Archive for the ‘Social insurance’ Category

Where’s the Rip-Off? Rand Paul in Perspective

Critics of Social Security’s Disability Insurance program would like you to think it’s riddled with incompetence and fraud. As for the spectacularly dysfunctional accounting and payment systems at the Defense Department … well, we just have to live with them, right? Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul kicked up a fuss last week when he claimed the […]

Mario Cuomo was not a “liberal beacon”

The former New York governor, who was laid to rest yesterday, is being mourned as a “forceful defender of liberalism.” In reality, he was a creator of the Democratic center-right and consistent supporter of anti-entitlement crusades. For anyone who’s followed American politics closely for the past 40 years or so, the headlines following his death […]

Enlisting AARP

Social Security will be under attack again in 2015. The best way for progressives to defend it is to go on the offensive as well, pressing Congress to pass one of the four bills now on the table to expand the program. Getting AARP on board would be a big help—but the giant older-Americans’ organization […]

Brookings, Social Security, and the welfare state

We’ve had the evidence before us for a long time: Social Security is the most effective—and cost-effective—US anti-poverty program, both for adults and children. So why do recent writings by scholars at the Brookings Institution ignore it? “Evidence-based decision-making” may be the most popular catch phrase in Washington. The Big Data revolution has convinced The […]

GOP to block Dem nominee to protest troubles with GOP program

That’s right: Republican senators are upset about delays and cost overruns on a new computer system at the Social Security Administration—so upset, they want to block the president’s nominee for commissioner. The only the trouble is, the new computer system was planned and ordered up by the prior commissioner—a Bush appointee. The 11 Republican members […]

“Octomom” and the racial double standard

Social Security’s right-wing critics like to argue that a program guaranteeing a minimal income in old age undermines the family by discouraging working people from having children—and that the resulting decline in the birthrate undermines Social Security. Yet, the right also likes to vilify people of color who have too many children. Could it be […]

A momentous—and ominous—week for Social Security

The last week of June saw the effective end of DOMA and passage of a landmark Senate immigration reform bill. Both will widen access to Social Security, although the exact extent is still unknown. But it also saw the Supreme Court wipe out the enforcement mechanism for the landmark Voting Rights Act. The latter, unfortunately, […]

The Nobody-But-Ourselves-to-Blame Trip

If Americans can’t retire in comfort and relative security, who’s at fault? Increasingly, we’re being conditioned to point the finger at ourselves. It’s a brilliantly underhanded way to keep us from questioning the downsizing of successful, collective programs like Social Security and Medicare. Every so often, the mainstream media anoints a new public intellectual—the big […]

The Real Meaning of Chained CPI

Switching to a stingier method of adjusting Social Security benefits is supposed to be OK because we can just “substitute” an equivalent good for one that’s become too costly. But what if that substitution becomes permanent? The chained CPI is perhaps the first—at least the most blatant—attempt to write the acceptance of downward mobility into […]

Social Security as a National Unification Policy

Legal scholar Karen N. Tani has published one of the most original and provocative  papers in years on one of the most important pieces of legislation in American history—the Social Security Act of 1935. (Note: For the first time, a Democratic president has just launched a proposal to cut Social Security benefits. This is quite […]