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.

1 comment:

  1. Prup (aka Jim Benton)8/29/2016 9:27 AM

    Raise the limit, certainly, as much as to $259,000, but don't eliminate it. There is a damn good reason for keeping it, to keep all the money this time from floating upwards.
    When I hear people say 'eliminate the limit' I wonder if they realize it limits BUTH taxation and payout. We don't take as much out of Trump's paycheck -- but we also don't have to contemplate sending him a million dollars a month of the money he once put in. (That, in fact, WAS the idea of the limit -- and the initial period where earned income is offset against the payment as well.)
    Let me also remind you that, because they can afford better diets, better health care, gym and spa memberships, and the like, the rich probably live longer, on average, than most of us. (I am 2 days younger than Donald Trump, about two years older than Hillary, and anyone who saw m would probably guess me as five to ten years older than either.) This means that, even if they were unable to jiggle the system in their benefit, the richer people would be, on average, drawing back more than their share.
    Again, raise the limit, even double it, but when you hear someone calling to abolish it, pull them aside and explain why this is not such a good idea. And remind them, when SS was instituted, it was not supposed to be a total support for the elderly. It established a floor below which we wouldn't fall, kept the able-bodied from receiving money early if they were still choosing to work, and assumed there would be the possibility of both savings and family support to place above it. It was the replacing of 'nothing with something' and wasn't meant to be, in the majority of cases, a person's sole asset.


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