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Members of Congress, like Paul Ryan, get a very nice pension that is not subject to the ups and downs of the stock market. Ryan supports raising the retirement age for Social Security recipients, but as a member of the House for more than five years, he'll be able to get his pension at 62. If he stays in the House for a total of 20 years, he'll be able to get his pension at 50. Mitt Romney's not worrying about retirement, either: He has a $100 million IRA.

By contrast, traditional pensions are increasingly rare for the rest of us, and, according to economist Teresa Ghilarducci, "Seventy-five percent of Americans nearing retirement age in 2010 had less than $30,000 in their retirement accounts," but "To maintain living standards into old age we need roughly 20 times our annual income in financial wealth." That puts 49 percent of middle-class workers on track for poverty or near-poverty in retirement, a situation that, as detailed in the graphic, Paul Ryan would make worse.

Ryan would privatize Social Security:

Anyone who lived through 2008, and saw what the market crash did to your 401k or your home value, raise your hand if you thought to yourself, “Gee, if only my Social Security had been invested in the market, too.” Anyone?
That should be your answer to putting Paul Ryan in a position to affect your Social Security, your Medicare, your 401(k).

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 08:31 AM PDT.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm thinking of the current 30-ish year olds (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, luckylizard

    that would be expected to help PAY for their elderly parents' healthcare because the Republicans' MediScare groupon will NOT be sufficient.

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 08:40:54 AM PDT

    •  Love this. (5+ / 0-)

      I am going to tweet that I've heard Ryan-Romney are proposing to outsource the operation of Medicare to Groupon.

      Still enjoying my stimulus package.

      by Kevvboy on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 06:08:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So, hopefully they will (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      vote -- even if they don't think about their parents, but think about their sperm and eggs.

      " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

      by gchaucer2 on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 06:10:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  you're assuming that current 30-ish yr olds (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      1Nic Ven, Laconic Lib

      have any intention of of assuming that burden.  This crop of kids did not grow up in extended families.  They hardly even grew up in intact families.

      I doubt they are ready, willing or able to take on parental responsibilities that they only stopped depended upon a couple of years ago.

      Okay...that's flip....but there's a kernel of truth there.  I grew up with my parents taking care of the grandparents, until the medical conditions were beyond there ability to stay on top of.

      But my grandparents had 7 kids, and they all chipped in, and helped shoulder that burden.  Nobody had to shoulder that stone alone.

      These days we have 2 kids.  And they have moved to New York or Texas or California, while Mom and Dad, if they're both alive still, live in Iowa or Missouri.  You can count upon at least one of those two kids as being unprepared, unwilling, and incapable of taking care of either Mom or Dad.

      And then there's the distance, in many cases.

      I don't think many people in this country who are under the age of 35 have any memory, concept, appreciation for, or ability to conceive of an extended family, unless that extended family is them living with their parents.

      Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

      by Keith930 on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 06:34:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have a two step plan for retirement. (5+ / 0-)

    Step 1. Don a blue smock and say "Welcome to Wal-Mart" for as many years as I can fog a mirror.

    Step 2. Get a toe-tag.

    Trickle-down theory; the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows. - J.K. Galbraith

    by Eric Twocents on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 08:42:00 AM PDT

  •  Ryan Also Drew Social Security Survivor Benes as (6+ / 0-)

    a boy. Even his eventual inheritance came from the family government highway and defense contracting business.

    Totally government-made man, taking government totally away from everyone else.

    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 Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 08:50:02 AM PDT

  •  My retirement? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phonegery, luckylizard

    Now you're just making me laugh.

    I know what Mitt Romney is hiding: Mitt Romney.

    by commonmass on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 08:55:37 AM PDT

  •  I wish I could control my SS. (0+ / 0-)

    If I could have had even a mere 50% control of my SS to date, I would have FAR, FAR more money that what I will be getting when I retire.  It's a not even a question.  Just simple math.

    •  Tempting thought, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      luckylizard, sjburnman

      but true for very, very few people. Maybe you're one of the few. Maybe you're overly optimistic about your investing abilities, like Joe Nocera was:

      My 401(k) plan, which was supposed to take care of my retirement, is in tatters.

      Like millions of other aging baby boomers, I first began putting money into a tax-deferred retirement account a few years after they were legislated into existence in the late 1970s. The great bull market, which began in 1982, was just gearing up. As a young journalist, I couldn’t afford to invest a lot of money, but my account grew as the market rose, and the bull market gave me an inflated sense of my investing skills. [...]

      The bull market ended with the bursting of that bubble in 2000. My tech-laden portfolio was cut in half. A half-dozen years later, I got divorced, cutting my 401(k) in half again.

