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BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...

Bobert 08 Feb 05 - 08:14 PM
jaze 08 Feb 05 - 08:36 PM
Bobert 08 Feb 05 - 08:39 PM
cool hand Tom 08 Feb 05 - 09:06 PM
Rapparee 08 Feb 05 - 09:16 PM
Bobert 08 Feb 05 - 09:45 PM
Susu's Hubby 08 Feb 05 - 09:59 PM
Teresa 08 Feb 05 - 10:12 PM
Bobert 08 Feb 05 - 10:19 PM
Rapparee 08 Feb 05 - 10:30 PM
Teresa 08 Feb 05 - 10:36 PM
Bobert 08 Feb 05 - 10:50 PM
Rapparee 08 Feb 05 - 10:57 PM
Bobert 08 Feb 05 - 11:03 PM
Teresa 08 Feb 05 - 11:04 PM
Rapparee 08 Feb 05 - 11:21 PM
DougR 09 Feb 05 - 12:41 AM
jaze 09 Feb 05 - 08:29 PM
Bobert 09 Feb 05 - 09:31 PM
Rapparee 09 Feb 05 - 09:48 PM
Bobert 09 Feb 05 - 09:52 PM
Greg F. 09 Feb 05 - 10:02 PM
jaze 10 Feb 05 - 09:40 PM
Bobert 10 Feb 05 - 10:01 PM
Rapparee 10 Feb 05 - 10:03 PM
Bobert 10 Feb 05 - 10:16 PM
dick greenhaus 10 Feb 05 - 10:46 PM
GUEST,Frank 11 Feb 05 - 10:43 AM
jaze 11 Feb 05 - 09:33 PM
Bobert 11 Feb 05 - 10:40 PM
GUEST 12 Feb 05 - 10:03 PM
Susu's Hubby 12 Feb 05 - 10:22 PM
Bobert 12 Feb 05 - 10:24 PM
mg 13 Feb 05 - 02:51 AM
Greg F. 13 Feb 05 - 12:18 PM
mg 13 Feb 05 - 12:50 PM
Jim Tailor 13 Feb 05 - 06:16 PM
Greg F. 13 Feb 05 - 06:26 PM
Jim Tailor 13 Feb 05 - 08:01 PM
Bobert 13 Feb 05 - 08:23 PM
Greg F. 14 Feb 05 - 09:53 AM
Jim Tailor 14 Feb 05 - 09:59 AM
Greg F. 14 Feb 05 - 10:14 AM
Jim Tailor 14 Feb 05 - 10:26 AM
Bobert 14 Feb 05 - 06:45 PM
DougR 14 Feb 05 - 07:23 PM
Bobert 14 Feb 05 - 07:38 PM
mg 14 Feb 05 - 07:53 PM
Bobert 14 Feb 05 - 08:02 PM
mg 14 Feb 05 - 10:20 PM
Bobert 14 Feb 05 - 10:31 PM
Greg F. 14 Feb 05 - 11:10 PM
Jim Tailor 15 Feb 05 - 09:54 AM
DougR 15 Feb 05 - 01:25 PM
Jim Tailor 15 Feb 05 - 02:04 PM
Bobert 15 Feb 05 - 06:01 PM
Greg F. 15 Feb 05 - 07:45 PM
Jim Tailor 15 Feb 05 - 08:32 PM
Bobert 15 Feb 05 - 08:50 PM
Don Firth 15 Feb 05 - 09:14 PM
GUEST,jim tailor 16 Feb 05 - 06:29 AM
Greg F. 16 Feb 05 - 01:35 PM
Jim Tailor 16 Feb 05 - 01:57 PM
Bobert 16 Feb 05 - 03:44 PM
Rapparee 16 Feb 05 - 03:54 PM
Jim Tailor 16 Feb 05 - 04:57 PM
Bobert 16 Feb 05 - 05:40 PM
Greg F. 16 Feb 05 - 05:48 PM
Jim Tailor 16 Feb 05 - 06:24 PM
Don Firth 16 Feb 05 - 06:25 PM
Jim Tailor 16 Feb 05 - 06:28 PM
Jim Tailor 16 Feb 05 - 06:32 PM
Bobert 16 Feb 05 - 06:43 PM
Greg F. 16 Feb 05 - 08:54 PM
Don Firth 16 Feb 05 - 09:38 PM
JohnInKansas 16 Feb 05 - 10:40 PM
Bobert 16 Feb 05 - 10:59 PM
GUEST,jim tailor 17 Feb 05 - 06:35 AM
GUEST,jim tailor 17 Feb 05 - 06:41 AM
GUEST,Don Firth 17 Feb 05 - 12:24 PM
DougR 17 Feb 05 - 10:32 PM
Ron Davies 17 Feb 05 - 11:30 PM
Susu's Hubby 18 Feb 05 - 12:04 PM
Don Firth 18 Feb 05 - 12:57 PM
DougR 18 Feb 05 - 01:22 PM
Don Firth 18 Feb 05 - 01:32 PM
pdq 18 Feb 05 - 01:40 PM
Don Firth 18 Feb 05 - 03:04 PM
Susu's Hubby 18 Feb 05 - 06:29 PM
Bobert 18 Feb 05 - 07:43 PM
Don Firth 18 Feb 05 - 10:34 PM
Bobert 18 Feb 05 - 10:42 PM
GUEST,Amos 19 Feb 05 - 01:33 AM
Bobert 19 Feb 05 - 07:51 AM
Greg F. 19 Feb 05 - 09:07 AM
Susu's Hubby 19 Feb 05 - 09:34 AM
Amos 19 Feb 05 - 10:33 AM
Susu's Hubby 19 Feb 05 - 10:48 AM
Ron Davies 19 Feb 05 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,Amos 19 Feb 05 - 12:47 PM
Bobert 19 Feb 05 - 08:38 PM
Susu's Hubby 19 Feb 05 - 10:59 PM
Greg F. 20 Feb 05 - 09:24 AM
Bobert 20 Feb 05 - 09:38 AM
Ron Davies 20 Feb 05 - 11:44 AM
Bobert 20 Feb 05 - 06:03 PM
Ron Davies 20 Feb 05 - 07:10 PM
Bobert 21 Feb 05 - 08:17 AM
GUEST,Larry K 21 Feb 05 - 01:19 PM
Ron Davies 21 Feb 05 - 02:11 PM
Amos 21 Feb 05 - 02:22 PM
Susu's Hubby 21 Feb 05 - 03:28 PM
Ron Davies 21 Feb 05 - 05:03 PM
Ron Davies 21 Feb 05 - 05:10 PM
Bobert 21 Feb 05 - 08:36 PM
Jim Tailor 22 Feb 05 - 05:56 AM
Bobert 22 Feb 05 - 08:21 AM
Jim Tailor 22 Feb 05 - 08:48 AM
Jim Tailor 22 Feb 05 - 09:03 AM
Jim Tailor 22 Feb 05 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,Larry K 22 Feb 05 - 09:08 AM
Greg F. 22 Feb 05 - 12:04 PM
Susu's Hubby 22 Feb 05 - 01:01 PM
Bobert 22 Feb 05 - 04:59 PM
DougR 22 Feb 05 - 06:19 PM
Ron Davies 22 Feb 05 - 06:20 PM
Bobert 22 Feb 05 - 06:47 PM
GUEST,TIA 03 Mar 05 - 07:32 AM
John Hardly 03 Mar 05 - 07:54 AM
Greg F. 03 Mar 05 - 09:37 AM
Don Firth 03 Mar 05 - 01:02 PM
John Hardly 03 Mar 05 - 01:33 PM
Don Firth 03 Mar 05 - 06:13 PM
Don Firth 03 Mar 05 - 06:27 PM
John Hardly 03 Mar 05 - 06:41 PM
Bobert 03 Mar 05 - 06:46 PM
GUEST,TIA 03 Mar 05 - 08:32 PM
John Hardly 03 Mar 05 - 08:41 PM
Don Firth 03 Mar 05 - 09:02 PM
Bobert 03 Mar 05 - 09:18 PM
John Hardly 04 Mar 05 - 11:50 AM
John Hardly 04 Mar 05 - 01:01 PM
Bobert 04 Mar 05 - 06:28 PM
Don Firth 04 Mar 05 - 06:38 PM
John Hardly 04 Mar 05 - 06:50 PM
Bobert 04 Mar 05 - 06:57 PM
Susu's Hubby 04 Mar 05 - 07:15 PM
Bobert 04 Mar 05 - 07:34 PM
John Hardly 04 Mar 05 - 08:26 PM
Bobert 04 Mar 05 - 08:48 PM
Ron Davies 04 Mar 05 - 11:02 PM
Don Firth 04 Mar 05 - 11:24 PM
John Hardly 05 Mar 05 - 06:31 AM
Bobert 05 Mar 05 - 08:05 AM
John Hardly 05 Mar 05 - 08:11 AM
Greg F. 05 Mar 05 - 11:17 AM
John Hardly 05 Mar 05 - 12:05 PM
Greg F. 05 Mar 05 - 12:53 PM
John Hardly 05 Mar 05 - 01:26 PM
Don Firth 05 Mar 05 - 02:39 PM
Greg F. 05 Mar 05 - 03:01 PM
John Hardly 05 Mar 05 - 06:12 PM
Greg F. 05 Mar 05 - 06:34 PM
John Hardly 05 Mar 05 - 07:05 PM
Don Firth 05 Mar 05 - 07:36 PM
Bobert 05 Mar 05 - 07:38 PM
Ron Davies 06 Mar 05 - 03:01 PM
John Hardly 06 Mar 05 - 04:08 PM
Ron Davies 06 Mar 05 - 10:06 PM
Susu's Hubby 07 Mar 05 - 06:38 AM
Greg F. 07 Mar 05 - 07:39 AM
Bobert 07 Mar 05 - 08:16 AM
Ron Davies 07 Mar 05 - 10:29 PM
Bobert 08 Mar 05 - 08:49 AM
Greg F. 08 Mar 05 - 09:37 AM
Greg F. 08 Mar 05 - 09:53 AM
Bobert 17 Apr 05 - 09:06 PM
Amos 18 Apr 05 - 12:09 AM
Bobert 18 Apr 05 - 07:33 AM
Susu's Hubby 18 Apr 05 - 10:09 AM
GUEST,Amos 18 Apr 05 - 11:14 AM
Susu's Hubby 18 Apr 05 - 12:11 PM
Amos 18 Apr 05 - 12:38 PM
Bobert 18 Apr 05 - 08:19 PM
Bobert 28 Apr 05 - 07:42 PM
Amos 28 Apr 05 - 08:13 PM
Bobert 28 Apr 05 - 08:49 PM
Amos 29 Apr 05 - 08:15 AM
Bobert 29 Apr 05 - 07:01 PM
Amos 29 Apr 05 - 07:40 PM
GUEST 29 Apr 05 - 09:49 PM
Bobert 29 Apr 05 - 11:16 PM
GUEST,Susu's Hubby 30 Apr 05 - 12:37 AM
GUEST,JustSurfedIn 30 Apr 05 - 06:43 AM
Bobert 30 Apr 05 - 08:39 AM
GUEST,JustSurfedIn 30 Apr 05 - 01:32 PM
Amos 30 Apr 05 - 05:13 PM
Bobert 30 Apr 05 - 07:33 PM
woodsie 01 May 05 - 12:19 PM
saulgoldie 01 May 05 - 12:27 PM
GUEST 01 May 05 - 02:09 PM
Amos 02 May 05 - 02:12 AM
Bobert 03 May 05 - 07:10 PM
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Subject: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 08:14 PM

Well, just as the Iraq war, I think the the Bushites have shot themselves in the foot in trying to create a crisis with the Social Security system.

I'm sure that prior to the 2004 election there were many hard working folks who were unaward of just how the current system lets the wealthy off beyond $90,000 a year in taxable income.

But over the next month or so, even Bubba will know. I'm not too sure that the Bush folks want Bubba to know too much but....

But that's a different problem for the Repubs...

On another thread where I was being accused by another Catter of being a compaliner without any ideas I was challenged to come up with what I might propose. And this is what I proposed:

Reduce the contribution of 6.2% from both the employer and the employee to, say, about 5% and...

...REMOVE THE CAP!

This will help small business. This will help the self employed. And this will sure up te system forever...

I would even entertain a reduced conributions as the taxable income increases so that the super rich won't feel as if they are carrying the system but not the current near exemption by the rich folks...

Think about this. This is the CURRENT system:

Family A:

Father: Earns $90,000................. pays $5,580 a year into SS
Mother: Earns $90,000................. pays $5,580 a year into SS
Oldest kid works part time and
summers makes $7,500.................. pays $ 465 a year into SS
Youngest kid works part time and
summers makes $3,700...................pays $ 229 a year into SS
                                             _______

Total income $191,200                        $12,285 a year into SS


Family B:

Father: CEO of Pillowtex Corp
of North Caolilna who has just
shut down the company's last US
plant, laying off over 3,000
employees, shipped the company's
eguipment to Palistan where the
company will hire 3,000 Pakistanis.
Earnings: $2,500,000                         $5,580 a year into SS

Mother: Spends hubby's money, plays
golf, tennis and word on the sreet,
is follon' around with the guy who
comes by once every few days to service
the olympic lenght swimming pool.
Earnins: Zero                                  Zero a year into SS

Oldest son: Attends Yale. Smokes lots
of good dope. Has a 2.5 GPA.
Earnings: Same as moms                         Zero a year into SS

Younger sister: Senior at private school
outside of Charlotte. Rides horses. Just
wrecked her 3rd Mercedes. Rumored to, ahhh,
have done every guy on the football team.
Earnings: Same as big brother & mom            Zero a year into SS

Family B Totals:

Earnings...................$2,500,000         $5,580 a year into SS

This is the current state of affairs in America!!!

How much more do we really want to squeeze the working class?

What I proposed above I think is REASONSABLE and will strengthen the system.

One thing I can agree with Bush on. The way it is is definately screwed... but, IMO, in favor of his friends...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: jaze
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 08:36 PM

Perhaps Congress and others in Gov't should only have SS to rely on for their retirement, like so many others. See how fast they'd wanna ditch it. They get princely retirement plans, so why should they care what happens to SS. They are after all, public servants who chose to be where they are. Let them live like the people they represent and maybe you'll get some real representation.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 08:39 PM

Good point, jaze, but we ain't gonna get noone from Boss Hog's neighborhood to accept no cuts in *their* entitlements... The best thing we can do now is offer alternatives top the *leech* solution propsed by the head leech himself...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: cool hand Tom
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 09:06 PM

And me as a communist wonders if the revolution is near...

   Regards Comrades.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Rapparee
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 09:16 PM

You want an alternative? Here's mine:

Decentralize the Federal government.

Here's how:

Spend the money to build a super information infrastructure -- we can do it, right now, it would take absolutely NO new technology. Then require that every Senator and Representative live in their state or district, telecommuting to work -- again, this would take NO new technology and is done by many people right now.

This accomplishes many things: it makes lobbying damned difficult, it puts the lawmakers back among the people they represent, it strengthens the government because Congress is spread out across the country instead of sitting on one big bulls-eye.

The Legislative Branch taken care of, at least one Department or Federal office of the Executive Branch into each state. Move the Presidency itself -- the White House -- to the town nearest the geographic center of the US, Belle Fourche, South Dakota. Leave the Judicial Branch in DC, which reverts to Maryland and houses museums, the Supreme Court, etc. and is used strictly for ceremonies.

Okay. The Congressfolk are then paid the average prevailing wage in their home district. Each year the voters of their district vote the percentage above that the Congressperson would be paid. Naturally, the governemtn picks up the office costs! And here's the kicker -- the secretaries, assistants, and so on make the same money they do now, they have the same benefits, etc. -- but they ALL must fall under Civil Service! (Congressfolk have three weeks paid vacation, the same medical benefits and other benefits as the average person in their district -- including retirement benefits.)

Costs go way, way, down. We can keep an eye on our government. Those who do the work are paid for good work. Belle Fourche, SD gets a nice shot in the economic arm.

All it would take is the will to do it. The money is not a problem.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 09:45 PM

Works fir me, Rap... Might of fact, I like the plan... But I'd go one step further and dedidtrict the entire nation to in sure that each congressional district was competetive, as opposed to the 90% which are no longer competitive... Heck, I don't care if a Repub wins in a competetaive district 'cause guess what? If he or she wants to win next election then he or she is gonna have to do a lot of listenin' to the other sides arguments...

Yeahm if we had such a sytem in place the US would certainly be a modal of democracy rather than thr corrupted version we have now...

Now back to Social Security...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Susu's Hubby
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 09:59 PM

you know.......I just got through filing my taxes for the last year. Both Susu and I didn't make anywhere close to a million....for that matter.....we didn't make anywhere near a hundred thousand. We were just barely lucky enough to scrape together fifty grand between the both of us. With that being said....I still do not see the need to penalize those that have actually been blessed enough to make enough money that his wife and kids didn't have to work.

That is what your plan is doing, Bobert.

It unjustly penalizes the "haves" and makes them have a mandatory responsibility for the "have nots." Why should they have to pay for someone else's retirement when they have worked their butts off and caused themselves to not have to depend on Social Security?

Now, I may be stepping beyond my bounds here but I'm going to assume that we can agree on one thing. That one thing is that both you and I have used some "worst case scenarios" in trying to prove our points. I with my "crack whore with six kids on welfare" statement and then you with your stereotypical analogy that all rich people are just like the CEO of the Pillowtex Corp. I think that the real people that we are talking about falls somewhere in the middle of these two. Therein lies the dilemma.

I believe that both the Republicans and the Democrats (not all but some) have swung a little too far to their respective sides. In order for the truly needy to get the assistance that they deserve to get back on their feet, the Democrats tend to cast the net to cover everybody, at the expense of everybody else, (by raising taxes on all) whether it be the "crack whore" or the truly needy without a plan to eventually wean everybody off of the system at some point. It's the same with our kids. We raise, protect, and feed them for probably the first 18-20 years of their life. But we, eventually, want to see our kids get out of the house and make it on their own. It makes us feel proud and have a little sense of personal responsibility when our own kids make it on their own. I believe that can go for our fellow man as well. If they need the help, then lets give them the help but let's give it to them in ways that will actually lift them out of the situation that they're in and then stop the assistance once the crisis has passed and let them practice their own personal responsibility to make their lives better. Now….. the Republicans (again not all but some) have swung too far to the right by letting the religious right sometimes drive their agenda just a little too far. So I'm not saying go right or go left but we need to do what's right or get left BEHIND. Now……what's right? I think that penalizing one for the needs of the other is not right. Taking away what is rightfully owned by an individual and giving it to someone who has not worked that hard is pure socialism. (Distribution of wealth) Let's start this with Social Security.

Let's make it to where EVERYBODY can decide on what they want to do with a portion of their social security investment. This way, by allowing people to invest in the financial vehicle of their choice, they can have a chance to live better in their retirement years that they did during their working years. If they don't have this choice and have not been lucky enough to work for somebody that let's them divert a portion of their income into a 401(k) then they are destined to live a retired life of just barely getting by. Let's stop the heavy taxing of corporations so that they will have incentives to stay in the US instead of moving overseas to take advantage of cheap labor.
Just a rogue thought here but I hope that you realize that sometimes a corporation is set up by an individual in order to protect their personal assets that they have already amassed and want them protected in the event of bankruptcy. Not all corporations are set up in boardrooms by cigar smoking, golf shirt wearing fat men with the intention of screwing the "little man". Probably more than half of all the corporations set up in the United States today make less that a million per year in sales, services, and/or profits. So increasing the taxes on these in a lump sum type of belief system is very unfair to the small corporation……..I'll continue my thoughts tomorrow but I'm interested in knowing what you think so far.

By the way……..just caught your last post…….interesting idea……..sounds good on the surface but will have to give that one some thought.


Hubby


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Teresa
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 10:12 PM

Paul Krugman's Op-ed Piece in the New York Times, no less.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 10:19 PM

Yeah, hubby, you do the math and you'll see that folks individually making under around $110,000, maybe $115,000, a year will benefit and the program will be solvent forever...

Small businesses will benefit... Self employed will benefit and no one will have to be forced to work longer ot face reduce benefits... The big looser, of course, will be those folks whoes incomes are obscene.... Like Dick Cheney's, for example... Like how many steaks can you eat????

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Rapparee
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 10:30 PM

Consider this, written over 100 years ago:

Poor and restricted are our opportunities in this life; narrow our horizon; our best work most imperfect; but rich men should be thankful for one inestimable boon. They have it in their power during their lives to busy themselves in organizing benefactions from which the masses of their fellows will derive lasting advantage, and thus dignify their own lives. The highest life is probably to be reached, not by such imitation of the life of Christ as Count Tolstoï gives us, but, while animated by Christ's spirit, by recognizing the changed conditions of this age, and adopting modes of expressing this spirit suitable to the changed conditions under which we live; still laboring for the good of our fellows, which was the essence of his life and teaching, but laboring in a different manner.

This, then, is held to be the duty of the man of Wealth: First, to set an example of modest, unostentatious living, shunning display or extravagance; to provide moderately for the legitimate wants of those dependent upon him; and after doing so to consider all surplus revenues which come to him simply as trust funds, which he is called upon to administer, and strictly bound as a matter of duty to administer in the manner which, in his judgment, is best calculated to produce the most beneficial results for the community -- the man of wealth thus becoming the mere agent and trustee for his poorer brethren, bringing to their service his superior wisdom, experience, and ability to administer, doing for them better than they would or could do for themselves.

We are met here with the difficulty of determining what are moderate sums to leave to members of the family; what is modest, unostentatious living; what is the test of extravagance. There must be different standards for different conditions. The answer is that it is as impossible to name exact amounts or actions as it is to define good manners, good taste, or the rules of propriety; but, nevertheless, these are verities, well known although undefinable. Public sentiment is quick to know and to feel what offends these. So in the case of wealth. The rule in regard to good taste in the dress of men or women applies here. Whatever makes one conspicuous offends the canon. If any family be chiefly known for display, for extravagance in home, table, equipage, for enormous sums ostentatiously spent in any form upon itself, -- if these be its chief distinctions, we have no difficulty in estimating its nature or culture. So likewise in regard to the use or abuse of its surplus wealth, or to generous, freehanded coöperation in good public uses, or to unabated efforts to accumulate and hoard to the last, whether they administer or bequeath. The verdict rests with the best and most enlightened public sentiment. The community will surely judge, and its judgments will not often be wrong.


Earlier, the same man said:

The growing disposition to tax more and more heavily large estates left at death is a cheering indication of the growth of a salutary change in public opinion. The State of Pennsylvania now takes -- subject to some exceptions -- one-tenth of the property left by its citizens. The budget presented in the British Parliament the other day proposes to increase the death-duties; and, most significant of all, the new tax is to be a graduated one. Of all forms of taxation, this seems the wisest. Men who continue hoarding great sums all their lives, the proper use of which for the public ends would work good to the community, should be made to feel that the community, in the form of the state, cannot thus be deprived of its proper share. By taxing estates heavily at death the state marks its condemnation of the selfish millionaire's unworthy life.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Teresa
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 10:36 PM

Who did you quote?

Teresa


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 10:50 PM

Heck, her could have been qutoing Amos from the Old Testament 'er Jesus from the New....

Yeah, Rap, who are ya' quotin'? Lincoln? If so, I gotta a bone to pick wid ya'....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Rapparee
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 10:57 PM

Nope, Bobert, not Lincoln. Just your standard Communist I guess, like Karl Marx or Friedrich Engels. Yes, sir! This here commie's essay, entitled "Wealth" can be found under the name of Andrew Carnegie, founder of U.S. Steel. If you want to read the whole thing, go here.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 11:03 PM

Ya' got me that time, Rap. Marx and Rnglres was gonna be myt seconf guess...

Btw, Yolu read Olver Goldsmith's "Deserted Village"? He's like a hundred years before Marx and sayin' thre same stuff...

Greed been around a long time...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Teresa
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 11:04 PM

They don't make rich men like that anymore. Leastways, you don't hear about them.

Teresa


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Rapparee
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 11:21 PM

Now, don't forget that Bill and Melinda Gates have given to libraries both in the US and overseas, and that the Gates Foundation is giving away money to eliminate malaria. Ted Turner gave a bunch to the UN.

But I'd sure like other folks who "have" to realize that they have the obligations that Carnegie points out -- and act accordingly.

That goes for Social Security, too.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: DougR
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 12:41 AM

Well, Bobert, I guess we will just have to wait and see, right? I don't believe the Democrats have offered ANY solution to the SS problems have they? If so, the news has escaped me.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: jaze
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 08:29 PM

I haven't heard it explained how taking money OUT of SS will help it.It seems to be just a ploy to eliminate it.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 09:31 PM

Taking money out won't do anything except turn the nation back in the direction is was in before Social Security...

But seriously, I've been giving this a lot of thought and here are a few thing that I'm thinking.

It is called "Social..... Security", isn't it... So here are a few of my ideas.

1. Benefits should be figured on a sliding scale. One retired guy making $500,000 a year off his stock options, shouldn't collect anything. The fact that he has had to pay into the system is his dues for living in a society that affords him the luxary of retiring with $500,000 year income. This would save the system billions and billions of dollars. I think the cutoff could be around between $5000 and $7000 a month. Heck, most folks by then allready own their homes, have no mortgages, no kids at home (if they are lucky) and don't need a bunch of money. I'd be willing to for go any benefits if I had like that kind of money coming in...

2. From the savings from (1.) we can fund a "Catestrophic Ilnees Insurance Plan" that protects folks, mostly middle class, from the fear of bankruptcy if they should get sick, loose their jobs and/or loose their health insurance... Throw in a patient's "Bill of Rights" preventing health insuers from dropping sick folks and, all of a sudden, the middle class hard working folks now don't have to live in fear of loosing everything they have worker for all their lives...

3. Like I mentioned eatiler, reduce the SS with-holding to 5% for the employee and drop the $90,000 cap. This would mean that the guy earning $120,000 and the guy making $27,000 would both benefit. Self employed folks will benefit. Small businesses will benefit and maybe use a portion of the saving to restore health car benefits that they haven't been able toafford to provide their workers... This is win-win for Amnerica... Maybe not for the super wealthy but, hey, like have pointed out on other threads, if it weren't for the labor of the middle class, they wouldn't be wealthy...

Yeah, those ate just some of my thoughts... fir now...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Rapparee
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 09:48 PM

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 09:52 PM

Amen, Rap.....


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 10:02 PM

"the need to penalize those that have actually been blessed enough to make enough money..."

Having them to pay the same rate as everyone else is penalizing them?
Man, Hubby, have you got your head wedged firmly up your a$$.And "blessed" by whom? Are you suggesting some sort of divine sanction for the filthy rich?

And Dougie's regurgitating BS as usual- point is, there IS NO "CRISIS".


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: jaze
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 09:40 PM

No one to explain how taking money OUT of SS helps it? DougR?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 10:01 PM

Ahhhhh, askin' Dougie, 'er one of any of the Budshites is like askin' a dnaged brick, jaze.... They ain't gotta a clue... Why? Well, seems that this time Bush's PR folks haven't finished their assignments on time and the Bushites are now left impatiently awaiting some bumper sticker lenghth answer to your question...

Problem is... Some problems require a little more thought than can be explained on a bumper sticker...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Rapparee
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 10:03 PM

I am, myself, a flat taxer: set a rate, say 15%, for ever dollar earned over, say $10,000. No exemptions. And EVERYBODY pays: churches, the Red Cross, the guy with 12 kids, everyone. You make $20,000, you pay 15% on $10,000. You make $20,000,000, you pay 15% on $19,990,000.

It's a graduated tax and it's fair.

Not only that, but I think that it should be payable -- in cash if you wish but not in coin -- at any federally insured saving institution.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 10:16 PM

Now, Rap, you know that I loves ya', sniff.... But I can't go with a flat tax unless yer willin' to boost the taxable income up to, oh, about 10% tp 20% 'er so over the poverty line. Ten grand ain't what it used to be, especially if yer a single workin' mom with three kids...

How's about 20% over the poverty line?

Come on, in the big scheme of things it won't amount to nuthin' more than a drop in the bucket....

Whaddayathink?

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 10:46 PM

"We're the kids who agree
To be social without security
We're Barry's Boys"

recorded by the Mitchell Trio


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 10:43 AM

Democrats don't want to raise taxes. They want the upper class to pay their fair share. Many of them don't work very hard for their money.
Many working poor people work a lot harder for their money. Democrats want a fair and equitable tax system that doesn't reward the rich at the expense of the poor.   Paying taxes is the price for living in a decent society. Tell these so-called conservatives that they need to stop borrowing and putting our country into more debt and inevitable bankruptcy. Iraq is the financial 800 pound gorilla in the room.

The Bush government wants to regulate how you invest your private accounts, anyway, so they offer not much of a choice in privatization.

Social Security is fine the way it is. It's worked well for decades. Don't let Wall Street steal it away from poor elderly people who have paid into it. Bush can't improve on FDR.

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: jaze
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 09:33 PM

Amen to that, Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 10:40 PM

Well, Frank... Think about this... Rather than just throw up out arms and say "what crisis?" which I'll admit to havin' done myself, why not use this as an opportunity to improve the system to protect America's working class aginst bankruptcies from medical bills and loss of jobs as a result of gettin' sick?

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 10:03 PM

Sounds good to me..the catastrophic medical plan. I am confused...is it only 4% of the beneifts BUsh was talking about privatizing? If so, I can't see it is a huge deal. I vote for sliding benefits and I vote for a flat tax above a certain limit..or maybe two..10% between 20 and 40 k maybe and 20% above..

What I want is to quit giving ss cash to drug addicts and alcoholics. They should get shelter in a barracks of some sort, and they should get food, and $20 a month for toiletries but no cash period. They are not just destroying themselves, but the neighborhoods they live in, particularly the meth users.

And everyone has to quit jumping everyone else who talks about changing some social behaviors as blaming the victim. If someone has brain damage from a disease, it is blaming the victim to blame them. If they have brain damage from using illegal drugs, they are not the victim (oh of course you could argue they are in some ways) but the perps. Likewise if someone was raped and got pregnant, she is a victim. If she defied her parents, snuck out of the house to be wtih an abusive creep that got three other women pregnant the same year, she is not a victim (assuming normal intelligence etc.) but she is one of the perps. Don't let people get away with behavior that costs other people money, or endangers them, and all of a sudden you will have huge amounts of money available to take care of no-fault problems in society. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Susu's Hubby
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 10:22 PM

here, here, MG.


(We'll get 'em outnumbered yet!)


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 10:24 PM

Major thread creep, mg....

This is about "Social Security", fir gosh sakes, and not some 15 year old *harmone-ized* girl who gets pregnant by sneaking out of the house...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: mg
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 02:51 AM

There's a limited amount of money and we can pour it down the drain to evermore greatly festering social pathology or we can wise up and have more money to spend on education, medicine, alternative energy etc. And I believe that people who either encourage this behavior or passively accept it are a big part of the problem, and are having their surrogates engage in antisocial behavior for them. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 12:18 PM

Don't let people get away with behavior that costs other people money, or endangers them

People like George Bush & Co. whose behavior daily endangers people's lives at home and abroad, individuals with million-dollar incomes that still collect SS (some several times over), companies like ENRON, behavioirs like polluting the environment, perchance? Then I'm with ya.

Each of these cost the taxpayer FAR MORE money than ALL of the unfortunate people you stigmatize as,"drug addicts and alcoholics", Mary.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: mg
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 12:50 PM

Well you go after them. And I am all for an income level above which social security benefits are not obtained. And these alcoholics and drug addicts, tragic as they are, are costing us way more than their personal keep. There is a ripple effect that is destroying whole communities, the whole family structure. Especially the drugs, especially now the meth. There has to be a culture that says don't do this, it hurts people, rather than says, well, OK, if you really want to go ahead. And that is what people are doing. Enabling them. Coming soon to your neighborhood. Your mother's neighborhood. In Oregon they are saying 90% of the crime is related to meth. It sounds very high to me, and perhaps it is more like 50%. But think of what could be done with the money that would be saved from not fighting that crime. Think how people would sleep better at night, worry less about their children, not watch their property values tumble if this drug behavior were stopped. Alcohol for various reasons is a bit different. Just think of the drugs for now. And think how by jumping on everyone who wants to point this out is leading to their continued presence in our lives.   mg


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 06:16 PM

This has become one of those "pox on both their houses" topics for me, if ever was.

I think that, at some point or another, we need to "pay the piper" for a system that was poorly set up -- mostly to expedite its possibility of ever being instituted in the first place.

And so, what we have is a system, sold to us as a sort of "retirement package" into which we place our money, and, like any good savings account, renders us financial security in the end.

But that's not what it is – and it never had a chance to be that. It is, as any entitlement, the decision we made as a republican democracy to collectively vote ourselves something we thought to be in the public best interest – a way of caring for elderly who could not care for themselves – just as we voted ourselves a highway system, just as we voted ourselves a standing miltary.   We collectively decided that…

…We could afford to pay for our elderly so that those elderly who had either poorly planned, or fallen on hard times despite good planning, would not suffer needlessly. We obviously further thought that, though magnanimously voting that for those in need, in reality we were voting it for ourselves as well.

But at the time in which it was first instituted there was a more pervasive work ethic in our country wherein more people believed more strongly in the notion that those who refuse to work had no inalienable rights to partake of the hard labor of others.

So the wise folks who set up Social Security sold it to us as the retirement plan, the illusion that many still believe in today. Many still believe that the money we will (do) draw from Social Security has some sort of direct correlation to the money that had(s) been withdrawn from our paycheck for years.

When the Democrats (they were the majority then – it would probably only be a matter of time if the Republicans had been a majority – they'd have done the same thing if in power) "raided the Social Security Trust Fund" ha ha ha ha ha! …in a perverse manner, they really did us a favor – they helped remove the illusion that SS is anything but the same kind of entitlement voted ourselves for any number of reasons. It just had a more justifiable cause.

Now we know that all the tax revenue is essentially pooled – and SS is no more secure than the stability of the Fed Gov't.

As a "retirement plan" it is in DEEP shit. But it always has been because that illusion – the illusion that made it possible (by deception) to set up SS in the first place – perversely allowed perhaps the biggest tax scam in our entire history – a scam that we have to make right in some manner or another. The scam…

…is that, though I am against a progressive tax structure – I am at least equally against a regressive tax structure. IN THIS MATTER the wealthier haven't even come close to "paying their fair share". The guy who makes $1,000,000 a year pays no more than the guy who makes $90,000 (but looking at this with a broader history – it's more like the guy who makes $50,000 – because the ceiling has been raised within the past ten years).

But revenge almost always costs the avenger more than it costs the target. It's just true. The more you try to get back at someone for a perceived inequity, the more likely that you'll be paying double for your trouble…

…because NOW, in order to get even with those who had the free ride for so long, you risk hurting the employability of those upon whose backs you can least afford to put the public burden.

Knowing that, I think that the one way (and I know this is impossible because the whole mess is a VERY effective political tool wherewith to terrorize the masses on both sides) to correct it MAY be a sort of "coming clean" type policy, whereby a joint congress addresses the American people thusly:

We are in as deep a shit as you think (congress may be able to word it a bit more delicately). If we do nothing, the manner in which older people expect to get a monthly check is not going to happen because we will not have the real means to finance such a huge expenditure. We spent all your money.

But here is a plan for recovering at least some of it…
For a three year period there will be no ceiling on Social Security. We all benefit equally from the program and we should have been paying in equally all along. We have not been.

We are aware of how adversely this is likely to affect employment, and we wish there were a better way, but...

1. We are virtually begging the well-off among us to make the sacrifice. The middle class – those for whom the existing system has been an unfairly inequitable burden have born their huge share and will continue to do so through this process. See if it isn't possible for you to maintain the level of employment that you currently have so that the burden may be distributed to those who can most take it. Be patriots, damn it!

2. Accept that our life expectancy is going up, and our general well-being with it. Retire when you need to, and don't take SS if you don't need to. It never was your money we were "saving". WE LIED FROM THE BEGINNING. Those who were the architects of the deceit are no longer in office - mostly not even alive, so there's nobody to charge with high crimes. Get over it. Be patriots, damn it!

3. We will continue to make private retirement accounts attractive by making them tax-deductable or deferred – your choice as always.

4. After these initial years we will re-evaluate where it stands. We must be able to find out how adversely affected the poor will be by so burdening the wealthier, and we have to be able to determine how much, in real financial terms this is really gaining us. If it looks as though the Government can actually maintain a retirement system then we will do so. If we cannot we will be replacing it with a two-pronged system – welfare for those in need, and laws that require minimum savings.

Man, I can sure be full of shit sometimes.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 06:26 PM

Man, I can sure be full of shit sometimes.

Amen to that, Jim. Amen. Only sometimes?

Question is, do you actually believe the shit?

I've hardly ever seen such an exposition of total crap.Completely bogus.

Also just curious: have you ever talked to anyone- other than to say hello- that lived through the Hoover administration and the Depression?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 08:01 PM

so, I take it you would be against removing the ceiling then?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 08:23 PM

I usually don't find much with your posts, Jim, that I can agree with but I respect yer above post. Hope it didn't hurt yer head. Jus' Funnin' wid ya, but there was a lot of substance and thought that went into it and though I am way over on the other side politically, this is the kinda dialogue we need...

Removing the cap would go along ways toward shoring it up. Yes, if asking the super wealthy to participate in this middle class program hurts them to the point that they are shutting down plants they own over it than, yeah, we need to look at that.

And, yeah, the program was designed to keep out old folks, which hopefully all of us will one day become, from living in poverty. If there are folks out there who don't *need* to collect from it, then why should they? Hey, millionaires get it whether they need it or not. What's that about? I will be perfectly willing to forgo an SS benefits if when I'm 65 I'm comfy, which I hope to be. Not rich, mind you, but comfy... There should be a reversed sliding scale thing put in place on elegibility...

But good work, Jim...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 09:53 AM

so, I take it you would be against removing the ceiling then?

See post 09 Feb 05 - 10:02 PM, above. That's the only part of your post that isn't BS. Paying their fair is no "burden" on the wealthy, not now, not then, and I'm tired of them- and you (unless them IS you?) styling it as such.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 09:59 AM

Then you don't accept that life expectancy is going up?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 10:14 AM

Give the sophistry a rest, Jimmy.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 10:26 AM

Just clarifying, Greg. You said "total crap, completely bogus". Taking you at your word (a word you were not compelled to share if you had nothing to add to the discussion), I am trying to find out exactly why you don't find ANY of it that you can agree with. That's all part of finding middle ground. Or so I thought.

You admitted that you actually found it less than "completely bogus" when you admitted that you did find useful potential in removing the ceiling.

I'm puzzled that you think that life expectancy is not increasing -- it is one of the biggest obstacles in addressing the SS problem.

It also has never been a "savings account" as it continues to be sold to us -- though, interestingly, as it approaches a 1/1 ratio of those paying in to those drawing out, it is becoming one -- though an underfunded one.

I'm not asking you to tone down the abusiveness. I just don't think it's asking too much for more clarification.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 06:45 PM

While I can't support private accountds I certainly could entertain greater tax incentives for 401K's. Maybe that is an area for compromise.

Also, I suggested that some folks might be cajoled into other changes in the program such as eligibility citeria. Age, race, sex are vatiables. Also continued employement. I know there are regulation on employment but maybe there is some area in there that can be tweeked. But, most importantly, I'm sure that most middle class folks would entertain benefit changes if they were couple with a catastropic health insurance program since, because of unexpected illneses and injuries are driving a middle class family into bankruptcy every 30 seconds. ("Sick and Broke", Elizabeth Warren, professor of law, Harvard University).

How do you feel about these proposlas, Jim?

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: DougR
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 07:23 PM

Hmmm. I wonder where you were, Bobert, Greg F., others, in 1998 and 1999, when the Democrats led by Bill Clinton and Harry Reid were making speech after speech decrying the fact that SS was in terrible danger of going bankrupt and HAD to be saved? They were preaching the same message Bush is preaching today. I guess it makes a difference who the preacher is, right?

Doesn't change the facts though.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 07:38 PM

First of all, Dougie, as I have stated over and over: I wasn't a Bill Clinton fan 'cause he was the purist Republican president since Richard Nixon...

Second of all, Dougie, Bill Clinton wasn't proposing attaching a leech to the SS system as the cure, as Dr. Bush has perscribed...

Third of all, Dougie, would you like to get into the conversation here that two polor opposites, me and Jim, have begun some dialogue on how to strengthen the system...

