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More on Social Security and the social compact

I am still getting comments from people in a snit over what I wrote about social security.  And I think there is a great deal of misunderstanding and denial going on here.  So, let me try one more time to get through to them.

First off, *I* am not the enemy.  I have no intention of depriving anyone of any benefits because if you start targetting one group of people as “greedy geezers” or “spoiled millenialists”, the whole idea behind social security starts to crumble.

Second, it’s not my idea to try for a grand bargain and if Barack Obama thinks there is a way to thread this needle without destroying social security, he’s the dumbest man on the planet.

Here’s the Republican Divide and Conquer plan:

1.) Tell the seniors that they’re safe.  Their benefits will not be cut.  This is the Republicans game plan because their fanbase consists of a lot of elderly, conservative people who have been convinced that they are superior Americans and have paid the most into the system.  This isn’t true but it all starts with an attitude and the Fox News lovers have one.

2.) Tell the younger generation that their benefits will be attenuated in some form.  The cost of living adjustments will be recalculated so they end up with less.  The late babyboomers, who PREPAID, by the way, and have had less money in the paychecks since the day they started working in the 80s, will have to take a cut or will be means tested or it will be turned into a welfare program and not a social insurance program.

3.) Coupled with the fact that a lot of them are unemployed, their 401Ks are not growing and their pensions are skimpy or non-existent, it becomes a lot harder to convince the younger generations that they should continue to pay for something that only a select group of arrogant, religiously conservative seniors can benefit from.

{Tiresome but necessary disclaimer: Did I say all seniors were arrogant and religiously conservative?  No, I did not.  But the voters who are most susceptible to this kind of messaging from Republicans are of this ilk, which is why the Republicans are so driven to get this done.  They only have a short period of time before their demographics start to expire- literally.}

So, this is also a case of divide and conquer.  If you can divide the electorate into the privileged who will get full SS benefits and the underprivileged who will have to work well into their 70s before age and illness force them to retire on a meager benefit, you can set up a Wisconsin scenario.  You will have one group of voters who will look on the privileged set with contempt and envy.  Why do they get everything when we are out here busting our balls and paying more in taxes for decades?  And once that happens, the senior set will be in trouble.  Because along will come some hardass Republican politician who has been bought and paid for who will put together some plan to knock down the benefits for those arrogant seniors.

Don’t get mad at me.  I’m not the one who comes up with this shit.  From what I can see, Social Security was fine for 80 years and if it ain’t broke, there’s no need to fix it. If there’s a shortfall in two decades, raise the income level for the payroll tax. The problem is that Republicans don’t take their oath to the people seriously.  They take their oaths to Grover Norquist seriously.  Their plan to Starve the Beast is largely successful.  Over the years, the Social Security trust fund has been raided and now there is only a bunch of IOUs.  This is a problem for the wealthy because they need to pay that money back to us and they don’t want their taxes raised. They want to take loans from us to pay for their wars and their tax cuts and now that they are happy, they want the rest of us to forget that money was ours in the first place.  I call that theft and, if the politicians are in on this, fraud, when they expected us to pre-pay in advance for our benefits.  It is dishonest and lying and the worst kind of anti-American assholery to set up the late babyboomers to pay extra only to have the money not paid back by the people who had access to our account.

Did you ever wonder why it is that the wealthy will spend so much money to buy politicians year after year but won’t allow their taxes to be raised even a teeeeensy bit?  All that money could be used to pay some of their taxes.  Look at all of the money that pours into lobbying and superpacs and campaign warchests.  It’s billions of dollars each year and it’s just a drop in the bucket.  What is the character flaw in them, the moral failing in their upbringing, that prevents them from seeing that that money would be better spent paying back the IOUs so that people can retire without becoming destitute?  Why is it so important that they give their tax money to politicians and not their fellow Americans?  Are they oblivious to the damage they’re doing to the prosperity and stability of their country?  Are they living in an echo chamber where they think that anybody who is not like them is not pulling their weight?

