You have heard those words many times and they mean something different to everyone. Generally, we hear that some Americans, the “wealthy” are the ones not pay a fair share, but that’s political expediency, not fact.
Social Security is an excellent example of how many Americans are subsidized by others and may not even know it. For example:
singles subsidize couples,
childless subsidize families,
higher income earners subsidize low earners
divorced and remarried are subsidized by everyone
those with young children and collecting Social Security are subsidized
individuals married late in life are subsidized
individuals married and divorced and remarried are subsidized
Look at this this way, an individual worker paying payroll taxes subsidizes children, spouses, survivors, divorced spouses and the disabled who never paid a penny in taxes.
Two workers with identical earnings and working years may have earned a monthly benefit of $1500. While the never married worker collects $1500. The married worker or worker with children or divorced worker will collect $2250 or more (up to the family maximum). This will be true even if marriage occurs 12- months before retirement.
But hey, that’s why they call it insurance. There are many cases where you would not want to receive benefits for the things you are subsidizing.