A cadre of high-profile CEO’s came out to lobby Capitol Hill in an effort to get Social Security and Medicare on the table when the deficit reduction is negotiated.
Most of the companies they represent don’t even offer pension plans, and several more haven’t contributed enough funds to cover expected payouts.
Bailed out Goldman Sachs CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, said “Social Security wasn’t devised to be a system that supported you for a 30-year retirement after a 25-year career.” Lloyd, with numbers like that, no wonder Goldman Sachs needed a bailout. The fact is most people have a working career of 35-45 years and the average time for recipients on Social Security is only 16.1 years! Then they die.
Don’t be fooled. Social Security is not part of the national debt, and it’s solvent until 2033. Medicare and Medicaid are part of the debt, but here’s a fix that nobody is talking about: why don’t we increase the contribution levels from 6.2 percent to 7.2 percent, and in additional increments going forward if needed?
Critics will scream about a tax increase, but I say “so what.” We’re just putting money aside for when we need it later in life, aren’t we?
In a recent survey of the 10 most prosperous countries in the world, Norway, Denmark and Sweden topped the list, while the USA didn’t even make the list. The Scandinavian countries all have much higher taxes than we do here.
People in those countries are happy to pay higher taxes because they expect and they get high quality services and benefits. Why can’t we take some lessons from them and do the same here? We could, if our focus was on improving the lives of all of us instead of maximizing profits for somebody at the expense of others.