Want to cure millennials' financial woes? Reform the payroll tax.

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In early June, the Social Security and Medicare trustees released their annual report on the fiscal health of these programs, and the situation looks dire. Medicare is scheduled to run out of money in 2026 (three years sooner than anticipated), while Social Security is expected to run out in 2034. The rising national debt is only one of the well-known financial struggles the millennial generation faces. The burdens of student loan debt, high housing prices (thanks to zoning restrictions), stagnant wage growth, the rising cost of healthcare and lingering aftershocks of the Great Recession are among the biggest sources of economic anxiety millennials feel.

Progressive politicians have been very successful at courting the youth vote, partly because they actually promote policy ideas that address many of these concerns. As unrealistic or counterproductive as Senator Bernie Sanders' proposals for single-payer health care or a $15 an hour minimum wage might be, they feel in theory like they would provide the economic stability and prosperity millennials want.

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Republicans, on the other hand, have struggled to craft a message to address these concerns. Fiscal conservatives recognize, correctly, that the burden of the $20 trillion national debt and over $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities will fall on millennials. Some conservatives have even written books about that fact. But the need to reform entitlements hasn't exactly caught millennials' attention. Pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, in her book The Selfie Vote, notes that millennials generally view protecting the safety net as more important than reducing the deficit.

Clearly, Republicans have a problem. They need to craft solutions that address the millennial generation's struggles, but they can't seem to sell entitlement reform, their biggest policy preference that addresses those problems. The Republican approach to wooing millennials on policy is failing because talking about stopping the debt from reaching an unsustainable level is long-term and abstract, and offers few immediate tangible benefits. A new approach to both pave the way for entitlement reform and give millennials an immediate financial boost is to first reform not entitlement spending, but the payroll tax: specifically, by partially (or wholly) replacing it with a value-added tax.

Under the current Social Security model, workers pay for the benefits of current retirees through the payroll tax. This system creates the illusion of a pension program, in which what you put in is what you get out, but in reality Social Security is a universal safety net program for the elderly paid for by taxes. The payroll tax falls on workers and is a tax on labor, while the value-added tax (VAT) is a tax on consumption imposed at every part of the production process. Assuming that this policy change is revenue-neutral, switching to a VAT will shift the responsibility for funding Social Security and Medicare away from workers, disproportionately poorer and younger, and onto everyone participating in the economy as a whole. Furthermore, uncoupling Social Security funding from payroll taxes would pave the way for fiscal reforms to transform the program from a universal benefit program to one geared specifically to eliminating old-age poverty, such as means-testing benefits for high-income beneficiaries, indexing benefits to prices rather than wages or changing the retirement age.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences. As the Tax Policy Center notes, the change would actually make the tax system more progressive. The current payroll tax is regressive, meaning that people with lower incomes tend to pay a higher effective tax rate than people with higher incomes. On the other hand, the value-added tax is much closer to proportional than the payroll tax, meaning that each income group pays closer to the same effective tax rate.

For Republicans, such a change would fit conservative economic ideas about the long-run causes of economic growth. A value-added tax has a much broader base than the payroll tax, and therefore would allow for much lower marginal tax rates, and lower marginal tax rates mean smaller disincentives to economic activity. According to the Tax Foundation's analysis of a value-added tax, the VAT would be a more economically efficient revenue source than most other taxes currently in the tax code.

Not only would replacing part or all of the payroll tax provide an immediate benefit to millennial taxpayers, it would also open the door for the much-needed entitlement reforms that have been so politically elusive. Furthermore, it would make the tax code both more pro-growth and less regressive. In order to even begin to address the entitlement crisis, win millennial support and stimulate the economy in a fiscally responsible manner, Republicans must propose moving from the payroll tax to the VAT.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate. His writing has appeared in Townhall and The Federalist. He is a federal policy intern at the Tax Foundation. Opinions expressed here are his only and not the views of the Tax Foundation. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program," Glenn explained why he wouldn't be surprised to see our supply chain collapse and empty shelves in America in the near future. Shortages are already wrecking our economy, China (where many of our goods are still made) is facing an energy shortage, and the Biden administration sure seems to be doing everything it can to make things worse.

Glenn noted a serious warning from American CEO Mike Beckham: "There's a major storm brewing in the supply chain," Beckham wrote on Twitter.

Thanks to China's centrally planned system, electricity shortages are causing huge delays in product manufacturing. In fact, some items are facing a 33 percent cut in production. "It could dramatically impact every [American's] life next year. But almost no one knows about it yet," Beckham warned.

Glenn went on to explain exactly what this means for you — and what you can do to prepare.

Watch the video clip below to hear Glenn break it down:


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Every decision made by President Joe Biden has ended in "disaster," Bill O'Reilly told Glenn Beck.

O'Reilly joined the radio program to explain why he thinks there's only one "mechanism" Americans can use stop the Biden administration's mess.

"Give me one thing that [Biden] has done, just one, that's improved this nation. Everything that he has been involved with is a disaster. Everything from the COVID mandates, to the energy policies, to the economic policies, to the inflation, to Afghanistan, to the collapsing southern border, to the social woke business, to the denial of due process. Right across-the-board, there isn't anything this man has done, or stood for, that's improved America," O'Reilly said.

"But there is no mechanism to do anything about it until a year from this November: the midterm elections. That's the only mechanism that we have, under the Constitution. We elected this guy and he's there for four years. You neutralize him next November [2022], with the Republicans taking back the House and Senate, then he's done. [He] can't do anymore damage because you've got him in a hole. And he's not going to be proactive with executive orders. He's just going to stay there in his jammies for two more years. OK? So that's the only mechanism."

O'Reilly also tore into the corporate media for using its power to defend Gen. Mark Milley after news of his China calls broke. Is there any deterrence in American society anymore to keep our leaders and media in check?

"What does this say to the United States of America when you have two of the most powerful information agencies in the world — NBC, Comcast, and AT&T, CNN — actively deceiving you?" O'Reilly said. "They know what they're doing. And yet there is absolutely no way for anyone to hold them accountable other than not watching them, which has, of course, happened. You know they have no audience. But just the corruption level of the information flow to the American people is at an all-time high. We have never had a worse media in the history of this republic."

Watch the clip below to hear O'Reilly break it all down:

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Twitter is full of fake communists. Privileged teenagers and 20-somethings who tweet about Karl Marx from their iPhone, safe inside their parents' house.

A recent example of this is the "What is your job on the Leftist commune?" meme. It began as a tweet from some anonymous Twitter Marxist, asking "What is your job on the Leftist commune?"

She continued, "I'm gonna be leading discussion on theory some days, making clothes from scraps other days, and making lattes whenever needed."

The tweet got thousands of likes, retweets, and comments. Things like, "Bringing everyone water. Pouring tea and hot cocoa for folx in the reading alcoves. Checking in and doing a pause-to-breath with folx."

By the way, "folks" is spelled with an "x" for some reason.

Other commune occupations included "proofreading pamphlets," singing, archery, cooking, crotchet, "guiding embodiment practices," tarot card reading, "identity politic lawyering." Therapist, librarian, prostitute, and "puppy kindergarten teacher."

They're basically parroting Marx, whose communist society sounds like Woodstock or Burning Man.

They're basically parroting Marx, whose communist society sounds like Woodstock or Burning Man.

A magical place where "there are no painters but at most people who engage in painting among other things," which allows "everyone sufficient free time to take part in the general affairs of society — theoretical as well as practical," so that "there are no politicians but at most people who engage in politics among other activities."

Don't you know that communism is all about leisure and good vibes? A playground full of puppies and lattes.

Marx refers to "idle time" as a time for higher activity. He calls it "time for the full development of the individual."

Me Time. A life of spa days.

Generation Z is the first digital generation. The first generation to be born inside the internet. So it's no surprise that they have fallen for this kind of Marxist nonsense. If someone convinces you that Marxism will free you from work, of course you'd want it.

Now they're quitting their jobs in droves. The media is calling it "The Great Resignation," but really it's just a new version of Marx's anti-work movement.

Gen Z are incredibly progressive. And they expect the government to be involved. Decades of Marxist activism have finally convinced a generation that the point of work, the point of life, the point of government, is activism.

Pew Research Center found that seven in ten "members of Gen Z are more likely than older generations to look to government to solve problems, rather than businesses and individuals."

Seven in ten of Gen Z believe that the government should do more to solve problems. A majority of them are not proud of America, a majority of them hold negative views of capitalism.

They believe Marx when he says that Capitalism is only good for producing its own grave-diggers. We know that this is actually a description of communism. Actually, communism is much worse. Because it always results in mass graves.

They haven't realized that that the world that Marx foresaw is long gone. It failed. Repeatedly.

They don't realize that, even on the page, Marxism doesn't work. Because ultimately the greatest flaw of Marxism is that it forces us to choose between productive slavery and unproductive freedom. Either way, with Marxism we can never be free.

"The Great Resignation" is ultimately a crisis of freedom, identity, and exhaustion. It is, as noted in a recent Gallup report, an expression of great discontent. Gen Z feels like they have nothing to lose and nothing to gain.

But in America, there's always something to lose and gain.

But in America, there's always something to lose and gain. They just need to have a little patience.

For the most part, Americans adhere to the libertarian maxim, "As long as you're not hurting anyone…." It's our undeniable belief in the goodness of the people around us. If you've traveled out of the States much, you know this to be true. There's a spirit inherent to America, and it is overwhelmingly good in nature.

Marx's utopia would ruin us. It would make us as lazy as Marx. A man who lived off other people his entire life. A man who had no loyalty to any nation because no nation wanted him. He was stateless. Do you realize how awful a person has to be for them to be stateless?

Maybe Gen Z just needs to see America at its finest.

Marx's utopia would quickly become disgusting. It would leave us feeling empty. Hopefully, they realize this before it's too late. For their own sake. Because, if America ever actually fell to communism, they would be the first ones against the wall.

When the government plans to spend $3.5 trillion that it doesn't have on a loose definition of "infrastructure," it's a good idea to know what's actually in it.

On the radio program, Glenn Beck revealed some of the expenditures Democrats hid in the bill, like a 10-fold increase in fines for employers who don't comply with the government's COVID-19 mandates, "equitable" bankroll for Biden's Build Back Better agenda, and "climate justice" funding.

"Let me tell you what's in our infrastructure bill, the $3.5 trillion bill," Glenn began. "Nancy Pelosi quietly tucked an enforcement mechanism into the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, passed it down to the budget committee, and sent it to the House floor. It's something you should know about, on page 168. I know, why read it? It's 2,465 pages."

Glenn pointed out the huge fees for certain businesses that refuse to comply with the Biden administration's proposed vaccine mandates. The fees could be as much as $700,000.

"Up to $700,000 ... that will kill all companies that are noncompliant. Kill them. That's 80 million of us who work in companies that are going to be fined in that way, if they don't bow the knee to the king," he said.

Glenn and Stu Burguiere went on to discuss more Democrat "wish list" items hidden inside this reconciliation bill, such as establishing "business incubators" who are authorized to disperse tens of billions of dollars to startup businesses in underserved areas, including the formerly incarcerated, and exclusive to businesses less that five years in operation or in "the planning stages."

"These sorts of businesses are the most risky place to put your money. Well, that matters when it's your money. But if it's not your money, who cares how risky it is. It's our [taxpayers] money so they don't care at all," Stu noted.

"Well, there's also $5 billion for climate justice block grants to pay for community organizations for, among other things, facilitating engagement of disadvantaged communities in state and federal processes," Glenn read. "Wait a minute. 'Facilitating engagement of disadvantaged communities in state and federal processes'? Organizing votes — that's what it sounds like."

"This is essentially all of us funding the fever dream of Barack Obama," Stu said.

Watch the video clip below for more details:

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