Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sipmle Social Security Solutions for Solving Solvency

Medicare premiums will most likely be going up for those in higher earnings brackets.  Basically the idea is those who can afford to pay a bit more for the services provided under the system should do so.
I have mixed emotions on this but mostly favor it since this country is after all the UNITED States of America and we must all hang together or, as Ben Franklin hinted we shall surely hang separately.
But lumping Medicare and its possible future monetary woes with the Social Security administration’s possible future shortfalls is unfair and disingenuous. And using the one word unfair definition of entitlement is just plain wrong.
Medicare is a program designed to help the aging with incumbent increased medical costs and it has worked well for decades.
It is a sort of gift we give ourselves as we age and the rug should not be pulled out from those in need just because lawmakers in DC have squandered funds elsewhere.
These elected officials allowed our tax payer dollars to be thrown into black holes such as two illegal immoral and unwarranted wars.
Then they handed over vast fortunes of our money without any strings attached to financial institutions that had gambled with and lost THEIR money!
So after those wonderful events America has nothing to show for a decade of governmental stupidity except tens of thousands of dead or disabled soldiers and millions of out of work or underpaid citizens.
This while an ever increasing ruling class comprised of the wealthiest people in the country, including many from the same financial institutions we had to bail out control the conversation in Congress!
But while these attacks continue what can we do to ensure the future solvency of Social Security.
This wonderful program can easily survive without any changes at all but could be even more secure with just a few tiny tweaks that would be painless to nearly everyone.
But with or without these fixes the right wing of the Republican Party, which is arguably a wholly owned subsidiary of the top 1% earning class of America, will continue to claim the entire program is headed for bankruptcy.
In one real sense their lies are comedic since that same right wing group has hated Social Security since inception and would love for it to be doomed to bankruptcy.  After all the more people who become and remain poor the wealthier they can feel by comparison.

I hereby submit for your approval five easy pieces to stop future worries about Social Security.

  1. Get rid of the income ceiling for social security deductions.
    1. This most egregious slap in the face of the lower wage earners must go
    2. The small amount taken from paychecks should not hurt those in the higher brackets
    3. Current salary limit of $113,700 means wealthy earners essentially get a raise for being wealthy!
    4. We are one nation etc. and should all pull our weight.
  2. No one should be allowed or forced to take Social Security payments if they are still working and earning above a certain income level.
    1. More and more people are working into their 80s and many are earning nice money thank you.
    2. States should set the earning limits
                     i. Those who reside in New York or California are faced with much higher costs of living than those in States such as Arkansas etc.
                     ii. COL adjustments should be reviewed yearly so as to alter fair amounts.
  1. Social Security should be considered as income.
    1. The income must be reported on tax returns even after retirement
    2. Social Security income added to investment income should be taxed as ordinary income for all recipients
  2. In the off chance an individual does not wish to collect his or her social security payment they should be allowed to decline it
    1. The amount of the payment they are entitled to (yes, entitled!) should be used as a charitable deduction on their tax return
    2. Money not paid out to entitled recipients must remain in the Social Security coffers to offset future needs
  3. People who continue to work past the age of 70 do not receive an increase in their retirement payouts from Social Security BUT
    1. The Social Security payroll deduction should continue regardless of age or salary
    2. The amount of the payroll deduction for workers past age 70 may be reduced by an amount set by the State in which the worker resides.
                                        i. However Federal limits will apply.

All laws and programs in America are constantly reviewed for current relevancy and Social Security should not be exempt from such scrutiny.
However simply because the very wealthy do not take advantage of a program or need to is no reason to end or vilify it!
If we as a nation start forgetting about the elderly or the poor or the needy we are heading down a dangerous path.
Which group will be next on the chopping block?

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