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This is something Bush has gotten right-the need for social security reform NOW

  1. Nov 30, 2007 #1
    This is something Bush has gotten right--the need for social security reform NOW

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/social-security/

    I pretty much have to agree with a lot of Bush admin's stance on SS reform.


    What gives baby boomers the right to think that they can burden my generation (their own children) with SS? Why should my generation have to pay 50% more in tax in order for the government to be able to pay the SS benefits it promised or pay the same in SS tax now but take a 30% decrease in SS benefits in the future?

    SS taxes should be optional. Everyone should have the right to invest that money into a private account NOW.


    SS is going to need $27 trillion dollars in the future in order to stay afloat (which is over 2x's the US's entire GDP). There is absolutely no reason why my generation should be burdened with such a horrendous socialist program.
     
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  3. Dec 3, 2007 #2

    Gokul43201

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    I've never understood the problem with actually making it optional. Could someone expound on this?
     
  4. Dec 3, 2007 #3

    chemisttree

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    It's become a bad investment. Nobody that could afford it would pay into it and it would become just another welfare program with a huge debt.
     
  5. Dec 3, 2007 #4

    russ_watters

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    Since it requires more people to pay into it than are taking out of it, if someone opted out, there wouldn't be enough money to pay for someone who opted-in.

    Social Security is a pyramid scheme.
     
  6. Dec 3, 2007 #5

    turbo

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    The program could be fixed with incremental adjustments and means-testing, but nobody in Congress has the balls to touch it.

    I'm 55 and have been paying into SS since I was 14, and I paid the maximum amount for MANY years, including years when I was self-employed and paid all of it, not just half. I have been medically disabled and out of work for over two years now, and am wading through mountains of bureaucracy (with multiple denials and appeals) trying to get access to at least some of the money that I have paid in over the years. SS is a promise that can be kept without bankrupting the younger generations, if only they will have the guts to demand reform.

    As for privatization, Bush and his cohorts have been pushing this on behalf of all the investment bankers who will get insanely wealthy gutting the SS program of younger, healthier workers. The program can be saved with little pain, if you younger folks demand it of your congressional representatives. Hit the streets. Stage rallies. Shame them into it. Universities used to be breeding grounds for political action/dissent. What happened in the past 35-40 years?
     
  7. Dec 3, 2007 #6

    ShawnD

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    turbo, those hippy marches happened before you got 20 years in jail for being stoned. People are a bit scared of the government these days.
     
  8. Dec 3, 2007 #7

    turbo

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    I didn't suggest burning down the ROTC building. How radical can it be to ask kids in Economics and Business programs to put together public programs and rallies to advocate for reform?
     
  9. Dec 3, 2007 #8
    I tend to agree that we need a social security reform. Also, to the guy above who said it's a "pryramid scheme" I totally agree. What's funny is that the government has made pyramid schemes illegal because they say "it's too dangerous, and customers will get hurt." Yet, they go and set social security up on the exact same system.

    In fact, here's a quote from a government website:
    "Both Ponzi schemes and pyramids are quite seductive because they may be able to deliver a high rate of return to a few early investors for a short period of time. Yet, both pyramid and Ponzi schemes are illegal because they inevitably must fall apart. No program can recruit new members forever. Every pyramid or Ponzi scheme collapses because it cannot expand beyond the size of the earth's population. When the scheme collapses, most investors find themselves at the bottom, unable to recoup their losses."

    Here's the link in case you're interested.
    http://www.ftc.gov/speeches/other/dvimf16.shtm
     
  10. Dec 3, 2007 #9
    What if I want to hit the streets and say social security should be abolished? Social security was not meant to be a governmental retirement plan, but instead a social safety net. It's definitely not a social safety net, as it tends to redistribute wealth from the poor to the rich (because wealthy people tend to live longer and collect more benefits). I say, if people want to retire, then they should be forced to save and invest.
     
  11. Dec 3, 2007 #10

    mheslep

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    Here's your answer.
     
  12. Dec 3, 2007 #11

    ShawnD

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    I guess it's possible, but it would be hard to get everybody rallied together. The kind of young people who care about social security are the kinds that wear long sleeve button shirts with khakis. People who protest wear shorts, and the shirt is optional. Vietnam was different because hippies actually knew it was a problem. They might still think it's a problem, and as soon as that Nixon guy is out of office we'll be good to go (we need peace and bong smiley so bad).
     
  13. Dec 3, 2007 #12

    turbo

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    When I was at UMO, Spiro Agnew came to deliver a speech and "field some questions" from the audience. The Secret Service shut down access to the area of campus that he would fly into and get transported to the venue. I stayed in line a long time to get a ticket, and finally got one, only to find the venue packed with members of the Young Republicans. He said his bit, and took scripted softball questions only from the Young Republicans seated down front. There were no questions hostile to him and Nixon, so most of us rode it out in futility, trying to get recognized. People who did not take this quietly were forcibly removed from the auditorium by well-dressed football players with crew cuts.
     
  14. Dec 3, 2007 #13
    This is the typical scare tactic that organizations like AARP use. You know who will get insanely rich if SS were able to be diverted to personal investments? WORKERS. If someone who makes $45K a year invests about 6% of their income every year into 401 K, IRAs, etc. starting in their early to mid 20s, by the time they retire they will have close to $1 million dollars. Now what is mind blowing is the fact that we have to pay 7.6% to SS and your employer also matches that. Can you imagine how filthy rich the average joe would be if they were able to take that 15% and invest it themselves? SS is probably one of the worst run socialist programs in the world.


    Also did you know that the so called "social security surplus" doesn't even really exist? Congress has already spent it and replaced those funds with special non-marketable treasury bonds. That is nothing more than the government writing an IOU to itself! So once those bonds mature where is the government going to get the money to pay for it without A.) diverting massive amounts of money from governemnt programs like the military or homeland security B.) raising taxes or C.) cutting benefits?
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2007
  15. Dec 3, 2007 #14

    turbo

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    That's not a scare tactic. It is the truth. It's like health insurance. We could all have affordable health insurance like most of the industrialized countries, but the insurance companies get to pick and choose who they will cover, and leave at-risk or poorer people with little or no coverage, exposing them to bankruptcy at the onset of the first major illness, and pushing the cost of their care onto taxpayers. I have paid my own way all my life, and am acutely aware that changing the rules now to subvert the present SS system will make it impossible for me to recover any of the money that I have paid in. If you don't want to fix the system so that it continues to work (at least as a safety-net for disabled people and retirees), fine. You should be prepared to come up with a way to make the program solvent in the long-term because there are a lot of people that will have to be cheated otherwise.
     
  16. Dec 3, 2007 #15
    The upcoming problem with SS has been known for the past 20 years. Baby boomers have only themselves to blame for the problem because they are the ones who elected politicians who blatantly chose to ignore the problem.


    Solvent for who? Why should my generation bear the brunt of having to pay higher taxes or pay the same in taxes but have to take a 30% reduction in SS benefits when we get old all so that this current generation of geezers can mooch comfortably off the system?


    It will be impossible to make "incremental" and other small changes to keep SS afloat when the SS administration expect to pay out over 27 trillion dollars over the next 60 years in SS benefits. MASSIVE reform is needed promptly.
     
  17. Dec 3, 2007 #16

    turbo

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    Please do some research, including Googling on "Social Security Reform" and pay attention where the links lead you, so you can weigh their opinions. Small incremental adjustments can keep SS solvent.

    There is no crisis, though investment bankers, CPAs and others who benefit from selling investment products are claiming this, salivating at the thought of putting trillions of dollars in play.

    I have NO chance of ever recovering the money that I have paid into SS over the years. None. Nonetheless, the SS program is something that helps keep people out of financial ruin, though it cannot keep the elderly out of poverty, as the costs of food, fuel, and medicine skyrocket. I'm glad that my father and my mother-in-law have their little checks coming in monthly. They watch their thermostats, scrimp on expenses, and make do as much as possible. We help with home-cooked foods, canned and frozen foods from our garden, etc, but they don't have it easy. You're going to get old someday, and there is a chance that you may be medically disabled before you are old enough to qualify for that thin safety-net.
     
  18. Dec 3, 2007 #17
    You complain about having "no chance of ever recovering the money that I have paid into SS" but my generation's chances of recovering our SS tax are even worse than yours!!! Where is the fairness in that?

    Please do some research on how SS is really funded. Do research on how SS is really only backed by government IOUs, not tangible funds. Please explain how the government is supposed to pay the interest+principal on the special bonds it put into covering the "SS surplus" when they mature and ON TOP OF THAT how the government will pay for SS benefits all while the worker to retiree ratio sinks even further.

    You seem to think that only bankers will benefit from privatization of SS. This is a completely skewed view. If the average person were able to take the 15% that is paid in SS taxes for them, and instead invest it themselves, they would be able millionaires by the time they retired.
     
  19. Dec 3, 2007 #18

    JasonRox

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    The general baby boomer is not medically disabled, so let's not assume so. For that case, we can just use their part of SS and so on, to take care of them separately.

    For all other baby boomers, well they ****ed over the new generation time and time again. From what I learned in history (the books I read), the baby boomers are amongst the most spoiled generations who ever lived!
     
  20. Dec 3, 2007 #19

    turbo

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    This baby boomer worked part-time as much as possible as a child to save for college (shoveling snow, raking leaves, paper routes), and full-time all summers from age 14 and onward, and paid most of his own way through university. Did you do that? Did any participant in this thread do that? My wife and I have a little log house on 8-9 acres and we drive used vehicles. We do not take cruises or spend on things like flat-screen TVs and we don't even have a cell phone, cable etc. Spoiled? We are probably the most conservative and financially-disciplined people that you would ever meet. The generalizations that you and gravenewworld toss around with such abandon are baseless. Most of us boomers (at least in my experience) grew up in big families in which there was one post-war wage-earner (father) earning modest wages, so we had to buckle down and earn our own ways. Yes, I had a few classmates whose parents bought them a car or paid their way to college, but they were the exception, not the rule. I never had a summer off since age 14, when I started maintaining the town's cemetery (I replaced 3 previous employees) and I worked there after school and on weekends in the spring and fall. I worked there, took additional work as a firefighter with the Maine Forestry Service, and when I was old enough, I started working construction, and finally at 18, I could get hired by mills with machinery. You might claim that I have screwed the X-generation. Perhaps I have provided them with an example that they are unwilling to emulate.
     
  21. Dec 3, 2007 #20


    Puhhhleeeeasee. Old people always like to call younger generations lazy. You want to know hardship? Talk to the someone from the Greatest Generation who lived through the Great Depression and sacrificed for World War II. I'm sorry but your story isn't bringing tears to my eye or impressing me by "how hard you worked". I'm not trying to be a jerk, but the fact of the matter remains SS will screw today's younger generation if the government pays out the benefits it promised to Baby Boomers. Nothing, absolutely nothing, gives the Baby Boomers the right to burden my generation with having to pay higher tax or take benefit cuts in order to pay for SS for BB. The only thing guaranteed in life are death and taxes. SS is not a guarantee and neither is health care through an employer. How would you feel if you had to take a 30% decrease in benefits when you become eligible for SS? Wouldn't like it? Well then why should my generation have to take a reduction in benefits and pay the same, if not more, in SS taxes?
     
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