She's pissed

Heres a great letter that appeared in Humanist Talk. The writer is pissed for good reason.
I think she is pissed!
This lady could not have said it any better! (I don’t think ‘pissed’ really covers it…)
Alan Simpson, the Senator from Wyoming calls senior citizens the Greediest Generation as he compared "Social Security " to a Milk Cow with 310 million teats. Here’s a response in a letter from PATTY MYERS in Montana. I think she is a little ticked off! She also tells it like it is! Hey Alan, let’s get a few things straight!!!

  1. As a career politician, you have been on the public dole (tit) for FIFTY YEARS.
  2. I have been paying Social Security taxes for 48 YEARS (since I was 15 years old. I am now 63).
  3. My Social Security payments, and those of millions of other Americans, were safely tucked away in an interest bearing account for decades until you political pukes decided to raid the account and give OUR money to a bunch of zero losers in return for votes, thus bankrupting the system and turning Social Security into a Ponzi scheme that would make Bernie Madoff proud.
  4. Recently, just like Lucy & Charlie Brown, you and “your ilk” pulled the proverbial football away from millions of American seniors nearing retirement and moved the goalposts for full retirement from age 65 to age, 67. NOW, you and your “shill commission” are proposing to move the goalposts YET AGAIN.
  5. I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying into Medicare from Day One, and now “you morons” propose to change the rules of the game. Why? Because “you idiots” mismanaged other parts of the economy to such an extent that you need to steal our money from Medicare to pay the bills.
  6. I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying income taxes our entire lives, and now you propose to increase our taxes yet again. Why? Because you “incompetent bastards” spent our money so profligately that you just kept on spending even after you ran out of money.
    Now, you come to the American taxpayers and say you need more to pay off YOUR debt. To add insult to injury, you label us “greedy” for calling “bullshit” to your incompetence. Well, Captain Bullshit, I have a few questions for YOU:
  7. How much money have you earned from the American taxpayers during your pathetic 50-year political career?
  8. At what age did you retire from your pathetic political career, and how much are you receiving in annual retirement benefits from the American taxpayers?
  9. How much do you pay for YOUR government provided health insurance?
  10. What cuts in YOUR retirement and healthcare benefits are you proposing in your disgusting deficit reduction proposal, or as usual, have you exempted yourself and your political cronies?
    It is you, Captain Bullshit, and your political co-conspirators called Congress who are the “greedy” ones. It is you and your fellow nutcase thieves who have bankrupted America and stolen the American dream from millions of loyal, patriotic taxpayers. And for what? Votes and your job and retirement security at our expense, you lunk-headed, leech.
    That’s right, sir. You and yours have bankrupted America for the sole purpose of advancing your pathetic, political careers. You know it, we know it, and you know that we know it.
    And you can take that to the bank, you miserable son of a bitch. P.S. And stop calling Social Security benefits “entitlements”. WHAT AN INSULT!!!
    I have been paying in to the SS system for 45 years It’s my money-give it back to me the way the system was designed and stop patting yourself on the back like you are being generous by doling out these monthly checks .

Ok. Now that she had her little rant what are the actual facts? It makes perfect sense to raise the retirement age. The average number of years a person could be expected to live in retirement ( and collect SS) has increased more than 1200% since SS was created so raising the retirement age is the logical thing to do if SS is going to remain solvent.
I am not sure what the facts are concerning the rest of her complaints though.

The government teat symbol simply does not apply to Social Security. Any elected politician who says it should be impeached. Of course the problem is, most people who vote can’t balance their checkbooks so whaddaya gonna do?

Sorry, Mac, but it does NOT make sense to raise the retirement age.

