Blog Archive | Gwendolyn Mink | Accuracy.Org

THE PAYROLL TAX CUT: Talk about a Ponzi Scheme!

Is President Obama trying to kill Social Security without explicitly saying so? He put Social Security “on the table” for consideration by his Deficit Commission — even though Social Security has not contributed to creating or sustaining the deficit/debt in the first place. He kept Social Security on the table when he made a deal to delegate deficit reduction authority over entitlements to an undemocratic Super Committee. Now, in a speech reportedly about jobs, he proposed to extend and increase the ill-considered FICA tax cut he embraced last December — a tax cut that directly undermines the financial integrity of Social Security.

According to the White House Fact Sheet on “The American Jobs Act” the FICA tax holiday for workers will be increased to a 50% reduction, lowering it to 3.1%. Under the 2010 tax deal, the payroll tax for workers was reduced from 6.2% to 4.2%. In addition to expanding the tax cut for workers, the President proposes to extend the FICA tax holiday to employers by cutting in half the employer’s share of the payroll tax through the first $5 million in payroll. [Read more...]

Stop the Cuts to the Social Safety Net!

Medicaid cuts will injure communities of color disproportionately. 11 percent of Asian Americans, 14 percent of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, 27 percent of Latinos, and 27 percent of African Americans gain access to health care through Medicaid.

Medicaid cuts will injure women disproportionately. Women account for 70 percent of Medicaid participants.

Social Security is survival income for many older women, especially older single women. Fifty percent of women over age 65 rely on Social Security for 80 percent or more of their income. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research: Unmarried women living alone aged 65 and older are three times more likely to be living in poverty than married women aged 65 and older (16.6 percent compared with 4.8 percent). Without Social Security benefits, more than two-thirds of these unmarried women would live in poverty. [Read more...]

Low-Income Women Pushed to the Sidelines

Low-income women have been invisible in budget deliberations thus far – yet they will be injured disproportionately by cuts to income programs like Social Security and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families [TANF], as well by cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and Food Stamps.

Despite the prolonged recession, income assistance to low-income families has shriveled over the past decade, providing help to less than 40 percent of families who meet TANF criteria and to an even smaller fraction (27 percent) of all families in actual need. For those who do receive benefits, the cash value has eroded so badly that TANF cash assistance does not bring a family up to the poverty line in any state. [Read more...]

“A New Bipartisan Consensus Against Low Income People”

The president’s budget is a prosaic austerity plan that inflicts disproportionate pain on low income Americans. Fundamental questions about the costs of war and the fairness of tax cuts for the rich have been avoided by the decision to narrowly target non-security “discretionary” spending to bear the weight of deficit reduction. It used to be Republicans alone who sought to balance the budget on the backs of the poor. But Obama’s 2012 budget takes us to the brink of a new bipartisan consensus against low income people. Will progressives go along?

Mink is co-editor of the two-volume Poverty in the United States: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics and Policy and author of Welfare’s End. Her blog is feministsocialjustice.blogspot.com.