The Social Security Choice

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Crabtownboy, Sep 20, 2008.

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  1. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
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    http://time-blog.com/swampland/
     
  2. sag38

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    Why can I not invest my own money? Social Security robs me of my right to do with my earnings as I please. And, yet Oduma wants to pour even more into this rat hole of a mess called Social Security. By time I am 70 there won't be any Social Security because of folks who believe like Obama. I will have given to this fund thousands and thousands of dollars and all of it wasted. You work hard to earn your money, busting your butt, and yet you are rewarded with more taxes. Who wants to work hard only to watch a vast portion of your earnings go toward taxes to pay for Oduma's entitlement programs. Joe Biden considers that to be patriotic. I call it strong arm robbery.
     
  3. targus

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    Private accounts seems like a reasonable solution to me.

    I personally would feel more "secure" if I had control of my tax "contributions" to the system rather than relying on the government to invest (which in reality has been spend) my payroll tax dollars.

    Private accounts would not eliminate the social security system - unless everyone opted out. In which case there would be no need for it.

    As to Obama's tax increase solution - it does nothing for the long term solvency of the system and may actually result in less taxes coming into the system in the immediate term.

    High income earners have many options available to them and could simply rearrange their compensation to decrease reported wages subject to the tax. This would result in not only lower social security taxes being collected but also less Federal Income taxes as well.

    This is evidenced by what happened after the tax rates were lowered under Ronald Regan. Taxpayers had less incentive to shelter income and therefore more income became subject to taxes. This resulted in an increase in tax revenues collected even though tax rates were lower.

    Obama seems to think that the economy is a zero sum game and does not realize that tax policies impact taxpayer behavior.
     
  4. Pastor Larry

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    It is important that we elect someone who will not risk the future of our country and our elderly by continuing the current path of SS. I am not sure McCain will take it on, and I am sure that there are so many pandering politicians who put their own interests above those of the people. However, SS should be privatized. Obama is simply wrong on this one. But he will use it as a scare tactic to scare people into voting for him.
     
  5. tinytim

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    SS was one of the first socialized programs. And of course socialists don't want to replace it by giving the people the right to use their own money... Obama and his like want to have control of our money.

    Rob from the rich and give to the lazy.
     
  6. billwald

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    >Why can I not invest my own money? Social Security robs me of my right to do with my earnings as I please.

    What percentage of your income goes to private investments now? People are either savers or spenders. If you are not saving now then the existence of SS is immaterial.

    SS was invented because most Americans are not savers and many old people were eating out of garbage cans . . . or some equivalent. Without SS most old people would be in the poor house or on the street. And don't claim that the Church would take up the slack because the church didn't take up the slack before SS. Yes, some large cities had mutual aid societies, "Unchristian" organizations like The Moose Club, which still takes care of its old people.
     
  7. KenH

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    The recent major economic turmoil means that the idea of privatizing Social Security is no longer a realistic political option.
     
  8. LeBuick

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    Perhaps you all know about investing in the market or other wants to make sure your money will carry your through your golden years. Most of us average American's don't have that knowledge or skill to invest and appreciate the SS program. If you take your money out then the program will fail.

    There is no reason you can't invest and keep SS. I think you will appreciate SS if your investments don't work out or I am sure there is someone you know and love who appreciates the program. What I would like to see is Congress forced to repay all the money they "borrowed" and a law that makes it and Medicare/Medicaid off limits to those money mis-managers.
     
  9. LeBuick

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    I think a better way of saying this might be the recent troubles with the economy is proof how risky the privatization system is. Maybe you all want to take that risk but there are some of us who prefer the system that's in place.

    Not only does it pay in your golden years, it pays if you get hurt and can't work. I can't believe how heartless you guys are.
     
  10. Pastor Larry

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    True, if people are willing to play politics with the future. For those of us who aren't willing to play politics, there are better options than SS. In fact, putting your money under your mattress is a better option.

    The system in place can't keep going. It is paying too much money out to people who never paid it in.

    How is it heartless to be concerned that the next generation have money to live on in their retirement? Perhaps we have different definitions of heartless, but I don't find that heartless.
     
  11. LeBuick

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    I agree, when I learned illegal immigrants could get a check I was outraged. We completely agree here, you can only take out of you or your main provider put in.

    Because the system you advocate clearly is not the system for everybody and most will be thrown under the bus if asked to invest in the market.
     
  12. KenH

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  13. billwald

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    Illegals don't have a SS number and can't get a SS payment. They can only pay into the system on someone else's number.

    By the way, years ago as an experiment I made up a SS number and gave it to a bank to open an account. It took the system about 3 months to discover it.
     
  14. tinytim

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    Hey, someone can pay into SS using my SSN!

    As long as I get it when I retire!
     
  15. LeBuick

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    That's what the government would want you to believe however search for the term PRUCOL aliens. We have aliens that we know are here illegally but INS has decided it is not in our interest to deport them. These illegal aliens can and do get checks.

    Not only that, did you know Bush gave Mexico a large check for illegals that worked here from Mexico?

     
  16. Pastor Larry

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    I am not talking about illegal immigrants. I am talking about the fact that the money I pay in is not for me, it is for those who are currently getting paid, whose money went to pay those before them. It is a failed system.

    No they won't. This is easy. You have a line on the tax form where the money (at least 15.3% as current) is required to be invested in retirement accounts that cannot be touched, just like SS is now. Just like most employers already do, you give people options of funds. If they desire, they may choose other funds. But you give it to the people and get the government out of the retirement business.
     
  17. Crabtownboy

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    Would they be given an option to cash out early and use the money for whatever they wanted to use it for.

    I think in theory your idea is not a bad one. I believe in practice it would be a bad one. Why? Because the majority of people know little or nothing about mutual funds and most are not willing to study to become educated about them.

    I have done quite a bit of investing. I do not take brokers advice. If they are that good they would be rich and would not need to work. Also, the majority of funds do not provide that great a return. A few have in the past, but the majority are not great investments.

    Investing in stock, bonds, and/or mutual funds takes a lot of work if you are going to hope for a good return. You have to study, screen, track them daily ... and few people are willing to do that.

    My advice to people, especially older people, who want to invest relatively safely and not complicate their life is to invest in their own state's municipal bonds. You pay no federal or state taxes. You do have to report how much money you earned on your 1040, but there is no tax charged.
     
  18. Pastor Larry

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    No.

    True, but you don't have to know much. You really don't. For purposes of this program, the money must be invested in certain types of funds that are broad-based (in other words, not small caps or industry specifics). This could be done relatively easy.

    The only problem with it is that people now receiving SS income are depending on me to pay it to them. And if I take my money elsewhere, what will they get paid with? But somewhere we have to break this destructive cycle.

    As have I for about twenty years. My first investment was a Fidelity Puritan fund purchased in Sept of 88. Within a month I had lost 25% because of the crash. But I rode it out. I started to put more in because I knew it would come back, but I didn't do it. Today that money is worth considerably more though not what it could be because I switched funds a couple of time and didn't make the best choices. A friend of mine who invested the same amount at the same time cashed it in and took the loss.

    I don't think that is true at all. Investing is not a get rich quick scheme. Someone can be very good with investment advice and be building his own portfolio without being rich. Besides work is a good thing, not a bad one.

    I completely disagree. Wise choices in good funds are always a good investment in the long run. You have to do some homework. And you have to be diversified. But it isn't hard to maintain 6-10% over a period of years. Every four to five years there will be a correction and it will scare people, but if you have a sound long term perspective, you don't have to worry about it. In any ten year period, the market always makes money.

    I disagree again. You have to do the homework. With bonds, you do nothing. You buy them and let them mature. With stock you have to pay daily attention. With mutual funds, you buy and hold and ride out the differences. The problem is that people try to time the market, and you can't do that. You have to buy it and forget about it in a sense. Keep an eye on it, but don't chase the market and try to time it .

    Usually a bad choice unless one is near retirement age. I think for a younger person (50 or younger) to invest primarily in these types of investments is bad because they do not provide growth. I know a guy who was in a fixed annuity through the 80s and 90s, and it cost him literally thousands upon thousands of dollars in retirement income. He should have been in mutual funds. Again, look at market history. In the last 10 years, the market has done 44% and 20+% over five years. The market is more solid than people think it is. But all the press goes to the spectacular, not the plodders. The plodders is where you make money.

    I say stay out of stocks, have a few bonds and CDs, but have some good mutual funds with a good history and good management that are broadly based. Mix it up with international and domestic.

    And I say don't try to pick them on your own. Most people have no idea what to look for. Talk to some people and get a sense of their investment strategy. You want someone who doesn't believe in trying to get rich quick, who is disciplined and steady, and who is able to explain things with patience. If he or she is easily frustrated by questions, you will not like them. To find someone like this, you will pay them, but it will be worth it.

    Short and long is that there are right ways to do it and wrong ways. SS is a wrong way. And just about every other way is better (except for day trading).
     
  19. billwald

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    If an illegal pays in for 10 years should he not get at least the same SS as any citizen who has been on welfare for 40 years?
     
  20. Pastor Larry

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    Sure, nothing.
     
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