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Friday, October 21, 2016

Here’s a holiday gift for my readers. You’ve heard of the 12 days of Christmas, right? Well, here are 12 of the most common misconceptions about Social Security, cleared up for you in one neat little package.

And please note that these are myths involving one’s eligibility for Social Security benefits. I’ve spent many past columns clearing up the gads of historical, political and policy myths (make that outright lies) about Social Security that are circulating on the Internet.

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Copyright 2011 The National Memo
  • PeterGatliff

    Its seems the GOP will never give up the fight to end SSI. When SSI was passed as a law the GOP and Wall Street Bankers in 1935 thought it was a Communist plot. In fact they attempted to over throw the government. It was called the “Business Plot”, with a budget of 300 million to arm troops and payed a lobbiest a 100 grand to do a fact finding mission to get info on how to have a Coup D’Etat. Funny how millionares hate social programs for the poor and middle class.

    • AnnieMo

      The Loophholes, write-offs and offshore untaxed bank accounts are what the rich see as Entitlements -FOR THEMSELVES. Any other entitlements are to be denied to the rest of US people. I too, resent the word “entitlements’ as it was started by Norquist and Rove as a word to begin to separate the American people into factions.
      Also, the GOA and the Tresury both state that there is a 2 trillion dollar surplus in Soc. Security now. AND, both also state that those offshore non-taxed bank accounts would, if a law abolished their ‘legality’, would pay several BILLIONS in tax dollars -which would certainly help pay down the already declining defict. Since corporations, their Boards of Directors and owners made a bundle on goods and services sold to the Pentago during our longest war ever-which very few of THEM ever joined our troops to fight- it seems only just that the offshore law be changed and they pay finally their share for what others fought for.

  • freethinker

    1. It seems some are still claiming the GOP will fight to end SS when, in fact, it is Obama’s ‘payroll tax cut’ that is starving SS. Isn’t that a hoot?
    2. Social Security was supposed to be a ‘voluntary’ contribution system when first devised. Then it went from voluntary to mandatory (under Democrats), but was still supposed to be used to fund one’s individual SS. Now its classified as a ‘tax’ (by Democrats) which makes SS a welfare program.
    3. There was never a SS ‘lock box’. And there still isn’t.
    4. Millionaires don’t hate social programs for anyone, just so long as the money to fund someone else’s idea of a social program is not taken from them a gunpoint.

  • ghistorywriter

    Apparently freethinker has fallen for some of the deliberate lies being circulated by conservatives. This is from FactCheck: Not Voluntary.

    “Contrary to the e-mail’s very first claim, FDR never promised that “the program would be completely voluntary.” It is supported by taxes and participation has never been voluntary. As historian DeWitt states: “From the first days of the program to the present, anyone working on a job covered by Social Security has been obligated to pay their payroll taxes. “
    It couldn’t possibly have been voluntary or it never would have worked. Everyone has to be in the pool.
    Remember: WE paid for this. This is not and never was a welfare program. Our FICA contributions funded this.
    Who is at gunpoint? This is not “someone else’s idea of a social program.” It’s a 50-year old program that is one of the most successful ever, it’s efficient, cost effective, everyone always gets paid, on time (out of their own money). If it were at the point of a gun, it would never have lasted 50 years. There would have been a general uprising by the PEOPLE–whose money it is–and not by the millionaires who are busy trying to tear down all of our programs that help the working class and the poor.
    Lying is shameful. If you don’t know the facts, look them up.

  • Dean May

    I too am bothered by cutting SS funds & lack of a lock box – much needed. But when Gore made it a part of his campaign it was made a joke of.
    Another joke though is the Talking Point that the top 1% (or whatever) are the “Job Creators”. Now in some cases (Steve Jobs in his parents garage) you can create demand for new products % they should be hugely rewarded.
    But the vast bulk of business – from cars, gas, hair cuts, food, boats, & underwear is consumer spending driven . I Will Not Make 1 more Boat, Car, Pizza, or T shirt until the store sells the last one that I sold them & orders another & he will not do that unless people are coming through the door AND BUYING And of course I will not be HIRING anyone to build that thing that I don’t know that I can sell.
    This is not my quote -saw it somewhere (a version of Carvill’s Economy Stupid quote)
    But appropriate today “IT IS CONSUMER SPENDING STUPID”

  • patricia wiseman

    When did Social Security become and entitlement program? The American worker paid into it as a tax, but for an insurance for the time that they could no longer work. Now the media and the politicans are calling it an entitlement, if you buy auto insurance and are in a wreck they don’t call it an entitlement they call it a claim.
    By changing what it is called they hope to change public view of what it is making it easyer to dismantle it.


