Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Christian Science Monitor reports that in a new study by the Program for Public Consultation, affiliated with the University of Maryland, a representative sample of 738 Americans went through a process in which they were given the opportunity to learn about the Social Security issue and seriously think through the options for dealing with the shortfall. Guess what? Three-quarters of Republicans and Democrats agreed on steps that would eliminate most of the Social Security shortfall. What would you do to ensure the long-term fiscal health of America's most popular government program?

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Admin's note: Participants in this discussion must follow the site's moderation policy. Profanity will be filtered. Abusive conduct is not allowed.

1. Means test benefits.
2. Increase maximum withholding.

#1 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-02-27 09:07 PM | Reply | Flag:

Same way to fix a lot of things: Get the people who've vacuumed up all the wealth in the country to pay for it.

#2 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2014-02-27 09:08 PM | Reply | Flag:

Same way Ronnie RAygun did it, raise the amount of income subject to SS taxes.

#3 | Posted by danni at 2014-02-27 09:11 PM | Reply | Flag:

1. Means test benefits.
2. Increase maximum withholding.

Yes on #1.

Yes on #2 but only to a nominal degree.

To these I would add:

Increase the eligibility age and be a bit more hawkish on COLA.

#4 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-02-27 09:12 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Increase the eligibility age and be a bit more hawkish on COLA."

YEah cuz those old folks are getting so rich. If the cost of living for you goes up realize it probably goes up more for the elderly who require drugs and other things to help them survive. Chained CPI is a very bad idea, I'm glad Obama dropped it from his budget proposal.

#5 | Posted by danni at 2014-02-27 09:18 PM | Reply | Flag:

Also Jeff, and I don't mean to pick on your but raising the eligibility age is a horrible idea. Unless you know someone 65 who is trying to find a job you won't know what I'm talking about though. I'm 63 and hoping to work until I'm 70 but I know that if I lost my job now I'd be screwed, I'd lose healthcare, income, my house, my car, etc. I'm fortunate because I'm more healthy and active than most folks my age but that could change so easily. The age of retirement is hard enough now for so many to reach, to make it longer would just be cruel and those jobs the elder folks hold should be filled by younger folks anyway.

#6 | Posted by danni at 2014-02-27 09:22 PM | Reply | Flag:

Danni,

Raising the eligibility age is only logical.

When the program was initiated the eligibility age was within a few years of average life expectancy.

All of the actuarial ratios are going in the wrong direction - an impossible direction.

Having said that, your point is fair. I don't support raising the age immediately. It's something that would have to done gradually over time.

Given your age you've undoubtedly organized your life around SS and Medicare promises and although our government swindled you and everybody else, supposedly your FICA taxes were allocated to general funding for these promises that you are now about to rely on.

#7 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-02-27 09:31 PM | Reply | Flag:

Increase the eligibility age ...

This is a big part. Life expectancy is increasing. 20 is the new 40. So it would go to follow that 85 is the new 65.

#8 | Posted by madbomber at 2014-02-27 09:36 PM | Reply | Flag:

put the military to good use and take $ back from the thieving banks.

#9 | Posted by kenx at 2014-02-27 09:37 PM | Reply | Flag:

Treat it like a savings bank. Let me determine what I put into it. I'm guaranteed the money and you can still barrow out the money like a bank does. I earn interest off it but it'll be a lot higher interest rate because there's more money being loaned out.

There's a fix just no one wants to fix it because crazy people want the apocalypse to happen.

#10 | Posted by pragmatous at 2014-02-27 09:43 PM | Reply | Flag:

Yeah I am with Danni on this COLA is already tiny. I am not a big fan of means testing just because you are rich doesn't mean you didn't dump a bunch of money into it. I did the study and I came up with eliminating the cap, and raising the tax to 6.6% solved 99% of shortfall.

#11 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2014-02-27 09:54 PM | Reply | Flag:

#11 ~ hmm, wise, per usual (no idea if what you wrote would work, sounds good tho)

i still say raid the banks LiH (oh yeah, they own the military)o:

#12 | Posted by kenx at 2014-02-27 10:12 PM | Reply | Flag:

Raise the cap and bring everybody into the system and continue to make benefits commensurate with payments.

Why should only those earners who are making up to the ceiling cap ($100K+) in W2 wages be required to pay into a trust that is being spent by the Treasury as general funds that benefits everyone?

#13 | Posted by Robson at 2014-02-27 10:15 PM | Reply | Flag:

Very simple fix actually. Pay all benefits out of general funds for current recipients. Then privatize the rest so each person would be responsible for their own retirement and keep democrats from spending the funds. Of course safety rules would have to be implemented to spread contributions across a broad range of approved safe investments.

No investments in things like Zatoichi's global cooling machine or Rcades commie news conglomoration.

#14 | Posted by mcmlcxx at 2014-02-27 10:16 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

Social Security is the biggest fraud the federal government ever perpetrated on the American people and you rubes are still falling for it.

If the average American took 12.2% of their income and invested it in the stock market from the age of 18 until 62 then based on the average rate of return they would have more than a million dollars and could live off the interest.

Thus leaving their principal intact for their kids retirement upon their death so their children and grandchildren would never have to contribute anything to retire.

Simply put the parents principal stays intact and grows until the next generation retires upon which they only get the interest and the principal is passed on. If a lineage dies out then the money is used for those who are invalids or sick to pay for their care or retirement.

Problem solved and no need for more democrats in your life.

#15 | Posted by mcmlcxx at 2014-02-27 10:26 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

"I am not a big fan of means testing just because you are rich doesn't mean you didn't dump a bunch of money into it. I did the study and I came up with eliminating the cap, and raising the tax to 6.6% solved 99% of shortfall."

Eliminate the cap and it becomes another wealth transfer program. We already have those, so wouldn't it be better to just mandate means-tested transfer payments at the rates currently in use under SS? And fund it out of the general fund?

Currently, if you remove the cap, SS is a money loser for anyone making more than about $220k per year. But if I'm making that much, I'm probably not concerned about the $2200 a month I can expect to receive in SS. So how about you just tax me the amount needed to cover those who have less than $2200 a month coming. Because you're not doing me any favors by pretending you're doing me a favor.

"I did the study and I came up with eliminating the cap, and raising the tax to 6.6% solved 99% of shortfall."

I increased the payroll tax to 7.2%, tied increases to inflation, and raised the retirement age to 70. 104% of shortfall solved! Yay me!

#16 | Posted by madbomber at 2014-02-27 10:32 PM | Reply | Flag:

Kenx,

I used the tool that was linked in the article www.surveygizmo.com

It lines up with other numbers I have run so I am inclined to believe their numbers are pretty good. Maybe even a bit conservative since other numbers I have run did not require the increase from 6.5 to 6.6 tax rate.

#17 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2014-02-27 10:36 PM | Reply | Flag:

Mad,

Since I am not in the bracket to worry about the cap I will trust you on it. If you would rather have a cap and means testing that is fine with me. However removing the cap increases the amount you would receive so while it is still a wealth transfer you do get a fatter check. I am resistant to the age increase for the reasons Danni laid out. Having a bunch of geezers competing with recent grads for jobs does not appeal to me nor does working to 70. Granted with MS odds are I would be on disability long before 70 but still I try not to only think of my own needs when it comes to the good of the nation.

#18 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2014-02-27 10:49 PM | Reply | Flag:

I would fix social security by:

1) preventing politicians from spending it.

2) Docking Politicians' pay until the amount they spent has been recouped.

The problem isn't social security. The problem is the misuse of social security by the people that were supposed to be protecting it.

#19 | Posted by ClownShack at 2014-02-27 10:55 PM | Reply | Flag:

If the average American took 12.2% of their income and invested it in the stock market from the age of 18 until 62 then based on the average rate of return they would have more than a million dollars and could live off the interest.

Gambling man are you?

Why not just take 12.2% of your income, from the age of 18 until 62, and bet it in vegas?

#20 | Posted by ClownShack at 2014-02-27 10:57 PM | Reply | Flag:

Means testing is a bad idea. Since the vast majority of us won't be affected (income below the threshold), it actually makes only a small dent in the cash flow, but sets the mindset that SS is a "welfare" program, i.e., rich paying for the less fortunate. Don't do it. Raise the elgibility age (like we did in the 80's) or increase the withholding rate a bit, but DO NOT make it subject to a means test. We need to pay for this ourselves. I would like to see a real clampdown on cheats, such as those claiming disability when they really could and should be working.

#22 | Posted by mad_as_hell at 2014-02-27 11:00 PM | Reply | Flag:

Mad,

That is how I thought about means testing too but if those affected prefer the concept of a cap and means testing to no cap and no means testing I am fine with that as long as 20 years from now when they want to pull the welfare card they can be reminded that it was their choice to go this route.

#23 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2014-02-27 11:04 PM | Reply | Flag:

Social Security is an insurance policy -- not a retirement plan. Thanks to those who came up with this program who suffered the horror of their elderly and infirmed family members dying of poverty during the late 20s and 30s so we don't have to.

Two aspects of the study I would like for VOP to have touched on are the impact of legal immigrants who will never see benefits from their contributions, and the fact that almost every penny from Social Security paid to beneficiaries goes quickly back into the economy and benefits small businesses.

#24 | Posted by DCTexan at 2014-02-27 11:43 PM | Reply | Flag:

"I would fix social security by:

1) preventing politicians from spending it."

At what point did you, as a sheep, become smarter than your Shepherds.

If they are spending SS trust money, you need to understand that it is for your own good. So be quiet. People have been thrown out of helicopters for less, so remember your place.