And fourth, Dougie, would you be willing to give up your SS? If so, what other program would you like to see developed as part of the trade off? This is a serious question, my friend. No tricks. It's okay to answer it.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: mg
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 07:53 PM

Here are some of my tradeoffs:

1. Hostel type programs for drug and alcohol abusers. No cash except for toiletries etc.
2. Income limits before receiving SS.
3. Increased immigration if necessary.
4. Outsource some of us when we get old to other countries with cheaper living arrangements. Just wait, that will happen...
5. More community nursing, public health etc. Health care is too darn expensive.
6. Quit overmedicating seniors and having them use all their money for medications, some of which are not needed and some of which are harmful.
7. Hospice care and comfort care for some medical situations.
8. Better use of agriculture/food stamps so more money is spent on agricultural products rather than junk food, like say 90% of food stamps have to be spent on basic food products.
9. "make work" programs for those who can not find work on their own but could work with some support..elderly, handicapped, etc. There is plenty that needs to be done. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 08:02 PM

Okay. mary garvey, those are some thoughfull ideas. Just be sure that suggestion number 4 is voluntary, okay? I a way we allready do this since so many folks from the NE, who make more money than those in the south, end up retiring, being cared for and dieing in the South...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: mg
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 10:20 PM

True, but would you rather be a cook in a nursing home or work in a coal mine? They do bring money with them and provide jobs for people. And some people would rather work in a coal mine...but some would rather not. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 10:31 PM

????


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 11:10 PM

which would you rather do or ride a bike?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 09:54 AM

I wished a pox on both houses but only expressed what bothered me about the Republican's stubborness. The thing that makes me irrate about what the Democrat talking heads on TV are saying is...

They have the gaul to suggest that we all should always have been contributing to private retirement accounts all along -- that SS isn't meant to cover our retirement.

All good and fine, except...

Those most inequitably sufferring from the current SS tax burden are VERY VERY unlikely to have ANY money left for their own accounts after "contributing" 12% to the Social Security tax. AND...

...then, on top of that, SS -- which is sapping the greatest amount of money from them -- a greater amount than housing, food, transportation, education, clothing -- is not going to have the funds to return even an amount that, by the Democrats own admission, would have been insufficient for their retirement.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: DougR
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 01:25 PM

Bobert: No, of course I am not willing to give up my SS. Why should I? I earned it. That has nothing what-so-ever to do with the subject anyway.

Bush has made a positive suggestion for strengthening SS. What plan has the Democrats proposed?

It's well and good for Mudcatters to propose programs of their own but posting them on the Mudcat does little good. Send your suggestions to your favorite senator, Senator Byrd! Let him champion them in the Senate. If your ideas have merit, I'm sure the Senate will adopt them.

Expecting that any party other than either the Republicans or Democrats are going to do anything to improve SS is pure nonsense.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 02:04 PM

Doug,

There's absolutely no doubt that, by virtue of having properly "played the game" of having paid what was required throughout your employed years, that you are due your SS check. That is the "contract" under which you entered the program, you played by the rules, and the US gov't owes you what they promised.

Having said that though, do you really think there was a direct correlation between your contributions and what you recieve on a monthly basis? Do you really think they are drawing your check from a What-DougR-Paid-In account?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 06:01 PM

Dougie,

Your assertion that "Bush has made a positive suggestion to strenghten SS" is nothing but your opinion. Leeches didn't work in medicine and they won't strenghten SS. Taking money out of it doesn't make it stronger. It weakens it. Prove me wrong...

This ain't about politics but common sense.

Again, how is fleecing it going to do a danged thing to help it?

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 07:45 PM

...SS -- which is sapping the greatest amount of money from them -- a greater amount than housing, food, transportation, education, clothing (emphasis mine)

Yet again, absolute bull$hit.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 08:32 PM

It's bullshit that I (and many others like me) live with every year.

My SS annual is always greater than my mortgage which is under $1,000 per month. The numbers are close, but SS is higher every year. Higher than mortgage, higher than yearly groceries, higher than any single insurance payment, higher than utilities, higher than...the list goes on.

I am supposing that perhaps you are not self-employed and as such assume that your withholding represents your SS payment?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 08:50 PM

Well, I've been self employed since 1981 and know of what you speak, Jim, but when I think what I have paid into the system, they way it it is designed I'll most likely be able to not only recoup my money plus a lot more than that, unless of course, Bush is successfull in gutting the program...

And the way it is looking, 100% of what I get will go right back into the saving account I use for paying my taxes, so, at least in my case, I may never actually spend a dime of it but...

... I don't care. I want it to be there for some the folks who really do need it. I don't want to think of any of my generation dieing in poverty like folks used to do before Social Security, though even with it, I know that many will, dang it....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Don Firth
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 09:14 PM

Jim, if the Social Security tax is such a burden on you, can you seriously say that you would take a roughly equivalent amount of money and put it into some kind of savings or investment account for your retirement?

I didn't think so. You'd feel (as you do now) that you need it to pay bills and such. But, of course, "I'll do it next month." Just like everyone else.

There goes any secure retire, right down the terlet.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: GUEST,jim tailor
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 06:29 AM

Don,

Of course what you are saying has merit. That's why, if you read my longer post, you'd have noticed that I said "manditory" savings.

But give me a little credit for being able to do the math. If I had invested the amount of money privately that I have "invested" in SS I would have a considerably healthier retirement...

...and more flexibility with the money that was mine

...and my wife who survives me would have all the money that we have worked together for (rather than the death benefit that is a slap in her face -- based on husband-as-breadwinner. How patronizing is that?)

...and politician after politician (from both sides) would not be able to hold me hostage to my fears year after year after year after...

Bobert,

I'll gladly concede the likelihood that the government will gladly continue to pay SS recipients even though it merely increases the national debt. But let's not have it both ways. If that's not risky, then lets turn a deaf ear to politicians from either side of the aisle when they use that as a scare tactic to get us to vote for them.

And let's also come clean about the "savings account" aspect of the program. By your own admission: "they(sic) way it it (sic) is designed I'll most likely be able to not only recoup my money plus a lot more than that" ...is an admission that the program is not paying recipients what they paid in. It is, and always has been, taking money from a (increasingly smaller per capita) pool of taxpayers and redistributing it. That being the case, how can the program ever hope to break even? ....... unless it too is tied to the very productivity that the Democrats are telling us will harm those who might opt for private accounts.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 01:35 PM

Jim-

The way your post reads in English is that the SS costs those folks more than ALL of the items you named. Of course, this sort of ridiculous exaggeration is is standard operating procedure for those of the BuShite persuasion, so no surprise.

OK, so if your SS is ca. $12K per annum at 12% of your income, you're making over $100K a year. Plus your wife's income. What's the matter- can't buy that second Lexus? Must be tough.

You might try living like regular folks sometime- support a family on one half or one third of what you make. Might change your perspective on this whole issue.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 01:57 PM

I never said anything about a $12,000 SS payment. What I said is that it amounts to less than $1,000 per month. I put it in monthly terms in order to compare it to other monthly payments. I did so to point out that it is those of us who make considerably less than $100,000 per annum who are the very most boxed in by the SS system.

I have one vehicle -- not a Lexus -- a five year old Ford van with 118,000 miles on it.

And, no, my post, in English, does not imply "more than all".


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 03:44 PM

Well, Jim, even though I will most likeley collect more than I put into the system, lots of folks will collect considerable less or none of what they paid into the system but I'm still fine with that, even if fir some reason the Good Lord takes me away before I reach age 65.

Why? Let me repeat myself. The program, though not created to be considered one's only retirement income has accomplished one very nobel and humanistic goal of drastically reducing the percentage of our eldery who die in poverty. That in itself makes the program worthwhile.

Now maybe we need to have a discussion on the virtues of a society than honors its elederly citizens, I don't know. But I would hope that everyone here would at least be on the same page on this *value*.

So that brings us back to the question of "strengthening SS"... I am not convinced that by allowing folks to take a large percentage of the money that now goes into this nobel program to "gamble" it is in the best interest of either the system or the individual gambler. The US governemnt has never defaulted on a bond or note, yet suring my life time I can think of dozens of major companies that have gone bust, Enron being the most recent and American Motors being the one that goes back the furtherst in my memory. Throw in commissions, agents fees and I'm seeing Bush's proposals as a tax cut that is directed to Wall Street and in some cases, outright corporate crooks.

That, IMO, is not strengthing any more than punching a hole in the bottom of a boat or removing bottom cards out of a house of cards.

Can we get back to the strengthing discussion???....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Rapparee
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 03:54 PM

Bush said today at a whistle-stop in New Hampshire that he doesn't rule out increasing the cap on social security payments from the current $90K.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 04:57 PM

Bobert, we've never stopped discussing "strengthening the system". There is a difference between not discussing the premise and disagreeing about conclusions.

You insist on judging the merits of the system on its noble intentions, but it is not the intentions that are casting it upon the rocks -- it is the finacial heart of the matter.

You say, "even though I will most likeley collect more than I put into the system, lots of folks will collect considerable less or none of what they paid into the system but I'm still fine with that...

...but it is that cavalier attitude -- that, somehow or the other, there need not be any sound fiscal policy -- no logical connection between revenue and expense -- that is at least part of why it is in the mess it's in. It doesn't really matter if you're "fine with that" if the system does not balance in a society that has an increasingly smaller number of people to pay for the increasing larger number of recipients.

What you are "fine with" isn't the issue. Is it?

So, what I hear you saying is that you want to discuss *strengthening the system* as long as what we conclude is "fine with you"?

Hope your day's a ducky one!!


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 05:40 PM

That's not what I said at all, Jim, but what you wished I had said. You have used that clever take something out of context trick to divert the conversation.

Maybe we need to back up a little.

You talk about revenue and expesnes. As you know, I have allready put on the table "reduced" benefits for some folk, myself perhaps included. That, isn't a Democrat idea. It's mine and I think it warrents serious discussion. That's one thought on the expense side of the issue.

On the revenue side we will most certainly have a major dragon to slay if we take a good portion out of it and place it in the hands of Wall Street. Especially if it is done individually. You maybe a savey investor but most Americans aren't. The average guy, unless he has a company stock option, isn't into stock investments. He's way too busy trying to make ends meet. Turn Wall Street loose on Joe Sixpack and they will fleece him in a New York minute. That concerns me because Joe Sixpack may end up dieing in poverty because he was too buzy working and listened to this wrong guy or that wrong guy.

Now, back to what I was hoping would be a discussion, rather than a debate, I could possibly consider where the US governemnt might "bundle" a portion of SS revenues and collectively "lend" it to Wall Street as a "secured" loan. This way, if what Bush and Co. are arguing about "return" on investment, all SS recipients might be better off since the return would lessen the burden in the revenue side. The risks are still there but much less than the "Wild West" ideas that Bush had proposed tghus far.

Also on the revenue side, I think we are in agreement that the cap neeeds a second looksy... There are lots of thing that could be done with the cap, fir instance merely raising it, doing away with it entirely or reducing the percentage paid in in incriments above it.

Another idea that I've thown out that would help both the business side and the human side is to roll into the SS program, since after all it is called "Social Security" a catestropic illness insurance ptogram. The number one reason why middle class families go bankrupt is because of illness. You get sick, you loose yer job, you loose you health insurance or are just plain dropped by the health insurance company because you are sick, you can't pay your bills, etc. Bankruptcy! We're talking middle class people here. When a middle class family goes bankrupt, who pays? All of us. Creditors don't get paid and therefore have to charge more money for their goods and services. But on a humanistic level we pay even greater in that bankrupctys lead famalies to fall apart, kids to drop out of college, etc.

So, my thinking is that if we are to really be intersted in strenthing Social Security we need to look beyond out elderly and try to make create a culture and develope programs that make our society more secure, thus the catastropic illness coverage.

Hey, I'm throwing out ideas here, folks. Not bombs. If all we are going to do is try to score debate points were not going to strengthen anything.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 05:48 PM

OK, Jim, if you want to be jesuitical about it then tell me this: HOW MUCH less than $1k per month is your SS payment? A dollar less? Nine hundred and fifty dollars less?

You sure tend use a lot of words to convey no solid information whatsoever. Another endearing BuShite attribute.

(do check into the use of the word "or" vs. a list separated by commas)


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 06:24 PM

(check the lack of the words "put together" or any other sign that I intended then to be collective.)

I don't owe you the details of my income. I have included enough information about my income to have made my point -- further details don't make any difference. I wouldn't expect you to share how much you make per year.

Bobert,

I didn't mean to mischarcterize your post. Perhaps I can take another run at it when I have more time. ...and just perhaps you are misunderstanding me as well, eh?

One thing is clear -- you seem to see me as the combative type. Perhaps that comes from my willingness to engage someone like Greg. I think though, if you will retrace this thread, you will probably see that I am answering Greg in a very even manner, despite his abusiveness.

I'm not the combative type, but if you'd rather I not respond to your posts, I'm fine with that.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 06:25 PM

Cautionary tale. True story.

I worked for eight years for the telephone company. Pacific Northwest Bell (now "Qwest" . . . I think. . . .) was a subsidiary of AT&T. As an employee, a small part of my salary was given to me as AT&T stock. No choice in the matter. Okay, fine. AT&T is (was!) a blue-chip stock. I let the little bits of stock accumulate until I quit Ma Bell to work somewhere else.

I continued to leave it alone, checking on it from time to time to see what it was worth. It fluctuated a bit, but noodled along for years at around $3,000.00. I figured I'd just leave it there, and it would be a nice little bonus nest-egg if I needed something extra when I retired (which I have since done).

Thank God I wasn't relying on it--or any investment like it. Last year I received notice from whatever the hell company has taken over AT&T, informing me that they were going to close my account because it was too small to bother with, and I could either buy a wad more stock, or I could cash out. Not having that much in discretionary funds, I chose to cash out.

Several weeks later, I receive a check for the total value of the stock:    $224.00.

Various mergers and divestitures and re-mergers and buy-outs and general farting around had managed to reduce my $3,000.00 in solid, reliable, blue-chip stock to less that 10% of its value.

Having opted to be a musician, I was never in a position to save and/or invest a whole lot of money. I do have a few investments, such as a mutual fund (sold to me as highly reliable by a reputable investment firm), which fluctuates and pulses like a dying dwarf star. As a result, my major source of income right now is my monthly Social Security check.

So much for "personal retirement accounts." As I said, thank God I wasn't relying on it.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 06:28 PM

By the way...

I did not vote for George W. Bush.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 06:32 PM

Don,

You do know that, even with what has been proposed as "private" accounts, the account holder will still not be the account manager?

I'm sorry you lost your investment -- and you're right -- a completely private account (such as yours) would require more personal attention than you gave yours.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 06:43 PM

Well, Jim, yeah, I am combative but I am also resonable depending on the issue. If it's the invasion of Iraq, I will combat a supporter of the invasion tooth and nail and not give one inch because my core values can't compromise on the senseless killing of over 100,000 innocent people...

But Social Security is different. While I might make the observation that the country has much more pressing problems, I am realistic enough to recognize that the Bushites have the microphone and, irregardless of their motives, they have successfully puched Social Security, a program that is not in serious trouble, into the middle opf the political arena. The Dems have done their part in throwing up their hands in utter disgust, just as the Repub would have done had Bill Clinton really pushed it but that's the predictable way that those two fraternities behave.

But here we have a fairly solvent and successfull program on the operating table and I guess we are all like doctors, first trying to decide what to operate on and second, what we're going to do after then initial incision...

Actually, Social Security reform may be good for the country in that as we look closer at it more and more folks are seeing just how the rich folks haven't been all that involved in paying into it. A year ago, I'd say that most middle class Americans weren't aware of the cap, or if they were didn't know the dollar amount. This diversionary issue may very well work to the detriment of the rich, who support Bush. But it is keeping other issues off the table, which, truth be known, might be evn more detrimental to the rich???

Like I said, yes, I can be very combative but on this thread, hey, why not just see what we can collectively come up with. Who knows, we might very well find enough areas of compromise, strengthen the program and then send our proposals to our Congressmen and we'll be heros and flown to New York where we will recieve ticker tape confetti parade down 5th Avenue....

(Bobert. Bobert!!! WAKE UP!!!...)

Sorry, I think I fell asleep...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 08:54 PM

No Jim- of course you don't owe me anything. If you want to do a bait and switch, fine by me- but you're the one that brought your income up in the first place!

Further details would make a great deal of difference- but as they might undermine your arguement I understand your reluctance to provide them.

Abusive? C'mon Jim- I didn't say you were bullshit- just your argument.
Since you wound so easily I'll try to be more careful.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 09:38 PM

In other words, Jim, it's my negligence that caused me to lose the investment? I don't think so. AT&T split into several companies, including Lucent Technologies and a couple of others. They all promised great returns. For years, I received dividends from them every quarter (a small amount, but welcome nonetheless), and both annual and quarterly reports (which I read--they kept promising great things in the future!). Then both the reports and the dividends stopped coming. When I tried to find out what was going on, I found that the 800 numbers were disconnected. I put the broker who got me into the mutual fund (which, incidentally, is still okay, but a bit iffy at times) to try to check on what was going on with AT&T, and he wasn't able to find out either, other than "a big shake-up and reorganization" was taking place. Later, I heard that Lucent Technologies and the other stuff AT&T had gotten into had gone the way of a number of high-tech companies a few years back. Belly up.

Not my neglect. Corporate f**king around.

By the way, if what GWB is proposing ("personal accounts," he likes to call them) is going to be managed by someone other than me, how, then, is that a "personal" account? Who is going to do the managing? And how much is that going to cost? And how do I know that I can trust him or her? And how is that going to give me a bigger return than what I'm getting now? Or more secure?

It's all pretty damned vague. Social Security has worked well for seventy years, and it ain't broke, in spite of what George says. Any buttressing it needs within the next few decades would be taken care of with only a very small percentage of what George is 1) giving in massive tax cuts to the already wealthy, or 2) a tiny percentage of what he is spending on his illegal war.

George W. Bush is following in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan, whose goal was to reverse all of the regulatory and social safety net programs that FDR got passed in the Thirties. Not "strengthening," but dismantling the Social Security program is what's on Bush's agendy right now. That's what this is all about.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 10:40 PM

This thread is getting long enough that I'll admit not reading all the details. I don't like to post without seeing it all, but my scan didn't indicate that anyone caught a couple of things.

According to the Social Security web pages, members of Congress do pay into Social Security. I believe it's since about 1994. Most Federal employees have also been switched to "subparagraph of FICA" plans, although to some extent their "contributions to Social Security" may be sequestered separately. That does, perhaps, affect a couple of arguments previously posted; although not by a lot. You can check it out with the FICA website.

If Social Security is to provide a "minimum secure income" then the Fed should assure that income. Letting people go out and shoot craps with the basic needs level of support does nothing to help provide a "safety net."

There are already multiple methods by which people who want more than the minimum can invest some of their own money, under extremely favorable terms. Independant Retirement Accounts (IRA), Roth Accounts, and 401k and 403x plans are only the surface. (I forget what the x is, but I think 403b is a common one.)

The ONLY reason I can see for Mr Bush's plan (using "plan" loosely) is that the heavy hitters (and heavy campaign donors) see a lot of money going into FICA withholding that they can't get their hands on.

Under current law, it is illegal for the government to invest in capital ventures. While the Fed, as in everything else, is into deficit financing for Social Security, (call it cash flow basis) so there really isn't any money that the Fed could let them play with, the "private investment" scheme takes some of the Federal "inflow" and lets them get their hands on it. If it's to be a "social security" program, losses that would put an individuals "security" income below some level would have to be made up (guaranteed) or it isn't a security program.

Perhaps we need a regulation requiring people to pay their FICA taxes to a minimum sustainable benefit level, with an additional requirement that they must have a private retirement plan and put a specific amount into it each year?

As to the "cap" on the amount of income on which FICA taxes are paid, the logic is that there is also a "cap" on the maximum benefit. Currently, no single individual can get more than a couple of thousand dollars per month, regardless of how much was paid in. The retirement benefit is based entirely on how much "covered income" you had in the most recent few years, and the current maximum benefit level isn't going to break the system if it's paid to the few "who could pay more." It does seem fair that those who won't get any more - regardless of how much they pay - might be excused from "contributing" an excessive amount to this one program. We should stick it to them on their income tax so that all programs can benefit.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 10:59 PM

Hear, hear, John.

