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Seniors Are Getting Slowly Strangled by Social Security’s Flawed Math—Here’s How to Fix It


#21

Turning their backs on their corporate pimps is like a junkie going Cold Turkey.

Democrats and Republicans are all the same in that regard.


#22

Don’t know if you’re aware of the Rock group Illusion whose song “Did You See Her Eyes” made to #32 on the charts in 1969. Here’s the long version:


#23
Regarding "investing", I admit I have seen no precedent for that which I am aware of. So I made it up. But my understanding, which could be way off the mark, is that the FICA taxes were to be used exclusively for benefits payments, not to plug holes in the budget. It seems to me that while accumulating funds for future payments, it would be prudent to protect their value by putting it to use, investing it. My suggestions would be such things as green technology and infrastructure.
"Looted" is, indeed, a loaded word. I loaded it myself. But what else could you call the use of Social Security revenues for purposes other than Social Security, when the premise under which these taxes were extracted was for Social Security? I am reminded, unfortunately, of Wisconsin Democratic governor Jim Doyle who "looted" the Transportation Fund (funded by a state tax on gasoline for the purpose of roadway construction and improvement) to balance his budget.
Of course, older persons are not the only ones suffering under the current system: among the places to start to change the "system" would be the Federal Reserve System, a private consortium of banks to create money and charge the government (that is, the taxpayers who by and large are the lower-middle and middle classes, not the rich and the corporations) interest on the bonds issued by the government for "money" created by the banks out of nothing. (Youtube: "The Creature From Jekyll Island" by G. Edward Griffin).

And a great book is “The Lost Science of Money” by Stephen Zarlenga.


#24

Seniors should be suing the government –

The contributions made to Social Security and its investments provided for a 10%
return which is the same as Wall Street’s returns –
The US is paid to administer the Social Security Fund – they contribute NOTHING to it.
Think the administration of the Fund needs to be changed.


#25

Why do people expect more from a program than they put into it. Social Security was not meant to be the only means of support, just a means of not starving.

To increase the payout from the program a “pay in” must be increased. With inflation, most individuals put little into the program and take a great deal out.

Social Security is supported by the government, because of the failure of long term planning and the many additional beneficiaries receiving payments. Any individual should have addition retirements from their work. Those that did not set aside fall into two categories.

  1. They failed to plan.
  2. They did not earn enough to save.

The 2d group are the ones we should be supporting with additional funds.

The money spent for the military has no bearing on available funds, if there is a shortage of funds, taxes must be raised.


#26

Go ahead and pretend someone is going to administer SS and not get paid. And, one thing many forget, or choose to forget, is that Obama added to the SS fund from general revenue when he got a moratorium on contributions.


#27

Als -

At the time people paid into Social Security – they and their employers – were investing in what was an insurance program – and the government paid NOTHING into Social Security now or ever –

It provided a program of insurance that no individual could afford to buy –
And it has always returned interest on the investment which has kept up with Wall Street
over the times of their up’s and down’s – 10%.

It was not intended as a program to simply feed beneficiaries –
It was intended to keep retirees from being homeless and able to secure the necessities of life.

Additionally, at age 65, it was also intended to take seniors out of the labor market to provide
jobs for young workers entering the job market.
Today we have seniors working into their 80’s in order to pay the rent/food.

There has always been “long term planning” – yet we continue to see the lie of the Baby Boomers,
though adjustments were made for that event during the Reagan Administration which is little
mentioned. Repeat: ADJUSTMENTS FOR BABY BOOMERS WERE MADE DURING THE REAGAN
ADMINISTRATION.

And, coincidentally, as the right wing rose to power – and that can only be done by violence; that’s always true and is still true today – we also saw that corporations were dropping health care benefits, dental, and life insurance coverage for employees. Also at the same time, there were renewed attacks on unions, though the highest level of unionization we ever reached in the US was 39%. Today – and I’m not familiar with recent reports – but 9% to 7% range of unionization.

Don’t know what wages you’re working for – but the Minimum Wage in US is now worth 25 cents LESS than it was in the 1950’s.

The Social Security Fund regularly increased FICA taxes, including on the wealthy which has now been STOPPED. The SS Fund has long pointed to the need to increase the rate on the wealthy where there is a cap on earnings which should be increased – even eliminated.

True – MIC has no bearing on Social Security – except that the US government when it overspends –
for instance on tax cuts for the rich which we have seen over and over again by the Trump administration then seeks to cover those cuts by attacking Social Security payments – and Medicare coverage.

After “W” and his wars (MIC) the rate of inflation was so high that Obama didn’t want to pay what would have been a large jump in Social Security benefits - COLA’s. Obama STOPPED the payment of COLA’s
totally for two full years. After that time, Obama appointed a Republican/Alan Simpson who had stood against Social Security all of his career in government to head a panel to decide on the future of COLA’s.
The result was Simpson and the panel reduced the COLA’s to a tiny percentage of what they have previously been. Now called “Cat Food COLA’s.”

So – yes, in many ways the MIC budget of “W” did effect Social Security indirectly.

And, the US has been lying about the rate of inflation since the Vietnam War – MIC.

Got it?


#28

Monkes –

Go ahead and pretend someone is going to administer SS and not get paid.

THE SOCIAL SECURITY FUND PAYS THE US GOVERNMENT 3% EVERY YEAR
TO ADMINISTER THE PROGRAM.

