Saturday, September 17, 2011

It can't be said better.....

Social Security is not a retirement account, it’s an anti-poverty program that provides some dignity to seniors.
via Balloon Juice... Nicolas Wilbur at Muddy Politics

It is structured as a mandatory personal retirement account with mandatory employer contributions to provide the "Security" part of the name. The funds are husbanded by the government to insulate them from losses that would be incurred along with gains from ordinary private investment accounts. Hence, again, the "Security" part of the name.

The "Social" Part?

See that red line? See where it drops from the highest poverty rate (over 1/3!!) to the lowest poverty rate? That's Social Security and Medicare. Screw with it in any of the ways the Republican Party is publicly advocating, such as making its funding mechanism individually insecure (private accounts) or increasing eligibility ages (for Social Security or Medicare) and you are headed back to the territory where seniors have the highest poverty rates. They need to make THAT case. Why should we do that? Or, maybe, we shouldn't do that....

The simple fix for Social Security is to raise the income cap. Given that even the low inflation rates in the long run have had significant effects, that, like fixing the Alternative Minimum Tax just makes sense. And then that is fixed and we aren't talking about condemning Grandma and Grandpa to a short, nasty retirement in poverty as a fix anymore, which is just stupid anyway. But that doesn't starve the beast until it can be drowned in a bathtub. And now you know why they don't want to make that case. So why do we want to starve THIS beast? It serves us and has served us well.

Starving the beast only makes sense when 'government' is an undefined bogeyman of undefined evilness. Good government makes our lives better. Less government does not equal good government unless it does, but they will not discuss whether this or that makes life better because then the 'beast' becomes 'cow, horse, dog' not 'wolf, minotaur, cyclops' and the picture of what tax cuts for all do for you and me becomes clear. Only the amoral and powerful thrive in an anarchy.