Defending Social Security, and insuring its permanent solvency

(Please note:  I will treat this topic in far greater detail in the near future…This article is a re-print from 2016).

ss coins

I have been calling for six years to remove the earnings cap on Social Security.  I am sure most of you are not aware of this “cap”, and most of “US” don’t earn more than the “cap” – the point at which our government stops taxing income to fund Social Security.

For the vast majority, Social Security deductions from our pay apply to every taxed dollar earned.  If you are among the small fraction earning over $ 118,500.00 per year, however, you get one heck of a break.  IN fact, a person who earns exactly $ 118,500.00 pays the same amount into Social Security in dollars, (not percentage – dollars), as someone who earns $ 25,000,000.00.

Did YOU know that?

Well, if you didn’t know it, NOW, you DO.

That is a fact

The following “factoid-based statistics”, often quoted as accurate, state that 90% of the income is earned by only 10% of the people, and that 90% of THAT income is earned by only 1% of that group.  Accurate numbers would better illustrate this disparity, but the principle remains the same.

While not precise, those statements certainly shine a light on the fact that BILLIONS of dollars are exempted from the taxation to fund the Social Security system that many of us will rely on in our old age – and that many of us PRESENTLY rely on.

It was proposed a little over two years ago by Senator Bernie Sanders that the so-called “cap” be raised to  $ 200,000.00.  He later raised his proposed figure to $ 250,000.00.

At the time he proposed this, I could not have DISAGREED MORE.

You read that correctly.

I disagreed with RAISING THE CAP.

I stood affirmatively against it.

Why?

I didn’t want it “raised” – I wanted it REMOVED ENTIRELY.

2014 proposal

2014 Campaign Proposal Graphic – published October 18th, 2014

Since this past Spring, however, it appears that Senator Sanders and I are now in agreement.

Removing the cap entirely is the best, most equitable course of action we can take to solidify Social Security for the foreseeable future, and to insure that all Americans both benefit from and participate in the program.

To the wealthiest, so exempted by the present cap; 

Those dollars above the cap should be taxed equally with all persons’ earnings – and that tax represents the “dues” you pay for being here, in this country, with all the opportunities to succeed that America provides – for access to an educated labor force for your businesses, for access to markets of consumers who can buy what you’re selling, for roads and transportation infrastructure with which to ship your goods or receive your raw materials, and for a military to defend your investment.

You aren’t being asked to give “MORE”…you’re being asked to ante up like everyone else does.

You’ve had a pass for many decades.  That needs to end.

Further, to protect the Social Security Trust Funds **

We cannot allow the same vultures that pillaged the New Jersey pension system to get their hands on the management of the Social Security Trust Fund.

What we have is working.

There is not, nor has there ever been, a need to “PRIVATIZE Social Security”.  Such proposals are an attempt to repeat the pickpocketing that the Teachers, Firefighters, CWA workers, and Law Enforcement in NJ have already witnessed with the shenanigans played with their pension funds.

If you are able, and choose to personally invest ADDITIONAL dollars in retirement accounts, that is your choice, and certainly a wise one – but your contribution to Social Security is an obligation…an obligation that should be met equally by all Americans, as they are able.

I WILL NEVER vote for a program that privatizes Social Security OR the hiring of private-sector “contractors” to administer the funds.

NEVER.

I WILL fight to REMOVE the Cap on Social Security Earnings.

I WILL consider and even promote alternative investment of Social Security Trust Monies in Lending for Higher Education, and in Infrastructure Improvement and disaster relief, as removing the cap would actually create an available surplus, that must continue to generate a return.

That puts those dollars right back in the economy, and the community, from which they came.  Heck, it’s even an opportunity to create jobs.

When you “invest” in Social Security, you’re “investing” in your own future, and your own well-being, as well as that of you fellows.

By the way, my opponent, Trump, and Christie will hate this. (For me, that’s just a side benefit. 😉 )

It should not escape your notice how my opponent and his cronies want to pillage pensions, infrastructure trusts, and education dollars, while WE propose reinforcing those investments.

This is but ONE of the FIVE PRIMARY FOCI of my campaign and my intentions once elected.

If you want to preserve Social Security, this is the way to do it.

Stand with me.

 

Frederick John LaVergne, Democrat for Congress, NJ CD3 2016

 

** The Social Security Trust Funds are the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and the Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Funds. These funds are accounts managed by the Department of the Treasury.