Don't Take Away Social Security - Double it Instead!

A New America Foundation study is not calling for Social Security to be cut back but to double it. With the crash of private pensions, homeownership and personal savings in the footsteps of this Republican Great Recession, Social Security becomes central to the historic "three-legged stool" of American retirement security. Yet Social Security now only brings in only a about a third of the money needed for retirement. This study recommends doubling social security payments, and funding it by lifting the cap so millionaire banker, who right now pay a paltry 1%, pay the same 12.4% that a carpenter or firemen does. Add to that a social security tax on billionaire hedge fund managers and others who make their living through sitting on their butts, around the pool, waiting for the interest or dividend check to arrive in the mail, and you can not only double current social security payments, but the system is solvent forever.


rladlof's picture
rladlof 13 years 44 weeks ago

Singing my song . . . Thanks!

SoloPocono's picture
SoloPocono 13 years 44 weeks ago

I LIKE this idea!!! (And one of these days I'll learn to check if there's one daily blog... ;)

WAS going to try to call in-considering I'm ON Disability!!

Oh-that's less than $700/month. On Food Stamps, (100/mo) & Medicaid, but not Section 8.
WHY do I, someone who made over $500K with her ex just 11 ago get only $694/mo? Because after my spinal injury I refused to give up hope, knew absolutely NOTHING about Social Security, finally had to give in because of medical expenses-no one would cover me & my condition was going downhill, but waited over 5 years after the accident to apply-working Part-Time, but that wasn't enough to qualify for SSD. Others REALLY should know how this works!! I know I wish I had.

Oh, as an aside-I'm more content & peaceful NOW, than I was with 2 homes, 2 cars, (my ex is blind), and a once healthy bank account. My apartment is a mess, but, hey, I'm the only one who has to look at it...most of the time anyways. :)
Although, I WOULDN'T mind moving closer to friends &/or family sometime soon.

<in the ultra-conservative, Beck-obsessed Poconos>. ;)

Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven. -Yiddish proverb

n8chz's picture
n8chz 13 years 44 weeks ago

That's one approach to demand-side economics. Another is the so-called BIG or 'basic income guarantee.'

gharlane's picture
gharlane 13 years 44 weeks ago

So where IS the report?

C'mon, folks, it's not that hard to do a hyperlink or just paste in a URL.

Thom was talking about a "47-page report" from New America Foundation. I haven't found any such report. There is a shorter, 16-page report, out that I did find. And here's the link:

Here's the direct link to the PDF:

There, wasn't that easy? Took me thirty seconds or less to use the Copy and Paste functions provided to me by computer's OS and every other graphical OS that's come out in the last 25 years. It took me considerably longer to hunt down the report itself, which presumably the Thom Hartmann Program has already seen -- and it would be trivial for them to link to something they've already found. And if there's a 47-page paper out there, it isn't easily accessible from the NAF website. Or maybe Thom is just wrong and it's only 16 pages, and Thom sent me off on a wild goose chase.

See, some of us like to READ this stuff, and read the ORIGINAL document under discussion. I don't mind doing some of my own research, but I do mind reinventing the wheel when someone else has already done it and it would be trivial to privide a link.

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 44 weeks ago

@solo pocono, how true!

Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven. -Yiddish proverb

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 44 weeks ago

I favor a new constitutional amendment that would protect marriage and family life by seeing to it that marriages and families have the financial resources to help make their lives viable. We can help marriages and families with no federal income taxes for a family income of $100,000 or less. Deductions for social security would still be necessary. Social security deductions would continue up to a five million dollar income per year cap. Plus, a progressive income tax formula should be in place. A ninety percent tax on people earning over three million dollars. Offshore tax havens for Americans and American corporations should be illegal and treasonous acts with a life imprisonment for all offenders.

I would favor a doubling of my social security but I would need more information. Presently, we have a three year moratorium on cost of living increases for social security. All hidden taxes should receive deductions from our 1040 federal income taxes, such on any sales taxes for furniture, cars, oil at the pump, heating, water, electricity, telephone etc. Average Americans are being screwed royally by rich Americans and our American corporations.

We should also impose a one century moratorium on wars!!!

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 44 weeks ago

Decent wages and more jobs would also help.

kengkendall's picture
kengkendall 13 years 44 weeks ago

Accused “Craigslist Killer” Philip Markoff found dead in Boston jail
Thom I heard you talk about how news media does not cover enough suicides due to the financial crisis. Did you know that Philip committed crimes due to his large medical student loans and gambling problems? If as you say the Government offered free education like they do in Europe, Mr. Markoff might not have killed. Hard to say, not a fan of what he did, but it made me think after listening to you and his ordeal.

Minny's picture
Minny 13 years 44 weeks ago

I truly LOVE the idea of doubling Social Security payments, but until we begin manufacturing products in the USA, much of that extra money will go (once again) to buy imported products. We need to create manufacturing here first and THEN seek to stimulate our own economy, hopefully with the assistance of fair trade laws and fair taxation of those wealthy few who have benefitted so greatly over the last 30 years. They have brought this country down, and they must bring it back up again.

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 44 weeks ago

@Minny, you offer salient comments.

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 44 weeks ago


Americans are living in a state of madness. We are a crazy people. Our bank was robbed. The assistant manager of the bank who is a member our church and I talked. I said to her, “Martha, banks can count on more robberies because of our economy and economic conditions. If you are caught, you go to a federal prison and you are served three meals, blessed with sleeping accommodations, health care, dental care, education courses, etc. A person may be better off in prison than out on the street.” She said to me that one person attempted to rob a bank in order to pay for his health care insurance. The person was caught. Americans are a soulless people. We are a certifiably crazy nation. The United States of Satan’s Disciples is a damned nation as is her citizens. WHERE HAS GOD GONE IN OUR LIVES!!! ARE WE NOT OUR BROTHERS’ KEEPER??? Are we totally insensitive to the plight of fellow Americans? May God have mercy on our souls!

