There is a serious problem with Social Security. More is being paid out than is coming in. The cause of this discrepancy can be broken down into five general areas:
1) The 2% relief on Social Security President Obama ordered. I love Obama, but this was a really dumb idea.
2) There aren’t enough people working – when unemployment is between 4 and 5%, more money is going into the Social Security coffers.
3) A lot of people who are working are working at low paying jobs. 12.4% (6.2% paid by the employee and 6.2% paid by the employer) of a $10.00 an hour job works out to just $2579.2 per year into Social Security.
4) Social Security isn’t taken on all salary income. Once you earn above $104,000, you stop paying Social Security on the rest.
5) Mismanagement of the funds. I know what you’re saying, but here is an example of mismanagement of funds. You’re not going to believe this one, but it is true. Say Marge marries Homer and they stay married for eleven years. Then, they divorce. Marge is entitled to half of Homer’s Social Security – for life – while Homer can collect all of his Social Security. Say Homer marries Angie and they stay married for eleven years, before divorcing. Now, Angie is entitled to half of Homer’s Social Security and Homer is still entitled to all of his Social Security. Well, let’s say Homer is a hound dog or he’s really just out to be punished, because he marries again and, yet again, he divorces wife #3, whom we’ll call Betsy, after eleven years of marriage. Now, Betsy is entitled to half of his Social Security, while he still collects his full amount. Are you keeping track here? Homer collects his full amount, while his three ex-wives collect a half each, making Social Security pay out 2.5 times the amount to which Homer is entitled. Does that seem right to you? No? It doesn’t to me. The worst part is once Homer dies, boom! All three wives can collect his FULL amount. Have we lost our minds?
Here’s my three step plan for saving Social Security:
1) Tax the employees at the full 6.2% rate. The 2% isn’t really helping the economy and it is hurting Social Security. Example, I am only receiving an extra $25.00 in my pocket each week. So, I pay more on my credit card or I go out to dinner one extra time. Okay, maybe, that is helping the economy a little, but it is hurting Social Security a lot.
2) No more just stay married for eleven years and collect half of your ex-spouse’s Social Security. First, let’s raise it to at least twenty years. Twenty seems more reasonable. We don’t want some jerk divorcing his wife right before retirement and leaving her high and dry, but we don’t want to take a system that was once solvent and drive it into the ground.
3) Start taxing the whole amount of people’s salary – Period, end of story.
That’s it – no vouchers, no yelling and screaming. Just three simple ideas that will put Social Security back on the right path. The only problem with my plan is that there is absolutely no way you’ll ever get it passed because the Republicans control the House and they don’t want to save Social Security. They want to run it into the ground and let it die a slow and painful death. They think Social Security is some sort of burden. They make it sound like Social Security is a handout. No, no it’s not. The people who paid into it, deserve to get something out of it.
Now, if you have a long memory, you’ll remember that I’m pretty much for the government giving me back my money and closing it down. I am. I don’t plan on needing Social Security for my retirement, however; I do realize that not everyone is as prepared as I am and they will need Social Security. Mainly because the big corporations are no longer paying salaries to the average working person that allows them to save for their retirement, while they save for their children’s college education. But, let’s not get me started on that!