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Why does the Government want to destroy Social Security?

atomikmom 2010/09/04 22:31:54
Leave our Social Security alone!!! we , the seniors, diabled and future generation.
We Americans work hard for this and it is ours Don't mess with our money we protect what is ours.
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Social Security Under Assault



This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Social Security Act, and despite its standing as arguably the most successful social program in the country's history, Social Security has come under assault from a variety of Republican lawmakers and candidates. In his "Roadmap for America's Future," Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the
ranking member on the House Budget Committee, suggested privatizing the program, along the lines of the plan proposed by former President Bush in 2005. Florida's Republican Senate nominee Marco Rubio has said "proposals that have to be talked
about
" include raising the retirement age and cutting benefits for younger workers. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said she simply wants to "wean everybody off" Social Security, while Nevada's Republican senate nominee Sharron Angle has called for it to be "phased out." Those launching the assault on Social Security are
attempting to use the nation's budget deficit as an excuse to justify their desire to cut it. In fact, Alan Simpson, the Republican co-chair of President Obama's deficit commission, likened the program to "a milk cow with 310 million tits." But the arguments conservatives put forth for radically remaking a program that millions of Americans depend on are incredibly thin, especially
given Social Security's relatively sound fiscal condition, which ensures its availability for decades. Here is a rundown of the three conservative views for reforming Social Security and why they all fail to pass the laugh test.



THE CUTTERS:
Simpson and Rubio's argument that either the retirement age needs to be increased or benefits for future workers must be cut relies on the false claim that Social Security will, as Simpson claims, "go broke in the year 2037." In fact, Social Security is currently running a surplus and has built up a trust fund of $2.6 trillion. Because of this fund, according to the latest report from the Social Security Trustees, the program will be able to pay full benefits until 2037 -- and 75 percent of benefits for decades after that, which is very close to current benefit levels when adjusted for inflation -- with no modification at all. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
noted, "Alarmists who claim that Social Security won't be around when today's young workers retire either misunderstand or misrepresent the projections." In fact, the long-term gap between Social Security's revenue intake and benefits amounts to 0.7 percent of GDP, which "roughly matches the revenue loss over the
next 75 years from extending the Bush tax cuts for people making over $250,000." So as the Center noted, lawmakers "cannot simultaneously claim that the tax cuts for the richest 2 percent of Americans are affordable while the Social Security shortfall constitutes a dire fiscal threat." Plus, as Economic Policy Institute economist Monique Morrissey
explained, "When it comes to Social Security, Americans overwhelmingly prefer tax increases to benefit cuts -- even stealth cuts like raising the normal retirement age...But most of the gap can be closed without raising taxes on ordinary workers -- just those with earnings above the taxable earnings cap of $106,800."



THE PRIVATIZERS: Ryan, Pennsylvania's Republican senate candidate Pat Toomey, and Kentucky's Republican senate candidate Rand Paul have all expressed sympathy with the notion of privatizing at least a portion of Social Security, with Paul saying, "let young working
people opt out, the sooner the better. Let 'em opt out and get a better investment." Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) has also said that he'd like to revive President Bush's social security privatization plan. But the financial market meltdown of 2008 provides a warning to those pushing for privatized accounts.
According to an analysis by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, under a Bush-style privatization plan, an October 2008 retiree would have lost $26,000 in the market plunge of that year. In fact, because the economic crisis of 2008 did so much damage to both home prices and 401(k)-type accounts, "the huge cohort of baby boomers that is approaching retirement will be more dependent on Social Security than their predecessors." As the Center for Economic and Policy Research found, "The median household in the age cohorts from 55 to 64 has just $170,000 in total wealth, including equity in their home. Since this is roughly equal to the price of the median home, this means that they could fully pay off a mortgage and then would
have nothing other than their Social Security to support them in retirement." Paul's opt-out plan, meanwhile, would cause the system to simply collapse, like any insurance program without a steady revenue stream.



THE TENTHERS: Finally, there are those like Alaska's Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller or Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ) who simply seem to believe that Social Security is unconstitutional -- as it is not explicitly authorized in the Constitution -- and therefore want to eliminate it altogether. "For too long, the federal government has acted without constitutional restraint. In doing so, it has created ineffective and costly programs and massive deficits year after year," Shadegg said. But as the Wonk Room's Ian Millhiser pointed out, "The Constitution gives Congress the power 'to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,' thus empowering the
federal government to levy taxes and leverage these revenues to benefit the American people." And Social Security undeniably benefits the American people. According to the latest data available from the Census Bureau, 13 million seniors are kept out of poverty due to Social
Security
. In fact, "without Social Security, the poverty rate for those aged 65 and over would exceed 40 percent in 42 states." Social Security makes up a majority of income for more than half of the seniors in the country, and is particularly important for African-Americans and Hispanic
seniors, representing at least 90 percent of income for about one-third of both populations.

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  • Matt 2010/09/04 22:37:09 (edited)
    Leave our Social Security alone!!! we , the seniors, diabled and future gener...
    Matt
    +3
    The social security trust fund is an incredible amount of money ! (or should be) Privatizing it would enable its handlers to push the world's economy around even more without risking a penny of their own ! Don't think that the demoncrats don't want to do it too ! They just privatized Medicare ! Social Security is the only asset talking point that they have in the next election !

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  • Conservative in California 2010/09/05 03:13:25
    We Americans work hard for this and it is ours Don't mess with our money we p...
    Conservative in California
    +1
    Social Security and Medicare are blatantly unConstitutional. They are socialistic programs. The Federal government has no authority to do either. If Obamacare is struck down, both programs could be next.

    Can't wait!

    They are both insolvent in the tens of trillions of dollars. Yet statists call this a success.
  • T Conserv... 2010/09/05 04:25:49
    T
    +1
    Please....we're not going to put the elderly out into the streets! So grandma and grandpa can go live in the neighborhood park and if they get a catastrophic medical condition...oh well! Give me a break! That'll never happen.
  • Conserv... T 2010/09/05 04:28:59
    Conservative in California
    +1
    what if all Americans paid 10% taxes and corporations paid none? Everyone would pay their fair share, be able to improve their lot in life, and charity would be massive and widespread. Not to mention that with such low taxes and government out of the way, healthcare would be massively improved and hugely reduced in price thanks to the free market.
  • T Conserv... 2010/09/05 04:51:18
    T
    First, why do you want to let corporations off the hook? Corporations are given huge subsidies in agriculture, huge tax breaks for sending our jobs overseas, monstrous tax incentives and research funding for developing new products; and when we say, "Hey how about throwing back some of that money you've been given." We're told that that would be socialism! Sir, we do not and have not operated under Adam Smith's Classical Economies, for quite some time.

    Secondly, you cannot assume that charity (although the American people are charitable) would be widespread and massive. That is a very big assumption.
  • Conserv... T 2010/09/05 04:57:25
    Conservative in California
    +1
    all subsidies should be eliminated. That's called the free market. Subsidies and regulations are the result when big corporations get in bed with big government and big labor. It's called corporatism or crony capitalism.

    Free markets are the solution. Central Planning has proven yet again to be a complete and utter disaster.

    Based on the entire history of America, but most especially the Guilded Age of the Robber Barons, but also today with Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, the wealthiest of society have always proven to be the most charitable. Furthermore, anytime there is a disaster anywhere in the world, the American People have given more of their own money than any government in the entire world including the US government. We are the most charitable nation on Earth. Why would our Christian charity disappear if taxes were reduced massively? They would most certainly increase many times over.
  • T Conserv... 2010/09/05 05:35:41
    T
    Central planning is working quite well in China! I'm not suggesting that we should become completely socialist, but I see that government has far more responsibilities to its citizens today than it did during Adam Smith's day. Classical economics, that is free market economies, was based on 18th century thinking and 18th century economic environments. I don't believe Adam Smith could have even conceived of the types of financial instruments we encounter today. Adam Smith did not account for price product dumping and speculation in the market. Even Mr. Greenspan, the so-called Wizard of Wall Street, when asked by Congress if he was wrong about the need for regulation in the economy (2008) said, "I was wrong."
  • Conserv... T 2010/09/05 05:47:43
    Conservative in California
    Central Planning absolutely failed in China, USSR, North Korea, and Cuba. China has only become successful since the 1970's because they have introduced free market reforms.

