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Old 08-04-2011, 03:06 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Beryl View Post
Your second clause is incorrect.

People who paid into SS are indeed entitled to it by law and that is exactly the way I defined it. I don't allow people to spin the word negatively. I also don't have a problem with 'the government' because **I** (like every other citizen) am the government (for, by and of the people - remember?)

I paid into SS since I was 13 years old and paid the maximum for 29 years until I retired 6 months ago. By law, I am entitled to receive benefits at the established retirement age. The laws can change so that I am not allowed to collect at a particular age or at a particular rate because of means testing and then I would no longer, by law be entitled to it. I may not like that change but that is what legislation and voter participation is about.



Welfare is a entirely different concept. The 'some' who think SS is welfare are wrong and I don't care what ignorant people think.


Glad to read that a Texan is informed. (I was born in Houston.) Are you or will you be entitled to it with the current laws? Do/did you pay into SS or are/were you self-employed?

By your own statement you say that it can be changed by Congress.... so all the money you paid in does not mean you will get a SS check... sure, the current law say you will, but as both you and I have stated that can change by a vote tomorrow if they wished... and there is nothing you can do about that...

Now, if it were a private firm, they could not take it away at their whim... that is the difference to me... sure, they can change future calculation and benefits, but what you have been promised up to today is what you will get (unless they go bankrupt).... again, all of SS can be taken away from everybody tomorrow... including people who are getting checks now... (sure, not going to happen, just saying)... that is a big difference IMO...


I will be under current law... but I don't understand you saying being self employed being a disqualifer.... I was self employed many many years ago and paid into SS at twice the rate... self employed pay both halves of SS.... I do think that I am still young enough that my benefits will be cut... I hope that it does not get to means testing because I think that it will them be more of a welfare system than a SS system....
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Old 08-04-2011, 03:29 PM   #42
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we can mature as a society and prioritize our economy and government spending in a way that preserves our nation. This latter option will require shared sacrifice, not just sacrifice by the rich... Allowing the wealthy to pay the vast majority of taxes, and half of the population to pay no taxes at all, is not shared sacrifice.
We hear this mantra all the time from various groups who certainly are not composed solely of earners in the top brackets of American society. For example, I have read that Tea Party demographics fairly closely mirror the country as a whole. So do Democrats, so do Republicans. So, it is reasonable to assume that about half of the people in groups who parrot this talk are themselves in the half the population who allegedly pay "no taxes." I'm sure there are a fair number right here in ER.org who are at or below the median income. Do you think half the people who repeat the "no taxes" mantra would fess up to being among the supposed dead beats? No, of course not. They see a big deduction from every pay check. It is right there on their pay slip labeled FICA. Yes, they pay into SS and Medicare at the rate of 8.5% of their paychecks and an equivalent amount they never get to see in their checks because their employers send it in on their behalf. Those taxes are not considered "taxes" in the cited mantra because they are supposedly dedicated to SS. But we freely spent the proceeds of excess FICA taxes to pay other expenses. So now we worry that the rich may have to help pay those trust funds back? Back when DW and I were in that "rich" category, we were not paying FICA or the employers FICA match on most of our income. Nor were our peers. We didn't ask for a tax cut then and have no objection to a return to previous levels now because we agree with your highlighted statement calling for shared sacrifice. Virtually every "rich" person I have talked to has no problem whatsoever going back to the rates from the 90s. They would like to see us work out a sensible, balanced way out of our mess rather than pretend we can cut it out of the "deadbeats."
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Old 08-04-2011, 03:35 PM   #43
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I will be under current law... but I don't understand you saying being self employed being a disqualifer.... I was self employed many many years ago and paid into SS at twice the rate... self employed pay both halves of SS.... I do think that I am still young enough that my benefits will be cut... I hope that it does not get to means testing because I think that it will them be more of a welfare system than a SS system....
If you never paid into it, you aren't eligible for SS. That is what I meant. Some people who are self-employed don't pay anything into the "gov-mint" so I was wondering if that was your situation.

I don't want means testing either but I'm more concerned about the many seniors who are counting on SS.

IMO, SS is a wonderful program but we need to secure it so it will be available for current and future seniors. I'd like to see us add more into it (via taxes) and make it illegal for any entity from robbing it (the "lockbox" thing). We can't count on "the market" (privatizing it), many people don't have children who are financially stable, and no one wants charity. We need to make sure seniors can retire in dignity after many years of contribution via hard work.
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:25 PM   #44
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As has been proven time and time again throughout history, if you rely solely on the rich, eventually there will be none.
How many times is "time and time again"? More than one?
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:45 PM   #45
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How many times is "time and time again"? More than one?
USSR (and all its components), Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea, Mainland China, Hungary, East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Yugoslavia, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and Zimbabwe. I am sure the fine readers here can come up with a few other socialist paradises.

Although to be fair, even in these instances the political leaders were generally wealthy. It is just everyone else that gets the shaft.
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:53 PM   #46
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The problem with discussing SS is that it is a pension plan with a strong welfare component. Proponents generally ignore the welfare part, and critics generally ignore the pension part.

I say get rid of the welfare component and make it a pure pension plan. You get out what you put in. I think the population as a whole would be happier with this approach.

Medicare, OTOH, is almost a pure welfare plan. The average medicare benefit is close to 60% of the average SS benefit, yet the recipients only paid in about 20% of the revenue to "purchase" those benefits. We need to elminate medicare and create something else, perhaps a government funded charity system for those who cannot afford private care. This system could rely on nurse practitioners and midwives, eliminate ridiculously expense end-of-life procedures, ignore hypochondriacs, ration specialist, outlaw malpractice claims in the government system, use only generic drugs, etc.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:49 PM   #47
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USSR (and all its components), Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea, Mainland China, Hungary, East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Yugoslavia, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and Zimbabwe. I am sure the fine readers here can come up with a few other socialist paradises.
I asked for instances of the generalization: "if you rely solely on the rich, eventually there will be none." So, interpreting your reply as best I can, I guess you think the socialist systems you mention have relied "solely on the rich". Is that really what you mean?
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:17 AM   #48
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I asked for instances of the generalization: "if you rely solely on the rich, eventually there will be none." So, interpreting your reply as best I can, I guess you think the socialist systems you mention have relied "solely on the rich". Is that really what you mean?
No, I mean they relied on the rich until there were none. In most communist countries this was a very accelerated process, taking some time between instantaneously (say Vietnam's annexation of South Vietnam) to five to ten years (in the case of the USSR at its founding).

I also forgot to include the People's Paradise of Cambodia on the list, as well as Venezuelan (which is headed downhill fast).

Do you have any counter-examples of countries that relied solely on the rich for funding and succeed long-term?
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:15 PM   #49
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Do you have any counter-examples of countries that relied solely on the rich for funding and succeed long-term?
No. I would have to see some evidence before accepting that the communist socialist systems you list ever relied solely on the rich for funding.
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Old 08-05-2011, 01:14 PM   #50
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Most Americans don't know the difference between Communism, Socialism, Marxism, Maoism, Anarchism, Libertarianism, Liberalism and how they relate to our their affair with Capitalism. All they know is that they don't like any of them and they are 'of the debil'.
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Old 08-05-2011, 05:44 PM   #51
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Most Americans don't know the difference between Communism, Socialism, Marxism, Maoism, Anarchism, Libertarianism, Liberalism and how they relate to our their affair with Capitalism. All they know is that they don't like any of them and they are 'of the debil'.
Right. And a lot of these anti's carry signs saying, "Don't mess with my Medicare."
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