Tag: Social Security

Extending the Payroll Tax Cut: A Vote to Eliminate Social Security As We Know It »

The current debate with Congress and the president about extending the Social Security payroll tax cut appears to be about taxes, but taking a longer view, that is a small part of what is being considered. The Social Security program has been based on the premise that it works like a pension program. Workers…
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The Welfare State Neutralizes Potential Opponents by Making Them Dependent on Government Benefits »

From time immemorial—from Etienne de la Boitie to David Hume to Ludwig von Mises—political analysts have noted that because the number of those in the ruling elite amounts to only a small fraction of the number in the ruled masses, every regime lives or dies in accordance with “public opinion.” Unless the mass of the people,…
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Abolish the Payroll Tax Altogether »

It is a riot seeing Obama call on an extended payroll tax holiday and the celebrated fiscal conservative Paul Ryan reject it as an economic “sugar high.” Liberals have never been consistent in opposing regressive taxes, of course, but conservatives have likewise been weak on the question of payroll taxes. I recall Rush Limbaugh…
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Emily Skarbek Is Interviewed on the Government Cost Calculator on Reason TV »

Independent Institute Research Fellow Emily Skarbek is interviewed here by Nick Gillespie of Reason TV regarding the Institute’s very timely and far-reaching Government Cost Calculator. The Calculator enables any American to clearly understand three aspects of federal government spending. First, the Calculator helps you determine how much a person will pay for various federal…
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Obama’s Budget Plan: Goals, but No Plan to Achieve Them »

President Obama presented his plan to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over 12 years. His plan sets out goals for deficit reduction, but no plan for achieving those goals. The biggest component in rising projected government expenditures is health care. The president wants to cap Medicare spending per beneficiary at the GDP growth…
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250 Legal Scholars Condemn Obama’s Treatment of Bradley Manning »

The Obama administration has detained the alleged Wikileaks whistleblower under torturous conditions—for almost a year, he has been subjected to solitary confinement in a windowless 6×12 cell for 23 hours a day, under constant surveillance, prevented from exercising, lacking a pillow or sheets. For the remaining hour every day, he is allowed to walk…
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How Can Anyone Take This Seriously? »

The U.S. is running deficits somewhere between one and one and a half trillion dollars, and in Washington the Republicans and Democrats are still squabbling over petty change. The Republicans are pushing $40 billion in “cuts” as a compromise to prevent a “government shutdown.” It is hard to keep track of the exact partisan…
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The Social Security Trust Fund »

There is no Social Security trust fund, but it is a useful fiction. For decades taxpayers have paid in more in Social Security payroll taxes than the program has paid out, and the excess payroll tax revenues have gone to pay for other federal expenditures. The Treasury has issued bonds — IOUs — to…
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Obama Seeks “Death Panels” by Regulation »

The New York Times now reports that exactly contrary to its earlier claims, the Obama administration is now quietly seeking to sneak back in by regulation the provision of “end-of-life planning” (“death panels”) that were dropped from the Obamacare bill that was signed into law. The Times article reports that the regulations have been…
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Different Opinions on the Tax Compromise »

I’ve been watching the negotiations on extending the Bush tax cuts take shape, and in the compromise shaping up between President Obama and the Republicans in Congress, nobody will get exactly what they want. But, I was surprised to read Fareed Zakaria’s assessment in the Washington Post, because I think of him as a…
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