Welcome to the *discussion*...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: GUEST,jim tailor
Date: 17 Feb 05 - 06:35 AM

no bait and switch, Greg. I'm telling you that it doesn't matter how much less than $1,000 per month I pay in SS or for my mortgage -- the exact figures don't change the fact that I have made all along -- that I pay more in SS. On the slim chance that you would believe me if I gave the exact numbers, I'll have to take a pass.

And I'm not sensitive about the use of "bullshit". I just don't care for the rudeness.

Don,

It sounds very much to me as though the attempt, wise or un, is to set up SS as most people currently think it is set up -- in accounts that (as many thought SS was) were out of bounds to the federal government (for general fund usage).

If there is something that sounds not-worth-it to me about the idea it is that, again, in typical Bush compromise thinking, he is actually layering even more federal beaurocracy on us -- yet another gov't agency. That's not "conservative".

But dismissing everything because "there is no crisis" is short-sighted (and a bit dishonest by those who now are ignoring that even Clinton et al were saying the same thing less than 10 years ago)

That's why I have offered, as first solution, that we need to rectify the inequity in contribution -- we need to accept SS for what it is -- an entitlement that all benefit from -- and as such, all should be paying for.

...and quit this talk about "running out of money" from one side, and "Social Security Trust Fund" from the other. It cannont EVER be a separate fund anymore -- not with books that balance. There too few people paying in the way the system is currently set up.   And it's not ever going to run out of money unless the government needs to default on all its debt.

So many are under the illusion that SS already is private accounts -- and that's why they are easily swayed by the promise of better (not able to be stolen by the fed gov't) accounts.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: GUEST,jim tailor
Date: 17 Feb 05 - 06:41 AM

By the way, Don,

I wasn't trying to imply neglegence on your part re:your investment. I was merely interpreting this:

I continued to leave it alone, checking on it from time to time to see what it was worth. It fluctuated a bit, but noodled along for years at around $3,000.00. I figured I'd just leave it there, and it would be a nice little bonus nest-egg if I needed something extra when I retired (which I have since done).

...as saying that, well, you "left it alone", "checked on it from time to time", and "figured I'd just leave it there".


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: GUEST,Don Firth
Date: 17 Feb 05 - 12:24 PM

No problem, Jim. I did "leave it there" in the sense that I didn't draw from it or add to it, but I did keep track. I didn't get concerned until it unexpectedly disappeared off the radar (after promising many great things in the offing and strongly urging further investment), and then I started checking. When even the broker I occasionally worked with couldn't get a straight answer out of them, I started suspecting that there was dirty work afoot.

Damned irksome to me. But I wonder how many people got really skunked. . . ?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: DougR
Date: 17 Feb 05 - 10:32 PM

I thought that it was interesting that the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board supported private accounts for younger Americans. He noted that the program would take some phasing in, but that he totally supported private accounts. This came as quiet a disappointment to the Democrats of course. Their concern is not the welfare of the young people or the program itself, they just don't want Bush to get credit for saving SS.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Ron Davies
Date: 17 Feb 05 - 11:30 PM

Let nobody be under the illusion that Social Security "reform" would be a win-win situation.

In fact, according to today's Wall St Journal-- which might possibly be a good source--younger people would be taking a huge risk by taking Mr. Bush's riverboat gamble (which of course to him as a millionaire is just an academic exercise.)

They cite a young man born in 1990 and earning $58,400 in today's dollars from 2011 til he retires in 2055. He could opt to put 4% of his wages into the wonderful Personal Savings Accounts; he and his employer would put another 8.4% of wages into traditional Social Security.

The Journal points out how Bush plans to gut Social Security for this man.
1) He would lose part of his traditional Social Security because he diverted some of his
payroll taxes into a personal account.
2) Bush plans to reduce promised benefits ACROSS THE BOARD.

As a result, 85% or more of this man's Social Security benefits will have to come from his private account.

2 observations

1) This man had better damn well hope the market co-operates between now and 2055.
2) Reducing promised benefits across the board--Bush plans to slash benefits for anybody who doesn't want to play with his loaded dice--that's the stick to go with the poison carrot.

Of course, Bush also plans to minimize electoral fallout--so nobody born in 1949 or before will have to make this Hobson's choice.

So the few Mudcat Bushites will likely be able to sit back fat and happy--"I'm all right, Jack"


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Susu's Hubby
Date: 18 Feb 05 - 12:04 PM

Whatever happened to personal responsibility in this country? To hear our grandparents and great grandparents talk, the true sense of pride comes whenever you can make it by yourself. When you can beat out a living in what you do, save a little along the way and be comfortable until you die without having to depend on someone else to do it for you. Now, we have come to expect our younger work force to beat out a living, try to save a little along the way and ALSO join with only two of their friends and support a retiree who now will live to 85-90 years old and still insists on retiring at age 65. Where did the sense of personal responsibility go? When did we shift from doing for us and ours to being responsible for yours as well? I really do not think that this is what FDR had in mind when SS was put into place. Let's get back to the roots of the plan and instead of raising the payroll taxes to continue to pay the way of others, let's give it back to the people to let them plan for their OWN retirement.

Of course there's going to be a benefit cut. But only to people who are younger than 55. Their retirement accounts will be for them to decide what to do with and then you know what? Their retirement may be much greater than if they had just continued to go with the old same old tired plan.

This country was built by people who dared to take a risk. Risks sometimes work out and sometimes they don't. That's why they're called risks. You hear story after story of somebody's ancestor who came from Ireland, China, Taiwan, India,(you take your pick of what country) with nothing and made a life for them and theirs and compare them with somebody whose family has been here a lot longer and see who truly lives the American dream.

Stop whining about what the other guy has and start doing something to make sure that you and yours are taken care of but not at the expense of others. Then you can truly live a life of comfort knowing that you did it YOURSELF!

That's all I have to say about that.

Hubby


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Feb 05 - 12:57 PM

I suspect that Susu's Hubby has been reading a lot of Ayn Rand.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: DougR
Date: 18 Feb 05 - 01:22 PM

Don: I suspect that you are wise to stay away from the market.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Feb 05 - 01:32 PM

Especially these days. As everybody would be.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: pdq
Date: 18 Feb 05 - 01:40 PM

To a biologist, 'diversity' means having many plant or animal species in a given area.

To a 'free market' advocate, 'diversity' means placing your funds in many investment vehicles to prevent a painful loss should one of you investments go sour.

To a 'liberal', 'diversity' means having a Mexican gardner.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Feb 05 - 03:04 PM

My wife and I went to Las Vegas about fifteen years ago. We didn't go to gamble, we went to spend some time with relatives who lived there at the time (the husband of one of them was a guitarist, playing in a small combo in one of the lounges, backing an unknown but really good female pop singer—spent a lot of time listening to them). We visited several of the big, well-known casinos (good food and drink was surprisingly inexpensive), watched amused and bemused as other people played the slots, roulette, poker, and such, but had no intention of gambling. But one evening, one of my wife's relatives took us to one of the smaller casinos and persuaded us to take a shot at the tables.

I did pretty well. I set aside a small amount that I could afford to lose without any major pain. If I lost it, I could just chalk it off as "entertainment." I stuck to a game I knew well, and that, at one time, I had played a lot, strictly penny-ante, with friends. Blackjack. I had also read a book written by Mike Goodman, a Vegas pit-boss, on how to have fun in Vegas and pick up a little money if you play wisely. In one chapter, he outlined the principles of playing blackjack;   how to read the cards, when to take a hit, when to pass, and especially how to pace your bets so that most of the time you were playing with house money, not your own. It isn't a "system;" it's just knowing how to play the game well, and then playing cautiously and intelligently. In playing with friends, I made use of Goodman's principles, practiced them well, and found myself consistently coming out well ahead at the end of a game.

At the casino, I played for a little over two hours. In that time, I quintupled the amount I started with. I won a bit, lost a bit, won some more, lost some, then won again. The general trend was upward. I used nowhere near the amount I had set aside to play with. Within the first ten minutes or so, I had won back my original bets and was playing with house money. Just the way Goodman said to do it. I left the casino with a pleasantly fat wallet

Oh, yes. Free drinks when you played, and a complimentary midnight breakfast.

Goodman said that blackjack was especially good because the house advantage in blackjack is minimal compared to other games. Most people really don't know how to play the game well (the casinos generally regard it as "an old ladies' game"), and since they want their patrons to win every now and then to keep their hopes up, they make that one fairly easy. A good player, especially one who knows how to bet, can win consistently. He said he knows a few "professional gamblers" who make a decent living dropping into one casino or another a few times a week and playing blackjack for a couple hours. They're quiet and unobtrusive, and they don't try to "break the bank." The casinos don't mind them because other patrons see someone doing well, and it keeps them playing in hopes that they will too.

These days I wouldn't have to go to Vegas. Since laws were changed recently, there are several casinos around my area run by native Americans. I would feel a lot more secure playing blackjack a couple evenings a week than I would investing in the stock market.

But then, you see, I'm not a gambler.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Susu's Hubby
Date: 18 Feb 05 - 06:29 PM

Don,


   Thank you for the delightful story, but at the same time, thank you for making my point!
   In your gambling venture, you took the time to do your research and look for ways to increase your investment. You took some PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. You learned how to do it and you made money. Congratulations.
Just one question though.....did you file a protest with the casino management even though you may not have won as much money as the high roller across the room from you? Why not? Did the casino not pay it's fair share? Certainly, the high roller had more money to play with so wouldn't it be fair to have him just hand you some of his money?

I was just wondering. Just trying to find a little consistency.


Hubby


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 18 Feb 05 - 07:43 PM

Screw "PERSONAL RESPOSIBILITY", hubby. I'm so sick and friggin' tired of rich folks and a few of their shills, you included, puffin' out you chests like you and yer buddies actaully deserve ehat ever you have been able to manipulate the sytem to give you and give us that terribly worn out PERSONAL RRESPOSIBILITY bull. You want PERSONSAL RESPONSIBILITY then level the playing field. Boss Hog has his hands in the every working man and woman pockets in America. He has stacked the deck in HIS FRIGGIN' FAVOR... Yeah, you want PERSONAL RESPOSIBILITY then make everyone go to public schools that are fully intergarted, provide a nutrition program for every child and provise college eduscation free to any kid that pushes hard enough to make it. Then, you will be moving toward a goal of PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.

Thre way it is now, PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY translates to "I'M RICH. YOU AIN"T. GET OVER IT!" Yeah come off yer friggin high PERSONAL RESPOSIBILTY hobby horse and I'll pick yer PERSONAL RESPOSIBILTY butt up at the airport and take you on a tour of places where kids are hungry, and in homes sometimes without any real parents and where schools are faling in. Yeah, hubby. You come on a tour with this ol' hillbilly and you will be eternaqlly ashamed that Boss Hog ever stuck that PERSONAL RESPOSIBILITY PR crap in your head. To folks who have beden around, when parrot that carp, you look more ignorant than anyone I know who lives back in the Wes Ginny holler in which I live.

You should be ashamed...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Feb 05 - 10:34 PM

Well, Hubby, let me put it another way. I paid into the Social Security system during my whole working life, including when I was self-employed (Schedule C, paid the whole FICA tax myself, that sort of thing). I knew what it was for, and I didn't begrudge it. For periods of time, my income was so low that, had this not been legally required of me, I doubt very seriously that I would have done it voluntarily. I know I'm far from unique in that. I sure could have used the money. But even with my occasionally minuscule income, paying it didn't kill me. Besides, when I was employed by others, it was withheld from my paycheck and I never saw it, didn't miss it. No sweat.

It was like paying a nominal insurance premium. It insured me against penury in my old age. Now, since I paid for it, you're damned right I expect my monthly check from Social Security. (Far from bitching at the casino manager, I'm getting back what I paid for, and if someone is getting a larger benefit because they paid in more, that's strikes me as equitable, and it's not my concern.) The propaganda was always that what I paid in month by month was being put in a special account for me. Now it turns out that the government doesn't do it that way. My money was not being set aside for me, it was being used for whatever the administration du jour wanted to piss it away for, and now they have to pay me what they own me with money that is coming in currently. That's not my fault. If they had invested it in treasury bonds as most people thought they were, things would be smoothly solvent. That's lousy management and general hanky-panky on the government's part.

This is not an "entitlement." It is something I paid for, and now I am quite contentedly reaping the benefits.

Your position seems to be a mixture of Ayn Rand and Social Darwinism, with a liberal (excuse the expression!) sprinkling of Calvinism:   if someone is poor, no matter how they fell into that condition, they are lazy and stupid (Ayn Rand), it is because God has determined that they deserve to be poor (Calvin), and it's better for society and the species as a whole not to help them, but to let them die off and thereby remove their flawed genes from the gene pool (Social Darwinism).

It has been said that a society is judged by how it treats its weakest members.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 18 Feb 05 - 10:42 PM

In other words, "If ya didn't wanta be poor than you shoulda picked rich parents!!!"

Get it yet, MR. PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY?...

God, I'm getting sick of your crap...

Bobert

p.s. Make that *danged* sick of yer crap...


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 19 Feb 05 - 01:33 AM

Bobert:

The way of wisdom is to understand compassion for the weak, and also for the blind, and also for the weak of brain.

A cartoon answer always loses in a race against reality.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 19 Feb 05 - 07:51 AM

Sniff....

Why, you certainly make a good point there...

My deepest condolences, Susu, for you do indeed deserve them...

Bobert

p.s. No decent divorce attorneys where you live?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 19 Feb 05 - 09:07 AM

Divorce attorney? Better call Orkin or Terminix.

Pretty damning indictment of U.S. schools & education overall.

Wonder if there was something to the eugenics movement after all?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Susu's Hubby
Date: 19 Feb 05 - 09:34 AM

Come on Bobert.......

Calm down big guy....

We don't want you to pop a vein just yet....

You're still paying for my mother's social security.





Hubby


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Amos
Date: 19 Feb 05 - 10:33 AM

THey don't want Bus to get credit for "saving Social Security", DougR??

Seems to me the whole problem is headstrong irresponsible spending, mixing of funds, and deficit spending.

And even so the bankruptcy in factual numbers is much less than it is in kinee-jerk soundbites being pushed by the perpetrators.

George W. Bush has been a fiscal catastrophe all his life. He is a "spend and spend" Republican, spending what he doesn't have, forcing the nation into the position of spending what it doesn't have. Seems to me if he was an examplar of Hubby's notion of personal responsibility he would have made at least ONE thing that he touched profitable.
An oil company, maybe, or a sports team, or a real estate company, or an AA chapter. Even a drug pushing operation. But no.

THis is totally aside from the issue of understanding the difference between a safety net and saving for retirement. The whole concept of SS was never to fund retirement fully but to provide a safety net, a baseline of minimal support to save the national embarassment of putting our elders on the street if they had no other support. This whole argument is being distorted by this little misunderstanding. Investing those funds wisely is what the administration was supposed to b be doing. I would love to see what they were actuaslly doing with those dollars. Who, how much and when.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Susu's Hubby
Date: 19 Feb 05 - 10:48 AM

Don,


First, I'd just like to make a few clarifications. I, in my zeal, sometimes come across and an "elitist" when I'm really not. I'm sorta kinda jealous of people that have way more than Susu and I do. But that doesn't make me just sit around and whine about them having more and me having less. I think that it sparks my imagination to try and come up with ideas to pull myself up to their level. I see it as a growing opportunity. I have started several businesses and have failed at each one of them. But do I complain that I haven't made it yet? No. I just get up every day and try again. I try to take advantage of the same opportunities that are offered to each and every person in these United States. I'm constantly keeping my eyes open for that one thing or the combination of things that will move me and mine up to the next level. If I never make it then, so be it. I'll be happy and content in knowing that my kids have witnessed me working hard to try and make it better for them and have instilled a sense of work ethic in them that would have, otherwise, not been learned anywhere else. I know that they, too, will grow up to try to make it for them and theirs and take the personal responsibility to make sure that they will make it on their own and not have to depend on the offerings of your kids and grandkids.
Forgive me if I seemed to loop you and Bobert together in the same group that believes that the wealthy should take full responsibility for the poor. By your last post, I see that you believe something way different than Bobert. I, too, believe that if you pay into something then it should be credited to you and not to Joe Blow that lives in the next city.
I'm really glad that something is there, whether it be the ideal plan or not. It's always nice to have that security blanket. But I also think that some people tend to hide behind that security blanket and act as if that's all there is, when it's clear that it's not. I believe that we have to move out of our comfort zone and try new things and take on a little more risk. Get out a live like you were dying, as Tim McGraw sings. This way, the imaginations of ordinary people might be fired up and then a few other things may be solved as well. Such as if more people tried to start a new business, then more and more jobs would be opened up and possibly new and higher paying opportunities for people such as Bobert's friends down in Mississippi to take advantage of.
Now it's true that all people will not try to open their own businesses. It's just not their nature. And there's nothing wrong with that. But they need their opportunities too. Therefore, let's take the government out of a lot of things that they're currently involved in and let the people have control of more of their money. I really do believe that if people had more of their own money in their hands then they would know what to do with it a much better fashion than the politicians in Washington, DC. I have faith in people to do what's in their best interest. Why do so many people want to put their trust in the government to make those decisions for them? I think that it's just been that way for so long that it's now engrained in them.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Ron Davies
Date: 19 Feb 05 - 12:10 PM

Perhaps some of the reason for the bad feeling that has cropped up here is the fact that the Wall St Journal example cited somebody who made $62,000 per year.

The point is that the vast majority of wage-earners, who of course earn less than this, would still have to contend with Bush's gutting of the Social Security system---and it would be far more serious for them than for the WSJ's hyothetical man.

There are in fact a host of other problems with Bush's wonderful idea, many of which were dealt with in the previous Social Security thread--which was only about a month ago.
Don't understand why the 2 threads weren't combined.

At any rate

1) Both Bush and Mr. Greenspan admit that private accounts will not themselves shore up Social Security's long-term solvency.

2) Mr. Greenspan admits he has no idea how financial markets will take the up to $2 trillion in new borrowing necessary for this great new idea. Could be a sizable spike in interest rates. (Did you enjoy the late 70's?) Especially since that's the direction they're headed in already.

3) Very interesting that no Bushite has suggested the step which would be guaranteed to work. All sides agree that totally removing the wage cap on Social Security deductions would in fact cover the Social Security shortfall.

4) "Risks are what made this country great" (or words to that effect)--actually, risks may not pan out--and guess what happens then. Taxes go up for everybody for a fund to bail out people who made bad decisions. Don't ever imagine Bush's proposal will get through without such a provision. This has also been cited by the Journal as a reason for cold feet.
(The editorial page bangs the drum for Bush's idea so hard it seems the drum will break--but the actual reporting soberly points out the other side.)

5) Anybody who really likes this idea should actually read a financial newspaper, rather than Ayn Rand, Horatio Alger, or the latest bestseller from the Tinkerbell school of financial management. They would find out, for one thing, that Bush's timing is not the best (not that it will bother him personally)--in about 2011 the huge baby boom generation will start to retire in a big way. They will be cashing in stocks, not buying them. This will happen for about 20 years. Logic suggests there may be close to a 20-year bear market.

Certainly is good that all the Bushites are so nimble and have such fine instincts as to switch around between funds to avoid losing big on one (which could wipe out any profit you have), while avoiding all commissions. It's a neat trick.

Or perhaps you are of the buy-and-hold persuasion------in which case your clairvoyance will be particularly useful.

What's actually likely if this scheme ever sees the light of day is that you won't in fact have the freedom to place your funds "in many investment vehicles" , as PDQ put it. Instead, your account will be restricted to a very few index funds (overseeing of which, by the way will be done by another government bureaucracy---how about that, Bushites?) If the index goes south, sorry. But, as I said, taxes will just be raised to bolster the bailout fund.



PDQ---

If liberals think diversity is having a Mexican gardener, where does the pressure for affirmative action, bilingual education and cultural exchanges come from? (not all of which are necessarily wonderful ideas).---- (In fact I happen to think that bi-lingual education does the non-English speakers no favor--better they should learn English right off the bat. Also, affirmative action gives Bushites and other Neanderthals the excuse to allege that a black person only got a position due to those programs, not on merit.) But this is egregious thread creep

The point is that in a glib put-down, a kernel of fact helps. Sadly lacking in yours.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 19 Feb 05 - 12:47 PM

There ya go, S-Hub, now you're communicating.

I will bet you that no-one on this forum believes that government should take total responsibility for the poor.

Every individual alive is responsible for their own condition; it's not just a good policy, it is a fact of nature.

Given that, what is the right balance of compassion to take for those who are sick, old, beaten-down or otherwise somehow crushed. Viet vets still hallucinating from the horrors of war and agent Orange? Those who lose all their assets in tornados? How about those whose lives are ruined by unexpected illness? Elders ripped off in legal ways by their own grandchildren? Disabled postal employees? The variations of possible catastrophes that can interfere with the exercise of resposnibnilityu is endless.

The organization of help is not a crime, and the government is a natural candidate, since it by necessity can draw on the whole citizenry.

Help does not refute responsibility, it simply declares the value of human compassion.

The problem with leaving it entirely up to enterprise is that since it is not profitable, it won't attract much organizing talent. Leaving it up to individuals makes for haphazard cracks int he system, just at a time when such omissions might prove lethal.

I would recommend that you go down to a soup kitchen in your nearest large city sometime this month while the weather is still cold, and talk to some of the people who go there to get enough food to keep their bones and soul joined.

Sure you'll find some who have given up and are just taking the ride, but you will find plenty who fought every inch of the way down hill as best they knew, and weren't smart enough, lucky enough, well-informed enough or protected enough to stop the slide.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 19 Feb 05 - 08:38 PM

Well, I think we're making progress with the hub-ster in that he has backed away from PERSONSAL RESPONSIBILITY to personal responsibility...

BTW, hub, when I said I'd pich you up at the airport and give you a tout of the *unlevel* playing field, I didn't say I'd pick you up at Memphis International and drive south outta Wes Memphis down *Hightway 61*... No, I was thinking National in DC and then take you around the area 'round where I live in Wes Ginny and then a little rour of some neighborhoods in NE and SE Wsahington, D.C.

As fir you dream of more folks starting samll businesses, good luck. They are closing in record numbers since Bush and Co. came into office...

My ideas that I put forth earlier about dropping the rate, while raising the cap, would held ot only small businesses but the self employed as well...

Now lastly, and don't take this too personal, but, hey, you admit to working hard and failing in one venture after another (similar to Bush except he doesn't like work and still fails...) so why do I want to put a lot of trust in your ideas anyway??? I mean, not to be braggin' 'er nuthing, but I held down "save-the-world" jobs until just 20 years ago when I went into business and was successfull enough to be able to retire 2 years ago... Yeah, I still work (and work hard) but not because I have to... Not too sure what thhis means but if we are talking about folks plans, I think it is fair to at least give a glimpse of their batting averages... Like I said, no offense intended...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Susu's Hubby
Date: 19 Feb 05 - 10:59 PM

Bobert,

I congratulate you on starting and maintaining your successful business. I have yet to do that....but maybe one day...? My ideas and philosophy have evolved over many, many years of trying different business ideas on several different levels. Each venture has had a little more success than the last. And each time I've closed a business, it's been on my terms and no one else's.

As they say.....it's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.

I'm not asking you to believe in "my" ideas. These are notions that just make simple common sense. I can even bring myself to say that some of Clinton's ideas were pretty good ideas. NAFTA was a good idea, economically speaking. But the passing of NAFTA was one of the reasons I had to close the doors of my last business venture. (Trucking)
Even Clinton talked about the pending "crisis" (yes, he used that word) in social security. He had the sense to realize that by the second decade of the 21st century that the ratio of workers to retirees is going to decrease from 11:1 to 1:1 then only to be followed by a negative ratio only a few years after. So please don't continue to insult our intelligence by saying that there's no crisis.
Can you at least look past your blind hatred of our president and say that at least some of his ideas are good? Are you at least man enough to do that?


Hubby


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 20 Feb 05 - 09:24 AM

No prob! I'll be happy to say it for him, as anyone willing to actually analyze the garbage that our "President As Radio Shock-Jock" is pushing will see:

THERE

IS

NO

CHRISIS


PS: I find it amusing in a sardonic sort of way when Bushites talk of "blind hatred" of a president and in the same breath attempt to use what Bill Clinton did or said to justify the current Junta in Washington.

Its also pretty sickening.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Feb 05 - 09:38 AM

I have no blind hatred of George Bush but can honestly say that I have *sighted* hatred for just about all of his policies. Everywhere I look I see policies that serve only the wealthy. Poverty is on the rise in every state in the union. The poverty rate in my state is up 2 pervcentage points to 16.5% over 14.7% when Bush hyjacked the 2000 election.

"No Child Left Behind" is a good example. On the surface it sounds good but when you strip off the sugar coating what you find underneath is a badly *underfunded* program that is shifting funding back on the local governments as schoool are having to bail out of the program. Bush said it would take $27B for the program to work and then wrote checks like a man with no arms to fund it.

Yeah, you pick a policy, hub-ster and I'll show you what lies not too far beneath the Bush PR crap. Okay, take energy. Who wrote that policy? Do you know? Probably not. Why? Because the White House is invoking "Executive Priveledge" tp ptotect Dick Cheney from having to make public just who it was who wrote the policy but if you look at the profits the oil companies are making now verses 5 years ago I think you'll get some idea of who was involved.

I mean, we could go program by program, policy by policy, hubby and we'll find that it's the corporate fat cats who are not only writting most of the legislation but the ones who are benefiting. I don't like thieves and thats why I have "sighted hatred" of Bush's policies. SocialSecurity being just the next robbery.

And Clinton wasn't much better. Less radical than Bush but still probably the *purist Repuiblican* since Richard Nixon...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Ron Davies
Date: 20 Feb 05 - 11:44 AM

"Hubby"--

There is no crisis, for the obvious reason that any shortfall can be easily addressed by the simple expedient of eliminating the salary cap on Social Security deductions.

Precisely why is this unacceptable to you?

Please don't give me the garbage of how rich people create all the jobs. You and I both know they hang on to the vast majority of what they make and/or indulge in conspicuous consumption. Ever been to an area full of "McMansions"?   I suspect they are all over the US.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Feb 05 - 06:03 PM

Ron,

The Wsahington, D.C. area is the the McMansion Mecca... There are areas McLean and Great Falls where a starter house is like $3M...

What do you have to earn a month to afford a $3M house? Hmmmmm? Martgage payment= $30,000 a month so figurin' the old 25% rule of thumb, ahhhhh, like $120,000 a month which comes out to be around $6000 a day if you work 5 days a week...

Even if yer working 10 hours a day that equates ot $600 an hour which equates to $10 a minute...

What is you say the minimum wage is, Ron?

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Ron Davies
Date: 20 Feb 05 - 07:10 PM

Isn't it about $5.25/hr?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 08:17 AM

Hmmmmmm? Either some folks is way *over* paid or a lot of folks are way *under* paid...

Maybe one of the Bushites here would like to comment on this without explaining it in the generalized Bushite PR terms...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: GUEST,Larry K
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 01:19 PM

This is what the President said about Social Security in his State of the Union Address:

"For the long-term health of the society, we must agree to a bipartisan process to preserve Social Security and reform Medicare for the long run, so that these fundamental programs will be as strong for our children as they are for our parents"

And Later

"We'll hold a White House conference on Social Security in December.   And one year from now, I will convene the leaders of Congress to craft historic bipartisan legislation to ahcieve a landmark for our generation, a Social Security system that is strong in the 21st century"

What part of that do you disagree with?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Ron Davies
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 02:11 PM

Dear Larry--


Have you ever heard of political gobbledegook?   Congratulations ,you have just quoted a sterling example.

Again, since you are a Bushite in good standing, I ask you:   exactly what is wrong with totally eliminating the salary cap on Social Security deductions?--you want a specific proposal which all sides agree would completely avoid a shortfall--there's the obvious choice.

The ball is in your court.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Amos
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 02:22 PM

The high-flown generalizations are never the problem, Larry. Like any politician he can mouth rhetorical plum-like sounds as well as anyone, once someone has written them for him.

Doing the math, however, has always been his weak point. He didn't gauge the cost of his war-mongering correctly, he didn't plan it correctly, and he didn't do the math correctly on his education initiative. He hasn't done it correctly on the SS issue either.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Susu's Hubby
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 03:28 PM

Here is what's wrong with raising the cap.


are you ready?


It raises taxes.


Now who does it raise taxes on? Of course it raises taxes on individuals who make $90,000 per year or above. Now there are really only two reasons why this makes sense to those who are continually screaming "raise the cap".

1. They are angry that they don't make that much. It's a case of "If I don't make that much then why should anybody else." (or) "If I can't make as much as them then I will penalize them for making that much."

                              ---OR---

2. "We can't let Bush be the one who takes FDR's legacy and actually makes a system that will do more to help rather than keep them in a constant state of counting pennies." (or) "We can't let people be in charge of their own retirement because that will let them know that they can actually make their own financial decisions without the help of the government."


Now a new idea....let's also change the idea of forced retirement. Let's make it to where the retired can actually continue to work if they so choose and supplement their social security rather than only being able to make so much per year before their benefits start to scale down because they are making too much money. (Only the liberals can determine who is making too much.) In a market driven economy it seems as if the MARKET determines what each job is worth. Let's let the market make the decisions and not the fat cats in D.C. whether they be Republicans or Democrats.



Hubby


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Ron Davies
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 05:03 PM

OK Hubby--

Just how much a Libertarian are you?. Do you believe in taxes for defense? My guess is yes.   How about for road construction? Do you think the wealthy should be taxed for anything? If not, why not?

Do they have a God-given- or Hubby-given right to dress their kids in Osh-Kosh stuff, to live in McMansions (or the real thing)?

Do you realize that gap between rich and poor in the US is getting wider? Does that bother you? Are you looking forward, as a would-be member of the wealthy, to living in a gated community, with the riff-raff comfortably out of sight, out of mind?

Do you realize why a good number of us are not looking forward to such a future?

Looking forward to a direct answer, preferably free from Bushite clap-trap.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Ron Davies
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 05:10 PM

Also, since you're obviously no more careful a reader than the other brilliant Bushites we are honored to have, repeat what I said a few posts ago.

All...sides... agree... that... personal... accounts... will.. not... solve... the... Social... Security... shortfall.   Eliminating.... the... salary...cap.. will.. do... so.


Is that slow enough for you to understand?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 08:36 PM

Good points, Ron... Don't expect too much from hubby, tho.... Hubby is a tad slow on the trigger finger....

Where's Teribus when we need him?

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 05:56 AM

What did happen to terribus?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 08:21 AM

Bush gave him another assignment...


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 08:48 AM

You gotta get a new mantra.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 09:03 AM

From my perspective, when I discuss something here, I believe that I am discussing it with brucie, or Don, or Bobert, or Ebbie, or Nicole, or...

But what anyone from the right gets here is that you all perceive any of us who might dare to discuss an issue from that perspective, is that we are merely a "Bushite" -- a proxy for someone with whom you'd like to have the discussion (or take out your fight and frustration), and not an individual.

There are, indeed, exceptions. MofH rarely, if ever, resorts to arguementation by association.

But I would imagine that teribus, as Strick, as others, just got worn down. They would not be treated as a Bush that you could buffet in effigy -- especially when...

1. They are not, for the most part, represented by Bush, and
2. They are definitely NOT represented by the cartoon you have drawn of Bush.

G'day mates!


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 09:05 AM

...and that goes double for your comfortable left wing perspective of "every-conservative-listens-to-rush-limbaugh".


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: GUEST,Larry K
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 09:08 AM

Ron-   you said the ball is in my court so here is my response.

You accused me of being a Bushite for the State of the Union quotes. The problem is those words weren't spoken by Bush.   They were from Bill Clinton.   The first paragraph from Clintons 1997 SOTU. The second from his 1998 SOTU.   So explain how I am a Bushite for quoting Bill Clinton.

Yes- I know you thought I was quoting Bush.   It just shows that your hatred of Bush does not allow you to have logical thought and analysis on what is actually being said.   You all prooved my point very well.

When Amos, Bobert, and Ron all thought the Bill Clinton statement was phoney, it might have been the first time in history we all agreed on a subject.   I am curious, were there Mudcat threads in 1997 and 1998 following Clintons proposals on saving Social Security?    Did the people who oppose Bush also opposed Clintons plans?

I did the math.   I would prefer to keep my own money.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 12:04 PM

Here is what's wrong with raising the cap.

are you ready?

It raises taxes.


One minor problem.

Are you ready?



Actually it doesn't "raise taxes".

What it does is makes those who have been paying NO taxes pay their fair share. Of course, I wouldn't expect a BushSycophant to be able to make that distinction.


...that we are merely a "Bushite"... They [we] are not, for the most part, represented by Bush...

That distinction might be drawn a bit more clearly if y'all stopped mechanically parroting the BuShite mantra, stopped swallowing and defending the BuShite lies and misinformation- however outrageous- at every opportunity, stopped branding as "terrorists" and "haters of America" anyone who dares disagree with the BuShite agenda, and distanced yourselves a bit from the..........well..... never mind.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Susu's Hubby
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 01:01 PM

Larry....

That was a classic setup!


I love it. Can't you just see all the libs in here with their "deer in the headlights look?"

Good job.


Hubby


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 04:59 PM

No deer in the headlights here, hub-ster. Clinton was a terrible president and I disagreed with jus' about everything he did, which most of the time capitulate to the Republicans... The only thing I give him credit for was listening to yet another Republican, Alan Greenspan and in doing so at least ran a tight fiscal ship.

Bush, on the other hand has had to ruff up poor ol' Greenspan and make him agree with fiscal policies that Greenspan would have been livid about if Clinton had tried them. But Greenspan has turned into a cooperative little foot souldier in the march toward bankrupting the federal governemnt as we all have known it. And there ain't nuthin' particularly conservative about this. Beyond liberal into wreckless radicalism...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: DougR
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 06:19 PM

EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT ...PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY ARE BAD WORDS IN WEST VIRGINIA!

Larry: Clinton didn't attempt to "fix" SS during his term. Too controversial for ole' Bill to champion a plan of his, or the Democrat's own. As a matter of fact, the Democrats still haven't come up with a plan, though Bush has made it plain that he will welcome any ideas for fixing the problem.

Larry: I, too, join Susu's husband in doffing my hat to you! Great sandbag.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Ron Davies
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 06:20 PM

Sorry, Larry, that won't wash. (Sorry, Charlie, you're not Starkist.)

I merely pointed out that your quote was gobbledegook.   I made no assumptions about source, even though you assume and wish I had. I'm fully aware that Clinton was capable of claptrap, as is any politician.

Nice try, though.



My comment, since your short-term memory is even poorer than that of most Bushites, and your vision is evidently going fast, was "Have you ever heard of political gobbledegook? Congratulations, you have just quoted a sterling example."

Precisely where in that post do I say that Bush, or indeed any other specific individual said it?

I then started a new paragraph, signalled in this case by the word "again", meaning I was still trying to get a straight answer out of you on an earlier topic. Are you aware that might possibly be a new thought? Have you ever had any English courses?



You are a Bushite, right?--why don't you wear the title with pride? ( Jim Tailor is a thinking individual,-- (you're welcome, Jim)--- thus no Bushite.)

Anybody who does not want the label "Bushite" is welcome to shed it by criticizing Bush's half-baked ideas--- ( it's what in the military is called a "target -rich area")---as I criticize what I see as fuzzy thinking and conspiracy theories on the Left. (Ask Dianavan, Ake, or Little Hawk)

The Left has no monopoly on truth. But any similarity between facts and what Bush says is purely coincidental.

I certainly do appreciate that you were honest and direct enough to say "I would prefer to keep my own money"--you refuse to consider removing totally the salary cap on Social Security deductions.


Interesting that you are rejecting out of hand the one solution which all sides agree would eliminate the Social Security shortfall. And obviously it doesn't bother you that you are skating perilously close to the Bushite stereotype of heartless and selfish capititalist.

What happened to "compassionate conservative"?---oh, I get it--you're compasssionate as long as your wallet is not touched.

In future, please be so good as to refrain from pious protestations of how important it is to solve the Social Security crisis---since you have now rejected the one solution all sides agree will work.

On top of that, in typical Bushite fashion, you have also suggested something (personal accounts)‚ which all sides agree will not solve the problem.

Well done, good job.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 06:47 PM

Yeah, Dougie, PERSSONAL RESPOSIBILITY, the Republican empty battle cry, ain't real popular in Wes Ginny as Wes Ginny has the highest poverty rate in the United States.... Unfotunately, when you have a lot of people living in poverty you also have fewere and fewer people who get eductated and these are the very same folks who vote for yer guy??? Why??? Simple:

*You ain't gonna make me marry up with no queer...

*Them Demercrats is nuthin' but a bunch of baby killers...

*You want the government in yer pocket?...

*You wanta speak Iraqi?...

*John Kerry gonna take yer gun away...

*Democrats is jus' a bunch of tree huggers...

*Liberals is communists...

I mean, pick any of these and this is just hopw under-educated the poor folks are in Wes Ginny. They don't have a clue... And I might add that when you take folks who say these kinds of things outta the electorate, Bush and folks like him are done...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 07:32 AM

Okay, so here's what Bush himself said about social security. This is a quote from the Bush SS roadshow in Tampa Florida on February 4, 2005. An elderly woman asked him how privatization was going to strengthen soical security, he gave this answer (extracted from the official White House transcript...don't believe me? Go look it up).:

BEGIN QUOTE

"Because the all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how the benefits are calculate, for example, is on the table; whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases.

"There's a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be or closer delivered to what has been promised. Does that make any sense to you?

"It's kind of muddled. Look there's a series of things that cause the like, for example, benefits are calculated based upon the increase of wages, as opposed to the increase of prices.

"Some have suggested that we calculate the benefits will rise based upon inflation, as opposed to wage increases. There is a reform that would help solve the red if that were put into effect. In other words, how fast benefits grow, how fast the promised benefits grow, if those if that growth is affected, it will help on the red."

END QUOTE

Got that? We're in good hands then?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: John Hardly
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 07:54 AM

Being against personal responsibility is a strange drum to beat.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 09:37 AM

Boy, and some people say that Dumbya is a moron........
Wonder where they get that idea, Tia??


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 01:02 PM

Nobody is against personal responsibility.

But there are a lot of folks out there who are not personally responsible for suddenly finding themselves out of a job because the company they work for has "downsized" and moved its jobs overseas. Nor are they personally responsible for finding themselves homeless because, due to the loss of their job, they no longer have the money to pay the rent or make mortgage payments. Nor are people whose circumstances are such that, although they have worked hard all their lives, they've never been able to make enough to put some aside for their old age personally responsible for the fact that when they become too old to work, the only income they have is their monthly Social Security check. They have been diligently personally responsible all their lives, and still wind up with nothing. You can be personally responsible 'til hell freezes over and still find yourself standing naked and hungry in the middle of an open field.

When it comes to personal responsibility, if we want to claim that this is a civilized country, we have the responsibility to see to it that the weakest and most vulnerable members of our society are cared for.

Also, when it comes to the "moral values" that certain Bible-thumping politicians keep yammering on about, any examination of the range of moral values beyond just how people conduct their sex lives demands that we take care of "the least of these my brothers."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: John Hardly
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 01:33 PM

"Nor are people whose circumstances are such that, although they have worked hard all their lives, they've never been able to make enough to put some aside for their old age personally responsible for the fact that when they become too old to work, the only income they have is their monthly Social Security check. They have been diligently personally responsible all their lives, and still wind up with nothing"

Which is precisely why there is the current public discussion of how we might salvage the Social Security system.

It sounds to me as though the proposal (whether or not it goes through) of "personal" or "private" accounts is merely trying to set up Social Security in the manner that most Americans think the current one already is.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 06:13 PM

First of all, Social Security is not in as bad shape as Bush says it is. Second, Bush's plan to "salvage" the Social Security system will only weaken it further. Third, every economist who has taken an unbiased look at the problems that Social Security actually does have all agree that if the cap were raised from the current $90,000 (+/-) to $140,000 (and those who earn salaries like that can well afford that kind of an increase), that would cure the shortfall for the forseeable future.

The truth of the matter is that Ronald Reagan set about trying to reverse the regulatory laws and social legislation that FDR got passed during the Thirties. I'm not making that up. He said so.

