The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Social Security:
Death by a Thousand Cuts

Apr 15, 2013

Manipulating the cost-of-living allowance is the favorite way that politicians have already cut Social Security benefits. One economist, John Williams of ShadowStats, has demonstrated that previous changes in the cost-of-living formula have already cut the real value of benefits by more than half since the 1970s.

The politicians have cut Social Security benefits in other ways as well. They have pushed back by six months the month when the government pays the cost-of-living allowance increase. They are gradually raising the official retirement age from 65 to 67 years old. They are increasing the premium for Medicare Part B, which is deducted from Social Security checks, much faster than the yearly cost-of-living increase for Social Security. And they added a tax to Social Security benefits when the retiree’s annual income is over $25,000 counting Social Security. Estimates are that these changes cut Social Security benefits that beneficiaries actually receive by another 20 per cent.

For retirees and their families, it’s death by a thousand cuts.

Already, the average Social Security benefit has been pushed down so far that it is barely above the poverty line. People work their whole lives, then help build up the wealth of society–only to be plagued by destitution and want in their last years. And this in a society oozing money. Outrageous!