Many of us who White House staffers have in the past called "THE PROFESSIONAL LEFT" disagree heartily with Mr. Lawrence (one more rich guy) assessment for why the poor should suffer more.
The argument for cutting the modest $1,230* average monthly benefit to balance the budget neglects more that a few critical facts. Foremost is that Social Security's paltry less than generous payments to seniors has never impacted the National Debt. Instead, we might more productively examine, no bid contracts run like grease through the pentagon's golden goose, three UNFUNDED WARS, and a MULTI-TRILLION dollar investment in CORRUPT BANKERS, the LIBOR RIGGERS and the FREE RANGE Criminals that Run Wild on Wall Street.
Lest we forget these benefits are entirely self-funded payments. NOT ON BORROWED CHINESE DEBT, like the Bush/Obama Wars and Mr. Paulson's GIVEAWAYS. Mr. O'Donnell summoned the Olympian names of Social Security's founders Ms. Frances Perkins and President Roosevelt, only to claim they would be SHOCKED SHOCKED at the luxurious cost of living increases which had not been anticipated as the program was originally conceived. Since the average monthly payment would barely break the poverty level** it can hardly be called overgenerous even if it was UNTAXED. (yes Virginia they do TAX Social Security Income). Mr. O'Donnell (I love it when the rich offer their insight on how the poor over-reach) also informed us that President Roosevelt only intended that Social Security protect the poor from destitution. He wanted no able man of 60-70-80 or 90 on the dole. Mr. President hated "the dole", said Colonel Larry.
He said, it would mean that those who earned more and paid more, would not get the benefit of their higher pay-in. (I supposed he's forgotten that the reason they could pay in more was because they were earning more that the $113,000 per year where the cap rests so jauntily.) And obviously regardless of the desire to take benefits away from those whose only income is that 1200 per month.
We can't take any more money from the highest earners. Let us not be unfair to the rich. It's so much easier to make the poor suffer.
I cannot summon the crocodile tears for individuals too wealthy to benefit from a sum, that is less than what they pay their maid from the Philippines. (When they remember to pay her.) Sorry, Larry if lifting that ill-fitting cap would increase the funds available to feed, clothe, house and care for seniors who have not benefited from the pillaging of the working class, I'm all for it. Not everybody benefits from their offshore tax haven. Some of us, in Leona Helmsly's apt phrase are the "little people" for whom laws and even tax laws are written.
Finally his argument that this was not intended as a dole, as if somehow helping the needy was not on Mr. Roosevelt's agenda. Mr. O'Donells high moral purpose of defending the economically irrelevant yet hurtful cuts our beloved Community Activist President would place on Social Security's modest payments to seniors sounds tinny on these working class ears. No generous pension awaits most Americans. No balloon payments or golden parachutes cushion those of us, who have been downsized and outsourced until we are forced as in a former IT Specialist of my acquaintance recently told me - She's taken a job from an Indian Firm who has outsourced an Indian Job, to an under employed American who is forced to under sell Indian high tech labor.
I doff my Social Security Cap to you! Thanks for the tip.
* From the Social Security Administration [http://alturl.com/xradh]
** University of Michigan National Poverty Center [http://npc.umich.edu/poverty/]
*** Currently, only wages below $113,700 are subject to the 6.2 percent tax that funds Social Security benefits. That means someone earning $1 million will pay the same amount in Social Security taxes - $7,049 - as someone earning $113,700. [ http://alturl.com/m5sjm ]
The Last Word