies are on a pace for a record profit this year...' Also on Tuesday, Senate Democrats wrote to the Federal Trade Commission seeking an inquiry into whether domestic oil refiners had reduced production to drive down the gasoline supply and drive up prices. "This is just another piece of the puzzle that we need to get at as we try to take away taxpayer subsidies to Big Oil and hold Big Oil accountable for whatever may be going on in the supply chain that is hurting the families that I work for," said Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri." [New York Times, 5/17/11; Roll Call 72, "S.940, Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act," 5/17/11]

  • McCaskill Condemned Use Of "Taxpayer Money" For "Corporate Welfare." "'These are the most profitable companies in the world,' [McCaskill] said. 'If we cannot take away federal tax dollars from corporations that are as successful as these, then what chance do we have of cleaning up the tax code and all of the other goodies that are there?...' McCaskill said the five companies Shell Oil, Exxon Mobil, BP, Chevron and ConocoPhillips fiercely oppose the bill despite being on track to make an estimated $125 billion in profits this year. 'What are they going to say, that it's a good idea to take billions of dollars in corporate welfare away from us?' she said. 'Of course they're going to fight this. They're going to fight it with everything they've got. It's free money to them. We'll see who wins...' McCaskill said she didn't think taking away the subsidies would have any impact on gas prices or jobs. She said a Senate vote will show whether the Republican Party 'stands with taxpayers or if they're going to stand with the oil companies. Here's the bottom line. If we are going to be serious about the deficit, if we are going to be serious about our debt, can we really afford to give taxpayer money away to the most profitable companies in the history of the planet?' she said. 'We can't afford that kind of corporate welfare.'" [Associated Press, 5/13/11]

David Brooks Op-Ed: McCaskill Spending Cap Bill Could Be Important Part Of Debt Grand Bargain. "Republicans and a few moderate Democrats are rallying behind a spending cap plan, co-sponsored in the Senate by the Republican Bob Corker and the Democrat Claire McCaskill. In its simplest form, the bill would cap federal spending at 20.6 percent of gross domestic product, the recent historic average. If spending rose above that, automatic cuts would ensue. Democrats like Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, support a deficit cap plan. If deficits got bigger than, say, 3 percent of GDP, then a mixture of spending cuts and tax increases would ensue... Once there is a serious spending reduction on the table, that changes the whole psychology. There are many Republicans who, in those circumstances, would support a tax reform package that didn't raise tax rates but that did, when scored dynamically, raise a lot of tax revenue. That would make Democrats happy. The whole thing could be enforced by adopting a version of the Bipartisan Policy Center's save-as-you-go idea. This is like the pay-as-you-go rules that restrained spending and debt in the 1990s, only it is much tougher. If Corker's spending caps and Reid's deficit caps got together, the save-as-you-go plan would be their love child. The circumstances of the debt-ceiling fight make compromise more likely than at any other time. I wouldn't say a grand bargain is likely, just more likely than it has been." [New York Times, 6/12/11]

Female Anncr: She even voted against her own party's budget because it spent too much.

McCaskill Rejected Democratic Budget, Demanded "More Substantial" Deficit Reduction. "The Senate rejected two different proposals Wednesday to rein in government spending as Democrats stepped up a campaign to close tax loopholes to counter a Republican drive to reduce deficits through deep domestic spending cuts alone... The Democratic proposal to trim $6.5 billion garnered only 42 votes, with 58 lawmakers rejecting it as a paltry amount in the face of public pressure to reduce deficits. Ten Democrats ā€” many up for reelection or who represent swing states, and one independent who caucuses with Democrats ā€” joined all Senate Republicans in voting against that measure. Their "no" vote signals that some in the party want more cuts on the table. 'It's got to be more substantial,' said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who seeks a proposal that makes cuts 'in a responsible way, to show the American people we get it.'" [Los Angeles Times, 3/10/11]

Female Anncr: No wonder Republican hitman Karl Rove and his billionaire backers are attacking McCaskill.

If they win, Missouri can say goodbye to Medicare...and retirement parties.

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American Crossroads, Heavily Tied to Karl Rove, Attacking McCaskill in Ads. The Wall Street Journal blog wrote, "American Crossroads, the outside campaign group with links to Karl Rove, launched a radio ad campaign Wednesday against Sen. Claire McCaskill, the centrist Democrat from Missouri who remains one of the GOP's top targets as they try to take back the Senate in 2012. Crossroads, which plans to spend $120 million on the 2012 elections, dropped $50,000 on the statewide media buy, a group spokesman said. The first ad is styled as a morning newscast, arguing that Ms. McCaskill's messages to constituents differ from her voting record." [Wall Street Journal, 6/22/11]

Perenchio Gave $2 Million to American Crossroads. The Wall Street Journal wrote, "Jerry Perenchio, the former chairman of the Spanish-language television network Univision, cut American Crossroads a $2 million check this spring, according the Republican outside group's latest filing with the Federal Election Commission." [Wall Street Journal, 6/24/11]

  • Forbes Reported Perenchio Worth $2.2 Billion. [Forbes]

Robert Rowling Gave $1 Million to American Crossroads. According to American Crossroads' FEC report, Robert Rowling gave $1 million to the group. [American Crossroads FEC Report, 6/20/11]

  • Forbes Reported Rowling Worth $4.4 Billion. [Forbes]