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View Diary: Barney Frank: Save Social Security by making the near rich pay a little more (146 comments)

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  •  To be honest (0+ / 0-)

    I've never really been comfortable with the notion that if we means-test SS, it will turn it into a welfare-like program that will be easier to kill, and thus more likely to be killed. That's overly politicizing a potentially helpful reform because of what MIGHT happen, stemming from LW insecurity about optics. Whether or not SS is means-tested should be based on whether it'll actually improve its finances substantially, not whether the loss of support for it among affluent retirees could kill it, which I doubt.

    And we're already means-testing it, in the sense that there's not a linear relationship between what you paid in and get out of it. We're just not cutting anyone off. But rich retirees are getting less return for the payroll taxes they've paid than poor retirees are. If we lift the cap, then SS would have to be even more so, or else there's no point in lifting the cap.

    My guess, though, is that means-testing it wouldn't be all that helpful. Making SS more progressive and lifting the cap seem like much better solutions.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:28:09 PM PST

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    •  kovie, couldn't agree more, with your point that (0+ / 0-)

      we shouldn't worry about "loss of support for Social Security among affluent retirees."  After all, what are they going to do?  No one is likely 'to walk away from the program,' after having paid into it for years.  And it's mandatory, anyway, with the exception of a handful of exemptions, such as the Amish, etc.

      And yes, I too am in favor of lifting the cap considerably.  And even decreasing the replacement value for really wealthy individuals.

      We could change (decrease) the replacement rate at $250,000, but requiring collecting payroll taxes on all W-2 income over $113,700, up to One Million Dollars.

      Heck, there're countless combinations.  I'm sure that I don't know which one would be best.  That would be for some government bureaucrat to figure out, LOL.

      !

      Mollie

      “If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

      by musiccitymollie on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 11:22:49 PM PST

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