Did the Supreme Court say Social Security is actually a TAX and not Insurance???!!!

14 posts / 0 new

I had quite a surprise the other day. Someone had made a comment about Social Security not being an "earned right" but in fact being a tax. A little Google search found that they'd gotten this language from a post at the CATO institute, which I usually find to be pretty much libertarian claptrap. But upon reading the post in question (http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=5776) I find that there are apparently Supreme Court decisions this CATO institute guy say found that Social Security is not, as commonly thought, an insurance, but is indeed a tax! Now, I'm not a lawyer—if you are, read that post, look up the cases, and see if this is true or not.

The CATO guy, Michael D. Tanner, was using this argument to say that no one, just because they pay into Social Security, has an "earned right" to receive money back. But the ramifications of this are much bigger than that.

This is potentially a big deal. As the lady on Thom's show was just saying in the last segment, if SS is an insurance policy, then eliminating the cap would be inappropriate. But what happens to that argument if, indeed, SS is actually a tax??!! Imagine if any other tax was limited to a certain amount. Imagine if sales taxes only applied to the first thousand dollars of something you bought? Or if Income Tax only applied to your first $100,000? If SS is actually a tax, any cap whatsoever is inappropriate!

So, someone who knows law, please check this out! Tell us what the facts are!

artguy's picture
artguy
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Comments

What a joke. Is it a tax? Is it not a tax?

Americans have become fools, Go ahead and trash the entire country and its economy. Then you can sit on your little pile of tax-free money for a while, before the hordes of poor show up at your house with sticks, hoes, and axes, and take everything you left them without.

anonymous green
Joined:
Jan. 5, 2012 11:47 am
Quote anonymous green:Americans have become fools, Go ahead and trash the entire country and its economy. Then you can sit on your little pile of tax-free money for a while, before the hordes of poor show up at your house with sticks, hoes, and axes, and take everything you left them without.

Emote much?

brian0918's picture
brian0918
Joined:
Aug. 23, 2012 6:47 am

So what's wrong with being forced to participate in something that benefits everyone? Am I not forced to participate in taxes? At least with SS I am going to get some of it back directly instead of indirectly as in taxes. Am I not forced to keep my lawn mowed? Am I not forced to pay interest on a loan? Am I not forced to stop at a red light? We are forced to do many things in this country but the only thing conservatives seem to worry about is anything involving the government and their money.

The government has never and will never default on any money that is owed. The system can't collapse in a country that uses a fiat monetary system.

Bush_Wacker's picture
Bush_Wacker
Joined:
Jun. 25, 2011 7:53 am
Quote Bush_Wacker:So what's wrong with being forced to participate in something that benefits everyone?

Where to begin? First, and most importantly, the force is wrong - it is a violation of one's rights. Second, it does not benefit everyone - such a system only benefits those who get in earliest, like any other Ponzi scheme. Third, it is actually very damaging to everyone, as well as the economy as a whole, as it reduces or destroys the incentive to save for retirement. In addition, it significantly reduces the amount of legitimate capital available for investment in production; rather than put money in a bank on interest, which is then invested in economic expansions that benefit everyone in the long-term, you are being forced to give the government money, which is spent immediately on short-term stimulus.

Am I not forced to participate in taxes?

You certainly are. The precedence of such forced payments is no justification for further rights violations. I can imagine in the days of the mafia that their victims' rationalizations would sound identical to yours.

At least with SS I am going to get some of it back directly instead of indirectly as in taxes.

Depending on your age, you are unlikely to get much or any of it back. Certainly nowhere near as much as you would have, if you had put the money in a savings account, and the Federal Reserve were not driving interest rates to zero to maintain the scheme.

The government has never and will never default on any money that is owed.

That may be true in nominal terms, but not in terms of purchasing power. The government has no means by which to maintain the value of the money it confiscated from you decades ago. As a result of the government keeping those promises (via printing), money will continue to become worthless. The dollar has lost over 96% of its value in the last century, before one even accounts for exponential increases in technological efficiencies, which should have dramatically lowered prices over the same time period.

The system can't collapse in a country that uses a fiat monetary system.

Fantastic assertions require overwhelming evidence. I sit in wait.

brian0918's picture
brian0918
Joined:
Aug. 23, 2012 6:47 am

[For some reason the forum software moved this post below the original post, where it originally existed]

That sound of crickets chirping (over two years with no reply) should be an indication to you that, for almost 80 years, people have been trading their votes for the empty promise of "Social Security".

This fantasy that you "paid into" Social Security or Medicare continues to persist. You didn't pay into anything. It was a tax. The government spent it as soon as they got it. The money is gone. Any benefits you now receive are because money continues to be confiscated from your fellow Americans. You are entitled to nothing. Set your expectations accordingly.

If you don't believe that the government spends all the Social Security money, simply look at the SSA FAQ:

"Money flowing into the trust funds is invested in U. S. Government securities. Because the government spends this borrowed cash, some people see the trust fund assets as an accumulation of securities that the government will be unable to make good on in the future. ... Far from being "worthless IOUs," the investments held by the trust funds are backed by the full faith and credit of the U. S. Government."

Social Security is worse than a Ponzi scheme. At least in a Ponzi scheme, the participants are all voluntary, and when such a scheme is revealed to be a fraud, the participants are able to resort to legal actions to get some of their money back. With Social Security, you are forced to participate, and you have no possible legal recourse. This scheme works only so long as the Federal Reserve is able to drive interest rates lower and lower. Once rates start to rise, the government will be unable to pay the interest on the treasury debt they've been buying with your retirement money, and the whole system will collapse - either through hyperinflation, or a total loss of confidence in the dollar. The consequences will be the same in either case - skyrocketing prices as everyone tries to avoid holding dollars.

brian0918's picture
brian0918
Joined:
Aug. 23, 2012 6:47 am

The rich are not 'avoiding' holding dollars, are they?

