Doing More With Less Since 1972

Tag: social security

New Retirement Age: ∞

I was reading this “Boomers Will Work Until They Drop” article, and I had an odd thought:

Would some younger folks’ opinions of Social Security change if they looked at it from a different perspective? What if, instead of considering it money-down-a-hole-that-we’ll-never-see-again we considered it a payment to older people to get out of the job market, thus freeing up jobs for us?

Oh wait…that’s extortion. “Extortion” has an even worse social connotation than “pyramid scheme”.

What Will We Do With The 2%?

Social Security's 2%

The 2% payroll tax holiday has been extended for a couple of months, and it will probably be extended for the rest of 2012. I’m guessing a lot of people don’t realize this 2% goes straight to Social Security–no other government spending is involved. Long term, that means Social Security isn’t going to be funded as planned. You can’t keep a pyramid scheme going ad infitum, but this may bring Social Security as we currently know it to an end sooner rather than later.

That may be a really good thing.

The longer people are taking the 2% home, the more difficult it’s going to be to convince them it needs to be withheld later. The longer people keep taking that 2% home, the more likely it is there will be some kind of Social Security reform deal cut to end the tax holday.

Here’s a possibility…

Bush 43 failed at convincing people that Social Security needed to be partially privatized. But how would people feel in 2013 if they were offered the option to save that 2% in a private account when withholding resumes? For those already saving responsibly for their own retirement, there wouldn’t be much resistance. They could break even by reducing their contribution to a qualified plan by the same 2% they’re going to be mandated to save. For those doing nothing currently on their own, they’ll be forced to take some ownership of their future instead of only relying solely on the current Social Security plan. Some may balk at that, but when you tell them they’re going to be taxed an extra 2% either way, they probably won’t complain much.

I’m guessing this would lead to some sort of means testing for Social Security, which we’re probably headed for anyway if we’re honest with ourselves. I’m betting I’ll never see Social Security either way, so I’d happily take the compromise of being guaranteed my 2% private account and having to give up the other 4.2% as a “safety net tax”. Well, “happily” may be a stretch, but 2% is better than getting none of the 6.2% I’ve had taken from me up to now.

Newt Gingrich as suggested something similar, but without the means testing. Instead, he’d guarantee current Social Security benefits as the floor.

Image credit

Pillar Of A 3rd Party Platform?

Just go back to the tried and true playbook and start calling federal employees “Fat Cats”.

The number of federal workers earning $150,000 or more a year has soared tenfold in the past five years and doubled since President Obama took office, a USA TODAY analysis finds.

Since 2000, federal pay and benefits have increased 3% annually above inflation compared with 0.8% for private workers, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis

Maybe the Wall Street Fat Cats, Healthcare Fat Cats, Big Oil and Energy Fat Cats, Big Media Fat Cats, Legal Fat Cats, Agriculture Fat Cats, Literary Fat Cats, Landscaping Fat Cats, DotCom Fat Cats and all the other Fat Cats (did you ever notice the Fat Cats usually have some occupation other than the one of the person calling them “Fat Cats”?) can band together to fight this scurge. We just don’t have room for any new groups of Fat Cats.

Of course, someone *cough*Republicans*cough* will surely try to co-opt any such message as their own.

Oh, and here are the Deficit Commission recommendations released today. I’ll believe it when I see it.

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