Tuesday, June 16, 2009

ARA Hears Upcoming Threats to Social Security

(blogging from Alliance for Retired Americans Convention)


Dr. Alan Cohen, Senator Max Baucus's head economic advisor, told the several hundred ARA delegates that the fight, which we won against the Bushites, in 2005 against the dismantling of Social Security, is on the soon to be front burners very soon.

That's right even with the overwhelming Democratic Party control of the House of Representatives and 60% of the Senate; the attack on Social Security is soon to be front and center again.

The Pete Peterson Foundation, the ultra wing anti-Social Security foundation, appears to being quite successful in convincing a lot of Democrats the Social Security is going broke.

Cohen showed the myths of those assertions. Without belaboring the point, again and again, he said that Social Security is fully safe until 2024 and with the Trust Fund it is fully safe until 2037.

Then he gave the grim reality of what Social Security income looks like. The average Social Security yearly income is: $13,800 per year and if your on disability: $12,750. No wonder so many recipients are poor and living on the extreme edge. The wealthy portray them as living high on the hog. Of course those figures are high because Medicare Part B is subtracted, about $94 a month and some pay taxes.

Cohen said that an easy trap to fall into is the claim by the right wing that they want to protect those who use SS as a significant part of their income. They say that is the lowest 20%. That first 20% use of Soc. Sec. income is 83% of their full income. But, the truth is that the next 20% also have that 83% figure. For the next 20%, the percent that Soc. Sec represents total is 67%; and, even the next 20% [or 4/5ths] needs Soc Sec for 50% of their overall income.

How people live on Social Security income given the high cost of living should be a public outcry?

ARA delegates listened with rapt attention.

Clearly once health care is off the table and possible Card Check, if not early, Social Security will be getting the attention.