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Despite Rightwing Fearmongering, Experts Say Now Is the Time to Expand Social Security


#1

Despite Rightwing Fearmongering, Experts Say Now Is the Time to Expand Social Security

Jake Johnson, staff writer

As corporate media outlets predictably trumpeted the right-wing narrative that Social Security is in dire financial straits after the Social Security Trustees' annual report was released on Tuesday, advocacy groups and experts were quick to denounce the fearmongering and correct the record, arguing that the new analysis shows the program is "stronger than ever."


#2

Please make sure that this report gets posted on every media outlet both minor and major. It is important to broadcast this information in order to quell the lies spread by Paul Ryan and his cronies. Broadcasting the truth may help prevent the surpluses from disappearing in the manner that the trillions from the Military Budget have vanished into someone’s offshore account.

Most Seniors have worked all our lives and deserve the best return on our investment.


#3

Very simple. Recognize reality. Take the cap off income contribution. Let the rich pay fairly to enjoy America.


#4

THIS. Apply the 12.6% to their precious capital gains income as well.


#5

Clip another eight years off the supposed social security administration full payouts until 2034 as that has been reduced to the year 2026, or so I heard today. They’ll attempt to shorten it further I’m sure. Probably put a cap on how long one can live, extra years for those who can afford the hefty fee. “you get your chance to try in the twinkling of an eye, eighty years with luck or even less.”


#6

This, would insure Social Security would prevail for many decades.


#7

For all the years of my career in construction, only one of those years, very long ago, did I ever make enough to meet the cutoff amount and wasn’t dinged for FICA taxes for at least a 2 or 3 week period. The rest of those working years, I paid the full percentage like the majority of wage slaves, if at this time, being 6.2%.

So with the cutoff point being $128,700 for 2018, workers never making enough to reach that number are paying a full 6.2% tax on their FICA earnings. Those fortunate enough to hit that number in the first week, first month, anytime long before the end of the year, wind up with a big tax savings over lesser income earners. For someone making about $258K, or twice as much as the $128,700 cutoff, they would have paid almost 8K in FICA tax. They also would be able to pocket almost 8K after the cutoff, making their tax paid for the year only 3.1%. But everyone else never coming near the cutoff, pays the full boat.

If anything, the FICA tax should not have a cutoff, and those with higher incomes should be paying a larger percentage to fund the Social Security safety net. Why should I, you, or any citizen be threatened with homelessness or worse should SS fail to meet it’s obligations in the future, with people unable to survive on SS checks that could be cut because of mismanagement of the program?


#8

Social Security is not an investment. It is a public insurance program. It is paid for by FICA taxes. FICA = Federal Insurance Contributions Act. Like all insurance, Social Security is a transfer of wealth from those working and paying FICA taxes to us geezers who are retired and not paying FICA taxes. Auto insurance is a transfer of wealth from good drivers who pay premiums to bad drivers who file claims.

Social Security is different from an IRA where the money is invested and the account belongs to the employee.


#9

Good post! I agree entirely with what you say. It’s way past time for the parasitic rich to start paying their fair share across the board. For some reason these self entitled bastards seem to think that just because they are rich they should get special treatment over the rest of us and be required to pay less as far as a percentage in taxes and FICA contributions. On the contrary, since they have made the most out of the whole of society from our type of economy and due to the infrastructure we ALL pay for then they should be required to pay more since they use more. Eliminate the FICA cap and let the rich show their gratitude to the rest of us for the wealth we have all helped them create for themselves. It’s high time they learn the joy of sharing with others. They wouldn’t be rich in the first place were it not for the economic conditions the rest of us create and the infrastructure we build.


#10

Finally… SS is under attack now and always. Since FDR died the Right has been on the attack. Right now for instance the cost of Medicare and companion policies increase MUCH faster than SS itself, therefore your check goes down every year especially when adjusted for inflation. Each retiree should get a minimum benefit equal to the minimum wage, this would jump start local economies.


