OK, I'm not sure about the purpose being to pay down debt. But, I do
recall reading that the tax hike in 1983 was purportedly to save SS.
My main point from the article is that the excess funds being
collected from SS have been used to make our budget deficits looks
smaller than they actually are. Thing is, these (SS excess) started
out fairly small - merely ~$35B. Now, that excess is ~$300B and our
current prez is taking FULL advantage of this and then some.
SS wasn't meant to be a retirement program. I believe it was to be a
sort of safety net to preclude seniors living in poverty when they
can't work any more. And gee, it kinda works rather well.
Listening to the radio last evening, I heard that the average payout
is soemthing on the order of a million dollars per citizen, including
medicare. This is absurd, but could there be folks actually
collecting that million? I tried to find the transcript but wasn't
successful - yet (CSPAN radio, ~5PM Wed in Wash DC area; conference
w/CBO director (I think) and others).
An example of a person I know, who falls into that "safety net"
criteria is a guy who worked all his life, provided for his family but
all their $ went to living ( _basic_, not luxury, or even close)
expenses. No extras to save in a 401K even had such things existed
back then. His SS check was ~$1000/mon (at the end) minus a deduction
for medicare. $12 grand a year. He retired, I think, at 65 (his
place of employment went under, and other factors (age, hearing
problems) made it difficult to find work elsewhere). He lived to ~80.
15 years time 12 grand a year comes to $180,000 (did I do the math
right ;-). I cannot believe that medicare costs would add an extra
So, whoever's collecting their million - maybe we outta be examining
exactly who we're paying out this money to and how much we're paying
out. 'Cause that million is sure way beyond a safety net.
Folks today, barely getting by, shouldn't be paying into SS so that
rich old folks can live the high life, supplementing their pensions
with that extra from SS. Ultra rich ought not be getting tax cuts
heaped upon tax cuts, so that more of the excess from the current SS
intake is utilized to fund war & government (but those same politicans
cry about SS being in crisis). Etc.! But, all this this gets
And, BTW, no one is stopping anyone from setting up a 401k or other
savings for their retirement. Perhaps we oughta consider SS, not a
Ponzi, but just another tax that serves some purpose (see safety net
above) - and examine exactly what that purpose is and whether it's
accurately serving it. But, that would require logic and not
pandering to special interests, etc. and I don't think the current
goverment critters are capable of that.
[I will now, slowly, step down off the soap box! Thank you for your,
I'm sure, undivided attention ;-) ]
On Wed, 23 Feb 2005 08:30:31 -0700, Doug Winterburn
Well, I'm certainly not going to collect a million ($1200+ monthly) but
I can guess how they might get close to that figure.
My wife will collect on my account rather than her own when she gets
old enough, because she'll get more that way ($600+). When I die,
she'll get what I get.
On top of that, my ex-wife, whom I divorced over 35 years ago gets to
collect on my account because she had my children - the fact that those
children are now in their 40s doesn't seem to make a difference.
So we're up to $2400 or so a month on SS alone, without Medicare. If I
live to be 95, that's over $850,000. Of course it's more likely to be
about half of that. But then there's Medicare.
And I doubt we're in the "rich collecting SS" class, because even with
adding IRA savings to SS, we'll still be living on about $2500 monthly -
not counting the ex-wife :-).
So I can see the million as an upper limit for SS, and maybe Medicare
makes it the average. But I suspect it was hyperbole by someone wanting
to make a point.
Yep. I was surprised when I heard it too. But I did some research and
that's the way it goes. Again, if we'd had no children she couldn't
collect from mine. If I divorced my current wife (Ouch! Put down that
rolling pin!) she'd be ineligible to collect based on my income.
Since she only worked long enough to get the bare minimum, she has an
incentive to keep me happy :-).
