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TPM's Brian Beutler reads recent statements by both Republican and Democratic electeds, and finds common ground.

Several of the most powerful members of the House -- Republicans and Democrats -- have recently voiced real support for the idea of raising the retirement age for people middle-aged and younger as part of a larger plan to reduce long-term deficits, inching closer to what not too long ago was the third rail of American politics....

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer explicitly put the idea on the table as well in a speech last month. "We should consider a higher retirement age or one pegged to lifespan," Hoyer said.

He echoed House Majority Whip James Clyburn, who put it this way: "With minor changes to the program such as raising the salary cap and raising the retirement age by one month every year, the program could become solvent for the next 75 years." One month a year may not sound like much, but if you're 30 years away from retirement, that adds up to almost three years.

Nancy Pelosi tries to inject a bit of reality into the discussion.

When asked about it by TPMDC at her press conference last week, she criticized the plan, but mainly to say she disagrees with putting Social Security on the chopping block ahead of other measures. "Why they would start talking about a place that could be harmful to our seniors -- 70 is a relative age," Pelosi said. "Around here, there's not a lot of outdoor work or heavy lifting. But for some people it is, and 70 means something different to them. So in any event let's talk about growth, lets talk about how we can reduce spending, lets put everything, those initiatives: promoting growth, tightening the belt, looking at entitlements. But let's not start on the backs of our seniors."

The Congress, with it's relative geezerdom, isn't a particularly fair reflection of life in the real world, where few 70 year-olds have multiple staff people to get them through their days. That's true now, and it will be true for the now middle-aged people who will be facing a longer working life if these guys get their way.

Here's something our Members of Congress should be occupying their noggins with: the middle-aged and older are the largest group of the long-term unemployed. A little job creation could potentially go a long way here. Maybe if they actually were working, and contributing into the system by paying both income and Social Security taxes, our economic picture would be a little less bleak. Telling these people now--who want to be working--that they'll have an extra 15 years to be stigmatized by being unemployed is just cruel.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:46 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Are they out of their frigging minds? (48+ / 0-)

    US senators are just about the only group of people in this country who are not victims of age discrimination.

    You don't bring a knife to a gunfight and you don't bring a chicken to the doctor.

    by beltane on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:49:36 PM PDT

  •  Lift the salary cap and tax capital gains (27+ / 0-)

    and you're done, forever.

    Don't raise the limit on taxing salary, get rid of it altogether. Employment and retirement security shouldn't be capped.

    Part of the major tax inequity in this country is that payroll taxes take such a huge portion of working peoples' income, while capital gains are taxed at a very small overall rate (there are additional problems with corporate taxes being too high and there being too many loopholes to take profits offshore, but that's a digression).

    Tax capital gains at 0.75%, taking the rate to a whopping 15.75%, and count that as a contribution towards Social Security the same way payroll taxes count as a contribution.

    Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

    by TheCrank on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:49:49 PM PDT

  •  Everyone Younger Than Boomers Has Been Told (6+ / 0-)

    all their lives not to count on Social Security. This will be relatively easy to pass.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:49:58 PM PDT

    •  Thank god the stock market always goes up n/t (17+ / 0-)

      Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

      by TheCrank on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:50:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And people save. Not. (4+ / 0-)

        They don't.  As the spouse of a financial planner, believe me, they don't.  Oh, the stories I've heard, like, five years from retirement with nothing in savings, asking my patient hubby "what do I do now?"

        •  Everyone younger than boomers... (9+ / 0-)

          ...is believing total propaganda bullshit about how insecure social security is. Don't believe the bullshit. SS is the one government program that works perfectly fine and is totally in the black, completely paying for itself.

          The reason for the propaganda (ponzi scheme lies) is because the richest people in the world can't stand a program that benefits the poor and middle class. They want all the money funneled to them. So they spread propaganda to get average people to shoot themselves in the foot.

          You want problems, look at the out of control medical costs, which rests on the greedy heads of the insurance companies. You want problems, how about a trillion dollars flushed down the toilet on two wars that were based on a pack of lies. You want problems, look at the real problem, which is the Bush tax cuts which went predominantly to the upper 1%.

          Get your head out of your ass and really understand what has been happening.

          Everything I write is within a margin of error of precisely 100%.

          by Bailey Savings and Loan on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:08:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Whenever I hear that, it's accompanied by a shrug (10+ / 0-)

      and an "I don't expect to get it anyway".  They've done their work.  Fake News has delivered for the social security privatization crowd.  And on the geezers in congress, there should be a limit, no?  Like everywhere else, maybe 85?  Geez, they're out of touch!

    •  Another great legacy of (many of) the Boomers: (2+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      J M F, ScottDog
      Hidden by:
      denise b

      Turning FICA into a general revenue stream and demanding cuts in income taxes in addition to their benefits, while young people get stuck with the bill and told they don't get anything.

      (Yes, I know many of you are Boomers and weren't at all engaged in this scheme, but I submit you're not average Boomers.)

      Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

      by Drew J Jones on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:04:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Screw you, Bub (9+ / 0-)

        We already came under Reagan's changes that pushed back the retirement age and massively increased our FICA pay-ins, while watching the rich elites not have to pay in a penny on earnings from capital gains.

        We also vote Democrat in greater numbers than the generation that immediately succeeds us, so watch out what you ask for.

        I'm so tired of this anti-boomer crap, which used to be confined to right-wing nutters (just like the idea of slashing Medicare and SSRI used to be).

      •  "Black people are criminals" (0+ / 0-)

        "- except you, of course, and a some of your friends. But you're not average black people".

        "Average" boomers diverted the FICA revenues? Gee - how exactly did they do that? Did they hold mass demonstrations asking their representatives to steal their FICA money? Did they exact promises that they would do that before they elected them? Was it thousands of letters and phone calls?

        Oh, I know - it was all those demands they made to have the top 1% get massive income tax cuts that did it. Those greedy boomers - they had their big thrill of seeing their retirement money given to rich people, and now they want more? How dare they!

        It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man. --H.L. Mencken

        by denise b on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:34:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What an idiotic comment. (0+ / 0-)

          Most black people, like most other people, don't commit crime.  But most Boomers voted for Reagan.  You got what your fellow Boomers voted for.

          Again, just the facts.

          But, by all means, carry on with your HR abuse.  It's an amusing hissy fit.

          Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

          by Drew J Jones on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:41:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, most boomers did NOT vote for Reagan (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pundit

            In 1980, more boomer voters voted against Reagan than for him. In 1980, a majority of boomer voters did vote for him, but to a lesser degree than the generations before them and after them. But in both cases, almost half the voting age population didn't vote at all. Huge numbers of people don't vote every year, as I'm sure you know.

            Which is irrelevant, anyway.  Reagan did not campaign on a platform of diverting FICA revenues. Do you seriously think that's what the people who voted for him wanted or expected him to do? I presume you voted for Obama. He's continuing Bush's torture policies, among other reprehensible things. Does that make you a vicious person who likes to see people tortured?

            Age is a demographic. Attributing personal attributes to people based on demographics is not OK. If you want to say something about people who voted for Reagan, then call them people who voted for Reagan. The 2/3 of us boomers who did not vote for him would appreciate it.

            It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man. --H.L. Mencken

            by denise b on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 05:08:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Where's you evidence? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bay of arizona

              Here's the exit poll from the 1980 election.  The website also includes the poll from 1984, at which point you'll note Boomers skew even more towards Reagan than in 1980.

              So what's this bitching about "2/3 of us" who didn't vote for him based on?  Or is it, as I suspect, that you just pulled that right out of your ass?

              I know, I know: Facts are stupid things.

              Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

              by Drew J Jones on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 05:46:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  god forbid they ever raise the $120K cap (18+ / 0-)

    fuck them. fuck all of them

    We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope. -- Martin Luther King Jr.

    by mydailydrunk on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:50:20 PM PDT

    •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ScottDog

      That would be lights out for any party if they raise the cap income cap.  In reality, they should either drastically lower the cap or increase the benefits of those paying more.  If the current Social Security system stays in place, I will receive LESS then I put into the system.  Why do they force me into a losing investment?  The outcry will continue to build.

      •  Social Security isn't an investment (5+ / 0-)

        in the sense that an IRA or a 401k plan is an investment.  Social Security is a social contract between all American citizens that guarantees a minimal retirement income to all American retirees.  If evolving demographics create the need for certain parameters to be adjusted so that the guarantee can be honored, reasonable political leaders should be able to deal with it.

        Barack Obama in the Oval Office: There's a black man who knows his place.

        by Greasy Grant on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:04:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is an insurance program (5+ / 0-)

          The rich assholes that want to kill the program want you to think it is an investment program, but this is another bullshit lie. It is an insurance program, designed to help people who live longer than average.

