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Old 10-21-2010, 05:30 PM   #21
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'cause that official-looking estimate they get from the SSA every year in that official-looking envelope doesn't say they should expect lower monthly payments?
I guess I should have said "people paying even a little bit of attention shouldn't expect ... ". I'm pretty confident that people who post here are paying attention.

My 2010 statement has a section on the front page entitled "About Social Security's future ... "

People who read that section find stuff like "... facing serious financial problems ..." and "Without changes, by 2037 .... there will be enough money to pay only about 76 cents for each dollar of scheduled benefits."

I suppose you could put that in bold or make it red or something. I'm sure lots of people look at the numbers and completely space off on the text so maybe it would be good to do the math and add an adjusted benefit number to that sentence. But I'll bet that every word on that statement is challenged because the authors know that more words means fewer readers.
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:35 PM   #22
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My 2010 statement has a section on the front page entitled "About Social Security's future ... "

That's recent. Until a couple years ago it said stuff like "Social Security is there for you - You can count on it"
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:47 PM   #23
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What does that even mean? When's the last time you saw your SS contributions itemized to show the amount of the "welfare component"? Anyone who is paying into SS is paying into both components, I'd say.
I wouldn't presume to say what it means. But I'm not excluding the possibility that it means something.
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:49 PM   #24
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I know that I read the SSA "statement" too. I just like to see how the wording changes with time.

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But I'll bet that every word on that statement is challenged because the authors know that more words means fewer readers.
Yep, they could make things shorter and clearer: "These bonds will only cover 76 cents of every dollar that is owed to you and others under the present formulas. As a result, you may get smaller checks."
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:53 PM   #25
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I know that I read the SSA "statement" too. I just like to see how the wording changes with time.


Yep, they could make things shorter and clearer: "These bonds will only cover 76 cents of every dollar that is owed to you and others under the present formulas. As a result, you may get smaller checks."
How about, thanks for the loot you paid..... sucker !

Is that short and succint ?
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:05 PM   #26
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I have for some time had difficulty understanding this persistent skepticism about SS paying the benefits that have been promised to retired workers. We know that politicians are very wary of implying any threat to the "third rail" SS system, so how could the SS system ever fail to meet its obligations? If the money coming in from SS tax comes to be insufficient to pay current obligations to retirees, legislators will just have to find the money elsewhere. It's that, or we fire them, and politicians really, really do not like to be fired. I'm sure they'll find a way.
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:18 PM   #27
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If the money coming in from SS tax comes to be insufficient to pay current obligations to retirees, legislators will just have to find the money elsewhere. It's that, or we fire them, and politicians really, really do not like to be fired. I'm sure they'll find a way.
They only have to satisfy 50% of the voters plus one. Guess how they might do that with the available money.
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:35 PM   #28
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The entire welfare component of social security is paid for by middle income workers.
The rich are absolutely totally exempt from this welfare tax
Class Warfare on a grand scale.
I wouldn't consider a 'rich' employer exempt when he/she has to pay their own ss plus matching ss for each one of their employees.
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:55 PM   #29
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I know that I read the SSA "statement" too. I just like to see how the wording changes with time.


Yep, they could make things shorter and clearer: "These bonds will only cover 76 cents of every dollar that is owed to you and others under the present formulas. As a result, you may get smaller checks."
I'm sure I would change two words: "Future taxes will only cover 76 cents of every dollar that is owed to you and others under the present formulas. As a result, you may get smaller checks."
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:57 PM   #30
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Guess how they might do that with the available money.
What is the available money of which you speak? Is it possible for a government to spend all the available money and consequently be unable to spend any more? (I don't think so.)
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:05 PM   #31
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You have to deconstruct the social security problem into its components.

Social Security has two critical components, which we can call the Earned component

and the Welfare component. The welfare component of social security includes spousal benefits, added benefits for low income workers and benefits for disabled children. The earned components are pensions for middle and upper contributors and disability payments.

you can tell the difference because all wage earners benefit from the earned component in proportion to taxed earnings.
the welfare components are "detached" from the earnings i.e. they are calculated based on the earnings but no taxes are paid to support them. In particular there are no taxes collected to support the spousal benefit.

The entire welfare component of social security is paid for by middle income workers.
The rich are absolutely totally exempt from this welfare tax
Class Warfare on a grand scale.

I have not seen recent estimates of the welfare component but the last ones I saw indicate its about 50% of the SS tax for middle and upper income wager earners. (50-100,000 )
Its highest for the Dual income wager earners close to the social security limit.

All repeat all of the social security privatization arguments are based on eliminating this welfare payment. that is how they make the numbers work. In particular they always eliminate the spousal pensions.

The easiest path to solvency for social security is to shift the welfare component to the general government budget. There is simply no rational basis for taxing only middle income workers for social welfare payments.
I heard the welfare characterization allot during the privatization debate.

If I put 6% of my salary into an annuity for fifty years and selected a survivor benefitiary option, in your world. would you call the insurance company a welfare benefator?

In many instances, participants in the SS system never receive a benefit and their dependent's eligability is age limited.

FICA ...Federal Insurance Contributions Act.


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Old 10-21-2010, 07:06 PM   #32
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I'm sure I would change two words: "Future taxes will only cover 76 cents of every dollar that is owed to you and others under the present formulas. As a result, you may get smaller checks."
Yes, you are right.
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:24 PM   #33
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Yes, you are right.
No...he'll be right in 2037. Until then it's payback time.
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:29 PM   #34
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last I looked, high income workers paid the same maximum SS tax as anyone would. They were not exempt.

And last I looked high income workers received way less in benefits than they ever paid. talk about a crummy deal.



I don't believe that you thought this one through. When the welfare component gets shifted to the main budget then it will be diminished just like all the other welfare programs have been. If you disguise it within SS it then it gets funded.
High income workers pay a far lower share of their income for this welfare system
Individuals with incomes who don't work don't pay at all
The crummy deal goes to 100,000 a year workers
million a year workers have a great deal
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:30 PM   #35
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If I put 6% of my salary into an annuity for fifty years and selected a survivor benefitiary option, in your world. would you call the insurance company a welfare benefator?
You pay for it with a reduced benefit.
If you got it free from the government, its welfare
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:34 PM   #36
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I wouldn't consider a 'rich' employer exempt when he/she has to pay their own ss plus matching ss for each one of their employees.
SS is simply simply part of the compensation for the job. All economist agree that the Employee pays both halves. If the employee doesn't provide value for the full compensation the employee doesn't get hired.
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:36 PM   #37
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My 2010 statement has a section on the front page entitled "About Social Security's future ... "
My 2009 was dated Oct 27th
When did you get a 2010?

BTW the same quote is on my 2009 statement
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:37 PM   #38
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I don't believe that you thought this one through. When the welfare component gets shifted to the main budget then it will be diminished just like all the other welfare programs have been. If you disguise it within SS it then it gets funded.

The welfare component of SS should be transparent Exempting the income of the rich and non workers is a ludicrous price to pay
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:40 PM   #39
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IMO the best method for fixing the SS shortfall is to remove the income cap on FICA and adding a 4th, even lower, level for computing the benefit for the income above the present cap. doing this would also eliminate Emeritus' concern
I agree that removing the income cap largely eliminates the unfairness of the current system, however non working income would continue to be exempt.
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:41 PM   #40
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You pay for it with a reduced benefit.
If you got it free from the government, its welfare
The benefit as well as the survivor benefit is based on the contribution.

You seem confused whether this is a crummy deal or not.
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