My Social Insecurity

Trey Smith

I'm not a trained economist and I don't play one on TV. I'm just a lowly taxpayer. Still, I have a solution or two for the social security imbroglio.

The way I understand things is that, in past years, every time the federal government found themselves short of cash, they dipped into the social security fund. IF (and I don't really believe the problem is half as bad as Dubya wants us to think) my information is correct, wouldn't the most ethical solution be to put back what we borrowed?

In light of the recently passed anti-bankruptcy bill, it would seem to me that federal leaders should be managing our collective money the way they want the rest of us peons to manage our own personal affairs. If they can't come up with the funds previously pilfered, why don't we just sell off some of our less important national assets?

We could have a national garage sale. I'm sure there are a lot of corporations -- both foreign and domestic -- as well as many well-to-do folk who would pay top dollar to own the White House, the Jefferson Memorial, Mount Rushmore, Yosemite National Park or the Johnson Space Center.

I mean, do we citizens really need to own these national treasures anyway? We're already being charged fees to visit most of these places now, so what's another buck or two?

I can just envision it now. We could have the Enron White House, the Microsoft Jefferson Memorial, the Dupont Mount Chemical Rushmore, Rupert Murdock's Yosemite Park, and the Fox News Space Center. Each of these has a kind of a nice ring to 'em, don't you think?

If I'm unable to persuade enough people to support THAT idea, I've got Plan B. Why don't we simply tax all INCOME at the prevailing rate for Social Security? Instead of only taxing the first $90,000 of wages, we wouldn't have a ceiling of any kind.

Consequently, if you make $25,000 per year at Old Navy, all $25,000 would be subject to the Social Security Tax. Conversely, if you're the head honcho of a major corporation and you make $1.8 million per year, all $1.8 million would be subject to the same tax.

I think this proposal would really cut down on administrative costs because you wouldn't need workers whose job was to figure what should be taxed and what shouldn't. Since all income would be taxed the same, it would simplify the whole process.

I'm still waiting for Fox News to contact me for an interview. I just KNOW they will contact me any day now since I've come up with two very simple and workable solutions for this complex problem.

If any of you run into Bill O'Reilly, would you tell him to give me a call?

  • (Show?)

    If any of you run into Bill O'Reilly, would you tell him to give me a call?

    Given the types of calls he makes, are you sure you really want this?

  • Trey (unverified)

    That last comment of mine was tongue-in-cheek. Besides, do you think he would ever consider calling somebody like me?

  • allehseya (unverified)

    Besides, do you think he would ever consider calling somebody like me?

    Only if he could tell you to 'shut up' repetitively and then claim he would never do such a thing and have people believe it even though it wouldve been recorded and archived......(uh-oh, b!X...frothing-at-mouth begins)

  • David Wright (unverified)

    Hmmm... applying FICA to all income without a cap to save administrative costs... surely that too was a joke... after all, I know my own company employs a dozen or so clerks just to figure out when each employee has hit the cap... <nobr>;-)</nobr>

    I do agree that capping FICA contributions is asinine. The one decent flat tax we have, and they have to make it regressive anyway???

    But I think an even better approach is to stop treating Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid as somehow any different than any other welfare/subsidy program, and merge it with the general federal budget. Why have a separate tax for it at all? It really is just another transfer program now, albeit one with a trust fund behind it... but in another 30-40 years (depending on who you believe) it won't have that either.

    Dump it all into one pot, eliminate the FICA taxes and bump up income taxes to make up the difference.

    Ah, but then the esteemed folks in Washington might have to start dealing with REAL numbers and REAL accounting issues.... instead of smoke and mirrors...

    Naw.... that'll never happen...

  • gus (unverified)

    I propose a compromise. A 10 million earner and her employer would pay an uncapped 2.9% or $290,000 to Medicare and 12.4%, capped at $90,000, or $11,160 to Social Security.

    <h2>I propose that high wage earners and their employers pay a combined 12.4% of salary to Social Security subject to a cap of 2.9% on salaries in excess of 5million dollars a year.</h2>

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