Robert Reich: 3 Easy Fixes for Social Security & Medicare

Robert Reich explains ways to strengthen the so-called "entitlement" programs Republicans want to cut.
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Robert Reich: 3 Easy Fixes for Social Security & Medicare

53 thoughts on “Robert Reich: 3 Easy Fixes for Social Security & Medicare

  1. Why do we have a $132,000 cap? why don’t we place a tiny tax on each Equity transaction that is not held for more than 5 days. Why don’t we allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices lid the VA, Medicaid and for profit insurance companies do?

    • For the Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) tax or Social Security tax in the United States, the Social Security Wage Base (SSWB) is the maximum earned gross income or upper threshold on which a wage earner’s Social Security tax may be imposed. The Social Security tax is one component of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax (FICA) and Self-employment tax, the other component being the Medicare tax.

    • The only solution is to pay back everybody who ever paid into Social Security, then get rid of it. It’s a Ponzi scheme, anyway.

  2. Three simple things.
    And they are sane.
    We need to get that to our legislative bodies on an ongoing basis, and not stop until we get them done.
    You see? It is our country, and they are deeply important safety nets.
    Thank you again, Bravely Bold Sir Robert, and team.

    • Im not pro solving problems with significant amounts of immigration. This is not a fear of brown people, I just that if the country needs more people.. which seems strange.. I think rumpy pumpy is a much better option.

    • We have been preaching this for over 30 years…….
      But the Republican, the Koch Brothers, and Big Dark Money will hear None of it!!!
      When you talk about raising the Cap on Social Security, The Republican SCREAM “See They Want To Raise Your TAXES,
      And ever one runs….
      Apparently everyone makes more then 130,000 a yr…..

    • I really have no idea what you’re talking about, John. It all sounds like so much nonsense to me. You tell me not to lump your money in with my money, but that’s what FICA tax is, and when people get old or disabled, they are entitled to payments from that same fund. Is that such a terrible idea? Sorry, like I said, I don’t know what your point is.

      As for my 401(k), I don’t have one anymore. I do have a stock account, which, thanks to the idiot in the White House, has started falling in value. Lovely. Oh well, I did try. I voted for Democrats. And at least I still get my monthly Social Security deposit, without fail, which may not be the case if Republicans continue to rule the roost and we have a fox guarding the henhouse.

    • John is right that most of SS tax collected is immediately paid out to SS beneficiaries and not invested. Wendy is correct that as long as people are employed, there will be some SS tax money collected. However, the SS tax collected is sadly no longer enough to entirely cover the SS benefits paid out. This partially due the large baby-boomer generation entering retirement and also modern medicine prolonging life expectancy. This increased number of beneficiaries who will live longer will significantly increase the SS burden that needs to be paid out. SS is mandatory spending and, whether or not the SS tax collected is sufficient to cover the expense, it will be paid out… by the printing of more money if necessary. Printing of money will cause inflation, which will decrease the purchasing power of the dollar for all of us. Now stop bickering.

    • And yet, Terry, somehow we keep getting our checks every month deposited without fuss in our bank accounts. Who knew?

      The main solution to not having enough money, if this problem even exists, is to _get more money!_ LOL Silly me, I know. But it is that simple. With the extraordinary incomes of the über-rich, all we’d have to do is have _everyone_ pay FICA tax at the same rate instead of only taxing the poor and middle class. You don’t need to print money, cause inflation, or decrease purchasing power. Just make the rich pay more. It won’t hurt them a bit. Seems simple enough to me.

    • Um, no, Terry Bear, it has nothing to do with the deficit, nor will it most likely have anything to do with inflation. Sorry.

    • At this point, he’s a tad old to run, but also, he’s got a condition that prevented him from reaching normal height. I’m not sure how tall he is, maybe 4 feet? At any rate, it’s hard to imagine this country with all its prejudices against black people, LGBTs, Native Americans, Mexicans, women, etc. being able to elect a president who was that short. They couldn’t even go for Michael Dukakis, and he wasn’t all that short although he was well under 6 feet tall.

    • It’s true, unfortunately. Size may have had something to do with why so many people, not the majority but enough, voted for Hair Furor instead of Hillary.

  3. I’m for all three Bob! With one stipulation. The immigrants must be properly vetted and screened, and perhaps a several-year trial period, based on merit, before becoming eligible for citizenship. This is a winning ticket Bob! A win for the US, it’s economy, & The great people of our homeland. Way to go! ;0)

    • You’re calling for sane immigration laws. Just by saying that Robert has given a lot of Republicans apoplexy. Imagine, seeing and treating immigrants as normal human beings and, of course, registering and vetting them. Imagine that! Somebody quick, call EMS I think Steven Miller just collapsed!

    • This is exactly how it is in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Prospective immigrants are screened according to a points system and then granted landed immigrant status and then once in the country citizenship is granted after 5+ yrs of successful living and paying tax.
      Importantly none of these nations allow ‘family’ sponsorship except for dependent minors. Every immigrant must meet the points criteria.

