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Ken777
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Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:07 pm

With Social Security now 75 years old there have been a lot of articles (both for and against) recently.

A new one in the NY Times today is short and to the point. And interesting.

Two brief quotes:

[quotes]Social Security’s attackers claim that they’re concerned about the program’s financial future. But their math doesn’t add up, and their hostility isn’t really about dollars and cents. Instead, it’s about ideology and posturing. And underneath it all is ignorance of or indifference to the realities of life for many Americans.[/quotes]

Quote:
So where do claims of crisis come from? To a large extent they rely on bad-faith accounting. In particular, they rely on an exercise in three-card monte in which the surpluses Social Security has been running for a quarter-century don’t count — because hey, the program doesn’t have any independent existence; it’s just part of the general federal budget — while future Social Security deficits are unacceptable — because hey, the program has to stand on its own.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/16/opinion/16krugman.html?_r=1&hp

Another interesting article, from the other side of the country:

Quote:
The myth of the Social Security system's financial shortfall
Quote:
In recent years, during which conservatives have intensified their efforts to destroy one of the few U.S. government programs that actually works as intended, the report's publication has become an occasion for hand-wringing and crocodile tears over the (supposedly) parlous state of the system's finances.


This year's report, which came out Thursday, is no exception. Within minutes of its release, some analysts were claiming that it projected a "shortfall" for Social Security this year of $41 billion. .
Quote:
That brings us back to this supposed $41-billion "shortfall," which exists only if you decide not to count interest due of about $118 billion.

And that, in turn, leads us to the convoluted subject of the trust fund, which for some two decades has been the prime target of the crowd trying to bamboozle Americans into thinking Social Security is insolvent, bankrupt, broke — pick any term you wish, because they're all wrong. The trust fund is the mechanism by which baby boomers have pre-funded their own (OK, our own) retirements. When tax receipts fall short, its bonds are redeemed by the government to cover the gap.
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...0100808,0,1359956.column?track=rss

Pretty easy reading, but the two articles present some solid thought that is needed these days. Hopefully some younger people who don't believe that SS will be around for them will start looking at the other side of the coin and figure out the reasons why there are people who want it to go away.
 
LH459
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:15 pm

Yet another topic on which we can't expect any intelligent debate any time soon. Both sides claim the other is covering the real facts, etc etc etc, and neither will be convinced.
I'd put on a flame proof suit if I were you.
"I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is temporary; the evil it does is permanent" - Ghandi
 
FlyPNS1
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:15 pm

I think SS is a good safety net program and we need to keep it.

The only change that needs to be made is that it should be indexed to life expectancy. Had this been done all along, the program would be fine. Well, that and actually keeping the money in a trust fund....not raiding it and using IOU's.
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:24 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Thread starter):
Hopefully some younger people who don't believe that SS will be around for them will start looking at the other side of the coin and figure out the reasons why there are people who want it to go away.

Hopefully more young people take the red pill and realize Social Security is just another way to make people unnecessarily dependent on government. It is entirely within the reach of middle class Americans to save for their own retirement and many would enjoy a higher standard of living if they did. Personally, I will be ashamed if I need to collect Social Security benefits.

Whether we could afford Social Security or not - we can't and won't bother arguing the point - we shouldn't. In fact, I would be honored if my generation were given the option to opt out of recieving Social Security and Medicare benefits but still pay FICA (even better, a reduced FICA rate), to help pay down the unbearable obligations to our welfare programs. Other generations have paid a far bigger price for freedom.
I have a three post per topic limit. You're welcome to have the last word.
 
windy95
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:43 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Thread starter):
Hopefully some younger people who don't believe that SS will be around for them will start looking at the other side of the coin and figure out the reasons why there are people who want it to go away.




Hopefully more young people wake up and realise that it is their money that Uncle Sam is stealing for the biggest Ponzi scheme in the history of the planet. More dependence on the government that makes people spend instead of saving. It should be optional to opt out.
 
UH60FtRucker
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:55 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Thread starter):
Hopefully some younger people who don't believe that SS will be around for them will start looking at the other side of the coin and figure out the reasons why there are people who want it to go away.

I'm 27, and I do not expect the program to be around when I retire.

The way I see it: I am paying SS tax to pay for the current generation of retirees, and not as an investment for my future financial well being after I'm ~65.

For that, my wife and I take care of ourselves. Aside from the pension I will draw once I complete my 20 years of military service, we both invest in a retirement fund, and we do it because we don't want to be 60 and realize we're shit out of luck.

Do I like paying SS tax? Ehhhh. The current group of retirees did a lot for this country, and worked their asses off. I don't necessarily hate the idea of giving something back to them. Even if it is in the form of a government handout. Although I sure wish the rest of my tax burden would decrease. It really disturbs me that some people would consider my family income as "rich".  

My wife and I have a combined annual income of a little over $210,000. It fluctuates with how much time I spend overseas at war (war=more $$). But when you look at my wife and I, our income is fairly well spoken for. We invest in a general savings fund. We invest in a retirement fund. We invest in a future college fund for our two boys. We have a mortgage (while granted we put a sizable down-payment so it's only ~15% of our income), two vehicles, house bills, etc. ...And then we pay taxes... a lot. And if the Bush Tax Cuts expire, we will be paying thousands more in taxes.

Point being, I don't plan on it being there... but even if it is, it's not enough to live the life we want to live. We don't mind saving large portions now, if it pays off big later. I never understood people who do not do the same.

[Edited 2010-08-16 11:14:58]
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
windy95
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:00 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Thread starter):
but the two articles

Opinion pieces based from one side..useless Krugman dribble.
 
Ken777
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:11 pm

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 3):
Hopefully more young people take the red pill and realize Social Security is just another way to make people unnecessarily dependent on government.

Actually Social Security is an investment you are required to make. There are several sides to the insurance program called Social Security.

The obvious one is the retirement side, with your monthly check calculated on how much you put in over the years.

Then there is the disability protection that you pay premiums for. You get disabled and you get coverage until your retirement side kicks in. Is there fraud in this area? Is Madoff in Prison?

Then there is the survivor benefits. You get killed and the spouse gets a monthly check to help raise the kids.

So there are multiple areas that your SS payments cover - not just retirement plans. When you start talking about how much better a deal you can get from the private sector be sure to include all of the non-retirement benefits. How much you'll pay in, how much you get back and the costs associated with them.

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 3):
It is entirely within the reach of middle class Americans to save for their own retirement and many would enjoy a higher standard of living if they did. Personally, I will be ashamed if I need to collect Social Security benefits.

it's easy to say that the middle class can take care of themselves - until there is a major problem and they actually benefit from their FICA taxes.

As for being ashamed if you got your money back - you shouldn't be. I can assure you that I'm not ashamed at the partial repayment I get every month. Electronically deposited in my bank account. My father worked for his monthly check, as did his father. Don't let the conservative propaganda fool you. It's your money you are getting back.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 5):
Aside from the pension I will draw once I complete my 20 years of military service,

Of course, if the government can "change the rules" on SS why can't they change the rules on government pensions after only 20 years? Why are you putting more faith and credibility in your military pension than you are in your SS programs?
 
UH60FtRucker
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:31 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 7):
As for being ashamed if you got your money back - you shouldn't be. I can assure you that I'm not ashamed at the partial repayment I get every month.

Errr... no.

You are not receiving the money you paid in. You're receiving the money that was accrued through the current taxation. The amount of money you paid in, will almost certainly fall far short of the amount of money you will receive. Which is fine. That's how an investment plan ought to work. However, it's not like that for SS. The money you paid was not invested and matured, like a true retirement investment fund... rather, it was spent immediately on the retirees already on the doll, or the surplus money was spent on other government programs. Point being, you are not getting YOUR taxed money back, that money is long gone. You're getting it from the current pool of tax payers.

Problem is, what happens when the percentage of payers-to-payees starts to reach parity? Either the program will face insolvency, or the tax rate will have to increase.

But then why increase SS tax rate, if you were simply investing it for the future? Unless of course, you WEREN'T investing it for the future - as you claim - and instead paying for the current group of payees.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 7):
Of course, if the government can "change the rules" on SS why can't they change the rules on government pensions after only 20 years? Why are you putting more faith and credibility in your military pension than you are in your SS programs?

I'm not. If you read my entire post, you would see that I have set up an independent retirement fund. In none of our financial planning, do we bank on the assumption that the government will adequately provide.

If SS or my military pension still exist when I retire, it will be icing on the cake. But if they go tits up.... **shrugs**. Oh well.
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
windy95
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:39 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 7):
Actually Social Security is an investment you are required to make. There are several sides to the insurance program called Social Security

It is not an investment. It is a Ponzi scheme taken at the point of a gun. Let me keep my own money and decide which way it will go when I die. Or give me a lump sum option when I retire. If I pass away at 65 with no spouse and my children are of age the government gets to keep the whole thing. Instead of me being able to have my own money and willing it as I see fit the money is then stolen and given to someone else. Being "required" is robbery plain and simple.
 
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casinterest
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:03 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 8):
Problem is, what happens when the percentage of payers-to-payees starts to reach parity?

This better never happen, or we will have to modify the program  
Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 8):
I'm not. If you read my entire post, you would see that I have set up an independent retirement fund. In none of our financial planning, do we bank on the assumption that the government will adequately provide.

I bank on the same pincipal, but you will be guaranteed a payout based on the workers currently employed.
I would prefer to get the 12.4% back for myself to invest. I would have well over another 100 G for retirement already stored up.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 8):
You're getting it from the current pool of tax payers.

Not neccesarily. Government borrowing ignored, social security actually does run a surplus and does collect interest currently. Currently being the key word.
Where ever you go, there you are.
 
FlyPNS1
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:34 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 5):
It really disturbs me that some people would consider my family income as "rich".

It may "disturb" you, but in reality your household income is 4x the average American household. You are in the top 5% of all households in America. You certainly aren't Bill Gates, but you have vastly more income than most.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 5):
We don't mind saving large portions now, if it pays off big later.

That's good, but what if it doesn't pay off? What if your private investments crap out? There's no rule that says the stock market has to go up...it could stagnate for the next 40 years.

Quoting windy95 (Reply 9):
If I pass away at 65 with no spouse and my children are of age the government gets to keep the whole thing.

If you never have a car accident, you never see all the money you paid in. Same is true for homeowners insurance and some forms of life insurance.

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 3):
It is entirely within the reach of middle class Americans to save for their own retirement and many would enjoy a higher standard of living if they did.

True, but what about the 30-40% of American's below middle class? And what about those in the middle class who are still stretched too thin?

And while I agree that everyone should save for themselves, what happens to our economy if we become a nation of savers? People today are saving more money today than they were a few years ago and it has done a job on our economy.
 
BMI727
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:51 pm

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 3):
Hopefully more young people take the red pill and realize Social Security is just another way to make people unnecessarily dependent on government.

I'll never see a cent of it most likely, so I'm not particularly enthused about having to pay for it. Either way, is having Americans save their own money to retire with that much to ask?

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 7):
Actually Social Security is an investment you are required to make.

An investment that many people will never see a return on. And why can't people decide what they want to invest in?

Quoting windy95 (Reply 9):
Let me keep my own money and decide which way it will go when I die. Or give me a lump sum option when I retire. If I pass away at 65 with no spouse and my children are of age the government gets to keep the whole thing.

Gee, you could do either if you just put your money in a bank.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 11):
True, but what about the 30-40% of American's below middle class?

Then they either learn how to save and get by or they don't retire. The only retirement I should have to pay for is mine and maybe my parents'.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
Ken777
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:54 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 8):
The money you paid was not invested and matured, like a true retirement investment fund... rather, it was spent immediately on the retirees already on the doll, or the surplus money was spent on other government programs.

Since the trust fund earned $177 Billion in interest in 2009 - a horrid economic recession brought to us by brilliant conservatives, I think it is safe to say that we will be generating solid interest revenues for a long, long time.

Unless, of course, the Republicans sell Social Security to Wall Street for pennies on the dollar.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 8):
In none of our financial planning, do we bank on the assumption that the government will adequately provide.

If the government was to default on Social Security, VA, or military retirement then you'll see a financial collapse worse than the Great Recession of Bush/Cheney.

Our other public debt would be just as worthless, dropping the dollar to banana republic status.

I don't think you want to see that at any point in the future.

Quoting windy95 (Reply 9):
If I pass away at 65 with no spouse and my children are of age the government gets to keep the whole thing.
Quoting casinterest (Reply 10):
I would prefer to get the 12.4% back for myself to invest. I would have well over another 100 G for retirement already stored up.

Minus, of course, all of the death and disability insurance you would be required to have to replace those benefits in the Social Security program. And I can imagine that there will be some stiff requirements - especially for younger workers.

You also will not get the 0.9% administrative fee that SS has. You'll be paying some hefty commissions and "administrative fees" for those insurance premiums.

