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Idea to replace Social Security

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by DaBruinz, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Ok, I consider myself morally liberal and finacially conservative. I know that some people here are going to laugh at this post or call it ignorant or other some such just because tht is their party line :rolleyes:. However, this is an idea that I have been knocking around in my head for awhile and I finally "put it to paper" as they say. And I feel its a better long term solution to the Social Security problem and the economic spending package that they are talking about. I feel that it addresses the current issues with the financial aid system as we know it. And, it would also have some economic benefits as well.

    First, eliminate the federal student financial aid system as we know it


    Now, I'm putting this up for constructive critiquing. Hopefully that is what will come of it.
  2. maverick4

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    This is a fair system because it puts everyone on a more equal playing field from birth and gives them resources to better themselves, IF they want to work at it.

    I also like the idea of a certain portion of wealth after death going back into a program like this, because I hate seeing useless idiots who are worthless people and yet insanely wealthy just because of their ancestors
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  3. IcyPatriot

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    The country will eventually get to the point where the solution to social security will be retirement after age 70 and/or mandatory government rest homes for those over say 75. The state will close all loopholes on wealth transfers after the age of 65 IMO.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  4. DaBruinz

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    First off, mandatory retirement after age 70 will hurt this country and the economy more than help. Mandatory government rest homes won't do anything but suck more money off the government.

    Now, would you care to explain how anything you mentioned actually has to do with the idea that I floated? Or do you normally throw out things that really aren't on topic?
  5. BelichickFan

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    The solution to social security is to make it an old age welfare and not a retirement system, in other words means testing and if you have money you don't get social security.

    (sorry DaBruinz, I was just replying to Icy, I don't have a comment on the thread).
  6. IcyPatriot

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    A different version of welfare and wealth distribution but I agree ... why everyone gets a check from Uncle Sam when they retire is baffling at best. "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" ... Spock was right IMO.
  7. DarrylS

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    I thought you had to pay into social security in order to be eligible???

    OTOH DaBruinz is an interesting concept, but as in anything this simple concept would turn into a 778 page pork filled federal bill. The feds do not like simplicity.

    The potential pitfall is that there would be a burgeoning business of schools to meet everyone's needs, it is bad enough with all the quasi colleges.. but can you imagine if everyone had enough potential money for post secondary education.. there would be no self selection.. can you envision an Associates in Backhoe digging.. etc.
  8. Real World

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    Cuz SS is supposed to be your money.

    For people who don't know, understand that every dollar you pay in SS taxes on your check, your employer pays too. So when you pay $50 into SS, your boss has to send another $50 on top of that. Nice.
  9. DaBruinz

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    Darryl - I understand what you mean. Like anything, there is the potential for abuse. That being said, I think you misunderstood about the types of school. There are currently Tech Schools where you can get certifications to be a school bus mechanic or a welder or other things of that nature. That was what I was referring to. They are already out there. And yes, I can envision someone getting a certification to run a back-hoe or other heavy equipment.
  10. DarrylS

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    My point and maybe I did not articulate well, is that it is an interesting concept... my cynicism may or may not be well founded, and has to do with being around kids who are sold a bill of goods that will not help them. There is potential for abuse in every system..
  11. DaBruinz

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    bumpity bump bump
  12. Patters

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    It's a nice idea, but if my calculation is correct, it would cost around $75 billion per year to pay the $25k per baby + the enormous cost of kicking in 7% each year and the various ramp-up costs. It would be much more expensive than today's Social Security, which has its increases tied to inflation, which is generally less than 7% and is at least partly taxable.

    Add to that that it does not address the main purpose of Social Security, which is a safety net (and, by the way, this recession underscores the importance of a safety net as opposed to a retirement plan) not a retirement plan. For instance, it doesn't address the needs of those who make bad decisions (use up the money to go to college), who have bad luck (accumulate massive debt because of, e.g., medical expenses or a failed business), or who spend all their money after getting 10 or 15 years of payments. What would we do with these people, let them live on the street or starve?

