Monday, December 3, 2012

American Prospect: Robert Kuttner: "Greedy Geezers, Reconsidered": What a Modern Pension System Could Look Like

Greedy Geezers, Reconsidered

I was in a debate on Facebook of all places yesterday that first started off about what to do with the Bush tax cuts. Let them all expire which is what a lot of Progressives or Social Democrats would like to do or let them just expire. For the high earners, which is what Liberal Democrats and now even some Republicans would prefer to do. Thats how the debate started off and I felt pretty good about it because I was arguing to keep the middle class tax cuts. As any real Liberal would and I even got a Progressive who previously had the position that we should let all of the tax cuts expire. Come around to say that maybe is not the time for tax hikes on the middle class, which I think is obvious but for a Social Democrat. Who always takes the side that its better for the economy for government to have more money, thats a big step for them. This discussion went to someone saying that if America wasn't so anti tax, we could fund a national pension system that would replace the private retirement system.

First I'm thinking, how we go from talking about tax cuts to nationalizing the pension system and how we go. From tax cuts to a system where we probably have to double our payroll taxes to fund this, so everyone can have a. Decent looking pension, well decent according to the government and then I though wait this is not so strange. Democratic Socialists like this come up with ideas like this all the time, I read Progressive. Economist Robert Kuttner's column in the Progressive magazine the American Prospect tonight and he was arguing. About the value of Social Security and comparing the returns that we get off of it compared with what people. In individual retirement accounts and so fourth and I was expecting him to take it to the next level of going to a Single Payer Retirement System. Where the whole country would be covered under the same pension plan, which is what  national pension system would be. But Bob Kuttner didn't go that far.

I'm not going to argue why I'm against a nationalize pension system, Social Security which is a pension insurance system. Which is different is a good thing to have so that all retirees have at least some income they can rely on once they stop working. Once I see someone with the guts to put a nationalize pension system on the table and I'm able to put that plan on this blog. Then I'll argue why I'm against that and I read the AlterNet, The Nation, American Prospect, Salon, I subscribe to the Roosevelt Institute. Newsletter, I read just about any publication the farthest left most Social Democratic or Democratic Socialist. You know publications out there and I've haven't seen that proposed in two years, I did once see this proposal in the Huffington Post. And I wrote something about that somewhere else then but I haven't seen that plan again yet.

What we need to so instead is create a pension system, again privately run not by government or by employers. But where the people would manage their own pensions and still have the original Social Security to go with their pensions. One plan, a Democratic idea is called Social Security Plus that Congressional Democrats proposed to sorta. Counter President Bush and his plan back in 2005, that would be the way to go but I would call it a Individual Retirement System. Social Security remains where it is but where workers would have the option of putting lets say up to 10%. Of their earnings in a IRA, that their employers would have to match up to lets say 5-6% of that, both would be taxed free. As long as its not spent until the worker retires and this could also benefit low income workers, by. Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit to cover pensions.

Every time there seems to be some problem in the economy, Progressives argue that if only the Federal Government. Had more of our money, this problem wouldn't exist and they point to another country, generally a hell of a lot. Smaller then ours and say look it works there, without being able to argue why it  would work in America. When sometimes the problems are just that the people themselves, not government don't have enough power over their own lives.