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Subject:  Re: Help! My Social Security is in Lucent Date:  7/28/2001  8:03 PM
Author:  gurdison Number:  46670 of 876082

<In my view, paying government benefits to people who don't need them is a stupid concept.>

In my view being forced into paying SS taxes for 40+ years and then being told "we decided you do not need the benefits" is also a stupid concept. I would compare it to being held up at gun point. The entire system has always been based on forcibly having to pay your SS taxes and then earning credits for each quarter that you have worked. BTW, all employees have earned less salary each year because of the share that employers have also been forced to pay in.

If you paid the max in SS taxes year after year you will get more. If you made less, your benefit is less. If you RE you get less (note LESS not ZERO) because you have less years added to the equation. It is a mathmatical equation that has nothing to do with how you live or have lived. If you happen to die before collecting, you get nothing. That may be too bad, but at least it is and always has been the rule. Nowhere in any SS information does it say if you earned the benefit it will not be paid (excluding fraud). You may decline it if you wish. You may donate it all to your favorite charity. You may help out another family member who has not been as fortunate. You may spend it all with the cruise industry. The bottom line is that it is YOUR choice and not some government bureaucrat.

If the system cannot afford to pay EARNED benefits to all future claimants (including our Gen X friends), it should be bulldozed down to the ground. At that point if the government wants to pay benefits only to the indegent it should come out of the general treasury. They can means test the hell out of that if they want. It also would mean an end to all SS taxes and the accounting games.

This issue is proof to me why all national politicians are whores at heart. The problems stated are very fixable. It may require changes around the edges (taxing more of paid benefits, altering the maximum payments in, reducing COLA's to be in line with true inflation measures, etc). It should not under ANY circumstances ever deny benefits to people who have rightfully earned those benefits.

Any person who buys into the FIRE concept knows full well if you have an event 10, 15 or 20 years down the road, you plan actions NOW to ensure that it is not an issue later. Our politicians are so afraid of doing the right things for the long term benefit of the SS system because there are no immediate political rewards for them for doing so.

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