Saving Social Security

imageI have never published an article whole cloth but this article explains the solution so well that I must.
This originally appeared on Robert Reich’s blog.
Republicans would love to get rid of Social Security and Medicare. But they can’t, because Social Security and Medicare are among the most popular of all federal programs. Besides, most Americans have been paying into them their whole working lives, and depend on them.

So how will Republicans attempt to end these programs? By doing nothing to save Medicare and Social Security.

The trustees for Medicare and Social Security — of which I used to be one — say Medicare will run out of money by 2026, three years sooner than last projected, and Social Security will run out in 2034.

But this doesn’t have to be the case.

Here are three easy fixes to Social Security and Medicare that Republicans don’t want you to know about.

First: Raise the cap on income subject to Social Security payroll taxes.

This year, that cap is $128,400, meaning that every dollar earned above $128,400 isn’t subject to Social Security taxes.

So the typical CEO of a big company, who makes over $15 million, pays Social Security taxes on just $128,400 of his or her income, a tiny fraction. While the typical nurse practitioner, who takes home around $100,000, pays Social Security taxes on every dollar of his or her income.In this era of raging inequality, that’s not fair. And it’s not even logical. Raise the cap.

Second: To help rein in Medicare costs, allow the government to use its huge bargaining power to negotiate lower drug prices.

Big Pharma has gotten legislation barring the government from negotiating lower drug prices. That legislation should be repealed.

Big Pharma says this would mean less research on new drugs, but that’s baloney. Pharma already spends more on advertising, marketing, and lobbying than it does on research.

Third: To deal with a basic reason why Social Security and Medicare are running out of money, allow more young immigrants into the U.S.

The basic reason why Social Security and Medicare are running out of money is the American population continues to age and live longer – leaving a relatively smaller working population to pay into Social Security and Medicare.

What to do? Allow in more young immigrants. Immigrants and their children are the fastest growing segment of the working population, already contributing billions in payroll taxes every year. Instead of shutting immigrants out, allowing more immigrants into the country will help secure the future of Social Security and Medicare.

Protected: Surfs Up On Bradner Pond: The hazy red sphere lifted above the brown cattails, pin oaks and dead sycamores on the eastern edge of Bradner Pond in northern Ohio and reflected on the rear window of the rusting hulk of the 1927 model A Ford,.  The passenger door, rear fender, and cloth roof had abandoned the rusted out, black four door sedan years ago.  The rubber tires had rotted, and the front end rested on what remained of the rims.  The back axle rested somewhat precariously on rocks rolled from a nearby field to keep the rear wheel rims off the ground. “Tequila” by the Champs, on the transistor radio, ripped the cool stillness of the morning, as the three boys worked silently and wrapped the frayed rope around the right rear rim of the old model A Ford.  To be truthful, the rope was rope in name only.  The boys had actually constructed the rope from bailing wire, clothes line, and binder twine.   They had modified the rim so that it would hold two hundred yards of the rope.  That two hundred yards of rope now  stretched across the dark blue waters of the pond and into the tall grasses, brush and cattails.  Chris, Mike, and Eddie stepped back and admired their work.

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