Thomas Sowell, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, recently proposed that “ending subsidies to billionaires will cut spending.”
My plan would start by cutting off transfer payments to billionaires. . . . . . . [for example] agricultural subsidies go to a number of billionaires. Very little goes to ordinary farmers.
Mr. Sowell’s commentary proded my interest in a government practice I have been following since the early days of my career. I have always had a difficult time reconciling the fact that some of those in the highest income brackets in America are receiving Social Security benefits. I thought Social Security was designed to provide for people who had little or nothing else with which to sustain themselves in retirement.
Out of the approximate 115,000,000 households in America only about 13,500 have an annual realized income of $10M or more. The average is approximately $30M; the median, over $17M. Only one household in approximately 8,500 is in the $10M or more realized annual income bracket.
Nearly 1 in 5 of those in this high income category (18.6% or approximately 2,500) receive Social Security benefits. The majority of the others in this category will eventually qualify for these benefits at age 66. More than 4 out of 5 (83%) currently generate salary and wages/earned income. These high end recipients have an income that is nearly 200 times the median net worth of an American household and nearly 350 times the median income.
Yes, yes, yes, I understand that these people paid into Social Security. But do they really need that monthly check to make ends meet? With all this talk about the pros and cons of “taxing the rich” both sides of the aisle should come together and propose a more equitable distribution of Social Security dollars as well as government subsidies for agriculture, etc.