Thursday, August 16, 2012

I'm Living on Your Dollar

PinksunsetOk, I have a confession to make.  I am living entirely on your tax dollars.  Does that piss you off?

Yes, I am living in Key West on my boat taking pics of sunsets every night on you.  I get my SS check and my military retirement check every month without fail.  I have my medicare and my tricare which pays 100% of my medical.  That's right no co-pays. I love my medicare and SS and I hope it is there for my children when they get my age.  My concern is that it will not be.  There are two philosophies being presented in this upcoming election.

With Obama it will remain much the same.  There may be some adjustments such as raising the FICA limit or deleting it all together.  That would mean everyone would pay on all their wages. Currently people who make over $106,800 do not pay FICA for anything over that.  So someone making say $1,000,000 per year would exceed that after the first month of the year and would not have to pay more. If you make less than that all your income is subject to FICA.  Another option is provide a need test so very wealthy people may not draw SS or Medicare even though they paid into it.  It must be noted that many wealthy people (like Romney) do not pay very much into FICA as their income is mostly derived from interest in dividends and they currently pay a much lower tax rate.  Another option is to raise the age for Medicare and SS.  Currently you cannot draw Medicare until you are 65 and full SS until 67.  You can still draw a reduce amount at 62.  Currently the out of pocket for Medicare is about $100 per month and it is taken out of your SS payment. Those who do not have Tricare, which is most of you would pay an additional out of pocket of 20% of the allowed amount the doctor can charge you.  Some people elect to purchase an additional insurance policy to cover that.

Now with the Romney/Ryan plan as much as I can determine from the confusion of whether it is a Romney or Ryan plan is as follows.  Anyone born after 1958 would get the option when they turned 65 of accepting a voucher worth a certain amount, as yet undetermined but would be based on the lowest amount of an average of costs for the current 80% coverage.  If this covered their medical for the year that's ok.  If you got cancer and had chemo you might be in trouble.  You could also opt for staying with the current Medicare plan.  The problem with this is that if all the healthy people go with the voucher plan it puts all the unhealthy ones in the classic plan and it goes broke.  The other problem as I see it is that with the voucher system all your FICA deductions goes into the market.  If the market does well, good deal, if not they you are SOoL.  Of course this is all speculation.  There is no guarantees in the Romney Ryan plan but once they start changing things lookout.

Social Security as we know it has been around since 1935.  My grandmother got a meager check each month which kept her out of poverty and she used to slip me a dollar when her check came in and I loved it.  Medicare has been around since 1965 and there are a lot of us on it that thank it is great.  I personally think Obamacare should have been made Medicare for All but the insurance lobby was just too great.

Well you know where I stand.  What I have is good and there is absolutely no reason to change it. There are certainly some tweaks that can be made based on income levels, number of people drawing it, etc.  But believe me it is a good deal and if you are under 55 and you have been paying into FICA for 30-40 years you should not be deprived of what you have earned.  Please don't trust promises being made by people who are super wealthy and are trying get into office.  Believe me that do not have your best interest in mind.

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