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Republicans hate Social Security because it has been an extraordinary success and has done exactly what it was designed to do.  It is the most successful government program in our nation's history and is enormously popular.

When Social Security was developed, 50 percent of seniors lived in poverty. Today, that number is 10 percent -- still too high, but a testament to the success of Social Security.

Republicans have spent years demonizing Social Security and spreading lies about its sustainability.  They want to scare Americans and build support for making drastic cuts to the program or privatizing it entirely. Their long-term goal is to end Social Security as we know it, and convert it into a private account system which will enable Wall Street to make hundreds of billions in profits.  

The truth is that, today, according to the Social Security Administration,  Social Security has a $2.5 trillion surplus and can pay out every benefit owed to every eligible American for the next 25 years.

Further, because it is funded by the payroll tax and not the U.S. Treasury, Social Security has not contributed one nickel to our deficit.

Now -- in a prolonged recession that has decimated the poor and middle class and pushed more Americans into poverty than at any point in modern history -- we need to strengthen Social Security. That's why I, along with 9 co-sponsors, have introduced the “Keeping Our Social Security Promises Act.”  This legislation would lift the Social Security Payroll tax cap on all income over $250,000 a year, would require millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share into the Social Security Trust Fund, and would extend the program for the next 75 years.  

Join me now as a citizen co-sponsor of the Keeping Our Social Security Promises Act.

For 76 years, through good times and bad, Social Security has paid out every benefit owed to every eligible American. The most effective way to strengthen Social Security for the next 76 years is to scrap the payroll tax cap for those earning $250,000 a year or more.

Right now, someone who earns $106,800 pays the same amount of money into Social Security as billionaires like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.  That is because today, all income above $106,800 is exempt from the Social Security tax.  As a result, 94% of Americans pay Social Security tax on all of their income, but the wealthiest 6% do not.

That makes no sense.

The “Keeping Our Social Security Promises Act” will ensure the long-term solvency of Social Security without cutting benefits, raising the retirement age or raising taxes on the middle class.

Join me and Democracy for America in fighting to strengthen Social Security -- Sign on as a citizen co-sponsor of the Keeping Our Social Security Promises Act.

Social Security is keeping tens of millions of seniors out of poverty today.  I can think of no more important issue facing our country today than making sure that Social Security remains strong for generations to come.

Thank you.

Bernie
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders

Originally posted to US Senator Bernie Sanders on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 06:51 AM PDT.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and DFH Local No 420.

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  •  Tip Jar (318+ / 0-)
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  •  They don't hate it (24+ / 0-)

    The love it!  They just want the money that is going into it to go into their pockets.  Wherever there is money, there are Republicans using dirty tactics to get their hands on it.  

  •  Promotion of General Welfare is Immoral (23+ / 0-)

    and taxing to accomplish it constitutes the crime of violence of theft, is the reason they give in public.

    --Ignoring the fact that that purpose and that power are written into the Constitution.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 06:56:51 AM PDT

    •  By the violent criminal James Madison (7+ / 0-)

      Doesn't he look like a strong-armed robber to you?

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

      by blue aardvark on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 07:34:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it is easier to steal with a pen (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        flowerfarmer, terabytes, NonnyO

        than a sword, ask any Wall Street investment banker what he manages to steal in a year compared to a smash and grab street criminal.

        •  So you agree taxation is theft? (0+ / 0-)

          In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

          by blue aardvark on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:01:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  no (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ahumbleopinion, flowerfarmer

            I don't, I was speaking about stealing money by private individuals in both cases.

            Not a word about taxes.  You called Madison a strong armed robber, I reponded with some snark about strong armed robbers versus those who steal with a pen.

            The text  in question actually written by Madison was the duty to promote the general welfare.  

            The power to tax supports that, but if one taxes for the general welfare,  money spent to serve all not the richest few, it is  clearly not theft.   That the Republicans and some Democrats have so perverted the use of tax monies that it does end up being a means of sucking money from the poor and middle class to the rich could be considered theft, but I put it in terms of class warfare more than individual crime.

            Given what I know of your posting history, I doubt you believe taxation is theft, but you allowed yourself to call Madison a strong arm robber.   If you believe it is theft, then there is indeed a great chasm between our beliefs.

    •  They use that argument to trick Tea Party (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave925

      types into supporting them, but it is all about getting their hands on the money.  Republicans love to find ways to get taxpayer dollars into their backers pockets.

      “when Democrats don’t vote, Democrats don’t win.” Alan Grayson

      by ahumbleopinion on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:25:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They Don't Hate It (13+ / 0-)

    They just are doin the bidding of the wealthy who want All those little dollars going to the street, i.e. like 401's etc., which add into multi millions for them to play with and reap more wealth without using their own cash!!!

    CCR:"If you're a torturer, be careful in your travel plans. It's a slow process for accountability, but we keep going."

    by jimstaro on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 06:58:56 AM PDT

  •  Because it's social and it's a success (15+ / 0-)

    That just drives them up the wall.

    “If you think I can be bought for five thousand dollars, I'm offended." Rick Perry.

    by Paleo on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 06:59:20 AM PDT

  •  Meanwhile, Republicans have a Democratic (8+ / 2-)

    President helping them do their bidding while he adopts their framing and lies.

    And you can be sure if he didn't have a "D" after his name and was saying these things, he'd be getting pilloried by this side of the aisle mercilessly.

    But it's interesting how a partisanship can cause others to put their principles aside.

    It almost makes it seem that partisanship in support of a member of The Team is more important than the principles The Team espouses.

    Which might be why The Team is in such trouble at present.

    As is Social Security with the plans to ding it.

    More and Better Democrats

    by SJerseyIndy on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 07:06:00 AM PDT

    •  That's just absurd (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LynneK

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

      by blue aardvark on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 07:35:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Did you just HR for disagreement? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Betty Pinson, Situational Lefty, pot

        Sure looks like it.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:03:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Apparently blue didn't get the point Markos (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Situational Lefty

          was trying to make.

          I'ma send off this HR abuse to the head honcho for his thoughts.

          More and Better Democrats

          by SJerseyIndy on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:06:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nor did you. Re-read those guidelines. (7+ / 0-)

            "1) The "guest in someone's house" rule

            Walking into someone's diary is like walking into someone's home. You are a guest. Act accordingly. That doesn't mean you can't disagree. It just means you have to be civil and courteous and limit your arguments to substance."

            I didn't see any substance here beyond an attempt to start a flame war with Obots on Senator Sanders living room floor. That is you not only made a personal attack on the President, that I guess is fair game you also tried to take it up a notch with "But it's interesting how a partisanship can cause others to put their principles aside."

            I don't think a blanket condemnation of half of the community as being un-principled is quite what Markos had in mind with the follow up rule 3) in summary: 'don't be a dick'.

            Before trying to stir up a shit storm with the 'head honcho' you might want to think about who will be coming away with the smelly boots.

            Please visit, follow or join our Group: Social Security Defenders

            by Bruce Webb on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:37:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Something tells me Bernie Sanders... (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NonnyO, JesseCW, Situational Lefty, pot

              would not agree with Obama on this issue.

              It might be his last diary:
              http://www.dailykos.com/...

              Where he says as much.

              Ho-hum.

              More and Better Democrats

              by SJerseyIndy on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 10:26:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  So, what you're saying is that criticism (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jlukes, JesseCW, pot

              even if presented in a civil fashion (no name-calling) constitutes "an attempt to start a flame war with the Obots"? That's just creepy. This is like "if you can't say something nice, say nothing at all"...here's an idea, why don't we refrain from discussing politics? That's always been the easiest way to avoid arguments in polite society (snark)...

              Seriously, though, if our "community" is so thin skinned that we can't take a comment like that one (and I am not endorsing the view expressed, only the right to express it), then we're in a bad way.

              "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

              by Alice in Florida on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 10:35:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  One wonders where the HR brigade... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Jlukes, pot

                clearly itching to dish out HRs under the "new rules" were to HR Bernie for saying pretty much the same thing in his last diary.

                Then one considers perhaps old grudges die hard...

                More and Better Democrats

                by SJerseyIndy on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 12:16:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Reading comprehension is your friend here (0+ / 0-)

                  Read rule one over:

                  1) The "guest in someone's house" rule

                  Walking into someone's diary is like walking into someone's home. You are a guest. Act accordingly. That doesn't mean you can't disagree. It just means you have to be civil and courteous and limit your arguments to substance.

                  Now, this doesn't mean that diarists (and yes, they are still diarists until a future revision that won't come until early next year at the earliest) can keep out all detractors and critics. If Diarists want a debate-free zone, they start a Blogspot site and turn off comments. Writers on this site have to be able to tolerate critics. But it does mean that those critics can't act like dicks.

                  If you wonder into an open house party on your block and find out that your host is voicing opinions you don't agree with, you can walk out. There really is no need to announce your departure with "THIS PARTY SUCKS AND YOU ARE THE SUPIDZ" Which is what HR'ing the poster as opposed to a commenter is.

