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Author: decath Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 58810  
Subject: Re: Happy Birthday Social Security Date: 8/17/2007 12:37 PM
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Why would he be offended by the truth? Welfare is subsidization of living expenses by government. That is exactly what SS is.

Perhaps so. But people in my dad's generation (I'm not sure I disagree) held that welfare is something that was paid to the indigent. SS was paid to you because you put $ in and received at least a portion of it back.

But it is acceptable to screw over the younger generations? In the past, 1 working person paid about 1/20th to 1/10th of the SS benefit for a retired person. Now, those people who paid for 1/20th to 1/10th are retiring and demanding that younger workers pay 1/3rd of the SS benefit.

I never said the current situation is acceptable. That is why I offered the solution I did. Personally, I would prefer individual accounts myself. But that is just as political unfeasible as the raising the SS tax rates would be.

I'll offer a little more detail. Not so much different than ziggy's post:

- Keep SS taxes at the current rate
- Raise the retirement ages from 62-67 to 65-70
- Government pays as you go. Adjust once a year, estimate what you bring in and pay out accordingly.
- No government deficits, no new taxes but individuals will have to realize that SS may be lowered each year. The burden will be on citizens to make up the difference according to their lifestyles.

This is a clear test to see who is greedy and who is fair. Any fair retired person would see this and say that since I only paid for 1/10th of the benefit, today's workers should pay a similar amount to support me. Any greedy retired person would say that younger workers should be screwed over and forced to pay a more than they did.

I don't think it is as clear as you state. Put one’s self into a baby boomer’s shoes that has worked hard all his life and has expected to receive SS when they turn 62-67. My parents for example, who have been paying into the system since 1958. How much would they have if they could have put that into the stock market over the 45-50 years they worked?

It is not greed. Self-preservation perhaps and at the very least, a sense of fairness. The same sense of fairness that you object to paying into the system and don’t expect to receive anything back. The same sense of fairness that I felt when I was 22 when I saw that 4% (I think it was at the time) taken out of mine. The same sense of fairness I feel now after 30 years of paying into it.

Either way, we all get screwed somewhat.

I guess it depends on who you want to see screwed the most. Stop SS now except for everyone but the indigent and you screw everyone that has paid any significant amount into the system. Keep the same system in place, change nothing and you potentially screw younger people because the population demographics dictate it will eventually implode.

I think my solution helps keep both people from being screwed the least! It also puts more of the burden on individuals than we currently do.

decath
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