Tag: The Washington Post

Both parties have a plan for the debt crisis: Do nothing

Both parties have a plan for the debt crisis: Do nothing

Here are the CBO projections.
Since 1950, deficits have equaled or exceeded 5 percent of GDP in only six years (1983, 1985 and 2009-2012), and most of these occurred after deep recessions.
Adding these amounts to government borrowing would increase the federal debt — the total of all past deficits — to more than 100 percent of GDP, about as large as right after World War II.
They warned of an approaching “debt crisis” if ballooning budget deficits weren’t reversed.
On April 9, five Democratic economists issued a rejoinder in The Post, rejecting the Hoover economists’ suggestion that spending cuts for “entitlements” — mainly programs for the elderly and the poor — bear all the burden of cuts.
In today’s dollars, balancing the budget would require annual spending cuts and tax increases of about $1 trillion.
That’s equal to about a fifth of federal spending, which is now being borrowed.
Social Security and other “safety net” programs would have to be reduced, possibly through higher eligibility ages and more means-testing.
These entitlements constitute about 70 percent of federal spending; if they’re ignored, the entire adjustment would fall on other spending (other domestic programs and defense) and taxes.
But a debt crisis does not come slowly and visibly like a rising tide.

Debunking The Washington Post’s Latest Outrageous Attacks On Social Security
Social Security Disability

Debunking The Washington Post’s Latest Outrageous Attacks On Social Security

The Post sensationally – and inaccurately – claimed, in a recent front-page story entitled, “Disabled, or just desperate?”, that as many as one in three working-age Americans living in the nation’s rural communities are turning to disability benefits as a form of unemployment insurance.
The end result is an inaccurate, over-the-top depiction of a supposed disability crisis in rural America that gives opponents of Social Security the justification and arguments they have been looking for to advocate cuts to Social Security.
Targeting Social Security’s disability protections is a long-favored tactic of opponents of Social Security who seek to employ a divide-and-conquer strategy: They use myths and misinformation about Social Security’s disability protection — which is not a separate program, but an inextricable component of Social Security’s wage insurance — to seek to pit retired workers against workers with disabilities and create divisions that distract the American people from their real goal of dismantling Social Security altogether.
These myths include false claims that working families’ earned disability protection is draining money from retirees; that it is rife with fraud; and (as the Post and Mulvaney both recently claimed), that it is simply an unemployment program for Americans who could actually work, but are lazy freeloaders.
Workers with disabilities, who, by definition, are incapable of supporting themselves from paid work have very little financial security as they navigate the long and difficult process.
Indeed, the recent growth in disability insurance beneficiaries, which has now begun to reverse, has been due to well-known and long-expected demographic factors, including the increase in the number of workers, especially women, who work in paid employment and are thus earning Social Security’s insurance protections, along with a large number of workers aging into their prime disability years, and receiving disability insurance a year longer due to the increase in Social Security’s full retirement age.
These slanderous claims about Social Security’s disability insurance are not simply an attack on the people who receive benefits, or the way that benefits are administered.
At base, when it comes to disability, the problem isn’t that too many people are receiving benefits, or that eligibility criteria are too lax, or, as the Post and Mulvaney have tried to claim, that benefits are disincentivizing people with disabilities from working.
In contrast, the American people understand that all of Social Security’s protections, including its disability protections, are earned, and are vital to the wellbeing of all Americans.
Instead of proposing vague reforms and outright cuts to Social Security’s disability insurance, policymakers should listen to the American people and expand all of Social Security’s protections.