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05:12 PM on 09/26/2008
One of the hard jobs a president has is making choices and tradeoffs - simply because the government doesn't have an inexhaustible supply of money.

If you think about it carefully, you'll realize that if we're going to have more unneeded tax cuts for the already too wealthy, more billion dollar a day unwarranted wars of choice, and billion dollar no bid contracts for big deserving corporations that Uncle Sam will have to tighten his belt a bit in other places.

So what's more fair and logical than cutting benefits for the little guy.

After all we certainly don't expect David Lesar or Eric Prince to pull themselves up by their bootstraps do we?
There Are Americans, then there are Liberals . .
04:27 PM on 09/26/2008
McCain has expressed support for a never-adopted Bush administration proposal to allow Americans to invest a portion of the money that they now pay in payroll taxes in "personal retirement accounts" that would be tied to stock market performance. Participation would have been voluntary. Eligibility would have been limited to future retirees, with a cut-off date of birth dates after 1950.

As has pointed out, the Bush proposal would not have affected the current generation of retirees. It is therefore wrong for Obama to suggest in one ad that "millions of Floridians" who presently rely on Social Security would have seen their retirement nest-egg nosedive as a result of the battering that stocks have taken on Wall Street.

Change We Can Believe In!
Stephen Herrington
showing up is half the battle
05:04 PM on 09/26/2008
You make a good point Lemmy. But let's expand on it. As proposed, the Bush privatization plan would have allowed people to divert a percentage of their FICA tax to a private account. That would affect current retirees by reducing the cash flow into the SAA, resulting in either a cut in benefits or having to make up the difference somewhere else.

Now if your retirement were in private accounts, then you would have to think about being "squeezed". This is a market term defined as having a set date on which you must liquidate an asset. If a retiree hits retirement age and the market is down, then the losses will be locked in as they liquidate their assets for income. If the market is up, fine and dandy.

This contrasts with Social Security's requirement that you live long enough to collect handsomely. That is rather more under your control than is a boom and bust business cycle.
By Any Means Necessary,...
05:29 PM on 09/26/2008
This was a great article, written and explained with really great clarity. There will still be some out there who will fail to understand what's really going on and just trust the lawmakers "to do their job".
There Are Americans, then there are Liberals . .
05:41 PM on 09/26/2008
I would rather have control of my own investments than be at the mercy of government. The stock market will outperform SS over time. Certainly I'd me taking a hit now, but with dollar cost averaging and the ability to move assets and change contributions, I will be better off in the long run.
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05:13 PM on 09/26/2008
Yes it would have affected current retirees because of the massive shortfall which would have resulted from younger workers reducing the amounts paid into the SS general fund.
04:18 PM on 09/26/2008
The Republicans want to steal social security so bad, just like everything else, that they don't know what to do.

There's not much else to steal except social security. That's why this attention is being put on it.
Happy Birthday, Steve Jobs - Feb. 24th
03:34 PM on 09/26/2008
Make this into a television ad, please

