<<If you paid the max in SS taxes year after year you will get more. If you made less, your benefit is less. If you RE you get less (note LESS not ZERO) because you have less years added to the equation. It is a mathmatical equation that has nothing to do with how you live or have lived. If you happen to die before collecting, you get nothing. That may be too bad, but at least it is and always has been the rule. Nowhere in any SS information does it say if you earned the benefit it will not be paid (excluding fraud). >> Actually it has always been the rule they you have no property right in Social Security. The rule has always been that you can get what the Congress authorizes by law, but that you have no right to 5¢ in benefits simply because you paid enormous amounts of taxes over the years.Somehow, people never seem to complain about changes in the rules when benefits are increased, though. And benefits have been cut before ---such as requiring that income taxes be paid on a portion of benefits for some people, a method of means testing. <<<In my view, paying government benefits to people who don't need them is a stupid concept.>In my view being forced into paying SS taxes for 40+ years and then being told "we decided you do not need the benefits" is also a stupid concept. I would compare it to being held up at gun point. The entire system has always been based on forcibly having to pay your SS taxes and then earning credits for each quarter that you have worked. BTW, all employees have earned less salary each year because of the share that employers have also been forced to pay in. >> First of all I'd like to apologize for the use of the word "stupid" in the remark above. I think it's a mistake to pay benefits to people who don't need them.But you and I are in agreement about the onerous nature of Social Security and Medicare taxes. The question is --- what are you willing to do about that? If you keep benefits the same, I think there will be a whole host of new taxes and tax increases to keep the system afloat. I REALLY don't like that idea, even though I won't be one of those paying the taxes. I'd rather see benefits that I don't and that other well off people don't need to prevent further increases in already oppressive taxes.Pay benefits to those that need them to keep afloat ---there should be money to do that. But the well off middle class who like to talk about personal responsibility (like myself) should step up to the plate and offer to take the hit on Social Security benefits to prevent working people from being further exploited. Thems my views. Seatrtle Pioneer
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