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Old 15th October 2017, 11:49 AM   #1
Al Wohlstrom's Avatar
Al Wohlstrom
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Social Security

At 65 I applied for Social Security. There were about 50 people at the office applying, 10 people my age and the rest being young ethic minorities with a smattering of mixed Caucasians, almost all had children. The Social Security fund was unlawfully moved from a Trust fund set up by Roosevelt to the General fund by Lyndon Johnson in 1967. The fact that the give SS payments to people that never paid a cent towards it is why they have now called the fund that most Americans pay into their entire lives an Entitlement. For those of us that paid into SS and receive a trivial amount back, this is definitely not an entitlement, it is the Government, left and right, taking money that's not theirs and using it to benefit their longevity in government service.

Workers and employers pay for Social Security. Workers pay 6.2 percent of their earnings up to a cap, which is $118,500 a year in 2015. (The cap on taxable earnings usually rises each year with average wages.) Employers pay a matching amount for a combined contribution of 12.4 percent of earnings. Self-employed persons pay both the employee and employer share for a total 12.4 percent. (Half of this contribution, the employer share, is a deductible business expense for income tax purposes.) Also, higher-income Social Security beneficiaries pay federal income taxes on their benefit income, and these taxes help pay for Social Security.

During 2011 and 2012, the premiums that workers pay for Social Security protection were temporarily reduced from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent. The lost revenue from this “payroll tax holiday”—$103 billion in 2011 and $114 billion in 2012—was made up from the government's general fund.

In 2013 the average worker made $44,888 a year, according to the Social Security Administration. This worker and his or her employer will each pay $2,783 this year. Approximately 6 percent of all workers will earn more than the $118,500 tax cap. Earnings above the cap now account for 17 percent of the aggregate pay of all workers who pay into Social Security.

An additional tax on workers' earnings pays for Medicare hospital insurance. This is a 1.45 percent levy, paid by workers and employers each on all wages, for a total tax of 2.9 percent. Self-employed persons pay 2.9 percent.
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Old 15th October 2017, 12:13 PM   #2
jammin man
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Re: Social Security

Al, there's also an additional 0.9% Medicare tax on income over $200,000 and a Medicare surtax of 3.8% on investment income. And, if you're stupid enough to live in a high tax state like me (Minnesota), there's an additional 9.85% in tax to be paid on income. As a result, several years ago I backed down my workload to below 80-85 hours a week because it made little sense for me to work those hours and pay over 55% of it in taxes. I'm much happier working 60-65 hours a week (better life balance) and realize I don't miss the extra income that much. The net result was a reduction of 3.5 employees, however. So, I'm essentially incentivized to work less hard which reduces the work force. Not all businesses have such a direct correlation between labor and income to be sure.

With respect to SS, many of the individuals you noted are applying for Social Security Disability. The numbers have doubled from roughly 2002 to 2012. Plus, these individuals are on Medicare as well so they siphon tremendous funds out of the system. You should listen to a "This American Life" episode called "Trends with Benefits". It's a disturbing trend.
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Old 15th October 2017, 09:17 PM   #3
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Re: Social Security

Is there some reason you can't abide by the rules and post this stuff in the Political thread?

SS is most definitely an entitlement. It's not a savings account or your personal savings account. It is an effort by the US government to ensure that everyone over 65 has a minimum level of income.

You draw SS. I suspect you will draw far more than I do, and I suspect I will pay in far more than you do. I suppose I could post rants on internet car message boards about what a leech you are, but that would be counterproductive and also hypocritical because I fully understand what SS was designed to do, the principles behind it, and the reality we face with it now and the Boomers starting to draw on it.

Instead of complaining, I'm willing to have my retirement age/max benefit age raised. I'm willing to remove the silly $114k cap on SS taxes. All for you Al. So will you do me a small favor and post your political posts IN THE POLITICS AND RELIGION THREAD?

SS is not the problem by the way. It's relatively easy to fix. Medicare on the other hand will be. Spending something like 90% of a person's total expenditure on health care in the last six months of their life is frankly silly.
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Old 15th October 2017, 10:34 PM   #4
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Re: Social Security

I paid and my employer paid, its not a goverment funded entitlement. If I got 5% on the money I put into SS the amount would be far greater than I will be paid. We are not talking politics. We are talking about the US government using money that is not theirs and using it to pay for things that it was not intended for. It was in a Trust, meant for people who paid into it.
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Old 16th October 2017, 07:12 AM   #5
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Re: Social Security

That has to be a record for a poster to bring out the insulting, berating, and outright hostile behavior. 3rd post on a thread. Kudo's Jeff, you win the prize: a $10 off coupon at your next anger management class.
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Old 16th October 2017, 09:44 AM   #6
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Re: Social Security

By the very definition, an entitlement is something one is entitled to. Social Security has to be paid into in order to receive it, one is not entitled to receive it.
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Old 16th October 2017, 03:47 PM   #7
Larry L.
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Re: Social Security

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Wohlstrom View Post
Social Security has to be paid into in order to receive it...