    That said, I think the idea of the government depositing money into an interest bearing account at birth is an intriguing one.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
  13. BelichickFan

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    On the "what if people have no money left" issue, IMO then, yes, it's too bad. Under this plan everyone would have $80K when they turn 18. In the 18-22 years they'd be making around $6K in interest alone. I realize inflation would hit this but $6K for one year of college is a good start before you have to hit principal. If you accrue $20K of interest over the 4 college years and start with $80K you could spend $30K on college and still have $50K sitting there when you're done. Or you could spend $55K and still have your $25K. Although you're back to where you've started, you've paid for college, trade school, whatever you do and can presumably start adding even small increments now that you have a job. This wouldn't be enough for law/medical school or most advanced degrees but that's not wholly different from now in terms of the expense of going to those. The bottom line is this gives everyone, even the poorest kids, the chance to go to college. But, no, we can't be everything to everbody. Sorry. If left alone that $25K would be $1.6M when you turn 60 and that's if you never add a dime. Of course you use your typical liberal buzzwords like starve but this doesn't prohibit the same kind of bread/soup lines we have now and at least this gives people a chance - social security is no more secure than this for people who don't work.

    Regarding the cost, I haven't done the math to see if this is more or less expensive than social security and whether payroll taxes would have to go up or be able to go down.

    As for your diatribe on social security being a safety net rather than a retirement plan . . . BULL. If it were a safety net you would only get it if you need it. And if it were a safety net you would get it even if you hadn't earned it over your working career. Social security is not a safety net, it is a retirement plan run like an insurance policy.
  14. Patters

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    It's a safety net. The main reason that everyone who pays into it gets it, is to prevent it from being seen as a welfare program or from losing broad public support. At any rate, it's a safety net in that you can't screw it up. If you pay into it, you get it, even if mistakes or bad luck along your life's journey screwed you up. I bet there are a lot of new retirees who are depending on this safety net right now now that their retirement funds have fallen by 50%.

    But, again, the other problem with DaBruinz plan, I think, is the prohibitive cost. There are at least 90 million American born prior to 1963, so I'll help you with the math:

    90,000,000 * 1,000,000 = 90,000,000,000,000

    So, unless you can find a way to come up with $90 trillion, the plan doesn't work.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
  15. BelichickFan

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    It's still not a safety net. It's guaranteed, fixed income based on what you put in during your working life, yes. But it's not a safety net, it's not even discussable as one.

    That's the problem with any SS change is that SS now is a Madoff Scheme and there's no way to transition out of it short of means testing which would go over VERY badly as people have put so much in over the years. It's just a bad system, it helps some who need it but it also helps many who don't need it, doesn't help many who do need it and it's almost impossible to find a clean exit strategy.

    As I have said before, I don't want 70 year olds starving and I'm OK with a fund to help them. But SS is not it.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
  16. DaBruinz

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    The government spends over $600 billion a year on social security already.

    First of all, it would act as a safety net because you know that, provided you take personal responsibility and don't empty the account out by going to an over-priced school, you'll have quite a sum of money in there?

    Second, why should it address the needs of those who make bad decisions, who have bad luck, or spend all of their money? That's why its called personal responsibility. This is what people like yourself don't get. Now, as for the payments, you can even say spread it out over 20 years or 25 years. The average age of males in the US is 77 and of females is 80. If you look at the amounts we're talking about, people born before 1992 would have over 1 million dollars in their accounts to take on a 10, 15, or even 20 year basis. And, remember the interest doesn't stop accruing.

    The 7% interest, btw, is what the government pays out on EE savings bonds. You know, the ones where you pay have the amount and after 10 years, they are worth the face value. Yet they still collect interest until you actually cash them.
  17. DaBruinz

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    1) Social Security, as it is now, IS welfare. And its seen that way by MANY people.

    2) Where did you get your number regarding the number of Americans born prior to 1963? I took the numbers for 65 and older from the US Census Bureau.

    3) Also, you don't need 90 trillion dollars initially. The most you'll need is 3.7 trillion. Hell, you could take it down to 500K for people born prior to 1963 and then you'd need only 1.85 Billion. That's about what the government has spent on Social Security, the bank bailout package and this "stimulus" bill. You need enough to account for the people who are just 65 and older who decide to start taking a payout. And you can limit it to those who have officially retired.

    4) You don't take into consideration the mortality rate of people over the age of 65. I also don't think you take into consideration that the average male in America lives to 72 and the average female in America either 77 or 80 depending on where you look.

