Strengthen Social Security
May 3, 2012 3 Comments
The idea that Social Security is on the verge of bankruptcy is a right-wing myth. Conservatives are not fond of Social Security, which is why they often attack it as a Ponzi scheme. Rick Perry has done that. So has John McCain.
In a recent op-ed column for The New York Times, Joe Nocera points out that the real failure has been in the roller-coaster rides provided by 401(k)s. He quotes behavioral economist Teresa Ghilarducci.
“The 401(k),” she concluded, “is a failed experiment. It is time to rethink it.”
I agree, and I wonder why there don’t seem to be Democrats out there not only defending Social Security, but realizing that it’s been a huge success that could become, well…huger.
Robert Crosman puts it well. The online comments section for newspapers is usually a repository for ignorance, incoherence, and bigotry, and I usually stay away, but I happened to notice Crosman’s comment on the Nocera column as it was listed first. Here’s an excerpt:
Like Angela’s, my state pension will provide me $30,000 per year, and unlike her state mine can afford to pay it. Why should jobs in the private sector be different, and why should employers have to pay them? All we have to do is raise the level of taxation to the point where Social Security can pay something like what the recipient lived on while working. The taxpayer will pay much higher rates than at present – up to half his salary, as in Europe – leaving us less income to waste on big houses, vehicles, electronics, expensive vacations, etc. Big business of course wants us to SPEND this NOW, but we have a choice: we can pay now in taxes, or pay later, in the form of poverty in old-age.
I certainly don’t think that higher taxes on their own help individuals or the economy, and there are easier and more obvious ways to increase federal revenue first. My priority would be to make sure that corporations and the rich paid to support the United States at rates more similar to the ones they paid when we had presidents such as Eisenhower and Reagan. But a country which supports its elderly and its poor…that’s worth at least talking about. Any politicians out there doing that?