You must login to vote
The world spins mad. The people are so intoxicated by luxury they have forgotten everything that makes us more than house pets. Reason. Truth. Justice. Freedom. – Frank Miller from DK2
Last night I was flicking through the cable channels and once more I saw the Republican mouthpieces cultivating fear. Channel after channel, personality after personality, all preaching the same vile verses.
“Social security is about to collapse. It can only maintain solvency until 2018. That’s only 14 years away!”
Maybe this would be frightening if it were true, but much like Saddam’s possession of WMD’s and his supposed involvement with terrorists, this claim is very, very exaggerated.
First, Social Security won’t be bankrupt in 2018. In fact, if we do nothing it will continue to pay 100% of its benefits until approximately 2040 and maybe as late as 2050. To put this in perspective, if you are 30 years old it will likely pay you 100% of its current benefits for the rest of your natural life.
Why the discrepancy? It is true that in 2018 Social Security will start paying more benefits than money it is receiving in tax dollars. However, it will not be bankrupt because we have been paying extra tax since the mid-80’s and as a result, Social Security has a massive trust fund to support it. The republicans know this and still they lie. Still they spread fear. Hell, it was Reagan and Greenspan who created this trust.
Secondly, they say that the only way to keep Social Security in its current format is with huge tax increases. This suggests that said increases would be avoided by switching to private funds. This is bullshit!
Bob Novak (a devout conservative) recently erred when he reported that maintaining social security would require a $2 trillion tax increase. This seems terrible, BUT later in the same article he said that switching to private funds would cost $14 trillion! Which do you prefer?
Lastly, the republican’s like to say that people will receive a higher return with private accounts than they currently receive through social security. This is highly speculative at best. Some years this may be the case, when the market is doing well, but in others it will be much worse. Even still, that $14 trillion in increased taxes will suck up any extra benefits. And, we would be giving up other benefits as well. Social Security is more than a retirement fund. It supports your children if you die before they are 18 and it supports us if we become disabled. Private funds will do neither of those because it will take a lifetime to build up your fund!
So what is the answer? Currently, Social Security tax is only paid on the first $80,000 of income that you make. Simply by raising this amount to the first $200,000 of income would prolong social security’s life significantly and this is without a reduction of benefits or added taxes on the poor or middle classes.
So why are the republicans pushing so hard for private funds? The only groups who seem to benefit from this switch are corporations who would become the caretakers of our massive, multi-trillion dollar social security fund.
But the republican’s wouldn’t put their own interests above the taxpayers would they?
Yeah, I suppose that's just crazy talk.
What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?