And, if the law says that all people will be charged equally (regardless of medical conditions, just like Social Security) then your costs are giong through the roof. And the insurance companies will also tack on a plump profit margin.

You'd be looking long and hard for that $100K, but a lot of it will be sitting in the bank accounts of a lot of other people.

By the way, how much of that pile of wealth would have been invested during the Bush/Cheney years and how much would have been wiped out when the DOW fell off it's invisible perch?
 
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Tugger
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:58 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 5):
I'm 27, and I do not expect the program to be around when I retire.

The way I see it: I am paying SS tax to pay for the current generation of retirees, and not as an investment for my future financial well being after I'm ~65.

I agree. I am a bit older than you but unlike you I do expect that SS will be available because those future workers will pay to support it. It has always be a "pay as you go" system so the workers behind me (including you and your wife) will pay my benefits. You invest in the system to create the society we live in not to just take of yourself. We aren't our brothers keepers, we are our fathers and mothers keepers, and it makes the USA a viable and robust society.

It has always bothered me that people were surprised that SS payments would have to change (either what workers pay into the system or what retirees take out of the system) as the worker to retiree ratio changed. We have been staring at the babyboom bust for decades and have groused, and ignored it, and done nothing worthwhile to address it. In reality it is really pretty simple to address it financially but the politics always mucks things up, with each side trying to make the other the bad guys.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 5):
For that, my wife and I take care of ourselves. Aside from the pension I will draw once I complete my 20 years of military service, we both invest in a retirement fund, and we do it because we don't want to be 60 and realize we're shit out of luck.

I personally advocate that military retirement should not extend beyond double what the time in service was with the addition that time in combat is double itself before being applied. It is incredibly expensive proposition for the USA and while absolutely needed the taxpayers can not be expected to pay an unlimited amount to those that are perfectly capable of getting god jobs in private industry after exiting the military service. (I also don't agree with the congressional retirements and endless healthcare, and public employee unions, etc.)

And I do not mean that as an attack on your years of service to our country, it is just that I think that where "public" monies are involved, the USA has just obligated itself to spend far too much.

Tugg
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UH60FtRucker
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:04 pm

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 11):
It may "disturb" you, but in reality your household income is 4x the average American household. You are in the top 5% of all households in America. You certainly aren't Bill Gates, but you have vastly more income than most.

First, that's a national average you're comparing against. A closer look, my local community has an average of ~$75,000. And my income can vary vastly. It depends on where I am stationed, how often I deploy, which specialty job I assume in my unit (such as an annual bonus for being a maintenance pilot), etc. It can be as low as $85,000 to as high as $105,000.

Don't get me wrong, I realize that we are doing well. But we're not rich. Not by a long shot. We live in a quiet town, in a moderate sized house with a good amount of land, we drive two vehicles that are over 3yrs old, etc.

But I think the most important part is that we live well within our means. When we bought our house in WA, we had to ditch the first realtor because she kept showing us homes that were way too big, that would have been in the 25% range of our income. That's insane. And our only other debt is the two car loans, which will be paid off this coming January.

However, we're simply not "rich". And it doesn't matter if we were making 50k, or 300k. We save and invest a lot, and then we live within the funds left available. Too many people fail to do this. And yes... I do think that 40-50k in taxes is a lot to ask of us.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 11):
That's good, but what if it doesn't pay off? What if your private investments crap out? There's no rule that says the stock market has to go up...it could stagnate for the next 40 years.

Well first, who said it was all tied up in the stock market???

It's a well diversified portfolio. Savings, bonds, stock, property, etc. It's not all in one basket.

But more importantly... I guess I don't see your point. So because there is a risk that I won't get as big of a return than I plan on... I should give up? I would rather invest all my life, and get a smaller than anticipated pay out... than NOT invest and be shit out of luck 40yrs from now. Your logic makes no sense.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 11):
And while I agree that everyone should save for themselves, what happens to our economy if we become a nation of savers?

Well look at the other side of your argument. What happens if we are a nation of debtors and credit junkies?

Oh wait... we're seeing what happens, right now.  
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:17 pm

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 3):
Hopefully more young people take the red pill and realize Social Security is just another way to make people unnecessarily dependent on government. It is entirely within the reach of middle class Americans to save for their own retirement and many would enjoy a higher standard of living if they did. Personally, I will be ashamed if I need to collect Social Security benefits.

That's the mistake we've made - too many people think that they will be able to retire on Social Security and other government programs alone. While I suppose you could, you won't be comfortable nor is it fair - because retirees pull down much more than they put into the system.

I think that 401ks and IRAs should be mandatory for all working people. Remove the caps on how much you can put aside for them tax free(or at least raise them to no less than $25 or $30K per year), and do not tax the revenue from them. People should be given every possible incentive to save for their own retirement. But ideologically Democrats will never accept that.
Democrats haven't been this angry since we took away their slaves.
 
MD-90
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:29 pm

It's currently the third entry under August 16:

Quote:
Today, 54 years later, Paul Krugman exonerates the Federal Ponzis, insisting that “cruel attacks” on its solvency are baseless because “Social Security has been running surpluses for the last quarter-century, banking those surpluses in a special account, the so-called trust fund.” But just in case — how could the Compassionate Krugman resist?—- he one-ups Ponzi with his usual bromide: tax the rich.

In the mid-1980′s, a stalwart senate staff colleague of mine decided to find this “Social Security Trust Fund.” She finally found it, literally, in the desk drawer of a mid-level federal bureaucrat somewhere in West Virginia — handwritten numbers representing the “value” of the “trust fund” for each passing year. Of course, the “bank account” had no money in it: Congress had already spent every penny.

Don't put your faith in the so-called "trust fund." Too bad the government can't be prosecuted for fraud, unlike Ponzi.

[Edited 2010-08-16 13:29:44]
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:30 pm

Do you know why Social Security is at the state it is in now?? It is because of TWO programs currently running and has NOTHING to do with retirement: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

These two programs, IMO, needs to be done away with. These funds should be coming from somewhere else, not from SSA. SSA is not there to give away free money. I cannot imagine how much cash SSA has been giving out to those on SSI or SSDI.

For me, I do not expect SSA to be existent when I retire. 401K's are the way to go. I firmly believe that SSA will go down the ranks the same way pensions has gone.

It is sad, really. Yet, we keep funding SSA out of our paychecks and they are still broke.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 16):
I think that 401ks and IRAs should be mandatory for all working people. Remove the caps on how much you can put aside for them tax free(or at least raise them to no less than $25 or $30K per year), and do not tax the revenue from them. People should be given every possible incentive to save for their own retirement.

   I buy that idea. I like how you think, Dreddy!
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MD-90
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:31 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 15):

It's a well diversified portfolio. Savings, bonds, stock, property, etc. It's not all in one basket.

If it's all denominated in dollars then you're hugely exposed to devaluation of the fiat currency by the Fed.
 
FlyPNS1
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:32 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 15):
And it doesn't matter if we were making 50k, or 300k.

But imagine if you only had a household income of 50K, how much would you be saving? The same amount as now....probably not. It's easy to criticize those who aren't saving as much when you are making so much more than most.


Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 15):
So because there is a risk that I won't get as big of a return than I plan on... I should give up? I would rather invest all my life, and get a smaller than anticipated pay out... than NOT invest and be shit out of luck 40yrs from now.

My point is that bad things can happen to even the best of people and SS is a good safety net. The U.S. learned the hard way what happens when people have no safety net....the Great Depression.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
The only retirement I should have to pay for is mine and maybe my parents'.

Extending that logic, I don't want my money used to educate other people's kids, fight other people's wars, fund research for problems I don't have,etc.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 15):
And yes... I do think that 40-50k in taxes is a lot to ask of us.

It is a lot and I think that burden should be reduce a bit, though it would require some major spending cuts and keep in mind that almost a third of that tax bill goes to your employer alone (DoD and related).
 
UH60FtRucker
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:38 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 13):
If the government was to default on Social Security, VA, or military retirement then you'll see a financial collapse worse than the Great Recession of Bush/Cheney.

Our other public debt would be just as worthless, dropping the dollar to banana republic status.

I don't think you want to see that at any point in the future.

Whoa... when did I say I wanted to see that happen??

All I said, was that I do not expect SS to be there when I retire. Or more accurately, I do not expect SS to be strong enough to adequately provide for my well being. So far you have done nothing to convince me that in 2050, SS will be capable of supporting me.

More importantly... who cares? Why do you care if I don't have faith in SS? I never once said that I don't want to pay SS tax. I said that I don't think the US government is capable of aiming piss into a bucket, let alone keeping SS afloat.

Hell, maybe I'm wrong and the program will be just as great in 2050, as it is today. But like I said: that will be a welcomed surprise, and icing on the cake. [b]In the mean time[/i] my wife and I will continue to save as much as we can.

Quoting Tugger (Reply 14):
And I do not mean that as an attack on your years of service to our country, it is just that I think that where "public" monies are involved, the USA has just obligated itself to spend far too much.


No not all. No offense taken.

I happen to agree. In Mil-Av I made the argument that the military retirement age should be increased to 25-30yrs. Decades ago, 20 years of military service beat the hell out of your body. You came away broken. But it's much different, and a lot of the equipment we field is designed to be ergonomic and user-friendly.

But you said that it should be "double" your service? So let me see if I understand you: if I serve 20yrs, then I get 40yrs of pension benefits? Or do you mean they should be "equal" to your service: 20yrs in, 20yrs of pension?

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 13):
Unless, of course, the Republicans sell Social Security to Wall Street for pennies on the dollar.

Please save the political bs for some place else. It's not helpful, and it doesn't do anything for intellectual debate, other than muddy the waters. More importantly, it makes you sound like a hack.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 13):
Since the trust fund earned $177 Billion in interest in 2009

That's the point... tell us what happens when more and more people start drawing SS benefits, and less and less people are paying into it. What happens when there is no longer an annual surplus.

You said that SS was an investment. But if that was the case - you would be paying 12.4% FICA, in the assumption that the money was invested and stored until you were eligible to draw from it. THAT is how a real investment fund would work. THAT is the efficient way.

Yet the system is not designed in that fashion. Instead, it is dependent on either the ratio of payers-to-payees remaining high... or we eventually raise the tax to cover the gap.

Either way, this is why I do not have faith that SS will be around in 2050. Facts show that the ratio of payers-to-payees is dwindling. So the only other alternative will be raise taxes. But we're already in a huge mess, with our budget out of control. Taxes will undoubtedly be raised to try and correct the ballooning deficit. ...So while we are raising taxes to cover our budget... we're going to raise FICA tax??? Please. I just don't see any easy way of keeping SS. I don't think it will be there when I retire, and I refuse to be like most people and bank on it. I will continue to make my own plans, and look out for myself.
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Dreadnought
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:40 pm

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 19):
Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 15):

It's a well diversified portfolio. Savings, bonds, stock, property, etc. It's not all in one basket.

If it's all denominated in dollars then you're hugely exposed to devaluation of the fiat currency by the Fed.

Not necessarily. My 401k is almost 100% in foreign currency. Your social security trust funds however are virtually all in government T-Bills, in US Dollars. And you have no choice in the matter. I'f I am wrong about where I think the dollar is going, it's my mistake, but I had the choice and I'm willing to live with that.
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casinterest
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:43 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 13):
Minus, of course, all of the death and disability insurance you would be required to have to replace those benefits in the Social Security program.

Death and dissability insureance is not that expensive. You can get good programs in both for around 50 a month.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 13):
You'd be looking long and hard for that $100K, but a lot of it will be sitting in the bank accounts of a lot of other people.

that 100k would be sitting in my accounts under my guidance.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 13):
By the way, how much of that pile of wealth would have been invested during the Bush/Cheney years and how much would have been wiped out when the DOW fell off it's invisible perch?

It's called dollar cost averaging, and not all the money would have been in the dow. It would have been in bonds cd's and other well diversified assets.
Where ever you go, there you are.
 
BMI727
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:43 pm

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 20):
Extending that logic, I don't want my money used to educate other people's kids, fight other people's wars,

First, war and military are expressly government jobs. I can't get together with some like minded individuals and raise an army. Just imagine the BP air force and the Shell air force having dogfights over the Nigerian oil fields.

Second, education and to some extent research, are things that can be undertaken by the government because they will often pay off for the nation.

Personal finance decisions, not so much.
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AirframeAS
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:46 pm

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 20):
SS is a good safety net.

At the rate it is going now, not it is not. See reply 18.
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UH60FtRucker
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:48 pm

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 20):
But imagine if you only had a household income of 50K, how much would you be saving? The same amount as now....probably not. It's easy to criticize those who aren't saving as much when you are making so much more than most.

It's not about saving a specific amount.

It's about saving a specific percentage. If we made 50K, we would still be living within our means. Our house would be smaller, our cars older, and our sons would probably have to take out more student loans... but we would still aim to save the same percentage of net income.

Before I became an officer and I was enlisted, and when my wife was in school and not working... we were pretty poor. But we still lived with our means. I think that is the hardest problem for a lot of people: staying within your budget. New cars, big homes, big vacations, debt, debt, debt, debt. Crushing debt. Of course they can't save for retirement. They're barely staying afloat, as it is! But I refuse to feel sorry if the program goes tits-up, and they cry, "hey now I'm fucked!"

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 20):
My point is that bad things can happen to even the best of people and SS is a good safety net

Well please show me where I said that it isn't!

Not once have I said that I think SS is a shit deal, that I want to see fail. On the contrary I clearly said:

Quote:
Do I like paying SS tax? Ehhhh. The current group of retirees did a lot for this country, and worked their asses off. I don't necessarily hate the idea of giving something back to them. Even if it is in the form of a government handout.

....I don't mind SS. I don't mind helping to thank a person for a life time of hard work. I'm just saying... the program is in a lot of trouble, and I do not have faith that it will be around in 2050. Because of that, I am making my own plans. I encourage others to do the same. Like I said: maybe I'm wrong, but I'd rather be wrong with an extra $4million!
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UH60FtRucker
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:57 pm

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 19):
If it's all denominated in dollars then you're hugely exposed to devaluation of the fiat currency by the Fed.

Like I said, it's diversified. But it's unavoidable that some of it is tied with the US dollar. What are you gonna do? There is risk in everything. I could always chose to stash it under the mattress. But give me one good reason why, despite the risks, I shouldn't save for the future.

But hey, maybe like you warn, the dollar will implode and the country will spiral out of control. In that case, I have a good home with a lot of farmable land. A small arsenal of guns and ammo. And I've been to numerous military survival schools. Either way, I'm still gonna be able to take care of myself and my family.
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
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Tugger
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:37 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 16):
I think that 401ks and IRAs should be mandatory for all working people.

I thought you were against government mandates on what you do with your cash (healthcare)? If not there then not here either. If someone wants to be stupid enough to not buy healthcare and not be covered if injured let them, just like if someone wants not to save for retirement and be left struggling for their ends years then let them.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 21):
But you said that it should be "double" your service? So let me see if I understand you: if I serve 20yrs, then I get 40yrs of pension benefits? Or do you mean they should be "equal" to your service: 20yrs in, 20yrs of pension?

Sorry, I wasn't clear, in fact was down right fuzzy. I did mean "20 for 20".

But now that you make me think of it, I need to clarify: My thought was that the nation should not pay in retirement more than the person earned during their service. But the difference between "service-life earnings" and 50% of your final ranks pay (if am I correct that military retirement is 50% of last rank pay) for the term of your service can be substantial.

So it may be simplest to just say "20 for 20" and to hash out the full details as to what that means.

Tugg
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sv7887
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:50 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Thread starter):
And that, in turn, leads us to the convoluted subject of the trust fund, which for some two decades has been the prime target of the crowd trying to bamboozle Americans into thinking Social Security is insolvent, bankrupt, broke — pick any term you wish, because they're all wrong. The trust fund is the mechanism by which baby boomers have pre-funded their own (OK, our own) retirements. When tax receipts fall short, its bonds are redeemed by the government to cover the gap.

There is nothing convoluted about it, the writer is being deliberately dishonest. SS has run a surplus for some time, funds that were diverted to cover up deficits by Congress and the various Presidents that served during that time. That was the reason for Al Gore's attempt to put a "lockbox" on SS.

What's left in lieu of the funds are IOU, Treasury bonds. The reason people are saying it's 'Bankrupt" because the US Government would have to borrow more money to redeem those bonds. It's basically paying a credit card with another credit card...Nothing convoluted about it.

If the writer of that article had any financial sense, he'd realize with the massive deficits we have, this will make things far far worse. The international community is not going to keep buying US debt without demanding a higher interest rate, and then the house of cards will start to fall down.

Even on the SS website, they say without any changes SSA will not be able to make its full obligations. They do say they could pay 70 cents on the dollar for future retirees. Recall when SSA was founded the average American life expectancy was much lower. No one ever intended to SSA to last 20 yrs for the retiree.

Have a look at their own internal reports:
http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/solvency/index.html
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:06 pm

Quoting Tugger (Reply 28):
I thought you were against government mandates on what you do with your cash (healthcare)?

I never said I was. What I am against is the belief that the Federal Government is capable of running anything efficiently or well.

What I would like is for the Federal government to (after the appropriate narrowly written constitutional amendments are passed, because such mandates are clearly unconstitutional) pass the following laws (for instance)

1. All residents of the U.S. shall have health care insurance coverage at all times, covering at least
- 90% of hospital expenses
- Major prescription drugs including antibiotics, heart, cholesterol and other drugs designed to control a particular condition
- 90% of Emergency room care
- 50% of Doctor visits

2. All persons working more than 25 hours per week and greater than 20 years of age shall be enrolled in a 401k plan, to which no less than 5% of his/her gross salary shall be invested every paycheck. Every 5 years, that percentage shall be increased by 1 percentage point - i.e. at age 25 it becomes 6%, at age 30 it becomes 7%, at 35 it is 8%, and so forth.

3. The individual states are responsible for developing the above outlines and administering it, beginning no later than 201_.

The individual states would be free to do what they like within the mandates. If Massachusetts wants to meet #1 with a single-payer system, while Georgia goes with a heavily regulated but fully private system, while California goes private but with a public option, that's perfectly fine. Over time people will see which systems are solvent and well run. States that run things properly will see businesses and the wealthier people flee to better-run states, and will have an incentive to immediately start fixing the problems.

Same with #2. Those states that run things well will be rewarded. Those that don't will be punished by market forces and electors will force changes.

That's what I believe in. A federal government that sets broad rules for the country but doesn't try to run it.
Democrats haven't been this angry since we took away their slaves.
 
TLG
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:08 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 5):
It really disturbs me that some people would consider my family income as "rich".  

My wife and I have a combined annual income of a little over $210,000.

Even if you earn $200K and pay $50K in taxes, that leaves, let's see... $150,000.00! That is about 4x what I have, after taxes (taxes in my case are actually a credit), to support my family of 6. "Rich" may depend on how much you have left after expenses, but I'd say you have a high income!

That being said, I do believe that Social Security will be around in some form or another 50 years down the road. Maybe it'll have a different title, and maybe benefits will be reduced, but I'd be surprised if there isn't government support of some kind for the retired & disabled.

