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The “Grand Bargain” is Grand Larceny

When politicians propose a “Grand Bargain” to reign in “entitlements” we should ask, “Grand” for whom? Such a “bargain” would be grand for the 1%, disastrous for the rest of us. Social Security is already the best bargain we as a society have ever made, our most-loved and most successful federal program, a single-payer insurance system for us all, our social contract with each other.

When we purchase private insurance, we rightfully expect that, should the dreaded outcome we insured against occur, our insurer will honor our premiums and pay our full benefits.

As an average middle class wage-earner, I project to receive about $15,000 a year when I turn 70. Little enough to provide real security in these times. Chained CPI could take away as much as $1,000 per year when I get older.

As employers we paid in our workers’ shares in good faith. As workers we paid in our own shares in good faith. We expect our premiums will be honored. To those who would take away our benefits: remember that revolutions have been fought for less!

What kind of “bargain” would abrogate our social contract, break our government’s agreement with us? That’s no “grand bargain,” that’s grand larceny! Contact your Representatives and Senators and tell them so.

Exalt our Labor!

Tell them about these two simple provisions that would restore fairness to our Social Security system, enable it to increase benefits, and guarantee its solvency forever.

• Presently wages above $113,700 pay no Social Security tax. The working poor and middle classes pay their full share. Wealthy workers don’t pay their fair share. Tax all working income equally.

• Presently unearned income pays no Social Security tax. When I work I create value. When I sell stock for a profit or receive dividends I create no value. Yet I am more heavily taxed for my earned income that creates value than for my unearned income that creates none. Tax all income, earned or not, equally.

Our society has placed higher value on capital than on our own labor. Let us exalt our labor, and elevate it to an equal footing with capital.
–CR Lawn