• Dave Johnson

Billionaires Celebrate Their Own Social Security Freedom Day

Originally published in Our Future, January 6, 2017

"Ninety-four percent of us pay into Social Security from every paycheck we receive. A few of us stop paying into Social Security in the first few working hours of the year. . . .

Every year you hear a lot about Tax Freedom Day. This is the day the public supposedly has “earned enough money to pay its total tax bill for the year.”

According to the Tax Freedom Day website: 'Americans will collectively spend more on taxes in 2016 than they will on food, clothing, and housing combined.' The trick, of course, is the word 'collectively.' As in 'Bill Gates walks into a room full of homeless people. Collectively the room owns billions of dollars of wealth.' Non-billionaire Americans don’t pay nearly this much in taxes. . . .

Almost all of us pay the 6.2 percent Social Security “payroll tax” on every dollar that we earn. Employers pay an additional 6.2 percent. If you are self-employed you pay the entire 12.4 percent. . . .

'Social Security Freedom Day' never arrives for most of us. . . .if you make more than $127,200 you reach a 'Social Security Freedom Day' and stop paying this tax. You only pay $7,886 no matter how much more you make. The more you make the sooner your 'Social Security Freedom Day' arrives."

If you earned more than 10 million dollars a year, you stopped paying into Social Security after the first two weeks in 2017. . .

"The Retirement Crisis

America’s experiment in shifting retirement obligations away from employers and onto working people through IRAs and 401Ks has clearly failed. Most Americans do not have enough savings, pension and expected Social Security benefits to be able to get by when they retire — if they even can. One-third have nothing saved up. The median working-age couple has saved only $5000 and seventy percent of couples have less than $50,000 saved.

Even people who have earned pensions are seeing them being cut because corporations skimped on funding the plans.

This leaves far too many people dependent on Social Security. The average monthly retirement income from Social Security was $1,341, or $6,092 per year, and only $2,212 for couples, or $26,544 per year.

This is not enough for people to get by. But a few of us — the very same few who stop paying into Social Security so early in the year — are retiring in luxury." We can fix this if millionaires and billionaires paid into Social Security more than for a few days or a few weeks of their salaries. Read the whole article.

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