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View Diary: Even in dark red Alaska, Democratic Sen. Mark Begich wants to increase Social Security benefits (53 comments)

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  •  What Offends Me Is That (4+ / 0-)

    A chained CPI is a Social Security benefit cut in the name of deficit reduction to a program that doesn't have anything to do with the deficit.

    Could you please explain the logic of cutting Social Security to today's beneficiaries so that they don't have to be cut for future beneficiaries?

    I wouldn't ask if I thought you could.

    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 Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 06:29:08 PM PDT

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    •  There IS a logic to it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Team Leftie

      'Reformers' acknowledge the voting strength of the Olds generally and the upcoming surge of Boomer Olds specifically and believe that absent 'reform' (benefit cuts) when push comes to shove at projected Trust Fund Depletion that olds will demand full delivery of Scheduled Benefits at the expense of the Top 1%.

      That is their definition of 'Crisis' at '23% cut in benefits'. Their answer is simple: simply drain the Juice out of the Third Rail of American Politics so that future retirees just accept a fait accompli. That is "What benefit cut?"

      They could give a shit about retirement security as such and still less about explaining why a cut now that results in an ultimate benefit 30 years down the road at least as big as the overnight cut would be. If 'reformers' get their way this whole conversation would end up being like debating Angels Dancing on Pins. Irrelevant to normal life because the cuts started almost imperceptibly back in 2014.

      They are evil but not illogical, innumerate, or (many of them) ignorant. They are just working from a frame of "How do we avoid a tax increase on the top 1% in 2033?" Answer: "By a Death of a 1000 Cuts. And a Catfood diet."

      See how simple this is?

      SocSec dot.Defender at gmail.com - founder DK Social Security Defenders Group

      by Bruce Webb on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 07:19:59 PM PDT

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      •  If Olds Have Such Voting Strength (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dinotrac

        Then they will demand no cuts now and in the future.

        It doesn't seem this has much to do with the capitalist class or the "1%."  Dean Baker is very clear that if real wages rise with productivity, then an increase in the payroll tax will be sufficient to prevent any future shortfall and will be insignificant compared to the rise in real wages.  

        How does that affect the "1%"?

        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 Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 07:50:15 PM PDT

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        •  Which is why 'Reformers' (0+ / 0-)

          consistently put forth plans that exempt "Those in or approaching retirement", i.e. the 55s and olders and have done so since the publication of the Leninist Strategy in 1983.

          Now Chained CPI actually would hit the 55s and olders which is why R 'Reformers' were happy to see the Obama team take the hit on it even as they demoagogued "$500 billion Obamacare cuts to Medicare".

          And not to be unkind but the first sentence of the following fatally conflicts with the second. Because it is the "capitalist class or the "1%" " who or which is totally complicit in and the direct beneficaries of the failure of "real wages (to) rise with productivity".

          (Not to mention that Dean took a good part of that "an increase in the payroll tax" from our "Northwest Plan for a Real Social Security Fix". Which you could Google. Dean is a big time mentor of mine and a good (online) friend who has taught me a BUNCH over the last 15 years. That said he doesn't ignore what me and my collaborators on NW have had to say since we published the plan back in 2009.)

          But back to the point. The 1% undertook a deliberate campaign to monopolize those gains from productivity at the expense of labor and continue to. Why you seem to think there is some disconnect as if the Invisible Hand was ruling here is puzzling.

          SocSec dot.Defender at gmail.com - founder DK Social Security Defenders Group

          by Bruce Webb on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 08:50:14 PM PDT

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      •  The 1% are already pretty well insulated from SS (0+ / 0-)

        because of the cap in payroll taxes.

        The burden currently falls hardest on the middle class, which has to make up for what the wealthy fail to contribute.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 09:25:08 PM PDT

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        •  They wouldn't be insulated (0+ / 0-)

          if the response to an unaddressed 'Crisis' at Trust Fund Depletion was some sort of tax that fell disproportionally on them, say a transaction tax on securities sales.

          And they are not insulated from the current burden of having to pay cash interest and then additional cash to redeem principal on the $2.8 trillion in assets in the Trust Fund.

          Because it turns out that whether you close the current actuarial gap EITHER through benefit cuts OR increases in FICA that the arithmetic result is that the Trust Fund NEVER needs to get redeemed. Instead it simply gets retained to meet the legal mandate for a 100% reserve. That is to the degree that Chained CPI controls costs in a way that slows down or eliminates redemption of those Special Issue Treasuries it acts as a backdoor tax cut for the 1%.

          SocSec dot.Defender at gmail.com - founder DK Social Security Defenders Group

          by Bruce Webb on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:48:52 AM PDT

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          •  That would be fine with me. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Bruce Webb

            Some folks seem to be awfully attached to that "But, but -- SS is insurance and we don't want to call it a welfare program even if it is a good thing" mantra that seems to keep it tied to payroll taxes.  Could just extend the contribution ceiling to some nice large sum, but I would rather tax that non-payroll income.

            And -- it's only fair that we extend SS benefits to the folks who are making contributions by means of non-payroll taxes.

            Not a bad deal as they don't tend to be at the low-end of the income scale where SS benefits are high relative to contributions.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 08:58:23 AM PDT

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    •  Try reading more carefully. (0+ / 0-)

      I think Social Security should be increased, not cut.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 09:23:16 PM PDT

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