We’re off to a fast start. Representative Sam Johnson (R, Texas, 3rd District) has introduced a bill to reform Social Security. The bill has some of the usual characteristics we have come to expect from reform legislation:
- The impact is pushed into the future, in this case, 2023.
- The bill won’t impact anyone age 60 and over (and since Congress knows that most people under age 40 don’t think about retirement and don’t vote, that’s relatively safe).
- The bill deals with a potential need to cut benefits by 21% to keep the Social Security fund going by preemptively cutting benefits by from 11% to 35%.
- The bill provides incentives to seniors to keep working. (Although at what is an interesting question, especially if one of the largest types of jobs in the US disappears — cashiers.)
- The bill contains a Christmas tree of provisions, some of which will benefit the people being gored.
- The bill delays full retirement age (again).
Like the Affordable Care Act, this bill has no chance of passage as it is written. It will be revised extensively and provisions unrelated to Social Security will be appended to it. That’s how Congress works (or doesn’t work, depending on your point of view).
The introduction of the bill simply signifies “Game On.”
It’s the call for the various warring parties (lobbyists) to muster their resources and have at it. If you look at the sources below, the spin doctors are already hard at work. It’s actually hard to tell that they are writing about the same topic.
Keep your eyes open, and watch this space. If and as meaningful things happen, I’ll write about them here.
Or, if Congress does nothing, I’ll write about other things that matter.