Tag Archives: social security

Medicare Premium Increase Means Trouble for Seniors, States and Workers

EmergencyA large portion of Medicare recipients and individual States should ready themselves for what should not be all that shocking: Obamacare didn’t bend the cost curve down – at all. Medicare premiums for 2012 are set to rise to $113.80 per month, an almost 20% increase over the $94.60 2011 premiums,  which will hit fixed-income earners and cash-strapped States with an increasing burden.

Social Security recipients will be the first hit. As an Associated Press wire reported, the first COLA increase in years will likely be wiped out by increasing health care premiums.

“The government is projecting a slight cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security benefits next year, the first increase since 2009. But for most beneficiaries, rising Medicare premiums threaten to wipe out any increase in payments, leaving them without a raise for a third straight year.”

Secondly, those low-income earners on Medicaid will not be hit with the increasing premium – it will instead be passed on to the state providing the Medicaid. This will cause a pass-thru cost to state income and sales tax payers. As almost all states are facing tremendous shortfalls due to entitlement mismanagement such as this, more and more costs will be passed on to taxpayers and more services will have to be cut to avoid default.

In 2010, Medicare premiums were the same as they were in 2009. All this before Obama’s health care reform was passed. Now that we’ve had more than a year of liberal health care planning and management, a 20% increase in premiums comes due and Donald McLeod from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services hinted that even the Obama administration wasn’t prepared for the increase. Mr. McLeod pointed out that the President’s budget projected Medicare premiums to be $108.20, not the $113.80 that CMS expects.

 

Unemployment Dropping as Jobless Turn to Disability Instead

The recent drops in first time unemployment claims should be great news, but it may not be. Certainly, economic news is turning south so why the positive news on unemployment figures?

The Wall Street Journal may just have the answer:

A huge wave of applicants joined the program over the past decade, boosting it from 6.6 million beneficiaries in 2000 to 10.2 million in 2010. New recipients have come from across the country, with an 85% increase in Texas over 10 years and a 69% increase in New Hampshire.[1]

It would appear that as unemployment benefits wear out or job seekers give up, they turn to Social Security Disability Insurance. State government’s may well be helping that happen as it takes the burden off of the unemployment insurance funds that they are responsible for and puts it on the Federal government, more specifically, Social Security.

Certainly the unemployed find it easier to deal with. They would no longer be required to hunt for a job in order to collect the check. If their disability is permanent, so is the check.

States have no incentive to ramp up enforcement, it’s not their money and it takes some pressure. The claimant has no reason not to do it, they get a check even though they’ve already exhausted unemployment benefits. The only people with incentive to fix it would be those paying the payroll  taxes to fund the SSDI: working people and business owners – and what can they do?

 


Sources:
[1] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703752404576178570674769318.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Entitlement Conundrum – Break Down the Numbers

Rasmussen reports released a report on Wednesday that shows that 23% of Americans receive some form of cash benefits from the almighty Federal government.  Twenty-three percent.

Almost one-in-four Americans rely on cash from the government?  How sad a situation we share.

On the other side of that entirely imbalanced equation is a government that produces .. NOTHING.  That means taxpayers are on the hook for the 1/4 of Americans that need hand-outs.

I could use the figures posted by many astute organizations that say that 47% of Americans pay zero or negative taxes, but I can hear the libdergardner whining already.  Instead, I’ll use CBS’s more ‘conservative’ fugures:

An astonishing 43.4 percent of Americans now pay zero or negative federal income taxes..

And that was in 2009.

So, 56.6% of us put money into a system that has 23% that are pulling from it.  The math is getting scary – to most of us.

Rasmussen continues: The 23% (we’ll call them .. 23ers in the spirit of the Unions 99er movement) are somewhat reluctant to let go of their free money.

Of those who do receive government money, just 34% are at least somewhat willing to cut some of their own benefits to reduce the size of the federal budget, with 14% who say they are Very Willing to do so.

Great, they love stealing bread from the tables of our children and most of them don’t care if our kids have to starve later because ,”It’s my money, and I want it now” to quote an annoying ad from a parasitic firm.

Sickening, upsetting .. I was laid-off a few years ago and took exactly zero dollars from the government.  We cut-off cable and cell phones, ran the AC less, discontinued magazines and newspapers, cut coupons and ate bulk-noodles.  We survived.

These are exactly the things we must cut.  Now.  It must be done responsibly as we have made far too many dependent upon the government’s drug.  We will have to let the retired and near-retired continue on, but those of us in our 40’s, 30’s and lower … be willing to give those entitlements up or our kids will be left with a mess that WE could have fixed.  We have to get over ourselves, yesterday.

