Tuesday, November 09, 2010


There's nothing like a heavy dose of incoming self-serving tripe to add the taste of urine to one's Wheaties. Andrew Biggs, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, provided today's outrageous garbage, hauled in and dumped on Angelenos' breakfast tables.

Mr. Biggs suggests that deficits could be reduced and the economy made better if we would just increase the retirement age. He suggests that "entitlements" such as Social Security need to be pared in these perilous times. And then he insists that everyone, including would-be retirees at age 62, would all be better off. Never mind that Social Security is funded by those who eventually expect to collect on all the premiums they paid over 40 years, and not by the government. Never mind that Social Security contributes not one cent to the federal deficit. Never mind that there are no fucking jobs for those over 62 who got laid off or terminated in the blood bath of the past three years, and for many of those who still are "employed", the work they are doing is only part time and their actual wages are lower in real dollars than they were only five years ago.

None of that apparently matters to our owners at AEI. All they care about is a ready reserve of drones who will labor on until they drop. And they have all sorts of "statistics" to back their demands:

Perhaps the best evidence that future Americans can work longer is that past Americans did: Despite poorer health, shorter lives and more strenuous jobs, in 1950 the typical individual did not claim Social Security until age 68.5. In 1950, more than 20% of Americans worked in physically demanding jobs; today only about 8% do. While today's technology-driven service economy places demands on older workers, it is hard to imagine that things were easier when Americans typically worked on farms or in factories.

One impediment frequently cited to Americans working longer is the shortage of jobs. Certainly unemployment is high at the moment, which is why any increase in the early retirement age should be phased in over time. But with 10,000 baby boomers leaving the workforce each day, businesses will need more employees as the economy recovers. And more affluent retirees are likely to spend more, which will in turn create jobs.

Yeah, that'll get it. And I'm the Queen of Rumania.

But here's the real kicker: he's got a cure for what ails us:

Several steps would make longer work lives easier while protecting those who can't work. To begin, the Social Security payroll tax should be reduced or eliminated for individuals over age 62, giving older Americans the incentive to work and employers the incentive to hire them. To protect individuals who cannot work longer, Social Security disability benefits should remain available and the eligibility age for Supplemental Security Income — a means-tested benefit for the poor — should be lowered from 65 to 62. Finally, Medicare should be made the primary payer of health costs for individuals over age 65, which would significantly lower employers' health insurance costs for older workers. [Emphasis added]

Hmmm...I was under the impression that Medicare was already the primary payer of health insurance costs for people over 65, whether they were working or not. If Mr. Biggs thinks that would lower employers' health insurance costs, where was he during the healthcare reform debate when many of us were suggesting that Medicare For All would have that effect across the board? Cowering in the corner, I suspect.

Look, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Social Security system, even now as more workers are forced into an early retirement they hadn't anticipated or desired, that wouldn't be cured by raising or removing the cap on the payroll tax for Social Security.

Perhaps Mr. Biggs, if he really wants to reduce the federal deficit, should consider a more appropriate target, like the two, soon to be three, unnecessary wars we are engaged in. Or the bloated Pentagon budget itself. Or the corporate welfare that sucks out tax dollars without replacing them.

Fucking moron.

Labels: , ,


Blogger PurpleGirl said...

Ah... I'm under 60 and unemployed for close to two years. Where are the employers who will hire me? To make up for savings losses and additions to the Social Security fund for that time, I will have to work to 70, at least.

I forget where I saw it (I should trace by blog reading of the last few days) but there are quite a few corporations who paid NO taxes recently and/or who received refunds of hundreds of millions of dollars.

AEI personnel are such whores.

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do tell, what do you think the soon to be third war is? Pakistan? Korea? Iran? Mexico? Scratching my head.


8:45 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home