          Everything I write is within a margin of error of precisely 100%.

          by Bailey Savings and Loan on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:11:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Social Security is a hybred (0+ / 0-)

            Investment/insurance program and a wasteful one at that.  The amount of benefit you get for disability and death is horrible when compaired to private life and disability insurance.  Furthermore, the investment side of SS is also a drain since it currently provides a negative return on investment.  With that said, the program could still do some good for those lacking the knowledge on how to properly investment and hedge against future risk for themselves.

            In a perfect world, the government would allow those of us the ability to opt out of the program.  I would be much more in favor of this program if I could simply opt out.  I would get none of the benefits but I wouldn't have to waste my money paying into it either.

            •  Oh Please. (0+ / 0-)

              Yes, there are some programs you could invest that money into and possibly make more money, but making money isn't the point.

              The point is that every retiree has enough money not to die starving in the streets, regardless of how financially savvy they were.

              You possibly could make enough money to last you from 65-90, but what if your investment goes sour when you're 60 (say, the financial system collapses and wipes out your investment) then what?  Social Security should be free from market deviations and destructions, a gurantee that no matter what, because YOU helped others live out the end of their lives in peace and security, you too shall get a secure retirement.

              If you allow people to Opt Out, the pool of money goes down, and more elderly are not eating or getting medication.

              If all you're worried about is the "investment opportunities" you are missing with that Social Security money, you've already missed the point.

              •  If I fail to invest properly for my future (0+ / 0-)

                Social Security will not bail me out of my failure.  The benefit is no where near enough to retire on anyways largely due to the negative return we get from the program.

                Furthermore, we aren't really talking about a viable program into the future anyways unless getting IOU's from the government instead of a tiny check counts for anything.  That big surplus is sadly gone already as our wasteful congress members decided to waste it already on other crap programs and the military.  The only way to pay that back at this point would be inflation but then the benefit you get wouldn't be worth much of anything anyways.  That negative reture we already get is only going to get worse.

                I would propose that we slowly kill the program.  I would start by garunteeing that everyone 50 years of age and older will get their SS in full.  Everyone under 50 will get nothing.  Furthermore, everyone working will continue to pay into the system until their is no one left in the program.  This of course means that we could slowly start to decrease the nasty social security tax over time.  Sure us younger folks will get screwed but we were getting screwed already.  Someone has to pay for the mistakes of the older generation afterall and I can't see us dumbing them on the streets overnight.  This plan would work wonders since future social security liabilities would be completely wiped out.  This would be a major boon to our country as a whole in many regards.

                First, we would have a huge pool of new private money workers would be free to spend and/or invest.  This would create a ton of new capital and GDP would rise dramatically.  Furthermore, it would bail out our government from an impossible debt stream which would ensure our countries future viability.

                The only negative would be that we would be forced to finally teach people how to save for themselves.  It is sadly something that has been missing from our education system and that needs to change.  The average saving rate for the average American is around 2.5%.  The average saving rate in most Asian countries is around 10%.  We need to teach people to save more and spend less.  Of course that becomes alot easier when you let them keep up there own money.  Furthermore, companies would have a ton of new capital since they wouldn't have to match SS money anymore.  

                For me personally, I have 25 full time employee's.  The savings I would get would total over $100,000 per year.  My employee's would naturally get all that money plus save the money they are currently paying in SS tax.  That means an average pay check increase of $10,000 per year FOREVER!  To me, that is a ton of extra money to invest for their future retirement and hedge against death/disability.

                They will get a much better return on that money if they had it themselves then anything they get from SS.  But anyone using even the smallest amount of logic can see that.

        •  Social security already penalizes (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Abra Crabcakeya, coffejoe, ScottDog

          anyone who has a pension or other form of retirement even if they paid into social security and meet the eligibility requirements.

      •  It is INSURANCE, not an investment (11+ / 0-)

        Old Age Disability and Survivors Insurance - OASDI

        If you have worked and paid into Social Security and become disabled, you are entitled to disabilty payments without regard to your assets because you bought DISABILITY INSURANCE for yourself.  As an added benefit if you become disabled after having paid into the SS system you will also be entitled to Medicare for your health coverage regardless of your age - since you sure won't be able able to get it from private insurers.

        If you have a child who was born disabled, your payments into the SS system will entitle that child to lifelong disability payments and entitlement to insurance through Medicare.  No private insurer would sell you this kind of coverage at any price.  But if you give birth to a kid with CP, or a congenital disease or Downs - you are going to need it.  You have bought DISABILITY INSURANCE for your children in certain circumstances.  You can only pray you don't get those payments "back."

        If you die early, YOU won't get back anything either but those insurance payments will have bought payments to your minor dependent children until they reach 18 or graduate from high school if later, as well as payments to your surviving spouse while caring for those minors and once he or she reaches retirement age.  You have bought SURVIVOR's INSURANCE. And if it's your sibling who happens to be the one to bite the dust from kidney cancer at age 35 leaving behind three little kids, well those payments to his wife and kids keep them off your doorstep and that's a benefit for you you didn't even pay for.

        And if you do skirt all those disasters and make it to old age, you will get a payment for the rest of your life and if you vastly outlive your life expectancy you might make out like a bandit because you bought OLD AGE INSURANCE.

        All in all Soc Sec is a heck of a deal and hugely important to the social fabric.

        Your mortgage company REQUIRES you to buy both mortgage insurance and homeowner's insurance and you will likely never get the least benefit from those forms of insurance and yet we don't bat an eye.  I don't understand it.

        Give me government-run healthcare over Wall Street-run healthcare anyday...

        by trillian on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:08:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  because younger people don't vote (5+ / 0-)

        you get the 18-34 to consistently vote at a 60%+ level, and you'll put the fear of god into them.

        We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope. -- Martin Luther King Jr.

        by mydailydrunk on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:09:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The senate is a joke! (11+ / 0-)

    They better start cutting billions off our defense budget than Social Security. Seniors won't put up with that shit!

  •  Defecit reduction (11+ / 0-)
    Part of the proud Democratic party tradition of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
  •  They want to screw us out of ALL our $ (10+ / 0-)

    so of course "they"  - republicans and bad democrats - are definitely trying to scuttle Social Security.

    They HATE you.

    I'd wish vi*lence upon them, but many will want to turn the other cheek and let them just ass-rape us rather than wish ill upon them.

    The desire to demolish social security should get these bozos 'harassing phone calls' not further specified.

    They only do this because we are powerless to stop them.

    Torture good, Healthcare bad, Marijuana evil.
    Doc in the Twitterverse

    by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:51:35 PM PDT

  •  So (12+ / 0-)

    All this means is that more Dems are drinking the right wing kool-aid.

    It appears that "pandering to the right" knows no ideological bounds.

    Although the way people like Steny have been talking lately, I am not sure that his Democratic bona fides are up to snuff anyway.

    If Pelosi either can't or is unwilling (IE; she agrees with doing it) to stop this kind of crap, we might as well not bother with Democrats anymore.

    They will have become one in the same if the only way we can get bipartisanship is for complete and utter bullshit.

    •  I'm sure we'll end up with more kabuki... (4+ / 0-)

      ...watching the Dems throw up their hands and blame it on the GOP and bluedogs once the commission's recommendations pass Congress.

      It terrifies me that so much rhetoric that used to be confined to the hard right is now being passed off as mainstream.

    •  I think what it means (6+ / 0-)

      is that our elected officials have gotten accustomed to augmenting revenues with the funds from our SSI payments for so long that they've forgotten it is a discrete program with dedicated funds.  They haven't the imagination or determination to pay government expenditures any other way.  Government is territorial and they are unwilling to take the deep cuts necessary in order to honor SSI obligations.

      What you believe determines what you can observe. Einstein

      by dharmafarmer on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:17:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It hasn't been 'dedicated funds' since some time (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zett, bay of arizona

        in the Eighties or early Nineties when pols started borrowing all of that SS Trust Fund cash being paid in by and to take care of the increased cost of boomers, to balance their general budgets. They thought they would never have to pay it back, at least not in their political lifetimes, but now the boomers are knocking on the door, looking for what they paid more for, and . . . the pols have no intention of paying back to the Trust Fund what they took out of it, and want now to have the right to take more from the trust fund, to pay for Boney's wars,  rather than raise income  taxes or get corporations and farmers and oil drillers off the dole.

        •  It is still, indeed, dedicated funds. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          coffejoe

          U.S. securities and Treasuries in the name of the Trust Fund were purchased with the monies that were borrowed.  These monies are dedicated for redemption to pay future benefit payments of the Trust Fund only. I don't know how they could possibly think they'd not have to pay it back.  Not paying it back to the Trust Fund would be a default on a U.S. government obligation.

          What you believe determines what you can observe. Einstein

          by dharmafarmer on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 05:49:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  And *some* people wonder (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dharmafarmer

        why we demand better politicians and threaten the bad apples with primaries.