You have no idea what you are talking about, or, you are another right-wing shill just trying to muddy the waters.

What's your point in posting this propaganda here? Go add your comments to a Fox News site, and stroke your ilk instead of poisoning the discourse here with bullshit lies.

anonymous green
Joined:
Jan. 5, 2012 11:47 am
Quote anonymous green:The rich are not 'avoiding' holding dollars, are they?

Did I claim they were? I was discussing future events, not the current state of our system. As the Euro collapses, the dollar will increase in value. The Federal Reserve and Treasury will fight this with more easing, and as entitlements fail to pay, money printing will continue to devalue the dollar, until all faith in the currency is lost, at which point everyone will avoid holding dollars. The effect of this loss of faith will be skyrocketing prices, which people will call "hyperinflation", though massive money printing will not necessarily be the cause.

You have no idea what you are talking about, or, you are another right-wing shill just trying to muddy the waters.

Is that an argument?

What's your point in posting this propaganda here?

I noticed the OP's question was never answered, and decided to provide my own answer. I was hoping to engage in civil discourse. My hope is fading at this point, however feel free to prove me wrong.

brian0918's picture
brian0918
Joined:
Aug. 23, 2012 6:47 am

Discourse about what, your opinions?

Who cares about what you say is going to happen? What crystals have you been gazing into to get all the fluff you post?

anonymous green
Joined:
Jan. 5, 2012 11:47 am
Quote brian0918:
Quote anonymous green:The rich are not 'avoiding' holding dollars, are they?

Did I claim they were? I was discussing future events, not the current state of our system. As the Euro collapses, the dollar will increase in value. The Federal Reserve and Treasury will fight this with more easing, and as entitlements fail to pay, money printing will continue to devalue the dollar, until all faith in the currency is lost, at which point everyone will avoid holding dollars. The effect of this loss of faith will be skyrocketing prices, which people will call "hyperinflation", though massive money printing will not necessarily be the cause.

You have no idea what you are talking about, or, you are another right-wing shill just trying to muddy the waters.

Is that an argument?

What's your point in posting this propaganda here?

I noticed the OP's question was never answered, and decided to provide my own answer. I was hoping to engage in civil discourse. My hope is fading at this point, however feel free to prove me wrong.

I disagree with your thoughts on hyperinflation. To me a sick economy is very much like a sick person. You do what it takes to bring that person back to health. Until the economy is healthy the government in a fiat monetary system should continue to give it the medicine it needs (jobs in infrastructure, injected monies) and it should cause no inflation. It would only cause a value drop in the dollar and subsequent inflation if you keep providing MORE than is needed. The Fed has much work to do still and because of politics and ideology it isn't being done.

Bush_Wacker's picture
Bush_Wacker
Joined:
Jun. 25, 2011 7:53 am
Quote anonymous green:Discourse about what, your opinions?

In normal discourse, you would proceed to provide evidence or rationale to refute my arguments. Instead, I am getting this:

What crystals have you been gazing into to get all the fluff you post?
brian0918's picture
brian0918
Joined:
Aug. 23, 2012 6:47 am
Quote Bush_Wacker:I disagree with your thoughts on hyperinflation. To me a sick economy is very much like a sick person. You do what it takes to bring that person back to health.

I fully agree and this is a perfect analogy. The economy, like the human body, is extremely dynamic, complex, and currently impossible to model accurately enough to know the effects that will occur in a specific body that is given a specific drug or medication, let alone a variety of drugs interacting simultaneously.

The current state of our economy is like that of a drug addict. We have been experiencing continual easing and stimulus through artificially-low interest rates and deficit-spending for decades now. The cure is not to provide more short-term stimulant to give the body a quick boost. The cure is to go cold turkey, remove the stimulants, and allow the body to experience all the symptoms of withdrawal. Any attempt to cure deficit-spending with more debt will only make the ultimate withdrawal worse.

brian0918's picture
brian0918
Joined:
Aug. 23, 2012 6:47 am
Quote brian0918:
Quote Bush_Wacker:I disagree with your thoughts on hyperinflation. To me a sick economy is very much like a sick person. You do what it takes to bring that person back to health.

I fully agree and this is a perfect analogy. The economy, like the human body, is extremely dynamic, complex, and currently impossible to model accurately enough to know the effects that will occur in a specific body that is given a specific drug or medication, let alone a variety of drugs interacting simultaneously.

The current state of our economy is like that of a drug addict. We have been experiencing continual easing and stimulus through artificially-low interest rates and deficit-spending for decades now. The cure is not to provide more short-term stimulant to give the body a quick boost. The cure is to go cold turkey, remove the stimulants, and allow the body to experience all the symptoms of withdrawal. Any attempt to cure deficit-spending with more debt will only make the ultimate withdrawal worse.

I'll agree to a point but the result with either be a slow healing or a quick death. I would rather see the government keep the economy alive long enough to find a cure than to leave it up to fate. My children and grandchildren depend on it.

Bush_Wacker's picture
Bush_Wacker
Joined:
Jun. 25, 2011 7:53 am

Evidently, Brian has never discussed Social Security with anyone who lived prior to the Great Depression...and Social Security's enactment as a part of the New Deal....to replace the Bad Deal..

It's not just a safety net for the elderly...it's a safety net for the economy as well..

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Currently Chatting

Powered by Pressflow, an open source content management system