  1. More and more of our jobs are being taken over by computer driven machines as well as being shipped overseas. This causes unemployment to continually increase as well as wages to shift down, both by lower rates and by “part-time” jobs. The retirement age should be lowered, not raised to let more young people have jobs.
  2. The Social Security contributions have always been biased against the lower economic levels. When I started working about sixty years ago, S.S. deductions stopped at $36,000. Now it’s something like $106,000. Why should the upper levels be exempted from contributing to the federal S.S. fund? If that cap hadn’t been imposed, even with the Congress stealing (borrowing :lol: ) much of the funds, there would still be plenty of money to assure all the elderly a decent retirement. I have no financial problems, but it does distress me when I drive downtown and see many, many old people wearing rags and pushing a shopping cart filled with a few black plastic bags. They don’t deserve that after contributing to society for years of their earlier working lives.
  3. By the way, your 1200% has an interesting mathematical flaw in it. Although the average age of death went up significantly, it wasn’t because so many of the elderly were living longer. Rather, it was because there were far, far more deaths among infants and children, thus bringing the average then way down. The main increase in elderly now has to do only with the major increase in general U.S. population, not in the ratio of retired to working adults.
    P.S. That was a great letter from Patty Myers, Lois.
    Occam

Occam it makes no sense for people to live an average of 15 years longer but still expect to only work the same number of years. On no level of finance or mathematics does that work. Your arguments do not really hold up

  1. The concept of moving people out of the work force sounds sensible but it means that those retired people will have less discretionary income than if they continued working and the people moving into those jobs will have to be taxed at a higher rate to support the retired individuals leaving them also with less discretionary income. Both of those effects will lead to lower consumer demand and a smaller economy and therefor fewer jobs. Your premise assumes that there is a set number of jobs and a fixed size to economy but that’s not true. The economy is dynamic and grows in response to demand. To extend your logic we should have people retire when they are 40 or 30. Obviously that doesn’t make sense.
  2. This point is accurate although I do not agree that it is wrong to stop taxing people for SS at a certain level. I believe in socialism to a degree but I also think socialism can be poisonous when taken too far. Its foolish,self serving, and simple minded to suggest that the solution to every financial problem is simply to tax the wealthy more. The wealthy already pay the vast majority of the taxes in the country. We could tax them at 100% rate and it wouldn’t solve the SS issue or make a dent in the debt problem but it would certainly wreck the economy.
  3. As far as the math you are correct. I may have overstated the point to some degree but your math is not entirely on the up and up either. Not only do people live longer once they reach 65 than they did in 1935 but the demographics of the population have changed so that we no longer have a pyramid shaped demographic with lots of younger people to support a small number of older people. The population of the U.S. has increased from about 125 million in 1930 to 300 million today (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic_history_of_the_United_States). That’s a 2.4 fold increase yet the number of people over the age of 65 has increased from 6.7 million to almost 35 million which is a 5.2 fold increase.
    Setting up the system the way they did was a mistake from the beginning. They gave benefits to people from day one who had paid nothing into the system using current revenue to pay existing beneficiaries instead of creating a system in which each generation funded their own retirement. They did it because it was politically expedient not because it was right or made sense. We have been paying the price for that shortsighted decision ever since. You can’t solve that problem by trying to dump it all on one small group of people though. Everyone has to make some sacrifice. Yes the wealthy will have to pay more but that won’t solve the problem. Everyone will also needs to retire a little later and we may all need to be taxed a little more. I have no respect for anyone who believes that the solution to a problem is to make someone else make all the sacrifice while they ask nothing of themselves.

The other side of that is by raising retirement age - one robs younger folks of getting their start.

Quoting Macgyver:

Occam it makes no sense for people to live an average of 15 years longer but still expect to only work the same number of years.
That statement is irrational. If one can afford it, why should one continue working when s/he can enjoy life and contribute to society without working at a job?
Example: I made and saved a fair amount of money. About ten years before my normal retirement my company was bought by another, and I saw that they had about 25% of the ethics my prior management had. So, I retired quite early. Had I invested my S.S. contributions over the years, I would have had a fair amount more. Even living eight years now above my expected death age, I am still drawing on MY contributions, not on the government dole. A younger person took over my job.
While retired people may have a bit less discretionary income, I’ve found from personal and friends’ experience we already have almost everything we need so we end up spending even less than our income. In other words, if we continued working, we’d be putting most of our money away for the next generation. (Hell, I’m doing that even without working, just from S.S. pension, an anuity and an IRA.)
Out of work young people do NOT contribute to the economy. While we may have more goods available, we need fewer people in the U.S. to produce them. We need to do everything we can to have jobs for the younger people.
My suggestion was a FLAT tax, not one that penalizes just the lower economic class. I was not suggesting that the wealthy should be taxed more, only at the same percent as the bottom members.
While people are healthier and live longer, a great many of them do continue working now rather than taking retirement at 65.

