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  •  Look at those numbers for 18-39 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Whatithink

    Is that a potential pickle for Democrats, who seem to do best when young people turn out to vote?

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 07:18:53 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  That demographic is the one supporting Republican (0+ / 0-)

      proposals for "personal retirement accounts", which will siphon SS contributions away to Wall Street.

      This was an explicit element of the 'Pub's "Roadmap for America"  in 2010. A Pew poll taken that year showed that, while SS benefits are popular with everyone, the SS-PRA is supported by 70% of those aged 18-29 and 63% of those age 30-49.

      I met a young man (at an #occupy rally of all places) who told me he wanted to be able to save for a down payment on a house first, and then save for retirement later. The concept that SS is insurance against the failure of other retirement plans hadn't really occurred to him before.

      I suspect that the Dem Leadship is alarmed by the traction gained by the SS-PRA, and came up with the CCPI to head it off... kinda like the way fire fighters start a "back fire" to stop the advance of a larger bush fire.

      "backfire" is just the right word for it.

      If the Dems emerge from the fight over the CCPI  looking fractious and incompetent, the Pubs will step up and say, "See, the Democrats don't have a plan to fix SS! But we do!"

      Our leadership has conceded the point that "SS is broken". We have to refute that idea, but it may be too late to completely defeat it.

      It's not enough to simply oppose benefit cuts. We have to fight the SS-PRI as well as the CCPI, and come up with plausible alternatives.

      “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
      he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

      by jjohnjj on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 08:43:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Personally, I think SS is broken. (0+ / 0-)

        If it's insurance, it's got just about the worst bang for the buck of any insurance I've ever seen.

        The problem is how to unbreak it, considering how many people rely on it.

        The private accounts sound OK to me except for one tiny problem:

        Social security is basically a pay-as-you-go proposition:

        current benefits are come from the payroll taxes of current workers.  Setting aside any appreciable percentage of that when receipts are not sufficient to generate a surplus means goint to (and depleting) the the trust fund, and that means going to the market for more debt.

        Once the baby boomers are mostly through the system, it might be ok to revisit, but now doesn't seem like a good time.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 09:20:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  SS isn't broken (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vigilant meerkat

          It works a lot better than 401k's do.
          Plus SS has been in surplus for decades. How can something in surplus be "broken"?

          ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

          by gjohnsit on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 11:37:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Eye of the beholder, I guess -- and, yes, (0+ / 0-)

            soemthing in surplus CAN be broken.

            Remember all the stink during the AHA about how much money Insurance companies take out of premiums to use as profit?

            Substitute Social Security Trust Fund as piggy bank for Congress.

            The test of unbroken insurance is its reliability, but also its payout. Social Security stinks on the second.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 12:15:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jjohnjj, vigilant meerkat
              Substitute Social Security Trust Fund as piggy bank for Congress.
              That's not the fault of Social Security. That's the fault of the rest of government.
              The test of unbroken insurance is its reliability, but also its payout. Social Security stinks on the second.
              SS has never failed to pay out. If instead you are referring to ROI, then you are confusing investments with insurance.

              ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

              by gjohnsit on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 12:24:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes. (0+ / 0-)

                It is the fault of Congress, not of Social Security.
                So what?
                It makes no difference.

                As to ROI, you used that phrase, not me.

                All insurance policies have a payout and a price.
                Social Security is extremely expensive -- up to $1135 or so per month.

                Pretty lousy insurance.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 01:10:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Re: (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  vigilant meerkat
                  It is the fault of Congress, not of Social Security.
                  So what?
                  It makes no difference.
                  It makes all the difference in the world. If your car gets a flat tire you don't start by blaming the tires that aren't flat.
                  As to ROI, you used that phrase, not me.
                  yes, but that is what you meant.
                     I have no problem with you saying it. It's a worthy point to bring up.
                  Social Security is extremely expensive -- up to $1135 or so per month.
                  Pretty lousy insurance.
                  Well for starters, you are only mentioning the potential upfront cost. That doesn't cover everything by a long shot.
                    Secondly, you aren't taking into consideration efficiency. SS administrative costs are only about 4 cents on the dollar. That's very efficient. More efficient than most private sector insurance.
                     Finally, SS buys one thing that private insurance can never provide: social stability.

                  ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

                  by gjohnsit on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 02:57:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That's nice about administrative costs, but (0+ / 0-)

                    efficiency is a matter of what you get out of something, not just how cheaply you hold on to it.

                    As a (poor) metaphor, a car with a supremely efficient engine that still manages only 8 mpg because of its heavy weight would still be a gas hog.

                    If you are going to call SS insurance, then its' fair to evaluate it as insurance, and that means how much does it pay off when you need it?

                    I tend to think of Social Security differently: as a social welfare program.  One very big reason for that is the 90->32->15 payout schemes.  Higher (but still middle class) earners subsidize low earners to their own detriment.  I can see one major benefit of admitting what Social Security really is: the straight-faced ability to ask why millionaires are not asked to make the same proportionate contributions that lower-income workers make, or why non-payroll income should be exempt from contributing to SS>

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 03:37:18 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  That's not entirely correct. Back in the 80s (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vigilant meerkat

          when Reagan was President and Greenspan was his financial genius and the go-to guy of every President afterwards until lately. They anticipated the SS would need more funding for when we baby boomers retired and raised the rate we paid into the fund by a few percentage points.
          We have been paying that rate ever since, therefore funding our own retirement. As far as I know that "extra" tax was never reversed or reduced so although originally the fund had the present workers funding their parents: with their parents having funded their own parents. We baby boomers have been funding our parents and our own.
          That means we have put in over 30 years of our wages extra to fund our own Social Security.

          No one ever mentions this point, but anyone who has been paying the extra fee remembers how it came about.

          If that extra rate was just temporary and if it was discontinued at some point, I would be delighted for someone to research it and correct me, because right now this entire proposal just makes me want to scream.

          •  temporary rates never seem to work that way unless (0+ / 0-)

            they are tax reductions.

            As a fellow boomer, I also have been paying that enhanced rate for a long time.  I'll admit that it rankles me to see that big Trust Fund sitting there, and people wanting to cut into payouts.

            I understand that it can increase deficit pressure.  Congress will have to figure that out, but that is literally a debt that the country owes to us, not an entitlement we are asking to receive.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 03:40:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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