      If you're one of the 3 or 4 people who'd do better investing your money, congratulations! You must already be rich enough that it doesn't matter. But your remarkable skill and/or luck as an investor doesn't make a good basis for policy.
    •  Lysander1776, you don't know what you are saying (4+ / 0-)

      You don't know what the hell you are talking about. First off, Social Security isn't an IRA or 401K which has a fixed total of money you can measure. It is an insurance program that rewards people who are lucky enough to live the longest. That is why the amount we contribute is relatively small. For every person who lives to be 95, there is some poor sod drinking himself to death at age 60. This is what keeps the contributions low. So let's say you live to be 105 years old. How in the heck can you plan for that because you were personally able to invest 50% of your contributions in Social Security? There is no way in hell you would have been that lucky in the stock market to keep your fixed income Social Security going for that many years. You are full of shit.

      You have either the option of a 401K or IRA. Maximize your contributions to either of these and stay the fuck away from an insurance plan like Social Security. Social Security isn't a 401K or a savings plan. You would know this if you bothered to look and saw that people who live longer get way more back in benefits than they contributed.

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

      by Bailey Savings and Loan on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 06:40:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Privatizing S.S. would be best.... (0+ / 0-)

        I had my tax preparer calculate what my retirement account would be if I put all my in an average growth mutual fund over the last 35 years.   You see, when I started in the working world the Dow Jones Avg. was 786. Now its over 13,000.  Who cares what happened in 2008.   Its a retirement account.  Anyway, I would have over $1.1 million dollars in that account. I would not need medicare, medicaid, etc... and when I died, it would all stay in my family.  

        Someone please tell me why privatizing is not a good thing!

        •  One anecdote is not data (2+ / 0-)

          and it's usually a shitty basis for making public policy.

          You're also making far too many ASS-umptions, such as: that you would ALWAYS pick the right stocks;  that you would ALWAYS time your buying and selling perfectly; that you would NEVER suddenly need cash for any reason whatsoever; that you nor any of yours would EVER get sick or need expen$$$ive medical care; etc. etc. etc.

          Frankly, choom, you're practicing 20-20 hindsight on the ASS-umption of always rolling boxcars every single time. The real world isn't anything like that.

          If it's
          Not your body,
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          And it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 04:27:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Just Simple Math (0+ / 0-)

      Now you tell me!

    •  Yep, you and your woulda, coulda, shouldas!! (3+ / 0-)

        Tons of people got their 401K's crumpled by the economic collapse of 2008, that's why 75 percent have 30K or less now at retirement.  Very most likely it would have happened to you. So much for the chances of investing SS successfully in the stock market, based on what we've seen.

  •  This myth (10+ / 0-)

    that voucherizing Medicare or Social Security will save those programs needs to stop.

    It's really all about getting private insurance companies' (or Wall Street's) hands on your tax dollars.  Not about making them work better for the American people.

    28, white male, TX-26 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 06:06:02 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for being able to use words to describe (2+ / 0-)

    this situation.

    When I hear Ryan speak like this, I just want to throw things.

    At the end of the day, people power is going to prevail. ~ Bernie Sanders 8/5/12

    by 4Freedom on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 06:06:35 PM PDT

  •  The only time I would like to connect the words (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon, Laconic Lib

    Paul Ryan and retirement is with HIS.

  •  So Ryan can retire (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA, OldDragon, hester, drmah

    in 8 years with a full pension?  But he wants to cut his taxes and my social security / medicare?  I knew he was an asshole, but this takes assholery to a new level.  

    This needs to be in an ad in every state - Ryan has his, now he wants yours.

    •  Actually, he can't. He is not a participant in (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gosoxataboy, Laconic Lib

      the Congressional Pension Program which was ended in 1987.  He, like all younger members of Congress participates in the Federal Employee Retirement System and in Social Security.

      You can read about it here:

      As I read this, he has to be 57 and have 30 years of federal employment to draw an annuity.  I could be wrong, but I doubt it (as Mike Royko was wont to say).

      The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. Jane Addams

      by Alice Olson on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 06:58:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  He's a one-man death panel (5+ / 0-)

    Go figure that the biggest brown-noser in his class would become the favorite politician of GOP plutocrats....

    Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore

    by Minerva on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 06:11:10 PM PDT

  •  GOP health rationing: Death by Coupon (7+ / 0-)

    Don't roof rack me bro', Now the brown's comin' down; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 06:12:05 PM PDT

  •  Generation X Has Watched Baby Boomer Parents (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon, hester, howd

    struggle with taking care of their Greatest Generation parents in their senior years. Now its going to be weakened? Bush's second term went downhill when he tried to pursue privatizing Social Security. These are teribly unpopular ideas. Thank you Romney fro the gift of Ryan. Love the Obama ad on Medicare.  Sad that it should have run 2 years ago when the GOP used Mediscare tactics to take back the house.

