Social Security


Republicans Announce Plans For Drastic Cuts To Social Security, Raise Retirement Age

GOP Insider Leaks Donald Trump's Secret Plan To Slash Social Security By News Corpse Monday May 30, 2016

On the subject of Social Security Trump has made his opposition to cuts in the program a stock part of his campaign repertoire. He boasts about his support for it despite being at variance with the official stance of the Republican Party. Paul Ryan, the GOP Speaker of the House of Representatives, has been proposing cuts and/or privatization for Social Security and Medicare for years.

Republicans have been taking heat for their eagerness to make seniors pay for the deficit that they ran up with tax cuts for the rich and two wars. Now they are understandably worried about being seen again as the enemies of Social Security, one of the most popular government programs in history.

It is a program that is often labeled an entitlement, although it is actually more of a savings plan that the beneficiaries paid into into during their working years.

But the more troubling part of this disclosure is that Trump is admitting that he is withholding his true position on the matter because of the political backlash that would ensue if voters knew what he really thinks.

It is a program that is often labeled an entitlement, although it is actually more of a savings plan that the beneficiaries paid into into during their working years. But the more troubling part of this disclosure is that Trump is admitting that he is withholding his true position on the matter because of the political backlash that would ensue if voters knew what he really thinks.

Clearly, for many years, Trump has held the belief that lying about his position on Social Security was a necessary deception to win elections. And he intends to continue the charade throughout his campaign. Even as he states publicly his support for Social Security, he has staffed his team of advisers with long-time opponents of the program. Sam Clovis and John Mashburn are two of Trump's advisers who have advocated for privatizing Social Security or converting it to a block grant program that would allow states to limit benefits.

Republicans Go After Social Security on Very First Day

Social Security an issue guide from Public Agenda


MYTH: Social Security is going broke and must be fixed, pronto...

"This is a Big Lie. It has been told and retold with growing urgency since the 1970s because Citigroup and other giant financial conglomerates have been drooling to get their fat, grubby hands on this $1.5 trillion trust fund. They have lobbied, funded hokey think-tank "studies," planted media stories, created front groups (Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation is their current one), and poured money into scores of congress critters willing to carry their water -- and now they have the enthusiastic backing of W, who says the partical privatization of the Social Security Trust Fund is necessary in order to "save" it and will be one of his top priorities next year...

...according to the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office, Social Security is financially sound through at least 2052. It is fully capable of meeting all obligations to us future retirees for the next 48 years without making any changes in the system at all. What bank or corporation can claim to be as solid?" (Jim Hightower and Phillip Frazer, eds. "Fables, Flim-Flam, and Urban Legends of Our Time." The Hightower Lowdown, 1-4).


"Allowing people to invest even a small fraction of their Social Security taxes in the stock market would bring huge profits to investment companies...

"...investment companies and the Fortune 500 are funneling millions of dollars in seed money to thing tanks, 'grassroots' organizations, and politicians friendly to the ideas of privatization...

"...if Bush's privatization plan goes through. Wall Street companies stand to gain as much as $75 billion a year...

"Republicsn have sparked an outcry about an impending crisis in Social Security... Do not be deceived.

"The crisis is confected... the system is solvent until 2042... the so-called crisis is decades away... most of the baby boomers will be dead by 2042... when that year finally does arrive... Social Security would still be able to meet 75 percent of its obligations to its retirees... To make up the last quarter would be relatively easy...

"...one alternative is to raise the ceiling on taxable wages. At the moment... no Social Security taxes are paid on income earned above $87,900... Raising the ceiling even to $110,000, Baker and Rosnick say, would eliminate a huge chunk of the deficit that will arrive either in 2042 or 2052...

"Bush's privatization effort, far from "reforming" Social Security, would actually drain it of revenues, increase the national debt, and put at risk the savings of those individuals who opt for speculating in the stock market... it would also imperil the promise of a secure retirement for people of every age group...

"Diverting just two percentage points of payroll taxes would create a gap of up to $2 trillion over the first ten years... To finance that huge gap, Bush would have to choose either to raise taxes or to put the government further in debt...

"The idea that Bush would add on to the federal deficit... is not going down well with some of his fellow Republicans... about 10 percent of Republicans in the House oppose Bush's privatization scheme. If they hold their ground, it could be a dead letter" ("Save Social Security." The Progressive, January, 2005: 8-10)


"The President's main pitch is that [privatized] accounts will yield higher returns than Social Security does... These claims are mostly bad math, faulty logic and deception...

"...private accounts will cost about ten times as much to administer as in the current system if they're handled through a single government-managed system. If Wall Street gets its hands on this money, with everyone going to his or her local bank or brokerage house--as is the case with the privatized systems in England and Chile--the costs could be thirty times as high as the cost of our Social Security system... [and] will provide no better returns on average than the government bonds currently held by the Social Security trust fund. The accounts just add risk--individuals may invest poorly or retire during a market downturn, leaving them with much less money than they'd have under the current system" ("Anti-Social Security." The Nation, Dec. 27, 2004: 4-5).


