Monday, April 18, 2005

Your Risk, Their Gain
Would you be upset if someone spent millions of dollars to put your future retirement funds into a casino, while taking no risks with their own future? Say hello to the Wall Street CEOs whose companies are aggressively lobbying for Social Security privatization. Because of their bloated compensation packages, these CEOs pay Social Security taxes only a few days a year. The President has leaned on his Wall Street patrons to help with his faltering Social Security crusade. They have stepped forward, albeit blushing from embarrassment at their conflict of interest. These firms and their CEOs will handsomely profit from administering private accounts and collect billions of dollars in management fees.
It's funny how the people who have the most to lose by the failure of Social Security are never asked to participate in deciding the direction and purpose of it. It's just assumed that rich people, who have no need of Social Security, will know better than you and me as to how it should be run and where the money should go. Thing about that is, I share a certain mistrust of rich people with, oh, I don't know, probably 70-80% of the populace. We have this crazy idea that rich people could give a fuck about anything other than lining their own pockets, and sure enough, with all these Wall Street brokerages lining up to squeeze hard-working Americans dry, that idea doesn't seem so crazy.
So the average 'Joe' taxpayer pays an elephant-sized rate of Social Security taxes that is 152 times that of the flea-sized rate paid by CEO Thompson. If Thompson paid the same effective rate as Joe Taxpayer, he would have paid $1,654,644 in Social Security taxes, instead of $10,900... We should eliminate the earnings cap so that CEOs like Kenneth Thompson pay the same effective rate as Joe and Juanita taxpayer. According to the Economic Policy Institute, this fix would eliminate 90% of the funding deficit projected by the Social Security Administration. If Wall Street CEOs pay into the system all year long, perhaps they'll have a greater stake in ensuring that we have a rock-solid retirement system that works for everyone, not just for their companies' profits.
Rich people pay a fair share of taxes? What kind of insanity is this? How will rich fucks be able to buy that extra Lexus, or go on that weekend getaway to Club Med with their mistresses? Do we really want to balance the budget and reduce the national debt? Is that really a goal worth giving a shit about? /sarcasm


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