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Author: allocatorx Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 744478  
Subject: Social Security Reform Date: 5/3/2001 8:35 PM
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In today's Investor's Business Daily there was an editorial on this topic entitled "Real Reform or Political Cover?" The last paragraph reads, in part:

"But then, infants-which too many Americans have become under a nanny government-are nearly impossible to wean away from their bottles unless parents offer support."

In my opinion, real reform of social security is absolutely necessary. I believe that, ultimately, this social program should be fully privatized. Saving for retirement should be a personal responsibility, not a government responsibility.

Besides, as intercst mentioned in an earlier post, millionaire status should be achieveable by most people who fully fund a 401 (K) and an IRA.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I sure would prefer being a millionaire to being a ward of the state when I retire.


allocatorx
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Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37469 of 744478
Subject: Re: Social Security Reform Date: 5/3/2001 8:54 PM
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allocatorx writes,

In today's Investor's Business Daily there was an editorial on this topic entitled "Real Reform or Political Cover?" The last paragraph reads, in part:

"But then, infants-which too many Americans have become under a nanny government-are nearly impossible to wean away from their bottles unless parents offer support."

In my opinion, real reform of social security is absolutely necessary. I believe that, ultimately, this social program should be fully privatized. Saving for retirement should be a personal responsibility, not a government responsibility.

Besides, as intercst mentioned in an earlier post, millionaire status should be achieveable by most people who fully fund a 401 (K) and an IRA.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I sure would prefer being a millionaire to being a ward of the state when I retire.


The only trouble with privatizing social security is that current benefits are paid from the FICA the gov't collects today. There's really no vested social security assets to draw on. To preserve current benefits for Social Security recipients, you'd still have to collect FICA at about the same rate PLUS whatever contributions you want to put in the privatized system. In effect, current workers would be paying twice.

Any volunteers?

intercst


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Author: fleg9bo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37472 of 744478
Subject: Re: Social Security Reform Date: 5/3/2001 9:15 PM
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The only trouble with privatizing social security is that current benefits are paid from the FICA the gov't collects today. There's really no vested social security assets to draw on. To preserve current benefits for Social Security recipients, you'd still have to collect FICA at about the same rate PLUS whatever contributions you want to put in the privatized system. In effect, current workers would be paying twice.

Any volunteers?


Another outstanding example of how a liberal/socialist program designed to make people dependent on government has come back to bite us on the nether regions. Of course, the liberals/socialists are VERY happy with it because it DOES make so many people dependent.




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Author: Patnbj Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37476 of 744478
Subject: Re: Social Security Reform Date: 5/3/2001 10:03 PM
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intercst writes:

The only trouble with privatizing social security is that current benefits are paid from the FICA the gov't collects today. There's really no vested social security assets to draw on. To preserve current benefits for Social Security recipients, you'd still have to collect FICA at about the same rate PLUS whatever contributions you want to put in the privatized system. In effect, current workers would be paying twice.

Any volunteers?


So, if that is true doesn't that also mean that those of us who are already RE will collect less benefits under a privatized SS since we won't be making any future contributions?




Patnbj - who is afraid I'm about find out some bad news....

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Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37477 of 744478
Subject: Re: Social Security Reform Date: 5/3/2001 10:13 PM
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Patnbj asks,

<<<<<intercst writes:

The only trouble with privatizing social security is that current benefits are paid from the FICA the gov't collects today. There's really no vested social security assets to draw on. To preserve current benefits for Social Security recipients, you'd still have to collect FICA at about the same rate PLUS whatever contributions you want to put in the privatized system. In effect, current workers would be paying twice.

Any volunteers? >>>>>>>>

So, if that is true doesn't that also mean that those of us who are already RE will collect less benefits under a privatized SS since we won't be making any future contributions?


It depends on whether Congress decides continue to funnel the same amount into current benefit checks. However, even under the current Social Security system it doesn't make sense to continue working just so that you get a bigger Social Security check. If you're a higher wage worker, you only get back about 15 cents for each dollar you put it.

intercst


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Author: whd23 Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37492 of 744478
Subject: Re: Social Security Reform Date: 5/4/2001 6:45 AM
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There's really no vested social security assets to draw on. To preserve current benefits for Social Security recipients, you'd still have to collect FICA at about the same rate PLUS whatever contributions you want to put in the privatized system. In effect, current workers would be paying twice.

Any volunteers?

intercst


Sure. As long as the following criteria could be met:
1) Means test all SS distributions based on recipients net worth. No sense in taking tax money from the kid working at Wal*Mart to fund the retirement of somebody with $1 Million in assets.

2) The FICA tax rate would be strictly calculated to that year's expenditures, and no artificial "surplus" would be created (any surpluses at the end of the fiscal year would be subtracted from next year's expenditures).

3) Immediately adjust the retirement age to reflect the increased life-span of tax payers since SS was conceived.

So that would make the current FICA tax what? Well under 10%?

I am already saving for my own retirement while paying confiscatory tax rates. And since I expect that SS will look something like what I've outlined above (with the exception of #1, perhaps) I am already paying twice. In fact, my generation will get to pay a little over three times:
1) Direct FICA taxes
2) Our own personal accounts (IRA, 401(k), 403(b), etc.)
3) All current SS surpluses are being converted into special issue Treasury bills, and the money is transferred onto the general budget. These T-bills will start to be called due sometime next decade. Where will that money come from? General tax revenue, which my generation will be paying.

Here's the real rip-off: Even if SS is around in it's current form when my generation retires, our benefits will be calculated only on our direct FICA taxes, none of the T-bill repayment will be taken into account. Talk about a negative rate of return. YUCK!

-Bill



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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37494 of 744478
Subject: Re: Social Security Reform Date: 5/4/2001 9:45 AM
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Sure. As long as the following criteria could be met:
1) Means test all SS distributions based on recipients net worth. No sense in taking tax money from the kid working at Wal*Mart to fund the retirement of somebody with $1 Million in assets.


Really? Sounds like a communist country to me - Confiscate the 'wealth' and distribute it to the 'poor'. Punish those who are frugal and save, and reward those who made the same income, but spent it all along the way? Doesn't make sense to me. So someone who saved $1 million, now gets to have $40,000 at 4% withdrawal rate, collects nothing, while spendthrift who saved nothing out of a lifetime earnings of millions, now gets to sit back and collect $20,000/yr? Hardly seems 'fair' to me. Then again, I"m sure it looks 'fair' for the spendthrifts. How about more like EVERYONE gets back their fair share based upon what they paid in. Otherwise, suddenly, lots of 'assets' are going to be 'missing' when it comes time to account for 'net worth'.....or people will hire accountants to 'hide' the net worth, or it will be in uscrutable forms (ie, private stock, offshore investements, charitable remainder trusts, whatever).



3) Immediately adjust the retirement age to reflect the increased life-span of tax payers since SS was conceived.


Let's see....that would raise it up to about 70 for men, and about 75 for womem. Do you think you could really sell that? And in 10-15 years, when boomers retire, it might be 73 for men, 78 for women. Do you want to tell the boomers that?

And how about people 1,2,3,4 years from retirement? They have been planning for 10 or 15 years to retire at 62 or 65, now you tell them they have to work another 5 years (if their employer will let them!).

And do you let them retire at 62 with reduced benefits? Or what are you going to change that to?

And Medicare? That starts at 65 today, no matter when you retire...and that is what is gobbling up all the money.





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Author: ataloss Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37504 of 744478
Subject: Re: Social Security Reform Date: 5/4/2001 10:55 AM
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Really? Sounds like a communist country to me - Confiscate the 'wealth' and distribute it to the 'poor'. Punish those who are frugal and save, and reward those who made the same income, but spent it all along the way? Doesn't make sense to me. So someone who saved $1 million, now gets to have $40,000 at 4% withdrawal rate, collects nothing, while spendthrift who saved nothing out of a lifetime earnings of millions, now gets to sit back and collect $20,000/yr? Hardly seems 'fair' to me. Then again, I"m sure it looks 'fair' for the spendthrifts.

