commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

Is there a Social Security fight brewing?

The Washington Post has piece on the President’s new deficit commission….

The piece asks if a new assault on the nation’s Social Security system isn’t being hatched…..

A while back I did a post on the system…..

The piece basically reported that our Social Security system is sound until at least 2037…..

And that it will rest on the economy to refund it…

If the economy picks up….

The system does better…

But the system IS HUGE….

And if the economy in the next ten years doesn’t grown by a good amount…..

There WILL be serious trouble with its funding……

The average check of $1,168.60 is a mainstay for a lot of American’s……

But there is always a temptation to talk about tinkering with the giant fund…..

And always HUGE political pressure to leave it alone…….

I’m betting on the latter…


One of the oddest Web posts making the rounds in Washington is a series of blurry videos from Capitol Hillshowing people coming and going from a closed-door meeting of President Obama‘s new deficit commission.

The mundane scenes have a sinister cast for activists who say the commission is at work on a secret plan to gut Social Security. Nancy Altman, whose group, Social Security Works, shot the footage, says the threat to the nation’s primary social safety net is greater now than at any time in the program’s 75-year history.

“This is going to affect every single American if they reach agreement,” she said. “People need to know what’s going on.”

The heated rhetoric is an ominous sign for Obama’s deficit-fighting task force, which is charged with developing abipartisan plan to stabilize the soaring national debt. Adjusting Social Security benefits is a likely point of consensus, commission members say. Now, some of the same activists who helped derail a 2005 GOP plan to restructure the program are threatening to rally the public against any proposal to cut benefits.

Social Security has been self-supporting since 1935, with taxes paid by current workers financing benefits for current retirees. But people today retire earlier, live longer and have fewer children. As result, the number of workers for each retiree is expected to fall from about three to one now to two to one by 2050. Sometime in the next few years, taxes will no longer cover benefits.

The program’s defenders argue that there is no crisis: If Treasury would repay billions of dollars in surplus Social Security taxes borrowed over the years, the program could pay full benefits through 2037. But many budget experts question whether supporting the existing benefit structure should be a cash-strapped nation’s first priority.

“There is a level of intellectual consensus among everyone except the groups that are upset right now that things need to be re-examined,” said David John, a retirement expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

At Social Security Works, Altman, a former tax lawyer who taught at Harvard University and assisted former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan on a 1982 commission credited with temporarily restoring Social Security’s solvency, argues that there are better options than cutting benefits. Raising the income cap for Social Security taxes or imposing a tax on Wall Street transactions, she said, would raise enough to keep the program solvent for years.

“This is not a crackpot side of the debate,” Altman said, citing polls showing broad public opposition to benefits cuts, even among conservatives. “My goal is not to further undercut people’s confidence in Washington. But I don’t feel like I can just be quiet when they are about to do what I feel is a real disservice to the American people.”



June 9, 2010 - Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Taxes, The Economy, Updates | , ,

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