Skip to main content

Social Security was created 40+ years ago during a different era.  People lived a shorter time back then and not everyone depended upon it.  There were such things as a pension and people actually retired at jobs instead of being fired.  

So I ask, is "touching Social Security" in any manner a bad thing?  Eventually, with the changing times, things need to be changed.  Imagine the roadway and how its changed over the years.  It started out with no speed limits and no lines.  Soon they painted lines, there was a speed limit, the police used radar and now laser to enforce the laws.  As people drove drunk the laws and enforcement changed again.  The road is still hard and black, but many things have changed over the years.  In that same way, Social Security needs to change with the times.

During the campaigns, you might have heard someone suggest that Social Security would be taken away, but as we all know thats just campaign talk.  I am of the opinion is that if the people want it then we have to have it, but if the current form is so self destructive that it self destructs and brings down the government then we need to manage it now and make the changes that need to be made.

There is an inconvenient truth about the debt of the nation.  Half of the debt is money lent from Social Security and in the event of a great panic Congress can legislate to forgive that debt.  They can waive debt which they have lent to themselves.  However, that would totally destroy the Social Security system.  

I woke up last night thinking my life is short.  My father died at age 71 and my grandmother at age 67.  Im not even certain if I will get to use Social Security.  What matters to me is not myself, but the future of my children and their children.  So if changes need to be made lets change it.

I dont speak in support or against any political party when I write this diary.  I speak as a matter of common sense.  If there is a problem, we should fix it now.  

Originally posted to michaelnodav on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 05:42 AM PST.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders and Trolls.

Poll

Should Social Security ever be touched in any manner?

25%20 votes
74%58 votes

| 78 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Life Expectancy Mostly Changed Only for Children (36+ / 0-)

    From SS's web site a while ago, a man retiring in 1935 could expect to live 13 years. Today it's only increased 2 years to around 15, and that only for the upper half of earners. That's not a lot of extra drain on the system, per user.

    Others will tell you how easy it is to fix the problem.

    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 Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 05:50:38 AM PST

  •  What's a "pension" (24+ / 0-)

    Seems like I remember my great grandfather using that word a couple times.

    "I'm not saying that if you have a time machine, you necessarily have to kill Hitler, but this retroactive retirement is the worst use of a time machine I have ever seen!" Jon Stewart

    by Haningchadus14 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 05:51:36 AM PST

  •  Getting rid of SS is not just 'campaign talk' (33+ / 0-)

    The GOP has been relentlessly trying to do so since 1935 (see also Medicare since 1965).

    Only a moron would think their goal is anything different now.

  •  Here is a way to "touch" Social Security (32+ / 0-)
    People lived a shorter time back then and not everyone depended upon it.  There were such things as a pension and people actually retired at jobs instead of being fired.
    Those sound like good reasons to increase the benefits paid by Social Security: more people will be dependent on it for more of their income for a longer period of time.  I suggest we increase the payroll tax to 7% and then use CPI-e for the COLA.  That having been done, we should lift the cap on the payroll tax to include all earned income.

    Were those the changes you had in mind?

    •  I agree with lifting the cap (13+ / 0-)

      on payroll tax.  I have never understood why only the first $100000 or so is taxed.  Just lifting the cap make a huge difference long term.
      I don't think Social Security needs to be increased, but we do need to stabilize it.

      My Brothers Keeper

      by Reetz on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:10:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The cap is not a cap on how much you pay in (11+ / 0-)

        It's a cap on how much income gets insured under the system. Income above the cap doesn't exist as far as SS is concerned; it's not part of the FICA premium, and it's not counted toward the benefit calculation.

        The idea is that the rich shouldn't be able to use SS to insure their extreme wealth - if they don't provide for their own retirement, they get treated no better than someone who made the cap for the last 30 years of their career.

        Removing the cap would open the income of the super-rich to FICA premiums, but it would also mean their benefits would wildly increase as a result as well.

        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 Jan 03, 2013 at 06:16:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Removing the cap (9+ / 0-)

          won't necessarily increase benefits paid.  The enabling legislation could provide a "cap" on the amount of benefits paid equal to the maximum now paid.

          I know, it's wishful thinking, but I guess if we ever get a Congress sensible enough to lift the contributions cap, the same Congress might be sensible enough to limit benefits for the rich.

          The American Indian: Fighting Foreign Terrorism Since 1492.

          by penguins4peace on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:35:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Those who (15+ / 0-)

            keep suggesting that we "cut" SS are usually the ones who make more income than the contributions limit requires them to participate at all. So easy to say when one has a nice fat pension to look forward to, from a long-term six-figure income.

            You want to "touch" Social Security? Remove the cap and watch it grow. Poof. Instant Revenue Fix.

            And then it's "strong".

            And then it's "solvent".

            All the things our "diarist" seems to be so concerned about.

            Right now, with the austerity assholes in our government, "touching Social Security" means "stealing everything that people have paid in since The New Deal".

            How many ways can people spell the word NO for this lot?

            It is time to #Occupy Media.

            by lunachickie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:47:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  If you remove the cap without indexing benefits (11+ / 0-)

            to the higher incomes allowed, SS permanently departs from the insurance model, and becomes a redistributive handout, which is an anathema to what SS is supposed to be.

            SS is as politically secure as it is because people feel like the money is theirs, not largess from the rich.

            We have means funded through general revenue to do redistributive welfare, some even administered through the SS trustees. That's where we need to be focusing any non-insurance model reforms.

            The fact is, SS doesn't need the revenue from a removed cap. The cap should be raised to regain 90% of wages, as it has traditionally done, but we shouldn't turn SS into welfare. Either the cap remains, or top earners get massive SS checks.

            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 Jan 03, 2013 at 07:01:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  But if we maintain the curve on the progressive (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jim M

              (small p) nature of the program, the ubber wealthy would have to make payments into the program that would dwarf the massive checks they would get out later.

              "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

              by JesseCW on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:31:52 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I have relatively little problem with that. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rsie, JesseCW, fuzzyguy

                My main problem with the "remove the cap!" cries is they buy into a "SS is in crisis!" meme, which is, frankly, bullshit.

                Given healthy economic growth, there never will be a long-term shortfall.

                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 Jan 03, 2013 at 08:55:19 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  And the benefits package isn't progressive, it's (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fenway49, fuzzyguy, denise b

                regressive.

                The terms "progressive" and "regressive" mean "y is faster than linear with x" and "y is slower than linear with x", not "good for the poor", and "bad for the poor".

                Income tax owed grows faster than linear with total income. It is, therefore, progressive.

                SS's benefits grow slower than linear with contribution. It is, therefore, regressive.

                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 Jan 03, 2013 at 08:57:21 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  penquins - if you eliminate the cap (5+ / 0-)

            but cap the benefits you have ended SocSec as we know it. The SocSec system is to "insure" a portion of your own personal income when you stop working. It has never been a system to transfer income from high income earners to lower income earners. What you are suggesting is income redistribution which would be a completely different concept from the founding cornerstones laid by FDR who warned us to never give the program's critics the chance to call SocSec a welfare program. SocSec is a system where you "get what you pay for" and every dollar of contribution improves your benefits. That concept cannot be lost. The benefit formula has a progressive bias, and that can be enhanced as the cap is raised, but every dollar contributed has to count.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:31:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  One of the great things about that would be (0+ / 0-)

              that people who have just a few years of very high income - athletes, some actors or musicians - would pay in on a lot more income and therefore wind up with a much higher average yearly income when it comes time to calculate their benefits.

              "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

              by JesseCW on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:01:54 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Hogwash (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              badger

              Direct means testing, which I've seen advocated on this very site, would turn the program into a welfare program.

              Raising the cap on pay-ins, but maintaining the cap on benefits is merely tax fairness.  And, sure, there's a bit of stealth "means testing" under the surface of such a proposal, but you'd never actually be able to make that thought stick with the majority of Americans.

              As it currently stands, the rate the wealthy pay in taxes will always be lower than the rate paid by working stiffs.  My mother worked in payroll at a hospital for years.  The top doctors and administrators had paid the entirety of their annual Social Security tax on their very first paycheck of the year.  The rest of the doctors had paid their full SS tax by around mid-February.  Meanwhile, the nurses, the custodians, the payroll clerks--you know, the middle class and working poor--continued paying SS tax on every dollar earned through the year.  Now, when the rich had an effective tax rate of say, 70%, that was all well and good.  No working stiff was going to reach that level of taxation.  And the rich still had shelters and deductions and write-offs to bring their effective tax rate down to, say, 30-35%.  But with a top marginal rate of around 39%, the tax shelters, et al, bring their effective rate below the middle class rate (especially with a capital gains rate of, now, 20%).  Exempting the majority of income of the wealthy from SS tax just drops their effective tax rate even lower.

              Probably the biggest problem our nation faces at present is widening income disparity.  Lifting the cap on SS taxes--so that every dollar of income is taxed--while maintaining the cap on benefits--is simply a matter of economic fairness.  It also ensures the economic health of the program as far as the eye can see.

              It is certainly a far better fix (to the extent any fix is needed) than chained CPI, which only serves to widen income disparity even further.  Same thing with raising eligibility age--that disproportionately benefits people who don't actually work for a living and penalizes those whose work is mannual labor.

              It's about economic fairness and there's not a soul in the country who pays SS tax on every dollar of earnings that you could convince otherwise.  And given that the wealthy stole all the pensions from the middle class and working poor, its damn well about time.

              "Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will."—Frederick Douglass

              by costello7 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:40:34 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  costello - we can tax every dollar of wages (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JesseCW, nextstep

                and salaries as long as we allow benefits to increase in proportion to the increased payments. It makes no sense to have SocSec contributions on investment income because that income doesn't stop at retirement and does not need to be "insured" which is the fundamental concept of SocSec.

                If you want to change the SocSec program into an income redistribution program I think that is a defensible public policy position. However, I do think it puts the entire program at risk, and I don't support it. I don't think there is broad public support for changing the fundamental character of SocSec that your benefit is based on your contributions and every contribution dollar enhances your benefit. When we start abandoning the fundamental foundations of SocSec we have few defenses for people who want to provide partial privatization or other schemes that would also change SocSec as we know it.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:03:15 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Hogwashed squared (0+ / 0-)

                  I tell you what.  Let's run for office against each other.  I'll argue that lifting the cap and requiring SS tax on every dollar of earnings while capping benefits will ensure the long term sustainability of the program as far as the eye can see and will contribute to tax fairness.  You argue that I'd be changing the fundamental nature of the program from an insurance plan to a wealth redistribution (i.e. welfare) program.  I absoluetly positively guarantee I'd win that fight.  In perpetuity.  You'd get the Tbag vote and that's about it.  Maybe not even, since most of them are on Social Security.

                  If you hold and stand by fundamental Democratic core beliefs, raising the cap on income taxed while preserving the cap on benefits is the proper solution to whatever long term "problems" the program might have.

                  But you go ahead and cheer on chained CPI and/or an increase in the eligibility age or any of the other proposals that have been offered or embraced by Democratic politicians.  You know what that'll get you?  A program that doesn't support even a poverty existence and a permanent Republican majority.

                  But but but what could we DO, afterall, without changing the fundamental nature of the program?  Lift the cap on earnings subject to the tax and retain the cap on benefits.  THAT'S what you could do.  Would save the program forever and wouldn't hurt anybody.  You got a problem with that?  Then I have a problem with you.

                  "Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will."—Frederick Douglass

                  by costello7 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:39:28 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  costello - I would hope that you have a problem (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    nextstep

                    with how I view what is fair for SocSec, rather than me personally. We just have opposing views about how the program should be structured. I have a traditional view that SocSec is program where each worker insures a portion of their earnings and you want to turn it into a welfare program. I am a member of Social Security defenders here at DKOS and we try and let people know about the fundamentals of the program, its history, and the proposals to change it over time. There are many here who agree with you that SocSec should be changed at a fundamental level into an income redistribution program, and many who do not. One of our fears is if the Dems propose scrapping the current system, competing ideas that we don't favor will also have standing to enter the conversation, and compete for political support. Our strongest defense is that we are committed to SocSec's founding principles. It is a very powerful defense we would lose if we proposed fundamental changes.

                    Regarding our hypothetical Congressional race I think it would depend a great deal on what district we were running in.

                    "let's talk about that"

                    by VClib on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:52:04 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It would likely depend (0+ / 0-)

                      on the income level of the hypothetical district.

                      A lot of people on this site (not you, I'm guessing) have argued for straight up means testing.  "If you don't need it," they say, "you shouldn't get it." Now THAT would be the redefinition of the program you describe and fear.  THAT would make it a welfare program and THAT would put the entire program at risk.

                      I don't see my proposal as restructuring the program at all--certainly not into a welfare program--and I believe it would ensure that the program is there for everyone, especially those who need it, well into the future and probably forever.  And I don't think it puts the program at risk AT ALL.

