What happened on the floor of the Senate today, 11/15/05? I know what Bush is proposing, and my counter proposal is for him to go jump in a lake.
Social Security means security for 90% of our seniors, and probably at least that percentage of our baby boomers. For many, it is or will be the only way that housing and food bills will be paid from our lower income demographics. That is the entire reason why Social Security exists in the first place.
Here are my proposals.
1. Eliminate the Cap. Right now, people earning more than $90,000 stop paying the Social Security tax for any amount over that cap. Don't raise it, don't jiggle it, ELIMINATE IT. If someone is earning $1 million, they should pay the same percentage.
2. Lock Box. Make the Social Security Trust Fund UNTOUCHABLE by any other agency. No more IOU's, no more borrowing from the surplus.
3. Adjustable tax rate. Depending on the balance in the Trust Fund, the percentage we pay in taxes may need to go up or down to be able to pay all the benefits that our seniors, disabled and dependent children need. Give the SSA the power to adjust the tax rate up or down to balance the funds INDEPENDENT OF CONGRESS or the administration.
4. The rate of return must equal the inflation rate. Right now I think we earn 1% on the money in that trust fund. If Inflation is 2.5%, we are losing 1.5%. Make it match the inflation rate, or we're digging the hole deeper.
5. Add a savings account on top of the regular FICA tax that is optional and saves money into a combination of Treasury and State municipal bonds. Give account holders the ability to manage those accounts directly if they choose, or select a pre-defined portfolio of bonds.
These changes in the way the system is designed would solve the 'crisis' once and for all. Anything else that tweaks the way calculations are done is simply a waste of time, and we will have to revisit the issue again and again, wasting more tax money doing the Republican Propaganda jig.