we no longer have a pyramid shaped demographic with lots of younger people to support a small number of older people. The population of the U.S. has increased from about 125 million in 1930 to 300 million today
Which is why we need a higher cap on S.S. deductions.
Setting up the system the way they did was a mistake from the beginning.
Wrong. A great many of the elderly were put in poor-houses or dieing on the streets up until about 1930, then all hell broke loose, with a huge number of destitute elderly. If they had stared S.S. in the middle thirties and waited another thirty years to start paying for it, the economic pressure on local governments to support the poorhouses, and public hospitals would have just about bankrupted the country.
I have no respect for anyone who believes that the solution to a problem is to make someone else make all the sacrifice while they ask nothing of themselves.
Maybe you don't, but I'm still paying a hell of a lot of income tax since I no longer have much in the way of deductions. I'm not asking if of myself, but the government sure is. Occam
Ok. Now that she had her little rant what are the actual facts? It makes perfect sense to raise the retirement age. The average number of years a person could be expected to live in retirement ( and collect SS) has increased more than 1200% since SS was created so raising the retirement age is the logical thing to do if SS is going to remain solvent. I am not sure what the facts are concerning the rest of her complaints though.
The Social Security system was designed to cover everyone and to be self-sustaining. It would be if Congress hadn't decided to use the trust fund as its personal piggy bank. There is still enough money being collected to cover everyone's Social Security needs and this will continue untill 2033. It's the future retirees that have to be considered and it's being done by increasing the retirement age little by little as it goes along. Social Security is not "broke," except in the minds of Republicans who want to call it a tax entitlement, when if fact it's an insurance fund. Social Security won't start running out of having enough money to pay all prospective retirees [without adjustments] at today's benefit payouts until 2033. With adjustments, there is no reason that it can't be self sustaining forever. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2014/01/08/social-security-a-guide-to-critical-questions/ Lois
The other side of that is by raising retirement age - one robs younger folks of getting their start.
If that's a concern, then younger folks will have to pay more to support retired people. they can't have their cake and eat it, too. They'll have to decide what they want more--opportunity to get their start or keep their Social Security taxes low. Lois
The Social Security system was designed to cover everyone and to be self-sustaining. Lois
It most certainly wasn't. It's very design depends on there being very little change in demographics such that there is a large number of young working individuals available to support. That is a foolish design since birth rates and death rates were bound to change over time such that the pyramid shaped demographic that the SS plan relies on was doomed to collapse over time. In 1940 there were 140 workers for every beneficiary in the SS plan. Now there are less than 3. If the retirement age were increased by even a few years that ratio would change significantly and the plan would be more solvent,. Its sensible to increase the retirement age. The only thing standing in our way is that people dont want to work any longer than they have to. Thats understandable but we have to face facts and live within a budget. I think it would make sense to come up with a formula whereby we all work up until perhaps 80% of the expected lifespan. That way as lifespans get longer people will work a little longer ans SS benefits being paid out won't grow so rapidly.
Quoting Macgyver:
Occam it makes no sense for people to live an average of 15 years longer but still expect to only work the same number of years.
That statement is irrational. If one can afford it, why should one continue working when s/he can enjoy life and contribute to society without working at a job?
But we are not talking about people who can afford it. We are talking about people who want the rest of us to finance their retirement.
My suggestion was a FLAT tax, not one that penalizes just the lower economic class. I was not suggesting that the wealthy should be taxed more, only at the same percent as the bottom members.
That depends on how you look at it. the wealthy already contribute far more to SS than they will ever get out of it while the poorer classes get a much better return. From that standpoint it is already a highly progressive tax.
Setting up the system the way they did was a mistake from the beginning.
Wrong. A great many of the elderly were put in poor-houses or dieing on the streets up until about 1930, then all hell broke loose, with a huge number of destitute elderly. If they had stared S.S. in the middle thirties and waited another thirty years to start paying for it, the economic pressure on local governments to support the poorhouses, and public hospitals would have just about bankrupted the country.
What they should have done was set up the SS system the correct way so it would always have been solvent and set up a separate welfare system to cover those in need over the next 30 years at a reduced benefit. The people who got benefits on day one put absolutely nothing into the system and got the same or greater benefits than succeeding generations who made big contributions. We will be paying the price for that short sighted approach for the rest of our history.