    This should be read personally by you POTUS and by CONGRESS – It is the PERMANENT COMPROMISE SOLUTIONS you are looking for.
    Please no boilerplate intern responses.
    This letter could be the solution that POTUS and Congress need for the payroll tax reduction and reduction of the national debt that should be revenue neutral and acceptable on a bi-partisan basis. It also has many other benefits for the American People.
    Congress needs to correct what is wrong with our HIDDEN ALTERNATIVE MINIMUM TAX – The only tax which is graduated downward. As of now any person earning a million dollars ($1,000,000) is taxed at 1/10th the tax rate that a person who earns between $10,000 to even $100,000. You guessed it is the Social Security tax.
    Here is how we can fix this inequity and solve many other related problems.
    Reduce the Social Security rate to 2.50% on the first $400,000 and then to 3.25% on excess over $400,000 WITH NO TOP CAP for employer and employee.
    The Taxation of Social Security benefits would be changed for all future SSA beneficiaries to be tax free until the taxpayer’s cost contributed has been recovered by the SSA -Taxpayer beneficiary. The same way most pension benefits are presently taxed. Any unrecovered tax cost basis would be transferred to a surviving spouse. Additionally unrecovered tax cost basis upon death of either spouse could be used as a tax credit for estate tax purposes. After the death of the surviving spouse any unrecovered tax cost basis if not applied to estate tax would be extinguished. This provision may need to be phased in and applied to new and future SSA beneficiaries.
    More money in most taxpayers pockets for their consumer spending and lowering the labor payroll tax costs of all businesses -including small businesses.

    Other possible, but not required, optional changes that could be included with the above proposed permanent compromise solution:
    1. Now we have room for a 1.00% Basic Health Care Tax with no top cap for both employee and employer that will provide minimal health care coverage for major diseases, surgical and emergency room procedures for employed people.
    Companies will only need then to offer a medi-gap wrap around health insurance policy to their employees, if they want to or can, where patients can choose their own medical care, and which will simply the insurance reimbursement system.

    2. To offset any loss for the Social Security Fund (now and in the future) and to help fund the Medicare Fund (which will include the Basic Health Care Program), we would establish, under the Social Security Fund, the SSMIF (The Social Security and Medicare Investment Fund). Congress, by legislation, would do the following:
    (1) Transfer financial ownership of the Strategic Oil Reserve (SOR) to the SSMIF.

