"Hell is other people"

Rethuglicans: All Your Social Security Belonging to Me!!!

I’ve been seeing this for awhile now, scary headlines about Republicans wanting to take old people’s benefits and give it all to rich GOP donors, so I decided to investigate. Here is the crux of it, from one website:

Republicans plan chokes Medicare and Social Security by raising the eligibility age.  

Government has done this before. Was there such an outcry then?

Does raising eligibility age really “choke” medicare and social security? Overblown hyperbole like this is why we can’t have rational conversations about important topics.

Here is a demographic fact:

Average life expectancy is in the high 70’s now. It was in the high 50’s to low 60’s when Social Security came online and set the eligibility age to 65.

Is Social Security Going Broke?

Even serious articles with headlines like this..

No, Social Security Isn’t Going Bankrupt

…end up saying this:

Social Security will not be depleted in 2033—the OASI Trust Fund would be. And should that happen, retirees would still receive approximately 76% of their benefits.

That’s because your monthly check is paid for by the payroll taxes of current workers as well as from the trust. In other words, as long as there are Americans working and paying taxes, Social Security will continue to pay out benefits, even if they’re somewhat reduced from current levels.

Feel better now? Such articles go on to admit that political action is needed to save the system.

Politicians will need to address the problem, either through benefit cuts or tax hikes. Evidence suggests Americans may prefer the latter.

The Social Security program is not paying for itself. It is untouchable, in the category of “Mandatory Spending (70% of the federal budget when including interest payments).” It is also off-budget and not counted in most government spending and debt calculations, despite congress using its “lock box” like a cookie jar.

You can read the 2022 Social Security and Medicare Trustees’ Report summary here. It ain’t pretty:

• The Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund, which pays retirement and survivors benefits, will be able to pay scheduled benefits on a timely basis until 2034, one year later than reported last year. At that time, the fund’s reserves will become depleted and continuing tax income will be sufficient to pay 77 percent of scheduled benefits.

• The Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund, or Medicare Part A, which helps pay for services such as inpatient hospital care, will be able to pay scheduled benefits until 2028, two years later than reported last year. At that time, the fund’s reserves will become depleted and continuing total program income will be sufficient to pay 90 percent of total scheduled benefits.

I’m not defending Republicans. Both parties are little more than clown cars spilling over with crapweasels, liars and chiselers, but we need to have adult conversations about serious topics affecting our nation.

What say you?

%d bloggers like this: