# Social Security reform...

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Undecided, Jan 17, 2005.

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## I...

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1. ### UndecidedBannedBanned

Messages:
4,731
Social Security the gift of government to the people, the safety net for the downtrodden, now the biggest reform in American history...but is it worth it? I think not:

A genius idea from the GOP to say the least, they lets face it represent the white upper income bracket, and they understand that if the United States' population as a whole were forced to invest their money in the markets it would be in their best interests to allow those outrageous tax cuts, to occur. It is a neo-liberalists dream, co-opt the population so they have to endorse economic policies which at the end of the day are counter-productive to their own economic well being. For example I were a Wal-Mart employee (like 1.5 million Americans), and had my savings in the Wal-Mart stock it would be logical for me to want my job to be terminanted if the store was losing money, and depressing the value of my portfolio. Also I would want a capital gains tax eliminated, which in turn decreases my medicare coverage, or other social services I would need that truly wealthy American's don't. That's the paradoxical relationship with the majority of working Americans. I don't object to mass ownership of companies, because I believe it does help with accountability, and with ppl power the companies may be forced to do things that it would rather not do. But stock price really dictates the decisions of business and investors, and the ultimate board of success or failure. Let's continue:

What? Is Bush creating another crisis? Yes he is, like Iraq Bush understands that the American people are still "liberal" in their views. Americans are still very much a New Deal country, because it was the New Deal that created that American we know today. If Bush went out and said to the American people "I am changing social security because I am a neo-liberal and want you to be in charge of your own financial future" I doubt many Americans would find that comforting. In order to change the system you have to rock its support, like Iraq the real reasons for invading were hidden from the public, so the real reasons (oil, Arab facade, PNAC) aren't told to the US, under the guise of WMD. This WMD is bankruptcy, the fear of a bankrupt Social Security system for the young has always been a concern, the oldest trick in the book, create fear. That's what this presidentcy has been about...creating fear. Fear that ppl of my generation will have nothing when we retire.But according to a report I read on the US long term budget deficits, the cost of Social Security will stabilize, and the big eater of tax revenue is Medicare, not Social Security...yet Bush seems to be reforming the wrong system. But here's the gem:

Isn't it amazing...but in reality to be fair to the Bush team I am thinking like a Keynesian (which I am), that the government finances are important, and that the government should provide care to the people. The Bush conception of a good system is one that disregards government and "enpowers" the people, which of course is hubris. What the Bush seems to want to do is to create a crisis in Social Security eventually so it must be reformed, or totally gotten rid of, which in turn lowers taxes for "everyone". More money in the people's pocket idea...but that is nonsense taking into consideration the deficits which are not going away and the debt load. According to the CATO institute the US will either have to double taxes, or cut spending in half to reach surplus in 2040, if not both for a earlier surplus. The US cannot be Argentina forever you know...

3. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

Messages:
37,142
Dishonest scare tactics are the standard of this administration. Indeed, there are times at which it seems to do nothing else:

WMD's that weren't, a people crying for democracy who apparently weren't the last time Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld dealt with them, and there's always that "al Qaeda connection" that is approximately akin to treating the Shah of Iran at an American hospital in 1979.

Professional economist and Bush critic Paul Krugman has hounded the Bush administration's attempt to frighten Americans about the state of social security:

In his December 9, 2004 article, Krugman asserts the Social Security crisis is "fake". At present, revenues from payroll taxes exceed the payout of benefits; this is a result of a tax increase recommended by Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. The Reagan-era tax hike, which hit middle- and lower-income families the hardest, and brought about despite a tax cut for the rich, has fueled Social Security decently in the meantime. Congressional Budget Office projections assert the trust fund will run out in 2052.

Donald Luskin, contributing editor to National Review Online and professional Krugman critic, rejects Krugman's arguments first by attacking the messenger, and then raising spurious arguments: "Only a liberal could argue that raising taxes by more than half a percent of GDP for 100 years is 'modest'." (NRO) At no time does Luskin discuss Bush tax cuts, or the financial costs of legacy wars of fancy. Luskin even dredges up a 2001 column in an attempt to show Krugman a hypocrite: "As Krugman Truth Squad member Jon Henke points out on the Q and O blog, Krugman himself once wrote in his Times column that 'There is a case for reforming Social Security; there is even a case for privatization'."

There's a "Krugman Truth Squad"? Really?

Nonetheless, the article in question, "2016 And All That", points out, "There is a case for reforming Social Security; there is even a case for privatization. But we can't have a meaningful debate about reform unless the parties to the debate are willing to discuss the issues honestly." (PKarchive.org)

Remember: there is a case that O.J. Simpson is guilty, and there is also a case that Scott Peterson is innocent. Neither of those "cases" change the reality.

In an article for The Economists' Voice (v.2, n.1; see TruthOut.org), Krugman offers a general overview of his take on Social Security.

Does any of this mean that there is not a crisis looming over Social Security?

The crisis is political, not financial. Conservative paranoia perceives a threat in anything "social". The only "social" ideas that seem to matter to conservatives have to do with the social propriety of white shoes after Labor Day. Other than that, "social" notions are anathema, and the Bush administration, facing an economy that depends on runaway consumer spending, needs to figure how to build some cash savings inside the U.S. Privatized Social Security accounts are one way. (see BostonGlobe.com, LATimes.com)

Remember: the true Social Security "crisis" is a political one. The financial crisis is a manufactured idea, a complex scare tactic that echoes Upton Sinclair: "It's hard to get a man to understand something when his salary ... depends on his not understanding it". (see TruthOut.org)

The Bush administration and its supporters--who are prepared to spend millions of dollars propagandizing the financial "crisis"--are simply banking on Americans responding to the scare tactic, and deciding the situation is too complex for anything other than a nod, a wink, and a "Sure, sounds good, George!"

It would seem that the resolution to the alleged financial crisis will cost more than the crisis itself. And the GOP intends to borrow its way out of the hole.

Ronald Reagan, who castigated liberals for what he considered unsound fiscal policy, is fortunate to be dead. After all, faced with the opportunity to hurt more Americans, but obliged to borrow potential trillions of dollars in order to do it, even the greatest actor in GOP history would risk fumbling his line and missing his mark. It's a hard choice, a tempting choice. But then again, that's why being president is hard work. It's not easy persuading people to see what's not really there.

That narrow excess should be supported by broad scarcity is long a principle of greedy government. Only in America, though, is a celebration of such excess so necessary in transcending the shadows of the past.

As Krugman noted in 2001, the case for reform or even privatization does exist. One wonders when the GOP and its paid shills will get around to making that case.

Maybe if the administration weren't so dedicated to the unnecessary and offensive blurring of fact and fiction, being president wouldn't seem quite as hard on George.
____________________

Notes:

Meyerson, Harold. "President of Fabricated Crises". Washington Post, January 12, 2005; page A21. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A2304-2005Jan11.html

Krugman, Paul. "Social Security crisis has been manufactured". DailyStar.com, December 9, 2004. See http://www.dailystar.com/dailystar/relatedarticles/51733.php

Luskin, Donald. "Social Security Subterfuge". NationalReview.com, December 9, 2004. See http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_luskin/kts200412090830.asp

Krugman, Paul. "2016 And All That". PKarchive.org, July 22, 2001. See http://www.pkarchive.org/column/72201.html

Krugman, Paul. "Confusions about Social Security". TruthOut.org, January, 2005. See http://www.truthout.org/docs_05/010305F.shtml

Lehigh, Scott. "A Bush binge for Social Security". Boston.com, December 1, 2004. See http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ed.../2004/12/01/a_bush_binge_for_social_security/

Brownstein, Ronald. "Bush May Be Borrowing Trouble With Social Security Plan". LATimes.com, December 20, 2004. See http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-outlook20dec20,1,7541413.column

Daugherty, William J. "Jimmy Carter and the 1979 Decision to Admit the Shah into the United States". AmericanDiplomacy.org, 2003. See http://www.unc.edu/depts/diplomat/archives_roll/2003_01-03/dauherty_shah/dauherty_p2.html

5. ### marvJust a dumb hillbilly...Registered Senior Member

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743
Your question is not quite complete. Is it, "I support reform" or is it "I disaprove reform"? Therefore, I didn't vote. But I would vote FOR reform.

But for me, I'm retired and already collect Social Security (in addition to my Federal pension) so whatever happens won't affect me.

But for future generations, as well as those in and now entering the workforce, SS has to be reformed. The SS system was originally nothing more than a pyramid scheme to collect votes for FDR for re-election. If memory serves me, the first recipient of SS actually never worked a day under the system. The early retirees were exempted from many of the requirements for entitlement. Ok, that was accepted.

The imbalance of worker to retiree has been recognized for a long time. So how has it been "corrected"? Why, to bring more "contributers" under the umbrella, of course. The military were added. Then the Federal civilian workforce as well. But there's a limit to these band-aids!

But there was one bright spot - a demonstration if you will. It's called FERS, or the Federal Employee Retirement System. It replaced the earlier Federal retirement system of CSRS, or Civil Service Retirement System. I was one of the last to retire under the old CSRS system in 1992. And in the decade after my discharge from the USAF, I also collected the necessary quarters for SS entitlement. Therefore, I collect both.

FERS offers a model for revising the SS system. Either all or the bulk into SS, with a small percentage available to put into pre-selected alternate investment plans.

FERS, for example, allowed either the full percentage to go toward SS or a small, selectable percentage up to 3%, to go into one of three different funds:
• All government securities,
• A mix of government securities and stock funds,
• Or all stock funds.
A co-worker who opted for the third option made out like a "Chinese bandit" in just a couple of years when he left for private industry and withdrew his contributions in a lump-sum.

The bottom line is that SS:
• Taxes MUST be increased, or
• Benefits MUST be reduced, or
• MUST be reformed.

7. ### UndecidedBannedBanned

Messages:
4,731
Your question is not quite complete. Is it, "I support reform" or is it "I disaprove reform"? Therefore, I didn't vote. But I would vote FOR reform.

I support reform, or disapprove…its not the most complex thing in the world.

But for future generations, as well as those in and now entering the workforce, SS has to be reformed.

Why? It seems to be working, not only is it making money for the government is fulfills its primary purpose. Reforming it would actually increase debt, destroy the inflows, and make the benefits almost useless for many people.

The imbalance of worker to retiree has been recognized for a long time. So how has it been "corrected"?

The problem of an imbalance never existed and still doesn’t exist, there are still more workers then retiree’s. But reforming the Social Security net wouldn’t solve this problem it would just transfer it, no matter what reform you do apart from restricting Social Security benefits this situation will stay stable. If you actually were to read my argumentation you would see that.

But there's a limit to these band-aids!

These “band-aids” are the fabric that links the government with society, this is the social contract. You pay taxes for a reason, so you can live a better life not to pay down the debt.

FERS offers a model for revising the SS system. Either all or the bulk into SS, with a small percentage available to put into pre-selected alternate investment plans.

But here we don’t seem to have these “pre-selected” the savings of these people are at the whims of the markets…this is not logical for millions of Americans.

The bottom line is that SS:
• Taxes MUST be increased,

• Actually the reason why taxes would be increased in the future has nothing to do with SS and all to do with the tax cuts this administration has created. If you read the article (which I am sure you haven’t), you would see that the SS is actually making money.

[*]Benefits MUST be reduced,

I don’t see why if the SS is making money…why are you buying the lie? This is a fabricated crisis, that is the whole point of this thread.

[*]MUST be reformed.

Neither of the above because its based on a lie, let’s not Iraq SS shall we..

8. ### marvJust a dumb hillbilly...Registered Senior Member

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743
Like I said, Undecided, I'm retired and collecting my Federal pension and my SS. I don't have to worry about anything except what to do in my spare time.

Your argument about SS being okay is a little like the guy who jumped off a twenty story building. As he passed the fifth floor, he thought to himself, "So far, so good."

Now you're still quite young and ought to worry - unless your parents left you a lot of mony.

9. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

Messages:
37,142
Marv, is the solution, then, to dig a really deep hole so instead of falling twenty stories, he falls forty, or even sixty? Is he any better off then?

10. ### marvJust a dumb hillbilly...Registered Senior Member

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743
tiassa, I don't think you quite got my analogy.

Undecided, it looks like you're not too concerned about what happens to you forty years from now. If you're comfortable with that, I am, too. Have a good day.

Incidently, SS is not a gift from the government to the people. It's a tax paid by an ever diminishing number of people to support other people who are always demanding more. Think about that.

11. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

Messages:
37,142
Then by all means take a moment to explain it. I think the question's apt, but if you don't want to be any more clear, that's about all there is.

12. ### marvJust a dumb hillbilly...Registered Senior Member

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743
It's an old joke made popular in a cartoon in Colliers magazine by Virgil Partch back in the fifties. The guy that so stupid as to jump off the top of the building against the advice of his friends is thinking that he is right as he passes the fifth floor. "After all," he thinks to himself, "Nothing bad has happened yet."

The operative word is YET. His problem is that if he hadn't left the twentieth floor, he wouldn't eventually hit the ground. BUT IT'S TOO LATE TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT!

That's the message.

13. ### NeildoGoneRegistered Senior Member

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5,306
I'm just wondering when this 2 trillion reform will happen. Before, or after, our Middle East crusade? Talk about breaking the bank.

- N

14. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

Messages:
37,142
I still hold that the question is apt.

Is the solution, then, to fall even farther?

(According to the above-cited page, getting the Wile E. Coyote treatment in the form of a 500-lb mortar landing atop you won't necessarily do you in.)

Two things spring to mind:

(1) The Simpsons, #3F16, "The Day the Violence Died":​

(2) Reproduction is a choice that should be undertaken at least somewhat responsibly; certes, my own daughter was unplanned, but my partner and I are stopping at one child. We're still -1 on the population curve, and not contributing to overpopulation.​

A third point that springs to mind is that we're constantly working on improving our standard of living, thus creating more revenue for Social Security.

The thing is that you presume the gentleman has already leapt.

If he waits long enough, W. & Co. will simply throw him over the edge.

I do get your point, but I just think it's misplaced.
____________________

Notes:

Free Fall Research Page. "Unlucky Skydivers". See http://www.greenharbor.com/fffolder/unlucky.html

Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. "Episode Guide - #3F16". SNPP.com. See http://www.snpp.com/episodes/3F16.html

15. ### marvJust a dumb hillbilly...Registered Senior Member

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743
The point I tried to make, while using a little humor, is that it's better to fix a problem that's been detected before it gets out of hand. With SS, the longer Congress waits, the more painful the correction will be. If they wait long enough, it won't be correctable at all. But then, Congress usually can't see beyond the next election cycle.

Like I said, I'm safe. Right now my Federal pension is about three times my SS benefit. Also, by the time the real crunch (assuming nothing is done to fix the system) comes around, I'll be long gone. So I could say, "I don't have a dog in this fight." But your daughter does, tiassa.

Standard of living? Just doesn't enter into the calculus. What does is the increasing longevity we enjoy coupled with a stagnant and/or decreasing age at retirement. Hell, I retired twelve years ago at the age of 54! If I live as long as my Dad did (91), or my Grandfather (90), which seems to be a good likelyhood, I'll have worked 36 years but I'll collect SS for 29 years (I started at age 62). Yet I only worked twelve years under SS from '62 to '74! My case might be an extreme example, but you can see the direction things are headed.

There are five solutions:
• Increase the ratio of workers paying into SS by raising the age at which retirees can begin to collect,
• Increase SS revenues by raising the salary cap on the tax,
• Increase the outflow of benefits by improving the yield within the "trust fund",
• Means test the benefits,
• Reduce the benefits.
"b" wouldn't help much because there just aren't enough "rich" people to pick up the slack; besides the middle class workers would be hurt the most. "d" might even be unconstitutional (equal protection clause). Congress would never go for "e" because retirees also vote. It's only problematical that "a" could be considered more than just another stop-gap solution. So on a pleasure/pain scale, I would vote for "c".

16. ### UndecidedBannedBanned

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4,731
Like I said, Undecided, I'm retired and collecting my Federal pension and my SS. I don't have to worry about anything except what to do in my spare time.

Imagine if your grandparents said the same thing about the Confederacy? Its not my problem it won't effect me, why should I care? You have a moral obligation to care for those people in the future, if you don't then you are not a moral being.

Your argument about SS being okay is a little like the guy who jumped off a twenty story building. As he passed the fifth floor, he thought to himself, "So far, so good."

Smiling like a gimp isn't answering any of my assertions, why is SS in this dire straits? You have yet to explain to anyone why its in so much trouble, frankly I don't see it. Does the SS system need reform...some sure, no system is perfect and good reform would do it some good, but this is logically not good at all.

Now you're still quite young and ought to worry - unless your parents left you a lot of mony.

I'm Canadian...this is ur children's problem...not mine.

Undecided, it looks like you're not too concerned about what happens to you forty years from now. If you're comfortable with that, I am, too. Have a good day.

If I am not worried what will happen in 40 years, the US will become as rich as Angola. Sure there are many vairbles btwn now and then, and all of them look pretty bad for the US economy, you may not care because you'll be dead by that point in time (one less mouth to feed thankfully) but I do care, and I care for the well being of the world economy. Anyways the economic bad news for your economy is going on right now...so you may have a little more life in you to see the worst.

Incidently, SS is not a gift from the government to the people. It's a tax paid by an ever diminishing number of people to support other people who are always demanding more. Think about that.

I don't have to think about the obvious Marv...that's for you to do. Why do I call it a gift? Because the government didn't have to do this, traditionally the government prior to the WWI did not care much if at all about the population, all it did was collect taxes, and fight wars. This is a gift from the government because it doesn't have to be there, and many paleo-conservatives would want it abolished anyways because it sucks so much money in taxes. But I think most Americans are wiling to be taxed so they have a safety net to fall back on.

The point I tried to make, while using a little humor, is that it's better to fix a problem that's been detected before it gets out of hand.

If you want to talk about a crisis that really exists then you should look into how much the US government spends on medicare. That is the real problem in the US, not only is the US medicare system overbloated its underperforming. Social Security in the future will not present a significant burden on the government, what will is medicare.

There are five solutions:

You forget the most potent...most logical...and most effective means...a budgetary surplus! What do you think Clinton's $5 trillion surpluses were supposed to be for? SS to support it, if it wasn't for the idiot of a president now who no matter what will retain this cannibalistic tax cuts, the US will not be able to afford anything, let alone SS. What do you need for a budgetary surplus, get rid of his tax cuts, bring them back to merely Clinton levels, and cut or freeze spending in all areas including the Sovietesqe military industrial complex. Last edited: Jan 18, 2005 17. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member Messages: 37,142 You know, Marv ... my daughter will also be responsible for helping pay down the trillions of dollars in debt. And given the conservative vision of wealth distribution, we have no reason to presume that Bush's plan will have any substantial effect other than lining Wall Street's pockets. To the other, we have every reason to presume that Bush's plan will, indeed, transfer more wealth out of the hands of those who need it and into the hands of those who don't. Think about the paradox of the ownership society: "You own it, and we tell you what to do with it." It's just everything conservatives complain about in liberalism disguised in sheep's clothing. As with employee benefits such as healthcare, retirement plans, and educational assistance, we see the capitalists drifting toward communism while scrambling for a way to hide the fact of what they're doing. Remember: Reagan cut income taxes for the wealthy, and then raised the payroll tax in order to hit up the middle class and working poor to cover the revenue loss. George W. Bush's tax cuts will cost Americans more money over the same period than the Social Security "crisis" Bush supporters fear. Once again, play to the wealthy, and ask the middle class and working poor to pick up the tab by diverting tax revenues. 18. ### marvJust a dumb hillbilly...Registered Senior Member Messages: 743 As a Canadian, Undecided, I don't see that you have much to offer other than verbage. tiassa, I take it from your posts that you're a liberal Democrat who's bought into this "class warfare" thing. When I retired, my pension income was under$18,000 and I paid over $500 in Federal and state income taxes. That was when Clinton was in. Last year, it was around$23,000 and I paid $81 Federal and$0 state. Yah! I guess I'm one of the "rich" who benefitted from Bush's "tax cut for the wealthy".

Here's the catch. The difference between the $500 and the$81 that was left in my pocket must of been squandered when it went back into the local economy via the grocery store, hardware store, gas station, etc. And the last time I looked, I wasn't living on Wall Street.

19. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

Messages:
37,142
Good for you, Marv. But that's a diversion.

It seems to me that you, too, wish to saddle my daughter with trillions of dollars in debt in order to dig a deeper hole in order to feel good that nothing bad has happened yet.

Rather hypocritical, then, for you to make that ad hominem (classic) appeal regarding my daughter. Maybe you'd like to throw her off the proverbial building, as well?

20. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

Messages:
37,142
Point, Counterpoint
American CEOs: U.S. lags behind; UK reporter says privatization "A bloody mess"

According to Bloomberg News,

Edward Kopko, chairman of Chief Executive magazine, said that CEOs feel that a "serious overhaul" of Social Security is "necessary to promote the creation of jobs and sustain economic growth".

While such a statement can hardly be construed in and of itself as an endorsement of the proposed Bush policy, few would argue that such a thunderously large federal program such as Social Security could not stand some tinkering and adjustment.

Nonetheless, Financial Times corporate reporter Norma Cohen writes for The American Prospect Online that Britain's privatization scheme has worked out well that many in the UK are looking upon American Social Security with envy:

Cohen writes that the Bush plan looks suspiciously akin to Margaret Thatcher's first-term plan that has since "led Britain to the brink of crisis". The basic pension has decreased, and is said to be the "stingiest state pension program" among the G8 nations. The growing consensus that reform is needed even reaches to British conservatives.

Additionally, the Confederation of British Industry has called for a more generous state retirement benefit, and even supports a tax increase to fund it. The CBI has also called for raising the retirement age.

The problem, writes Cohen, is that the costs and risks of running private investment accounts outweigh the value of the returns. "On average, fees and charges can reduce pension lump sums by up to 30 percent on retirement", a point acknowledged by the British "savings industry". (Is that an official industry classification?)

Now here's a kicker:

Cohen also discusses the history of pensions in Britain, attempting to explain the contextual subtleties of the British system. The modern period--for our purposes Thatcher on forward--is one that Cohen finds strikingly similar to the American debate: alarmist rhetoric, condemnation of the "nanny state", and even a shift from raising pensions with wages to inflation.

The state of things in Britain apparently indicates that a half-million people abandoned private pensions in 2004, with as many as a quarter-million expected in 2005. 2004 also saw the Association of British Insurers decide to not risk further charges of inappropriate sales pitches, and urged its member firms to advise those clients who took tax rebates to open private accounts that they might have made a bad choice. And, as mentioned, "even the U.K. version of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the idea of raising taxes to increase benefit levels".

Perhaps as the American debate goes forward, we will hear more from our CEOs about their preferred form of Social Security overhaul. But if we consider the British perspective offered by Ms. Cohen, we might pause before undertaking the simplistic presumption that reform must necessarily equal President Bush's plan.
____________________

Notes:

Bloomberg News. "Executives say Social Security needs overhaul". SeattlePI.com, January 19, 2005. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/208448_execpoll19.html

Cohen, Norma. "A Bloody Mess". The American Prospect Online. January 11, 2005. See http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=8997

21. ### UndecidedBannedBanned

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4,731
As a Canadian, Undecided, I don't see that you have much to offer other than verbage.

Is that ur rebuttal? Honestly although i may not be an American, I am affected directly by what your idiot president does, 80% of our trade is with you, and \$2trillion worth of debt will surely decrease aggregate demand in the US market. Maybe marv instead of being a blind nationalist, maybe you can with the young generation join in the Globalization movement and understand we are all interconnected, to think that the collapse of the Thai Baht in 1998 almost created a depression...think about that before you call me just a "disgrentled Canadian".

22. ### marvJust a dumb hillbilly...Registered Senior Member

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• Social Security was never intended or promoted as a "retirement" program,
• Over the decades, Social Security has been taken as a retirement program,
• Initially, there were 16-17 workers paying into the system and providing benefits for one retiree,
• Today, 2-3 workers pay into the system to provide benefits for one retiree,
• The Social Security Trust Fund pays around 2% in interest.
Do the math. A loaf of bread is the same for a retiree as it is for a worker. If more retirees demand the same relative amount from fewer workers, the tax on the worker goes up. The only offset is the savings and/or private retirement plans of the retiree.

One reality is that younger workers seldom exercise the discipline to regularily put something away in mutual funds, stocks, CD's or even a savings account. Another reality is that younger workers feel that immediate salary is more important than an employer's retirement or health plans and frequently change jobs based solely on salary while ignoring other considerations.

My reality is that my mutual fund investments paid around 8%. That's why I could retire at 54 to a home on a lake that was paid for. My SS benefit comes toward the end of the month in time for my VISA statement. So I'm doing good. But what about forty years from now. Will the ratio of worker to retiree be 1:1?

BTW tiassa, your argument of "...saddle my daughter with trillions of dollars in debt..." is an appeal to emotion, and doesn't cut it. She and her husband-to-be will probably spend more on your nursing home care than in Federal taxes.

23. ### shrubby pegasusRegistered Senior Member

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454
even with 2-3 people supporting each retiree that still leaves a surplus, which is what al gore was trying to say in the first election. unfortunately that surplus that has built up over the years has been constantly "borrowed"from by other parts of government and not paid back. if it wasnt for crap like that ss would be filthy rich. every article out there about ss that isnt fabricated by right wing talk radio or the bush administration will tell you that there is no threat or catastrophic problem emerging. it is a matter of simple math and if you analyze it there is no problem. also the issue is raised that with the baby boomers retiring a sudden massive influx into the program will occur and it will be nonsustainable. that is simply absurd. the conservative measurements say that the 2040 the surplus will need be tapped. that is no big deal. last time i checked people started to reproduce slower after the baby boomers. therefore this massive influx is just a short term anomaly and will correct itself with time. so once again there is no problem. ss is one of the greatest achievements of this country for its population. altering it will be a disaster.