From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/11/24-4
America’s corporate CEOs feel entitled to pensions that pay out $86,000 monthly. To protect their entitlement, they’re attacking ours: Social Security
Deck the halls, this holiday season, with scenes of hunger.
Struggling families all across America now have less food on their tables. Budget cuts that kicked into effect November 1 have lowered the nation’s average federal food stamp benefit to less than $1.40 per person per meal.
Austerity American-style is squeezing elsewhere as well. Seventy percent of local agencies that service seniors have had to cut back on Meals on Wheels deliveries. The “sequestration” federal budget cuts that began this past March have also shut out 57,000 preschoolers from Head Start.
More cuts are looming, as lawmakers on Capitol Hill near still another budget deliberation deadline, this one midway through December. The next federal program in the cross-hairs? Maybe the biggest of them all: Social Security.
If anything, average Americans have become even more committed to keeping Social Security whole — and for good reason. Social Security currently stands as America’s only retirement bedrock.
Not too long ago, pensions also used to deliver real retirement security. But the nation’s biggest corporations have cut back on traditional pensions. In 1980, 89 percent of Fortune 100 companies guaranteed workers a “defined benefit” at retirement. By last year, only 12 percent offered that level of security.
Companies have replaced traditional pensions with 401(k)s, and many giant firms — like Walmart — don’t even offer a guaranteed match on employee 401(k) contributions. The predictable result? Among Americans between 50 and 64, the bottom 75 percent by wealth average just $26,395 in retirement assets.
Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/11/24-4