Friday, January 23, 2015

Could GOP Turn Social Security Reallocation Into A Yearly Crisis Like The Debt Limit?

Dylan Scott at TPM:

House Republicans have been transparent about their intentions of using the new rule to force a debate on changes to the program, while advocates and Democrats warned that the rule could lead to benefit cuts. But there is another possibility: Republicans could pass a short-term reallocation that would set up another shortfall a few years down the road -- and one that could arrive under a new Republican president.

It would in theory turn Social Security reallocation into something akin to the debt ceiling of the last few years: A formerly routine accounting move that the GOP is now trying to use as a leverage point to advance conservative proposals. Advocates told TPM that it was a scenario they were taking seriously.

"Just as with the debt limit, Congress could require regular short-term action, keeping a climate of crisis and requiring new legislation frequently," Nancy Altman, co-director of Social Security Works, told TPM. Advocates are pushing for a clean reallocation, which is projected to keep both funds solvent until 2033.

Just before the last election, the GOP answer was apparently "NO" ... they wouldn't substantially whack Social Security; there was ample political support for the 80-year-old program across the political spectrum. But there's nothing like winning an election to turn mild-mannered GOPers into raging, raving, right-wing demons. And apparently, post-election, this proposal is doing exactly that.

How many of you would side with "Granny-Starver" (Rep. Paul Ryan) in favoring an evisceration of Social Security for people who have diligently paid into the system all their working lives? Remember, it's not a gift: we earned it. The often-mentioned "contract across generations" only works if each generation in turn acts in good faith to make it work.

Damn these GOPers to Hell, I did my part. I can't begin to say what I would do if they don't do theirs.

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