The facts: In 2015, the Social Security trustees' latest report projects program outlays will exceed Social Security payroll tax revenues slightly. But Social Security has two other dedicated income streams. In 2015 one source -- taxes on the benefits received by high earners -- just about cancels that difference. The third stream -- interest on money borrowed by the Treasury from the Social Security Trust fund -- would add $154 billion in revenues. So, official projections for 2015 show Social Security generating a surplus of $151 billion.
(Note: the above charts do not include our debt interest payments which, if we do not pay down our debt, are simply unsustainable over time. It's worth noting.)
Congress lies. Media lies. The Cat F'd Commission blatantly lies.
Tweet, twitter, facebook, email and spread the truth
Proof that SS and Medicare ISN'T the deficit problem, tax cuts are.
The extended-baseline scenario (also known as "current law" projections) assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts will expire at the end of this year as scheduled;
The alternative scenario includes extension of 2001 and 2003 tax cuts (except for the top two income tax brackets*);
*If tax cuts for the highest earners do not expire, the alternative scenario will be even worse!
The US cannot afford to extend all the tax cuts.
The real issue is who should pay:
The 71% that are barely getting by, the elderly, or the higher earners who can afford to.
Here's a chart that demonstrates the impact on the deficit with and without the tax cuts.
The Congressional Budget Office blatantly blames the Bush II tax cuts for the deficit:
Furthermore, when the cost of all legislation enacted since 2001 is considered,
the tax cuts are found to cost more than all program increases combined, including increases in military expenditures, homeland security, and education spending.
THIS IS THE REALITY. The CBO research didn't find that Social Security and/or Medicare are the deficit problems.
So why is Congress, the media, and the Cat F'd Commission attacking Social Security and Medicare? Because they can IF we do not really, really fight back NOW.
At a glance, it's easy to see that Social Security and Medicare, both paid by FICA NOT tax revenues are NOT the problem. The Unending Wars impact the deficit, but the tax cuts ARE THE CULPRIT:
For some reason, The Cat F'd Commission and media are not talking enough about reality.
Instead, both are broadcasting the same Peter G Peterson - Milt Friedman
neoconservative - privatize everything - destroy FDR's social safety net - billionaires decades old attempts to strip Social Security and Medicare:
They insist that Entitlements are the problem.
The facts clearly demonstrate that Entitlements are are not the problem.
We need to keep broadcasting these facts. Will we? Will you help?
Tax Cuts and Deficits are like Siamese Twins:
They are and always have been inseparable. It's not rocket science.
We all know that if our income decreases and our expenses don't, that we are at risk of not having enough money to cover our expenses. It's that simple.
For some reason, since 1980, the Republicans don't care about this reality. And now they are screaming about deficits. Have they really forgotten that they have caused the deficits? Really?
We simply can't afford to continue the tax cuts. It's simply a harsh reality. It was irresponsible for Reagan and especially Bush II's Rubber Stamp Congress to have cut taxes: The Revenue the US needs to pay it's bills.
These charts proves the point. Reagan cut taxes, the deficit increased. Bush I and Clinton increased taxes, the deficit decreased. Bush II cut taxes, the deficit increased (Bush II also launched two unfunded wars and a $500 billion Medicare program)
Deficits are the Disease, not the Cure. Odd title for the above graph, btw. We have no choice. Tax revenues must increase if deficit reduction is truly that high a priority.
WHO SHOULD PAY THE TAX REVENUES REQUIRED TO REDUCE THE DEFICIT?
71% of Americans who earn less than $45,000/year?
50% of families who earn less than $50,000/year, thus barely getting by?
The elderly by reducing their Social Security and Medicare benefits?
The unmarried who pay a disproportionatly higher tax rate, half of whom earn less than $30,000/year?
The higher earners?
Or the uber earners?
PROBABLY ALL OF THE ABOVE;
HOWEVER, TAX RATES MUST NOT FURTHER IMPOVERISH THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS THAT BARELY MAKE A LIVING WAGE.
Cuts or Not: Congress needs to pass an "IRS Fair Tax Adjustment Law" to ensure that hard working Americans, who haven't seen an increase in wages for 30 years are protected, not punished by the present disproportionate tax rates.
This chart is proof of flat wages for decades.Median income is a more real wage estimate; however, even median income projects a higher income than the reality on the street for millions of Americans, because higher wages are included in the estimate with only the outliers removed. Don't let the media or anyone get away with reference to Average Income, it's not close to reality for most Americans, sadly:
Here is a clear picture of just how many Americans are earning barely enough to survive:
The percentage of wages taxes must be changed with our without the tax cuts continuing or sunsetting. This is the conversation we need to have.
Please review the two tax tables.
Here are the two tax tables.
Note how unfair the rates are for all who are not married. This is another issue, but one we can demand be addressed: Why are tax rates punitive for young, old, divorced, separated, and/or gay citizens? Compare the rates to see for yourselves.
The first is for 2010, which include the Bush/GOP tax cuts for all. The second is the tax table for 2000 which, if they are allowed to expire and remain unchanged, will be the tax table for 2011:
Why are the earners barely getting by asked to pay 25%/28% plus 7.5% FICA, while the uber wealthy only have to pay 35%-39.6%?
That is disproportionate and it has been since 1949, especially for unmarrieds.
From 1912-1949, everyone paid the same tax rates on income. In 1950 that changed.
And to be fair in the analysis, there are other considerations as well:
There are some other sunset considerations. It will be political suicide for either the DEM or the GOP to allow the following to sunset. Especially because so many have lost their jobs/health insurance and forced to work for even lower wages and even part-time.
Marriage-Penalty Relief & Child Tax Credit
More relief for married parents -- and single parents as well -- can be found in the acceleration of the child tax credit to $1,000 from $600 for tax years 2003 and 2004. After 2004, the rules revert to levels enacted in prior legislation: a $700 tax credit for calendar years 2005 to 2008; an $800 credit in 2009; a $1,000 credit in 2010, after which the credit disappears.
Because the cost of these breaks to the government coffers is nominal compared with the rest of the package, CCH's Mr. Luscombe believes it's likely the provisions will be re-enacted for years 2005 and forward.
It's been a long time since I had to play with Child Tax Credits. But here is the pertinent portion of the table: It is too large to display the entire 2000-2012 table here.
Here are the IRS deduction rules for 2010:
You will find that uberly higher income earners have traditionally paid between 50% and 70% income tax rates. It's sounds harsh, but they are still left with a huge income and remain happily wealthy. Today, 1% earn more than the 99%. That's a bit out of balance:
And, oddly, tax rates for the uberly wealthy in 1929 and now were the two lowest rates for the entire history of tax rates: 25% in 1929 and 35% now.
To prove that the majority of American earn under $45,000 you can go here for the tables. It's really quite jaw dropping:
TWO PETITIONS IF YOU HAVE A MOMENT: