Response to xchrom (Reply #17)
Tue Feb 28, 2012, 01:58 PM
Yo_Mama (7,504 posts)
18. Why don't you?
This topic induces depressed ponderings on the "dark majesty" of it all in my soul.
Since the final report of the commission, we have apparently strayed into cutting SS revenues over the long term, which makes the entire picture worse but also suggests to me that we are really adopting something far worse than the plan(s) proposed by the commission.
On page 48 of the final report the SS discussion begins. Since that time, the projections have worsened sharply for SS (for instance, we are not running a pay-go surplus in 2012 - now we are projected to run a pay-go deficit straight on through until the next demographic swing.
One thing that causes me to want to cry, wail and sob is that the report was more liberal with poorer retirees than our new proposals:
The Commission proposes a balanced plan that eliminates the 75-year Social Security shortfall and puts the program on a sustainable path thereafter. To save Social Security for the long haul, all of us must do our part. The most fortunate will have to contribute the most, by taking lower benefits than scheduled and paying more in payroll taxes. Middle-income earners who are able to work will need to do so a little longer. At the same time, Social Security must do more to reduce poverty among the very poor and very old who need help the most.
RECOMMENDATION 5.2: REDUCE POVERTY BY PROVIDING AN ENHANCED MINIMUM BENEFIT FOR LOW-WAGE WORKERS. Create a new special minimum benefit that provides full career workers with a benefit no less than 125 percent of the poverty line in 2017 and indexed to wages thereafter.
Social Security reform must ensure that the program can continue to meet its basic mission: to prevent people who can no longer work from falling into poverty. The Commission recommends creating a new special minimum benefit which provides full-career (30-year) minimum wage workers with a benefit equivalent to 125 percent of the poverty line in 2017 and wage-indexed thereafter. The minimum benefit would phase down proportionally for workers with less than 30 but more than 10 years of earnings.
RECOMMENDATION 5.3: ENHANCE BENEFITS FOR THE VERY OLD AND THE LONG-TIME DISABLED. Add a new “20-year benefit bump up” to protect those Social Security recipients who have potentially outlived their personal retirement resources.
The report also suggested hardship exemptions to increased age requirements, etc. The report paid for all of this by cutting benefits to top-income retirees.
It seems to me that our public dialogue is veering toward the ever more unrealistic and hypercapitalistic. When the proposals of the Catfood Commission start looking Marxist in comparison to current Democratic actions, I find myself existing in a state of stunned and appalled horror.
Since that report was released, we adopted a payroll tax cut that gave massive dollar rebates to high earners, RAISED FEDERAL TAXES ON THE BOTTOM 40% of WAGE EARNERS, cut unemployment benefits to those who cannot possibly find jobs or jobs at living wages, and enacted a law that cuts food stamps in 2014. Shoot me now, I cannot bear to contemplate what we are doing.
This report did not contemplate correcting the deficit on the backs of the poor and ill. Our current tactics are to do just that. Our current tactics will of course fail, but it seems likely that by the time the failure is obvious, the eventual cuts will have to be more massive.
All I see is that the US veers ever further into the realm of a "winner-takes-all" society. Even long-time Republican voters I know seem appalled at what we are doing.
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|Faryn Balyncd||Feb 2012||#2|
|McCamy Taylor||Feb 2012||#6|
Why don't you?
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