The National Seniors Council is becoming increasingly concerned that Republicans and Democrats could reach a bipartisan agreement to “reform” Social Security by means testing benefits.
“There is a gang of Republicans and Democrats who are right now seriously considering some type of entitlement reform compromise that I fear could include means-testing,” warns NSC National
Means testing is a more politically-correct term for cutting Social Security benefits for supposedly “wealthy” senior citizens. Social Security benefits are currently paid out according to how much an individual and his employers have paid into the system. “Means Testing” is considered by some politicians to be a simple wave to save money,” Crone says. “The theory is, if you don’t need Social Security to survive during retirement then you shouldn’t get it. However, that is completely ridiculous and immoral. If you are forced to pay into this retirement system, you should expect to get back the money that was promised to you.”
NSC has been warning seniors for years that politicians in both political parties should not be trusted when it comes to Social Security. Both Republicans and Democrats are guilty of raiding the Social Security Trust Fund to pay for other spending priorities. There is every reason to believe that they will gladly cut Social Security benefits for the “rich.” The definition of “rich” will be left up to the politicians, who tend to take an extremely broad view of who is affluent and who is not. “If means testing is implemented there will be no incentive for future generations to save any money on their own. Since they will be penalized for having an IRA or 401(k) plan through reduced or eliminated Social Security benefits, they won’t save for retirement. Instead, they will simply rely on Social Security benefits and thus burden the system even more. In the long run, I’ll bet the government won’t even save any money.”
NSC has been running some very successful grassroots petition drives against Social Security cuts for several years. However, Crone says the Council may be forced to ramp up those efforts even more if a means testing proposal is unveiled in the near future.