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View Diary: The President Agreed With Mitt Romney on Social Security in the Debate (264 comments)

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  •  Ah, "bolster" is just so '80s. (10+ / 0-)

    "Tweak" is the new happening word.

    they worked together on to bolster the Social Security system.
    It's going to have to be tweaked the way it was by Ronald Reagan and Speaker -- Democratic Speaker Tip O'Neill.
    But in these cases both bolster and tweak = screw the People.
    •  As a social security recipient, I do not feel (2+ / 0-)

      screwed by what they did.

      You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

      by sewaneepat on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:29:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  Well according to your comment, I was screwed (0+ / 0-)

          by it. Actually, if they had not changed it, it is doubtful I would have received as high a benefit as I do.

          Benefits increased in the 1970's and the COLA went into effect. As a result of the high inflation and high unemployment in the mid to late 1970's, there was an immediate crisis for Social Security. For those too young to remember, there was double digit inflation at two points during that time. The average inflation for the whole decade was almost 7% per year.

          It is because of the changes at that time that there is the surplus now in Social Security because it would have been insolvent then without those tweaks.

          You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

          by sewaneepat on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 07:42:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  And not to mention, you were eligible (5+ / 0-)

        to start collecting at age 65.  So yes, you were not screwed.  Congratulations.

        •  Actually, my full retirement age would have (0+ / 0-)

          been 66.

          You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

          by sewaneepat on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:12:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gooderservice, priceman

            what about us? Curious as to the opinion at what age you decide they don't count cause you got yours.

            There are no sacred cows.

            by LaEscapee on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:27:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If you have read my comments, I have said over (0+ / 0-)

              and over that what I am concerned about is you getting your Social Security when you are my age and that is why I agreed that there need to be certain tweaks and what I think those should be. Which does not include raising the age.

              If you think that Social Security will be there for you and your children and grandchildren with at least the same benefits as now, then great. I remember the crisis of the early '80's in Social Security since I was an adult at that time. I have read the Trustees report for the past several years and while there is certainly not a crisis now, there are things that could be done to prevent one in the future - like Obama's proposal to have FICA taxes apply to incomes over $200,000 with a donut hole between the current cap and the $200,000 in which there would be no FICA taxes.

              If I were not concerned about you and others getting social security benefits, then I would be content to leave it like it is as you seem to want. It is exactly because I want younger people to get at least the same benefits that I am open to "tweaks."

              For the next 18 years, approximately 10,000 baby boomers per day will reach retirement age. That is the challenge for Social Security at this point coupled with a sluggish economy and the fact that we had fewer children to pay into the system to keep current funds adequate for current retirees. If that does not seem to you to present any problems, great. It does concern me for the people who are coming after me.

              If I were of the "I've got mine, so I don't care about you" mindset, I sure as hell would not be wasting my time talking about it or worrying about it.

              You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

              by sewaneepat on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 04:12:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Then you don't understand what they did (7+ / 0-)

        They've made you pay twice as much in FICA as you were paying before from 1983 until you retired; and there was no need for it because SS could have been paid for out of the general fund and funded automatically year-by-year as SMI is.

        You're not seeing this because you think the Government is limited in its capacity to spend. But since 1971 and going off the gold standard, it is not limited. So you and I and everyone of this generation has paid twice as much or more for SS than was necessary. Do you feel screwed yet?

        If not, then read this. Double payments for SS since 1983 is one of the reasons why we're no. 24.

        •  If Social Security had been changed to be paid (0+ / 0-)

          out of the general fund instead of keeping it as an insurance program, then we would be having a very different discussion. One in which we could not say that SS does not contribute to the deficit, but instead would be one of the driving contributions to the deficit. If FICA taxes had not been raised and SS were funded by the general fund, then income taxes would have had to be increased. While that might have been a more progressive tax than FICA, the problems of continuing to get adequate funding from the general fund would make a very  complicated political problem. It would have made Social Security similar to Medicaid funding and on a more dicey footing.

          The big increase in FICA taxes then was because they waited until the fund was inadequate to pay current beneficiaries. The crisis was brought on by high inflation (in which prices went up almost 100% during the '70's and since COLA was added during that time, Social Security benefits increased to keep up with inflation) and high unemployment so that there was not enough revenue coming in. If they had addressed the problem earlier, the increase in FICA could have been less.

          As best as I can figure, Social security benefit payments have gone up about 450% from 1975 until now also so higher than doubling the tax.

          There were other increases in benefits also in the 1983 act. Gender bias was eliminated and there were increased benefits to widows and disabled people. Federal workers (including Congress) and employees of nonprofit organizations were mandated to be covered and taxed under Social Security.

          You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

          by sewaneepat on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 05:25:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Please understand (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LaEscapee, priceman

            The budget doesn't have to balanced as long as we're saving money in the private sector and importing more than we're exporting. In fact, we need a deficit as large as the absolute value of the amount the private sector saves and the trade deficit, because if we don't have deficits that large then we have less than a full employment budget. So, to have full employment with a deficit less than this sum, we must have the private sector increasing its debt.

            Everything I've just said is a consequence of a well known macroeconomic identity. If Governments try to hold down the deficit deliberately, then either savings or the trade deficit or both must be reduced. If we reduce the trade deficit we are giving up real wealth. If we reduce savings then we're getting poorer, at least collectively, and perhaps even going into debt to a greater extent than we have been.

            So get over it! Until the US exports more than it imports, it will hurt our economy to balance the budget. It is austerity! It will cost jobs. Obama's deficits are not too large. They are too small. Clinton's surpluses were not good. They were bad. They caused a mild recession at the end of his term and the beginning of Bush's. To maintain economic growth during his surplus years, Greenspan had to throw a big debt party, the full effects of which weren't felt until the crash of 2008, because he and Benanke continued the party until then.

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