        I don't know what's gonna happen, man, but I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames. -Jim Morrison "All Hail The American Night"

        by James Kresnik on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 06:51:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  yeah, and then you have less people (11+ / 0-)

    retiring, and the younger crowd has even LESS jobs to choose from.

    Brilliant.

    Fucking douche-heads in the Senate... just about all 99 of them.

    "The more the Democrats pursue the center... the further to the right the "center" moves." -fellow kossack vacantlook

    by Hopeful Skeptic on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:52:16 PM PDT

  •  This makes sense... (16+ / 0-)

    ...make the people who didn't fuck up the economy pay for it with their lives, while the people who caused it get bonuses!!! Brilliant. It's time to get them all out of office. Seriously. They sure as hell aren't serving our interests.

    The sleep of reason produces monsters.

    by Alumbrados on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:52:22 PM PDT

  •  This is absurd (15+ / 0-)

    We are already seeing the effects of the present lack of jobs for the younger segments of our population.

    To make it almost impossible for older people to retire just creates a war between the generations the likes of which cannot be sustained.

    I must be dreaming...

    by murphy on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:52:44 PM PDT

  •  I would prefer they link retirement to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fury, mrsmarks, ScottDog

    a peg on lifespan.  It is a major reason the program is in such shambles.  We live alot longer then we did 50 years ago.  With that said, the retirement age should start rising.  If they ever pulled this off, it would be a major win for the future of America.

  •  So will this older retirement age be linked to (9+ / 0-)

    Medicare?  So you're 68 and you're unemployed and need a CABG.  Good luck to ya.

  •  raising the retirement age is a direct attempt (16+ / 0-)

    by republicans and faux democrats to eliminate social security.

  •  Tax the fucking Wall Street CEO's already! (20+ / 0-)

    Oh, right, that doesn't fit the plan to get rid of Social Security, now does it?

    Livin' on the hope of a Celtics NBA title.

    by farleftloon on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:53:19 PM PDT

  •  Okay, I'll go along with raising the (8+ / 0-)

    retirement age, just as soon as the budget for the DOD is decreased by half.  

    (That will be never)

  •  I had to take early retirement (18+ / 0-)

    because of back surgery.everyday I see ppl i worked with have died and most are under 65. i worked in a tire factory it was hard work, would you want tires built by a 70 YO how about cars, bridges,planes,.I don't think so

    "I want to be in Kentucky when the end of the world comes, because it's always 20 years behind" -Mark Twain

    by vet on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:53:44 PM PDT

    •  I hear you vet. (7+ / 0-)

      I worked outdoors, in construction, and barely made it to 61 before I just had to hang up my boots and hard hat.
      My SSDI claim was approved 123 days after I submitted it, so it's not like I stopped working for no reason.

      I had a brother at Khe Sanh, fightin' off them Viet Cong, they're still there, but he's all gone. The Boss

      by DaNang65 on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:00:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  mine was turned down (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zett, divineorder, DaNang65

        I had a 35lb weight limit, for 15 years i work part time jobs and for money under the table so the boss could keep more of the $$. maybe someone that works at a desk in a office can but not the workers that build the thing

        "I want to be in Kentucky when the end of the world comes, because it's always 20 years behind" -Mark Twain

        by vet on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:09:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My big advantage with SSDI was that (0+ / 0-)

          I had fifteen years worth of x-rays, MRI's, Cat scans, neural conduction studies, etc., etc. from the VA that they transferred lock, stock, and barrel to the SS folks electronically in one familiar, easy to use format.

          I had a brother at Khe Sanh, fightin' off them Viet Cong, they're still there, but he's all gone. The Boss

          by DaNang65 on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:20:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Raising the retirement age probably won't happen (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherlyle, alkalinesky, ScottDog
    to people over the age of 50.

    It will be the people 45 years and younger who most likely will see a retirement age increase to 70.

    Jim Manley: "Republicans are making love to Wall Street, while the people on Main Street are getting screwed."

    by Drdemocrat on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:54:01 PM PDT

  •  Here's the solution to the Social Security dilema (10+ / 0-)

    REMOVE the cap on earnings eligible for FICA taxes. It is currently about $90,000. Which means if you make $90,000 a year, you and Bill Gates pay the exact same amount into the system.

    Quit giving the wealthy a free ride.

    •  Pretty sure I read recently... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      melpomene1

      ...this year's cap hits at $106K & change. But yes, in the ball park.

    •  Wrong. That doesn't fix SS. That just (4+ / 0-)

      turns FICA into a permanent back door income tax.

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:58:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So what's wrong with that? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Iberian, Flit
        •  It's theft (6+ / 0-)

          Pure and simple. FICA monies are not supposed to be permanently providing general revenue.

          You want an income tax increase on top earners, pass an income tax increase.

          Stop advocating the permanent theft of monies raised for Social Security by the general treasury - because whether you realize it or not, that's what you're doing.

          Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

          by Robobagpiper on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:10:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not following you. (0+ / 0-)
            •  SS is wage insurance. FICA is its premium (8+ / 0-)

              What you get in benefits is indexed (slower than linearly) to benefits. There is a cap on contributions, but there is also a cap on benefits.

              Social Security is supposed to be pay-as-you-go. That is, FICA was set so that benefits paid equals revenues generated.

              In the early 1980s, it was realized that the boomers would create a hump where it would be hard to pay SS benefits with only FICA receipts. So FICA was doubled, creating a surplus. The surplus purchased treasury bonds, with the understanding that on the downside of the hump, the treasury bonds would be redeemed. These bonds are the "trust fund". If everything was set up right, when those bonds were all redeemed, the hump would be over, so SS could return to pay-as-you-go.

              The time where current FICA receipts go from black to red, and the treasury has to start paying SS back, is now upon us. And Washington doesn't want to have to pay Social Security back.

              Because all that FICA revenue that bought treasury bonds went into general revenues. Washington has been funding the rest of government with the money it borrowed from Social Security.

              If you lift the cap, and prevent SS from ever needing to redeem those treasuries, you have permanently diverted trillions of dollars raised, under law, for the sole purpose of Social Security benefits into general government expenses. You've stolen that money from Social Security.

              Only as long as the trust fund is permitted to be paid down in the approximate time-frame it was intended to be paid down does that remain a "loan" by Social Security to general revenues.

              Social Security doesn't see an actual shortfall for another 25 years, because the end of the boomer hump and the end of the trust fund don't look like they'll quite line up. If you argue "we should prepare for that now", what you're really saying is "we should put general revenues deeper into debt to Social Security, in a climate where Washington is looking to create excuses to never ever pay Social Security back".

              The real "crisis" is that general revenues will go from borrowing Social Securities' surpluses to being obligated to pay Social Security back. But that's what's supposed to happen. If general revenues is unable to do that, we need to raise income taxes on top earners.

              We don't need to be messing with FICA-SS, which is raised for the sole purpose of paying Social Security benefits.

              Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

              by Robobagpiper on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:26:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Wrong. It's not a back door income tax if (1) you (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            zett, Flit

            cut off the piggy bank so pols can't raid it for the cash to buy what they want without raising income taxes to pay for it, and (2) an open question to CBO, those who pay more, get higher benefits in some fashion, rather than a scheduled set. Now we have a higher benefit model, but the bottom of it is very low for lots of folk in the minimum wage zone and the cap on payments is sort of in the higher parts of medium income zone only.

        •  Bill Gates and I (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gooderservice

          Assuming we live long enough to collect, Bill Gates and I will receive the exact same amount of benefits from Social Security. It makes sense for us to pay in the same amount as well.

          The best way to deal with this is to start means testing. Why in the world should Bill Gates be collecting Social Security at all?

  •  Not surprised (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ScottDog

    I turn 50 this year, and I realized 30 years ago (once Reagan was elected) that I would probably see little or no Social Security. Can't say I did a good job planning for that probability in my 20s and 30s, but I've operated on the assumption my generation would get screwed.

    That said, SS was never intended to provide seniors with a 20- to 30-year vacation. It was originally an income stream for the end of life. Since people are living much longer than they did then, I don't really object to raising the official retirement age.

    I also totally agree on abolishing the cap.

  •  Written by, of, and for... (14+ / 0-)

    ...rich people.

    Where the hell is the people party?

    The sleep of reason produces monsters.

    by Alumbrados on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:54:47 PM PDT

  •  How about instead of raising the cap... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hopeful Skeptic

    ...we just remove it?

    Maybe that'll solve some problems.

    Also, not everyone should get the same benefits.  John McCain, for instance, should get no SS since his wife is a beer heiress he married for her money.

