Saturday, September 17, 2016

Make sure government can't work

One topic getting some notice during this campaign is a push by Dems to expand Social Security. In contrast, we've long heard from the GOP that they want to do away with Social Security. There have been numerous attempts to kill or privatize it. Since those direct efforts have (thankfully) failed, the GOP in Congress is working on indirect efforts.

Though the Social Security system has lots of money (much of it's surplus "loaned" to the federal general budget) Congress still has the power to set how much of that money goes to the Social Security Administration's operating budget. That mostly pays for salaries. The GOP is working real hard (with some success) to cut that budget. That means SSA offices in five states have lost at least 15% of their staff. The result is a record-high backlog with a million disability applications in progress and a wait of over two years for a decision.

Says Joan McCarter of Daily Kos:
The result is an agency hampered in administering the most popular public program in the nation's history, and the goal is to make that program run less efficiently, be more bureaucratic, and to erode its popularity. If Republicans can't directly and quickly kill Social Security, they'll take the long road of undermining it.
As I've heard others describe the GOP: Don't want big government and believe that government shouldn't work? Then make sure government can't work.

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