Many businesses chafe against these regulations because they require a certain measure of ethical behavior or a government regulatory agency steps in and makes them behave (such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, who didn't do their legally mandated job a few years ago, looked the other way, and allowed Enron to happen). And some Americans seem to think that the social safety net that FDR put in place that keeps people from having to live in abject poverty if life deals them a lousy hand somehow lessens a sense of "personal responsibility" and want to allow them to be thrown to the wolves for not having the good sense to get rich. As if anyone would chose to live on only their monthly Social Security check if they had a choice. Lots of low-income folks would love to be able to set some money aside for a rainy day, or, hopefully, for their retirement, but for all too many people, "too much month left at the end of the money" is a chronic problem they can do little about. The monthly Social Security check merely assures them that they won't live in abject poverty.

George W. Bush is continuing the efforts started by Reagan to decimate these regulatory and social programs. Make no mistake about it:a this "compassionate conservative's" intention is not to salvage Social Security. His intention is to eliminate it.

He's using what's known as the "baloney slicer" method. He slices off a thin piece, and you complain, but not all that loudly because it's only a thin piece. A little later, he slices off another thin piece, but once again, you don't protest very loudly because it's not all that much. And so on. Then before you know it, it's all gone!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 06:27 PM

And before anyone says that Bush's "reforms" would allow the folks with "too much month left at the end of the money" to invest part of their FICA in a private account, that percentage is so minuscule that even compound interest (a simple savings account would be the most secure kind of investment, but the best savings accounts usually do is manage to keep pace with raises in the cost of living, and little more, if even that much) wouldn't raise it much beyond a pretty piddling amount. With that small an amount to invest in anything, if they have to pay brokers' fees to handle their investment, then it would be a whole lot easier to just flush it down the toilet. Do the arithmetic.

The idea of the large percentage of low income folks in this country being able to handle the kind of investing that might yield a reasonable amount to retire on is totally unrealistic.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: John Hardly
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 06:41 PM

Well, from one for whom there is little promise of seeing a "return" on my "investment" of 12% for the past 25 years, to one who has no risk of losing their monthly check, I say, well stated. Not much wiggle room there.

Of course you will still get yours. There is still me and 13 other mudcatters paying your monthly check. When I get to be your age, not only will I lack your wisdom (as I do now), I will lack 12 of those mudcatters joining in to pay for my check.

You needn't worry though, unless age-expectancy really skyrockets -- I mean, even more than it has since the inception of Social Security -- you won't be around to worry after me (as I'm sure you would) :^)

I'm actually for removing the cap. It is one of the biggest frauds government has foisted upon the middle class. Ever. I don't think that employment will then remain constant -- but I think we would survive (especially after the reflected adjustment DOWN was made in a FICA)...

...but I SO resent the Democratic response that currently ignores my plight. They tell me that I should be putting aside for my own retirement. They tell me that SOcial Security was never meant to be a retirement.

How do I put anything aside after 12% of my paltry potter's income has already gone toward what is not meant to be my retirement (it's yours apparently).


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 06:46 PM

"He (Bush) predicted Social Sercurity would go broke in 10 years and said the system should give people "the chanche to inverst money the way they feel' is best." (USA Today)

But when did Bush make this statement? Wanta guess? Okay, I'll tell ya....




















1978!!!!!!!

Is this amazing, er what? Yup, over 25 years ago Chickhawk Little was predicting that Social Security had obly 10 years left... Hmmmmmm? I reckon the last 17 years have proved him wrong...

Seems the guy has a history of predicting stuff that, ahhhhh, doesn't come to pass... Maybe we'd be better off with Jean Dixon as president.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 08:32 PM

Can she string a coherent sentence together?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: John Hardly
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 08:41 PM

...and, by the way, what're you pullin' for that $140,000 incomed family to not be buying with the -$6,000 we decided they didn't need?

I'm personally hoping it will be computer stuff or cosmetics or something. I hope it's not pottery.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 09:02 PM

I think you missed it someplace, John. The influx of baby-boomers was taken into consideration by the economists who say that raising the cap to $140,000 would solve the problem. In addition to raising the cap, there are several other ways of solving the problem relatively painlessly without undercutting the system the way Bush wants to do.

Remember, his real goal is not what he says it is.

If you actually did have that 12% in hand, would you really invest it? Or would you (like most people) spend it paying those pesky monthly bills?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 09:18 PM

And lets consider the fact that that the current and solvent system is holding adminisrattive costs at a mere 0.6% as opposed to the 15 to 20% siphones off by the Wall Street *Fat Cats* and Bush's ideas are lookin' more and more like his excuses to invade Iraq...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: John Hardly
Date: 04 Mar 05 - 11:50 AM

I'm not arguing against the notion of forced saving -- you probably rightly suspect that most would not save 12% per annum if left to their own devices.

What I am saying (again) is that, for all their supposed sensitivity to our plight -- Democrats telling me that I should (have been) putting aside for my own retirement because (by their own declaration "Social security was never meant to be a retirement" ignores the plight of those who make the least income but ironically pay the greatest percentage of their income in Social Security - like me. What am I supposed to be saving?

And, to be clear, I am not for raising the cap. I am for removing the cap. The same inequity that has gotten us where we are may be lessened by raising the cap, but it will still be in place -- the citizenry that voted ourselves this plan are not paying for it equally. Everyone benefits from Social Security. Everyone should pay for it. I have no children but I still pay taxes for public schools. Public schools are in the best interest of society and so all of society pays for it. Social Security should not be handled differently. And, if it weren't, I'll bet that it wouldn't cost me 12% and I MIGHT have something left over to save.

And, just by the way, though I shouldn't resent your trying to make a rhetorical poiint at my expense -- I do save what I can. I do have a retirement account. I do have a medical savings account so, yes, I probably would save my own.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: John Hardly
Date: 04 Mar 05 - 01:01 PM

Oh, and you forgot to tell me what you're hoping the $140,000ers don't buy with their -$6,000 each year!


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Mar 05 - 06:28 PM

Well, gol danged, Part 2!!! Stop the presses... John, unless someone has made off with his computer, and I are in complete agreement on abolishing the cap... Complete agreement...

What could happen if the cap were abolished is this. The actual percentage taken out ofr Joe Sixpack's check could be reduced from 6.2% to around 5% and the program would still be healthier than it is now. Not only that but the employers share could also be reduced to 5%. This would make the empolyer better able to keep up with ever rising health insurance costs or maybe allow him to hire another worker...

And self employed people would love it. I've been self employed since 1985 when I left social work and that "self employemnt" tax is a burden, especially since about the time you struggle to pay up, in 90 days it's coming back around... I can certainly remember times of having to borrow money to pay my taxes and, with the interest, that ain't no fun at all...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Mar 05 - 06:38 PM

Abolish the cap entirely. Go for it!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: John Hardly
Date: 04 Mar 05 - 06:50 PM

ok.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Mar 05 - 06:57 PM

Hot danged!


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Susu's Hubby
Date: 04 Mar 05 - 07:15 PM

Instead of totally abolishing the cap for everybody what about only abolishing the cap for those who make above 90 grand/yr IF they wish to participate in the SS program upon retirement? If not, then they will be responsible for setting up their own retirement accounts and not on the dime of their neighbor....and certainly not on the dime of anybody they don't know and aren't related to.


Whether or not cap issues are brought about and put into place, I still think that we should be able to have individual accounts that each person would be able to arrange in order to achieve something greater than the current rate of return on the money that is currently being paid in.....and please.....can we agree that the $250 death benefit needs to go away and a true amount (perhaps a percentage of what has been paid in by the deceased?) can be established that would be paid to a beneficiary that would do more for them instead of only covering the electricity bill for the prior month? For those who have no beneficiary or last wishes for the money, then it should go back into the general revenue fund or distributed among those who are still participating in the SS fund.


Hubby


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Mar 05 - 07:34 PM

Fine, hubby, invest all you want in 401... You'll allready get a tax break for doing so as long as you don't go sneaking in there an' shaking the piggy bank at night...

Like what's your objection to elliminating the cap?

And as fir yer idea about opting out, ain't that really what yer guy has been trying to do ever since the Supreme Court slected him? I mean, George "Frat Boy" Bush would like all taxes to optional for the wealthy... Yeah, let the working class folks pay 'um... Yeah, he would like all of his rich bussies to be able to opt out... Problem with opting out is that its gonna run the US government into bankruptcy when the Chinese call in the notes...

Isn't this something. China is funding the US governemnt while Bush gives big tax breaks to his fat cat donors? Like what's wrong with this piccure? Oh yeah... Waht it means that in 2010 when a lot of Bush's baloon payments kick in, the US government will be broke...

But hubby won't care 'cause he apparently doesn't care now about fiscal wrecklessness of his hero...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: John Hardly
Date: 04 Mar 05 - 08:26 PM

"If they wish to participate in the SS program upon retirement?:

This seems to miss my point. They already participate in the Social Security System. Just the same as everyone in the country, they reap the benefit of a program set up to make sure that nobody who grows too old to work is left without means.

They already participate just as I (as I said above) participate in, and reap the benfits of public education -- even though I have no children.

They already participate just as the majority of American mudcatters participate in and reap the benefits from the US military even though they either don't believe in it or the current conflict.

They already participate just as all Americans participate in, and reap the benefits of a National Park system even though some of us may never once visit A National Park.

"They" chose to participate when they were born into a country that voted Social Security as a National priority. They didn't have to wait 'til retirement.

Now I'm just asking that they pay in a measure commensurate with all those other things that the country collectively decided priority enough to make public policy.

I am absolutely against progressive tax rates.

I am damn sure equally against regressive tax rates.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Mar 05 - 08:48 PM

Call the cops...

Someone has poor ol' John kidnapped and duct taped to a chair and is using his computer...

Sniff, they sure nuff do...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Ron Davies
Date: 04 Mar 05 - 11:02 PM

Hubby--

Nice try, again. You think it's real slick to be so "reasonable" and let anybody who makes over $90,000 off the hook for income over that level as long as they don't want to participate in Social Security.

And how many, pray tell, would likely participate in Social Security, given that loophole?

You are being disingenuous, to say the least.

The point, as John Hardly noted, is that all income should be subject to the deduction--there should not be an upper cut-off point.

As he stated, there are a host of priorities, which US citizens may or may not agree with, but which we are all supporting through our taxes.

If you don't like this approach, ask your buddy Doug R, who's always suggesting that anybody who doesn't like one US government policy or the other should leave the country.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Mar 05 - 11:24 PM

As far as personal accounts are concerned, we already have them. IRAs and 401Ks. If you want a personal account, have at it!

But if your personal account tanks, you'll at least have your monthly Social Security check to keep you from having to sleep in parks and eat out of Dumpsters.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: John Hardly
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 06:31 AM

"As far as personal accounts are concerned, we already have them. IRAs and 401Ks. If you want a personal account, have at it!"

Not reasonably. Not if you make less than $90,000 and most of the income that would be ear-marked for such an account (12% of it) is being sucked up by Social Security which, no matter how many times, or how dogmatically you keep repeating it, not everyone (Not even economists, not Greenspan, not Clinton, not Moynahan...) agrees will be there for those of us younger than you.

But thanks for ignoring!

The proposal for private accounts is merely to suggest gradually building the kind of accounts that most people mistakenly believe that Social Security now is.

Why do you think you get an annual report of your "Social Security account", if not to maintain the illusion that it is your money (not merely redistributed taxes) that you are retiring on?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 08:05 AM

Mushroom Clouds

WMD's

Uraq'a Al Quida Link

Aluminum Tubes

SnitchGate

Social Security is going broke...

Yeah, one thing fir sure is that the lots of American people have lost the ability to think for themselves... The Bush PR team is doing the thinling for these folks... If Tom Jefferson's warning that demovracy was dependent on an "informed" electorate, then our's is definately on a downward spiril...

It's starting to look more and more like all the Bush-heads gotta do is say something good and scarey then the masses run thru the streets screaming like in the old horror flicks...

The only thing I'm scared of is Bush and his cohorts not leaving any democracy behind when they are done raping and pilliaging the working class and the poor...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: John Hardly
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 08:11 AM

If there's no problem then why remove or change the caps?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 11:17 AM

the kind of accounts that most people mistakenly believe that Social Security now is...you get an annual report of your "Social Security account"...to maintain the illusion that it is your money (not merely redistributed taxes) that you are retiring on?

Oh, please.

Its not "The Gummint's" fault if people are stupid enough to believe nonsense. To anyone paying attention - not just now, but for the last half century - its patently obvious that social security was NOT meant as a person's sole support in retirement, and has NEVER been sold that way. What ignorant people choose to believe- and to CONTINUE to believe even if shown they're wrong- ain't the Democrat's or "The Gummint's" or anybody's fault but their own.

How's THAT for "personal responsibility"? Speaking of which, throughout my working career I made less than $90K - $hit, less than half of that for many years- and still put money away in an IRA. It was tough- but nobody said it was easy.

Oh yeah- One More Time: Social Security is NOT GOING BROKE. Don't fall for the Bush$hit. No Mas!


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: John Hardly
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 12:05 PM

you never read before you post.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 12:53 PM

et tu, JH.

What exactly are you saying I didn't read?

(PS: ever read your pay stub where
it lists "Social Security TAX?)


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: John Hardly
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 01:26 PM

therein lies some of my understanding and your lack thereof. I don't get a pay stub. I am self-employed and thus not shnookered into believing that anyone but me is paying the whole 12% of the Social Security TAX...

.... that I have been trying, post after post, to point out is not a retirement account as most Americans believe it is. It is a tax. And if you had read -- as such should be handled as a TAX -- that is, more equally distributed to reflect the reality of it being A TAX, instead of being handled as a retirement account with all that that illusion implies (meaning that the very rich do not DRAW from the goddamn account so they need not pay for it).

Getting ANY of this yet?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 02:39 PM

John, if you did receive a pay stub, you would see that what is set aside for Social Security is not in the "Tax withheld" box, it is in the "FICA" box. FICA stands for "Federal Insurance Contributions Act."

Despite the fact that people, including the government, call it colloquially a "tax," it is, in fact, an insurance premium. If the government currently doesn't handle it that way, that is not the fault of the Act itself, which was passed in 1935. The way it was initially constituted, it was supposed to be treated as if it were insurance. If the Social Security system needs any correction, it is to return it to the way it was originally supposed to be according to the legal stipulations of the Act.

It is generally assessed as the most successful program to come out of flurry of much needed social legislation of the Thirties, and since then, has assured the elderly that they will not end up in a poor house—and make no mistake:   prior to the Thirties, there were real poor houses. They were not just figures of speech. They were not much better than prisons. Helluva thing to do to people who had worked hard all their lives and either hadn't been able to save for their old age or who didn't have younger family members who could take care of them.

Incidentally, among other methods of "saving" Social Security, the amount that the Pentagon spends on the construction of one Trident submarine would take care of funding well into the next century. Comparative figures such as this (and many others) are available to anyone who cares to look or who doesn't mind learning what's really going on. Incidentally, we already have a fleet of Trident submarines, each one carrying enough destructive power to obliterate a medium-sized nation, so I don't really see why we need very many more of them. And don't get me started on SDI!!.

Even though it may feel like it to you, and even if the government currently treats it that way because of it's "creative accounting," the amount in the FICA box is not a tax, it is an insurance premium.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 03:01 PM

Yeah, I got that-

You got this? ITS NOT ABOUT YOU!

You were going on about deluded people who thought it was a "retirement account" and that's what I responded to.

I responded to your statement that its unreasonable for anyone not making $90K + per annum to take advantage of an IRA or a 401K- which was, and is, BS.

Your contention that the Democratic response that currently ignores my plight. They tell me that I should be putting aside for my own retirement is also disingenuous- absolutely ANY responsible financial advisor has been saying this for 50 years- it ain't something the Dems cooked up recently- and its TRUE, to boot.

As far as your contention that the Gov't. sends an annual statement as part of a conspiracy to hoodwink folks and that The proposal for private accounts is merely to suggest gradually building the kind of accounts that most people mistakenly believe that Social Security now is [HUNH??].................................

Well, never mind.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: John Hardly
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 06:12 PM

I responded to your statement that its unreasonable for anyone not making $90K + per annum to take advantage of an IRA or a 401K- which was, and is, BS.

I do have a SEP account, so obviously I'm not saying it's impossible. What I am saying (yet again) is that after 12% has been contributed to what you call a tax and what Don call insurance, it is very hard to make that SEP into anything meaningful.


As far as your contention that the Gov't. sends an annual statement as part of a conspiracy to hoodwink folks and that The proposal for private accounts is merely to suggest gradually building the kind of accounts that most people mistakenly believe that Social Security now is

then what do you think the statement that they send is for?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 06:34 PM

then what do you think the statement that they send is for?

Doubtless only to waste more taxpayer dollars by the printing and mailing.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: John Hardly
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 07:05 PM

Actually, I guess I gotta change my mind. If Don's right, and it's an insurance policy (with "premiums"?) and not a tax -- and everyone knows that -- I guess the very wealthy shouldn't be required to participate. They sure don't need the insurance. Why pay the premiums?

It's not a tax, and my notion that everyone should be participating equally as they would any other government program was kinda predicated on that concept.

Who says nobody ever changes their mind by reading the posts on the mudcat?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 07:36 PM

Even the extremely wealthy never know what might happen. In 1929, a fair number of people who thought they were wealthy wound up depending on their Social Security. That is, of course, with the exception of those who couldn't handle it and took a dive out the window to spatter down below on Wall Street.

It's nice to have a little insurance salted away, whether you think you're going to need it or not. Sometimes you think you've got it made, then life hands you a nasty surprise.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 07:38 PM

Well, I reckon for lots of self employed folks, my self included, it does seem very much like a tax because it is taken out of our quarterly tax payments... Yeah, there's no seperate payment coupon for FICA fir us folks. Jusy one payment coupon and an envelope... We even gotta buy the danged stamp...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Ron Davies
Date: 06 Mar 05 - 03:01 PM

How about the idea that the wealthy should participate because the program is worthwhile to support, as has been determined by "the people" through their elected representatives--which the wealthy definitely have a great role in selecting--- and the wealthy are the ones who can contribute more with less harm to themselves?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: John Hardly
Date: 06 Mar 05 - 04:08 PM

That's fine reasoning if it's a tax, Ron, but as Don has pointed out, it's insurance. Insurance premiums aren't figured out that way. Since it's insurance, the premium is relative to the risk and the payoff.

Whether you are poor or wealthy throughout life, if you need Social Security at retirement, you don't get more just because you paid more. With insurance you would.

With insurance, if you are insuring an expensive car, or antiques, or even disability for a well-paying job, you pay more than if you are insuring a jalopy, eat off crates, and barely make ends meet.

It's a pretty high price to pay to insist that it's insurance, but, as Thurston J Howell III used to say, "Say, lovey".


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Ron Davies
Date: 06 Mar 05 - 10:06 PM

I think it's a semantic distinction.

The rich have obviously done pretty well in the US.    This is just a bit of payback.

If they don't like it, they can contact their representatives to oppose it. I suspect they know how to influence their representatives, so my sympathy for their plight is limited.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Susu's Hubby
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 06:38 AM

"The rich have obviously done pretty well in the US.    This is just a bit of payback."


...and with that statement lies the truth for all liberals. It's nothing but a case of bad feelings for those that have done well and you blaming someone else for the road that you have picked to travel. It's always the same...."I never made good money because the rich man always kept me down!" or "That's not fair...he's got more so let's just take it from him."

It sounds just a bit like schoolyard politics to me. Grow up and take responsibility for your own lot in life and do something to make it better and stop trying to take it from those that have done things just a little bit better than what you could think of doing. This is class warfare at it's purest. It is you that should be ashamed.



Hubby


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 07:39 AM

Atta boy, Bubby, it was only a matter of time until you stepped in parroting the oldie-but-goodie "class warfare" shibboleth.

Are you unable to think for yourself, or is it just too much trouble to do s?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 08:16 AM

If it won't fit on a bumper sticker, Greg, the hub-ster ain't interested... It don't matter what the problem is for him 'cause all problems have the same solution: cut taxes (especially for the rich)...


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Ron Davies
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 10:29 PM

Hubby-

If you don't think the rich can defend themselves without your brilliant and devastating arguments, I'd like to know what planet you've been living on.


Again, if you don't think the rich can afford to pay more than they now do, let's go back to my earlier questions to you, which you for some inexplicable reason left unanswered:

Just how much a Libertarian are you?