Since much of the population apparently thinks that a "fair" tax cut would equally affect those paying little tax and those in the highest bracket, I suspect that a politician could sell them on means testing.

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Author: dirkn Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37506 of 744478
Subject: Re: Social Security Reform Date: 5/4/2001 11:21 AM
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<...I suspect that a politician could sell them on means testing.>

Yep, that's exactly what concerns me.

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Author: whd23 Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37507 of 744478
Subject: Re: Social Security Reform Date: 5/4/2001 11:31 AM
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Really? Sounds like a communist country to me - Confiscate the 'wealth' and distribute it to the 'poor'. Punish those who are frugal and save, and reward those who made the same income, but spent it all along the way? Doesn't make sense to me.

Please note, my initials are W - H - D, not F - D - R. I didn't create this socialistic program we call SS, I just pay for it.

So far in my life I've been able to support myself or rely on my family, and therefore have not made use of any government assistant programs. But my tax money stills goes towards them. Does that make sense to you? How does SS really differ from any other Welfare program.

...while spendthrift who saved nothing out of a lifetime earnings of millions, now gets to sit back and collect $20,000/yr? Hardly seems 'fair' to me.

This point could be made against any social program. When I went to the Voc-Tech, I couldn't even get a government backed loan, but the single mothers were getting free daycare and tuition. Essentially the government says: "If you play by the rules you're on your own. When you screw up, we'll give you assistance."

How about more like EVERYONE gets back their fair share based upon what they paid in.

That's funny. If everyone gets back what they pay in, why does anyone pay into the system in the first place? Obviously the only reason people are forced to pay into SS is because statistically some of them won't be around to collect their "fair share."

Otherwise, suddenly, lots of 'assets' are going to be 'missing' when it comes time to account for 'net worth'.....or people will hire accountants to 'hide' the net worth, or it will be in uscrutable forms (ie, private stock, offshore investements, charitable remainder trusts, whatever).

Yeah, but for the money to be of any use, they have to spend it. Audits would find these cheats pretty easily. If this hypothetical senior was getting SS payments of $20K/year discrepancies in their spending would be pretty easy to catch.

Let's see....that would raise it up to about 70 for men, and about 75 for womem. Do you think you could really sell that? And in 10-15 years, when boomers retire, it might be 73 for men, 78 for women. Do you want to tell the boomers that?

And how about people 1,2,3,4 years from retirement? They have been planning for 10 or 15 years to retire at 62 or 65, now you tell them they have to work another 5 years (if their employer will let them!).


Could I sell it? Hell no! I'm an engineer, not a salesman. Does that mean it's not the right thing to do? Tell me what happened to the first people to claim for SS. After all, they weren't expecting SS payments. If you are relying solely on SS for your retirement, you are at the government's mercy (another horrible thing about SS).

All of your arguments point out how bad the system is today. Look, if SS is such a great program, why not extend it to other part of our lives? Not only could we have Old Age Insurance, we could have Old Car Insurance. Rather than making monthly payments to the bank, send the government x% of your paycheck every week, and when the government decides your car is old enough, they'll issue you a small check for a new car.

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37510 of 744478
Subject: Re: Social Security Reform Date: 5/4/2001 12:03 PM
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"Yeah, but for the money to be of any use, they have to spend it. Audits would find these cheats pretty easily. If this hypothetical senior was getting SS payments of $20K/year discrepancies in their spending would be pretty easy to catch."

Why? Set up a limited partnership or corporation......that you own private stock in, for say, 1 cent per share par........ corporation has 1 million in assets......pays you 'expenses' of $40,000 for your travel, etc....not 'income'...re-imbursement....... you have no 'assets' but manage to get $40,000 out of corporation, which, then makes no money....pays no taxes...

Have a million in 'net worth"?.....well, re=fi your house , magically "spend" the $200,000 or $400,000you took out, now you have $200,000 more debt, and you can use up the $200,000 at your convenience......like prepaid travel.......prepaid everything for five years.....whatever the 'threshold' limit, there will be ways to magically get below it.

Or two people live together...one collects SS....is 'poor'.....the second has assets.....gets $40K year income...together they have $60,000 yr....... (won't work for married).....

