Category Archives: safety net

‘Third Way’ Dems and the Road to Perdition

Why Any Deal to Cut Social Security,

Medicare or Medicaid Would be

a Moral, Economic and Political Disaster

By Robert Creamer
Huffington Post, March 28, 2011

Friday, the Democratic group Third Way published a memo arguing that Democrats should support "entitlement reform" — by which they mean cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. I don’t doubt the sincerity or intentions of their proposal, but I believe that if Democrats took their advice it would result in a moral, economic and political disaster.

Here’s why:

The immorality of "entitlement reform." The very idea that seniors on Social Security — whose average income is $18,000 a year — should be asked to tighten their belts while the Federal Government still gives huge tax breaks to millionaires and subsidies to oil companies is just plain wrong.

The principle voices for "entitlement reform" are the multi-millionaires from Wall Street who argue that we need to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits as part of a bargain to reduce the long-term federal deficit and give the "markets" confidence. Never mind that Social Security in particular does not contribute anything to the deficit and has in fact generated a $2.6 trillion surplus that was paid for by workers and employers through Social Security taxes. Never mind that the Wall Street gang clamoring for "entitlement reform" demanded extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, subsidies for the oil companies, tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas and an end to the estate tax that only affects the sons and daughters of multi-millionaires.

Continue reading ‘Third Way’ Dems and the Road to Perdition

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The Critical Battleground of Social Security

 

Study: Half of Seniors at Risk for Poverty

Photo credit: Alliance for Retired Americans

By James Parks

Progressive America Rising via AFL-CIO Blog

Here’s one big reason congressional Republicans and the deficit hawks are dead wrong about cutting Social Security [1] benefits: According to a new study, nearly half (47.4 percent) of all Americans between the ages of 60 and 90 will experience at least one year of poverty or near poverty and seniors of color are twice as likely to be affected.

The study by Mark Rank, a professor of social work at Washington University in St. Louis, shows that 58 percent of seniors between 60 and 84 will, at some point, not have enough liquid assets to allow them to weather an unanticipated expense or downturn in income.

But if you are a senior who is black or unmarried or have less than a high school education, the likelihood that you will be poor at some point increases dramatically. Rank found that although 32.7 percent of white older Americans will experience at least one year below the official poverty line, the percentage for black older Americans was nearly double at 64.6 percent.

Continue reading The Critical Battleground of Social Security