Saturday, February 12, 2005

Social Security: An Open Letter to Bush, Democrats, the Media, and everyone else who hasn't bothered to bring this up.

Recently President Bush has chicken littled to the effect that the social security is in dire straits. From democrats I hear very real and valid criticisms to the effect that he is in fact pushing a false agenda (this president? *gasp* Say it ain't so!) He has also said "I will listen to anyone who has a good idea to offer." I haven't heard much in the way of other ideas from anyone in the media. It is true that social security is headed for hard times, or at least it's likely to. The numbers the administration provides assume a ridiculously low level of growth, and they also stress that social security will be "solvent", which is quite simply a lie. Even using their own figures, SS would be able to pay out 70-80% of benefits it does now, in the year 2042.

I would like to answer his request, though. I have an excellent idea for fixing social security. It doesn't require raising taxes, you could phase in putting up to 1/3rd of it into private accounts, and you could *increase* benefits.

Interested yet?

Good, stay with me: Using this idea, you could even exempt extremely low income families from paying it, and have enough money to give them credits as if they had paid in, thus allowing them more disposeable income, and more of a chance to get ahead. You could make it to where people no longer have to work after they retire if all their income is derived from social security. And the best part is: Social security will never go solvent. Not in 2042, 2082, 2142, never so long as our entire economy doesn't go solvent.

So what is this utopian sounding idea? What massive overhaul will it require?

Simple: Eliminate the $90,000 wage cap on social security deductions, and count all income (excepting income derived from retirement accounts and tax free municipal bonds) toward those deductions (currently non-wage income is not counted, so retiers get off scott free). Working people generally make somewhere between 20-100k, so roughly all of their income at every level they are likely to earn in their life is taxed for social security. I'm currently paying social security on all the income I make, why not just make it a universally obligatory deduction? You could actually probably lower the percentage of the deduction (i.e. lowering taxes) just by making the rich non-exempt. Hell, just to make it fair, you could raise the retirement income requirements for recieving social security up to $250,000 a year, and still have alot left to work with.

So, in conclusion: Why the fuck hasn't a single Democrat mentioned this? Because they're fucking pathetic. That's why.

So much for the opposition.

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