Marjorie Sener was still in her 20s when she took out a loan for about $5,000 to get some college credits she hoped would eventually add up to a bachelor’s degree. That goal was thwarted when her partner became ill. “The burden of our living expenses fell on me,” said Sener, who lives in the Dallas suburbs. “I devoted all of my resources to keeping our heads above water.” But while Sener never got her degree, that student loan kept growing, fattened by compounding interest. Now, at 74, she owes more than $55,000, or 10 times what she originally borrowed, and has put off any hope of retiring. Sener still works, as a legal secretary, juggling her student loan debt with other expenses, including medical costs from recent cancer treatments.
February 22, 2023 Jenny Brown, Labor Notes. Educate! Joe Biden, Pensions, Social Security, Worker Rights
French workers have shut the country down with general strikes three times in the last month to defend their time. They’re protesting a proposal to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64. It’s enough to make you cry. Here, the Social Security retirement age was ratcheted up to 67 by bipartisan agreement during the Reagan administration. But because the oldest people affected were in their 40s at the time, few people noticed that everyone would soon be losing two years of paid time off. They’re coming for our time again. Republicans had a cunning plan to block raising the debt ceiling unless the Biden administration agreed to Social Security cuts.
December 23, 2022 Lynn Parramore, Scheer Post. Educate! Joe Biden, Retirement, Social Security, Worker Rights and Jobs
Conversations about the program often pit younger workers against retirees, but Social Security is really an intergenerational compact that boosts the well-being of Americans of all ages — that’s one of the reasons the program is so cherished. One in five Americans receives a Social Security benefit today, and about one in three of these aren’t retired. Social Security protects young workers and their families if they become disabled, and it provides benefits to the survivors of deceased workers, including their kids. Studies show that a 20-year-old worker has a one in three chance of qualifying for disability benefits before reaching retirement age. Today’s seniors rely on Social Security for most of their income – and younger generations without traditional pensions will need the program even more.
July 6, 2022 Jake Johnson, Common Dreams. Resist! Biden administration, Privatization, Senate, Social Security
Defenders of Social Security on Tuesday urged the U.S. Senate to block President Joe Biden's little-noticed nomination of Andrew Biggs—an American Enterprise Institute senior fellow with a history of supporting Social Security privatization—to serve on the independent and bipartisan Social Security Advisory Board. Social Security Works, a progressive advocacy group, is leading the charge against Biggs, highlighting his role in the George W. Bush administration's failed attempt to privatize the New Deal program in 2005.
August 10, 2020 Jack Rasmus, Predicting the Global Economic Crisis. Educate! Donald Trump, Economic collapse, Evictions, Finance and the Economy, Medicare, Social Security, Student Debt
Trump, Meadows, Mnuchin and McConnell cleverly set up and sucked in Pelosi and Shumer into negotiations last week, never planning to conclude a deal by Friday, in the process getting them to reveal their priority demands and securing from them major concessions worth $1 trillion—for which the Democrat leaders apparently got nothing in return. A day later, Trump dropped the hammer and issued his EOs, which are designed more as PR for his election campaign. They certainly won’t provide anything remotely necessary as fiscal stimulus to confront the US economy’s emerging fading rebound in recent weeks. Upon close inspection the EOs are therefore mostly smoke and mirrors, designed to produce useful electoral soundbites for his campaign between now and November. The EOs are more PR for public relations purposes, while also serving as FUs (F*** You) to the Democrats.
February 9, 2020 Jill Richardson, Counterpunch. Educate! Austerity, Disability Rights, Social Security, Trump
You might have missed it amid the impeachment coverage, but the Trump administration has recently rolled out plans for draconian cuts to everything from Medicaid to school lunches. Latest on the chopping block? Social Security disability payments. Cuts to the social safety net are often justified for budgetary reasons, but I find that hard to swallow while Amazon is still paying $0 in federal taxes. If the budget is the problem, then the wealthiest corporations should pay their taxes. If the administration won’t see to that, then it’s not about the budget at all — it’s about cruelty. If anything, disability programs aren’t generous enough. I’ve lived my entire adult life with a disability.
December 17, 2019 Staff, Socialsecurityworks.org Educate! Reform, Social Security, Trump Administration
(Washington, DC) — The following is a statement from Alex Lawson, Executive Director of Social Security Works, on the Trump Administration’s proposal to strip many people with disabilities of their Social Security benefits: “This is the Trump Administration’s most brazen attack on Social Security yet. When Ronald Reagan implemented a similar benefit cut, it ripped away the benefits of 200,000 people. Ultimately, Reagan was forced to reverse his attack on Social Security after massive public outcry – but not before people suffered and died.
September 4, 2019 By Nancy Altman, Independentmediainstitute.org/economy-for-all Educate! Labor, Social Security
Labor Day is a holiday designed to honor America’s workers. Instead, Donald Trump continues to attack them. Indeed, his administration is in the midst of a stealth effort that not only attacks workers but also our earned Social Security benefits and our federal government. The long-term goals of Trump and his Congressional allies are to destroy the labor movement, wreck the federal government, and end Social Security. That may sound hyperbolic, but it is not. Trump’s latest stealth attack is not only anti-union, it will eventually make it so difficult to access Social Security benefits that some beneficiaries...
