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Subject:  Re: Obama on payroll tax Date:  6/17/2008  11:56 PM
Author:  SeattlePioneer Number:  13478 of 20628

<<Seattle Pioneer wrote:

In a means tested system, once you spend your assets down to a suitably low level, you will start collecting benefits again.

Better yet, don't save for your own retirement! Let the government take care of you! This is a lot like people who believe that they shouldn't save for their children's college educations because then they won't qualify for financial aid.

Personally, I think there an arhument for paying a small stipend to the indigent. If you want to spend down your assets to receive that benefit, help yourself.

<<Denying benefits on the basis of means testing is unfair. You reward those who were the least responsible - those who saved the least. People like AngelMay, cliff and myself are counting on the combination of our savings and Social Security for income in retirement.

Tough. It would be a lot worse to raise taxes a lot on Gen X, Y and Z when few of them expect that Social Security will ever pay them benefits.

<<Seattle Pioneer, I think that it is well-understood that in a few decades that Social Security will run into insolvency. Something has to change, but means testing is not the right change.

It's not decades away. It's five or six years until the boomer generation starts claiming benefits, which is going to rapidly start escalating government deficits. At age 65, boomers are going to start claiming Medicare, which is in far worse condition than Social Security, and which will start grossly exploding Federal deficits as well.

Medicare has already started means testing for drug benefits and for basic Social Security, charging those with extra income more in premiums and paying less in benefits. Expect that trend to continue with Medicare being sharply means tested as well, just as I've described.

After all, why pay benefits to people that don't need them?

Seattle Pioneer
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