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(Talking Points Memo)   Obama: "My SS cuts are not my 'ideal' plan" So what? You want to cut all entitlements or you want to make everyone a welfare queen? In this country, it's either/or, there is no third option   (talkingpointsmemo.com) divider line 172
    More: Interesting, obama, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Cost of Living Allowance, Sam Brownback, entitlements, social security  
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1721 clicks; posted to Politics » on 08 Apr 2013 at 10:40 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-08 01:16:20 PM  

Biological Ali: Serious Black: wjmorris3: Serious Black: wjmorris3: Serious Black: wjmorris3: I'd go even further and end social security benefits for everyone, right now. The United States government does not have the authority per the Constitution to spend money.

[files.myopera.com image 438x400]

Seriously - if the government spent nothing, we'd be debt free in a matter of years.

That doesn't even begin to defend your claim that the federal government has no legal authority under the Constitution to spend money. It's just a stupid "no shiat" statement that nobody would ever endorse doing in real life.

If it were actually permitted, there'd be an amendment saying so, which there isn't!

Really? So Article I, Section 8, Clause 1, which partly says Congress has the power "To lay and collect Taxes...to...provide for...the general Welfare of the United States," that does not mean Congress can spend money it has raised through taxes?

Damn, you guys are easy to troll.


I assume everyone is 100% serious because the alternative is always questioning whether somebody is serious or somebody is trying to trigger my Poe's Law alarm.
 
2013-04-08 01:19:17 PM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: TV's Vinnie: The POINT is that McGovern would have been a better President than Nixon for example, but he didn't win so there's no point wishing for something that would never be allowed to happen.

Again, I'm not going to follow you into a separate argument just so you can plant a flag and declare victory.  If you don't want to have this conversation, stop responding.  I'm not going to explain this to you again.


Or you'll do what?

Welcome to Fark.
 
2013-04-08 01:21:01 PM  

Saiga410: 47 is the new 42: heypete: Bravo Two: Grand_Moff_Joseph: Social Security can be fixed forever in one simple move:  Remove the payroll cap on SS contributions.

/wipe hands on pants
//repeat

This.

[mahler.ca image 292x256]

I was going to say something like this.  Why is there even a payroll cap on SS contributions in the first place?  I honestly don't know what the reasoning was when it was instituted.

So that it could be sold not as a welfare plan but as a form of insurance or annuity.  If as the system is set up you would have to pay out very large sums to retired billionaires if your removed the cap.  You put a ceiling on the payout and remove the cap then you have effectively killed SS as it was designed.


True, but the system was designed assuming fair, livable wages that tracked to inflation, and the continuance of company pensions as a main form of retirement income for most workers.  Seeing as all of that is broken, SS no longer fits the system in which it lives.
 
2013-04-08 01:21:43 PM  

Serious Black: Biological Ali: Serious Black: wjmorris3: Serious Black: wjmorris3: Serious Black: wjmorris3: I'd go even further and end social security benefits for everyone, right now. The United States government does not have the authority per the Constitution to spend money.

[files.myopera.com image 438x400]

Seriously - if the government spent nothing, we'd be debt free in a matter of years.

That doesn't even begin to defend your claim that the federal government has no legal authority under the Constitution to spend money. It's just a stupid "no shiat" statement that nobody would ever endorse doing in real life.

If it were actually permitted, there'd be an amendment saying so, which there isn't!

Really? So Article I, Section 8, Clause 1, which partly says Congress has the power "To lay and collect Taxes...to...provide for...the general Welfare of the United States," that does not mean Congress can spend money it has raised through taxes?

Damn, you guys are easy to troll.

I assume everyone is 100% serious because the alternative is always questioning whether somebody is serious or somebody is trying to trigger my Poe's Law alarm.


That has to be bad for your blood pressure.
 
2013-04-08 01:24:35 PM  

BarkingUnicorn: Bravo Two: Grand_Moff_Joseph: Social Security can be fixed forever in one simple move:  Remove the payroll cap on SS contributions.

This.

I'd do it.  The trick is, it then becomes "welfare" instead of "savings" in the minds of many.  Tough sell.


Paying yourself back a percentage of money paid earlier in order to shore up your income during your golden years isn't welfare.  It's self-insurance.  SS is supposed to be an entitlement after all - you're entitled to the funds that you put in.

Welfare?  That's throwing money to fortune 500 companies that don't need it.

The fact that SS is now seen as welfare just shows how deluded the population has become, thanks to a feckless media.
 
2013-04-08 01:25:37 PM  

Ned Stark: Serious Black: Biological Ali: Serious Black: wjmorris3: Serious Black: wjmorris3: Serious Black: wjmorris3: I'd go even further and end social security benefits for everyone, right now. The United States government does not have the authority per the Constitution to spend money.

[files.myopera.com image 438x400]

Seriously - if the government spent nothing, we'd be debt free in a matter of years.

That doesn't even begin to defend your claim that the federal government has no legal authority under the Constitution to spend money. It's just a stupid "no shiat" statement that nobody would ever endorse doing in real life.

If it were actually permitted, there'd be an amendment saying so, which there isn't!

Really? So Article I, Section 8, Clause 1, which partly says Congress has the power "To lay and collect Taxes...to...provide for...the general Welfare of the United States," that does not mean Congress can spend money it has raised through taxes?

Damn, you guys are easy to troll.

I assume everyone is 100% serious because the alternative is always questioning whether somebody is serious or somebody is trying to trigger my Poe's Law alarm.

That has to be bad for your blood pressure.


Unfortunately, it is. I've already had eighteen heart attacks, five strokes, three pulmonary embolisms, and a deep vein thrombosis, and I'm not even 30 years old.
 
2013-04-08 01:28:18 PM  

Dr Dreidel: Grand_Moff_Joseph: Social Security can be fixed forever in one simple move:  Remove the payroll cap on SS contributions.

/wipe hands on pants
//repeat

If you do that, because payouts are calculated based on what you put in it becomes a full-on wealth transfer if payouts are still capped, unless you start monkeying with payouts at the end (which I'm fine with). For example, if you put in 10.2% of $200k for 20 years, but only get "credit" for having put in 10.2% of ~$110k, you lose out on ($408,000-224,400=)$183,600 in benefits.

Granted, if you made $200k for 20 years, you should have a healthier retirement plan than $184k anyway, but is means-testing SS a popular solution?


It should be, anyway.  Set a minimum payout floor of 15% of your contributions.  The amount that a retiree gets back begins to ratchet down as their other retirement (from ALL sources) goes up, starting at the 100K level.  When you pass the $250K mark, you get the minimum 15% back.
 
2013-04-08 01:42:26 PM  

Serious Black: Biological Ali: Serious Black: wjmorris3: Serious Black: wjmorris3: Serious Black: wjmorris3: I'd go even further and end social security benefits for everyone, right now. The United States government does not have the authority per the Constitution to spend money.

[files.myopera.com image 438x400]

Seriously - if the government spent nothing, we'd be debt free in a matter of years.

That doesn't even begin to defend your claim that the federal government has no legal authority under the Constitution to spend money. It's just a stupid "no shiat" statement that nobody would ever endorse doing in real life.

If it were actually permitted, there'd be an amendment saying so, which there isn't!

Really? So Article I, Section 8, Clause 1, which partly says Congress has the power "To lay and collect Taxes...to...provide for...the general Welfare of the United States," that does not mean Congress can spend money it has raised through taxes?

Damn, you guys are easy to troll.

I assume everyone is 100% serious because the alternative is always questioning whether somebody is serious or somebody is trying to trigger my Poe's Law alarm.


And a wise decision that is, because I am completely serious.
 
2013-04-08 01:57:11 PM  

wjmorris3: And a wise decision that is, because I am completely serious.



Nope. You overplayed your hand already.
 
2013-04-08 02:15:09 PM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: Saiga410: 47 is the new 42: heypete: Bravo Two: Grand_Moff_Joseph: Social Security can be fixed forever in one simple move:  Remove the payroll cap on SS contributions.

/wipe hands on pants
//repeat

This.

[mahler.ca image 292x256]

I was going to say something like this.  Why is there even a payroll cap on SS contributions in the first place?  I honestly don't know what the reasoning was when it was instituted.

So that it could be sold not as a welfare plan but as a form of insurance or annuity.  If as the system is set up you would have to pay out very large sums to retired billionaires if your removed the cap.  You put a ceiling on the payout and remove the cap then you have effectively killed SS as it was designed.

True, but the system was designed assuming fair, livable wages that tracked to inflation, and the continuance of company pensions as a main form of retirement income for most workers.  Seeing as all of that is broken, SS no longer fits the system in which it lives.


The whole system is designed around the assumption "You're too stupid to plan for your own retirement, whereas we, the government, always know what's best for you."
 
2013-04-08 02:19:51 PM  

Splish: Grand_Moff_Joseph: Saiga410: 47 is the new 42: heypete: Bravo Two: Grand_Moff_Joseph: Social Security can be fixed forever in one simple move:  Remove the payroll cap on SS contributions.

/wipe hands on pants
//repeat

This.

[mahler.ca image 292x256]

I was going to say something like this.  Why is there even a payroll cap on SS contributions in the first place?  I honestly don't know what the reasoning was when it was instituted.

So that it could be sold not as a welfare plan but as a form of insurance or annuity.  If as the system is set up you would have to pay out very large sums to retired billionaires if your removed the cap.  You put a ceiling on the payout and remove the cap then you have effectively killed SS as it was designed.

True, but the system was designed assuming fair, livable wages that tracked to inflation, and the continuance of company pensions as a main form of retirement income for most workers.  Seeing as all of that is broken, SS no longer fits the system in which it lives.

The whole system is designed around the assumption "You're too stupid to plan for your own retirement, whereas we, the government, always know what's best for you."


Well at least the first half of that is true
 
2013-04-08 02:25:04 PM  

Splish: The whole system is designed around the assumption "You're too stupid to plan for your own retirement, whereas we, the government, always know what's best for you."


The system was designed at a time when people were too stupid (or short-sighted, or simply poor) to plan for their own retirement. That there are still people around today who very much use it for that purpose (or as 1/2 their retirement income) suggests that we should not be ending SS just yet.

And the current recession's effects on 401(k)s may be an informative lesson about using the private sector's preferred means to plan for retirement. (Generally, if it's well-fed and a recession doesn't hit right as you shift into retirement-planning mode, you'll be OK. Generally, and with those ifs.)

// let me guess - you're a libertarian/objectivist who thinks old people should just subsist on Alpo - or just die, preferably somewhere out-of-the-way - if they couldn't afford a 401(k)/IRA
 
2013-04-08 02:29:03 PM  

TV's Vinnie: Welcome to Fark.


At some point, this phrase became shorthand for "I have nothing, so I'm just going to make my being an idiot your problem".
 
2013-04-08 02:32:57 PM  

Dr Dreidel: // let me guess - you're a libertarian/objectivist who thinks old people should just subsist on Alpo - or just die, preferably somewhere out-of-the-way - if they couldn't afford a 401(k)/IRA


Alpo?! What kind of high-falutin aristocrats did you come from where Alpo is low-class food? In my day, the poor ate grass and sticks, and by-gum, they ENJOYED it!
 
2013-04-08 03:01:17 PM  

Serious Black: In my day, the poor ate grass and sticks, and by-gum, they ENJOYED it!


Luxury.

We used to have to sneak into birds' nests wearing a feathered costume (that we hand-made from hobo corpses and crack vials) and hope Mama Bird would vomit in our throats.
 
2013-04-08 03:18:59 PM  

Dr Dreidel: Serious Black: In my day, the poor ate grass and sticks, and by-gum, they ENJOYED it!

Luxury.

We used to have to sneak into birds' nests wearing a feathered costume (that we hand-made from hobo corpses and crack vials) and hope Mama Bird would vomit in our throats.


Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, eat a lump of cold poison, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad would kill us, and dance about on our graves singing "Hallelujah."
 
2013-04-08 03:21:33 PM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: TV's Vinnie: Welcome to Fark.

At some point, this phrase became shorthand for "I have nothing, so I'm just going to make my being an idiot your problem".


If you say so. You're a total stranger to me so it doesn't rustle a single Jimmy.
 
2013-04-08 03:21:52 PM  

El Pachuco: CheapEngineer: Todays and Tomorrows SS recipients are not responsible for the mess that has been made of Social Security.

Social Security is not in a mess.  Its funding is, because of the deficit spending that ignored the fact that, eventually, SS was going to need to redeem all the Treasury notes it's been buying for many decades.  The program itself has been working as promised and remains quite popular.

Please do not contribute to the factually baseless meme that SS is a mess.


I was merely working in the Fark framework of "SS is broken" to explain what little problems it has are not because it's underfunded/a drain on the budget.

\one brick at a time
 
2013-04-08 03:24:29 PM  

Serious Black: Ned Stark: Serious Black: Biological Ali: Serious Black: wjmorris3: Serious Black: wjmorris3: Serious Black: wjmorris3: I'd go even further and end social security benefits for everyone, right now. The United States government does not have the authority per the Constitution to spend money.

[files.myopera.com image 438x400]

Seriously - if the government spent nothing, we'd be debt free in a matter of years.

That doesn't even begin to defend your claim that the federal government has no legal authority under the Constitution to spend money. It's just a stupid "no shiat" statement that nobody would ever endorse doing in real life.

If it were actually permitted, there'd be an amendment saying so, which there isn't!

Really? So Article I, Section 8, Clause 1, which partly says Congress has the power "To lay and collect Taxes...to...provide for...the general Welfare of the United States," that does not mean Congress can spend money it has raised through taxes?

Damn, you guys are easy to troll.

I assume everyone is 100% serious because the alternative is always questioning whether somebody is serious or somebody is trying to trigger my Poe's Law alarm.

That has to be bad for your blood pressure.

Unfortunately, it is. I've already had eighteen heart attacks, five strokes, three pulmonary embolisms, and a deep vein thrombosis, and I'm not even 30 years old.


FARK membership is a hard life, Son.
 
2013-04-08 03:27:43 PM  

Splish: Grand_Moff_Joseph: Saiga410: 47 is the new 42: heypete: Bravo Two: Grand_Moff_Joseph: Social Security can be fixed forever in one simple move:  Remove the payroll cap on SS contributions.

/wipe hands on pants
//repeat

This.

[mahler.ca image 292x256]

I was going to say something like this.  Why is there even a payroll cap on SS contributions in the first place?  I honestly don't know what the reasoning was when it was instituted.

So that it could be sold not as a welfare plan but as a form of insurance or annuity.  If as the system is set up you would have to pay out very large sums to retired billionaires if your removed the cap.  You put a ceiling on the payout and remove the cap then you have effectively killed SS as it was designed.

True, but the system was designed assuming fair, livable wages that tracked to inflation, and the continuance of company pensions as a main form of retirement income for most workers.  Seeing as all of that is broken, SS no longer fits the system in which it lives.

The whole system is designed around the assumption "You're too stupid to plan for your own retirement, whereas we, the government, always know what's best for you."


Thanks for that statement. In polite conversation, I'm always on the lookout for a definitive indicator of what kind of asshole I am speaking with - that was a beauty.

\here's hoping everyone you know has been "smart enough" to cover all the possible bases
\\cause, it's so f*cking easy, if you just bother to try, amirite?
 
2013-04-08 03:29:08 PM  

Splish:

The whole system is designed around the assumption "You're too stupid to plan for your own retirement, whereas we, the government, always know what's best for you."


Great Depression?

Does that ring a bell?

No?

Or you'd rather shove your elderly parents out in the street to starve instead of let them live out their natural lifespans like actual human beings, is that it?
 
2013-04-08 03:29:16 PM  

Saiga410: Dr Dreidel: Serious Black: In my day, the poor ate grass and sticks, and by-gum, they ENJOYED it!

Luxury.

We used to have to sneak into birds' nests wearing a feathered costume (that we hand-made from hobo corpses and crack vials) and hope Mama Bird would vomit in our throats.

Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, eat a lump of cold poison, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad would kill us, and dance about on our graves singing "Hallelujah."


Well look at Mr. "we go to eat our poison straight" here. Did ya eat it off a silver spoon to? The only way we could cobble together a meal sized portion was to save up poison all week and stretch it by oohing it over the broken shards of glass from the vials it came in. Miller's cereal we called it. And we were damned thankful to have it too.
 
2013-04-08 03:43:09 PM  

Babwa Wawa: You know who else wanted to fully fund the SS?


THANK you!

/BREITBART WAS RIGHT!!
 
2013-04-08 03:46:59 PM  

Dr Dreidel: Splish: The whole system is designed around the assumption "You're too stupid to plan for your own retirement, whereas we, the government, always know what's best for you."

The system was designed at a time when people were too stupid (or short-sighted, or simply poor) to plan for their own retirement. That there are still people around today who very much use it for that purpose (or as 1/2 their retirement income) suggests that we should not be ending SS just yet.

And the current recession's effects on 401(k)s may be an informative lesson about using the private sector's preferred means to plan for retirement. (Generally, if it's well-fed and a recession doesn't hit right as you shift into retirement-planning mode, you'll be OK. Generally, and with those ifs.)

// let me guess - you're a libertarian/objectivist who thinks old people should just subsist on Alpo - or just die, preferably somewhere out-of-the-way - if they couldn't afford a 401(k)/IRA



Not at all.  I'm a fan of personal responsibility, and as such, with very rare exception, I've saved a portion of every paycheck I've ever received.  There are lots of ways to save money besides a 401k or IRA.  I also find it curious that the government puts so many restrictions on how its people can save money for retirement, while also insisting that it's so important that the government requires it, as long as it's through their system.  And honestly, if you can survive with the government taking 6 percent from your paycheck before you get it, you should be able to find a way to save that much if they didn't.

I've only seen two situations in retirement: People who prepare themselves and receive SS checks that they don't really need, and people who don't prepare at all--thinking SS will be enough and being really disappointed when it's not. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone who has it figured out so well that they've saved just enough that without social security they'd be starving but with it they're comfortable.  It's either completely unnecessary or it provides a false sense of security.  I'm kind of reminded of the tampon commercial a couple of years ago that boasted an extra absorbent string--maybe you shouldn't plan on cutting it that close.

I also have a few friends and family members who can't reasonably expect to live to an age where they'd ever receive SS benefits (assuming of course, that SS is still functional in 40 years) or even disability.  I'm sure they'd much rather have an extra vacation each year than having the government sock it away for a retirement that probably won't ever come.
 
2013-04-08 03:55:03 PM  

CheapEngineer: Thanks for that statement. In polite conversation, I'm always on the lookout for a definitive indicator of what kind of asshole I am speaking with - that was a beauty.

\here's hoping everyone you know has been "smart enough" to cover all the possible bases
\\cause, it's so f*cking easy, if you just bother to try, amirite?


Not at all.  But SS isn't designed to cover all possible bases.  It's designed to dole out an allowance.  It's not like you can go to the SS office and say "You know, my car broke down/I need a new hip/my rent's going up... I'm going to need a bigger check for next month."
 
2013-04-08 03:57:02 PM  

Aarontology: Obama proposes spending cuts and revenue increases that would result in $1.8 trillion in deficit reductions over 10 years, replacing $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts that are otherwise poised to take effect over the next 10 years.

Translation: Because the poor, the elderly, the veterans and everyone who has contributed to Social Security and Medicare should have to bear the brunt of the cuts, not the well connected businesses who depend on Federal dollars to keep going.

In other words, the continuation of wealth redistribution upwards cannot be interrupted, citizen. now grit and bear it while the programs you've paid into your entire life are gutted to make sure a defense contractor can keep making useless toys so that Congressmen and Senators can brag about bringing jobs to their districts and states.



almost..instead of gutted you should have said fleeced..all you wackado's like to say that
 
2013-04-08 04:04:15 PM  

Splish: Not at all. I'm a fan of personal responsibility, and as such, with very rare exception, I've saved a portion of every paycheck I've ever received. There are lots of ways to save money besides a 401k or IRA. I also find it curious that the government puts so many restrictions on how its people can save money for retirement, while also insisting that it's so important that the government requires it, as long as it's through their system. And honestly, if you can survive with the government taking 6 percent from your paycheck before you get it, you should be able to find a way to save that much if they didn't.


I notice there's nothing in there about what happens to the bad, evil, immoral person who fails to save - due to poverty, injury (though there's SS disability, which only healthy people pay into, for certain values of "healthy"), recession (I bet there are responsible 50somethings who lost everything the last 6 years through no direct fault of their own), or even bad planning. No one has perfect information about the future, and a big pile of money will correct for errors - if you don't have enough to cover what looked like a good investment decision going in, what then?

SS at the very least ensures you have income, regardless of market factors and investment decisions. To anyone who saved, it's a bonus. To people who didn't or couldn't, it's a lifeline.

// I'd love it if SS was an actual pension-type plan
// but I'd also love for pensions to make a comeback in general
 
2013-04-08 04:08:33 PM  

TV's Vinnie: Uzzah: 47 is the new 42: I was going to say something like this.  Why is there even a payroll cap on SS contributions in the first place?  I honestly don't know what the reasoning was when it was instituted.

Because there is a maximum benefit. The person who pays into SS on a $10 million salary gets the exact same monthly benefit as someone who pays into in on a $100,000 salary. I'm not saying it's the most persuasive explanation, but that's the explanation.

A max SS benefit to a rich person is chump change. A max benefit to a old or disabled NON rich person is the difference between life and death.

I'd rather see the latter have a fighting chance to survive.


I'd rather see the latter devour the former.
 
2013-04-08 04:44:37 PM  

Aarontology: Obama proposes spending cuts and revenue increases that would result in $1.8 trillion in deficit reductions over 10 years, replacing $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts that are otherwise poised to take effect over the next 10 years.

Translation: Because the poor, the elderly, the veterans and everyone who has contributed to Social Security and Medicare should have to bear the brunt of the cuts, not the well connected businesses who depend on Federal dollars to keep going.

In other words, the continuation of wealth redistribution upwards cannot be interrupted, citizen. now grit and bear it while the programs you've paid into your entire life are gutted to make sure a defense contractor can keep making useless toys so that Congressmen and Senators can brag about bringing jobs to their districts and states.


" a new inflation formula, rejected by many liberals, that would reduce the annual cost of living adjustments for a broad swath of government programs, including Social Security and benefits for veterans. "

I'm pretty liberal, but I'm having a hard time considering tying COLAs to the CPI as "gutting" those programs.
 
2013-04-08 04:45:34 PM  

Splish: I've only seen two situations in retirement: People who prepare themselves and receive SS checks that they don't really need, and people who don't prepare at all--thinking SS will be enough and being really disappointed when it's not.


Then you've lived a soft life.  I'll give you my mother's example of "retirement":

One day my father fell off a ladder at work, and went to the hospital for an X-ray to make sure he didn't break a rib.  Long story short: he was diagnosed with a bone-marrow cancer, and spent the next three years dying in agony.  My mother's job wasn't enough to make the mortgage payment, and then she was fired on a bogus misconduct charge and denied unemployment (as were several other older women in the organization, just as the company was changing its business plan in a way that would require fewer employees).  Her COBRA insurance lasted long enough to diagnose a hip problem, but not long enough to get anyone to fix it.  How many women near 60 with a hip injury are going to get hired in this climate?  She eventually stopped looking, and managed to get disability.  Too old to be hired, too young for Medicare.  The bank took the house.  She's on a waiting list for low-income housing.  I fear that she'll kill herself before she's old enough to get into Medicare and be able to afford prescriptions for her emotional problems again.
 
2013-04-08 04:57:06 PM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: Splish: I've only seen two situations in retirement: People who prepare themselves and receive SS checks that they don't really need, and people who don't prepare at all--thinking SS will be enough and being really disappointed when it's not.

Then you've lived a soft life.  I'll give you my mother's example of "retirement":

One day my father fell off a ladder at work, and went to the hospital for an X-ray to make sure he didn't break a rib.  Long story short: he was diagnosed with a bone-marrow cancer, and spent the next three years dying in agony.  My mother's job wasn't enough to make the mortgage payment, and then she was fired on a bogus misconduct charge and denied unemployment (as were several other older women in the organization, just as the company was changing its business plan in a way that would require fewer employees).  Her COBRA insurance lasted long enough to diagnose a hip problem, but not long enough to get anyone to fix it.  How many women near 60 with a hip injury are going to get hired in this climate?  She eventually stopped looking, and managed to get disability.  Too old to be hired, too young for Medicare.  The bank took the house.  She's on a waiting list for low-income housing.  I fear that she'll kill herself before she's old enough to get into Medicare and be able to afford prescriptions for her emotional problems again.


I am entirely serious when I say that I am sorry to hear that story, but at the risk of offending you, I have to ask one question.  Didn't your dad have life insurance? I carry 500k on myself and 250k on my wife and it only costs me about $30 a month and that peace of mind is worth every penny.
 
2013-04-08 04:59:20 PM  

theknuckler_33: Aarontology: Obama proposes spending cuts and revenue increases that would result in $1.8 trillion in deficit reductions over 10 years, replacing $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts that are otherwise poised to take effect over the next 10 years.

