We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It's long been my position that Social Security was meant to help elderly workers who could no longer do the labor of the Depression era. We're not a nation of ditch diggers and washwomen anymore. The government has set up a system where (with today's life expectancies) we subsidize a third of a lifetime in retirement.
Yes, it is crazy. Retirement should be by economic choice, or for the disabled. It is crazy for the young to subsidize the golf of the grey folks like me who have more wisdom and experience to contribute to the workplace than the dopey kids.
Nothing against golf, mind you. Nothing against sitting on the beach reading and smoking, either. There is a time for every purpose under heaven.
I thought I would read this blog to check it out being from RI. But The Bannister really know nothing and is not worth reading and posts too much relative to the others. Social Security is paid for by the beneficiaries it is not subsidized you dope.
That was pretty much the original intent since back in the '30s, people had pride and wouldn't take handouts, but people get payouts regardless of how much they put in. Also, the scope of SS has expanded quite a bit since its initial conception.
All the SS funds are "invested" in govt debt which pretty much launders it into a "general fund" and spent on all those cool things that the govt likes to spend money on. Now that SS is paying out more than it takes in (something that has happened about seven years earlier than expected) benefits will have to be paid from general tax revenue or deficit spending (something our govt is VERY good at). In that sense, which is very real, the govt (that means all of us) is paying the benefits of the retirees. This is almost guaranteed regardless of how much the SS deficit is.
If your "contributions" were in an account with your name on it and you had some control over it and if your "account" was invested in profit generating enterprises, I would agree with you, but it ain't. If the govt means tests SS benefits (something very possible), that will break the last tenuous relationship to how a "real" retirement account works and then becomes another form of welfare.
If the government just pays me back the money I have contributed to Social Security for "my retirement account," along with a reasonable rate of return equivalent to what I would have now if I had been able to invest the money myself (say 5% compounded annually), I would be fine with them abolishing Social Security, and I will release any further rights I have to get Social Security at retirement.
That seems to me to be the fair and honest solution.
Sorry ... just sick of useless pseudo-conservatives. Like Jim I'm ok with SS going away. But just remember, the governments backs EVERYTHING be it health care (they pay for the sick, the insurance companies make the money from the well), education (they used to cover all delinquent student loans), finance (the biggest con job in the history of the world). So every group is "sitting on the beach" as The Bannister puts it. So yes lets gut all the programs for the masses, but what should really set your hair on fire is what corporations and banks have done do us.
I'm in my early fifties. If I lose my job, I may have a dickens of a time finding a permanent one at my age. That's part of what's driving Social Security: some pressure on older workers to retire and free up a job for someone else, older workers who lose their jobs and can't get re-hired because employers look at a five-years-if-I'm-lucky career path.
I don't know exactly when people should retire. Ben Franklin left business at age 46 but had two or three more careers. I've been in the workforce for 34 years; eventually I'd like a few years to myself without being so feeble that I can't enjoy them.
Your nickel... where did Geoff say that? Give me back what I've paid in. That's all I ask. Though in fairness I should receive interest as well. But never mind that. Government was formed to break promises. Just like in 65 when I joined the military, do your 20 and have health care for life, even if from a substandard VA facility, we can see where that has gone. Not saying the promise shouldn't have been made in the first place, but it was.
Though really, I wonder your and the B's views if your lives had been a little less chosen. It can be a little too easy to preach from the mountain top I think.
I've read all the comments above. What are you guys talking about with economy is such a wreck? Social security is the least of the problems. Get a perspective. I'll be happy to help in upcoming Bannister blogs.
Current recipients of Social Security voted for the politicians and advocated for the policies that ensure that they receive a return vastly greater than the money they contributed and that future beneficiaries will be paid by other workers and not from accumulated funds. All future payments should be made into individual accounts modeled on the Thrift Savings Plan used by Federal employees. Persons over 50 should be paid a declining percentage of current benefits for a period of 20 years. The realization in the market that the cancer was being removed would produce an expectation of growth that would revive the economy.
Please do not tell my mother about my characterization of Social Security.