This is a continuing series on the Primary Issues of the Presidential Election 2008. | Read Round One: McCain Versus Obama on the issue of Health care. | Round Two: Their take on the Iraq War. | Round Three: Obama Versus McCain on Free Trade. | Part One of Round Four on Natural Resources and Fossil Fuels, here. | In Part Two, we think the Democrats, Republicans And We All Are Misguided. | Part Three: McCain’s Position. Hypocrites Need Not Apply!! | Part Four: Obama Will Save The World, But the US will Go Broke in the Process | Round five: Is the US the Melting Pot or the Stagnation Pot? The candidate’s position on Immigration | Round Six: On the Issue of Abortion | Round Seven: McCain Versus Obama on Social Security: Obama Needs a Fundraiser, McCain Missing in Action | Part one of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, Obama’s Position | Part two of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, McCain’s Position
Everyone we speak to that works in America believes Social Security is just a pipe dream and that no funds will exist to support them when they retire. This isn’t just paranoia. Many politicians say the same thing. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says the current system is unsustainable.
There are many ideas, such as taking Social Security private. We find it funny that some politicians argue against that as being unsafe and it should remain in the hands of the Federal government. The Federal government has borrowed against Social Security with impunity, and, based on current estimates, in about 8 years or so will have to start paying that money back with interest in order to pay benefits. Certainly, just examining the facts, Social Security in its current form cannot survive, and one can see it isn’t safe in the hands of the Federal government, who has acted like an irresponsible custodian stealing from her trustee’s trust fund.
Now the Federal government is sucking up mortgage backed securities at a huge rate, which means that all Federal investments will in part be based on these securities that have led to a major collapse of the financial institutions in America. We are not so sure that keeping Social Security in the hands of government is a good idea at all.
From CNN: “Demographics are a major reason for the funding shortfall. The number of workers, compared to retirees, has begun to shrink. That means the system will produce a smaller surplus, then none at all, and eventually it won’t be able to pay out all benefits promised to future retirees.” This clearly argues for a strong immigration policy in favor of more immigration and less protectionism. If we cannot demographically support our own programs, it only seems logical that we need to change the demographics.
It is currently suggested that there are only two ways to address the dire problems Social Security faces. Raise the payroll tax even more or reduce benefits. Some say to start now in small increments. Fact is, they have already been increasing the tax, increasing the income limit on which Social Security tax is charged. This has been a steady and subtle tax increase on Americans for years.
Medicare is an even bigger problem which we will address separately. But we will mention that we are once again looking at the only way to address the problem being an increase in taxes from about 3% now to about 7%. Doing the math, this implies that Medicare and Social Security alone will take approximately an additional 6% of Americans’ gross income. Turn that around and imagine how much an American could save if that 6% went steadily into a retirement fund and was possibly even matched in part or in whole by an employer.
We personally believe in the abolishment of Social Security and Medicare, phasing them out in favor of private investments such as 401Ks and a national solution to the disaster the United States has created in its health care programs.
What are the candidates positions?
Protect Social Security
Obama is committed to ensuring Social Security is solvent and viable for the American people, now and in the future. Obama will be honest with the American people about the long-term solvency of Social Security and the ways we can address the shortfall. He will work with members of Congress from both parties to strengthen Social Security and prevent privatization while protecting middle class families from tax increases or benefit cuts. As part of a bipartisan plan that would be phased in over many years, he would ask those making over $250,000 to contribute a bit more to Social Security to keep it sound.
Increase taxes on those making over $250,000 may help contribute “a bit“.
Question, Senator. Does the rest beyond “a bit” come from the middle class below $250,000?
Despite the many smears of his opponents, Obama does not support uncapping the full payroll tax of 12.4 percent rate. Instead, he is considering plans that would ask those making over $250,000 to pay in the range of 2 to 4 percent more in total (combined employer and employee). This change to Social Security would start a decade or more from now and is similar to the rate increases floated by John McCain’s close adviser Senator Lindsey Graham and that McCain has previously said he “could” support.
But our Treasury Secretary already says we will have to start paying back what the Federal Government has borrowed from Social Security in less than ten years. And, c’mon, isn’t that a complete cop out? Putting off the plan for ten years. Senator, even if you won two terms as President, would place the burden on your successor. Great idea. Never seen that one before. You are pretty good at math. And in ten years, won’t inflation make it so people that earn 250,000 a year ARE the middle class not the wealthy?
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