Paul Ryan :: Social Security Burn

Paul Ryan :: Social Security Burn

  • WMxdesign 3y

    Ryan Budget Fast-Tracks Social Security Cuts

    Daniel Marans :: Politico :: 04/0711

    There's been so much noise about what Paul Ryan's budget plan does to Medicare and Medicaid that the damage it would do to Social Security has gone unnoticed.

    It is true that Ryan sidesteps proposing specific cuts in Social Security benefits. (For some insight into where Ryan's heart lies, however, we have his privatization scheme in his 2010 Roadmap for America's Future, aka the Highway to Hell.)

    But Ryan's budget strikes two major blows to Social Security:

    It creates an unprecedented new fast-track procedure to ram through Social Security benefit cuts.

    Under Ryan's plan, any year Social Security is not in 75-year balance, the president and Congress would have to legislate changes that bring it to solvency through an "expedited process."

    In effect, Ryan would free up Social Security for fast-track cuts by turning it into a regular line budget item. Since Social Security is not part of the general budget, has its own revenue stream, and is forbidden by law from borrowing, it has always been dealt with separately from the rest of the budget. In fact, Ryan had to create a new fast-track process to trigger cuts for Social Security alone, because by law, it is excluded from fast-track reconciliation procedures for the general budget.

    Further, projections of Social Security's solvency change every year, which means that Ryan's plan could force big changes to Social Security based on very short-term variations in the program's finances.

    It endorses major middle class benefit cuts

    Just what kinds of changes would Ryan push through under the new "expedited process" he is proposing? Well, short of explicitly embracing their recommendations, Ryan makes clear that the draconian plan put forward by Fiscal Commission Co-Chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson is his model for reform. Click here and here for a refresher on the Bowles-Simpson proposal.

    The Bowles-Simpson proposal was two-thirds benefit cuts and one-third revenue increases. Only, Ryan thinks the "merits" of their paltry revenue increases are "debatable." He'll take the gargantuan benefit cuts and leave the additional revenue, thank you very much.

    Here's a brief summary of the Bowles-Simpson cuts:

    • Cut benefits for 60% of "Very Low" earners, those with average annual earnings of $10,771

    • Raise the full retirement age to 69, and the earliest eligibility age to 64 (13% cut)

    • Cut the cost of living allowance by adopting the Chained CPI, cutting $108 billion in benefits over 10 years

    • Flatten the benefit formula, dramatically reducing Social Security's wage replacement rate for all but the poorest workers, thus eroding the link between earnings and benefits, and turning Social Security into a welfare-style program

    In addition, Ryan's plan would "pare back spending on non-security government bureaucracies to below 2008 levels and hold this category of spending to a five-year freeze." It would be up to the Appropriations Committee to decide which specific government programs get cut under this spending freeze, which means the Social Security Administration's administrative funding would be in the hands of the Republican Appropriations Committee. If the $1.7 billion in administrative funding cuts in the House Republicans' Continuing Resolution, HR 1, is any guide, however, the Appropriations Committee will not tread lightly on Social Security's administrative funding. To give an idea of the effects cuts to SSA's administrative funding could have, the $1.7 billion in cuts in the HR 1 would have shuttered SSA offices for four weeks, causing them furlough thousands of workers and preventing the processing of 700,000 new claims.

    Conintued: Link to: Politico
  • WMxdesign 3y

    Tom Morello: 'Paul Ryan Is the Embodiment of the Machine Our Music Rages Against'

    Rage Against the Machine's guitarist blasts Romney's VP pick and unlikely Rage fan

    By Tom Morello :: Rolling Stone :: 08/16/12

    Last week, Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan, the Republican architect of Congress's radical right-wing budget plan, as his running mate. Ryan has previously cited Rage Against the Machine as one of his favorite bands. Rage guitarist Tom Morello responds in this exclusive op-ed.

    Paul Ryan's love of Rage Against the Machine is amusing, because he is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades. Charles Manson loved the Beatles but didn't understand them. Governor Chris Christie loves Bruce Springsteen but doesn't understand him. And Paul Ryan is clueless about his favorite band, Rage Against the Machine.

    Ryan claims that he likes Rage's sound, but not the lyrics. Well, I don't care for Paul Ryan's sound or his lyrics. He can like whatever bands he wants, but his guiding vision of shifting revenue more radically to the one percent is antithetical to the message of Rage.

    I wonder what Ryan's favorite Rage song is? Is it the one where we condemn the genocide of Native Americans? The one lambasting American imperialism? Our cover of "Fuck the Police"? Or is it the one where we call on the people to seize the means of production? So many excellent choices to jam out to at Young Republican meetings!

    Don't mistake me, I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta "rage" in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically the only thing he's not raging against is the privileged elite he's groveling in front of for campaign contributions.

    You see, the super rich must rationalize having more than they could ever spend while millions of children in the U.S. go to bed hungry every night. So, when they look themselves in the mirror, they convince themselves that "Those people are undeserving. They're . . . lesser." Some of these guys on the extreme right are more cynical than Paul Ryan, but he seems to really believe in this stuff. This unbridled rage against those who have the least is a cornerstone of the Romney-Ryan ticket.

    But Rage's music affects people in different ways. Some tune out what the band stands for and concentrate on the moshing and throwing elbows in the pit. For others, Rage has changed their minds and their lives. Many activists around the world, including organizers of the global occupy movement, were radicalized by Rage Against the Machine and work tirelessly for a more humane and just planet. Perhaps Paul Ryan was moshing when he should have been listening.

    My hope is that maybe Paul Ryan is a mole. Maybe Rage did plant some sensible ideas in this extreme fringe right wing nut job. Maybe if elected, he'll pardon Leonard Peltier. Maybe he'll throw U.S. military support behind the Zapatistas. Maybe he'll fill Guantanamo Bay with the corporate criminals that are funding his campaign – and then torture them with Rage music 24/7. That's one possibility. But I'm not betting on it.

    Continued: Link to: Rolling Stone
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Taken on December 7, 2011
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