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tax system and Social Security

Social Security is a hot topic of debate today, since most American's believe
that the system is near collapse. The trust fund that Americans have been paying
into for Social Security is likely to dry up in 2029 due to the large number of
baby boomers heading into retirement. Franklin Roosevelt set up Social security
to help the people that had worked and Struggled all their lives in honest toil.
Social security was set up to accomplish two main goals. The first goal of
Social Security is to act as a disability or life insurance policy that protects
almost all Americans. Currently, there are seven million survivors of deceased
workers and four million disabled Americans that receive income support from
Social Security. The second goal is to provide lifetime retirement benefits that
rise with inflation. Social Security payments for retirees are needed to keep
half of the elderly Americans above the poverty line. A large number of baby
boomers believe that they won't see a dime's worth of Social Security benefits,
and most younger people assume that once they have reached retirement the
program will be gone. There have been many proposed solutions to the Social
Security problem. A first possible solution is to dramatically change the Social
Security Payroll Tax. Another proposal is to change amount of benefits of the
provided by Social Security. A third reform proposal includes investing Social
Security money in stocks either by the government investing the money or by
setting up mandatory IRA investing. Another major development in the future of
Social Security is the recent proposals made by President Clinton's Advisory
Committee on Social Security. In January of this year the Advisory Committee on
Social Security presented a report of strategies to save Social Security.
Shortly after the 261 page report was released there was a huge increase of
debates and criticism over the future of Social Security. The issue facing
American today is when and how to reform Social Security. Although the American
public and political groups are unwilling to accept the burdens of social
security reform, extensive reform is needed soon to continue paying the current
benefits to American citizens. A change in the Social Security tax is a possible
factor of reform to bring the Social Security program back on track. Currently
the Social Security tax is a flat-rate tax paid on all employment earnings up to
a specified limit. Due to inflation the limit is increased every year currently
it is just over $60,000. This tax is much harder on a lower income individual
because the higher income individual is only taxed on their income that is below
a certain amount set every year. It has been proposed that if the limit on the
payroll tax were lifted, two-thirds of the projected Social Security deficit
would be eliminated. Once the limit on the payroll tax is lifted a rise in the
tax rate of the employers and the employees by 1.1% is predicted to be enough to
solve Social Security's problems. This is assuming that two evasive actions take
place. First the government will have to keep its hands of this extra tax
revenue gained by the tax increases. Second the proposed solution will only have
a chance to work if it is started immediately while the baby boomers are still
able to add a little more cash to the trust fund for there own retirement. This
solution isn't likely to be implemented by today's political system. The
advisory council on Social Security would not pursue the lift of the limit
because the support of the wealthy voters for Social Security reform would be
lost. Americans are also weary of Social Security tax increases. The middle and
lower class voters would also not support a Social Security tax increase. A
recent poll by Money magazine found that 70% of the public is unwilling to pay
more tax than the current 6.2% rate. Another proposed solution to Social
Security's problems is a to decrease the amount of benefits received by
retirees. The first way to reduce the amount of benefits that are being paid out
is to adjust the CPI. Sen. Daniel Monynihan of New York (Dem.) has proposed that
a 1.1% cut in annual cost-of-living adjustments for pensioners would be a
reasonable solution to Social Securities problems. The adjustment of the CPI
would reflect the belief by many economists that the CPI overstates current
inflation. He claims that this would almost completely solve the problems in the
Social Security program by insuring that the expected inflow ... more

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America

America is the stereotype for countries wounded by salutary neglect and looking to set themselves free.  All countries do not decide to become separate from their mother overnight, it is a long, drawn-out process that requires many actions and reactions, plus unity and nationalism.  The American Colonies were strained to the limit before they became one to battle injustice.  England had put forth too many acts and duties against it's American colonies for them not to rebel.  For example, the Stamp Act.  The Stamp Act was introduced by the British prime minister George Grenville and passed by the British Parliament in 1765 as a means of raising revenue in the American colonies. The Stamp Act required all legal documents, licenses, commercial contracts, newspapers, pamphlets, and playing cards to carry a tax stamp.  The act extended to the colonies the system of stamp duties then employed in Great Britain and was intended to raise money to defray the cost of maintaining the military defenses of the colonies. Passed without debate, it aroused widespread opposition among the colonists, who argued that because they were not represented in Parliament, they could not legally be taxed without their consent.  Opposition culminated in the convening of the Stamp Act Congress to consider organized means of protesting against the tax, a joining of American forces for the good of the colonies.  Colonial businessmen agreed to stop importing British goods until the act was repealed, and trade was substantially diminished. Refusal to use the stamps on business papers became common, and the courts would not enforce their use on legal documents.  The Stamp Act helped enflame the fire burning in American bodies of independence.  Richard Henry Lee wrote to Arthur Lee in 1774, (Document C) saying "The wicked violence of the Ministry is so clearly expressed, as to leave no doubt of their fatal determination to ruin both countries unless a powerful and timely check is interposed by the Body of People...all N. America is now most firmly united and as firmly resolved to defend their liberties ad infinitum against every power on Earth that may attempt to take them away."  Americans realized that England was stealing their rights, and they began to join together.  It wasn't an individual against England, it was the country against England.  Salutary Neglect was the cause of all American problems.  It was the precursor to all the troubles.  Salutary Neglect was the negligence of England toward the colonies for reasons such as war or distance.  Letting the America's live one way for decades, then becoming strict on them, did not work for either the colonies or Britain.  In 1754, a meeting in Albany, NY, of commissioners representing seven British colonies in North America to form a treaty with the Iroquois, chiefly because war with France, impended. A treaty was concluded, but the Native Americans of Pennsylvania were resentful of a land purchase made by that colony at Albany and allied themselves with the French in the ensuing French and Indian War. The meeting was notable as an example of cooperation among the colonies, but Benjamin Franklin's Plan of Union (Document A) for the colonies, though voted upon favorably at Albany, was refused by the colonial legislatures (and by the crown) as demanding too great a surrender of their powers.  This congress showed Americans could represent themselves and did not need to be virtually represented in parliament.  Colonist despised virtual representation, as evident in document "B".  Edmund Burke writes "Govern America as you govern an English town which happens not to be represented in Parliament?"  The colonies did not feel that they should be governed by a power that does not care about them.  They cannot be governed without say in a government.  Would England govern London without representation?  No.  Therefore, it is not fair for the American colonies.  England once again is pushing America to revolt.  Document E states, " ... the arms have been compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance, employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen, rather than live like slaves."  This quote comes from the Continental Congress on July ... more

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