Oct 13, 2015

GOP May Demand Social Security Cut

     From CNN Politics:
... [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell privately wants the White House to pay this price to enact a major budget deal: Significant changes to Social Security and Medicare in exchange for raising the debt ceiling and funding the government. ...
McConnell is seeking a reduction in cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security recipients and new restrictions on Medicare, including limiting benefits to the rich and raising the eligibility age, several sources said. ...

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

In the past, Obama has supported a switch to the Chained CPI to determine the COLA, as had many Democrats. The fact that there will not be a COLA this year, the third year in the last 5, may make this proposal more palatable, or perhaps less. Maybe, at the same time, the increase to the taxable maximum could be delinked from the COLA. Raising Medicare age will obviously make it harder to retire at 65 which could lead to more disability claims. Also, many experts have testified that raising the eligibility age for Medicare would remove some of the healthiest people from the program and may actually raise costs.

Anonymous said...

Even if the proposals make some sense beneath the surface, the headlines and lead news stories across the country as the debt ceiling "crisis" comes to a head will be that the Republicans demand cuts to Social Security to keep the govt open. Is that really the message they want to portray as the 2016 elections loom?

Anonymous said...

It is revealing that the Repubs now want to RAISE the eligibility age for Medicare. One of the healthcare insurance alternatives which was proposed when the Affordable Care Act was being considered was a LOWERING of the eligibility age to 50 or 55 to allow younger working Americans to buy into Medicare. Quite a large number of Americans were in favor of this proposal. Apparently the will of a majority of Americans in supporting Medicare is being ignored because the large donors in the 1% are calling all the shots since Citizens United.

Anonymous said...

Seniors are not receiving enough benefits now. What make better sense to me is heavily taxing corporations who outsource american jobs. This country is declining fast because government(republicans) favoring wealthy corporations over the growing poor.

Anonymous said...

Reduction of the COLA is not going to go over well when the COLA the last few years has been so small - sometimes 0. The point of the COLA is to let recipients maintain their standard of living, but there is evidence that this would require an increase in the COLA (since the experimental CPI for the elderly tends to be higher than the CPI-W). Raising the age of Medicare eligibility would also be very unpopular. However, if this happens, then I think people could get insurance under PPACA until they reach the new eligibility age. This would actually be good for me, because I think I could get good insurance cheaply through PPACA (by using savings to keep my taxable income low enough for a big subsidy). But it would be really bad for a lot of people, so I'm not in favor of it. Anyway, I don't think Obama will agree to any of this - even when he agreed to using the chained CPI before, it was in the context of a deal that he knew the GOP would reject, so it's not clear that he's actually in favor of it.

Anonymous said...

Baby Boomers protecting themselves at the cost of the rest of us. Boomers are the MOST entitled generation. Lowered the taxes, took and took from the system without paying and now expect the rest of us to work until dead as they retire. Why should anyone in Gen X and beyond want to fund any of these programs when they keep moving our eligibility dates? Retire at 70? Medicare at 70? Who, under the age of 50 thinks this is right?

KillAllTheRednecks said...

And there goes the typical Millennial whining about "those Boomers". It's easy to spot a planted comment like that because one of Pete Petersen's favorite things is the "divide and conquer" tactic of trying to pit one generation against the other.

Anonymous said...

9:35, you're falling into the trap that the repubs and one-percenters want you to so they can convince you that termination of all SSA benefits is somehow in your best interest. They're trying to promote divisiveness between age groups, so they can divide and conquer. In the 2016 elections, you're going to see them try to convince retirees and seniors that the disabled are taking "their" benefits from them. Each generation of workers has always paid to provide the benefits for the previous one. If Congress will listen to the actuaries and make reallocations as necessary, the system is not going to go broke--it will be there for you, too. Stay calm and complain to your congressman to do the responsible thing.

What you've said of Boomers was even more true of "the Greatest Generation." After WWII, they got a great GI Bill and government-backed mortgages. Many of them got SSA retirement without having paid into the system for too many years--that was the case for my parents, especially for my dad. Still, this country has been better for providing a safety net for its citizens. Repubs are trying to appeal to human greed that your neighbor might get a few pennies more than you may receive.

Anonymous said...

As far as Social Security is concerned, boomers' taxes have been raised, not lowered. Their benefits have also been cut, through increases in the Normal Retirement Age (NRA), which was initially 65, but is being raised to 67. For all boomers, it is at least 66, and for many it will be 67, the same as for younger people under current law. The Medicare eligibility age has not been raised and I doubt that it will be.

If Social Security and Medicare are cut, the cuts will mostly affect younger people. It's in their interest to support the current system and fight against cuts. They're not going to be able to do away with either one, or the taxes that fund them, and they'd be a whole lot worse off (as a whole) if they had to fund health care and retirement on their own.

