Friday, January 05, 2018

Republicans Prepare to Gut Social Security

i will be back on Monday with new post about theology

One Fifth of Social Security Beneficiaries Receive Disability or Young Survivors Benefits

A huge number of elderly people and others depend for their very lives upon social security,  While fact checker says Trump did not say he has a moral obligation to cut Social security. (According to, but they go on to discuss plans to scuttle it by Sam Johnson ranking Republican on ways and means committee).There are several ways it is endangered by the Republican agenda,

Fact Sheet by Social Security Administration

In 2016, nearly 61 million Americans will receive approximately $918 billion in Social Security benefits. 
Snapshot of a Month: June 2016 Beneficiary Data ο Retired workers 40.7 million $55 billion $1,348 average monthly benefit dependents 3 million $2 billion ο Disabled workers 8.9 million $10.3 billion $1,166 average monthly benefit dependents 1.9 million $0.7 billion ο Survivors 6.1 million $6.8 billion  
Social Security is the major source of income for most of the elderly. 

Nearly nine out of ten individuals age 65 and older receive Social Security benefits. ο Social Security benefits represent about 34% of the income of the elderly. ο Among elderly Social Security beneficiaries, 48% of married couples and 71% of unmarried persons receive 50% or more of their income from Social Security. ο Among elderly Social Security beneficiaries, 21% of married couples and about 43% of unmarried persons rely on Social Security for 90% or more of their income.  
Social Security provides more than just retirement benefits. 
 ο Retired workers and their dependents account for 71% of total benefits paid. ο Disabled workers and their dependents account for 16% of total benefits paid.  About 90 percent of workers age 21-64 in covered employment in 2016 and their families have protection in the event of a long-term disability.  Just over 1 in 4 of today’s 20 year-olds will become disabled before reaching age 67.  67% of the private sector workforce has no long-term disability insurance. ο Survivors of deceased workers account for about 13% of total benefits paid.  About one in eight of today’s 20-year-olds will die before reaching age 67.  About 96% of persons aged 20-49 who worked in covered employment in 2016 have survivors insurance protection for their young children and the surviving spouse caring for the children.
Read More

SS also gives life insurance and disability

About 60 million people, or more than one in every six U.S. residents, collected Social Security benefits in June 2016.  While older Americans make up about four in five beneficiaries, another one-fifth of beneficiaries received Disability Insurance (DI) or were young survivors of deceased workers.In addition to Social Security’s retirement benefits, workers earn life insurance and DI protection by making Social Security payroll tax contributions:
  • About 96 percent of people aged 20-49 who worked in jobs covered by Social Security in 2015 have earned life insurance protection through Social Security.
  • For a young worker with average earnings, a spouse, and two children, that’s equivalent to a life insurance policy with a face value of over $600,000, according to Social Security’s actuaries.
  • About 90 percent of people aged 21-64 who worked in covered employment in 2015 are insured through Social Security in case of severe disability.
The risk of disability or premature death is greater than many realize.  Some 6 percent of recent entrants to the labor force will die before reaching the full retirement age, and many more will become disabled.

AARP has an excellent fact sheet on  who is dependent upon social security. They make the point that it is funded for another 24 years. The idea that we need to wipe it out or cut back now to save it is nonsense,

Social Security Benefits Are Fully Funded for Another 24 Years. The Social Security trust funds have accumulated more than $2.6 trillion in assets, and their value is estimated to peak at $3.7 trillion in 2022. After that year, the trust funds assets will begin to be drawn down in order to pay full benefits. Beginning in 2036, according to the Social Security trustees, the Social Security trust funds will be exhausted. Without any changes, Social Security

read more

Despite the immediate soundness of the program, into which most America s have paid throughout their lives, Republicans can't wait to gut it and there are several ways it is endangered, Even though Trump himself did not say, his movement helped build the congressional support and it;s certain will not block their moves to gut the program,

reps plan to gut

Josh Marshall warns, "Republicans apparently aren't going to be satisfied with phasing out Medicare. They're going to try to pass huge cuts to Social Security this year too. Not Bush-style partial phaseout but just big, big cuts. And you're out of luck even if you're a current beneficiary. "
The Washington Examiner describes it thusly:
The bill…would reduce costs by changing the benefits formula to reduce payments progressively for high earners. It would also gradually raise the full retirement age from 67 to 69 for people who are today 49 or younger. Lastly, it would change the inflation metric used to calculate benefits to one that shows lower inflation, essentially slowing the growth in benefits, and eliminate cost of living adjustments for high earners.

