Republicans Just Think the Disabled Get Off Too Easy

“The new rule mandates a 20% cut in benefits to disabled workers unless legislation is passed that either cuts workers’ Social Security retirement benefits or raises taxes.”

This post is a press release from Social Security Works….

The New Republican Attack on Social Security Starts Now!

(Washington, DC) Republican opponents of Social Security have not wasted even a single day in their plan to dismantle Social Security brick by brick.  What should be a dry, mundane exercise — the adoption of new rules by the newly convening House of Representatives — has turned into a stealth attack on America’s working families.

A technical amendment, known as “reallocation” — something that has been done many times over the history of Social Security, something that few persons other than actuaries and other Social Security experts ever know about — must be enacted in the current Congress to ensure that all Social Security benefits continue to be paid in full and on time.  The change is analogous to what investors do when they rebalance their accounts, but in the case of Social Security, a failure to rebalance will result in an unnecessary and completely avoidable cut in benefits paid to workers who have serious and permanent disabilities and to their families.

Like other stealth attacks against the American people’s Social Security, the groundwork is being laid in advance.  It will suddenly explode sometime in the next two years.  The rule change would prohibit a simple reallocation! It will require more significant and complex changes to Social Security.  In other words, the Republican rule will allow Social Security to be held hostage – something we anticipated and warned about in our new book, Social Security Works!  Why Social Security Isn’t Going Broke and How Expanding It will Help Us All (The New Press, 2015)

This is no way for elected officials, who are supposed to be servants of the people, to treat American citizens. Hostage-taking to force changes that the American people do not want to a vital program like Social Security is no way to run the United States of America.

One of the strengths of Social Security is its universality.  It is based on the principle that we are stronger together.  It is an old tactic of the program’s opponents to seek to divide and conquer.  They seek to turn young against old by falsely claiming that too much is being spent on the old.  They seek to turn African Americans against whites with the preposterous claim that Social Security is unfair to blacks.  (We document and refute these and many other claims in our new book).  This time they seek to drive a wedge between retired workers and disabled workers by claiming that reallocation helps the disabled at the expense of the old – another preposterous claim.  All of these divide-and-conquer strategies are intended to turn Americans against each other so that all of their benefits can be cut.

But if senior, disability, workers, women’s, veterans, civil rights, faith-based and other groups stand together – as they have in opposition to privatization and recent benefit cut proposals – this stealth effort to pull apart our Social Security will be defeated. And if citizens from around the country let their representatives know that it’s time to expand Social Security to address the nation’s retirement income crisis, not cut it, all of us will be better off.

For those of us paying attention, we’ve seen this 100 times before.  Hopefully this time we can help explain what is going on in real time so more people catch on to the game.  The Republican shtick is about doing whatever they can to beat back the middle class society that Roosevelt help build.  Amazingly, even in the face of dangerous levels of inequity, this is still their priority.  Minimize government support to the needy so … (insert reasoning in here – or in comments for that matter).

And it doesn’t matter if you are elderly or disabled, you should not feel entitled to help from government.  That’s what churches, family and community are for.

And they know how to play the system beautifully and now have access to both houses of Congress.  I guess that only means it makes 2016 and continued attempts to spread the good word that much more important.

Note:  An attempt to contact the right wing intertubes (Drudge) about this Republican maneuver was made but there was no headline response by the time the “publish” button was clicked.

Social Security Works…

“Social Security Works is the lead group in the Strengthen Social Security Coalition, a coalition comprised of more than 320 national and state organizations representing more than 50 million Americans from many of the nation’s leading aging, labor, disability, women’s, children, consumer, civil rights and equality organizations.”

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