Manchin Wants to Raise Social Security Taxes

“You could raise it to $400,000 overnight… I’ve got the will to do it, that’s all I can tell you because I’ve got grandchildren. Ten grandchildren. We’ve got future generations depending on us to the right thing. I’m willing to do a lot of good things on climate too.”

— “Fired up by sky-high inflation prices, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said he has the political will to do the unpopular thing: lift the cap on income taxed for Social Security to $400,000 in order to sustain that program,” Politico reports.

Krugman Explains Why the GOP Hates Social Security

What’s puzzling about the renewed Republican assault on Social Security is that it looks like bad politics as well as bad policy. Americans love Social Security, so why aren’t the candidates at least pretending to share that sentiment? The answer, I’d suggest, is that it’s all about the big money. … By a very wide margin, ordinary Americans want to see Social Security expanded. But by an even wider margin, Americans in the top 1 percent want to see it cut. And guess whose preferences are prevailing among Republican candidates … Nowadays, at least on the Republican side, the invisible primary has been reduced to a stark competition for the affections and, of course, the money of a few dozen plutocrats.

New York Times.

Ronald Reagan: ‘Let’s Lay It to Rest Once and for All … Social Security Has Nothing to Do with the Deficit’

PRES. RONALD REAGAN: Social Security, let’s lay it to rest once and for all. I told you, never would I do such a thing, but I tell you also now. Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit. Social Security is totally funded by the payroll tax levied on employer and employee. If you reduce the outgo of Social Security, that money would not go into the general fund to reduce the deficit. It would go into the Social Security trust fund. So Social Security has nothing to do with balancing the budget or erasing or lowering the deficit.

Reagan tripled the national debt and George W. Bush doubled it again. But that was okay, Dick Cheney said in 2002, because Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter.

GOP Florida Sen. Rubio: Social Security ‘Weakened Us As a People’

art-assault-floridaPart of the series, Assault on Florida.Via Digby:

RUBIO: These programs actually weakened us as a people. You see, almost forever, it was institutions in society that assumed the role of taking care of one another. If someone was sick in your family, you took care of them. If a neighbor met misfortune, you took care of them. You saved for your retirement and your future because you had to. We took these things upon ourselves in our communities, our families, and our homes, and our churches and our synagogues. But all that changed when the government began to assume those responsibilities. All of a sudden, for an increasing number of people in our nation, it was no longer necessary to worry about saving for security because that was the government’s job.

Diby’s take:

Isn’t that nice? If only we could go back to the days of Ward and June Cleaver when everyone took care of each other and didn’t need things like money or health insurance when they got old and sick and couldn’t work. Back in the good old days everyone took care of the poor and there was no suffering or pain. It was one big happy family. Except, of course, that’s just crap.

Think Progress reports:

[P]rior to Medicare’s enactment in 1965, “about one-half of America’s seniors did not have hospital insurance,” “more than one in four elderly were estimated to go without medical care due to cost concerns,” and one in three seniors were living in poverty. Today, nearly all seniors have access to affordable health care and only about 14 percent of seniors are below the poverty line.

Seniors Take Note: House, Senate GOP Killed Payment to Replace Your Social Security Cost of Living Increase

How have Republicans used the “mandate” they received from the tea party and petulant swing voters last month? They have, as the president said, held the middle class hostage in order to extend the tax break for millionaires, despite the fact that the tax cut has not spurred job growth in the ten years it has been around, that it turned the Clinton surplus into deficits in the last decade, and that it will add another $700 billion to the deficit over the 10 years.

Meanwhile, while they have voted down bills that would benefit the middle class because they claim to be worried about, yeah, you guessed it, the deficit. On Friday, Republicans in the House voted against a tax break just for the middle class. Democrats were able to pass the bill in the House without Republican support, but Republicans killed it in the Senate. Yesterday, Republicans in both the Senate and the House voted down a payment to replace the Social Security COLA increase: