Monday, August 17, 2015

Don't touch Social Security

There's an old joke about a guy hitting himself over the head with a hammer.  His buddy asks him why he's doing it and he responds: "Because it feels so good when I stop."

Every election cycle the Republicans offer solutions to fix Social Security and every time they're accused of pushing Grandma over a cliff.  So I'm with Jazz Shaw: let's never touch FDR's sacred program.
There is, of course, one other alternative. As unpleasant as it may sound, we could just let the system go broke. Continue to reject huge tax hikes while offering packages which would fix it and allowing the Democrats to either block the measures or wait for the President to veto them. Then, when the first set of checks go out which are more than ten percent short the voters will be outside the halls of the powerful with pitchforks and torches. At that point all you can do is wander out to meet them, shrug your shoulders and tell the angry hordes to go speak to the Democrats.
I don't know where Shaw gets the 10% figure because it's well-known that when the SS Trust Fund is exhausted, benefits will be cut by around 25% by law.  From the Social Security's Trustees report:
Thereafter [after 2034], tax income is projected to be sufficient to pay about three-quarters of scheduled benefits through the end of the projection period in 2089.
At which point, I assume the Democrats response will be something like this:


94 years of a Ponzi scheme, down the drain said...

assume the Democrats' response:
"You f@#ked up. You trusted us! "

What are the chances that anything resembling Jazz Shaw's peevish proposal will ever, ever happen? Or if it did happen, the chances that the plan would work politically for Republicans?

"Zero... point... zero."

Eric said...

It's telling that Krugman spilled his usual vitriol then waved his hand and offered this solution to fix Social Security: "just raise revenues!"

Well, I suggest that the Krugster and the Dems take this to the people. Raising taxes is always a big winner.

Ida M. Fuller said...

It's already been done, and repeatedly.

Poll after poll shows that Americans are more politically polarized than in any time in recent history, but not when it comes to Social Security. Even among those who identify themselves as “consistently conservative,” 59% now oppose any benefit cuts...

Overall, 77% said they wouldn’t mind a tax increase for everyone if it was necessary to preserve Social Security for future generations and 83% were ready to raise the tax on top earners to preserve the program.

Eric said...

Once again: let's see the Dems get behind such a popular proposal, that is, raising the tax across the board for everyone.

Fuller Brush Company said...

Overall, 77% said they wouldn’t mind a tax increase for everyone if it was necessary to preserve Social Security for future generations

Since the future threat to SS is that benefits will be reduced, not that the system won't be "preserved", the poll number cited above is meaningless.

Ain't it fun to run out of other people's money?