Stop Paying the Rich!
The Vast Sums at the Disposal of Government Must Be Put in Service of People
February 18, 2015
Even though all of the Democratic and Republican politicians agree that there is a large concentration of retired workers in the United States, the capitalist politicians refuse to make the needed social investments in Social Security to keep up with the growing demands of this population.
Already under the present system, a percentage of the retired population is living in or near poverty. The urgent need is for Social Security benefits, as well as Medicare, to be increased.
The Workers Party says that the right to income security in retirement is an inalienable human right. This right must be enshrined in our country’s constitution and enabling legislation must be put into effect to guarantee this right in practice.
Instead of addressing this real problem, the Democrats and Republicans are working to turn truth on its head. Even while the capitalist politicians prepare to pass one of the largest Pentagon budgets in history, they dare to argue that our country “won’t be able to afford” current levels of Social Security benefits for many more years.
Today, even while more and more retired and active workers are living in poverty and economic insecurity, the national budget is being drained by the government program of taking out of the economy rather than investing in it. Through taxes, including Social Security taxes, the government expropriates a large percentage of the wages of the workers. The government then takes most of these tax monies – representing an important portion of our country’s total annual product – and turns it over to the most parasitic sections of society – to the Pentagon arms merchants, the Wall Street money-lenders and other capitalists. It is this program of the monopoly capitalist class which is draining our country’s resources.
We say that proposals for cutting back on Social Security cost-of-living increases should never even be allowed to come up. It is already a national disgrace that the normal retirement age has been allowed to increase for a single beneficiary.
We must not stand by and let the capitalist politicians and the monopoly media manipulate and dictate the terms of the discussion about Social Security in our country. We say that there is something radically wrong when a society with as vast a productive capacity as ours fails to provide ironclad guarantees for the economic security of retired workers whose lifetime of labor created all the material blessings.
According to the widescale misinformation campaign of the capitalists, the Social Security Trust Fund will “run out of money” by the year 2034. This propaganda tries to pit younger workers against their parents by asserting that the older generation is taking more out of the system than it put in.
But the Social Security fund, far from “running out of money,” takes in far more in taxes every year than it pays out in benefits. In fact, as pointed out before, the government is using the surplus Social Security funds to finance its deficit – to pay hundreds of billions of dollars to increase profits for the Pentagon arms merchants and to underwrite the super-profits of the big bankers.
But since today Social Security shows a surplus, why do Obama and his appointees to the Social Security Administration claim that there will be a deficit by the year 2034?
Based on predictions that the workforce will continue shrinking in comparison to the retired population, they “argue” that the aging “baby boom” generation will become a “financial burden” on the country.
Besides defiling our country and going against everything that makes us human, this assault on the consciousness of the people completely ignores economic developments. Even if demographic trends (births and deaths, immigration etc.) go as predicted, workers’ labor will produce more than enough new wealth to fully fund Social Security even while lowering the percentage of the workers’ income which is set aside, and raising benefits to keep pace with the cost of living.
The capitalists and their politicians in the Democratic and Republican parties “overlook” this simple fact because their economic program calls for all of the new wealth created by the ever-increasing social productivity of labor to be put into the pockets of the capitalists as profit. According to their anti-social agenda, wages must be lowered, retirement funds slashed, and the entire surplus monopolized by the capitalist class as profit even as productivity increases.
In short, the issue posed is the issue of whose claims are recognized, the issue of the economy for whom?
The capitalists want to erase the very concept that workers – employed or unemployed – are human beings entitled to, at least, a minimal livelihood.
The Workers Party says that the workers and people must make their voice heard, bring our own demands and agenda to center-stage, and openly contend with the capitalists over the present and future of our country. Our starting point is that:
1) Every human being must be guaranteed, by right, income security in retirement or in the event of loss of capacity to work. Income security means the right to a standard of living commensurate with our country’s high degree of economic development.
2) The government must make all the investments needed to guarantee this right.