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View Diary: New momentum behind expanding Social Security (162 comments)

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  •  Raise cap. And make ever so slightly progressive (14+ / 0-)

    You could even offset by dropping income tax rate at lower end. Some of us would pay more but it would be good for all of us.

    •  OR we could create jobs (7+ / 0-)

      20 million jobs at 36k each would see SS solvent thru 2090.

      .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 05:35:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Full employment will fix a lot of problems (5+ / 0-)

        But they should also pass Harkin's bill as well, so benefits can be increased and the COLA formula adjusted to reflect the needs of retirees.

        If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

        by Betty Pinson on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:24:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Raise the Cap to 90%, currently 86% (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stewarjt

          would increase the average SS benefit by something like $2000- $2500 or so.

          .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 12:18:05 PM PST

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        •  Harkin's bill (0+ / 0-)

          Does anyone here know if the Harkin Bill protects retirees only, or disabled workers as well? As I understand it (and I do need to get up to date on this), the bill specifies  retirees, throwing disabled workers off the cliff. Retirees have a lot of power AND representation in govt.  Disabled workers don't. Disabled workers and their families paid into Social Security Disability for decades (of course, we also paid into our basic welfare programs for fellow citizens in need).

      •  to that end (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Slightly Wobbly, tb mare

        we should reduce the Medicaid age to match SS eligibility.

        Too many older people today are waiting until they are 65 to retire because of they get employer health care, even though SS would otherwise start at 62.

        if they are employed, they likely make too much money to qualify for subsidies through the ACA, so they continue working 3 more years until Medicaid eligible.

        It sounds terrible but if we can encourage older workers to leave the workforce at age 62, then we can create opportunities for younger workers.

        •  I think you mean Medicare. n/t (0+ / 0-)
        •  extending the retirement age (2+ / 0-)
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          not this time, cocinero

          This idea goes entirely in the wrong direction.  I am one of those old farts that would seriously consider early retirement if not for the prospect of losing health insurance.

          All I really need is to clear that one obstacle and I'd get out of the way and let a younger person take my place.  That creates a pull, opening up spots all along the ladder, thereby easing the unemployment numbers.  There's even the possibility that my leaving might call for multiple replacements, since 30+ years of knowledge and experience might not be so easily filled by a single person.

          Multiply that by ?how many?, and see what that does to the economy.

        •  Which does zero for improving the economy (0+ / 0-)
          encourage older workers to leave the workforce at age 62, then we can create opportunities for younger workers.
          Ah the "get out of my way old man" routine. SO you would rather throw us Boomers under the bus than advocate for the necessary infrastructural changes needed to stabilize the economy and create jobs.

          I love the shortsightedness, it should do you well in life.

          .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 12:15:42 PM PST

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          •  As a Boomer... (0+ / 0-)

            we allowed this economic mess to happen. From FDR until the 1980s, when we had strong social programs, the US reached its height of shared wealth AND productivity. We  inexplicably reversed course with Reagan. Many of us deeply opposed the Reagan/Clinton dismantling of the safety net. (President Obama did begin repairing some of Clinton's damage.) Collectively, we have an absolute duty to do everything we can to repair some of the damage we caused.Of course wiping out Social Security would be insane, counter-productive at best. Neither families nor govt (general revenues) can maintain retirees and  disabled workers. Either we force families to financially provide for their own elderly and disabled family members (which would bankrupt most), or we build a massive system of institutions to warehouse them, at far greater cost than Social Security itself.

            •  Fewer jobs (0+ / 0-)

                No one seems to address the issue of themillions of jobs which have been outsourced leading tf fewer participants in the paying of SS, Federal income taxes,state taxes, workman's  compensation  as well as the overall economy.

        •  Medicaid, Medicare, ACA (0+ / 0-)

          Many low-wage workers qualify for Medicaid. The ACA provides subsidies to lower-income workers to purchase insurance.

          As an older American: Yes, many of us have been fighting against raising the retirement age AND encouraging older people to step out of the workforce whenever possible, due to the shortage of jobs for the young.  Since Reagan, the US has shipped out the bulk of our manufacturing jobs.  As jobs started growing scarce, Clinton shredded welfare, pouring more people into the shrinking job market. Fewer jobs, more people absolutely desperate for any job. Instead of actively discouraging shipping our jobs out, corps get massive annual tax cuts, which they use to build factories outside the US, shipping our jobs out.

    •  Raising cap is in the bill. NT (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BruceMcF, cocinero

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 07:06:55 PM PST

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    •  Raising cap not necessarily so helpful (0+ / 0-)

      Calculations for one version of such a proposal.

      http://www.ssa.gov/...

      •  In what way? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Whirlaway, Mr Robert

        Yes, some peoples' taxes will go up. Maybe that'll light a fire under their asses to start leaning on the government to put a freakin' INFRASTRUCTURE JOBS BILL together.

        Yes, because a bunch of new jobs will solve this "problem", too.

        Where are THE JOBS, Uncle Sam?