"Social Security is the ONLY income for one-fifth of retirees, and it is the principal source of income for two out of three retired Americans...

"The deteriorating condition of corporate pensions is an almost daily political scandal--though usually reported only in the business pages--as companies dump retirees and workers" ("Retirement Security Fight." The Nation, Feb. 21, 2005: 3).


"Resigned to the fact that Social Security will have to be dismantled because it's in such terrible, awful trouble, headed toward bankruptcy the day after tomorrow? Well, the $10 trillion in unfunded liabilities they keep talking about sure sounds like a load of trouble. Except that it's a completely phony number. Not based on what will happen in 25 years or 50 or 75, but on infinity. Forever and ever.

"President Bush says "the crisis is now" and Social Security will go into the red as of 2018. Eeek, just 13 years from now -- we might actually live that long. Except ... nobody else says that. The Social Security trustees, paid to be professional gloom-mongers on this subject, say it's good until 2042, and the conservative estimate by the Congressional Budget Office is 2052 -- not before Social Security goes broke, but before Social Security has to dip into its trust fund. Get a grip" (Molly Ivins. "These people are slicker than bus station chili." Free Press, January 11, 2005. http://www.freepress.org/columns/display/1/2005/1040).


Q: How many Bush Administration officials does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its conditions are improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandescence are a delusional spin from the liberal media. That light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effect. Why do you hate freedom?

(Unknown Source: email, 2-18-05)


"And as [Bush] did in his preparation for war against Iraq, so he is doing now with Social Security: He is creating a false crisis. According to a new Congressional Budget Office report, Social Security is fully solvent to the year 2052" ("Bush's Bitter Deal." The Progressive, March 2005: 8).


"Kevin G. Hall had the honor and honesty to report that the President was seeking to destroy Social Security on the basis of calculations that were transparently phony. He wrote, "President Bush's warning that Social Security faces a looming financial crisis is based on the assumption that the U.S. economy will grow by only 1.8 percent each year, on average, for most of the next 75 years. Since 1950, the U.S. economy has grown, on average, by 3.5 percent per year." However, he noted, "If the economy continued to grow over the next 50 years at a rate anywhere near the past pace, Social Security wouldn't face a financial crisis, though it would require small adjustments to balance its income and costs"" (Eric Alterman. "Better Red Than Dead?" The Nation, Feb. 28, 2005: 11).


"Nebraska, West Virginia, Montana, Michigan, Ohio, and Florida have tried shifting their public employees into do-it-yourself, private retirement accounts, but the efforts failed. Once employees saw the plans, few took the bait. Those that did generally ended up with lower benefits than they would've gotten from the public system. Likewise, the rush to privatize pensions in Chile, England, and elsewhere has not ended happily. In Chile the government now has to pour billions of dollars annually into the private system, for it can't provide enough benefits to poor workers to assure even basic needs, and middle-class retirees find that hidden fees in the private accounts take as much as a third of the money they had put into them, leaving retirees with far less than they would've gotten under the public system. England's 20-year run with its privatized system has produced fraudulent brokers, exorbitant fees, taxpayer bailouts, and the harsh reality that at least 75 percent of those with private accounts will not have enough in them at retirement time for "adequate pensions"" (Jim Hightower. "Wailing, Wallowing, Whining." Texas Observer, April 29, 2005: 15).


"There is no need to solve the Social Security problems with a raise of taxes or a cut in benefits. There might not even be a need to raise taxes from those earning over $90,000. There is a better solution.

"Get more tax money from those on the bottom of the pay scale. Yes, raise the minimum wage. The workers will appreciate the increased wages and the Social Security trust fund and Medicare will become solvent again with the increased payroll taxes.

"Some 30% of the work force now earn less than $8 an hour. These are the people who can save the Social Security "crisis." (And they are the ones who benefit most from the Social Security checks later.) They haven't received a raise in eight years" (Letters. Progressive Populist, May 1, 2005: 4).


"There is no need to solve the Social Security problems with a raise of taxes of a cut in benefits. There might not even be a need to raise taxes from those earning over $90,000. There is a better solution.

"Get more tax money from those on the bottom of the pay scale. Yes, raise the minimum wage. The workers will appreciate the increased wages and the Social Security trust fund and Medicare will become solvent again with the increased payroll taxes.

"Some 30% of the work force now earn less than $8 an hour. These are the people who can save the Social Security "crisis." (And they are the one who benefit most from the Social Security checks later.) They haven't received a raise in eight years" (Letters. Populist Progressive, May 1, 2005: 4).


"Social Security could be very good if only one small change were made.

"That change would be to jerk the Golden Fleece Retirement Plan from under the Senators and Congressmen. Put them into the Social Security plan with the rest of us ... then sit back and watch how fast they would fix it.

"If enough people receive this, maybe a seed of awareness will be planted and maybe good changes will evolve.

"How many people can YOU send this to?

"Keep this going clear up thru the 2004 election!! We need to be heard" (email crossposted 8-5-04).


Colby Glass, MLIS