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March 25, 2005

Look at What They Do, Not What They Say

GOP Hypocrisy on "Progressive Indexing" of Social Security

So the GOP wants to cut benefits for wealthier retirees, while preserving the benefits of low-income beneficiaries. Sounds uncharacteristically progressive of the Republicans.

Don't believe it? You shouldn't, since the GOP Senators voted just last week to INCREASE benefits for wealthier social security retirees more than for lower-income retirees.

The vote was a budget amendment by Senator Bunning to repeal a 1993 law that subjects 85% of social security benefits to taxation, the money being used to fund Medicare. Because most retirees make too little income to pay any taxes, this law had no effect on 75% of retirees, so they will get NO INCREASE in benefits due to the Bunning amendment.

So who will?

The greatest increase will go, unsurprisingly, to seniors making $200,000 per year or more, a 14% increase in benefits or $2,431 per year. (Numbers courtesy of Citizens for Tax Justice.)

With the GOP increasing benefits for wealthy retirees and thereby cutting funds for Medicare, the Republicans have demonstrated a twofer: they don't really care about the solvency of the trust funds and they are obviously hypocrites and most likely liars in promising to help low-income seniors at the expense of richer retirees.

Thanks to Max for the link.

Posted by Nathan at March 25, 2005 10:15 AM