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Old 05-22-2012, 02:46 PM   #253
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I see no need for you to be fearing flames ... none from me anyway. In short I believe a lot of our problems fall into 2 categories. Overspending (Nationally) and there are to many loop holes for not just the rich, but for everyone to utilize. I have no idea how many millions woul dbe added to our economy by sealing up the loop holes but it sure wouldn't do any harm. Between the shutting off of loop holes and spending $$ in places where it is a total waste I have to believe that a lot of people programs could be sufficiently funded when and where needed.

The next question is how will that ever happen. Term limits would go a long way to helping. My new mantra now is to never again vote for an incumbent. I don't care how good of a job they've done in their previous term. To much time and money is spent on campaigns.

In my own case I'm unwillingly giving back my share for SS. I'm a federal retiree who spent 30 years doing part time jobs. Because i draw a civil service pension I forfeit 60%, yes SIXTY PERCENT, of my Social Security. I'll admit that I knew this going into the part time job world and in reality I can deal with it, but it bothers me a lot that our members of congress get far better benefits than I do and in some cases for far less time on the job. Anyway .... I'm doing my part.

Excuse me while I jump off the soap box.
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Old 05-22-2012, 02:49 PM   #254
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Steel, you and I probably have matching asbestos suits so I'll start in.

As you can see once benefits are put into place noone seems to want to let them go. Any benefit program seems to beget more benefit programs. Welfare now includes free cell phones and 250 free minutes a month as an example of the giveaways.

One of my favorite bits of news comes from the government. The Department of Agriculture runs both the food stamp program and the National Park System. The Department announced that last year was a record year for the food stamp program. You may have seen the signs in the National Parks that say "Please do not feed the animals. They will become dependent and not fend for themselves."

We can argue about the wisdom or lack of same in regards to wars or defense spending or any other bits of government logic, but one simple fact does remain. We are spending way more than we are taking in. We have created a system where our so called leaders are not accountable for the actions and we have a population that is even less accountable.

There is no need to plan for the future because there will always be someone to take care of you from the government. You believe that Social Security is a God given right that we can never lose. If you look closely you'll see that we, Baby Boomers, are a minority. We make up a third of the population and we will become a huge burden on the other two thirds of the population. That gives them the ability to take away our benefits if they so desire. So we do NOT have the votes anymore.

I always thought that part of my job as a parent and now a grand parent was to leave the world and this country in better shape when I left than when I got here. Right now it is not a better place and we are headed down the same path as Greece and much of Europe.
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Old 05-22-2012, 02:50 PM   #255
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What was "silly" was the bringing it up in the first place in a thread about social security. Next you guys will be bringing up WMD and the rest. As far as the tax is concerned, I will go look at my bill of sale when I can. It is a separate line item.
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Old 05-22-2012, 02:55 PM   #256
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Removing the cap would be disasterous. Would you like to be on the receiving end of a 15% additional tax burden to pay for someone who is not working? Put yourself in the position of those that are paying for SS and see if you still think the same way.
I support removing the cap and/or having a substantially lower rate for any amount over the cap. So 15% (combined) for all dollars up to the cap and perhaps 3%-5% for amounts over the cap. If the rate is reasonable most people making that kind of money will accept it.
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:04 PM   #257
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If you charge a premium for something and then don't give anything for it, it is not a social security program, but a tax. It is taking money out of the private economy and putting it in the hands of the politicians. To me, this hasn't ever been a good idea. If you wish to do this, just call it taxing the "rich" and leave us old folks out of it by not calling it social security. Unfortunately the money all goes into the vastly underfunded general fund anyway. This exact same thing is proposed in DC every day (maybe hourly).
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:06 PM   #258
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I support removing the cap and/or having a substantially lower rate for any amount over the cap. So 15% (combined) for all dollars up to the cap and perhaps 3%-5% for amounts over the cap. If the rate is reasonable most people making that kind of money will accept it.
Tom, I'm not so sure that people would support it. Most of my more well to do clients wouldn't mind paying some more in taxes if there was some level of sanity in Washington. So much of what is paid in is just wasted or given away. My example of free cell phones is one that irks many people. There is a lot of abuse in the Social Security system and there is no incentive to get the abuse out. In fact there is more incentive to keep the abuse in because it buys more votes.

