This article is a refined version of my comment response to:
by Nilus Mattive
You can opt out, but should you?
Think carefully before choosing to opt out of Social Security. It very correctly and not for nothing is really referred to as "Old Age, Survivors, and Disability INSURANCE." Most here do not remember the alternative that existed before Social Security was implemented if you found yourself without the income to survive on in your old age, the state run "poor farms" people had to go to. So, if everything else in your life went south wouldn't it be good to have insurance to cover that?
Social Security is a VERY good program set up by FDR and his advisers after the Great Depression, founded on the principle that the working generation helps provide for the retired one before. This is funded through FICA revenue.
Unfortunately there is a "short circuit" in Social Security funding, created when jobs are exported overseas thereby circumnavigating FICA revenue (http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2004/12/13/8214255/index.htm). And so some means has to be provided to supplement or replace it. Here is a fourfold solution to collecting that revenue to solve that problem, along with paying down the deficit and providing expanded education for the next generation:
1) The proposed National Employment Recovery Act (NERA) works by giving the Federal Reserve another tool to impartially set actively monitored "free trade brackets" for overseas goods and services to keep them near a fair cost of what they would cost to produce here. A "pro jobs" act, domestic companies which export jobs overseas then bring the products back here to sell would pay the NERA fees while foreign companies which chose to establish p;ants here and abide by our labor laws would not. This is summarized in the petition at http://www.petitions.moveon.org/sign/support-nera-the-national?source=c.em&r_by=5254576.
The increased FICA revenue from the additional jobs generted should act to preserve Social Security (and Medicare) which everyone is worrying about, while the direct fee revenue (in addition to that from the other three ideas below) can be used to pay back outstanding Social Security IOUs, bring down the deficit as well as support the educational needs of the next generation. A good win-win I would think!
2) The Bring Jobs Home Act (BJHA - http://www.bringjobshomeact.com) would prevent U.S. companies relocating to another county from deducting their moving expenses and provide a 20% tax credit for a company to eliminate its foreign operations and expand its U.S. operations. (As Senate bill S2.569 this failed on a 54-42 vote January 14, 2013, needing 50 votes to pass.) I was aware of BJHA but was not aware that support for it was still active :-). So BJHA and NERA are two separate tools for achieving the same goal, the economic recovery of our country.
3) Add to this a national severance tax on petroleum products exported from the USA overseas. Many states have severance taxes on resources exported from them, often to the advantage of their citizens. With our petroleum resources evolving to the order of the Saudis it is appropriate to establish a national severance tax for all petroleum products originating within and exported from the USA. There is a twofold advantage to this. a) we encourage these products to be kept within and used in the USA (love to go back to 10 cents a gallon gasoline!) b) the revenue from this can be applied towards such needs as paying down the deficit and securing the "free two year college" training objective, even reducing ALL individual tax rates accordingly. Maybe we'll eventually evolve to the point where we do not even need any individual taxes!
4) With respect to projects like Keystone XL, that resource is Canadian, not ours, and we are just providing a means of transit. So in lieu of the severance tax we substitute a per unit moved transport/conveyance tax on transport projects like Keystone XL. As long as the total fee is less than the alternative (tankers or rail) this will be viable.
ALL OF THESE SOLUTIONS WILL RESOLVE OUR ECONOMIC ISSUES; KEEPING SOCIAL SECURITY SOLVENT, PAYING DOWN THE DEFICIT AND MEETING THE EDUCATIONAL NEEDS OF THE NEXT GENERATION. EVENTUALLY THIS REVENUE CAN BE APPLIED TOWARDS LOWERING THE INDIVIDUAL TAX RATES FOR EVERYONE!
For more information see with the links below:
With a Facebook page (comments can go there) at:
A remark before we go modifying the Social Security retirement age: In addition to a "means" test it needs to take in the type of activities one was engaged in while productive. Generally speaking, while desk or nonphysical intensive careers might be worked at into your 70s (excluding dementia which many in Congress I have begun to think suffer from :-), ) if you worked at a physically hard job such as a coal miner, mill worker or general laborer you might well be worn out by the time you hit your 60s due to joint deterioration and arthritis. So maybe some justice to this: work at a physically hard job at low pay but retire early or at a higher paying less physical job but retire later. It keeps the higher wage earners paying longer.
Feel free to network this around. I am an Independent by the way, which lets me talk to both sides :-)!
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/11/75/829 <= my professional profile
Independent member, WV Senator Manchin's Project Weirton task group (http://www.cityofweirton.com/projectweirton.htm )