Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Republicans versus Social Security

(Excerpted and edited from a post by Jared Bernstein)

You will really learn nothing accurate, or even true, about the nation’s system of so-called entitlement programs from listening to the GOP - - - it’s pure rhetoric. It plucks heartstrings with words like opportunity (good) and entitlement (bad), but we learn nothing about how we as a nation will tackle a basic problem of advanced societies: economic security for those past their working years.

Advanced societies have all implemented solutions that draw some resources from the current workforce to help provide for the current generation of retirees. There’s an economic rationale: the generation that came before helped build the productive infrastructure that produces today’s economic output, so it only makes sense for them to benefit from it.

And then there’s a social rationale: most of us want to provide something–a foundation, not a mansion—for our elderly: we respect the inter-generational contract that is Social Security.

Is Social Security efficient? Very much so; I challenge anyone to identify a private mechanism that is more so.

Mitt Romney railed against an "entitlement society" - When Romney asks, “Will the United States be an entitlement society or an opportunity society?” it is vapid and misleading. It's not just a false choice, but an illogical one. It's just like saying “we must decide whether to grow food or eat food.”

Newt Gingrich proposed allowing younger workers (still decades away from retirement) to bypass Social Security and instead choose private investment accounts that would be subject to stock market gyrations (rather than invest their future retirement in the safer investment of U.S. Treasury bonds in the Social Security Trust Fund).

Ron Paul calls Social Security and Medicare unconstitutional. Michele Bachmann called Social Security "a tremendous fraud". Rick Perry said Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. Paul Ryan wanted to issue vouchers for Medicare so that we would have to fend for ourselves after working and paying into the system for decades.

Government has, and always will, play an integral role in enhancing opportunity, in offsetting market failures that thwart opportunity, from poverty to pollution. Progressives, Democrats, Independents, and all clear-thinking people must not allow this debate to float miles above the real world.

Moderator: And we must not allow the Republicans to dominate the narrative, or believe the multi-millionaire commentators on Fox News...that's would be allowing the fox to guard the henhouse.

GOP Candidates - Millionaires Representing Millionaires - It should also be noted that it's become common knowledge that all these Republican presidential candidates, like everyone in the GOP, represent the interests of large corporations and those earning over a million dollars a year.

And it is no coincidence that they're also all millionaires themselves. They don't want to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes, because unlike the rest of us, they don't need Social Security and Medicare.

And unlike the rest us, who pay these taxes on 100% of our wages and salaries, theirs are capped on the first $110,000 they earn. Not only should we continue these programs when we get too old or sick to work, but we should also eliminate the cap that millionaires currently enjoy.

Paul Ryan lied to his constituents by saying removing the cap on Social Security taxes for the rich wouldn't extend the program.

For years the Republicans have been looking for a way to kill destroy smash end eliminate cut de-fund "reform" Social Security and Medicare, so why would Republican voters vote for a Republican candidate, and vote against their own self-interest?

* Jared Bernstein is a Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the former Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, and a former member of President Obama’s economic team.

Protect Social Security and Medicare

Social Security broke 'cause Nikki Haley is a drunken floozy?


  1. Didn't Paul Ryan (from a wealthy family) use Social Security death benefits to finance his college tuition..."What's good for the goose" is what?

    Mitt Romney: "I think president Obama wants to make us a European style welfare state, where instead of being a merit society, we're an entitlement society, where government's role is to take from some and give to others. What I know is if they do that, they'll substitute envy for ambition, and they'll poison the very spirit of America and keep us from being one nation under God. I want to see America united. I watch a president who has become the great divider, the great complainer, the great excuse giver, the great blamer."


    Mitt's worth over $200 million, so will never need Social Security, food stamps, unemployment benefits, TANF, and Medicare...he just thinks that although most of will at sometime in their life need these programs, people like Mitt just don't think they should have to contribute towards it.

  2. Bill Clinton called Newt Gingrich's "Contract with America" a contract ON America. When Republicans were trying to regain control of the U.S. House, they came up with a "contract" clone that they called "A Pledge to America." Democrats called the latest formal list of Republican promises the "Pledge to Destroy America."