Saturday, August 14, 2010

Is GOP still fighting for social security privatization? Then why means test?

The Washington Post is again hitting the social security issue hard on Saturday Aug 14, in a story by Michael D. Shear and Lori Montgomery, “In weekly address, Obama returns to campaign chestnut: Warning of threat to social security”, link here.

Note: Dick Cheney used to use the term “old chestnut” to characterize the military ban on gays. The article points to Obama’s radio address Saturday as saying that some Republicans want to privatize social security. Not true, the article says, any more. The Bushies and neocons (so endeared to Peter Beinart when he wrote for the New Republic) gave up on it.

In a “Free for ALL” (pun) letter on p A11 of the Aug 14 Washington Post, Barbara B. Kennelly, president and chief executive of the National Committee to Preserve Society Security and Medicare, writes “since Social Security hasn’t added a dime to the deficit, neither should its beneficiaries be asked to sacrifice their benefits to repair the damage of past economic policies”.

The President, too his credit, described the current system (toward the end of his address) as largely a system of providing for one’s own (and sometimes one’s legal spouse’s) benefits by paying a mandatory FICA payroll tax.

Yet, some want to take that “benefit” away from the “least needy” and give it to someone else. That’s called expropriation in my book.

Remember, it's true that the longer one lives, the longer one collects; the earlier one starts receiving benefits, the less one receives a month. This is the way private annuities work now.  Call it private socialism.

Picture: A “social security bridge”??

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