Archive for the ‘Social Security’ Category

Time to Retake Politics from the One Percent in Both Political Parties

November 29, 2011 8 comments

from Dean Baker

The country is still celebrating the inability of the supercommittee to cut Social Security and Medicare, but it is important to move on from this victory to retake control of the political debate from the 1 percent. As it stands, the 1 percent are insisting that the country genuflect over the non-problem of the budget deficit, at a time when tens of millions of workers are unemployed or underemployed, millions of people are facing the loss of their homes and tens of millions of baby boomers are approaching retirement with little other than their Social Security to support them. Read more…

The Supercommittee of the One Percent Goes Down in Flames

November 26, 2011 9 comments

from Dean Baker

Congress gave us a wonderful Thanksgiving present when we got word that the supercommitee was hanging up its capes. While many in the media were pushing the story of a dysfunctional Congress that could not get anything done, the exact opposite was true. The supercommittee was about finding a backdoor way to cut Social Security and Medicare, and create enough cover that Congress could get away with it.

It is important to remember the basic facts about the budget and the economy. Contrary to the conventional wisdom in Washington, it is easy to show (by looking at the website of the Congressional Budget Office) that we do not have a chronic deficit problem. In 2007, prior to the collapse of the housing bubble and the resulting economic downturn, the deficit was just 1.2 percent of GDP. Read more…

The Supercommittee should go really big and turn against The One Percent

November 23, 2011 4 comments

from Dean Baker

It looks the supercommittee is about to throw in the towel. Since the potential deals that had been discussed would have meant large cuts to Social Security, Medicare and other programs that the 99 percent depend upon, we should all be thankful.

In the world of the 1 percent that the supercommittee types inhabit, the big villains in the U.S. economy are not the rich who are pulling down an ever-larger share of national income, but rather the country’s older workers.  Read more…

The Myth of the Wealthy Elderly

November 15, 2011 3 comments

from Dean Baker

The austerity gang in the United States seeking cuts to Social Security and Medicare has been vigorously promoting the myth that the elderly are an especially affluent and privileged group. Their argument is that because of their relative affluence, cuts to the programs upon which they depend is a simple matter of fairness. There were two reports released last week that call this view into question. Read more…

The one percent turns class war into generational war

November 7, 2011 3 comments

from Dean Baker

Major news outlets like the Washington Post and National Public Radio constantly bombard us with news pieces on the budget deficit. Invariably these stories focus on the cost of “entitlements,” which most of us know as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The story pounded home in these pieces – often explicitly – is that these programs, that primarily benefit the elderly, are creating the basis for a generational war between the young and the old. Read more…

Supercommittee of the One Percent Won’t Even Think of Taxing Wall Street

October 31, 2011 8 comments

from Dean Baker

If anyone still questioned who owns Washington, the congressional supercommittee charged with reducing projected deficits by $1.2 trillion seems determined to end any doubts. According to press accounts, both the Republicans and Democrats on the committee support a plan to reduce average Social Security benefits by 3 percent.

While whacking our parents and grandparents with a big cut in Social Security benefits apparently draws bipartisan support, the supercommittee will not even score a plan to tax Wall Street financial speculation.  Read more…

Is Social Security a Ponzi Scheme? Is the Washington Post a Criminal Enterprise?

September 25, 2011 6 comments

from Dean Baker

Ever since Texas Governor Rick Perry attacked Social Security as a Ponzi scheme as an opening gambit in his presidential campaign we have been treated to a spirited debate in the media on the truth of this proposition. Those of us who consider this to be ill-informed nonsense that has the effect of misleading the public about the state of Social Security’s finances were told to lighten up. After all, what is wrong with debating the topic?  Read more…