Incredible, fact-dense article in the Times on how wrong our politicians and elite pundits are on Social Security and Medicare. We should be talking about EXPANDING these programs, not cutting them.
The debate over reform of Social Security and Medicare is taking place in a vacuum, without adequate consideration of fundamental facts.These facts include the following: Two-thirds of Americans who are over the age of 65 depend on an average annual Social Security benefit of $15,168.36 for at least half of their income.Currently, earned income in excess of $113,700 is entirely exempt from the 6.2 percent payroll tax that funds Social Security benefits (employers pay a matching 6.2 percent). 5.2 percent of working Americans make more than $113,700 a year. Simply by eliminating the payroll tax earnings cap — and thus ending this regressive exemption for the top 5.2 percent of earners — would, according to the Congressional Budget Office, solve the financial crisis facing the Social Security system.
Remember this too: the David Gregorys, David Brooks, Andrea Mitchells, Wolf Blitzers, Tom Friedmans, Glenn Becks, Pete Petersons and all those other gasbags on TV will never have to rely on Social Security and Medicare. We do.