| Duncan Black, aka Atrios, tries to shoot down the Conventional Lies about Social Security held by many of our officeholders, including Mark Udall and Michael Bennet and the president, by proposing a realistic alternative to their desire to cut benefits and raise the retirement age:
[W]e should increase the level of retirement benefits in the existing Social Security program.
And that is the "bottom line" as they say in business, or a today's kids would say, "Duh!"
That sounds like blasphemy because we've all been fed the myth that Social Security is bankrupt. It is almost universally accepted in policy circles and in the pundit class that strengthening Social Security involves cutting future benefits relative to what current law promises because according to current projections, Social Security only has the ability to pay promised benefits in full until 2033, and then 75% of them thereafter.
The basic thinking is that we must promise to cut benefits now so that we won't necessarily have to cut them 22 years from now. What (the F***)?
(I added that profane part. - z)
Imagine if that is how we treated defense spending.
(Anyone here thinks Udall would do that with defense, raise your hand. ... I didn't think so. - z)
...more logic and facts...
We never actually have to cut benefits if we make the policy choice to keep funding them.
But Mark Udall and Michael Bennet are afraid to make that policy choice. They are so afraid of making that choice that they lie about the true status of Social Security. They are so afraid that they don't even attempt to spell out how Social Security is in quite good shape and would take only minor adjustments to make into spectacular shape. (Way better than my
401k 201k fer sure, fer sure.)
In fact, they are so afraid of promoting the basic, common-sense, simple policies that would reinforce Social Security that they lie about it knowing that the cuts they propose will almost surely send someone to poverty or their early death. US NEWS and World Report: Medicare, Social Security Literally Extend Lives.
Talk about pulling the plug on grandma........
If our policy makers had the guts to either raise the SSI maxout of about $106,000 (hey, let's raise it all the way to the top of the middle class' $250,000) or to tax all our poor, whiny, Don't-need-no-help-from-no-one, Pulled-myself-up-by-my-own-bootstraps, Except-for-that-small-SBA-loan Millionaire types at the pre-Bush level then we wouldn't be having this conversation and Social Security would be safe until all the Conventional-Wisdomeers in DC were dead, cold, and buried in Arlington.
Except we, and economists like Atrios and Paul Krugman, keep having to say the same thing over and over to gutless and lying politicians....ones exactly like Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, who are dying to cut your Social Security.