#25 | Posted by madbomber at 2014-02-27 11:48 PM | Reply | Flag:

I have a better idea for all of you who love social security and taxes. Just send the government all of your money and let them redistribute it back to you as they please. I mean if what they are doing is so great more of it would certainly be better.

No, the more money government takes from the individual or family the more it destabilizes that person or family. The more they need help from the same people who took their money in the first place. Like asking the robber to let you keep enough of your own money for breakfast.

#26 | Posted by mcmlcxx at 2014-02-28 12:03 AM | Reply | Flag:

You fix your own potholes, there, 23?

#27 | Posted by Harry_Powell at 2014-02-28 12:05 AM | Reply | Flag:

strategically detonated nuclear weaponry.

#28 | Posted by NerfHerder at 2014-02-28 12:06 AM | Reply | Flag:

The money was never theres to spend, but so much had accumulated and Reagan didn't care what happened to it.

Now that people want their money back "its such a failed program."

Republicans bankrupt the country and expect people to look the other way.

"Republicans, dumb as dirt."

#29 | Posted by ClownShack at 2014-02-28 12:22 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

the more money government takes from the individual or family the more it destabilizes that person or family. The more they need help from the same people who took their money in the first place. Like asking the robber to let you keep enough of your own money for breakfast.

Is that why your voted for BushJr twice?

He sure took a fat --- on your plate for you to eat for breakfast.

#30 | Posted by ClownShack at 2014-02-28 12:24 AM | Reply | Flag:

Long term, I suppose a raise in the retirement age should be viewed as a sign of progress...
But Danni is right that it can't go from 65 to 70 for people who are 62. I wouldn't raise it for anyone over say 45, so as to give everyone plenty of time to adjust to the changes.

I would like to see a real clampdown on cheats, such as those claiming disability when they really could and should be working.
#22 | Posted by mad_as_hell

I'm with ya, but I wouldn't even punish the cheats. Just a catch-and-release program. I would prosecute the businesses which use the cheats to leech from the public trough.

As for why I wouldn't punish the cheats, it's because there will always be more leeches, so why waste my time? It would be like trying to swat all the mosquitoes in Minnesota. Impossible. But the people attaching the leeches to the body of Uncle Sam, that takes some skill. Some of them are really good at it; you see their law firms advertised on daytime broadcast TV quite a bit.

It's also worth mentioning that, were we to a national health system, it would give us more control surfaces on these issues.

#31 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-02-28 12:38 AM | Reply | Flag:

#27 WTH Harry? What was that addressed at?

#29 It wasn't just the republicans in fact I seem to recall it was a democrat who first tapped those funds for the general fund.

#32 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2014-02-28 12:39 AM | Reply | Flag:

"But Danni is right that it can't go from 65 to 70 for people who are 62. I wouldn't raise it for anyone over say 45, so as to give everyone plenty of time to adjust to the changes. Snoofy

But you could apply for hardship like you can today.

The biggest problem is the ratio of workers to beneficiaries. The ratio is outta whack...

so why waste my time? It would be like trying to swat all the mosquitoes in Minnesota.

Its silly talk to imply people are like mosquitoes, people respond to risk....

#33 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-02-28 12:47 AM | Reply | Flag:

" I wouldn't raise it for anyone over say 45, so as to give everyone plenty of time to adjust to the changes." - Snoofy

You mean like Ryan's healthcare plan?

#34 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-02-28 12:48 AM | Reply | Flag:

"The money was never theres to spend" - ClownShack

""Republicans, dumb as dirt." - ClownShack

That should be enough of that....

#35 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-02-28 12:49 AM | Reply | Flag:

#29) I also used the wrong "their's" there.

#32) Which democrat popped the funds?

Either way. SS is failing because the money was spent on things it was not designated for.

Republicans are stupid enough to believe it was a failed system.

Its not a failed system, our government needs to be regulated by us, the people, and taken out of the hands of the rich and the corporate lobbyists.

#36 | Posted by ClownShack at 2014-02-28 12:50 AM | Reply | Flag:

#29 It wasn't just the republicans in fact I seem to recall it was a democrat who first tapped those funds for the general fund.

#32 | POSTED BY TAOWARRIOR

Clinton used it to balance the budget...

#37 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-02-28 12:50 AM | Reply | Flag:

"The money was never theres to spend" - ClownShack
""Republicans, dumb as dirt." - ClownShack
That should be enough of that....
#35 | POSTED BY ANDREAMACKRIS

When did you start trying to be clever?

It doesn't suit you.

SS was not created for politicians to spend (misuse).

And Republicans are dumb as dirt.

"That should be enough of that..."

Meh, its a stupid quip. you can keep it.