  •  As one who falls in "perfectly boned" category: (6+ / 0-)

    I basically started my work life with Reagan raising the payroll tax to "save" social security.  For the next thirty years, I watched republicans take the social security surplus raised from this regressive tax and use it to mask the deficits they ran to build up the military and give the rich tax cuts.  Now I see republicans, as the bill comes due and the social sec. admin asks for the suplus back, suddenly decide that the system has to end RIGHT NOW.  Not when the system is broke.  RIGHT NOW before the system starts calling in the IOUs and the people who pay high income taxes have to experience the reverse of the last thirty years.  

    Even without the help of the GOP, I"m looking at working my entire adult life to creat a surplus just to bear the burden of it running out.  Yea.

    That said, I'm not worried about SS solvency.  Unless we have two decades like the last year, we'll be fine.  If we do, then we're all eating dog food so it's okay.

    I'm also not against raising the retirement age.  "Retirement" is a euphemism for "too old to work."  Not "Want to have fun before I'm too old" or "unemployed".  It's insurance agaisnt the day you can't work.  That's not 65 or even 68 anymore.

    Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

    by Inland on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:54:55 PM PDT

    •  You can't work if no one will hire you. (16+ / 0-)

      If anything, it looks like the retirement age should be dropping.

      Hoping and praying that the empty chairs and empty tables in Iran when all is said and done are as few as possible.

      by Cassandra Waites on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:10:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  amen brother. no teeth in age discrimination laws (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happy camper, melpomene1

        yet they are going to try and pull the rug out from under us? no one wants a 40 year old worker, much less one whose 50 or 60. so we should raise the ss safety net to 70? yeah, right.

        Change is inevitable. Change for the better is a full-time job. -- Adlai E. Stevenson

        by marzook on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 04:45:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No. It's not unemployment insurance (0+ / 0-)

        or welfare that's only for old people.  

        Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

        by Inland on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 04:57:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's a social insurance that was started (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tmo, zett, happy camper, ebohlman

          so we would no longer have our elders starving, freezing to death, and so forth once they reached the age they could not work.

          The inclusion of disability as a reason to claim social security early supports this - for the disabled, that age of not being able to work is Now.

          If the age when society structurally will not allow you to work drops, then the age at claiming that social insurance should be allowed to drop too.

          Hoping and praying that the empty chairs and empty tables in Iran when all is said and done are as few as possible.

          by Cassandra Waites on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 05:15:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't get it. (0+ / 0-)

            Why is it that getting a benefit whenever  "asociety structually will not allow you to work" a) applies only to old people and b) applies to people of a certain age regardless of whether they are actually working or not?

            It's not sensible as welfare, since it is available to only the old and somewhat old.

            I'll stick with the old age pension.

            Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

            by Inland on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 06:52:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  You've never done (4+ / 0-)

      manual labor, have you? Go to a construction site or paving project near you. Count the number of workers over the age of, say, 55. Some occupations simply cannot be done by middle aged people.

      "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

      by happy camper on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 04:39:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Forgot to add... (3+ / 0-)

        If you expect roofers and cement guys to work until 65 or 68, you better get ready for a big jump in disability claims, and the increased medical costs that will occur.

        "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

        by happy camper on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 04:42:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And therefore..... (0+ / 0-)

        what?

        I don't know why the vast majority of people who don't perform manual labor should get retirement benefits just because a few do.

        The solution is already there: what you are describing is disability, where someone has skills for only manual labor and is physically unable to perform it.  Social security pays for disability prior to retirement age.  Works for me.

        Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

        by Inland on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 04:56:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Most jobs in this country, about 2/3 in fact, (0+ / 0-)

          do not require a college degree. Most of those jobs involve some form of physical labor. Even being on your feet all day as a clerk or waiter becomes impossible for many people after age 55 or 60.

          The vast majority of people have jobs that are more physically demanding than you seem to think.

          "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

          by happy camper on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 05:35:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And therefore.....what again? (0+ / 0-)

            Lowering the retirment age to 55 is putting a hundred people capable of working in order to cover the one who isn't.  

            I suggest that for the one who isn't, disability evaluates the physical ability to do the jobs available to that person's education and skills.  

            Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

            by Inland on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 06:59:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Bull puckey. (6+ / 0-)

    My dad died at age 63.  Yup, he really got to take advantage of his SS benefits by dying 2 years before he was eligible.

    So it's good news, I guess, that he didn't seem so close in age to 70.

  •  Are You 50 or Younger? (10+ / 0-)
    Not me. I'm 54 this month. So I'll most likely be spared this abominable sell-out. But I will be angry as hell if any DINO's attempt to screw any of you that are younger than me out of their Social Security benefits. You have been paying in in good faith. The rules shouldn't change on the fly. If they want to change the rules, let them change it for today's 17 year olds and younger. The answer is not to cut benefits to the middle class, but to pro-rate benefits for those earning over $250K a year off wages OR investment income, and to increase the FICA withholding for upper income brackets.
  •  Wait, moving the date three years over the next (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ScottDog

    30 years can be done. And it would have the beneficial effect of encouraging people to save more instead of spending money on ridiculous cars (Toyota: Armada, Cadillac: Escalade, usw.)unless they want to keep working when they're 65 or 70. I know construction workers and miners can't work like that at 70, so maybe they'll put some spine in their unions. I love Nancy P., but you have to pay for everything, and I wouldn't mind higher taxes and a more careful foreign policy.

    I've saved about 15% of my salary for the last 20 years so I can retire at 62. Wait, I'm 60 now! Hahahaha!

    "It's called the American Dream, 'cause you have to be asleep to believe it" Mr. Geo. Carlin

    by Mark B on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:56:39 PM PDT

  •  Doesn't surprise me that The Stain is behind this (0+ / 0-)

    Why do we have to support him again?

    You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

    by Johnny Q on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:56:46 PM PDT

  •  With what for jobs, assholes? (16+ / 0-)

    Honestly, IS THERE ANYBODY IN THAT FUCKING CAUCUS WITH A CLUE?

    Have them all read davej's diary.

    Too old for a Job, Too Young for Medicare or Social Security

    Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

    by boadicea on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:58:01 PM PDT

  •  This is absolutely true (12+ / 0-)

    the middle-aged and older are the largest group of the long-term unemployed.

    and there's not a damned thing that can be done to change that.  A 58-year-old that has worked for 40 years, losing his or her job today, may never have meaningful full-time employment again.  Who is going to change that and how?  And if that person that has worked 40 years without a break can't find a job and needs extended unemployment benefits, does that make them a lazy bum?

    We who have been nothing shall be all. This is the final struggle. ~E. Pottier

    by ActivistGuy on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:58:13 PM PDT

  •  Congress doesn't get it. No comprende. (8+ / 0-)

    See, you can work in Congress until you're 90 plus years of age with unlimited benefits of sick days --  Get sick, get cancer or some other disease, get treatment for however long it takes, even a brain injury, and you'll still have your job, no matter what -- no matter even if you can't do your job well any longer, hey, you've got your staff to do and your salary and benefits aren't affected one bit.

    So it makes sense that Congress critters can't comprehend why others, you know, the "regular" people can't keep their jobs no matter what their health situation is until age 70, 80, 90.  

  •  For 30 somethings... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsmarks, ScottDog

    I think the choice is make some modest changes in the retirement age or be wary that there will be anything there for your retirement at all...

    I would add they should decouple the Medicare retirement age from SS...

    Obama - Change I still believe in

    by dvogel001 on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 02:59:20 PM PDT

  •  So much for the enthusiasm gap that has the Dems (4+ / 0-)

    worried.

    I can't think of many issues that will motivate voters to turn out like messing with S.S.

    I wonder how blue dogs are going to deal with this? It's one thing to talk about it but quite another to actually cast a vote.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:00:01 PM PDT

  •  We can attack the deficit by purging Congress (3+ / 0-)

    of everyone who wants to cut Soc. Sec. or raise the retirement age. How many jobs out their for people in their 60s..? zero, zilch...

  •  Tell me again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gooderservice

    why ex-patriating is a bad thing?

    Every time you purchase food you are casting a vote. Eat wisely.

    by alkalinesky on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:00:13 PM PDT

  •  Yet again, one is forced to ask (5+ / 0-)
    why Obama & Dems are placing THIS issue above far more pressing ones, and in a way that makes no sense in terms of policy and politics. Are they truly this stupid, unprincipled and, well, STUPID?!? Or do they view themselves as shills for the financial industry and don't care if this costs them their seats and majorities, because, after all, the only thing better than being a member of congress is being a retired member of congress earning 10-100 more than you used to make, as a lobbyist and "consultant"?

    Stunningly and breathtakingly stupid and unprincipled. Truly despicable if true.

    "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 Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:05:19 PM PDT

    •  There was nothing left to do. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zett

      They've fixed the healthcare crisis.

      They got 20 billion from BP.

      Just a matter of time before the tinkering with the financial industry is passed.

      Nothing left to do.

