Go Ahead and Lift the Cap

Dollars & Sense

Back in January, even before things got really nasty in the Democratic primary, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were already going after each other about taxes and Social Security.

The Clinton campaign sent a flyer to Nevada voters before that state's January 19 Democratic caucuses, accusing Obama of planning to impose "a trillion dollar tax increase on America's hard-working families" by lifting the cap on income subject to Social Security taxes. Clinton, the flyer claimed, does "not want to fix the problems of Social Security on the backs of middle-class families and seniors."

The truth was something different. First, Obama did not exactly propose removing the cap, currently $97,500. (In other words, employers and employees each pay a flat percentage of the first $97,500 of each employee's salary, but no tax on the income above that.) He did discuss adjusting it as "the best way to approach this [reforming Social Security]," preferable to either cutting benefits or increasing the retirement age, later adding that he would consider keeping the exemption from $97,500 to around $200,000, lifting it only for any income above $200,000. LINK

No votes yet

... about the song Nero chose to play while he fiddled in Rome's smoke.

Since the crisis in Social Security started to become fairly apparent in the 1970s, the government has religiously been increasing the amounts withheld for SS from paychecks, and has been raising the retirement age too. (It's about the only instance where we have evidence that our government actually plans for the long term.) "Fiddling" with the cap is just more of the same incremental adjustment to avert the catastrophe that SS really is with the Boomer generation's retirement.

Both Dem and Repub Congresses have been playing a fairly consistent tune with your Social Security, from the 1970s until now. Nothing Obama proposes is out of line with that. Economically, his proposals are nonpartisan.

The REAL crimes being played with SS are threefold:

1. Taking people's money for a government retirement system, instead of just leaving their money to them.
2. Using the system for welfare too, instead of just retirements.
3. Using SS funds for budget balancing games.

About half of the Boomers are entering retirement having made no other preparations, than Social Security. We're doomed to support those fuckers and their sheer desperation will be felt through their voting bloc, so there's ZERO chance that Crime #1 will be stopped in our lifetimes.

One matter you may want to also consider for your first paragraph, the govt has also increased the tax burden on the benefit itself. The last time it was changed (increased), I believe, was in '93 with Clinton's Revenue Reconciliation Act. Whether or not someone thinks right, the govt has essentially reduced benefits and increased taxes with just such a move.

Instead of "go ahead and lift the cap", go ahead and blow it up. Put an end to the Ponzi scheme or at least provide real choice (a plan like our Congress has).

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