Crossposted from Hillbilly Report.
It seems in these debt limit talks some of the "reckless spending" both Republicans and Corporate Democrats are talking about without adding new revenues is entitlement spending. Entitlements that include Social Security. Despite the fact that the Social Security trust fund regularly runs surpluses that are raided for real "reckless spending" such as tax cuts for the very greedy and wars of failed ideology.
Everyone in Washington seems ready to do one thing. Steal your Social Security. Of the proposals made to "insure the solvency" of that program one thing that keeps coming up is lowing the cost of living adjustment, or COLA which means only one thing. Less money for more of the people who need it the most:
Many deficit reduction proposals under discussion reportedly include a lower cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits. This change in how to calculate the COLA would reduce it by an estimated 0.3 percentage points per year. This seemingly small cut would erode benefits over time. Under the proposed COLA, an average-wage worker retiring this year would, in 2031, receive $1,754 less in annual benefits. This represents a decline of 5.4 percent in the next 20 years.
Worse yet this reduction will compound over time so in essence the longer you live and the older you are the more money you lose:
The COLA cut would affect all Social Security participants, including current retirees. It is even worse than an across-the-board benefit cut, because the reduction compounds over time: the oldest retirees tend to be the poorest ones. Proponents argue that such a cut is a technical fix, based on the claim that the current COLA overstates inflation. However, as EPI economist Josh Bivens explains in a recent briefing paper, the current COLA likely understates the inflation faced by seniors, who devote a much greater share of their income to health care expenses than is reflected in either of these two ways of calculating the COLA.
This chart illustrates:
The sad part as pointed out by Hillbilly and many others is that Social Security still runs surpluses and is not part of the problem. The problem is someone is constantly picking it clean because it belongs to all of us.
Even sadder is too many of us believe the hype, propoganda and lies. Too many of us are too easily whipped into a frenzy to oppose our own interests for a snappy slogan. Until Americans as a whole are smart enough to fight for themselves for a change we will continue to see much more of the American dream stolen away from our hands. The real cost of the raiding of the Social Security surplus time and again is freedoms we fought for and won long ago. The freedom to age without financial hardship.
We can only hope our fellow Americans still want to be great and stand up for themselves once again.