BTW, many people will have net worth of 1 million by the time they retire...probably half the baby boomers...or more....since their houses will be worth $500,000.....but they can't eat their houses, and that leaves them with $500,000 nest egg to live on, or $20,000 yr.......meanwhile, Joe Spendthrift doesn't have 1 million in assets, just a $700,000 house.....so he collects $20,000 from Uncle Sam....sound right to you?

this thing has so many loophole possibilities the accountants/CPAs/brokers would go wild selling asset hiding devices to make people 'poor' on paper. (like OJ Simpson who seems to have no trouble living, but has no source of income or assets since he would immediately have to pay it out in damage claims).......





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Author: whd23 Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37511 of 744478
Subject: Re: Social Security Reform Date: 5/4/2001 12:13 PM
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.....but they can't eat their houses

Sell the house, rent an apt.
Reverse mortgage.
You get the picture.

By the way: I'm not sure if it's a state or federal thing, but I think to be eligible for long-term nursing care you do have to sell your house and other assets to cover the cost of the care.

Once again your post is indicating why the government shouldn't be in the retirement business (I'm still looking for the section of the US Constitution which grants the Fed that authority). It just cannot be administered fairly, regardless of the system. The best possible solution would be forced savings (which isn't in the USC either!).

P.S. Was there a sale on periods recently? Ease up on the ellipses! :)

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Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37513 of 744478
Subject: Re: Social Security Reform Date: 5/4/2001 12:42 PM
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telegraph writes,

this thing has so many loophole possibilities the accountants/CPAs/brokers would go wild selling asset hiding devices to make people 'poor' on paper. (like OJ Simpson who seems to have no trouble living, but has no source of income or assets since he would immediately have to pay it out in damage claims).......

OJ Simpson derives the bulk of his income from a pension (it's some kind of annuity) which can't be tapped to satisfy a court judgement under California law. The same protection applies to IRAs and 401k accounts.

You can available yourself of this same "loophole" in Texas. It doesn't require much in the form of high-powered legal or financial advice.

intercst



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Author: Madness Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37514 of 744478
Subject: Re: Social Security Reform Date: 5/4/2001 12:45 PM
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(like OJ Simpson who seems to have no trouble living, but has no source of income or assets since he would immediately have to pay it out in damage claims).......

The NFL provides a generous retirement plan, and retirement plans are exempt from civil judgments, to my understanding. IANAL.

--Madness

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Author: carylanne Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37529 of 744478
Subject: Re: Social Security Reform Date: 5/4/2001 2:58 PM
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But....we all know decent, hardworking, but frankly not very bright people, who need the type of security that SS provides now to those over 62 or 65. The companies DH and I have worked for have tried hard to see that these humble, salt of the earth types, had health insurance, were encouraged to fund an IRA (whew! that's hard to explain to someone with minimal literacy skills) or contribute to the company plan, and to keep track of FICA contributions. (These firms also counseled employees whose wages were garnisheed but that's another story). Sometimes the firms reassigned aging, less robust employees to lighter but still necessary duties so that they could qualify for the max whatever benefit upon retirement.

I know that I can provide for myself; I do not have confidence that these individuals will not be scammed, deprived, robbed etc. of their savings unless there is some sort of system that makes it mandatory to contribute $$ from some source or other to be returned to the contributor years later. For those in heavy industry or dangerous occupations such as farming, it is impossible to get disability insurance on one's own. SS provides that leverage. It's not perfect by a long shot but how do we protect and provide for those who are less capable yet are not cheats, layabouts, or scoundrels.

People may be living longer but I question that they are all healthy enough to put in a full day's work after 65. Extending the retirement age for folks like my mother who is in OK health for puttering around the house but is hampered by arthritis and the now evident effects of poor diet during the Depression will not benefit the nation. My mother-in-law is in her early 70's and has osteoporosis; she represents the individual who is not crippled, but should not be working because of spinal disc fractures. Otherwise she will live to be 90+ if a hip fracture doesn't shorten her life span. 65 seems to me to be just right for this point in our history.

