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Wall Street Pulls the Strings: Social Security Under Attack in February

Only because raising those taxes is outside the realm of permissible discussion in Congress, and because the media, like the New York Times in its article, do not discuss it. Okay, the Times authors of the article in question did mention raising the income cap subject to the FICA tax, but they only discuss that option in terms of solving what they said was the shortfall that would lead the Trust Fund to run out two years sooner than already expected. They don’t mention that simply eliminating the cap, as opposed to raising it, together with taxing investment income, would solve the problem of a shortfall in funds completely.

So the battle is on.

The next phase of that battle will be an effort by Wall Street’s handmaidens in Congress and the White House to start trying to split the generations by saying that they will “protect” Social Security for those at or nearing retirement age, while weakening the program (they’ll call it “preserving” the program) for younger workers. This is what is known as divide-and-conquer. It is critical for retirees and near-retirees to resist this cynical tactic and to unite with younger workers to protect benefits for all. If the divide-and-conquer strategy were to succeed, younger workers would immediately start to lose interest in Social Security, and pressure would build among them to start cutting benefits for current retirees, since they would see their own FICA taxes as going to subsidize benefits for the retired that they themselves would never receive.

The only way to protect Social Security is for all workers to be in it together defending the same system of benefits. And the only way to do that is to demand and insist on raising taxes on the rich to support that system.

And the key point to make in that battle is that the rich are not being asked to pay more. They -- and their employers -- are just being asked to pay the same tax rate that the rest of us pay on their income, and to finally start paying FICA taxes on their investment income, which to date has been exempt from Social Security taxation.

Make no mistake: the war against Social Security has been launched, and a key battle is coming in February. The broad mass of workers in the US who are depending upon Social Security for their old age or in the event of disability and an inability to work need to unite and engage in that battle now or it will be lost.

Coming next: The War on Medicare

story | by Dr. Radut