Anonymous said...

another millennial chiming in here:

of course the left-leaning and other SSA-loving of us want to keep things intact or even increase benefits/the program. But in this political climate, there is a big chance there will "have" to be (only in the sense of what is possible with this Congress, etc.) some cuts to SS benefits. All we're saying is that it's crap younger people are often the (bigger) losers for all proposed cuts. It wasn't us voting for politicians or as politicians/heads of agencies/etc. that put all this into motion over the last few decades; it shouldn't be us paying for most of the fix.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think it's possible there will be cuts, but it is equally possible that there won't be. I'm opposed to any cuts, even ones that wouldn't affect me. However, even if there are cuts, younger people should still be better off in retirement than older people are now. That's because scheduled benefits go up with average wages, which tend to go up about 1% per year more than inflation. So in 40 years scheduled benefits could be 40% higher in real terms than benefits are now. I don't think anyone is proposing cuts that large, so younger people should still be better off. That is, relative to retirees now, but not relative to standards of living in the future.

If I were young, I'd worry a lot more about things like climate change and the increasing concentration of wealth (and the political power that comes with that; the very wealthy are some of the biggest proponents of cutting Social Security).

Anonymous said...

All these problems are so easily fixed. Simply raise the cap on the income level for paying SS and have a proportional increase in benefits. SS is not a tax, it is an insurance premium and it the best deal going.

Millennials are so quick to bash boomers, but some day you will be in our position and a new generation of young turks will be blaming you for everything, so please try to use critical thinking instead of parroting the first meme that you find.

Anonymous said...

Boomers created the problem. A simple .25% increase in the SSA tax would have handled it decades ago. How can Gen X and on take the program seriously? Every time there is a problem they move the age we can retire.

Do any of you think that we will not see a change in early retirement age to 65 at least and a Medicare age of 67 or maybe even 70?

No other generations has been as lax as the boomers. Huge compensation packages, can kicking for decades. Boomers did it all in greed and desire. Look in the mirror boomers, you did all of this. Make all the excuses you want, it has been boomers at the helm for decades. Look what they have done.

Anonymous said...

The deal the baby boomers got from the Greatest Generation wasn't so raw, economically: Gross domestic product growth from 1970 to 2000 was among the strongest in American history, and far better than the average growth so far in the working years of Generations X and Y.

America's federal debt-to-GDP ratio has more than doubled from 28 percent to 62 percent since 1970, and the borrowing has benefited boomers far more than folks my age. A majority of boomers want no part of paying that debt off through higher taxes or reduced benefits: A recent Pew poll found "little appetite [among that age group] for debt-reduction proposals that will take a bite out of their pocketbooks."

And boomers seem to know that the future won't be brighter for thier kids. Nationwide, optimism that today's youth will fare better than their parents is down from a peak of 71 percent a decade ago to 44 percent today, the lowest level since 1983, according to Gallup. Pessimism is highest among--you guessed it--baby boomers.

Anonymous said...

How about all of us, the Boomers, Millenials, Gen Xers come together and tell any politician who dares try to cut Social Security that they are wrong and that we won't tolerate it. Social Security is the most popular and successful anti-poverty program in the United States. It's easily fixed without cuts. Any politician who stands in the way should get run over by the next electoral train.

Anonymous said...

11:50 am: That would be the smart thing to do and that is why nefarious forces are pumping up the young folk to fight with the boomers.

Boomers did not cause the problem. Congress has caused the problem by not fixing SS thanks to the Tea Party and Blue Dog Democrats.

Anonymous said...

There was no tea party or blue dog democratic caucus when the things that really set up this big problem went into motion.

You boomers happily voted for congresspeople who raided the trust fund to pay for tax cuts (overwhelmingly benefiting the richest) and wars. Like somebody posted above, had the voting populace in the 70s, 80s, and 90s done minor increases in FICA or, gee, I don't know, made sure at least a few tens of billions were left in the trust fund (rather than IOUs that would have to be paid back via $ from the general fund--i.e., funded by current budget $). It's not like you didn't know your generation was massive, going to live a long time, and have fewer children to support your old-age entitlements decades ago...

I don't mean to lay this all at boomers' feet. This is definitely the result of the very rich and powerful, slowly and over time, rigging things in their interest. And though it may have been not-easy to spot at the time, my original assertion remains true. It was baby boomers (and greatest generation folks) who were voting and acting as politicians/etc. during this period, not Xers, Yers, or Millenials. Sure, the oligarchs deserve the majority of the blame because it was their scheme, but you older folks were asleep at the wheel and voted/kept these jokers in power. Some of the blame is yours.

Anonymous said...

So how does blaming the boomers solve the problem? Do you have an anti Social Security agenda?

Anonymous said...

I do not have an anti SSA agenda, it is NOT going to be there for me when my time comes so it is not a worry. My early retirement age will most likely be 65. My Medicare most likely will not be available until 70, likely my FRA will be between 70 and 75. The contract has already been broken to the Gen X and beyond.

Perhaps we can save this program once we get shed of the Boomers. Like the enviornment and decay of the moral fabric of the country, just another Boomer mess we have to clean up as the Boomers will grasp suckle like piglets.