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Anyone who worked can collect social security no matter their income level. People retired today with 10 million in retirement funds can and do collect it. So if it was intended to do what you said above where and when did it get changed so anyone could collect it who was well above poverty?

See JAFO's post with the history of what happened in the 1970's. COLAs didn't exist before then, and benefits and tax rates (when you include the cap on taxable earnings) were low.

The changes made transformed the benefits into something more along the line of pensions, but without considering long-term funding issues. Mix this with spending the tax revenues now and writing IOU's to the nonexistant trust fund along with an aging but healthier workforce, and we face the problems we have today.

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