Monday, August 29, 2016
Republicans Are Still Telling Lies About Social Security
The Republican Party officials have never liked Social Security. They voted against it when it was first proposed and passed, and they have been trying to destroy it ever since. As late as the Bush administration, they have tried to do away with Social Security -- and Bush wanted to replace it with a system of private investments (which would leave seniors at the mercy of the Stock Market, and allow Wall Street to make a fortune off of it). Speaker Ryan's latest budget proposals would do the same.
To accomplish this, the Republicans have been spreading a series of lies about the Social Security program. The most popular of their lies are that Social Security is going broke and is unsustainable, and that it will be bankrupt before young people are old enough to collect it. Donald Trump recently has added a new lie -- that undocumented immigrants are collecting Social Security. Just another attempt to demonize the Social Security Administration.
The truth is that Social Security is not broke. It has enough money to pay full benefits for another 20 years. It is also NOT going bankrupt. Even after the 20 year period, it will have the money to pay at least 80% of full benefits far into the future. It does have a small funding program though, since it should pay full benefits far into the future. Millions of seniors struggle to live on the full benefit they receive, and could not afford a 20% cut to that benefit. And undocumented immigrants do NOT collect any Social Security benefit.
The Republicans say they have a solution -- to cut benefits now and raise the retirement age. Both would put a terrible burden on seniors. Too many need every penny they currently get -- and those who do hard labor all their lives cannot afford to have the age requirement raised.
There is a simple solution though. Currently, Social Security taxes (commonly called payroll taxes) are only paid on the first $118,500 of yearly income. Any income above that is not taxed at all. That means that those who make $118,500 a year, or less, pay the full 6.2% tax on their income, while those making more than that pay a much smaller percentage of their income. Is that fair? Shouldn't the rich pay the same percentage as the working poor? If the income cap was raised (or even eliminated), Social Security could pay full benefits (and even enhance those benefits) far into the future.
Don't believe the Republican lies. They are just trying to make sure their rich friends don't have to pay their fair share in Social Security taxes -- or any other taxes either for that matter.