#38 | Posted by ClownShack at 2014-02-28 12:52 AM | Reply | Flag:

Abuse of the Social Security Trust Fund Began in the 1980s
The mishandling of Social Security funds has been going on since the mid-1980s. As soon as the surpluses, resulting from the 1983 payroll tax hike, first began to flow into the Treasury, politicians from both political parties began using the money like a giant slush fund. At that time, it would be at least 30 years before the funds would actually be needed for Social Security, so politicians developed the bad habit of "temporarily borrowing" the money and using it for non-Social Security purposes. That bad habit never was broken, and every dollar of the $2.5 trillion in surplus Social Security revenue, generated by the tax hike, has been spent, leaving no real assets in the trust fund.
dissidentvoice.org

#39 | Posted by ClownShack at 2014-02-28 12:55 AM | Reply | Flag:

Clinton used it to balance the budget...
#37 | POSTED BY ANDREAMACKRIS AT 2014-02-28 12:50 AM

Can't find anything backing up your claim. I admit, I was still in elementary school at this time so I may not remember it as well as you do.

But I'm calling BS on this assertion until I see proof that "Clinton used [Social Security] to balance the budget."

#40 | Posted by ClownShack at 2014-02-28 01:00 AM | Reply | Flag:

I'd say Tao should read my linked article and Andrea needs to check for new talking points.

I'm heading out for a few hours.

Don't get too excited.

#41 | Posted by ClownShack at 2014-02-28 01:01 AM | Reply | Flag:

1. Means test benefits.
2. Increase maximum withholding.

#1 | Posted by snoofy at

I would add #3. STOP letting the Treasury Dept take money from it!!!!!!!!!!!

#42 | Posted by GotTruth at 2014-02-28 01:04 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

But I'm calling BS on this assertion until I see proof that "Clinton used [Social Security] to balance the budget."

#40 | POSTED BY CLOWNSHACK

During Clinton's tenure as POTUS the SS fund was merged with the general treasury and given that, at the time, the fund was operating at a surplus (SS taxes exceeded SS payouts) and thus pushed the budget into the black.

#43 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-02-28 02:06 AM | Reply | Flag:

If the average American took 12.2% of their income and invested it in the stock market from the age of 18 until 62 then based on the average rate of return they would have more than a million dollars and could live off the interest.
Gambling man are you?

Why not just take 12.2% of your income, from the age of 18 until 62, and bet it in vegas?
#20 | POSTED BY CLOWNSHACK


The argument is that many people could do far better if the nanny-state left them alone and were allowed to invest their FICA tax money as they see fit.

#44 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-02-28 02:18 AM | Reply | Flag:

" I wouldn't raise it for anyone over say 45, so as to give everyone plenty of time to adjust to the changes." - Snoofy

You mean like Ryan's healthcare plan?
#34 | Posted by AndreaMackris

The exciting part about Ryan's plan is the "premium support" vouchers.
And by "exciting" I mean such an obvious scam even dumb old people could figure out it wouldn't cover their costs.

#45 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-02-28 02:41 AM | Reply | Flag:

The exciting part about Ryan's plan is the "premium support" vouchers.
And by "exciting" I mean such an obvious scam even dumb old people could figure out it wouldn't cover their costs.

#45 | POSTED BY SNOOFY

It's mirrored after the plans that congress enjoys.

The most effective way to reduce healthcare costs is to make a majority of the transactions first-person, which means adopting and HSA model.

#46 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-02-28 02:47 AM | Reply | Flag:

and=an

#47 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-02-28 02:54 AM | Reply | Flag:

It's easy to fix social security. Just do what both dems and pubs said we should do (while they did the exact opposite): restore the lock box. Make all social security deductions deposited in banks and accruing interest.
Another good reform would be to make it no longer an entitlement. The drug addicts, alcoholics, mentally ill who recover should not be receiving government money for the rest of their lives. If they can function, they lose the benefit.
Third, and most unpopular with democrats: start prosecuting the lawyers who perpetuate social security fraud.

#48 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-02-28 03:57 AM | Reply | Flag:

Didn't know social security was in trouble, oops, you it is only in trouble because we allow the government free hands upon the money and not paying it back.

Trillion of dollars have been barrowed from social security and now the government doesn't have the funds to pay back what they have taken so they simply remove it from the books.

social security shouldn't even be discussed, the government need to owe up to what they have done and cut other programs to pay back what they have barrowed...period.

Good bye oil subsidies, good bye cheap capital gains tax, and companies off shoring should pay a social security tax for every foreign employee.

#49 | Posted by moneywar at 2014-02-28 05:34 AM | Reply | Flag:

It's mirrored after the plans that congress enjoys.
#46 | Posted by JeffJ

Well then, the problem with the plan should be quite obvious.
Most Americans don't have a six figure income like people in Congress do.
Especially not the ones who are struggling with health care expense.

#50 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-02-28 07:16 AM | Reply | Flag:

#48
"Third, and most unpopular with democrats: start prosecuting the lawyers who perpetuate social security fraud."

I don't know any Democrats who wouldn't want to prosecute lawyers committing fraud. In my experience, fraud is not mutually exclusive to Democrats or Republicans.

#51 | Posted by TheRef65 at 2014-02-28 07:42 AM | Reply | Flag:

#6

Danni,

You are already screwed, you keep voting for idiots like Obummer that could care less about creating jobs and the people that would create jobs you keep bashing. So yes you are screwed.

#52 | Posted by gtjr at 2014-02-28 08:46 AM | Reply | Flag:

Fixing social security is not too hard,

1) put a lock on SS contributions, in other words the political hacks in D.C. cannot touch the money except for SS recipients.
2) Raise the withholding to 200K over five years, incresing it 20K per year then keep it indexed to inflation.
3) Allow each person the right, IF THEY WANT TO, invest some of thier benefits to get a higher return when they retire. It would have to be limited to perhaps muni bond funs, gov bonds, things that are relatively stable. Currently SS earns nothing as a return becasue the political hacks keep plundering it.
4) Raise the retiremnet age, gradually to 70. when SS started the average life expectancy was nowhere near what it is today. Currently the full retirement is age 66. It would have to be done gradually to give business time to adapt. While I am almost at the retirement age I would love to remain in the workforce.

Unfortunately my wife and I disagree about that so I guess I will have to start some sort of business to keep me busy. I have witnessed many people who after they retire go down hill in a hurry. Sadly this country does not value experience over green, naive, college grads. Like it or not there is no substitute for experience. There are societys that do value experience, and in the future they will be the successful ones.

#53 | Posted by gtjr at 2014-02-28 09:02 AM | Reply | Flag:

1. Means test benefits.
2. Increase maximum withholding.
#1 | POSTED BY SNOOFY

Oddly, I could agree with that. I'll have to rethink this now.

#54 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-02-28 09:10 AM | Reply | Flag:

"Why not just take 12.2% of your income, from the age of 18 until 62, and bet it in vegas?"

You're going to compare a systematic investment plan over 40 years that has risk management part of the strategy to.......going to vegas?

I'm guessing you don't have any money.

#55 | Posted by eberly at 2014-02-28 09:10 AM | Reply | Flag:

blah blah....same ole crap from the same ole whiners about SS.

"just raise the taxes on anyone making more than me!!"

#56 | Posted by eberly at 2014-02-28 09:11 AM | Reply | Flag:

"You're going to compare a systematic investment plan over 40 years that has risk management part of the strategy to.......going to vegas?"

I'm thinking that the problem there is that many don't have the head for that kind of thing and unless those who fail in their investments are subsequently executed then...?

#57 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2014-02-28 09:13 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

I would allow people to opt out.

Not that I think that will fix anything but at least people who have no chance of ever seeing their money could stem the bleeding.

#58 | Posted by Sully at 2014-02-28 09:16 AM | Reply | Flag:

1. Means test benefits.
2. Increase maximum withholding.
#1 | POSTED BY SNOOFY

Oddly, I could agree with that. I'll have to rethink this now.
#54 | Posted by paneocon

The lack of means testing is the means by which full participation is induced and argument against is avoided.

#59 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2014-02-28 09:17 AM | Reply | Flag:

#59 | POSTED BY HAGBARD_CELINE

It has a lot to do with it's classification as "insurance" and not a tax. It is how ever silly to send some one a $2,500.00 check when their net worth is in excess of 2.0 million.

#60 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-02-28 09:23 AM | Reply | Flag:

"It is how ever silly to send some one a $2,500.00 check when their net worth is in excess of 2.0 million."

why is that silly?

#61 | Posted by eberly at 2014-02-28 09:27 AM | Reply | Flag:

why is that silly?
#61 | POSTED BY EBERLY

Because we're broke! Don't give me the bit about "we made a promise to these people" That ship sailed when we "F"ed primary GM bond holders to the tune of 17cents on the dollar.

#62 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-02-28 09:36 AM | Reply | Flag:

"It has a lot to do with it's classification as "insurance" and not a tax."

I think you just said the same thing I did using different words. If there was means testing, then a tax.

#63 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2014-02-28 09:36 AM | Reply | Flag:

Step one:
Limit output to money actually in hand, be that 100% of promised benefits, or 1%.

Step two:
Step two does not matter if you can't handle step one.

#64 | Posted by USAF242 at 2014-02-28 09:38 AM | Reply | Flag:

"Because we're broke!"

well, I'm not broke, actually.

And it's been illustrated that SS has been funded properly, but it's been raided and the surplus has been co-mingled with the general fund and spent.

If someone pays in the max in their whole working life, you want them to get squat out of SS just because they amassed assets.

You realize I have ZERO incentive to accumulate any assets if it means I won't get squat out of SS?

That's not a very intelligent nor forward thinking idea.

The payouts are and should be based on what someone paid in.

#65 | Posted by eberly at 2014-02-28 09:43 AM | Reply | Flag:

Now, with that said....despite the fact that I will pay the max my whole working life and I likely won't that back, I'm still a supporter of SS.

