There was an increase in viewership on Monday (14 March 2014), perhaps because people were curious to see if I was still around. Yes I’m still here, because of the increase. Don’t misunderstand. I just felt that if people didn’t care to drop by, that was fine. I would go do something else. So, thanks for dropping by.
There’s an article in the Huffington Post from a Hillary-zombie that makes some good points about Social Security, but it also makes many errors. Let’s correct them.
The most recent Republican presidential debate made crystal clear how out of touch the Republican establishment is with the American people.
Except for Trump, who wants to leave Social Security alone.
Social Security is extremely popular with the overwhelming majority of Americans – whatever their Party affiliation, age, race, ethnicity, gender, or economic status.
Yes it’s popular, but even more popular is the lie that the U.S. government is “bankrupt” and has a “debt crisis,” and relies on loans and on tax revenues.
Social Security represents the best of American values.
Whoa! American values are antithetical to Social Security. American values are about greed, hate, selfishness, militarism, profit-over-people, and “there’s no free lunch” (unless you’re rich). A recent Gallup poll found that fewer Americans would vote for a socialist than for an atheist, a Muslim, or an evangelical Christian. Even Bernie Sanders called Hugo Chavez a “dead communist dictator.” Media-numbed Americans still believe that “government is the problem.”
This mass stupidity keeps the door open for attacks on Social Security, no matter how popular the program is.
Social Security is responsibly funded, does not add a penny to the deficit, and only pays benefits if it has sufficient income to cover not only the cost of all benefits, but also the cost to administer those benefits.
Social Security is not “responsibly funded.” Nor is it “irresponsibly funded.” The U.S. government creates benefits out of thin air, like changing the points on a sports scoreboard. And Social Security does add to the federal deficit (which is a good thing). Also the writer erroneously believes that FICA taxes pay for Social Security. When you believe this lie, you open the door for an attack.
Traditional pensions are disappearing, the 401(k) retirement savings experiment is a failure, and middle class wealth in the form of home equity vanished overnight in the Great Recession.
Right-wing solution: privatize Social Security. That is, make Social Security like a 401(k) plan, so that Wall Street thieves can steal it like they stole 401(k) money.
Social Security is the most efficient, universal, secure and fair source of retirement income. It provides basic economic security when wages are lost as the result of death, disability, or old age. Its one shortcoming is that its benefits are too low. That is why there is a growing movement to expand those benefits.
Agreed, but what is your response to “How will you pay for it?”
The Republican establishment will have no part of this profoundly wise policy. They want to cut benefits.
Except for Trump, which proves that he is not (fully) part of the Republican establishment.
The moderators at Thursday’s debate elicited this response from three of the four candidates in questions premised on what a Washington Post Plum Line contributor afterward characterized as a Zombie lie – that Social Security is going to “run out of money.”
This refers to an article in the Washington Post titled, “Stop with the zombie lies: No, Social Security is not ‘going broke’.” That article upholds the lie that FICA taxes pay for Social Security. And it upholds the lie about the non-existent “Social Security Trust Fund.” Therefore the article says that Social Security may have to reduce benefits.
As I have often said before, you can proclaim that “Social Security is not going broke,” but if you agree with any part of the lies about money, however trivial that part is, you can be easily torpedoed.
Back to the Huffington Post…
Senator Rubio advocated raising the retirement age to 70 (a 21 percent across the board benefit cut), in addition to other cuts to the benefits of middle class Americans. This, despite the fact that Millennials, faced with stagnant wages and mounting student debt, will need Social Security even more than their parents and grandparents.
Ironically the desperate need for Social Security makes the program more vulnerable to attack. If you claim that Social Security is “broke,” then people in their fear will believe your lies when you then claim that the only way to “save” Social Security is to destroy it via privatization.
Donald Trump was the only one on the debate stage to side with the American people, not Wall Street. He reiterated his opposition to all cuts, including raising the retirement age. Politically shrewd, but there is reason to doubt that he is committed to that view.
When Trump was considering a run for the Presidency, he had never held any political office. As a newcomer he told the Republican establishment what they wanted to hear, so they would take Trump seriously. He said he favored cutting Social Security.
Now that Trump is the front runner, he can say whatever he likes.
Does this mean that Trump is fully truthful about not cutting Social Security? Not necessarily, but at least he is saying it, whereas the other Republicans go on calling for cuts. Yes, Trump could be lying, just as Obama lied about closing Guantanamo when Obama first ran for the White House.
I myself favor Sanders, but on some topics (such as Social Security) Trump is different from the other Republicans. That’s why Trump is so popular.
There were no friends of Social Security on the Miami debate stage. Other than Trump’s statements against cuts, the positions were perfectly in line with the Republican establishment and the billionaire-donor class.
They just can’t stand Trump, even when he says what they want to hear. Reason: they want Hillary, who has given no assurances that she won’t privatize Social Security.
Notice that when Trump makes a racist statement, the Hillary-zombies say, “See! He’s being honest! He’s a racist!” But when Trump says he will not cut or privatize Social Security, the Hillary-zombies say, “He’s lying!”
I’m not defending Trump. I am defending reason and consistency. And I am attacking Hillary.
The two Democratic presidential candidates, in clear contrast to the Republicans, favor expanding, not cutting Social Security.
Whoa! When did Hillary say THAT? When did Hillary ever pledge to not cut Social Security benefits? All Hillary said is that she would “fight efforts” to weaken Social Security. This leaves the door open to privatize it to “strengthen” it.
This author, by the way, is a Hillary-zombie who is trying to claim that Hillary is as desirable as Sanders.