On another issue, as long as SS is tied to wages how can we assist homemakers, stay-at-home parents, caregivers etc. who do not have reportable wages often for years? How can they achieve even the modest levels now available to SS recipients who have been full-time wage reporters for 3 or 4 decades. A great percentage of the poverty among elderly women is related to their lack of earning history, the modest lifetime income of their deceased spouses, and the demands of larger-than-the-norm today families of yesteryear. My mother had 4 kids (but 6 pregnancies), I had two surviving kids. My grandmother had 6 surviving kids (+ several miscarriages and dead infants) and farmed with horses pre-Depression.

The above are just a few of the great complexities that have to be worked through as we make the necessary transition to a self-supporting retirement INSURANCE plan. Maybe we need to make this an INSURANCE plan, ie. insurance against poverty at a certain age in life, just as part of the contributions are for disability payments in the event of serious illness or injury. In Canada this scheme is Social Insurance (everyone has a SIN as opposed to a SSN).

I am all for cutting out the bozos from the government table, but a lot of people need a structure imposed on them and I do not want to see survival of the fittest for senior citizens. We are more decent than that as a nation.

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Author: Kaell One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37530 of 744478
Subject: Re: Social Security Reform Date: 5/4/2001 3:09 PM
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intercst:
The only trouble with privatizing social security is that current benefits are paid from the FICA the gov't collects today. There's really no vested social security assets to draw on. To preserve current benefits for Social Security recipients, you'd still have to collect FICA at about the same rate PLUS whatever contributions you want to put in the privatized system. In effect, current workers would be paying twice.

Any volunteers?


And this differs from what current workers face, how? I will either collect nothing from SS, or I will pay vastly increased amounts and collect a pittance (if that), as the system now stands. That's how pyramid schemes work.

Better to pledge general revenues to meet the SS commitments already made to workers over, say, 40 (which excludes moi), and scrap a system that will soon have only 2 workers paying in for every retiree collecting.

Kaell

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Author: 1HappyFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37532 of 744478
Subject: Re: Social Security Reform Date: 5/4/2001 3:46 PM
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I am all for cutting out the bozos from the government table, but a lot of people need a structure imposed on them and I do not want to see survival of the fittest for senior citizens. We are more decent than that as a nation.

An excellent post!

Before SS was created, every attempt that the government made toward designing a mandatory private social insurance (anti-poverty insurance) was unofficially ruled unconstitutional by Supreme Court judges who were consulted to ensure that the legislators weren't simply wasting their time. It was only through using the loophole that Uncle Sam has the "power to levy taxes" and employ those taxes to "promote the general welfare" that SS was deemed constitutional. IOW, only by making it a government program and funded by taxes was it legal to force people to enter a future income pool. From there it was all downhill. Once you throw something into the legislative arena, it becomes fair game for every kind of scheme that professional schemers (politicians) can dream up. SS is no longer recognizable as insurance. It is simply welfare except for the fact that even those who are wealthy remain eligible while only those who are "unemployable" are eligible without first contributing.

We as a society are "better than that", but the problem is that the only mechanism for enforcement involves the use of government. If we left it up to the states, nothing would be done because people would leave or avoid states with high taxation and move to states with high benefits. The burden therefore falls to the federal government and the burden for fixing the problem falls to our elected representatives in Congress. Unfortunately, we are discovering the truth of a statement that I believe was made by Alexis de Toqueville, "Democracy will perish when the voters discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses".

1HappyFool


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Author: TheBreeze Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37563 of 744478
Subject: Re: Social Security Reform Date: 5/4/2001 10:09 PM
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carylanne, I liked your post. It was a good "other side" view.

I know that I can provide for myself; I do not have confidence that these individuals will not be scammed, deprived, robbed etc. of their savings

Scammed with, say, a Ponzi scheme, where current money coming in pays for the "investors" who got in earlier?

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Author: carylanne Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37567 of 744478
Subject: Re: Social Security Reform Date: 5/4/2001 10:44 PM
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Scammed with, say, a Ponzi scheme, where current money coming in pays for the "investors" who got in earlier?



