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View Diary: US already has high elder poverty rate, so why are Social Security cuts even on the table? (223 comments)

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  •  It's not a flat tax (6+ / 0-)

    It's worse than a flat tax.

    Someone making $50k pays half of what someone making $100k pays, true enough. But someone making $200k pays the same amount as the person making $100k.

    Making it into a flat tax would actually be a huge improvement.

    •  Okay, I think I get it now. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior

      So then FICA should be a true flat tax and perhaps its cap should be either raised or lifted then?

       All I want is for the rich to pay their fair share into it.

    •  Flat tax up to a point, but payout is progressive (4+ / 0-)

      The benefits are calculated based on avg. monthly income (highest 35 years, adjusted for inflation each year), and you get:
      90% of your first $732 avg. monthly income, plus
      32% of the next $3500 (approx)., plus only
      15% of any remaining up to $9,475
      (max $113,700/12 = $9,475/mo).

      So I consider it actually a very progressvie progrem. Still, I would like to see the cap lifted and a new 5% payout bracket for say, $113,700 - $250,000, and even a 1% payout bracket above that (i.e. 1% for the 1%ers), this would easily make it fiscally sound for probably forever.

      The numbers above are approximate, you can see the current percentages and cutoffs at ssa.gov, a very informative site.

      •  Exactly. One of the awesome parts of doing this (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NoMoreLies, Laconic Lib, Mr Robert

        is that people who have really high incomes for just a few years (athletes, some musicians and actors, a writer who has two best sellers) would massively raise their life-time average monthly earnings because they'd be paying in on way more of it.

        It would be fairer to people whose careers have big dips and peaks.

        Machine gun bullets became the bloody baptizers/ And the falcon 'copters don't care if someone's the wiser/ But the boy in the swamp didn't know he was killed by advisers

        by JesseCW on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 07:35:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm glad you consider it so (0+ / 0-)

        But putting aside the fact that we were talking about taxes:

        The life expectancy of a man (women are a bit better off) whose household income is $25k a year for his whole life is roughly 69 years at age 20. (That is to say, if he lives to age 20, and starts paying into Social Security, he will on average live to age 69. However, it's actually probably lower than that, that's just the average for the lowest third of the population, and $25k is on the low end of that.) So he'll collect those amazingly progressive benefits for a year (once the 67 retirement age kicks in, anyway), and that's if we don't raise the retirement age again. Or raise Medicare eligibility so that he dies even earlier.

        Meanwhile, the highest quintile has a life expectancy at age 20 that is approaching 80, for men. Better for women.

        Who is it that has the better deal again?

    •  Someone make 25k *gets* a lot more (0+ / 0-)

      for their money than someone paying 50k, and someone paying 50k gets a lot more than someone paying 100k.

      That's not regressive.

      Machine gun bullets became the bloody baptizers/ And the falcon 'copters don't care if someone's the wiser/ But the boy in the swamp didn't know he was killed by advisers

      by JesseCW on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 07:33:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, have we stopped talking about taxes? (0+ / 0-)

        I thought we were on the subject of taxes.

        But in any case, you're wrong, because the life expectancy of a man (women are a bit better off) whose household income is $25k a year for his whole life is roughly 69 years at age 20. (Actually probably lower than that, that's just the average for the lowest third of the population, and $25k is on the low end of that.) So he'll collect those amazingly progressive benefits for a year (once the 67 retirement age kicks in, anyway), and that's if we don't raise the retirement age again. Or raise Medicare eligibility so that he dies first.

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