Quoting Macgyver:

It’s very design depends on there being very little change in demographics such that there is a large number of young working individuals available to support. That is a foolish design since birth rates and death rates were bound to change over time such that the pyramid shaped demographic that the SS plan relies on was doomed to collapse over time.

  1. The plan would be in far better shape had the Congress not bled its funds.
  2. There would be no problem if the Congress had set the employee and employer contribution limit to go up to match both inflation and the population ratio changes.
  3. Just as California is considering changing road taxes from being based on gasoline usage to mileage driven, the government possibly should consider changing S.S. taxes from employee wages to a percent of value generated as defined by products sold. This would be an indirect tax on workers, but also, and far more important, a tax on jobs lost to computer driven production and overseas production.
    Occam
Quoting Macgyver:
It’s very design depends on there being very little change in demographics such that there is a large number of young working individuals available to support. That is a foolish design since birth rates and death rates were bound to change over time such that the pyramid shaped demographic that the SS plan relies on was doomed to collapse over time.
1. The plan would be in far better shape had the Congress not bled its funds. 2. There would be no problem if the Congress had set the employee and employer contribution limit to go up to match both inflation and the population ratio changes. 3. Just as California is considering changing road taxes from being based on gasoline usage to mileage driven, the government possibly should consider changing S.S. taxes from employee wages to a percent of value generated as defined by products sold. This would be an indirect tax on workers, but also, and far more important, a tax on jobs lost to computer driven production and overseas production. Occam
I agree with your first point completely. I don't know enough about the last one to really comment. The upper limit has gone up significantly over time. You would have to look at the amount to see if it matches inflation but it has increased significantly. I hate to go off topic but any plan designed to tax drivers based on mile driven instead of gallons used is just non-sensical for many reasons. It removes an incentive for fuel efficiency, it introduces avenues for cheating that don't currently exist and it adds and unnecessary level of cost and complexity in both the manner in which mileage would be tracked and reported. I have yet to hear of a rational explanation for changing to this method that would outweigh all the negatives.

The problem with a gasoline tax in California is that drivers here are buying so many Priuses, Leafs, Teslas, and other non petroleum driven cars that the revenue from gas has dropped significantly while car ownership and miles driven have been increasing. Apparently California has the highest ratio of those types of vehicles. This means they are using and wearing out the roads without contributing to their repair.
I don’t know the systems they are developing to assure accurate mileage reporting and prevent cheating. It appears to have something to do with requiring a computer type gadget to be installed on all these cars.
They may still impose fuel tax, and only impose a mileage tax on the not petroleum vehicles.
Occam

The problem with a gasoline tax in California is that drivers here are buying so many Priuses, Leafs, Teslas, and other non petroleum driven cars that the revenue from gas has dropped significantly while car ownership and miles driven have been increasing. Apparently California has the highest ratio of those types of vehicles. This means they are using and wearing out the roads without contributing to their repair. I don't know the systems they are developing to assure accurate mileage reporting and prevent cheating. It appears to have something to do with requiring a computer type gadget to be installed on all these cars. They may still impose fuel tax, and only impose a mileage tax on the not petroleum vehicles. Occam
Its very easy to increase the fuel tax and very costly and complex to institute a mileage tax. if they have to increase the fuel tax because vehicles are getting more fuel efficient I don't really see a problem there. It will hit people with the least efficient vehicles the most and put even more pressure on them to switch to more efficient vehicles. If a significant portion of the population switches to electric vehicles they may have to come up with another method of doing things but even in California there aren't a whole lot of Teslas on the road.

First, my dumb Chevy Malibu gets 20.3 mi/gal even when I drive feather-footed. My neighbor’s Prius gets over 40 mi/gal, and he drives as if he’s in a race car. Why should I have to pay twice as much for road maintenance as he does? And, a great many people could hardly afford their older cars and couldn’t buy a more efficient one. So, you want them to eat cake? Your argument to increase the fuel tax seems to be just another way of saying, tax the poor and allow the wealthy another exemption.
Second, I’ve been surprised to see four Teslas at different times recently around my part of Los Angeles. However, the Nisson Leaf (one of which my son bought) is surprisingly frequent here. The ratio of all electric cars is increasing fairly significantly here.
Sorry, Mac, but your arguments are almost always far better and more difficult to respond to than these. You may want to try a different tack. :slight_smile:
Occam

