Beaver County Blue

Progressive Democrats of America – PA 12th CD Chapter

Altmire and Republicans Weaken Social Security with Tax Deal

Posted by randyshannon on December 8, 2010

Senator Bernie Sanders

Congressman Jason Altmire is supporting Republican efforts to undermine social security by reducing the social security payroll tax, which goes to savings, instead of the income tax which goes to spending. This will undermine the trust fund’s stability, and justify the Republican’s demand to cut benefits.

Please call Altmire’s office and demand “Hands off Social Security.”

Join us for a noon vigil on Wednesday December 15th.

See the two articles below by Sen. Bernie Sanders and by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security.

by Senator Bernie Sanders

President Obama is right about one thing — Republicans in Congress are holding the middle class hostage.

We have a $13.8 trillion national debt, a collapsing middle class and the most unequal distribution of wealth of any major country. With all this in mind, Republicans in Congress say they will block tax cuts to the middle class and block unemployment benefits to more than two million families unless the President gives huge tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires.

Their behavior is morally bankrupt. It is reprehensible.

But instead of challenging the Republicans for their absurd demands and their outrageous tactics, the President gave them virtually everything they wanted.

I cannot and will not support this deal. I will do everything I can to uphold the promise made to the American people to end the Bush tax cuts for the rich.

One of the most under-reported parts of this deal is a cut to the Social Security payroll tax. In just one year, over $120 billion of revenue will be cut from Social Security under the President’s compromise plan, weakening the program and virtually guaranteeing benefit cuts in the future.

Make no mistake about it. Social Security has not added one dime to the national debt and this cut will only embolden Republican attempts to privatize the program and increase the age of retirement. Social Security is a vital safety net for all Americans and a cornerstone of our commitment to protect the middle class.

We are not alone in standing against this compromise. Republicans are holding the middle class hostage and the American people know it. I come from a small state and yesterday my office received more than 1,000 calls on this issue, with over 90% of them in opposition to this deal.

Last night, thousands of DFA members joined me on DFA Live where we had a lively discussion on this issue. One thing was clear to me during that call — DFA members nationwide want Democrats to stop this deal and fight for the middle class, working people, senior citizens and the unemployed while making sure that millionaires and billionaires are not given massive tax breaks.

Cutting contributions to Social Security Signals the Beginning of the End

By NCPSSM | December 7, 2010
Payroll Tax “Holiday” is Anything But

“Even though Social Security contributed nothing to the current economic crisis, it has been bartered in a deal that provides deficit busting tax cuts for the wealthy. Diverting $120 billion in Social Security contributions for a so-called ‘tax holiday’ may sound like a good deal for workers now but it’s bad business for the program that a majority of middle-class seniors will rely upon in the future.”… Barbara B. Kennelly, President/CEO

Conservatives have long dreamed of a payroll tax holiday because it fulfills two ideological goals, lower taxes and weakening Social Security’s finances. The White House claims the 2% payroll tax cut won’t impact Social Security; however, we disagree.

• There’s no such thing as a “temporary” tax Cut. If Congress is unwilling to allow tax cuts for wealthy Americans to expire in the midst of economic crisis now, then why would it allow this so-called “holiday” to end in one year? The short answer–it wouldn’t. Americans should expect that when this tax “holiday” ends, restoring Social Security’s funding will be portrayed by those opposed to the program as a massive tax hike, rather than the legislated end of the “holiday”. That leaves Social Security permanently dependent on general fund revenues rather than worker contributions which have successfully funded the program for 75 years. If extended, this payroll tax cut would then double Social Security’s 75 year projected shortfall.

• This 2% payroll tax cut is the beginning of the end of Social Security as we know it. Worker contributions have successfully funded the program for 75 years and that critical linkage between contributions and benefits is what keeps Social Security a self-funded program. Proposals like this threaten the program’s independence, forcing Social Security to compete for limited federal dollars.

• Cutting contributions to Social Security isn’t the best way to stimulate the economy. The Tax Policy Center reports the wealthiest 40% of households benefit most from a payroll tax cut. According to The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, extending the “Making Work Pay Tax Credit” is a much better and targeted stimulus.

For all of these reasons, the National Committee does not support proposals to cut the payroll tax. America’s seniors understand the vital role Social Security plays during these difficult economic times and they’re not willing to trade promises of possible short-term economic gains for real and measurable damage to this vital program which would impact generations of Americans to come.

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