Americans want to believe what they want to believe, often what fits into their idea that others, especially government are against them or can solve their problems.
Many politicians aggravate the situation by using rhetoric and trigger words that reinforce misinformation and play on fears and feelings of being treated unfairly- and also downplay individual responsibility.
Take a look at this list:
- We’re it not for government stealing the trust money, all would be well with Social Security
- Medicare is socialized medicine
- Members of Congress receive their pay for life
- Congress receives better and free healthcare coverage
- Health insurance company profit is primary factor in high health care costs
- Corporations pay little or no taxes
- Only the wealthy take advantage of tax laws to avoid taxes
- Corporate profits are just greed
- CEO pay is too high and more should be given to workers
- The wealthy don’t pay their fair share
- Illegal immigrants pay no taxes while collecting Social Security benefits.
Consider the following:
- The SS trust is invested in interest paying special treasury bonds. That interest is a portion of funding. The bonds will be sold as needed to help pay benefits. Nobody stole the SS trust.
- Medicare is an insurance system. It provides no health care, it pays for it. It’s involvement in your health care is no more intrusive than private insurance.
- Members of Congress can earn a pension if they serve a minimum number of years, many do not. The pension at the maximum is not near full pay. Those who earn a pension do so because citizens elected and re-elected and re-elected … them.
- While members of Congress can use government facilities while in DC, they must enroll in a Affordable Care Act plan and they pay 21% of the premium – not unlike millions of American employees.
- The drivers of health insurance premiums are the cost of care and how much care is received. The average profit percentage of a health insurance company is about the same a regulated utility. Divide the CEO pay by the policies in effect and the impact on premiums is imperceptible.
- US corporations pay the highest corporate tax rate among industrialized countries To the extent they avoid taxes is the result of tax laws permitting deductions, offsets, etc.
- I don’t know about you, but I try – legally – to pay the least amount of taxes possible. I take all possible deductions, I invest in tax-free bond funds, Many Americans use Roth retirement accounts that generate tax-free income. I use tax software to find the most in deductions. Why would we expect the super wealthy to do less? They cheat? Well, if they do, it’s illegal and there should be consequences, but don’t criticize legal application of the tax code just based on wealth.
- Sen Sander’s favorite word is greed, mostly applied to business profits. A corporation has the responsibility to – legally and ethically – maximize profit for its shareholders. Keep in mind directly or indirectly, those shareholders include everyone saving and investing for their future, retirees collecting a pension or relying on their investments. The value of any stock depends on earnings and their growth.
- Some CEO pay may be too high because they didn’t do a good job, that’s the problem of the Board of Directors and shareholders who vote on compensation packages. Most executive compensation is not cash but stock awards – 60% or more – most is at risk based on the company’s performance. Take the total CEO compensation of any major US corporation and divide it by the total number of employees. You will quickly see that giving CEO pay to workers is meaningless. There is no relationship between what a company pays its workers and it’s CEO.
- What is fair share? What is affordable? These are trigger words. Are the 40% of Americans who pay no income taxes paying any share? Is it fair to expect others to pay for the promises of “free” stuff we like from government? Every country in the world with broad social programs and benefits shares the cost throughout their population with income and payroll taxes and assorted fees and special levies .
- No they don’t, but they pay billions in taxes each year added to the Social Security trust. How? They use fake SS numbers to work, but are not eligible for benefits.
Before passing along fake or misleading information, get the facts.