                  And dragging in comments by the poster from previous posts to make a jusftication for current behvaior gets you a little close to this from 3) Dickish Behavior

                  Some examples: Going back to hidden comments and pulling stuff out that's six months old. People are allowed to have an off-day without having it rubbed in their face in perpetuity. Stalking. Hijacking other people's diaries by dragging in meta fights from outside. Ad hominem attacks. You guys get the picture.:

                  I am not saying that this conduct rose to the point of a clear violation not am I really in the habit of getting this meta. Just pointing out the old adage about casting out the beam in your own eye before pointing out the mote in others. Third parties maybe not quite seeing things in the same black and white fashion you are.

                  Please visit, follow or join our Group: Social Security Defenders

                  by Bruce Webb on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 12:43:59 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  'Unprincipled' is name calling (0+ / 0-)

                it fully equates to 'liar'.

                And you can be sure if he didn't have a "D" after his name and was saying these things, he'd be getting pilloried by this side of the aisle mercilessly.

                But it's interesting how a partisanship can cause others to put their principles aside.

                That is not substance and it certainly isn't civil. Instead it was a call out to half the community in support of a previous attack on Obama that itself was a pure assertion of opinion and not particularly related to the subject of the post.

                I don't know of any party I have ever been to when a drive-by shooting was excused on First Amendment grounds.

                Please visit, follow or join our Group: Social Security Defenders

                by Bruce Webb on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 12:32:19 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  please do (0+ / 0-)

            and we'd like to see what else you will come up with to try to derail this thread. This should be entertaining. Well, at least I hope your attempts improve. the first two are pretty weak.

            "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government" T. Jefferson

            by azureblue on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 10:00:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Markos makes alot of points (0+ / 0-)

            including this one:

            http://www.dailykos.com/...

        •  Not going to debate the merits (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LynneK

          Not deserving of the effort. I know dickish when I see it.

          In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

          by blue aardvark on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:56:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  What part? (0+ / 0-)

        Whatever it is, I'm certain it's not more absurd than your abusive pastry sent to the moderator.

        More and Better Democrats

        by SJerseyIndy on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:23:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SJerseyIndy, NonnyO, JesseCW

      Time to wake up if you think its only 'pubs making noise about cutting benefits.

      Also time to wake up if you think its only 'pubs who care about filling their pockets.

      •  Time to wake up and run some numbers (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LynneK

        The direct connection people see between this quite strange desire among certain Centrist Dems to go along with benefit cuts doesn't have the same direction connections to Wall Street as did say Ben Nelson's obvious conflicts of interest with Big Insurance.

        Note is not the Wall Street and Insurance Company Senators leading the charge here, it is not Schumer and Dodd we need to be watching our backs for.

        Like 'anecdote' the plural of 'polemic' doesn't add up to data. The numbers just don't support the Wall Street narrative and haven't since at latest 2005. One reason Bush's Social Security Tour of that year fell kind of flat even among the Big Money Boys on Wall Street, that is hedge fund billionaire Peterson aside (who seems to have his own motives) the rest of them didn't really have their hearts in it.

        The 2011 round is being led by the Randites and not the Wall Streeters, after all it was Mittens who was pressed into duty as reluctant defender of Social Security, odd if the real goal was enabling his colleague Vampire Squids.

        Please visit, follow or join our Group: Social Security Defenders

        by Bruce Webb on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:48:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Whatever you do, don't post links to Bernie... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NonnyO, Hirodog, JesseCW, pot

        taking the POTUS to task. Too much substance.

        I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see.  He is not.  In my view, he is compromising far too much with right-wing Republicans and is not rallying the American people around an effective and fair deficit reduction proposal that would demand that the wealthy and large corporations contribute at least fifty percent toward deficit reduction, and that there be significant cuts in military spending as well.  

        Instead, he is proposing three dollars in cuts to every dollar in increased revenue and only modest cuts in defense spending.  Most incredibly, despite campaign assurances to the contrary, he has embraced the long-held Republican dream of making major cuts in Social Security and raising the eligibility age for Medicare.


        You might get HR'd

        More and Better Democrats

        by SJerseyIndy on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 10:28:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Starting a flame war (0+ / 0-)

      in BERNIE SANDER's diary????

      Beyond pathetic.

      "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

      by nosleep4u on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 11:07:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This hurts (8+ / 0-)

    Much as it hurts, I have to disagree with the conscience of the U.S. Senate, Bernie Sanders.  

    Republicans don't hate Social Security.  They love it.  The only thing they hate about it is they can't get their greedy hooks into funding and administering it via privatization.  

    Make Social Security an investment fund for the Wall Street crooks, and Republicans would claim they invented Social Security.  

    I also thank the one who rearranged deck chairs on the Titanic so those on board ship could get a better view of the iceberg.

    by NyteByrd1954 on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 07:11:38 AM PDT

    •  The money is not there (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mathazar

      I understand the appeal of the framing, given the massive screwing the middle and working classes have gotten over the last thirty years it is more than understandable, hell my life got ruined, five years ago I was a well-paid civil servant with a pending pension and tons of equity in my house. Now I got nothing and may well end up spending what retirement years living off the charity of my relatives.

      But there is no big money to be made off of administering Social Security. Right now they system works with total overhead of 0.9% of cost, privatizers either have to fit their own admin costs under that threshold or come up with convincing reasons why they couldn't matcch 76 years of efficiency on the part of government in this. And Social Security is not an investment fund and doesn't and won't ever pay a significant amount of benefits off of earnings. Nor are its current principal assets convertible to other asset classes.

      As the President said "It is math" and the current arithmetic of Social Security operations and cash flow don't support the kind of transformation you are looking at here. In 1997, and under assumptions common in 1997, then yes the numbers penciled out. But by the same token numbers necessary to make privatizing work would have saved Social Security along the way. it always took special pleading and two sets of books to sell, which is why Baker and Weisbrot titled their 1999 book (still a must read) Social Security: the Phony Crisis. The link is to the Intro, but even reading through the first six to eight paragraphs puts most people head and shoulders above the average in comprehension.

      Social Security is NOT a cash cow. Even though it was putting out a lot of milk in the decade before 2006. As the years rolled on the 'crisis' and the proposed 'solution' just got more phony, this 1999 book holds up very well.

      Please visit, follow or join our Group: Social Security Defenders

      by Bruce Webb on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 09:03:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  wrong (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NonnyO, JesseCW
        Social Security is NOT a cash cow.
        that is simply wrong, it the right gets SS to start faltering it will allow them to spring privatization back.  This is all about weakening the current system so they can once again push for privatization, and that would be a HUGE HUGE influx into the ponzi scheme known as wall street.

        Bad is never good until worse happens

        by dark daze on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 09:35:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "I disagree" would be politer (0+ / 0-)

          Because I am not wrong. Somehow I expect I have spent a little more time examining the relevant data tables then you have here. And checking my conclusions against the experts.

          Privatization only works given sufficient cash flow. You can review all the various plans that have been introduced over time via links on the Solvency page on the Social Security Actuaries website. All of the Privatization plans from Ferrara on either finance the difference via massive borrowing from the General Fund or by imposing tax increases (often disguised as 'mandatory contributions') well in excess of the actual amount to install a 100% fix as is.
          http://www.ssa.gov/...

          Look while normally this might pass over into the realm of dickish behavior, because pure appeals to authority are just obnoxious. But a simple Google search on 'bruce webb social security' returned 2 million hits, and while only a few thousand of those are actually specific to me they date back to late 2004 and include my favorite from Professor Barkley Rosser on our attempts to get our policy paper into the hands of the Obama campaign in early 2008 as the very first hit:

          EconoSpeak: How Bruce Webb And I Helped Save Social Security ....
          (And yes I did send the link to my Mom at the time. Well she is still my Mom, it is not like a got a new one since)

          Please visit, follow or join our Group: Social Security Defenders

          by Bruce Webb on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 01:04:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  you simply (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pot

            were are talking about new monies, the money that is going in from here on OUT gets diverted toward privatization.  Privatization is all about getting the money into wall street., and yes I used to work there.  Its their ultimate dream.  

            Repubs want the current system to start failing, then they will set up a privatization "option" for all of us who pay into the system.  You can simple do nothing and get craptastic returns_ thanks to Uncle Ben, OR you can play the ponies, I mean market with a percentage ( probably varying by age).  That means an INCREDIBLE inflow of cash into the market.

            THAT is what this is about.  With treasuries assured to be paying NOTHING for years, all the ducks are now in a row.

            This is about feeding the beast.  the Wall street beast.

            Bad is never good until worse happens

            by dark daze on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 02:28:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You may know Wall Street (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mathazar

              but you know Jack about Social Security.

              Social Security is invested predominetdy in Ten Year Treasuries. But they are called Special Issues for a reason. Being non-marketable always means they yield exactly their face value and yield, moreover they are callable at any time in any sequence thar the Managing Trustee, aka the Secretary of Treasury likes, which means older Specials issued at rates currently as high as 7% can be held to maturity even as newer ones issued at lower rates can be redeemed in advance so so protecting the overall yield until actual maturity. By this same token the principal value can NEVER decline do to price changes.

              Meaning the Specials are entirely sheltered from price and through rebalancing of the portfolio largely protected from lower rates on new issues. Meaning that lower returns going forward mostly don't mean jack it doesn't work like a regular bond bond.

              For younger workers the return has nearly nothing to do with short term performance in the bond market and everything to do with real assumed interest. And even then returns on the Trust Fund over the long run only are called on for about 2% of cost further discounting the effects you see.

