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>> In my mind, a very sensible way to do it would be to tax SS 100% to the extent that benefits exceed contributions. <<

Sounds like a reasonable proposal. A bit of bookkeeping hassle, but self-evidently fair.

Except: It continues the fiction that there is a real one-to-one correspondance between what you pay in ("My Contributions") and what you get, or deserve to get, out ("My Withdrawls").

Your social security contribution is set up as a redistributive tax. You pay today. Somebody else gets your money. Anything left over (in principle) goes into the fictional 'reserve fund' for future unfunded liabilities. You get the social contract that when you retire, somebody else will be paying you.

AFAIK, it is NOT like an IRA, where you make contributions which are earmarked specifically for you.

There is that complication about 'payment' being related to lifetime contributions, but I think the relationship is hardly one-to-one, as it is in real individualized accounts.

And in my previous post I gave some vague reasons why I hope it never does become a one-to-one individualized system, even that means that I have to pay in more than I will ever get out of this system.

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