The End of Social Security

The End of Social Security
By Christopher R Rice

The U.S. was the largest creditor in the world. Now the debt is in the trillions of dollars. Trillions of dollars transferred from the worlds richest and most powerful country. This is a form of destructive economic management at a level of graft and corruption that has NO parallel. There’s nothing comparable to that in history.

The national debt is in the trillions of dollars, even our kids will never see it paid off. As the administration and Congress argue over cuts in social programs, inequality in America grows more extreme each day. Even the great financial crash didn’t derail this trend. The richest 400 Americans, for example, increased their wealth by 54 percent between 2005 and 2010, while the median middle-class family saw its wealth decline by 35 percent.

It’s not the result of mysterious global forces, or technology, or China, or structural problems concerning the skills and education of our workforce. Rather, it is the direct result of policy choices made by Democrats and Republicans alike.

The U.S. policy (includes tax policy, financial deregulation, trade policy, anti-labor policy, and much more.) for the past 30 years has been aggressively dedicated to shifting income share away from the poor and middle class and into the pockets of the already rich.

The top 1 percent of the U.S. population now owns about a third of the wealth in the country. Since the late 1970s wealth inequality, while stabilizing or increasing slightly in other industrialized nations, has increased sharply and dramatically in the United States.

Instead of taxing the Super Rich our politicians want to slash social programs, after school programs, instead of making corporations pay their fair share, our politicians want to take a knife to social security and Medicaid.

A brief history of social security from the Huffington Post...

Social Security has been a target of the Republican Party from the moment the legislation was introduced in 1935. It passed the House of Representatives essentially on a party line vote. (The telling vote was a procedural vote to kill it immediately before final passage.) In the 1936 presidential election, the Republican standard bearer, Alf Landon, vowed to repeal it if elected.
In 1953, Republicans unsuccessfully tried to convince the newly elected Dwight Eisenhower to dismantle the program. (In a 1954 private letter to his brother, Eisenhower wrote about those who want to abolish Social Security, “Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”)

The late Republican presidential nominee and Senator, Barry Goldwater, was anti-Social Security, as was the late President Ronald Reagan, at least before he became president. And, of course, President George W. Bush sought to privatize Social Security.

Revealingly, in a memorandum marked “not for attribution,” but nevertheless leaked, President Bush’s director of strategic initiatives wrote about the effort to dismantle Social Security, “this will be one of the most important conservative undertakings of modern times.” He concluded, “For the first time in six decades, the Social Security battle is one we can win.”

Paul Ryan and his zeal for cutting Social Security is in line with his Party’s history. Since he was elected to the House of Representatives in 1998, these cuts have been his top priority. In 2004, Ryan pushed a plan to privatize Social Security so extreme that even George W. Bush called it “irresponsible.” In 2007, Ryan became the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, and used that perch, as well as his subsequent position as Chairman, to draft yearly budgets that included massive cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. (In recent years, he has become a bit more politically savvy, proposing a fast-track process to force through cuts, without specifics, but his intent is certainly clear to anyone who follows the issue.)


Back in 2000, Trump wrote a book in which he referred to Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme”, proposed increasing the retirement age to 70, and claimed, “Privatization would be good for all of us.” As recently as 2011, he said he was on board with plans to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid — but that Republicans should be very careful “not to fall into the Democratic trap” by doing it without bipartisan support, or they would pay the price politically.


I think most people remember what happened to all of the mentally ill in this country when Ronald Reagan switched to block grants for the states? Which is what they plan to do to Medicaid and Medicare. People with mental disabilities were thrown out into the streets, where they remain today. The same thing is about to happen to Americas senior citizens. The wall that Trump keeps talking about building along our southern border is not to keep the refugees out, but to keep us in.

According to economic journalist, David Cay Johnston, author of "Perfectly Legal," this trend is not the result of some naturally occurring, social Darwinist "survival of the fittest." It is the product of legislative policies carefully crafted and lobbied for by corporations and the super-rich over the past 25 years. New tax shelters in the 1980s shifted the tax burden off capital and onto labor. As tax shelters rose, the amount of federal revenue coming from corporations fell (from 35 percent during the Eisenhower years to 10 percent in 2002). During the deregulation wave of the '80s and the '90s, members of Congress passed legislation (often without reading it) that deregulated much of the financial industry.

FACT: Corporations move our jobs overseas to take advantage of slave wages, lax environmental laws and no taxes. Yes, no taxes! “Free trade” allows giant multinational corporations to pay zero taxes overseas and zero taxes in America. In 2010, corporate giant GE made a profit of $14.2 billion but it paid not a penny in taxes because the bulk of those profits, some $9 billion, were offshore. In fact, GE got a $3.2 billion tax benefit.

If corporations paid taxes, our government could have a surplus – roads, dams, hospitals and schools would not be in disrepair or overcrowded because the government would have plenty of money for all these things as they once did and would not be looking for ways to cut social security or other social programs.


You can sit there and just keep reading about this stuff or you can get off your ass and do something about it. The choice is yours to make. You've been given a life and so many hours in that life, what you do with that time is on you.


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