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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-14-13 07:51 AM
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Social Security head: Program fraying from neglect
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Feb 14, 5:35 AM EST

Social Security head: Program fraying from neglect

By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER
Associated Press


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Outgoing Social Security Commissioner Michael J. Astrue has some parting shots for Congress, the White House and advocates for seniors. They have all "really walked away from Social Security," he says, leaving the program "fraying because of inattention to its problems."

<snip>



Astrue, 56, has headed the federal government's largest program since 2007 - he was nominated by former President George W. Bush. By law, Social Security commissioners serve six-year terms, so President Barack Obama will now have the opportunity to choose his own nominee, who must be approved by the Senate. Astrue's last day on the job was Wednesday.

The trustees who oversee Social Security say the program's trust funds will run dry in 2033, leaving Social Security with only enough revenue to pay about 75 percent of benefits. Already the program is paying out more in benefits than it collects in payroll taxes.



<snip>

Q: The president and Republican leaders in Congress have both embraced changes to Social Security as part of negotiations to reduce government borrowing. Should Social Security be part of the deficit and debt discussions?

A: My general perspective is that Washington broadly, and I include the Congress, both parties, the executive branch, the major interest groups, have really walked away from Social Security. ... I think that Social Security is a gem. I think it is the most successful domestic program in the history of the United States government and it is fraying because of inattention to its problems. And I think it's a shame that Washington cannot get its act together to look at Social Security in detail in isolation and say, What do we need to do?



<snip>

Q: One of the few issues that the president and Republicans in Congress agree on is changing the way the government measures inflation. As you know, this would reduce the annual cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, for Social Security recipients. Advocates for seniors hate the idea. They want bigger COLAs, not smaller ones. What do you think?

A: As a general matter I do think that the president and the Congress are right that before you start talking about increases in the retirement age and things like that it's appropriate to try to have a conversation about what we might be able to do in terms of COLA adjustments.


http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SOCIAL_SECURI...


Of course, Republicans glommed on to Obama's version o CPI. Why wouldn't they? It decreases the already meager purchasing power of OASDI recipients.


He also thinks raising the cap and increasing retirement age are inevitable.

Apparently, his idea of taking care of the program is slashing it.



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