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Old 05-01-2012, 11:33 AM   #101
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Repeating it frequently does not make it so. "Most Americans" seem to have a pretty good idea how SS works. Do you have any sources that show hhow they are confused?
Well, I know anecdotal evidence is not data, but I talk about SS to everyone I can get to listen (it is my favorite soapbox issue). I have never talked to a single person (in the flesh) who understand how social security benefits are calculated, or has any idea of the value of their SS befits relative to their payments into the system. I talk to a lot of people about this topic.

Most of the people I talk to actually believe that their medicare payments fully covered the cost of their medicare benefits.

Your experience may differ. What do you generally find?
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:35 AM   #102
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According to your chart (thanks, that was interesting), SS benefits are already means tested against lifetime earned income. And with the current taxation of some SS benefits, it's already means tested by retirement income as well. It could always be adjusted for more or less effect I guess.
Actually, I never thought about it that way, but the current system does "means test" against lifetime earning, and not wealth. Good catch!
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:12 PM   #103
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Everyone seems to have an idea that will cost us all more money. I think the government should just keep their hands off our money and everything will be fine. l'm not about to give up one dime of what I have coming without a fight. I paid the money in all these years with the promise of "X" and I plan on getting "X". I think everyone is brain washed buy Washington.

Social Security Trust Fund Tops $2.6 Trillion « REALITY BLOG
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:27 PM   #104
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Everyone seems to have an idea that will cost us all more money. I think the government should just keep their hands off our money and everything will be fine. l'm not about to give up one dime of what I have coming without a fight. I paid the money in all these years with the promise of "X" and I plan on getting "X". I think everyone is brain washed buy Washington.
The problem is that those younger than you and me (who will be paying back the treasury bonds funding our SS) can validly make the argument that we simply lowered our taxes (and ran a deficit) by using SS money to make up the difference (we all know where those excess SS fund were "invested"), and now we want our kids to make it up.

I also want SS. But we have to balance that against what is right for the younger generation.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:33 PM   #105
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Fine, you can balance yours. I'll be collecting mine. Doesn't anyone see that the problem here is the government with their hands in the pie. I'm not about to go along with a change in the rules when my game is almost over. This is a vicious cycle, we will give something up and 5 years from now it'll be something else we have to give up to save the system.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:37 PM   #106
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Doesn't anyone see that the problem here is the government with their hands in the pie.
At the end of the day, the government is us. If you think otherwise, you might as well break out the IEDs and AK-47s now, because it is hopeless.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:39 PM   #107
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So you feel that we should surrender? Not me, I'll go down fighting.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:52 PM   #108
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Fine, you can balance yours. I'll be collecting mine. Doesn't anyone see that the problem here is the government with their hands in the pie. I'm not about to go along with a change in the rules when my game is almost over. This is a vicious cycle, we will give something up and 5 years from now it'll be something else we have to give up to save the system.
I usually agree with what you have to say but.....Is there anything that you would give up to "save the system"? The system to me means the USA and I think we should all be willing to give up a little bit to save it. When I was young I hated SS. I recognized that it was a combination of insurance and wealth redistribution. I could have done better investing that money on my own. As has been mentioned here already wealth redistributuion is not an entirely bad thing. Those that have plenty may need to help out those who do not have so much. Some of the ones who need the help need it because they are not as fortunate as the rest of us. Some need it because they game the system. Life is not fair and as I get older I try to not be so angry about the unfairness. Now that I have put quite a bit of money into SS and am getting close to being able to get some benefit from it I am not quite so much against it. I want my SS as promised but I am very willing to accept some adjustments in benefits for us older folks to save the system and so that the younger folks do not have to bear quite such a big load.
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:03 PM   #109
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I would be more than happy to give up what ever it took. But first the government has to keep their hands off of our money. Once they stop writing IOU's to us then I'll give something up.

As you know the government keeps getting themselves in trouble with out of control spending. I see that you are retired and must have a pension or two. Maybe you can give up some of the pension so the government can spend it on stuff like the drinking habits of Chinese Prostitutes which I posted the link on this thread.
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:15 PM   #110
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So you feel that we should surrender? Not me, I'll go down fighting.
There is a very wide gap between surrender (I give up, do what you want) and total victory (I get 100% of what I want, you do as I say). It is this inability to compromise which is driving the dysfunctional government we currently have.
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:21 PM   #111
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Supposedly the last measure alone would "save" SS.
Until we add yet another category of beneficiary to the list of those who can collect SS...........
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:22 PM   #112
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I understand that the benefits I will receive will be funded by my children's taxes. We've saved enough that we can have an acceptable lifestyle (not a luxurious lifestyle) without SS benefits.

I could suggest to my wife that we collect the benefits, but then distribute them each month to our children to offset their taxes. I'm pretty sure that she'd quickly say yes.

That would substantially take our family out of the SS system, without waiting around for Congress to act.

Is there anyone here who finds that idea appealing?
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:28 PM   #113
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Is there anyone here who finds that idea appealing?
Actually, I do the reverse of that right now. When I lament the fact that I pay about 25% per year more in federal taxes than I spend on myself, I remind myself that the government is spending ballpark $60k/year on my parents between SS, veterans benefits and medicare. I am still coming out behind, but it makes me feel a lot better.

edit:
OK, not exactly the same, I am not actually given the transfer payments.
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:29 PM   #114
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I understand that the benefits I will receive will be funded by my children's taxes. We've saved enough that we can have an acceptable lifestyle (not a luxurious lifestyle) without SS benefits.

I could suggest to my wife that we collect the benefits, but then distribute them each month to our children to offset their taxes. I'm pretty sure that she'd quickly say yes.

That would substantially take our family out of the SS system, without waiting around for Congress to act.

Is there anyone here who finds that idea appealing?
I'm sorry, we're going to have to do some means-testing on your children first.
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:44 PM   #115
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Is there anyone here who finds that idea appealing appalling?
Now I can say "yes".
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:50 PM   #116
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I'm having trouble imagining a "Social safety net for those who truly cannot help themselves" which isn't some sort of a "wealth redistribution scheme".
Agreed. But when you are born with a disability, for instance, some sort of safety net seems prudent. I don't mind help those that can't help themselves. It's the people that refuse to help themselves that angers me. SS is a little different, but like I said earlier, why do I have to pay for your retirement because I chose a high paying career and you didn't?

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...wouldn't it be great if the Government would pay back what they borrowed from SS over the years. We spend enough bailing out other countries financially with no expectation of payback. On and On it goes!
You got that wrong. The government doesn't pay anything back. They have no money, never did, never will. We get to payback what they borrowed to pay for excessive and wasteful spending over the last 80 years.

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I understand that the benefits I will receive will be funded by my children's taxes. We've saved enough that we can have an acceptable lifestyle (not a luxurious lifestyle) without SS benefits.

I could suggest to my wife that we collect the benefits, but then distribute them each month to our children to offset their taxes. I'm pretty sure that she'd quickly say yes.

That would substantially take our family out of the SS system, without waiting around for Congress to act.

Is there anyone here who finds that idea appealing?
Doesn't really cure the problem, though. Unless changes are made and soon, you're kids (or grand kids) will likely pay a much higher price than you can ever replace.
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:14 PM   #117
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Agreed. But when you are born with a disability, for instance, some sort of safety net seems prudent. I don't mind help those that can't help themselves. It's the people that refuse to help themselves that angers me. SS is a little different, but like I said earlier, why do I have to pay for your retirement because I chose a high paying career and you didn't?
I suppose we have different ideas of SS. I think that today's workers pay taxes and those taxes are spent immediately to pay benefits to today's retirees. Since higher income workers get more dollars per person, current workers actually send more dollars to people who succeeded at higher paying jobs than they send to people who had lower paying jobs.
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:26 PM   #118
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Solutions to keep SS viable for today's recipents and near term recipients should not be related to the rates young people pay. They already face difficult challenges to accumulating retirement funds without being burdened with funding new BMW's for geezers. Hey, I don't need some youngster struggling to raise a family, get/keep a job, struggle with today's investment markets, pay for medical care, etc., etc., subsidizing my retirement. Big kids pay their own way.
Which is why there shouldn't be senior discounts.
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:49 PM   #119
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Which is why there shouldn't be senior discounts.
I love a good "But it just ain't fair!" rant.

There shouldn't be a lot of things (TV shows about the Kardasians, for example), but good luck in making changes...
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:04 PM   #120
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I would be more than happy to give up what ever it took. But first the government has to keep their hands off of our money. Once they stop writing IOU's to us then I'll give something up.

As you know the government keeps getting themselves in trouble with out of control spending. I see that you are retired and must have a pension or two. Maybe you can give up some of the pension so the government can spend it on stuff like the drinking habits of Chinese Prostitutes which I posted the link on this thread.
I share your dislike of wasteful government spending. I only have one pension. I would certainly be happy to see it and/or my future SS benefits reduced or possibly the COLAs held back for a couple of years if there were similar cost cutting measures in all government spending to lower the national debt and/or keep SS going smoothly into the future. You usually seem like a very patriotic person. Your post about your unwillingness to accept any change in SS now that it is late in the game did seem unpatriotic to me.
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