Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 18 Share on Twitter 3 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/16/20

Truly Remaking Social Security is the Key to Having a Livable Society in the US

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   6 comments
Author 63
Message Dave Lindorff
Become a Fan
  (89 fans)

Expand Social Security Press Conference
Expand Social Security Press Conference
(Image by AFGE)
  Details   DMCA

By Dave Lindorff

Social Security is back in the news, as both Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg, two emblematic one-percenter oligarchs, raise the issue of its future as part of their campaign strategy.

Trump (a faux wannabe billionaire) has put Americans on notice that while he may have promised during his 2016 campaign "not to touch" the New Deal's most lasting legacy program, on which some 70 million Americans - the elderly and the disabled as well as dependent children of those dependent upon Social Security rely during his term of office as president, he is ready to start hacking away in a second term. His first target: benefits for the disabled.

Meanwhile, Michael Bloomberg, America's eighth-richest man with $62 billion in assets at last count (minus the third of a billion has just spent so far on an ads-only campaign for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination), is promising to "strengthen" and "improve" Social Security if he becomes the country's first oligarch/president.

But before we get all excited about improved Social Security, let's consider what that could mean. First of all, most of the time when US politicians, like Bloomberg, talk about "strengthening" or "improving" social security, they are actually talking about making it harder to get, by for example raising the full-retirement age for receiving benefits, or adopting a cost-of-living metric that further reduces that adjustment made for inflation each year, so that actual benefits decline gradually over time with no actual numerical cut in the dollar amounts received.

As things stand the CPI measure used for adjusting Social Security benefits for inflation is an index designed to reflect the costs experienced by urban service workers, not the elderly. For the current year benefits were raised 1.6%, a ludicrously low amount by any standard, but wholly unlike the inflation that the elderly, whose major expenses are for food, housing and healthcare, have actually been hit with. (According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, food prices rose 1.9% in that year, housing costs rose 2.9% and health care costs rose 2%.) Many politicians in Congress, especially Republicans (Bloomberg's party of choice from 2000 until 2018) want to use something called a "chained CPI) which would vastly lower inflation adjustments by substituting a cheaper product whenever one included in the index rises substantially in price, the theory being that low-income consumers will shift to a cheaper product as prices rises for example switching from beef to chicken as meat prices rise, or from a car to a bus if car prices and/or fuel prices rise.)

So beware of those talking of "strengthening" Social Security without reading all the fine print!

But beyond that, let's consider how inadequate Social Security really is as things now stand.

So-called think tank "experts" and politicians, Republican and Democratic, are wont to remind us all the time that Social Security "was never intended to be a primary pension" for Americans""

For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the uncompromised, collectively run, six-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site, please go to: https://thiscantbehappening.net/truly-remaking-social-security-is-the-key-to-having-a-liveable-society-in-the-us/

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Dave Lindorff Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Israel's Gaza Atrocities Recall America's Atrocities in Vietnam

Supreme Court Junket King Scalia Dies While Vacationing with Wealthy Patrons at Private West Texas Getaway

Looming climate catastrophe?: A Rapidly Warming Arctic Could Loose a Methane Climate Bomb Causing Extinction in 9 Years

Something's happening here: Clinton's Crumbling, Bernie's Surging and a 'Political Revolution' May Be in the Offing

The Case for Impeachment of President Barack Obama

Barack Obama: Manchurian Candidate Version 2.0

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: