On Day One, the New Congress Launches an Attack on Social Security
Well, that didn’t take long.
As one of its first orders of business upon convening Tuesday, the Republican House of Representatives approved a rule that will seriously undermine efforts to keep all of Social Security solvent.
The rule hampers an otherwise routine reallocation of Social Security payroll tax income from the old-age program to the disability program. Such a reallocation, in either direction, has taken place 11 times since 1968, according to Kathy Ruffing of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Once again the GOP shows how they are totally pro-life, at least until you’re born. After that, you’re on your own, since education, health care, food assistance, jobs assistance and senior / disabled support are all expensive things. (at least in the short term…. I shudder at the long term costs to the Country without them).
The procedural rule enacted by the House Republican caucus prohibits the reallocation unless it’s accompanied by “benefit cuts or tax increases that improve the solvency of the combined trust funds,” as paraphrased by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.
In practical terms, the advocacy committee says, that makes the reallocation impossible; it mandates either benefit cuts across the board, which aren’t politically palatable, or a payroll tax increase, which isn’t palatable to the GOP.
They won’t allow funds to be balanced across programs, they won’t contemplate a tax increase, then they will say how “this shows it’s not working”.
The new rules drafters say it’s necessary to “protect the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund from diversion of its funds to finance a broken Disability Insurance system.” But as Ruffing observes, disability isn’t “broken.” Its rolls have grown because of a number of well-understood factors, including the aging of the American population, the entry of more women into the workforce (and thus their eligibility for benefits), and the increase in Social Security’s full retirement age above 65.
Frame the narrative using a falsehood to start, become outraged over the false statements, and then rather than fix the problem, punish those who benefit.