-TLG
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:12 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 30):
1. All residents of the U.S. shall have health care insurance coverage at all times, covering at least
- 90% of hospital expenses
- Major prescription drugs including antibiotics, heart, cholesterol and other drugs designed to control a particular condition
- 90% of Emergency room care
- 50% of Doctor visits

2. All persons working more than 25 hours per week and greater than 20 years of age shall be enrolled in a 401k plan, to which no less than 5% of his/her gross salary shall be invested every paycheck. Every 5 years, that percentage shall be increased by 1 percentage point - i.e. at age 25 it becomes 6%, at age 30 it becomes 7%, at 35 it is 8%, and so forth.

3. The individual states are responsible for developing the above outlines and administering it, beginning no later than 201_.

I can agree to all of that, as long as there is some form of oversight (a 3rd party, no government influence from any level) and ZERO Federal Government interference and no intimidation, period. This should also include some form of privacy and nothing is taxed.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
BMI727
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:15 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 30):
2. All persons working more than 25 hours per week and greater than 20 years of age shall be enrolled in a 401k plan, to which no less than 5% of his/her gross salary shall be invested every paycheck. Every 5 years, that percentage shall be increased by 1 percentage point - i.e. at age 25 it becomes 6%, at age 30 it becomes 7%, at 35 it is 8%, and so forth.

That's every bit as ridiculous as Social Security. Why do I need the government to tell me how much money I need to save?
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:24 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 34):
Why do I need the government to tell me how much money I need to save?

It is better than telling you how you can spend your current paychecks.... Agreed?
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
UH60FtRucker
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:37 pm

Quoting Tugger (Reply 28):
But now that you make me think of it, I need to clarify: My thought was that the nation should not pay in retirement more than the person earned during their service. But the difference between "service-life earnings" and 50% of your final ranks pay (if am I correct that military retirement is 50% of last rank pay) for the term of your service can be substantial

Yeah if you serve 20yrs, you get 50 percent of your base pay at retirement. If you serve more than 20yrs, your 2.5% for each year beyond 20, up to a cap of 75%.

The important part is to note that it's based off your base pay. I make ~$100,000 a year after ALL my pays combined. This includes my base pay, my flight pay, BAH, BAS, my bonuses, combat pay, hazard duty pay and tax exemptions. I'd have to go back and confirm, but my base base is actually only about $60K.

Quoting TLG (Reply 31):
Even if you earn $200K and pay $50K in taxes, that leaves, let's see... $150,000.00! That is about 4x what I have, after taxes (taxes in my case are actually a credit), to support my family of 6.

Well I don't know what to tell you? Except, there are recruiting offices all over, and even more colleges. Join up.

I'm not about to feel ashamed that I worked hard to get where I am. And my wife arguably worked a hell of a lot harder. She certainly earns her pay, and then some.

I was lucky to find a good tax accountant, who is far smarter than I will ever be. He does a lot to limit my tax exposure. But still, we pay a hell of a lot of taxes. I'm not asking for it to be lower. I understand with higher pay comes higher responsibility to the greater good. But I'm asking for it to remain the same. Putting aside the fact of my service in uniform... I think we am easily fulfilling my civic responsibility to my country, by paying 50K! I don't think it's reasonable to pay more.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 34):
That's every bit as ridiculous as Social Security. Why do I need the government to tell me how much money I need to save?

Personally, I disagree.

If going on the premise that the federal government has a responsibility to look out for the future prosperity of the nation... such as ensuring our youth go to school, so that we have an educated workforce... then it might not be such a bad idea. I hate to say it, but Americans are horrible when it comes to saving money. Credit cards, crushing debt and living pay check to pay check. We all know people like that.

Perhaps forcing a little fiscal responsibility, isn't such a bad thing.
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:44 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 34):
That's every bit as ridiculous as Social Security. Why do I need the government to tell me how much money I need to save?

In order to ensure that all the stupid people aren't out there demanding handouts for their own lack of foresight. At least the money is yours.
Democrats haven't been this angry since we took away their slaves.
 
UH60FtRucker
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:46 pm

Quoting TLG (Reply 31):
That is about 4x what I have, after taxes (taxes in my case are actually a credit), to support my family of 6.

Oh hey, by the way.... repeal the Bush Tax Cuts and you just might go back to paying taxes again. Full repeal would mean that hundreds of thousands of poor people would be put back into the taxation eligibility pool. The current brackets of 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33% and 35%, will go back to 15%, 28%, 31%, 36% and 39.6%.

Give me yo' money!!!               
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:51 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 36):
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 34):
That's every bit as ridiculous as Social Security. Why do I need the government to tell me how much money I need to save?

Personally, I disagree.

If going on the premise that the federal government has a responsibility to look out for the future prosperity of the nation... such as ensuring our youth go to school, so that we have an educated workforce... then it might not be such a bad idea. I hate to say it, but Americans are horrible when it comes to saving money. Credit cards, crushing debt and living pay check to pay check. We all know people like that.

Thank you UH60. I find it funny that some of the same people who say that it's wrong for the government to set minimum savings requirements say that it's perfectly fine for the government to take money from successful people and those that have provided for themselves and give it to people who didn't. (I'm not necessarily talking about BMI - I've had this idea for years and discussed it with a lot of libs.)

[Edited 2010-08-16 15:52:30]
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Ken777
Topic Author
Posts: 10023
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:24 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
And why can't people decide what they want to invest in?

They can with their net pay. Doesn't get them out of paying income taxes or FICA. That's been a fact of life for 75 years now and the only ones really wanting to destroy the program are the ones wanting to see Wall Street take the cash each month. A really big pile of cash.

Quoting Tugger (Reply 14):
I personally advocate that military retirement should not extend beyond double what the time in service was with the addition that time in combat is double itself before being applied. It is incredibly expensive proposition for the USA and while absolutely needed the taxpayers can not be expected to pay an unlimited amount to those that are perfectly capable of getting god jobs in private industry after exiting the military service.

Then you need to start all over again with new people entering the military. Those who are now serving, or who have served, should be covered by the government's commitment to them when they first raised their hand and took the oath.

The military is expensive. Live with it. And those who serve need to be taken care of. If you want to motivate people to make a career in the military then you need to keep the country's commitment to those who serve.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 16):
That's the mistake we've made - too many people think that they will be able to retire on Social Security and other government programs alone.

While we planned on retirement we got hit with several pretty nasty situations. Try 3 cancers under the Bush years with (expensive) insurance companies screwing us over. Add in the costs of college/university exploding afr faster than inflation, doing a good job of wiping out a large part of rational savings over the years. (And one of the two kids deciding to go fro a Masters - now paid for.)

