February 22nd, 2012|
Missiles are being pointed at Social Security and Medicare–two federal health benefit programs for older Americans. Some are stealth missiles; some are misguided missiles, reports the Nashua Telegraph. But both parties are pointing them, according to Froma Harrop, a syndicated columnist.
Payroll tax currently provides the money to cover Social Security benefits now and in the future. Under this setup, workers and their employers entirely fund the program.
However, congress approved the extension of the payroll tax cut on Friday. The plan being to reduce payroll taxes and replace the lost Social Security revenues with money from the Treasury.
So while the dollars may be there, they are no longer all coming directly from the workers and employers. That means Social Security is no longer entirely self-funded, opening gaps in the program’s defenses against those who would sink it.
Harrop’s opinion concerning Medicare? If you want the rich to pay more of Medicare’s costs, that’s easy. Don’t ask them to pay more for their coverage. Simply raise their income-tax rates.
To Harrop, it’s important to keep Social Security and Medicare honest, simple, and universal. Policies that weaken any of these attributes can eventually threaten the whole program.
Do you agree with Froma Harrop on the funding of Social Security?