One of the tricks conservatives and their Democratic enablers have used in their attempt to privatize (further) the U.S. Postal Service is to require USPS to provide for 75 years of benefits over ten years. The inability of USPS to meet this Congressionally-mandated burden (one few, if any, businesses could meet) is then used to claim USPS is losing massive amounts of money (it’s not–it’s operational costs are fine). In the face of the ersatz ‘losses’, USPS is then faced with a ‘crisis’ and told to fire workers, cut back services, and so forth. Well, Kenneth Thomas points out a similar strategy regarding Social Security (boldface mine):
The House Republicans, in their eagerness to find a way to cut Social Security benefits, on Tuesday passed a new rule preventing the reallocation of monies between the Social Security Trust Fund and the Social Security Disability program.
No, don’t let your eyes glaze over! This is a big deal. The disability portion of Social Security, with 11 million beneficiaries receiving an average $1146 a month in benefits, is expected to exhaust its separate trust fund in late 2016. When that has happened in the past, Congress has reallocated money between the two programs to keep them both solvent. Now, the new House rule prevents it from approving such a reallocation unless “it is included in a proposal that ‘improves the overall financial health of the combined Social Security Trust Funds.'”
Of course, that means either raising payroll taxes or cutting benefits. Which do you think House Republicans will support?
This will be the bullshit Social Security Crisis of 2015-16. Hopefully, Obama and the Senate Democrats will kill this. Of course, one would have thought they would have protected the Postal Service too.