Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Friday, June 7, 2013 5:01 am

Matt Yglesias gets shrill. And real.

We’ve heard a lot of bullshit these past several years about Social Security, so as an antitoxin, here’s Matt Yglesias:

The Powers That Be hate Social Security and always will because it’s a program whose entire purpose is to pay people money not to work. That’s not a perverse consequence of Social Security. It’s not a contentious partisan claim about Social Security. It’s not a dubious interpretation of what Social Security is all about. That’s the point. It’s to give people money so they can retire with dignity. “Retire” being a fancy word for “not working.” You’re never ever going to persuade business leaders to stop agitating for cuts in a program that has this feature. Business leaders want people to work! At a minimum, if people are hoping to not work, business leaders are going to want people to save (i.e., loan funds to business leaders) in order to achieve that purpose. Taxing people who are working in order to pay money so that people can enjoy retired life in peace is the antithesis of everything business elites want out of public policy.

And guess what we haven’t done during this era of changing projections? We haven’t cut Social Security benefits. We haven’t raised the age at which people become eligible for Medicare. We’ve done things to reduce budget deficits, in other words, but we haven’t really acted to make it tougher for people to retire. But people don’t like to say they want to make it hard for people to retire so instead they talk about “the deficit,” and they’re not going to stop.

The Powers that Be have had their way for way too long. I think it’s time that the rest of America slapped them and told them to shut their whore mouths.

 

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Friday, August 27, 2010 8:25 pm

Alan Simpson, the Cat Food Commission and Social Security

Former Sen. Alan Simpson, co-chair of the presidential commission looking at deficit reduction — and, by “looking at deficit reduction,” I mean, “looking for ways to cut Social Security unnecessarily so as to benefit wealthy taxpayers” — said some condescending things to to the head of the Older Women’s League and some economically ignorant things to the head of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, apparently not understanding that he was saying sexist things to a woman and economically ignorant things to an actual economist and that both of them were not inclined to sit on their respective butts and nod at stupid things.

The Older Women’s League, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), and North Carolina’s Democratic Senate nominee, Elaine Marshall, have all called for Simpson to be fired. Won’t happen; as long as you don’t insult AIPAC or rich white conservatives, you’re safe. But the main problem is, they’re wrong.

President Obama needs to fire the whole damn commission.

As currently structured, the commission is a fraud, a single, particular solution in search of a nonexistent problem. You want to fix the U.S. deficit? Then you fix health care, because health-care costs are the biggest part of the deficit (closely followed by a bloated defense budget and two wars, one of which should have ended long ago and the other of which never should have been fought in the first place).

Social Security benefits do NOT need to be cut, retirement ages do NOT need to be raised, and Alan Simpson calls Social Security “a cow with 310 million tits” like that’s a BAD thing, apparently because he doesn’t understand that we’re all feeding the cow, too. Moron.

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