And just who is behind these current Social Security lies? Right. The banksters and all the other "money-sucking" guys who just want to wet their beaks (taking about 1/3 off the top in "administrative costs") in the 3 trillion dollars (approx.) of Social Security trust fund money just sitting there tempting them, ready for their taking.
Trust them. It's for your own good. Really. Don't you believe the Fox propaganda (news) anymore?
To make this perfectly clear.
And even one more time.
Socialsecuritymedicareandmedicaid Strikes AgainJared Bernstein and Dean Baker are both mad, understandably, at Robert Samuelson, who pulls out, for the 7 millionth time, the old Social Security bait and switch. Here’s how it works: to make the quite mild financial shortfall of Social Security seem apocalyptic, the writer starts out by talking about Social Security, then starts using numbers that combine SS with the health care programs — programs that are very different in conception, financing, and solutions.
And then the writer ends by demanding that we cut Social Security, as opposed to addressing health care costs.
The serious (as opposed to Serious) thing to say here is that on current projections, Social Security faces a shortfall — NOT bankruptcy — a quarter of a century from now. OK, I guess that’s a real concern. But compared to other concerns, it’s really pretty minor, and doesn’t deserve a tenth the attention it gets.
It’s also worth noting that even if the trust fund is exhausted and no other financing provided, Social Security will be able to pay about three-quarters of scheduled benefits, which would mean real benefits higher than it pays now. I don’t want to see that happen, but it’s worth keeping in perspective — especially when you look at the solutions “reformers” propose, which all seem to involve reducing future benefits relative to those currently scheduled.
Let us reason together*: the dire fate we’re supposed to fear is that future benefits won’t be as high as scheduled; and in order to avert that fate we must, um, guarantee through immediate action that future benefits won’t be as high as scheduled.
Yay! Wait, what?
No, really. I guess there would be some virtue to making this all crystal clear well in advance, but that’s pretty second-order. Basically, the “solution” just locks in the bad things for seniors that the attackers claim will happen anyway.
Now, here’s the thing: none of what I’m saying is new. We’ve gone over this ground again and again, ever since Bush the Younger tried to ram through privatization. Yet the same tricks, the same old discredited arguments, just keep coming back.
Why, you might almost think that the goal is just to undermine Social Security, using whatever argument seems handy.
*What the Godfather said in Puzo’s novel, as opposed to the movies.
Dean Baker is not afraid to name the names of those who think they can lie to U.S. taxpayers without exposure (and yes, one name is the Washington Post - now known as Fox on 15th Street).
Read Professor Baker's as well as Professor Krugman's evisceration of these spurious arguments by clicking on the links to their reports.