January 10, 2019 Nancy Altman, Forbes.com Create! Congress, Electoral Politics, Medicare, Social Security
The 116th U.S. Congress is already historic. It reflects the diversity of our country better than any previous Congress, with the highest numbers of women and people of color in history. Nancy Pelosi, the first and only female speaker of the House, has regained her gavel. New members include the first ever Native American Congresswomen, Muslim Congresswomen and the youngest Congresswoman in history. This Congress is poised to make history on policy, as well. It will make significant strides in the fight to expand Social Security and Medicare.
December 10, 2018 Dave Lindorff, Thiscantbehappening.net Create! New Economy, Social Security, Taxes
Social Security, the retirement program established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Democrats in Congress in 1936 as a cornerstone of the New Deal programs that were put in place to help Americans struggling with the Great Depression, has been under attack by Republicans ever since it began. In the early 1980s, they finally got their first chance to really take a whack at it. It was the first term of the administration of Ronald Reagan and thanks to medical advances that were allowing people to live much longer and to the Medicare and Medicaid programs or the mid 1960s that made those advances available to most Americans for the first time...
There’s no real news in the Social Security trustees report released this afternoon. We’re now a year closer to the date the trust fund will be exhausted, 2034 (same as last year’s projection), at which point current revenues will still be sufficient to cover 77 percent of benefits even if nothing is done to shore up the system’s finances. Each year, the release of the trustees report provides an occasion for Social Security scaremongering by those wanting to shrink our social insurance system. But not only can we afford current benefits, we can afford to expand them. The average retired worker beneficiary receives an annual benefit of $16,933. Disability and survivor benefits are even more modest.
For more than a week, Nicaragua was convulsed in protests that were met with heavy-handed repression that has reportedly left at least 30 dead. Tear gas. Rubber bullets. Live ammunition. Barricades and burning buildings. Daniel Ortega, the revolutionary Sandinista leader — and president for the past 11 years — “is suddenly facing a revolution of his own,” The New York Times reported. “The Nicaragua of a week ago no longer exists,” José Adán Aguerri said to The Times. “The break was really with the [Ortega government’s] social security [reforms],” Aguerri later told The Washington Post. Aguerri is the head of COSEP, “the country’s main business organization, which organized one of the biggest protest marches,” The Post reported. Based on much of the media coverage so far, it would be fair to think that this “revolutionary” leader has opted to cut pensions...
October 26, 2017 Sam Pizzigati, www.otherwords.org Educate! Medicare, New Economy, Reform, Social Security, Taxes
By Sam Pizzigati for Other Words - You probably pay about four times more of your income to Social Security than millionaires, who want to cut their taxes and your benefits. How much did your paychecks total last year? You know the answer, of course. So does the Social Security Administration. The totals for every American’s paycheck income are sitting in Social Security’s computers. Once every year, Social Security does a serious data dump out of those computers to let us know just how much working Americans are actually making. The latest totals — covering 2016 — have just appeared. Most of us, the new numbers show, are simply not making all that much. In fact, nearly half of our nation’s employed — 49.3 percent — earned less than $30,000 in 2016. A good many of these Americans lived in poverty. In 2016, families of four that earned less than $24,339 ranked as officially poor. We don’t have an “official” figure for middle class status. But the Economic Policy Institute has calculated the costs of maintaining a no-frills middle class existence in various parts of the United States. In Houston, one of our nation’s cheaper major cities, a family of four needed $62,544 in 2016 to live a bare-bones middle class lifestyle.
April 13, 2017 Nancy Altman, www.huffingtonpost.com Educate! Donald Trump, Social Security, Trump Administration
By Nancy Altman for The Hoffington Post - As part of his tax package, Donald Trump reportedly is planning to propose replacing employee contributions to Social Security with general revenue. The proposal is a Trojan horse: It appears to be a gift, in the form of middle class tax relief, but would, if enacted, lead to the destruction of working Americans’ fundamental economic security. If Trump proposes this Trojan horse, it would be the newest shot in the ongoing Republican war against Social Security. That war has failed so far. The American people overwhelmingly support Social Security because they appreciate that it provides working families with basic economic security when wages are lost as the result of death, disability, or old age. And it does so extremely efficiently, securely, fairly, and universally.
By Dave Lindorff for This Can't Be Happening - The first assault of the new Trump administration and Republican Congress upon Social Security has been launched. It comes in the form of release of a new report by the Congressional Budget Office, which of course these days is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Congressional Caucus. Using some financial sleight-of-hand, this CBO report pushes forward by two years the date at which its ideologically driven experts claim Social Security benefits will exhaust the Trust Fund, and since the Social Security program is required to be self-financing, the date at which, barring adjustments by Congress in the program’s funding and/or benefit payment levels, promised benefits would have to be cut by what the CBO claims will have to be 31%. Such a cut would clearly be a staggering blow to the finances and livelihoods of nation’s retirees, dependents and the disabled.