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Time to increase Social Security benefits

DCblogger's picture

Atrios

But I would like to see a few candidates out there telling seniors that it's time to raise their benefits. That might actually be popular.

At the very least any candidate who wants to raise money and recruit support from netroots needs to be asked about increasing social security benefits. And this needs to be raised at Netroots Nation Conference.With any luck Dr. Duncan Black will be leading a panel discussion on this very topic. We need to make a lot of noise.

Never forget that Ronald Reagan eventually wound up supporting sanctions against the old apartheid South Africa. Politicans can make a u turn when the pressure is high enough.

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Comments

Cujo359's picture
Submitted by Cujo359 on

That's certainly one of the best arguments for things like Medicare For All - it creates one giant risk pool that involves the whole country. There's no need for age-discriminatory pricing in that case.

Well, that and it would cost at least thirty percent less than continuing to depend on for-profit insurance, right off the top...

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

policy.

Bowles-Simpson is calling for cuts up to 35% in the monthly Social Security benefit checks. Allow that to happen to a 80 or 90 year olds, and you'd have worse than street riots. So, that's not even under consideration (nor should it be).

Democrats (the DLC), as I've posted here previously, are calling for folks to work well into their "eighth decade of life." I believe that this will happen, eventually.

I doubt that it will be in my lifetime, but this Administration has clearly put on-the-table, "unheard of cuts," and it is only the tip of the iceberg. You might want to read The Moment Of Truth--the President's own Fiscal Commission's recommendations. Here's the link.
The Bowles-Simpson Fiscal Commission's recommendations are incrementally changing the nature, and to some extend, the structure of Social Security. There recommendations are "privatizing it," or setting it up for that, through the back door.

And if you're very young (say, under age 35 years), honestly, I think that it's a waste of your time to even consider relying on Social Security. When this Administration finishes with it, it will not even resemble the program that exists now, much less the program that it was for "the Greatest Generation."

Senator Tom Harkin is devising a "mandatory personal/private retirement fund" system (and has been for years) that I expect that he'll push through before he retires in two years. Here's a link to that, if you're interested. This is the type of system that will be in place for today's young people, I would imagine. [Again, another "Republican-Lite idea, brought to us by a Democrat.]

Actually, got a quick reply to you on your single-payer diary. I just found out yesterday that they appear to be making strides toward destroying the Social Security Disability program, too.

From some white papers that I've read, they expect the Social Security monthly benefit to "flatline" by approximately year 2100. The monthly benefit, by then, will amount to a small stipend, if the PtB implement all the cuts that Bowles-Simpson prescribe, take effect. So, for much younger folks, Harkins plan may be their best bet.

Alexa

“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

[Avatar Photo Credit: Conflagrate, jurvetson's photostream, flickr]

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

the 3-minute "edit" option.

Here's the link that I apparently left out, to Harkin's USA Retirement Funds.

USA Retirement Fund.

Hope this link works.

Alexa

“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

[Avatar Photo Credit: Conflagrate, jurvetson's photostream, flickr]

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

Actually, I don't know what I was thinking, when I said that they wouldn't make changes (like the 35% cuts that Bowles-Simpson prescribes).

In the past, THAT WAS TRUE. For instance, the Greenspan Commission's "cuts" were basically backed way back, so that the folks near retirement didn't "have the rug pulled out from under them," as the saying goes.

Bowles-Simpson breaks with that tradition. That is why it IS so extreme, if the cuts go through as recommended. And there is not reason to think that they won't, since the Republicans have been the only party to claim to "shield" near-retirees from impending cuts. And they weren't promising anywhere near the exemption period that the Greenspan Commission allowed.

Now, they aren't (at this time) planning to include current retirees in the two worst cuts (actually, for obvious reasons, that would be impossible regarding "retirement age"), but the deepest cut of all, progressive price indexing or means testing, is at least, for now, not going to affect current retirees.

That would cause worse than street riots, LOL! And, rightfully so, IMHO.

Anyway, thought that I'd better correct myself. The entire reason that some policy experts have freaked over these proposals is the fact that they're not only extraordinarily deep cuts, but unlike years past, folks within barely several years will be harshly affected. That is "a first."

Here's the link to US Rep Jan Schakowsky's OpEd in Reuters, entitled: The Sham of Simpson-Bowles. It's short, and worth a read.

link

Alexa

“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

[Avatar Photo Credit: Conflagrate, jurvetson's photostream, flickr]

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

Even from a strictly selfish perspective, those already retired or nearing retirement would be extremely unwise to accept changes to Social Security from which they themselves are exempt. Because after a decade or two, as the number of those exempt dwindles, it will become very easy for the elite to portray them as spongers who expect special privileges and cut their benefits when they are quite old and utterly unable to do anything about it.

By the way, I doubt that "Allow that to happen to a 80 or 90 year olds, and you'd have worse than street riots." Not too many 80 or 90 year olds are really black bloc material and I don't think even too many 50 or 60 year olds are either. And a lot of those young enough to do "worse than street riots" are not automatically going to line up cross-generationally in support of a program few of them expect to benefit from.

Personally, I would love to see something that automatically links support for education and for pensions. Life Cycle Security. If this were something being pushed for strongly, it would make it a lot harder for the elite to pick us off one cohort at a time.