    Given that regulations and Central Planning caused and prolonged until 1946, the Great Depression (Federal Reserve, Hawley-Smoot tariff, massive taxes, government agencies, regulations, and pro-union laws), and caused and prolonged the current financial crisis (CRA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, pressure to give loans to poor based on skin color not financial qualifications, then bailouts, stimulus, massive new regulations and laws in Obamacare and FinReg), I'd say that it's not the free market that is the enemy of the economy, it is most definitely government regulation and Central Planning.
  • T Conserv... 2010/09/05 06:25:21
    T
    I'm not saying that some of the current financial crisis wasn't based in the camps of some of those agencies you have listed; but you conveniently leave out Wall Street's MAJOR part in this recessionary economy. Sir we still are complaining to China about opening their markets. Cuba? You and I both know that we refuse to trade with them. You know that if we traded with Cuba, like we trade with China, Cuba would flourish and they would not need to have a form of democracy in government! Be honest. Again, probably the most anti-regulation Federal Reserve Chairman this country has ever had--Allen Greenspan--stated to Congress, "I was wrong." He thought that the less regulation there is the better! He said he was wrong! Glass-Steagle kept commercial banks and investment banks separate from the time of the Great Depression. Greenspan wanted it out and he promoted its demise; and all hell broke loose. We operate in a mixed economy sir. This is not the 18th century.
  • Conserv... T 2010/09/05 06:32:49
    Conservative in California
    Wall Street capitalists took advantage of the rules created by the CRA, Fannie, Freddie, and Democrats pushing for lower lending standards never seen before in the history of America.

    Wall Street played a part in the collapse, but the ROOT CAUSE of the entire crisis was created by the Central Planners in the Federal Government who thought they could give a home to all Americans.

    Under the free market, the collapse never would have happened, because lenders never would have ever given so many loans to so many unqualified borrowers. The only reason they did so was because Fannie and Freddie promised that they would purchase such loans in the secondary mortgage market.
  • T Conserv... 2010/09/05 07:06:44
    T
    What about Glass-Steagall? What about Allen Greenspan? You should love him! Greenspan stated numerous times, "I've never met a regulation I liked." Later, (2008) a whole different attitude.
  • T Conserv... 2010/09/05 07:19:50
    T
    My friend who works in insurance brings in a little over a million dollars a year after taxes. He hates Obama! But even he says removing Glass-Steagall was a big mistake! George W. Bush stated with pride (I might add), "Because of my administration's economic policies, today, almost all Americans who want a house of their own, can afford one." How many of those Wall Street thieves have gone to jail? I'm talking about those who made damn sure that the ratings for those mortgages wrapped up in derivatives were AAA golden! I' m not saying that you are completely wrong about the policies of some of the federal agencies; but you seem to me to be far more lenient with those on Wall Street. I'm not sir--not at all! A pox on all of their houses! I'm TR! I've got a BIG stick and I'm ready to use it!
  • atomikmom Conserv... 2010/09/05 18:42:24
    atomikmom
    Are you a member of a known corporation is that why you want them to get off Scott Free!!!!? they should be the ones paying , not the little man.
  • Conserv... atomikmom 2010/09/06 03:08:07
    Conservative in California
    corporations already get taxed twice.
  • atomikmom T 2010/09/05 18:40:15
    atomikmom
    Thank you!!!! That's right!!!!
  • T Conserv... 2010/09/05 04:39:27
    T
    I was a member of the most socialistic program in the United States--the U.S. Military. The military is a socialist organization. "Each according to his needs...etc." I didn't get to take a vote on whether or not I was going outside the wire! The U.S. Military is the largest socialist organization in the U.S. We have a mixed economy sir. Some things are purely capitalistic and some are not.
  • Conserv... T 2010/09/05 04:45:53
    Conservative in California
    nobody said government wasn't a necessary evil. A strong military and defense from without is an absolute necessity of any sovereign nation. That is why the military is a right given to the federal government by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution.
  • T Conserv... 2010/09/05 05:17:19
    T
    Agreed! But, as our population has increased and our responsibilities to our allies abroad have increased, we have evolved into a democratic republic with socialist requirements toward our citizens, our allies and the world. China, is reaping the benefits of capitalism. I think their GDP is around 8% or so right now. Yet they definitely have a socialist government. We've been asking China to fully open their markets for years....and the response? My point is that George Washington himself said in his farewell address,"do not engage in foreign alliances..." In today's world that is not possible! Isolationism today is death. Read "The World is Flat." Free markets are not "free" around the world and probably never will be.

