Retirement and Income Security Enhancements (RAISE) Act

by JoeTheEconomist June 12, 2014 8:20 AM

Over the past six months, there has been a noticeable political push in DC for the expansion of Social Security benefits. Here is what Charles Blahous, a public trustee, wrote in response on E21 last December:

"The left’s latest proposals embody a conscious effort to recast the Social Security debate by adopting a policy position well outside of longstanding mainstream opinion."

At first glance the idea of raising benefits seems implausible given the system cannot pay the promises that it made last year.  At second glance, it seems that my former fraternity brothers hae taken over Congress, and Social Security is little more than a Friday night kegger, where the Budwiser that we can't afford is no longer sufficient.

The party-on crowd apparently has been elected to Congress, and produced legislation in the form of the Retirement and Income Security Enhancements (RAISE) Act.  The problem at my fraternity is not terribly different from the problems faced by Social Security. The entire fraternity did not like the fact that our predecessors had left us a huge bill to pay. The divide in the house was how to pay for it or whether to party on leaving a larger hole for the next round of brothers.  It isn't difficult to guess who won that discussion.

Like kegs on Friday night, everyone like more benefits from Social Security.  The problem is that no one wants to pay for them personally.  This proposal is the perfect mix of voter gratuity and minimizes the voter push-back by increasing the taxes on only those people making more than $400,000.

This proposal has nothing to do with Social Security.  It is a tax and redistribute plan from people who earn money to voters who want it.  It is a terrible idea.