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View Diary: Insolvency, tax cuts, military spending and social security (188 comments)

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  •  Considering that it translates to a direct cash (1+ / 0-)
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    benefit that is also regressive (the poor get more for every dollar they paid in than the rich), this is not a problem with the program in any way.

    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

    by Robobagpiper on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 08:55:55 AM PDT

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    •  I agree - it's a feature, not a bug (2+ / 0-)
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      Armando, Robobagpiper

      Means test for high income contributors to the system would also have to be part of my suggested reform.

      Which means, in real life, my plan is DOA.

      The test of whether we're willing to stand up to the thugs that wrote voter suppression laws is this: Are you willing to hold hands with someone that needs hand holding in order to qualify to vote?

      by Richard Cranium on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 09:01:33 AM PDT

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      •  My point mainly being that when you apply (4+ / 0-)
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        Armando, divineorder, JesseCW, Kurt Sperry

        a tax, the benefits of which are nebulous, calculations of whether the tax is regressive or progressive with increasing income are very relevant.

        In an entitlement program that has a contribution and direct cash benefit, what's important is not the regressiveness or progressiveness of the contribution so much as that of the benefit.

        In SS' case, the benefit is highly regressive with contributions, which is a great thing for the poor.

        The same could be said for Medicare too - since a sick poor retiree costs Medicare the same (or more) as a sick upper middle class retiree, though the poor retiree has paid in smaller cumulative contributions.

        (For those confused, in these contexts, X is "regressive" with Y basically means X grows more slowly than linearly with Y; the opposite is true for "progressive" - they are not value or political judgements per se in this context, but an expression of rate of increase relative to linearity)

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 09:09:30 AM PDT

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        •  Exactly Right (1+ / 0-)
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          The proportion of your income that is replaced by Social Security varies based on how much you earn.

          Consider a worker who turns 62 in 2011. To calculate his or her benefit, the first $749 of the average monthly earnings is multiplied by 90 percent, the next $3,768 by 32 percent, and the remainder by 15 percent. The sum of these three amounts equals his or her initial monthly payment amount.

          As you can see, the more you earn, the less you get back.  


      •  Means Testing Will Kill Social Security (15+ / 0-)

        If you want to keep the program, keeping it a program where "everyone pays in and everyone collects" is the best way to do it.  

        Turning it into a program where only the "needy" get Social Security will make the program just another welfare program where we "real Americans fork over our hard earned dollars to a bunch of lazy people who refuse to work." (snrk).

        In all seriousness, "divide and conquer" has been the strategy used by the owners of this country for a long, long time.  Benifits are only provided to those on the lowest rung of society, so working people pay and pay, while they get nothing in return.  These policies build resentment, instead of solidarity.    

        •  And removing the cap won't? (0+ / 0-)

          Either way, you collect a tax and the rich don't get a benefit from it. Economically, I don't really see the difference between means-testing social security (i.e., reducing rich people's benefits relative to their contributions) and removing the cap (which is also reducing rich people's benefits relative to their contributions). In fact, doesn't it make MORE sense to do this on the back end, means-testing at the time that the person would receive the benefits, rather than doing it on the front end by removing the cap? Someone earning a high salary in their 30s could conceivably be destitute in their 70s, so the former solution seems to be more accurate.

          •  how so? (1+ / 0-)
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            if they pay more in, they get more out.  Not as much as if they put it in an IRA, but it will still be there when they are 70.

            •  My understanding of proposals to raise the cap (0+ / 0-)

              is that such a move would not be coupled by further increasing benefits for the rich (or at least not commensurately), since that would not help to close the funding gap, and so what's the point?  

              •  No sane proposals are like that. (0+ / 0-)

                Amount of benefits in will equal benefits out, regardless of how many people those $ go to. Give or take a few million $ (since there is no way to gauge every single person's lifespan to the month) each year, and you're good to go.

                "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

                by bryduck on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 05:02:42 PM PDT

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                •  But that is, in fact, how it works now. (1+ / 0-)
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                  It isn't the case that a person who pays twice as much in social security taxes gets double the benefit. I'm not sure what you think I'm talking about, but that is the only fact relevant for my argument.

                  The amount of benefits is fixed by a statutory formula. It does not depend on how much money goes into the system. That's the whole reason we need reform, which nobody is contesting (raising the cap is a reform that people here seem to favor).

          •  I hope most folks won't be suckered by Argy's (0+ / 0-)


            "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

            by jm214 on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 05:46:01 PM PDT

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