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Thu Dec 20, 2012, 04:00 PM

Rescuing Social Security again...and again...and again. Same song, many verses.

It's amazing how much alike the verses have become. We only have to look back a few years to see that what we are hearing today about Social Security's risky future sounds just about the same.

We should have caught on by now.

From 1997 Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR):

Can Social Security Survive Another "Rescue"?]

The rescue of Social Security has been a staple of American journalism for 20 years now—a story all the more remarkable in that Social Security has never been in peril except from its rescuers.

The rescues have all been based on faulty arithmetic. First, in 1977, the rescuers humbly confessed that they had made a mistake in adjusting benefits to inflation, as a result of which Social Security was threatening to go broke. (They never say the Army is threatening to "go broke," only that it needs more money to do the job that it's asked to do.) Not to worry. Amid the Yuletide hosannas of our massed punditry, our leaders found the courage to enact a correction that would, they swore, assure solvency into the 21st Century.


Later they turned Alan Greenspan loose on it, and that part reminded me of the recent Fiscal Commission, fondly called the Catfood Commission.

A bipartisan commission under Alan Greenspan went to work on the numbers, while the media developed an unprecedented campaign of vilification of the elderly. On magazine covers, in cartoons and columns and on broadcast commentaries innumerable, they were depicted as hogs, vampires, sharks, gorillas and card sharps scooping up the sustenance of the young. While the investment banker Peter G. Peterson led the media legions, Greenspan fabricated a hurricane warning. Multiplying one false assumption by another (for example, he assumed that the C.P.I. would rise nearly three times as fast as it actually did rise, while his private firm was forecasting an even smaller increase), he predicted that Social Security would go bankrupt in 1983.

The scare headlines permitted Congress in early 1983 to enact a bill acclaimed in headlines as a great rescue. In addition to the previously scheduled cut of 20 percent in benefits for new retirees, it clipped six months of cost-of-living adjustment from all then and future beneficiaries, raised payroll taxes further and postponed the retirement age from 65 to 67 in phases to begin in 2002.

The solvency of Social Security was thus assured for 75 more years
.


The same author, John Hess, had written another article for FAIR in 1991, called Geezer Bashing, about media attacks on the elderly.

Media Attacks on the Elderly]

In their drive to punish gray hair, big media give no quarter. There is no trial, no defense.

"Elderly, Affluent -- and Selfish", snarls a typical op-ed in the New York Times (10/10/89). "The 800-Pound Gorilla Vs. the Hungry Baby", growls a Washington Post column (10/22/90), referring to the invisible geezer lobby as an ape. Time magazine (11/26/90) says the country could work its way out of the hole it's in "by spending less on the elderly and more on preschoolers," but alas, "the elderly vote and preschoolers don't." Columnist Lars-Erik Nelson of the New York Daily News (10/22/90) proposes a cure for that: a Constitutional amendment denying the vote to everybody who gets a government check, like Social Security.

Over the last decade, while taxes on the rich were being cut by more than half, old age benefits have taken repeated hits. Early '80s bankruptcy scares allowed for sharp cuts in pensions and heavy increases in payroll taxes, touted to assure the solvency of Social Security into the 21st century.

Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, one of the perpetrators of these cuts, has since acknowledged that the insolvency of Social Security was a hoax, but it enabled the media to present the cuts and hikes as a "Social Security rescue." (See Extra! , 1-2/88.)


So the powers that be are trying to rescue Social Security again. It is showing the priorities of our nation, I fear, when they keep revisiting this issue....again, and again, and again.





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Reply Rescuing Social Security again...and again...and again. Same song, many verses. (Original post)
madfloridian Dec 2012 OP
MannyGoldstein Dec 2012 #1
madfloridian Dec 2012 #5
madfloridian Dec 2012 #2
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #3
madfloridian Dec 2012 #4
madfloridian Dec 2012 #6
hootinholler Dec 2012 #7
MannyGoldstein Dec 2012 #8
madfloridian Dec 2012 #9
MannyGoldstein Dec 2012 #11
madfloridian Dec 2012 #12
JHB Dec 2012 #13
madfloridian Dec 2012 #14
JHB Dec 2012 #15
forestpath Dec 2012 #10
madfloridian Dec 2012 #17
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #20
madfloridian Dec 2012 #21
madfloridian Dec 2012 #16
socialist_n_TN Dec 2012 #18
madfloridian Dec 2012 #19

Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 04:08 PM

1. K&R. Every DUer should read this.

Because it has been, and continues to be, a HOAX.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 04:27 PM

5. Yes, and they have gotten very good at perpetrating it.

Fools folks every time.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 04:11 PM

2. Points out that it is not just about the elderly..

It's about anyone who is being told that the elderly are hogging the resources. It's started a generational battle.

