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Elderly man with cane
Catfood Commissioner Alan Simpson is just one of many Social Security haters that have done their level best to create a generational war over Social Security and Medicare. They do it by undermining the faith in the programs of younger people by constantly warning that the programs are in crisis and won't be there for them, with the not-so-subtle implication that it's because all the old people are sucking up all the resources.

It's worked to a degree, but not wholly, according to new polling from the Pew Research Center. Majorities of people in the 30-64 age bracket say that protecting entitlements is more important than deficit reduction, as does a plurality—48 percent to 41—in the 18-29 group.

There's few surprises in the policies that people most support when options for changing Social Security are queried.

Of the three proposals for changing Social Security tested in the survey, the most popular is the idea of raising payroll taxes on high-income earners. Two-thirds of all adults favor this proposal, while 29% oppose it. A smaller majority of adults (55%) say they would favor reducing Social Security benefits for seniors with higher incomes; 39% oppose this proposal. When asked about gradually raising the age at which people can begin to receive Social Security benefits, only 38% were in favor, while a majority (56%) opposed this idea.

The public has a similar set of views on possible reforms to the Medicare program. Six-in-ten adults say they would favor reducing Medicare benefits for high-income seniors (33% oppose this). At the same time, only about one-third of adults (35%) say they would favor gradually raising the age of eligibility for receiving Medicare.

That's encouraging, considering how little coverage the idea of raising the payroll tax cap has been given in the traditional media, compared to other ideas like means-testing or raising the eligibility age. That idea, for either Social Security or Medicare, seems to appeal mostly to people who have cushy enough jobs to think working until they're 70 sounds just fine. For the rest of the American workforce, it's not quite as attractive a solution.

There are certainly strong options for strengthening these programs that have both public support, could be beneficial to the economy overall, and don't harm any vulnerable populations. Raising or eliminating entirely the payroll tax cap, applying the tax to unearned income, and expanding the programs to younger people could actually help make them more viable, particularly Medicare. An infusion of younger, healthier people paying Medicare premiums would help shore it up. Lowering the retirement age could help alleviate the problem of the older unemployed Americans. These solutions need to be as much in the mix for talking about stabilizing these social insurance programs as cutting them is.

At least that seems to be what the public is saying.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:48 PM PST.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Not that the villagers will pay attention (6+ / 0-)

    to polls that don't agree with them.

    "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

    by blueoregon on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:57:08 PM PST

  •  expanding the programs rather than looting them (6+ / 0-)

    as the GOP want and integrating them more completely with programs like VA and ACA would strengthen and even grow the aggregate wealth and wellness of the Nation.

    There are certainly strong options for strengthening these programs that have both public support, could be beneficial to the economy overall, and don't harm any vulnerable populations. Raising or eliminating entirely the payroll tax cap, applying the tax to unearned income, and expanding the programs to younger people could actually help make them more viable, particularly Medicare. An infusion of younger, healthier people paying Medicare premiums would help shore it up. Lowering the retirement age could help alleviate the problem of the older unemployed Americans. These solutions need to be as much in the mix for talking about stabilizing these social insurance programs as cutting them is.

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:04:17 PM PST

  •  The Eligibility Ages should be Lowered. (5+ / 0-)

    In a more just society, we'd be arguing about how much to decrease the age a person needed to work before being allowed to enjoy an already too short life, not increase it.

    The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

    by teacherjon on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:09:15 PM PST

    •  Let Me Tell You A Story (8+ / 0-)

      My parents are both hear 70. Very rich.

      They have a third house in TN. They like going to Golden Corral (don't ask) near there. They always sit in the same women's area. They know each other.

      Mom left her purse there one night. Lady didn't turn it in. Called them directly to let her know she had it the next day.

      Somebody could have maybe charged, well tens of thousands if not more. My mom gave her $20 and I told her she was FUCKING CRAZY. You had 10x in your wallet (my parents like to pay cash).

      I explained to my mom that lady isn't 24. She is your age. I asked how much longer do you want her working on her feet to wait a table for like $3.99/plus tips?

      Trying to make my mom understand that there is a working poor in our nation, and she gets it, that isn't 23.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:27:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Been doing this forever (9+ / 0-)
    They do it by undermining the faith in the programs of younger people by constantly warning that the programs are in crisis and won't be there for them
    I've heard the same song and dance for nearly six decades:  "Social Security will be bankrupt ... can't depend on SS by the time you retire ...  the politicians have robbed SS ... there will be nothing left ... better start hiding it away in your mattress ... etc., etc."  All sides use it to their advantage.

    I'm not sure if we are actually believing it more now or if we've become immune from hearing the constant drumbeat.

    Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

    by winsock on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:21:32 PM PST

    •  It's the old "divide and conquer" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      except it doesn't work any more, because the generational divide isn't as easy to exploit as the "Fix The Debt" conservatives want us to believe.  

      More and more people of all ages are drilling down on the web for their own answers and in this case realizing the social contracts behind Medicare and Social Security and Medicaid - that these programs are not entitlements so much as insurance programs paid for by taxpayers, intended to cover exactly the expenses they do.

      It's just that the revenues and expenses need to be balanced over time. Everyone knows that.

      And everyone knows the wealthiest among us have gotten a pretty cushy ride where taxes are concerned for the last couple decades.

      No reason that can't be adjusted a little more in favor of those most in need.

      The generational divide might well be in effect for the dinosaurs of the GOP, where no-one could blame the next generation for wanting to be let out a few blocks away from their school. Naturally they'd guess their youngers would be typical, that the rest of America's kids would be ashamed of their elders too.

      Well, it ain't so...

      "Really, GOP, please proceed." -Mark Sumner

      by Beastly Fool on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 02:32:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I see plenty of people on our side (0+ / 0-)

      who have bought into the idea that Social Security has been "robbed" or "raided." I try to explain to them the nature of the SS trust fun, and that its investment in treasuries rather than dollars is a feature, not a bug.

