A Social Security Plan I Can Support
And, it's even one being suggested by a Republican
-- Sen. Lindsey Graham makes no apology for elbowing his way to the front of the Social Security debate, arguing for significant tax increases and benefit cuts to salvage a program whose long-term solvency, he says, requires nothing less
In a chamber full of millionaires, he talks movingly of how Social Security once sustained his family. Surrounded by Democrats who refuse to trim benefits -- and Republicans who refuse to raise taxes -- he tells both sides they must compromise to safeguard a vital program.With congressional leaders and committee chairmen adopting a wait-and-see strategy, Graham has stepped into the void, landing on TV talk shows and magazine covers, and creating buzz in Capitol corridors.
It's a big step for a small-town Southern lawyer who first gained prominence at Bill Clinton's impeachment trial, where he burnished an image as a prosecutor who was more level-headed than most, but tough and partisan all the same.
"To my Democratic friends: Don't lecture me about Social Security," he told the Charleston GOP audience. "I know as much about it as anybody."
Then, turning to suggestions that entitlement programs are too costly, he said: "This idea that the Republican Party is made up of a bunch of rich people who don't care about poor people is a bunch of junk." Graham's plan would raise Social Security taxes for high-income earners, and reduce their eventual retirement benefits.Workers now pay a 6.2 percent tax (matched by their employers) on their first $90,000 in annual wages. Graham would raise that cap to $160,000, costing high-wage earners an extra $4,340 a year. They should accept the burden, he says, "with the whole idea that you're helping people less fortunate than you."
Increases in Social Security's retirement benefits, meanwhile, have long been tied to wages, which rise faster than prices. Graham would leave that system intact for people earning less than $30,000 a year. Higher-income retirees would have growth in benefits tied to inflation.
"The plan I've got will work," he recently told a packed classroom of students and faculty at Allen University, a historically black school in Columbia, but he acknowledged it also is going to infuriate everybody to some extent.
Of course no good idea would go unpunished within the Republican Party. The senator risks a possible challenge within his party if he pushes tax increases too hard.
"If you come from a rural state that is as conservative as ours, I think you've always got to watch, in political terms, your flank," Sanford (a fellow Republican)said. "You can't lose sight of how important lowering -- not raising -- taxes is."~~~~~~
Here is a realistic plan for actually addressing the issues with Social Security and you can bet it's going to be poo-poo'd by the Republicans because it call's for a tax increase on the wealthy.
I've never understood how people will accept low wages, the price of darn near everything increasing (gas, food, clothing, automobiles, homes, health care, insurance,ect), even an outragous national deficit. Yet somehow they think not only should taxes should never
increase, but they should actually decrease. How naive is that?
On top of that they insist on electing politicians who will lie to them and say "I'll reduce taxes....". Knowing fully well that in the end taxes like every other reality in life must increase as the cost of living increases. The middle and lower classes almost never see any real reduction in taxes. Their income is simply too low to be affected. Yet they are the very ones who will be affected if
and when there actually is a crisis within the Social Security system. ps:: You have got to see this !!! Bush's Plan !
The Book Meme
Oldwhitelady at It's Morning Somewhere
has entered the chain-meme fray and has passed this book meme onto me.
Here are my responses. As you will see, mine are not nearly as literary high-browed as most of yours. I'm a simple girl with simple tastes.1.
You are stuck inside Fahrenheit 451
. Which book would you be?
[Note: In the novel - because books were burned. To save the content of books, people memorized one in order to pass the content on to others.]"Lord of the Flies"
, by William Gerald Golden. Why? Society needs to be reminded of what happens when chaos ensues. 2.
Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
This is tough. There are so many. Some for their sheer entertainment value
(LuLu in the Stephanie Plum
series by Janet Evanovich).
Others because they appeal to the woman
in me ( Spenser in the
by Robert B. Palmer. Just to name a few.3.
What is the last book you bought? My Life
by Bill Clinton. 4.
What are you currently reading?
, by, yep, Robert B. Parker. Incidently, ace lady detective Sunny Randall is another of my crushes
. I soooo want to be her!!5.
Five books for your desert island cruise package. a. "The Blue Day Book"
by Bradley Trevor Greive. If this book doesn't cheer you up on your bluest days nothing will (thanks Ellen). b. The Bible
. No explanation necessary. c. "Instant Boats"
, by Harold "Dynamite" Payson - I think I'll snag this one from OWL's list. As well as her explanation
"Using this book, I can build a boat to row around to close islands. Possibly, even use it to get back to civilization, should I decide I need to get back
". d. "The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
by Douglas Adams. This one looks to be good entertainment for those rainy days. e. "Lord of the Flies"
, by William Gerald Golden. 6.
Who are you going to pass this book meme baton to and why? (only three people) Delftsman3
, because I'm curious to know what he reads. Elayne
, same reason. Amy
at Blog Amy. Maybe she and David can do this one together.
I know this meme has made the rounds in the blogosphere, so if one (or more) of you has already been there done this
it would be appreciated
if you'd just provide a trackback to your answers.