                      Everybody puts in on every dollar earned.  Period.  That's certainly fair, doncha think?  Do you think it more fair that the rich guy completes his obligation in the first week of the year while I pay on every dollar I earn?  I don't.  I don't think that's fair at all.  And everybody that pays in still takes out.  Everybody.  That's fair, right?  And benefits are still tied to the amount contributed.  Up to a certain point.  At some pre-defined point (no real need to change the point that currently exists), your pay-outs top out.  Now if you want to argue that that's not fair, then you'd have to say a progressive income tax is unfair.  Just as its unfair that we give tax breaks to working couples with children, just as its unfair that we tax investment income at an obscenely low rate, just as its unfair that we give tax breaks to oil companies for exploration and development of alternative energy sources (which, by the way, they take the tax credits but never actually explore or develop anything other than more oil; I remember clearly the Exxon COO, or whatever he was, testifying before Congress that they wouldn't ever explore other energy sources, that it would be a waste of their time, but that the government would have to pry those tax credits out of their cold dead fingers), just as its unfair that we give people tax credits based on home ownership.  I could go on, but the entire tax code is "unfair".  Unless you strip out every single tax credit and deduction in the code and abandon entirely the idea of a progressive tax code (charging everyone one flat rate, across the board--and I've never heard anyone other than Rethugs argue for such a thing), then there is nothing "fair" about taxes.  They aren't supposed to be fair; they are supposed to serve a purpose, which is to adequately fund the functions of the government.  The Social Security tax is a tax; nothing more, nothing less.  And that's how everyone sees it...until they retire and start collecting, at least.

                      Now if you want to argue its an insurance program, fine.  I'll go there with you, too.  I have auto insurance as I'm sure you do as well.  I pay in every year--essentially the same amount (it goes up a little, it goes down a little, based on a myriad of circumstances...the age of the car, my driving record, etc., etc.).  I pray to God I never have to collect.  But, if I never have an accident, it's not like I get all of that money back at the end of the (pardon the expression) road.  And, if I do get into an accident--50 years on--its not like the fact that I've been paying in for 50 years entitles me to more coverage than I would have been entitled to in year one.  My "benefits"--my payout--IS tied to how much I paid (how much insurance coverage I purchased) but only up to that point.  That's how insurance works.  That's what insurance is.  And everybody who has a car (outside of Texas, I think) is required to buy insurance regardless of how much they collect or whether they ever collect at all.  Some "take" more from auto insurance than others--maybe some believe the worst drivers collect the most--but nobody has ever called it a welfare program.

                      Once upon a time, we had pensions.  But then the government allowed businesses to raid the pension funds to "invest", then they let them drop pensions altogether in favor of 401K programs, then the government permitted the Bain model of purposefully driving companies into bankruptcy through willful mismanagement thus obliterating long ago promised and earned retirement benefits of helpless workers.  Was any of that "fair"?  Now all most of us have is Social Security and Medicare.  This, to the best of the government's ability, helps to mitigate some (just some) of the damage done by unfettered capitalist greed--damage that the government allowed and even encouraged.

                      Social Security would only be put at risk if the changes to the program could reasonably be argued to be a welfare program.  Direct means testing would do that.  Rich people pay in but they never take out.  That's wealth distribution.  That's welfare.  But having everyone pay in on every dollar earned, and having everyone take out but only UP TO a defined cap....you can argue otherwise until you're blue in the face....no one, save a few accademics and a lot of rich Republicans, is ever going to believe that's welfare or even wealth distribution.  The vast majority of Americans are going to see that as fundamental fairness.  And, so long as the vast majority of Americans see the program as fundimentally fair--and so long as Social Security is solvent--no amount of arguing to the contrary is every going to put the program in jeopardy.

                      "Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will."—Frederick Douglass

                      by costello7 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:12:50 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You're using the wrong analogy for insurance (0+ / 0-)

                        SS's closest analogy is life insurance converted into an annuity.

                        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 Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 03:36:52 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  All you're telling me (0+ / 0-)

                          is that there are multiple models for insurance.  Fine.  Why not choose a model that strengthens the Social Security program, ensures its long term viability and hurts no one?

                          For the life of me I can not understand the desire to reject the best possible solution to a long term problem (in order to continue the program precisely as is) which WILL inevitably lead to solutions that are less effective and in which real people will suffer.

                          They are going to change the program.  They absolutely are.  When a Democratic President gleefully offers up chained CPI at every negotiation and when Congressional Democrats have embraced chained CPI saying that, absolutely, they could support that...in the right deal, you know changes--bad changes--are coming.

                          The end result of chained CPI, signed into law by a Democratic President, is going to be an electoral wipeout in 2014 that makes 2010 look like a good year for Democrats, and a permanent Republican majority.  And, on a personal level, more and more seniors will, more and more, fall into poverty.

                          What we need to do, given that changes are coming, is to come together behind changes that truly strengthen the program and preserve full benefits for everyone while actually hurting no one.  Lifting the cap on SS tax while maintaining a cap on benefits is a sane, rational solution that makes the program stronger, maintains the program's financial health indefinitely (it would never be a target again), and hurts no one (I do not weep for millionaires and billionaires, who have robbed the working class blind to begin with, paying a little more in taxes).  We need to forcefully gather behind and push this solution because every other proposal on the table is designed to cut benefits, which weakens the program and hurts real people.

                          Already, on an allegedly progressive web site, we have people embracing chained CPI (since Obama proposed it), saying, "Oh, c'mon, it's not so bad."  Yeah, just tell grandma to switch to a cheaper brand of cat food is all.

                          But but but Republicans.  Frankly, I could give a rats ass about Republicans.  I'm worried about the Democrats.  If Democrats make cuts to Social Security, we are royally fucked.  We will never restore benefits, if it is Democrats who make the cuts, and, instead, more and more cuts will follow.  What's more, if it is Democrats who make cuts to Social Security--if a Democratic President signs such a bill into law--the Democrats won't be winning a whole lot of elections going forward.  They sure as hell won't be getting my vote.  Not for dog catcher.

                          Every time the government needs money, they attack the programs that our most vulnerable depend upon and they usually do it by claiming that they are overstating inflation, which is utter bullshit as anyone with a brain and eyes, and making less than $100,000 a year, knows.  The original CPI was just such a trick.  Well, they said, its actually wrong to include food and energy costs because those get factored in to all the other prices, so its like counting them twice.  Complete and utter bullshit designed to siphon more money from the poor to the rich.  Now its the chained CPI because "people make adjustments".  More complete and utter bullshit designed to siphon even more money from the poor to the rich.  But its bullshit that people who say things like "keep your government hands off my Medicare" might see as plausible.  Moreover, its bullshit they can use to satisfy their own weak minds and black hearts so that they can sleep soundly at night in their mansions.

                          Thanks to CPI (and, soon, chained CPI), Social Security is already a wealth redistribution plan--from the poor to the rich.

                          If we don't all get behind lifting the cap and push it with all our might, we're going to end up with chained CPI which is going to cut benefits in real terms and hurt real people (and destroy the Democratic party).  We'll probably end up with chained CPI anyway, because neither party represents the people, anymore; they both serve the 1%.  And chained CPI is what the 1% wants.

                          "Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will."—Frederick Douglass

                          by costello7 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 08:37:47 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

        •  No, it doesn't also mean (0+ / 0-)

          their benefits would wildly increase as a result as well, if you adjust the 'bend points' in the benefit formula.

          Bowles-Simpson's proposal is recommending that (a change in the benefit formula).  The problem is that their recommendations would mean that MANY Americans will receive a sizeable decrease in their monthly Social Security checks, not just wealthy beneficiaries.

          Mollie

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

          by musiccitymollie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:08:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  The average benefit is $14k/yr. (8+ / 0-)

        Increasing it would allow millions of people to live in a bit more dignity, not scrabbling to pay heating bills or buy drugs.

  •  There's a lot of variables. (11+ / 0-)

    First of all the SS trust fund is in better shape than the medicare trust fund, so it's not the highest priority.

    Second, the SS trust fund looks particularly bad right now because the economy is bad. If the economy was better, receipts into the fund would be better.

    Third, even if the fund runs out of money, retirees will get 75 percent of their benefits. And, because of indexing, that will actually be MORE than current retirees get.

    I also wonder if their projections are too conservative -- I don't know how much they take into account the hundreds of millions of gen x, y and z'ers who will be putting money into the system or, say, if immigration reform brought a flood of young people into the system. But I'd have to study that more.

    As for people living longer, I think that's mostly because infant mortality rates have declined. So, the average is going up, but only because less people are dying as infants.

    The main problem, though, it bringing SS into a discussion of the overall budget. The money the government borrowed from SS is a debt guaranteed by the "full faith and credit" of the federal government and running out on that debt is the same as the government not honoring its bonds.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:00:15 AM PST

  •  Yes. But only to improve it. (24+ / 0-)

    By LOWERING the age, and by insuring enough is deducted in payroll taxes to keep the trust fund sound.

    It is an insurance program. Those who would turn it into a general fund supported program want to do so only to kill it because philosophically they oppose such government programs, no matter how good, no matter how much they help the people.

    Its opponents are interested in privatizing it in order to increase corporate profits, and ultimately to do what they have done to the rest of the Treasury, raid it for the super rich.

    Also, the age of Medicare eligibility must NOT be raised, in fact, 65 should mean full eligibility, if not 64. Those living longer are those wealthy enough to afford good medical care. The average worker, especially those whose lives have been spent in manual laborer, are the ones whose life spans have not increased.

    But here, again, the corporate oligarchy and the 1% want wage slaves and serfs they can exploit until they drop dead, again, for one motive: profit to line their already overflowing coffers.

    "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” --Yogi Berra

    by HeartlandLiberal on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:02:14 AM PST

  •  Live off of it (6+ / 0-)

    Around these parts, there is no way to live off of SS.  It wouldnt pay for the property taxes alone on my property.  Im not a wealthy man nor do I live in a big estate.  More like a simple house and the SS payments would not cover the upkeep of that house.  Im not sure how anyone plans to live off of it.  Even if the benefits were doubled, no way to make a life out of it.

  •  DKos ought to have a minimum age requirement. (12+ / 0-)

    Notice: This Comment © 2013 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:03:04 AM PST

  •  just this once, ;s!%$?"(&"=++_&. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, lunachickie

    People disappear

    Laws disappear

    Pensions disappear

    Trillion$$ disappear

    Prisons arise

    Crises usurp

    Common folk broke

    Corporate fraud applaud

    Whose fingers to trust around your future neck. Drop you, phony. B?inking troll to your hole be off.

    clime parches on. terms: ocean rise, weather re-patterning, storm pathology, drout-famine, acceptance of nature.

    by renzo capetti on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:03:08 AM PST

  •  Jesus Christ is this site getting fucked up. (13+ / 0-)

    Brand new userf, churns out 4 idiotic diaries yesterday (including infamous one about how Hillary Clinton got sick because she is too fat because she eats fast food while on the road). Now we're on diary #2 today. Basically, anybody can come here and write an unlimited amount of diaries, and the only way to get rid of them is for all of us to hit their tip jars with HRs until finally they are autobanned? To me, that is not "community moderation"; it is "you guys deal with it". Screw it.

  •  Can change it by lifting the payroll tax cap (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, penguins4peace

    In 2010, the Social Security Wage Base was $106,800 and the Social Security tax rate was 6.20%. Any income above that does not contribute to the social security fund. Another way all of Romney's millions don't support American values.

  •  This is almost exactly the argument (15+ / 0-)

    that I saw on Bloomberg TV yesterday and which appears to be the Wall Street talking points:

    Social Security was created 40+ years ago during a different era.  People lived a shorter time back then and not everyone depended upon it.  There were such things as a pension and people actually retired at jobs instead of being fired.
    It came from Larry Fink of Blackrock and another commentator who talked about the "old age" entitlements.  From the way the pundit said "old age entitlement programs" I think he was not talking about the elderly but instead implying that these programs were old and outdated.  

    Fink then went on to talk about how Wall Street needs to "educate" the American public that because of increased longevity, they will need to work longer.  He was very focused on this (as in, bumping up the Social Security and Medicare retirement ages again to 70 or older, as has been floated by the catfood commission and others).

    So I believe these things are going to be central to the next wave of propaganda on cutting entitlements and we will start being bombarded by it soon.

    Spending a bit of time watching/listening to the financial channels is useful for getting a heads up on things like this and sadly some of the same things often come out as D party talking points too, as they are often quite driven by Wall Street.   If you want to listen for yourself, here is a link to one of the conversations.  http://www.bloomberg.com/...


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:19:54 AM PST

  •  Tipped because of HR abuse. (3+ / 0-)

    I do not see any reason to HR the diarist.

    Yes, there are changes that can be made but not structural changes. The problem is that the Republicans want to change it in such a way as to kill the program.

    The cap should be set to capture 90% of wages (as was intended, I believe) and should be indexed for inflation so that it goes up automatically.

    No changes should be made in the age of eligibility unless it would be possible to restore 65 as the age.

    The minimum benefit should be increased.

