Dale Coberly is a writer and frequent commenter at Angry Bear Blog who is well known for his understanding of Social Security and his proposed Northwest Plan. The Northwest plan was recognized by the Social Security administration as a solution to fixing the shortfall in funding now thought to be in 2034.
An article about Social Security appeared in the Washington Post today. As written by another journalist on the Social Security beat who knows nothing about Social Security but what was told by the famous “non partisan experts.” Experts who are expert liars, “non partisan” of course, and well paid by the people who have hated Social Security.
I thought it worthwhile to try once again to give truth a chance. In the following I put the article’s statements in quotes. My observations follow each.
“Biden needs to put this on his to-do list: fixing Social Security. Many young adults already believe Social Security won’t be around for them to collect. Although Social Security isn’t bankrupt, it’s certainly facing a serious shortfall in income to cover promised payments.”
What “many young adults believe” is not a reliable guide to what is true . . . unless we make it come true by “fixing” Social Security. Young adults have been told the lie “Social Security won’t be there for you” ever since grade school.
“Social Security and Medicare both face long-term financing shortfalls under currently scheduled benefits and financing,” according to the 2020 trustee report for the Social Security and Medicare trust funds.”
The shortfalls are “real” only if we do nothing to avoid them. They will not happen if we pay for our future needs the same way we pay for any insurance (SS is a form of insurance):
Gradually increase the amount of the “premium” we pay for the insurance to cover the probable cost of our retirement (or disability or death with dependents). The increase that will be needed is one tenth of one percent of income per year. That’s about one dollar per week per year for a few years while incomes are projected to increase at a rate of ten dollars per week per year. This means we can pay for our own Social Security and still have more money in our pockets than we have today after paying the increased payroll tax.
This is THE fundamental truth about Social Security which the WaPo article, and all the articles about Social Security for the last thirty years miss . . . because everyone who writes about Social Security bases their “facts” on the Big Lie that has been told to the media and the politicians by the highly paid “non partisan expert” liars.
“However, given the impact of the coronavirus on millions of individuals, the solvency of the trust fund may be in jeopardy sooner than the projections show. In an update last April, the trustees noted that the pandemic could affect the financial health of the funds. “The duration and severity of the pandemic will affect the estimates . . . and the financial status of the program, particularly in the short term,” said Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul.”
An updated 2020 Trustees Report has come out taking into account the loss of revenue due to the Covid recession. It shows no essential change in SS finances. They can still be “fixed” by that dollar per week per year raise in the payroll tax.
I have not heard of any “fix” in the works for the payroll tax “holiday” that Trump gave us . . . essentially telling us to rob our life savings in order to buy a new car. Some “facts” show minor changes in the projections from year to year. These changes have no effect on the essential “Fact” of Social Security:
The fact that Social Security is insurance that we pay for ourselves because we are almost certain to need it. And the cost is low.. certainly no more than we would need to save for our retirement in any case. But SS adds insurance to that savings that protects it from losses due to inflation, market losses, and personal failure to make enough money over a lifetime of work to save enough for retirement. The changes in the projected date that the Trust fund will run out of money are not big enough to notice… and would be entirely eliminated simply by paying an extra dollar per week each year.
I looked at this. I didn’t see anything worth seeing. (I have grown to distrust anything that says “Bipartisan.” It usually means paid liars from both parties who have reached a brilliant compromise that gives the haters of Social Security what they want, with a few cosmetic flourishes to fool the people.
“One solution often touted is raising the income threshold for the Social Security payroll tax. This year, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax will increase to $142,800, up from $137,700. Earnings above the maximum are not subject to the Social Security tax, which is 6.2 percent for employees and a matching 6.2 percent for employers.”
This is attractive to the Left. But it is a poison pill. It changes SS from “insurance for workers paid for by workers” to welfare. This is exactly what Roosevelt insisted it not be . . . ”so no damn politician can take it away from them.” I am sorry to say it depends on stupid greed:
To save ourselves from having to save an extra dollar per week, we propose to “tax the rich” thousands of dollars each to pay for benefits they don’t get. They can afford it, and in some “cosmic justice” sense, perhaps they should. But they won’t, and if we manage to make them, they . . . and the new enemies of Social Security that “tax the rich” would create . . . would not rest until they destroyed SS entirely . . . turned it into welfare “we can’t afford.”
“tackling the looming Social Security crisis needs top billing, too.”
For fifty years, the “crisis” has been “looming.”. This is the favorite lie of the people who hate Social Security.
Beat this into your heads . . . and tell your friends:
We can keep Social Security for ourselves, our children, and grandchildren forever. All we have to do is pay for it ourselves, just like our parents and grandparents did. A dollar per week more because we are going to be living longer than they did.
You will hear many lies about this. The Truth will not change.
I am waiting to hear what the new administration is going to do about the money Trump’s holiday stole from the Trust Fund. It’s funny what people have been saying erroneously for years about the government stealing from the Trust Fund. This was never true until Trump showed them how. If not paid back, the “holiday ”WILL advance the Trust Fund depletion date significantly.
Even that can be fixed and you will notice the fix. At the time of depletion, Social Security can be made solvent forever by raising the payroll tax about 2% for worker and employer .
This is exactly what the dollar per week per year would do . . . only spread it out over more than twenty years so you would never feel it. And the Trust fund would never be depleted. The “looming crisis” would disappear forever.