No, we do not have a real social security problem. In fact, we now have a $2.5 trillion surplus in social security. And at the present rate, social security will continue paying 100% of retirement benefits for another twenty six (26) years, until 2037; and after that, it will continue to pay 78% of the requirement benefits.
So what’s the problem? The problem is that the U.S. government has been borrowing social security monies to finance tax breaks for the rich, ridiculous estate tax giveaways for the upper .6% of the population, TARP bailouts of the Wall Street crooks, needless wars costing mega-billions of dollars and making defense contractors very wealthy, billions and billions of dollars of subsidies to oil companies (the richest companies in the world), etc. And now these crooks in Washington want to default on their IOUs to the American participants in these retirement programs, as apparent in the declaration of former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson (a former member of the gang of six) that our social security funds are merely “a bunch of IOUs” and not to be honored by the American government as a legitimate obligation! (Why hasn’t that guy died and gone to hell yet?!) They wouldn’t dare default on the IOUs to China because that would create a tsunami in the financial markets of the Wall Streeters; however, they figure you are too stupid to know and care.
So how do we fix social security so that it continues to pay 100% of everyone’s retirement benefits? Easy. Don’t cap the payroll tax. Presently, the rich do not pay their fair share to social security. After the rich earn $106,800 each year, they no longer pay the combined employer-employee social security tax of 12.4%! That’s a big savings for the rich, which you do not get. If the rich paid the 12.4% social security tax on all of their wages beyond the $106,800 cap, social security would be fully funded for future generations. So there’s no need to cut your retirement benefits by raising the retirement age. Just uncap the tax break for the rich.
As you probably know by now, President Obama appointed members from Congress to address our federal deficit, and one of the items receiving its attention is the depletion of funds from the social security trust account. To this commission, not surprisingly called the Deficit Commission, Obama appointed three Republican Senators–Senator Saxy Chambliss of Georgia (the only Republican considering tax increases), Republican Senator Mike Crapo (a very appropriate name for his utterances) of Idaho, and Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma (dubbed “Dr. No” for his fiscal hawk posture)–and three Democratic Senators–Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois (who sounds more like a Republican than a Democrat), Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota, and Senator Mark Warner of Virginia. Former Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming recently served on this gang of crooks; apparently, he is no longer one of the six. Every night when I say my prayers, I ask God, why haven’t you taken Alan from us? Isn’t it his time yet? Is there a reason why you leave him here to haunt us?
Given the characters on this commission and the remarks of Alan Simpson, Dick Durbin, Mark Warner, et al, do you think they will propose to uncap the social security tax limit on the wages of the rich? Not on your life. This Simpson gang of six will think of a way to steal your social security benefits; and President Barack Obama, in his typical wussy, appeasing, centrist, and corporatist posture, will undoubtedly use the cover of this commission as a political shield and endorse their heist of your retirement monies, excusing it on the grounds, once again, that everyone has to share the pain.
Hey, President Neville Chamberlain, yes, let’s indeed share the pain. Tax the rich for a change! 72% of the American population are in favor of taxing the rich, including a majority of Republicans.
Oh, President Obama, you don’t want to tax the rich? Why? Oh, because they provide funds to your political campaigns? So, President Obama, why have you run as a Democrat advocating change? Doesn’t it sound like more of the same: screw the middle class and give even more tax breaks to the rich?!
Why doesn’t a progressive challenge Obama in a Democratic primary? Middle class Americans need a voice for change, and not more of the same.
And by the way, Alan Simpson, you old folksy cowboy from Wyoming, Westerners used to hang thieves for stealing horses and cattle, remember? Are you not scheming to steal monies that we contributed all of our working lives and are entitled to receive when we are too old and too sick to work any longer? That’s why social security and medicare are called entitlements: we are entitled to them; we paid for them! So you’re all just a bunch of rustlers, planning to take our retirement and health insurance funds!
Hey, anybody for a necktie party?
I agree on the cap, it makes no sense.
It also makes no sense to talk about the “Trust Fund”. It consists of non-negotiable Federal Bonds issued to the SSA for overages in collections each year. In the event payments excesses receipts bond will be returned. They can never be sold. As for FICA funds collected they are collected be the IRS and deposited in the Treasure general fund. No collections ever go the the SSA and benefits are paid directly by the Treasury to recipients. The fundsare never borrowed from because no actual money ever goes into them. All federal money is fungible.
Thank you, John. I appreciate your comment.
The Barefoot Accountant