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Old 05-21-2012, 07:13 PM   #211
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Whatever else one's opinion might have been regarding former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill, he is generally regarded as a political scholar credited with espousing some key principles such as "All politics is local." Regarding Social Security, he once said, "Social Security is the third rail of American politics. Touch it and you die."

I suspect that the politicians' reluctance to implement huge changes is, in large part, based on this principle.

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Old 05-21-2012, 09:10 PM   #212
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The third rail is well energized, as espoused by many in this thread. Global economics are like a steamroller. The people in Greece ignored them, and they got rolled. Now they've elected a bunch of populists that if they don't pull their collective heads out, will pretty much guarantee that whatever savings their constituents have left are worthless.

A lot of people on this thread ascribe to that without understanding it. You are either the steamroller or the pavement. You can have a constructive voice in the screwing you are going to get or you can bleat like sheep about holding onto your pie, and it will get taken anyway.

In the 20's everybody thought global war was done for, good times just kept coming, what could possibly go wrong? In hindsight, don't you think people would have done something different if they could have? How would you have liked to be 65 in 1929? As much as people on both sides bitch about the stimulus, bailouts, and tax cuts of the last five years, these things exist because smart people took a look at what was done that led up to the great depression and said "don't want no more of that".

Look at the troubled economies of Europe. If we don't do a LOT of things (as opposed to just a simple something) that's where we are going. And if you hate war - the quickest way out of an unpopular economic situation is to blame someone else and bomb the crap out of them.
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:14 PM   #213
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The third rail is well energized, as espoused by many in this thread. Global economics are like a steamroller. The people in Greece ignored them, and they got rolled. Now they've elected a bunch of populists that if they don't pull their collective heads out, will pretty much guarantee that whatever savings their constituents have left are worthless.

A lot of people on this thread ascribe to that without understanding it. You are either the steamroller or the pavement. You can have a constructive voice in the screwing you are going to get or you can bleat like sheep about holding onto your pie, and it will get taken anyway.

In the 20's everybody thought global war was done for, good times just kept coming, what could possibly go wrong? In hindsight, don't you think people would have done something different if they could have? How would you have liked to be 65 in 1929? As much as people on both sides bitch about the stimulus, bailouts, and tax cuts of the last five years, these things exist because smart people took a look at what was done that led up to the great depression and said "don't want no more of that".

Look at the troubled economies of Europe. If we don't do a LOT of things (as opposed to just a simple something) that's where we are going. And if you hate war - the quickest way out of an unpopular economic situation is to blame someone else and bomb the crap out of them.
Exactly right. You are either part of the solution or you are the problem. I'd rather be the solution than the problem. Take a little bit of medicine now so that you don't have to have the major surgery tomorrow.
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:26 AM   #214
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A few years ago a magazine ran a series on the most admired generation in American history. It was our parents generation. Now, considering many of the posts here, I'm wondering where we would stand. My guess is that we would be considered to be the most reviled generation. If we have the greed and selfishness that we want our benefits no matter what it does to others, then our place in history will not be kind.

So the gist I get from many is that there is no way you would ever, ever allow anyone to take any part of your Social Security away. Well, that's fine in theory, but what about an end to the system because the money is gone? It doesn't really matter the cause of the problem. You can rant about illegals, stupid politicians, greeedy corporations and unions and so on, but it doesn't really matter. All that matters is the effect.

So you say, you'll take to the streets....just like they are in Greece. And what difference will that make? Will we become as much of a joke as the Occupy Wall Street movement? You say you'll vote the rascals out. After all, we, the Baby Boomers, make up a third of the population. Oh, but wait, that means that the people who are paying for us make up two thirds of the population, and they can vote too.

So to those of you who will not part with any single cent of your Social Security payments, I pose this question, What will you do when the money runs out and there is no Social Security anymore?
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:45 AM   #215
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I just recieved an E-Mail from Blue Cross and they said the Medicare premium will be $247 in 2014. Is this right?
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:47 AM   #216
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So to those of you who will not part with any single cent of your Social Security payments, I pose this question, What will you do when the money runs out and there is no Social Security anymore?
IIRC, Social Security states in their annual benefits statement that, even if the trust fund were exhausted, ongoing receipts would be sufficient to pay something like 74% of the current benefit. Why would you think "there's no Social Security anymore" as long as the SS tax is being collected?

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Old 05-22-2012, 08:08 AM   #217
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IIRC, Social Security states in their annual benefits statement that, even if the trust fund were exhausted, ongoing receipts would be sufficient to pay something like 74% of the current benefit. Why would you think "there's no Social Security anymore" as long as the SS tax is being collected?

Rusty

The possibility exists that those funds would be used elsewhere, even though they are supposed to be for Social Security. The most likely scenario is that some will lose their benefits or all will have their benefits reduced. Also the assumption of "ongoing receipts" is assuming what level of employment?

