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  1. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    I happen to be writing on this question at the moment, and I suspect that you will be surprised.
  2. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    We have a very similar approach to life, but you still have auto insurance not a personal auto wreck account. Who pays for the medical costs of an accident? This is where the big money is not in comp and collision. You are absorbing the cost of risk yourself. You are not 'saving' money by...
  3. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    Mike this is a myth. We think that the Trust Fund is large. Most of the money in the Trust Fund is interest and interest on interest. $1.9 trillion. That is an expense to the government, not money that it can borrow. The $1.9 trillion is money that SS collected as a credit. We can't borrow...
  4. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    Who is " paying for someone else's benefit"? I am going to pass on this at this point. I don't sense you have a strong background on the mechanics of the system. If wages are flat for three decades, so are contributions. The SSA says that they aren't. Here are average wages : National...
  5. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    We both do that. But you are limiting your fire risk, not your accident risk. I happen to be writing a piece on the returns of someone who started work in 1972. It is surprising to me anyway. The math here is not hard to understand. Every dollar of tax that you divert to a personal...
  6. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    I write on the issue to bring facts to readers in terms that lay people understand. In all honesty your entire post is simply a reflection of ignorance of the system's finances, history, and mechanics. It must be progressive as wages cover a wide range. Benefits are tied to contributions as...
  7. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    Social Security is highly progressive. It has reached a point where a good portion of the public loses money on the trade of payroll taxes for future benefits. This is the exact opposite of what FDR wanted. I do not care whether you want to turn Social Security into a welfare program. A...
  8. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    I know I will regret asking. The Heritage Foundation has fallen in recent times. It now proposes making SS just another welfare program. They want to continue to pay those at the front end of the program, by giving those coming up a crappy deal. If you are going to end it, just end it. If...
  9. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    Not that it will change your mind, but I happened to publish a column this AM on the question of whether Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. If Social Security Is A Ponzi Scheme, Where Is The Money?
  10. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    It starts with you. You have to make it important enough to you that you tell family, friends, neighbors that it is important. As a side note, I have two articles that demonstrate the problem. About 2 weeks ago I published a column in MarketWatch on the impact of tax reform on SS. The...
  11. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    Sounds good. You swim, I'll save Let's see how savings working in a flood.
  12. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    You seem to conflate today and yesterday. The retiree of 1980 made a killing in Galveston and elsewhere on Social Security. Today the program has an absurd unfunded liability that is projected to fall somewhere in the next decade or 2. All told, the workers of the 1950s, ie the retirees of the...
  13. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    Not that you want to invest 10 minutes of time in your opinion. Here is a piece on FDR and Social Security. He specifically opposed the current structure because what we have today is unavoidable. There are a lot of politicians that are responsible for where we are. FDR isn't one of them...
  14. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    I blame the people who complain without doing anything about it. I blame the media which does not follow the issue much less inform the public. I blame the voters who demonstrated a breathe-taking gullibility in believing that you can sell dollars for dimes forever. I blame the politicians who...
  15. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    Risk Adjusted? Hmmmm... Please tell me you are kidding. No. Anyone who worked for 10 years for Galveston County, say someone who was 30 could draw Social Security for the next 25 years. Then assuming that he married a younger wife who could when she turned 60 collect for another 30 years...
  16. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    The retiree of Galveston County in 1980 did very well. He basically had bought a dollar benefits for around $0.33 cents. He didn't get benefits from the new plan, but that plan did not begin to provide the benefits that the 1980 retiree had. The $0.66 cents was shifted to future workers, of...
  17. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    This is just my experience with the issue. If you introduce personalities, your opponents will divert the discussion to personality rather than fact. Look at Pete Peterson or the Koch brothers. Personalities do not help. I will say that you are correct. People want to know where the money...
  18. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    I still don't think you understand the mechanics. In 1982 when Galveston left, SS was within months of insolvency. At the time, it carried promises to about 40 years of workers many of which were already retired. Mind the people who had worked for Galveston for 10 years, were still eligible...
  19. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    I am more of an explainman than a newsman. The information is readily available from the latest Trustees Report. I just translate the jargon into English average people understand.
  20. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    That is bizarre. Thanks for letting me know. I am going to have to let my developer know. I allowed the ICANN registry lapse, and thought that once the registry lapsed the site would go off line. Apparently, BISNESUA is floating the cost of the registry in hopes of the IP address takes on...
  21. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    Todd is correct at this point. And it is a matter of degree. The program is supposed to be progressive, but it is not supposed to be an income transfer from rich to poor. At this point, rich (and likely average people for that matter) do not get a return on their contribution. On the last...
  22. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    The word 'projected' means that we don't know. It is a wild ass guess. In the actual trustees report, it says that that there is a 50 percent chance of paying full benefits into 2034. Do you want the page #?
  23. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    You can blame the government all you want. We are responsible for who we elect. I am not sure how you think that the government can fix "this immediately". The only way to fix our poor voting judgement is to take money from younger workers on even less favorable terms. You keep referring to...
  24. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    IMO, Social Security reflects a change in the family dynamic in which cars enabled people in the 1930s, and much more so as time passed (when Social Security grew exponentially), to leave. This created a structural breakdown in the family network, where parents could no longer live with their...
  25. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    This is the tough love answer. It is easier to complain about robberies that haven't taken place than make this issue a priority in our lives. It is easier to believe than the obvious than accept that we made poor voting choices over our lifetime. This note isn't just about you, but you are...
  26. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    The $600,000 was more complicated (the market has done better than 4%): $600,000? That's Crazy! Our defintion of cost is lost savings, which is what you would have if you had invested your contributions in a fund that you could not touch until retirement? Our calculation looks at a typical...
  27. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    You know the contribution rate of Social Security. Do you know what the workers of Galveston County pay?
  28. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    Again, Galveston Texas works only because they walked away from the obligations that were baked into SS. I would understand the source of the $600,000. It is a conservative estimate of what my personal savings would be assuming (I think) a 6% real return. That is about the average 45 year...
  29. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    First, Bush never produced a plan. Congress developed a number of plans based on his criteria, one of which the administration itself trashed as financially irresponsible. None of these ideas would have worked. This is a piece that I put in TheHill.com on a look back at GWB's ideas - they were...
  30. J

    3 Statistics About Social Security That Are Frightening

    That this point 99% of the money that has been collected has been distributed to retirees. Of the 2.9 trillion in the Trust Fund, most of it is interest. Of the remainder, more than half is actually a general fund subsidy to the system. It feels great to rage against the machine, but facts...

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