Jan 27, 2015

Congressmen Want Bipartisan Social Security Commission

     From TPM:
Reps. Tom Cole (R-OK) and John Delaney (D-MD) plan to introduce a bill this Congress that would create a Social Security commission to propose changes to the program, Cole's office confirmed to TPM on Monday.
 The bill's language and timing has not been finalized, but Cole, a close ally of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), and Delaney co-sponsored similar legislation last year. ...
Last year's bill would have created a 13-member commission to produce recommendations to keep Social Security solvent for 75 years. If tax revenue were transferred from the retirement to the disability fund to avoid the 2016 benefits cliff for the latter program, both funds are projected to start running out of money in 2033.
One member would have been appointed by the president, and each caucus leader in Congress would have picked three members, under last year's bill. They would be tasked with issuing recommendations to Congress one year after the commission's creation. Those recommendations, if approved by nine of the commission's 13 members, would then be expedited to the House floor for a vote, with no amendments allowed.
Cole outlined to The Hill some of the proposals that he thought the commission would recommend.
“The commission would probably gradually raise retirement age, it would probably look at chained CPI, would probably look at means-testing and probably look at some sort of revenue, or reduce benefits for upper-income people,” he said. “Then you have to vote.” ...
     This just looks like Republicans looking for bipartisan cover for benefit cuts. There's no reason for Democrats to cooperate with this. Republicans are in the majority in both houses of Congress. If they're willing to vote for benefit cuts, they get them through without Democratic votes. Even the filibuster won't work for Democrats on this because it can go through the budget reconciliation process which only requires a majority vote. If Republicans are unwilling to vote for benefit cuts, why should Democrats?

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

wow. your commentary on this piece is just silly. The money is running out, eventually changes need to be made. Time to get our heads out of the sand and do something.

Anonymous said...

I thought the Byrd rule prevented reconciliation from being used to cut Social Security benefits.

Anonymous said...

Increase the retirement age starting in 2026, when the current age reaches 67, by increasing one month per year for the next 36 years. Balance out the effect on lower income workers but changing the PIA Bend points so that there is little or no change for those with low earnings and slightly less return for higher earners.

Increase the cap on earnings substantially, either double the cap or remove it entirely. If removed entirely, cap benefits or limit the high end PIA calculation to only 5% past the current cap level.

Do both and the fund would probably be greater than necessary for at least 75 years. If that happens, lower the overall tax rate to balance it out.

Timb said...

The constant drumbeat...everyday there's an article in Politico, the Hill, or the National Journal (three places Republicans like to leak) all saying the same thing: "You can't save Disability on the backs of retirees."

It means one thing and that is an attempted evisceration of the DI program in favor of Republicans favorite interest groups: rich people and insurance companies.

The "libertarian" class of rich folks and their paid lackeys have been trying to destroy SS for a generation. They can't touch retirees -- yet, this becomes a foot in the door.

Anonymous said...

9:18: the insurance companies, however, have a stake in the DI program as it now exists. Losing the ability to coordinate LTD benefits with SSD would lose them substantial revenue. The same goes with the inability to transfer people onto Medicare once on disability

Anonymous said...

How's about we don't raise the retirement age, further penalizing the poor and minorities (read: those whose bodies break down earlier than average and who, by and large, won't live that long) and just raise the income cap a tiny bit and achieve the same amount of increased revenue?

Anonymous said...

This is typical Capitol Hill. Let's have a bipartisan commission to address Social Security but in the mean time here are the changes I'm sure they are going to recommend. This guy (Cole) and others know what they want and just want a Commission to give them political cover.

Anonymous said...


Totally agree with 10:26 AM, January 27, 2015 -raise the income cap a tiny bit and achieve the same amount of increased revenue.

However, it is very hard to find any real concern for the disabled in a republican led congress, elected with record low voter turnout and sustained with an ill-informed, mostly uncaring public. “In the meantime” SSA adjudicators continue to deny, underpay or implement an unofficial MIRs purge on hundreds of thousands of deserving claims and appeals.

Lewis Remington said...

I think that the social security deal is getting out of hand. We've had a good system for years, why are we looking to change it? I think that those with disabilities especially benefit from it. http://www.russelljgoldsmith.com/massachusetts-social-security-disability-claims.html

Anonymous said...

The solution is so simple, raise the cap with a less than proportionate (but not too less) raise in benefits based on lifetime earnings. If you don't raise benefits at the top end, then the move to raise the cap will be defeated by cries of "welfare" instead of "safety net", which it really is.

Anonymous said...

The Fed needs to pay back the 2.7 trillion it borrowed (stole) from the Trust (joke) Fund.

Anonymous said...

7:34.. AMEN

Anonymous said...

What does a TRILLION Dollars look like? See the link and be outraged at our Government thieves.

http://www.pagetutor.com/trillion/index.html

Anonymous said...

http://www.forbes.com/sites/merrillmatthews/2011/07/13/what-happened-to-the-2-6-trillion-social-security-trust-fund/2/

Anonymous said...

Some very rich conservatives who want to cut public benefits for the poor and disabled are throwing huge money at politicians to try and accomplish their goals. Predictably, their congressional marionettes are dancing to their tune. The smarter ones realize that coming right out and saying they want to cut popular Social Security programs is a step on the proverbial third rail, so we get "commissions", committee hearings, and transparent attempts to mislead the public about the disability programs. Judging from recent articles, the press is catching on and the strategy is falling flat.