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What has amazed me through all the bickering is how some of the most basic inequalities are overlooked. There is an obvious movement to "reform" SS in relation to retirement benefits. There are continued warnings about the solvency of the program going forward. Yet one of the largest breaks the wealthy get is a 6.2% break the rest of the income classes never get to realize. The wealthy don't pay a penny more in SS taxes over their first 108,000 of income. Yes, that cap keeps getting raised, but the bottom line point is being missed. Those of the wealthy that derive their income strictly from capital gains and dividends pay no SS taxes whatsoever. The bottom line is that the wealthy who control such a significant percentage of the entire country's wealth and markets are way off in paying a fair share of SS taxes in relation to the population that supports their income production.
Do the wealthy not make their earnings off the back of the classes below them in one form or another?
SS retirement benefits should not be on the cutting block, more support by the very affluent to take care of those who have contributed to their stature should be taking place. People will ask, "Why should the wealthy pay more into a program they will never need?" These are people who have no appreciation of anyone but themselves and don't care where their money comes from, they just know it's there.
Sure, there is waste and fraud in the program and those issues need to be addressed very badly. BUT, keeping a cap on SS taxes is in my opinion one of the most elitist policies in government.
Yep, this would bump my taxes considerably, but I guess I'm one of a very rare breed...
After watching the election Nov 6, it should be very clear that that we have a divided nation over these very issues and I do not see it getting any better in the near future. Although I am a strong Republican, I believe in raising the taxes for the rich, but like some of the posts, I believe that the the poor should contribute something-maybe 2% or whatever. If we want to be a whole nation, we should all have skin in the game. If you believe in redistribution of the wealth, and a divided nation wait, you will have your chance to contribute to this endeavor sooner than you think.
The AGNC message board has always been one of my favorites due to some very intelligent people posting excellent recipes for improving your wealth. However, as with some of the other boards, politics has become a greater concern on this board as well.LOL
I was a devout Republican years and years ago, but went Independent and have never been sorry I did. I agree with Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and with the T party. I disagree with the Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and with the T party. I challenge anyone...ANYONE... to take the GOOD points and policies EACH party makes and combine them into one centrist platform. Naaa....too %$#% logical....
In a working society there has to be a relative balance to retain the good of the society as a whole. Redistribution TO A MINOR DEGREE is a necessary evil when money pool imbalances attain unsustainable ratios, albeit deemed as temporary. Calling it redistribution, socialism, or class warfare is a total exaggeration of the root problems. Letting something expire in times like these that was originally written to expire because it was intended to be temporary does not seem like any kind of loss to me. But at the same time I don't want to see increased revenue used to produce "free rides" and bribe well-to-do countries either among other things....
This is a lot more than I normally say about politics.... I think I'm getting the flu. ;o)
Currently SS is not self sustaining. By that I mean that SS does not take in enough to allow it to pay out all the benefits that are coming due. The reason the SS program fell into this situation was because for many years SS was taking in more money than they could spend so law breakers decided it was OK to up the benefits. That's not the case anymore. And had their never been a SS surplus in the past then law makers never would have boosted benefits to what they are today and we would not be in this mess because we would already be of the mindset that we were going to get less. So we either increase SS taxes or reduce SS benefits. I'm OK with either approach. However it they up SS tax and keep benefits the same they will never make up for the fact that the baby boomers got a free ride where they paid less into a fund than they will get out in return. That bridge has been crossed. Or we could simply give baby boomers what they paid in which I suspect is about 3/4 of what they are projected to get today. Since I am retiring soon I would opt for them keeping benefits the same however I cannot object with a clear conscious if they decide to cut my benefits as I never paid for what I'm projected to get. That extra 1/4 is a freebie as far as I’m concerned.
If they decide to cut SS benefits then I will probably work about another 3 to 4 years to make up for the money that I won’t get. I don’t want to do that. But then, how can I ethically object when I never paid for those benefits to begin with? Do I just say screw our children and grand children and force them to do for us what we were not willing to do for ourselves if they are inclined not to? Maybe some of you can do that in clear conscious but I cannot. It is too engrained into my moral fiber to not impose on others a cost for me that I did not pay for. I just can’t go there. I think our children and grand children deserve to have as much of a chance to live as a good of a life as we had and not be saddled with the burdens of our mistakes if they don’t want to be. Personally, I would be fine if they keep SS the same but I wish they could make it a special election where only the younger people who will be paying for us would be allowed to vote on it as they will be the ones getting screwed in the end. If they decide then so be it. If not then I’m fine with that. I won’t like it but at least I can feel good that I didn’t give anyone the shaft no matter how it goes. But alas that is not how things are done and I’m sure the decision will be made mostly by selfish self centered greedy people as it always has been before.
In a way I’m glad I was born in my generation because I would hate to have what is getting done to the next generation by our generation. They are getting screwed big time by us. And it’s not because the rich are not paying their fair share. The SS system is not part of the general fund and it is paid for by each worker. The rich have nothing to do with this situation.
Probably the fairest thing to do that will force baby boomers to get the same as everyone else is going to get is to increase the age at which you can start getting benefits. Then no one gets screwed and no one gets over on anyone. Problem solved. But if our kids want to give us a feebie I’ll take it, so long as they are willing. But I doubt that is how it will play out. They won’t have a choice because older people will ram it down their throats because they will only think of themselves. But of course they will use catch phrases that sound anything like that in an attempt to get allies to their cause.
Well said Eagle. I agree with almost everything you posted and have proposed similar legislation for years...obviously to no avail...;-) I would add to your excellent post that SS benefits on the other end(distribution), should be means tested.
Why should my brother(I used this example before), who makes 100k/month in retirement(really), receive SS benefits? My conservative friends(I consider myself a recovering conservative) say I am wrong and that since he paid into the system, those benefits are rightfully his. That is true in the strictest sense of "rightfully".
They fail to appreciate that the purpose of SS was to support those who did not have sufficient "means" to support themselves at retirement. I look at the "Insurance" side of SS as just that..term life insurance.
Well, congrats to my brother. He didn't die and the "term" expired at retirement on the insurance policy and the "term" expired also on his SS contributions(premiums), because he does not need the "safety" net that his premiums paid toward.
I like this concept. It is easier, IMO, for my stricter conservative friends to swallow, rather than to say he "owes" his benefits to those less fortunate. Why does that idea carry such a bitter taste? Oh, well...So I pkg my discussions with my friends in light of this "insurance" analogy, as everyone(well...) understands the whole term life insurance idea.
Just saying...life is compromise...would you keep taking your car back for the same problem to get fixed , to the same mechanic, if it never got fixed? Let's fix what is broke(SS) and give and take. If not, can we start over with a new mechanic (Congress..both sides)?