        This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

        by lunachickie on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:44:13 AM PST

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        •  Read the charts (0+ / 0-)

          Raising the cap will not adequately fund the desired changes.

          •  Read my post (0+ / 0-)

            where I suggest the option of "more jobs". Point out in my post where I rely solely on "raising the cap".

            And please,  do note where I put the word problem in quotations.  

            This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

            by lunachickie on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 09:15:03 AM PST

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            •  "More jobs" (0+ / 0-)

              is a desirability, not an option. To be specific, I mean real, private-sector jobs, not tax transfers disguised as jobs. These are not simply choosable, in the way that raising the cap is a selectable option.

              •  Nonsense (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                red rabbit, Mr Robert, jbsoul, stewarjt

                This Congress and this President could work together to set up a jobs program to fix our decaying infrastructure which desperately needs fixing.  It IS an option--it's just not an option that our Congress and our President are doing anything about.  

                And frankly, neither point is impossible--the cap could be raised and jobs could be created. The Non-Problem would absolutely be solved without question then.

                But noooooo. Some alleged Democrats pretend that there's some kind of crisis and people fall all over themselves to prop that bullshit up. And it's all bullshit, that bit about a "crisis"--so you'll have to excuse me if I fail to slap at your little bushes trees any further, while the forest is burning down.

                What Sherrod Brown is doing here is a metric fuckton more than any other Dem is doing. Thankfully, he seems to understand the reality facing real people, if CUTS are allowed to happen.

                Some of you seriously need to wake up and get a clue if you think you're going to spin cuts into anything acceptable, either here or anywhere else. Not gonna happen. Not. Gonna. Happen.

                This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                by lunachickie on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 09:40:29 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  but hmi is very serious (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  stewarjt

                  basically regurgitating the very serious talking points.  So what is their solution, other than telling millions of people who can barely survive as it is that they must sacrifice even more?  

                  •  More serious than you, apparently (0+ / 0-)

                    But I imagine that classifying everything you dislike as a regurgitated talking point must save a tremendous amount of energy that would otherwise have to go into actual thinking.

                    Now, if you could read properly, you would have noticed that I said nothing about telling anyone any damn thing about sacrifice. I guess it must be fun to make up stuff and then respond to yourself.

                    What I did say is that government make-work programs are just disguised tax transfers, and so they are. They produce little of substantive economic value, and especially not at this pointin the game. What I did say is that real jobs are needed, but I guess Obama's laser-like focus must be fuzzier than we expected, or we would have them by now.

                    Alternatively: If we had had competent economic leadership in 2008, there would have been a program that actually bought up troubled assets (what a concept!), that forced banks to mark their loans to market, and which let some of those TBTF institutions fail anyway. Had that happened, by now the pain would be receding in the rear-view mirror,  the economy be in recovery and jobs be generally available. Instead, we pissed away TARP funds on teacher salaries and other current spending, digging the debt hole deeper, ensuring that we get to relive the tedious bad dream that is Japan.

                    And none of this was what I originally posted about. All I did was post a couple links to suggest that raising the SS cap would be ineffective. And so it would be.

                    •  Okay, That's A True Dick Comment` (0+ / 0-)
                      What I did say is that government make-work programs are just disguised tax transfers, and so they are. They produce little of substantive economic value, and especially not at this pointin the game. -hmi
                      You seem to like throwing around this phrase "tax transfers," which apparently has any meaning you want it to have.  

                      When the government spends more and puts more people to work doing ANYTHING, that means those people will be tax payers and consumers.  They'll contribute output and spending to the economy.  At this point in time, in a liquidity trap, the fiscal policy multiplier is at least 1.5 so any government spending that employs more people will cause more spending and more employment.  This is elementary Keynes's economics.

                      Your conclusion that government spending created jobs don't create anything of economic value (whatever the hell that ambiguous phrase means) is unsupported by any logic or evidence.  They're just assertions by someone who apparently is ideologically opposed to such programs.  Also, too, this "point in the game" is out of place.  At this point in the game the US economy is in a liquidity trap and THEREFORE, now is exactly the point in the game for more government stimulus spending preferably directly putting people to work rather than running it through capitalist corporations so that they can profit first.  

                      I suppose the debt hole you refer to is a "problem."  Again, your conclusion is unsupported by any logic or evidence.  What are your reasons for believing the debt is a problem?  I'll wait for an answer, but I'm not holding my breath.

                      How could raising the income tax cap on Social Security not help reduce the projected shortfall?  Could you list YOUR reasons instead of just a link to a chart?

                      Last, higher employment (yes, caused by more government spending on human needs, e.g., not necessarily defense) will increase SS revenues.

                      You should know that greater income equality, more employment and raising the cap on Social Security taxable income will fix any supposed financial issue with that program.

                      If I was a communist, rich men would fear me...And the opposite applies. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

                      by stewarjt on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 06:04:24 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  "Tax transfer" (0+ / 0-)

                        —taking money via taxes from one person or class of persons and giving it to others. Perhaps you prefer the term "redistribution." On any understanding, it is tax raised and spent, not for some general governmental purpose, but a device  that simply transfers wealth from A to B. That is how the closed system that is a government jobs program works. As opposed to private capital (surplus savings) invested in an enterprise producing and selling, with government on the side, taking its share via taxation to fund some common good.