Reality is that the younger you are the safer you feel in your ability to handle things. The older you get the more you see the natural problems that can hit, and the rip offs that are all over the place.

It's pretty pathetic, but I believe that anyone who hits retirement age will have at least one situation in their life where they would honestly benefit from the services of a good trial lawyer.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 16):
While I suppose you could, you won't be comfortable nor is it fair - because retirees pull down much more than they put into the system.

Maybe, maybe not. And let's not forget the compounding interest on your payments.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 16):
People should be given every possible incentive to save for their own retirement. But ideologically Democrats will never accept that.

I've moved into the Independent/Democrat side for most issues and I can't agree with your comment. There is a position by the Democrats to maintain Social Security as a viable program and not sell it to the financial sector. But if you want to put a big chunk into private retirement and personal savings the Democrats won't stop you.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 18):
Do you know why Social Security is at the state it is in now?? It is because of TWO programs currently running and has NOTHING to do with retirement: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

Wrong on SSI:

Quote:
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a Federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes):


It is designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people, who have little or no income; and

It provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.
http://www.ssa.gov/ssi/

As for Disability Insurance I'll trust the government to be there when needed over private insurance companies. Could be because I've been screwed by insurance companies in the past and would have no desire to need an attorney handy to ensure disability payments were properly made.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 21):
So far you have done nothing to convince me that in 2050, SS will be capable of supporting me.

You may not be convinced that SS will be around in 2050, but after reading the BS about promoting the SS $41 Billion "shortfall" last year while EXCLUDING the $118 Billion in earned interest leaves you with a pretty clear view of who is trying to screw you out of your SS checks in the future.

You saw it when the Republicans were trying to move SS to Wall Street - when the DOW was around 14000.

You saw sit when Bush/McCain were trying to limit the GI Bill to only those who served 12 years on active duty.

When you see crap like this over the years between now and 2050 you are going to need to be very vocal in KEEPING your benefits. There is simply too much money for private financial sector not to go after it and they will pay some very big money for the politicians to take care of them.

That is YOUR risk in the future. If you believe that the financial sector cleaned up their act after they got bailed out then you're in for a surprise in the future.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 21):
Please save the political bs for some place else.

Keeping Social Security alive is political, just as selling it out for pennies on the dollar is the potential risk for the future.

It's a multi trillion dollar piece of the pie and Bush opened the door for the financial sector when he was in office and it's

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 21):
That's the point... tell us what happens when more and more people start drawing SS benefits, and less and less people are paying into it. What happens when there is no longer an annual surplus.

We did not have a surplus in 2009. The Great Recession had something to do with that. In the future when we have a shortage for the year we'll need to use a part of the interest - just like we did last year.

So we have the SS Fund, loans to the Federal Treasury, annual interest earned and the compounding of this interest for decades.

If we generated $118 Billion is a horrible economic recession then how much interest have we earned since the start of the program? Compounded interest, no less. And what is the total amount that the public owes the Social Security Administration from off of these years of borrowing and compounding interest?

The key will to ensure that the politicians don't conveniently "forget" about the funds loaned to the government and the compounded interest that has been earned.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 21):
You said that SS was an investment. But if that was the case - you would be paying 12.4% FICA, in the assumption that the money was invested and stored until you were eligible to draw from it.

The FICA I paid years ago wasn't put in storage - it was put to work paying benefits as working for all taxpayers - like building new roads. Part would have been loaned out to build carriers and fighters. Part would have helped pay for schools.

And these loans earned interest - compounding interest.

And it didn't cost any high commissions, or high "maintenance fees".

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 26):
Before I became an officer and I was enlisted, and when my wife was in school and not working... we were pretty poor.

I was even poorer as I served before the "volunteer forces" and our pay was pathetic. But I did manage to serve without building up any debt.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 30):
1. All residents of the U.S. shall have health care insurance coverage at all times, covering at least
- 90% of hospital expenses
- Major prescription drugs including antibiotics, heart, cholesterol and other drugs designed to control a particular condition
- 90% of Emergency room care
- 50% of Doctor visits

That's a good profit program for insurance companies, but not that good for individuals. It can't compete with a Medicare program expanded to everyone.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 30):
2. All persons working more than 25 hours per week and greater than 20 years of age shall be enrolled in a 401k plan, to which no less than 5% of his/her gross salary shall be invested every paycheck. Every 5 years, that percentage shall be increased by 1 percentage point - i.e. at age 25 it becomes 6%, at age 30 it becomes 7%, at 35 it is 8%, and so forth.

Even a better deal for the financial sector. And fine with me as long as it is in ADDITION to Social Security. That way when you retire around the next Republican Great Recession you won't have lost everything,

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 30):
3. The individual states are responsible for developing the above outlines and administering it, beginning no later than 201_.

That provides major increases in income for lobbyists at the state level as well as the national level.
 
stratosphere
Posts: 1730
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2007 12:45 pm

RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:25 pm

Quoting windy95 (Reply 9):
It is a Ponzi scheme

There you go my friend..You sum it up perfectly. It is exactly that. My wages today are paying on current retirees. Right now as it stands before I can collect benefits is 67 y/o..Now congress is talking about raising it to 70 for anyone younger than 50. Which I am. WTF? With my family history I will be lucky if I lived to the current age of 65 much less 70. I have paid a s**t load of money into SS and will most likely never see a dime of it. Sounds like a great program to me. No one with the exception of my mother collected SS and even she didn't collect much. But we all paid into it. Has not been any benefit to my family. I wish I could have the option to opt out of this system. I would do much better with all that money they take from me and invest it for me.
 
AirframeAS
Posts: 9811
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:46 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 40):
Wrong on SSI:

Oh, I am right. SSI comes from SSA. I know this for a fact. I used to receive SSI once upon a time, but not anymore. This was ions ago!

[Edited 2010-08-16 16:52:01]
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
FlyPNS1
Posts: 5491
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:12 am

RE: Attacking Social Security

Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:08 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 21):
I do not expect SS to be strong enough to adequately provide for my well being.

I agree and I don't think anyone should really bank on SS alone to provide them a quality retirement. It's a safety net only, not a path to a luxurious retirement.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 24):
Second, education and to some extent research, are things that can be undertaken by the government because they will often pay off for the nation.

Personal finance decisions, not so much.