      It's unfortunate but there are a lot of well-intentioned liberals who have made the mistake of adopting conservative terminology when speaking about Social Security. But the fact is that talking about "saving" or "strengthening" the program is a tacit admission of the utterly false conservative claim that Social Security is weak and/or failing. It is not.

  •  Simpson Thought Millenials Hate Their Grandparents (5+ / 0-)

    Actually they like the old shoot from the hips geezers like Simpson. As long as they don't talk about politics.

    •  Maybe The Simpson Family Hates Grandpa nt (0+ / 0-)

      There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

      by bernardpliers on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 01:59:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The sons and daughters and grandsons (5+ / 0-)

      and granddaughters of the elderly are going to be affected by cuts to Medicare and Social Security, and they know it. Not only do they love their parents and their grandparents, they know that the necessary result of that love is that they will pick up the tab once the government starts cutting Social Security. They will have to stretch their already overstretched budgets to find some way to take care of their elders, whom they love.

      This is an attack on the children and grandchildren of the elderly no less than on the elderly. Because we are not individualistic Ayn Randian monsters. We actually love our families. So their poverty affects us.

      if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 02:16:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I support Social Security (5+ / 0-)

    even though I'll never collect it. I belong to a minority (small and getting smaller) comprised of those who will receive an alternate pension. Perhaps 99% of my friends, who range in age from 20 to over 80, either depend or will depend on Social Security for their retirement income. It would be grossly irresponsible of me not to be considerate of their needs.

    We can have a retirement population that is reasonably well-cared for or we can have one that is impoverished. I don't think I want to know anyone who supports the latter. Since poor people tend to rely more heavily on government services that doesn't even make good sense from the perspective of those who want to cut government spending, unless of course they simply don't care that elderly men and women could becoming homeless and/or starving to death. I don't want to be part of a nation that would treat its seniors that way.

    •  Careful, It's a Long Time Till You Get There. I (3+ / 0-)

      paid no SS during my time at state university, but when I lost my tech job there I ended up self employed. So between labor jobs before I started my career, and self employment after, I qualified for both SS retirement and SS disability in addition to my pension.

      And now that the pension and its health care are under attack in a Republican supermajority state, that SS is going to be all that keeps me in my house for the first few years after I can't run machines any more.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:37:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Stupid Question. What Do You Mean (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kay Observer2

        "I paid no SS during my time at state university?"

        When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

        by webranding on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:40:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Some public employee pension systems (4+ / 0-)

          are--or were--similar to the old federal civil service retirement system (which is the one I fall under). Instead of deducting and matching Social Security they paid an equivalent amount into their own system.

          •  Interesting. Didn't Know That (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kay Observer2

            my father is/was a GS18 after 30 years service.

            When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

            by webranding on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:54:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  NYC pension system did that, too (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            grover, Kay Observer2

            My aunt, a widow of a NYC firefighter, doesn't collect SS.

            "There is but one evil party with two names, and it will be elected despite all I can do or say." W.E.B. Dubois, 1956

            by TheMomCat on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 05:41:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Missouri PSRS is one (0+ / 0-)

            Teachers in most Missouri school districts participate in PSRS and do not contribute to SS, so they are not eligible when they retire.

            Mine doesn't work that way.  I have deductions for both the retirement system and FICA, which means I am going to get hit by the expiration of the payroll tax holiday. I was against the tax holiday at the time it was implemented, but now that it's over it's sure going to hurt :-}

            Light is seen through a small hole.

            by houyhnhnm on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 02:13:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  As a mn public employee (0+ / 0-)

            I effectively paid 25% of my wages into retirement plans. 13% to ss plus 11% to my state retirement.

            Ss is best understood as a defined benefit social insurance plan. Msrs is a traditional defined benefit plan
            As a correctional worker I qualified for a reduced annuity at 50

            As a nurse for the Vahcs I am building a fers retirement

            Throughout my career I have always contributed to ss.

            My family thinks its wrong that I am drawing my retirement while continuing to work as a nurse. They don't understand how my pension plan was structured. My wages were so low as a public employee that my kids would have qualified for reduced school lunches.

            No complaints but all workers should have pension plans and society would be stronger

          •  Some public employee systems have you (0+ / 0-)

            paying into both.  I pay 6.2% into Soc. Security and 7% into a mediocre pension plan.  

            “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

            by musiclady on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 04:59:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  On the contrary (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        webranding, Kay Observer2

        I turn 62 in May and I'll be retiring at the end of the year.

        Not a long time at all. I didn't pay into Social Security for nearly long enough to ever collect anything and even if I were to work the requisite number of hours over the next few years anything I collect would be pretty small because of the law that applies specifically to federal employees. I think my Social Security payment (were I to qualify for it) would be reduced by about 75%.

        •  It's not that I'm opposed to earning money (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          webranding, Kay Observer2

          after I retire but I doubt I'll find anything I want to do that anyone would be willing to hire me for. I really want out of my current profession and to be honest it would not even pay me to stay in it once I retire. I live in California but have a real estate appraiser license in Maryland. I'd have to cover the entire cost of continuing ed as well as the license fee, plus purchase malpractice insurance and subscription fees to all of the data services that I now have access to for free. And anyway I've been doing it for over 35 years. I'm done with it. The last thing I want to be is one of those people who sits across the table from the folks who used to be my colleagues, or one of those people who, upon retirement, gets a license to sell real estate. No thanks.

          If something comes my way, then great. Otherwise I will do volunteer work and/or spend my weekdays doing more bike rides. :)

  •  Sadly, there are those on DK who support (7+ / 0-)

    Mr. Poop Poop Poopy Dog's divide and conquer notions. It would seem they even believe them.
    It was the same crap being shoveled when I was going to Love-In's and anti Viet Nam marches. Now I'm older than dirt and, surprise, surprise, Social Security is still here and solvent for at least another 20 years and doesn't add a penny to the deficit. This in spite of the fact that it's the first program that austerity axes swing at.
    It was bullshit then, and bullshit now.

