The Babe Theory Of Political Movements.
Mar. 21, 2005 11:50 AM
Iran's Sham Election In Houston.
June 20, 2005 5:36 AM
Yes, Kanye, Bush Does Care.
Oct. 31, 2005 12:41 AM
Health Care vs. Wealth Care.
Nov. 23, 2005 3:28 PM
Americans Voting With Their Feet.
Nov. 30, 2005 1:33 PM
Idea Majorities Matter.
May 12, 2006 6:15 PM
Twilight Zone Economics.
Oct. 17, 2006 12:30 AM
The "Shrinking" Middle Class.
Dec. 13, 2006 1:01 PM
From Ashes, GOP Opportunities.
Dec. 18, 2006 6:37 PM
Battle Between Entitlements & Pork.
Dec. 21, 2006 12:31 PM
Let Economic Freedom Reign.
Dec. 22, 2006 10:22 PM
Biggest Health Care Moment In Decades.
July 25, 2007 4:32 PM
Unions Antithetical to Liberty.
May 28, 2008 11:12 PM
Right To Work States Rock.
June 9, 2008 12:25 PM
Social Security Reform Thursday.
March 13, 2008
Caption Contest: Enter Today!
Due: July 29, 2008
The Carnival Of Classiness.
Mar. 14, 2006
Quotational Therapy: Obama.
Apr. 4, 2008
Mainstream Melee: Wolfowitz.
May 19, 2007
Pundit Roundtable: Leaks.
July 9, 2006
A WILLisms.com(ic), by Ken McCracken
July 14, 2006
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Social Security Reform Thursday: Week Sixty-Nine -- Taxes On Benefits.
Thursdays are good days for reform, because they fall between Wednesdays and Fridays.
That's why WILLisms.com offers a chart or graph, every Thursday or so, pertinent to Social Security reform.
This week's topic:
Taxes On Top Of Taxes.
The American Academy of Actuaries has done some analysis on Social Security reform options (.pdf).
We can't permanently fix Social Security by raising taxes and/or cutting benefits alone. Both of those routes are merely temporary patches.
Speaking of temporary patches, let's look at one of the more annoying aspects of the program: taxation on top of Social Security benefits.
So, the government confiscates your money, keeps it for decades, gives you back a terrible return on your money, then taxes you for the privilege.
The American Academy of Actuaries has the data (.pdf):
Because the dollar thresholds are not indexed, 85 percent of most participants’ benefits will ultimately be subject to income tax under current law. The revenue that could be raised through additional benefit taxation is relatively modest.
What is the point of this program, anyway? Poverty prevention in old age? Retirement pension supplementation?
Social Security is beginning to look more and more like a fatally flawed socialist welfare redistribution regime than any sort of widely popular benefit program worth "protecting."
Jay Ambrose opines:
To fix this popular program, you have to take some political risks. For decades now the demagogic message largely from Democrats has been that the program is fine as it is and that any adjustments will imperil those currently receiving benefits. Tiptoe toward the truth and you may get severely punished, as President Bush found out when he campaigned for individual retirement accounts and other changes. Ambushed by misinformation, fear-mongering and ideological idiocy, he was forced to retreat while opponents took deep bows.
Inaction could mean economic misery, but modernizing Social Security could mean unprecedented economic empowerment.
More from Ambrose:
Social Security is the place to start because it is easier to address than Medicare, and a way to get the ball rolling.
Indeed, some otherwise ideologically-friendly folks (like blogger Professor Bainbridge) opposed Social Security reform mostly because "Medicare is a bigger deal." How utterly daft was that line of thinking?
In 2005/2006, we could have changed Social Security in such a way that it would have been a plus for Republicans at the polls, a plus for our economy, and a guideline for future Medicare reform.
A handful or two of dupes within the GOP joined the lot of stooges in the minority and were able to block popular and necessary personal accounts, recasting the entire issue in oldschool demogogic terms, a net political liability for Republicans.
Missed opportunity. Now the stooges are in charge, and it very well may be years before such a grand opportunity again presents itself. In the meantime, the system remains a pillar of Enron-style Marxist dysfunction, rather than a blueprint for further liberty-based entitlement reform.
Previous Reform Thursday graphics can be seen here:
-Week One (Costs Exceed Revenues).
Posted by Will Franklin · 25 January 2007 02:13 PM