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Reader Input: How to achieve fiscal solvency

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What is the media doing when they repeat the call “to cut entitlements” to reduce the deficit or “raise the retirement age” or the “Medicare age.”
The facts are — entitlements are paid in full with dollars left over. Last year, Social Security and Medicare collected – actual dollars put in the trust fund coffers — $837 billion. These two entitlements paid out — $773 billion. According to the “ssa.gov” website more money came in than went out. “Entitlements” are not causing the deficit.
Saying entitlements are 60 percent of the budget without saying that “payroll-tax” revenues pay that 60 percent, is not stating facts. It’s repeating “He said….”
The “over-payment” collected by the government was $65 billion this year alone, and that money was put in the trust fund, which now stands at $2.7 trillion.
By law, that money cannot be spent anywhere else. Hum, could this be the problem?
This “entitlement” money is paid for by labor workers who earn less than $109,000 a year.
But the media repeats, “It’s going broke” — notice that means it can’t be causing the deficit, hum.
If it’s going broke let’s look at some paychecks such as our House of Representatives.
They get paid $174,000 a year. They reach the cap, $109,000, somewhere around July and August.
That’s when they get an immediate raise of 7.6 percent in their take-home pay.
Every check after that for the rest of the year has that 7.6 percent raise.
Would it be a financial hardship to raise the payroll tax (FICA) cap on those August through December checks? That simple change according to CBO would keep entitlements solvent for another 10 years.
Maybe the media needs to take a little advice from Norm Ornstein and Thomas Mann and stop reporting “he said” and actually report on the facts.
Dink Lane, Garden Valley