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View Diary: Ryan wants entitlement cuts, Reid says 'no way' (119 comments)

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  •  The only discussion on Social Security (5+ / 0-)

    The only discussion on Social Security that I want to have would be about lifting the contribution cap so the rich would pay the same percentage of their income into the system that the rest of us do. They don't need Social Security in their old age because the people who rely on it made them wealthy. Time to give a little of what we gave them back to us. Otherwise let them move to Somalia and try to peddle their crap to the people there. They can erect a statue to Ayn Rand and celebrate their "freedom" while various warlords plot their annihilation and pillaging.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 05:05:01 PM PDT

    •  No. That is the wrong way to go. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GleninCA, VClib

      Social Security is wage insurance -- you insure a certain amount of wages against the possibility that you will outlive your ability to work for a living, and your retirement benefits are based on the amount of wages you insure, regardless of what other assets, wealth, or income you have.  If you insure $50,000 in wages, your payout is the same as everyone else who insures $50,000 in wages.  FDR specifically designed it that way so that it would be seen as a "you get what you pay for" system, and not "welfare for the elderly" (FDR used the word "the dole."  This system designed by FDR is precisely the reason you see diaries on sites like this saying "you can't cut Social Security because we paid for our benefits!"  If you turn it into welfare, you will greatly erode the widespread support and make it easier to kill (remember "welfare reform" during the Clinton era?)

      See this diary for a further discussion.

      If you have people paying SS taxes on all income -- i.e., insure millions of dollars in income -- you have one of two results, neither of which is acceptable.  Option 1 is you keep the existing SS system, and you pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in retirement benefits to very rich people.  Option 2 is that you literally "change Social Security as we know it" and turn it into welfare for the elderly, making it have far less universal support, and taking away the ability of seniors to claim any entitlement to their Social Security benefits because they are just another form of welfare.  

      The one real issue with SS is that we used to let people insure 90% of all wages (you don't insure investment income because you don't outlive your ability to get investment income), and now, we are down in the low 80% or so.  We simply need to raise the cap back up to about 90% of all wages (and under the system, raise retirement benefits accordingly).  That is enough to greatly extend the life of Social Security.  

    •  Margaret - Social Security is wage insurance (0+ / 0-)

      Not a program to transfer wealth and income from high income workers to low income workers. That would turn Social Security into a welfare program. The whole concept of SocSec is that you insure your wages, not someone else. The program does have some progressive features, but it has such broad based support because people believe they earn the benefits they receive and their benefits are based on the contributions they made, along with their employers.

      I favor raising the cap to something close to $200,000, but eliminating the cap would end Social Security as we know it.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 08:39:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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