    You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

    by sewaneepat on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:22:53 AM PST

  •  I agree with you. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wdrath, Dr Swig Mcjigger

    "No cuts ever ever ever ever" is as much of a problem as "No tax raises ever ever ever ever".

    Both are childish attitudes that needed to be dropped if we are to ever have a hope of solving our countries problems.

    Be against DUMB cuts to SS, CUTS we get NOTHING for. But it's simply not even remotely helpful to be against ALL cuts.

    "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

    by Whimsical on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:32:49 AM PST

    •  How (0+ / 0-)

      old are you, if I may ask--good to get a feel for how long you've been paying anything into this Social Contract.

      It is time to #Occupy Media.

      by lunachickie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:39:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Im 53. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dr Swig Mcjigger

        And Ive been paying since I was 16. And Ive been decrying the part of the "progressive" movement that is rapidly becoming the leftist equivalent of the know-nothing Tea Party for about a decade.

        "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

        by Whimsical on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:42:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And are (14+ / 0-)

          you comfortably employed? I'm not. I'm 52, and I've been paying into it since I was 16, and I've been Bained 3 times in 35 years.   I've been underemployed for 3 years, taking a 50% pay cut from that of my third and final Bain-ing  to put a damned roof over my head and food on the table..

          Aspersions cast on those who wish that the government doesn't steal the only thing they have to look forward to in their old age--by suggesting they're equivalent to Tea Partiers--is pretty heartless.

          It is time to #Occupy Media.

          by lunachickie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:51:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And calling me heartless (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dr Swig Mcjigger

            only suggests you don't have an actual response to my point.

            The comparison is accurate.  Don't shoot the messenger.

            I'm sorry about your situation, I really am. But the "no cuts ever ever ever ever" mentality still needs to go if we're ever going to solve the problem.

            And just so you can't accuse me of dodging your question, yes, I have a job.  I like to think that I'm not a hypocrite; however, that my beliefs are not subject to my situation.

            "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

            by Whimsical on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:58:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I just responded to your point (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RenMin, trumpeter, fuzzyguy

              by saying "no cuts ever ever ever" and that mentality isn't going anywhere.

              There are well-documented ways to "solve" this "problem". Tomorrow. And until those are put on the table instead of CUTS, the only hypocrisy is pretending that Cuts Are The Only Way.

              I wouldn't call you a hypocrite by suggesting your beliefs aren't subject to your situation. But that tells me right there that you're well-enough off that you don't have to worry about Social Security at all. So I think the word "heartless" is pretty apropos.

              Well, unless you're not well-off financially. You never did answer that question.

              It is time to #Occupy Media.

              by lunachickie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:05:39 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You're quite mistaken -I'm not well off. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Dr Swig Mcjigger

                And neither is my CPA dad, who is in a nursing home paid for by SS/Medicare. And who considers the Democrats "damn fools" for not trading chained CPI for higher tax rates on the rich.

                And I'm not pretending that cuts are the ONLY way to solve the problem.  I'm just being realistic and pointing out that pretending that we should "never ever ever ever" make cuts is being unrealistic and wont solve the problem- at all.

                "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                by Whimsical on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:09:52 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Before I accept your argument (5+ / 0-)

              You must enlighten me: what is this "problem" that needs to be solved by "cuts"?

              "[W]e shall see the reign of witches pass over . . . and the people, recovering their true spirit, restore their government to its true principles." Jefferson

              by RenMin on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:45:28 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  You can't judge the progressive movement (0+ / 0-)

          just from what you see here on Dkos. Yeah, many here are unwilling to even consider the slightest changes in transfer payment programs, but they are not representative of all progressives. Bob Greenstein is an example of a truly progressive economist (as is Paul Krugman) who understand that these huge programs (SS and Medicare) are of course imperfect and that in order to ensure their sustainability we should always consider improvements to them. Which, of course, implies making changes. Those here who insist on no changes whatsoever are afraid of the slippery-slope, where in the end there are material benefit cuts that really hurt the needy. But the Democratic Party does not take extreme positions articulated here that seriously, so neither should you or I.

          •  Well, this is the thing that drives me up a wall. (0+ / 0-)

            I would LOVE if progressives were taken more seriously by the Democratic party.

            I am trying to get them to understand; however, that that will NOT happen as long as they cling to extreme, unhelpful positions like "No cuts ever ever ever ever".

            They just don't seem to get it. They continue to take positions and use electoral strategies that pretty much guarantee that no progress will be made, and then turn around and complain about how no progress is being made!

            Unless they change that, I truly see no hope for the future, so I guess I'll keep banging my head into that wall...

            "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

            by Whimsical on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:32:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh come on, you see "no hope for (0+ / 0-)

              the future" because some of this community says "never ever no cuts"?  I think you are overestimating the influence of the extreme left.

              •  We haven't had an extreme left (0+ / 0-)

                since McCarthy.

                No trade unionists, socialists, communists, or anarchists are ever allowed to talk at the Democratic Table.

                It is a rare day I see anything "extreme left" on this site in the way that tea partiers are "extreme right". The extreme right wasn't criminalized and stigmatized by our government in to nonexistence over the past 70 years. The extreme left on the other hand.....

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

      I agree with this actually.  There are times when taxes need to be raised just as there are times when government programs need to be managed and fixed.  Both the Democrats and the Republicans are wrong in making absolute statements about anything.

      For example, I am against war and I was against the war in Iraq from day one, but I do know there might be times where we must go to war.  I would never say there is never a good time to go to war, but I am certainly against war.  I wouldnt make a good politician because I cant make such absolute statements.

      I think we should just look at each situation as it comes and do what makes sense.  Not just sense in what it seems to us, but logical reasoned sense.  Was the war in Iraq logical?  No.  Was removing the start button from Windows 8 logical?  No.  Is fixing and managing things which have problems logical?  Yes

       

    •  "Never ever beat a child" is just the flip side (4+ / 0-)

      of "beat all children".

      Extremists.

      "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

      by JesseCW on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:35:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  spot on (0+ / 0-)

      It's ludicrous to suggest that the largest government program ever should never be changed in any way under any circumstances. That's a mirror image of Grover Norquist's "not a penny more in taxes, ever" pledge.

  •  I love my children and grandchildren, too (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenMin, Brown Thrasher, lunachickie

    but I'm perplexed by the people who are willing to rob  today's seniors to give the money to their own children and grandchildren. Most of today's Social Security recipients paid in to the program all (or most) of their working lives. The idea that SS benefits should be taken from seniors and reserved for your chidren and grandchildren, Michaelnodav, makes no sense to me. And, what kind of lesson are you trying to teach your children and grandchildren? That it's okay to rob old people? I, for one, don't want my grandchildren to have to live in a  society like that.

