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Author: aq67sceb One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75384  
Subject: Social Security Article Date: 3/10/1999 10:32 PM
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I just finished reading Al Levit's article on Social Security at http://www.fool.com/Features/1998/sp981019SocialSecurity.htm. In general I thought it was a very good piece, but I did have a couple problems with it.

The biggest problem I had was the combination of his proposals that the payroll taxes be payable on all income, and that means testing be applied so that retirees with income from other sources above a certain level not receive any benefits from the trust fund.

The combination of the two makes for a very unfair system for higher wage earners. First, you want to tax them on their complete income. I don't necessarily have a problem with that provided that their benefits would bear some relation to their increased contributions. But instead, you want to apply means testing, which will take away the trust fund benefits of the high income retirees, who, in most cases, will be the ones you just raised the payroll taxes on. In short, you want to raise their taxes, but reduce their benefits. In the words of our proverbial grandpappy, "It just don't make no sense."
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Author: rustedSoul Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 9061 of 75384
Subject: Re: Social Security Article Date: 3/11/1999 9:55 AM
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I just finished reading Al Levit's article on Social Security at
http://www.fool.com/Features/1998/sp981019SocialSecurity.htm. In general I thought it was a very
good piece, but I did have a couple problems with it.


I find it hypocritical for the Fool on the one hand to encourage personal saving and investing. Yet on the other hand, it is supporting proposals that are the antithesis of saving/investing for this so-called retirement system.

I wouldn't put too much effort in discussing the major points of the article. It is generally regarded as a major mistake by TMF.


rustedSoul

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Author: WilliamLipp Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 9064 of 75384
Subject: Re: Social Security Article Date: 3/11/1999 10:28 AM
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I just finished reading Al Levit's article on Social Security at
">http://www.fool.com/Features/1998/sp981019SocialSecurity.htm.


rustedSoul Date: 3/11/99 9:55 AM Number: 9061
I find it hypocritical for the Fool on the one hand to encourage personal saving and investing. Yet on the other hand, it is supporting proposals that are the antithesis of saving/investing for this so-called retirement system.

Al seems to be proposing a gradual transition to a system of personal investments plus a low level welfare benefit. Sound Foolish to me.

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Author: aq67sceb One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 9065 of 75384
Subject: Re: Social Security Article Date: 3/11/1999 10:52 AM
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I just finished reading Al Levit's article on Social Security at http://www.fool.com/Features/1998/sp981019SocialSecurity.htm.

WilliamLipp said:
Al seems to be proposing a gradual transition to a system of personal investments plus a low level welfare benefit. Sound Foolish to me.

Except for the part about discouraging personal investments in the short term by taking away the benefits of those who were Foolish and invested for themselves.



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Author: WilliamLipp Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 9066 of 75384
Subject: Re: Social Security Article Date: 3/11/1999 11:23 AM
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I just finished reading Al Levit's article on Social Security at
http://www.fool.com/Features/1998/sp981019SocialSecurity.htm

WilliamLipp said:
Al seems to be proposing a gradual transition to a system of personal investments plus a low level welfare benefit. Sound Foolish to me.

aq67sceb Date: 3/11/99 10:52 AM Number: 9065
Except for the part about discouraging personal investments in the short term by taking away the benefits of those who were Foolish and invested for themselves.

I assume you mean Step 2, "Means Testing?" In the long run I assume the "minimal SS benefit" is essentially a welfare plan, so means testing shouldn't be a problem then. Perhaps some serious attention is needed for the "gradual transition" phase.

I'm actually more worried about Step 3, "Tax all income." But with about 40% going directly into individual investment plans, I think I could stomach it.

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