              Social Security's long term health are best served by an increase in more employment at higher real wages which for any given public company would seem to reduced returns on equity. Which is the fundamental flaw in an equity based investment program, at least to some degree the labor cost increases needed to adequately fund almost universal 401k based retirement plans cut into equity returns that rely on returns on capital.

              There are win-win scenarios but all would dramatically improve solvency for traditional Social Security along the way.

              No it isn't easy. Which is why I am only on year 14 of studying this stuff and am still learning things. But one thing I learned already is that you can't apply logic from normal market operations and/or federal budget, deficit and debt calculations to Social Security. Nothing quite works the way you think it would it is in some ways a world of it's own.

              Please visit, follow or join our Group: Social Security Defenders

              by Bruce Webb on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 04:23:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Sorry for typos. iPads have limits (0+ / 0-)

                editing longer comments due to scrolling issues.

                Please visit, follow or join our Group: Social Security Defenders

                by Bruce Webb on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 04:25:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  And your entire post has nothing (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                pot, dark daze

                to do with how private administrators would act.

                "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

                by nosleep4u on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 11:12:13 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  you totally ignore (0+ / 0-)

                what I just spoke about.  I guess you simply dont understand what the market wants.

                You may know what SS is now, you dont understand what the market wants to change it into.  They want to basically turn SS into a 401 k in which people get a say as to what their SS portion is placed in.

                an equities is the ONLY game in town if you are chasing a return, QE makes sure of that.

                Or dont you understand what QE is all about either.  They are getting very brazen, you want a return, the powers to be are making it, the only way to do so is to play the casino of wall street.

                Bad is never good until worse happens

                by dark daze on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 11:38:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  It would also be less accurate. (0+ / 0-)

            You're wrong.

            The assertion was proven.

            "I'm tired of hearing that it's "pragmatic" to support positions that most people oppose." RFK Lives

            by JesseCW on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 10:25:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  FUD. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pot

        You're making the rather disingenuous assumption that private administrators would have an interest in keeping current benefit levels.

        No, they would skim off the top, and the difference would just be made up by reducing benefits.

        "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

        by nosleep4u on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 11:10:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  They hate it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      It's a Democratic success, and nearly destroyed the Republican brand. A few more Democratic successes like Social Security (Medicare for all? Free Education through grad school? Domestic Peace Corps as employer of last resort?) and the Republican party will go the way of the Whigs or Know-Nothings.

      "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

      by Orinoco on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 12:11:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They hate social security... (6+ / 0-)

    because it isn't called Old Religious White Peoples Security.

    If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed. Albert Einstein

    by kharma on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 07:11:45 AM PDT

  •  Chanting "Ber-nie! Ber-nie! Ber-nie!" (21+ / 0-)
    Republicans hate Social Security because it has been an extraordinary success and has done exactly what it was designed to do.  It is the most successful government program in our nation's history and is enormously popular.
    Just repeat this 24/7/365.

    That's the whole essence of the problem.

    Republicans HATE America. Deal with it. / It's the PLUTONOMY, Stupid!

    by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 07:13:37 AM PDT

  •  It could be simply that (15+ / 0-)

    functional, working Social Security is living, breathing proof that their core philosophy is bunk. In order to defend S.S. one would have to re-evaluate everything they believe, all the way back to their core values. The dominoes would begin to fall. They simply can't not hate it, even if they use it or want it. The fact that the word "social" in in the name just adds salt to the wound. Of course this only applies to to the real believers, John Birchers, Tea Partyers, etc.

    Without heroes we are all losers with nothing to aspire to.

    by qua on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 07:25:30 AM PDT

    •  What is (0+ / 0-)

      their core philosophy?

      •  "fleece most of the people, all of the time"... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LynneK, NonnyO, fayea

        ... except, of course, the rich, who are doing the fleecing.

        For a better America, vote the GOP out of office whenever and wherever possible and as soon (and as often) as possible!

        by dagnome on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:58:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But that (0+ / 0-)

          is a democrat philosophy too. Of course, I judge based on actions, not rhetoric. The difference is the dems have fooled more people into thinking they aren't into fleecing. The pubs have done a worse job at it.

      •  Obama put it simply in his book (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        terabytes, Orinoco

        when he use the old description of "social darwinism." I know many of these people, they're not the fundamentalist branch, but fodder for the Tea Party. I'm older, grew up with them, argued with them for over 45 years now. They see it as a philosophy, value system; actually it's more of a perspective that rejects all of life's complications and responsibilities to others. It's why Ayn Rand is so popular with them. At the same time it provides someone to blame for their own failures; in a "freer", more natural world they would be more successful. Hard to fight when you have a legion of older, white, male boomers buying into all this. No amount of reason whatsoever can change the minds of the vast majority of these people. A huge percentage would give up Social Security before putting themselves in a position to re-evaluate everything they believe in. I know, been there, on both ends. It was a long, gut-wrenching road - and I was in my early twenties. And you know how much more things get cemented in with age.

        Without heroes we are all losers with nothing to aspire to.

        by qua on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 09:00:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sounds like (0+ / 0-)

          a great philosophy (from an evolutionist's perspective), not sure if "they" agree. It's usually bad idea to group people as if they all agreed, especially under a broad label Republican. Just like Democrat.

    •  'Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner' (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      terabytes, Mathazar
      In order to defend S.S. one would have to re-evaluate everything they believe, all the way back to their core values

      Qua nailed it. Although it is a little odd to apply 'values' to what is at heart a type of sociopathy.

      Conservatives  believe that Conservatism cannot fail. It can only be failed. Meaning that any apparent failure is just a call to double down. A trait they share with Libertarians, Neo-Liberals, and even Leninist-Maoists. That is the standard defense to failure among all these seemingly disparate groups is that failure is just a sign of either not applying principles in pure enough form (i.e. 'Libertarianism has never been tried) or simple 'wreckers'.

      New Deal and Great Society Liberals never bought into infallibility, the heart of the liberal project has always been trial and error good efforts to obtain Pragmatic 'greatest good for greatest number'. And we never expected our leaders to be perfect, a good thing because none of them, neither the successes (Roosevelt, Truman, Johnson, Clinton) nor the martyrs (Kennedy, King another Kennedy) were in any ultimate sense perfect human beings. They just left the world having done their best to leave it in a better place.

      And I put Obama in that same category, with the open question being where he ends up falling on the effectiveness scale. Because in many ways the best man among our leaders in the post-war Democratic Party was Jimmy Carter. But try as he might he ended up getting dragged down by poor selection of advisors and some simple bad luck. And God  knows Obama doubled down on both those scores.

      But for God sakes lets not fall into that same paranoid trap and claim 'liberalism can never fail, it can just be failed'. Because I am pretty sure that both Roosevelt and Johnson, architects (or at least overseers) of the greatest advances in social and economic justice in the last 80 years would share a hearty laugh. Because successful liberalism doesn't require so much purity as a commitment to empiricism, or in other words going with what works. And certainly Social Security falls in that category.

      Which doesn't mean it is a progressive's dream, nor is Medicare. They were just the best we could do at the time.

      Please visit, follow or join our Group: Social Security Defenders

      by Bruce Webb on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 09:24:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why? (4+ / 0-)

    Because they see it as an enormous pool of money, there for the taking. For 30 years the business model in America has been "surpass last years numbers." This is a pernicious way to do business, and has led to collapses like Enron and Lehman Brothers.

    It's part of the Republican mentality to scout for resources that can be plundered and used to turn a profit to a select few. Whether it's oil in shale or large funds set aside to help retirees, the impulse is the same: grab, exploit, profit, and get out before anybody can finger you for the crime.

  •  Like Herbert Hoover, they believe that.... (14+ / 0-)

    ...if you (are) in trouble you should help yourself and not expect others to help you.

    This he called "rugged individualism". Therefore he did not do a great deal to help those out of work.

    Republicans haven't changed much over the years since--they still believe that they've got theirs, and they just don't care about anyone other than their small circle of privileged beings.

    What's really disgusting is that many of these elected republican "representatives" have gotten rich (or much richer) while in Congress--even as we have gotten poorer.

    At the same time that Congress members wag their fingers at us and tell us we must endure "Austerity"--Congressional Members' Personal Wealth Expands Despite Sour National Economy.

    Also, while most Americans IRA's and 401k's have not recovered from the economic meltdown, oddly enough:  Members of Congress Get Abnormally High Returns from their Stocks.  Yet--again, oddly enough--while the average citizen might find themselves in a wee bit of trouble with the SEC for consistently managing "abnormally high" stock returns based on what many might consider "insider information"--The SEC says that "Congressional Trading on Advance Info Not Illegal".  Of course, since the SEC reports back to Congress and depends on them for funding, etc, there may be a wee bit of a conflict of interest there, no?

    •  Actually, Republicans changed quite (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mighty Ike

      a bit in the years since Hoover...in the 1950s and 1960s mainstream Republicans (including the once-numerous moderates) accepted Social Security and certain other New Deal institutions as integral to maintaining a stable society and economy. A small number of the hard-core never did, kept plugging away and with the ascent of Reagan and later Bush II eventually took over the Republican party.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 10:44:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They've certainly embraced Hooverism with little.. (0+ / 0-)

        thought or concern for the economic survival of the majority of their constituents, pretty much since the 80's when Reagan made greed a virtue, at least as views by republican eyes.