    As far as your 10% tax rate for everyone (or flat tax--right?) there is one big problem with this--what to do with the poor, disabled and the destitute who don't pay taxes--remember, no more social security, medicare, etc...etc...and on top of that, we have unskilled labor flooding across our borders daily. What do we do with them?
  • Conserv... T 2010/09/05 05:26:19
    Conservative in California
    we have most certainly not "evolved into a democratic republic with socialist requirements toward our citizens." Read the Constititution. If one of the 17 enumerated rights is not listed in Art. I., Section 8, the federal government has no authority to regulate. The Constitution and Founding Fathers were quite clear in plain English on this point.

    How dare you suggest that the Constitution should be dismissed to deprive Americans of liberty and freedom and the free market for empty promises of entitlements that can never be fulfilled by Central Planners and will bankrupt America! That is utterly disgraceful.
  • T Conserv... 2010/09/05 06:05:26
    T
    No it is not disgraceful. What is disgraceful is the millions of people who will be in the streets and destitute because people are people sir. My favorite President is Theodore Roosevelt--"Speak softly and carry a BIG stick." he walked the street of New York city, as governor, and found the hopeless and destitute; and he made a vow to himself to change for the better the American way of life. TR didn't say, "Charge!" He said, "Follow Me!" By the way, TR was walking those streets before the 16th Amendment (income tax) and the Robber Barons had all the money in the world. The Constitution has been amended 27 times sir. Using your logic, we don't need an FDA and Glass-Steagle was a waste of time! Sir you vote for a representative who, in turn, votes for you (and you hope) your interests in Congress. That is the definition of a REPUBLIC!!!! Repeat after me....I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America...and to the REPUBLIC....for which it stands....one nation....under GOD....indivisible ...with Liberty and Justice for all! Your Free Market has not been FREE for quite some time sir; and yes we are a democratic/representative republic!
  • Conserv... T 2010/09/05 06:27:48
    Conservative in California
    Because of capitalists during the Industrial Revolution and Robber Barons during the Guilded Age, the workers of the world no longer had to work long hours 7 days a week in terrible conditions under backbreaking labor. Capitalism created technology from the Industrial Revolution for the next 150 years that reduced the amount of time spent on drudgery and increased free time, extended the life of the entire population, allowed the world to engage in countless pursuits....all thanks to capitalism.

