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Facts about Pres. Obama, Social Security, Medicare, and Tax Free Savings Accounts

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President Obama was clear throughout his candidacy as to what he believed needed to be done in reference to saving our entitlement programs and ensuring their viability. Yet there are those who are reacting in a third rail sort of way when they hear the words "Social Security Reform".   After 8 years of Bush, I don't blame a soul!

So let me be the first to assure you that President Obama has not and will not propose privatizing social security, nor will he propose cutting Medicare or Social Security benefits, and he certainly will not propose the diversion of Social Security funds into Tax Free Savings Accounts. 

What President Obama will propose is raising the cap on the wages taxed by FICA, aka, Social Security.  Currently, only the first $103,000 of your annual wages are taxed at a rate of 7.25% for the purpose of Social Security.  In addition, Mr. Obama will revisit Bush's folly aka, Medicare Part D, and further, he will encourage savings by offering an opportunity for working families to save, in particular those who are not offered 401Ks by their jobs.

Read at this link for specific information on Medicare Part D and the multi trillion dollar deficit problem it poses in our immediate future.

Below is what he has said in the past about Social Security Reform and Tax Free Savings Accounts:

Raise the cap on the payroll tax on wealthy individuals
What we need to do is to raise the cap on the payroll tax so that wealthy individuals are paying a little bit more into the system, if we are going to deal with this problem specifically. Right now, somebody like Warren Buffet pays a fraction of 1 percent of his income in payroll tax, whereas the majority of the audience here pays payroll tax on 100 percent of their income. I've said that was not fair.
Source: 2008 Facebook/WMUR-NH Democratic primary debate Jan 6, 2006

No privatization; but consider earning cap over $97,500
Q: We all know that Social Security is running out of money, but people who earn over $97,500 stop paying into Social Security. The Congressional Research Service says that if all earnings were subject to payroll tax, the Social Security trust fund would remain solvent for the next 75 years.
A: I think that it is an important option on the table, but the key, in addition to making sure that we don't privatize, because Social Security is that floor beneath none of us can sink. And we've got to make sure that we preserve Social Security is to do the same thing that Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill were able to do back in 1983, which is come up with a bipartisan solution that puts Social Security on a firm footing for a long time.
Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC Jul 23, 2007

Privatization puts retirement at whim of stock market
Q: Would you raise the cap for Social Security tax above the current level of the first $97,500 worth of income?
A: I think that lifting the cap is probably going to be the best option. Now we've got to have a process back in 1983. We need another one. And I think I've said before everything should be on the table. My personal view is that lifting the cap is much preferable to the other options that are available. But what's critical is to recognize that there is a potential problem: young people who don't think Social Security is going to be there for them. We should be willing to do anything that will strengthen the system, to make sure that that we are being true to those who are already retired, as well as young people in the future. And we should reject things that will weaken the system, including privatization, which essentially is going to put people's retirement at the whim of the stock market.
Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate at Dartmouth College Sep 6, 2007

Stop any efforts to privatize Social Security
Obama believes we need to preserve Social Security by stopping any efforts to privatize it and will work across party lines to maintain Social Security's solvency for generations. Obama wants to make private saving easier, cheaper, & more automatic for middle-class workers. He supported the Save More for Retirement Act, which encourages automatic 401K enrollment. Obama also voted for new rules to force companies to properly fund their pension plans so taxpayers don't foot the bill.
Source: Campaign website, BarackObama.com, "Resource Flyers" Aug 26, 2007

Raise cap on payroll tax for 3% of earners over $102,000
Q: The Republicans are keeping a running total of all your plans. They say it's $662 billion over four years.
A: Right.



Q: They say for all your promises not to raise taxes on the middle class, that, in fact, you want to raise the cap on the Social Security payroll tax, and you also want to increase capital gains.

A: In terms of raising the cap on the payroll tax, right now everybody who's making $102,000 or less pays 100% of payroll tax on 100% of their income. There are about 3% to 4% of Americans who are above $102,000 in income every year. So if you want to talk about who's middle class, me giving cuts to folks making $60,000 or $70,000, and potentially asking more from friends of mine like Warren Buffett. That's a debate I'm happy to have with John McCain, because it's the people making $75,000, $50,000, $60,000 who are hurting.
Source: 2008 Fox News interview: presidential series Apr 27, 2008

Must capture new revenue; no new Social Security Comission
OBAMA: We're going to have to capture some revenue in order to stabilize the Social Security system. You can't get something for nothing. And if we care about Social Security, which I do, and if we are firm in our commitment to make sure that it's going to be there for the next generation, and not just for our generation, then we have an obligation to figure out how to stabilize the system. I think we should be honest in presenting our ideas in terms of how we're going to do that and not just say that we're going to form a commission and try to solve the problem some other way.
CLINTON: With all due respect, the last time we had a crisis in Social Security was 1983. President Reagan and Speaker Tip O'Neill came up with a commission. That was the best and smartest way, because you've got to get Republicans and Democrats together. That's what I will do.

OBAMA: That commission raised the retirement age, and also raised the payroll tax. So Sen. Clinton can't have it both ways.
Source: 2008 Philadelphia primary debate, on eve of PA primary Apr 16, 2008

Raise the cap on the payroll tax on wealthy individuals
What we need to do is to raise the cap on the payroll tax so that wealthy individuals are paying a little bit more into the system, if we are going to deal with this problem specifically. Right now, somebody like Warren Buffet pays a fraction of 1 percent of his income in payroll tax, whereas the majority of the audience here pays payroll tax on 100 percent of their income. I've said that was not fair.
Source: 2008 Facebook/WMUR-NH Democratic primary debate Jan 6, 2006

$2000 tax credit for Working Families Savings Accounts
Obama today proposed Working Families Savings Accounts to increase retirement security and give families a greater incentive to save. "The best way for our government to help ensure that every American can retire with dignity is to provide incentives for middle-class families to save for the future," said Obama. "My Working Families Savings Accounts plan gives working men and women earning up to $50,000 per year the opportunity to put money in a retirement plan, whether it's an IRA or an employer based 401(k), and have that money matched with a 50 percent tax credit for contributions up to $2,000."
Today, only about half of workers participate in an employer-based pension plan. Participation rates in other savings plans are substantially lower. Only about five percent of people contribute the maximum amount allowed each year to an IRA or 401(k).
Source: Press Release, "Increase Retirement Security" Jul 7, 2004

Source

Please note that I am of the opinion that if there is any President we would want attempting to shore up Government entitlements, it is Barack Obama.  

 

Frenchie was born in Paris, France. She Currently lives in the California Bay Area and has been self employed as an accountant for the past 26 years. Frenchie has been married for 24 years and has raised two daughters, one in her last year of high (more...)
 

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http://zfacts.com/p/483.html  The Whi... by MARGARET BASET on Friday, Feb 27, 2009 at 2:13:54 AM
that $550 billion would make the SS fund SOUND for... by shirley reese on Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 12:10:47 PM
...is a good comprimiser.  I like his gamepla... by Matthew T. on Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 1:26:24 PM