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View Diary: Alan Simpson gives the finger to AARP, says Social Security is 'not a retirement program' (99 comments)

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  •  Not a retirement program (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gsbadj, The Nose

    Then SS should stop mentioning retirement in every piece of mail it sends me.

    •  Retirement income INSURANCE (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gsbadj, The Nose, roadbear

      You left out that critical part. It's meant to supplement, not be the entirety of, one's retirement income and savings. What I'm saying is that since companies are backing out of providing for their employees' retirements programs, and many people, whether through bad luck or bad planning, cannot or do not provide for their own COMPLETE retirement programs, that government might want to step in and make up the difference by offering optional guaranteed no-loss programs.

      We have to get away from this pejorative "nanny state" nonsense. Like it or not, many if not most people are always going to have to depend on government to help them through life, sometimes financially, sometimes structurally, sometimes legally. It's not about dependance. It's about reality--the "general welfare".

      "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

      by kovie on Tue May 10, 2011 at 01:02:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  SOCIAL insurance (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Nose

        Don't forget that the original SS included insurance for the unemployed and for survivors.

        The significance of the new social insurance program was that it sought to address the long-range problem of economic security for the aged through a contributory system in which the workers themselves contributed to their own future retirement benefit by making regular payments into a joint fund. It was thus distinct from the welfare benefits provided under Title I of the Act and from the various state "old-age pensions." As President Roosevelt conceived of the Act, Title I was to be a temporary "relief" program that would eventually disappear as more people were able to obtain retirement income through the contributory system. The new social insurance system was also a very moderate alternative to the radical calls to action that were so common in the America of the 1930s.

        This also puts the lie to the claim I've heard from various wingers that SS was only meant to be temporary. The grants to states were meant to be temporary but the Federal system was meant to be permanent.

        "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove." P.G. Wodehouse

        by gsbadj on Tue May 10, 2011 at 01:15:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Still provides for disability and survivors (0+ / 0-)

          But UI was spun out years ago. My larger argument is that SS not only needs to be preserved and strengthened for itself (by raising the cap), but that the various associated government "welfare" programs (in the original, non-pejorative sense of the word) such as UI, Medicare, Medicaid, etc., need to be expanded to make sure than no one falls through the cracks or sinks below a certain level.

          The private sector can and will only do so much for people below a certain wealth and income level. It's government's role to help them. Plus, ultimately, good policy for everyone above this level, because it allocates their resources better.

          "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

          by kovie on Tue May 10, 2011 at 01:26:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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