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From The War on Terror to A War on China

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From The War on Terror to A War on China

After 20-years of failed “nation-building,” President Joe Biden has withdrawn the military from Afghanistan. This has led many of us to say that we would have never gone down that path if only we knew back then what we know now. That same question can now be asked. The way I see it, the answer is China.

U.S. and China have been rivals for a while now

For the last five years, the U.S. and China have been speeding toward full-on confrontation. This is because of China’s increasing bully leadership style, risky trade policies, and the shifting landscape of the economy. Twenty years ago, many people from China and the U.S. would say the world has become a more dangerous and less prosperous place because of the fractured US-China relations in the 2020s.

From The War on Terror to A War on China

These two world powers went from doing business on the table to doing less business on the table. They are struggling to work together on issues plaguing the globe, including climate change, cyber security, and financial stability.

For the first 30 of the 40 years of economic dealings with China, we sold them our “average goods”: shirts, tennis shoes, and solar panels we put on our roofs.

However, in return, we sold China our “innovative goods”: software and computers. With the innovative goods China has received from us, they have built up the 5G telecom systems. For now, we don’t feel safe installing China’s creative goods in our homes, bedrooms, and businesses.

China’s president aiming to grow the Communist Party

China's president aiming to grow the Communist Party

China’s President Xi Jinping’s leadership strategy is to expand the Communist Party into every inch of Chinese society, culture, and commerce. This has shifted the plan of slowly opening China to the rest of the world.

Now that Xi’s dead set on China never being dependent on America for new technology, we can see that they are willing to do whatever it takes to buy, steal, copy, invent or intimidate.

That leaves with you a much more aggressive China. However, Xi has gone too far. Technology theft and hacking of American institutions have become intolerable. Xi has turned the whole Western world against China, and we will see how they respond when China hosts the 2022 Winter Olympics.

China's president aiming to grow the Communist Party

After spending 20-years fighting the war on terrorism, many see the time is now to repair at home by focusing on infrastructure, education, income, and racial equity deficits. It might also serve best to light a fire to the U.S.-China relationship, impacting everything from supply chains to Chinese purchases of U.S. government bonds. In any case, we really have to think this through before we get into another war.

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A Simple Tip To Boost Social Security Benefits By $800

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Inflation sure did inflict some heavy blows to benefits in Social Security, including the amount of coverage to its beneficiaries in the United States. Prices of commodities have surged significantly by six percent in the past year alone. Putting things into perspective, inflation stagnated to almost zero for the better part of the last ten years, and in less than a year, prices have skyrocketed in nearly each of the major categories. A good example is the grocery prices that went up by 12 percent in several categories.  

COLA 2022’s 5.9% may not be enough for some  

To ease things up, the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2022 will be up by 5.9 percent, which is the largest tweak in the last four decades. Albeit such an increase, some still need additional funds to make ends meet. That said, here are some tips to substantially boost one’s income.  

The Significance to Beneficiaries If the Social Security Benefits Get Slashed Early

Image credits: (FDR Presidential Library & Museum/flickr)

All about timing  

An essential factor in determining a person’s Social Security benefit is timing. That said, the timeliest one can get in filing for the program’s benefits is by the time that individual has reached the age of 62, with age 70 being the latest. Americans are well-aware, though, that there’s a catch to this. Early filing of it would only yield lesser benefits. However, waiting for the ripe age of 70 would result in them receiving the maximum benefits, GBR writes 

Further, delayed retirement credits are some sort of reward that Social Security provides its recipients with for putting off claiming an individual’s retirement benefit. These credits start to stack up the month a person reaches their retirement age of 66 years and four months for people born in 1956, as this slowly increases to 67 for folks born in 1960 and above.  

Additionally, these credits accumulate through age 69, though this may seem to work in reverse if one decides to get the benefits earlier.  

The Social Security Administration stated that if a worker starts getting benefits prior to his/her full retirement age, that worker is said to be getting a reduction in benefits. The program stated that a worker can opt to retire as early as 62, though doing such may ensue a benefit reduction to as much as 30 percent. 

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Social Security Changes In 2022 That Are Likely To Affect Its Beneficiaries

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Social Security Changes In 2022 That Are Likely To Affect Its Beneficiaries

Social Security has been around for quite a while now as it gives both disabled and elderly Americans a helping hand financially. It’s worth noting, however, that the program has undergone several changes over the decades, and here are some of the updates that are scheduled to go live come 2022.  

An increased wage cap  

One of these changes is an increased wage cap for Social Security tax purposes. Workers are not paying the Social Security taxes on the entirety of their earnings. There’s a wage cap being set up annually as this decides how much income will be applied with taxes, according to The Motley Fool 

 

Social Security Benefits. Image Credit: Twitter

Social Security Benefits. Image Credit: Twitter

Earnings reaching up to $142,800 are being subject to the program’s taxes in the current year. In 2022, the wage cap will be upped to $147,000. Meanwhile, folks who are earning less will not be affected by such change, though individuals who are earning otherwise could be losing more of their income to Social Security.  

An increased earnings test limit  

It’s likely to accrue Social Security while at the same time holding down a job. If an individual does such before reaching their full retirement age, that person will be required to abide by the earnings test limit if they want to dodge having a part of their benefits being withheld.   

Additionally, the limit is updated annually. Currently, people can earn up to $18,960 minus the worry of their benefits getting impacted. By next year, the limit is scheduled to increase up to $19,560.   

It needs to be pointed out that the earnings test limit will differ for people who are about to reach their full retirement ages. If one is about to reach the FRA this year, the person can earn up to $50,520 with their benefits in one piece. By 2022, it will be increased to $51,960.  

Changes on earnings threshold to earn work credits  

For one to be eligible for the program’s benefits a person needs to accrue 40 work credits in their lifetime at four credits max annually. Further, the work credit’s value can get altered from one year to the next. As of late, $1,470 is the equivalent of single work credit as this will be increased to $1,510 by 2022.  

Such tweaks won’t affect workers provided that they are working full-time. The same thing goes for those who are earning the minimum federal wage. Otherwise, one may need to do some adjustments to their working hours to make sure that they’re earning the work credits they desire.  

COLA’s 5.9 percent increase  

Of course, this won’t be complete without mentioning Social Security’s yearly cost-of-living adjustments. In previous years, however, such tweak has been deemed as stingy by many since it’s bound to inflation data.  

In 2021, inflation is very much felt by a lot of Americans as this prompted Social Security to apply a substantial boost on it. That said, in 2022, beneficiaries of the program are bound to get a 5.9 percent hike on their benefits – the highest one so far in forty years. 

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Easing Up Inflation Through SNAP, Social Security, And Wage Hikes

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Easing Up Inflation Through SNAP, Social Security, And Wage Hikes

Americans are as of late utilizing all the financial help they can get, especially since it is expected that inflation in the United States will continue to surge in 2022. Luckily, some will be getting a much-needed oomph in their income to at least facilitate coping with skyrocketing prices of essential commodities and even health care.   

SNAP  

One way of getting more money next year is through food stamps. This program decides the number of benefits of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), according to GBR. Americans who are eligible for it received a hike back in October when the new fiscal year of the federal government kicked off. It was learned that the typical monthly benefit for the 2022 fiscal year surged to $251 for each individual from the usual $240 per person. The said growth can be pinpointed to the permanent update to the Department of Agriculture’s “Thrifty Food Plan.”  

Here’s What You Can Collect In Social Security Benefits Based On Your Salary $4,194 Being The Maximum

Wage hikes  

Another form is via wage hikes. Albeit the fact that the federal minimum wage may well seem to be wedged at $7.25 an hour for over ten years now, there are places in the U.S. that took it upon themselves and set their hikes in employees’ wages. This year alone, there’s a sum of 74 counties, cities, and states that increased their minimum wages, according to the National Employment Law Project. The project is said to be calculating the statistics for next year, though it is anticipated that the figures will remain the same.  

A good example is the state of Arizona. The minimum wage on the part of the U.S. will be upped to $12.80 per hour from the current $12.15. The same thing goes with Colorado, where the minimum wage is set to increase to $12.56 an hour next year from $12.32.  

As for the federal contractors, they too will be getting a raise as they will be increased to $15 per hour in 2022 after President Joe Biden signed a related executive order. This will fully affect whether new contracts are signed or specific actions like renewals or extensions.  

Also, notable employers have either raised or will raise the minimum wages of their employees. There are even instances that these wage hikes have doubled workers’ pay.  

Social Security  

Those who are receiving Social Security are set to receive their biggest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 2022, as this has been deemed the highest in decades. This is when the monthly payments will increase by 5.9 percent to account for inflation. Further, next year’s average monthly Social Security benefit will be increased to $1,657 from the current $1,565 and $3,000 for couples.

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