Saturday, May 05, 2018

Chart Shows Why Social Security Benefits Must NOT Be Cut

The Republicans have never liked the Social Security program. They voted against it when it was first proposed, and they have been trying to destroy it ever since then. In the Bush administration, they tried to do away with it and throw the elderly into a privatization scheme that would leave them at the mercy of Wall Street. That failed and they realized that if they want to destroy Social Security, they must do it in small steps.

The reason they give for wanting to do away with Social Security is that it eats up too big a portion of the federal budget. They want you to believe that it is the reason for the deficit and the national debt. That is an outrageous lie. Social Security takes nothing from the discretionary budget, and does not add a penny to the deficit or the national debt. It is wholly funded by payroll taxes that go into the Social Security Trust Fund.

Now they have passed an enormous tax cut for the rich and corporations -- a tax cut that will result in trillion dollar deficits each year and a rapidly ballooning national debt. They want to partially pay for that tax cut by reducing Social Security benefits. This must not be allowed to happen.

Look at the chart above. It shows the rise in prices of goods and services (inflation) over the last decade. While some prices have fallen, the price of things most needed by seniors have risen sharply. The cost of food has remained stable, but the cost of housing, medical care, and hospital costs have risen sharply -- all things seniors must pay for. This means the benefit check a Social Security recipient gets will buy much less than it would ten years ago.

Unfortunately, the small raises in the Social Security checks have not nearly kept up with the inflation. This means Social Security recipients (especially those who depend only on their Social Security check to survive) are worse off.

The truth is that Social Security benefits need to be raised -- not cut. But the Republicans who control our government don't care. They think giving tax cuts to the rich is more important than helping seniors who are struggling to survive in our economy (which was already favoring the rich over everyone else).

This one more reason why the Republicans must be voted out of power in November. Social Security is a government program that works, and keeps many seniors out of abject poverty. We must not allow the Republicans to cut benefits.

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