Thursday, January 5, 2017

GOP Gut Social Security

Mother Jones

The House GOP Just Revealed Its Plan To Cut Social Security

Late Thursday, Congressman Sam Johnson (R-TX), the Chairman of the House Social Security subcommittee, introduced a bill to "reform" (i.e. cut) Social Security.
Josh Marshall warns, "Republicans apparently aren't going to be satisfied with phasing out Medicare. They're going to try to pass huge cuts to Social Security this year too. Not Bush-style partial phaseout but just big, big cuts. And you're out of luck even if you're a current beneficiary. "
The Washington Examiner describes it thusly:
The bill…would reduce costs by changing the benefits formula to reduce payments progressively for high earners. It would also gradually raise the full retirement age from 67 to 69 for people who are today 49 or younger. Lastly, it would change the inflation metric used to calculate benefits to one that shows lower inflation, essentially slowing the growth in benefits, and eliminate cost of living adjustments for high earners.

A huge number of elderly people and others depend for their very lives upon social security,  While fact checker says Trump did not say he has a moral obligation to cut Social security. (According to, but they go on to discuss plans to scuttle it by Sam Johnson ranking Republican on ways and means committee).There are several ways it is endangered by the Republican agenda,

Fact Sheet by Social Security Administration

In 2016, nearly 61 million Americans will receive approximately $918 billion in Social Security benefits. 
Snapshot of a Month: June 2016 Beneficiary Data ο Retired workers 40.7 million $55 billion $1,348 average monthly benefit dependents 3 million $2 billion ο Disabled workers 8.9 million $10.3 billion $1,166 average monthly benefit dependents 1.9 million $0.7 billion ο Survivors 6.1 million $6.8 billion  
Social Security is the major source of income for most of the elderly. 

Nearly nine out of ten individuals age 65 and older receive Social Security benefits. ο Social Security benefits represent about 34% of the income of the elderly. ο Among elderly Social Security beneficiaries, 48% of married couples and 71% of unmarried persons receive 50% or more of their income from Social Security. ο Among elderly Social Security beneficiaries, 21% of married couples and about 43% of unmarried persons rely on Social Security for 90% or more of their income.  
Social Security provides more than just retirement benefits. 
 ο Retired workers and their dependents account for 71% of total benefits paid. ο Disabled workers and their dependents account for 16% of total benefits paid.  About 90 percent of workers age 21-64 in covered employment in 2016 and their families have protection in the event of a long-term disability.  Just over 1 in 4 of today’s 20 year-olds will become disabled before reaching age 67.  67% of the private sector workforce has no long-term disability insurance. ο Survivors of deceased workers account for about 13% of total benefits paid.  About one in eight of today’s 20-year-olds will die before reaching age 67.  About 96% of persons aged 20-49 who worked in covered employment in 2016 have survivors insurance protection for their young children and the surviving spouse caring for the children.
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SS also gives life insurance and disability

About 60 million people, or more than one in every six U.S. residents, collected Social Security benefits in June 2016.  While older Americans make up about four in five beneficiaries, another one-fifth of beneficiaries received Disability Insurance (DI) or were young survivors of deceased workers.In addition to Social Security’s retirement benefits, workers earn life insurance and DI protection by making Social Security payroll tax contributions:

  • About 96 percent of people aged 20-49 who worked in jobs covered by Social Security in 2015 have earned life insurance protection through Social Security.
  • For a young worker with average earnings, a spouse, and two children, that’s equivalent to a life insurance policy with a face value of over $600,000, according to Social Security’s actuaries.
  • About 90 percent of people aged 21-64 who worked in covered employment in 2015 are insured through Social Security in case of severe disability.
The risk of disability or premature death is greater than many realize.  Some 6 percent of recent entrants to the labor force will die before reaching the full retirement age, and many more will become disabled.


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