The basic problem as I see it is that noone wants to make any changes that have even the most remote effects on themselves. Reduction in benefits is fine....as long as it's someone else's benefits. Increases in taxes are fine....as long as it's someone else's taxes. We have become a nation of special interests.
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:10 PM   #259
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Removing the cap does not affect the money problems of SS. You are paid according to the money you put in. If you remove the cap, (now $106,000)then you must increase the benefits for those who would be paying more when they retire. It is a wash money wise except for a short initial period. It would be unfair and unamerican to charge additional premiums without increasing the benefits for them. This is called stealing or redistribution of wealth.
I disagree. The existing bracketed tax code is based on "the more you make the more you pay and the higher rate you're charged". Not saying it's right but what it is. Rich people pay more to protect our country because they can and are forced to through the tax code. Rich people pay more to fight fires, pay for police, and all the social services that they will never ever use. The latter is clearly in the camp of redistribution but is something a society needs to do.

If the cap was simply removed and you had to continue to pay the full 15% then that would clearly be wrong. Reduce the rate and remove the cap.
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:12 PM   #260
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Originally Posted by Lindsay Richards
What was "silly" was the bringing it up in the first place in a thread about social security. Next you guys will be bringing up WMD and the rest. As far as the tax is concerned, I will go look at my bill of sale when I can. It is a separate line item.
I'm using my iPhone IRV2 app and it doesn't show whether someone is a moderator. I didn't realize you were one.
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:13 PM   #261
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Could not find a Floirda sales tax cap except for boats at $18,000 tax. We have never been capped on our RV puchases.
Just a note SC caps sales tax on vehicles at $300. you buy a $5,000 clunker--$300. Buy a $300,000 mh--$300. (Watch out for property tax though)
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:22 PM   #262
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Tom, I'm not so sure that people would support it. Most of my more well to do clients wouldn't mind paying some more in taxes if there was some level of sanity in Washington. So much of what is paid in is just wasted or given away. My example of free cell phones is one that irks many people. There is a lot of abuse in the Social Security system and there is no incentive to get the abuse out. In fact there is more incentive to keep the abuse in because it buys more votes.

The basic problem as I see it is that noone wants to make any changes that have even the most remote effects on themselves. Reduction in benefits is fine....as long as it's someone else's benefits. Increases in taxes are fine....as long as it's someone else's taxes. We have become a nation of special interests.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not in favor of giving anymore money to those fine friendly folks in Washington. I'd like to see everyone place a bumpersticker on the RV stating "Not One More Dime" until such time as they show some real backbone and stop the spending.

However, I do think we have an obligation to take care of our elderly and look for ways to make sure that happens. A small percentage (repeat small) would be a acceptable to me.
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:38 PM   #263
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Steel, you and I probably have matching asbestos suits so I'll start in.

As you can see once benefits are put into place noone seems to want to let them go. Any benefit program seems to beget more benefit programs. Welfare now includes free cell phones and 250 free minutes a month as an example of the giveaways.

One of my favorite bits of news comes from the government. The Department of Agriculture runs both the food stamp program and the National Park System. The Department announced that last year was a record year for the food stamp program. You may have seen the signs in the National Parks that say "Please do not feed the animals. They will become dependent and not fend for themselves."

We can argue about the wisdom or lack of same in regards to wars or defense spending or any other bits of government logic, but one simple fact does remain. We are spending way more than we are taking in. We have created a system where our so called leaders are not accountable for the actions and we have a population that is even less accountable.

There is no need to plan for the future because there will always be someone to take care of you from the government. You believe that Social Security is a God given right that we can never lose. If you look closely you'll see that we, Baby Boomers, are a minority. We make up a third of the population and we will become a huge burden on the other two thirds of the population. That gives them the ability to take away our benefits if they so desire. So we do NOT have the votes anymore.

I always thought that part of my job as a parent and now a grand parent was to leave the world and this country in better shape when I left than when I got here. Right now it is not a better place and we are headed down the same path as Greece and much of Europe.
Not making this personal, taxman, just responding....

I agree with you that the main issue is about "spending more than we are taking in", which I demonized in my post, and that is why smart prioritizing comes to center stage. It seems obvious to me. Let me boil it down to an essential and illustrative question: Going forward, what should we spend hundreds of billions of US dollars on. The Iraqies or Americans? Rebuilding Afganistan or Social Security?

Of course, we can argue plenty about which priorities to serve -- BUT, I think it is a very slippery slope to advocate a hard-to-defend Middle-East war on the other side of the planet for very questionable reasons, and then quite literally "blowing up" all the funding that could have been better used to fix a huge domestic problem like SS. I say again, IMO our own people are more important than "bringing democracy" to the Middle-East", especially when they don't even want it! Priorities.