    • Yes, and in all that advertising I bet you won’t find 0.000000001% information of how much their drugs cost. Ask your Doctor if Addiction, Bankruptcy, and murder suicide (you and your incapacitated spouse) are right for you!

  4. The three easy fixes are great, but try telling all that to the orange haired blob and his GOP enablers. All of them will say no in the end.

  5. I don’t get why drug companies advertise to people anyway…that’s the doctors job to recommend a drug that would improve your condition or illness.

    • Patients in turn will pester their doctor for the really cool, brand name, gotta-be-better medication they saw on TV. The doctor then has to decide to spend extra time reviewing the pros and cons of the expensive new med versus the established generic or to cut losses, write the script and move on in a timely fashion. Dealing with advertising fallout, internet “health” misinformation, and the sage advice of relatives can be a real time suck. Some docs don’t have the fortitude for that.

    • Robert,
      Obviously, Missouri is still regulating your electric supplier.
      In Cleveland, people can choose who supplies or generates your power, yet the lines are still operated and maintained by the same, existing power company.
      This is supposed to let competition keep electric rates down. It really has not.
      Where I currently live, (a rural area), our power is supplied by a co-op (non profit), and we do not have a choice.
      One downside to the choice of suppliers is that you are constantly bombarded by phone solicitors and door to door sales trying to get you to switch suppliers.
      The same thing goes for natural gas service as well.

    • +Scott BC31H
      Its like when they broke up “Southwestern Bell”
      Oh it’s going to save you money with more Competition. ….
      Bills went Up, Service went down, and then you had the “oh…that’s not our responsibility ”
      Sometimes it’s better to only having one. ..
      Its All there’s and only there’s…..
      And you have the Community and Board of Trustees looking after the Corporate Greed.

    • In Cleveland, we had Ohio Bell for local service, amd AT&T for long distance service. Ohio Bell was owned by AT&T. The government made the two companies split due to anti monopoly and anti trust laws.
      A few years later, AT&T purchased Ohio Bell.
      So much for the anti trust laws.

  6. Why don’t we just get rid of the cap on income? Forget raising it just get rid of it entirely and let the rich people pay more into the system since the Social Security payroll tax is such a regressive tax they can pay the most since they’re making the most.

  7. There’s an even “simpler” fix. Stop all the stealing aka “borrowing” from the trust fund.
    If they had never allowed it from the start, SS would not only be be solvent through to the next millennium and Long after. But it could, if the crooks in Washington chose to, (improperly) Payoff the entire National Debt!

    • +Wendy Scott so don’t read it and stop espousing your flawed nonsense. Had you read it, (which we both know you did) you would have seen I did Not say 90% of the jobs left. I said that, 90% of the reason the jobs left…..
      So as they say in trumplandia, sit down and STFU

    • Dang, you type a lot for a message board. I thought I was bad.

      I would only respond, SOME churches. I know of many that do lots of good in the world. Take it or leave it, that’s the truth. And I’m not a Christian, so stop harassing me about it.

    • +TrikesterHal don’t forget, if he existed, he didn’t, he was Black or nearly black. Take the darkest current day middle Eastern, add in a millennium of African blood and that’s what he looked like. (Think, a darker Obama)
      The evangelicals can’t get past this Fact!

    • +Wendy Scott No churches do good. None. Period!
      Never have, never will. They are corrupt to the core.
      The church and the religion it’s based off is the cause of more war and death than any other factor in the history of mankind.
      PS, When I say church and it’s religion. I am limping it all together as one entity, which it is. All religions regardless of where or what they worship in.

      That said, the Catholic Church just happens to have a well documented, exemplary tract record. That is easy to verify and base other “in general” religious comments on!
      But keep reading!
      We both know you enjoy the attention!

  8. Der Trumpster did campaign on lowering drug prices. Evidently he, an the American public, took it in the tailpipe when he failed to follow through! Oh wait, they most certainly paid into his campaign fund, leaving We The People with out anuses violated.

  9. Here is another fix. Make unearned incomes applicable for the payroll tax. Dividends, capital gains and interest income (after after a certain amount) should pay into Social Security & Medicare just like the working man! This was already done to some degree with Medicare, so just expand upon that policy.

  10. Robert excellent information!
    One question
    How do we stop presidents from tapping into (taking millions of dollars at a time) out of the Social Security and Medicare funds?
    Several past presidents have done so, and I don’t know if trump has–yet.
    Thank you! Love the confetti:)

  11. If the republicans hadent given the super rich a tax cut or hadn’t raised the military budget 20 billion we wouldn’t have such a budget crises

  12. Republicans pass $1.4 trillion tax cut that benefits the wealthiest & corporations the most; this raises the deficit to an extreme, which Republicans then claim must be addressed by cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. This has been the plan for a long time. Want to save these programs? Never vote for Republicans, step one.

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