The Obama Administration and the Democratic controlled U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have created a “deficit reduction commission,” euphemistically known as the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility & Reform. Incredibly, this commission is stacked with anti-Social Security conservatives. Based on statements from the Co-Chairs and many members, it would appear that Social Security, being labeled an “entitlement,” is “on the “chopping block.” Only a couple of the 16 members appear to be advocates for protecting Social Security at its current level.
You can check out the “deficit reduction commission” at http://www.fiscalcommission.gov/
In addition to this website, you can find the truth about the commission at http://strengthensocialsecurity.org/
. This website for “Strengthen Social Security,” a national coalition on which this regional coalition is based.
SOS opposes the following proposals coming from misguided politicians on the so-called “deficit reduction commission” and other politicians in the Republican and the Democratic parties:
- Privatization. We oppose any attempt to change the Social Security program from its current dedicated tax funded trust fund to a program modeled after the 401(k) retirement programs that have cost a large segment of the workforce to lose the bulk of their retirement money on Wall Street.
- Pushing Back the Retirement Age. Until the 1980s, workers could begin drawing their full retirement at age 65. After the Greenspan Commission report recommended retirement at age 66 for workers born after 1938, retirement was indeed “pushed back” one year.
- Increasing the Payroll Tax. Again, due the Greenspan Commission, the payroll tax was increased in 1983 from 5.5% to 6.2% of the first $106,800. We do not want the tax increased again when the $106,800 cap can be raised.
- Means Testing. “Means testing” simply means that Social Security will become a welfare program in which a person must have a low income in order to qualify for benefits. Social Security is a “retirement program,” not a “welfare program.” Everyone pays in and everyone should draw out their benefits. Programs for poor people are easy to attack in Congress whereas politicians mess with programs that belong to and benefit all people at their own peril.
- Reducing Monthly Payments by Manipulating the Definition of Inflation. After the Boskin Commission redefined inflation in 1990, Social Security beneficiaries began to see their monthly payments lag behind increases in inflation. More information about this can be found on the website of the highly respected economist John Williams at http://www.shadowstats.com/. Now they want to do it again!
- Inflationary Increases in Medicare Part B and Part D Premiums that Outstrip Increases in Social Security Monthly Payments. Medicare is a much needed program and much appreciated by the elderly. Nevertheless, these programs are ripped off by the medical-industrial complex. Fraud, waste, and abuse are common. Most of this fraud, waste, and abuse goes into the pockets of physicians, the hospital industry, Big Pharma, and medical device/equipment manufacturers. Let’s stop the fraud, waste and abuse rather than supporting it out of the very modest to very low monthly benefits of the elderly.