    (2) Each year Congress would provide an appropriation to be added to the SOR equal to 5% of the Current Reserve at the current market price. The SSMIF would be empowered to use the appropriations in excess of the basic SOR to purchase oil or oil futures, when the market price at $3 per gallon or lower. At the same time when the market price rises to $4 per gallon (due to greed of APEC and oil speculators), the SSMIF will sell off any part of its new appropriation to help reduce the market price. The profit from these transactions will be deposited into the Social Security Fund and or the Medicare Fund to build them up for benefits coverage. The principal from the transaction would be available for future reinvestment under the same rules..
    (3) Congress, by legislation, will transfer financial ownership of the Financial Institutions and Automotive Industry equity acquired from the recent Taxpayer Bailouts to the SSMIF. When the respective financial institutions and automotive manufacturers repay their debts in the future with interest, the SSMIF will deposit the proceeds into the Social Security Fund and or the Medicare Fund to build them up for benefits coverage. .
    (4) The FHA should deposit with the SSMIF financial ownership of Reverse Mortgages equal to any appropriations received from Congressional legislation for funding these mortgages. The income earned on these assets when collected in the future will be then be deposited by the SSMIF into the Social Security Fund and or Medicare Fund to build them up for benefits coverage.
    (5) The FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could establish a “REX” Type mortgage program for new home owners or to keep homeowners in their home and prevent foreclosures in exchange for a 50%share in future appreciation of the real estate that the lenders and the SSMIF will share equally. In exchange for the lenders providing the funds (NO COST TO TAXPAYERS) for reducing these “underwater mortgages” to 80% of the current market value of the homes, the lenders would receive tax exempt status for the income earned. These mortgage assets could work similarly to Reverse Mortgages. The financial ownership of these assets would be transferred to the SSMIF. These assets when collected in the future will be then be deposited by the SSMIF into the Social Security Fund and or Medicare Fund to build them up for benefits coverage. Now the home owner is in a house that he can afford. The US Taxpayer will now capture part of the future equity that speculators would have received.
    (6) All of the recommended procedures for streamlining the costs of administering medical care – such as a massive transformation to a digital format, perhaps with a secure encrypted database could be instrumental in reducing testing and diagnostic costs as better info for each patient would be integrated and more available as needed to improve patient care. All prescriptions when ordered would be checked against a national database for each patient for possible conflicts to avoid prescription and diagnostic mistakes. This may even be helpful in avoiding possible mal-practice law suites.
    (7) To pay off our National Debt the US Government will recognize that the oil in our offshore reserves and in the ground in such reserves as the Bakken Formation in our Northwest is an asset belonging to the people of the United States. Accordingly, when they issue a permit to an Oil Company to extract this national asset from its source, the Oil Company will pay a special permit fee as follows:
    A. For each barrel of oil extracted for sale the oil company will sell to the SSAMIF on credit a barrel of oil for a delivered price of $25 a barrel FOB the west coast. The oil must be extracted in a safe and ecologically approved method. Procedures to expedite approval for the oil companies to begin extraction will be part of this program.
    B. The SSAMIF will resell this barrel of oil to China for pickup by China at the west coast for a fixed price of $100 per barrel. The incentive for China will be that $50 of each barrel sold them will be applied to our national debt that China holds. As more barrels of oil are sold to China, the interest on that portion of the national debt will be reduced. We will apply payments to the national debt bearing the highest interest rate being paid to China.
    C. $25 of each barrel sold China will be paid to the Oil Company for the SSAMIF barrel cost WHEN the $100 per barrel has been received. Thus the SSAMIF will have no financial outlay.
    D. The remaining $25 per barrel will be deposited into the SSMIF fund to build them up for benefits coverage.
    The oil companies will be providing the funds so there is no outlay required that can increase our national debt. This is also good for the oil companies involved as they can now have a guaranteed customer for 50% of the barrels extracted- so they can spread their operating costs over a much larger volume of sales.
    More power for the congressional taxpayer financial buck spent.
    The above proposals are part of my Theory of Tax-Enomics, which I am the founder of and its foremost authority.
    MRCANDU10 (Cousin of MR. Get It DONE)
    Lloyd Michael Abrahams
    Certified Public Accountant
    LAKE GROVE NY 11755-2521
    (631) 842-4735 – Fax (631) 980-3915
    Cell (516)661-6500

  • Hankk

    Social Security didn’t get named an ENTITLEMENT until 2000. After years of the Wealthy and Corporations using their tax breaks(WELFARE)TO EXPORT OUR NATIONS GOOD PAYING JOBS TO OTHER COUNTRIES. We lost millions of high paying jobs that were replaced by mostly part time minimum ($7.25 per hour)jobs. We lost most of our nations tax base, and since the tax base from the middle class was what made America what it once was, congress spent everything they could get their hands on and then borrowed more money to spend and give away, including over 2 trillion of our SS money. Then they decided since they can’t pay OUR SOCIAL SECURITY MONEY WITHOUT BORROWING MORE MONEY, THEY WILL JUST ELIMINATE IT AND DITO TO MEDICARE. But in order to eliminate them they had to be renamed, thus they coined our SS and medicare money as their’s and named them entitlements. Thank you teapublicans but over our dead bodies will you get away with it. hankk, MI

  • ajaxgeneral

    They have been receiving this for decades.. In the main stream it’s called grants and loopholes as it too does not have to be repaid (not even taxed) but let’s be frank.. It’s nothing more than welfare programs set up for the knowledgeable and who can take advantage of programs that no average citizen can even get close to but the uber rich (the billionaires) who can drop a few thousand at any given time to receive free millions.. The monies amounts are irrelevant and doesn’t add to or take away from it’s welfare reality. Ask the donut mouth, he knows.