The Most Revolutionary Act

Diverse Ramblings of an American Refugee

Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall

Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall
New Plymouth, New Zealand
December 02
Retired psychiatrist, activist and author of 2 young adult novels - Battle for Tomorrow and A Rebel Comes of Age - and a free ebook 21st Century Revolution. My 2010 memoir The Most Revolutionary Act: Memoir of an American Refugee describes the circumstances that led me to leave the US in 2002. More information about my books (and me) at


NOVEMBER 30, 2013 2:08PM

Sign Petition to INCREASE Social Security

Rate: 3 Flag

Scrap the Cap

New bills by Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) seek to let the steam out of the phony debate over Social Security’s non-existent fiscal crisis by removing the $113,700 cap on earnings that are taxable for Social Security purposes.

Under Begich’s and Harkin’s proposals, there would cease to be a $113,700 maximum on the earnings taxed for Social Security purposes. Instead, all US workers would be charged 12.4% (with employer and employee each paying 6.2%) on their full earnings. Eliminating this $113,700 cap is clearly fairer than our current system.

There is no reason CEOs making millions of dollars a year shouldn’t pay 12.4% on their full income, just like the rest of us. At the same time, the additional revenue is more than enough to keep the Social Security Trust Fund solvent into the next century. Both proposals also significantly increase cost-of-living adjustments to accurately reflect the higher cost inflation seniors face compared to the general public.

It has become virtually impossible for most Americans to find their way through the smoke and mirrors surrounding recent proposals to balance the federal budget by slashing Social Security benefits. The entire Social Security debate is an exercise in deception. Nothing exemplifies more clearly that most lawmakers, irrespective of political party, see their primary purpose as deceiving and manipulating the American public.

What we’re not being told is that most Washington lawmakers (with a few notable exceptions) are in the pocket of powerful Wall Street banks who seek to privatize Social Security for its profit potential. As anyone with small business or payroll experience can tell you, cutting Social Security benefits can’t possibly reduce the federal deficit because they are paid from a totally separate, self-funded Social Security Trust Fund. Moreover, a close look at the Fund’s balance sheet reveals that it’s on track to remain solvent until 2033 – even if nothing is done.

Tell the Senate to support the Harkin and Begich proposals to scrap the cap on Social Security payroll tax. Sign the petition.

photo credit: Fifth World Art via photopin cc

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Pardon my cynicism but what you really need to do is scrap your non-representative politicians - nearly all - nationalize the Fed (and the big banks that operate it), and build a system that unhooks income from jobs or government largess (now there's an oxymoron for you).

Just like the rest of us. Where do I sign?!!!!
(Sorry about the no avatar thing.)
"Instead, all US workers would be charged 12.4% (with employer and employee each paying 6.2%) on their full earnings."

For those self-employed like in my family, that would be a 12.4% payment out of pocket.
This current practice of Social Security tax completely discourages regular people from starting their own business - being charged both halves (employer, employee) on Social Security.
It's horrible, frankly.

I say, get rid of that.
I agree totally, Sky, with establishing a true democracy and nationalizing the Federal reserve and big banks - but as a long term solution. It's only possible to bring about such major reforms by mobilizing popular support for them. I think exposing the lies people are being told about the budget deficit and Social Security is an important step in mobilizing that support.

JT, during the 25 years I was in private practice in the US, I, too, paid close to 15% (with the Medicare tax) self-employment tax, in addition to business and occupation tax and federal income tax. It was one of the factors that helped to bankrupt me. It's totally unfair and I agree it should be reformed. However I'm not sure we want to throw the baby out with the bath water.

PW the word "petition" is actually a hyperlink to the petition. Here it is spelled out:
Social Security would be solvent forever if it had been left alone as it should have been and not used as a stop-gap for deficit spending.

Government is the same as a corporation...first thing they do is rape the pension fund when they're in trouble.

And, it's not the politicians, it's the non-elected positions that are really the issue (head of the FDA, EPA, CIA, and all the other A-holes out there).