    •  I keep telling people that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kay Observer2

      I also felt like I might not see Social Security when my time came. Well, I'm 63 now and I see it every month.

      One positive thing that attitude did for me was to incentivize me to put together my own retirement program, partially in hopes that I could have something to live on if Social Security evaporated, partially in hopes that I could leave my share to somebody else if I got myself into a position where I wouldn't need it.

      Surprise- it was still there and I needed it anyway. My best efforts yielded about half what I need these days, and Social Security fills in the rest.

      Moderation in most things.

      by billmosby on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:50:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think you have hit on why the 'myth' continues - (5+ / 0-)

        There is a huge industry that wants you to give them more of your money to manage for potential retirement funds.

        They know most people are not as savvy as pension fund managers, so more money will stick to the fingers of the financial shills & support risky speculations with other peoples' money.

        They let that cat out of the bag in pushing to privatize SS during the Shrub years.

        I thank g*d everyday that idea couldn't get traction with the voting public, or the 2008 crash would have been even more devastating !

        I wonder if we can ever get the media to cover the ideas of ethical people instead of brainy talking heads with no souls.

        PS: Bill Moyers can show the media how to do it.

        Something that doesn't make good sense, makes bad sense. That means someone is being deliberately hurtful & selfish. Look for motives behind actions & words.

        by CA wildwoman on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 10:54:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Isn't it time for the Depend Twins retire to the (0+ / 0-)

    meadow to shake their fists at clouds and bore the posies to death?

    Poverty and Income Inequality isn't Democratic, Justice or American. It is Tyranny.

    by Wendys Wink on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:36:45 PM PST

  •  Weathier retirees... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musiccitymollie, Sunspots

    I'm fairly certain most Americans would be startled if they knew the Simpson definition of "wealthier".

    The liberty of democracy is not safe if people tolerate growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself.---FDR

    by masslib on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:02:54 PM PST

    •  You nailed it. Per "The Moment Of Truth" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias, Sunspots, masslib

      means-testing beneficiaries for Social Security benefits (by changing the bend points) begins at an annual income of $9,000.

      Funny isn't it, when we're discussing benefits that are "favorable to the wealthy,"---wealthy begins at $400,000 (or One Million Dollars, according to Nancy Pelosi).

      And politicians wonder why the public has so much disdain for them.  Jeeeezzzz!


      “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

      by musiccitymollie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:32:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Robert Reich (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dfe, Willinois, cocinero

    ‎80 percent of Americans pay more in Social Security taxes than they do in income taxes, and it's a relatively regressive tax -- since not a dime over $113,000 (this year's ceiling) is subjected to it. Yet Social Security taxes go up from 4.2 percent of earnings to 6.2 percent starting this week. And since most employers in effect reduce wages by the portion of Social Security taxes they pay, the real effect on most workers is an increase from 8.4 percent to 12.4 percent. Here's a better idea, that would put more money in the pockets of average working people who'd spend it and thereby create more jobs: Exempt the first $25,000 of wages from Social Security taxes, and eliminate the ceiling. What do you think?

    In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move. -- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    by boriscleto on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 01:02:28 PM PST

    •  RR is coming at SS like it's welfare though. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's not SUPPOSED to be that.

      I see what you did there.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 01:05:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was SUPPOSED (0+ / 0-)

        to be a pay as you go system.

        Workers paid a small tax on payrolls (around 2%, half by the worker and half by the employer) and that money transferred to retirees.

        Saint Ronald Raygun "fixed" all that.

        In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move. -- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

        by boriscleto on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 01:14:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It is and always was a welfare program. (0+ / 0-)

        It's described in other ways so that middle class people would use it and keep their pride. But, the reality is that it has always been a welfare system. There's no point in pretending otherwise.

        •  Please explain why you feel that way. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Because I disagree and FDR clearly stated it was not.

          I see what you did there.

          by GoGoGoEverton on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 01:52:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't feel any particular way about it. (0+ / 0-)

            FDR knew SS wouldn't pass if he called it welfare relief so he called it insurance. But, that was only spin. You can find this in any legislative history of the program. I simply accept that it's a social welfare program, the same as any other, even if it uses a unique taxing mechanism.

            I also understand that it wounds the pride/self-image of many people to call it welfare, so they pretend it isn't. I don't associate any shame with accepting welfare so I'm not concerned with protecting the egos of those who do.

        •  SS is an insurance program. It is not only for (4+ / 0-)

          retirement. It supports surviving spouses and children and the disabled. And some people never live to collect their money but it supports their families and others.

          My Dad died in his mid 40s. and left a widow and 4 minor children. My Mom and my siblings were not on welfare. And I began to pay into SS when I was 16. I'm 61 now. My Mother remarried and didn't collect checks after. She also didn't live to collect a penny of the money she contributed over a lifetime of working. But her contributions have helped shelter, cloth, and feed other people covered by this insurance program called Social Security.

          I'm not pretending I wasn't on welfare. I was supported by benefits my Father earned for his family. And my Mothers contributions aren't wasted, they support others who are covered by this insurance program.

          It's a beautiful thing. All for one and one for all, baby.

          •  All welfare programs are insurance. (0+ / 0-)

            You pay when you're able, and it's there when you need it. I appreciate that you gave personal examples of that.

            There's a certain implication when people say that SS isn't welfare because they paid into the system. It implies that other welfare recipients never paid anything. That they've been freeloading their entire lives. Those assumptions are based on stereotypes spread by (usually racist) conservatives.

            •  In other nations you can call Social Insurance (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Willinois, HM2Viking

              welfare and it has no negative weight. In America 'welfare program' is a verbal sneer.