      •  Heh (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gooderservice

        Yeah, the big problems are all solved. Life is good. Washington + Lincoln + FDR + LBJ in 18 months. When's the next Nobel due? Or is he in the World Cup final?

        "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 Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 07:15:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This "I paid Into SS" business is nonsense... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsmarks, ScottDog, eaglekid85va

    The whole way in which Social Security has been sold is bunk.  It is not a retirement account.  It is welfare for old people, pure and simple, and it serves a necessary purpose by ameliorating poverty for the old in America.

    Three things need to happen, and it will be solvent forever:

    1.) Remove the idiotic salary cap for the payroll tax.
    2.) Means-testing -- Social Security should be for poor people only.  I don't expect a dime from SS when I retire.  Ross Perot shouldn't get any either.
    3.) Yes, raise the retirement age, and roughly to peg it to life expectancy.  If life expectancy reaches 165, should society pay for 100 years of benefits?

    •  It is not welfare. (7+ / 0-)

      It is insurance. And it doesn't need more money for 25 years.

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:12:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It may be sold politically as insurance... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ScottDog

        but it's not.  Surely you know that the money you pay into it today gets spent tomorrow.  It's a direct transfer of money from the working population to the elderly.  It's welfare, and there's nothing wrong with that -- in fact, it's an amazingly successful program.

        The problem with calling it anything other than welfare is that it sets up an expectation that if you paid into it, you deserve to get money out of it.  I make more than the salary cap for the payroll tax, and I'm willing to say that my entire income should be taxed -- not just the first $108k.  I'm also willing to say that I don't expect a dime of social security unless I become impoverished in my old age.  Call it what it is, and maybe people will understand how we should pay for it.

        •  Are you sure you understand (6+ / 0-)

          what insurance is?

          Do you think when you pay life insurance premiums to the Hartford that they don't spend the money, that they put it into a safe for 20 years in case you die?

          As with any insurance policy, if you paid into it you DO deserve to get what you paid for, which is the contractual benefits. You may or may not ever file a claim on your car insurance or your dental insurance or your liability insurance, but you receive what you paid for simply by being covered. You may or may not live long enough to get Social Security, but if you do you absolutely are entitled to the benefits.

          Social Security is and always has been insurance. It has its own funding, enough to cover future benefits based on actuarial projections. Benefits are not based on need. What makes you think you can decide to redefine it as welfare? More importantly, why would you want to?

          It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man. --H.L. Mencken

          by denise b on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 04:19:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Of course you deserve to get money out of it (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gooderservice, Cassandra Waites

          That's why it's called an "entitlement".

          I welcome your willingness to pay more taxes. But it's your income taxes that need to go up, not your FICA taxes.

          Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

          by Robobagpiper on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 04:33:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Definitely kill salary caps (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vet, Abra Crabcakeya

      It's used as general fund anyway so it works as a very regressive tax.  Not only should it apply to all salary, but also to stock payouts/options, dividends, capital gains, etc.  Every exec, trader, and banker should be paying SS taxes for ALL of their income, regardless of the type or source.

      One useful thing about SS is that it is a stable, major component of effective corporate taxes (the employer contribution portion.)  Without it many companies would never pay taxes...the dual accounting systems they use for taxes vs. shareholders, etc.  

      Note to Democratic leadership: I'm all out of carrots, but I still have my stick.

      by Celtic Pugilist on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:26:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, it is NOT used as general funds (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gooderservice, Cassandra Waites

        It is borrowed by the general fund and must be paid back. It is progressive, not regressive.

        Why are you in favor of changing this? As opposed to, say, raising income taxes to make them more progressive? What benefit do you see to breaking down the wall between social insurance programs and the rest of the federal budget?

        It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man. --H.L. Mencken

        by denise b on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 04:25:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You obviously haven't read my comments on this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chinapaulo

          It is used as general funds.  I don't want it to be but it is.  Since it is raided as such, kill the salary caps and apply it to ALL income.

          It is functioning as a regressive tax even though that is not the design.  There is no friggin' wall that you speak of, that is the problem.

          I defintiely agree that raising income taxes is the appropriate response, but whether or not that is done, the salary caps must go.

          Note to Democratic leadership: I'm all out of carrots, but I still have my stick.

          by Celtic Pugilist on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 05:15:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nailed it (0+ / 0-)

            There is no lock box, there is no wall, there is no fund, there is nothing.  SS taxes are collected from our paychecks and spent just like every other dollar of tax revenue generated by the government.  The government may theoretically 'owe' money to social security, but it will never be repaid.

        •  There is no wall... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zett

          ... between social insurance programs and the rest of the budget.  Same goes for the statement that SS funds spent but the government for things other than social security 'must' be paid back.  It's all theoretical -- in practice, SS surpluses have been squandered and will never be paid back.

          This is how people can play games and say that social security has more money than it needs for 25 years -- you have to count as available the money that has already been spent as part of the general fund as if it will magically reappear someday.

    •  You don't know what you're talking about (3+ / 0-)

      It is insurance. It is for everyone. You may not like it, but that's your problem.

      It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man. --H.L. Mencken

      by denise b on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 04:08:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Where does work expentancy fit into your theory? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassandra Waites, melpomene1

      Yes, raise the retirement age, and roughly to peg it to life expectancy.

      •  Fine, factor work expectancy in, too. (0+ / 0-)

        Surely the work expectancy of the average American has gone up since 1935.

        •  How many roof tiles can you nail (0+ / 0-)

          in when you're 65?

          •  How many roof tiles can you nail in (0+ / 0-)

            ... when you're 64 and 364 days old?

            ... when you're 64 and 363 days old?

            Obviously human beings vary.  I have a father and a stepfather both approaching 65, and they show no signs of needing to retire anytime soon.  On the other hand, some people die in their 40s.  All you can hope to do is find a reasonable age at which is makes sense to provide benefits -- and I'm making the radical suggestion that this age is at least ONE DAY greater than it was in 1935 when people's average life expectancy and work expectancy was drastically lower than it is today.

            •  How exactly has the human body changed (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Cassandra Waites

              from 1935?

              Granted, some, not all, are eating better, and yes, there have been medical improvements, but our bodys have changed how?

              Okay, if you want to go to age 65 plus one day, sure.  

              I have a father and a stepfather both approaching 65, and they show no signs of needing to retire anytime soon.

              What kind of work do they do?

    •  Better idea. Let's not. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassandra Waites, melpomene1

      YOu say it's welfare....but then you list a bunch of changes to MAKE it welfare.

      It's not a retirement account. It's insurance.  Insurance against living beyond your ability to work.  Not insurance against being poor.  Not welfare.  

      Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

      by Inland on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 05:01:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Money for war, but no money for (8+ / 0-)

    those who paid into a insurance system?

    People are owed that money.

    For the elite there are no material problems, only PR problems. Time for a new elite.

    by Paul Goodman on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:06:44 PM PDT

  •  This is why I stay at a job I absolutely HATE. (0+ / 0-)

    It has a pension and I don't trust these bastards to give me social security until I'm half in the grave.

    "Philosophy is useless; theology is worse"--Dire Straits

    by Bush Bites on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:06:58 PM PDT

  •  Screwing over their kids & grand kids (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    akeitz, ScottDog

    What's new with Congress?  They always fuck the generations below them.

    I've assumed since I was in high school that they would just keep moving the eligibility dates out.  

    Personally, I would rather tax the shit out of those boomers who made this mess with their greed.  I don't care if they have to spend their retirement as Wal Mart greeters to pay for it.  Make them pay back the surplus they squandered on tax breaks for themselves and for the low interest rate bonanza investment bubbles.  Make them pay for their own wars.  

    Many of us in the just below boomer age bracket are sick and fucking tired of those self-serving assholes wrecking the future for us and our kids.  They've been the ones who got all the early retirement packages while the rest of us got shit sandwiches to replace our retirement and benefits and job stability.

    It's a good thing I've been careful to plan for funding my own retirement and haven't trusted Wall Street with my money.  The other two legs (SS and corporate pensions) have already been removed from the three legged stool.

    Tax the fuckers now, don't let them get off on passing the bill.

    Note to Democratic leadership: I'm all out of carrots, but I still have my stick.

    by Celtic Pugilist on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:06:59 PM PDT

    •  I hope somebody smarter than I am (0+ / 0-)

      counters your argument.  I think your comment is insulting.

      •  What is really insulting is what they've done (0+ / 0-)

        My rage on this runs deep and long.  I'm sick of the "me generation" and flower children screwing us on this.  I'm enraged at the incompetent governmental and corporate management that characterized the generation(s) above mine.  I'll cut the WWII folks (Depression era kids) some slack, but the boomers won't get any from me.  

