OT - Social Security

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OK, I cringe at starting another offtopic thread, but this one should be of interest to many on this group.
According to an article in my morning paper, the dire warnings about Social Security going broke in a few decades are based on the economy growing at a rate of 1.6% a year. For the last 75 years, the economy, according to the article, has grown at an average rate of 3.6%.
The economics professor quoted in the article is of the opinion that the "crisis" has been manufactured by the mutual funds and other investment types to tout privatizing of Social Security. That's a big pile of money they'd love to get their hands on.
Please don't let this degenerate into yet another philosophy harangue. The only question to be debated is whether the article is accurate or not.
It appears to me that even if the average rate is halved, it's about 10% higher (1.8% vs 1.6%) than the crisis estimates used.
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Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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snipped-for-privacy@fastmail.fm says...

Regardless of what that article says about the growth of the economy, the real reason for the crisis is the number of workers per retiree. Back in the 30s, it was close to 300 workers paying for the SS of one retiree. Today, it's at 3 and heading to 2 with a bullet.
That tells me one thing - I need to pump up my 401k and other savings, because I'm not counting on SS.
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Rick

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Rich Chamberlain writes:

And most of the money paid in has been stolen. Whoops. Pols don't steal. They simply take and use for other purposes.
By the way, when in the '30s was it 300 to 1?

SS was never intended, or, rather, was not originally intended, as a complete retirement program. It was to be a supplement for those who couldn't make enough money to save on their own, but was never intended to be all the income anyone had. Of course, now it often is and in some areas, for some people, it is more than adequate.
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"Charlie Self"

Also, it was designed to be distributed to the recipient for maybe 5 years. People are living much longer these days.
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If I am not mistaken, the average life expectancy was 62 when the original eligibility was set at 65. I could be wrong, though.
-- Al Reid
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." --- Mark Twain
"Fletis Humplebacker" <!> wrote in message

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Fletis Humlebacker writes:

I don't know if 5 years was the expected lifetime, but I had a paternal aunt who started drawing the minimum (about 88 bucks a month, IIRC) some time in the late '50s, after paying in for maybe 6-8 years, and drew it until she died at about 88, so 23 years. Not much money, but one helluva lot more than she'd paid in. Her husband was a design machinist who didn't opt for SS until he was 70 because his boss needed his work. I think he kept working until he was about 80, but only part-time, as back then SS limited earnings. That may have been until he was 70, now I think of it. He couldn't earn over xxx bucks per month or he'd lose his SS check, or at least part of it.
It's still over-complicated all to hell. I start paying Medicare part A or B (one is free, one is paid, and I'll be dipped if I can ever recall which). And I haven't got a clue as to what it covers. You'd think going to the site would help, but it's more confusing than asking my granddaughter about it. At 13 she knows it all and is not ashamed to tell you what it all is. Of course, she's wrong 99.97% of the time, but what the hell...
Drives her aunt up the wall, but the granddaughter is a clone of the aunt, at least in that respect. In the 8th grade, there was NOTHING she didn't know. She doesn't remember that today.
Charlie Self "There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America." William J. Clinton
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Charly got it right on the actual policy. It was/is meant as a supplemental in old age. As far as theft, well... There is no SS fund. All the money goes into the general fund kinda like petty cash account. Fletis hits spot on with the # of years one was expected to draw on it before they were off to join the choir invisible (shamelessly stolen from Monty) The fix? well it the 3s bear any resemblance to reality, I see about 5 ways. 1. Raise taxes. 2. Reduce benefits. 3. Raise retirement age. 4. Remove the death tax - completely. 5. Triple at least, limits on IRA contributions
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"Kevin" wrote in message

As the old saw goes, put the pols on SS and it would be "fixed" tomorrow.
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Swingman responds:

YES!
I'm looking for a job I can do for 6 years, after which I am able to retire at full salary. Have to get elected to do it, though.
Charlie Self "There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America." William J. Clinton
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Wanna see outsourcing take a nosedive? Start outsourcing the Congresscritters.

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Right. I'm sure John Kerry is really counting on his retirement money. Most of these politicians are wealthy already. Putting them on SS isn't going to change anything.
todd
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"todd" wrote in message

You're wrong. "Most" politicians aren't "wealthy"... until they get into Congress.
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There are 40 of 100 US Senators who are Millionaires. Just for grins:
Of the top 5 wealthiest Senators, how Many are Ds and how many are Rs?
Answer: D's - 5 R's - 0
Of the top 10 wealthiest Senators, , how Many are Ds and how many are Rs?
Answer: D's - 8 R's - 2
The richest is John Kerry at $163,626,399.
I assume we are to believe that they are really looking out for the "Working families" of Americas, who ever they are.
-- Al Reid
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." --- Mark Twain

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"Al Reid" wrote in message

There's 535 members of congress ...26% are millionaires. While that is certainly a disproportionate percentage compared to the general population, it is not "most", as has been stated as fact.
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What is their median net worth? The real question is, how many will be millionaires by the time they leave?
todd
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OK, Swingman, let's start back here. Since you're so fond of asking for references for statistics, what is your source for the above? Keep in mind that the 40 senators being millionaires is a minimum number. Because of the way the numbers are reported, the actual net worth could be understated considerably. Take Hillary Clinton, for example. Guess what, she didn't make the list of the 40 senators who are millionaires. Her net worth is estimated to be between $352,000 and $3.8 million. Take a guess which number is used as the basis of determining whether or not she's a millionaire. I'll be damned if I can find a link to the raw data on all the senators, but keep the following in mind. 1) The net worth is based on data provided by the congress folks themselves and 2) The number used as the basis could be low by a factor of at least 10.
todd
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Al Reid states:

Is that Kerry's money or his wife's? As for the D vs. R bit, it may well be that wealthy Republicans are too busy racking up more.
Charlie Self "There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America." William J. Clinton
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... wealth in the private sector, as opposed to going to the senate filthy rich with a D behind their name and claiming to be for the common working man?

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Al Reid offers:

Get real. Even at $138,000 a year, before gobbling at the trough, there ain't none of them for the common working man: they don't know who, or what, the common working man is and party doesn't matter a bit.
Charlie Self "There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America." William J. Clinton
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