              Is my car insurance welfare? Is my health insurance? Health  Insurance i'm afraid to use because the robbers who sell it to me jack my rates when I do.

              We pay into a pool and we gamble that we will collect when and if we need the benefits. And like car insurance I have to pay for it, that's the law. I am free not to use any insurance program I pay into, even if I am required by law to do the paying. And that includes government run social insurance and healthcare programs.

            •  Wrong (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HM2Viking, Grabber by the Heel, Clues

              SS is constructed differently, with payroll deductions going into the SS Trust Fund.  It pays for itself, as Roosevelt intended.  He had enough foresight to know that ignorant, greedy politicians would try to kill it if they could call it welfare.  

              Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

              by Betty Pinson on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 03:45:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It was spun as something other than welfare. (0+ / 0-)

                Yes, FDR knew it wouldn't pass if it was called welfare. The first SS proposals were called old-age relief plans, before someone had the bright idea of spinning it as insurance.

                The fact that SS has its own regressive tax doesn't make it different than other welfare programs in any meaningful way. All welfare programs pay for themselves through taxes.

                Why does the idea of calling SS what it is bother you? If we're all in this together then we shouldn't promote the attitude that welfare is something to be ashamed of.

              •  A little history to read. (0+ / 0-)

                It was called something else for the benefit of Congress and the public. But, the people who advocated for and passed Social Security all understood it to be like other New Deal social welfare (aka social insurance) programs.



        •  Not welfare (0+ / 0-)

          It's social insurance

    •  Taxing minimum wage workers (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to support retired millionaires is idiotic. This sounds like a great idea.

    •  Then its welfare and easier to privatize. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kareylou, TexasTom
    •  New Medicare Tax for the $200K set (0+ / 0-)

      the .9% tax on incomes over 200K is in the category you suggest and needs to be better understood as part of the original ACA -

      It would be great to exempt the first 25K of everyone's income for the FICA tax and remove the upper cap entirely - it would certainly lead toward greater fairness and solvency - but it's not likely to happen until there's much stronger democratic majorities in both houses and the White House.

      One tax I'd like to see discussed more is a trading tax, where there's a small fee assessed per share of stock, bond or option traded on a public exchange or through an American brokerage - 1/8 or 1/4 of a cent per share...

      "Really, GOP, please proceed." -Mark Sumner

      by Beastly Fool on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 02:56:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  2% break was only on employee's share (0+ / 0-)

      Employers did not get the 2% break on their share.
      So you're math is a little off.  Real effect is 10.4 % increased to 12.4%.

  •  Even more, we'll be more reliant on it (0+ / 0-)

    than our parents are/will be...much less likely we did all that great the past 4 years to be putting away money for retirement.

    I see what you did there.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 01:04:36 PM PST

  •  Thank you. (8+ / 0-)

    I see lots of people discussing SS like it's just a concern for the retired.

    And whether it's true or not, it shouldn't be. We shouldn't even be framing the discussion as, "well of course, the only people who care about SS are those currently drawing it...."

    I'm 20 years away from retirement age, and yes, I have some expectation that SS will at least be a part of my retirement income. And I should have some expectation that it will be as generous to my generation as it has been to previous ones. And there is nothing wrong with wanting to maintain the status quo of such programs, and a lot right with that expectation.

    We should not just accept that our standard of living is inevitably going to decline, should we?

    "The marriage fight is over when we say it's over, and it's over when we win."—Dan Savage

    by Scott Wooledge on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 01:29:56 PM PST

    •  Social Security is important regardless of age (3+ / 0-)

      Obviously, it matters if you're already retired and collecting Social Security, but it also matters a great deal for younger people.

      For those of us within twenty years of retirement, Social Security is an important part of a comfortable retirement even for those folks who have pensions and/or a healthy retirement savings account.  Under the most generous assumptions for safe rate of return, it would take an additional $300,000 or so of savings in order to replace the typical Social Security check.  That's a lot of additional savings.

      And for those who are younger, Social Security is even more important.  Why?  Because few of them will ever see a pension.   I work at a company that quit providing pensions for new hires about five years ago -- and from what I've seen, this is pretty typical of the corporate world.  So today's twentysomething is not going to have a pension, but will be totally dependent on the combination of retirement savings and Social Security in order to be able to retire without starving or moving into a cardboard box located at a convenient underpass.

      Without the help from Social Security, coming up with sufficient savings to retire on without any other source of income is a fantasy for 90% of the population -- it's just not possible on the incomes that most people can earn.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 02:32:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska has a great plan to (0+ / 0-)

    strengthen Social Security:

    Get your Senator to support it.  This really should be the entire party's plan:

    Funny Stuff at

    by poopdogcomedy on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 01:34:22 PM PST

  •  It's a one sided generational war. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RainyDay, jop

    Young people don't seem to have a sense of their generational interests. We have a European social welfare state for retirees that the left is extremely dedicated to protecting.

    But for the young we have rising costs for college, cuts in student aid, crushing student loan mortgages, increases in regressive payroll taxes that support retirees, and Congress does nothing about climate change. Young people are getting screwed and all the left punditry wants to talk write is this line in the sand they've drawn for Social Security and Medicare. I don't get it. A generationally lopsided safety net isn't sustainable. We need to stand up for young people too.

    •  Protecting SS as it is and working to really (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      improve and secure Medicare for future seniors is caring about the younger generation.

      •  Maybe. (0+ / 0-)

        How much funding those programs receive will be an academic issue if climate change isn't dealt with. The government can only afford to pay for so many disasters. Having medicare won't amount to much if the hospitals in the area are destroyed by natural disasters. The main barrier to dealing with that problem are older citizens in Congress, and especially the Senate, who perpetually think other issues are more important. The lifestyle we're living today is at the expense of the next generation who will suffer the consequences of our fossil fuel emissions. So, asking young people to be concerned about benefits for retirees seems obscenely one sided as long as retirees and boomers aren't demanding immediate action on climate change. Instead, we're told that fixing the budget or the economy or something else is always more pressing.

