This article originally appeared on the American Institute for Economic Research website.
The release of her latest album Invasion of Privacy is already making a huge buzz in the music industry, and the artist is quickly becoming the sweetheart of hip-hop. But to those in liberty-loving circles, it’s her comments on taxation that are creating an even bigger conversation.
Just in time for tax season, Cardi B went on an epic video rant to her 21 million Instagram followers about accountability.
“The government is taking 40 percent … and Uncle Sam, I want to know what you’re doing with my money,” the “Bodak Yellow” rapper asked.
She went on to note that when you give a charitable donation to a kid in a foreign country, you’re given an update on what is being done with your money.
“So, Uncle Sam, where is my receipt?” she said.
The reality, Cardi B, is that we’re overpaying for a lot of “benefits” some Americans won’t even get in their lifetimes.
According to the Pew Research Center, the federal government spent the majority of its almost $4 trillion “budget” on social-insurance programs like Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and other benefit programs in the 2016 fiscal year.
Another $604 billion went toward national defense. Net interest payments on government debt were about $240 billion, and education and social services cost $114 billion. Everything else like crop subsidies, national parks, and foreign aid accounted for the remaining 6 percent.
Although Social Security benefits make up almost 25 percent of federal spending, three percent of elderly Americans currently don’t receive them. MarketWatch reports that the three main groups of people who never receive Social Security benefits include infrequent workers, immigrants who arrived in the United States at 50 or older—and therefore haven’t worked long enough to qualify for benefits—and non-covered workers like state and local government employees.
A little less than 7 percent of “never beneficiaries” were individuals who were expected to get Social Security benefits, but died before receiving them.
Many Americans don’t realize how much they will, or will not, receive in Social Security benefits. What’s worse, a whopping 81 percent of millennials doubt that they’ll ever receive them at all.
Moreover, Social Security is currently facing a significant shortfall. The program’s funds will likely be emptied by 2034, and once that happens, Social Security is only expected to collect enough in taxes to pay about 79 percent of scheduled benefits.
Cardi B is right to want receipts from the government. After all, what’s the point of overpaying into a system that’s expected to fail? Hopefully, her celebrity will influence younger generations to realize the racket that is the US tax system.