  •  I've got a plan for Ryan's retirement, and it's (4+ / 0-)

    beautiful.  Not only that, it starts next November.

  •  How the hell am I supposed to save 20 times? (5+ / 0-)
    "To maintain living standards into old age we need roughly 20 times our annual income in financial wealth."
    I went to graduate school, so I didn't start working until I was 28. If I work until I'm 65, that's 37 years.

    If my savings plan is to stuff it into a mattress, then I have to save 20/37 of my after tax income, or 54%. Nobody can do that, and that's not even counting for inflation.

    So I need a better strategy. I need to invest my significantly less than 54% savings into something that will return significantly more than inflation. However,

    For the first time, the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index finished a calendar decade with a negative total return, S&P says. And that was even after the S&P rose 23.5% in 2009, its best gain since 2003.
    Fucking Wall Street greedheads have made countless billions, but ordinary, work hard & follow the rules Americans, like me, have been left out in the cold. Fuck Ronald Reagan and rules he set for my generation.

    I pretty much did the right thing. Got an education, got a job, worked hard, stayed employed, saved & invested according to the recommendations, and there is no freaking, fucking way I am going to wind up with 20x my annual income by the time I'm 65. Unless the stock market takes off like a rocket, it's going to be more in the range 5x-10x. And I think I'm one of the lucky ones.

    “No, Mitt, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they love, they cry, they dance, they live and they die. Learn the difference.”-- Elizabeth Warren

    by Positronicus on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 06:32:22 PM PDT

    Recommended by:



    by theChild on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 06:40:47 PM PDT

  •  I'm only 40, and I ALREADY get Social Security... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah, Laconic Lib

    A disability left me unable to work for years. I've only recently been able to rejoin the workforce part-time, and I still get SSDI benefits. So, for me, the issue of Medicare and Social Security hit VERY close-to-home.

    My parents are also relatively young -- they are each in their mid-sixties. In fact, my mom turns 65 this year, and my dad next year.

    I'm no economist, but I'm wondering about something that may or may not be related to all of this S.S. / Medicare talk. Can anyone explain to me and to everyone else here how devaluation of currency might affect even those of us with disproportionately huge fortunes? I mean, let's say that inflation truly goes through  the roof -- and we end up having to pay like $300 for a loaf of bread or whatever. That might seem silly to think about, although that I believe that during the Great Depression, food prices spiked something pretty fierce.

    Again, if anyone can explain how this stuff works, I'd appreciate it a lot.

    •  That's how Germany got the Nazis (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laconic Lib

      In a hyperinflation, all bets are off. Fortunately, we know how to prevent hyperinflation from starting, and how to stop it almost instantly where it occurs. The Nazi Finance Minister Hjalmar Schacht knew how (starting by going off the gold standard since there wasn't any gold left after reparations to France). Argentina, Bolivia, the old Soviet Union, all gave up the policies that created their massive inflationary spirals. Not without a fight, of course.

      But what triggers this fantasy for you? I hope it isn't the gold ads on Glenn Beck. ^_^

      Hey, Mitt! Thanks for ObamneyCare.

      by Mokurai on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 10:12:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  STOP this 'as we know it' softpedaling (3+ / 0-)

    Ryan's plan,


    Period, end of sentence, end of paragraph, end of story, Full Stop.


    Just as the GOP has been fighting to do since 1965.

    Just as they've been trying to get rid of Social Security since 1935.

  •  I'm all set, thanks. Invested my nest egg in... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    ...the Facebook IPO.

    Oh wait......

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 06:48:15 PM PDT

  •  even if you include 2008, last 5 years were GREAT! (0+ / 0-)

    If you were invested in the down jones and given the -37% return from 2008, the last five would have given you a return of 117% total (including 2008).

    Social security on average pays out 1.1% return.  That is worse than US treasury bonds.

    Just saying.

    •  Yeah right (0+ / 0-)

      IF you picked the right investments, IF you timed your buys and sells exactly right, IF you made NO mistakes, IF nothing forced you to cash them in early....

      For far too many people, the IFs were disastrous.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 11:51:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Romney and Ryan (0+ / 0-)

    ...think your retirement would look better funding their IRA's.

    America, we can do better than this...

    by Randomfactor on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 06:50:38 PM PDT

  •  Americans live (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    in constant fear, and there's a reason:

    "To maintain living standards into old age we need roughly 20 times our annual income in financial wealth."
    Fear of becoming destitute in old age, not having enough to pay for food or shelter or medicare care or anything. Fear of being a burden on family, friends, a system that is extremely dysfunctional.