  •  Clarification, please, Senator... (5+ / 0-)
    This legislation would lift the Social Security Payroll tax cap on all income over $250,000 a year, would require millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share into the Social Security Trust Fund, and would extend the program for the next 75 years. snip...

    Right now, someone who earns $106,800 pays the same amount of money into Social Security as billionaires like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.  That is because today, all income above $106,800 is exempt from the Social Security tax.  As a result, 94% of Americans pay Social Security tax on all of their income, but the wealthiest 6% do not.

    Does this legislation retain the $106,800 cap and create a 'donut hole' between that and $250K? Or does it eliminate the cap entirely?

    May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house. George Carlin

    by msmacgyver on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 07:28:37 AM PDT

    •  Donut hole (5+ / 0-)

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

      by blue aardvark on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 07:35:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I remember reading that this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Anna M

        was an option advocated by the President.

        What is the reasoning behind this?  Why would wage earners between $106,800 and $250K be given this payroll tax break?

        May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house. George Carlin

        by msmacgyver on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 07:43:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I believe that the hole closes gradually n/t (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          msmacgyver, Bruce Webb
        •  Obama's meme has been taxing (3+ / 0-)

          incomes over $250k. So not leaving the donut hole allows an attack angle for Republicans and dissatisfied leftists.

          In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

          by blue aardvark on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:01:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  msm - it's a gimmick (3+ / 0-)

          To keep under President Obama's pledge to not raise taxes on families earning under $250,000. It creates a donut hole that closes over time. However, the fundamental issue is that the people contributing at over the $250,000 earn no additional benefit beyond what the people earning $107,000 pay. This changes SocSec as we know it. The fundamental concept is that your benefit is determined by your contributions.  

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:14:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, I saw the gimmick angle the first (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib, blueoasis

            time I read about this, but wanted to believe there was some kind of economic reasoning behind it.  Apparently not.  

            As far as I know, the President has not signed Norquist's Pledge, so is under no obligation to keep his "no-new-taxes-for-under-$250K" promise.  I'd much prefer a gimmick-free approach for changes to Social Security.

            I am in favor of raising the cap to reflect current financial earnings with a continuation of benefits determined by contributions.  I'm not in favor of 'means testing' which I believe defeats the original purpose.

            I'm rather surprised that Senator Sanders would sponsor legislation based on politically motivated gimmicks which apparently fool no one.  

            May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house. George Carlin

            by msmacgyver on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:32:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  FYI - SS cap increases (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib

            Contribution and Benefit Base - 1937 - 2011

            http://www.ssa.gov/...

            May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house. George Carlin

            by msmacgyver on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 09:11:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Its politics not economics (0+ / 0-)

          Obama's campaign promise to excempt all individuals under $250k was simple pandering.

          The the only people earning more than $106,800, which is after all right at double the household median, who are actually suffering in any sense are those rubbing shoulders with people earning in the high six figures and low sevens. We are still talking the top 16% of the income distribution here. And they can survive even in places like Manhattan and West LA because after all they are surrounded by millions of people who do.

          But having made this rash promise Obama is kind of stuck with it and so too are some of his allies. Whether Senator Sanders really believes in his heart of hearts that the donut hole is ideal policy is a question he can answer or not. I can certainly understand why he wouldn't want to alienate the Administration on this front, if we are going to get anything done on this front, it is going to take their buy-in.

          Please visit, follow or join our Group: Social Security Defenders

          by Bruce Webb on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 09:36:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Re (0+ / 0-)
            The the only people earning more than $106,800, which is after all right at double the household median, who are actually suffering in any sense are those rubbing shoulders with people earning in the high six figures and low sevens. We are still talking the top 16% of the income distribution here. And they can survive even in places like Manhattan and West LA because after all they are surrounded by millions of people who do.

            Are you prepared to insure their wages too and increase their payout benefit?

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 09:41:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If we had to raise the cap yes (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mathazar

              And I could support a phase in increase back to the 90% income level. Which hitting at about $180k is almost the inverse of the Senator's proposal.

              But the right solution in my mind is simply to install a payroll based fix under the current cap formula, the option that has been systematically excluded from this debate since 2001.

              The actual amount of increase FICA tax per week or the aveage wage worker works out to 40 cents with no further increases needed until 2026. Or you could bite the bullet and increase FICA by 0.1% per year (0.05% each for employer and employee) for 20 years and install a 75 year fix at 100% of the current scheduled benefit. Per CBOs paper last year on 30 Social Security Option published last year. This second version was I am pretty certain the work of Virginia Reno at NASI, Dale Coberly and I came up with a slightly more complex plan independently which is called the NW Plan for a Real Social Security Fix.

              In either case the conventional assumption that we can only address this thorugh some combination of cap increases, price indexing, retirement age changes or means testing ignores the method that has been used most often since 1935: phased in increases in FICA that cost workers only a frction of Real Wage increases over any given year. In the case of current numbers 5% of that increase in 20 future years or 1.6% of that in all future years.

              Or to put it in dollars per week: couch change. That 1.6% represents an actual decrease in take home of 0.015% each year assuming 1% average increase in real wage, fairly anaemic by historical standards.

              Please visit, follow or join our Group: Social Security Defenders

              by Bruce Webb on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 01:20:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  They are considered "middle class" (0+ / 0-)

          the part of the middle class that can afford to give the maximum donation to political candidates...

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 10:47:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Liberals are people who take pleasure (8+ / 0-)

    in other people's success and even, sometimes to their detriment, assist others in achieving it.

    Conservatives take pleasure in other people's failure and resent their success as a deprivation of themselves.
    In their book, your win is my loss, if only because you got the attention I didn't get.

    Conservatives would rather have a spectacular failure than let another have a modest win. Crashing the world economy is a great achievement!  Who would've thunk it!  See how important they be!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuzZQ8LTE2c

    by hannah on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 07:30:04 AM PDT

  •  Why do they hate it? Simple. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    el dorado gal, LynneK, blueoasis, NonnyO

    It helps "undeserving people".

    As far as they're concerned, people that are down on their luck belong there and should stay there.

    THEY will never be down on their luck.  THEY are doing fine, and always will be doing fine.  So why should THEIR hard earned taxes go to some failure?

    Because we all know circumstances never change and people pull themselves up by their bootstraps, hand crafting their own luck and opportunities.

  •  Social Security is a fundamental assault (13+ / 0-)

    on Republican values.

    It's a government program.
    It is run very efficiently.
    It is very popular.
    It accomplishes its stated goals.

    If conservativism is true, Social Security can't exist.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 07:32:53 AM PDT

  •  Love Ya Senator Sanders!! Just One Question - If (0+ / 0-)

    the income cap is eliminated on incomes over $250,000, does that mean that SS will have to pay these people more when they retire and collect?  What I would like to see is a CAP (not means testing) on SS payments to people whose NET WORTH is over a certain amount in retirement. I know that right now, if a retiree's INCOME exceeds a certain amount, part of their Social Security check is taxable.  However, given that the wealthy are able to hide their wealth by putting it into non-income producing assests such as certain types of real estate, tax sheltered annuities, non-dividend paying stocks, etc, perhaps there should be a cap on SS payments based on net worth? Would love to hear what you think about this - and keep up the good work Senator!!

    •  Why? Does any other insurance program (5+ / 0-)

      cap its benefits on whether or not the person who paid the premiums was worthy?

      We don't need a donut hole, we don't need a lifted cap (beyond the one necessary to capture the same fraction of national income).

      What we need is increased income taxes on top earners; that's the correct way to make them pay their "fair share", not on the back of an insurance program, and it's general revenues, not SS, that needs money in the short term anyway.

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:06:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ballerina - it caps the benefit (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, Sparhawk

      The Sanders proposal caps the benefit at the level that the top payers, currently $106,800, would earn. So every payment that the high income earners, and their employers, pay into the system on earnings of more than $250,000 would create no additional benefit to them. This changes SocSec at a fundamental level. SocSec has always been structured that your benefit is determined by your contribution. This would be the first time that the core principal of SocSec would be violated. This will never gain any traction in Congress, even with Dems, because it would change SocSec as we know it.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:07:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The reason conservatives hate Social Security (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LynneK, Orinoco

    and other social safety nets is because they put upward pressure on wages as they alleviate some of the desperation that would make people work for a pittance, overlook unethical, illegal and unsafe business practices.

    In short they hate those programs because they help to address the power imbalance between Labor and Capital. It's the same reason they hate Unions and the ACLU and "Libruls" in general.

  •  Thank you, Sen. Sanders - you are AWESOME. n/t (5+ / 0-)

    I ♥ President Barack Obama.

    by ericlewis0 on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 07:36:37 AM PDT

  •  I heart Sen. Bernie! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, blueoasis, NonnyO

    Thank you so much.

    'canter' is a horse's gait - 'cantor' is a horse's ass. - GayIthacan

    by qannabbos on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 07:44:36 AM PDT

  •  signed! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonnyO


    thank you so much, Bernie, for defending Social Security against the marauders of the Republican-dominated congress!