Do you believe in taxes at all?

If so, for what?

Let's start there.


The second question, in case you want to read ahead, will be:   do you think the Social Security program is worth keeping? Does it serve any purpose? Just a yes or no will suffice.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 08:49 AM

You know, part of the problem with the rich these days is that they don't wear their wealth very well... No, rather that show a little appreciation for the harl labor of the middleclass, they thumb their noses at the middle class... And the poor...

Northern Virgina is any area where lots of folks who are rich live and I hate driving thru it to get into D.C. to play music. It is dripping in wealth and these folks all gotta have $2M houses with 30 rooms in 'um. An' they gotta have a Hummer, and a Caddilac Ascalade and half a dozen other new fancy cars...

And then these are the folks who cry "foul" if they have to share anything with the folks who are actually producing the goods and services...

Now I grew up in Northern Virgina and everyone lived in 3 bedroom houses. It didn't matter if you were a Congressman, an Admiral in the Navy, the owner of a shooping center, 'er what... There was modesty. But there certainly isn't any today... And, BTW, this is how revolutions start... Now I'm not saying that the US is headed toward a revolution but with the middle class and poor slipin' down the proverbial slippery slope, while the rich continue their little narcistic circle jerk, I can see a time when the rich will be afraid to leave their compounds... Yeah, like I've said before, when Southern Man (Billy Bob) figures out that he's getting screwed, it will be a new game 'cause Billy Bob got guns...

Ya' listenin', Boss Hog?

And hubby?

Viva la revolution'

Commie Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 09:37 AM

In a building of gold, with riches untold
Lived the familes on which the country was founded
And the merchants of style with their vain, velvet smiles
Were there, for they also were hounded.
And the soft middle class crowded into the last
For the building was fully surrounded...

We were hardly aware of the problems they beared
For our time was taken with treasure.
Oh life was a game, and work was a shame,
And pain was prevented by pleasure.
The workd cold and grey was so far away
In distance only money could measure...

 Phil Ochs, 1964/5


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 09:53 AM

Hit the wrong button.

Meant to add how gratifying the progress we've made in the intervening 40 years is.

Times are I fully understand and appreciate Phil's despair.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 17 Apr 05 - 09:06 PM

Well gol danged.... No wonder Bush is trying so hard to privatize SS... He and his fellow "privatizin" Repub buddies been paid purfdy danged good by Wall Street.

From the Center for Resposible Politics (www.opensecrets.org) hers is the short list of Wall Street donors to Bush and his buddies for the 2004 election:

Golgman Sachs.......................$2,388,311

Morgan Stanley......................$1,897,715

Merrill Lynch.......................$1,486,740

JP Morgan Chase & Co................$1,479,683

USB Americas........................$1,425,007

MBNA Corp...........................$1,137,988

Citigroup Inc.......................$1,336,418

America Banker Assoscuation.........$1,370,487

Bank of America.....................$1,272,973

Wachovia............................$1.191,535

And this is just the short list, folks... Now consider this...Four presidents of presidential candidtate have steepped forward to say that that Social Security was broken and in "crisis" and/or bankrupt. Can anyone guess who these four folks were?

(Hint: The first one uttered his observations in 1936...)

Yeah, seems that the Republican party is Hell bent on taking Social Security down. Tney see it as socialism and socailism means that they might mave to share some of the pie. That keeps them up at night drinkin' Pepto-Mismal...

Good... Keep dinking it... You all got rich off us workin' folks so now you gonna have to treow back a few peas on the pot...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Amos
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 12:09 AM

I see no evidence that Social Security is busted, and certainly not busted in anyway I would trust Bush's Eagles to fix. The man is a pure danger to society, not a benefactor.

I recommend you review the Flash presentations being offered as finalists at MoveOn.org on this subject.

They make the counter arguments against the Bush proposal simple and clear.

The man is once again manipulating public perception in order to acheive some agendfa that carries no social good.

Screw him for a liar, an incompetent, and a bow-legged cross-eyed son of a bitch. You'd be wiser listening to a drunk orangutang.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 07:33 AM

Well, Amos, it must be busred 'er why would *Republican* presidential candidte Alf Landon say so in 1936, 'er *Republican* presidential candidate, Barry Goldwater say it in 1964, 'er *Rebuplican* president Ronald Reagan say in 1983, or why the current *Republican* is saying it now?

Could all of the men be wrong?

BObert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Susu's Hubby
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 10:09 AM

come on Amos,


MoveOn.org?



Talk about liberal left spin?


I thought you were better than that. I actually was under the assumption that you thought for yourself. A lot more of your posts actually make sense now that I know that you don't.


Hubby


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 11:14 AM

Wow, Hub -- you sound bitter.

The arguments you forward strike me as ad hominem attacks, an abandonment of discourse and a refusal to talk to the issues. If you want facts, rather than spin, let's lay out exactly how broken this system is. The data I have seen indicates it is not broken, is not backed by worthless IOU's as Bush asserts, and will still be operating as designed up to 40 years from now. In addition I wonder if you or anyone can bring up a track record of the invasions into the Social Security trust fund in the last five years -- or twenty for , that matter.

If you want to flog personalities, try analyzing your half-witted cross-eyed President, one of the slimiest and most two-faced characters ever to get into office anywhere, a man who cannot construct a complete sentence without putting his foot in his mouth, and who, like you apparently, deals in personalities in the most degrading and abusive manner he can dream up. He is about as qualified for office as a Gila monster. Except he's from Texas, where the bloodshed comes a little easier.

BTW, what definition of the word "liberal" are you using. In my vocabulary, the word derives from the basic Latin liber, meaning free, and implies a deep respect for individual freedoms.

You have a problem with that. Maybe you've been mainlining too much Limbaugh and Coulter, as reactionary a pair of money-grubbing opportunists as ever scammed an audience. Hmmm?

You and your kind are dedicated to the erosion of progress and the domination of other people. You use buttons and sound-bytes instead of thinking, and are grievously short of an understanding and respect for the liberal tradition the nation was built on.

A


A


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Susu's Hubby
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 12:11 PM

"If you want to flog personalities, try analyzing your half-witted cross-eyed President, one of the slimiest and most two-faced characters ever to get into office anywhere, a man who cannot construct a complete sentence without putting his foot in his mouth, and who, like you apparently, deals in personalities in the most degrading and abusive manner he can dream up. He is about as qualified for office as a Gila monster. Except he's from Texas, where the bloodshed comes a little easier."



I'm bitter?

Wrong answer...Thanks for playing.



Hubby


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Amos
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 12:38 PM

Well, you sound less bitter, I concede, if no less condescending and smug in your party-line certainties. I am glad you have found someone you can look up to, even if it a snake in the grass with the morals of a leprous roach. As for wrong answers, it seems to me you are not in a position to judge that.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 08:19 PM

Well, what boggles my mind is that we are even talkin' about Social Security in the first place. This isn't a converstaion that progressives want dominating the media.

The US has serious problems that Bush and his buddies seem not want discussed and examined, like why the US, unlike almost every *developed* country in the world can't provide heath care to it's people??? Hmmmmm??? Maybe we're not all that *developed* after all. Ot whay, unlike most *developed* countries in the world we don't provide Child care services to out people??? Hmmm??? Maybe we're not all that *developed* afterall. Or why it is that one in five of our kids live in poverty??? Or why we rant something like 17th in infant mortality rate??? Or why out schoold ate literally falling apart???
Or why the US is the only *deveoped* country that has capital punishment??? Hmmmm??? Maybe we're not all that *developed*???

But do we talk about these things??? Heck no!!! All Bush and the hubby's of the US want on the table is a system that has worked for 60 years and will continue to work for at least another 40 years without much tweekin' at all...

This to me is insanity... It's like going to the emergency room with a broken arm and they treat you for the head cold that you also have and ignore the arm...

Ths logic totally escapes me here!!!

Oh, I'm sure that the Rush Limbaigh's have the hubby's all primned with some dumbass answer but it the hubby's would just shut off Limbaugh fir a week and answer the questions I've posed here I think that the hubbys might come away with a more reasonable perspective...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 28 Apr 05 - 07:42 PM

Well, well, well....

After two months of so-called town meetings where only Bushites were allowed to attend, "private accounts" just don't seem to be catchin' on with the American people who are fearfull, an rightly so, that what Bush & the Crooks are out to gut a program that helps millions of folks who would be in the street without it...

So, tonight, Bush will make a last ditch effort to convince the American people that a good ol' fashion Boss Hog fleecin' is in the workin' man's best interest when Bush will have the first press conference in about a year...

But, fir my Bushite friends, not to worry. He wouldn't do it without a room full of shills... Yeah, Gannon is gone but, hey, noone is gonna ask any real tough questions like:

"Ahhhh, Mr. President, if you feel so strongly about your proposed changes to the Social Security system then why is it that you wouldn't allow anyone who might have had even mild misgivings to particpiate in your town hall meetings?"

"Ahhhh, Mr. President, if you believe in democracy why are you a loowing such a effort by the Christain Right, the Department of Homeland Security and other a groups and agencies to shout down and scare of the progressive voice in America?"

"Ahhhh, Mr. President, if you feel so concerned about freedom and free elections, why is it that you have done everything in your power to allow for an election in the UNited States that has a paper trail?"

"Ahhhh. Mr. President.....

But these questions won't get asked...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Amos
Date: 28 Apr 05 - 08:13 PM

"Well....Boberto....you're Boberto to me from now on, that's your nickname...let me try to concatenate your questions and perhaps come up with some fundamentallic respurtenances for ya.

See, in Texas where I come from, we don't have a lot of grass, not the kind that grows in Kentucy, anyway, heh heh....it a climactic thing, is what the simonists tell me. Anyway, the drivers behind these decisions...and let me add I did NOT support paper trail elections as you imply; I believe it would compromise our COnstitutionally sacred liberties...but as I was saying, you have to put all the drivers on the table if yer gonna unnerstand the situation. So one of them is of course my good friend Ken and my good friend Dick. But there's another one, and I think as an educated man you may well have imagined it is power or some dumb thing. But it isn't.

"See, Boberto, Ah am not highly educated...all I know is how to lead and make the right win over the bad in this world. And in my book, that may be simple, and it may be dull, but to me it is enough. Some folks would argue that that depends what you say's good and what you say's bad, but I leave all that to the perfessors of socialism or whatever. We have a purdy good idea of what is right and anyone who supports us is included in that, because that's what we stand for.

There's one other driver you need to unnerstand before you can achieve much lucidification on these questions, Boberto. You need to unnerstand who is the president..that's me. And that is the main one. Because I call the shots. If it looks like I'm lower than a starving snake's belly in the grass to you, well in Texas that's considered a privileged position, and maybe that's just because I am. I amy be a snake, Boberto, but I am your snake, so suck it on up pal.

" I an glad we had this here little discussioning time, Boberto, an' I hope it helps you renovate your appraisal of things so you see where I am coming from. Just look for the winding marks in the dust."

GWB


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 28 Apr 05 - 08:49 PM

"Just one follow up question, Mr. President. Other than admitting that you are not an educated man, just what did you just say?"

Boberto


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Amos
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 08:15 AM

From the Madison, WIS "Capitol Times" of this date, a nice summation:

Editorial: Unmasking Bush's plan

An editorial
April 29, 2005

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Write a letter to the editor.



Lee Medley holds up a sign across the street from people waiting in line to see the President Bush in Galveston, Texas last Tuesday. President Bush visited the University of Texas Medical Branch to promote his Social Security plan. (AP Photo/The Galveston County Daily News, Chad Greene)


President Bush has been touring the country for the past two months and then went on nationwide TV last night to try to drum up support for his schemes to privatize the nation's Social Security system. He was never honest with the American people; he claimed that the system was in dire straits and suggested that the "crisis" needed to be responded to immediately, but at the same time he refused to offer specifics about his proposed fix.

In spite of the White House smoke screen, or perhaps because of it, the American people have rejected Bush's appeals. According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, American support of the president's approach to Social Security issues has fallen from 41 percent a year ago to 31 percent now. The percentage that disapproves has shot up from 51 percent to 64 percent.

A month ago, only 41 percent of Americans opposed the centerpiece of Bush's Social Security reform proposal: private accounts. Now that figure has risen to 51 percent.

The more Americans know about Bush's "solutions" for the faked Social Security crisis, the more they oppose the president's ideas. Unfortunately, Bush is not engaged in a two-way conversation.

He talks about his "crisis," his "private accounts" and his faith in Wall Street traders to make everything right. But he does not listen to the evidence that his approach will not work, and he does not respond to the expressions of concern from the American people.

The plan he has finally presented to Congress is, for all practical purposes, the plan he started promoting after his inauguration.

So Bush is hopeless, but Congress doesn't have to be.

U.S. Rep. Diane Watson, D-Calif., summed up the rationale for resistance to the Bush proposal when she said, "Pure and simple, Republicans are manufacturing a Social Security crisis that does not exist in order to dismantle Social Security. If the Republican attempt to cut Social Security benefits went into effect today in my home state of California, the average recipient would see his or her monthly benefits drop by $393. This represents a significant loss in income for persons, many of whom are retired and on a fixed income. We need to strengthen Social Security, not launch a Trojan horse that will eventually lead to the dismantlement of Social Security." ...


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 07:01 PM

Seems that Abe Licoln was right about not being able yto fool all the people all the time and Bush's past lies have now caught up to him and folks just don't believe him on Social Security... And the longer he tries to sell his current batch of lies the further the American people are distancing themselves from his ideas...

I mean, I'm beginning that Bush lies just for the sake of lieing... Problem is that vwey few folks believe him anymore... Yeah, a 100 days into 2nd term and what ever "political capital" he thinks he had with his Diebold aided 51% "mandate" (ha) is spent and he's now borrowing... Sound familiar? Yeah, Social Security is in trouble because there's a madman raiding it to finance his wars...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Amos
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 07:40 PM

Now, look here, Boberto, you gonna get your facts straightened up, pronto, iffen you intend to remain in our pet hotel....I mean, press corps. "Pet hotel" is just a nickname. Anyway, look here. I am not mad. Just like Richard Nixon was not a crook, I am not mad. I get a little peeved sometimes at people who don't accept the leadership they are offered -- perfectly good leadership, the best Texas has to offer, and they just as soon waste it!! It's like feeding guacamole to an armadillo, if you see what I mean. Anyway, aside from that, I have nothing to be mad about. My wars are in a Just Cause, and as long as that is the case, I see nothing to get mad about. Hell, _I_ ain't lost no sons or husbands, have I? What kind of a man do you take me for?

So get ir right, son, or go out and join them rabble at the gates, there, okay? We all clear on that?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 09:49 PM

Here's the one question that is going to put this whole topic into perspective.
>

>

Do you trust yourself in making the right decisions for your own retirement or do you trust the government in making those decisions for you?

Personally, with everybody in here talking about their persistent mis-trust of the government, I really don't see how you could believe that you will be better off having no say in what the government does with the money that's currently being sucked out of your paycheck.

It, frankly, looks as if you're talking out of both sides of your mouth.


Hubby


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 11:16 PM

No, hubby, no out-both-sides-o-yer-mouth here... What we are sayin' is:

1. If yer portfolio is in Enron guess what? Yer gonna spend yer golden years homeless...

2. If you flood the market with cash guess what? At some point it will just have so much cash that the industries that depend on it will, ahhhh, just ship more jobs overseas...

3. If Boss Hog continues his evil ways of out-sourcing, then in giving him a big pay-day, then in his out-sourcing he will leave the country without able consumers to buy his junk...

4. The plan that Bush has proposed will insure that most middle class working folks will have to work until they die which is a mute point since Boss Hog had allready done that by extending so much debt to the average middle class family...

Now, if Bush were to have that cut-off at about $70K to $80K then we'd have something to talk about but cutting folks who make $40K a year is purdy mean spirited....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: GUEST,Susu's Hubby
Date: 30 Apr 05 - 12:37 AM

Bobert,

That post did nothing but state your obvious ignorance of any economic gains that can be achieved by simply investing your money into programs that are not currently being done with the current monies.

You've got to get past this fixation of Enron and other single, highly volatile stocks and start looking at the big picture. Have you ever ever heard of mutual funds? These are a group of bonds and stocks that work together for the entire membership of the grouped monies. Now, if you had your choice of putting your money into bonds or stocks, which would you choose? By your posts, I would say that you would probably want to put all of your money into bonds. When I say bonds, I mean a fund that's made up of savings and government bonds, treasury notes and other similar vehicles. And that's ok. That's why they're there. It's called the preservation of capital.

Now look at the stocks. Just whose stocks are we talking about? There are funds that have stocks from domestic based companies. There are other funds that have stocks from foreign based companies. You can choose funds that are all healthcare related or technology related. But what are you actually buying? Individual stocks? NO!
You are buying shares of the fund itself that is made up of these hundreds or thousands or millions of stocks. You're actually putting your money back into companies whose products you use everyday. Coca-Cola, Pepsi, GE, Microsoft, Gas companies, oil companies, sports franchises, Proctor & Gamble, Dell, Magnavox, Sony, Wal-Mart, General Mills and other like companies. You're causing your portfolio to grow because you actually own pieces of the companies whose products you've either used or directly affects your day to day life.

But, you ask, what happens when the market takes a plunge? That's when it gets better. Have you ever heard of dollar cost averaging? That basically means that by putting money into your fund in regular intervals that you are going to benefit the most whenever the market is down because your money buys more shares if they're at a lower price. Who doesn't look for bargains? Now when the market comes back up then your whole portfolio will be valued much higher than if you were just to put in $10,000 and let it set for 25 years without adding anything to it.

Well, Hubby, what happens if the market totally crashes and all the companies go broke?

Then we'll all be standing in the soup lines because the green paper in you wallet won't be good for anything except blowing your nose in.

So are there risks? Sure there are. But if you consistently keep your eyes on it and as you get closer to retirement, start moving more and more of your shares from stocks to bonds then you will actually preserve what you have and stay away from the more volatile side.

Sound like too much trouble? It really shouldn't be because once you've seen it at work and have a thorough understanding of the way the system works then it should be something that everybody looks at and says, "Man, I wish I would have understood how this worked thirty years ago. I'd be a millionaire right now." But if it still sounds like too much work, then let the government decide what's best for you. You'll get your measley 1.5-2.5% rate of return on your SS contributions and I'm sure that you'll be happy.

Just make sure that you watch the mail closely and don't lose your medicare card that your neighbor is helping pay the cost for. I'm sure he doesn't want to see his money go to waste either.


Hubby


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: GUEST,JustSurfedIn
Date: 30 Apr 05 - 06:43 AM

Very well said, Hubby. I took the time to read this topic from the beginning. While I certainly am not a great fan of some of W's policies (e.g. the borders, prescription plan), and have voted for both Democrats and Republicans, I see no legitimate ideas coming from the Democrats. Most of the Dems prefer to denigrate, and obfuscate. Where are the great Democrat statesmen of yesteryear? Those who are actually trying to meet the Republicans halfway, like Lieberman, are roundly criticized as "DINO's" - that's Democrat In Name Only, Bobert. I have to believe that Bush is actually trying to do the right thing. The vast majority of economists, including several Nobel Prize winning economists have agreed with his economic stances. The Democrats' talking heads said of the tax cuts that Bush was "stealing from the poor" and other worse things, but the truth is far from it.

For those who know how to do research, you will find that, as of 1993, the TOP ONE PERCENT of earners paid almost 35 percent of ALL federal income taxes. The TOP FIVE PERCENT PAID MORE THAN HALF of All federal income taxes. The ratios haven't changed greatly. The Bush tax cut was less than the JFK tax cut. JFK rightly believed that decreasing taxes would stimulate the economy and bring MORE money into the treasury. Ronald Reagan did likewise and brought us out of the malaise of the late '70's. I voted for Carter, but I hadn't studied economic theory at that point of my life. I can already hear the rants about the deficit incurred in the Reagan years, and some of that is true, however, much of that was the bloating, pork-barrel spending of Congress.

Getting back to SSI, I would not be averse to raising the cap, as long as you give us personal accounts and the ability to opt out of the system. I am not totally against means testing on pragmatic grounds.
I do think that SSI is the only federal confiscation system that has been shouldered by the middle class. I, too, believe the $250 death benefit is a disgrace, and I would also agree with an earlier poster that Congress should have to participate (or opt out of - having no special system) in the same system that we are.

