Saturday, February 18, 2012

What Am I Missing?

I need some help understanding something. All my adult life I've heard from Democrats and their media allies that Republicans want to end social security, or curtail its benefits, and that they, the Democrats, will let this happen only over their dead bodies. They are, I've always been told, the only bulwark against a niggardly, cold-hearted GOP which wants to throw old people out into the street.

So now we come to the debate over the Payroll Tax cut. The Payroll Tax is the only funding mechanism for social security, but it's not the Republicans who want to cut it, it's the Democrats, and when the Republicans balk the Democrats and the media wax livid.

In a confusing reversal of roles the Republicans argue, correctly it seems to me, that you cannot reduce revenues to social security by over a hundred billion dollars a year without having to borrow the money to pay for the shortfall from somewhere, and more borrowing just hastens fiscal armageddon.

Cutting the tax would reduce funding to Social Security by $119 billion over the next year, on top of the $105 billion reduced from funding in 2011, so who is it who's jeopardizing old folks' retirement? Is what I've heard all my adult life a fable? Is it really Republicans who want to protect seniors from being thrown into the streets and Democrats who are willing to pitch them under the bus for the short term political benefit of putting a few more dollars in younger workers' monthly paychecks?

Why isn't the media talking about this aspect of the debate? Does anyone think that if it were Republicans who were cutting social security funding that the network talking heads and newspaper opinionaters would not be venting their outrage 24/7? What am I missing? The world seems to have been turned upside down and all the media seems to be able to do is yawn and play endless clips of Whitney Houston singing "I Will Always Love You."