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URL:  https://boards.fool.com/while-not-technically-insurance-ss-functions-32157792.aspx

Subject:  Re: Attitude Question - SS Date:  3/14/2016  12:07 PM
Author:  ptheland Number:  79292 of 97388

While not technically insurance, SS functions that way.

Social Security isn't insurance. It doesn't function like insurance. It's not even close.

It is a welfare benefit for the elderly and disabled funded by a tax on earned income.

It is vital to remember that what you pay to social security is a TAX. It's not insurance. It's not a pension program. It's a tax. There is no account with money in it set aside for your personal benefits. The money is gone and no longer yours. It belongs to the government.

On the other side, unlike insurance, you have no legal guarantee of any benefits. Congress is free to change the benefits under the social security program at any time in any direction for any reason. If an insurance company tried to do that, you would likely be successful in your suit for breach of contract.

Hence, my previous one-word answer. When taxes and welfare benefits are involved, politics are involved.

Much of the attitude problems come from a misunderstanding of this very simple concept.

--Peter
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