        I'm not at all kidding about addressing the generational theft issue--which is all this so called crisis is about.  To do this FAIRLY increase income taxes on a sliding scale with the highest rates for those who benefitted the most and will be paying for the shortest amount of time:  older folks get to pay off their debt.  Do it by birth year so that it eventually returns to a norm.  Imagine that, forced fiscal responsibility, something they never learned.

        Like I've said, I'm willing to pay my share too.  Taxes were too low, and those who benefitted the most were about 20 years above me.  I would prefer to eliminate their social security benefits and keep mine, thank you very much.  

        Note to Democratic leadership: I'm all out of carrots, but I still have my stick.

        by Celtic Pugilist on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 05:24:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Social Security is NOT in crisis. Social Security (17+ / 0-)

    does not need an extra dime in revenues for another 25 years. We don't need to lift a finger to change how SS does things for that period of time.

    It's general revenues that is coming up short. Don't let Washington's crooks sell you on fixing general revenues' shortfalls by stealing Social Security revenues.

    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

    by Robobagpiper on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:07:02 PM PDT

    •  Been saying this for years (0+ / 0-)

      General revenue has been shorted so that the greedy older earners could steal money from their kids and grand kids.

      Raise their god damned income taxes!  Do it with a sliding scale based on age, the older the higher. Make them "appreciate" their legacy to everyone else.  (And raise my taxes too, they dropped ridiculously low after the Bush Tax Cuts--it's not right to pass this on to my kids or eventually their kids.)

      But we won't make the bastards pay for their largesse.  No, instead they get to take our money and go to Florida.  Put it with the early retirement packages they got and it makes for a nice retirement.  Meanwhile those younger then them lost their pensions and have to wait until they are fucking crippled to draw social security.

      Note to Democratic leadership: I'm all out of carrots, but I still have my stick.

      by Celtic Pugilist on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:17:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Greedy older earners? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        melpomene1

        I'm sure that must not be what you meant to say, which was greedy rich people surely.

        It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man. --H.L. Mencken

        by denise b on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 04:28:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is exactly what I meant (0+ / 0-)

          The problem has been the choices they have made, all instant gratification while they screwed over my generation and the generations to come.  Greed has been part of that central failing to plan or to take fiscal responsibility.  I'm not caring much for the legacy they are leaving and would very much like to see them pay for it.  

          I have a very strong sense of fair play.

          Note to Democratic leadership: I'm all out of carrots, but I still have my stick.

          by Celtic Pugilist on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 08:06:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Only a tiny fraction of "older earners" got any (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            denise b

            instant gratification. The overwhelming majority of earners in that age bracket paid more, over their lifetimes, when their FICA doubled than they got out of Reagan's top-loaded tax cuts.

            So no, the older generation did not screw younger generations. We were all screwed by the lies and empty promises of the rich and their enablers.

            Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

            by Robobagpiper on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 08:10:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Completely untrue (0+ / 0-)

              I can tell by my own tax rates which are also well below what they should be.  I have a pretty good feel for the tax brackets.  We're not talking about Reagan as much at this point as the Bush Tax Cuts.  Folks willingly bought into the Free Lunch/its my money bullshit.  It wasn't just some, it was the majority who elected folks on both sides of the aisle who have continued the nonsense. (The GOP had what 49 or 50 senators in 2001 to pass the Bush tax cuts?)

              The only way to properly adjust for money that never should have been given out in the first place is a sliding scale where the oldest pay more in income tax.  That wouldn't exempt me, but I wouldn't have to pay as much extra to make up as the folks 20 years my senior who won't have paid in as much to SS, get their SS for more years, and who took sweet retirement packages while ours were eliminated...by people in their generation.  And part of the reason for a sliding scale is that they have fewer years to pay back their debt than I do, and someone 10 years younger than me has even more.

              If they are even considering extending my and future generations benefits eligibility by 3 years, they better pay their own damned bill first!  It's high time we stood up to these assholes.

              Note to Democratic leadership: I'm all out of carrots, but I still have my stick.

              by Celtic Pugilist on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 08:28:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  So you're saying the overwhelming majority (0+ / 0-)

                of older earners are in the 90% percentile of income?

                Yeah, that doesn't seem mathematically possible.

                Just because you were in an income bracket that you felt that should be taxed more, most earners of all ages, from Reagan through Bush, saw very little from those tax cuts - because the overwhelming majority of earners are in the 80%ile or lower income by definition; and income taxes came down very little for these people. Meanwhile, their FICA's been at high rates the whole time.

                Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

                by Robobagpiper on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:05:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Strawman will get you nowhere (0+ / 0-)

                  I'm not in the 90th percentile or even the 80th yet my effective tax rates plummeted. The problem is that the vast majority wanted/believed in the free lunch and it was spread out enough to the other percentiles that many aren't paying much in the way of taxes other than SS.  The electorate was a willing participant in a giant scam because they were bought off.  Sure it benefitted the wealthiest most, but that doesn't mean that the money wasn't spread around to increase the buy it.  It is and was fiscally irresponsible.  I opposed it in my teens, and twenties, and thirties, and will continue to oppose it for the same reasons.  

                  It is also true that those older than me have until recent years made more on average and therefore benefitted more.  There is no surprise in that as income (from all sources) tends to increase from 20's to 30's to 40's and 50's etc. for given fields.  So yes, those who were older than me did contribute far more to the deficits through the tax cuts than I did.  They should pay their debt, and I'll pay mine.  I will not however support them in transferring their debt to me and my children and grandchildren.  

                  The problem is simple:  older voters have much stronger representation in govt.  The costs of their largesse are being passed off to less represented generations, and to generations who don't even have the vote yet.

                  Whether the FICA's have been at any given rate or not is irrelevant.  Because the problem has been IN THE GENERAL FUND--the part covered by income taxes.  

                  And their FICA rates have not been high the whole time as you incorrectly state.  The rates were raised as I was entering the workforce.  They have not paid in at the same rate.  Which means that they had decades of lower FICA...and still were running deficits in the general fund.  And now they want to take my FICA money and my kids' FICA money and run while cutting our benefits.  Fuck that!

                  So if you want to fairly handle any supposed SS crisis by cutting or postponing benefits (same thing), cut the benefits of those entering SS now and move the goalposts 3 years today...then over time move it back toward where it is now.  The sliding scale they want to impose, slides the opposite direction of where it should.  

                  Note to Democratic leadership: I'm all out of carrots, but I still have my stick.

                  by Celtic Pugilist on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:40:22 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Let me get this straight (0+ / 0-)

                    Everyone is responsible and everyone benefited, including you. But you have decided that for some reason I benefited more than you because of my age (?), and so I owe you. Is that it?

                    Please tell me how you know that I contributed more to the deficit than you did.

                    It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man. --H.L. Mencken

                    by denise b on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 04:39:45 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Because you had more years to impact it (0+ / 0-)

                      ...at full earnings potential and will not be held accountable for the debt you incurred.  Instead, the current plan is to make me and my kids responsible for your debt while letting you off completely (assuming you are as old as you indicate.)

                      What you are actually saying is that I and my kids (and everyone else's kids) owe you.  You think you should skip on your own obligations so that we can all pick up your tab.   My response is unprintable.

                      If you can't see how patently wrong it is to do that, then perhaps you are experiencing early senility.  But I don't expect your entitlement generation to understand it, hence the mess y'all have gotten us into.

                      This cost is a direct result of the baby boomer generation not putting enough money in to pay for their benefits (soc. security and otherwise).  The opportunity was there in their working years, but they chose to pile on govt debt instead.  Sorry, but I'm not willing to pay for it.  You pay for your own, and I'll pay for mine.

                      Since SS is based to some extent on earnings it makes no sense for you to get an extra 2-3 years of benefits compared to me or my kids.  It's just absolutely wrong!  Your generation delayed paying for retirement, so the generation should be allowed to reap the benefits of that.

                      Note to Democratic leadership: I'm all out of carrots, but I still have my stick.

                      by Celtic Pugilist on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:09:29 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  We're piling on debt right this minute (0+ / 0-)

                        Your president didn't push for a big enough stimulus to get us out of the recession we're in, and that is costing us a bundle. And he's continuing to squander huge sums fighting two wars. There's the bulk of the problem right there; it isn't in Social Security. I hope you take as much responsibility for that as you expect me to for things I had no control over.

                        Instead of fighting me, why don't you fight to preserve your Social Security benefits? If you allow them to be cut, surely that's on you according to your system of assigning blame.

                        It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man. --H.L. Mencken

                        by denise b on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 04:46:33 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Who said I'm in favor of cutting them? (0+ / 0-)

                          "My president" didn't create the mess, yours did.  

                          If they are going to be cut at all, let's cut them for the folks who got the most benefit from the wasted money.  (Hint, it wasn't me, and it wasn't my kids, or their yet to be born kids.)  My way of stopping the cuts is telling the assholes who want to cut them that I would rather see theirs cut first.  It's all in the interest of fairness.  You cut the benefits of those who failed to pay into the system as they should have to support their retirement.  That is afterall how SS was structured.