527s where are you?
03:33 PM on 09/26/2008
With several homes, a fleet of cars and millions in the bank, McCain could care less about the average person. When will the average person realize that? Wealthy people normally can't relate to social issues. They just speak about them.
11:07 AM on 09/27/2008
He also gets social security, Vets benefits, disability and his senate pay with medical insurance. All government pay-outs I might add. Previously he was in the navy, and before that he was on his father's government pay and health ins. Now he also has his wife's money. He has never lived in our world financially. How could he understand? Worse, I don't think he even tries to.
Fox News is Watching Our Henhouse
03:23 PM on 09/26/2008
I have "liberal" friends who actually are taken in by all this Republican propaganda about Social Security running out.
ANY program could go broke if there was massive unemployment or a breakdown in the social order.
Including the Pentagon's incredible waste and corruption.
In fact that - along with national healthcare - is a good place to start in terms of fiscal clean-up.
Every other developed country has no trouble providing social security and national healthcare because they don't have all the unnecessary military and healthcare costs we have.
Until this country clearly sees this to be the case, corporate interests and lobbyists will continue to impede rational solutions.
03:21 PM on 09/26/2008
A point you make well in your piece here is the myth about taxes hurting the economy. I have never understood this ... just as I have never understood the argument of how giving money to the wealthy helps the economy. Wealthy people do with their money what make more money for them ... if that is socking it away in banks or buying up property to sit on or sending it overseas ... then that is what they do with it. This does not help our economy. Giving money to lower income people who spend all of it ... that does stimulate the economy. Similarly, giving money to the government (taxes) also stimulates the economy because ... as we all know ... any money you give the government they spend.
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06:11 PM on 09/26/2008
It is argued that by keeping the money with the well off they will invest it and create more goods which lowers the price and create more products which makes jobs. I think that if I were at the top and had the extra money I would consider putting it into advertising to manipulate demand rather than increasing supply or buying lobbyists and politicians to gain greater leverage. we rarely ever see property rights as what they are -- government , government interfering to give leverage to the owners in all transactions, leverage that helps cut out a larger piece of the pie for the one to whom the rights are given. We confuse the more basic idea of possession which is a primary nongovernment aided condition with ownership rights which is government assisted possession. How much property could Mr. buffet possess if there were no government giving him assistance by property rights? Government of the wealthy, by the wealthy and for the wealthy. If you say there should be no limit on how much property one can own (Reagan) you in effect say the owner should have unlimited rights to government power and services.
02:30 AM on 09/27/2008
Rational thought! To all the anti-tax people I say , let THEM drive on 'special' roads OR toll roads. I was always taught that taxes was the price of admission for living in a civilized ,safe society.
03:12 PM on 09/26/2008
Thank you for a very enlightening discussion of the origins of the social security “short fall”. It re-enforces what I have long believed.

1. Everyone should get social security benefits and there should be no means testing of any kind (which becomes an excuse not to contribute).

2. We should entirely eliminate the income cap on social security (and medicaire/Medicaid) taxes where people now stop paying these taxes when they reach about $100,000 for the year. This goes all the way to Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, who should pay on the $5 billion a year they make. Buffet mightr even agree with this – although Bill probably wouldn’t

There is no reason that anyone should have any doubt that they will receive their social security benefits and the wealthy (who got there based upon the labor of others – and tax cuts as you explain) should not resist contributing to this shared responsibility.
07:09 PM on 09/26/2008
Hear! Hear! And yes, yes, yes.
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03:03 PM on 09/26/2008
Well, those old folks who will vote for the republican candidate for anything other than the issues should have to suffer their consequences.
02:59 PM on 09/26/2008
I find myself in a unique situation. I was born in 1952 and I have 35 years in which I have earned (and paid SS taxes on) and Social Security maximum. This means that pursuant to the social security formulas I am entitled to the maximum social security benefit regardless of how much additional income I earn (and additional SS taxes I pay). I still work and I still pay SS taxes but I cannot raise my SS benefit a penny because I am already at the max.

I feel entitled to the benefit I have earned. If anyone does anything to take even a portion of that away I will be very upset.
Dream Big,Work Hard & don't let anyone tell you no
02:57 PM on 09/26/2008
It's always been a republican rule to destroy the social security. But its been an excellant program. I don't know what my mother would have done because she was a stay at home mom with kids when our dad died at the age of 50 yrs. She had no skills.
02:49 PM on 09/26/2008
Social Security has a wage base on which they calculate,the amount of pay into the system stops at 97,500.00 a year,any amount over that income,no S.S. taken out.This income level needs to be raised,any who receive or benefit from social security should have to pay in,no matter their income.
02:30 PM on 09/26/2008
I see McCain as one of those bad and HUGE HURRICANE who is right now pounding america real bad.....

dont worry america: like all these bad hurricanes, he will fade away on the shores of america soon...he will be history soon...
02:30 PM on 09/26/2008
We can borrow absurd amounts of money for this endless war; bail out crooks on wall street; refuse to place caps on CEO salaries and bonuses; and place a huge debt on our children and grandchildren, but we can't afford social security and health insurance for our children who need it. Sound JUST LIKE George W. Bush, THE RESMUGLICANS and their rich friends to me. I count t he days until we can get these hearless pandering jerks out of office and regain some sanity in this country.
02:26 PM on 09/26/2008
Yet John McCain collects SS, his Navy pension and disability ( it seems he's not disabled enough to be president?) when he and his wife are worth $300 million and he has more houses and cars than he can count.

Truly setting a christian example
04:31 PM on 09/26/2008
It's far from the most repellant fact about John McCain, but that he willingly accepts that "triple-dip" in spite of his (well, his wife's) resources is truly disgusting.