Category Archives: Boomers

Petition to My Representative: Take A Stand Against Chained CPI Cuts to Social Security

I got an email yesterday from Move On . Org asking me if I would be willing to start a petition to my U.S. Representative on Social Security Cuts. Here is what it said:

 

Dear Minnesota MoveOn member,

We’ve recently heard from folks upset by President Obama’s proposal to cut Social Security benefits.

It sounds like MoveOn members would be interested in signing a petition urging Rep. Betty McCollum to oppose these cuts, but first someone needs to take the lead by starting a petition on SignOn.org, our online petition site. If you get the petition started, MoveOn will help you get it going. Can you take the lead?

 

 

I clicked yes and the link led me to a very user friendly page where I typed a few paragraphs and voila! Instant petition (kidding, it took me two hours of research and another hour of editing the description and petition, and then voila).

 

 

Here’s the body of the petition:

Dear Congresswoman McCollum:

We implore you to take a stand against Chained CPI which would cause a reduction in benefits for Social Security recipients, including our veterans and more than 350,000 of their surviving spouses and children, and for our senior citizens, almost half of whom would live below the poverty line if not for Social Security benefits.

Please publicly commit to voting against any cuts to Social Security.

 

 

Here’s the Petitition Background that I provided:

Chained CPI, currently being disingenuously presented as a cost of living adjustment by President Obama and others, is a cut to Social Security benefits that would hurt seniors and veterans. According to Senator Bernie Sanders (VT), chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, the proposed change would also affect more than 3.2 million disabled veterans receiving disability compensation benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. For example, vets who started receiving V.A. disability benefits at age 30 would have their benefits reduced by $1,425 a year at age 45, $2,341 at age 55 and $3,231 at age 65. Benefits for more than 350,000 surviving spouses and children would also be cut!

And, according to the Social Security Administration, 65-year-old retirees would lose more than $650 a year by their 75th birthday, and more than $1,000 a year would be cut from their benefits once they reach 85. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Social Security provides no less than 90% of income to more than one-third of America’s seniors. If it weren’t for Social Security, nearly half of Americans over 65 would live below the federal poverty level.

If President Obama is going to go back on his multiple campaign promises to both the elderly who rely on Social Security the most and those who love our country so much that they would risk their lives for it and their fellow Americans, then Congress is called through the system of checks and balances to stop him.

Voting against cuts to Social Security is not only the right thing to do, it is the only patriotic option. Please sign the petition to Congresswoman McCollum asking her to take a stand against cuts to Social Security.

 

 

Please sign and share if you have a moment! Remember, Chained CPI is a cut. CPI stands for consumer price index and it is how the COLA – Cost of Living Adjustment – is figured every December. Some years there isn’t even an increase in benefits the following January if inflation was low. What chained CPI does is reduce the amount of increase in COLA based on the idea that if you give people less money, they will choose to consume less expensive items. Yes, this would save a ton of money. On the backs of the poor, the elderly, and our wounded vets.

 

Just say no.

Collecting Social Security via Flat Tax instead of a Regressive Tax would Fund it through 2080

First of all, since WordPress won’t let me embed the poll image inside a post and inside a widget, here’s the link to the poll or you can vote in the widget on the right hand side of this blog page.

 

The question is, should Social Security be funded via a flat tax instead of a regressive tax?

 

 

You probably know that income tax in the United States is progressive, meaning not only do you pay more dollars in tax the more you earn, you also pay a higher percentage of your income. A flat tax as an income tax would take one percentage — say 10% for easy math examples — and apply it across the board. So, the argument goes, yes, the person who makes $20,000 pays the same percentage as the person who makes $200,000, but the first person only pays $2,000 and the second pays the yearly income of the first person. The progressive tax takes into consideration that as you make more money, your quality of life is likely to increase as well and so from that stand point, the flat tax, although “consistent” is not “fair.”

 

 

Ironically, the Social Security tax of 6.2% is not even a flat tax. It does not come close to consistent, to say nothing of fair. It’s not fair. It is inconsistent and unjust. Here’s why:

 

The maximum amount anyone could possibly pay in SS payroll tax (6.2%) is $7,049: this is because only income up to $113,700 is taxed.

6.2% on $25k = $1550

6.2% on $35k = $2170

6.2% on $50k = $3100

6.2% on $75k = $4650

6.2% on $100k = $6200

6.2% on $113,700 = $7049 —-> the MAX anyone ever pays

 

 

Once you earn more than $113,700, you never pay  more than $7049. From thereon out, the percentage of your income that you pay into social security goes down — it decreases; i.e. it becomes a regressive tax.

So if you make $150k then $7,049 = 4.7% of your income.

If you make $200,000 then $7,049 = 3.5% of your income.

If you make $250,000 then $7,049 = 2.0% of your income.

If you make $500,000 then $7,049 = 1.4% of your income.

If you are a millionaire, you pay in 1/10th of one percent!

 

 

Is it fair? You do the math.