Saturday, September 10, 2011

Granny Bird Award: Barack Obama

A couple of weeks ago, I issued the First Granny Bird Award to Rick Perry for his outrageous stance on Social Security. At that time, I noted the main prerequisite for the award:

...the Granny Bird will be awarded from time to time to individuals or groups who adversely affect the rights and interests of the elders, especially if they go out of their way to do so.

You will note that there is no requirement that the recipient be a Republican, and the second award makes it clear that the elders have to keep watch over both sides of the aisle when it comes to issues affecting them. This time, the Democrat in Chief is guilty of playing fast and loose with Social Security, a major interest of elders, and he is doing so under the guise of giving average Americans a tax break.

Here's the deal: as part of the the president's job bill, he wants to extend and to increase the payroll tax holiday. By "payroll tax," of course, we are talking about the money which is taken from each check and paid into social security. That is how the safety net gets funded and has worked since the inception of the program. Each paycheck the worker contributes and the employer contributes. It's worked for decades to keep Social Security in the black. Now, however, that money is not flowing the way it was intended. Less money is going in at a time when more people are accessing the fund. In other words, President Obama is engineering a deliberate short-fall.

The White House claims that it's no big deal. The government will make up the difference from the general fund.

Yeah, right. And I'm the Queen of Romania.

Congressional Republicans caught the drift right off:

One of the arguments Republicans make against the tax break is that it drains Social Security revenue at a time when the trust fund is running short.

Normally, money from the payroll tax goes to fund Social Security. Under Obama's plan, money would be transferred from the government's general fund to cover the revenue losses to Social Security, but Republicans argue that is a dangerous game.

"This is robbing Peter to pay Paul," said Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), a leading House conservative. "It's a gimmick."

It is indeed, especially since we have been told that such "entitlements" as Social Security and Medicare are on the table when it comes to deficit reduction. Anybody who thinks the Supercommittee isn't going to find a way to start shredding those two programs needs to have his/her meds adjusted.

Now we are faced with the removal of the one safeguard that kept the system going: the idea that our contributions were untouchable. We are also faced with an even nastier dilemma: if we gripe about the tax holiday it sounds like we don't want average Americans to get a tax break.

Heckuva job, Barack.

Enjoy your award.

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Blogger Conni said...

Yay Granny Bird!

8:15 AM  
Blogger Florence said...

As much as I hate to admit it, he deserves the award. :(

8:44 AM  
Blogger ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...


My comment at Krugman's.

5:45 PM  

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