"It must be emphasized that the principal target of this campaign is not the elderly, but all segments of the public being hurt by retrenchment,rollbacks and unfair taxation. All are being told that the elderly are hogging what is rightfully theirs. All are victims of bad reporting. All need to realize that the battle for fair play must begin in the news media. "

http://fair.org/extra-online-articles/Geezer-Bashing/

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 04:13 PM

3. kr. the 1983 fix was supposed to 'save' ss for the boomers -- that was supposedly the reason

 

for starting to tax benefits and make workers pay more than needed to support then-current retirees.

yet here we are, just as the boomers start to retire -- it needs another 'fix,' supposedly.

it's bullshit.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 04:16 PM

4. How many realize that Social Security is double taxed?

We have had several HUGE tax bills due since we retired. If you have other income you better be sure to voluntarily deduct 7% a month from SS and a good amount from the pension.....and even then there are shocks.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 04:29 PM

6. Moynihan "acknowledged that the insolvency of Social Security was a hoax"

How about that?

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 04:45 PM

7. The thing I don't get is what do they get for it?

SS is self funding, it would seem there is nothing to be gained by cutting benefits etc.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 04:57 PM

8. The General Fund won't have to repay the money borrowed from

the Social Security Trust Fund, so taxes can be kept historically low on the wealthy.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #8)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 05:29 PM

9. You know the 2% payroll tax cut...is it still on?

When you mentioned general fund I thought of it. I think the fiscal commission was talking about that cut and saying they could get money from the general fund to make up the difference.

That would change the whole face of Social Security.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #9)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 05:32 PM

11. Current Democratic and Republican proposals both end the payroll tax cut nt

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 05:44 PM

12. Thanks.

I felt like that was one way of cutting funds to SS and making it more vulnerable. But I always admit to not being really knowledgeable about economics. I have to work at it.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 05:45 PM

13. It's a successful and popular example of "big government"

When you count anything the government does that aids the majority of people as things "the government shouldn't be involved in" and/or (Soviet-grade) "socialism", then SS is simply "unclean" and has to be dismantled.

And you don't have to look far past conservative billionaires & foundations and those connected to Wall Street for those funding the SS Is Going Bankrupt! industry.

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Response to JHB (Reply #13)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 06:52 PM

14. Shrinking government.

Norquist redux.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #14)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 07:57 PM

15. Not redux

He hasn't gotten to where he is on his charming personality and drop-dead good looks. He's a useful cog in a machine that was gearing up when he was still in school.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 05:31 PM

10. Yep. Sure doesn't matter who's president. They're all the same when it comes to

 

protecting the rich and hurting the poor.

Who knew when President Obama mocked Romneyhood that he really embraced it.

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Response to forestpath (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:49 PM

17. The Republican Noise Machine convinced everyone SS was in crisis.

It's a powerful machine, and we pay the price for that propaganda.

They have controlled the messaging so long, most Dems fear crossing them. It's better than 2004 was, but still not good.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #17)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:52 PM

20. We need real leaders. Dems have allowed, and probably even aided and abetted

the Republican lies about SS. I admit that not so long ago I even bought into the lies, assuming that by the time I retired, 'there would be nothing left'. The propaganda was so successful that it is not at all unusual to hear even Dems, like me, make that false statement.

And then I decided to start doing some research and I learned what a total lie it was.

But if we had a Dem Party working as hard to counter those lies, as the liars worked to propagate them, no one would be fooled by them.

So the question is, 'why have Dems allowed the Right to lie with virtually no one fighting them?

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #20)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:33 PM

21. Yes.

And in the area of the safety nets and education, I am really getting fearful.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 08:35 PM

16. J. K Galbraith at Truthout, on changing the cola.

"Similarly, if you change the basis in which on—of cost-of-living adjustment on Social Security (this is also something that gets trotted out and discussed in these matters), then what happens is that over time, older and older retirees find that they're living on less and less money. And the way this works, if you introduced what was called index-linked price adjustments, is that as people with less money give up certain items of consumption—let's say, fresh vegetables—then what happens is that that disappears from the consumption basket, and there you get only the price of canned or frozen vegetables brought in. And so the quality of life continues to deteriorate as time goes on.

And this is a way of—you know, ultimately, people reaching their '90s will be consuming cat food, and only cat food will be in their consumption basket—not a very fair or reasonable thing to do. In fact, it's one of the most damaging, socially destructive, really cruel measures that's available out there. This is what people who want to fold Social Security into a grand bargain are aiming to achieve.

I think they won't achieve it. They won't achieve it in the next three weeks, and I hope they won't achieve it next year, either. I hope they won't achieve it in—you know, basically hope that Social Security's left where it is. It's perfectly sustainable as it is, and it does a pretty good job of keeping the elderly population out of poverty."

http://truth-out.org/video/item/13125-a-looming-crisis-in-social-security-medicare-medicaid-the-fiscal-cliff-is-a-scam-part2

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:00 PM

18. And we'll CONTINUE to have to "save" SS as long.......

as the capitalists are around. They can't stand to see a program that works for the average worker and that THEY CAN'T GET THEIR GREEDY PAWS ON!

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #18)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:44 PM

19. Exactly right.

I find myself thinking that although the GOP went home for Christmas, the Democrats might get on board. Pelosi has already admitted she's for the chained cpi.

Tired of games.

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