As we listen to the constant chatter on how to save entitlements, Social Security and Medicare, you have to admire the way that corporate politicians like Third Way like to frame the issue and the media as a result. SOCIAL SECURITY WILL BE ABLE TO MAKE PAYMENTS UNTIL 2033, THREE YEARS LESS THAN JUST LAST YEAR. Well, we have had a recession and the payroll tax cuts that caused the temporary drop. What is interesting is that you never hear them say......full payments until 2033 and then the Trust will be able to pay 75% of payments from then on. Another thing you don't hear them say, and which I constantly shout out.....there are $3 trillion in Treasury bonds being held in Social Security Trust money from the 1980s onward. I have written AARP and the Federal Office of Budgeting and Management asking if their statistics take these Treasury bonds into consideration in factoring the Trust's fiscal health and cannot get an answer.
I think, as do others, that these figures do not take $3 trillion in Treasury bonds into consideration which would mean that the Trust is much more stable then they are letting on. Politicians are just doing now what they did in Reagan's time when the Trust was again in danger. ALL DEMOCRATS CAMPAIGNED ON THE STRUCTURAL HEALTH OF SOCIAL SECURITY BEING SOUND. IF, LIKE STENY HOYER OF MARYLAND SAY NOW, THAT THERE WILL NEED TO BE CUTS IN BENEFITS BY RAISING RETIREMENT AGE OR AN ADJUSTMENT IN 'COST OF LIVING' WHICH PUSHES SENIORS FURTHER INTO POVERTY....
THEY ARE NOT TELLING YOU THE TRUTH. Any Democrat voting to cut Social Security need to go!
For WaPo, Promises to the Elderly Have 'No Economic Significance'
Posted on 04/30/2012 by Jim Naureckas FAIR
I gave my daughter a tip on being a media critic: "If you see a newspaper article with the words 'Social Security' in the title," I told her, "it's probably bad." Sure enough, the article we were looking at–"Fixing Social Security," by Washington Post columnist Allan Sloan (4/29/12)–was pretty terrible. Sloan's argument is that cuts in Social Security benefits are "inevitable" because of "projections that Social Security's cash expenses will exceed its cash income as far as the eye can see." Note the important qualifier: "cash income." That means excluding Social Security's investment income. Including that income, Social Security is in the black for the next 21 years, according to the Social Security Trustees' projections. Why exclude that investment income? Sloan explains: We will skip all that stuff about the Social Security trust fund (which has accounting and political significance but no economic significance) and go straight to the number that matters. To wit: Last year, the Treasury had to borrow $160 billion to give to Social Security so that its checks (okay, its electronic deposits) wouldn't bounce. Let's not skip the part about the Social Security trust fund–it's important. It's got $2.5 trillion in U.S. Treasury bonds in it–I'd say that's rather significant, economically speaking. Why does the Social Security trust fund have so many Treasury bonds? Because back in the 1980s, the federal government decided to "save" Social Security by raising the payroll tax (and cutting benefits as well). The idea was that Social Security would take in more than it needed in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, loan that money to the Treasury, and then in the mid-21st century, the Treasury would pay it back, thus helping to pay for the Baby Boomers' retirement. The loaning money to Treasury part worked as planned. Now that it's time for the paying back part–suddenly the trust fund has "no economic significance." Look at the word game Sloan's playing: "The Treasury had to borrow $160 billion to give to Social Security…." Paying one's debts isn't a gift–it's a legal requirement. It's true that Congress could rewrite the laws so that Social Security would forgive those debts–but why should it do that? It would implicate Congress in the grandest of all larcenies–diverting money from the paychecks of working Americans with a promise that it will be used to help pay for their retirements, and then refusing to make good on that promise on the grounds that it has "no economic significance."
When Reagan pushed for the Social Security tax increase AND sent the money collected to Treasury he tied that money to the interest rate on Treasuries which rise with the national debt. He also gave the Treasury a $3 trillion slush fund for war expenses and bank bailouts. That money needs to be paid to the Trust. I am sure that these politicians are trying to arrange so that Trust money never is repaid. Remember public pension money that went for two decades unfunded as the governments spent freely through the 1990s........SAME THING! All that needs to be done after the transfer back to the Trust is to raise the tax rate a percentage or two and VOILA....Socal Security is fine!
Tell Steny Hoyer: Don't sell out Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid
The corporatist wing of the Democratic Party once again has its sights set on cutting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits under the guise of deficit reduction. And our friends on Capitol Hill tell us House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer is leading the charge.
Last November CREDO activists helped stop Senate Democrats from agreeing to a terrible Super Committee deal, which would have resulted in deep cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits in exchange for promised but unspecified tax increases that may have never materialized.
But now House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, a prominent member of Democratic Leadership in Congress, is once again pushing a similar legislative proposal that would sell out our social safety net. He is working on a potential backroom deal to put the cuts we defeated last year back on the table.
Tell Steny Hoyer: Don't sell out Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits.
According to recent reports, Rep. Hoyer is "looking to shake legislative politics"1 by forcing a vote on what the Washington Post called "a so-called grand bargain to raise taxes and restrain entitlement spending."2 Hoyer declined to provide any specifics to this proposal but he gave his remarks at an event hosted by an organization called Third Way, which is a Washington-based, so-called "moderate" Democratic think tank that shills for corporate interests and has previously advanced debunked arguments promoting cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits.3
Hoyer's move -- which appears to be in coordination with Third Way -- poses a danger to our social safety net. We cannot remain quiet while such a prominent member of Democratic Leadership appears to be working on a proposal which likely includes brutal cuts to Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security benefits.
Medicare and Social Security are wildly popular programs, and the clear majority of Americans want to protect these benefits. If we push back hard and make sure that conservative Democrats like Hoyer don't cut a back room deal on benefit cuts with Republicans, we can hold the line and protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
House Democrats will be particularly sensitive to this kind of pressure in an election year -- if we can expose this potential sell out, we can quash the momentum Hoyer and conservative Democrats need to move forward with a "grand bargain" at the expense of benefit programs pivotal to millions of Americans.
Tell Steny Hoyer: Don't sell out Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits. Click here to automatically sign the petition. To be clear, we are not against sensible reforms to these programs. To be clear, we are not against sensible reforms to these programs. But we shouldn't be cutting benefits for our seniors and other vulnerable Americans in order to spend more on our bloated military or keep taxes low for the ultra-wealthy.
If Democratic Leaders such as Hoyer are serious about addressing our nation's debt and deficit, they should work to address the biggest drivers of our debt -- the Bush tax cuts, foreign wars and our economic downturn.4
AARP Is Open to Cuts for Social Security Benefits
By ERIC LICHTBLAU Published: June 17, 2011 WASHINGTON — AARP, the powerful lobby for older Americans that has been seen as one of the leading opponents of Social Security benefit cuts, said on Friday that it was open to modest reductions in benefits for future recipients.
Readers’ Comments Readers shared their thoughts on this article. The group’s stance, which generated quick reaction from all sides because of its powerful voice on the issue, could provide added ammunition to fiscal conservatives who have sought unsuccessfully to restructure Social Security and chip away at the benefits it promises older Americans.
“Our goal is to limit any changes in benefits,” John Rother, AARP’s policy chief, said in a telephone interview, “but we also want to see the system made solvent.”
Mr. Rother said the group’s stance on possible cuts, which was first reported in The Wall Street Journal in Friday’s editions, should be seen less as a major change in position than as a reflection of the political and financial realities facing the Social Security system and the country as a whole.