I can sympathize with the plight of the downtrodden, and we have the moral onus to look out for them, but people are playing with numbers when quoting poverty percentages. The monetary definition of poverty is flexible,and like all statistics can be made to look differently as a function of bias. Many factors are commonly overlooked. There is a large underground economy that many participate in, and other subsidies are not included. Many people that are below the poverty line are truly needy. We should help them. Many others have 2 cars, 3 TV sets, and don't care to work. We should not help them, yet we are carrying millions of them. I personally know several people that under-report their income by a large amount. Of course, the same thing happens with the ultra-rich and with politicians of both parties. It is human nature to try to optimize one's position, and in a culture devoid of objective standards, cheating is no longer frowned upon.

Why is it that the "Bushites" have been consistently polite, and offering their reasoning, whereas, most of the liberals do nothing more than call them names and tell them they are full of shit? Do any of you liberals study economics? If you look at Europe, they have a much higher unemployment rate. California has a larger GDP than any single European country (last time I checked). This is remarkable when one considers the fact that the American taxpayer has been paying for the protection of the free world. Even with that huge burdern we still outproduce them. Why? Capitalism. The European countries have bought into "democratic socialism". The problem is socialism is a failed concept. Free markets, low taxes, personal accountability (there- I said it!), and the recognition of traditional objective moral standards are the keys to economic growth. The teaching of situational ethics has done more harm than good.

I don't remember which of you said it, but someone made the statement to the effect that if we got rid of all the stupid people, the Republicans would lose (I'm paraphrasing). I had to laugh. I know lots of people, and most of the lower functioning, including virtually ALL of the druggies, alcoholics, and criminals are democrats. I do know a number of well-educated people who are liberals, but there is an interesting observation; most of them are educated in liberal arts programs and are social workers or teachers. Many are musicians. The people that I know that are more logically oriented, such as mathematicians, political science majors, engineers, and physicians are mostly conservative, at least economically. Left-brainers are conservative (right wing) and right-brainers are liberals (left wing). I believe this is because the more carefully you study history and economics, the more you will see how totally bankrupt the modern democratic party has become. The ONLY reason that they are against Bush's doing ANYTHING with SSI is that they don't want to give him a victory. They would rather harm America and keep some power than do the right thing. It is to their advantage to keep as many Americans dependent on the government as possible.

Okay, fire away.
JSI


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Apr 05 - 08:39 AM

Spoken like a died in the wool closet Republican, JSI...

You have thrown up the Republican mantra about how those poor rich folks used to pay such a large share of the taxes... sniff... of, those poor rich folks... gets my old Wes Ginny butt all choked up...

Not!!!

Hey, look, JSIer... First if all lets get one thing straight right here and now. A dollar never actually produced a danged thing! People produce and guess what? Well, I'll tell ya what... Ruch folks ain't the ones driving trucks, wirking in hospitals, manning Boss Hog's widget assembly lines and buildig houses and highways... An' rich people ain't puttin' out fires, crawlin' unner houses to fix folks plumbing leaks, operatin heavy equipement, picking apples 'er rapairing cars... Might of fact rich people ain't doin' much of anything except sit around either talkin' with other rich folks 'er calling in to right wing radio shows complainin' just how bad things are going!!! That's all that rich people do!!!

Sure, in the capitalist system, money (which is totally artifical) is used to pay people to build the factory, make the widget, transport the widget to Walmart where it is sold to someone who ost likely builds widget factories, makes widgets, transports widgets or sells widgets to.... Ahhh, the widget become the wealth and maybe you'd like to explain just were the rich man got his hands dirty in the process... Well, he didn't?!?!?!

Yet the rich want to complain that they have to carry a large burden of the cost of government??? Too bad!!! If you know of any eich folks who want to trade places, JSIer, let me know an' I'll be gald to swap portfolios with 'um...

Now back to 1993 and these poor rich folks standin' in the soup lines. Ahhhh, guess what? Well, I'll tell ya what.. When Greenspan walked into Bill Clinton's office and said, "Hey, these deficit's that Reagan and Bush (I) have left you are going to cripple the economy and you're going to have to raise taxes to pay them down!" Now I weren't no fan of Slick Willie and din't vote fir him but he took Greenspan's advice and guess what? Well, I'll tell ya what. It worked...

Fast forward to 2000. With the governemnt and the economy on solid footing and fiscally respected 'round the world along comes Bush (II)m and he pounds and pounds and pounds for a big old tax cut (heavily favoring those poor rich folks that don't do a danged thing) and Greenspan knuckled under from the sheer noise... BTW, just last week Greenspan said that it would be a good idea to not make the tax cuts perminent but that, sopmehow, didn't make the jump from the business section to the front page. Why? Well, I'll tell ya' why. Rich people, the same ones who produce nuthin', own the friggin' newspapers, that's why...

Now back to Hubby. I have offered many ideas on this thread so to say there aren't options, plans and alternatives to Bush's plan is just parroting some Karl Rove/PR crap... You hear if everyday, "The Democrats don't have any plans." No, they have plans! What they don't have is the microphone!!! (Do I like their plans? Well, not roo many of them because they seem to be Republican-Lite plans but they have plans!!!)

As fir SSI, JSIer, what do you realoly know about SSI? Have you ever recieved it? If so maybeyou like to tell Mudville just what a generous plan it is... Hmmmmmm? I know a little about the program since I worked as a social worker for the Department of Human Services in Richmond, va. fir 8 years so when you anwer this question be mindfull that I can come back and tell you just what a poverty-insuring program it is. Yeah, if you're getting it, even with it, yer more than likely still living in poverty...

Now one last thing I'll bring up before I get dressed to go to DC for the blues jam is this. Poor rich folks love to talk about "personal responsinlity" but they think of it as something for other folks... Bush lied to the American people about the WMD in Iraq but he hasn't ad to pay fir it. He stole money from Harkin Energy Company (think Enron here) as it's CEO just before it went under. Why isn't he held accountable? See, that's the way rich folks think... Every day we read about some other bonehead scheme by some poor rich person to get richer that is criminal but they do it anyway. Why? Well, I tell ya' why. Becuase they think that life is entirely aboout them. That's why...

They think that "person responsibilty" means "I'm rich. You ain't. If you wanted to be rich youi should have picked rich parents"

So now, TO WIT, the 4th Repulican president or presidential candidate going back to Alf Landon in 1936, is standing up on a soapbox screaming "Social Security is going bankrupt!!! Social Security is going bankrupt!!!!"

Well, first of all, no it's not. And it wasn't when Barry Goldwater screamed it in the 60's or when Reagan screamed it in the 80's and it ain't going bankrupt now, either!!!

You Bushites are a funny lot... You'll find money fir any danged war you want to start but here the real working folks in America are loosing ground year after year and you couldn't care less...

Get a life and, ahhhh, maybe a job to go with it...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: GUEST,JustSurfedIn
Date: 30 Apr 05 - 01:32 PM

Bobert,

Thanks for reading. Your reply is so full of factual errors that I will try to address only the most egregious. First of all, though, it happens that I do know something about SSI. In fact, I am permanently disabled and on SSDI now. Do I think it is a good program? No. It just happens that I have no alternative. Given a choice between the average gain on investment historically versus an entirely voluntary program wherein each person is given the OPTION to invest a relatively small portion of the total, I'll take the latter every time. The stock market will always outperform SSI on it's own. Over time, a fairly conservative mutual fund is a sure bet. President Bush has stated that only such conservative investments would be allowed. As one of the other conservatives stated, if it isn't we'll all be in the soup lines.

You say that the wealthy never get their hands dirty. Another factual error. Most people who become wealthy do so by hard work. Most have done manual labor. Most are normal middle class people that have an idea on how to build a better mousetrap. When a government confiscates wealth, it destroys initiative. People will always work hardest for themselves. The Soviet and communist governments have shown the folly of wealth confiscation. Entrepeneurs and investors are the people that helped make America the greatest nation on earth. Sure, you can find people who made their money by inheritance (Ted Kennedy - family fortune from bootlegging). Their are others who make their money by being gigolos (Kerry). I don't say that we should respect them, but they are a product of the capitalist system, which, though imperfect, is still the best economic system in the world.

You repeat lies about Bush, yet he did work hard for at least some of his money, even if his dad was well off and he could have sat on his butt and lived off of Daddy. You hate Cheney because you have been programmed by the media to believe that he is some kind of conspiratorial racketeer. Did you know that Bill Clinton gave Halliburton a no-bid contract for our ill-conceived intrusion into Bosnia? The reason is simple. They are the only ones that can get the job done on the scale that we require. No conspiracy in either war.

You say Bush lied about WMD's. First of all, it has yet to be proven that there were no WMD's in Iraq. ALL of the world's intelligence agencies believed that they were there. Many experts still believe they were or are. If not, what was Hussein trying to hide? He repeatedly blocked inspectors from sensitive sites, believed to have WMD's. We KNOW he HAD them, we know he USED them, and we KNOW he had plans for nuclear bombs. Isn't it quite preposterous to assume that Bush knew more than any intelligence agency? You guys call him a moron on the one hand, and then when it suits your needs, he becomes an evil genius. This whole "Bush lied" argument is patently absurd. If you would just think about it and check the available facts, you would see this, but you are programmed by the media and the DNC to believe a bunch of lies.   

Why is it that you save all your venom for the Republicans? There are plenty of villains to go around. Many of the ultra-rich fat cats that you love to hate are liberal democrats, like Ted Turner. I don't hear you criticizing Teresa and John Kerry, neither of whom worked a second for the fabulous wealth that they enjoy. George Soros financed the democrats in their latest failure. He made much of his money by breaking the Bank of England. He was just fined for insider trading in the liberals favorite country (France). You say that Bush "stole money from Harkin Energy Company (think Enron here) as it's CEO just before it went under."
Nice propaganda, but if you'd get your information from the public record instead of liars like Michael Moore, you would find out that:
1)Bush was NEVER CEO of Harkin Energy! Bushes company was bought out by Harkin Energy.
2)Harkin Energy never went under! They are still operating today!
It is precisely these kind of lies and ranting that has created the political climate that we now have. Of course it starts at the top with raving lunatics like Howard Dean, and then it follows Reaganomics-it trickles down.

The "Republican Mantra" that I "threw up" is not that the wealthy USED TO pay all those taxes. The fact is that they still do. The bottom 50% contributes very little in comparison. I don't expect you to feel sorry for them, nor do I care. What is important is how the taxation apportionment affects the economy as a whole. Whether you choose to believe it or not, when wealthy and upper middle class people are heavily taxed, they take their money offshore, look for tax shelters or even just let it sit and collect interest. What they do Not do is start new businesses that employ common folks. If you had money, and wanted to leave some for your grandchildren, you would do the same. Confiscatory taxation stifles economic growth. That is a fact. When I took economics, we used to graph out equilibrium points that calculated at what point a person would invest. You gave Clinton credit for eliminating the deficit, but he never intended to. If you'll check the facts, it was Newt Gingrich's "Contract with America" that was pushed for eliminating the deficit. Clinton actually opposed the idea until it was forced upon him. The Reagan/Bush peace dividend, and Clinton's decimating the armed forces allowed for the deficit to be reduced.

You state that Social Security is not going bankrupt. The fact is that it really already has. Their is no big account where our money is collecting interest. The politicians raided that a long time ago. Now we count on new taxes coming in to pay the older SSI recipients. That worked as long as workers greatly outnumbered the recipients. Now with a lower birth rate (think Roe v. Wade) this is coming to an end. SSI IS in trouble.

You stated that democrats don't "have the microphone". That is laughable. Maybe you aren't acquainted with ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, and NPR, but those organizations are all heavily biased toward liberalism. They are very sly, however. When a Texas Republican gives $100K to the GOP, they call him a "rich Republican operative", yet when foreigner George Soros gives over $20 Million to the DNC they don't mention it. When a GOP Senator tapes a message to a Christian group having a special meeting about fixing SSI, they cry that he is mixing "church and state", yet, during the campaigns, Dems ROUTINELY spoke from the pulpit during actual services. That is different. The rules only apply to Republicans. I could go on, but I have to leave. I won't see any reply for some time.

JSI


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Amos
Date: 30 Apr 05 - 05:13 PM

Seems to me a more direct way to strengthen the Social Security trust fund would be to return to it all monies drained off by COngress -- whenever it was done -- for unrelated and improper uses.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Apr 05 - 07:33 PM

Well, JSI.... all I gotta say is that you remind me very much of Bush. You proclaim that I am misinformed and then you go about spinnin' tales right from a Rush Limbaugh show...

Oh, where to start...

First, about rich folks taking their money off-shore because of taxes? That's a lot of bull. They take it offshore becasue they don't have faith in America... Yeah, Bush came to us in 2001 and siad that if we gave the rich a big tax break that these folks would invest it in America. Did that happen? Heck no, it didn't. They took their money and invested it in offshore stuff and foriegn companies because they are not the patriotic Americans that Bush made them out to be when he was tryin' to get his tax cuts thru which were supposed to jump start the American econmomy...

As fir the Dems having the microphone? Bull! You are brainwashed by right wing media. But yoy wouldn't see it that way because, ahhh, youy are brainwashed. Lets rewind to the run up to the invasion of Iraq. When a half a million folks marched in DC in Novemeber prior to the invasion the "supposed liberal press" Washington Post almost ignored it and the article they wrote on page A-17 said "tens of thousands" and then went on to give the 12 to 15 Bushites as much print as the half a million folks who were in the streets taking up 20 blocks from sidewalk to sidewalk... I know. I was there... I marched in the Moritorium against the Vietnam war and there were easially as many folks for the Novemeber march... Now let's look at yer "liberal media". How many theologians, teachers, diplomats, mediators, historians were hired as analysts by the media that you listed in the run-out to war? None.... 150 military folks and not one peace-maker... And there were folks, like Scott Ritter, who had been an weapons inspector in Iraq, who was trying to tell the truth and all of theose supposed "liberal media" ignored him like he was radiation... Yeah, if you think that the media is liberal then this really explains how you are so confused about the other things in your post...

Okay, as fir fund raising... You think I like George Soros throwin so much money at the Dems? Heck no, I don't... I also didn't think that those rangers and pioneers, 'er whatever they called themselves being turned loose by Bush to go out and strongarm business people around the dcountry and all that "bundling" crap. Reminds me of the mafia when the folks go around collectin' "protection" money... I know one person who was strong armed who says it reminded him of the Godfather movie... Yopu want a level playing field then publicly fund elections!!!

As fir you hero's Social Security plan, privatized, semi-privatized or not, Bush want to cut benefits to 70% of future retiress who atrn't 55 years old or older as of today. (Washington Post, April 30, "Bush Plan Greeted With Caution")

Okay, what other things are you confused about... Oh yeah, Clinton and his relationship with Greenspan and what Clinton did as president to get a handle on a 12 year spending binge by Reagan and Bush (I), I'd recommend Bob Woodward's book "Maestro" which is purdy much all about that relationship and what Clinton *did*... You are very confused about history on this issue but, hey, anyone who exposes that "liberal media" barf gets a pass in the free thinkin' department...

And as fir your assertion that most folks today got there from hard work I would like for you to provide your sources. Until then I'm sticking by my premise that there hasn't been all that much upward mobility compared to the number of folks who are rich by virtue of being born into rich families. If you want to proclaim me to be wrong, then how about providing sources other than other right wingers who are proclaimers... Yeah, yer side is filled with porclamation but short on facts, or morals fir that matter...

Procaliming that "carving out" 3 trillion bucks from Social Security will make is stronger is absurd... It's eqivalent to using leeches to cure illness!!!

But that seems to be all that you folks know. Got a problem? Cut taxes! Yup, every danged problem in the world can be fixed by cutting taxes???? Hmmmmmm??? I am asuccessful businessman and I never thought that cuttin' my sales or revenues would make my company any better off??? Like where did you or yer buddy Bush get yer business trainin'??? There's some wrong thinkin' going on here...

And don't give me that crap about business folks not investin' because they gotta pay taxes! That's bull... I've been in business since 1980 and I don't make my decissions around taxes... I pay 'im and go from there... And I don't outsorce... And I don't offshore... I play right here in America and am sick and tired of hearing greeding people say that the reason they won't invest in America is because they have to pay taxes... They got a big tax cut from Bush and they still won't invest in America... That really pisses me off... These folks ain't businesspeople... They are rich folks who don't have a clue about nuthin' 'cause they ain't worked fir what they have and therefore find is convient to blame progressives and free thinking folks who care about investing in America for thier own laziness... I've seen it first hand... I know a lot of these folks... They are lazy and crybabies... To go along with their greediness...

But if you wanta go out and invest in the stock market, or bonds or mutual funs, JSI, knock yerself out... Jus' don't go cutting what little money comes from Social Security from the 70% of Americans that yer hero says need a good-ol-fashion Texas butt whup cut...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: woodsie
Date: 01 May 05 - 12:19 PM

You lot are going to clog up the etherspace with this crap!


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: saulgoldie
Date: 01 May 05 - 12:27 PM

200?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 05 - 02:09 PM

Amos,

I agree that that would definately be a good idea but in today's workd of reality, that's never going to happen.


The only thing that we can do from this point on is how to make the system better.



Hubby


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Amos
Date: 02 May 05 - 02:12 AM

A Gut Punch to the Middle

By PAUL KRUGMAN

Published: May 2, 2005

The New York Times

B y now, every journalist should know that you have to carefully check out any scheme coming from the White House. You can't just accept the administration's version of what it's doing. Remember, these are the people who named a big giveaway to logging interests "Healthy Forests."

Sure enough, a close look at President Bush's proposal for "progressive price indexing" of Social Security puts the lie to claims that it's a plan to increase benefits for the poor and cut them for the wealthy. In fact, it's a plan to slash middle-class benefits; the wealthy would barely feel a thing.

Under current law, low-wage workers receive Social Security benefits equal to 49 percent of their wages before retirement. Under the Bush scheme, that wouldn't change. So benefits for the poor would be maintained, not increased.

The administration and its apologists emphasize the fact that under the Bush plan, workers earning higher wages would face cuts, and they talk as if that makes it a plan that takes from the rich and gives to the poor. But the rich wouldn't feel any pain, because people with high incomes don't depend on Social Security benefits.

Cut an average worker's benefits, and you're imposing real hardship. Cut or even eliminate Dick Cheney's benefits, and only his accountants will notice.

I asked Jason Furman of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities to calculate the benefit cuts under the Bush scheme as a percentage of pre-retirement income. That's a way to see who would really bear the burden of the proposed cuts. It turns out that the middle class would face severe cuts, but the wealthy would not.

The average worker - average pay now is $37,000 - retiring in 2075 would face a cut equal to 10 percent of pre-retirement income. Workers earning 60 percent more than average, the equivalent of $58,000 today, would see benefit cuts equal to almost 13 percent of their income before retirement.

But above that level, the cuts would become less and less significant. Workers earning three times the average wage would face cuts equal to only 9 percent of their income before retirement. Someone earning the equivalent of $1 million today would see benefit cuts equal to only 1 percent of pre-retirement income.

In short, this would be a gut punch to the middle class, but a fleabite for the truly wealthy.

Beyond that, it's a good bet that benefits for the poor would eventually be cut, too.

It's an adage that programs for the poor always turn into poor programs. That is, once a program is defined as welfare, it becomes a target for budget cuts.

You can see this happening right now to Medicaid, the nation's most important means-tested program. Last week Congress agreed on a budget that cuts funds for Medicaid (and food stamps), even while extending tax cuts on dividends and capital gains. States are cutting back, denying health insurance to hundreds of thousands of people with low incomes. Missouri is poised to eliminate Medicaid completely by 2008.

If the Bush scheme goes through, the same thing will eventually happen to Social Security. As Mr. Furman points out, the Bush plan wouldn't just cut benefits. Workers would be encouraged to divert a large fraction of their payroll taxes into private accounts - but this would in effect amount to borrowing against their future benefits, which would be reduced accordingly. (...)


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 03 May 05 - 07:10 PM

So this is what "compassioante" conservatism looks like...

Semms more like Boss Hog scrwin' the working class...

Me thinks that the American people are going to finally step back away from NASCAR and "I Love Lucy" reruns longs eniff to say, "Hey, I gettin' screwed by these folks I voted for...

"06 and '08 don't look so good fir the Repubs... Even with their massive lead in "safe disricts"...

Bobert


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Mudcat time: 16 July 1:11 PM EDT

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