Sunday, January 13, 2013

NYTimes says that President has already played his hand on Social Security in debt ceiling talks

The New York Times has an editorial today in which it says that President Obama “caved in” by offering the chained CPI fix to control social security benefit costs, and has created a situation where including it will be a minimum position expected by House Republicans going forward, in attempts to avoid the debt ceiling.  The URL for the Times article is here.  

The Times argues that the chained CPI will hurt some longer-living poorer seniors and has not been researched as an accurate tool to keep benefits in line with needs. 

The Times does suggest that raising wage base limits and gradual actuarial changes to reflect longer lives, and more “progressivity”.  Presumably these changes would be gradual. 

I still think that an “ownership” interest in one’s own FICA history ought to be written into future law. 

It is true that other kinds of benefits in our culture are strictly “welfare” in nature, and aren’t scaled as if to suggest an accumulation of benefit.  For example, unemployment benefits can’t be collected at all unless one becomes unemployed; there is no ownership of the premiums (paid by the employers anyway, whereas FICA is usually half paid by the employer). 

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