One of the many issues on which John McCain is hiding his plans from the American people in is regards to Social Security. It's an important issue to a lot of people.... a lot of Americans are counting on Social Security being there for them when they retire.
What McCain has said is "everything is on the table" with regards to changes he'd make - he just won't tell anyone specifically what he favors. It's all part and parcel of the new John McCain we saw emerge at the convention -- "I won't address the issues, but vote for me and I'll take care of you" smirk, *wink, *wink.
Sure - and sure enough John McCain supported President Bush's efforts to privatize social security -- a disastrous proposal which -- in light of the current mortgage debt and financial crisis -- would have effectively stripped the "security" this program offers and tilted the tables in favor of the rich financiers and Wall Street banks who would have made additional fortunes off the backs of Americans seeking investment shelters for the privatized funds.
A few of the McCain proposals have been leaked by his campaign staff. They've suggested trimming benefits and raising the eligibility age -- a one-two punch that'll knock many every-day Americans' plans for retirement right into the crapper.
It's not surprising, really. The only way to save Social Security is to pump more money into the program, and that means raising the cap and requiring rich Americans to pay more so the rest of America can benefit from the program we've been paying into for our entire adult lives.
McCain doesn't want that. He cares more about rich Americans than he cares about the other 95% of us.
Unlike McCain's dirty little secret plans to aid the rich and screw the rest of us, Barack Obama has laid out specific proposals to rescue social security -- plans that work for the rest of us, not just the rich.
Earlier today Obama addressed the AARP and specifically pledged that "anybody who is investing in Social Security will get their full benefit -- not 75 cents on the dollar, not 80 cents on the dollar -- they are going to get a dollar's worth of benefits for their contributions to Social Security."
McCain will not make that same pledge, what John McCain will do to retiring Americans remains his dirty little secret. Obama has a plan:
Despite the many smears of his opponents, Obama does not support uncapping the full payroll tax of 12.4 percent rate. Instead, he is considering plans that would ask those making over $250,000 to pay in the range of 2 to 4 percent more in total (combined employer and employee). This change to Social Security would start a decade or more from now and is similar to the rate increases floated by John McCain's close adviser Senator Lindsey Graham and that McCain has previously said he "could" support.
Specific proposals made today by Obama:
Obama cited his proposals to place a new Social Security payroll tax on incomes above $250,000 and to eliminate federal income taxes for older people making less than $50,000 a year. He also said he would "allow the government to negotiate with drug companies to lower costs for seniors, and we'll allow reimportation of drugs from other countries and ensure their safety."
Wage earners above $250,000 would pay more, and working Americans making less than $50,000 a year would pay less, and while this alone won't close the gap it'll go a long way towards returning Social Security to solvency.
Obama also recognizes the importance of putting the federal budget on a sound foundation and getting rid of the growing national debt perpetuated on the American people by the Bush-McCain economic policies. A balanced budget and reduction of the national debt will further protect Social Security funds from future raids, insuring the money will be there for retiring Americans.
Obama offers specific plans that protect Social Security and help working Americans and yes... it'll mean Americans making $250,000 or more will pay more to make this happen. Sooner or later more money has to be pumped into the fund -- there are fewer working Americans per retiree - and we have to get more money in the program.
McCain offers secret plans and a history of supporting dangerous privatization, and hints at benefit cuts and a higher eligibility age.
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