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Letters: Save Medicare, Social Security

Readers suggest raising the income cap to make

Readers suggest raising the income cap to make sure Social Security is better funded. Credit: Getty Images / William Thomas Cain

I read with interest the article in Newsday about Medicare becoming insolvent by 2026, just eight years up the road [“Medicare finances imperiled,” News, June 6].

In 2017, the United States sent out $50.1 billion in foreign aid. That does not include money sent by private charitable organizations. When are we going to cut back on foreign aid and take care of our own?

Ron Farber,Shirley

Want to make Medicare solvent? Expand it to all Americans so that younger, healthier members help pay for it.

Polls say universal coverage, or Medicare for all, is supported by the majority of Americans. It would help the nation provide care for everyone and save billions of dollars.

Want to make Social Security solvent? Eliminate the income cap so that all income earners pay into it. That is only fair.

Want to prevent threats to programs that help Americans have better lives? Cut the unsustainable military budget for the endless U.S. wars of imperialist aggression and transfer those funds to programs that improve people’s lives, rather than destroy them.

According to the conservative Peter G. Peterson Foundation, the United States spends more on defense than the next seven countries combined: China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, France, United Kingdom and Japan.

In 1967, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. warned, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”

A sane, sensible military budget and higher spending on programs of social uplift would provide true security at home and abroad.

Ed Ciaccio,

Douglaston

Editor’s note: The writer is a board member of the Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives, an advocacy group that seeks sensible government spending.

Social Security tax is set by statute at 6.2 percent of taxable wages for both employees and employers. What might not be known to some is that each year, a “taxable wage cap” is set for a maximum amount of wages subject to this tax on an annual basis. For 2018, this amount is $128,400.

When legislators moan that they need to fix the rapidly depleting trust fund that supports retirees and others, they miss an obvious partial solution. Elimination of the maximum wage base would pour substantial cash into the fund without actually raising the tax. Medicare tax works this way and has since it began in 1965. One may argue that this is just kicking the can down the road, albeit farther down the road, but at least it would help more than legislators moaning and sitting on their hands.

John Sebastiano,Huntington

Editor’s note: The writer is a retired payroll manager.

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