Friday, April 4, 2008

Golden chains bind us

We are reliant on the government for too much. Live to 62, you get a check every month. Live to 65 you get free or damn near free, healthcare for life. What is magical about attaining a certain age?

We have a social contract that provides benefits for reaching a certain age, or being disabled, or just being to stupid or lazy to be productive. What we need to ask ourselves as a country is can we afford to be so generous.

When social security was created 65 was old age. Now it is common. Just think about this: 1/3 of all the people who have EVER, in the history of humans, attained the age of 65 are alive today!

Is this a tenable situation? How can we possibly pay for such largesse? Already the “rich” pay all of the taxes. We have politicians demagoguing this and saying the rich need to pay their fair share. Anyone can access IRS statistics that show that the top 1% of taxpayers pay 40% of taxes. Those tax filers making over $75,000 comprise 5.4% of tax filers yet they pay 78.4% of income taxes. This is just over 5% paying almost 80% of the bill! Tax cuts for the rich my ass, who else are you going to give tax cuts too? And since when does $75,000 make you rich? Just how much more can you bleed from the most productive part of society?

The lowest 40% of tax filers actually receive a net positive tax payment from the Treasury (due to child tax credit and earned income credits). The lowest 50% pay less than 2% of the taxes. You can only soak the rich for so much before they rebel.

The golden chains must be broken. There is no way to support social payments (social security and Medicare) going forward. These programs have got to be significantly modified. The answer to federal deficits is not more taxes, it is less spending. And less spending means significantly changing the entitlement system.

End of rant.


Anonymous said...

Your numbers are absolutely meaningless! OK, the top 1% of tax payers pay 40% of the tax, but what percent of money do they earn? If everyone earned the same amount of money your statistics might mean something but that is hardly the case.

Ever try to think about why so many people live to reach old age? Maybe it is because we take better care of our seniors now than ever before.

J.R. said...

The top 1% earn about 23% of the total.

I am not concerned about why so many people live to old age; that is not really relevant. The point is the social programs cannot be paid for as they now exist without some major modifications.

I am assuming your point is not that we should quit taking care of them in order to balance the costs?