        •  I want younger people to have SS & Medicare. (0+ / 0-)

          I want them to have free education, clean air and water and I don't want the planet to die under them or the boomers. And I am willing to help pay for these things. But we do have a Democracy shortage and real and true villeins stalk the world.

          And i'm against war. Including war between generations because war of any kind only helps those villeins.

    •  Poor framing... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...because protecting Social Security and Medicare is not mutually exclusive with working those other issues.

      Aside from that, today's young people will all eventually be old, and will want Social Security and Medicare to be available for their own retirements.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 02:34:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Young students are getting robbed by the very (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Beastly Fool, HM2Viking

      same financial players that want to privatize SS and Medicare.

  •  Joan, please stop calling Medicare and SS (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Beastly Fool

    "entitlements".   May of us paid our way, contributed to the fund and expected a "return from our investment".

    As for lowering the age,  I'm opposed.  Excuse my language, fuck, I worked for 50 years.

    •  Nothing was invested. (0+ / 0-)

      When you were working, you were taxed for Social Security and the money was given to retirees. Now workers are taxed and that money is given to you. You invested nothing.

      •  Well, let's put it this way. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The incoming retirees paid for their elders with the understanding that they would be taken care of when their time came.  This is called a social contract, or, in ordinary English, a sacred promise.

        Breaking that promise is a sin and a crime. It is a con job. It is delayed theft.

        if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 02:18:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. (0+ / 0-)

          And that social contract demands that it include everyone in society, not merely one age group who believe they're owed something, not because of the social contract, but  merely because they mistakenly thought they were saving for retirement.

          •  Fine. Medicare for All. Full employment. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HM2Viking, kareylou

            No problems here.

            Once I saw that my government could magic 16 T 770 billion out of the air and hand it to a bunch of either clueless or criminal bankers who had just blown up the world economy...

            Once I saw that my government could do that without worrying about whether the money would ever get paid back or indeed used for anything useful....

             I became a lot more reassured that that same government could magic 2 or 3 trillion out of the air to employ my people, provide them healthcare, fix our infrastructure and move our economy off of fossil fuels. So yeah, sure, bring it on.

            Until I see that start to happen, I continue to assert that we should at least keep the bare minimum promises that we made in a saner past.

            if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 02:49:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Good. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I know people who object to calling it welfare do so because the stigma of that label makes welfare programs less popular and easier to cut. Essentially, they're willing to throw other welfare recipients under the bus as long as they get their SS check. I don't think we make progress by promoting conservative attitudes about welfare.

      •  Soc Sec funds were invested (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RainyDay, kareylou

        in US Treasury Bonds...

        "Really, GOP, please proceed." -Mark Sumner

        by Beastly Fool on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 03:03:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Our funds are part of the SS surplus (6+ / 0-)

        Baby boomers deductions have paid for and are still paying for both past retirees and future ones.

        We funded our grandparents, our parents and our own retirements. We had to fund the former because SS was created while they were adults, before they could contribute much to the system.

        Our payroll deductions have mostly been going towards a surplus in the Trust Fund, which then loans the money to the US Treasury.

        The push to cut SS is part of an effort by many conservatives in both parties to pave the way for the Social Security Trust fund to "forgive" those loans to the Treasury.  

        So yes, Baby Boomers have been the "Greatest Generation" when it comes to helping fund SS Retirement for 3 generations of Americans.  Anyone who wants to steal that money from us is going to have to put up a fight.

        Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

        by Betty Pinson on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 03:14:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's the safest federal program. (0+ / 0-)

          The Baby Boom voting block ensures that Social Security benefits are the safest federal program. It's the only welfare program that hasn't seen major cuts in the past decade. As we saw in the fiscal cliff deal, raising the regressive social security tax on the working poor is politically much easier than cutting benefits.

          The question is whether the passion people bring to defending Social Security and Medicare can be matched for defending other programs. So far that isn't the case.

          •  It's not a welfare program (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Grabber by the Heel, kareylou, Clues

            and that's one of the reasons people defend it so strongly.  It's a federally managed retirement & disability insurance program that is funded entirely by workers who pay into it.

            It also has nothing to do with the federal deficit. It is self funded.  The surplus in the trust fund is scheduled to last for another 20-30 years.  

            It's our retirement insurance fund, we paid into it, the federal government only collects it and manages the program.

            Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

            by Betty Pinson on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 03:51:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  We already went through this on the thread. (0+ / 0-)

              As you pointed out, all welfare is called insurance in Europe. All welfare programs operate like an insurance against misfortune. No one on this thread has pointed out any meaningful distinction between SS and other welfare programs, except their vain need to not associate themselves with "those people" on welfare.

              •  Willinois, it just isn't useful language in our (0+ / 0-)

                country and in this fight. It is difficult enough to try to have a meaningful and fact based discussion with our media and lying repugs.

                Its an insurance program and if the financial elites can weaken it with words they will. And the word welfare I appreciate your thinking, but SS and medicare are the castle keep. Lose them to the welfare column and everything else is lost. Unemployment is 'insurance', not "the dole".

                I think you are misjudging how I feel about assistance to people who need help with food or shelter or education. I can't speak for others on this site, but "those people" are fellow countrymen to me. And my sisters, friends and other family members have used Social Services, food stamps or other welfare when times were tough.

                We all have a hobby horse though. And you get to ride yours.


                •  The castle keep. (0+ / 0-)

                  I understand. You're arguing that it's easier to defend Social Security if it isn't called welfare. In other words, you're willing to throw the poor receiving other types of welfare under the bus as those programs get cut. But, social security and medicare must be protected at all costs. I can't go along with that divide and conquer approach.

                  •  No, I don't want other programs cut. Like SS & (0+ / 0-)

                    medicare & medicaid, I would like to see our safety net strengthened, expanded. And like you I would like to have the stigma and shaming taken out of public assistance and the  burden of this removed from already stressed out and struggling citizens and families.

