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Subject:  Re: SS conclusion Date:  11/9/2003  2:12 AM
Author:  InLivingColor Number:  209 of 1845

Why are people ready top get upset at the prospect of cuts in Social Security? People take increases in benefits that are funded by other people for granted but don't think cuts should be permitted? This is like my dog, who wags her tail if I offer her a bone but gowls at me if I try to take it back.

It's a mixed bag, I think. Part of the problem is that, unlike most other programs, folks get to see what they're putting into SS, so it's a little more concrete than most other taxes. Some folks don't realize it's a pay-as-we-go system, thinking that their SS is a contribution into their own pension plan which only happens to be run by the government. Many folks who do understand how it works, in general have not been hit hard by the "what the government gives today, it can take back tomorrow" bug, and so, I think, do not fully internalize that possibility. There's also a bunch of folks who have grown up with this particular expectation, and long-ingrained thought patterns are usually the hardest to change.

Now your dog has the luxury of concentrating only on that bone. Folks thinking about SS, in comparison, have to varying degrees been aware of various political campaigns and may even have voted for folks who have promised not to cut SS. So there's a certain feeling of betrayal, for some, I think.

Only speculations, nothing more. M'self, I never counted on SS, and see no reason to begin doing so.
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