And, I DO NOT BELIEVE that any social/economic program is a God-given right, or any other kind of 'right'. And I'm sure it could go away; but not anytime soon, not in my/our lifetimes. Why? Because even if the boomers are only 30% of the voting public, assuming your number is correct, I would guess that a 30% voting block that is seriously pissed off would create a pretty loud shout. Wouldn't you agree?

By the way - I never counted on SS, and retired on my own. And, yes, I wish I could have invested my SS contributions myself. And, yes, I don't like druggies collecting disability payments from taxpayers. Yeah, I figured it out a long time ago. But I still care about others who need it to get by, and I care about the agreements between a government and its citizens, and I think other taxpayers should care about them as well. Collectively, we spend OUR money on those things WE value most, correct? It's all about priorities. Period.
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Old 05-22-2012, 04:02 PM   #264
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Steel, I don't take anything personally on any forum. On another RV forum the discussion was about the use of a Montana LLC to avoid sales tax. I made the comment that in tax law the burden of proof is always on the taxpayer. Oh my gosh, you would have thought that I had just insulted motherhood, apple pie and the flag.

I look at these forums as a chance to learn and share ideas and even opinions. I subscribe to the adage that stupid is a condition, but ignorance is a choice. I choose to learn as much as I can from whomever I can to not make ignorance my choice.

Now, getting back to the point at hand. I don't disagree with any of your statements about the Middle East and the choices that have been made by our government. However, SS was supposed to stand on its own and be a self sufficient program. We have heard many complain about the raiding of the fund for general fund purposes. Even the current less than intelligent 2% reduction in SS taxes is a good example of the melding of the SS system and the general fund. My comments and suggestions are based on the premise of going back to the fund being self sufficient. That means that changes would be made within the fund collection of taxes and the fund disbursement of benefits. What occurs in the general fund is a different discussion and best left for another day.

Steel, I do have one other question. Is there really a place called Zigzag, OR? Seems like years ago I remember a special paper purchased by hippies that was called Zigzag.
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Old 05-22-2012, 04:21 PM   #265
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My daughter is mentally challenged and has never worked and never will. How do we propose taking care of someone like her? We are trying to save and have even set up a special needs trust. But the outlook is poor. The MHMR rep we have said the state generally finds a way to suck the trust dry quickly and they are back on the tax payer dollar within a year or so.

One of the reasons my husband is working longer is to help provide for her, not only with savings but the fact that when he dies she will get 3/4s of his SS. With our savings, now its earning nothing and her SS it won't last long. A few years back when we set up the trust we planned on 3 to 4% interest plus SS and that would have lasted her for 30 years. Not going to happen now. We have 3 of us to plan for and I know we can't put away enough money if we saved all of it and never spent a dime for pleasure to care for all of us.

He and I aren't a problem we will live in a TT if we have to and we will be fine. But she is not capable of taking care of herself. So where does she go with no money, live under a bridge till she dies? She is 42 and we are 66 and 65 respectively. This worry overshadows everything in my life. I try not to worry about it but I do.
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Old 05-22-2012, 04:26 PM   #266
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SS was supposed to stand on its own and be a self sufficient program. We have heard many complain about the raiding of the fund for general fund purposes. Even the current less than intelligent 2% reduction in SS taxes is a good example of the melding of the SS system and the general fund. My comments and suggestions are based on the premise of going back to the fund being self sufficient. That means that changes would be made within the fund collection of taxes and the fund disbursement of benefits. What occurs in the general fund is a different discussion and best left for another day.

.
I've struggled with the premise of this thread. The basic question is "how many of us would be willing to take some form of cut in benefits in order to fix SS".

Although it would really tick me off, I could see myself (under certain circumstances) supporting a plan that would do this. However, those in charge of such things have lied to me before and stolen the money I "contributed" to the system. If I were to agree to reduced benefits to fix the system, I'd feel pretty foolish unless there were other sweeping changes to ensure that this behavior wasn't repeated. Fool me once, shame on me.....

I do like the discussion on clearly setting national priorities but I'm bothered by how we (USA, not necessarily just this thread) have seemed to accept the premise of wealth redistribution based on "needs". It's happening a little at a time and each tiny bit seems harmless enough after much debate and we convince ourselves we're doing the right thing for those in need and that it's not socialism... but I fear one day (soon) we'll look around and find, wait.... if it walks like a duck.... and quacks like a duck.

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