Today’s Crazy Train article is going to be about Social Security Income (SSI). There is a well focused and well funded media campaign trying to achieve multiple goals, and all of them not good if you aren’t incredibly wealthy. Because otherwise you, or someone you love are going to need to rely on SSI for something.
Let’s look at a few of the myths:
SSI adds to the deficit – This, of all the negative statements about SSI, makes the maddest. We have all these crazy “deficit nuts” out there screaming that SSI is causing our country to go further into the red. This is just a bald faced lie and I wish everyone who ever said this would be treated to a little enhanced interrogation. SSI runs a surplus, and will for many years to come. The truth is in the publicly available trustees report. SSI is solvent for multiple decades to come, and even then – it would be able to pay 80% of the benefits without taking a dollar from the general fund.
So why are people lying about SSI? – OMG, this is so hard to believe but some blood sucking rich guy wants to make billions, maybe trillions off of our stable, well run, and life saving SSI. If they can make believe that SSI is in trouble and sell us on privatization, they can get huge management fees off our hard earned SSI dollars. It will reduce the amount of money to be paid out, but hey, the rich guys will get a huge cut of what they don’t have right now, so that’s okay right?
They will argue that privatization will allow better management, but where is the data to support that. We have data showing that the pensions which have been prioritized have made those fund managers rich but haven’t increased the value to the shareholders. Meaning we got the shaft and rich guys get to pocket the difference. It happened that way in Poland and we saw the same thing in my home state of New Jersey. The fund managers made a fortune, but we didn’t see a gain in terms of the net value.
So why privatize SSI? Because rich guys see a huge pile of cash they can’t get too, and who needs more money if it isn’t the rich guys?
SSI is a ponzy scheme – I’m going to keep this on short. Don’t be dumb and listen to right wing hate, this is just another bullet point for them to try and achieve goal #1 above.
SSI is should be like a 401K – They want to make SSI a personal retirement account and allow some degree of variance in payments and choice of investments (depending on who you are getting the proposal from). So why is this so bad? Lets start with a simple basic fact. The people who need SSI the most are usually the poorest and the oldest, and may of them may have a gap in income because of disability and or age related issues (at both ends of the spectrum, the young and the old).
How does this help the rich? (Which is really the question you should ask when trying to figure out why these proposals are what they are.) First of all someone needs to manage these types of accounts, and that means massive management fees. Secondly, this could actually be structured as a tax haven for dollars that are now theirs, not dollars that go into the general fund. They don’t really care about us, or your grandma, or your cousin who is disabled, they just don’t want a single penny of theirs to feed or care for someone they consider a taker.
SSI is solvent for the near future and should not be privatized. If you want to fix SSI lets remove the income cap on the tax. Tell me a single valid argument as to why someone making a 108+ a year should stop paying into SSI? Oh, I know, because the rich guy shouldn’t have to pay into it because he’s less likely to need it. It is funny how they throw that argument up on this front, but if I start to point that that the military budget should then be a tax based on your net worth, they go nuts. If I have a bigger house my security system costs more. If I have a billion dollars, or a trillion dollar company, lets divide up all the costs for national security each year and whatever % of wealth you have, you pay that as your tax on those dollars spent.
Oh, wait, that would be unfair for some reason – because the rich guy would pay less. But when paying less benefits him its fair.
Vote, don’t let the working class be ground to dust!