Losing the illegal peacetime standing army wouldn't hurt that'll ever happen now...
Dr jean: It was just an expression. I do see the link.

And I think it's high time we all signed, btw.
Tired of OUR MONEY getting treated like it's being used in some Monopoly game being played out by Congress, et al. Soc Sec ought to be protected and never used for anything but what it was intended.

If I could rate this post a second time, I would.
I suppose I feel the doubling of the SS tax to the self-employed is throwing out the baby, and not by those who are the self-employed.

I and most business owners would be dead set against any raising of Social Security - helping to ensure the raising of SS wouldn't happen.
Get rid of that policy, that does throw out the baby for all practical purposes in many opinions, and then there *might* be enough support among all of us for this reform to pass.

My surface/initial thoughts on this, anyway...
The complaint about lifting the tax cap for Social Security seems never to be accompanied by the recognition that benefits are also limited. For example, if one retires at their full retirement age in 2013, the maximum benefit would be $2,533 per month, no matter how much they contributed under FICA, no matter what their highest earned income was.

It seems only logical (and fair) to remove the limit on the benefit, if one insists that the limit be removed from the collection. Otherwise, this is like the barber insisting that the same haircut be $50 for Bill Gates when it is normally $12 for everyone else.
Uncle Chri,

What'll you bet that a haircut for Bill Gates IS about $50 !! And he'll never be in front of you at Moe's Barber Shop & Bar BQ either.....

Let's be real...Gates hasn't paid for a haircut since Windows 3.2 came out. He barely pays for his own meals, and when he does, he doesn't even tip a customary 15%, despite the fact that his waiter (me) kept the ogling public from ogling him and Melinda.

Bill Gates can suck a dick. Why? Because he can afford it.
Sky and Malcom:

Kudos for missing the point!

Nevertheless, since you both seem fixated by Bill Gates, this might be a good time to remind you that he is worth about $64 billion today, $28 billion of which is pledged to his charitable foundation and most of the rest (at least 50% of his wealth) is pledged to charitable causes under the moral contract he and Warren Buffet drafted.

And how much of Gates's ACTUAL money has made it to his foundation?


The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is, as it turns out, the Warren Buffet Foundation.

Gates's money is right where it's always his bank account. As it turns out, a pledge is meaningless until it's been honored, and I didn't miss the point at all. The point was ridiculous.

If Michael Jordan drops $5000 on a blackjack hand,'s about the same as when I make a $10 bet.

He can afford the $50 haircut to shave off his Hitler mustache. I can't. As such, he can go ahead and pay it, because it is of no burden to him, and be happy that in doing so, he doesn't force me to rob him so I can also afford a sit down shave with the foamy hot cream and straight razor of my barber.
And, if you're thinking, "why do you have to rob him?", the answer is, "because if I don't, someone else will."

That's how Capitalism works, and it's also why Adam Smith warned against vast income's also the sign of a neuvo-aristocracy, which I thought was something we were trying to avoid with the formation of this nation???

You are a font, actually geyser, of misinformation.

The current endowment of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is $40.2 billion. Bill and Melinda have contributed $28 billion to their foundation. Warren Buffet has contributed stock to their foundation worth $13.31 billion.

The foundation has paid out over $28.3 billion in grants. It would be difficult to achieve this endowment level AND have disbursed this much grant money without Bill and Warren having given money irrevocably to the Gates Foundation Trust.


The Giving Pledge is merely a campaign to convince the rich to give a majority of their wealth to charitable causes. The donation may be made either during the lifetime of the pledge maker or upon after the death of the benefactor.

Since both Bill and Warren, the co-founders of this advocacy society, have both signed this pledge it would be embarrassing to discover that either intended not to keep their promise.


However, all of this misses my point. Bill Gates doesn’t deserve to be scalped (pun intended) just because he can afford to pay $50 for a haircut for which others are only charged $12. Similarly, the rich don’t deserve to be hamstrung with the cap on benefits after the cap on FICA SS collections is lifted.