My Opinion

Democratic platform on Social Security 

This is section from the Democratic platform related to Social Security. It would sure be nice to actually live in a world where simply saying something makes it so. Where facts and figures can be ignored, and unintended consequences forever were invisible. Based on the following, that seems to be where the Democratic Party lives and would like you to live there too. 

First, raising the Social Security tax on a few Americans not only violates the very premise and foundation of Social Security, it does not guarantee benefits will continue for generations, not even close. 

And, dare we ask how expanding benefits will be paid for? Go ahead ask, I dare you. 

Of course women are shortchanged by the mere fact they are women ignoring that the formula for Social Security calculates benefits the same for men and women. Or, that a spouse married only nine months can receive full spouses benefits as can multiple ex-wives, or receive benefits based on a spouses earnings even if they never earned a penny in the workplace. One can only imagine what they have in mind for expanding benefits for women. It sounds like they want benefits for time not worked or earnings not earned for single women. 

Then we have “diminish benefits by cutting cost-of-living adjustments.” I love this phraseology, you know instead of getting a 3% raise, you get 2.5% raise and poof, your pay has been cut … Huh?

If you want to retire with “dignity and respect,” you better start planning and saving the first day you start working. Forty-years later you will have dignity, respect and a decent income. Not sure how that works if you must rely on the taxes paid by the ants. 

Too bad this platform doesn’t comment in why fixing Social Security as urged in every Trustee  report for decades has been ignored (by the Republicans as well), especially when they are concerned about protecting workers when pension plans are in distress. 

But hey, this platform isn’t written to actually solve problems. It’s written to gain your vote and guess what? Many of you are ready to live in that special world where simply saying something makes it so. It worked for health care, right? Isn’t your health care affordable? 

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1 reply »

  1. “Of course women are shortchanged by the mere fact they are women ignoring that the formula for Social Security calculates benefits the same for men and women.”

    Nope. These social entitlements (Social Security and Medicare), obviously (intentionally or unintentionally) favor women over men. The Social Security formula bend points reduce:
    (1) The impact of years without wages, and
    (2) The impact of years of lower wages.

    There is no difference in the Social Security formula based on gender. And, there is no difference in the Social Security (OASDI) contributions based on gender. So, since Social Security benefits are paid in the form of a life annuity, and because women, on average, live 3 – 5 years longer than men, a woman’s “return” on the same contribution stream is greater.

    The majority of the spousal benefits are paid to women.

    The majority of the survivor benefits are paid to women. Similarly, the survivor provisions allow the lower earning spouse to effectively “step into the shoes” of the spouse with the larger benefit.

    Finally, for spouse’s who have lower earnings, they pay dramatically lower contributions to fund Medicare Part A, avoid Medicare Part B and Part D surcharges, and often receive greater benefits by qualifying as dual eligibles. Just as important, those with lower wages pay less in federal income taxes (a highly progressive system, in terms of who pays and how much). Both systems generate the same or greater coverage for less contributions and taxes – for women, on average.

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