                    Conservatives in America even think people, unemployed thru no fault of their own, are mooching if they collect unemployment benefits. This is the 18th century mindset we more modern, practical, and compassionate citizens have to contend with.

                    Maybe you should consider calling other assistance and social services 'insurance' rather than calling a dedicated tax account supported program 'welfare'. Associate other programs with SS and Medicare, which are respected and popular rather than give the detractors and privatizers the gift of associating them with programs that are less popular and less understood by our ill informed citizens.

                    Social Security is an insurance program. It is vitally important to people and families and it is in danger of being  ruined by Wall St looters and the politicians they own.

                    Why make their dirty work easier for them?  

              •  Your definition of "welfare" (0+ / 0-)

                is so loose as to render the term meaningless.  You seem to be defining it as "any program that helps anyone".  In that sense, people who pay into some other pension fund, like public school teachers, would also have to consider their pensions to be welfare, since it is "insurance" that they will be "helped" in their old age.

                It's ridiculous for you to come into a discussion like this using commonly-agreed-to terms in unusual ways like that, and expect anyone to agree with your assertions.

                This probably won't make any difference to your definition, but do you realize that, for the first time in the history of SS, people are starting to receive less from it than they've paid in?

                The distinction you're asking for is that, in the US, welfare constitutes a use of taxpayer funds that do not depend on the recipient's contribution.  Social Security has a great dependency on the contribution of the recipient.

                •  Social Security is not a pension. (0+ / 0-)

                  People aren't putting money into a savings account. When they retire, people don't withdrawal the money they put into the system.  

                  Retirees are paid from the social security taxes collected on current workers. That's how all welfare programs work. Workers are taxed and beneficiaries are given the money. Also, there are plenty of people receiving it who paid in very little or nothing, such as those with disabilities. The fact that Social Security has a separate regressive tax doesn't make it meaningfully different from other forms of welfare. It isn't called welfare for the purely political reason that calling it what is is would result in less support from conservatives and the middle class.

                  •  sorry (0+ / 0-)

                    Your facts aren't entirely correct, and your definition of "welfare" is still weird.  (Not that you've provided one)  Maybe you should try doing that.  What exactly constitutes "welfare" in your book?  In the US it has a very specific meaning, or had on, I should say, because it no longer exists in its earlier form.

        •  Also (0+ / 0-)

          Saying that the treasury took loans from the Trust Fund is a fancy way of saying that Social Security tax money was used to fund the general budget instead of being set aside for future retirees. If boomers had actually funded retirement for three generations then the money would still be there. Instead, a majority of boomers (I'll assume this doesn't include you) chose to vote for politicians like Reagan and Bush who felt that spending money on the military and tax cuts for the rich was more important than saving the social security trust fund.

          So in reality, boomers covered the costs of past retirees  just as workers today will fund the retirement of boomers. If Social Security is in trouble at all (which it really isn't) it's because boomer politicians decided that other spending priorities were more important over the past 20 years.

          •  I'm a lifelong Democrat (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kareylou, tejassaluki

            So I've always supported Democrats who protect SS, as did my parents and grandparents.

            The SS Trust fund has always invested its reserves in U.S. Treasury securities, and historically, the US Treasury has met its obligations.  

            So some of the money Boomers have been investing in SS since the 1960's has gone to help pay retirement funds for other's retirements and some has been invested in Treasury securities to earn interest until we're ready to use it.  

            The problem is that some crooked folks in DC don't think the US Treasury should have to honor the securities it has sold to the SS Trust Fund.  They think the money American workers have invested shouldn't be repaid or only partially repaid in order to pay down the federal budget deficit.  

            Every Boomer I know is still working and still contributing to SS, so we're still putting away money for our own retirement and that of those who are younger too.  The SS Trust fund will have sufficient funds to do this through 2032.  It would last longer if we didn't have so many periods of high unemployment.

            Young Americans are our children. We want SS to be solvent for you, too.  So we're pushing for economic recovery, full employment, good wages for all and, if necessary a fix that requires people with high incomes pay into the fund, too.  

            Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

            by Betty Pinson on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 05:37:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  entitlement/mandatory (0+ / 0-)

      Entitlement spending - it does have unfortunate connotations.  

      I think the term refers to spending that is required by law as determined by eligibility and thus mandatory - meaning the government deems you entitled to that money, rather than you believing you are entitled to that money.

  •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    From a greedy old geezer who needs Social Security and Medicare to get me through the night.

  •  Is estate tax exemption CPI or Chained CPI (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotdash2u, shigeru

    Joan, I think it would be interesting to find out if the new five million dollar estate tax exemption is indexed to the regular CPI or the "Chained CPI."

    I'm betting it is the regular CPI, which means the exemption will progressively go up every year at a higher rate than if it were the chained CPI.

    This is important because if I am correct in my assumption, the republicans care way more about rich dead people than they do middle class and poor old people who are still alive.

    They want to put Social Security on the chained CPI, which would devastate people on the lower half of the pay scale. Whereas rich heirs will see their exemption increase at a higher rate.

    Everything I write is within a margin of error of precisely 100%.

    by Bailey Savings and Loan on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 01:52:41 PM PST

  •  You're getting closer to Obama's position. (0+ / 0-)

    The only changes to Social Security I've seen Obama publicly support is raising the cap on taxing income, and means testing. It's nice to see those ideas getting some support at DK. Those changes would be enough.

    Maybe we can focus on those ideas and get away from the highly speculative fear-mongering about Obama's secret plan to destroy social security. Those fears and accusations have amounted to nothing several times now, including Obama NOT supporting the "cat food commission's" proposed changes to Social Security.

    •  Means testing bends the program towards welfare (0+ / 0-)

      How about giving wealthy people the option to collect and a small tax break if they don't.