HA!!! That WAS the case...originally.
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Old 16th October 2017, 04:27 PM   #8
jammin man
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Re: Social Security

Al, SS has evolved into an entitlement in many respects. Many people draw or will draw out of it more than they put in (not all). In addition, the social security disability aspect of it is most certainly an entitlement. In fact, there are 15 million people drawing disability. That's nearly one in ten of the eligible work force (about 161k)! Absolutely shocking that one in ten US adults are unable to work at all and the rest of the population is paying them to stay at home and paying for them to have medicare. If your benefits get cut, that's part of the reason why, the number has doubled in the last 10-12 years. Effectively, it's evolving into Unemployment benefits with a guaranteed benefit to 65.....whereupon the individual flips onto regular social security.

Jeff (despite his belligerent and accusatory tone) is correct that it was originally created as an entitlement for the elderly to prevent them from becoming destitute during their aging years when they can no longer physically work. As usual, a govt program with noble beginnings evolves to a pile of shit that anyone my age (50) and younger should write off as a loss when retirement planning

He Who Has Anger Management Issues is also correct that from an actuarial standpoint, SS is pretty easy. They do 50 year projections and they're pretty accurate when the date arrives. A few subtle tweaks will keep SS going, but the burden of the "disabled" could upset the applecart as the statisticians can't easily mathematically determine the propensity to freeload.

Lastly, the Name Caller is correct that Medicare is a much much scarier thing and is even scarier with Obamacare (and would stop the earth rotating on it's axis if we went single payer). They don't do 50 year Medicare projections like they do for SS because they know they'll be nowhere close. They do 25 year projections instead. In 1965, the projected in 1991 it would be a $9billion/year program. When 1991 came around the program cost $120billion. Their accuracy hasn't improved and the growth in medicare spending over the course of time outpaces inflation. The irony is that I (and all physicians) make the same off Medicare in 2017 as we did in 1994. Inflation of our expenses has resulted in losing money on Medicare for many/most doctors. The hospitals have been doing just fine...
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Old 16th October 2017, 06:35 PM   #9
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Re: Social Security

"Your Uncle Franklin put a little something away for you in your old age, but some scoundrel spent it"
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Old 16th October 2017, 09:51 PM   #10
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Re: Social Security

Quote:
Originally Posted by jammin man View Post
Al, SS has evolved into an entitlement in many respects. Many people draw or will draw out of it more than they put in (not all). In addition, the social security disability aspect of it is most certainly an entitlement. In fact, there are 15 million people drawing disability. That's nearly one in ten of the eligible work force (about 161k)! Absolutely shocking that one in ten US adults are unable to work at all and the rest of the population is paying them to stay at home and paying for them to have medicare. If your benefits get cut, that's part of the reason why, the number has doubled in the last 10-12 years. Effectively, it's evolving into Unemployment benefits with a guaranteed benefit to 65.....whereupon the individual flips onto regular social security.

Jeff (despite his belligerent and accusatory tone) is correct that it was originally created as an entitlement for the elderly to prevent them from becoming destitute during their aging years when they can no longer physically work. As usual, a govt program with noble beginnings evolves to a pile of shit that anyone my age (50) and younger should write off as a loss when retirement planning

He Who Has Anger Management Issues is also correct that from an actuarial standpoint, SS is pretty easy. They do 50 year projections and they're pretty accurate when the date arrives. A few subtle tweaks will keep SS going, but the burden of the "disabled" could upset the applecart as the statisticians can't easily mathematically determine the propensity to freeload.

Lastly, the Name Caller is correct that Medicare is a much much scarier thing and is even scarier with Obamacare (and would stop the earth rotating on it's axis if we went single payer). They don't do 50 year Medicare projections like they do for SS because they know they'll be nowhere close. They do 25 year projections instead. In 1965, the projected in 1991 it would be a $9billion/year program. When 1991 came around the program cost $120billion. Their accuracy hasn't improved and the growth in medicare spending over the course of time outpaces inflation. The irony is that I (and all physicians) make the same off Medicare in 2017 as we did in 1994. Inflation of our expenses has resulted in losing money on Medicare for many/most doctors. The hospitals have been doing just fine...
So if you die before you use up the money you and your employer put in plus interest, it's not an entitlement, but if you live past that dollar amount, it is.
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