Calpundit is writing about fixing Social Security. Here’s my two cents: Since 1981 the government has been borrowing from Social Security to pay for tax cuts given primarily to the rich, and to pay increased bond interest because of the deficits caused by those tax cuts, and that interest goes primarily to the richest, who HAVE trillions to loan to the government. Other items that contributed to the country’s deficits include massive military spending increases, the parts of which that didn’t cover military pay were skewed to defense contractors owned by the richest – like the Carlyle Group – and to ag subsidies, which largely go to the giant corporate farm companies. THOSE are the spending items that increased dramatically since the early 80’s. So the Social Security money has gone out to the tax cuts for the rich, and the government’s deficits have been occurring for spending that largely benefits the richest.
The FIRST Social Security crisis occurs in a few years (2018?) when it stops running a surplus and wants to cash in some of the government debt it holds because of the borrowing to finance tax cuts for the rich. People like Alan Greenspan are worried about how the government is going to pay that money it borrowed from Social Security. He says we need to cut benefits NOW, and raise the retirement age NOW, to delay the time when Social Security stops running a surplus — that finances tax cuts for the rich — and instead needs to start cashing in the government bonds it owns. Once again, the “crisis” is that the government has to start paying back some of the money it owes Social Security recipients.
The SECOND crisis occurs many, many years down the road when Social Security no longer has this reserve fund. It happens so far in the future that they have to use very interesting models to predict what might happen, and every year they seem to be adding TWO years before this second “crisis” occurs. I think currently it is projected to be OK for 39 years. Last year I think it was OK for 37.
I’ve worked my whole life and payed into Social Security. I didn’t get the tax cuts. I haven’t been receiving debt interest payments. I don’t own any defense companies or ag companies. So I am not going to accept any Social Security “fix” that involves cutting MY benefits or making ME work extra years before I can retire.
As Jesse Jackson says, let’s get the money from where the money went.
This FIRST “crisis” — finding the money to pay some of what was borrowed from Social Security — sounds to me like the obligation lies with someone other than the people the money is owed to… like maybe the people who GOT the money that was borrowed. Why should the people it was borrowed FROM have to accept less benefits or work more years to “fix” it? I say solve the FIRST with an increase in the income “cap.” People do not kow that there is a “cap” on incomes, that means that if you make more than $87,000 you no longer pay in to Social Security. THAT’S RIGHT – people who make more than $87,000 DON’T PAY IN TO SOCIAL SECURITY ANYMORE!! They got tax CUTS instead! And they’re talking about cutting benefits so that people who make more than $87,000 don’t have to pay more in to Social Security!
AND I say add an income surtax on the rich and the corporations that GOT all the extra money people like me were paying in. In fact, maybe add enough of a surtax to cover INCREASING benefits to the people who loaned the money to give the rich fucks tax cuts that caused this problem in the first place. Maybe then they’ll stop acting like that!
And the second crisis — the one that is projected to occur 39 years from now when Social Security needs some funds to shore it up? I say let the government loan some money to Social Security for a change.