The National Academy of Social Insurance, a Washington-based organization of academics and policymakers who are experts on Social Security and other parts of the Social Security Act, released a recent survey of what Americans think about Social Security and how to “fix” it. Their report that came out last week is very telling of why Americans feel so disconnected from Washington.
Most voters agree that big corporations and the wealthy should start paying their fair share in taxes. But, of course, big corporations and the wealthy don’t want to do that. They want to pay less, and they are used to getting their way. So what do you do?
As you might imagine that’s very difficult to live on. I cannot afford to lose any of my benefits due to the chained CPI cut in benefits. This is especially important to me as a woman. Women represent 57% of all Social Security beneficiaries. Chained CPI would hit female beneficiaries especially hard because we tend to live longer.
Are we spending too much on seniors and too little on kids? Many will recognize this as a classic either-or fallacy (what about tax breaks for the wealthy…?) But with Ronald Brownstein, Ezra Klein and Charlie Cook all repeating the Urban Institute statistic that federal spending on seniors is nearly seven times that on children, the idea that seniors are crowding out children’s programs is catching on in Washington. Meanwhile, Urban Institute’s estimate that state and local governments spend nine times more on kids than on seniors hasn’t gotten the same attention. Overall, it appears that government spending on seniors is roughly double (or less) that on children, though this measure includes Social Security, which is almost entirely funded through worker contributions.
Did you know that the CEOs of the Campaign to Fix the Debt, the corporate front group that wants to cut Social Security and Medicare and lower corporate taxes, have parked more than $418 billion of untaxed corporate profits overseas? Overall it is estimated that U.S. corporations have as much as $1.9 trillion sheltered overseas. That would make a nice down payment on fixing the debt.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sent the following message about Social Security to her supporters:
My brother David has always had the special spark in our family.
Like our two older brothers, David served in the military. When he got out, he started a small business—and when that one didn't work out, he started another one. He couldn't imagine an America where he wasn't living by his wits every single day.
The budget that President Obama released today is drawing intense criticism for its cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called those cuts “wrong and indefensible.”
A president’s budget is more than just numbers. It is a profoundly moral document. We believe cutting Social Security benefits and shifting costs to Medicare beneficiaries—while exempting corporate America from shared sacrifice—is wrong and indefensible.
While more than 2 million people signed a petition that was delivered to President Obama today urging him not to cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid and to abandon a "chained" CPI formula, hundreds more have left photo messages for the president.