Welp, we Gen Xers and millennials might be boned out of retirement:
Social Security's trust funds will be tapped out by 2035, according to an annual report released Monday by trustees of the government's two largest entitlement programs, the other being Medicare.
Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell blew up our national debt to the highest level in history with their $1.5 trillion tax cut for the superwealthy, while the IRS admitted that everyone else got screwed this tax season. This, coupled with the $675 billion given to the Department of Defense, blew quite a massive hole in the budget, on the watch of a party that formerly claimed it was all about fiscal restraint.
The runaway spending served a secondary purpose for McConnell: It allowed him to argue that, in order to pay for its tax giveaway to the rich, his party would pursue gutting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. He was pretty damn petty about it, too, saying, “It’s disappointing, but it’s not a Republican problem.” He’s wrong: It is a GOP problem, but Republicans just aren’t interested in fixing it. Trump’s budget too calls for gutting the programs, after he promised he would never touch them.
This disaster was created during the short time Trump’s GOP has been in control. It’s interesting to note, for comparison, that every time Democrats have had the national government trifecta, life has improved for millions.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt saved us from the GOP depression, and created the most popular program in U.S. history, Social Security. In 1964, the Democrats gave America Medicare, the Voting Rights Act, and Head Start. In the early ‘90s, Bill Clinton enacted the Family Medical Leave Act and tax cuts for those who needed them, and left a federal budget surplus for the first time in 30 years. In 2010, Obama reversed the economic crisis Bush left, with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and created a booming economy. Oh … and he improved access to health care. (BTW, the Affordable Care Act is the sole reason that Social Security Disability Insurance claims were given an extra 20 years of funding due to Medicaid expansion.)
Here’s a fun exercise: Look at any time period when conservatives controlled everything, and ask what was accomplished. You will see that they always enact tax cuts for the those at the top, explode the deficit, take away middle-class protections, botch disaster relief, and do their level best to ruin the stewardship of the previous economy left by Democrats. Usually, there is an added atrocity or two, such as starting a war under false pretenses or caging children.
Bitter conservatives have, for years, tried to dismantle all of the progress we’ve made over the past eight decades. They love going after America’s successful social programs, including Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Sadly, if Democrats don’t take back our country, we’ll lose them as we’ve known them.
Americans have paid into Social Security their entire working careers, and now we are being told the program will run out of money by 2035. The trust fund for Medicare is also in deep trouble, and is on track to be depleted in seven years. It is critical that Democrats win back the Senate and the presidency in 2020. Once that happens, the solution will be pretty easy: using the simple-majority budget reconciliation process.
Currently, only income below $132,900 is subject to Social Security tax. By simply removing that limit and subjecting all income to the tax, the Social Security trust fund will be solvent forever. [Emphasis added.]
In other words, people like me have their entire income taxed for Social Security, at 6.2 percent. However, Sean Hannity gets taxed at less than one-half of 1 percent of his 36 million dollar Fox News salary. The only people who oppose this needed fix are multimillionaires, billionaires, greedy mega-corporations, and the GOP base.
This fix should have been made the last time Democrats had full control. We don’t have a tough decision to make; we just need the majorities after the next election to be able to make it.