Monday, May 19, 2008

Obama on Social Security

Donut hole. What an incredibly wrong idea. My figures indicates that the top 1% of Americans make about 20% of the gross taxable income and pay about 40% of the income taxes. The top 5% pays the next 20% of the taxes. Obama's plan would probably increase Social Security revenues by about a third (shooting from the hip--I'm guessing that the "donut hole" will cover most of that top 5% but not the top 1%, and that the top 5% makes about 40% of the gross income) which would solve the problem for the short term but do nothing for the long term. His idea of automatic savings accounts is a good one--Obama's concern is with a certain class of people who will save only if it's the "default" option and spend if that's the default, and that's legitimate--but for no discernible reason he then bashes privatizing Social Security. The "donut hole" provides a one-time boost to Social Security revenues but does nothing about the huge future growth. The ONLY acceptable reason I can think of for enacting a donut hole would be to ease the transition to a sustainable, savings-based Social Security system that grows with the economy. That is to say, funding privatization of Social Security. I have definite mixed feelings about complex tax laws and the very idea of a "donut hole," as well as the wisdom of another 7.5% tax hike on the top 1% (high taxes on a narrow base is fragile), but if he were planning something other than a short-term fix I would at least hear him out, but on this issue Obama doesn't have anything to say. Shallow thinking.


"The presentation or 'gift' of the Holy Ghost simply confers upon a man the right to receive at any time, when he is worthy of it and desires it, the power and light of truth of the Holy Ghost, although he may often be left to his own spirit and judgment." --Joseph F. Smith (manual, p. 69)

Be pretty if you are,
Be witty if you can,
But be cheerful if it kills you.

1 comment:


This is Constitution Party presidential nominee Chuck Baldwin’s stance on SS:
The Constitution grants no authority to the federal government to administrate a Social Security system. The Constitution Party advocates phasing out the entire Social Security program, while continuing to meet the obligations already incurred under the system. Until the current Social Security system can be responsibly phased out, we propose that:
• The Social Security tax is not a "rainy day" fund which politicians can pirate, or from which they can borrow to cover their errors and pay for their excesses.
• Individuals who have contributed to Social Security be allowed to withdraw those funds and transfer them into an IRA or similar investments under the control of the individual contributor.
• Any sort of merger between the U.S. Social Security System and that of any foreign country must be banned, so the distribution of benefits will not go to persons who have not qualified for payments under American law as legal residents.
• Earning limitations on persons aged 62 and over be removed, so that they may earn any amount of additional income without placing their benefits at risk.
• Those provisions of the Social Security system which penalize those born during the "notch years" between 1917 and 1926 be repealed, and that such persons be placed on the same benefit schedules as all other beneficiaries.
We support the right of individuals to choose between private retirement and pension programs, either at their place of employment or independently.
We need to continue to reign in this out of control government and neither McCain or Obama are willing to do this!