Monday, September 28, 2009

We don't do socialism anymore, Comrade

The latest trick from corporate America is to force out workers that are 62 plus so that they don’t count as unemployed rather they are "retired". This is creating a surge in social security claims that will put the system in the red for the first time since the Reagan recession. Reagan then doubled the tax, the biggest tax increase ever. A tax that was levied on the poor and middle class; the rich don’t pay anything on the "rich" part of their income (no flat tax for them).

Current revenue is also down as wages are being depressed and also from having 30 million people out of work. Claims filed for retirement or disability under Social Security rose 900,000 over the previous year for the fiscal year ending this month. This trend will only accelerate as more people exhaust their unemployment benefits in the so called jobless recovery. Extensions to benefits passed by Congress only apply in about half of the states. Another big advantage to retirement is that you can get single payer health insurance from the government (shhh, don’t tell the kids).

There are in fact trillions of dollars in the Social Security reserve fund, but Reagan, Bush and Bush stole that money, so more money will have to be borrowed to replace the empty fund. Bush called the special Treasury Bonds issued for this purpose worthless paper. It’s the truth if you accept the premise that the Republicans have destroyed our economy and government. He would know, since he was instrumental in making that so.

The right-wingers are throwing a self righteous fit, "we told you that Social Security would go broke and should be put in the stock market, wait, wait, we mean we told you it should be put in real estate, wait, we mean it should be in Treasury Bonds (it already is in Treasury Bonds)... well, err, aaa, we told you so!" The Social Security Adm. says it will even out again in about two years as corporations run out of people to push into retirement, of course they are assuming the economy won’t get worse.

Just the same the same the corporate media is pushing the notion that Congress needs to "fix" Social Security by slashing benefits, raising the retirement age and increasing taxes even though the only problem is the looted treasury. Repealing the Reagan tax cuts would fix all our problems but since the top 1% now own more than the bottom 90%, don’t hold your breath. We’re approaching the distribution of wealth ratio they had in the old Soviet Union where the party elite effectively "owned" almost everything. At least there everybody got health care and a pension. I guess we can’t expect that, Comrade.


Fake_William_Shatner said...

Prairie 2 -- you ought to get on the phone with Mike Malloy and be part of the show. You really do a good job of encapsulating the issues and the back and forth would be even better than him just reading your posts.

>>Yeah, Social Security is in trouble -- but only because of Republican looting. It was solvent and made so on the backs of the Middle Class -- most of which are still ignorant that Reagan raised MORE taxes on them than he lowered when you couple the doubling of SS payments with the Self-Employment tax.

>> "Monte Pytho's Flying Circus" once had a skit with news reporters interviewing the two political parties in England and a third called the "Clown Party." I always thought it a bit over the top -- until the past 8 years that is, when our media still interviews drooling fools who should be getting effective meds from a single payer plan that keeps it affordable.

The system is on the verge of collapse -- it's as if there were a Pro-Asteroid party, and we were debating blowing up a rock that might end life on earth and the fools were talking about the price tag and fitting in tax breaks. The unborn they are so frothy to protect (up to the moment when they breathe air and become a burden), have more than double the mercury levels of 10 years ago. We need to protect our kids from people who are too cheap to pay for school lunches but are OK with letting Pizza Hut sell them the meal.

The business as usual sell-out to corporations, and passing the buck to the future to actually deal with Global Warming -- it's myopic suicide. There are too many economic, environmental and societal problems being made worse by these fools to count.

The Conservatives must know the US has no real enemies -- because their actions that require us to borrow from China and sell our weapons and nuclear secrets to Iran, certainly seems a bit more trusting than this Peace-loving Progressive would be -- and I LIKE Iran and its people. But nobody has done more to further their nuclear ambitions than George Bush -- and why is nobody noticing the production technology going to Dubai and the Saudis? They are nominal allies currently -- but why are we allowing them to get the bomb?

It's not a serious question -- it's all about the money they spent on our politicians, and Iran is in hot water for not hooking enough Senators on drugs and sex workers -- I can't really think of any strategic threat they pose.

PitchingDoc said...

Love your posts, prairie2. I hear them first on Malloy and then visit your site to read the blog post again.

MY QUESTION REGARDING SOCIAL SECURITY: Is the same solution for our declining workforce numbers and increase Social Security obligations to restore the taxes on the top 1%?

The right always give the argument that "Social Security is broken" and give the stat that more will be on SS than those working to fund SS and it always seems to make sense.

But if we repeal the tax cuts that will keep SS solvent?

prairie2 said...

If nothing is done, in about 2040 benefits will have to be reduced to 80% for a number of years as the Baby Boomers pass through the system. But benefits should be 70% higher than current rates because the Republicans have rigged the system for computing the Consumer Price Index. Eliminating the exemption for the rich would increase the revenue dramatically. I can't remember the number but I think its probably enough that you could raise the benefit to what it should be. Then there is the revenue loss from them having destroyed the economy and depressing wages....

SanMigMike said...

The numbers have been played with for years by both parties but as you might expect the Republicans have done a better job at it. Keeping the numbers artificially low has of course affected Social Security payments but also military and civil service pay as well as a lot of union contracts. In other words helped a handful of people and hurt a large part of the population...the same part that all too many join in the Republican chants about keeping the government out of Social Security and other such nonsense.

I keep wondering why the same people that claim that the government runs things so badly, using the Post Office as an example (ignoring the facts the the Republicans have played games with the Post Office for years to make it look bad) but then claim that the government will do such a good job on health insurance...that the free market people will not be able compete. I don't understand!? Is it like gay sex, so wonderful and hot that once you try it you will never settle for straight the world according to the Crazy Right?