Translation: Because the poor, the elderly, the veterans and everyone who has contributed to Social Security and Medicare should have to bear the brunt of the cuts, not the well connected businesses who depend on Federal dollars to keep going.

In other words, the continuation of wealth redistribution upwards cannot be interrupted, citizen. now grit and bear it while the programs you've paid into your entire life are gutted to make sure a defense contractor can keep making useless toys so that Congressmen and Senators can brag about bringing jobs to their districts and states.

" a new inflation formula, rejected by many liberals, that would reduce the annual cost of living adjustments for a broad swath of government programs, including Social Security and benefits for veterans. "

I'm pretty liberal, but I'm having a hard time considering tying COLAs to the CPI as "gutting" those programs.


Except there's no single thing we call CPI. There's a whole host of CPI formulas that try to estimate inflation based on different assumptions. No single one of those formulas is "correct" because inflation affects each individual differently.
 
2013-04-08 05:04:41 PM  

theknuckler_33: Didn't your dad have life insurance?


No, he didn't.  But your spouse having life insurance doesn't constitute a retirement plan.
 
2013-04-08 05:04:41 PM  

Serious Black: theknuckler_33: " a new inflation formula, rejected by many liberals, that would reduce the annual cost of living adjustments for a broad swath of government programs, including Social Security and benefits for veterans. "

I'm pretty liberal, but I'm having a hard time considering tying COLAs to the CPI as "gutting" those programs.

Except there's no single thing we call CPI. There's a whole host of CPI formulas that try to estimate inflation based on different assumptions. No single one of those formulas is "correct" because inflation affects each individual differently.


That's a fair enough point, and maybe I'm not entirely familiar with the details, but aren't we talking about a plan that will reduce the increases in future benefits? Don't you think it's a bit over-the-top to call that 'gutting' the program?  That's all I'm saying. I'm a little fed up with hyperbole of all stripes.
 
2013-04-08 05:07:10 PM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: theknuckler_33: Didn't your dad have life insurance?

No, he didn't.  But your spouse having life insurance doesn't constitute a retirement plan.


No, it doesn't, but it might have paid off the house or allowed her to downsize... or something. Again, I'm sincerely sorry.
 
2013-04-08 05:08:23 PM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: Splish: I've only seen two situations in retirement: People who prepare themselves and receive SS checks that they don't really need, and people who don't prepare at all--thinking SS will be enough and being really disappointed when it's not.

Then you've lived a soft life.  I'll give you my mother's example of "retirement":

One day my father fell off a ladder at work, and went to the hospital for an X-ray to make sure he didn't break a rib.  Long story short: he was diagnosed with a bone-marrow cancer, and spent the next three years dying in agony.  My mother's job wasn't enough to make the mortgage payment, and then she was fired on a bogus misconduct charge and denied unemployment (as were several other older women in the organization, just as the company was changing its business plan in a way that would require fewer employees).  Her COBRA insurance lasted long enough to diagnose a hip problem, but not long enough to get anyone to fix it.  How many women near 60 with a hip injury are going to get hired in this climate?  She eventually stopped looking, and managed to get disability.  Too old to be hired, too young for Medicare.  The bank took the house.  She's on a waiting list for low-income housing.  I fear that she'll kill herself before she's old enough to get into Medicare and be able to afford prescriptions for her emotional problems again.


I'm sorry to hear that and sorry that I wasn't more clear in differentiating SS disability from plain old "You're old enough, here's some of your money we've been holding for you" SS.  The first is an important safety net that, while imperfect, does a lot of good in cases of unforseeable health conditions.  It's still no substitute for your own disability insurance.  The second is a really awful retirement plan that inevitably falls short.
 
2013-04-08 05:10:21 PM  

theknuckler_33: Aarontology: Obama proposes spending cuts and revenue increases that would result in $1.8 trillion in deficit reductions over 10 years, replacing $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts that are otherwise poised to take effect over the next 10 years.

Translation: Because the poor, the elderly, the veterans and everyone who has contributed to Social Security and Medicare should have to bear the brunt of the cuts, not the well connected businesses who depend on Federal dollars to keep going.

In other words, the continuation of wealth redistribution upwards cannot be interrupted, citizen. now grit and bear it while the programs you've paid into your entire life are gutted to make sure a defense contractor can keep making useless toys so that Congressmen and Senators can brag about bringing jobs to their districts and states.

" a new inflation formula, rejected by many liberals, that would reduce the annual cost of living adjustments for a broad swath of government programs, including Social Security and benefits for veterans. "

I'm pretty liberal, but I'm having a hard time considering tying COLAs to the CPI as "gutting" those programs.


You don't really need a "but" in between "I'm a liberal" and "Aw, come on, you're getting fancy feast". Its a pretty in-character sort of dodge.
 
2013-04-08 05:12:20 PM  

theknuckler_33: No, it doesn't, but it might have paid off the house or allowed her to downsize... or something.


The point is that there is more than "prepared for retirement too well to need SS, or floating along and assuming SS will solve everything".  Sometimes life hits you like a brick in the face, and you find yourself in a situation where you are "retired" not by choice, but by circumstance.  This is precisely the kind of thing that a social safety-net is for.  Without disability, she wouldn't even be eligible for SS at her age, and definitely would have killed herself by now, rather than be utterly destitute.
 
