Social Security and the current fad of being balanced and comprehensive
Salon writer Natasha Lennard reports that a sticking point around Social Security stalled ‘fiscal cliff’ back and forth rejoinders between the two parties, but also points out that the topic continues to be on the table (and has been offered by President Obama before these talks a couple years ago). Notice both parties using the same language of “part of a balanced, comprehensive agreement” as the fix is in without looking at other parts of the budget…these back and forth sallies are bi-partisan in appearance, but do not address the current version of ‘fical cliff’ responsibilities.
A free gift to the political players and the cover of the moment, a matter not even related to current fiscal responsibility, nor to the real world impact it has on poverty and seniors, nor the carefully thought out and responsible plans offered to address real issues.
In what Democratic aides told reporters was a “major setback” in fiscal cliff negotiations, Republicans proposed throwing a Social Security cut into the scaled-back deal Congress is attempting to cobble together in advance of the New Year deadline. As things stand at the time of writing, negotiations are close to breakdown.
Aides to Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell presented the Social Security proposal, which included a method of calculating benefits with inflation. The plan would lower cost of living increases for Social Security recipients. Democrats were swift to reject the offer.
A Democratic aide told ABC News that the proposal was a “poisoned pill” in the current negotiations. However, it should be noted that President Obama has suggested a similar proposal within the context of negotiations on a broad deficit-reduction deal. Such a measure had been taken off the table in discussions over a scaled-back, short-term agreement.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor Sunday, “We’re willing to make difficult concessions as part of a balanced, comprehensive agreement but we’ll not agree to cut social security benefits as part of a small or short-term agreement, especially if that agreement gives more handouts to the rich.”
How do I know this? Well, it is worth the time to follow posts at Angry Bear over the next few months, and to compare the analysis to your own understandings. Bruce Webb will be writing with updated numbers, a must to understand the words others are using, and to gain further understanding of the big numbers used to argue political points of view.
the “balance” has nothing to do with the money or who pays. cutting Social Security will have no effect on the budget whatsoever.
what cutting Social Security will do is hurt the poor.
this will make “the rich” feel better about having their taxes raised which will “hurt them.” won’t save them a dime. but it makes them feel better to see someone else get hurt.
this is evil for the sake of evil.
Both sides talking about cutting SS benefits as part of a balanced approach shows that both sides are either too stupid to understand that SS is not a budget item or they both think the American people are too stupid to understand that SS is not a budget item.
I propose we eliminate SS. Instruct the Fed to purchase the the SS trust funds special IOU’s after they are converted to a fixed term security (term to be determined). Take the proceeds and pay out every single SS contributor their share of the pot. Easily done, they know to the penny what everyone hascontributed (or are entitled to as survivors). Pay it out over two or four years perhaps.
The only problem is the crime wave associated with this will be stupendous but what the hell. Directly monetizing $1.X trillion and putting it in citizen hands will certainly be stimulative
I propose this only because otherwise events, monetary in all probability, will end SS within the decade anyway. At least let the people party for a few years.
This obviously doesn’t solve the ‘debt’ problem but the Fed could always say, ‘what the hell, don’t pay us back’. Or alternately once the idea of $1.X free trillion dollars grips the public imagination there will be no stopping it. Nobody cares about the debt but pathetic losers.
Rapier, sorry to tell you this, but no individual citizen (or other eligible person) has a specific dollar share interest in the SS Trust Fund. What we have, all us lucky folks who suffer at the hands of the Congress, is a right to receive SS benefits when eligible under whatever statutes define benefits at the time. Which might be never. Or not.
But once SSA approves your claim you have a right to receive benefits forever. Just not a specific dollar amount, but something, for life. So, your suggestion sounds good, but doesn’t work. NancyO