Expand Social Security

President Obama has now said that he will propose Social Security cuts, in the form of chained CPI. This is stupid for a few reasons:

  • Retirement benefits continue to move from defined benefits to 401k’s and 401k’s are very much underfunded. See here:

In 2010, 75 percent of workers nearing retirement had less than $30,000 in their 401(k). Sixty percent of low-income households are at risk of being unable to maintain their already modest living standards in retirement.

See also here, here, here, and here among many places. We should really be expanding Social Security, not cutting it.

  • It’s bad politics. Boehner has already rejected this proposal for an obvious reason: President Obama has signaled that this is his proposal, so Republicans will expect to be able to get something somewhere closer to their side. As Charles Pierce notes:

Who is the demonstration supposed to convince? David Brooks? This is crazy.  This is wrong. It is government by Beltway dumbshow. It is awful politics  and worse policy.

Mr. Obama’s proposed deficit reduction would replace those cuts. And  if Republicans continue to resist the president, the White House believes that  most Americans will blame them for the fiscal paralysis.

No. Stop. Really. You guys are killing me. The American people are going to  look at a Democratic president’s selling out the cornerstones of eighty years of  Democratic social policy and blame the Republicans because they won’t  help him do it? I can write the “Stop Obama’s Raid On Social Security” ads for  the 2014 midterms in my sleep. In addition, wasn’t this also the logic behind  the sequester? How’s that working out?

For these reasons, I have set up a petition on the Whitehouse’s ‘We the People’ site to expand Social Security. If you feel so inclined, go sign it.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Good news: no ‘Grand Bargain’ | Petunias

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