2013-04-08 05:13:22 PM  

theknuckler_33: Serious Black: theknuckler_33: " a new inflation formula, rejected by many liberals, that would reduce the annual cost of living adjustments for a broad swath of government programs, including Social Security and benefits for veterans. "

I'm pretty liberal, but I'm having a hard time considering tying COLAs to the CPI as "gutting" those programs.

Except there's no single thing we call CPI. There's a whole host of CPI formulas that try to estimate inflation based on different assumptions. No single one of those formulas is "correct" because inflation affects each individual differently.

That's a fair enough point, and maybe I'm not entirely familiar with the details, but aren't we talking about a plan that will reduce the increases in future benefits? Don't you think it's a bit over-the-top to call that 'gutting' the program?  That's all I'm saying. I'm a little fed up with hyperbole of all stripes.


I wouldn't call it a gutting either personally. Switching to a chained CPI formula would do somewhere between jack and squat for bringing Social Security into sustainable solvency. I'd also say it's hard to complain about a policy when liberal think tanks like CAP and CBPP both endorse it with the caveat that benefits be boosted for those with the lowest incomes.
 
2013-04-08 05:30:20 PM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: theknuckler_33: No, it doesn't, but it might have paid off the house or allowed her to downsize... or something.

The point is that there is more than "prepared for retirement too well to need SS, or floating along and assuming SS will solve everything".  Sometimes life hits you like a brick in the face, and you find yourself in a situation where you are "retired" not by choice, but by circumstance.  This is precisely the kind of thing that a social safety-net is for.  Without disability, she wouldn't even be eligible for SS at her age, and definitely would have killed herself by now, rather than be utterly destitute.


Without a doubt and I didn't mean for my post to suggest I was saying otherwise.
 
2013-04-08 05:33:45 PM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: theknuckler_33: No, it doesn't, but it might have paid off the house or allowed her to downsize... or something.

The point is that there is more than "prepared for retirement too well to need SS, or floating along and assuming SS will solve everything".  Sometimes life hits you like a brick in the face, and you find yourself in a situation where you are "retired" not by choice, but by circumstance.  This is precisely the kind of thing that a social safety-net is for.  Without disability, she wouldn't even be eligible for SS at her age, and definitely would have killed herself by now, rather than be utterly destitute.


I'm genuinely sympathetic (and that's why I didn't respond to your "soft life" jab), but from what you're describing, they didn't have life insurance or disability insurance--despite relying on both incomes--or much in the way of retirement savings--despite being very close to retirement age.  What exactly were their retirement plans if not to rely on SS?
 
2013-04-08 05:35:05 PM  

Ned Stark: theknuckler_33: " a new inflation formula, rejected by many liberals, that would reduce the annual cost of living adjustments for a broad swath of government programs, including Social Security and benefits for veterans. "

I'm pretty liberal, but I'm having a hard time considering tying COLAs to the CPI as "gutting" those programs.

You don't really need a "but" in between "I'm a liberal" and "Aw, come on, you're getting fancy feast". Its a pretty in-character sort of dodge.


I don't know what point you are trying to make, I just think Obama's proposal can hardly be characterized as 'gutting' the program as the person I quoted was suggesting. Its merits and drawbacks are still up for debate, I just think that characterization is hyperbole. That's all.
 
2013-04-08 05:42:09 PM  

theknuckler_33: Ned Stark: theknuckler_33: " a new inflation formula, rejected by many liberals, that would reduce the annual cost of living adjustments for a broad swath of government programs, including Social Security and benefits for veterans. "

I'm pretty liberal, but I'm having a hard time considering tying COLAs to the CPI as "gutting" those programs.

You don't really need a "but" in between "I'm a liberal" and "Aw, come on, you're getting fancy feast". Its a pretty in-character sort of dodge.

I don't know what point you are trying to make, I just think Obama's proposal can hardly be characterized as 'gutting' the program as the person I quoted was suggesting. Its merits and drawbacks are still up for debate, I just think that characterization is hyperbole. That's all.


Except, as pointed out above, the costs people on SS face generally outstrip inflation. Meaning that it falls further and further behind. Sure, right now the cut feels mild but in two decades? Gutted.

Leaving aside that cutting social security benifits people have already paid for is stealing anyway no matter how little you steal.
 
2013-04-08 05:46:18 PM  

Ned Stark: theknuckler_33: Ned Stark: theknuckler_33: " a new inflation formula, rejected by many liberals, that would reduce the annual cost of living adjustments for a broad swath of government programs, including Social Security and benefits for veterans. "

I'm pretty liberal, but I'm having a hard time considering tying COLAs to the CPI as "gutting" those programs.

You don't really need a "but" in between "I'm a liberal" and "Aw, come on, you're getting fancy feast". Its a pretty in-character sort of dodge.

I don't know what point you are trying to make, I just think Obama's proposal can hardly be characterized as 'gutting' the program as the person I quoted was suggesting. Its merits and drawbacks are still up for debate, I just think that characterization is hyperbole. That's all.

Except, as pointed out above, the costs people on SS face generally outstrip inflation. Meaning that it falls further and further behind. Sure, right now the cut feels mild but in two decades? Gutted.