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 07:47:30 AM PDT

  •  Sen. Sanders, you misunderstand the cap (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk

    It's not a way by which the rich get to skate on "paying their fair share". It's a limit to the income SS will allow you to insure under the program. If you make over $106k, good for you - but SS doesn't replace those excess wages in the event of disability or old age.

    This is why the donut hole you propose is unhelpful to the point of being perverse - it basically means that someone making 107k for most of his career gets the same benefits as someone making 249k, but someone makiing a million dollars a year, who now would draw the same benefits as someone making $106 k, would get a bonanza.

    Don't turn SS into a welfare handout by decoupling income, contribution, and benefit, as would be necessary to avoid this perverse situation. SS is insurance, and it's worked for three quarters of a century. Let's not start messing with it either. Social Security doesn't need another dime for almost 30 years, and even then, it will not likely need it.

    What we need on top earners is higher income tax rates, not a perversion of Social Security.

    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

    by Robobagpiper on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 07:49:44 AM PDT

    •  Robo - the Sanders proposal caps the benefit (4+ / 0-)

      The million dollar a year earner would have the same benefit at the $107,000 year earner. The additional payments by the million dollar earner would not provide for any additional benefit. This violates the basic concept of the SocSec program, that your benefit is determined by your contributions.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:10:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ugh, even worse. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, blueoasis, Sparhawk, Short Bus

        Basically, he would kill the fundamental insurance nature of SS, basically to make FICA into a back-door income tax on top earners (since it would put SS back into surplus for the forseeable future).

        Wrong, bad, wrong.

        Sen. Sanders, you would do more good for the country by proposing a bill to raise top income tax rates.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:16:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just expire the Bush tax cuts (4+ / 0-)

          Don't even write a bill at all, just veto any further extension of these cuts or have the Dems in Congress do it. The best part is that you don't need to "do" anything. Nothing to pass, just block the extension. Done.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 09:45:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Why do they hate Social Security? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LynneK, blueoasis, Bruce Webb

    Because it was started by FDR. Nowadays all Democrats and Progressives (even in the past) are being demonized as "socialist-commie-Big-Gubmit-atheist-feminazi-anti-gun-abortionist" traitors.

    They hate even Eisenhower who was only mildly progressive in policies.

  •  I think Social Security (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LynneK, blueoasis

    would fall under "preserve tranquility"

    and "protect the general welfare" goals

    of the Constitution.


    I suspect many Republicans, must hate,

    these parts of the Constitution too.


    What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
    -- Maslow ...... my list.

    by jamess on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 07:55:34 AM PDT

  •  Yer a class act, Senator (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis

    You and the enactment of single-payer healthcare in your home state are sorely tempting me to pull up stakes and move cross country.  I wonder if I could transfer within my current agency....

    Very few is able to beat thro all Impedements and Arive to any Grat Degre of superiority in Understanding. - Jane Mecom 7/4/1786

    by Fed up Fed on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:00:25 AM PDT

  •  This would end SocSec as we know it (8+ / 0-)

    The Sanders' proposal is as fundamental a change in SocSec as the Cantor proposal is to Medicare and would change SocSec as we know it. The core of SocSec, back to its inception is that the benefit you receive is in proportion to the contributions that you, and your employer, make into the system. FDR made it very clear that SocSec was not to be viewed as a welfare, or income redistribution, program. FDR understood that making it a redistribution program would hurt its bipartisan and widely popular appeal. The notion that income over $250,000 would be subject to SocSec taxes, but that no additional benefit would be paid is a violation of the entire SocSec system concept. The donut hole is a gimmick to try and keep in line with President Obama's pledge to not raise taxes on families with incomes less that $250,000.

    I am for raising the cap for SocSec to something like $200,000 over the next ten years in a series of annual steps, but not changing the benefit formula. This would provide substantial additional revenue to the SocSec Trust Funds, understanding that in time some beneficiaries would have an annual benefit of about double the current maximum. The fact that high income earners have a significant amount of their income that is not subject to the SocSec tax is not a relevant point because their benefit is the same as anyone else who pays in at the top rate. Someone who earns $200,000 pays the same as someone who earns $110,000, but they both earn the same benefit.

    The Sanders idea will never gain traction in Congress because members of both parties understand that it would end SocSec as we know it.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:01:00 AM PDT

    •  Absolutely! Donut holes are pure (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      pandering.

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:07:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, it would tweak Social Security as we know it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LynneK

      Plus, Sanders' cap proposal would make it financially stable once and for all.

      •  No it wouldn't; this presumes that (5+ / 0-)

        SS' finances are unstable (they're not), and it turns a wage insurance program into a welfare handout.

        Furthermore, since it puts SS into surplus, it's basically a backdoor income tax; so those funds that are supposed to go to SS just get loaned back to the general fund.

        An honest approach would be to raise income taxes by 12 points on top incomes, and to leave SS alone until a couple years before the trust fund gets to 100% of payouts (if it ever actually reaches that point).

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:22:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No it violates FDR's core principal (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Robobagpiper, blueoasis, Orinoco, JesseCW

        You earn a benefit based on your contributions. The Sanders proposal turns SocSec into an income redistribution program something that FDR was adamant it should not be as he said "no dole, mustn't have a dole" when discussing the separate funding source for SocSec. This proposal will gain no traction even from Dems as it changes SocSec as we know it.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:23:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Currently, SS pays out a lot more (0+ / 0-)

          for the first dollar in than the last.

          It's already Progressive.  You get a better return on smaller investments than on larger ones.

          We could blow off the cap, but maintain the same decreasing rate of return.

          This would keep it from becoming "welfare" (which is easy to kill in this country) and still provide additional revenue.

          "I'm tired of hearing that it's "pragmatic" to support positions that most people oppose." RFK Lives

          by JesseCW on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 10:31:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Jesse - you are right (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JesseCW

            SocSec is a much better deal for low income earners, but it's not so apparent that people feel that is is unfair. The key is to keep the tradition that your benefit is based on your contributions and that each marginal dollar contributed increases your benefit to some degree. That's how we keep bipartisan support for the program and stay true to FDRs concept.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 05:30:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Here's the even better part. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VClib

              For people like football players or one-hit wonder musicians, who might earn half a million or a million and a half for just 3-4 years out of their lives, those high earning years would now (assuming SS withholding on every dime earned) count when their benefit was calculated.

              Might make for a lot fewer sad "where are they now" stories, anyway.

              "I'm tired of hearing that it's "pragmatic" to support positions that most people oppose." RFK Lives

              by JesseCW on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 10:15:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Too many problems (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        I like the comment VCLib. That is how SS is viewed, and this would change everything. Now we're talking about some paying for others, which was not how SS was intended.

        However, the US govt can afford to pay anything it wants, so rethinking about SS would be a good thing. For instance, it is and always will be financially stable, b/c the govt can never bounce a check. But, b/c of how we view SS, the operational reality does not match up w/perception. So, we are having the wrong conversations. Let's just ditch the tax completely, and focus on saying we want to ensure seniors live comfortably.

  •  This raises a question (0+ / 0-)

    Would we also raise benefits for those who would now be paying more into the system?  It is important to answer that question.  One of the bedrocks of social security's popularity is the notion that it is not welfare and that you, by and large, get what you put into it.

    In reality, there are still some that gain more than others from the present system but this change will make that more pronounced.  I think there is a lot of merit to what Sanders is proposing here but the cost may be reduced popularity for the program.

  •  GOP wants to kill Soc Sec but keep Senior votes (0+ / 0-)

    Thus, they won't touch it above the age at which more people vote Republican than Democratic.

    About, oh, 55? Maybe a little under?

    As usual, Republicans like socialism just fine so long as they don't have to share it with anyone else.

    •  I tried to comment yesterday but was unable. (0+ / 0-)

      And I think this is where I was trying to comment...

      Ironically it was the grassroots members of the GOP, as their mindset developed early in the Depression years, which propeled the Social Security program into existence. The SS program had as its origins the wildly impractical plan of Dr. Townsend, which would have paid $200 a month to each person over the age of 65, as long as that person immediately spent it. Kind of a trickle down combination bailout and stimulus program for the newly cash poor but still politically powerful elderly, which the US federal government could not have afforded.

      SS was enacted as a sort of compromise.

      H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

      by Knarfc on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 10:50:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So... (0+ / 0-)

    I just want clarification on the proposal.  Are you saying, income on the first $106,800 - pay SS.  Income from 106,801 to 250,000, pay no Social Security.  Income from 250,000 on up - pay Social Security?  For me personally, this works.  But I would rather see a graduate scale at the low-end where one does not pay SS on say any income below the poverty line and then remove the cap.

    Rich

    The 'Free Market' will decide. It will decide that the United States cannot consume 25% of the world's resources and the upper 1% cannot control 50% of the wealth.

    by RichM on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:10:53 AM PDT

    •  SS is not welfare, nor should it become such. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, Orinoco, JesseCW

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:20:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not talking about Wealfare... (0+ / 0-)

        I'm talking about making SS tax a progressive tax.

        The 'Free Market' will decide. It will decide that the United States cannot consume 25% of the world's resources and the upper 1% cannot control 50% of the wealth.

        by RichM on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:37:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  FICA isn't a tax, it's an insurance premium (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk, Norm in Chicago

          Ands unlike taxes, where any benefit you get by paying them is abstract, FICA leads to a direct money payment in the form of SS benefits - a payment which, by being regressive with contribution, is vastly more generous to low-end earners than a progressive contribution scheme would be.

