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View Diary: No, raising the Social Security retirement age is not a good idea (140 comments)

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  •  Means test (0+ / 0-)

    Instead of raising the retirement age, I would welcome means testing to reduce SS payouts (as well as raising the income ceiling on 'contributions'). Many here on DK have in the past objected to this on the ground that Social Sec. is insurance, not welfare. But this was always a fiction and now is wearing particularly thin. I know multi-millionaires who collect Social Security; one such lady tells me she thinks of it as lunch money—and also believes that she is fully entitled to collect it, having "paid in" to the system.

    •  that's a terrible idea (7+ / 0-)

      Means testing strikes at the heart of what has made Social Security such a widely accepted program in this country - you earn your benefits, they are not a "handout".  The benefit structure is based on the sound proposition that people who work for most of their lives are entitled to a floor of retirement income security.  That's not fiction at all, it's reasonable social policy.

      Moreover, means testing would save next to no money at all unless you go very far down into middle class income levels - again, it runs contrary to the entire purpose and success of the program, which is to sustain middle class people until their deaths.

      It's a ridiculous idea as well - you really want to march 35million people into an office each month to prove they're poor enough to deserve benefits?  

      •  No marching required (0+ / 0-)

        An annual statement of income would do, something the IRS could take care of without problem.

        •  Except that it wouldn't be just income, what (0+ / 0-)

          about assets?  They would have to go in and prove the value of their house, their car, their appliances, and other things just like people on food stamps/medicaid have to.  Besides, you would have to set the threshold so low (around $250k) to see any meaningful savings that either it wouldn't make much difference or you would really be screwing lots of people who aren't "rich".

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 06:28:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  For the same reason having variable (0+ / 0-)

        retirement ages depending on the "physicality" of the job is just too arbitrary, and those classifications and exceptions create resentment, division, and fraud.  People's bodies and aging are so variable that any arbitrary designations based on occupation would be unworkable.  It's not my concern what wealthy people do with their social security, any more than how people legally choose to spend their food stamps.

    •  Actually, they did the math and found that for (0+ / 0-)

      means testing to have a noticeable effect the threshold would have to be set as low as $250,000.  Remember, there is going to be quite a bit of overhead on means testing, especially if a primary residence is not exempted.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 06:26:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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