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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Leave Social Security alone

House Speaker Paul Ryan plans to leave Congress next year. On his way out the door, he plans to destroy the Republican Party. From Politico:
The speaker has since gone public with this aspiration, suggesting that 2018 should be the year Washington finally tackles what he sees as the systemic problems with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

No, just no.

Social Security is the Third Rail of American politics.

Do not touch.

Karl Rove had the party stand in a bucket of water in 2005 on the top step of a creaking ladder and touch it.

Democrats took over Congress the next year and birthed Obamacare in 2010. Thus his social safety net reform resulted in an even bigger and more expensive mess.

Ryan said he'd repeal and replace Obamacare.

We're waiting.

Still waiting.

Readers may say, but Don, Social Security will run out of money.

I ask when.

They say in 18 years.

I say, then deal with it then.

While some say small changes in benefits now may avoid large changes later, I say the price paid by fixing it now is single-payer health insurance.

Because that's what a Democratic Congress and President Sanders will bring you once Ryan wrecks the Republican railroad, and turns Washington back over to the Creatures of the Black Lives Matter Lagoon.

From Politico:
Tinkering with the social safety net is a bold undertaking, particularly in an election year. But Ryan has good reason for throwing caution to the wind: His time in Congress is running short.
Despite several landmark legislative wins this year, and a better-than-expected relationship with President Donald Trump, Ryan has made it known to some of his closest confidants that this will be his final term as speaker. He consults a small crew of family, friends and staff for career advice, and is always cautious not to telegraph his political maneuvers. 
But the expectation of his impending departure has escaped the hushed confines of Ryan’s inner circle and permeated the upper-most echelons of the GOP. In recent interviews with three dozen people who know the speaker — fellow lawmakers, congressional and administration aides, conservative intellectuals and Republican lobbyists — not a single person believed Ryan will stay in Congress past 2018.
On paper, a Social Security reform looks good.

Obamacare looks good on paper.

Ryan may be willing to throw caution to the wind, but the rest of us do not. The time to address Social Security is when both parties agree to.


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  1. Oh No, Social Security is going to "run out of money" in 18 years and then what will we do???

    Hell, the Feds have been running DEFICTS since Nixon except for 2 years under Clinton a GOP congress..yet that spigot has never turned off. And the debt keeps growing and growing.

    At this stage it's all fake anyway. Even if we wanted to, we COULDN'T pay it back. So leave it be, no reason to "fix" something that most voters don't see as broken.

  2. Well, I just got my SS letter for next year. That huge 2% raise? My Medicare deduction went up about $25, leaving me with $6 raise. Wonderful. I can buy one Starbucks a month now. Wait, I don't drink SB's, I stick with MickyD's coffee, large for a buck.

    1. Between the medicare deduction rising and the humana premium going up to $70, I have $40 less than last year.

  3. So the only thing that will stand in the way of this unmitigated Paul Ryan-birthed disaster is McConnell's ineptitude and the obstructionism of Susan Collins, Corrupt Frank Murkowski's daughter, Sassy, and Flakey? Actually, I feel better already.

  4. Reform it all together. Pensions, Social Security, Social Spending need to all be fixed together, so EVERY American takes that haircut. So we fix the private workers' retirement to what? Leave more for the others to take?

    The political will is NOT there to do it right until we are staring the crisis in the face.

    1. Means testing is coming......

      Meaning that we stay on course of rewarding those that spent all their money, and penalizing those that saved. It's the road America has been on for over 50 years now.

      The positive thing is that people with money are learning to hide theirs, so they can get in on the action. I've met dozens of people that got free operations by hiding their assets and telling the hospitals that they were broke. That sort of thing always happens in countries when socialist policies are adapted.

    2. My wife and I have worked and sacrificed to get to where we are now. We are not 'wealthy' in any stretch of the imagination but for the government to even think of reducing our benefits because we have been responsible and have lived frugally through the years is wrong. The elephant in the SSA room is the huge increase in people drawing SSDI for bogus reasons. The attorneys and the doctors they pay off) are having a field day qualifying folks and the system is totally crooked.

  5. Here is a two-step way to fix the cash flow problem of SS: (1) get people back to work, thereby increasing the amount of FICA taxes the govt collects each year (check: the Trump economy is doing that); (2) raise the early retirement age of people now under 40 from 62 to 65, and for those between the ages of 40 and 50, raise it from 62 to 63.

  6. You're right. Leave it alone. If it lives it lives; if it dies it dies.

  7. Make SSI/Medicare fraud mandatory minimum prison time of 10 years.

  8. Social Security would be in much better shape if Congress would have invested the withholdings instead of spending it like a drunken sailor (no offense to drunken sailors - I've had some fun times with a few of them) and then printing money to cover the payments to retirees. - Elric

  9. Hey, don't insult Sailors, drunken or otherwise.

  10. Need to turn on comments on the new post. Looked up that Fyten dude. Pitiful.

  11. The most important point in this column is to wait until both parties want to "fix" social security and Medicare-Medicaid. Why is because it is an automatic election winner for the party that can point a finger at the other.

    All I ever hear from Democrats is how the GOP is the party of the rich and only Democrats care about people (and that's even though most of the rich are disconnected Democrats who don't have a clue what goes on outside their small circle of millionaire pretty people or college students who are a ways away from living in the real world yet).

    I would also point out that Trump's idea that jobs and economic improvement will help a lot with social security concerns and, at the very least, stretch out the time something has to be done --but, I would also note that no one of either party in DC has any faith in the economy improving (any more than either party can rein in the out of control spending).

    If and when social security is in trouble in the minds of both parties so that both will want to change/fix it, that will be the only time when something can be done without finger pointing.

  12. Nope; it's an age tax. You pay it when you're young, and if you get anything, you're lucky.

    But, as designed, it's a tax on young people to take care of old people.

  13. 1 Gateway says Ryan is going nowhere (really).

    2 Trump says he isn't going near Social Security.


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