There are two schools of thought about Social Security and health care.
Social Security is the primary retirement income for most Americans and a back up for dependents and disabled persons. It is essential and provided as a promise to all Americans that people depend upon.
“Many politicians in Washington are demanding deep cuts to Social Security. They want to raise the retirement age. They want to deny seniors a full cost of living increase.
Nearly all Americans depend on Social Security at some point in their lives. Many are retirees. But millions are disabled workers, widows and widowers, and children who have lost parents.
Politicians want to cut Social Security to reduce the federal deficit. But Social Security didn’t cause the deficit. In fact, Social Security has a $2.6 trillion surplus today. It shouldn’t be cut to reduce the deficit.
Social Security is based on a promise: If you pay into the system then you earn the right to guaranteed benefits. This is one promise to the American people that politicians in Washington shouldn’t break.
President Obama has said that he:
- Won’t cut benefits
- Won’t raise the retirement age
- Won’t cut the cost of living adjustment (COLA)
In effect, the President has said: Keep Social Security’s Promise!”
Healthcare was an option provided by the private sector and augmented by public services if you could afford it. Today, affordable healthcare is provided to all Americans under the Affordable Care Act that is in the state of implementation.
For both Social Security and Affordable Health Care, Government has a problem in 1) sustaining these benefits as guaranteed entitlements and 2) expanding them to serve a larger eligible population. There is an actuarial problem because 1) more people will become eligible for services than are paying for them, 2) economic performance is insufficient, and 3) government is funding too many things at too high of a rate other than Social Security and health care.
Government has spent on wars and national security at a higher cost than the nation can afford creating a debt and deficit.
Conservative Republicans have not wanted the present system ever since President Roosevelt established Social Security. However, their capitalist system has 1) failed to produce sufficient social well being for all or most Americans, and 2) they don’t accept social responsibility, decrying people who do as being un-American or European-like.
The need to provide all Americans with life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness persists. You cannot pursue happiness if you are impoverished and denied opportunity in the marketplace. Once you are retired, dependent, and otherwise disabled, it is nothing less than shameful to cast blame and to seek to punish people in need and who have earned their benefits.
The need is to pay for essential benefits. The problem is recalcitrance in addressing the need.
Capitalism that is the pursuit of profit at all costs is neither patriotic nor socially responsible. That is why America needs a new and sustainable economic model.
The cartoon post, shows the demand surge striking the beach where President Obama seeks to hold it back with higher tax revenues. Obama has never said that higher taxes alone will be sufficient to manage the surge. What he hasn't said is "what will"?
“Senate Dems strain to get budget over finish line by Easter recess
By Erik Wasson and Bernie Becker - 03/11/13 05:00 AM ET
Senate Democrats say they will soon pass their first budget in four years, but it is proving a test.
Disputes over tax cuts, spending reductions and entitlement reform all present challenges to Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
The Democrats’ narrow 12-10 majority on the panel means one defection would mean failure, if Republicans stick together as expected.
There is more leeway on the Senate floor because budget resolutions cannot be filibustered and Democrats control 55 seats. Still, the party can afford to lose only five votes before Vice President Biden’s deciding ballot would likely become necessary.
Leaders also must steel their members against dozens of poison pill amendments the GOP is preparing to slip into the budget mix.
Balancing interests on a budget
Murray, who took over the Budget panel this year, hopes to move legislation through the committee by Thursday. So this week is critical.
Senate Democrats are tired of the GOP taunts over their failure to pass a budget since 2009 — it is one of Congress’s primary duties — and are determined to get a 10-year measure through the Senate before the Easter recess starts on March 22.
They have signaled that their budget will do more to raise revenue than to cut spending and that it will not end deficits. In a memo, Murray adumbrated the justification for this by noting that Congress has already approved $1.8 trillion in spending cuts since 2010 but only $600 billion in new taxes.”