Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ohio Congressman Boehner wants to eliminate social security benefits for the "unneedy" (or undeserving) to pay for "The War"

A website called “Campaign for America’s Future” notes a proposal by Rep. John Boehner, R-Oh, 8th, to raise the retirement age to 70 and limit social security benefits to those who need them. It wasn’t clear if this proposal could apply to those already receiving benefits or those over full retirement age as legally defined now. Boehner also wants to tie COLA’s to price index rather than wages. The piece on that site by Robert Borosage was “Boehner: Cut Social Security to Pay for War”. The link is here. The article reads “And now the one Obama policy Republcans support -- escalation in Afghanistan -- should be paid for by the elderly -- raising the retirement age and cuttng Social Security.”

Today Patrice Hill mentioned Boehner’s “modest proposal” in a front page (July 14) Washington Times article “Both parties mull raising retirement age; House leaders get frank about social security cost” (web url) here.

Hill quotes Boehner: "If you have substantial non-Social Security income while you're retired, why are we paying you at a time when we're broke?" he said. "We just need to be honest with people."

Presumably, if you have an asset base you have income from it, although that is harder in a low interest rate environment. What if you have inheritance, or stand to get one?

I always looked at the FICA tax as a kind of annuity premium. I want it back. Likewise, the Medicare tax was a kind of health savings account. Just simply expropriating the benefit sounds now like Communism, an odd thing to hear from a Republican. How does Boehner define “substantial”? Is it like the notorious “social security offset” in so many corporate defined benefit pensions (now being frozen or in trouble anyway).

Obama had said before inauguration, though, this was one can we couldn’t kick down the road forever.

I couldn’t find these comments on Boehner’s website yet.

Of course, one can tie this report to the "demographic winter" idea promulgated by the Right.

There are indeed some people who don’t “need” the social security benefit. Consider the article in the July 14 Washington Post about the late Yankee owner George Steinbrenner and his heirs, who could “save millions from a one-year lapse in the estate tax”, link here .

What did they say in those Fort Eustis Army eyebrow barracks (not a bay, not Special Troops) in 1969? “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”. Quote from “The Walrus.”

No comments: