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>> So if I have paid SS for over 40 years but have an income over $100,000, I would get nothing ? Huge disincentive for private savings and continuing to do some work(which would put money into the SS coffers). <<

Well, you can plug in different specific numbers, but in any event it doesn't seem to me that a $50,000 phaseout range would discourage private saving when at most SS would probably pay out about $20,000. I'm not going to blow all my money and fail to save so I can earn $69,000 in retirement ($49K plus $20K in SS) instead of $100,000.

Make it a dollar-for-dollar phaseout, though -- you make an extra dollar, you lose a dollar in benefits -- and the equation *does* change to one of significant disincentive to save. Make the phaseout 3-to-1 or 5-to-1, and not so much. This goes back to what I said before; the phaseout, if any, would need to be gradual enough to avoid creating an incentive to blow all your cash and live off of government (read: taxpayer) largesse.

The bottom line is that this can't be fixed without someone's ox getting gored. And it has to be fixed. I'd prefer to see something that distributes the pain of the goring fairly equitably across generations and economic classes.

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