Tags: Social Security | Medicare | U.S. debt

Expert: U.S. Shouldn't Pay Buffett's Social Security, Medicare

Friday, 22 Jul 2011 09:44 AM

Law professor and former head of the tax department of Chicago law firm Sam Thompson says taxpayers shouldn’t have to underwrite Social Security and Medicare benefits for well-heeled folks like Warren Buffett.

 

"Congress should phase-out the benefits under these programs for high-income retirees," Thompson writes in The Christian Science Monitor. "The Social Security benefit should be phased out incrementally as individuals move from $75,000 of annual retirement income to $175,000."

 

"To participate in Medicare, retired persons should be required to pay an increasing portion of the premium covering the costs of Medicare benefits as they move from $75,000 of annual retirement income to $175,000."

 

Reducing Social Security and Medicare benefits for higher-income retirees would enable the U.S. to continue funding these programs without reducing the effectiveness of their “safety net” function.

 

Thompson says thresholds for the phase-outs could be annually adjusted for inflation.

 

Once a retired person’s investable assets (including assets held in a pension plan, but not a principal residence) produced less than $175,000 in retirement income, the person would be entitled to some support from Medicare, and if such person’s investable assets failed to produce $75,000 in retirement income, the person would be entitled to full Medicare benefits.

 

“(This) proposal is similar to the phase-out for such payments under Canadian law,” says Thompson. “The Canadian phase-out (what Canadians call a claw-back), which was enacted many years ago, is not considered controversial and is generally accepted as fair.”

 

The Indianapolis Star reports that more than $70 billion in Medicare and Medicaid funding was misspent through fraud or error last year.

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Law professor and former head of the tax department of Chicago law firm Sam Thompson says taxpayers shouldn t have to underwrite Social Security and Medicare benefits for well-heeled folks like Warren Buffett. Congress should phase-out the benefits under these programs for...
Social Security,Medicare,U.S. debt
317
2011-44-22
Friday, 22 Jul 2011 09:44 AM
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