          Similarly, since FICA is flat and is applied to all wages, as far as wage pressure goes, those wages might as well not have existed in the first place; as such, it's not discriminatory to the poor.

          Making FICA progressive would devalue the fundamental moral component - you get the benefit because you made the contribution.

          Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

          by Robobagpiper on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:57:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think you mean progressive old age (0+ / 0-)

          income benefits program.

          But I think you are right in that. In many ways SS today is a regressive program. The high, and low, income earners who work in dangerous jobs or who otherwise die earlier than others, subsidize others.

          H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

          by Knarfc on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 10:45:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Temporarily LOWER Soc.Sec. eligibility ! (0+ / 0-)

    In this recession those 55 & older stand very little chance of being hired. Temporarily lower the eligibility to at least age 60, if not 57-58 and remove millions off unemployment and into early retirement. When unemployment reaches a specified threshold of 6-7%, then raise eligibility back up.

    Republicans in Arizona make Atilla the Hun look like a bleeding heart liberal

    by Dave in AZ on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:13:04 AM PDT

  •  Tipped recced and signd on (0+ / 0-)
  •  Bernie (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LynneK, Pinko Elephant

    ...you are the People's Champion!

    I donated $25 to you as well.  Long may you serve us, the people of the United States!

  •  They don't want to admit that SS tax =30% revenue (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW, rsie

    as noted in this Congressional Budget Office Report;   and they hope you won't read that report and see that while:  

    "Social insurance taxes (collected mainly for Social Security and Medicare) represent the second-largest source of revenues," (following the first largest source: personal income taxes) "accounting for about one-third of revenues..." and "over the past 40 years, social insurance taxes have grown as a share of federal revenues, while the shares for corporate income taxes and excise taxes have declined.  ...Social insurance tax receipts have accounted for at least twice as much as corporate income taxes."

    They don't want you to realize that in order to make up for the shortfall in federal revenues from the 40 year decline in corporate tax revenue shares, they want you to sacrifice the benefits that you have been investing so much of your personal income to receive as promised.  

    They don't want you to know that they expect you to sacrifice even more so that the corporations can continue to get a free ride in this country.  The corporate tax rates are irrelevant, if the corporations in fact don't pay that rate--and if their share of the federal revenue has been declining for 40 years!

  •  they have a punishment fetish n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Answer Guy

    When I cannot sing my heart. I can only speak my mind.

    by Unbozo on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:42:40 AM PDT

  •  I agree, senator (0+ / 0-)

    It's important for Republican politicians and their corporate masters to turn this country into a two-class society ... one for the wealthy few who own the means of production and theother for the serfs who do the work.

    More profit for the wealthy few under their "vision" for America.

    This of us who cherish freedom and want all Americans to aspire to a comfortable, cared-for life in which they can make choices and follow their beliefs must contionue to figher them.

    Thanks for all you do, senator. You make me proud to be an American.

  •  Thanks Senator (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LynneK

    One of the few sane voices on the hill who walks it like he talks it. Hope professor Warren does as good a job when she becomes a Senator (fingers crossed) at hitting republicans where they live.

  •  They hate it because it freaking WORKS! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mlangenmayr, CanyonWren

    Republicans seen to have an extreme aversion to "work", whether it be a program or a person.

    It's ridiculous that the wealthiest pay the same amount as the poorest. That needs to stop. Why should the wealthy, who can more afford to pay more, pay the same as the poorest, who can least afford to do so?

    For someone like Bill Gates, $100 isn't much, while for someone like me, $100 means groceries for a week or more. Some point out that it's the same amount of money; while this is technically true, the reality is that for one person it's a drop in the bucket while for another, it may literally be the difference between life and death. Conservatives don't understand that reality.

    "Truth never damages a cause that is just."~~~Mohandas K. Gandhi -9.38/-6.26

    by LynneK on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:53:36 AM PDT

    •  This is a meme we should capitalize upon: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LynneK

      Republicans are lazy.  They want to profit from other people's work, but don't want to do the work themselves.  They want to perpetuate and grow the lower and uneducated class to be their grunts, AND to pay the majority of the taxes.  They want use the pubic contract in order to dismantle it.  

      Sarah Palin: All pistol and no squint.

      by CanyonWren on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 10:11:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Want another positive idea? (0+ / 0-)

    The shift from defined benefit to defined contribution [401(k)] pensions helped Wall-Street companies who skimmed off management fees regardless of the performance of the funds people invested in.

    Now, because of Wall-Street greed, many of these savings have declined precipitously, and the money that was destroyed won't be coming back.  How about a tax holiday on withdrawals from these funds for anybody meeting the minimum eligibility age?  Just like the corporations have gotten profit repatriation tax holidays, people retiring now should have a tax holiday to make up for the destruction that was allowed by our government (and still unprosecuted).

    If you see the world in terms of Left & Right, you really aren’t seeing the world at all . . . Barry Ritholtz.

    by Fossil on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:53:38 AM PDT

    •  Bad idea (0+ / 0-)

      401(k) and other retirement funds are completely protected from creditors in bankruptcy (AFAIK the only asset class with this kind of protection). People need easier access to these funds like they need a hole in their heads.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 09:50:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Because they hate democracy (0+ / 0-)

    and democracy depends upon an empowered middle and/or working class.  Ideally, upon both.

    Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:54:12 AM PDT

  •  Lemme see (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LynneK

    1. SS is popular. They're not.
    2. It helps people not bankers.
    3. It works. They generally don't.
    4. We don't need it because all the job creators are already in the bonus pool.
    5. Better off elders means less competition for Wal-Mart greeter and Big Mac burger flipper jobs.
    6. It was a Democrat's idea.
    7. Scaring people with "terror alerts" wasn't working for them anymore so they're scaring us with "deficit/debt alerts".
    8. We could bomb a lot more places with all that money.
    9. President Obama's for it.
    10. They are mean vile people who don't really give a shit about anybody but themselves.

    Hey Murderoch! If you're gonna hack my phone, could you pay the bill? You're using up all my minutes.

    by BobBlueMass on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 08:54:43 AM PDT

  •  Funny thing: they don't (0+ / 0-)

    "Keep the gov't out of my medicare!"

    It's all so much nonsense.

  •  It is about taxes (0+ / 0-)
    Why do Republicans hate Social Security?
    Yes, they want the Wall Street fees and accompanying campaign donations, and....

    And as the trust fund bonds need to be redeemed, Republicans do not want to pay the taxes that provide the cash to redeem them.  The trust fund was set up by the Greenspan commission in the '80s to put extra money away in anticipation of the baby boomer retirements.  When that money is needed the bonds have to be redeemed.  Nothing unknown here.  It takes cash to redeem them, and that takes taxes, and we know that the group that owns most the senators and representatives abhor taxes.  

  •  The only way SS contributes to the deficit (0+ / 0-)

    is when the government has to pay interest for the money it borrowed from SS.  But I wonder, if we get rid of SS, who is the government going to borrow from?

  •  Senator Sanders, you came up in a convo last night (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    karlpk

    the question was posed:  

    can you name ever ONE politician you would actually want to have dinner with...

    most people simply said NO, not one

    but I said I CAN NAME TWO

    Bernie Sanders and Al Franken :)

    to my pleasant surprise everyone agreed with me!

    so if you are ever in my neighborhood....dinner on US

    and thank you for your service to our country AND our constitution

    "Orwell was an optimist"

    by KnotIookin on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 09:13:32 AM PDT

  •  Social Security was there for my parents. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wyvern

    I am collecting Social Security now and I want it there for my kids and grandkids, since they have been paying into since they started working
    I am a Bernie Sanders' socialist and thank you for all you do as a United States Senator.
    You bet I am going right now to sign the petition.  

    Character is who you are when no one is watching.

    by incognita on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 09:15:41 AM PDT

  •  That's an easy one. (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans will try to turn this into a debate about "bad government".  But the reality is that Republicans, and to a slightly lesser extent conservatives as a whole, are obsessed with entitlement.  They believe that they deserve and are entitled to every single penny they make, no matter how they make it, and they shouldn't have to pay one single cent of their own money for taxes which benefit other people.

    Republicans are the people who inherit their money and power and jobs thanks to family connections, and then believe they "earned" or "worked so very hard" to be where they are.  And then if you are poor or struggling, it must be because you are dumber or lazier than them.  Because they are all so smart and hard working.  If they weren't, they would be rich and powerful after all.  

    It is circular logic at its worst.

    I think Elizabeth Warren really hit the nail on the head in those videos that have been circulating around the web lately.  Nobody is an island and nobody gets rich without some sort of help.  If they got rich they did it using the resources that living in our society affords them.  So to turn around after getting rich, and saying society is a drain, is hypocritical, self-righteous BS.  But that is exactly what Republicans believe (and tea baggers of course.  It is a myth and a lie.

    Then again, so is most of what Republicans/conservatives believe (trickle down, the Reagan myth, the rich are job creators, etc)

  •  Don't... (0+ / 0-)

    ..over-think this.

    Republicans hate Social Security because they are intrinsically cruel creatures who relish watching others suffer.

    I think they've already proved that with their psychotic outbursts at their so-called debates.