    The FDA should be abolished. It prevents cures to cancer, AIDS, and most diseases today. Many people today with advanced stages of cancer today are killed off because of the FDA prevents life saving drugs from entering the market. Hence, the market for such drugs in Mexico where American doctors practice medicine is huge. Of course, it's only utilized by the wealthy who can afford it. The rest of society is discarded and left to die thanks to the federal government who allows thousands yearly to die of cancer "for their own benefit." Government run healthcare, including and especially the FDA is purely evil and immoral for the number of people it kills.
  • T Conserv... 2010/09/05 06:52:18
    T
    That is a pretty bold claim sir. I believe you are partially correct, again. The FDA has been "called out" (so to speak) because of its lack of diligence and promptness; but I doubt very much that it is an advocate for killing off Americans purposely. Still, taking 2 to 3 years to decide whether or not a new drug or herb is effective against disease is unacceptable. Sir, please....Andrew Carnegie did not care about disabled workers, or the long hours they toiled until he had to! Carnegie, although a charitable man in his later years, believed in the distorted version of Darwin's theory--"Survival of the Fittest." The only problem with that is that it's not survival of the fittest, if you control all the various combinations of outcomes and the government assists you in that process. Teddy Roosevelt realized this and eventually put the hammer down on the Robber Barons--Thank God! Now, one thing my favorite president (TR) was also known for--good or bad--was his America First attitude! Let's face it, he was an imperialist! But I don't care!
  • atomikmom Conserv... 2010/09/06 20:52:14
    atomikmom
    Then you must have a healthy nest egg!! and don't need these programs to survive on.YES OR NO!!!!!
  • Conserv... atomikmom 2010/09/07 02:55:53
    Conservative in California
    why does anyone else's situation concern you? Why should it? It's called freedom.
  • atomikmom Conserv... 2010/09/07 03:29:41
    atomikmom
    Not the freedom to destroy other peoples lively hood and support. Besides Freedom is not Free, there is always a price for everything, no matter what you want.
  • Conserv... atomikmom 2010/09/07 03:32:59
    Conservative in California
    one person's freedom of choice has zero effect on anyone else.
  • T 2010/09/05 02:10:17
    Leave our Social Security alone!!! we , the seniors, diabled and future gener...
    T
    This check mark that we are forced to make is really absurd; because I believe in a little bit of both sides.

    Hmmm....well, perhaps we should start by making anyone who never put into Social Security ineligible for benefits. Next, create separate accounts; but not like the proposed plan of George W. Bush! Bush 43's plan called for attaching separate accounts to the stock market; since the stock market was doing so well--that is until 2008!!!!! Just imagine the fallout from the collapse of that 1935 (FDR) institution. No, a better plan would be to create separate accounts for those under 40, starting in 2012, then invest those separate accounts in government T-bills (a "safe"and secure investment). With separate accounts, the government would have a much more difficult time dipping into Social Security for every little welfare program idea it comes up with; and the individual account holder would see exactly (once a year) what he/she has accumulated.

    Some things would remain the same. For instance, a minimum age (for withdrawals) would remain the same. Why? Because people are idiots, and we could not take the chance that individuals would, if given the opportunity, ask for their total account earnings so that they could invest in a "market opportunity." Meanwhile, after los...



    This check mark that we are forced to make is really absurd; because I believe in a little bit of both sides.

    Hmmm....well, perhaps we should start by making anyone who never put into Social Security ineligible for benefits. Next, create separate accounts; but not like the proposed plan of George W. Bush! Bush 43's plan called for attaching separate accounts to the stock market; since the stock market was doing so well--that is until 2008!!!!! Just imagine the fallout from the collapse of that 1935 (FDR) institution. No, a better plan would be to create separate accounts for those under 40, starting in 2012, then invest those separate accounts in government T-bills (a "safe"and secure investment). With separate accounts, the government would have a much more difficult time dipping into Social Security for every little welfare program idea it comes up with; and the individual account holder would see exactly (once a year) what he/she has accumulated.

    Some things would remain the same. For instance, a minimum age (for withdrawals) would remain the same. Why? Because people are idiots, and we could not take the chance that individuals would, if given the opportunity, ask for their total account earnings so that they could invest in a "market opportunity." Meanwhile, after losing everything, that same individual would be begging for government help. The Founding Fathers would have called this idea the "Electoral College" of government social retirement programs. We would have to protect idiots from themselves or risk going down with them!

    Now, as for those 40 and above in 2012...the same benefits would hold true; with one additional factor--fully funding the Social Security program! Since 1968, the government--both parties--has been dipping into Social Security and leaving I.O.U.'s. Time to pay-up sucker!!!! If you are like me, you have been paying into Social Security from the age of 14. That means that for nearly 36 years I've been putting into it. I want my money! Any talk about raising the minimum age (again) and I'm starting to clean my shotgun! We know why the government wants to raise the minimum age for FULL Social Security benefits...The Higher The Age, The Fewer People There Are To Collect Because They Are Dead! Don't be fooled by the smoke screen of "if we don't raise the age, Social Security will go broke." Reagan and Tip O'Neal shook hands back in 1983, and raised the minimum age from 65 to 67 for full benefits. Now the government is talking 70! A lot more people will never make 70! This forces many who don't want to wait for Full benefits, to start withdrawing earlier and thus saves the government money. Nice plan eh? In fact, this year (2010) more people have applied for Social Security than in any other time in the program's history (since 1935). The government is getting ready to meet on this very issue this fall (2010).

    I would go even further by saying that any discoveries, cures or medical advances made through research, which was federally funded (by American Taxpayers), should be portioned back to the American taxpayers via $ amount residuals deposited into their respective Social Security accounts. That way, not only do we benefit from our research physically but also monetarily! Bush was against federal funding of stem cell research and I totally disagreed with him on that issue. Especially when 7 out of 10 Americans were for it! I voted for McCain and he also was for federal funding of all forms of stem cell research.
    (more)
  • Dave Sawyer ♥ Child of God ♥ 2010/09/05 01:26:48
    We Americans work hard for this and it is ours Don't mess with our money we p...
    Dave Sawyer ♥ Child of God ♥
    +2
    Social Security was a mistake in the first place, it will have to be replaced eventually, because the country can't afford it.
  • atomikmom Dave Sa... 2010/09/05 01:33:00
    atomikmom
    That's awful!!!!
  • Dave Sa... atomikmom 2010/09/05 01:35:15
    Dave Sawyer ♥ Child of God ♥
    +1
    It certainly is. Because of greater expected longevity and abortion and birth control, it is impossible to support the aged on the wages of the young.
  • T Dave Sa... 2010/09/05 02:20:20 (edited)
    T
    You're not thinking outside of the box! Why is it that the American taxpayer funds research and any discoveries made by the companies we've funded, leaves us (the taxpayers) hanging high and dry? We, the American taxpayers, should get residuals on the profits of those medical advances! We, the American taxpayers, should get residuals on the profits of our investments in GM, Chrysler, AIG, etc...etc...! Take those huge residuals and fully fund our SS accounts. If taxpayer money funded your company's research, we want a piece of the action!
  • Dave Sa... T 2010/09/05 03:41:05
    Dave Sawyer ♥ Child of God ♥
    If they are making big money off of the research, why do they need our money to do it?
  • T Dave Sa... 2010/09/05 04:19:08
    T
    I hate to tell you this, but most of the major pharmaceutical companies and other medical research companies get federal funding for research. Most Americans don't realize this. Here's the part that really stinks to high heaven. These companies use our money, make incredible new breakthroughs in medicine and then they charge us and say the price is high because of the R&D we had to do! Universities, and private companies all over the world get research dollars from American Taxpayers. Why shouldn't we get some of that back in residuals? I couldn't believe it either until I saw it on 60 minutes years ago. We paid for those discoveries! So, essentially we paid twice or more.
  • Dave Sa... T 2010/09/05 04:48:12
    Dave Sawyer ♥ Child of God ♥
    My point was that they shouldn't be getting our tax money for that very reason.
  • Sean 2010/09/05 01:08:40
    Leave our Social Security alone!!! we , the seniors, diabled and future gener...
    Sean
    The real question is what's it going to take for humans to realize that monetary systems don't work, abolish them and start building a real economy system that works for every member of humanity?! That way we won't need things like Social Security, and public welfare!
  • DanaR 2010/09/04 22:51:08
  • atomikmom DanaR 2010/09/04 23:00:11
    atomikmom
    +1
    Then where did our retirement money Go!!!!
  • DanaR atomikmom 2010/09/04 23:15:04
  • atomikmom DanaR 2010/09/04 23:16:25
    atomikmom
    +1
    BUMMER!!!!!
  • Matt 2010/09/04 22:37:09 (edited)
    Leave our Social Security alone!!! we , the seniors, diabled and future gener...
    Matt
    +3
    The social security trust fund is an incredible amount of money ! (or should be) Privatizing it would enable its handlers to push the world's economy around even more without risking a penny of their own ! Don't think that the demoncrats don't want to do it too ! They just privatized Medicare ! Social Security is the only asset talking point that they have in the next election !
  • atomikmom Matt 2010/09/04 22:47:13
    atomikmom
    +2
    I just want our money protected from Loose Fingers and crooked government.

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