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Author: TMFNoClue One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75616  
Subject: Social Security Series Date: 10/20/1998 2:26 PM
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Hey Fools! Please check out this week's Fool feature on Social Security. It's located at: http://fool.com/Features/1998/sp981019SocialSecurity.htm

and a new article will be posted everyday through Thursday.

Fool On,
TMFNoClue
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Author: jstermer Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 6138 of 75616
Subject: Re: Social Security Series Date: 10/20/1998 9:28 PM
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I read with interest the summary of the Social Security system and how it is basically a transfer of wealth from workers to non-workers. The author said that he saw three ways to help the SS system limp along for a few years longer than currently projected: 1) Minor tinkering, increasing taxes and reducing benefits; 2) Allowing some self-directed investing along the lines of an IRA; or 3) A combination of (1) and (2). I would like to suggest another alternative: Get the government out of the retirement/Ponzi scheme business altogether and allow adult citizens to provide for their own retirement as they see fit. I am 47 and have paid into the system for over 25 years, but I would be perfectly happy to get back what I have paid in so far (even without interest, just adjusted for 25 years of inflation) and opt totally out of the system. Allow me to receive the 15+% that I am currently forced to send to Washington (my "contribution" and my employer's matching payment), and I will expect nothing from the government when I retire at whatever age I choose.

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Author: JABoa Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 6139 of 75616
Subject: Re: Social Security Series Date: 10/20/1998 9:50 PM
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Not to be too antagonistic sounding, but I do not think we can operate a socially compassionate country if everyone is responsible solely for his own retirement, or is allowed to drop out of the system.

For one thing, there are a whole lot of people who never were able to save enough by themselves, and who never got vested in a pension, and really do rely on Social Security benefits that their taxes did not earn them actuarially. Go over to early messages on the Retired Fools board to hear of some examples.

Second, people do pay taxes for which they will get no benefits. I am childless but I pay school taxes every year.

Third, is it such a good idea to let people invest on their own completely? I can't be sure I wouldn't have invested big in Osborne Computer, Eastern Airlines, Bre-X and Boston Chicken. If I had, I'd still not like to end my days starving in the street.

The Concord Coalition has some interesting position papers on many budget topics. They're www.concordcoalition.org.

Let's continue this discussion. I have to tell you I come from a country that had to be started because its founders liked their previous government.

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Author: CashKingAl Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 6144 of 75616
Subject: Re: Social Security Series Date: 10/21/1998 12:48 AM
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<<Not to be too antagonistic sounding, but I do not think we can operate a socially compassionate country if everyone is responsible solely for his own retirement, or is allowed to drop out of the system.>>

I'm afraid it's even worse than that, in fact much worse. SS only has a few months of payments in the trust fund. As I noted in the article tonight, the system is basically pay-as-you-go. If everyone were to drop out, then current beneficiaries would quickly go hungry.

Some of our currently don't need SS to live on, but many more do. We can't just leave them holding the bag.

Al

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Author: JABoa Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 6146 of 75616
Subject: Re: Social Security Series Date: 10/21/1998 2:01 AM
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It's late so I can't reply at length, but nobody can drop out now, I'll personally toss their posteriors in jail if they try, along with my jackbooted friends the IRS. I claim all tax monies to the Feds go into exactly 1 bucket the same as all my income at home does, except for the trivial 401(k) match I can't get at. The fact is I have found my total percentage tax burden did not change from 1974 when I was making about $38,000 of today's dollars until 1994 when I was making about $60,000.

I haven't read your article tonight, I'll do that tomorrow, but I will anticipate that a lot of the complainers will be as greedy as the AARP.

We are probably not disagreeing, the problem is likely historical lies about accounting that were told to the ignorant so as to make constant taxation politically palatable.

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Author: perkinsja Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 6153 of 75616
Subject: Re: Social Security Series Date: 10/21/1998 9:00 AM
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<It's late so I can't reply at length, but nobody can drop out now, I'll personally toss their posteriors in jail if they try, along with my jackbooted friends the IRS.>

Then you will have to arrest the entire state Oregon.
See site: www.cascadepolicy.org/ss/optout.htm

The state legislature pasted a resolution recently asking Congress to allow a waiver from SS for the State of Oregon. Oregon it seems has a history of "opting out" of Federal programs. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Fool On
Jim

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Author: ahatcher Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 6176 of 75616
Subject: Re: Social Security Series Date: 10/21/1998 3:18 PM
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I would like to suggest another alternative: Get the government out of the retirement/Ponzi scheme business altogether and allow adult citizens to provide for their own retirement as they see fit. I am 47 and have paid into the system for over 25 years, but I would be perfectly happy to get back what I have paid in so far (even without interest, just adjusted for 25 years of inflation) and opt totally out of the system. Allow me to receive the 15+% that I am currently forced to send to Washington (my "contribution" and my employer's matching payment), and I will expect nothing from the government when I retire at whatever age I choose.

I'll go even further. I'm 38 and I would be willing to give up all the money I've ever paid into SS and all future retirement benefits if they will allow me stop contributing. I've maxed out the SS deduction for a number of years too.

It aint gonna happen though.

There is no easy solution that will please everyone. We elect congress people to solve these problems for us, but they pay more attention to pleasing people in the short term rather than solving long term problems.

I think the only solution is to phase out Social Security (as it exists today). All the ways to do that are dependent on people NOW paying more or receiving less. IRA's and 401k plans help by making fewer people dependent on social security payments. Forced IRA's may be a solution, but that brings up all sorts of issues about who is going to manage all those accounts and how many fees are going to be collected to do it.

Another big gap is what happens to those who make poor investment choices? Does the government have a duty to provide subsistence level existence for the elderly? When does someone become eligable? This is basically the same issue as welfare, but a larger proportion of people in this group can't work.


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