Expand Social Security Now!

Expand Social Security Now!

How to Ensure Americans Get the Retirement They Deserve

Book - 2016
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Why Social Security is not only sustainable but should be substantially expanded

Social Security is bankrupting us. It's outdated. It's a Ponzi scheme. It's stealing from young people. These are some of the biggest myths and lies about one of the most successful programs in our nation's history. Three-quarters of Americans depend heavily on Social Security in their elderly years and nearly half would be living in poverty without it. But as important and popular as it is, Social Security has become a political football. A well-financed campaign--supported by conservatives, special interest groups, and even leading Democrats--has lobbied for cuts and significant "entitlement reform," falsely proclaiming that Social Security is going broke. Policy expert Steven Hill argues that Social Security should not only be defended, it should be substantially expanded. Here he proposes how we can double the monthly benefit and how to pay for it by closing many of the tax loopholes and deductions that disproportionately favor the wealthy few.
Publisher: Boston : Beacon Press, [2016]
ISBN: 9780807028438
0807028436
Branch Call Number: 368.43009 H5557E 2016
Characteristics: 178 pages ; 22 cm

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ravernon
Aug 01, 2016

Steven Hill in Expand Social Security NOW!, has a good point, in that expanding the benefits paid by Social Security WOULD help many Americans have a more secure retirement. However, his only solution (like most liberals) is to raise taxes, “on the rich, not paying their fair share”. I will give him this though; at least he says what “their fair share” IS, in this case 12.4% (total) of ALL their income.
Math, and facts in general, is not really his thing however, as he shows throughout his book. He says (correctly) that Social Security has a $2.8 TRILLION surplus in the “Trust Fund”, ALL of which is invested in special Treasury Bonds, or iou’s from the general budget, money Congress and the President s since the 1960’s have ALREADY spent and that will have to be paid back through general taxes, which will (of course) have to be raised (see a pattern here?). He also says that “Social Security has not one dedicated revenue stream, but three.”(Page 79) He lists payroll taxes, income from the US Treasuries in the Trust Fund and the “revenue that comes from levying income tax on Social Security recipients”, which he says “brought in $756 billion to the Trust Fund in 2014.”(Page 79) This is incorrect, in that “income taxes” go to the general fund, NOT the Social Security Trust Fund, and is a very good trick, since “it currently costs about $662 billion annually to provide benefits to those retires”. (Page 5 and 105) Now, how you can PAY $662 BILLION in benefits and COLLECT $756 BILLION in taxes on those benefits, well it’s beyond me, but it sounds like a great deal, for the GOVERNMENT. Politicians, of ALL stripes, have already shown they can’t be trusted with large sums of money, having run up over a $19TRILLION Debit and several annual $1TRILLION plus Deficits, in the last few years, despite having revenues of $2 TRILLION to $3 TRILLION plus each year.

d
danielestes
Jul 06, 2016

Author Steven Hill wants to convince you, and everyone else on the fence about this issue, that social security needs to be not just saved but expanded. And by expanded, he means to double the payouts. His passion is indisputable though he comes across as zealot far too often, which in turn causes me to doubt him. He will not give up until you, dear American reader, are converted. Social security is an immensely complex issue and it's not going to be solved with easy fixes. Mr. Hill sometimes paints social security's problems as obvious and their solutions as just shy of easy (if only everyone got on board, for example), but life doesn't work that way. Easy answers might sell books, but reality is much more nuanced. By the end it's evident that Mr. Hill is pro-tax or at least comfortable with the assertion that high taxes should be the norm. Conservatives, on average, vehemently disagree. For them, any and all taxes, current and future ones, should be continually challenged, and the one's found lacking removed. It's important to understand this distinction if you're still baffled as to why Mr. Hill's so-called easy fixes face tremendous opposition. Despite social security's benefits, people by default want more control over how they choose to save or spend their own money.

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