I don't want a bunch of my relatives on my doorstep begging for food.

#66 | Posted by eberly at 2014-02-28 09:45 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

Democrats want to raise the retirement age to 100 and give no cost of living raises no wonder seniors are overwhelmingly voting for republicans.

#67 | Posted by mcmlcxx at 2014-02-28 10:53 AM | Reply | Flag:

#67
"Democrats want to raise the retirement age to 100 and give no cost of living raises no wonder seniors are overwhelmingly voting for republicans."

You must be a troll. You spout a lot of crap and rarely if ever from what I've seen, show a link to prove your point.

I can see means testing and also raising the age gradually over time, not the 100 that MCMLCXX assumes Democrats want. I don't like privatization because if you are not savvy in the market you can lose everything, almost overnight, and let's face it, there are very few that know what's going on in the stock market or even what are good retirement investments. The idea of the savings account where the money is used for loans and such with a certain interest rate sounds pretty good.

#68 | Posted by TheRef65 at 2014-02-28 11:18 AM | Reply | Flag:

Anyone worried about the budget needs to look at the collapse of our economy and subsequent $17 trillion bailout. Holder & Co need to do their job, as in prosecuting banking criminals for fraud and illegal gambling with other people's money. Reinstate Glass-Steagal.

Repeal all tax loopholes invented for the super rich. Jail all these tax dodgers until $32 trillion in secret offshore accounts are settled.

Everyone should be paid in accordance with the SS contract imposed.

Cancel Free Trade Agreements, as currently constructed. Stop TPP.

Quit policing the planet. Reduce our nuclear stockpiles and other weapons of mass destruction.

www.youtube.com

#69 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-02-28 12:35 PM | Reply | Flag:

Really Nutcase,

So you want to limit cell phones, computers, robotics, vehicles, oil, and every other commodity we get from overseas?

After you cut all the agreements then the tarriffs start and that means everything in the country that is not produced here, think anything electronic, will become hard to get and very, very expensive. Yep that sounds real smart. Guess there is a reason you go by nutcase.

In case you have not noticed we are in a global market, if we pull out guess who gets hurt? U.S. citizens, high prices mean lower standard of living, even lower than the Obummer economy. Less availablity of products, go and read about how great it was in Russia when they pulled out of the global economy and their economy was a disaster in the 50', 60's 70's and 80's. Bare shelves in stores, high prices. Of course some of that was due to Communism too but the countries behind the iron curtain were economic disasters. We have to as a nation figure out how to compete in a global economy, not run away and hide from it.

#70 | Posted by gtjr at 2014-02-28 01:31 PM | Reply | Flag:

Increase the eligibility age and be a bit more hawkish on COLA.

#4 | POSTED BY JEFFJ AT 2014-02-27 09:12 PM | FLAG:

That 1% increase last year was just too much huh?

#71 | Posted by 726 at 2014-02-28 01:48 PM | Reply | Flag:

I don't want a bunch of my relatives on my doorstep begging for food.

#66 | POSTED BY EBERLY AT 2014-02-28 09:45 AM | FLAG:

It's not the one's that will be begging that will be the problem. It will be the one's that will come armed to take the food that will be the problem.

#72 | Posted by 726 at 2014-02-28 01:49 PM | Reply | Flag:

#72

Yeah, but the strangers will be easier to shoot.

:-)

#73 | Posted by eberly at 2014-02-28 01:54 PM | Reply | Flag:

"It is how ever silly to send some one a $2,500.00 check when their net worth is in excess of 2.0 million."

why is that silly?
#61 | Posted by eberly

Because someone worth $2M is fully secure in their, uh, social-ness.

#74 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-02-28 02:11 PM | Reply | Flag:

Now, with that said....despite the fact that I will pay the max my whole working life
#66 | Posted by eberly

You contribute more than $100K a year?
Pushing insurance paperwork is more lucrative than I thought!

#75 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-02-28 02:17 PM | Reply | Flag:

Retired and worth 2 million is nice, but if you're retired at 55, that 2500 is additional security. In fact I don't care if you have 2 million and you're 75, that 2500 is still security.

What other things do you believe people who save for their retirement can do without?

#76 | Posted by 101Chairborne at 2014-02-28 02:20 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Because someone worth $2M is fully secure in their, uh, social-ness."

so what? I'm still entitled to the max...because I paid it.

I know.....this is hard for you to understand.

"You contribute more than $100K a year?"

No. you don't even know how this works, do you?

Here....a little help.

www.ssa.gov

#77 | Posted by eberly at 2014-02-28 02:23 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

gtjr,

What is the point of fielding a military that requires offshored parts? We don't make enough steel to support our military. Bottom line: in a serious conflict we will lose, unless we destroy life on earth. As far as that goes, we've lost practically every lesser conflict since WWII. Practically everything the military does is just a big waste of money, unlike building our infrastructure, building new business, education, health care and food stamps.

#78 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-02-28 03:47 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Because someone worth $2M is fully secure in their, uh, social-ness."
so what? I'm still entitled to the max...because I paid it.
#77 | Posted by eberly

And people accuse liberals of having an entitlement attitude...

#79 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-02-28 07:23 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Retired and worth 2 million is nice, but if you're retired at 55, that 2500 is additional security. In fact I don't care if you have 2 million and you're 75, that 2500 is still security.

What other things do you believe people who save for their retirement can do without?

#76 | Posted by 101Chairborne

You're being obtuse. $2500 is a lot more security for someone worth $0 than someone worth $2,000,000.

If you retired at 55... you're obviously doing well enough you got to retire ten years before most.

Perhaps this 55th year could be dedicated to finally reaching adulthood and not whining like a child ripped from the teat.

#80 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-02-28 07:45 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

so what? I'm still entitled to the max...because I paid it.

If America went bankrupt you would be entitled to exactly zip.

#81 | Posted by donnerboy at 2014-02-28 07:56 PM | Reply | Flag:

I would take a couple of billion for my own...and then spread it around....that way it would help the economy....just ask pelosi about spreading it out....I mean the money, not spreading her """ stuff... aha ha ha ha ha ha ha

but look at it this way....there's be some richer jaguar dealerships, a LOT of golf courses with more money and a whole PASSEL of hookers counting their windfall...

#82 | Posted by afkabl2 at 2014-02-28 08:05 PM | Reply | Flag:

The good folks in Washington already have a remedy. All they need is a crises for an excuse to nationalize private pensions. For your protection of course.

#83 | Posted by Ray at 2014-02-28 08:19 PM | Reply | Flag:

I am entitled, snoofy.

you can still mooch off me in the meantime and even later in life when you've drawn more out than you paid in.

you're welcome.

NOW GO GET YOUR SHINEBOX!!

#84 | Posted by eberly at 2014-02-28 08:27 PM | Reply | Flag:

#79

Typical liberal, whether you are worth 200 million, 2 million, or 2000 dollars you paid in to the system and the system owes you your payout. I know you always think those that work hard, take chances and are successful do not deserve anything. Get a life just because they hustled and quite frankly gave up a lot in their life to ammass big dollars should never preclude them from getting what they paid for. If that was the case when they exceed a certain net worth they should be allowed ot withdraw from SS.

#85 | Posted by gtjr at 2014-02-28 10:12 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Easy GTJR....snoofy is a victim.
I need to start treating him as such.

#86 | Posted by eberly at 2014-02-28 10:43 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

Stop allowing wall st. to raid it.

That is pretty much all that is needed.

#87 | Posted by Shawn at 2014-03-01 01:11 AM | Reply | Flag:

Typical liberal, whether you are worth 200 million, 2 million, or 2000 dollars you paid in to the system and the system owes you your payout.

Ball your little fists and cry all you want, Mr. Moral Indignation, but legally, Social Security owes you nothing. Just like the police have no responsibility to protect you.

There's quite the contrast in how you reconcile both of these realities. When it comes to the fact that SSI doesn't owe you anything, you pout and whine like a spoiled brat. But when it comes to the fact that police don't owe you any protection you cheerfully suggest everyone procure a small arsenal since the (incompetent government public union) police can't be counted on.

just because they hustled and quite frankly gave up a lot in their life to ammass big dollars should never preclude them from getting what they paid for.
#85 | Posted by gtjr

What they paid for is the social security of the American people.
Something they already have in spades.

#88 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-03-01 01:48 AM | Reply | Flag:

Question for Eberly and GTJR:

Is it more important to you that America have a functional Social Security system, or that rich people to get back all the pennies on the dollar they've paid in, even if it sinks SSI?

I realize reality isn't that stark, but let's say it was... I suspect Eberly would grudgingly allow SSI to continue in its redistributive existence, while GTJR would say, in the words of James Brown, "I got mine, ain't worried 'bout his."

The vast chasm between those two outlooks is at the heart of what's ripping apart the GOP and America. New Republicans and old guard Republicans differ starkly when it comes to questions like "Is there a social contract?" or "Am I my brother's keeper?"

#89 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-03-01 02:01 AM | Reply | Flag:

My solution is to live a long life so I can get back as much as I can before it collapses. It's called restitution.

#90 | Posted by Ray at 2014-03-01 07:40 AM | Reply | Flag:

"Is it more important to you that America have a functional Social Security system, or that rich people to get back all the pennies on the dollar they've paid in, even if it sinks SSI?"

oh, so the money I would draw from SS would "sink" it but the money you draw from it won't?

"When it comes to the fact that SSI doesn't owe you anything,"

Do you suppose it owes you anything?

paying the pennies on the dollar back to me isn't going to break SS. Afterall, what % of SS recipients have paid in the max anyway?

