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Old 04-12-2010, 08:05 PM   #141
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From my standpoint, the purpose of SS is to keep people who have not planned for their retirement from becoming homeless or holding up liquor stores when they reach the end of their lives.

We don't need a better solution. We have it, and it is called private savings and investment.

SS needs to provide a safety net for the fairly large group of people that will not plan for their retirement and will not be able to work in any meaningful way past 65.

The amount of that safety net may need to be trimmed back to an affordable amount, but I think we are stuck with the basic system.


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This will come across as self righteous (I assume) but retirement at 65 is NOT a right. You EARN retirement.

If a better solution is needed, allow private citizens to buy into a government pension plan (for example every $1000 of contributions buys you a 1 credit, and every X credits gives you $Y of income.

If the government pension plan above gave a 3% return and was only invested in treasuries, it could be considered an "option" to essentially buy up a SS benefit they have more control over.
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:19 AM   #142
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From my standpoint, the purpose of SS is to keep people who have not planned for their retirement from becoming homeless or holding up liquor stores when they reach the end of their lives.

We don't need a better solution. We have it, and it is called private savings and investment.

SS needs to provide a safety net for the fairly large group of people that will not plan for their retirement and will not be able to work in any meaningful way past 65.

The amount of that safety net may need to be trimmed back to an affordable amount, but I think we are stuck with the basic system.
Go back to the history of the SS. The idea came about during the depression because of some of the old being destitute. But it ultimately, was not the safety net you describe. That is why you are assigned a SSN it was to be your money. Of course it got perverted along the way.

As a side note - it is surprising that no one on this board has mentioned phasing out the current way SS$ is invested to a Bond/Stock market based investments. Simply putting SS$ into 30 treasury bonds from the start of your working life would outperform the current returns for SS.

Another aspect not mentioned is the racial disparity in SS. Look at the life expectations for white men or women vs black men or women. .
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:54 PM   #143
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Would a VAT or NST be included in the gov's calculation of CPI? If so, it would give a nice one year boost to the income from my inflation linked bonds.

Cheers,

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Old 04-14-2010, 05:43 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by Hamlet View Post
From my standpoint, the purpose of SS is to keep people who have not planned for their retirement from becoming homeless or holding up liquor stores when they reach the end of their lives.

We don't need a better solution. We have it, and it is called private savings and investment.

SS needs to provide a safety net for the fairly large group of people that will not plan for their retirement and will not be able to work in any meaningful way past 65.

The amount of that safety net may need to be trimmed back to an affordable amount, but I think we are stuck with the basic system.
Why does the safety need to begin at age 66 or 67?
Why not age 68 or 70 or 72 or 74?

I agree we have the system in place
however the economics of that system do not balance right now (we take in more than we spend, and we do what with the excess? when we spend more than we take in we will do what with the taxes or benefits?

so we have a system in place which is broken, I am suggesting it be modified some.
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Old 04-14-2010, 05:46 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by dex View Post

As a side note - it is surprising that no one on this board has mentioned phasing out the current way SS$ is invested to a Bond/Stock market based investments. Simply putting SS$ into 30 treasury bonds from the start of your working life would outperform the current returns for SS.

Another aspect not mentioned is the racial disparity in SS. Look at the life expectations for white men or women vs black men or women. .
LOL
two things

you said SS has a return
and
you said SS and life expectancy

neither were factored into original formula, and IMO neither are accounted for today either.

The way I see SS is it should be zero sum
payroll receipts should be equal to benefits paid
every year

every 5 years balance the checkbook (if IRS takes in more than it pays, lower the tax... if IRS has spent more than it took in, lower the benefits or raise age to start SS)
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Old 04-14-2010, 07:07 PM   #146
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so we have a system in place which is broken, I am suggesting it be modified some.
The "fixes" are many and varied. Any accounting student could "fix" the system (several on the board have offered ways to 'make it come out even'). The problem is political will. No political program (and let's face it, all government programs are now political) can be changed EXCEPT to add more benefits or lower taxes. Otherwise, there is too large a political price to pay.

Sorry to say it, but I no longer blame the elected representatives for this. I blame us. We are getting the government we deserve. When WE eventually decide that something needs to be done, it will get done. No politician is going to step out onto the tracks and stick his finger on the 3rd rail again. They'll all wait until the public demands a solution. Now all they are hearing is either "I'm not getting enough" or "I'm paying too much". So no politician is going to say "I have the perfect solution - I'll make ALL of you unhappy with me!"

Just my 2 cents worth, IMHO, YMMV, etc.
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Old 04-17-2010, 01:08 AM   #147
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I agree. The sad fact is that the politicians have given the people of the US exactly what they've continually asked for.

Unless we as a nation grow up and realize that we can't have lower taxes with continually higher spending we are in serious trouble.

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Sorry to say it, but I no longer blame the elected representatives for this. I blame us. We are getting the government we deserve. When WE eventually decide that something needs to be done, it will get done. No politician is going to step out onto the tracks and stick his finger on the 3rd rail again. They'll all wait until the public demands a solution. Now all they are hearing is either "I'm not getting enough" or "I'm paying too much". So no politician is going to say "I have the perfect solution - I'll make ALL of you unhappy with me!"

Just my 2 cents worth, IMHO, YMMV, etc.
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:31 AM   #148
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Since the Senate has voted so overwhelmingly against it - Senate overwhelmingly rejects idea of Value-Added Tax at McCain’s prompting | The Daily Caller - Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment - I'm sticking with my original forecast. VAT tax within 10 years.
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:56 PM   #149
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Because many people start having real difficulty working past the mid-sixties, especially the poorer segments of society that depend on SS the most.

If you work in the trades or construction, working past 65 is just not going to happen for most people. I can't see a lot of waitresses or nurses working into their 70s.

My grandmother is an exception that proves the rule. She worked part-time in nursing into her late 70s. She has a story about being mistaken for a patient at the nursing home she worked at .

I think a straight-forward trimming of benefits makes more sense than raising the retirement age, unless we continue to allow for a reduced benefit retirement at 62 or so and just use the higher retirement age as a way to scale back the benefits for the people retiring earlier.

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Why does the safety need to begin at age 66 or 67?
Why not age 68 or 70 or 72 or 74?
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Old 05-01-2010, 09:04 PM   #150
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I think high inflation is more likely, as raising taxes takes congressional courage.
Um, they have already raised taxes on higher income earners, and are preparing the groundwork to get the rest of us. There simply aren't enough dollars in the high income brackets to pay trillions of dollars in spending/deficits.

I would say it takes WAY more courage to REDUCE taxes than to raise them.

And I would also absolutely say that it is very possible that Roth holders get screwed. They did it with SS, didn't they? Taxing 85% of SS, not even allowing you to recover your costs. Insanity.

Jim
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Old 05-02-2010, 02:40 AM   #151
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I would say it takes WAY more courage to REDUCE taxes than to raise them.

Jim[/QUOTE]

Very insightful. We all know it's impossible to cut spending. Too many votes to buy. Now that there are fewer (net) taxpayers than there are beneficiaries of government largesse, raising taxes is probably looked upon (by the majority) as a "good" thing. Once it reaches that point, there's no going back until some sort of "quantum" event occurs. Not looking forward to that day.
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:51 AM   #152
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I strongly disagree.
Lowering taxes is the easy way out and how politicians buy votes.
When was the last time the populace voted in someone with a motto of 'More Taxes for Everyone!' vs 'No New Taxes!'?
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:05 AM   #153
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IMO - No. If a VAT is instituted... it will be an additional tax on consumption. Income taxes will not go down. You can still use the Roth to manage the income side of the tax equation.


Any sort of VAT will wait until we see the effects of the Income tax and Estate Tax reset in 2011.

If a consumption tax is enacted, it will probably be an energy consumption tax that encourages energy conservation and efficiency. Since energy costs are embedded in all goods and services... it will be like a VAT.
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:08 AM   #154
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I would say it takes WAY more courage to REDUCE taxes than to raise them.
Politicians cut taxes all the time with no commensurate cut in spending. They don't even get filibustered and they get little blame for contributing to the deficit. Real courageous.
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