      Mitt bragged about not applying for his benefits.

      I wish I could trust Obama on this but I can't. His vague language on this reminds me of how he began to answer questions about the public option he stooped bringing up.

      •  Yes, it does (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Grabber by the Heel, kareylou

        It paves the way to rationalize future cuts or "privatization".  

        No, I've read the talking points Obama's allies and big time donors are pushing to "reform" SS.  They've already gotten him to embrace some of their flim-flammery.

        Every time I hear Obama link SS and the deficit, I'm extremely disappointed in him.  If he's as smart as is claimed, he should know better.

        Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

        by Betty Pinson on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 03:43:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  This Administration is on record supporting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "all six pillars of" The Moment Of Truth (Bowles-Simpson's Fiscal Commission recommendations).  The 66-page proposal is comprised of six sections.  Here's the link to The Moment Of Truth (PDF).

      I apologize that I can not provide the video clip of Financial Times reporter James Politi interviewing President Obama's Chief-Of-Staff, Jack Lew.  My subscription to FT has lapsed.

      However, here's a NPR audio clip and transcript from the radio show All Things Considered, in which Robert Siegel talks to NPR's David Welna.

      From the NPR website:  President Obama Tuesday made an unexpected appearance before reporters, to endorse an ambitious deficit reduction plan that includes spending cuts and tax increases drafted by the so-called Gang of Six.
      The Gang of Six Plan is basically the framework or outline of the Bowles-Simpson recommendations, put to paper.
      Here's a TPM piece that states that former Senator Kent Conrad advised the President not to publicly endorse the Catfood Commission's report, The Moment Of Truth, because he feared that it would turn Republicans against it.
      Here's a link to the TPM piece.

      Here's a link to the NPR audio clip.


      “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

      by musiccitymollie on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 06:13:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obama explicitly rejected the cuts to SS (0+ / 0-)

        contained in Simpson Bowles. It's no secret. He's on record saying so publicly. We don't have to resort to anonymous source stories or strained interpretations of something said by a staffer, as do those who claim Obama is determined to cut the program.

        •  Here's two more mainstream media articles (0+ / 0-)

          regarding the President's intention to cut Social Security and Medicare.

          Obama Pledges Reform of Social Security, Medicare Programs

          Here's an excerpt and link.

          . . . But he framed the economic recovery efforts more broadly, saying it is impossible to separate the country's financial ills from the long-term need to rein in health-care costs, stabilize Social Security and prevent the Medicare program from bankrupting the government.

           "This, by the way, is where there are going to be very difficult choices and issues of sacrifice and responsibility and duty," he said. "You have to have a president who is willing to spend some political capital on this. And I intend to spend some."

          Obama is not the first incoming president to make bold declarations about overhauling the nation's retirement and health-care systems. Both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush made similar vows. . . .

          And this article excerpt and link, Obama Promises Bid To Overhaul Retiree Spending.
          President-elect Barack Obama said Wednesday that overhauling Social Security and Medicare would be “a central part” of his administration’s efforts to contain federal spending, signaling for the first time that he would wade into the thorny politics of entitlement programs.
          For what it's worth, I hope that none of this happens.  But there are scores of newspaper articles similar to these, including these two pieces which were published BEFORE the President was even inaugurated.


          “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

          by musiccitymollie on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 09:21:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So, you found no solid examples. (0+ / 0-)

            I'm fully aware of the mountain of fear-monger blogs and articles about Obama cutting social security. What your links have in common with all of them is that they have no quotes or specific proposals by Obama. The minor changes Obama has advocated to SS since before he took office are the same ones this diary just wrote about favorably, such as raising the cap on paying into the system. The speculative anonymous source rumor-mongering on this issue is as bad as Fox News.

            You claimed Obama supported the SS cuts in Simpson-Bowles. That is an absolute falsehood.


            •  The sentence in The Hill newspaper appears to (0+ / 0-)

              be taken from an Obama-Biden campaign memo, here's the link.  You might want to consider that in your assessment of the statement.

              Regarding cuts to Social Security, here's where President Obama says that he has 'a similar position' to Governor Romney in the first Presidential debate.  As I recall, the entire progressive community (including Ed Schultz, and almost every Dem pundit) freaked out, considering the specifics that Romney put forward for Social Security reform.  

              Here's an excerpt and link:

              LEHRER: All right? All right. This is segment three, the economy. Entitlements. First — first answer goes to you, two minutes, Mr. President. Do you see a major difference between the two of you on Social Security?

              OBAMA: You know, I suspect that, on Social Security, we’ve got a somewhat similar position. Social Security is structurally sound. It’s going to have to be tweaked the way it was by Ronald Reagan and Speaker — Democratic Speaker Tip O’Neill. But it is — the basic structure is sound.

              At my house we spend a great deal of time listening to two news sources--C-Span Channels and several "business channels."

              I can tell you that what is said "for public consumption by the great unwashed masses," is far different than what is said to Wall Street and to the representatives of the 1%.  

              I will soon be posting a series featuring some video clips which I believe that many folks will find to be quite revealing, and hopefully, informative.  

              Generally speaking, most politicians don't show their cards' if they are getting ready to make major cuts to social programs.  Doing so would allow "special interests," including the Dem base, to mobilize against them.  And they smartly avoid that, at all costs.

              Anyway, Willinois, I fervently hope that you are correct that President Obama 'will not enact cuts to Social Security.'  No one in the DKos community would be happier than I.  

              I guess time will tell.


              “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

              by musiccitymollie on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:43:48 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  <40s In Great Shape To Collect Social Security (3+ / 0-)

    Because the Baby Boom ended in about 1964 shortly after "the Pill" became widely available.

    Someone who is now 40 or under was born post Baby Boom.  

    By the time Generation X starts to retire in 2030, the peak of the  Boomers will 75 years old, and retirees will die off at an increasing rate.  By 2040, seniors will be vanishing quickly as the post- Baby Boom cohort hits 75.

