Providing older people with decent incomes and health care does not rob younger people of their future. Instead, Social Security and Medicare, along with education and other programs for the young, help unite us across generations, making us mutually dependent on each other. That’s a hallmark of a civilized and fair society.
When 52% of older workers are pushed out of their jobs, working longer is not a viable choice. To ensure people can retire when they need to without experiencing economic deprivation, we need to strengthen Social Security, get some control over Medicare premiums and copays, and create pension plans to which every worker and employer must contribute.
For 2019, Social Security beneficiaries will receive a cost of living adjustment of 2.8 percent. That is good news for Social Security beneficiaries, many of whom have little or no other income. The bad news is that millions of people likely will not experience that full increase; some may not see any increase at all and others might see a decline in their overall income, as the result of rising health care costs.
Efforts to boost Social Security have languished in the Republican-controlled Congress. But that could change after November’s elections. There is no better way to help Main Street than to elect members of Congress who appreciate Social Security’s immensely positive impact on our economy – and will work hard to expand on the program’s promise.
If the blue wave in the midterm elections falls short, there is every reason to believe that a Republican Congress, freed from the immediate threat of elections, would do what it narrowly failed to do last year: repeal the Affordable Care Act. This would cause tens of millions of Americans to lose health insurance and would in particular hit those with pre-existing conditions.
But the attack on the social safety net probably wouldn’t stop there: Longstanding programs, very much including Social Security and Medicare, would also be on the chopping block. Who says so? Republicans themselves.
Social Security is unaffordable due to our aging population. Social Security is a driver of our national debt. Social Security is built on a house of cards – its assets are just IOUs. Social Security is a Ponzi scheme.
No doubt you have heard some or all of these claims from politicians and pundits debating solutions to the problems of our most important retirement program.
But Nancy Altman argues that these claims are not just wrong, but part of a purposeful campaign to undermine and dismantle Social Security that has been underway since its creation in the 1930s. Altman makes her case in a provocative, highly informative new book, The Truth About Social Security: The Founders’ Words Refute Revisionist History, Zombie Lies, and Common Misunderstandings.
There’s something for everyone to learn about Social Security from this interview with Nancy Altman, president of Social Security Works — check it out!