Election 2014 Comments: Social Security

by Olivia LaRosa, October 6, 2014

As we are nearing this 2014 “off-year” election, I decided that I would take some time from my busy schedule to respond to right-wing candidates and their supporters in the hopes of straightening out the record.

Commenters at a website running an article about Joni Ernst, a US Senate candidate in Iowa, were trying to defend her views on Social Security. When a right-winger says they want to “strengthen and protect” Social Security Retirement, what they really mean is that they want to avoid the political heat that changing benefits for current retirees while supporting harmful changes to a functional and successful program.

Strengthen and protect means privatize and make it more difficult for today’s family to collect benefits when they hit retirement age. Some people think it’s a good idea to stop people from collecting until they are older.

Two reasons this is a bad idea: first, young workers are entering the workplace and jobs are scarce. Why keep a senior working longer than he or she wishes? Second: even though people are healthier now doesn’t mean they should work longer. The failures of old age will simply push people into the dysfunctional Social Security Disability system. People will die waiting for help.

They want to kick the can down the road by proposing changes that work against the best interests of both seniors and current workers. They want to pit the young against the old by proposing lower benefit for the younger workers.

Here’s my comment.

There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with Social Security itself. It is the most successful aid program we have developed, keeping millions of seniors housed and fed. The program only costs 1/2 of 1% of the fund total to administer. This low “load” makes mutual fund companies mad because they have to pay a bunch of lazy investment banker hotshots a lot more than that.

Back in 1968, my father told me that Social Security would not be around when he retired, so we should just get rid of it.

Well, wouldn’t ya know, the old man collected benefits for 20 years, until the day he died. All that need be done is tweak the formula so people pay in when thieir income surpasses the current $106,000 income cap. The only reason the fund is low is because Congress keeps borrowing against it. That’s the real problem.


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