Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dick Durbin Lies About Social Security

No kidding, a politician lied.  Who'da thunk it?  Well, this one's a whopper, and it's insidious because it's been around since the late 1970's and many millions of people actually buy the crap.  Since Social Security was first proposed, its detractors have screamed "socialism!"  When that didn't fly, they started saying the idea would never work.  Here's the problem with that: it works.  

The worst projections (skipping the delusions) show its ginormous trust fund of trillions -- generated in the "fat" years when working people paid more in than retirees were paid out -- coming up short by 2033 IF nothing is done.  (Notice the big 'if.')  Then what, you ask?  Well, then the big bad socialistic program will continue to pay out at about $75 for another half century or so even IF nothing is still done.  What must be done?  We come to that in a minute.  (HINT: You'll like it.  I sure do.)

But first, does that sound like "Social Security is going to run out of money in 20 years" or go bankrupt to you?  To me neither.  Probably doesn't really sound like that to anybody with half a brain.  But our wonderful Democratic Senator from Illinois, one of the highest ranking cats in the whole cat box, says exactly that:

"That's right. I do [support 'entitlement' cuts], and I'll tell you why -- because Social Security is going to run out of money in 20 years. I want to fix it now, before we reach that cliff. Medicare may run out of money in 10 years, let's fix it now. And that means addressing the skyrocketing cost of health care. That's what Obamacare is focused on, and yet, the Republicans want nothing to do with it."

Bad!  Bad senator!  No cuts to Social Security! 

So why do they keep coming after pensions and Social Security?  Make no mistake, the objective is twofold:

(1) Retirement plans that are largely shielded from the worst peaks and valleys of the stock market add up to huge pots of money that the corporate world is dying to get its greedy little paws on.  Why save up when you can spend it now, on cheap plastic crap I happen to sell?  So what if you face desperation later (see #2 below)?  If you read something like The Retirement Heist, you can see the raiding amounts to a modern "enclosure" -- not unlike the way capitalism started, by stealing the common lands of peasants and indigenous peoples (they called it "enclosure" in England because they "enclosed" land that was not titled to anyone as private property) -- and in a way like drilling on national preserves and such (not really about oil shortages but access to cheap/free resources they can use to make even more profits).

We all know the crisis started because the Right had to cut taxes on the rich.  Then there wasn't enough to pay for everything (especially social services -- low income people benefit from those, unlike military R&D, which is very profitable for the rich).  Now there's a budget crisis (who knew?), so we can either take the money from the rich (corporate welfare & other tax breaks) or the working class (wages and benefits) -- gee, what will we choose?

(2) When people do not have reliable retirement benefits, they can't just relax and enjoy their latter years after working their whole lives.  They have to return to the workforce - usually as Wal-mart greeters or some other form of cheap labor - or depend on family they may be lucky enough to have in the workforce.  This, together with unemployment, drives up the demand for jobs, which benefits - hm - the people who have spots to offer.  Just laid off 5,000 unionized employees, some with high seniority, making $20 an hour with benefits?  Cool, we'll work for half that, no benefits, and we won't call in sick even if we have Ebola, because if we lose this job we have to eat grandma. 

Oh, yeah.  The "tweaking" thing.  Take off the cap.  There's a cap?  There's a cap.  Rich people stop paying Social Security on income over a certain amount.  Doesn't matter what it is.  It's crazy.  Just take it away.  Let the rich pay the same percentage the rest of us pay and just like that, there's no problem at all with Social Security.  What does that tell you about why we have a problem, even a small one, in the first place?

If you answered, "I don't know," go back to the beginning, and do not collect $200.  

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