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View Diary: Afterglow: Bush's PR Nightmare (w/ pics!) (391 comments)

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  •  $87,000 (4.00)
    That's one of the things I don't get about SS - they cap it at $87,000. If you make more than that they don't take any more money from you. If they just upped this cap a little, without changing benefits, they would have a LOT more money in the system. And if you're already making $87,000, chances are you have the kind of income needed to create your own retirement plan outside of SS. I'm no expert on SS, but it seems like if they got rid of the cap completely, but only paid out on the first $100k of income the entire system would be in a much better position and the only people negatively effected should be able to afford it - seems like a small sacrifice to make.
    •  Of course you are right. (none)
      But the people who are making more than $87,000 don't want the increased taxes.  They would rather take the future benefit cut Bush proposes.  They could take the 6.2% that would have gone for increased taxes, invest it now and do better.  Instant private accouts.  Forget everyone else.

      The ones that are really hurt are those making $25,000 to $87,000.

      The Middle Class.

      Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ---Paulo Friere

      by Mimikatz on Fri Apr 29, 2005 at 08:56:28 AM PDT

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      •  Don't forget the Alternative Minimum Tax (none)
        Those upper-middle class taxpayers are paying the AMT, while the wealthy get a free ride. We should get rid of the AMT before we raise the payroll deduction.
      •  Not so fast (none)
        I take slight offense to what I perceive as your generalization that "people who are making more than $87k don't want the increased taxes."

        This strikes me as wrong on a couple counts, not the least of which is that it presumes that there is something evil inherent in being fortunate enough to earn a very good living that prohibits one from having a moral compass.

        My wife and I are fortunate.  We earn a very very good living.  We'd happily contribute a variety of additional taxes, including SS up to our income total, if it would provide the essential benefits that we feel it is our society's responsibility to provide.  

        The individual contributions that people like us could make would be hard to notice in our paychecks.  But, if it meant that the elderly could live with dignity, or there were fewer homeless, or any of a number of important things would happen, we'd do it and not look back.

        Some of us are capable of realizing that we're not alone in this city, nation, or planet and can avoid the basic impulse to be selfish twits.  If my planetary cohabitants are cared for properly then my own quality of life can't help but improve, even if I'm a couple grand lighter at the end of the year.  I've strung together several elections in which I've probably voted against my own economic interests, but I do so with pride.

        Please don't generalize if it can be avoided.

        "If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it's good enough for us." - former Texas Governor Miriam Ferguson, on barring foreign language teaching

        by JT88 on Fri Apr 29, 2005 at 07:27:55 PM PDT

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        •  then you are exceptions, not rules (none)
          Look at the voting breakdowns. The wealthy, upper-class, higher-educated voted in droves for Bushco - that's your lawyers, doctors, CEOs and retired CEOs. It showed up like tomato sauce when cross-referenced by the census maps - the conscientious rich are not the majority among your social class.

          And this has not changed since 1791 - or the days when there still was a Republic in Rome.

          "Don't be a janitor on the Death Star!" - Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

          by bellatrys on Sat Apr 30, 2005 at 07:01:40 AM PDT

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    •  Not an economist (none)
      But to take this thought just a bit further and throw some pablum at the anti-tax folks, what would the effect be of this:

      Remove the cap entirely.  Let 100% of your wage be subject to SS tax. THEN, let taxpayers deduct the amount they pay after the 100K ceiling on their 1040 just like IRA contributions.  Give businesses the same tax treatment on THEIR portion that they receive for pension plans.

      Is something like this theoretically possible? Could it work? Can someone with more knowledge shed some light?

      One-issue voters get what they deserve.

      by Heiuan on Fri Apr 29, 2005 at 09:24:03 AM PDT

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      •  I was even thinking... (none)
        if you removed the cap entirely, as you suggest, it would probably be possible to CUT the rate, say from 6.2% to 5% or maybe even less.

        And if they would start applying FICA toward investment income as well as wages, they could possibly lower it even further.

        ...Freedom is on the march. Straight to the gas chamber. this is infidelica...

        by snookybeh on Fri Apr 29, 2005 at 09:41:12 AM PDT

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      •  From what I understand (none)
        The reason they won't remove the cap is because it will cost business more money, as they will have to match the 3.5% contribution of higher salaried employees. So then Bushco drags out the old canard that this will stifle growth. Funny, we can find money for tax cuts, and allow Paul Bremer to "lose" 9 billion dollars, but we don't have enough money for this?

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