Thursday, August 25, 2011

The War on Social Security


Marco Rubio's recent comments make it abundantly clear the right wing hasn't given up its war on Social Security.  You can view more political cartoons in the same vein as the one above.   Once again, we hear all the horror stories, claiming that early retirement will run out by 2017 and that Social Security itself could be insolvent by 2035, assuming we don't dig ourselves out of this economic hole.  It was the same type of rhetoric that was used during the early Reagan years, as he badly wanted to tap into entitlement programs.

As it is, we have seen an erosion in entitlement programs over the last 10 years with Congress running up record deficits while trying to maintain historic low taxes.  The tax base, as a percentage of GDP, is the lowest it has been since 1942.  Yet, every Republican presidential candidate is calling for even lower taxes, while Rick Perry wants to abolish the federal income tax all together, with the repeal of the 16th amendment.  Where will that leave entitlement programs?

There seems to be this widespread feeling among a restless young generation that senior citizens are riding on their backs, and that only by freeing up Social Security and Medicare in the form of vouchers, can they be free to choose what they want to do with "their" money.  Bush first broached the idea of Social Security vouchers in 2003, and retracted his statement pretty quickly when he saw the angry reaction.  Nevertheless, Paul Ryan suggested the same thing for Medicare in the budget plan he proposed earlier this year.  Rubio seems to represent this disgruntled generation.

4 comments:

  1. In a way I can't blame young people for rejecting the premise underlying Social Security--that one generation "repays" with its SS contributions the generation that came before it. Look at the mess that's been made of our economy by the "grownups" in the room. It's more and more difficult to pay for an education, find a job, or own a home. That is the legacy of the last three to four decades. On the other hand, if our youth think they will be better stewards of "their" money, they've been spending too much time listening to the guys and gals on Wall Street who want one thing and one thing only: "their" money.

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  2. Aww, just tried to post something about it's the old politicians (like Rick Perry) who are so against "entitlements," and not so much the young people themselves. (Google made me log into account and then gave me a page that told me to put my cell phone number in and then I was off this page).

    The minority of young people who want to manage their own SS (hey, they have 401(k) and IRAs for this!): they think they'll never be old and that one day they will be wealthy enough not to need SS and Medicare. Foolishness.

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  3. This is an interesting article. I think they should eliminate the cap altogether, which would take care of all of this, but Sanders has a different idea:

    http://www.nationofchange.org/sen-sanders-plan-actually-fix-social-security-1314458965

    Hope you are safe Marti!

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  4. Just signed up for my free Obama 2012 bumper sticker. I don't have the passion to work day and night on his campaign that I once had (although that may change as the republican opposition grows), but I still support the President.

    You can get one here:

    http://my.barackobama.com/bumper-sticker-inv

    ReplyDelete