I think people's personal finances are extremely important to the nation. Taken individually they may not mean much, but if millions of people plan poorly or have no safety net, the results can be very damaging.....see the Great Depression and current recession, both have routes in poor decision making at the individual level.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 30):
The individual states would be free to do what they like within the mandates. If Massachusetts wants to meet #1 with a single-payer system, while Georgia goes with a heavily regulated but fully private system, while California goes private but with a public option, that's perfectly fine. Over time people will see which systems are solvent and well run. States that run things properly will see businesses and the wealthier people flee to better-run states, and will have an incentive to immediately start fixing the problems.

Same with #2. Those states that run things well will be rewarded. Those that don't will be punished by market forces and electors will force changes.

That's what I believe in. A federal government that sets broad rules for the country but doesn't try to run it.

Not bad ideas, but it would never pass muster even with most conservatives. Keep in mind many of your rural, red states rely heavily on Federal subsidies to balance the books. If we went to the system you propose, most of these states would collapse.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 36):
Yeah if you serve 20yrs, you get 50 percent of your base pay at retirement. If you serve more than 20yrs, your 2.5% for each year beyond 20, up to a cap of 75%.

My complaint here is that retired military can collect their retirement and still go on to other careers and make more money while collecting a "retirement check" from the government. I know many a military officer who retired at 45 and then spent the next 10-20 years bringing in six figures at a defense contractor while receiving "retirement" pay. I grew up in a military family and my dad gets a check every month, but I see no reason to pay it out if you are still fully able bodied and working. Once you retire, then you can collect.

Quoting stratosphere (Reply 41):
Sounds like a great program to me. No one with the exception of my mother collected SS and even she didn't collect much.

But you are the exception, not the rule. Both my grandmothers have been collecting for 20+ years!! Do you hate car insurance? Many people will pay tens of thousands over a lifetime and never really use it...all that money and nothing in return.
 
Ken777
Topic Author
Posts: 10023
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:37 am

Quoting stratosphere (Reply 41):
Now congress is talking about raising it to 70 for anyone younger than 50.

If enough people under 50 raise enough hell then it might not change. There are far too many people who believe it won't be there for them and the ones pushing that line knows it needed for increasing the retirement age.

You need to be vocal and let politicians that it's not acceptable.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 42):
Oh, I am right. SSI comes from SSA.

Being administered by SSA and being funded with FICA taxes are two totally different things. FICA taxes are not used to pay for SSI.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 42):
I used to receive SSI once upon a time, but not anymore.!

And I'm glad that it was available when it was needed. That's part of Americans taking care of each other. Pity that we are moving away from that quality in this country.
 
AirframeAS
Posts: 9811
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:10 am

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 44):
FICA taxes are not used to pay for SSI.

Ok, fine, but it was paid out with "Social Security Admin" in the depository form on my monthly bank statements back then. This was in the early 90's, I think.....

Edit: Needed to add a word.

[Edited 2010-08-16 18:11:42]
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
BMI727
Posts: 11300
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:26 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 36):
such as ensuring our youth go to school

Send them to school and teach them how to save money.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 37):
In order to ensure that all the stupid people aren't out there demanding handouts for their own lack of foresight. At least the money is yours

You are right that at least people would have more control, but why should the government have to spend their (and therefore our resources) saving stupid people from themselves. If they want to not save money or go stand right next to a desert racetrack, it isn't my problem.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 40):
They can with their net pay.

But we aren't talking about money the government is using to run the FBI or military. They are taking people's money and investing it for them, which people could do just as well by themselves just without the bureaucracy.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 43):
but if millions of people plan poorly or have no safety net, the results can be very damaging.....see the Great Depression and current recession, both have routes in poor decision making at the individual level.

If the lack of a safety net is going to cause a major economic crisis, don't you think that the banks would realize this and try to put in some of their own safety nets privately, if for no other reason than their self preservation?
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WarRI1
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:32 am

I wonder how many people got to attend college because their parents spent all their retirement money to pay for higher education for their children, knowing they at least had SS waiting for them. I know in my generation, SS was the difference between welfare and at least some form of independence and dignity for millions who had no pensions from most of our corporations. They earned dog wages. My father was a carpenter all his life, no such thing as a pension then or now. In the forties and fifties, a very tiny percentage of workers had defined pensions. You wonder why the older people who went through the depression and worked in the mills etc. all their life, still cannot bring themselves to vote Republican? I collect SS and I earned a good living, and paid many dollars into the system, including my wife. I always paid the max. When I exceeded the tax threshold, the next year the ceiling went up. I would gladly pay all over again, to help the under paid under educated, but dam hard workers who slaved in the mills and shops and etc. with no pensions. SS was also a great benefit to myself and my wife. This would be a vastly different country without the social programs (SS) put into effect all those years ago.
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Ken777
Topic Author
Posts: 10023
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:46 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 46):
but why should the government have to spend their (and therefore our resources) saving stupid people from themselves.

Well, even the stupid ones pay FICA and get their Social Security checks later. Might be the only money they get in their old age. Better than having 70 year olds robbing banks or 80 year old ladies hooking in the neighborhood.
'

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 46):
They are taking people's money and investing it for them, which people could do just as well by themselves just without the bureaucracy.

Since the government pays interest there is no problem investing it. These "investments" build roads instead of raising your taxes even more to build them. And aircraft carriers. And pretty soon some new tankers for the USAF.

And how many good people will be taken by the Madoff types that would drool over everyone shifting FICA cash to the private sector. Looking at how the insurance companies rip people off in the health care market I can see them having wet dreams over getting their hands on Social Security money.

And after the rip offs, high maintenance fees, a roller coaster DOW, etc. you end up with a lot of people without a retirement. They're going to head to the polls and vote for anyone who will take care of them. And the financial sector will have a few trillion off shore.
 
AirframeAS
Posts: 9811
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 3:56 pm

RE: Attacking Social Security

Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:04 am

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 48):
Well, even the stupid ones pay FICA and get their Social Security checks later.

I may not be understanding you correctly, I apologize in advance but paying FICA is required under federal law, IIRC. I have been paying FICA deductions with every paycheck that I have received regardless of employer for the last 15 years and not paying it is NOT an option.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
Ken777
Topic Author
Posts: 10023
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RE: Attacking Social Security

Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:12 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 49):
I may not be understanding you correctly, I apologize in advance but paying FICA is required under federal law, IIRC. I have been paying FICA deductions with every paycheck that I have received regardless of employer for the last 15 years and not paying it is NOT an option.

You are correct, of course.

My comment was in reference to others who brought up "saving stupid people from themselves".

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