Please make what you’re saying here clearer – or link to it …l

And, one thing many forget, or choose to forget, is that Obama added to the SS fund from general revenue when he got a moratorium on contributions.

Social Security is no part of the General Budget. It’s an independent fund.
The government often shows the Social Security Fund as being in the General Budget in order
to hide the enormous MIC budget. But, again, Social Security has nothing to do with the General
budget.

Social Security was never intended to run a Surplus – it was always a “pay as you go”
system. HOWEVER, the small amounts in surplus it always had on hand, became very handy for
government to borrow – and eventually the Social Security Fund was re-engineered to run LARGE
SURPLUSES – hundreds of billions of dollars every year – which have been BORROWED by the U.S. government in return for replacement by US Treasury Notes in an equal amount. That investment is now worth more than $2.6 TRILLION which would make the FUND solvent into infinity, without the raising of FICA ever.


#29

Suspira –

It wasn’t dropped. Obama actually STOPPED COLA payments for his first two years in office.

Then he put the COLA’s issue in the hands of former GOP Sen. Alan Simpson who had stood
against Social Security all of his life. The result was that when the COLA’s resumed they were
a very tiny percentage of the former COLA’s. That’s why they’re still called the “cat food” COLA’s.

This has meant a regularly compounding loss of $10,000’s of dollars for Senior Citizens since
that time – and every year the loss grows.


#30

Thank you for noting that Social Security is also for workers who become fully disabled. Along with ending welfare aid, Democrats began taking the lead in similarly “reforming” Social Security, targeting the disabled (former workers, as well as those who became disabled before reaching working age). It’s a common fallacy that Social Security is only for retirees. This program was created during an era when Americans still had some concept of “the common good.” In fact, millions of women (my own mother and grandmother included) who were full-time home-makers, never in the workforce, have qualified for benefits in their senior years.


#31

What private entity oversees a MAJOR program and only collects 3%? NONE. That’s how many. Yes, SS is an independent fund and Obama got money added to it during the moratorium on SS deductions. Your ideas on funding to infinity are simply looney. We do love pie in the sky ever so much here at CD.


#32

Lovin’ you on this subject and thank you some info that I was unaware of.


#33

Monkes –

What government would allow Trump to cost taxpayers $20 million every weekend
to fly to Florida?

What government would give up robbing Social Security of hundreds of billions every year?

And you’ve got that Obama thing backwards –
As I recall it Obama didn’t benefit the Social Security Fund, he blocked payments.
But – Let’s see a link to what you’re claiming.


#34

I feel bad for you.


#35

It was Obama that included Chained CPI in his 2014 budget. The republicans conveniently left it out of theirs. Got that, Obama supported lowered SS payments, the republicans did not.

"Representative Greg Walden, chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, called the President’s chained CPI proposal “a shocking attack on seniors,” attacked the President for “trying to balance the budget on the backs of seniors,” and signaled that Republican challengers in 2014 would attack Democratic incumbents over it. He and other Republicans also noted that their budget — the Ryan budget — did not include the proposal. …"


#36

You bet, republicans will use every chance to muddle their intentions.


#37

Remove the cap on FICA and start taxing all gross income fairly (wages, interest, investments, etc). (“Gross income: wages and salaries, interest, dividends, stock sales, self employment income, income from business entities, … and most other forms of income.”)

In 2018, FICA taxes are required to be paid on only the first $128,400 in wages. This amounts to a grand total of $7,960.80. This is the total amount anyone will pay in FICA taxes for the year, whether they earn a wage of $5 million or $50 million.

Once one earns their first $128,400 for the year they’re done paying into FICA. They then receive a 6.2% tax cut for the remainder of the year, be it the next 364 days or fewer. Most everyone else’s wages, from the first penny up, is subject to FICA taxes every single day of the year.

Despite being the wealthiest man in the world Bezos’ wages (from Amazon) in 2017* were just over $81,000, all of which is subject to FICA taxes, however today, his wealth increases by $275 MILLION A DAY. This income is not considered wages so it is not subject to FICA taxes (and so what if it were, with the cap, Bezos would be done paying in less than a second of income). “In order to make as much money as the estimated 8,961,187 million dollars Bezos ‘earns’ in a single hour, a typical Amazon worker would have to work 24 hours a day for about 68 years, or about 597,412 hours.”

*Bezos reported just over $1.6 million in other sources of income in addition to his Amazon salary in 2017 also.

"Amazon reports little or no profit because Jeff Bezos hates paying taxes, on his own income and Amazon’s."


#38

As you said, many workers pay 7.65% FICA. As a farmer, I pay 15.3%. It’s disgusting how much wealth is shielded both legally and illegally from taxation. The hatred of big government and wanting to starve it has become so enmeshed in the thinking of a huge number of Americans that it is truly disturbing.


#39

Your figure of 7.65% includes the 1.45% Medicare tax (6.2 + 1.45). The two combined is 15.3% except as you stated those who are self employed pay the entirety of it. Given that, the monthly benefit should really be better.

I couldn’t agree more w/your sentiments.

"FICA taxes remove a percentage of your wages to help fund Social Security (which may show up on your paycheck as FICA OASDI, representing the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Trust). The official FICA tax on wages for Social Security works out to 12.4%, but thankfully not too many workers are exposed to the full brunt of this tax. If you’re employed by someone else, the responsibility of the 12.4% payroll tax is split down the middle between you and employer, 6.2% each." As is the 2.9% Medicare tax.


#40

Still no link