But the drafted participants in our Social Security system nevertheless have no ownership of the assets they are forced to contribute to nonexistent retirement accounts.
Such assets go directly into the federal government’s general revenues. How much you pay in so-called payroll taxes and how much you receive at retirement is entirely up to 535 politicians.
That is another way of saying it isn’t your money, which is why you can’t leave these hard-earned taxes to your loved ones—no inheri-tance under our mandated Social Security system. It is such a bad deal.Wall Street Journal 3-1-23 letter to editor Edward H. Crane, President emeritus, Cato Institute
I bet many Americans will buy into the above point of view. In reality it is a conservative perspective just like many progressive perspectives that is void of common sense and is naive in understanding people.
What hard earned tax dollars can you leave to loved ones?
Guess what, how much you can tax-efficiently save for retirement, how much you pay in taxes on personal savings and investments, how much you can leave to loved ones are all up to 535 politicians who write the tax code.
Nobody, except those trying to mislead, said Social Security provided retirement accounts. Payroll taxes are just that, taxes unrelated to your Social Security benefit. They are a funding method, just like property taxes fund schools or gasoline taxes fund roads both of which are revenues to government. Are those taxes “your money?”
The naive part in all this is the assumption that Americans will use the payroll taxes to save, invest and provide a better return in their investment and a better retirement. They don’t even do that now to supplement their Social Security 40% income replacement.
Edward H. Crane’s article is much closer to reality that the idiots like President Biden, Senator Sandors, and others.
The lie by politicians was, is and continues to be that this was insurance (which is ALWAYS A CONTRACT), that workers EARNED their benefit. When people hear the word “EARN”, what do you think they understand? No one uses the term “EARNED” when describing national defense paid with income taxes, no one uses the term “EARNED” when describing freeway travel paid by gas taxes, etc. But when you paid your insurance “premium”, you believe you PURCHASED a CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENT for certain COVERAGE/BENEFITS.
The difference here is that politicians and lots of others use the term “EARN” to describe your individual account at Social Security. By showing the taxes you paid alongside the projection of benefits you may receive, people have long thought this was EARNED, CONTRACTUAL.
Who said this? Idiots like Joe Biden, less than one month ago, 2/9/23 in Tampa Florida, see:
“… Let’s remember what this is all about. Some of you are on Social Security or your parents or grandparents are. You earned it. You earned every single penny, and you paid into every paycheck you ever got. From the time you were a teenager, you had money taken out for those programs. …
They’re more than government programs. They’re a promise — a promise we made: Work hard and contribute, and when the time has come for you to retire, you’ll be there — we’ll be there for you to help you out. It’s been a sacred trust, the rock-solid guarantee generations of Americans have counted on, and it works. …”
YOU EARNED IT
How many Americans called him a liar to his face when he said those words? None! Who is closer to the truth, much closer, standing astride the issue – Mr. Crane!
I think a lot of misperceptions about Social Security is the fault of the Administration itself. For many years their information pamphlets talked of “contributions” instead of taxes and your “account” as if it were yours. They did nothing to inform people of the way the program actually works as far as taxation and entitlement. It’s always been fair game to criticize the program but some straight talk would have helped people understand.
I don’t have any problem with the program, only the ongoing funding is where I differ with a lot of folks.
Why do Republicans (some, not all) want to cut Social Security and Medicare anyway? I see Mike Pence and some other prominent Republicans still want to, at least partially privatize it.
Some as I understand, believe all government programs should be done at the lowest level possible, (state or local). And some apparently think government at all levels should be small enough to drown them in a bathtub (or toilet?)
It would be interesting to see an in depth debate on this. I, and my family, have always taken SS for granted, and I am very happy with it. Likewise Medicare, although I didn’t realize until recently that didn’t exist until I was out of high school.
The alternative to reducing the growth in benefits (which is what Republicans and Democrates agreed upon in 1983) would be to raise taxes. OK with me if they want to raise YOUR taxes. I’ve paid much more than my fair share – and will NEVER recover what I’ve paid in the form of benefits I am (currently) entitled to receive. I’m still working, still paying in …