These are the questions we must answer to turn this ship around.  And we need leaders who will confront these people and the culture they live in and ask them to account for themselves.  I don’t see anyone on the national political stage right now with the exception of Bernie Sanders who is asking these questions.  With Obama, it’s only going to get worse because he’s ready to cut a deal.  And when that deal is cut, it’s all over.  The Wisconsin Project will come to Social Security.  If you don’t like me talking about it, imagine how much more you will not like it when it comes to fruition.  Nows the time to get in front of the plan.  If you are a senior and you like social security, you must vigorously defend the benefits of the younger generations.  And you need to tell other seniors what is about to happen to them so that they don’t take the two tiered system deal that the politicians are about to construct.  Once that system is in place, it will be very easy to convince younger voters to get rid of the whole thing.

And a word of advice to those already collecting: Lose the attitude.  It’s not all about YOU.  No one is singling you out.  That’s the point.  But if you start getting defensive, you are going to alienate the very people you will need on your side in a couple of years when the Republicans move in for the kill.  We aren’t trying to insult you.  We are trying to wake you up.  We are all in this together but if you start getting offended by me just bringing the subject up in an honest way, we’re in trouble.  If it pains you to be thought of as a target, get over the feeling- quickly.  We don’t have time for easily offended people whose fee-fees are getting hurt.  The Republican noise machine will jump all over that.  Suddenly, the younger generations aren’t deferential.  We swear.  We’re not respectful.  You know how hard it is to fight back against the religious reactionaries without looking mean? Try it sometime.  Those of you without religious families have no idea how nice you have it.  They’re going to pull that shit on us.  We’re being mean to the seniors if we don’t give them a break and let them have their full bennies while we take cuts.  This will make us fight with ourselves while the people sitting on the cash distance themselves from any responsibility or obligation.

The Republicans analyse what it is that motivates people and makes them go to the polls.  And they play to win.  They’re like those orcs that can lose a couple of limbs but still keep on coming.  Right now, I recommend the “drag it out” strategy.  Drag this whole problem out and insist on lots of impact studies and alternative funding mechanism studies.  The longer we drag this out, the better the chances that the Fox News vulnerable Republican demographic will start to lose its critical mass and more younger people who want social security will take its place.  Here’s hoping that the babyboomers who are about to retire are less gullible than the seniors they are about to replace or we could have a very long fight on our hands.

14 Responses

  1. I am not in favor of the Social Security Tax Holiday for the following reasons:

    1. It allowed Obama and congress to keep the Bush Tax Cuts intact while the middle class continues to suffer.

    2. It keeps the neocons well fed, as they are the only ones benefiting from the WARS and Obama and congress don’t have to talk about a WAR TAX to pay for the never ending wars (don’t be fooled, Obama got the troops out of Iraq because immunity ended).

    3. When Obama says that people are getting 40 dollars a week, keep in mind that they are also loosing 40 dollars a week (the matching 40 dollars from their employer) which is dwindling down the savings each year and will give Simpson and friends (Obama too, as it was his CAT FOOD COMMISSION after all that was gearing up for the cuts, before he got the big idea of dwindling the SSA savings) more reasons to say Social Security has got to go PRIVATE and must be CUT (don’t be fooled).

    So, Obama has played with people by taking their savings of 40 dollars, giving it to them as if it was through him, while loosing 40 dollars and keeping the ultra RICH, Richer while saying he is WORKING FOR YOU! No, wonder he got more money from Wall Street than McCain or Hillary.

    • bingo !

      However, I quibble…

      As an employer, I still pay 7.5 % on the total wages for each employee. In addition to the % that I withhold from each employee. The employee contribution went from 7.5 % to 5.5%.
      The employer did not get a tax cut. Just employee .
      Honestly, my employees didn’t notice it and it didn’t change anything around here.
      Except is is sucking the life out of the original PLAN for SS.

      Otherwise, I agree that this wax a rope a dope pandering slap to our American retirement system.
      The only thing to repeat to yourselves:

      Social Security is self funded.
      It currently has a SURPLUS
      and Right now, It is operating in the black…not the red.

      What other gov’t agency can say that. It works.
      Make it better by eliminating the upper limit on income on which it is paid.
      Done. Fixed.

  2. Amen sister!

  3. And remember, most of Obama’s Senate Shitocrats voted for the so-called “payroll tax holiday”. My Shitocratic Senator Stabenow voted for it and is proud of it and keeps sending me emails about how that shows she is fighting for the “working people”.

    If the election is the least bit close here in Michigan, I will definitely vote for Romney. My mind is firmly made up about that now. If Romney is President there is a chance that the Shitocratic Senators might pretend to defend Social Security and Medicare. If Obama is re-elected, the Simpson-Obama Shitocratic Senators will definitely join with their Social Class Comrade Republicans to destroy Social Security and Medicare. Electing Romney and returning a Democratic Senate is the last chance we have to see whether the so-called “Democrats” still value their political brand.

    We semi-younger people should also try working on a revenge plan to destroy Social Security and Medicare for those already on it today if is destroyed for us tomorrow. If we can’t get it, they must not be allowed to keep it. That is a moral imperative. We will need revenge.

  4. Well, I had to log in and now I don’t have time to repost my comment.


    • I know the feeling. I was having a hell of a time figuring out why I couldn’t post comments on any of the blogs ( On WordPress that is ) I frequented. I ended up having to delete an account on wordpress and use a different email just to post a comment here. Urrrggggg

    • I’ve had problems with WordPress in the past couple of days as well. It has made me verify myself twice. Very annoying. But I suspect that all blogging platforms have their own flavor of goat mucus.
      Thank for that, I’ll never be able to look at goats in the same way again. 😉

  5. I wrote a couple comments earlier which never appeared. Maybe they are in moderation? Maybe the blog-hoster service vaporised them?

  6. “Over the years, the Social Security trust fund has been raided and now there is only a bunch of IOUs.”

    When I scanned your post this sentence leaped out at me. As I understand the situation, this statement is basically totally wrong.


    The Reaganites cooked up the idea of raising Social Security taxes to cover his deficits, When that money started rolling in there was nothing do do with it except to put it into US bonds.

    The rest of your essay looks to be pretty much on the money. The rich swine who have had their tax brakes financed with SS money don’t want to pay the taxes needed to buy back the SS bonds. And Barry O is going to stab us in the back as soon as he can.

    And as the failed recall election in Wisconsin demonstrated, lots of foolish citizens can be gulled into the notion that having their throats cut is a great idea. All it take is a pile of money to finance the slick propaganda.

    • Let this be a lesson to me – never post without checking grammar AND spelling. 😦

    • I suppose the Trust Fund / Securities thing can be seen either way. Hillary said that the only problem is that Congress does not want to pay back to SS, but if the economy improves there will be plenty for paying it back.

    • Yep, I know they aren’t really IOU’s. They’re US Treasury bonds and at some point, they will need to be paid back. Specifically, the people with the money will need to pay that back and as far as I can tell, the people with the money are not us. I think it’s time we stopped subsidizing their tax cuts with our future benefits.

  7. When the ‘SS tax holiday’ thing came in, something else was cut, called ‘Making Work Pay.’ The change resulted in the same or smaller paycheck — but nothing went to the worker’s SS account.

  8. Obama is merely the tool of the wall street/banker class. It was obvious that the tax holiday weakened the case for social security and did less to pump money into the economy than some other plans. It is a sneak attack, pure and simple.

    As for doing this before the future hits, the Census Bureau has some interesting stats. While the national population is 63.7% composed of non-Hispanic whites, the figures for Texas (45.3%), Arizona (57.8%), Florida (57.9%), Nevada (54.1% are below the average. The rust belt and farm states are “whiter” than average but the rust belt has fewer illusions about the impact of bankernomics.

    An even more surprising stat is that a majority of Americans 15 and over are not married. While the percentage of married men rises with each age group and peaks at 65+, the percentage of married women peaks at 35-44 and drops thereafter. This speaks to the tendency of men as a group to marry younger women and the demographic “surplus” of women due to longer life expectancy. The highest percentage of married people are found among Asians and those born outside the U.S.

    Yes, even some of the former bots are starting to realize that Obama is not the one they thought they were getting. Riveting speeches that are mostly empty with bits of real pure conservative crap should be read. not seen or listened to. There is a line in The King’s Speech where the future Queen Elizabeth asks her father what Hitler was saying (in German) on a newsreel. The King replied that he didn’t know what was being said but he was doing a good job of saying it.

    The content matters. The presentation should be ignored. As Jesse Jackson said, “I’d rather have Franklin Roosevelt in a wheel chair than Ronald Reagan on a horse.”

    As a side comment. I wrote in Hillary’s name on the ballot in NJ on Tuesday. It was not officially reported even as a write in total..

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