Bachmann Campaign Asserts Opponent is Lying on Entitlement Issues

From: http://MicheleBachmann.com

Once again the Clark campaign has come out with a blatant lie, accusing Congresswoman Bachmann of wanting to eliminate Social Security and Medicare.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has been clear she does not support ending Social Security.  Michele has stated both Medicare and Social Security need to be fixed.  Under their current conditions these programs can’t be maintained for our future generations because of liberal spending by politicians like President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Tarryl Clark. Michele remains committed to maintaining benefits for those who are receiving benefits as well as protecting the money future recipients have paid into the system.

Our retirement systems must be prepared to meet the needs of our growing population. Tarryl Clark, who supported and continues to support Obamacare, needs to explain to voters why Medicare was cut by $500 billion to pay for this monstrosity.

We found this transcript and analysis of the Tarryl Clark ad at 1500 ESPN.com

SCRIPT: Female narrator: “Addict. Addict. Addict. Addict.” Male voice: “Wait, what?” Narrator: “Well, Michele Bachmann says we need to `wean everybody off’ of Social Security. Like Social Security isn’t your money. Like it’s an addiction you need to break. If Michele Bachmann wants to wean you off Social Security, she sure can’t be trusted to protect it. Michele Bachmann: Keeping her pay raises, but not our promises to seniors.” Clark: “I’m Tarryl Clark and I approve this message.”

When in Doubt, Dems turn to Social Security

From Politico.com|

With many Democrats running scared from their party’s handling of the economy and health care reform, they’ve returned to an old reliable campaign theme in the home stretch: attacking their opponents for threatening Social Security and Medicare.

“I will not allow these programs to be jeopardized or destroyed,” said Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.) when he was endorsed by the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans. In his retiree-heavy Boca Raton- and Palm Beach-area district, Klein has attacked well-funded challenger Allen West for Republican leaders’ “outrageous insult” of a plan to slash benefits and raise the retirement age.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42458.html#ixzz10AJQs1lv

The Myths about the Myths of Social Security

For decades we’ve all known the Social Security was in trouble. No more!!  MoveOn.org has calmed the waters and published the truth – all while using an absolute fiction.

This post at the liberal site attempts to convince its readers that there is nothing wrong with Social Security – move on folks, nothing to see here:

Myth: Social Security is going broke.

Reality: There is no Social Security crisis. By 2023, Social Security will have a $4.3 trillion surplus (yes, trillion with a ‘T’). It can pay out all scheduled benefits for the next quarter-century with no changes whatsoever.1 After 2037, it’ll still be able to pay out 75% of scheduled benefits–and again, that’s without any changes. The program started preparing for the Baby Boomers retirement decades ago.2 Anyone who insists Social Security is broke probably wants to break it themselves.

The source of footnote “1” is… yup, another liberally-slanted “news” site, new deal 2.0. To refute this myth about a myth, I submit – The 2009 Annual Report of the Board of  Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors  Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund (that’s the original name for the Social Security Trust Fund):

Under the long-range intermediate assumptions, annual cost will begin to exceed tax income in 2016 for the combined OASDI Trust Funds.

That just means they’ll dig into their piggy bank right?  Well, that piggy bank is not cash or any other easily liquid assets (stocks, money market funds, etc) – it’s government bonds.  In the event of Social Security running a deficit, they will have to cash in their government bonds, and their holdings aren’t small.  One must also realize that in order for the government to pay those bonds, they will have raise taxes, cut spending or both.  The exact same thing as if dealing with a deficit crisis.

I am not sure how they even throw this next one out with a straight face .. but hey, job security for me.

Myth: We have to raise the retirement age because people are living longer.

Reality: This is red-herring to trick you into agreeing to benefit cuts. Retirees are living about the same amount of time as they were in the 1930s. The reason average life expectancy is higher is mostly because many fewer people die as children than did 70 years ago.3 What’s more, what gains there have been are distributed very unevenly–since 1972, life expectancy increased by 6.5 years for workers in the top half of the income brackets, but by less than 2 years for those in the bottom half.4But those intent on cutting Social Security love this argument because raising the retirement age is the same as an across-the-board benefit cut.

Checking the footnote source “3” .. The Center for Economic and Policy Research – A progressive economic “think-tank”.  Wow, what right-wing nut job counter-source will I use… uh, I know!  That whacked-out tea party infested non-partisan .. Congressional Budget Office :

Once the baby-boom generation retires, the portion of the nation’s output that the federal government will spend on Social Security will increase by more than 50 percent–from 4.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in fiscal year 2001 to an estimated 6.5 percent in 2030.<

This is just too easy.
Next up… a statement that is only true if you believe the first two falicies:

Myth: Benefit cuts are the only way to fix Social Security.

Reality: Social Security doesn’t need to be fixed. But if we want to strengthen it, here’s a better way: Make the rich pay their fair share. If the very rich paid taxes on all of their income, Social Security would be sustainable for decades to come.5 Right now, high earners only pay Social Security taxes on the first $106,000 of their income.6 But conservatives insist benefit cuts are the only way because they want to protect the super-rich from paying their fair share.