I seriously doubt there will any change in SS distributions that will account for assets. Currently there are disencentives for someone to earn an income while drawing out SS in the early years of SS eligilibity. It's possible there could be an expansion of that limitation/disincentive, but I can't see where they could develop a plan of snooping into my assets for eligibility. Hell, it would be cheaper to just pay me. My attorneys and accountants would find a way around such obstacles anyway.

#91 | Posted by eberly at 2014-03-01 08:48 AM | Reply | Flag:

Snoofy they are right If you want to set up means testing to block the wealthy then just call SS welfare for the elderly.

The social contract you are talking about guarantees that the wealthy have the same access to it as the poor. If you take away that access just because of assets then you are the one who has violated the social contract.

#92 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2014-03-01 08:58 AM | Reply | Flag:

based on the average rate of return

What was the average rate of return in 2008?

#93 | Posted by Nixon at 2014-03-01 12:55 PM | Reply | Flag:

All they need is a crises for an excuse to nationalize private pensions. For your protection of course.

#83 | POSTED BY RAY AT 2014-02-28 08:19 PM | REPLY | FLAG:

They had that with Enron, Tyco, and the mortgage fraud bubble. I still have my private pension.

#94 | Posted by Nixon at 2014-03-01 01:00 PM | Reply | Flag:

Snoofy they are right If you want to set up means testing to block the wealthy then just call SS welfare for the elderly.

Well, I'd prefer to call it something like "Old Age Survivors and Disability Insurance." Which is what it's actually called in real life. So yeah, I feel like I'm pretty much on point here.

The social contract you are talking about guarantees that the wealthy have the same access to it as the poor.

No, it really doesn't. There's nothing in the social contract which blinds society to the needs and natures of individuals. If there was, we'd still have a draft, and we'd be drafting women. As it stands, I'm pretty sure women aren't even required to register with Selective Service.

If you take away that access just because of assets then you are the one who has violated the social contract.
#92 | Posted by TaoWarrior

I'll concede this point just as soon as every American has equal access to the services of Eberly's "attorneys and accountants would find a way around such obstacles anyway."

#95 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-03-01 01:51 PM | Reply | Flag:

Snoofy, you poor thing.

#96 | Posted by eberly at 2014-03-01 02:54 PM | Reply | Flag:

Eberly, should everybody get need-based grants for college, or only people who otherwise can't afford it?

After all, it's your tax dollars funding those grants. Why shouldn't your kids be entitled?

#97 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-03-01 03:17 PM | Reply | Flag:

Eberly, let's say Social Security were in fact means tested. And the test determined that you had sufficient means so as to not need it.

Why do you think this makes you a victim?

What that should tell you is you've had tremendous success and don't need the training wheels any more. Unlike many others who weren't so fortunate in life.

Your a white man. You're rich. You're right-wing. Yet you still manage to think you're a tragic victim, preyed upon by the very society which has made you rich.

Try taking some pride in your life and your accomplishments for once. Of course, if you think your riches weren't honestly earned, I can see how that might explain some of your thinking.

#98 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-03-01 03:24 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

again, you poor thing.

college grants are different. I have no expecations and no promises have been made to me on what my kids should get.

I receive a SS statement illustrating the benefits I've earned.

Just like you do.

I'm white? thanks for the reminder. I'm glad you pointed that out because it's realllly relevant.

As far as means testing SS, there is no point in arguing the ideology of it until there is a specific plan to discuss.

#99 | Posted by eberly at 2014-03-01 05:24 PM | Reply | Flag:

Couple of points about a couple of things written on this thread.

First to MAD, having people save and stating that they could live off the interest on a million dollars...... That amounts to 10K per year in interest. Maybe if interest rates were higher but not today. Of course it could be augmented by taking some of the capital every year.

Secondly, a number of posters suggest raising the retirement age. Simply because people are living longer does not relate at all to a comparison of how their bodies are able to do labor.

Anyone really think a 75 year old can dig ditches like a 55 year old of yesteryear?

#100 | Posted by rosemountbomber at 2014-03-01 05:55 PM | Reply | Flag:

I have no expecations and no promises have been made to me on what my kids should get.

I receive a SS statement illustrating the benefits I've earned.

And just like you, if I die before retirement age, I get nothing.

So is the age test is okay for you? Because the means test sure did ruffle your feathers. Explain why shouldn't your heirs get back everything you paid in if you happen to die before retirement.

#101 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-03-01 07:37 PM | Reply | Flag:

college grants are different. I have no expecations and no promises have been made to me on what my kids should get.
#99 | Posted by eberly

Actually, promises have been made. Pell Grants are available for the asking, provided you meet eligibility requirements. Which you and your kids don't.

Pell grants are also paid for out of tax dollars. Your tax dollars, Eberly.

You should be outraged! It's not fair! that you're asked to pay into a system you can't withdraw from.

(Or rather, it's about as fair as a means-tested Social Security.)

#102 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-03-01 07:46 PM | Reply | Flag:

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