Rusty, I think the system can be saved, but it will take changes by many if not all of us. My question comes down to are we willing to make those changes? Many have stated an unequivocal NO!!!!
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:14 AM   #218
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That 74% is a rapidly declining number as the baby boomers are retiring at a faster pace. The recent 2% of workers pay that was taken out of the system also hastens the decline. Hopefully this action taken only for short term political gains. The half a billion dollars taken out of Medicare for Obamacare will be restored by the Supreme Court. I would love to see tort reform which would reduce the high cost of preventative medicine. A resumption of our economy will also help the "trust fund" as we have about 25% un or underemployed.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:16 AM   #219
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There's nothing wrong with debating what changes should be made to Social Security, but I believe the discussion should be based on facts, not fear tactics that if we don't do something today, the whole system will inevitably disappear as soon as the trust fund runs out of IOUs. With ongoing SS taxes being collected, even SS itself isn't making that claim.

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Old 05-22-2012, 08:23 AM   #220
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There's nothing wrong with debating what changes should be made to Social Security, but I believe the discussion should be based on facts, not fear tactics that if we don't do something today, the whole system will inevitably disappear as soon as the trust fund runs out of IOUs. With ongoing SS taxes being collected, even SS itself isn't making that claim.

Rusty

Rusty,

I have been dealing with taxation issues and government regulation for many more years than I care to remember. In that time frame there have been many instances where the government has changed course dramatically. You may remember a time when the statement was made that Social Security benefits willl never be taxable. Also I believe the statement was once made that Social Security funds were sacred and would never be used for any other purpose. Do you see where I'm going?

There are a whole series of changes that could be made to the system that will insure it's long term future. Are we willing to make those changes?
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:27 AM   #221
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I have read this entire thread and there are all kinds of theories on how to fix what's broken but not once in all these statements did anyone say that it's simply what our priorities are and where we, as a nation choose, to spend our resources.

Far and away the most expensive expenditure is our military and related spending on WAR. If we had chosen to prop up social security and give every American citizen free health care for life, it could have been done easily with trillions left over compared to what we spend on war. We, as a nation, spend more then any other country on defense and our ability to support a war effort. In fact, we spend more on war then the next 20 countries spent on the same endeavor combined. That's a lot of cash and it's all measured in tears, sorrow, and blood spilled. Had 1/2 of the 124 trillion been spent on social systems instead of war over the preceding 20 years we would be, by a very large margin, the richest nation in the world. It's not the police, or fire fighters, or teachers, or county workers, or baby boomers retiring to blame for our woes. It's simply that we choose to let people here at home suffer to support war.

Our president needs to say to people here that it costs a lot to wage war no matter the reasons and we simply can not afford it along with education, health care, social security, and medicare. We can not do it all. Voters must choose the decisions on where we put our resources. My bet is that if we had the choice, we would curb our spending on war and prop up social security.
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Paul,

Sorry to derail your train with pesky facts, but social programs (Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, Food Stamps, Welfare, etc) and interest on the national debt are 60% of the federal budget. DOD does take another 20%, but they are there defending not only our nation, but our national interests.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:32 AM   #222
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Members of congress are stating that SS will go bankrupt with a varying number of years from 8 to 20 years. The IOU's will never be paid back. We can't even pay for ongoing current expenses and presently borrow 40 cents on every dollar spent. We are in pretty dire straights and almost all politicians agree with that. Some might say we must keep SS unchanged, but surely they know that won't and can't happen. The logical things are to raise the rtetiremnt ages to reflect the much longer life spans. I think that younger people should be able to take ownership of a portion of their own funds, but that is controversial. The longer we wait to do something, the harder it will be. Frankly, doing nothing as seems to be the current course is not an option.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:33 AM   #223
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A few years ago a magazine ran a series on the most admired generation in American history. It was our parents generation. Now, considering many of the posts here, I'm wondering where we would stand. My guess is that we would be considered to be the most reviled generation. If we have the greed and selfishness that we want our benefits no matter what it does to others, then our place in history will not be kind.

So the gist I get from many is that there is no way you would ever, ever allow anyone to take any part of your Social Security away. Well, that's fine in theory, but what about an end to the system because the money is gone? It doesn't really matter the cause of the problem. You can rant about illegals, stupid politicians, greeedy corporations and unions and so on, but it doesn't really matter. All that matters is the effect.

So you say, you'll take to the streets....just like they are in Greece. And what difference will that make? Will we become as much of a joke as the Occupy Wall Street movement? You say you'll vote the rascals out. After all, we, the Baby Boomers, make up a third of the population. Oh, but wait, that means that the people who are paying for us make up two thirds of the population, and they can vote too.

So to those of you who will not part with any single cent of your Social Security payments, I pose this question, What will you do when the money runs out and there is no Social Security anymore?
I can't understand how we went from victory gardens, wheatless and meatless days, gas rationing, and Rosie the riveter to where we are now in a short 70 years. I cannot believe we call those younger than us the "ME" generation. If my father had a laptop in his niche at Arlington, he would be spinning right now.

We are very close to being over the 50% mark for those that receive more benefit then they pay for. When they get the majority they will never vote to solve the problem. Hello Greece.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:46 AM   #224
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There are a whole series of changes that could be made to the system that will insure it's long term future. Are we willing to make those changes?
OK, how about some specifics? You ask the question, "Are we willing to take a reduction in our benefits?" How much would be required? 5%? 10%? 50%? Your question is like asking "Would you be willing to write me a check?" without bothering to tell me the amount. My response would be either "NO!" or "It all depends...."

Rusty
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