Policy Round Up: Social Security

Written by

Shanel Adams
Shanel Adams Shanel Adams is an editorial assistant with GlobalPolicy.tv. She is a public relations major, political science minor at Howard University originally from Detroit. Shanel is passionate about poverty alleviation and political participation.

Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) brought attention to social security when he criticized President Obama’s budget proposal on Wednesday. President Obama’s budget seeks to lower cost-of-living increases for those who receive social security. Some lawmakers, both Republican and Democrat, were outraged by the cuts between $200 billion and $380 billion on social security. While others like House Speaker John Boehner believes the President is taking necessary steps to help the nation. This week, experts weigh in on the importance of social security and whether or not these cuts will benefit our country.

Eric Laursen recalls the history of social security that these cuts may jeopardize:

“Why was it possible to pass the Social Security Act in the 1930s, when merely keeping Social Security from being whittled away to nothing is becoming harder and harder in the 2010s? What was different then? Principally, the existence of a political left that was actively engaged with the issue of retirement security. The Townsend movement for a guaranteed income for the over-65s, Huey Long’s Share Our Wealth movement, not to mention lively communist and socialist movements with grassroots followings, were coming up with their own ideas, making it far easier for Washington to see social insurance for what it was—a middle-of-the-road response to the demand for some form of collective support against the innate violence of capitalism.”

Read the full article in Fire Dog Lake.

Kevin Drum explains what “chained CPI” is as it relates to the recently proposed cuts:

“The reason is simple: chained CPI represents a cut in the growth rate of Social Security benefits. It’s arguably something that’s worth accepting as part of a larger bargain that would cut benefits a bit and raise taxes a bit in order to improve Social Security’s finances, but it makes no sense on its own. Social Security is separate from the rest of the federal budget, and its benefits should never be horse-traded away for miscellaneous changes elsewhere.”

Read the full article in Mother Jones. 

Robert Borosage believes the budget is more about politics than people: 

“This is a budget framed around getting a deal.  It assumes the growth we have is adequate.  It miseducates Americans that the most important goal is to reduce projected deficits in a “balanced” way.  And it shows that a Democratic president is even willing to cut Social Security benefits – the pledge we make one to another – in order to get that deal.”

Read the full article in Truth-Out.

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