My father once said that once you start lying, you can never stop. That’s because you have to tell another lie to cover that lie, and another lie on top of that, and before you know it, your lying is out of control.
But eventually, everyone gets caught in the lie, no matter how many lies they tell to cover it up. The truth has a way of always coming out.
Which brings me to Social Security.
For years, we’ve heard from campaigning politicians that nothing will happen to your Social Security, and that Social Security is in good shape.
The Congressional Budget Office now projects that Social Security will start operating at a deficit next year.
What’s even more alarming is that neither the CBO nor the Social Security Board knew that the government program would run a deficit this soon. In fact, they thought that the deficit would start six years from now.
What that means is that Social Security is now ahead of schedule on losing money and potentially going bankrupt.
According to the CBO, Social Security will be $10 billion in the red in 2010, and $9 billion in 2011. The CBO believes that Social Security may run positive for a couple of years until 2016, when Social Security will really start losing money.
While some critics may want to point to government waste as being the culprit of the Social Security deficit, that’s too easy an answer.
We have 145 million people in our workforce. There are 80 million baby boomers who will retire in the next 10 years.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you that when you lose 80 million baby boomer workers, the remaining 65 million people won’t be able to support them all.
But don’t blame the boomers. They paid into the system and thought that they would get back what they’ve paid in, which they probably will. But all you guys who are paying in now. . . better luck next time.
As they would say on Seinfeld, “No soup for you.”
As Social Security continues to rack up deficits, where do you think the government will get the money to cover the shortfall?
Where does the Treasury get the money from?
But hey, one small little tax hike for Social Security won’t kill us. Or will it?
You have to remember that an increased Social Security tax isn’t the only one that’s coming down the pike.
In order to pay for trillions in new spending, President Obama has made it known that he will not extend the Bush tax cuts, effectively raising tax rates by about 15 percent, depending on your tax bracket.
But even that alone won’t kill you.
By limiting tax breaks for domestic production of energy and a host of other energy tax hikes, Obama’s new budget is expected to raise U.S. energy bills by $105 billion over the next 10 years. All of that is without even mentioning cap-and-trade, which is projected to cost American families billions more.
But even that won’t kill you.
So U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel has introduced a 10-cent per can tax on sugary sodas and put it onto Obama’s healthcare bill. Estimates indicate that this tax could take over $112 billion from the pockets of American families.
But even that won’t kill you.
So let’s add a new tax. Last January, Obama passed legislation to take an extra 62 cents for every pack of cigarettes that you smoke.
Insignificant you might say.
Americans spend over $87 billion per year on cigarettes. Let’s say your average nationwide price per pack is $5. That means that Obama is taking an additional $108 billion in new taxes over the next 10 years.
And let’s not forget, the National Taxpayers Union notes that tobacco taxes take a 50-times larger share of income from households making less than $20,000 in annual income than those earning more than $200,000 in annual income.
So the end sum game is this. At some point, the people have to choose. Do you want to reform Social Security or do you want to be taxed to death to support an inefficient and potentially insolvent government program?
It’s not really much of a decision.
In the end, somebody’s got to pay for the retirement of American citizens. Either you can pay for your own, or you can pay for everyone else’s. Choose.
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