Upcoming opportunities for screwing up Social Security.
After the the election there is probably going to be another budget fight. Social Security benefits will be on the table for compromises. Most of us DU folks probably would address any Social Security issues by raising or lifting the payroll tax cap.
But the Republicans are also going to propose benefit cuts. These could include raising the retirement age or changing the way the cost of living adjustments are calculated, by adopting something called a "chained CPI".
It's important to elect as many Democrats as possible. It's also important to keep an eye on the Democrats to make sure they do not cave in and compromise with the Republicans on any Social Security benefit cuts.
It would be nice to get all our Democratic candidates on the record now, before the election, stating they will not vote for these measures including raising the retirement age or adopting the chained CPI. This will help Democrats win elections by drawing a sharp contrast with the Republicans on this issue. Consider asking your candidates about these specific issues. It couldn't hurt to get a response in writing or on video.
Who remembers President Clinton's budget fights with Gingrich and company that actually led to a government shutdown? That was over cuts to Medicare, among other programs, that President Clinton refused to accept. Looking back it's one of the best things that he did. He took a stand for something. We ought to be ready to take a stand like that again. We shouldn't compromise away any benefits on Social Security or Medicare. These programs should not be on the table for negotiating with Republicans, some of whom openly admit they want to privatize or end the programs.
Some Democrats in Congress or in the Administration may like the idea of compromising on this and will start laying the groundwork for it now. So be skeptical when people start talking about how bad the gridlock is and the need bipartisan compromise with Republicans. Mr. Boehner has been very clear that he never compromises. All the compromising is one way.
Here's a recent news article about items that will be on the table for compromises after the election.
Social Security is ensnared in the same debate over taxes and spending that has gripped Washington for years. Liberal advocates and some Democrats say benefit cuts should be off the table. Conservative activists and some Republicans say tax increases are out of the question.
Others, including a deficit commission created by President Barack Obama in 2010, have called for a combination of tax increases and cuts to future benefits, including raising the retirement age again.
Janice Durflinger of Lincoln, Neb., is still working at age 76 running computer software programs for a bank. Still, she worries that a higher retirement age would be tough on people with more physically demanding jobs.
"No matter how much you exercise, age takes its toll," Durflinger said.
"One the table" clearly means things we are willing to trade away.
Maybe you could explain how cutting Social Security benefits is "solving problems"? To me it seems like creating problems.
If we can't get our Democrats on record saying stating they will not vote for these measures including raising the retirement age or adopting the chained CPI, then what do we do. Any suggestions?
Right now before the election is really our best chance to get them to make a commitment.
If any Democrats vote to cut Social Security benefits, I hope they will face a tough primary challenge next cycle.