Social Security Should Not Be At Risk
Social Security, signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1935, was created to ensure that our seniors can live in dignity without fear of poverty. Workers pay into a fund during their prime years, then get regular payments back when they stop working.
By providing security to individuals in their later years, the program was designed to provide greater security to society itself. We all benefit from knowing that there is a basic floor of needs met for those in later and less advantaged stages of life.
Social Security has worked well for generations to reduce poverty among seniors and the disabled. It is under attack today by Wall Street banks and related financial “service” entities who want to privatize it for no other reason than to tap into another new and huge source of income and bonuses.
To that end, opponents of Social Security have claimed over the last few years that it is running out of money soon. It is true that there could be problems with Social Security funding down the line, but they are quite easily solved by making some changes, such as eliminating the cap on income subject to Social Security payroll tax. That simple modification can keep the system solvent indefinitely, and even allow an increase in benefits to financially protect our seniors and others in need.
Under no circumstances should we put Social Security at risk. We need to protect this successful and compassionate program that retiring Americans have relied on for nearly eighty-five years.
Consequently, the Williamson Administration will:
- Eliminate the cap on taxation of income for Social Security
- The cap on social security taxation is reverse means testing. The cap is currently set at $160,200. Even if the cap is raised to $250,000 (as has been proposed) that means 95% of wage earners have their entire income subject to taxation, while the richest 5% are able to avoid a huge tax liability. How is this fair?
- Eliminating the cap will reduce the extremes of poverty and wealth that are inherently undemocratic (This isn’t about the first and second yacht, it’s about the 3rd, 4th, 5th yachts…)
- Eliminating the cap will immediately secure the long term solvency of the Social Security program and allow the program to expand benefits without raising the retirement age.
- I will veto any attempts to privatize Social Security. The move from guaranteed pensions to 401k plans for workers that started in the 1980’s under Ronald Reagan has been disastrous. It has left the retirement money of working people at the mercy of the fluctuations of the stock market. This makes the money people put away for their retirement security a plaything for the trading class. Consider what happened to tens of thousands of Enron workers when that company collapsed due to its own financial malfeasance. We cannot continue to allow this level of risk with essential retirement funds.
- Commence a national discussion on how best to go beyond Social Security and find new ways to provide holistic care for our growing elderly population.