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Archive for the ‘Social Secdurity’ Category

Bernie Sanders Video on Koch Bros Social Security Lies

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Here it is:

The page with the video also has these facts:
Facts:

1. Social Security belongs to you—the workers who contribute to it—not the politicians in Washington.
2. Social Security will never go bankrupt. Its major source of income comes from the contributions of workers and employers; as long as there are workers, Social Security will have income. Closing tax loopholes for wealthy individuals will increase the long term financial health of the program, and protect it for decades to come.
3. Raising the retirement age is a terrible idea and a large benefit cut. If you were claiming benefits as a 66 year-old retired worker and the full retirement age was changed from 66, where it is today, to 69 your benefits would be cut 20 percent. A typical benefit would drop from $14,000 a year to $11,200 a year.
4. Privatizing Social Security would be a disaster. Social Security is so valuable because it provides a guaranteed benefit. Privatizing Social Security would remove this guarantee and have people gamble their retirement savings in the casinos of Wall Street. If the recent financial crisis taught us anything, Wall Street is the last place where our money is safe.

For more information, check out the Strengthen Social Security Campaign.

Written by slothropia

June 22nd, 2011 at 11:09 am

The Facts about Social Security

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I am grateful to the peerless Digby for alerting me to this post from Off the charts, written by Paul N. Van de Walter. I guess I was aware of most of the facts Van de Walter marshals in his post, but rarely does one see them presented with such clarity and cogency.

Like a lot of people, I get increasingly frustrated as reporters and pundits in the corporate media and the right wing jackasses they work for constantly distort facts such as these. It is refreshing to find honest material that can actually be useful when discussing Social Security with men and women of good will and open minds.

In a new paper and podcast I’ve tried to correct some of the misinformation that critics of Social Security have been spreading about the program.

Here are the facts. Social Security is a well-run, fiscally responsible program. People earn retirement, survivors, and disability benefits by making payroll tax contributions during their working years. Those taxes and other revenues are deposited in the Social Security trust funds, and all benefits and administrative expenses are paid out of the trust funds. The amount that Social Security can spend is limited by its payroll tax income plus the balance in the trust funds.

The Social Security trustees — the official body charged with evaluating the program’s long-term finances — project that Social Security can pay 100 percent of promised benefits through 2037 and about three-quarters of scheduled benefits after that, even if Congress makes no changes in the program. Relatively modest changes would put the program on a sound financial footing for 75 years and beyond.

Nonetheless, some critics are attempting to undermine confidence in Social Security with wild and blatantly false accusations. They allege that the trust funds have been “raided” or disparage the trust funds as “funny money” or mere “IOUs.” Some even label Social Security a “Ponzi scheme” after the notorious 1920s swindler Charles Ponzi. All of these claims are nonsense.

Every year since 1984, Social Security has collected more in payroll taxes and other income than it pays in benefits and other expenses. (The authors of the 1983 Social Security reform law did this on purpose in order to help pre-fund some of the costs of the baby boomers’ retirement.) These surpluses are invested in U.S. Treasury securities that are every bit as sound as the U.S. government securities held by investors around the globe; investors regard these securities as among the world’s very safest investments.

Investing the trust funds in Treasury securities is perfectly appropriate. The federal government borrows funds from Social Security to help finance its ongoing operations in the same way that consumers and businesses borrow money deposited in a bank to finance their spending. In neither case does this represent a “raid” on the funds. The bank depositor will get his or her money back when needed, and so will the Social Security trust funds.

As far back as 1938, independent advisors to Social Security firmly endorsed the investment of Social Security surpluses in Treasury securities, saying that it does “not involve any misuse of these moneys or endanger the safety of these funds.”

Moreover, Social Security is the “polar opposite of a Ponzi scheme,” says the man who quite literally wrote the book about Ponzi’s famous scam, Boston University professor Mitchell Zuckoff. The Social Security Administration’s historian has a piece on this topic as well.

Unlike the frauds of Ponzi — and, more recently, Bernard Madoff — Social Security does not promise unrealistically large financial returns and does not require unsustainable increases in the number of participants to remain solvent. Instead, for the past 75 years it has provided a foundation that workers can build on for retirement as well as social insurance protection to families whose breadwinner dies and workers who become disabled.

The cat food commissioners should have their eyelids stapled open and made to read this for at least 7.5 hours a day.

Written by slothropia

October 6th, 2010 at 11:22 pm