    5) You also don't take into consideration that with the option of 10 or 15 payments, that the some people will choose the 15 and will only receive 66.7K a year. You could even add a 20 year option and have it at 50K.
  18. Synovia

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    Um, because we've been putting money into uncle sam for the last 50 years for expressly that purpose?
  19. Patters

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    Social Security was designed to address a very real social problem. Do you want homeless senior citizens begging on your street? Do you want these people, who may have been victims of a severe economic downturn, to turn to crime or to live in squalor? What do you propose doing with those people who don't take personal responsibility? And besides, what do you mean by personal responsibility? My guess is you're defining it according to middle class values, and ignoring the fact that many people grow up in vastly differenct situations with vastly different values. Would you support personal responsibility if it was defined by the wealthy, who might say it's not their fault that your parents weren't responsible enough to leave you with an estate when you were born?
  20. BelichickFan

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    That is not what it's designed for. If it is, it's an over reaching failure. The tax should be way lower and the payments far fewer to solve the problem you describe. And if they didn't work most of their life they'll still be begging on the street as seniors. Your picture of social security doesn't seem to match the reality that everyone gets it but only if they contributed by working.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
  21. Patters

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    It's certainly not welfare becaues you pay into it and get money back.

    Not sure exactly where I found them, but the number seems to be borne out by this website:

    National Sex, Age, Race, and Hispanic Origin Population Estimates

    At any rate, you said anyone born before 1963, which would mean anyone 45 years old or older. Did you mean 1943?

    At least 12% of Americans are over 65 or approximately 30,000,000 people. Multiply that by $1,000,000 and you get $30,000,000,000,000 or even if you cut it in half it would still be $15,000,000,000,000. If you're willing to cut the $1,000,000 in half so quickly, it does not seem to me like you thought your proposal through.

    Actually, people are living longer, so I think it's you who did not take into account mortality!

    Census Offers Statistics on Older Americans

    Also, most people who live to 65 actually live past 80 I'm pretty sure, though I'm not sure exactly how much past 80.

    Huh? So, they wouldn't accrue 7% interest and the value of their money would decline over time? In that case, what in the world would be the incentive of opting for a 20 year option.

    You have some interesting ideas, but I think you ought to do a little more math and research on the costs. I don't think your plan is workable.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
  22. Patters

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    As I understand it, SS was in response to the terrible plight of the elderly during the Great Depression. True, it doesn't address every situation or every single senior citizen, but it does a good job providing the vast majority of senior with a little dignity. Think about those elderly people who just lost 50% of their money and now can't find jobs. If they did not have SS, they'd be in vastly worst shape. For the relatively small number of seniors who did not work, there is social security disability (for people with physical and mental illnesses.
  23. BelichickFan

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    Social Security provides EVERY senior who worked long enough with money. My parents don't need it but they get it. SS provides dignity to seniors . . . and then goes WAY beyond that.
  24. DaBruinz

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    Patters - what you don't seem to get is that even if they were "victims of an economic downturn" they'd still have a minimum of 66.7K a year coming to them.

    This is the problem with people like you, Patters. You think that the government is just supposed to throw good money after bad because people didn't take responsibility. Why the hell should we do anything with them? If they don't want to take responsibility for their actions, let them go somewhere else. Its about time that people stopped thinking that the United States is all about a free ride and who cares if you screwed it up. Let them go and get a friggin job if they can't live on 100K a year. Jesus.

    Personal responsibility is only defined one way and it has nothing to do with different backgrounds or different value systems. Taking responsibility for your actions. If YOU screw it up, then its your fault. Deal with it. Claiming that your "value system" is different or that your socioeconomic background is different is an excuse. And its a poor one. Its like a man who claims that because he saw his dad beat his mom that its ok for him to hit his wife. Its the equivalent of a child molester claiming that its not his fault that he molested 30 children because he was molested as a child. Those are excuses. It is a poor attempt to deflect responsibility from one's self. In the either case, no one was holding a gun to the person's head. They have their own choices. As an adult, you have the ability to understand the laws of this country. If you chose to break them, then that is your choice. Your responsibility. Saying otherwise is a farce and a lie.
  25. DaBruinz

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    Considering they are saying that SS will be gone by the time that I am eligible for it, No, I won't be getting my money back. Just like millions of other Americans won't be getting their money either.

    Do you always play dumb? You can't withdraw the money until you are 65. So, until that time, the government doesn't need to actually have the entire amount available. They only need to have the amount available to pay out the current needs. Just like savings bonds. The government doesn't have all the money from savings bonds set aside. They keep an accounting of it and until they are cashed.