I've heard this bull many times and it is just that. If a business could
raise prices to cover those taxes, why wouldn't they just raise prices to
increase profit whenever they felt like it? They don't because then their
products wouldn't sell. Businesses ARE paying their taxes. Let's turn this
around. You actually don't pay taxes. Your employer does. That is where the
money came from, right? Make sense to you?
the total cost of the employee is factored into the price of the goods or
services. same as the cost of the plastic, wood, glass, phones,
advertising, business taxes, training, whatever. this cost is recovered
when the business sells its goods or services.
businesses arent in business to sell the most stuff, they're in business to
make the most money. they raise or lower their prices to maximize this
number. you are implying the price is set on a whim. profit is a function
of both sale price and overhead. taxes are just another type of overhead.
the money used to pay the business taxes, employee taxes, whatever taxes
NEVER came from the business. businesses dont print money. nor do they
create it out of thin air. it came from the person who bought the product
from the business.
so to answer your question: what you say makes absolutely no sense to me.
And businesses aren't in business just for the fun of it or just to give
you a job, they are in business to make a profit, thus the business can
stay in busines, keep giving you your job so you have the money to
support your family, have the things you need and hopefully some of the
things you want. Most businesses face competition and have to price
their products to be competitive, so they may not be able to pay you
that large salary you think you deserve, but pay according to what
competition will allow so they can continue to make a profit, which
allows them to continue to stay in business and continue to offer you a
job. They don't raise or lower the price of their products at a whim, if
they raise the price of their product at a whim just to get more profit,
they will find the competition with a lower price gets the business.
Competition drives the pricing of products, not whim. Taxes are part of
the cost of doing business and of course taxes are a consideration in
the pricing of a product. So what's wrong with that? A few years of no
profit after taxes, then no business which means no job for you.
Let me clarify that point. Incorporated businesses have a special privilege, not
granted to individuals, of limited liability. This makes it possible to
accumulate large amounts of capital that would not be possible if the people
investing in the company were fiscally obliged beyond their initial investments.
Businesses therefore have an obligation to use that capital for the benefit of
society as a whole, not only for the benefit of their investors.
I would suggest that both of you try to get a copy of the award-winning
dicumentary "The Corporation". In the documentary, they show how
corporations achieved the almost untouchable status that they enjoy as
legal entities (persons); how corporations as persons fulfill each and
every criteria of clinical psychotics; and how their *primary* legal
duty is to create wealth for their shareholders /even/ /to/ /the/
/exclusion/ /of/ /environmental/ /issues/.
I think then that you will see why
I would love to actually see the figures that both parties are looking
at....(they have to be different)
I would like to see the projections (wild ass guesses ) both parties
are using for their projections....
Given this data...I still may not be able to state that SS is or is
not headed for a crisis in (pick your own year here)
It is just that I can NOT FIND those figures.. therefor I have
nothing to say on the subject....
GIVE US THE FIGURES.... let the people decide which set of figures is
more truthful... Then pass a law ( aka ...joke) that directs the
politicians to vote to will of the people not to vote as "my
representive without knowing my opinion...
hmmmm...not sure how this got here, but it deserves a reply. to
understand SS, you don't really have to understand anything but simple
math and economics.
problem 1. you can't pay out more than you take in.
problem 2. the aging babyboomers and the overall population explosion
here on planet earth.
problem 3. the mindset of people that they are supposed to "took care
of" by their goverment.
not alot you can do about 2 or 3. number 1 is a big problem too.
everybody can't retire comfortably. everybody can't even retire. you
can't produce money from thin air. everybody can't win. for every
winner, there must be a loser. money is not "earned" in an investment,
it is an exchange of wealth. for every person that wants to buy a
piece of stock at XX dollars, there is someone who wants to sell it
just as bad. to undermine this, promotes inflation. if the timing is
good, then you will make better money with your private account. if it
is not, then someone must lose..... or someone else must guarantee your
return. guarantees cost "everybody else" instead of you. (back to
square one) so there you have it. either pay more as individuals, pay
more as a society, or accept spiralling inflation for decades to come.
any way you look at it, it is a losing proposition. the privately
funded accounts are only a band-aid...a temporary fix. better than what
we have but there still has to be losers. when we accept this, we as a
society will be better off.
