by Randy Shannon
November 12, 2010
Congressman Jason Altmire addressed a meeting organized by the Pennsylvania Alliance of Retired Americans to celebrate the birthday of Social Security on September 1, 2010 at the Community College of Beaver County. The purpose of the meeting was to ask Altmire to pledge to defend social security against any proposed cuts from the Deficit Commission. Altmire refused to make such a pledge.
The corporate Democrats, including Blue Dog Altmire, are trying to conflate the issue of the deficit with social security. They are blowing up a small problem with social security into a paper tiger to cover their plan to steal the Social Security Trust funds to finance the deficit caused by the tax cuts for the wealthy, the wars, and the bank bailout.
The Social Security Trust Fund has a $2 trillion surplus that will grow over the next few years due to interest payments even though the recession has caused a drop in tax revenues. The surplus is designed to cover the retiring baby boomer generation. The little problem is that in 35 years this surplus will be all paid out and the fund will only be able to pay 80% of the planned distributions. The solution to this problem is simple. Raise the cap on income subject to the social security tax. Of course the financial elite oppose paying their fair share of taxes.
In any case this Social Security future shortfall is not a problem that needs to be solved right now. And it is not a problem that has any relationship whatsoever with the deficit. Social security is funded by a direct tax. The money in the trust fund is lent to the government by buying special social security bonds. The US government must pay these bonds just like all the other bonds that it has sold around the world.
In this video ( that unfortunately has poor sound quality) I queried Congressman Altmire on this point. My question, which is cut off at the beginning, was: “Regardless of the deficit, do you have any concern and do you have any plans to address the expected shortfall in social security payments 35 years from now.” The purpose of this question is to show that Altmire’s plan to, as he says “consider the whole recommendation of the deficit commission” is part of the corporate elite’s agenda to confuse social security with the deficit.
In his answers Altmire conflates the issue of social security with the issue of the deficit. By default he admits that he has no actual concern about social security and no plans to address any future problems of social security. His concern and his plan is how to safely steal our money to pay for the deficit created by the bankers. This depends on confusing the public and twisting the arms of all the politicians to sign on to the scam.
A big thank you to PDA Vice President, retired IBEW member, and South Heights Councilman Robert Schmetzer for recording and publishing this video document.