    Considering that I figured on 37.2 million people and understood that you don't need 30 trillion available like you claim, I'd say that I've thought my proposal through very well, thank you. You clearly haven't put much thought into it. Hell, I am beginning to wonder if you know a damn thing about the banking industry at all.

    Do you even ready the pages you present? Nothing on that page you gave supports your claim that people are living longer than the numbers that I gave.

    I never said they wouldn't accrue the 7%. That was you making a dumb-arse assumption. Why does there have to be an incentive to take a 20 year payout? Well, other than ensuring that you have enough money to live out your life with. Unlike now, where people can barely get by on their social security and well, the fact that the current system is going to be bankrupt by 2027.

    I've put a lot more thought into it than you have. You are going with knee-jerk posts that are ignorant at best.

    This plan is a lot more "workable" than the current system which will be out of money by 2027. Then what? What is the government going to do then? Tell everyone that they are sorry that they screwed up for decades by lining their own pockets and not truly putting any forethought into it? Because that's where we are headed.
  26. PressCoverage

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    I believe you started the thread off by asking for constructive debate... And then you immediately get condescending... Ah well... Good try at civility while it lasted... Reading your successive posts afterward, well... You're the new QuiGon...
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  27. DaBruinz

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    You can't have constructive debate if people can't stick to the topic at hand. Such as yourself. Did you actually have a point you wanted to share on the subject or are you just posting to hear yourself talk since you didn't actually talk about the subject at hand?
  28. Patters

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    Yes, but you're giving them a huge handout (up to $1 million!!!) that I don't think we can afford. I think your math is wrong. If your math wasn't wrong, I'd probably find your ideas far more interesting and we'd be debating different aspects of it.

    That's bull. I don't want to give money away to the lazy bums, but what do we do with them? Should we be like Calcutta and have families sleeping in the streets? Do you want to be greeted by beggars every day you go shopping? Do you want to pay the extra costs of health care because these people can't take care of themselves? Or should we just kill them?

    The thing that annoys me about 'personal responsibility' is that it's a nice idea, but the people who talk about it don't know how to implement it. It's like saying, Everyone should eat healthy. Well, sure, who in their right mind would disagree with that? But, what kind of idea is it if it doesn't include a plan to make it happen. The way people like you use the phrase 'personal responsibility line,' is so as to avoid responsibility for dealing with real social problems. It's intellectually lazy. It's a phrase, not a solution.

    As I said, personal responsibility is an idea we can all agree with (at least broadly), but it's a stupid idea since no one seems to have a way to make it happen. I gather you believe that if someone gets cancer and uses up all their money to get experimental treatment, at that point they should be forced to beg and live on the street if they can't find a job? I suppose that someone who opens a business and works hard, but gets wiped out in the economic downturn created by matters completely beyond their control should be forced to live in the street? How about veterans with mental or physical illness? Maybe we should just euthanize them. After all, they volunteered and knew what they were getting into. They should take personal responsibility! Let's see how many exceptions to personal responsibility you have because it suits your value system. Are you really that unaware of that you're imposing your own value system? Do a little self-reflection and at the very least, tell me what you think should be done with people who did not take personal responsibility or who were too stupid or unlucky to make sound choices?
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  29. Patters

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    But, you haven't explained how the goverment comes up with the $30 trillion to pay the people who are currently over 65 (which is what I assume you meant). Care to explain that?

    If people over 65 each get $1 million, why do we not need to come up with $30 trillion? Why did you so quickly say it could be $500k, if you had thought it through? Can you answer those questions?

    Took me about 5 seconds to find this.

    Life Expectancy - Understanding Life Expectancy Tables

    The average 65-year-old today can expect to live another 18.4 years. So your life expectancy now is not the same as it was at your birth. It is 5.9 years longer than the current life expectancy figure (which is for people born in 2006) or 83.4 years.

    The news just keeps getting better -- if you make it to 75 your life expectancy increases to 86.8. You gain another 3.4 years.

    I really think this is a pointless discussion until you explain how you come up with the $1,000,000 per 65 year old person. That said, if you can explain that I'm all for improving the quality of life for our senior citizens.
  30. Patters

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    In principle, I'm not against cutting SS benefits for those who don't need it, but the belief is that if we did that then opposition to SS would increase and the program would be endangered. Would someone like you be more or less likely to support SS if you paid into it, but got nothing in return?

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