… and it hasn’t been for almost a decade. The Obama administration began phasing out paper checks in 2011, and since March, 2013, all new applications for Social Security benefits must include sign-up for electronic payments to a bank, credit union, or a savings and loan account or to an EBT card. The only exemptions are for people with certain disabilities such as as mental impairment or who live in remote geographic location where electronic payments may be prohibitive. I received my first Social Security “check” in 2013 by direct deposit.
You’d would think that a mentally competent person in her late 70’s would be aware of how she receives her Social Security benefits, but the Speaker of the House seems to think that checks are still being mailed. She sent this as the opening paragraph of a message explaining why she was calling the House back from the August recess in order to vote on the “Delivering for America Act” to prohibit the Postal Service from changing levels of service from what they were on 1 January, 2020.BTW, the “Delivering for America Act” could be a dumb idea on multiple levels. An improvement in service is a change; are improvements forbidden? Also, there was no mail delivery on New Year’s Day, 2020. Without mail delivery, it’s going to be hard to use mail-in ballots for the November election. (OTOH, that may be feature rather than a bug.)
WSJ has a post up about Senator Fauxcahontas’s proposal to raise Social Security benefits. You see, since seniors are having a rough time these days, we should raise the FICA tax to pay for increased benefit—in spite of the depressive effect that the tax increase would on the economy which would make times even tougher for everyone.
(H/T, Instapundit, who asks “What could go wrong?” Perhaps a better question, given the government’s recent meddling in the economy, would be “What could go right?”)
… for a while, at least, but you young whippersnappers can expect a big cut. Huff Po is reporting that the Democrats may be ready to go for future cuts in Social Security benefits (in 20 years or so after most of them are out of office) in order to keep the Ponzi scheme going into the 2080s.
Over at NRO, Veronique de Rugy writes on the coming problems that will be created if the present system of transfer payments to the elderly continues. She presents a graph showing that in 1970 those payments amounted to about 20% of the federal budget and that by 2030 they will rise to roughly half if nothing changes. These payments take money from young, relatively poor taxpayers and give it old, relatively well off seniors.
According to the Pew Research Center, “In 2009, the typical household headed by an adult 65 or older had $170,494 in net worth, compared with just $3,662 for the typical household headed by an adult younger than 35,” and “the current gap is by far the largest since the Census Bureau began collecting these data in 1984. Back then, the age-based wealth gap was 10:1. By 2009, it had ballooned to 47:1.”
Read the whole thing.
Those of us who are turning 65 now were in our 30s in 1984. We were the ones financing the system when the wealth gap was 10:1, and we are the ones expecting to be on the receiving end with a 47:1 wealth gap. Are we being fair? Shouldn’t we be working toward some relief for our children and grandchildren?