Some insight into “expanding” Social Security 

There are many seniors out there with a delusional expectation that electing certain politicians will save Social Security and increase their benefits.

Ain’t gonna to happen.

Expanding benefits in the eye of politicians means seeing how many more voters you can entice to your side by creating additional promises down the road. Here is an example:

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has proposed expanding Social Security for those “who took significant time out of the paid workforce to take care of their children, aging parents, or ailing family members,” according to her website. Caregivers’ time away from work reduces their future Social Security benefits, which are based on workers’ top 35 earning years. Source: Money

In this case she is seeking more votes from women (also aimed at single mothers) by promising an additional benefit based on not working . These are the same politicians who seek federally required paid leave for individuals who provide the same services.

I doubt you will hear much of what current seniors seek; a tidy increase in their current benefits. Even the left of left Elizabeth Warren only proposes a one time $250 bump to offset no COLA.

imageIsn’t it a bit ironic that as politicians create “more” promises for Social Security, the push for affordable health insurance is driving up deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses and forcing more Americans to contribute to Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts, both of which reduce future Social Security benefits, especially for middle and lower-income taxpayers. 

Here is what the Republican platform says:

We look to the growth of Health Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Accounts that empower patients and advance choice in healthcare.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if somebody sat down and looked at Social Security in the context of all retirement issues and taxation and employer and personal responsibility and came up with a sustainable plan to make Social Security what Americans  want it to be and what all Americans are willing to pay for in 2017 and forever more. 

All we continue to do is pander to segments of the population, promise what we can’t afford to deliver and create the illusion only somebody else will pay. 


4 replies »

  1. You may have paid into SS for many years, but you didn’t even pay enough to cover your basic benefit let alone any future COLAs. Congress hasn’t received a raise since 2009, nine of my sons have received a raise in their job in several years. We seniors don’t deserve more than other taxpayers can afford.


  2. Again, I’ll mention the Bowles Simpson panel. President Obama appointed Alan Simpson, former Wyoming Republican senator, and Erskine Bowles, former key Bill Clinton advisor, to head up a bi-partisan panel to suggest fixes for the long term fiscal survivability of Social Security. The panel had some heavy weight number crunchers, Alice Rivlin, economist, and Paul Ryan, congressman, among others.

    The panel, after more than a year of deliberation, came up with a report with a laundry list of fixes to Social Security. Obama ignored the panel’s report. He did not even mention it in his State of the Union address soon after the report was made public.


  3. Give Social Security recipients a set percentage every year i.e. 1,2,3% like employers do and forget what the 3rd quarter is doing, basing our increase on the economy. We paid into SS, The government can move the Trust fund anywhere they want when they need dollars, yet we struggle to continue to live in our communities with no raises.. They forget that most SS recipients have added expenses paying for services that they once could do but can’t any longer that can take a chunk out of checks. Plus copays from HMO’s for meds are higher this year than last year, yet they want to raise the Medicare deduction? We all still pay $35. copay with Medicare HMO for Specialists now with additional copays for meds how much more are they going to take? I say forget the third quarter basis for SS and give a percentage every year that one can count on and leave the percentage in place. When one knows how much each year we will receive, it helps tremendously with planning a so-called budget pending no major repairs i.e. car, heat and air and upward costs of insurances with tacking on the costs of all these floods to our insurances. I am tired of robbing Peter to pay Paul every year when everyone else receives a raise and SS recipients try to struggle to make ends meet.


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