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View Diary: Don't cut Social Security, expand it (105 comments)

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  •  Seems like Janice is explaining Medicare's (0+ / 0-)

    impact on Social Security via Part B premiums if cost controls are not successfully imposed rather than effects of COLA as such.

    Which of course is something all supporters of Social Security can agree on, from Dean Baker and Paul Krugman on the economist side to Nancy Altman and the many others on the advocacy side, to the extent there is anything to "entitlements crisis' it is in the cost growth of the health care sector generally which effect Medicare specifically.

    And as I noted above or somewhere in the last couple days, Medicare premiums are simply eating up even the inadequate COLAs that exist, particularly for lower income beneficiaries.

    Another argument for working up a full CPI-E index to track the real inflation experienced by actual seniors. Because out of pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries starting but not stopping with front end Part B and D premiums hit those pocket books hard.

    But at the risk of seeming just stubbornly contrarian I don't see this Medicare spillover effect as necessarily attacking the current structure of Social Security considered in isolation. Which per the numbers just needs a modest adjustment of revenues in much the same way as FICA has been adjusted many times before. (See FICA/SECA table linked above).

    socialsecuritydefender.blogspot.com - SocSec.Defender at gmail.com - founder DK Social Security Defenders group - (hmm is there a theme emerging here?)

    by Bruce Webb on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 10:23:44 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not concerned about 'the current structure' (0+ / 0-)

      of Social Security.

      My only concern is to preserve benefits at the minimum at the current level.  And hopefully raise them for the bottom three quintiles (or so).

      The MAIN POINT of posting that video (or the brief transcript, here) is to let folks BE AWARE OF HOW 'DINKY' THE REPLACEMENT VALUE IS, AND WILL BE.
      I assure you, many folks, particularly those who have no other retirement income, will be outraged when they discover how little RV their Social Security benefit will provide them in their retirement.
      39% and 32%--You've got to be kidding, LOL!
      Many folks think that the RV is MUCH higher now. And they certainly (including myself) had no clue just how much it will be dropping over the next few years.

      That's all that I was trying to achieve.  ;-)

      Mollie

      "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

      hiddennplainsight

      by musiccitymollie on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 10:37:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  One more thing. My point in posting Gregory's (0+ / 0-)

      short transcript from the video clip (that no longer works) was NOT ABOUT the Superlative CPI.  That was 'comments ago.'  You could say--that's history, LOL!

      Seriously, I  have numerous clips that I will post the transcripts of, and Gregory barely touches on CPI.  

      Heck, I'm much more concerned with getting out information on things like the extraordinarily puny 'replacement rate' of Social Security, etc., than all the technical aspects of the Chained CPI.

      Again, most 'lay folks' care about the overall impact of these policies, not the minutia.

      I also have short clips of several politicians and union leaders acknowledging that they support the "Chained CPI," which are embeddable or 'linkable.'

      I will also be posting some of them (not all).

      If someone can help me on the "Tweet" problem, I'll be able to provide more video links, at least.

      Mollie

      "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

      hiddennplainsight

      by musiccitymollie on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 11:45:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  40% of Replacement is the official target (0+ / 0-)

        The gold standard of Defined Benefit pension plans was 60% after 30 years. This for State and local workers NOT covered by Social Security. Back in the day the idea was that a career civil servant would be able to burn his 30 year mortgage papers on the same day he picked up his first pension check and that relieved of the biggest part of housing costs would be able to coast into retirement being able to afford the same or better basket of goods after retirement as before. And maybe a lake house and a boat or a snow-bird time share in Florida or Arizona.

        I don't know of anyone ever who imagined that Social Security was going to provide the same level of retirement security that a union man or woman working for GM or the Feds was going to get from their pension, from that perspective 60% would represent a CEILING of expectations.

        You suggest that 39% is a "you gotta be kidding" level and that 32% is an outrage. But historically I am just not seeing it. For example a quick Google on replacement ratios brought this longish study from the Social Security Bulletin
        Income Replacement Ratios in the Health and Retirement Study. Scrolling down to the data table it doesn't seem that the bottom 25% ever got more than a 40% replacement ratio.

        Now we can agree that this is not ADEQUATE. But I am not seeing that it is NEW or DETERIORATING. Which rightly or wrongly was my take away from your comments.

        socialsecuritydefender.blogspot.com - SocSec.Defender at gmail.com - founder DK Social Security Defenders group - (hmm is there a theme emerging here?)

        by Bruce Webb on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 01:16:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Another SS Bulletin Study 2004 (0+ / 0-)

          Comparing Replacement Rates Under Private and Federal Retirement Systems

          This study is kind of pimping add on accounts for Federal workers but also shows that replacement ratios from SS alone range from 50% for low income workers to 30% for workers earning near the cap (Chart 1).

          socialsecuritydefender.blogspot.com - SocSec.Defender at gmail.com - founder DK Social Security Defenders group - (hmm is there a theme emerging here?)

          by Bruce Webb on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 01:23:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Hey, Bruce, let me clarify something . . . (0+ / 0-)

          Here's a paragraph excerpted from a blogger's comment on another blog site that I frequent (I've deleted the blog info and her user name.  Her comment was in response to Atrios' diary about increasing Social Security benefits.)

          "Duncan does a good job of pointing out that there are some things that must be handled collectively. He needs to add that in many other wealthy countries a lot of expenses are handled by the state such as healthcare, higher education, excellent transportation, cheap heat, child care. In Germany, I believe, it used to be that the German retired with about 67%? of his salary for a pension whereas our Social Security only pays for about 47%, if that. If Americans were paid a living wage and didn't have all the other expenses, then, yes, they might be able to save some extra. But the system is rigged against them from the get go."
          My point being that many folks have a misunderstanding of the replacement value of their Social Security.  I also believed that it was higher than Ms. Gregory stated.  And if the very sharp blogger whom I quoted above can be 'off' that much in her estimation of the replacement value, I don't hold out much hope that the public at large has an accurate impression of this, at all.

          Obviously, the PtB won't point this out to the general public what the replacement rate equivalency is, when they are beginning the process of cutting our social safety net.

          In one of the video clips, Ms. Gregory states verbatim:

          snip

          "And all the other things that they had counted on--cheap healthcare, pensions, home values, and even jobs, are much less secure than they were in 1983."
          snip

          After all, how does one expect the citizenry to 'push back' on detrimental policies, when they are clueless as to the actual policies that they are subjected to?

          BTW, I've figured out how to get the links to the videos to work.  Now I going to continue to tinker with the "Tweets," since they are more attractive-looking than a hyperlink.  ;-)

          My self-appointed 'gig' is to advocate for benefits.

          I mostly plan to use the actual words (from transcripts) or the spoken words from videos of expert.  I won't even post an opinion with these media, for the most part.  Just a sentence or two of introduction of the speakers and the topics.

          I'll let each commenter decide for themselves whether or not they consider the benefit to be sufficient, or fair.

          I figure that folks can't possibly be in the position to make an informed decision as to whether or not they do, or do not favor cuts to the social insurance programs, unless they have a decent understanding of their Social Security benefits.

          So, if I can help with that--my goal will be fulfilled.  ;-)

          Mollie

          "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

          hiddennplainsight

          by musiccitymollie on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 08:25:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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