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View Diary: White House: No Medicare age increase, cut Social Security instead (360 comments)

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    •  Let's quibble. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Susan G in MN, rainmanjr, hmi, bewareofme

      Today I get $100.

      Next year, 365 days from now, not tomorrow, not next week, not next month, I will get $105. I don't get it now, I don't see it now. I can't spend it now, save it now, invest it now because I ain't got it.

      Oops. Now the Chained CPI goes through, having had NO CHANGES WHATSOEVER in committee, in the House, in the Senate, in conference.....and I get $104.90 next year.

      Yes. I am crushed, crushed by the quibble that my income has gone up. Gone up by an amount I can see, measure, feel and spend.

      AND, while we are quibbling, about those "earned payments" into Social Security by you and your employers over the years?
      You retire (you wish any more) on your 65th birthday.
      Question: How long will it take before your monthly Social Security benefits have exhausted ALL the amount of FICA you paid in to Social Security and your employers paid into SS?
      Answer: 37 months on average. After that, well, MY FICA withholding is paying my mother's Social Security since she's in her mid- 80s.

      So if you want to quibble, I'm game.

      But I'll also wait and see what comes OUT of the sausage grinder in Washington, not what goes into it.


      "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

      by WineRev on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 01:56:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  nominal vs real dollars (11+ / 0-)

        You do realize there's a reason why they call them "real" dollars, don't you?

      •  Quibble? It's math. (14+ / 0-)

        I have a revenue commitment.  I project it out.   You cut the amount of the commitment along the way, and I have to "cut" the revenue projection.  Social Security hardly makes seniors the Koch brothers - even at today's rate.

        When the credit card company raises your interest rate, sure not to quibble over whether that's an increase.  I'm sure it's not because you really didn't borrow all that much.  

        What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

        by dkmich on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 02:10:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I also quibble that my rent has gone up (13+ / 0-)

        but my VA benefits will no longer keep up with inflation

        guess I have to down size to the cardboard box since we quit buying steak and switch to hamburger by the formula anyways

        and if you're quibbling about earned payments, I'll quibble about a fucked up psyche and fractured spine I earned in service to the country... everyone is a hero as long as they are keeping the price of oil down for SUVs but once they get fucked up... well, we can cut their compensation purchasing power - it's just a quibble

        Don't be a dick, be a Democrat! Oppose CPI cuts! Support Social Security and Veteran Benefits!

        by Jeffersonian Democrat on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 02:12:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am NOT quibbling about your military service. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          peregrine kate, bewareofme

          As to the earned payments made by workers and employers into the Social Security plan I am merely citing the Social Security Administration itself when they note the average time to reclaim all those paid in contributions is about 37 months.

          Should Social Security payments be raised? Yes.

          Should the Cost of Living Adjustment for Social Security be indexed to the CPI-E for the elderly (that takes into account, for example, that the average retiree spends about 11% of their income on medical/drug/dental costs, vs. about 5.5% for younger people)? Yes.

          Should the $113,000 cap on income-based contributions be raised? Yes

          Should interest, dividend and capital gain income be subject to Social Security contributions (with an exempted amount for the poor and middle class)? Yes.

          (Several polls recently posted on KOS affirm these are overwhelmingly popular and intelligent positions.)

          But the idea that even with all these changes your contributions plus your employers' contributions will cover your checks from social security well into your 80s or 90s until death is still untrue and misleading.
               In the mid 1980s I knew people getting Social Security in the amount of $500-$700/ month. Some of these people had worked full time for all of 1959. If they had made the highest possible contributions for all of 1959 (and they did not) and these had been matched by their employer for all of 1959, the entire contribution for the year was under $400.

               As far as pensions and payments to members of the military specifically, my personal opinion would be that medical care should be provided to service members for life at public expense, that pensions should be set at 30% greater than average social security payments, and that funeral expenses should be covered in full at public expense (since the service was FOR the public.) Combat veterans (as opposed to support personnel) should have a higher rate yet.



          "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

          by WineRev on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 02:34:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Quite so. Most of us do receive more back (0+ / 0-)

            than what we ever contributed, personally or through our employers. I'm still not sure what you truly expect to come out of the horse-trading, if such elements of negotiating are actually part of the process--or what you would consider to be the minimally acceptable outcome.

            Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

            by peregrine kate on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 02:58:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  But this is not being talked about (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jeffersonian Democrat, qofdisks

            in any reality-based negotation with the Rethugs.

            "Should interest, dividend and capital gain income be subject to Social Security contributions (with an exempted amount for the poor and middle class)? Yes."

          •  fine (10+ / 0-)

            but I am not elderly

            and neither is the 18 year old who lost her legs in Afghanistan last month.  None of those other proposals are even being mentioned.  And don't forget the short-term POW Jessica Lynch was also support personnel, she drove a truck.

            What is being mentioned is slashing my purchasing power by $1,900 dollars within twenty years, and it is being proposed by a supposedly Democratic President.  So, yea, I'm pissed every time they play political ping-pong with my livelihood and with every supposed democrat who tells me that warm wet feeling on my back is just the summer rain.  I never want to hear shared sacrifice again, just another lie

            Don't be a dick, be a Democrat! Oppose CPI cuts! Support Social Security and Veteran Benefits!

            by Jeffersonian Democrat on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 03:57:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Wondered if my household (Mr Mollie) was the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jeffersonian Democrat

          one in this community to be taking a "haircut" on VA benefits.

          So folks like us will (eventually--neither of us are drawing Social Security yet) suffer a "double whammy."  Some have all the luck, I guess.  :-)


          "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

          "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

          by musiccitymollie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:49:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  So you're getting less money and that's a cut. (6+ / 0-)

        Thanks for clearing that up. Your explanation would make a bad reelection commercial for any Democrat. Kind of like "I saved social security before I cut it". Ugh.