    If you're concerned about the financial future of your children and grandchildren, set up savings accounts for them, but don't expect to put someone else's money in those accounts. For your grandchildren, I would suggest 529 college plans.

    You could also devote some of your time and energy to supporting our country's public school system to help everyone's children and grandchildren move into the job market well equipped when their time comes.

    “Social Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or erasing or lowering the deficit.” -- Ronald Reagan, 1984 debate with Walter Mondale

    by RJDixon74135 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:42:12 AM PST

    •  Stealing from Seniors (0+ / 0-)

      "Stealing" is a concept where I overpower you and take money from your wallet.  I dont believe anyone is advocating overpowering Senior Citizens and taking their money.  

      I would advocate taking a look at ways to manage and change the system so there is not a huge problem later on.  At least studying the issue and developing ideas now would be a good idea.  

      I dont advocate ruling anything out just like I wouldnt advocate not raising taxes.

      •  Does a pickpocket "overwhelm" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        trumpeter, fuzzyguy, lunachickie

        you? Of course not...most stealing is done behind your back...

        Please focus your time on REAL problems.
        Advocate for more funding for schools, for more food stamps so people and children don't go to bed hungry.
        Advocate to stop these insane aggressive and illegal wars. Advocate to stop killing innocent women, children, men via evil drone attacks.
        Advocate to stop the Surveillance State that America has become and is not going to have a good outcome.
        Advocate to stop police from using illegal and dangerous crowd control to stifle legal civil disobedience guaranteed by the Constitution.
        Advocate to get corporate money out of the political arena.
        Advocate to pass a Constitutional amendment to end the corporations are persons bullshit.
        Advocate to your government to stop trashing the Constitutions

        These are REAL problems, SS is one of the most secure things we have, good until 2037 by any non-partisan account and NOT a problem...

        so why waste everybody's time on non-problems when there are so MANY REAL problems...

        The Universe is strange enough, you don't have to add hocus pocus

        by rsie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:55:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Wrong, brother. (4+ / 0-)

        "Where I overpower you and take money from your wallet" is strong-arm robbery. That's a type of stealing. There are others. Some steal at the point of a gun, some steal in the dead of night and some steal with a pencil.

        The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

        by Hillbilly Dem on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:00:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Then advocate that (0+ / 0-)

        on Redstate, where you'll surely be better-received.

         

        It is time to #Occupy Media.

        by lunachickie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:43:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm going to quote (5+ / 0-)

    a song quoting a great speech here for an analogy:

    "Until the philosophy that holds one race superior and another inferior
    is finally - and permanently - discredited, and abandoned...

    Until there are no longer first class or second class citizens of any nation

    Until the color of a man's skin
    is no more significant
    than the color of his eyes

    There's got to be war."

    Until there is REAL economic justice in this nation, there should be no cuts to social security, the people's pension, tolerated.

    Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

    by KibbutzAmiad on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:46:52 AM PST

  •  It was changed, back in 1983, (9+ / 0-)

    to adjust for the future retirement of the "Baby Boom" generation. This enabled the trust fund to build up a large surplus which was "borrowed by Congress to pay for any number of programs. When billionaires like Pete Peterson express their great concern over future solvency of the programs their real concern is cutting benefits so that their taxes aren't raised to pay back what was borrowed.

    "Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can't afford to double-down on trickle-down." Bill Clinton

    by irate on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:55:44 AM PST

  •  It's more like "75 years ago" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AaronInSanDiego, fuzzyguy

    And why does your  thinking  that it's "40+" instead,  matter ?   What's 30 years between friends ?

    Well ... it suggests you don't know the first thing about the history or the intent of the social security program ... however expert you may be in the civil engineering of roads.

    And you're not all that up to date on your Constitutional Law either ...  Oh, do look at the 14th Amendment:

    The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.
    And then, there IS the Presidential veto of legislation.

    But, leaving all that aside for the moment ... maybe a rethink of the Social Security System IS in order.

    It has the form it has because  of the  Red Scare, it was utterly impossible in 1935 to even suggest that the United States ought to enact a "Prussian Socialist"  style old age pension scheme.

    So, the program had to be sold as
    1) a "forced savings" program     (which it is not)
    2)  NOT NOT NOT a "welfare" program

    So we got this system where low wage workers,  those who will need the most in their retirement, get the least when they can no longer work.

    Personally, I think a re-think of SSI as a form of Destitution Insurance, funded from general tax revenues, which will actually support a former Walmart worker  in old age would be a good idea

    But because so many of the American people  are as thoughtless, as they are ignorant,  as they are selfish..

    "Better the Devil we know"

  •  Now isn't the time (6+ / 0-)

    We are in a political era that is defined by extremism with rabid conservatism mounting assaults on every social program, public education, unions and pretty much the entire government structure.
    There is no doubt that that improvements can be made to Social Security but this is such a toxic point in history that the best thing to do is wait.  
    Eventually cooler heads and a more thoughtful congress will evolve and can tackle these issues with the due diligence that intelligent people are capable of conducting.
    To open this Pandora's Box with this bunch of loonies running the House would be counterproductive at best and disastrous at worst.

  •  We did change Social Security (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW, Eyesbright, lunachickie

    At its inception, the payroll tax was something like 1%.  Now it's 5.5%.

    But, folks, we are making progress, the people who want to attack Social Security have given up on the "social security is insolvent" lie and are now trying to pin the deficit on it.

    The first major change I'd advocate to Social Security is to take it off the balance sheets of the main Federal budget and to adjust the payroll tax annually to ensure its continued solvency (we're talking about 0.25% to 0.5%).  This emphasizes the legal status of Social Security; it is just one more investor in Federal debt.

  •  Someone who says this (7+ / 0-)
    I dont speak in support or against any political party when I write this diary.  I speak as a matter of common sense.  If there is a problem, we should fix it now.
     on an unabashedly Democratic, even progressive (mostly) website doesn't get that being non-partisan is most definitely missing the point of this website. Frankly, I find this new user's running diaries (diary diarrhea, anyone?), mostly asking "ingenuous" questions or making hideously incorrect assumptions (I kid you not - a now deleted diary ruminating about Hillary Clinton's "failing health" due to her gaining weight from too much fast food while travelling*(!!!), somewhat odd, and certainly not up to the usual DK standards.

    Diarist would be well-advised to read more and write less, at least until s/he's a bit clearer of what this site is about.

    *I'm sure that HRC is not feted, wined and dined at state dinners all over the world with McDonald's or KFC fare.

    „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

    by translatorpro on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:52:00 AM PST

  •  HR'd repub talking points, (10+ / 0-)

    and because i'm tired of reading your asinine diaries.  

    "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

    by blueoregon on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:55:17 AM PST

  •  Fiscal discipline (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenMin
    Half of the debt is money lent from Social Security and in the event of a great panic Congress can legislate to forgive that debt.
    What "great panic"?     I don't see any "great panic"?   I see a country that put several wars on the credit cards, and would prefer not to have to pay it back.    We'd prefer to mug some old people and take their money, instead.   I see a country that wants to keep borrowing from children who are too young to say, "NO.  It's not fair for me to have to pay your debts".    A country that will do anything to get what it wants without having to pay for it.

    The money that was "lent", is money that was paid by young people who are now growing old.   They paid that money to help the elderly of their generation, based on a promise that, when they got old, they would be helped in the same way.

    WE are the people.   The people who lent that money are the same people who decide (vote), whether they are deserving of receiving the benefits now that they have paid their dues, or whether their children will have the same opportunities.   You are welcome to ask people if they are willing to give up their benefits after they have paid into the system for all these years.  

    Good luck with that.  I, for one, am not going to support that.    

    We borrowed money.  We have to pay it back.   We took people's money and gave them promises in return.  We have to keep those promises.

    Paying back debt is not a zero sum game.  Other ways of paying back debt is to quit piling on new debt, while growing our economy (so that our debt is a lesser proportion of our total wealth, and therefore more manageable) and making regular payments on old debt.  Another way, is to reroute existing revenue streams so that some of them pass through our government coffers, such as legalizing marijuana, and taking capital gains, and possibly taking a look at how corporations like Exxon, and individuals like Mitt Romney,  avoid paying taxes.    This only works, however, if we actually use those new revenue streams to pay off the existing debt.

    We can manage our existing debt, if we will just stop piling on new debt.  And, yes, that might mean more taxes.   That's life.  If you run up the credit cards, more has to come out of your pocket to pay the credit card bill.    

    Yes, systems need to be tweaked.   I will support sensible tweaks, but I don't feel that the problem is that social security had extra money several years ago to loan out.  SS seems to be doing well.  The problem is that our nation spent more than it had in its budget, year after year after year.   One problem in our government is the concept of "emergency spending".     There should be no "emergency spending".    We may not know the exact particulars of an emergency, but we can know that emergencies come with different price tags.  There is no reason that we can't plan for them, and have solutions in the can and ready to go, for funding emergencies of different fiscal proportions.    I'm fed up with the theory that we can't plan ahead for how we will fund disaster recovery, or even wars.

    When someone (or some nation) is not managing their finances responsibly, a one time fix does not work. Let's say that we did steal money from SS to fix our current debt.   Our nation spends like a drunken gambler.   That will just mean that the credit card has more room in the credit limit to run up MORE debt, and then we're in the same fix that we started with, and a gutted social security system.   I guarantee you that without real fiscal reform, that's exactly what would happen.    SS would be raided, and then we'd just run up the same debt and more, all over again.

    This is similar to having a teenager who ran up their credit card.  You pay it off, but don't take the credit card away, and six months later, they've run it up again.

    The only real answer is to STOP running up debt, and continue to slowly pay off our existing debt.  There are no cheap tricks and free rides.   We must make lasting, possibly painful changes to how we manage our finances.

    Social security has money in its budget.  That's not the problem.  The problem is that our government is not balancing its checkbook.

    •  The government (0+ / 0-)

      doesn't have to balance it's checkbook for precisely the reason that it is the "issuer" of currency. We are the "users" of currency and therefore can't print our own (well except for some who find out that is called counterfeiting). That's why we have to balance our checkbook, but the US Government does not. Hence the two can't be equated.

      The US govt cannot default on it's debt for the very reason that it just issues more currency. Hence, there is NO WAY the US can't default on it's debt. That is a complete lie propagated by the elites to make you think that we are in a big crisis...you know "Shock Doctrine" time...

      The way to get out of the recession is to create demand and the jobs will follow. The tax revenue will flow from that and we'll be in much better shape both economically and psychologically. The bankers are having $40 bln of toxic "assets" taken off their books by you and me each MONTH. Let's focus where the crimes are.

      The Universe is strange enough, you don't have to add hocus pocus

      by rsie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:50:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  check this interview out (0+ / 0-)

        by Harry Shearer interviewing Dr. Stephanie Kelton of the University of Missouri at Kansas City economics department...very lucid and logical...I think it's a must listen/read for anyone thinking that we and the gov't are alike with regards our budget constraints.

        Interview

        The Universe is strange enough, you don't have to add hocus pocus

        by rsie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 11:47:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  bullshit (0+ / 0-)

        The act of issuing currency devalues currency, so issuing more currency does NOT necessarily result in a repayment of our debts, particularly if those debts are to foreign parties and subject to exchange rates.

        Ask Greece.  They know.

  •  Because People Will Die Without It (7+ / 0-)

    I worked all my life. Social Security is all I have to live on. It is all my disabled brother has to live on. Without Social Security neither one of us will be able to survive. I am no longer able to work. He is no longer able to work. Why should we have to suffer after working hard all our lives because Republicans want to give more money to the rich? Why should Social Security NOT be touched because people will die without it! That's why!

    "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." Oscar Wilde

    by michelewln on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:14:13 AM PST

  •  Social Security (6+ / 0-)

    adds Nothing to the debt. It isn't even part of the debt. It is a separate fund. That you and I and your employer pay for.

    "My case is alter'd, I must work for my living." Moll Cut-Purse, The Roaring Girl - 1612, England's First Actress

    by theRoaringGirl on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:18:03 AM PST

  •  This is a troll diary (3+ / 0-)

    I would post a recipe, but it's not worth the time it would take to type one out.

    Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

    by Big River Bandido on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:27:21 AM PST

    •  Exactly. It takes hit-&-run cheap shots at the SOS (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      renzo capetti, lunachickie

      ...& follows it up saying that not nearly enough of my parents' generation are begging for change on America's street corners.

      This diarrhist should have taken this sludge to Redstate, a much better market for this brand of misanthropy.

      Remember Savita Halappanavar!

      by Brown Thrasher on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 11:24:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hmmm... (3+ / 0-)

      Maybe for 'diaries' like this one we should just stick to really simple ones, like...

      Ice Cubes:

      Put water in ice cube tray.
      Freeze.

      I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

      by trumpeter on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 12:03:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We'll have to be more explicit with this troll: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lunachickie
        Ice Cubes

            INGREDIENTS
                Kitchen
                Kitchen cabinet
                Cabinet door
                Kitchen counter
                Water source
                Water
                Ice cube tray
                Refrigerator with Freezer
                Freezer
                Freezer door

            INSTRUCTIONS
                Find the freezer.
                Find the freezer door.
                Open the freezer door.
                Find an empty ice cube tray.
                Take the ice cube tray out of the freezer.
                Close the freezer door.
                Find the kitchen counter.
                Place the tray on the counter.
                Find a water source.
                Pour enough water into the tray to fill each hole to the top.
                Find the refrigerator.
                Find the freezer.
                Open the freezer door.
                Place the tray inside the freezer.
                Close the freezer door.
                Wait until the water in the freezer becomes cold enough to become hard. (This is called "freezing".)

        Remember Savita Halappanavar!

        by Brown Thrasher on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 12:14:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  "Common sense" is wrong again (4+ / 0-)

    As is so often the case, when someone is ignorant about an issue he or she resorts to "common sense."  Common sense tells us that the world is flat and that the national economy is like a family sitting around the dinner table.

    If you are sincere and not a concern troll or right-wing provocateur, you need to read up on social security before pontificating about it.  Life expectancy is not appreciably longer, and the increase in life expectancy was built into the program's actuarial assumptions.  The people who designed social security were not stupid!

    Moreover, the retirement age has already been raised, gradually, for later baby-boomers and subsequent generations.

    I don't see any explanation in your diary of how social security is going to "destruct" [sic] the government.  Even if there were a shortfall -- which I believe is highly unlikely, assuming the economy gets back in shape -- it would not add to the deficit, as payments would be reduced to available funds.  And even based on the trustees' long-term projections (which are VERY conservative and, when you're talking about projections 75 years in the future, essentially meaningless) , taking the shortfall into account would still result in payments higher than they are now, in terms of real (not inflated) dollars.

    So please, again -- explain to me what you think the problem is.
     

    "[W]e shall see the reign of witches pass over . . . and the people, recovering their true spirit, restore their government to its true principles." Jefferson

    by RenMin on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:33:00 AM PST

  •  you're right... (0+ / 0-)

    ...many people are assuming that any changes to Social Security will be bad (probably because most of the proposed changes to Social Security over the past ten years or so have been not only bad, but atrociously bad).

    There are even folks on this site who deny that changes to Social Security are even necessary.

    Social Security, according to most experts, is solvent for quiet a while.

    The best thing we progressives could do would be to come to an agreement as to what changes are acceptable when changes are necessary to ensure the solvency of the program.

    To my way of thinking, there are two changes that we should be fighting for, neither of which harm those who rely on Social Security income for their very survival:
    a) Raise the cap on income that Social Security's taken out on (or, better yet, eliminate that cap altogether; currently, if memory serves correctly, it's about $106,000(?)). That means that all money earned by an individual above that...is not paying into the system.
    b) Means test the program even further (reduce benefits for those earning more than a million dollars of income per year, for instance).

    Those two changes alone would make the program solvent well into the next century, without harming benefits for those who rely on it the most.

    •  NO MEANS TESTING (6+ / 0-)

      SS isn't welfare it's insurance -- everybody pays their premiums, everybody collects their benefits. If you means test, you turn it into welfare, and if you think the Republicans are trying to destroy it now, they'll succeed eventually if means testing is allowed.

      •  that's the argument that (0+ / 0-)

        people have made since its inception. It seems like a specious argument to me. Social Security would still be an insurance policy, but with benefits reduced for those earning more than $1 million a year, which sounds very reasonable and fair. Everyone who has contributed into the program will still be benefiting.

        Republicans will not be able to get away with calling Social Security when the overwhelming majority of people receiving it will have...paid for those benefits themselves.

      •  Quite a number of Dems support (0+ / 0-)

        means-testing Social Security and/or Medicare.

        Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (SC) is one.  I'll post a video of him doing so, at a later date.  [Don't have time to locate it, tonight.]

        Now, I don't support any of the three major cuts proposed by the Bowles-Simpson Fiscal Commission.  

        My guess (and concern) is that the Administration will implement:  1) Chained CPI, 2) Means-Testing, and probably 3) Raise the FRA (Full Retirement Age) before the next presidential election rolls around.  And probably pass the legislation, before the mid-term elections.

        Bear in mind, the Administration, via President Obama's Chief-of-Staff, Jack Lew, has endorsed "the six pillars" of the Fiscal Commission's proposal, entitled The Moment Of Truth.

        Here's the link to The Moment Of Truth.  Please read it.

        [I no longer have access to the Financial Times video with Jack Lew and a reporter, since my subscription has lapsed.]

        Anyway, those of us who don't want to see draconian cuts to the social insurance programs, 'have our work cut out for us.'

        We need to keep the phone lines to the White House and Capitol Hill lit up for the next several months.  Don't you think?

        Mollie

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

        by musiccitymollie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:24:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Troll House Cookies (5+ / 0-)
    INGREDIENTS
    1 minced troll
    4 cups of stupid
    2 cups of distraction
    3 uneven tablespoons of illogic
    3 1/2 teaspoons of batshiddic insanity
    2 cups of water

    INSTRUCTIONS
    Gradually mix the distraction into the stupid until irritating to the taste.
    Add illogic & insanity in any order into the mix.
    Stir until the consistency is thick & insipid.
    Cut into silly, nonsensical dollops.
    Half-bake for a diary-length of time, adding water as needed to ensure that the mix remains well-hiderated.
    Serve one at a time until banned.

    Remember Savita Halappanavar!

    by Brown Thrasher on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 11:06:02 AM PST

  •  The people who want to "touch" Social Security (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trumpeter

    are equivalent to the people who want to "touch" your 6 year old child, and have the same interest in the well-being of Social Security recipients as those child molesters have in the well-being of your child.

    I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of them are in both groups of people.

    In Soviet Russia, you rob bank. In America, bank robs you.

    by badger on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 11:25:07 AM PST

  •  "Touching" social security (0+ / 0-)

    May not be for the worse (see the Begich proposal). What part of this is so difficult for people to understand?

    Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

    by MrAnon on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:13:54 PM PST

    •  Here's a way for you to understand it. (0+ / 0-)

      How many ways can you spell NO?

      It is time to #Occupy Media.

      by lunachickie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:49:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you even know what the Begich proposal is? (0+ / 0-)

        It EXPANDS Social Security benefits, and removes the payroll tax cap, making Social Security solvent for decades more to come.

        I wonder sometimes whether you people want Social Security to go insolvent 20 years from now.

        Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

        by MrAnon on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 12:23:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site