Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Top 5 Social Security Myths
Myth #1: Social Security is going broke.
Reality: There is no Social Security crisis. By 2023, Social Security will have a $4.6 trillion surplus (yes, trillion with a 'T'). It can pay out all scheduled benefits for the next quarter-century with no changes whatsoever.1 After 2037, it'll still be able to pay out 75% of scheduled benefits—and again, that's without any changes. The program started preparing for the Baby Boomers' retirement decades ago.2 Anyone who insists Social Security is broke probably wants to break it themselves.
Myth #2: We have to raise the retirement age because people are living longer.
Reality: This is a red-herring to trick you into agreeing to benefit cuts. Retirees are living about the same amount of time as they were in the 1930s. The reason average life expectancy is higher is mostly because many fewer people die as children than they did 70 years ago.3 What's more, what gains there have been are distributed very unevenly—since 1972, life expectancy increased by 6.5 years for workers in the top half of the income brackets, but by less than 2 years for those in the bottom half.4 But those intent on cutting Social Security love this argument because raising the retirement age is the same as an across-the-board benefit cut.
Myth #3: Benefit cuts are the only way to fix Social Security.
Reality: Social Security doesn't need to be fixed. But if we want to strengthen it, here's a better way: Make the rich pay their fair share. If the very rich paid taxes on all of their income, Social Security would be sustainable for decades to come.5 Right now, high earners only pay Social Security taxes on the first $106,000 of their income.6 But conservatives insist benefit cuts are the only way because they want to protect the super-rich from paying their fair share.
Myth #4: The Social Security Trust Fund has been raided and is full of IOUs
Reality: Not even close to true. The Social Security Trust Fund isn't full of IOUs, it's full of U.S. Treasury Bonds. And those bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.7 The reason Social Security holds only treasury bonds is the same reason many Americans do: The federal government has never missed a single interest payment on its debts. President Bush wanted to put Social Security funds in the stock market—which would have been disastrous—but luckily, he failed. So the trillions of dollars in the Social Security Trust Fund, which are separate from the regular budget, are as safe as can be.
Myth #5: Social Security adds to the deficit
Reality: It's not just wrong—it's impossible! By law, Social Security's funds are separate from the budget, and it must pay its own way. That means that Social Security can't add one penny to the deficit.8
Defeating these myths is the first step to stopping Social Security cuts. Can you share this list now?
1."To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security," New Deal 2.0, June 14, 2010
2. "The Straight Facts on Social Security," Economic Opportunity Institute, September 2009
3. "Social Security and the Age of Retirement," Center for Economic and Policy Research, June 2010
4. "More on raising the retirement age," Washington Post, July 8, 2010
5. "Social Security is sustainable," Economic and Policy Institute, May 27, 2010
6. "Maximum wage contribution and the amount for a credit in 2010," Social Security Administration, April 23, 2010
7. "Trust Fund FAQs," Social Security Administration, February 18, 2010
8."To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security," New Deal 2.0, June 14, 2010
Distributed by Delaware/Montgomery Progressive Democrats of America – www.mainlinepeaceaction.blogspot.com
Posted by Walter Ebmeyer at 6:29 AM
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Posted by Walter Ebmeyer at 7:26 AM
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Posted by Walter Ebmeyer at 7:08 AM
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Posted by Walter Ebmeyer at 5:34 AM
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Posted by Walter Ebmeyer at 5:28 PM
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Friday, September 2, 7pm, presented by Brandywine Peace at Peace Center of Delaware County, 1001 Old Sproul Road, Springfield. Large screen. Free.
Posted by Walter Ebmeyer at 10:47 AM
Posted by Walter Ebmeyer at 6:21 AM
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Posted by Walter Ebmeyer at 11:56 AM
Saturday, August 13, 2011
In his Aug. 5 op-ed, “Cut defense — but don’t gut it,” written in response to Fareed Zakaria’s Aug. 4 op-ed column supporting defense cuts, Michael O’Hanlon contended that reducing military spending by close to a trillion dollars over the next decade is not doable.
However, the military-industrial complex is, in fact, out of control — and such cuts are possible. In real terms, total defense spending is higher than at any time since World War II, including the peak years of the Korean and Vietnam wars and the Reagan defense buildup. Even if the defense budget were reduced by the entire $1 trillion, or about $100 billion a year over the next decade, it would amount to a reduction of about 15 percent. This would, in real terms, allow the Pentagon to spend at its 2007 level for the next decade. Our equipment is aging not because of a lack of funds but because of poor management of this gusher of defense spending. Over the past decade, the Pentagon has spent about $50 billion on weapons it had to cancel, and cost overruns on major weapons programs have neared $300 billion.
The writer, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, served as assistant secretary of defense from 1981 to 1985.
Posted by Walter Ebmeyer at 2:37 PM
Friday, August 12, 2011
AFL-CIO OPPOSES WARS IN AFGHANISTAN, IRAQ AS “COSTLY MISTAKE”
"There is no way to fund what we must do as a nation without bringing our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan. The militarization of our foreign policy has proven to be a costly mistake. It is time to invest at home” – AFL-CIO Executive Council, Aug. 3, 2011
In a major victory for the progressive movement, the AFL-CIO has condemned the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as a “militarization of our foreign policy” and a “costly mistake.” The statement, adopted August 3, is the most forthright in the history of a labor movement marked by pro-war allegiances for many decades. It reflects a deep sentiment among working families, estimated at 80 percent opposition by one longtime labor official in Washington DC. Much credit goes to the patient bottom-up organizing by US Labor Against the War and others, who solicited endorsements from hundreds of locals and mobilized labor contingents at countless rallies across the country.
The AFL-CIO officially opposed the Iraq war at its 2005 convention. But the organization was supportive of Afghanistan, or at least reluctant to oppose the administration’s policy until recently. For example, at a closed meeting last year, the labor federation refused to participate in a large Washington march if the demands included withdrawal from Afghanistan. Peace advocates were disappointed, but speakers like Harry Belafonte proceeded to attack the war policy in any event, to cheers from thousands of marchers.
The San Francisco labor federation, led by Tim Paulson, has long advocated that the national federation oppose the interventionist wars on the basis of their economic cost. That position prevailed in a discussion of 30-some local labor leaders in the week before the Aug. 3 executive council meeting. According to Paulson, who was there, the inclusion of the anti-war statement was “first and foremost a product of the disastrous budget debate that led to the debt ceiling deal.” The Afghanistan war cost is over one trillion taxpayer dollars, not including long-term costs for veterans’ health care.
In the advisory committee meeting, Paulson said, “we really struggled over ways to take back the jobs debate and needless to say, the subject of how the largest part of our massive debt comes from our foreign policy made its way prominently back on the table. Our advice to the executive officers included exiting the wars.
It is known that Rep. Barbara Lee, a leader of the Democratic peace forces in Congress, also called AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka in February with a plea to support the majority of House Democrats demanding a rapid withdrawal from Afghanistan. In the same month, the Democratic National Committee, which includes a heavy labor representation, unanimously passed a resolution calling for a more rapid withdrawal from Afghanistan with a transfer of dollars to job creation.
The AFL-CIO is expected to decide this week on messaging and resources to implement its statement.
If the Obama administration withdraws all 47,000 troops from Iraq this year, and just half (or 50,000) its troops from Afghanistan by 2012, the taxpayer savings would be $200 billion to invest in America during the next two years. The Senate Democratic deficit proposal included $1.2 trillion in tax savings from “winding down” the two wars in the next several years.
According to Judith LeBlanc of Peace Action, “this development opens the door to more intense activity at all levels of the labor movement to partner with community, social service, religious, student and other organizations for racial and economic justice in an effort to turn back the deficit mania sweeping the country and establish new priorities in public policy that create jobs and provide the social services people need.” #
------ End of Forwarded Message
Posted by Walter Ebmeyer at 4:51 PM
Posted by Walter Ebmeyer at 6:14 AM
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Posted by Walter Ebmeyer at 7:34 AM
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Posted by Walter Ebmeyer at 11:31 AM
Posted by Walter Ebmeyer at 6:24 AM
Monday, August 8, 2011
If you see some tired bedraggled CWA picketers, tell them how enthusiastically you support them and buy them a cup of coffee.
We will keep you updated throughout the fight.
Additional information can be found at:www.cwa-union.org/verizon
Read about it:
Posted by Walter Ebmeyer at 6:10 AM
Sunday, August 7, 2011
To the Editor:
In this morning's op-ed piece by Senator Toomey, he says this: "Excessive debt leads to higher interest rates, serious inflation, and tax increases - sometimes all at once." One must ask "What planet is the Senator living on?" Higher interest rates? Not on my savings account. Serious inflation? Tell that to the people trying to sell their homes. Tax increases? On whom, Senator? Public servants who peddle such untruths cannot be taken seriously. Walter Ebmeyer, Bryn Mawr.
Posted by Walter Ebmeyer at 9:25 AM
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Posted by Walter Ebmeyer at 7:17 AM
Posted by Walter Ebmeyer at 6:41 AM
Friday, August 5, 2011
Posted by Walter Ebmeyer at 6:09 AM
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Posted by Walter Ebmeyer at 7:09 AM
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Posted by Walter Ebmeyer at 5:19 PM
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Posted by Walter Ebmeyer at 4:46 PM
Posted by Walter Ebmeyer at 9:00 AM
Posted by Walter Ebmeyer at 6:07 AM