    These insane, immoral teabaggers must be removed from Washington D.C. before they reduce our country to a smoldering pile of ruins.

    When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in excess body fat and carrying a misspelled sign.

    by wyvern on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 09:21:47 AM PDT

  •  Reason Why (0+ / 0-)

    Based on what I know of several repubs, they absolutely HATE the thought the government is taking THEIR money and GIVING it to domeone else. They do not need SS, so they do not want to have to fund it.

    They also hate welfare, and anyone on unemplyment insurance.

  •  We here in Canada... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pinko Elephant

    love Bernie and would like to adopt him. He sure talks like one of our own. ;)

    We would also like to annex Vermont. They seem very... Canuck-like!

    You all are lucky to have him.

    "You call this bicameral government? Hah!" - Homer Simpson

    by karlpk on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 09:27:47 AM PDT

  •  Here's why. (0+ / 0-)

    Because Republicans believe SS in its current form is headed for a bust. Change the cost-of-living measure, means-test for richer recipients and raise the retirement age. (The current retirement age is an absurd anachronism. FDR wanted to prevent the aged few from suffering destitution in their last remaining years. Social Security was not meant to provide two decades of greens fees for baby boomers.)

    SS is the most vital, humane and fixable of all social programs. We Republican voters don't hate it; we just object to its unsustainability.

    I joined this site determined to do only one thing: answer questions. I will not preach or lecture or even point out glaring inaccuracies where I see them.

    by Morticia on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 09:28:10 AM PDT

    •  It is not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      madgranny

      unsustainable if every one pays in and that means those making over $106,800 pay in just like those making less than $106,800.

      If peace is to prevail we all have to become foes of violence.

      by spacejam on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 09:45:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But its a false belief (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      madgranny, DampSquid

      Social Security is not unsustainable at all. In fact under current projections a retiree after Trust Fund Depletion actually would get a 20% real benefit than today, the cut needed at Depletion being from a much higher baseline of benefits in real terms.

      The reasons Republicans believe it is unsustainable to because they have been systematically lied to by the Cato/Heritage/AEI axis since June 1983. And I didn't pick those groups and that date out of the air.

      The only question is whether Perry, Bachmann and others pushing the 'intergenerational warfare' 'bankrupt' 'flat broke' 'unsustainable' narrative actually believe what they say in meaning this translates to unfairness being shifted forward or are simply going along with the think tank message and consciously lying. I call the the 'Fool or Knave' question.

      All all you need to know about 'means-test for richer recipients' is that when it comes time to talking Social Security Republican proposals would require means testing the top 70% of beneficiaries, that even while they are boo-hoo-hooing about how hard it is for $250k earners to 'put food on their children' (in the immortal words of Dan Qualye) they are perfectly willing to consider retirees earning as little as $30k a year to be 'rich'.

      'Means testing' doesn't mean taxing the top 16% as such and certainly has nothing to do with taking Bill Gates check away, after all these people don't pay FICA on their marginal income above the cap to start with and so draw no extra benefit anyway. Instead the Republican plan means taxing anyone with a pension that provides them with a comfortable retirement. Because note that another part of the Republicans proposal would be to exempt investment income from any taxes to start with. Your six digit lifetime earner with a 401k being home free.

      It's not about taxing Greedy Geezers driving their Lexuses to the Country club, that category of retirees is fully protected under Republican proposals. It is all about punishing people with public and private pension plans, which is to say anymore in this country union members.

      So you can just leave that 'greens fees' talking point aside, that isn't the target at all. Instead it is the guys who have to line up for a tee time on their local muni course and not the Country Club set.

      So you can just believe in 'bust', and 'anachronism' and your interpretation of FDRs intention, and 'greens fees' and Repulcians 'not hating it'. The actual proposals out there don't score out that way, instead they all punish the middle class and give the real wealthy a free pass.

      Again. And Still.

      Please visit, follow or join our Group: Social Security Defenders

      by Bruce Webb on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 10:01:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you believe that... (0+ / 0-)

      SS benefits are a waste for those over 65.. do you really want to work until you are 70 or 75.. I don't.. I have been working since I was 16.. paying into the system since then.. I would like to be able to enjoy my old age.. and to me that starts at 65.. not 70 or 72.  I am 49 now.. and will be screwed over by these idiots in congress... between job losses over the last 4 years and pay cuts equaling over 20%.. my ability to save has been squashed.. I didn't lose my house when I was unemployed for 15 months.. but my savings is nearly gone.  AND due to being a 'contract' employee.. not much of a 401K plan either.  Starting over from scratch at age 50 is the plan. At least I will have a house to live in.

      Why do Republicans Hate Americans?

      by Caniac41 on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 10:51:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Because. They. Hate. People. (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans hate people and love corporations. And any system that helps the people survive is in their crosshairs.

    This is not a mystery. It is the 800-lb exploding florescent orange gorilla in the china shop.

    We're through being cool. Eliminate the ninnies and the twits. -- Devo

    by Woodrow Stool on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 09:31:36 AM PDT

  •  I agree with your policy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woodrow Stool

    entirely, Sen. Sanders.

    However, to answer your question.

    The Social Security system is probably the largest juggernaut Republicans must overcome if they are to see their ultimate goal realized: the feudalization of the American economy and the total elimination of democracy in this country.

    H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

    by Knarfc on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 09:34:42 AM PDT

  •  Less depedence on Church (0+ / 0-)

    Many I know will not say it explicitly (some have), but there is dislike of SS, medicare and welfare that has to do with dependence on government rather than church. You heard this in the Republican debate the other night with Ron Paul's answer on a hypothetical guy in a coma without insurance. They think charity organizations and churches are the way to solve all problems. It's ridiculous, but I think for many this is the heart of the issue.

    My mother and several siblings talk about all of these people dependent of gov all the time. What puzzles me is that several years ago my brother did not have insurance and was barely getting by laying tile. Him and his girlfriend had twins that were 2 months early. It was a miracle they survived. Months and months in intensive care and follow up care they are happy, healthy little boys that are at the center of our whole family. However, it does not register that without all of that free healthcare, either two of the most important parts of our family would not be here, or our whole family would be footing a bill of probably a million dollars. My brother even made the comment the other day that ObamaCares (love using this name in debates with the family) will be a disaster because it will introduce millions of new people into the healthcare system, which will diminish the care those who currently have insurance.

  •  Re (0+ / 0-)
    Right now, someone who earns $106,800 pays the same amount of money into Social Security as billionaires like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.  That is because today, all income above $106,800 is exempt from the Social Security tax.  As a result, 94% of Americans pay Social Security tax on all of their income, but the wealthiest 6% do not.

    The 10% income break is at about $113k per year, which means that it's more like the top 13% or so that don't pay SS on "all" of their income. The top 5% breaks at about $159k per year, so even those people pay taxes on the majority of their wage income. You probably need to get to the top 3% or so before you get someone who doesn't pay SS on the majority  of their income.

    Also, keep in mind that benefits maximize at a certain level. The $159k earner gets the same SS benefit as the $106k earner.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 09:37:51 AM PDT

    •  Yes the cut point is at 84% of income (0+ / 0-)

      And you wouldn't believe how hard it is for me to say 'Sparhawk' is right. But in point of fact he mostly gets his raw numbers right. Where he takes the data from there being a different question.

      And I don't think even this proposal actually would touch billionaires as such. At least from what I see the proposal is limited to the current definition of 'covered earnings' which is to say wages and wage equivalents. If it was taken to apply to 'unearned income' it would of itself restore the rate on capital gains for higher earners right back to 27.4% and a 12.4% FICA was added onto the current 15% rate. Which among other things would eliminate any possibility of taxing those earnings for anything else on the Senator's agenda.

      In any event every CBO score I have seen on this assumes the target is 'covered earnings'. Effectively leaving the top 1% out of the equation all together. That is it is not as progressive as it appears at first glance, though I would take correction on this point. And frankly it shouldn't, Social Security doesn't need THAT much money, and it is not like children's education and universal health care aren't on our agenda. There are plenty of places to put the proceeds from a restored progressive tax code beyond this program that is after all funded for close to a generation as is.

      Please visit, follow or join our Group: Social Security Defenders

      by Bruce Webb on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 10:11:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Done - donated and signed (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you Bernie.  You are a true man of this country.  

    (Unlike the tbaggers who seemed to be looking to star in subsequent versions of Despicable ME!)

    We have a generation of leaders – Merkel, Sarkozy, Obama, Cameron – who don't seem to have the faintest idea of what they're doing. Politics is now nothing more than people saying hopeful things with their fingers crossed... - David Hare

    by glitterscale on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 09:54:22 AM PDT

  •  Wall Street wants its mitts on the money (0+ / 0-)

    Social security works becuase it efficiently saves money for people so they have it in their old age or when they are disabled.  that means Wall Street does not get to nibble on it and defecate the "returns" ont he American people.  Real revolutionary times will come when those baby boomers realize that defined contribution 401k plans foisted on us in lieu of defined benefits pensions and social security aren't worth squat.

  •  And, Obama wants to cut payroll taxes (0+ / 0-)

    that fund Social Security.  Someone tell me why our Democratic president would do this, unless his goal is to defund Social Security.

