Approximately eight years ago, I was outraged by a Republican proposal to address the oncoming insolvency of Social Security by cutting benefits, as Ben Smith, then at Politico but now at Buzzfeed, noted at the time.
It wasn’t that benefit cuts were proposed per se that outraged me. I am well aware that as a result of decades of self-serving actions by Generation Greed, the majority of whom voted Republican at the federal level to get one tax cut after another but also demanded even more benefits for themselves, people my age and younger would, on average, end up much worse off in old age, as the federal, state and local governments go broke. Worse off compared with what the “tax cut” “government shutdown” generations promised themselves but refused to pay for. After all, our benefits have already been cut as part of the deal to “Save Social Security!” in 1983. As a result those born in 1937 had a “full retirement age” of 65, compared with 67 for those my age and older, with retirement ages in between for those born in years in between. Which really means that no matter when you start collecting between age 62 and 70, you will get less in monthly benefits than those in earlier generations who retired at the same time.
No, what outraged me is that the generations whose short-sighted, self-serving, entitled and hypocritical choices put us in this situation were proposed to be exempted from any and all of the sacrifices that their own choices have caused. As I said at the time:
I already know Paul Ryan and the Republicans are a fraud because no sacrifices will be imposed, and no changes will be required, for those age 55 and older. Which means those born in 1956 or earlier. Which means those who were 17 in 1973, the year wages peaked for most American workers. The richest generations in American history, the first to leave those coming after worse off in the private sector, the ones that created all those deficits and debts and unfunded pension obligations in the public sector, the ones who wanted more senior spending and less in taxes, Generation Greed, gives back nothing. And there is a barely an acknowledgement of what this means in a moral sense.
Eight years later, it is the Democrats who are making proposals with regard to the upcoming insolvency of Social Security. So things must be different, right?