Sunday, June 20, 2010

Painfully "Saving" Social Security & Pensions

Programs designed to fund retirement are under severe financial stress in America. From public pensions to Social Security, government leaders are jiggling funding formulas and retirement age, all to save money.

NYTimes reported:

Many states are acknowledging this year that they have promised pensions they cannot afford and are cutting once-sacrosanct benefits, to appease taxpayers and attack budget deficits.

President Obama's Deficit Commission works on Social Security, the primary retirement source for many Americans. In an interview Deficit Co-chair Alan Simpson said this about their effort:

In the year 2037, instead of getting 100% of your check, you are going to get about 75% of your check. So we want to take care, we're not cutting, we're not balancing the budget on the backs of senior citizens. That's bullshit. So you've got that one down. So as long as you've got those two things down, you can't play with anymore, that we're not balancing the budget of the United States on the backs of poor old seniors and we're not cutting anything, we're stabilizing the system.

The crisis is now:

There is not enough in the system by the month to pay in, to pay out what comes in. In other words, there is more going out, than coming in. That happened 3 or 4 weeks ago.

And change must be sold:

they thought ... the retirement ... they that you would die at 57 and that's why they set the date at 65. If you can't get through this stuff, then why do you spread this crap. The thing was setup when the life expectancy was 57 years and that's why they set 65 as the retirement date. Now the life expectancy is 78, whatever it is, and so we have to adjust that and make it work for the future people like you in the United States.

The group that thought you would die at 57 is long gone. Social Security has been reset several times by Congress, which knew people were living longer. Alan Simpson co-chairs a conflicted Deficit Commission, in addition to serving on BPAmerica's External Advisory Council.

American's retirement could well take a double hit, with pension and Social Security changes. It's similar to Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spew's impact on the Gulf of Mexico.

Update: America Speaks, carefully orchestrated public sessions on the topic, are being held across the country. The question is who's listening? Meanwhile corporate consultants push the same meme.

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