                          The problem is still general fund and income tax.  That is where the tax cuts, wars, etc. have hurt.  Yet few folks bother to poke through the budget as I do.  Few have any idea what their own incremental tax rates have done throughout the years.  

                          Note to Democratic leadership: I'm all out of carrots, but I still have my stick.

                          by Celtic Pugilist on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 08:57:24 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

              •  Tax rates set by AGE? (0+ / 0-)

                Are you insane?

                How about this - since men have caused most of the problems in the world, how about men pay more taxes than women?

                It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man. --H.L. Mencken

                by denise b on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 04:33:12 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Soc Sec. eligibility is by age (0+ / 0-)

                  So I give you a choice, either forfeit your benefits for a few years and let those younger who didn't run up the deficit have theirs, or pay higher income taxes based on your age until the debt is made up.  (Unlike you I recognize that I also have part of that obligation, but longer to pay it so my tax rate doesn't have to be as high based on age...I don't expect anyone else to pay my tab, certainly NOT my kids.)

                  I've got to wonder whether you have trouble with basic understanding of numbers or some sort of morality deficiency to think it's okay to age discriminate against everyone else to pay your debt!

                  Note to Democratic leadership: I'm all out of carrots, but I still have my stick.

                  by Celtic Pugilist on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:15:31 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  YOU give me a choice? (0+ / 0-)

                    Ha ha.

                    Since you haven't said otherwise, I presume you're including all baby boomers in this plan of yours - the ones who got screwed out of their pensions after 30 years, the ones who lost their jobs at 50 and never found new ones, the Katrina victims, the AIDS sufferers, the ones who went bankrupt paying their medical bills, the African-Americans and Latinos and Haitians, the ones who will have nothing but $800 in Social Security to live on for the rest of their lives?

                    Or were you planning to pick and choose the ones you consider to be blameworthy? Please, how would you go about that?

                    It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man. --H.L. Mencken

                    by denise b on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 04:56:55 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You've had more choice in it than me (0+ / 0-)

                      ...or my kids or hopefully grand kids.  No, I can't pick and choose.  Which is why IT PISSES ME OFF TO EVEN CONSIDER FUCKING ALL OF US OVER FOR THE GENERATION ABOVE US.  The choice is by generations and the bill is coming due.  That's not my choice, but it is coming from the old fuckers in congress.

                      The choice your generation has left me is "yours or ours and that below us."  I choose everyone but yours.  Fuck the "me generation."   You know what they say about paybacks.  

                      When I consider how much this amounts to, 3 years of benefits transferred to jokers who didn't pay it in, and away from those who did or will into perpetuity, it really pisses me off.  It isn't right and I'm going to lay it right at the feet of the generation that deserves it.

                      You want me to support what isn't right.  Hint for you, it isn't going to happen.  I'm not constructed that way.

                       

                      Note to Democratic leadership: I'm all out of carrots, but I still have my stick.

                      by Celtic Pugilist on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 09:06:10 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly. N.B., all the republican "solutions" (3+ / 0-)

      for social security being unable to pay benefits in the future involve ending the benefits.  Poof.  Fixed!  

      Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

      by Inland on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 05:04:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am all for it ... BUT (0+ / 0-)

    attach unemployment benefits and support for the states to the bill !!!!

    I think this would represent a good compromise - spent now - save long-term and we can get some economic confidence back.  

  •  Got a better idea. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsmarks, Cassandra Waites

    Here's something our Members of Congress should be occupying their noggins with: the middle-aged and older are the largest group of the long-term unemployed. A little job creation could potentially go a long way here. Maybe if they actually were working, and contributing into the system by paying both income and Social Security taxes, our economic picture would be a little less bleak.

    Immigrants skew much younger. Legalize immigrants, get them putting money into the system, and watch the actuaries' eyes light up.

    "Philosophy is useless; theology is worse"--Dire Straits

    by Bush Bites on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:10:43 PM PDT

  •  Pelosi has a good point (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsmarks, ScottDog

    Some jobs are very hard on the body and so Social Security should kick in sooner for workers in them.

    But really, this is just a special case of a much larger issue. If you don't need social security as much as your neighbor, you shouldn't receive as much. And in this case, "need" is multi-dimensional. Current income is an obvious one. Net worth is another, but more complicated--you don't want to force people to lose their family home because its value has appreciated too much. There are also a number of hardship cases, like disability, having to care for a relative, and so on.

    As for age, I think that it's almost completely irrelevant to Social Security. If you need it (see above), then you should receive it, regardless of age; if you don't, you shouldn't, regardless of age.

    And I'm speaking as someone who at age 62 is getting close to touching some of that green goodness myself, under current rules.

    •  Means testing SS (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, denise b, Cassandra Waites

      pretty much makes it into a welfare program in the eyes of the masses. Social Security is NOT a welfare program. Doing that makes it far more susceptible to cuts later on.

      Social Security is not broken. Raise the cap from 90K to 175K and the "problem" is gone.

      "People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. They don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

      by michael1104 on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:35:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "reveals it as a welfare program" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ScottDog

        is how I would put it. What's wrong with welfare? If people need it, they need it, no matter how old they are. If they don't need it, then they don't, regardless of age.

        I do agree about the relatively minor patches that could fix it. But that wouldn't solve the problem of people in need who aren't the right age.

  •  Older retirement age = higher unemployment (7+ / 0-)

    Retirement opens up jobs for younger people, so delaying retirement means fewer jobs for them.

  •  Oh yeah Boehner said this too (0+ / 0-)

    and everyone creamed him for it.

  •  Obviously, Hoyer and Clyburn haven't thought (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    melpomene1

    it through.  Further, they have picked the wrong group to jump on.  Social Security is the only income source some retirees have, over 40% of them the last time I heard, and it's not a lot of income.  I think they should try to live on it for a year.  Not a wise direction!

  •  Stop spending billions murdering Iraqis and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    denise b, melpomene1

    Afghans ; Social Security OK , Medicaid OK , infrastructure repaired , healthcare provided.

  •  Glad a kos front pager is FINALLY catching on to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, denise b, gardnerjf

    this scam from Obama and the Dems; the "Cat-food commission" and what it will do to Social Security.  

    Obama's hand picked semi-secret commission with Alan "lessor people" Simpson and his BFF Billionaire Hedge Fund manager Pete Peterson putting their cut+gut wet dreams into play is wel on its way since late last year.  Then, last week Nancy Pelosi pushed through a measure that Congress should vote on any recommendations from the commission during the 2010 lame duck session.

    BREAKING: Pelosi Sneaked Approval of Vote on Debt Commission Recommendations into Rule Regarding War Funding, Vote Happening Tonight

    Embedded in the rule is the requirement that the House will vote on the deficit commission’s recommendations in the lame duck session if they pass the Senate.

    The commission, co-chaired by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, is packed with members who  favor the raising the retirement age to 70, means testing, and private accounts. Many also support investing 20% of the Social Security trust fund in the stock market.
          :
    Pelosi knows full well what the committee wants to do.  The fix is in.
          :
    Update III:  Pelosi got her wish.  The House will have to give an up-or-down vote to whatever the Catfood Commission recommends.  With Republicans and Blue Dog votes alone, cuts to Social Security benefits should have no trouble passing.

    If people aren't vigilante and hold these politicians, including Obama and the Dems, faces to the third rail, then Social Security, Medicare and Medicare will be cut+gut'd.  Oh, just for those who don't understand, raising the retirement age is also a form of tax increase on the middle class while leaving the upper classes with their ill-gotten gain.  

    People are starting to wake up to this, at least  Sam Seder is wondering is this 2005 or 2010?

    Obama needs to channel TR+FDR: Walk Softly, Carry a Big Stick and Welcome Their Hatred. He has Walk Softly down pat. Time to get on with the rest...

    by FightTheFuture on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:31:15 PM PDT

    •  Amazing how unwilling people are to admit (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FightTheFuture, gardnerjf

      that the reason this is happening now is that Obama wants it to.

      It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man. --H.L. Mencken

      by denise b on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 04:37:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My only hope is that Obama is doing a (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tmo

        feint to lure the Republicans in to go totally on record as trashing Social Security.  ?fodder for 2010 and 2012.  He has a few soundbites already, they can't help themselves they are so giddy.   Then, at the end, renounce the commission's findings and those who would do this.  Instead, educate people on the largest wealth transfer in the history of the world over the last 30 years, right here.

        Ahh.... to hope and dream.  But, I cannot act on a fantasy so I try to point out to others, many who still cannot believe their own eyes.

