By Dale Bowling
Republicans have been pressing Democrats to cut government spending to avoid the fiscal cliff and one of the places the GOP would like to see cut is Social Security. Republicans would like America to believe that spending on Social Security is one of the reasons why the Deficit is so big.
If you have been following Republicans over the years it will not surprise you to learn that they are either lying or woefully ignorant about how their government actually works or not in touch with objective reality.
The reason for this bold assertion is that Social Security doesn't actually add to the budget deficit and cutting it won't help the budget deficit.
The President said some time ago, and was most recently quoted by Senator Bernie Sanders from VT that,
“Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit, Social Security is totally funded by the payroll tax levied on employer and employee. If you reduce the outgo of Social Security that money would not go into the general fund to reduce the deficit. It would go into the Social Security trust fund. So, Social Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or erasing or lowering the deficit.”
We all know how little Republicans respect this kind of thing- specialized knowledge about how things actually work that might interfere with preconceived notions of how things ought to work.
And we all know how little they respect Presidents who have this sort of depth of knowledge- except that the President who Bernie Sanders was quoting was President Ronald Reagan in the Presidential Debate in Louisville on Oct. 7, 1984.
As it is, Social Security has a $2.7 trillion surplus. That's enough to keep it solvent for decades.
So why the big push to cut Social Security?
Could this be yet another attempt to kneecap Big Government? After all, Social Security is one of the most popular Government programs and one of the most successful. It's tough to argue that "government is always the problem" when the example of Social Security stands in obvious contradiction.
So the strategy might be - paint Social Security as a big problem, force cuts down the throats of vulnerable seniors until they finally say, "hey- we think the private sector might do a better job."
Or it could be that the Republican leadership doesn't really understand how Social Security works. (Who better then, to make major decisions about it?)
Or it could be that Objective Reality isn't as important to Congressional Republicans as what goes on in their own minds?
There are your choices- dishonest, clueless or crazy.
The important thing in all of this is that America not fall for this claptrap. Congressional Republicans are going to make a major push to convince America, it's imperative we revamp Social Security for the fiscal health of the Nation.
Dishonest, Clueless, Crazy.
Let your representatives know that the promise to America's Seniors is one we won't abandon. Keep Social Security away from Fiscal Cliff negotiations.