Now we have probably all read articles about saving Social Security by raising the minimum retirement age again and raising the age where one earns their maximum benefit. Of course it could simply be saved by eliminating the salary cap…but I think I discussed that elsewhere on Blogging Blue.
But what if we lowered the early retirement age to 60 instead of 62 and the maximum benefit age as well…and lowered the medicare age to 62 or 63. If that would convince a large number of baby boomers to take earlier retirement…we could open up a lot of jobs to the 20 somethings and 30 somethings that are unemployed or underemployed.
Seeking an elusive middle ground, President Barack Obama is proposing a 2014 budget that embraces tax increases abhorred by Republicans as well as reductions, loathed by liberals, in the growth of Social Security and other benefit programs.
The plan, if ever enacted, could touch almost all Americans. The rich would see tax increases, the poor and the elderly would get smaller annual increases in their benefits, and middle income taxpayers would slip into higher tax brackets despite Obama’s repeated vows not to add to the tax burden of the middle class. His proposed changes, once phased in, would mean a cut in Social Security benefits of nearly $1,000 a year for an average 85-year-old, smaller cuts for younger retirees.
A $1,000 per year cut in Social Security benefits for an 85 year-old is no small thing, and I simply cannot fathom how a Democratic president could propose such a cut to a program that contributes absolutely nothing to our nation’s budget deficit.
These include the Social Security retirement program and Medicare and Medicaid healthcare programs for the elderly, disabled and poor that are becoming more expensive as a large segment of the U.S. population hits retirement age.
Social Security shouldn’t even be pronounced in the same area code as other social safety nets items…it is funded outside the budget…paid for outside the budget…distributed outside the budget…and has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the budget deficit!
Let President Obama and your representatives in Congress know that Social Security must not be in play!
Representative John Boehner is trying to include cuts and adjustments to Medicare as part of the fiscal cliff negotiations. I won’t deny Medicare needs some serious attention to insure is liquidity for the future. But it is far too important and far too complex to be addressed with sound byte ‘fixes’ during this debate. Medicare deserves it’s own dedicated and thorough discussion outside the heat of this self inflicted crisis.
One more quick hit on this. Rep. Boehner is proposing raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67…a band aid which would save some money…but the 65 and 66 year olds are probably the cheapest group to support in the Medicare community. But let’s use a little common sense here, if an eligibility age is determined to be one part of a solution, rather than a hard age for all, maybe tying it to your full Social Security retirement age would be more appropriate!
Social Security isn’t even part of the deficit problem. It is self funded and self sustaining and is liquid for quite a few more years without any tweaking whatsoever. It should come under some scrutiny in the near future. And lifting the cap on taxable earnings for Social Security taxes would solve the liquidity problem beyond the lifetimes of anyone who is reading this and their children. But that discussion should occur later…after this self imposed crisis is over…it’s got nothing at all to do with the current issue.
(well it does briefly…the 2 point moratorium on payroll taxes that we have enjoyed the past year is being made up out of the general fund…so it currently is contributing to the deficit just a wee bit…but that’s an exception…not the rule)
But the President has shown a willingness to reduce future cost of living adjustments by allowing changes to how inflation is determined. That will in fact reduce Social Security benefits for current and future retirees. This isn’t necessary and goes completely against the general consensus in the country. Shame on the President for even considering this just to sweeten the pot for the Republicans.
Social Security should be off the table for this round of economic discussions.
Watch as libertarian Republican Rep. Ron Paul explains how he gladly draws a Social Security check from the government even though he thinks Social Security is unconstitutional (watch at about 1:17 into the video).
What’s even more stunning about Rep. Paul’s admission on Wednesday is that it came only minutes after he called for younger generations to wean themselves off the program during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
It takes a hell of a lot of chutzpah to do what Rep. Paul did, and hopefully he’ll do what’s most consistent with his ideological beliefs and stop accepting his Social Security checks.
It is time for my 2nd annual Turkey of the Year award. Last year my inaugural Turkey of the Year award went to Rebecca Kleefisch, for throwing her gay uncle under the bus and choosing as a cancer survivor, to make getting people OFF of healthcare her signature issue. Last year, being an election year, there was alot of competition. This year though the winner of the coveted Turkey of Year award wins hands down!
The 2011 Turkey of the Year Winner is – Paul Ryan (R-Wall St.). While the list that earned him this award is long, we will just review some highlights: