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Subject:  Re: Blue Collar Early Retirement Date:  2/6/2007  3:49 PM
Author:  SeattlePioneer Number:  781 of 117457

<<The larger the data set, the more accurate it tends to be. If we look at "elder America" when Social Security began (a fairly large data set), we find that nearly half of them were living in (the technical definition of) poverty at that time.

According to government statistics (of which there are many more, these days), if Social Security were to end tomorrow, we would find about half the elder population living in (the technical definition of) poverty.>>

Can you be more specific about the starting date you refer to? Social Security began around 1937 or so, after bank failures and a horrendous depression drained and bankrupted a lot of people.

There was and is a reasonable argument for government to offer a benefit to the indigent. There is no good argument for government to be paying benefits to the middle class with assets and income, in my opinion.

We could easily afford to continue paying a small benefit to the indigent elderly ---it is not they who threaten to warp the Federal budget in the next few decades. That threat is primarily caused by the practice of paying substantial benefits to the middle class that doesn't need them.

Why strain the government and heavily tax workers to pay benefits to people that don't need them? People like me, for example.

I'd like to see Social Security means tested ---more than it is already. I think there is a very good chance that more of that will happen, as has already happened by devices such as subjecting Social Security benefits to income taxes.

Another thing I'd do right away would be to eliminate early retirement bewnefits at age 62 and not pay benefits until the Normal Retirement Age now approaching age 67. Subsidizing we early retirees with cash payments is ridiculous.

Those who are physically unable to work would continue to be eligible for Social Security Disability, which I consider a reasonable program and which has rigorous enough standards for eligibility that it avoids being too widely abused by those who are primarily tired of working.

Seattle Pioneer
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