2018-06-13 12:30:42 UTC
retirement: not so much.
"Dont let politicians turn Social Security into welfare
By Seattle Times staff, May 5, 2005
Man has invented no better way of sinking a government program than
turning it into welfare. Hang the welfare sign around its neck, and a
program soon finds itself sleeping with the fishes. The Marianas
Trench is not too deep a resting place.
President Bush proposes just that for Social Security. He would slash
benefits for upper- and middle-income people, but preserve them for
the poorest 30 percent. Call it Social Security, if you wish, but
welfare is its name. . . .
Under the presidents new proposal, workers earning over $36,500 in
todays dollars see massive cuts in Social Security benefits. What
would follow is easy to predict: Most workers stop regarding Social
Security as an essential source of their retirement income. They start
resenting their Social Security payroll taxes more than they already
do. Some accuse the low-income beneficiaries of not having worked as
hard as they did, or failing to save for retirement. In the end, broad
support for the Social Security system crumbles, and Congress finds
excuses for throwing it overboard. . . .
Social Security does have some progressive elements. It replaces a
bigger percentage of pre-retirement earnings for low-income people
than for the well-to-do.
For the record, todays Social Security is not welfare. It is the
least welfare-like of any government program. The workers pay for it
entirely themselves, out of their payroll taxes. Unlike farm supports
and Medicare, not a penny comes from the Treasury.
If political leaders want to turn Social Security into welfare, they
should do so honestly. First, they should abolish the Social Security
payroll tax. Let the government fund it out of general revenues.
Payroll taxes take money that workers sweat for. General revenues come
from a wider variety of sources the more-progressive income tax;
levies on corporate profits; taxes on investment income.