The Social Security system was designed to cover everyone and to be self-sustaining. Lois
It most certainly wasn't. It's very design depends on there being very little change in demographics such that there is a large number of young working individuals available to support. That is a foolish design since birth rates and death rates were bound to change over time such that the pyramid shaped demographic that the SS plan relies on was doomed to collapse over time. In 1940 there were 140 workers for every beneficiary in the SS plan. Now there are less than 3. If the retirement age were increased by even a few years that ratio would change significantly and the plan would be more solvent,. Its sensible to increase the retirement age. The only thing standing in our way is that people dont want to work any longer than they have to. Thats understandable but we have to face facts and live within a budget. I think it would make sense to come up with a formula whereby we all work up until perhaps 80% of the expected lifespan. That way as lifespans get longer people will work a little longer ans SS benefits being paid out won't grow so rapidly. Nevertheless it will remain self sustaining and in the black until 2033--and beyond if proper adjustments are made. The alternative is that every child take in his parents at a certain age or contribute substantially to the parents' support until the parents die. Once that kicks in you can be sure that even Republicans will come up with a plan to support retirees. Lois
Nevertheless it will remain self sustaining and in the black until 2033--and beyond if proper adjustments are made. The alternative is that every child take in his parents at a certain age or contribute substantially to the parents' support until the parents die. Once that kicks in you can be sure that even Republicans will come up with a plan to support retirees. Lois
You are correct, clearly adjustments have to be made. I see patients every day who are in their 70's and even 80's who are more than capable of working but are sitting around doing nothing because of the 65 retirement age. Not only would SS be more stable if people would retire a little later but I think people would be happier and healthier. As much as people yearn for retirement, a lot of my retired patients are bored and many feel as though they have no purpose. The lack of any sort of schedule or routine also can be a problem for some. Obviously someone who is a laborer may not be able to work as into their 70's but if most of us retired a little later ( and according to the current schedule I cant retire until I'm 67 ) I think it would make sense but also solve some of these of problems.
Nevertheless it will remain self sustaining and in the black until 2033--and beyond if proper adjustments are made. The alternative is that every child take in his parents at a certain age or contribute substantially to the parents' support until the parents die. Once that kicks in you can be sure that even Republicans will come up with a plan to support retirees. Lois
You are correct, clearly adjustments have to be made. I see patients every day who are in their 70's and even 80's who are more than capable of working but are sitting around doing nothing because of the 65 retirement age. Not only would SS be more stable if people would retire a little later but I think people would be happier and healthier. As much as people yearn for retirement, a lot of my retired patients are bored and many feel as though they have no purpose. The lack of any sort of schedule or routine also can be a problem for some. Obviously someone who is a laborer may not be able to work as into their 70's but if most of us retired a little later ( and according to the current schedule I cant retire until I'm 67 ) I think it would make sense but also solve some of these of problems. It would--but keep in mind that every adjustment making the retirement age later means a certain number of young people will lose their opportunities to get jobs, learn the ropes and move up the hierarchy. There are only so many jobs to go around, even in a good economy. Jobs can't be created out of thin air. It's going to be either older people hanging onto their jobs to older and older ages or additional young people joining the workforce. You can't make room for young people at the bottom end without moving people out at the top end. What has to be decided are the following: Is it better to have a young workforce or an old one? If there must be people not working, is it better for the young or the old to be idle? Whichever group it is will need monetary help. Do you want to pay for the young or the old to be out of work? You aren't going to have a choice to not support anyone in a decent society. Which option looks better to you? Lois

I guess the answer to that follows, Lois.
In addition to fewer jobs available because of elders continuing in their jobs, increased automation and over-seas production will further reduce the number of jobs available to the younger U.S. citizens. However, there is a solution.
The government can start a minor police action in some country, offer military service to both male and female young people, build up our military to the point that we can find some pretext to have a real war, thus allowing us to spend more money to build weapons and support the troops. If enough of them can’t be killed to solve the unemployment problem, some country will have to be motivated enough to use chemical, biological or nuclear warfare. After all of this is done, we’ll have plenty of money for Social Security for those few that are left.
Occam