Top 5 Things You Need to Know about Social Security

but Washington and Wall Street deficit hawks would rather you didn’t.

As the President’s fiscal commission gears up to meet tomorrow, we here at the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, thought this week would be a good time to focus our attention on some basic truths about Social Security. Most of these truths have been lost, ignored, or even lied about in an orchestrated campaign to persuade Americans that we must cut Social Security if we’re “serious” about returning fiscal sanity to Washington. One problem with this argument (and we’ll highlight another one every day this week) is that it ignores the fact that Social Security is funded directly by American workers. Millions of Americans have paid throughout their working lives to fund Social Security.

Contributions are made through payroll taxes, divided between workers and their employers. Employees pay 6.2 percent of their incomes (up to a ceiling of $6,045 in 2007), with employers contributing another 6.2 percent. Self-employed workers pay 12.4 percent of their income, all subject to the same ceiling. Unlike other federal programs, Social Security and Medicare, are funded from the paychecks of America’s workers. Social Security hasn’t added one penny to our federal deficit because the federal government doesn’t fund Social Security…we do.

So, when someone tells you “we can’t afford Social Security” what they’re really saying is “we don’t want to pay back Social Security” for the taxpayer dollars borrowed by the federal government. Our latest video, Social Security –Yours, Mine and Ours, reminds Washington whom this program truly belongs to:

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