        “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men experience it as a whole. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” - Helen Keller

        by Jason Hackman on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 02:16:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks. (0+ / 0-)

        I get pretty frustrated over the excessive hand-wringing about Obama being secretly against us.  It's nonsense but damned near everyone seems to distrust him.  I'm furious about his drone policies, especially the domestic plans outlined in Brennan's White Paper, so I'm not simply a bot.  But he's demonstrated over and over again that he is on the side of civil rights and the MC.

        "When you think about the money spent/on defense by the government/& the weapons of destruction we've built/we're so sure that we need/then you think of the millions that money could feed/How long?" J Browne

        by rainmanjr on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 02:38:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  SS should be increased. (16+ / 0-)

        The pay already does not give people enough to live on.

        I am one of those that reaches the cap.  The cap should be eliminated.  It simply does not hurt those of us that make more $.  Period.

        •  It was NEVER intended to be sole support (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3goldens, Whatithink, musiccitymollie

          Social Security was always considered to be one-third of retirement. You were supposed to have savings of your own (i.e., IRA), plus a pension or defined benefit plan (401(k)) from your employer, and Social Security was a supplement to the rest.

          Unfortunately, pensions have disappeared (does anyone besides public employees get them?). Wall Street has run off with a great deal of the money that was in IRAs and 401(k), and all that's left?

          Social Security. No way in hell should it be cut.

          •  "always" and "IRA" (9+ / 0-)

            in the same sentence is an oxymoron.  You do understand  that for people who are retired or will retire within the next 10 years, an IRA is something very new indeed?  It was never intended to be part of their retirements.

            What WAS supposed to be part of their retirements, was their company pension (which the big corps got the government to assist them in killing), and their (paid for) house,(which the big banks got the government to assist in making worth 30% less).  

            So considering the government collusion in ruining the retirements of nearly everyone over 45, you'd think they'd lay off SS, wouldn't you?

            •  I worked for Social Security (0+ / 0-)

              I just retired -- I chose to switch from the Federal CSRS system to the FERS system so I could get the Federal equivalent to a 401(k). I never had enough money to spare to fund an IRA as well.

              My above statement was what we were taught in counseling we received in preparing for retirement. At that time, no one knew that pensions were going to vanish, the stock market was presumed to be on the increase.

              I'm 56, and in the 1980s all the folks I knew were saying "you've got to have an IRA." So yes the current crop of potential retirees did know about them. But a goodly number of us didn't have the disposable income to fund one.

        •  You make a very good point indie (11+ / 0-)

          For a start the CPI understates real inflation so with current cost of living increases, seniors are gradually losing ground. With the chained CPI they would lose ground more rapidly.

          I'm truly sorry Man's dominion Has broken Nature's social union--Robert Burns

          by Eric Blair on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 03:20:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I got your "quibble" (7+ / 0-)

        right here.

        When senior citizens can no longer afford to buy groceries if they'd like to have heat in the winter, you can parse this shit anyway you want, just remember....we saved rich people from having to suffer a SS cap increase.  

        So...YAY YOU!  I guess.

      •  Unless, unless, unless inflation is unleashed as a (0+ / 0-)

        false means of economic stimulus.  You go to the store and that $2.50 loaf of bread is now $7.00.  Then, catfood goes for the same price as hamburger was a year ago.

    •  It's only a cut in American dollars (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jeffersonian Democrat, qofdisks

      as inflation makes them worth less, and less.

      Heck, if the Federal Reserve could just drive up inflation enough, and reduce the value of the US dollars seniors paid into the system to nothing, we could make Social Security "solvent" forever!  (They're working on it as we speak.)

      Get it?

      •  Sorry, this is not reality. Rates are at historic (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        lows.  Real rates are below zero.

        I'm against the chained CPI myself -- I can't imagine a progressive or even a centrist Dem not being against it.  But it's not a secret plan to destroy us.  Just a bad idea or (hopefully) a negotiating position of some sort.  Obama's been offering it for years now and it hasn't happened.

        It's sure time to push, though.

        •  "Rates" are irrelevant. (8+ / 0-)

          This is not some grand economic construct. This isn't another bankster/Wall Street game. People need FOOD.  And those prices are sure as hell going up.  Go to the grocery store and compare the cost of a loaf of bread to what it was a year or two ago.  Or a can of soup.

        •  And that easy money supply by the Fed (0+ / 0-)

          is already causing commodity prices to go up.  Even with the slow economy.  (Check your gas and food bills.)  That inflation will only accelerate as the economy improves.  Low interest rates actually are making inflation worse, not better.  

          If Social Security doesn't go up to compensate for the lost purchasing power of the same amount of dollars, that is a very REAL cut in SS.  And that is exactly what chained CPI is designed to do.  Discount real inflation so we can pay seniors less.

          •  I think I agreed with you that the chained CPI is (0+ / 0-)

            a cut and that we should fight it.  But I'm doubtful that the Fed's easy money is the big cause of rising food or gas prices.  Or even that SS without these cuts is going to keep people fed.

            As Krugman regularly points out, the austerity freaks are consistently wrong in their predictions of inflation, which they use in an attempt to inflame the fear of the debt.

            There are lots of factors pushing energy & food prices higher.  For food, there's drought, diversion to bio-fuels, rising population, declining aquifers, destruction of farmland, more meat-eaters, etc.  For energy there's speculation, rising consumption all over the world, more expensive extraction, and the basic greed of Exxon & friends.

            All this will get worse over time, imo.  Then at some point it'll stop being just about prices and start being about supply.

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