Submitted by lambert on

... is a great meme. Thanks!

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Jessica Yogini's picture
Submitted by Jessica Yogini on

Even from a strictly selfish perspective, those already retired or nearing retirement would be extremely unwise to accept changes to Social Security from which they themselves are exempt. Because after a decade or two, as the number of those exempt dwindles, it will become very easy for the elite to portray them as spongers who expect special privileges and cut their benefits when they are quite old and utterly unable to do anything about it.

By the way, I doubt that "Allow that to happen to a 80 or 90 year olds, and you'd have worse than street riots." Not too many 80 or 90 year olds are really black bloc material and I don't think even too many 50 or 60 year olds are either. And a lot of those young enough to do "worse than street riots" are not automatically going to line up cross-generationally in support of a program few of them expect to benefit from.

Personally, I would love to see something that automatically links support for education and for pensions. Life Cycle Security. If this were something being pushed for strongly, it would make it a lot harder for the elite to pick us off one cohort at a time.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

Seriously, most Boomers, who had their own payroll taxes doubled for "thirty years" (that was one of the "reforms" from the 1983 Greenspan Commission) feel entitled to at least receive the amount they were promised.

You do realize, don't you, that they are getting ready to slash benefits (over the next several years) by up to 35% for some folks.

Of course, realistically, there's no way that benefits will be bolstered anytime soon. The process has already begun to dismantle the entire system. I think that I've mentioned Harkin's proposal earlier. Hope you saw it. Don't have time to reiterate.

That's what will be left. And he's not even going to have employers (actually, it depends on which day that you ask him, :-) contribute to these USA Retirement Funds.

Here is the link to IL Rep Jan Schakowsky's opinion of the "reforms" getting ready to take place. Here piece is entitled "The Sham Of Simpson-Bowles." It was published as an OpEd in Reuters. And here's the

@ they can be talking about medicare cuts on provider side...not necessarily bad
@ThePlumLineGS
Greg Sargent
" title="The Sham Of Simpson-Bowles">The Sham Of Simpson-Bowles. A short excerpt is below.

Since there's already been congressional testimony by the DLC (Democrats) President, Edward Gresser, that folks should be expected to work "into their eighth decade of life,"

So, I'm always a bit surprised when young people are on the side of seeing Social Security dismantled. I'm not even old enough to draw early Social Security, but had much older parents. If they were alive (and we just recently lost my Mother), they would be 108 and 101 years old this year.

Because of this, I have clear knowledge of what life was like before Social Security, not because of them (they had Social Security benefits), but because of my Grandparents, who benefited very little.

What will happen (for many, not all or more affluent families, at least in the short term) is that there will be a return to "extended families" living under one roof. I was joking with one dude the other day, asking him had he practiced up on his "adult undergarment changing skills." He was pretty shaken, and changed his mind before the discussion was over.

Apparently, he never stopped to consider how the cuts in Social Security would affect him, when his parents lose many of the current Medicare benefits (and they've being taken away big-time--don't buy the "talking points" that it's only providers), not to mention the Medicaid skilled nursing facility benefits, as they are today.

This Administration is giving the state's a great deal of leeway, and more than half have already privatized Medicaid, and are eliminating the SNF benefits by narrowing them to nothing. I am in the state that has led the way on this.

Anyhoo, we'll just have "to agree, to disagree" on this one. :-D

Here's an excerpt from Schakowsky:

It has been nearly two years since the commission they chaired, which I served on, finished its work. The duo’s proposal has attained almost mythical status in Washington as the epitome of what a “grand bargain” should look like.

Have Simpson-Bowles’ champions read it? Given any real scrutiny, this plan falls far short of being a serious, workable or reasonable proposal – from either an economic or political analysis.

Somehow, being willing to cut “entitlement” benefits has been called a “badge of courage” for those who purport to be serious about deficit reduction– despite the fact that Social Security has not contributed one thin dime to the deficit.

Under Simpson-Bowles, long-term solvency for Social Security is achieved mostly by cutting benefits. Seventy-five years out, the ratio of spending cuts to revenue increases is 4 to 1.

They propose raising the age of full Social Security benefits to 69 – claiming that everyone is living longer. But a sizable percentage of Americans, mostly lower-income workers, especially women, are actually living shorter lives, and a large chunk of other Americans just can’t work that long – even if they can find a job. Their plan cuts benefits for current and future retirees by reducing the cost-of-living adjustment.

For future retirees, all these changes taken together would reduce the average annual benefit for middle-income workers – those with annual earnings of $43,000 to $69,000 – by up to 35 percent,

[Apologize in advance. This is probably a mess. Can't track well in scroll box due to side effects of medication. Very sorry about this!]

Alexa

“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

[Avatar Photo Credit: Conflagrate, jurvetson's photostream, flickr]

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

showing up in my comment.

I'm sure that it'll make little sense now.

Going check out while I'm ahead, LOL!

Alexa

“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

[Avatar Photo Credit: Conflagrate, jurvetson's photostream, flickr]

Submitted by jawbone on

providers --doctors, physical theraists, etc.-- I cannot imagine how they can continue to treat many Medicare paitients if their reimbursement is cut even further.

How many recipients of Medicare here has looked at how much is reimbursed compared to the submitted costs?

What do you think?