    If this country had a decent social safety net, one that guarenteed some degree of support in old age beyond the bare minimum of Social Security, people wouldn't need to live in such fear. Nor would they need to save 20 times their annual income.

    Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why. -- Hunter S. Thompson

    by Mnemosyne on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 06:51:37 PM PDT

  •  I just had bumperstickers made (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah, Laconic Lib

    that say

    Since You're Going to Have to Work 'til You Die, Anyway,
    We're Doing You a Favor by Ending Medicare!
    It has each of their pictures on either side.  I like it.

    Can you call yourself a real liberal if you aren't reading driftglass?

    by CJB on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 06:53:02 PM PDT

  •  Excellent diary. (0+ / 0-)

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 06:57:08 PM PDT

  •  How does Wall Street Reform affect the 401K? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not sure how this affects the 401K - perhaps this is an allusion to the stock market tanking because of Wall Street's derivative madness?  Of course, on the flip side, Wall Street's machinations helped the stock market gain more than it would have during other times.

  •  half a life preserver for the drowning nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  to quote a great President.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psyched, Mokurai, swampwiz, Laconic Lib
    Should any Political party attempt to abolish Social Security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our Political history.  There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things...their number is negligible and they are stupid.

                                         - Dwight D Eisenhower,  1954

    Unfortunately that stupid negligible group is NOW known as  the Republican Party

    "You've got to be an optimist to be a Democrat, and a humorist to stay one" - Will Rogers

    by KnotIookin on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 07:37:19 PM PDT

    •  I like Ike even more now - (0+ / 0-)

      since he has proven to be prescient, as well as a hell of an honorable general.

      For a better America, vote the GOP out of office whenever and wherever possible and as soon (and as often) as possible!

      by dagnome on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 07:52:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You want the truth? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bewareofme, Laconic Lib

    These fuckers are not
    done emptying the
    coffers of our nation.

    They got a lot from the wars and the real estate debacle.  

    Now they are after your personal piggy-banks and your health and retirement, and they will not stop until they have every damn penny.

    Even if it kills each and every one of you.

    The entire GOP has turned traitor, they want to see you in the poor house or dead or both.

    There is the truth—what are we going to do about it?

    “Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.” Conan of Cimmeria via Robert E. Howard

    by roninkai on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 08:01:07 PM PDT

  •  Quit saying "as we know it"! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    The plan is to end Medicare. Period. Period. It's not "as we know it"; it's as anyone knows it.

    The universe may have a meaning and a purpose, but it may just specifically not include you.

    by Anne Elk on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 11:01:46 PM PDT

  •  Ryan's Medicare plan eviscerated (0+ / 0-)

    by Sunday's NY Times editorial:

    Great stuff!

    For the first time in human history, we possess both the means for destroying all life on Earth or realizing a paradise on the planet--Michio Kaku.

    by psyched on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 11:19:54 PM PDT

    •  From the Times editorial: (0+ / 0-)
      THE CHOICE This will be an election about big problems, and it will provide a clear choice between contrasting approaches to solve them. In the Medicare arena, the choice is between a Democratic approach that wants to retain Medicare as a guaranteed set of benefits with the government paying its share of the costs even if costs rise, and a Republican approach that wants to limit the government’s spending to a defined level, relying on untested market forces to drive down insurance costs.

      For the first time in human history, we possess both the means for destroying all life on Earth or realizing a paradise on the planet--Michio Kaku.

      by psyched on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 11:30:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Villages in Florida (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    At The Villages Retirement community in Florida, both Ryan and Romney assured Seniors that they are going to STRENGTHEN Medicare and increase benefits.  

    Mitt Romney did a pod-cast after that saying that He wants to STRENGHTEN Medicare, because after all people who paid into it their entire lives, deserve the promise to be kept.

    Am I living in Upside Down World?  How can they do both?  Voucherize Medicare vs strengthening Medicare and increasing funding.  

    All those rich retirees at The Village were acting like CRAZY TEA BAGGERS in front of the media cameras.  

    What is this country coming to?  A internal war?

  •  Please don't lump all retired folks (0+ / 0-)

    into one bag. The average HOUSEHOLD Social Security benefit is around $24,000, less $2,400 Medicare premium, $4,800 supplemental health, real estate taxes etc.

    The Villages has some folks, who are not worried about paying $1,000 under Medicare when they are admitted to the hospital.

    One of the homes for sale at Villages:

  •  Ryan Plan for Your Retirement: DDQ (0+ / 0-)

    Drop Dead Quickly.

    If it's
    Not your body,
    Then it's
    Not your choice
    And it's
    None of your damn business!

    by TheOtherMaven on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 11:53:51 AM PDT

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