Thursday, February 20, 2014

I told you so

Everybody act surprised: Obama is backing off from his proposal to very slightly cut Social Security:
Obama is scrapping his previous offer to trim cost-of-living increases in Social Security and other benefit programs. That idea had been a central component of his long-term debt-reduction strategy, even though it was considered odious by many Democrats.
Last March, I wrote this:
But I guarantee that Democrats will run screaming from even this paltry, barely-a-scratch, adjustment because "scaring Grandma" is their biennial approach to winning elections.
The chained-CPI proposal aims to bring benefit increases closer to reality by factoring in substitution costs.  The Social Security Administration's chief actuary estimated this would reduce typical benefits by $4 a month.  Denying Grandma of a copy of People magazine was a bridge too far, I guess.

I've also written before that we will never reform entitlements and more's the pity for younger Americans who may be foolishly credulous about future benefits:
For Social Security to continue to exist as it does today, Congress must figure out a way to shore up the expected deficit in the program. Otherwise, it will have to resort to paying out reduced benefits.
According to forecasts made by the Social Security Board of Trustees, there should be enough money coming into the program to pay out only about three-quarters of total expected benefits starting in the year 2032. “So if you were to receive $1,000 a month, it is projected that you would only receive $750 a month instead,” says Derrick. “Those benefits should be intact through the year 2086,” she notes.
That's right, kids, Social Security is on a glide path to an automatic cut.  The average SS monthly benefit is around $1200 right now so a one-quarter cut is $300.  But $4 today?  Oh heavens, no...election's coming.

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