    Sarah Palin: All pistol and no squint.

    by CanyonWren on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 10:07:29 AM PDT

  •  Destitution Insurance ? (0+ / 0-)

    As near as I can figure, the Social Security System was adopted to avoid instituting a "Prussian Socialist"   Old Age Pension Scheme in the United States ...

    So ... in order to put  buying power in the hands of Depression Era seniors, the system was presented as a "sort of" personal savings account in which the level of contribution determined the amount of benefit -- leaving the Bush Administration with room to argue that "as an investment, Social Security under-performs compared to trading common stocks."

    Unfortunately, the FDR Democrats' decision to Save Capitalism and avoid Socialism resulted in a program that collects more from some than it pays, and pays some more than it collected -- and yet does not protect ANYONE from destitution in old age without extensive personal savings and/or investments.

    Now, for the record: I did sign Sen. Sanders' petition. Social Security is what everyone is used to.  It works fairly well, cushioning the really needy elderly from UTTER destitution, and providing welcome supplemental income to everyone else.

    A better system might be a graduated, progressive,  means-tested pension system, understood as a pure Insurance proposition, which would pay the DIFFERENCE between the Insured's actual retirement income and some arbitrary figure representing a middle position between "comfortable" and "near-poverty."

     In other words, most people would pay premiums for the entire working lives, but if their savings and investments did well they would receive little or no pay-back -- any more than they receive payback from their casualty or liability insurance products.

    The fact is, almost EVERYONE is one bad break away from destitution -- even the mighty and virtuous Job Creating High Earning and Successful Entrepreneurs.

    While I'd hardly expect such a program to ever be adopted in the political give and take ... ADVANCING the idea of such a program whenever the Right proposes "reforming" Social Security out of existence might be a useful push-back -- especially from a Socialist Senator.

    •  Man the original Adam Selene was so (0+ / 0-)

      much smarter. Certainly more data oriented.

      First of all FDR implement a Prussian style old age pension program right along side the insurance based program we have today. In fact the former was Title 1 of the Social Security Act of 1935 while what we know as Social Security today was Title 2. And Title 1 benefits went to more people at a higher dollar cost that Title 2 all the way to 1950 and the Social Security Amendments of that year.

      And the first monthly payments under Title 2 didn't even start until 1940 and at that a year ahead of schedule, at which time we were on the verge of emerging from the Depression via war spending that was already ramping up.

      Plus while like any actuarially based joint insurance plan there is not an exact correspondance between contributions and payouts but three things are known: 1) under Social Security if you have a higher lifetime history of contributions you will get a better absolute benefit than someone earning less over that same lifetime arc 2) offsetting that lower income workers, while getting a lower absolute benefit get a higher replacement rate of their final wage and 3) every generation of Social Security recipients have received a better benefit when measured in real basket of goods terms.

      You can screw around with rate of return all you want the system manages to both reward hard work (or luck) in the form of a bigger check even as it progressively adjusts the benefit formula to give proportionately better results to to those less fortunate in their choices or just their life circumstances.

      And your "doesn't protect anyone from destitution" is nonsense, compared rates of poverty among the elderly previous to Social Security and since, fewer than 10% of seniors life in absolute poverty today. Granted 100 of FPL is not remotely living large but your grandparents grandparents might have seen the result a little differently. My Dads own parents lived and died in pretty abject poverty, and he was essentially on his own from the 10th grade on until he was old enough to join the Navy at 17 in 1945.

      And while I support a universal pension program in principal, if you are going that route there is no reason to confine its funding to worker contributions at all. I mean make it welfare or keep it insurance.

      Please visit, follow or join our Group: Social Security Defenders

      by Bruce Webb on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 01:39:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A sign posted on my 'fridge (0+ / 0-)

    Privatize the profits, socialize the cost, it's the Republican Way.. and that is exactly what they want with SS.. Greedy bastards all of them.

    Why do Republicans Hate Americans?

    by Caniac41 on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 10:45:21 AM PDT

  •  This is the Real Reason (0+ / 0-)

    NOAM CHOMSKY:

    But I think, myself, that there’s a more subtle reason why they’re opposed to (social security), and I think it’s rather similar to the reason for the effort to pretty much dismantle the public education system. Social Security is based on a principle. It’s based on the principle that you care about other people. You care whether the widow across town, a disabled widow, is going to be able to have food to eat. And that’s a notion you have to drive out of people’s heads. The idea of solidarity, sympathy, mutual support, that’s doctrinally dangerous. The preferred doctrines are just care about yourself, don’t care about anyone else. That’s a very good way to trap and control people. And the very idea that we’re in it together, that we care about each other, that we have responsibility for one another, that’s sort of frightening to those who want a society which is dominated by power, authority, wealth, in which people are passive and obedient. And I suspect—I don’t know how to measure it exactly, but I think that that’s a considerable part of the drive on the part of small, privileged sectors to undermine a very efficient, very effective system on which a large part of the population relies, actually relies more than ever, because wealth, personal wealth, was very much tied up in the housing market.

    http://www.democracynow.org/...

    --It is simple class warfare, same as it has ever been. . .

  •  Thanks Senator! (0+ / 0-)

    Even if I suddenly fell into a line of work that gave me that much income, I would want to contribute extra to Social Security.   Why?  Because Social Security was there to help my grandma and gramps when he developed Alzheimers.  It was there (disability) to help my cousin who had CKD.  It was there to help my mom, when my father died young.  It was there to help me stay in high school and college (at the time it did that).  So I could get a decent job and pay forward.

    And because it will be there for the friends I have, when they grow old, and for people I don't know, when they get too old or sick to work.

    Hell yeah, let's save Social Security.  And not by giving the money to Wall Street, which is more like an actual Ponzi scheme than Social Security ever will be.

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 12:34:34 PM PDT

  •  ... (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks, Bernie!

    You and Elizabeth Warren maintain my belief that things can work out for the average citizen.  

  •  I was at SSA all day. (0+ / 0-)

    Had to take my brother to the hospital because he's hearing voices inside his head again. On top of that, we missed the review to keep his benefits going because of red tape and letters sent to the wrong state, etc. Between my brother moving between New York and Ohio, things got lost. Not their fault. Not anybody's fault.

    Everyone talks about the govt. and bureaucratic messes, etc but I talked to real human beings today at SSA who cared about whether my brother was going to pay his rent on the 3rd or not. I have an appointment to pick up an actual check because a human being at SSA made it so.

    My brother is sick. He can't even remember his own address. He can't hear his own thoughts because of the voices. His case is so scattered, I hardly have a grasp on where things should be and they do the best they can with my brother. I've only been his payee for a few months. SSA does more than issue checks. They take care of people.

    Thanks, SS and thanks Senator Sanders.

    "Warm smell of Moulitsas rising up in the air..." -seanwright

    by GenXangster on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 12:55:31 PM PDT

  •  Why do Republicans want to punish success? That (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight

    is the question.  Senator Sanders points out the success of Social Security and that is what Republicans hate.

  •  thank you (0+ / 0-)

    ...for asking the question that every Democrat should be asking every Republican every single day. In addition, it's my suggestion that every Democrat running for Congress next year should ask the following question of their opponent at every opportunity: Why do Republicans continue to insist in radical changes to one of the most successful programs in our nation's history when a few minor adjustments are all that's necessary to extend the longevity of the program well into the next century?

    If every Democrat, including the president, asked Republicans that question every day until 2012, my bet is that Democrats would win in a landslide.

  •  Republicans hate Social Security because... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rsie

    the big banks hate it, and the big banks hate it because they can't control it to their advantage.

    Voters need to recognize that our two main parties are not the source of these bad policies--they're political puppets of the real culprits, the mega-corporations that use their vast wealth to control everything.  That being the case, voters must take their complaints directly to the corporations that are running the show.  The power of the purse, i.e., consumer boycotts, is far more effective than the power of the vote.

  •  Because they want the wealthy elderly to be the (0+ / 0-)

    only ones who can afford to eat and be healthy.

  •  Signed it (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you so much for all that you do Senator Sanders.

  •  Privatize Social Security ?!? (0+ / 0-)

    We know they want to privatize (profitize) Social Security.

     But do they realize if we put our trillions of Social Security dollars into the Stock Market that would lead to Government Ownership of Industry?  

    We would be Socializing their beloved Corporations.

    We could control the Boards of Directors, insisting on the Chairmanship when it suited us.

    We could fire the executives.  We could lower executive pay packages.

    We could force corporations to return factories and jobs to America!

    We could force corporations to be environmentally friendly and socially responsible!

    Is that what they really want?

    Government control of Corporations!

    I say we give it to them.

    Hahahaha !!!!

  •  Honorable Senator, (0+ / 0-)

    In these difficult times, you never cease to amaze me with your steadfast support of 'average Americans'.

    Please continue to be the voice of sanity in this increasingly crazy environment.

    It is not certain that everything is uncertain. Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

    by BusyinCA on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 05:53:44 PM PDT

  •  How much would we get if we (0+ / 0-)

    applied SS withholding to Capital Gains?

    "I'm tired of hearing that it's "pragmatic" to support positions that most people oppose." RFK Lives

    by JesseCW on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 10:19:27 PM PDT

  •  Because its a great (0+ / 0-)

    big stash of money they can't get their sticky fingers on.

    Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't.
    Mark Twain

    by phaktor on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 12:58:20 AM PDT

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