But heck, this has been so fun, let’s see who this source “5” is.  The Economic Policy Institute which has a board of directors listing that reads like a collection of union leadership, socialists,and at a minimum heavily left-leaning academicians.

  • Andy Stern – SEIU Founder
  • Linda Sanchez (D-CA 39)
  • Ed Mcelroy – American Federation of Teachers
  • Ron Gettlefinger – United Auto Workers
  • R. Thomas Buffenbarger, Internation Association of Machinists & Allied Workers
  • Anna Burger, SEIU and “Change to Win” (Organized labor group)

I could go on, but you get the point, another progressive site sourced as if it’s a balanced credible source.

Next up, something we’ve all known for decades:

Myth: The Social Security Trust Fund has been raided and is full of IOUs

Reality: Not even close to true. The Social Security Trust Fund isn’t full of IOUs, it’s full of U.S. Treasury Bonds. And those bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.7 The reason Social Security holds only treasury bonds is the same reason many Americans do: The federal government has never missed a single interest payment on its debts. President Bush wanted to put Social Security funds in the stock market–which would have been disastrous–but luckily, he failed. So the trillions of dollars in the Social Security Trust Fund, which are separate from the regular budget, are as safe as can be.

I cringe at the thought, but yeah.. lemme go check this apparently omnipotent, clarifying and surely factual source.  Hey look, it’s Andy Stern and his union cronies at Economic Policy Institute again.  Now why would organized labor have an interest in Americans feeling secure about Social Security and also getting the rich to put more in than they will ever get out?  Probably because his union workers are going to get the shaft when they realize how badly unions have under-funded their pensions.  If the government can’t bail him out.. he’s looking at the collapse of organized labor.  Now to debunking the myth.. uh check the commentary under the first myth and the next one.. this is just a chain of lies where you tear down one and rest fall upon the weak foundation that first lie set.

I hope I don’t even have to post a rebuttal to this one, because if you’ve understood the rest of the article, it’s unnecessary:

Myth: Social Security adds to the deficit

Reality: It’s not just wrong — it’s impossible! By law, Social Security funds are separate from the budget, and it must pay its own way. That means that Social Security can’t add one penny to the deficit.1

The source, New Deal 2.0 .. again.  As if the actual “New Deal” hasn’t actually perpetuated a deficit crisis, the new version is trying to say that not only did Social Security not cause the issue, it’s actually not even possible.  The first rebuttal should give you enough, but if not.. lemme try again.  During years of excess, the Social Security trust fund does not get to hang on to its excesses.  It has to put that money into government bonds and hold those instead.  Should they run into deficit, they will call on the government to give them cash for the bonds.  Since our government doesn’t have any free cash due to deficit spending… they’ll have to borrow money from somewhere else, raise taxes or cut spending – exactly the same actions as excessive debt.  Because the trust fund gave the government money and it received bonds in return, it holds debt of the U.S. government (I said debt right?).  The treasury got money from someone on a loan basis to cover costs it cannot fund on its own.  Most of us call that operating at a deficit.  Social Security absolutely enables our government’s deficit spending and if they call on the money in those IOUs, it will just get tacked-on.

So MoveOn.org posts an article based on the facts of union-run, far-left, liberal nut-job organizations – gave me something to do, but could really have used a challenge.

Social Security Will Go into Deficit in 2010

Hot Air is reporting that it has obtained a report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (C.B.O.) that shows that Social Security is in more trouble than Obama’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget (O.M.B.), Peter Orszag,  previously reported.  The C.B.O.  and the C.B.O. website and “Director’s Blog” contain no mention  or repudiation of the report.  Apparently, they haven’t read their own memo yet.

Orszag, Obama’s “Supernerd”, is an economist that previously served as the Director of the C.B.O. and was responsible for the publication of the previous report that stated that social security would not go into deficit spending until at least 2019.  This new report, under the guidance of a new director, indicates the social security will run deficits in 2010.  The differences between the two reports, by two different directors raises questions of either Orszag’s ethics or his competence.

If Orszag manipulated the previous reports or influenced his subordinates to manipulate the them, there are serious ethics violations.  Did he do it just to get into the current Administration or because he wanted to curry favor with the liberal congress that had just effectively killed President Bush’s attempts to reform social security by claiming that the program wouldn’t have any problems for fifty (50) years or more.

On the flip side, it could simply be incompetence.  Reviewing a paper written by Orszag and Peter Diamond, they propose a combination of tax increases and benefit cuts to salvage the possibility of a deficit.  If this were his true desire, presenting social security as stronger than it actually is would not help him make the case for massive cuts and tax increases.  This would indicate that he actually believed that the government-run retirement program would be stable for longer than it actually will.

Mr. Orszag is now the minder of the White House budget.  There will be situations where the O.M.B. will publish reports that discount or contradict those of the C.B.O.  If either Director Orszag’s ethics or competence are in-question, then certainly his credibility is shot as well.

Recent Entries »