Predictions or forecasts are hard, very hard. Just any sportswriter who predicts who will win a game. He knows from experience that forecasting an outcome is a 50-50 game of chance.
Thus predicting what Democrat presidential candidates will have said in last night’s Democrat presidential debate in Houston, Texas, before they said it is in the same category as a sportswriter’s prediction. Because the candidates may not have said what we believe they will.
The example we choose is Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who we predict will have “out socialized” the other nine candidates.
She will have done it by proposing to raise Social Security benefits by $200 per month — and to pay for it — by raising taxes on the rich, requiring those earning $250,000 annually to pay 14.8%, split between them and their employers, each paying 7.4% each.
But the United States, America doesn’t have that many “rich” people from whom that amount can be extracted. So asking the top 2% “of families to contribute their fair share” won’t work. Nor will her pledge to update the “outdated rules to further increase benefits for lower income families, women, people with disabilities, public sector workers and people of color.”
It all sounds nice. But then political platitudes always do.
Believing that we’re on solid ground in making this prediction of what Ms. Warren will have said, she has unveiled a plan:
My $200-a-month increase covers every Social Security beneficiary — including the 10 million Americans with disabilities and their families who have paid into the program and now receive benefits from it. Adults with disabilities are twice as likely to live in poverty as those without a disability. While 9% of people without disabilities nearing retirement live in poverty, 26% of people that age with disabilities live in poverty. Monthly Social Security benefits make up at least 90% of income for nearly half of Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries.
This benefit increase will also provide a big boost to other groups. It will help the 621,000 disabled veterans who are Social Security beneficiaries. It will benefit the 1 million seniors who exclusively receive Social Security Insurance — which helps Americans with little or no income and assets — and the 2.7 million Americans who receive both SSI and Social Security benefits.
On top of this across-the-board benefit increase, I’ll ensure that current and future Social Security beneficiaries get annual cost-of-living adjustments that keep pace with the actual costs they face.
But how long Social Security may exist isn’t known. Some predictions — that word again — say it will go broke by 2035.
The New York Times says Ms. Warren’s plan to increase Social Security benefits by $200 a month would cost $150 billion in the first year. That will not work. That is not a prediction. That is a fact.
Consider that her climate plan will cost $3 trillion — which will also not work — and she will have “out socialized” all the candidates last night. That is reality.