Why Nostr? What is Njump?
2024-04-02 19:12:38

Libertarian Institute on Nostr: The Social Security and Medicare Scams by Laurence Vance Charlotte Cowles is a ...

The Social Security and Medicare Scams
by Laurence Vance

Charlotte Cowles is a financial advice columnist for The Cut,
“a New York Magazine site dedicated to women’s lives and interests,
including politics, work, money, relationships, style, and parenting.”
She recently lost $50,000 when she fell for a scam,
put that amount in cash in a shoe box, and handed it over to a stranger
that she was duped into thinking was an undercover CIA agent.
The scam she fell for is not that unusual. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC),
consumers reported losing nearly $8.8 billion to scams in 2022. The FTC
received fraud reports from 2.4 million consumers. The top five scams
were imposter scams; online shopping scams; prizes, sweepstakes, and
lotteries; investment-related reports; and business and job
Not mentioned by the FTC or reported on by any magazine is that the
federal government operates two of the biggest scams that have deceived
Americans for decades: Social Security and Medicare.
Instituted during the New Deal of President Franklin Roosevelt in
1935, Social Security is the federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability
Insurance (OASDI) program that provides monthly benefits for retirement,
disability, survivorship, and death to about 65 million Americans,
including survivors and dependents, making it the largest federal
domestic program.

Instituted during the Great Society of President Lyndon Johnson in
1965, Medicare is government-funded health care for Americans 65 years
old and older and for those who are permanently disabled, have end-stage
renal disease, or ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). About 65 million
Americans are enrolled in Medicare, and it is the second-largest federal
domestic program.

The Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) of 1935 (amended in
1965) imposes on every person’s gross income an employee payroll tax
designated for Social Security and Medicare, with matching contributions
from employers. The Self-Employed Contributions Act (SECA) of 1954
requires that self-employed individuals pay Social Security and Medicare
tax on their net earnings if they are at least $400.

Social Security is funded by a 12.4 percent payroll tax (split
equally between employers and employees) on the first $168,600 of
employee income. Medicare is funded by a 2.9 percent payroll tax (split
equally between employers and employees) on every dollar of employee
income. Employees (but not employers) pay an additional 0.9 percent
Medicare tax on wages over $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for
married couples filing jointly. Self-employed persons pay the full 12.4
percent Social Security tax and 2.9 percent Medicare tax but receive a
tax deduction equal to 50 percent of the amount of payroll taxes they
paid. They are also subject to the additional 0.9 percent Medicare tax,
if applicable.

Although labeled as such, these taxes are anything but
“contributions.” Employers who don’t properly withhold Social Security
taxes face fines and imprisonment. Although you can opt out of Social
Security and Medicare by not signing up for them when you are eligible
in your 60s, you can never opt out of having to pay Social Security and
Medicare taxes your entire working life. And no one is entitled to get
any of his “contributions” back should he decide not to enroll in Social
Security or Medicare.

Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld from paychecks are not
invested or deposited in an account with the taxpayer’s name on it, and
there is no real trust fund or physical lock box where these taxes are
set aside for future use. All payroll taxes collected end up in the U.S.
Treasury along with personal and corporate income taxes, estate and
gifts taxes, and excise taxes. Social Security and Medicare benefits are
paid out of current government revenues.

The Supreme Court has ruled that no one is entitled to receive Social
Security or Medicare benefits because he “paid into the system” his
whole working life. In fact, there is no correlation between payroll
taxes collected and Social Security and Medicare benefits paid. Congress
could at any time raise or eliminate the Social Security wage base
and/or increase the payroll tax rates for Social Security Medicare (or
both) on employers or employees (or both) while not changing benefits a

Social Security and Medicare benefits could be reduced at any time.
Benefits for both programs could be means tested. The retirement age for
Social Security could be raised. The eligibility age for Medicare could
be raised. Cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security could be
reduced or eliminated. Medicare could eliminate coverage for certain
medical procedures, raise deductibles, and/or increase co-payments. And
payroll taxes could be raised at the same time.

Social Security and Medicare taxes exist simply for the purpose of
raising revenue. If the taxes extracted from Americans’ paychecks were
called by the government simply “payroll taxes,” instead of Social
Security and Medicare taxes, then the fact that these programs are just
welfare programs would be quite evident.
Don’t be scammed by the government, politicians, and the AARP about
Social Security and Medicare. View them for what they are:
intergenerational income-transfer schemes and wealth-redistribution
Author Public Key