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View Diary: The Thing About Social Security (178 comments)

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  •  Specifically, what do you object to (1+ / 0-)
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    in these documents?

    The 2013 budget is the first budget prepared under the Budget Control Act, and largely follows the spending restrictions of that law; additionally, that budget proposes large tax increases and some measures to avoid the sequester/automatic spending cuts/"fiscal cliff" scheduled to occur January 1, 2013. I do read budgets. I also read articles from people and organizations (Center for Budget and Policy Priorities) that have more expertise than I have in analyzing and comparing the documents. I don't think that budget represents what you imply.

    "Living Within Our Means" is from September 2011. I skimmed through that document: a Jobs Bill (good); a clear statement from POTUS that he will veto any bill that contains cuts to entitlements without significant tax increases (good); a lengthy list of cost containment in Medicaid/Medicare. What I did not read was any benefit cuts to Medicaid/Medicare. If you found some actual benefit cuts there, do let me know.

    I don't think that document means what you imply, either.

    The sh*t those people [republicans] say just makes me weep for humanity! - Woody Harrelson

    by SoCalSal on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:06:17 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  I object to "means testing" Medicare and the (0+ / 0-)

      surtax imposed on Medigap policyholders and further means testing of Partf D, not to mention the Chained CPI-Index under discussion in this diary.

      None other than Dem Rep Jan Schakowsky herself has declared that imposing "all three cuts" to Social Security recommended by the President's Fiscal Commission would result in cuts of up to "35%" for many Social Security beneficiaries.

      These documents contain two of the three (as well as additional cuts to Medicare and Medicaid).

      Schakowsky's words (not mine):

      Under Simpson-Bowles, long-term solvency for Social Security is achieved mostly by cutting benefits. Seventy-five years out, the ratio of spending cuts to revenue increases is 4 to 1.

      They propose raising the age of full Social Security benefits to 69 – claiming that everyone is living longer. But a sizable percentage of Americans, mostly lower-income workers, especially women, are actually living shorter lives, and a large chunk of other Americans just can’t work that long – even if they can find a job. Their plan cuts benefits for current and future retirees by reducing the cost-of-living adjustment.

      For future retirees, all these changes taken together would reduce the average annual benefit for middle-income workers – those with annual earnings of $43,000 to $69,000 – by up to 35 percent.

      Here's the link to her OpEd, The Sham of Simpson-Bowles, in Reuters.

      According to the NASI (National Academy of Social Insurance) the lowest four quintiles (80%) of Americans rely heavily on Social Security (either their primary or only source of retirement income).

      And let's not forget the recent factoid out of the 2010 Census:

      "Census Shows 1 In 2 People Are Poor or Low Income" (AP).  Here's the link.

      I've been stunned at how little discussion this has garnered in progressive blogging communities.  

      Simpson-Bowles also targets Medicare and Medicaid – though the real problem is rising healthcare costs across the board. Yet it would cap them at arbitrary rates  and simply shift the growing costs to patients, providers and employers. To start, they would ask Medicare beneficiaries – seniors and disabled people – to pay $110 billion more out of pocket.

      Anyone who believes that with more than four years left in this Administration that we'll not see the third cut (raising the retirement age), well you know the old axiom about selling swampland, LOL!

      Don't forget, the over 1 Trillion in cuts already enacted in the Budget Control Act start taking effect in 2013.

      That's exactly why lawmakers are in such a rush to put further austerity measures in place ASAP.  If there's pushback now, it's nothing like it would be in a couple more years when people who are clueless to the cuts (and haven't felt them yet) finally wake up.

      As my previous comments indicate, we'll not be particularly harshly affected by these cuts, due to our circumstances.  However, we know many folks who will not be so fortunate.

      These policies are austerity, IMHO.  Even the title of the Super Committee proposal acknowledges as much.

      BTW, I read comments about "infrastructure" funding abounding here.  Even Robert Reich has criticized the Kerry/Hutchison plan that the Administration has endorsed, due to the hugh (and highly regressive) toll fees that will be imposed on working class folks through the "public/private partnerships."  Google it.

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