Open thread July 18, 2017

July 18, 2017
mm

Open thread July 18, 2017

coberly

July 18, 2017 11:23 am

Denis

regarding expanded Social Security and expanded Medicare

I agree with you, but there is a trap:

if you “expand” these programs by having “the government” (meaning “the rich”) pay for them, they will turn into welfare as we knew it.

instead we should “expand” both of them by redirecting the money ordinary workers pay for private (risky and expensive) retirement plans and health insurance.

that means “expanding” the Social Security (FICA) tax and the Medicare tax. This would be a hard sell, viciously fought by both “the rich” who should know better, and “the Left” who can never think of any solution to any problem but “tax the rich.”

so all we need is a genius politician like Franklin Roosevelt, to sell the idea to the public, and explain it quietly to “the rich” so all but the insane rich understand it.

You (we) should understand and expect to pay for all the normal costs of living (including retirement and health care). no doubt a decent society would find room for “charity” to deal with extraordinary events even if that “charity” was paid for out of general taxes. but that is very different from just “demanding” “the rich” “pay their fair share’ (which appears to mean that if someone makes ten times as much as i do, he should pay ten times as much for his groceries, and I should get mine for free… even if i am not “poor” by normal standards).

Paying for “expanded” Social Security (about twice the current level of benefits) would require about a doubling of the current level of FICA taxes. This is not unreasonable or unaffordable. Paying for “expanded” Medicare would require about double the current level of Medicare tax… not unreasonable or unaffordable… and probably the best way ordinary workers would have to pay for their retirement and health insurance… but the current mental state of the people suggest the sticker shock would kill them. They would never understand either that they would be saving money in the long run or that they could easily afford the “double” tax. (“Hey, MY money is for ME… so I can buy cool cars and exotic vacations. Retirement and health care should be free as a natural Right.”)

(Why?)

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