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Subject:  Re: SS conclusion Date:  11/12/2003  9:05 AM
Author:  decath Number:  229 of 1940

My priority is to protect Gen X, Y and Z from ever higher tax loads. If well off baby boomers who don't need government benefits lose them, tough. And I'm one who WOULD lose them, I hope.

I would never propose increasing the taxes on Gen X, Y and Z. After all, I'm near the border line between the boomers and Gen X being born in 1961.

The government has made promises that it just can't keep. Most of us agree on that. The government will have to either raise the retirement age to receive benefits, reduce those benefits, means test them or a combination of all 3. I'm willing to go for raising the age and a reduction of benefits but I'll never agree to means testing unless the bar is set for those who are really “rich”.

I can easily foresee how a future pack of politicians would define those who are rich and should receive SS. You got $500,000 in an IRA/401k? You be rich! Never mind that at a 4% SWR you only get $20,000 a year! If both you and your wife worked for 45 years and paid the 15.3% into SS and Medicare, too bad. But across the street you have poor “Mr./Mrs. Keep Up with the Jones” who were forced to move out of their 400k home, sell both their SUV's and had to stop going to Europe when they retired because they no longer could afford it. The sale of their big home, which they refinanced repeatedly, may generate some cash to move into a smaller dwelling, but their net assets are minimal. Those poor people deserve their SS but not you decath who never went to Europe, drove a used Honda Civic and made your lunch everyday before work so you could put in 20-30% of your income into FIRE investments.

I've had self-employment income as well over my working life and am well aware of the raping of 15.3% off the top that the SE are rewarded for being entrepreneurial minded. If the government did not take so much out of our checks then you probably would see less people complain. But you are talking about roughly 13% of a persons income that he has had forcefully put away for SS his entire life (for those of us that started working in the early 80's; I don't remember when Dole and his bunch increase the SS deductions).

Depending on where you draw the “Means testing” line, you are basically punishing the responsible and rewarding the irresponsible. We have all paid into the system. If one of has to take a cut in bene's then so do the rest. If the most that the SSA can pay a recipient is $400 a month, then so be it. Those that saved can make it. Those that did not should start a business, teach a class or work in a grocery store. If they were that short sited then tough! They don't deserve retirement! It is not a right anyway!


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