Leaving aside that cutting social security benifits people have already paid for is stealing anyway no matter how little you steal.


So raise benefits for people at the bottom of the income spectrum by a modest amount. You'll still save some money while not knifing the poor.
 
2013-04-08 05:49:59 PM  

Splish: despite being very close to retirement age


They weren't.  My father was hit with this form of cancer incredibly early for it's particular form, and took several years to die.  The house went under in the following ten or so years, followed by several more years of sliding.  The savings accumulated by both earners were eaten by my father's cancer treatment first (health insurance denied a bone-marrow transplant and he fought them in court), then later by my mother's COBRA payments and having to cover her living expenses while getting no unemployment.  In addition, money was spent to fight the unemployment denial which also required legal council.  It's been about 12-15 years of trudging toward homelessness/suicide, with every year worse than the year that came before it.  Try to imagine how much it costs to fight cancer - I guarantee you that you won't even come close to the actual figure.
 
2013-04-08 05:50:56 PM  

redmid17: Hmmm if Dems and Reps don't like it, there has to be a semblance of merit to the proposal.


No it doesn't.

/Golden Mean Fallacy is my pet peave.
 
2013-04-08 05:50:56 PM  

Ned Stark: theknuckler_33: Ned Stark: theknuckler_33: " a new inflation formula, rejected by many liberals, that would reduce the annual cost of living adjustments for a broad swath of government programs, including Social Security and benefits for veterans. "

I'm pretty liberal, but I'm having a hard time considering tying COLAs to the CPI as "gutting" those programs.

You don't really need a "but" in between "I'm a liberal" and "Aw, come on, you're getting fancy feast". Its a pretty in-character sort of dodge.

I don't know what point you are trying to make, I just think Obama's proposal can hardly be characterized as 'gutting' the program as the person I quoted was suggesting. Its merits and drawbacks are still up for debate, I just think that characterization is hyperbole. That's all.

Except, as pointed out above, the costs people on SS face generally outstrip inflation. Meaning that it falls further and further behind. Sure, right now the cut feels mild but in two decades? Gutted.

Leaving aside that cutting social security benifits people have already paid for is stealing anyway no matter how little you steal.


Perhaps. I'm just looking at this one idea in a vacuum, so to speak. Without doing anything, the program will be gutted far more in two decades than it will be by this proposal. That was my perspective But you bring up a valid point too. How about alternating current COLA adjustments with the CPI-chained COLA adjustments for 10 years combined with applying 1/2 the SS tax on incomes above the current cap to 2Xs cap and then 1/4 the SS tax rate on incomes from 2Xs cap to 4Xs cap and then see where we stand after 10 years?
 
2013-04-08 05:54:36 PM  

Serious Black: Ned Stark: theknuckler_33: Ned Stark: theknuckler_33: " a new inflation formula, rejected by many liberals, that would reduce the annual cost of living adjustments for a broad swath of government programs, including Social Security and benefits for veterans. "

I'm pretty liberal, but I'm having a hard time considering tying COLAs to the CPI as "gutting" those programs.

You don't really need a "but" in between "I'm a liberal" and "Aw, come on, you're getting fancy feast". Its a pretty in-character sort of dodge.

I don't know what point you are trying to make, I just think Obama's proposal can hardly be characterized as 'gutting' the program as the person I quoted was suggesting. Its merits and drawbacks are still up for debate, I just think that characterization is hyperbole. That's all.

Except, as pointed out above, the costs people on SS face generally outstrip inflation. Meaning that it falls further and further behind. Sure, right now the cut feels mild but in two decades? Gutted.

Leaving aside that cutting social security benifits people have already paid for is stealing anyway no matter how little you steal.

So raise benefits for people at the bottom of the income spectrum by a modest amount. You'll still save some money while not knifing the poor.


That isn't the proposal on the table and the system isn't actually broke but other than those minor concerns you're bang on.
 
2013-04-08 05:58:38 PM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: Try to imagine how much it costs to fight cancer - I guarantee you that you won't even come close to the actual figure.


My daughter was born a little over 2 months premature and spent 4 weeks in the NICU at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia. The total bill from hospital and the physician's practice was in the neighborhood of $140K.

4 weeks of care... not even cancer.

I hear ya.
 
2013-04-08 06:09:05 PM  

theknuckler_33: My daughter was born a little over 2 months premature and spent 4 weeks in the NICU at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia. The total bill from hospital and the physician's practice was in the neighborhood of $140K.

4 weeks of care... not even cancer.

I hear ya.


Yeah, stretch that out over three years, with an insurance company actuary deciding that the most you deserve is just enough Morphine to keep you from screaming until you finally die.  The tactic appeared to be to drag feet through the courts and hope he died in the mean-time, or just gave up.

The "soft living" I was referring to wasn't in reference to my parents' problems - I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.  It's the idea that you are actually prepared for anything that I see as a product of soft living.  At best, you're prepared for retirement so long as everything goes according to plan.  It's so incredibly easy for that to not happen, and unless you've seen it first-hand, you just don't know how fragile those plans are.  And unless you have old family money to draw on, once you are in free-fall, it's just a matter of time before you hit the ground.
 
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