Tag Archives: social security

Has Obama Labored To Be Bush Light?

To those of us who voted for Barack Obama and shed tears when the first African American in history was elected president, the past several months have become transformed into a nightmare of deja vu. He promised new ideas in Iraq and Afghanistan. But, he continues the Bush fiasco in Afghanistan and is still unclear what he will do about Iraq. Instead of taking a few weeks to carefully analyze options in Afghanistan that would open new roads to peace, President Obama fell into the trap of “more is better,” the same strategy that led to the debacle of Vietnam. Anyone who believes President Karzai can create a viable government in Afghanistan can contact me about purchasing a bridge in Brooklyn.

A new president has to be focused. Of course, number one on the agenda in January was the economy. But, number two was jobs for those being downsized and those entering the economy. For example, creating a federally funded National Education Corps of 200,000 would have been a job producing education innovation that dealt with preschool and k-12 in a productive manner. Instead, we have Secretary of Education Arne Duncan trotting out the Bush NCLB concept of more testing of children and more testing of teachers.

Among the most incredible blunders of the “bright young men and women” was denying any social security raise this year! President Obama, explain to hard working seniors how the government has $1.7 trillion for business and banking, but no money for a modest 2% raise in social security benefits?

Few who voted for Obama expected lack of imagination, arrogance, and insensitivity to pervade his administration. The health care program should have been focused on two or three issues. For example, computerizing all aspects of medical care in year one, in year two providing an experimental federal funded health program for anyone under the age of 25. Then, incrementally, add another age group each year over a ten year period.

Sorry, Mr. President, you ignored the average American who voted for your candidacy and, in so doing, have lost trust.

Obama Comes Out For Fair Social Security Plan

Senator Barack Obama urged changes in the current social security system which protect the wealthy from paying their fair share of taxes. The present system requires American workers to pay 6.1% of their income up to $102,00 to social security which, in effect, means a person earning a million dollars a year pays less than 1% in social security taxes. Many economists have long argued making this simple change will ensure the solvency of social security into the future. Obama also indicated a desire to exempt salary from the present $102,000 up to $250,000 to be exempt from the change. In other words, the top 3% of the wealthiest Americans would finally be compelled to pay their fair share of taxes.

Senator Obama also criticized Senator McCain’s idea that workers would be allowed to invest part of their social security payment into private investment plans. In theory, this comes across as “fair,” but, in reality, it is dangerous. If the stock market collapses or if people lose their money by investing outside the social security system, society will have to assume costs when they are ready to retire. Individuals have any money above and beyond the 6.1% to invest on their own.