Social Security

You cannot make a good argument for cutting Social Security…

From digby

Mike Koszcal has efficiently pulled together all the relevant arguments in favor of the Chained-CPI — and then very properly demolishes them one by one.  He takes on the idea that that it’s a more accurate measure of the cost of living (which, if true, would mean that it wouldn’t require all these “fixes” to keep the elderly out of poverty), the idea that it’s no big deal, “not much a cut so nobody will really notice”, and the daft idea that we’ll be able to “fix” it down the road, the most fatuous argument of all.

But this gets to the fundamental stupidity of the politics:

You’ll hear arguments that a Grand Bargain is necessary, so it’s better to bring Social Security into long-term balance now, with Democrats at the helm, than in the future, when there will be less time and an uncertain governance coalition. You can get fewer cuts and more revenue than you would otherwise and take the issue off the table for the foreseeable future to concentrate on other priorities.

But if that’s your idea, then this is a terrible deal and sets a terrible precedent, because this deal would accomplish none of your goals. You’d cut Social Security without putting in any new revenue. And it wouldn’t be sufficient to close the long-term gap, so the issue would stay on the table. Indeed, the deficit hawks would probably be emboldened, viewing this as a “downpayment” on future cuts, and require any future attempts to get more revenue for Social Security, say by raising the payroll tax cap, to involve significant additional cuts.

Indeed it would.

This is the real point of this according to the CPBB, the head of which

Social Security Alert…


[Senator Bernie Sanders: “What the president is proposing is going to hurt a lot of people,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said Friday after the White House confirmed that President Obama’s budget will include cuts in Social Security. He called it a “bitter disappointment” that the White House budget proposal next week will call for changing how annual cost-of-living adjustments are calculated. As the chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Sanders added that the White House proposal also would cut benefits for disabled veterans and their survivors. As a candidate for the White House in 2008, Sanders noted, Obama pledged not to cut Social Security COLAs.]

It looks like President Obama is still open to negotiations with Republican economic terrorists. Details of the president’s budget, set to be released April 10th, show that he will offer significant spending cuts to so-called “entitlement programs”- like Social Security and Medicare – in hopes of attaining a “grand” budget bargain with Congressional Republicans.

The plan replaces the sequester with other spending cuts, and increases revenues by $580 billion. In a move that is sure to infuriate progressives and many Democrats, the president will propose lowering cost-of-living increases to Social Security benefits. This is insane. Instead of asking the wealthiest in our country to pay the same percentage of their income towards our social safety net, the President thinks that the elderly, disabled, and veterans should bear the burden of Republican austerity.

Our nation has a policy of not negotiating with terrorists, and economic terrorists shouldn’t be the exception. We must stand together to preserve our social programs. Tell Congress and the President that we won’t stand for balancing the budget on the backs of the poor. Sign the petition at

Social Security going broke?


Myth #1: Social Security is going broke.

Reality: There is no Social Security crisis.  By 2023, Social Security will have a $4.6 trillion surplus (yes, trillion with a ‘T’).  It can pay out all scheduled benefits for the next quarter-century with no changes whatsoever.1 After 2037, it’ll still be able to pay out 75% of scheduled benefits—and again, that’s without any changes. The program started preparing for the Baby Boomers’ retirement decades ago.2  Anyone who insists Social Security is broke probably wants to break it themselves.

Myth #2: We have to raise the retirement age because people are living longer.

Reality: This is a red-herring to trick you into agreeing to benefit cuts. Retirees are living about the same amount of time as they were in the 1930s. The reason average life expectancy is higher is mostly because many fewer people die as children than they did 70 years ago.3 What’s more, what gains there have been are distributed very unevenly—since 1972, life expectancy increased by 6.5 years for workers in the top half of the income brackets, but by less than 2 years for those in the bottom half.4 But those intent on cutting Social Security love this argument because raising the retirement age is the same as an across-the-board benefit cut.

Myth #3: Benefit cuts are the only way to fix Social Security.