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View Diary: Something important you need to read about the Fiscal "Cliff" before the Republicans' tantrum starts (110 comments)

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  •  Great Point that shouldn't be overlooked by Dems (23+ / 0-)

    when they;re negotiating any deal.

    "We don't need someone who can think. We need someone with enough digits to hold a pen." ~ Grover Norquist

    by Lefty Coaster on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 03:23:48 PM PST

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    •  isn't it interesting how the talking heads on (17+ / 0-)

      the tv machine never mention this either.

      hardball's 2nd edition is on right now & deedee meyers is on saying how the d's can't let the fiscal cliff happen!! & they have to compromise!!!!!

      i am so sick of d's who are scared of their own shadows.

      •  They probably don't remember it. (9+ / 0-)

        1983, a lot of them were kids.

        "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

        by blueoregon on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 04:32:41 PM PST

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      •  Here's what I think Dems should compromise (25+ / 0-)

        The Social Security "payroll tax holiday" started 2 years ago should end. Underfunding Social Security is a terrible idea. This is the minimum amount everybody should be saving for their retirement. Two years ago, the National Committee to preserve Social Security and Medicare said this:

        “Even though Social Security contributed nothing to the current economic crisis, it has been bartered in a deal that provides deficit busting tax cuts for the wealthy.  Diverting $120 billion in Social Security contributions for a so-called ‘tax holiday’ may sound like a good deal for workers now but it’s bad business for the program that a majority of middle-class seniors will rely upon in the future.”… Barbara B. Kennelly, President/CEO    
        Conservatives have long dreamed of a payroll tax holiday because it fulfills two ideological goals, lower taxes and weakening Social Security’s finances.  The White House claims the 2% payroll tax cut won’t impact Social Security; however, we disagree.  
        • There’s no such thing as a “temporary” tax Cut. If Congress is unwilling to allow tax cuts for wealthy Americans to expire in the midst of economic crisis now, then why would it allow this so-called “holiday” to end in one year? The short answer--it wouldn’t. Americans should expect that when this tax “holiday” ends, restoring Social Security’s funding will be portrayed by those opposed to the program as a massive tax hike, rather than the legislated end of the “holiday”. That leaves Social Security permanently dependent on general fund revenues rather than worker contributions which have successfully funded the program for 75 years. If extended, this payroll tax cut would then double Social Security’s 75 year projected shortfall. • This 2% payroll tax cut is the beginning of the end of Social Security as we know it. Worker contributions have successfully funded the program for 75 years and that critical linkage between contributions and benefits is what keeps Social Security a self-funded program. Proposals like this threaten the program’s independence, forcing Social Security to compete for limited federal dollars.  • Cutting contributions to Social Security isn’t the best way to stimulate the economy. The Tax Policy Center reports the wealthiest 40% of households benefit most from a payroll tax cut. According to The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, extending the “Making Work Pay Tax Credit” is a much better and targeted stimulus.
        For all of these reasons, the National Committee does not support proposals to cut the payroll tax.  America’s seniors understand the vital role Social Security plays during these difficult economic times and they’re not willing to trade promises of possible short-term economic gains for real and measurable damage to this vital program which would impact generations of Americans to come.
        You could say that because I don't have a dog in this fight, i.e., I'm 65, retired, and already collecting Social Security, my opinion on this doesn't count. But, I DO know what I'm talking about.

        Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

        by RJDixon74135 on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 05:05:40 PM PST

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        •  excellent point. also never mentioned. n/t (5+ / 0-)
        •  Thankfully, Soc Sec is "off the table" (5+ / 0-)

          according to Harry Reid, Senate Leader, so details of soc sec probably won't be brought up.

          If social security is discussed in this Congress, the one thing that should be considered is removing the income cap on social security contributions by those earning over $100,000 per year.

          Those making that much money should make social security payments based on their entire income, in equal percentages to lower income workers.  If they end up paying more than those earning less, they are doing so to ensure the long-term stability of social security for everyone, including themselves, if they ever end up needing it due to bankruptcy or disability.

          •  nycvisionary - I don't agree (6+ / 0-)

            It's important to understand what SocSec is and what it isn't. SocSec was designed as "wage insurance" with its own funding mechanism and not funded by general tax revenue. It is not an income redistribution plan, but rather a program where people earn a benefit by the contributions they make into the system, as well as their employers. There is a reason why there is a cap. The thought is that people at higher incomes likely have other retirement assets and don't need to "insure" all of their income. Investment income isn't included because investment income isn't tied to employment and doesn't end when we retire. Therefore, there is no logic to "insure" it. There are two issues with eliminating the cap, one is that if all the extra income is included in the benefit formula, SocSec payments to very high income earners could be six figures per year. If you take the cap off of contributions, and cap the benefits, you have changed SocSec as we know it and violated every principal that FDR set out for it when it was started. The program shares such bipartisan support because people think it is fair and your benefits are tied to your contributions. That link cannot be broken or you have an income redistribution program that FDR warned us would be perceived as welfare, he called it the "dole".

            I favor raising the cap, and allowing benefits to rise to reflect the higher contributions. A staged increase in the cap, until it covers 90% of wages and salaries, solves nearly all of SocSec's financial problems.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:36:02 PM PST

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            •  And we could always decide that SS is as important (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              maryabein

              as bailing out the banks and put it on permanent life support :)

            •  I agree (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ColoTim, johnny wurster, VClib

              Raise the cap somewhat (maybe $150,000), but not remove. And earned benefits will go up as well for those wealthy people when the time comes. So

              1) that means they (the more wealthy) are not treated any differently - higher contributions mean higher EARNED benefits

              and

               2) Statistically the fund will benefit overall, as more money is brought in at the front end to compound, Net Present Value and all that.

              Without geometry, life is pointless. And blues harmonica players suck.

              by blindcynic on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 10:26:41 PM PST

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            •  Not exactly (0+ / 0-)
              If you take the cap off of contributions, and cap the benefits, you have changed SocSec as we know it and violated every principal that FDR set out for it when it was started.
              Social Security benefits already regress as your income increases; every dollar you make under $767 per month* gets you $0.90 in benefits; every dollar you make over $4,624 per month gets you only $0.15.

              So there's a philosophical precedent for reducing the benefit at higher incomes; it's not inconsistent to set the incremental benefit to 0 at some point.

              *on average over your highest 35 earning years

              •  Jim - that's true (0+ / 0-)

                There is a clear progressive feature to SocSec today and I agree that can be extended as the cap is increased. I was just making the global point that you can't cap the benefit while you raise the cap or you fundamentally change the program.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 08:00:45 AM PST

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          •  Underfunding Social Security puts it on the table (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lostinamerica

            whether politicians admit it or not.

            Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

            by RJDixon74135 on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:54:54 PM PST

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      •  Talking heads iz millionaires (8+ / 0-)

        "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

        by KateCrashes on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 05:20:13 PM PST

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