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Donna Smith

Donna Smith, American SiCKO, is executive director of the Health Care for All Colorado Foundation

March 9th, 2013 9:10 PM

Scrap the Cap: Let Social Security be Made Stronger for Longer

Scrap the cap, scrap the cap, scrap the cap… chant it, say it louder, and start telling every soul you know that the way we protect the social safety net of our nation for our future generations rests in being truly fair about collecting the money to pay for it.  Sequestration cuts to any of the vital programs for our seniors and our working class are an easy way out and not the smart way to bolster personal or national economic goals.

Social Security isn’t broke.  Social Security isn’t what is harming the country’s economy.  And if Social Security is not fully available to future retirees in America, it will not be because we Baby Boomers are sucking too many benefits out for there to be anything left in the Social Security Trust Fund for our kids and grandkids.

If Social Security suffers, it will be because it is weakened by those protecting wealthy interests either by privatizing more of the program and handing precious parts of this glorious program over to Wall Street to steal profits from it or by continuing to have a cap on the income taxed to contribute to Social Security.  One really wonder way to protect and preserve the program for an even longer and stronger period is to “scrap that cap” on income taxed.

Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter DeFazio have introduced legislation to eliminate the cap on income taxable for Social Security.  The article reads, in part: “Under their legislation, those with yearly incomes of $250,000 or more would pay the same 6.2 percent payroll tax already assessed on those who earn up to $113,700 a year. Applying the Social Security payroll tax on income above $250,000 would only affect the wealthiest 1.3 percent of Americans, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Social Security officials say that simple change would yield about $85 billion a year to keep the retirement program strong for at least another 50 years.”

At least another 50 years of a strong, public Social Security program protected from the greedy hands on Wall Street that would surely be at least another 50 years of peace of mind for Americans currently working and wondering what their retirement years might look like.  Please call your elected officials today and express strong support for this legislation.  Is your Senator on the Senate Committee on Finance?  Check at the link here.  Then ask your Senator to support Senate Bill 500, Official title: A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to apply payroll taxes to remuneration and earnings from self-employment up to the contribution and benefit base and to remuneration in excess of $250,000. 

Need help knowing who/where to call?  Check out Project Vote Smart here.  Just type in your zip code, and you’ll know who your elected officials are.  Make sure they know you are a constituent and that you will tell others.  Then spread the word.

And while you are on that phone, don’t forget to tell them to protect and expand and improve Medicare.  Let’s love it so much and love one another so much that we extend it to all after making it better and stronger.  Medicare for all for life, that’s what I support, and so do millions of other people in this nation who have had enough of the profit-first, inhumane mess of market based health care that is ramping up not to make us healthier under the Affordable Care Act but to make a few health care industry CEOs, pharmaceutical companies, hospital corporations, medical device manufacturers, for-profit health insurance giants, etc, wildly wealthy even as millions and millions of people continue to struggle to afford needed care.

We can have a just society, but only if we demand one.  If we keep capitulating to the Wall Street greed that drives all the humanity out of our motivations in favor of only the value of profit first, we will continue to slide down the slippery slope to a shared and ugly inhumanity that will be the death of all we held dear individually or as a society.

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