Republicans recently passed a huge tax cut that can only be defined as a tax cut scam that transferred yet again your hard earned dollars to a wealthy few. Now that the deficit is exploding because of their fiscal irresponsibility and conniving posture, they want to balance the budget on the back of the poor and middle-class. They want to cut Social Security and Medicare.
It is not at all difficult to make these two programs solvent. Robert Reich details how in his article "Three Easy Fixes to Social Security and Medicare that Republicans Don’t Want You to Know About."
First: Raise the cap on income subject to Social Security payroll taxes.
This year, that cap is $128,400, meaning that every dollar earned above $128,400 isn’t subject to Social Security taxes.
So the typical CEO of a big company, who makes over $15 million, pays Social Security taxes on just $128,400 of his or her income, a tiny fraction. While the typical nurse practitioner, who takes home around $100,000, pays Social Security taxes on every dollar of his or her income.
In this era of raging inequality, that’s not fair. And it’s not even logical. Raise the cap.
The reality is we should not just raise the cap. We need to get rid of the cap and make it completely progressive. That would likely allow us to lower the rate itself which currently stands at 12.4% for Social Security and 2.9% for Medicare.
Second: To help rein in Medicare costs, allow the government to use its huge bargaining power to negotiate lower drug prices.
Big Pharma has gotten legislation barring the government from negotiating lower drug prices. That legislation should be repealed.
Big Pharma says this would mean less research on new drugs, but that’s baloney. Pharma already spends more on advertising, marketing, and lobbying than it does on research.
Negotiating drug prices is a start. Additionally, all drugs that were developed with government grants, likely most, should profit share with the government commensurate with the governments, we the people's, investment.
Third: To deal with a basic reason why Social Security and Medicare are running out of money, allow more young immigrants into the U.S.
The basic reason why Social Security and Medicare are running out of money is the American population continues to age and live longer – leaving a relatively smaller working population to pay into Social Security and Medicare.
What to do? Allow in more young immigrants. Immigrants and their children are the fastest growing segment of the working population, already contributing billions in payroll taxes every year. Instead of shutting immigrants out, allowing more immigrants into the country will help secure the future of Social Security and Medicare.
This isn’t rocket science, folks. Raise the cap, negotiate drug prices, and allow in more immigrants. Do these three things and you won’t have to worry about Social Security and Medicare not being there when you need it.
When a friend of mine, a Trump voter, realized that immigrants will allow him to retire without a Social Security crisis, he found an ideological way to support a comprehensive immigration policy. He wrote a post which I think could start an immigration dialogue between the Right and the Left.
Folks, do not buy the continued Republican lies about jobs or having to cut the social safety net, Social Security and Medicare. It is unnecessary if they divide they represent us and not just the wealthy who benefitted from the good labor of all Americans.