20 November 2010

AARP helps fight cuts attempts to cut debt on the backs of social security recipients

Farflung Correspondents,
I have signed... and customized... AARP's petition to Washington to forget about cutting social security as a means of cutting the debt.
PLEASE join me in this effort. Please go to their website and sign the petition. Here's what AARP's website offers:
Did you know that Washington is considering unfairly targeting Social Security benefits for cuts?
Social Security didn't cause the budget deficit, so our retirement shouldn't be put at risk to fix it!
I just signed AARP's petition to protect Social Security and keep it strong for generations to come. Please click on the link below to join me – it will only take a minute.
Thanks for standing with me to keep Social Security strong.
This is what I put on their petition (partly their text, partly mine):

Social Security is based on a promise that if you pay in, you can collect your money when you retire. Americans count on Social Security being there when they need it. 

Yet "Deficit Hawks"... including some Democrats... in Washington are talking about cutting the Social Security benefits we've earned to address the current federal budget deficit and long term national debt. Never mind that it is widely understood to be unwise to try to cut spending in the midst of severe recession. The fact is that Social Security didn't cause the deficit, so benefits shouldn't be cut to fix it. And part of the longer term debt is debt to the social security trust fund, so what they're really talking about is defaulting on that debt, on the backs of seniors. I'm joining millions of Americans to say "don't target Social Security benefits for unfair cuts or try to balance the budget on the backs of low income seniors."

The fact is that it is a damn lie that social security is "in trouble." In fact, the social security trust fund is in surplus and can pay all obligations for decades with no changes. The only change needed to make it fully solvent essentially forever would be to raise the income cap on FICA taxes. There is no good reason those who are so fortunate as to have incomes over the current cap... $105,000 for an individual... should not pay their fair share of all their income to help provide retirement security for everyone.

Again, it is also the fact that the social security trust fund holds bonds... debt... owed to it by the Treasury. Those who want to cut the national debt on the backs of social security are in effect proposing that we as a nation DEFAULT on our debt to our own people.

Almost all of these same deficit hawks, who claim to be so concerned about the national debt, want to hold extension of tax cuts for 98% of Americans
hostage to lowered tax rates for some of the richest people in the world, those earning over $250,000 per year. Bipartisan analysis has shown that extending the Bush tax cuts for the very rich would COST the budget $600-700 billion over ten years, making the deficit and long term national debt that much worse. The hypocrisy of favoring extension of these tax cuts for the very rich, while proposing to steal billions already paid for by working people from the social security trust fund, is just stunning. People advocating such policy can't escape the FACT that what they are proposing is stealing from the poor to give to the rich. Seems to me we've had more than enough of that in this country in the last few decades.

NO CUTS in social security benefits.

NO INCREASE in the retirement age.

NO DEFAULT on debt to the social security trust fund.

These are a line in the sand... we will not tolerate any politician who fails to uphold these principles. We will actively work to defeat them, Republican or Democrat. Count on it.

We the undersigned call on you to keep Social Security strong for all Americans for a long time to come.

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