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Old 01-25-2012, 11:24 AM   #41
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I'll find an independent source but for now, Hmong for one. USA treats Hmong as political refugees and provide them instant SS benefits as soon as their feet hit US soil. I would imagine any refugees are getting this benefit, but for now I only know of Hmong for first hand. Once arrived, they then bring in several family members. Each of them gets a SS distribution as a dependent.
Here is a link from the SS site regarding the eligibility of refugees to receive SSI benefits. Nothing quantitative but I can't imagine the numbers of refugees collecting SSI having mcuh of an impact on the finances of the SS system.

Supplemental Security Income For Noncitizens

Have you perhaps heard of this after receiving an e-mail claiming a major injustice?

http://www.factcheck.org/2009/04/soc...-and-refugees/

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To sum up: This email’s claim that immigrants and refugees get more generous Social Security, SSI and Medicaid benefits than ordinary citizens is completely wrong.
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:27 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
I do not know about inevitability, but this has been discussed before in this forum. See this.


Well, in fact SS is already a form of welfare. To see for yourself, go to SS web site and try out the SS calculator. A person who makes $100K/year contributes 2X the amount from someone that makes $50K/year, and 4X the amount from someone that makes $25K. Yet, the pay-out is not at all proportional to the pay-in. Other individual retirement plans such as 401K and IRA, etc..., all pay out proportionally to what one paid in.

I myself do not mind this, as SS is a social program to help the workers at the bottom rung.

But now, they are going to say that two persons who both made the same, say $50K/year in the working years, and paid the same into the system, now the one that was LBYM has to subsidize the spender, because the former has more "means" while the latter has more "needs".

Heck, that would quickly cause the country to turn into profligate spenders, so that they would all have more "needs" and less "means". Just another example of how I find it difficult to think highly of any politician.
Comment on the bold part....

That has already happened... when they made SS income taxable IF you make more money, then the person who has no other income pays no tax on SS and someone who saved a lot and has outside income will pay taxes on their SS income...

The different results are only due to the one saving more money... a backdoor way of means testing...
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:34 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Alan View Post
Here is a link from the SS site regarding the eligibility of refugees to receive SSI benefits. Nothing quantitative but I can't imagine the numbers of refugees collecting SSI having mcuh of an impact on the finances of the SS system.

Supplemental Security Income For Noncitizens

Have you perhaps heard of this after receiving an e-mail claiming a major injustice?

FactCheck.org : Social Security for Immigrants and Refugees

Well, I don't know about receiving an e-mail...

I heard of this by working in Burma on a mission trip. (Republic of the Union of Myanmar) We cross the river from Thailand and help the mountain people with procuring clean drinking water.

Here's another link from Social Security about refugee benefits;
Understanding Supplemental Security Income (SSI)-- SSI Eligibility
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:48 AM   #44
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Well, I don't know about receiving an e-mail...

I heard of this by working in Burma on a mission trip. (Republic of the Union of Myanmar) We cross the river from Thailand and help the mountain people with procuring clean drinking water.

Here's another link from Social Security about refugee benefits;
Understanding Supplemental Security Income (SSI)-- SSI Eligibility
Now that we know that it is SSI, not SS, we are talking about, are you aware that, although SSI is administered by the SS department, it is not funded by SS contributions but out of the general fund? It is a government expense but does not affect the SS fund any more than any other government spending program.
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:57 AM   #45
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Now that we know that it is SSI, not SS, we are talking about, are you aware that, although SSI is administered by the SS department, it is not funded by SS contributions but out of the general fund? It is a government expense but does not affect the SS fund any more than any other government spending program.
I mentioned in my post that it was not clear to me the relationship between the two. I even included a web address specific to just that. However, a tax is a tax. SSI is for those who don't meet the SS requirements. If we are going to bring reduction in SS benefits to the table, then EVERYTHING needs to go to the table including SSI. Especially so for a sacred cow like SS.

I get a mental image of our 'leaders' holding SS in front of them as a shield just as a Taliban might hold a woman or child. For the politician, he's protecting programs like bullet trains, hospitals for prisoners, grants for college to illegal aliens, etc. (all California I know, but any state has their own too.) by threatening to cut public safety, education, fire, etc. It's a cowardly act.
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:16 PM   #46
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For those not following or reading the links, political refugees are eligible for the same benefits, including SSI, as other lawful immigrants. US immigration policies usually require aspiring candidates to demonstrate they can provide for themselves so few relocate to the US and then file for assistance. Political refugees are the exception - and a minority. I have never found any data that shows this to be a significant component of public spending. I has been a while since I looked at gov't assistance data but the largest single group of beneficiaries of public aid has typically been single mothers and their children.
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:18 PM   #47
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I think we have a very recent indication of how means testing will be put into affect.

The payroll taxcut approved in December for two months, ie SS HOLIDAY, phases out when you reach an income of about $110K. When you file your taxes for 2012 in 2013, if your income is higher than $110K, you start paying back the taxcut. I do not know how this works but let's say at an income of $220K you have paid all the before $110K cut back plus what would have been collected at the normal rate from $110 to 220.

For SS means testing, I would envision a similar income AGI where your "SS benefit" is paid or "taxed" back until you get none. This way if your assets are used to produce income, they are means tested but if you own an expensive house, it would not be included in any means testing.

This fits into the tax game playing pattern of our laws in that one could move income all into one year and lose the SS beneift one year but have low income the next and get. Keep in mind, this methods lets the IRS oversee this with their unlimited access to information. etc.
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:35 PM   #48
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How about reining in the raids on SS? First cut out the payouts to all those who aren't even US citizens, never worked a day in this country and refuse to learn our language.
There are probably few folks who fit this description. Political refugees would be one group, another group getting full SS benefits would be alien (legal or illegal) spouses of US citizens who are entitled to SS.

More here.

Folks in prison get SS. I wonder if there shouldn't be some clawback provision for the room and board.
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:41 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Bestwifeever

Again, no source? (I caved in and looked it up for you, and came up with one: https://www.cato.org/dailys/03-30-00.html--perhaps you have others?)

but it says

This is not the same as being taxed at 80% of their income--it's up to an 80% increase on payroll taxes.

(The reason I think sources are important when we read something "somewhere" is that it lets other people see where we read it and decide what it means.)
My figure was incorrect. In movie IOUSA David Walker stated that taxes would have to double but this was in 2007 and the situation is much worse now. What ever the exact figure is I maintain it won't happen. Every American should watch this movie.We may be in denial as a nation.
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:53 PM   #50
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In addition, as a "young buck" here, I maintain that the issues with SS should be shared across the board. Maybe the cuts shouldn't be as deep for the old farts, but everyone should share this burden in some fashion. I'm sure there will be those claiming it is not fair, but neither is walking into the situation I see myself and other gen Y'ers walking into it--certainly we didn't borrow against the SS trust funds (at least we had absouletly, and probably still do, no clue what was going on while we were running around in diapers or just a twinkle in our parents' eyes).
I think maybe our government should just keep their hands off of the general fund and we will all be better for it. I'm thinking there is plenty of money for everyones SS but it's being used for other things. Sort of like a piggy bank for the government.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:03 PM   #51
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I think maybe our government should just keep their hands off of the general fund and we will all be better for it. I'm thinking there is plenty of money for everyones SS but it's being used for other things. Sort of like a piggy bank for the government.
At least that would more accurately show our real deficits, they would have been even higher in past years.

But careful what you wish for. IIRC payroll taxes fell short of the sums paid out to Soc Sec beneficiaries in 2011 if not before, so Soc Sec may have deficits going forward too.

And then there's Medicare? An even bigger problem as it stands...
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:15 PM   #52
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I think most folks don't have a problem paying more if there is in fact a true deficit. The problem that I have is that the government has access to this money and uses it for the craziest things.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:25 PM   #53
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I think most folks don't have a problem paying more if there is in fact a true deficit. The problem that I have is that the government has access to this money and uses it for the craziest things.
I agree. In fact, I think the latest way SS is being robbed (granting a tax holiday) is wrong. Of course, in my ideal world, all the proceeds would be going to fund SS, not having an IOU issued. Unfortunately, my ideal world works way different than the real world.

I'm ok with means testing benefits in the future. Being only 29 and having maxed out the contribution for the last 5 years, I'm only ok with it if the money is being used for SS though. Again, all should drink from the benefit reduction cup though, current benfeciaries included.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:29 PM   #54
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LBYM, pay your bills, keep your nose clean, contribute to your 401K and factor in SS payments into your retirement calcualtions...

then leave it to the government to change the rules and consider you 'rich'! Oh, wait! It's called 'fairness'.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:30 PM   #55
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I think most folks don't have a problem paying more if there is in fact a true deficit. The problem that I have is that the government has access to this money and uses it for the craziest things.
FWIW FactCheck.org : Democrats Deny Social Securityís Red Ink

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Old 01-25-2012, 03:37 PM   #56
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I'm ok with means testing benefits in the future. Being only 29 and having maxed out the contribution for the last 5 years, I'm only ok with it if the money is being used for SS though. Again, all should drink from the benefit reduction cup though, current benfeciaries included.
I'm turning 63 this year and haven't taken my SS as of yet. Sorry but I choose not to drink from the benefit reduction cup as you suggest.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:39 PM   #57
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LBYM, pay your bills, keep your nose clean, contribute to your 401K and factor in SS payments into your retirement calcualtions...

then leave it to the government to change the rules and consider you 'rich'! Oh, wait! It's called 'fairness'.
I like how the bogleheads' chapter about SS starts. To paraphrase, depending on gov't programs is no way to live.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:40 PM   #58
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Not trying to be political or anything.... but I think the fact check people are a little off on this one...

"When Lew says Social Security is "entirely self-financing," he refers to the trust funds that have built up assets of more than $2.5 trillion over the years. Thatís what the rest of the government has borrowed and spent on other things. Those trust funds and the future interest payments will keep benefits funded at promised levels for years to come, itís true. But unless the government raises taxes or cuts other spending substantially, the government will need to borrow more from the public to finance its obligations to the trust funds."


What the treasury has to do is stated in the last sentence... instead of the continued borrowing from the trust fund, they now have to borrow from the public to pay back what they owe to the trust fund... so it is not adding to the total debt of the gvmt...

IOW, if you cash in your treasury bond, the gvmt has to issue another one in order to get the money to pay you.... same thing is happening to the trust fund... they are cashing in their bonds...


Now, with the combined budget that they used before, it does make it look like it is SS that is the problem.... but it was all the other spending that was not paid for that created the problem.... and now the SS fund gets to bail out the rest of the budget...

As mentioned, medicare and medicade are part of the bigger problem....
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:43 PM   #59
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I'm turning 63 this year and haven't taken my SS as of yet. Sorry but I choose not to drink from the benefit reduction cup as you suggest.
As expected. Who does? At least you have the veil of "fairness" to hide behind. I feel like I am in the middle of the field with a target on my back.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:48 PM   #60
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I like how the bogleheads' chapter about SS starts. To paraphrase, depending on gov't programs is no way to live.
I agree that 'depending on gov't programs is no way to live'.

However for the past 60 years (and especially since 401Ks came into being) the collective 'we' were advised to factor your 401k, other incomes AND SS into the retirement calculation.

It was part of (here we go) the social contract.

Now, because some of us saved, did all the right things and have a few bucks put away, we hearing 'means testing' an how we're taking more than our 'fair share'.
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