    Not only will Social Security be in much better shape, but that generation may well have very low levels of unemployment right up (optional) retirement age.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 01:56:19 PM PST

  •  The game is to undermine confidence in SS. Then (5+ / 0-)

    weaken it and reduce benefits so it is less effective. Then con people into handing SS over to Wall St to get an imaginary bigger return.

    And if you want to see how privatized SS works check the mess Pinochet made in Chile. First the low income retirees lost most of their nest egg thru bad investments and broker fees. Then the better paid workers and professionals, after at first doing well, lost their money because of financial slumps that drained their accounts. The government workers who opted to keep the traditional SS style accounts (only the military & government workers had this option) ended up the only winners except for the financial investors who looted accounts.

    And this was all implemented at gunpoint. I've noticed the privatizers don't cite Chile as an example of how well privatization works anymore. And the guy who implemented the plan for Pinochet and his cronies, is never trotted out anymore by conservative or libertarian stink tanks. Dead and/or discredited? He was the Labor minister and he never seemed to notice that Union leaders he met with on monday were thrown into the Pacific from helicopters  by friday.

    The billionaire investors, repugs, conservadems, Bill Clinton and Obama need to be forced to stop this zombie swindle.

    •  That's the plan (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Grabber by the Heel, kareylou

      if you check out the plans put forward by "progressive centris' think tanks, they use a great deal of demagoguery about SS and propose changes allowing younger workers to siphon off part of their SS deductions to private savings accounts.

      Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

      by Betty Pinson on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 03:40:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Social Security will be easily fixed (4+ / 0-)

    once the problem is turned over to people with knowledge of the numbers and the will not to injure retirees.  The cap will have to be lifted, if not removed entirely, while the tax rate adjusted to take the broader base into consideration.  Meanwhile benefits should also be adjusted to favor the less well off without overly disadvantaging the better off.  

  •  the American people are not as stupid (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    as people think they are. There have even been Kossacks who have deplored the stupidity of the American people over the years. But the fact is that if the American government paid any attention to the American people since the economic crash of 07-08, it would have adopted policies which are far more helpful in getting us out of this crap we've landed in.

    The problem with SS and Medicare is that they highlight the fact that the U.S. government doesn't give a shit what the majority of the American people thinks. That's why all the Shock Doctrine stuff.

    if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 02:13:15 PM PST

  •  It is simple math. I have 2 masters, 30 years (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    experience in a field, good work ethic and keep on top of new stuff. There is a large under 30 unemployment problem. I would like to retire but need to work a few more years. Every contract I get takes away from someone. Likely someone younger. Reducing the full benefit age and improving Medicare would mean that I could retire now.

    Why the folks don't advertise this I don't know. Well I do, as Joan stated they want to steal even more of my money and give to the mavens.

    If... the machine of government... is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. ~Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobediance, 1849

    by shigeru on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 02:15:14 PM PST

  •  I have to wonder how many (0+ / 0-)

    .."millennials" are living on their parent's or grandparent's Social Security in this "jobless recovery" of ours.

    I'd be supportive too - if it were keeping me from sleeping under a bridge.

    Poor people have too much money and vote too often. Republican platform plank, 1980 - present

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 02:22:39 PM PST

  •  Social Security and Medicare are popular and the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, HM2Viking

    ACA will be popular.  People know that we need a social safety net and we can't trash what we have when we see that the rest of the developed world has a much better social safety net than we have in countries that are not as rich as ours.

  •   SS vs the Deficit is false choice rhetoric (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HM2Viking, Clues, Beastly Fool

    I'm really surprised a pollster like Pew  would stoop to such dishonest tactics.

    Americans don't need to prioritize Social Security & Deficit Reduction, since neither has anything to do with the other.

    Any poll respondent who thinks they have to choose between the two is ill informed or has been lied to.

    Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

    by Betty Pinson on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 03:07:13 PM PST

    •  Even Pew has been conned (0+ / 0-)

      by the spin machine that has been so relentlessly pulling every possible argument farther and farther to the right, so the 'middle' seems more and more 'conservative' all the time.  The press and the polling companies and the politicians themselves have considerable responsibility here.  Obama would never have been moved to offer the 400K tax threshold had the GOP not been so vocally backed up by the press, as if this was a true centrist position - that's just one example of God knows how many where the final outcome has been thoroughly skewed by non-neutral observers with over-sized megaphones.

      Pew is just one of the latest to have succumbed...

      "Really, GOP, please proceed." -Mark Sumner

      by Beastly Fool on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:56:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe the millennials have seen (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alice kleeman, Beastly Fool

  •  Wall Street should take note (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Grabber by the Heel

    It's really very simple.  No or reduced Social Security?  I'd invest VERY conservatively.  Cash and interest.  Maybe some real estate.  CDs.

    Full Social Security?  Then I have enough of a secure base that I can use some of my private savings as "play money."  I can take more risks.  Stocks.  Derivatives.  Options.

    If Wall Street wants to ensure that their industry becomes a preserve of the elite, that everyone else resents and eventually demands be taxed into oblivion, destroying Social Security is the perfect way of starting that project.  If Wall Street wants to be a thriving part of the mainstream American economy, they'd better make sure people can afford to participate.

  •  Be careful here Dems (0+ / 0-)

    If Dems cut these progrms, they will get the blame nd republicans will use it against them in 2014.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 03:38:59 PM PST

  •  I've been paying into SS and MC for 40 years.... (0+ / 0-)

    ... and they will pry it from my COLD DEAD FINGERS.

    Or maybe theirs.

  •  Per Republicans Americans don't have families (0+ / 0-)

    Or else, per Republicans, all a family is valued is for what you can inherit from them.

    Think about it, if the government strips granny of her SS or Medicare benefits, the young ones are going to pitch in to help her.  Cutting SS or Medicare burdens the whole family.

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