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 44 weeks ago


GillianB 13 years 44 weeks ago

My savings and CD interest rate is now hovering well under 1%!! I used to be able to count on a rate of as much as 5%!! I rely on this income from "ready cash" to supplement my social security checks. Now I can't.

These artificially low interest rates may be good for the banksters and the entrepreneurs, but it's hell on us who are on limited sources of income. Raising my social security payment would definitely increase my buying power because after all, it is consumer demand that will drive the recovery, not "supply side" economics.

snuzyaluz 13 years 44 weeks ago

From one who worked for the Department of Corrections in Illinois for over 25 years(20 years in maximum security), if you believe that you'd be better off in prison, you've never been close to even a jail. Do you have health care, dental, etc? Somewhat--most of the dental I saw was teeth cleaning and tooth pulling--that includes what I saw in youth centers because we don't have an on staff dentist. We'd have dental "clinics" once a month---for 3 hours---for over 2000 inmates(in adult). Health care? You could call it that, but most of the staff involved felt they were being put out when they had to actually take an inmate up to the hospital to be looked at....oh and what happens when we were on lockdown and one of the clinics were cancelled(weekly dental/asthma/diabetes/hypertension cattle call for at least 100 patients in 3 hours)---those guys would have to wait until they could be put back on the list...oh but we had a helluva lot chaplains running round spreading the word of whatever religion they were pandering....still didn't see one of those chaplains help a guy who had a toothache tho. And I always brought my lunch--the food is part of the sentence!

This doesn't change just cuz its a federal prison. Bank robbers don't go to minimum security. This is just another fallacy of the right wing.

GillianB 13 years 44 weeks ago

IMO ... Minny is on the right track about bringing manufacturing back to the US, but the described series of events is backwards. Businesses can't first create plants to manufacture products here and then hope that customers will be able to buy them. They will produce when it is profitable to do so. That means that demand must increase first.

The government can help create that demand by putting people to work on projects that have been delayed and neglected because local or state agencies didn't have the money to do the maintenance, repair, etc. That in turn will necessitate private businesses to provide the material and equipment needed, which means hiring more workers. Those workers need food and clothing to do the jobs, which improves the ancillary businesses. And so on .... It worked in the Great Depressiion and it can work again, if -- the Federal Government (that means the President and the Congress) has the intestinal fortitude to do what is necessary, even if it means spending money!!

It's time for those in charge to stand up for what is right, pay attention to their constituents and stop cowering when opponents offer the least criticism. Come on Democrats ... do the bold thing -- and do the right thing. Start with Social Security! We aren't getting any younger.

bsman's picture
bsman 13 years 44 weeks ago

While I agree with some of the ideas mentioned yesterday on the show to double social security, I can't believe you simply let slide the suggestion to eliminate the mortgage deduction. Can you imagine the absolute havoc this would wreak on the real estate market? For one thing, if you think that the current mortgage default crisis is severe, it wouldn't hold a candle to that which would be created by essentially reducing the takehome pay of middle-income current homeowners by a significant percentage, rendering them vulnerable to default. Also, this measure would drastically reduce the value of real estate, further harming an already shaky real estate market and immediately rendering more millions of (again mostly middle-income) homeowners "underwater" in their mortgages. All in all, a VERY bitter pill and a poor idea that should be opposed...

Minny's picture
Minny 13 years 44 weeks ago

Bringing manufacturing back to the USA will require reversal of the hideously insane trade policies that have rewarded corporations who move American jobs to take advantage of slave labor in underdeveloped countries. Protectionism? YES! Bring it on!!! Tarriffs for imported products along with new tax policies that reward corporation for bringing jobs back to the US from abroad. The only thing that trickle down economics really did was deceive America by its slow-motion, almost under the radar revolution. Add F(oreign)O(wned)X(tremist) "News" channels to divide, misinform and frighten the population and you have the perfect non-violent coup.

JmsThoughts 13 years 44 weeks ago

I agree to raising the cap to $1 or $5 Million and allowing a means testing for when those higher payers are old enough to collect, if the are still millionaires then they are unlikiely to need the benefits so it goes to someone who does, if they have lost everything in the market then they will have more they can take out but not like many millionaires can survive well as a few Hundred a week.

I remember some friends screaming 2 years ago about individuals no longer being allowed to hide earnings overseas, many overcame this by Incorporating their name and becoming a business but Iraq contractors and such were nosw faced with losing tax haven status and having to pay taxes on anything over the $84.500 limit. If businesses have the same rights as persons, they also have the same lack of rights and therefor are also banned from basing earnings overseas or in tax havens. 1 rule for one, 1 rule for everyone and as a business is a one, they obey as we do.

If a company is headquartered overseas in a tax haven, it ceases to be a US company and therefor no longer under US law and protected by US regulations and rules. If they want to have protection they come back under the roof and bring their wallets with them, this will stop all need to increase retirement age and charge any more for individuals when companies pay their fair share for equal rights and representation. If teh Right want tax breaks for individuals, they can have it paid for by taxes from companies and everyones tax rates can tehn be lowered. So-called US companies headquartered overseas will no longer be permitted to refer to selves as US or fly the US flag or employ US citizens without or operate on US soil without gaining a very expensive permit to do such. No more Social Security Shortages especially when they have to operate on US soil where many Americans and Resident Aliens will welcome them with open job applications.

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