        Obama needs to channel TR+FDR: Walk Softly, Carry a Big Stick and Welcome Their Hatred. He has Walk Softly down pat. Time to get on with the rest...

        by FightTheFuture on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 04:55:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Raising the retirement age (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, schnecke21

    would have to be adjusted by occupation. I plan on working till my health runs out, at least till 75 - I'm hoping. I simply don't want to retire. But I haven't done back breaking work like my father-in-law for example, who needed two knee replacements from his career of manual labor. His body was basically caput by 62.

    "It's like these guys take pride in being ignorant." Barack Obama August 5, 2008

    by thefretgenie on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:32:45 PM PDT

    •  i don't want to retire. i want to work. (4+ / 0-)

      i work in front of a computer. i am in perfect health with all the drive and energy of anyone. but no one wants someone nearly 50 on the payroll. it fucks their health insurance costs. and even if they offer no benefits (which a lot of full time employers don't these days) they don't want us around. they think we are technologically "out of touch" 'over the hill" -- not with it, not whatever. my mom died working at age 54. she never got a dime. my dad had a teacher's pension...i have zip. and i have been working w-2 since i was 17. now i can't get work and i'm having to hear all this lazy entitlement welfare queen crap. i'm sick of it.

      Change is inevitable. Change for the better is a full-time job. -- Adlai E. Stevenson

      by marzook on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 04:52:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  RAISE THE DAMN TAX. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    standupguy

    Wasn't the last time Social Security taxes were raised in the early 80s for a first $90,000 cutoff?

    Jesus Christ, 90K back then ain't the same 90K now. Make it $175,000 and you got your SS trust fund solvent till the year 2500!

    Why the fuck is this so damn complicated?

    "People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. They don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

    by michael1104 on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 03:33:02 PM PDT

    •  No, raise income taxes, not SS (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Inland, Cassandra Waites

      The problem has always been in the general fund, not in social security.

      The misnamed "entitlements" aren't the problem, it is the rest of the damned budget.  Soc. security taxes have been used to keep income taxes artificially low.

      Note to Democratic leadership: I'm all out of carrots, but I still have my stick.

      by Celtic Pugilist on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 04:00:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Think you meant raise the limit, not SS tax (0+ / 0-)

        Rereading it looks like you were after raising the limit, not the tax.

        Take it a step further.  Eliminate the limit altogether and apply it to all forms of income, including capital gains.

        Note to Democratic leadership: I'm all out of carrots, but I still have my stick.

        by Celtic Pugilist on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 04:01:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Income taxes are going up automatically on (0+ / 0-)

        Jan. 1, 2011 unless this Congress changes that, when the Bush tax cuts sunset out. Estate tax went to zero this year and will be back at pre Bush rates on Jan. 1 as well, if Congress does not act. Of course, Rs want to keep Bush cuts perpetually, so there will be a horrible fight, and that, not SS will determine what happens with the deficit.

    •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

      The cutoff gets adjusted for inflation every year.

      Why would you think it's a good idea to have Social Security take in 500 years of funding now, as opposed to making the only very small changes necessary for solvency in this century?

      It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man. --H.L. Mencken

      by denise b on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 04:42:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No. Fool us twice, shame on us. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew

      Building up a surplus since 83 got us nothing but Republicans using it to disguise their deficits, and now they want to not pay it back.  Fuck that.  I'd rather risk the worst case scenario of  "broke" in twenty years and paying "only" 75% of benefits.

      Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

      by Inland on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 05:06:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great remarks by NCPSSM to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, denise b, Celtic Pugilist

    Simpson's Commission

    You really don't wan't to miss this. She does not give them hell, she gives them the truth and they think it is hell.

    Read what the NCPSSM President/CEO Barbara Kennelly has to say on behalf of the 3 million members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

    http://www.ncpssm.org/...

    "...I was in Congress in 1983 during the last major Social Security reform.  We made a number of changes designed to fund the benefits of the baby boomers when they began retiring in the early 2000s.

    That reform was immensely successful – it extended the programs’ solvency for over half a century.  And the surplus we built was invested in the safest asset possible – Special Issue Treasury Bonds backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.  I know it is customary for some today to disparage the Trust Funds as if they don’t exist.  But those bonds are no different than any other debt instrument issued by the United States government, and I find it incomprehensible that Congress might someday agree to pay back our foreign neighbors before honoring the debt it owes to the American people.

    I understand the drive to reduce the deficit – frankly, I’m as appalled by $1.4 Trillion in red ink this year as you are.  But Social Security did not contribute one thin dime to the deficit – it should not be used as a piggy bank to fix the mistakes of the past.

    The American people do not support cutting Social Security in order to reduce the deficit.  American workers rightfully see Social Security as their money – not the governments’.  It represents their hard-earned dollars that came out of each and every paycheck throughout their working lives.  They are even willing to pay more to strengthen the program for their children and grandchildren.  

    They flat-out reject the notion that you can strengthen Social Security by cutting it.
     
    Americans want fiscal sanity returned to Washington, but they don’t believe it should be accomplished by cutting Social Security.

    Social Security benefit cuts are the last place you should be looking for deficit reduction, not the first place."

  •  Average age of representatives staff? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, schnecke21

    The Congress, with it's relative geezerdom, isn't a particularly fair reflection of life in the real world, where few 70 year-olds have multiple staff people to get them through their days. That's true now, and it will be true for the now middle-aged people who will be facing a longer working life if these guys get their way.

    Yep. Is there any data out there about the ages of the people on the staff of our representatives? I have a hunch they aren't hiring a bunch of people in their 50s and 60s.

  •  CBO numbers for social security policy otions (0+ / 0-)

    For the policy wonks out there the CBO recently scored 30 different possible changes for Social Security (PDF)

    http://www.cbo.gov/...

    IMHO it should be relatively simple to the shore up the long term viability of SS. I don't think you can fix the system by just increasing taxes on those making more than more $250K (although I think that should be part of the solution). I think you also need to raise SS taxes on everybody a little (say 2% phased in over 20 years) and maybe increase full retirement age to 68.

  •  If we could just send 65 year olds to war (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    standupguy

    in foreign countries, that would solve at least three of our problems:

    1.  fix the all-voluntter army.
    1.  raise the retirement age
    1.  no need to pay benies at all once they get shot and killed.

    By jeebuz, it's a win-win-win solution.

    We come well armed with organic leafy greens... not guns.

    by VeganMilitia on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 04:11:10 PM PDT

  •  I find it amusing that so many Liberals... (0+ / 0-)

    ....don't recognize that entitlement spending on Medicare and Social Security are what will kill the budget, not Defense spending (although I favor cutting that back to rational levels.) Unlike Defense appropriations that won't necessarily mushroom over time without conscious  calls for increasing them, entitlement spending will just grow and grow automatically until it chokes the budget.  Young people are increasingly aware that unless something is done, they will pay into it their entire lives and never see a dime of it.

    "The more laws, the less justice." Support freedom within the Democratic party, support the DFC:http://www.democraticfreedomcaucus.org/dfc-platform/

    by Denverlibertarian on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 04:58:29 PM PDT

    •  Don't mix apples, SS, and oranges, Medicare. two (0+ / 0-)

      separate problems. And medicare's can be greatly aided by dealing with the medical industry's habit of spending forty percent of all medicare in the last two years of life for things that do not improve that life but do definitely improve their bottom lines. You don't see it much until you've taken mom or dad through it, but believe it. If you can clean up the medical industry's practices, the medicare situation won't be anywhere near as bad. But, of course, they are Rs, and their right to be exceedingly well paid gods was written before the Founding Fathers wrote anything else.

  •  They've lost me completely on that one (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dartagnan, standupguy, gardnerjf

    I'm sorry. I don't care how crazy the republican is but if my reps vote for that shit, I am NOT voting. They have an easy solution of raising the cap on SS taxes to 250K. If they would rather make millions work harder to get the benefits they fucking deserve rather than taxing the rich. Fuck em.

  •  I would be far more sanguine (0+ / 0-)

    about raising retirement age if part of the package was (Obama's promise of) elimination of income tax for SS recipients.  I'm 64 btw.

    Kick apart the structures - Seth

    by ceebee7 on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 05:17:18 PM PDT

  •  We can talk about social security changes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    standupguy

    when I see a 15% cut in the defense budget. Next!

  •  RAISE THE FUCKING INCOME CAP! (0+ / 0-)

    Come on, people, this is not hard. Make the rich continue to pay into SS no matter how much they make.

    OH, wait, it involves taxing the rich. Can't do that.

    The real third-rail in American politics? The rich, the military, and corporations. Heaven forbid we do ANYTHING to inconvenience those precious, revered golden calves.

  •  I feel like I'm taking crazy pills (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats during the Great Depression create SS to alleviate poverty and help us climb out of economic turmoil. Democrats during our current depression fantasize about cutting these very same programs. It's sick.

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