Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Senator Bernie Sanders Stands Up for Social Security

It's true that only the very rich and powerful -- and their minions in Washington DC -- want to cut Social Security. There's an easy fix that prevents any shortfall in Social Security for 75 years, which is currently rock-solid until 2022.

But let's let Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont -- yes, he is a self-described democratic socialist -- tell us the truth about Social Security (h/t Talking Points Memo):
Is Social Security "going broke"?
No! Social Security is not going broke. According to the Social Security Administration, the Social Security Trust Fund has a surplus today of $2.8 trillion. This sum, plus revenue that comes in every day, can pay out every benefit owed to every eligible American for the next 20 years. In 2033, unless Congress acts, Social Security will be able to pay out only 75 percent of benefits owed. Congress must act and make Social Security strong for the next 50 to 75 years...
What is a fair and sensible long-term funding solution to Social Security?
The fairest approach to making Social Security fully solvent for the next 50 years is to lift the cap on taxable income, now at $113,700, and apply the Social Security payroll tax on income above $250,000. Right now, someone who earns $113,700 a year pays the same amount in Social Security taxes as a billionaire. This makes no sense. Applying the Social Security payroll tax on income above $250,000 would only impact the wealthiest 1.3 percent of wage earners. In other words, 98.7 percent of wage earners in the United States would not see their taxes go up by one dime under this plan.
Read all of Sen. Sanders' remarks at TPM. Remember, the rich get the same Social Security we do, only more of it. And while you're at it, also remember that we should be expanding Social Security, not cutting it. (Also, too, expand Medicare to all. That's right, I just got back from weeks in Europe, where they all have universal health care. Wanna check the health statistics?)

Hmm...I wonder if Social Security is good for America.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Back to the Blog: Expand Social Security Now

I went to Yurp. There, I learned that Yurpeens thought we were crazy (yes, they correctly blamed the Republicans). Since this was during the government shutdown and almost government debt default, I easily agreed. What I couldn't do was continue to blog. I spent so much time walking, eating, looking, museuming, and eating, (and, yes, drinking, and, uh, drinking -- I didn't go back to smoking, though, no matter how much fun it looks in Yurp) that I couldn't concentrate on anything more complex that Metro maps, train schedules, and directions to the 12 things a day I was hellbound to do in Sweden, Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, and Denmark. Trying to figure out which country had the best countryside, the best cities, the best museums, the best and worst history, the best political system, the best social-welfare state, the lowest prices, even the most beautiful women used up all the available oxygen and brain power and left me with little desire to figure out whether Ted Cruz was the Spawn of Satan or merely another in the endless parade of Enemies of the People known as today's Republican Party.

But I'm back and the memories fade, leaving room to be pulled back in. I decided over there not to dwell on the stupid as much as I used to, so let me make this first new installment of "The American Human" be about Atrios of Eschaton's favorite cause: expansion of Social Security. I support it, and I offer a link to David Dayen's tribute to Atrios' tilting at Washington windmills.

Read it here.

And, yes, expand Social Security now and pay for it with a higher cap on FICA taxes. Oh, and a surcharge on the very rich. Heck, even the not-quite very rich.

Surprise bonus: The expansion of the economy caused by this wealth transfer will make everyone a little richer, even the very rich. Win-win! (The very rich hoard too much money, making it sort of worthless. Let somebody else spend it!)

There are better ways to feed the poor and elderly.