A different point of view on fairness

While there is a growing cry for expanded Social Security benefits funded by higher taxes on anyone earning more than $118,000, there are those Americans who paid their fair share all their lives. They are not millionaires or the wealthy, but solid middle class people who earned that status through years of hard work and sacrifice. There are Americans who do not deserve to have their standard of living lowered to raise the living standard of others, many of whom were not so prudent.

Here is an example from one Quinnscommentary reader:

I saved what I could and now you want the government to tax me more to bring up your standard of living during retirement while lowering mine? Explain to me how that is fair that I better myself only to live in poverty because I saved my money. 

I went from making $2.35 /hr to a college education working shift work missing a lot of holidays and family functions. I worked the equivalent of 2.5 years in overtime in the last 10 years so that I could save extra money and you want to tax me even more than I was already taxed?  

imageThat’s the problem with liberal politics. Every low-income person is presumed to be the victim of society or dire misfortune while there is no consideration for lack of effort, drive, ambition, plain old hard work or imprudent life choices.

Few Americans would deny assistance to the truly needy, but today’s liberalism makes no attempt to identify those unfortunate people, and instead lumps people by economic statistics.


  1. “On the other hand lower wage earnings benefit disproportionately from the SS benefit formula.”

    The word “disproportionately” is one of those kind of words or phrases that can be bandied about like the so-called “disparate impact” edict so favored by liberal judges. Although, in this case, you call attention to the fact that low wage earners receive a higher percent of their wages in social security payments than higher wage earners.

    What is disproportionate, equitable, fair, just, etc. will be the subject of the eventual “fix.”


  2. Increasing the Social Security payroll tax will hurt the poorest wage earners the most. Right now, the bottom 20% of wage earners pay little if no federal income tax. Particularly those eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, in which they actually receive more from the IRS than they paid in.

    But the Social Security payroll tax applies to all wage earners, no tax credits etc. are applicable.

    No doubt, despite this, the fix to the system will almost certainly include an increase in the payroll tax. An increase in the retirement age, lifting of the cap on income subject to the tax, and “means testing” of benefits to the top 5 or 10% of earners, will round out what the politicians will sell as a fair and equitable adjustment to the system. And the longer they wait, the more onerous the fixes will be.


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