Conservatives want you to believe that Social Security will go bankrupt. Their strategy is the usual. Let’s scare middle class Americans into doing what really benefits only the rich. Conservatives want to blame the so-called Baby Boom for Social Security insolvency, when bankruptcy has not and will not happen. We only need to be sensible and pay attention to the real numbers.
Conservative media pundits like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, and Republican politicians, like to use fear tactics to win their points. They consistently manipulate the statistics to persuade middle and lower class Americans that we should accept a cut in our Social Security benefits. We must resist!
The rich have been getting a free ride on Social Security taxes for years, and it is time that ends. It is true that we need to raise Social Security taxes, but not for most of us. 82.59% of us earn less than $100,000 per year, according to Wikipedia’s statistics on household incomes. That means that we pay 6.2% of our incomes to Social Security, because we are under the $106,800 threshold to be free from the tax.
The top 7.54% of Americans, who earn over $150,000 per year, pay an incredibly small portion of their income for Social Security. If you earn $250,000 per year, you are paying only 1.79% of your income for Social Security. If you earn $500,000 per year, you are paying only 0.89% of your income for Social Security. If you earned $1 million per year, you are only paying 0.45% of your income for Social Security. If you got a $100 million bonus for crashing the global economy, as many Wall Street investment bankers did, the amount of your income you paid in Social Security is so small as to be unnoticeable.
I ask you, how many yachts, cars, and second homes can you usefully have, without being gluttonously wasteful? It seems to me that those who benefit most from the structure of our American society should also be charged Social Security taxes like the rest of us.
6.37% of Americans earn 1/3 of all income in the United States. Why do they get to ride the rest of us, when we are paying 6.2% of our income in Social Security withholdings? [Note: Our Social Security tax in 2011 is 4.2% because of a special stimulus deal, which reverts to 6.2% in 2012. Many believe Republicans allowed this one-year tax reduction in order to make Social Security books look worse, so that they can scare us more and gut the program later.]
In his article “Budget Magic and the Social Security Tax Cap,” Economist Martin A. Sullivan points out that 50% of the projected shortfall would disappear if the tax cap were increased to $150,000 per year in income, and it would be 100% gone for at least the next 75 years if the tax cap were removed entirely.
So it’s time to stop being played for fools by Conservative Republicans, who want us to doubt the solvency of the Social Security System. The problem can be solved easily if rich people pay their fair share. If they are going to reap the benefits of our society, they should also share in the burdens. It’s certain the rest of us are! GOP scaremongers want us to give up our benefits, so that they can reap the rewards. What is wrong with this picture?
Skip Conover is an International Executive, Author, and Artist. He has written a novel, a published current affairs book, and a published journal. He turned his long time interest in Jungian Archetype into the Archetype in Action™ Organization.