If you don’t watch Fox News or read the right-wing blogosphere, you probably aren’t aware that only 53 percent pay the Federal Income Tax (FIT). While that number is technically true, it’s incredibly misleading.
Yes, 47 percent of Americans didn’t pay any FIT in 2009. However, 70 percent of those who paid no FIT actually paid payroll taxes. About 17 percent of the 47 were seniors whose incomes were social security payments. And 13 percent of the “infamous” 47 percent were either students, the jobless or very low-income earners. Who here wants to start taxing things like social security and unemployment benefits? Anyone?
So, despite the insistence of those who think the 47 percent are just a bunch of socialist, pinko commie, freeloaders, or something, the vast majority of Americans DO pay taxes that fund local, state and the federal government.
The 47 Percent...A Closer Look
Greece is in shambles…and apparently it has been for a while.
There are angry mobs of protestors and speculation of financial collapse. Why?
In the land where democracy was born, the retirement age is 53 and Greek citizens retire with nearly full pay (80 percent).
The Greeks are upset that they won’t be able to maintain their current standard. Tough luck.
This has me thinking about a proposal of mine for this country: Raise the retirement age to around 75-80 for members of my generation. Life expectancy has risen since the 1930s and it continues to rise. More Americans are living to be centenarians (100+) than ever before.
The system wasn’t designed to support the elderly for decades. It’s security for life’s twilight, not the last 30-40 years of life. Why the Greeks think they can maintain their current retirement arrangements is literally “all Greek to me.”
No one in this country would be effected for several decades. For example, under my plan, I wouldn’t reach retirement age until the years 2064-2069 (2054 with the current retirement age).
If nothing is changed and the average American of the future lives to, say, 95, the United States may face a financial disaster like we’re seeing in Greece today (we need tighter regulations of banks as well so we don’t have a repeat of America in 2008).
We must keep, maintain and ensure the survival of the most successful safety net in US history. Doing so requires we use common sense and foresight.
This post does not contain any “fancy” graphs or statistical projection charts. It is simply my two cents on the social security/retirement age “controversy.”
I don’t see what all the fuss is about. The age of retirement should be raised.
Those entering the workforce for the first time, and those who have entered within the last decade should not expect to retire on social security until around age 70 or even 75.
Life expectancy has risen a lot since social security was first instituted back in the ’30s, thanks to higher standards of living and new medical breakthroughs.
The system cannot support people living off of social security for 20-plus years. If current projections are correct, 70-75 should be an adequate retirement age for current and future generations. (5-20 years of retirement until death).
With all the incredible advances in genetics and medicine, life expectancy will most likely go up to a century or more within the next few decades. At that point in time, the retirement age will have to be raised to the mid to late 80s.
My two cents. Don’t come at me with pitchforks and torches…