Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Trump will cut Social Security, and Obama's not Helping

Republicans and their Wall Street allies are not backing away from their threats to cut Social Security by privatization, means-testing and raising the retirement age to 70 or beyond.

Older Americans can’t afford attacks on our earned Social Security benefits. Many are physically unable to work longer — even if employers were willing to hire them. Whether it was George W. Bush’s attempts at privatization, the benefit cutting Chained-CPI (that Obama had agreed to in the Bowles-Simpson recommendations), or the draconian Paul Ryan budget ... FDR's Social Security legacy is always under attack.

The Intercept: Trump policy adviser and co-chairman Sam Clovis said last week that the real estate mogul would look at changes to all federal programs, “including entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare,” as part of a deficit reduction effort.

L.A. Times: Clovis, Trump’s senior policy advisor, recently said that a Trump administration would ‘look at” privatization of Medicare and Social Security after a year or two. And he isn’t the only Trump team member to advocate cutting off support for seniors. John Mashburn, Trump’s policy director, recently likened the disability program to a welfare program.

President Obama recently nominated Charles Blahous and Robert Reischauer to second terms as Social Security and Medicare Public Trustees and this week the Senate Finance Committee held confirmation hearings for both nominees.

The Alliance for Retired Americans and numerous other organizations that support Social Security, strongly opposes the Blahous renomination. He is far from a neutral expert on social insurance but served as the executive director of former President George W. Bush’s “Commission to Strengthen Social Security.” That Commission developed plans to privatize Social Security, which were soundly rejected by the Congress. Blahous is affiliated with the conservative Mercatus Center.

“As a Mercatus Center fellow Blahous has said that Social Security is too generous to retirees and advocated against ways to strengthen the system,” said Robert Roach, President of the Alliance. “It is not appropriate for a trustee, whose job is to ensure the continued viability of the Social Security system to be actively working against it.”

A United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released this month found that defined contribution plans don’t have the participation levels, especially in lower income and minority households, to create enough savings for retirement.

Bernie Sanders wants to lift the $118,500 cap to $250,000 to shore up the Social Security trust fund and expand benefits. But just like in 2008 when Hillary Clinton ran against OBama, she does not because she says she doesn't want to raise taxes on the "middle-class". But $250,000 a year is in the top 1% of wage earners. (Clinton may want to expand benefits for low income women, but it's uncertain how this would be paid for.)


  1. Obama is following in Bernie Sanders's foot steps. Recently...

    "The president sounds very different than he did during the fiscal cliff era, when he was a big fan of 'grand bargains' that might have trimmed Social Security via changes to the formula for calculating annual cost-of-living increases. “Not only do we need to strengthen its long term health, it’s time we finally made Social Security more generous and increased its benefits so that today’s retirees and future generations get the dignified retirement that they’ve earned. And we can start paying for it by asking the wealthiest Americans to contribute a little bit more. They can afford it. I can afford it.”

    * Obama is a big frigging ahole, because if he really felt that way, he would have endorsed Bernie's plan.

  2. A-hole #Obama, following in #BernieSanders footsteps. Anything to get #HRC elected. You don't fool us sir!

  3. Obama Wanted to Cut Social Security. Then Bernie Sanders Happened.

  4. How Bernie Sanders is FOR regular working people; and how Hillary Clinton is NOT Bernie Sanders's plan for expanding Social Security benefits for retirees and the disabled (and to extend the life of the trust fund) lifts the cap of $118,000 a year to $250,000 — which only affects the top 5% of wage earners. (Obama was for this in 2008 when he ran against Clinton, who has always opposed this.)

    Bernie Sanders's Medicare for All healthcare plan would be 2.2 percent income-based premium paid by households in their payroll taxes. A family of four making $50,000 a year (taking the standard deduction) would only pay $466 year. This is less expensive than insurance premiums and co-pays with ObamaCare. (Clinton calls this "pie in the sky", but the U.S. is the only major industrialize nation that doesn't have a similar plan because of lobbying by the healthcare industry.

    Bernie Sanders's plan for free public college tuition (Trump's kids would still go to Ivy League Universities) imposes a tiny financial transaction tax on big Wall Street speculators — like the banks who ripped us that we bailed out and fined for mortgage fraud. (We already know all about Clinton's ties to Wall Street.)

    Bernie Sanders wants to raise the minimum wage to a "living wage" of $15 an hour because it's just not teenagers who are working summer jobs at McDonalds anymore, it's college graduates with student debt — with many who are raising children. (Clinton says she'll "support" $12 an hour.) Offshoring our manufacturing base to Asia has decimated our job market and turned our economy into a service economy with mostly low-paying part-time/TEMP jobs — Wage data shows 50 percent of wage earners had net compensation less than or equal to the median wage, which is estimated to be $28,851 a year — X2 for dual-income household incomes = about what the "median household income" is today. (The Clintons supported all the trade deals that offhshored all our best jobs.)