#11

I beg to differ with your account of insurance. I have been sold insurance products as an investment. So I see insurance as having different facets. Some times people use semantics to discuss opposite views. I find it to be not worth my time.


#12

Jake, before you take money from other private citizens,

  1. let’s take all the money out of the foreign war fund,
  2. let’s take all the money out of the secret lists programs,
  3. let’s strip ICE to bare bones,
  4. let’s stop funding private companies in schools and prisons.
    If you did all this and still needed money for an expanded social security. I would really be surprised.

#13

No, you’ve been sold investment products by an insurance company. That’s how they make the lions share of their money. Just like banks, insurance companies take premiums paid and invest them in any number of financial vehicles. They can call them annuities or “whole Life” policies, but in the end they are simply mutual funds based on a group stock portfolio performance.


#14

The democrats have never even mentioned passing interest in saving social security, Medicare or Medicaid in the days of the Third Way. However, you can be sure that, if republicans manage to hold onto the house in 2018, or regain it in 2020, they are another presidency away from the ultimate conservative wet dream coming true, and that would be of course the complete destruction of the so called welfare state.
Just look at what is happening now. The end game that was first laid out by Prescott Bush his acolytes in the wake of the new deal is being played at a fever pitch. It began with the the irradication of the counter culture movement, then continued through eviceration of organized labor. The religious right was enlisted to provide a base and a bullhorn for the culture wars. And now buffoon of a president was elected elected at the same moment the GOP gained control of all branches of government. This group has only two final goals. The first, the elimination of the regulatory state, is nearly complete. The coup de gras will come after 2018. If the GOP manages by some miracle to hold the house, or lose it briefly and win it back in 2020 ( the truely important election) the welfare state and almost any government operations not related to the military will be made impotant.
The USA will then become a loose confederation of sovereign states, all having their own constitutions and laws, ranging from a few left leaning social democracies to many authoritarian Christian dominions. The true dreams of our founding fathers will be realized. A nation where rich white men will be free to do anything they want, up to and including infringing on everyone else’s freedom and of course founding their own feudal states.


#15

Good ideas all. However, those few depts spend a pittance compared to SSI and Medicare. There are only two ways to save both programs. The first involves want has never happened, and that is that economic development in the wake of massive tax cuts would create enough wage growth to raise revenues enough to save those programs and fund them for decades. You will sooner be abducted by aliens while being eaten by a shark that is then eaten by a bigger shark than see that plan come to fruition.
That conservative fairy tale aside, the only way to fully fund SSI and Medicare is to eliminate the Cap and charge taxes on all wages, including capital gains.


#16

Assuming you’re also going to take the cap off benefits as well? So they get their “fair share” in benefits too?


#17

The fear mongering of the regressives wouldn’t be as effective without the compliance and inaction of the Vichy democrat party.
The R’s will say anything to push the 1% agenda. The D’s won’t speak the simple truth. They aren’t opposition, they’re competition


#18

One problem is that all the monies that We The People have been paying in used to be put into a Social Security Trust Account to keep it from ever becoming insolvent. But our Friendly Neighbothood Big Bad Government has been borrowing from that Mistrust Fund to stave off other collapses. Nobody knows how much of “our” hard paid in money is left.

That’s only one of many problems that have national solvency circling the drain. Do you think that money in your bank accounts is ours? ‘Fraid not. This article which too few people will read and few who do will not grasp the full implications.

When the next banking crisis happens which most knowledgeable followers of the current state of financialism say is inevitable and is coming soon, there won’t be a government “bail out.” The criminal banking and finance corporations will grab up all of everybody’s money claiming that this time they really are Too Big To Be Allowed to Fail


#19

You have made this false claim multiple times. Once again there is no cap on benefits and never has been.


#20

Benefits are paid only on the amount of pay that is subject to taxes.

If you lift the cap on compensation that is subject to taxes, are you going to lift the benefit level in the same manner?