If the left leaning Mother Jones is too radical consider the extremely conservative and highky repected source Forbes magazine,
This blog is about financial deceptions, swindles and costly untruths.
Dec 14,2016

The latest GOP proposal, which flies in the face of Donald Trump's campaign promises to protect the program, is more of the same. Cut benefits and harm retirees who depend upon it.
Although arguably the GOP plan could put more money back into the Social Security Trust Fund, it does so at an extreme cost. And since there are other funding alternatives, it's a cruel way to save the program.

forbes gop ss cuts will hurt You

Here's how the GOP cuts would work, according to the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank:
-- Workers making around $50,000 would see checks shrink by between 11% and 35%.
-- The first year for receiving full benefits would climb to 67.
-- Nearly every income bracket would see a reduction, save for the very bottom.
-- People making around $12,280 in 2016 who have worked for 30 years would see an increase of around 20%.
-- But young people making the same amount would be hit hard by the changes. If they had 14 years of work experience by 2016, they would see their benefits cut in half.
-- The plan would also cut entirely cost of living adjustments (COLA) for retirees earning above $85,000.
That last item on killing the COLA would hurt the most. Keep in mind that Social Security is the only government retirement benefit that adjusts payments based on inflation. If the cost of living goes up, you can keep up with rising prices -- somewhat.
There is no COLA for 401(k) or IRA withdrawals. And private, inflation-adjusted annuities are the exception, not the rule.
Moreover, there's a better way of funding Social Security, which will begin to trim payments in 2034 if nothing is done. Simply raise the earnings cap subject to Social Security taxes, which is set artificially low at $118,000.

see also CBS news article on cuts

list of things you can do on twitter for political action to be part of the resistance,

Call your Congressman!

I saw on facebook someone said "I am not going to ask them for anything," but that is self defeating. Not only is it our right (they are supposedly there to represent us) but is is also one of the most effective things we can do, even if we don't expect them to listen, It's a great organizing tool and get';s people involved and it can be effective, There was a point in 19989 when the government almost invaded Nicaragua, we put up a massive effort of contracting congress and they backed down,

* Although you may find it easiest to always call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 to reach your senators or representative, you can also find the direct number to any member's office by consulting the Senate phone list or House phone list.

Tips on Calling Your Member of Congress

When you dial 202-224-3121 you are directed to an operator at the Capitol switchboard. This switchboard can direct you to both senators as well as representatives.
Once the operator answers, ask to be connected to whomever you are trying to reach. They will send you to your senator's or representative's office line, and a legislative assistant will answer the phone.
It is important to let them know why you are calling and what issue you are calling about. You will sometimes be able to speak directly to your senator or representative, but more often you will speak to a staff person in the member's office. This person keeps track of how many people called and their positions on issues, and provides a summary to the member. Be assured that your call does count, even if you are not able to speak directly to your senator or representative.
It is usually most effective to call your own senators and representatives, as each is primarily concerned with residents from his or her district. However, you may occasionally find it useful to call other members, if they are on a certain committee or in a particular position to help get a bill passed.
* Although you may find it easiest to always call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 to reach your senators or representative, you can also find the direct number to any member's office by consulting the Senate phone list or House phone list.


Jimmy S. M. said...

A couple thoughts on this-
I firmly believe in social safety nets. A big problem here is paying out to people whether they need it or not. I wouldn't mind a reform that took retirement savings into account, and reduced benefits accordingly. Then the system could be shored up to help those more who need it most.

Of course then you get people saying you're simply rewarding poor planning, but I'm not so cynical- I think by and large if people could afford to save, they would have. I'm approaching 40 and have always operated under the assumption SS won't be there for me, too many boomers bleeding it dry.

AS always, I really appreciate your posts on social justice issues where we can find common ground.

Joe Hinman said...

Social security is based upon money we pay in over a life tie,It;sot welfare. It's not a reward it's owed to us.