Friday, February 09, 2007

"Comprehensive" solutions

I was reading various articles this morning including ones on immigration reform and raising the limits on Social Security taxes...and it struck me:

Why is that we need a 'comprehensive' approach to immigration reform, but we don't need a comprehensive approach to Social Security reform?

Anyone???

From The Heritage Foundation:

The Economic Impact of Raising the Wage Cap

Raising the amount of earnings subject to Social Security payroll taxes would do nothing to address the wider challenge of securing retirement for working Americans. Moreover, it would have real and damaging effects on working families and the U.S. economy. Some would dismiss the negative effects by noting that “only”about 6.5 percent of taxpayers would be affected, but a large proportion of those whose taxes would increase earn less than $125,000 annually. While these workers are not poor, neither are they wealthy. Subjecting all earnings to Social Security payroll taxes would:

* Reduce the annual take-home pay of 10.3 million workers by an average of $5,650 in the first year alone after the cap is removed. Most of these workers have incomes below $125,000.[1]
* Raise taxes on 4.0 million workers over the age of 50—just when they are trying to steer towards retirement.
* Raise taxes on 3 million small business owners.
* Greatly increase the top effective federal marginal tax rate.
* Weaken the U.S. economy by reducing the number of job opportunities and workers’personal sav­ings. By fiscal year 2015, the number of job opportunities lost would exceed 965,000, and personal savings would decline by more than $55 billion, in real terms.[2]
* Not save Social Security. A 2003 Social Security Administration study showed that eliminating the Social Security wage cap would delay the program’s deficits for only about six years.

Rather than focus on raising the wage cap, Congress should develop a comprehensive solution to Social Security’s future deficits that examines all aspects of the program and places a strong emphasis on increasing personal savings across all income levels. This approach would be the first step towards placing all entitlement programs on a sound financial footing and protecting our children and grandchildren from having to deal with those program’s massive deficits.

7 comments:

-Sepp said...

Actually, I'm sick of hearing about "saving" social security. My "comprehensive" solution is to stop making me pay into it and allow me to either save that money in my 401k or, an IRA. Right now, I'm kicking more into the system than I'll ever reap in return and, if I died tomorrow, my kids are getting a huge chunk of money via private life insurance and a trust that will take them through their childhood without starving or, wanting. Why? Because my faith in myself is far more faith than I'll ever put into our government and I plan accordingly. In this day and age anyone who shucks the responibility of planning for contingencies or, their own retirement years is a moron. The word that social security may not be there for the next generation has been a looming threat for years. Playing the grasshopper role to other's being the ant shouldn't meant us ants owe them a comfortable existence when the clock stops.
As some of my readers on uncommonsqualor know, I've been doing a genealogy project. One thing that stands out from my entire family tree is that my ancestor's parents either ended up living with their children or, the children became the heads of the household with Grandma or, Grandpa living in the home too after a child inherited the family property. No social security back in 1783 and good parenting was paid back in full with responsibility. Inheriting the family property in exchange for 1 more person instilling values and heritage into the children sounds like a bargain to me as opposed to paying 30% into a system they tell me won't be there when I get to it.
It must be a liberal thing akin to there never being art without federal funding.

Hooda Thunkit said...

”Rather than focus on raising the wage cap, Congress should develop a comprehensive solution to Social Security’s future deficits that examines all aspects of the program and places a strong emphasis on increasing personal savings across all income levels. This approach would be the first step towards placing all entitlement programs on a sound financial footing and protecting our children and grandchildren from having to deal with those program’s massive deficits.”

Raising the wage cap would immediately make more money available for our legislators to buy votes and voters with. Screw the Social Security problem, well let our successors and your grandchildren worry about that!

Oh, I forgot again, sarcasm alert, sarcasm alert, sarcasm alert!

As for increasing personal savings and placing all entitlement programs on a sound financial footing, these “drunken sailors on shore leave” would rather hang those massive debts around our children’s and grandchildren’s necks that become fiscally responsible themselves. . .

Lisa Renee said...

Interesting link, thank you. It seems that quite a few different groups out there don't believe raising the wage cap is a solution.

This is from PBS. I learned quite a bit from it.

:-)

Maggie Thurber said...

-sepp ... very good points and there are many people who agree with you. The arrogance and condescending attitude of some of the elected officials who think I don't know to care for myself so they should do so for me.

Further, that when people don't care for themselves, it's everyone else's responsibility to be taxed to pay for it.

I'd be able to be more generous in my support of those who need assistance (through my church or other charitable organizations) if the government didn't take so much of my own money away. Besides...they always do those informational pieces about how much of what you donate to a charity is spent on administration versus direct services. Wonder what the outcome would be if we applied such standards to the government?

Maybe I don't want to know.

Maggie Thurber said...

Hooda - don't you know it's always easier to postpone a problem than to deal with it?

Maggie Thurber said...

Lisa - your link reminded me of the following:

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship."

"The average age of the worlds greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

From Bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage."

Lisa Renee said...

Very true Maggie, and it's something I reflect on at times.

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