<<"Why pay benefits to people who don't need them?"Because we spent a lifetime paying premiums into the mandatory INSURANCE program.>> You are naive.You should have known that the Supreme Court ruled a half century ago that you don't have any equitable right to benefits simply because you've paid taxes. The Congress is free to increase or cut benefits at any time, and there are plenty of examples of benefits being cut or eliminated.And for at least the past third of a century, there have been abundant warnings and Social Security and Medicare were going to be in dire straights when the huge 'boomer generation started claiming benefits. A prudent person would not be depending on benefits to be maintained, and would expect benefits to be cut or eliminated in whole or in part.<<Making the program mandatory and paying benefits to all regardless of need turns out to be good politics. All of us have an interest in keeping the plan going.>> Rather large majorities of Gen X, Y and Z don't expect Social Security and Medicare to be there for them. So thery don NOT have an interest in keeping the program going. They have an interest in avoiding paying taxes that will go to supporting someone else. <<Cutting off benefits to the well off means that Social Security becomes a welfare program. Then the middle class will find reasons not to support the program and it will go the way of other welfare programs.>> Yep. So what? Social Security is already a means tested welfare program. Benefits paid have often had only a limited relationship to what was paid in taxes. We will get more of the same in the years ahead. <<The Democrats claim the Republicans want to kill Social Security by making modest stock investments possible. But in cutting off benefits and converting it to a welfare program, the Democrats threaten to kill Social Security. >> They aren't going to have a lot of choice. That's especially true of Medicare. Benefits have been cut many times --- two examples being increasing the normal retirment age to 67 and making Social Security benefits subject to income taxes. The Part D Medicare drug plan provides drugs pretty much free of premiums, co-pays and deuctible for the indigent, but has substantial premiums, co-pays and deductible for those with even modest amounts of income. Just another example of how Medicare can be and is being means tested. \Seattle Pioneer
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