No, I was thinking of the shysters out there all too ready to separate an unsophisticated, gullible person from the money they were to "invest" on their own. I am not a fan of giving all US citizens the opportunity to invest a part of their SS allocation in private accounts. Too high costs will be generated, too many opportunities for malfeasance on the part of financial intermediaries. And absolutely, NONE of this money can be withdrawn as is the case with IRAs etc. prematurely before age 65 or disability. (Just wait 'til Congress and the unions try to get preference "investments" into these accounts.)

Effectively, wage earners are being taxed to keep older citizens at a reasonable standard of living today. What is more unfair is the fact that we are taxed on that money at ordinary income rates and do not have it as aftertax funds available to us. Perhaps some of the criticism of the present scheme could be softened if FICA was not part of our taxable income. (But I do not have a clue how that would work into the nation's economic fabric.)

Every time I get mad at the thought of "my" SS contribution not being available to me because I will (hopefully) be above a certain means, I think of my cleaning person, the yard man, the security guard at my bank,etc. and I thank the gods that there is a TAX scheme (however flawed) that will assist them later in life. These are good people, just not very financially capable. You ALL know people like that, heck you may have family members like that!

If this were an INSURANCE plan that people would apply to receive benefits I can't help but believe that contributions could be lowered significantly across the board. Our economy has probably matured past the point that we need a guaranteed entitlement post 65 years of age.

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Author: golfwaymore Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37578 of 744478
Subject: Re: Social Security Reform Date: 5/5/2001 12:13 AM
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I know that I can provide for myself; I do not have confidence that these individuals will not be scammed, deprived, robbed etc. of their savings unless there is some sort of system that makes it mandatory to contribute $$ from some source or other to be returned to the contributor years later.

I think this is what is being intentionally blurred by those opposed to any reform of SS, but I'm not implying that this was the original poster's intent (at all).

What is being suggested, and what was campaigned on, was for those who CHOOSE to divert 2% of SS contributions to the market, may do so. Those who feel they cant understand such complexities of the market, DONT HAVE TO - stick with the old plan, which is the equivalent of a Mason jar. Granted, some will make poor investments with their 2%, but they wont lose everything, contrary to what you'll see the Dems proclaiming.

I officially nominate Sen Tom Daschiele the King of "Out of Context". I saw him make a statement in a press conference saying, "Looking at the NASDAQ over the past year, does anyone really want to put their money in there vs. the Social Security system?". Let me answer Tom...YES!

Great cheap shot Tom, just like with the anti-tax cut arguement; cut out the piece of the arguement that "scares the be-Jesus" out of everyone and scream it loud and clear.

An investment into the NASDAQ is a long term investment over time, just like the Social Security system is SUPPOSED to be; albeit it has a paultry return. You can't slice out the year of the market that works for your arguement and ignore all those prior and after. By that logic, I suppose they should have outlawed securities trading in 1931.

In the interest of full disclosure, I think Tom should state if he even owns ONE NASDAQ security, since they are such "risky" ventures.

Golfwaymore









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Author: joelxwil Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37606 of 744478
Subject: Re: Social Security Reform Date: 5/5/2001 1:49 PM
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Look, all this discussion proves is that there is no painless way to "reform" a Ponzi scheme.

The thing was fundamentally unsound from the day it was passed. If an insurance company did it that way, the officers would go to jail. But not the government. Too bad.

Personally, I think that the only way to do it properly is to calculate a cash value of the projected benefits. Put that cash into a real account like an IRA over time - not all at once. When you retire, you get whatever is in that account.

And just dump the current system - require payments into an IRA for everybody who is working.

I do not expect anything rational from our politicians, however.



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Author: JAFO31 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37915 of 744478
Subject: Re: Social Security Reform Date: 5/8/2001 2:18 AM
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1HappyFool "SS is no longer recognizable as insurance. It is simply welfare except for . . . ."

SS was always a welfare program from day 1; it was "sold" (or "spun" in more modern parlance) as an insurance program in order to gain public support.

Regards, JAFO
(a day late, but I hope not a dollar short)

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