Happy Birthday, SS!

August 14th, 2012 at 1:23 pm

We usually don’t do birthday announcements around here but I’m going to make an exception for a dear old friend who turns 77 today.

As you’d expect with someone her age, she needs a little medical attention, but surprisingly little for someone who has been so active.  You see, instead of sitting around growing old, she takes care of all of her fellow retirees, not to mention others facing a tough road, including disabled folks and kids from families who’ve lost their breadwinner (that’s how I first met her).

She’s always worked for the government, but a lot of her friends in the private sector who provided the same kind help for retirees are no longer around.  And yet, despite her continued effectiveness relative to her private counterparts, some people want to take her out of the public sector and turn her guarantee of help for all comers into a risky bet on the stock market.

But with a little bit of our help, this old friend can keep doing exactly what she’s been doing for a whole lot more years.

So, Happy Birthday, Social Security!  We’re really glad you’re around and we’re going to do everything we can to keep it that way.

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3 comments in reply to "Happy Birthday, SS!"

  1. jim says:

    Yes. Happy birthday. But the truth is that Bowles-Simpson, supported by large numbers of democrats and appointed by Obama, plans on slashing the program. I’m so sick of listening to Obama posture as the great defender of the common man when he’s actually offered major reductions to these programs in his “negotiations” with congress.

    My opinion of him would begin to change if he came out and committed to NO benefit cuts to either program. Of course he won’t because his politics put him comfortably with the Bowles crowd.

  2. jim says:

    Here’s an email I sent to the White House today. I firmly believe that all who truly appose inequality and favor Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid should consider making similar demands during this election season.

    Dear Mr. Obama,

    At a time of feudal like inequality and ever declining living standards, I take great offense at the fully bi-partisan attack on vital programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The Republican agenda is truly disgusting of course, yet the politics imbedded in Bowles-Simpson is almost equally so and stands a far greater chance of being implemented.

    The Bowles-Simpson agenda, produced by a committee you created, calls for the increase in the Medicare eligibility age and other drastic benefit cuts. It slashes “top tier” future Social Security benefits from $34,092 to $24,624 and reduces benefits for everyone outside of the bottom 20%.

    It is well known that you offered drastic cuts in your negotiations with congress and they failed only because of Republican refusal to raise taxes. Average workers, it would seem, were saved by the Republicans!

    I hereby inform you that I will not vote for you in this upcoming election unless you publicly proclaim you will reject ANY benefit cuts to these vital programs. This, of course, applies to current as well as all future beneficiaries. I will no longer blindly vote for the “lesser evil”.

    Social Security can quite easily be “saved” without cutting benefits which, averaging just $1,200 per month, are among the lowest in the OECD. Health care will certainly require going against the many vested interests that cause our health system to be the most expensive by far in the world. But the solution cannot be to reduce care for our parents, grandparents, and, it can’t be forgotten, the younger generations who will eventually need the exact same care. It’s not remotely an issue just for “seniors”.

    Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are of course not the only issues we face and I object to many of your other policies – endless war, violations of basic constitutional civil rights, lack of a concerted effort for the environment, and a near absent program for guaranteeing jobs for all, to name but a few.

    But inequality is such a danger to our democratic society, I feel it’s necessary now to draw a firm line with these extremely basic programs and demand an unwavering support from any politician for whom I could conceivably cast a vote.


    Jim O’Reilly

  3. Fred Donaldson says:

    We need a guaranteed minimum universal retirement and disability plan in this country – in addition to Social Security. By subsidizing those, who contributed little or nothing into the working folks fund, the appearance is that Social Security doesn’t work fairly.

    Such a minimum pension/disability guarantee would be paid by general revenues – insuring at least some of the rich an opportunity to do their “shared sacrifice,” unlike today’s situation where bond clippers pay nothing into Social Security’s guaranteed or regular portion.

    People, who contributed into Social Security, would earn exactly what they deserved without today’s regression penalty, and those who needed help would get it. FICA tax would certainly be allowed reduction, even if benefits were raised.