John Boehner Pounds the Table on Social Security
March 5, 2011 - 11:48am ET
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On Thursday, John Boehner introduced his new disinformation campaign against Social Security to the Wall Street Journal.
As we know, Social Security is not part of the federal budget. It's paid from your payroll taxes. Since it's not part of the budget, it's not part of the deficit.
That knowledge bothers John Boehner. From the WSJ piece:
"People in Washington assume that Americans understand how big the problem is, but most Americans don't have a clue," Mr. Boehner said, speaking in his Capitol office. "I think it's incumbent on us, if we are serious about dealing with the big challenges, that we go out and help Americans understand how big the problem is that faces us."
He added, "Once they understand how big the problem is, I think people will be more receptive to what the possible solutions may be."
WSJ goes on to report Boehner's comments:
Entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid make up more than 60% of the budget. Annual outlays are expected to grow an average of 5.4% for Social Security and 6.8% for Medicare through the end of the decade.
So, now we know something else too, Boehner's plan is to lie.
Why are they going to lie? Apart from that just being their way, they know the American public doesn't want the cuts. A January 2011 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll showed that only 3% of Americans favored cutting Social Security. According to the poll, most Americans want to see the wealthy pay more taxes. The good news is that what the Americans want is the best thing to do for Social Security.
Social Security's real problem isn't the deficit or the benefits paid to your Grandma Sue and Uncle Pete, it's the cap. Each year, wealthy people stop paying payroll taxes earlier as their wealth grows. In 2010, a person with $110,000 gross income paid in $6,621.60. So did a person with $1 million gross income. For 2011, the Social Security cap is 106,800. That means there is no payroll tax for any income over $106,800. With more people earing less salary and paying less into Social Security and fewer people earning more salary and paying the same in Social Security, the cap has become a real problem.
The law of Social Security keeps it out of the federal buget. The payroll tax law taxes lower incomes disporportionately higher. The fact of the matter is that the income concentration caused by trade and tax policy for the last 30 years has moved income to the wealthy and away from the middle class. Nonetheless, John Boehner wants to argue that Social Security has increased the deficit and the problem is in the benefit, not the payroll tax. There's an old lawyer saying. When the facts are against you, pound the law. When the law is against you, pound the facts. When the law and the facts are against you, pound the table. That's exactly what John Boehner and his fellow republicans intend to do.
This is cross posted on my blog: http://ellenofthetenth.blogspot.com/2011/03/john-boehner-pounds-table-wa...
I'm writing a series of posts as a blogging fellow for the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, a coalition of more than 270 national and state organizations.
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