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But if the government eventually "fixes" the Social Security mess by heavily means testing it -- as would seem to be one option for "fixing" it -- then they would be actively discouraging saving, especially if the phase-out was sharp and the phase-out income level started at a modest level.

Not necessarily. It would, however, require abandoning fiction and returning to looking at SS as what it was designed to be--welfare to keep old people without private resources from starving in the streets, but just barely.

Instead of admitting that the payroll tax is exactly that, a tax, the politicians sold a story that makes people think every one of us has a box in Baltimore with "our" money in it. As late as the 1970's SS benefits were meager, and the tax was low. And very few people complained that the gummint was robbing them of their future.

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