Social Security barely keeps people out of the poverty level. Actually, here
in the Northeast SS is the poverty level. You can lose everything you own,
but at the least the SS payments will keep some food on the table, and no
can take that away from you.
People, AND THEIR EMPLOYERS, have paid into the fund for the
duration of their working careers, and should expect to have something
paid back when they reach 67 yrs. and 8 mos. With the number of
folks in the 40 to 70 year age bracket I see making the daily obits, I
would think the fund would be cash rich??
At worst, wasn't the projected decreased payment at 75% for 2042?
By law the payments would be reduced to meet available funds. The
idea that the fund would bankrupt is Bush bullshit. Bush would be
better served by stating the truth, instead of stretching it. And I did vote
Why are immigrants coming to our shores, who have never paid a dime
into SS, being able to collect SS immediately? If there isn't enough money
there, the government should to themselves as being the cause.
We can spend billions on wars in Iraq to preserve our oil interests; we can
take care of our own as well.
First, SS was created as an extra kick after retirement, not as a sole
source of income.
When SS was created, there were 50 people paying in for every person
collecting. Now there is 2 people paying in for every person
collecting. As the baby boomers continue to retire, there will be more
people collecting than paying in. That is where the problem is. I
would love to be able to take some of that money and be responsible for
investing it myself. There are a lot of good funds and IRAs that can
help it grow over time. Not to mention, the SS system does not truly
guarantee that you will collect as the money is the property of the
government and they can dictate what to do with it. By privatizing it,
the government can't touch it as it is soley the property of the
individual that earned it.
Source? When it was created, it was a sole source for many Americans.
A big part of the problem is the government using funds to reduce the
deficit. And, giving SS benefits to folks who never paid into it.
Various IRAs, 401ks, invest as you wish!!! Who is stopping you? I
There are a lot of good funds and IRAs that can
and more importantly, it can't be legally attached as an asset, and taken
from you. One good illness, and you might see all of your 401Ks, IRAs
and bank accounts wiped out by medical bills.
Wouldn't SS be nice to fall back on then?
On 2/19/05 8:39 AM, in article dcIRd.84009$bu.18240@fed1read06, "Uncle
Indeed, this whole thing comes down to the philosophy of the so-called
"ownership society". As if privatizing social security would really give
individuals any real control over their own money. Gimme a break. It will
still be a huge government mandated and operated program, heavily limited in
scope compared to true individual accounts like 401k's or IRA's. And it
won't do anything to fix the solvency issue. Even Bush now admits to this.
Honestly, I think the whole idea is a non-starter. There isn't a single
Democrat who will go for it, and there's plenty of very nervous Republicans
too. They don't call it the "third rail of politics" for nothing. Far right
conservatives are angry at the very suggestion by Bush that raising the cap
on payroll taxes to fund it is on the table, yet no Republican moderates can
justify the switchover without at least partial funding.
Worse yet, I think the public is very skeptical. Most people see it as a
problem but not a crisis, and Bush has even dropped the word in his "sales
pitches". This then begs the question why Bush has made this a front burner
issue in the first place. Since he started beating the drum on this in
November, public opinion for or against hasn't budged a bit. And right now,
the majority is not convinced it is the right thing to do. Poll folks about
the basic idea of private accounts and they like it. Mention the risks
associated, or the cuts in guaranteed benefits, and support drops like a
Right. If Bush were truly into an "ownership society," he would
push through a reduction in SS taxes and benefits payments by
25% starting next January, recalculate future benefits to be in
line with the revised payment schedule, remove the 25% returned
from personal taxes, and give tax breaks oriented to small savers
and investors, and let people decide for themselves what to do
with the money they retain, including investing it for retirement.
Instead the administration will create another corporate boondoggle,
like the "drug benefit" that will add a mammoth cost to people who
actually pay taxes - the latest in the $800B range, close to double
what the administration claimed (and lied about) when it was ramming
it through congress; reduce benefits to seniors; and disallow price
negotiations with drug makers. I wonder how much the drug makers
"invested" in "campaign contributions" to pull off this monster
transfer of wealth ?
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