Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Unions speak the truth on Social Security

Social Security, the program that provides over half  of American seniors a majority of their income, is more important than ever. Across America, nearly 58 billion workers and their families rely on Social Security every month to pay the bills.

But once again, the greedy billionaires behind Fix the Debt are trying to cut Social Security benefits so they don't have to pay their fair share of taxes. They don't care that Social Security keeps millions out of poverty. They don't care that it's essential to sustaining what's left of the middle class.

The greedy billionaires are now trying to persuade Congress to cut Social Security (and probably Medicare) when they meet in three months to discuss budget cuts. They're trying to disguise it by calling it "chained CPI," which is nothing but jargon for "cuts."

Unions are out front warning Americans of the looming threat -- just like the last time the billionaires tried to push the cuts through Congress. Teamster General President Jim Hoffa staunchly opposes the cuts, which hurt the oldest and poorest retirees the most:

Social Security does not contribute to the budget deficit and should remain off the table in these year-end budget negotiations.  Americans work all their lives to earn the Social Security benefits they were promised. It would be a terrible mistake to go back on that promise.

Even though less than three-quarters of the fund comes from payroll deductions, Fix the Debt minions have been spreading misinformation, saying that Social Security will cause the US to go bankrupt.  When an anchor from CNBC claimed that the US may well go bankrupt from Social Security, Damon Silver, the AFL-CIO's policy director, set the record straight:

That’s frankly not true. That is a lie put forward by billionaires who don’t want to pay higher taxes....The people who believe what you said are people not counting on those programs and who are worried their very large incomes will be taxed.

Chained CPI is like the vampire of American politics. It keeps being shot through the heart and it keeps reviving. The reason it keeps coming back is because it has billionaires behind it.

Our nation needs to keep the decades-old promise to workers.  There is no such thing as an acceptable cut -- especially when the country has more than enough resources to fund the program that keeps millions of seniors out of poverty.