by Bud Meyers, published April 4, 2015
Some people are saying we’ll need to either make cuts in defense spending or Social Security, and that those are our only choices if we don’t raise taxes. But with a GOP-dominated Congress, it won’t mean increasing revenues by raising taxes on those who are most able to afford an increase.
Even though the rich live longer than the rest of us, the Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson (like most Republicans) says we should raise eligibility ages for Social Security beneficiaries to reflect longer life expectancies, perhaps to 69 or 70. In other words, they want most of us “working stiffs” to work until the day we drop dead (most probably, while we’re still at work). That’s a very painless plan to implement — especially if you’re a member of Congress. According to Fact Check:
Members of Congress are eligible for a pension at the age of 62 if they have completed at least five years of service. Members are eligible for a pension at age 50 if they have completed 20 years of service, or at any age after completing 25 years of service. The amount of the pension depends on years of service and the average of the highest three years of salary. By law, the starting amount of a Member’s retirement annuity may not exceed 80% of his or her final salary.
These people, who want to raise our retirement age and cut our benefits, also get Social Security — but then again, they don’t pay this tax on 100% of their earnings — not like the bottom 97.7% of all other wage earners — because with a salary of $174,000 a year and a cap on Social Security taxes at $118,500 — members of Congress only pay this tax on 61.1% of their government taxpayer-paid salaries. Shouldn’t they lead by example?