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Hawkwin: "SS, unlike an ACA subsidy, is a return of your own money . . . ."

I disagree. It is not a return of one's own money! There is no speciic account into which one's SS taxes have been deposited (and then invested) and are being held for return at a later date. In addition, the court cases are pretting clear: Helvering v. Davis, 301 U.S. 619 (1937), in which "the Court had ruled that Social Security was not a contributory insurance program, saying, 'The proceeds of both the employee and employer taxes are to be paid into the Treasury like any other internal revenue generally, and are not earmarked in any way.' " & Flemming v. NestorR 363 U.S. 603 (1960) and Helvering v. Davis, 301 U.S. 619 (1937) in which the Court held no vested right to benefits.

All this is true. And competely beside the point.

Everybody, EVERYBODY, believes that -- and acts as if -- SS is an account that belongs to them and that their SS tax goes into an account and therefore their SS payment is a return of that investment. Even though almost everybody _also_ knows that it is no such thing and that it is indeed as you stated.

It's the difference between knowing something in your heart vs. knowing something in your head. Even though you know your head is right, you'll act & respond according to what you feel in your heart.

Plus, as mentioned up-thread, if SS ever takes on the characteristics of looking like welfare rather than a return of the money that you paid into SS, that will be its death knell.
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