                        The only possible good from government jobs programs, beyond straightforward welfare (not to be despised, but not of wide benefit to the economy in general), would be for a classic short-term Keynesian jump-start. But Keynes certainly never claimed the possibility that one could in the long term spend one's way out of a recession through taxation.

                        As for the multiplier effect, you will be sorry to hear that this is a particularly vexed notion in economics, especially with regard to government spending, and the "1.5" currently touted by the Obama administration is basically a number from out of a hat [any number higher than 1 is essentially a claim that something can be created out of less than nothing].

                        Debt is a problem, not a "problem." Sound currency reflects underlying wealth, not underlying borrowing. The more we borrow, the more our taxes get eaten up by interest payments, crowding out the possibility of using that money to fund the things we really need, as well as eventually making the borrowing itself more expensive. There are other issues, as well. My presumption, of course, is that there are finite limits on issuance of currency, although I am aware that there are loons who, unsupported by either logic or evidence, believe otherwise.

                        Finally, I agree with you entirely that raising the cap on Social Security will help reduce the shortfall. Unfortunately, it will not do so except in the most trivial fashion, and so is so far from a solution as to be useless (but it makes a wonderful talking point, so you would be expected to be fond of it).

                        •  That's Not What's Happening (0+ / 0-)

                          Have you ever heard of deficit spending?  There is no imperative, NONE that government spending takes from one person and spends on another.  NONE.

                          Private capital isn't surplus savings.  Capital is a social relation.  Profit comes from exploitation.  That is workers create a value greater than that paid in wages.  You're going to have a tough time putting a positive spin on capitalism versus someone who knows it's "law of motion."

                          No, Keynes never argued that and I'm sure you never read the General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, so stop invoking Keynes.

                          You're even more of an idiot than I suspected.  The empirical estimate of the fiscal policy multiplier in a liquidity trap (I know you don't know what that is) is here.

                          Debt is a problem, not a "problem." Sound currency reflects underlying wealth, not underlying borrowing. The more we borrow, the more our taxes get eaten up by interest payments, crowding out the possibility of using that money to fund the things we really need, as well as eventually making the borrowing itself more expensive. There are other issues, as well.
                          The immediately above is all nonsense.  I apologize.  I thought you knew something of what you're writing about.  Good gravy!  I wasted my time!

                          If I was a communist, rich men would fear me...And the opposite applies. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

                          by stewarjt on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 07:22:30 PM PST

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                          •  Idiots galore (0+ / 0-)

                            That's time wasted on both sides. Had I realized you were just another brain-dead Marxist ("Capital is a social relation.  Profit comes from exploitation." Do people still credit this drivel??) I would have disinfected my keyboard immediately. Vaya con Carlos.

                          •  The Burden Is On You (0+ / 0-)

                            To explain why you believe Marx was wrong using logic and evidence.  Otherwise, you're just as I thought, an IGNORANT IDIOT!

                            If I was a communist, rich men would fear me...And the opposite applies. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

                            by stewarjt on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 07:16:32 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Thanks for the charming invitation, (0+ / 0-)

                            but that sounds too much like work—I'll be teaching Marx in my intro political philosophy class in about 2 weeks. I'd suggest you sit in and learn something, although that seems an unlikely outcome for someone whose consciousness may well already be reified. But if not, possibly I can have one of the kids explain the stuff to you at the end of the semester.

          •  Raising the cap will absolutely (0+ / 0-)

            adequately fund the desired changes, IF the right combination of methods are used.

            Now, politically achieveable?  That is a different issue with any of the options.

            I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

            by Satya1 on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 11:37:26 AM PST

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        •  infrastructure (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not sure why we're dangerously fixated on this single idea, expanding (infrastructure) jobs almost exclusively for men when the economic well-being of American families depends on women (who are either co- or sole-family providers). We can't restore the country unless we get back to making things -- things that are sold to consumers here and around the world.  We need manufacturing, and we need to implement strong rules to prevent these jobs from being shipped out. How about starting with: Every corporation that receives corporate tax cuts/handouts must be restricted from shutting down jobs in the US only to move them to foreign countries, for at least a period of 10 yrs? Make those tax cuts conditional on expanding jobs here.  Restore pre-Reagan tax rates on all corporations. We always here that this will result in massive job loss.  Huh?  Years of massive tax cuts have actually left us with a fraction of the jobs, at worsening wages. Tax them, already!

      •  There are 35 different measures (0+ / 0-)

        mentioned there.  Combinations of 1-5 of those are bound to offer huge relief to SS funding pressures in the future.  

        Did you miss this  chart?

        http://www.ssa.gov/...

        I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

        by Satya1 on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 11:35:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  good link by the way (0+ / 0-)

        many thanks for that.

        I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

        by Satya1 on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 11:37:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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