In Congress, progressives rise to defend Social Security

  • Article by: Washington Post Editorial
  • Updated: April 29, 2013 - 9:10 AM

Top House and Senate progressives are demanding a meeting with President Obama to underscore their opposition to cuts in Social Security benefits as part of a budgetary grand bargain — a sign that the left has no intention of allowing cuts without a major fight.

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pumiceApr. 28, 13 6:01 PM

Re: "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has called the GOP’s bluff by suggesting the counting of war savings to replace the sequester cuts. The White House endorsed Reid’s idea last week ..." Not a bad idea--Congress didn't levy a tax to pay the costs of either Afghanistan or Iraq even though everyone knows a nation can't have both guns and butter for very long. And when the promised "short, short" war of choice in Iraq--a war which was to last days or months, not years--turned out to be a long and costly slog, Congress still didn't levy a tax. In fact, Congress implemented tax cuts which compounded budget deficits. By all means, fund social programs instead of cutting them.

And if Leader Reid wants to up the ante in the name of balancing the budget, how about levying a temporary retroactive war tax?

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hobie2Apr. 29, 1312:02 AM

If they call it reducing the payments to make Social Security more secure long term, OK. But if they claim it is some kind of way to balance the US government overspending, back off. That money belongs to wage earners who put it in the trusts, not to the taxpayers who couldn't keep the zipper on their wallet shut.

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msminnApr. 29, 13 5:52 AM

Lose the cap and SS'll be funded forever and ever, Amen. Stop screwing those who NEED their vested entitlement to placate those who already HAVE, yet can never HAVE enough.

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offtherecordApr. 29, 13 7:40 AM

Democrats are claiming that the GOP refuses to compromise on a balanced approach? This gets more insane every day.

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offtherecordApr. 29, 13 7:41 AM

"Lose the cap and SS'll be funded forever and ever, Amen." --- Another comment that forgets what social security is and why it is capped.

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gandalf48Apr. 29, 1311:10 AM

If you completely remove the cap and give the upper income people no additional SS benefits beyond the $110k/year they currently contribute then you just turned SS into a welfare program. The purpose of Social Security was for individuals to provide for their own retirement not for the well off to supplement everyone else's retirement; that's why there's an upper limit. I think we could reasonably increase the cap to around $150k/year (pegged to inflation), implement the chained CPI and increase the age of benefits by 2 years over a 30 year period...those few things would maintain the original intent behind SS while keeping the program funded for 100+ years. SS isn't the problem, that can be fixed with relatively few changes (as illustrated above); it's Medicare we have to worry about...if we can't make the minor changes to SS what do expect to happen with Medicare?

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EleanoreApr. 29, 1312:31 PM

Rubbish. In a more lawfully complaine society every elected official with an R or a D behind their name would be rounded up and held pending a review of their votes and actions in congress, and most of them would not see freedom again for many years. Mr. E for certian, he's voted against the constitution many a time and I'm sure he'll have some pennance there to do in one ring of hell or another.

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dschachenmeyerApr. 29, 1312:59 PM

From the article, "We appreciate your ongoing efforts to negotiate with Congressional Republicans in a serious, thoughtful manner, despite their unwillingness to consider a balanced approach" -- So let me see if I have this straight. Taxes went up with the debt ceiling deal. This was Republicans giving. The only budget "cuts" (which weren't really cuts, they were reductions in planned spending growth) came through the sequester, which Obama and the democrats proposed before saying it was a bad idea. Now the progressive caucus wants to cancel the sequester cuts. Republicans gave on increased taxes which are remaining in place. Democrats gave on sequester cuts but now want to want a "do over". And it's Republicans who considering a balanced approach?

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bormimernApr. 29, 13 2:10 PM

"Lose the cap and SS'll be funded forever and ever, Amen. Stop screwing those who NEED their vested entitlement to placate those who already HAVE, yet can never HAVE enough.">>>>>>>Why do people find it acceptable for the SSI to take different amounts of money (aka payroll taxes) from people? Do you think someone who pays into SSI is any different than someone else who pays into SSI. At the outset of the Social Security program, the federal government published an informational pamphlet that stated the following about Social Security taxes: And finally, beginning in 1949, 12 years from now, you and your employer will each pay 3 cents on each dollar you earn, up to $3,000 a year. That is the most you will ever pay. Accounting for inflation, this promise equates to a maximum tax collection of $1,741 per person. For 2013, the maximum payroll tax collection per person is $14,099 or eight times the promised maximum. This tax is intended to be returned to those who pay into it except for the disabled and survivor benefits (payouts). The key here is to save for your retirement during your earning years. This figure does not include other taxes that are now used to fund Social Security, such as the tax on Social Security benefits.SSI is a supplemental income for retirees. It is not someone elses money to redirect to others who have not contributed outside of the disabled and survivors. It is also the world's largest Ponzi scheme and it will collapse.

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twspt7Apr. 29, 13 2:14 PM

"those few things would maintain the original intent behind SS while keeping the program funded for 100+ years" Even if no changes are made to SS, it will run at full benefits until around 2033 and after that, at 75% of full benefits for at least the next 75 years. SS will not "run out." The boomers are retiring and the Gen Xers right after them make up a smaller group, leading people to think SS will dry up; however the millennials coming after the Xers make up bigger group than the boomers. SS is not dying or falling apart. It was never intended to fully fund anyone's retirement. Despite what you might read or hear elsewhere, SS is still doing the job it was created to do and, as it is set up today, will continue to do that job into the 2100's.

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