I then saw a few news articles that were about that very quote personified: Fox News The Hill Huffington Post
Hmmm. First, let's get this out of the way. Social Security is NOT supposed to be a retirement plan. It was originally intended to be a basic insurance plan against the risks of, well, living... you know: old age, becoming handicapped, unemployment, a household losing the primary breadwinner, etc. It was not supposed to be this system where once you reach a certain age then BOOM! You're done! You can start licking those chops because here comes some of that juicy government money. Either way, that's another debate. It exists (ugh, another horribly run, inefficient government program), and as of right now, that's all there is to it.
Back to those articles. As always, let's keep this simple. Obama wants to extend the payroll tax holiday. For 2011, payroll taxes were reduced. That reduction is set to expire on 1/1/12. What does that mean? Well, in keeping with simplicity: everyone's taxes would go up slightly after the turn of the year. Okay, got it. Good.
Why is this such a big deal? Well, obviously, if the holiday were to be extended it would mean there would be a relative shortage in payroll tax revenue if no further action is taken. There are three ways of handling this issue:
1. The government can take a loan. There is no reason to over-complicate this. It's bad, and debt is the last thing we need.
2. The republican plan. Cut out spending from somewhere else in the budget. Preferably, take a look at some other wasteful, unnecessary government program and slash its budget. It doesn't take a genius to know that LME fully supports this plan.
3. Obama's plan. Can you predict it???? Yes! Make the filthy, stinking, evil rich pay for it!
From the Fox article: "As the deadline approaches, bipartisan political support is building for at least continuing the tax cut -- heading off a politically bruising tax hike. But Obama wants the cost of the payroll tax cut to be made up by an increase in taxes on taxpayers who earn more than $1 million, a trade-off that Republicans reject."
Simply put: Obama's plan makes me sick. Not to get redundant here, but again, see the post "Progressive Taxes: The Ultimate Conflict of Interest." Without repeating that entire article, its premise is that the "poorer" population (in this case the ones receiving the tax break) is a lot larger than the "richer" population (the ones getting the tax hike). If you promise a much larger portion of the population a significant tax benefit while promising the smaller portion a tax hike, don't you think that will get you some votes? Duh... see that post. It's sickening because it is a complete perversion of democracy. Elected officials basically buying voters with sweet tax policies is absolutely disgusting. Okay, that's out of my system.
I don't like it for another reason. Here it is: I can fund my own damn retirement, thank you very much. I don't need my rich uncle's money. I don't need any wealthy person to pay more so I have to pay less. Does anyone find it stunningly embarrassing that every time we need something to be paid for in this country (and yes, it is clouded in the perverted democratic mantra "shared sacrifice") there is no sharing of the sacrifice at all. Democrats point the legislation cannon at the rich and say "pay up, buster!" Theft by legislation is no different than theft with a gun. When does it stop?
Social security as a retirement plan is a terrible idea anyway. It kills financial discipline. Why would anyone run their daily, monthly, and yearly finances with retirement in mind? Why would they save anything? They know the government will be there when they get older so why would they try? I just had to get that out, but again, that's another argument.
Yes, I can run my own retirement. I live within my means, and yes, I do take retirement in mind with every purchase I make. I don't need social security. No one does, and I damn sure don't need the rich to pay for it. People behave in riskier ways now because they know Social Security is there. If that's the case, fine... just make everyone pay for it at an equal tax rate.