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Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:36 AM

Please, somebody, tell me why we CAN'T raise the SS cap?

Or at least why can't Obama start the national conversation about it, at least? It's a way to "fix" Social Security and repubs keep whining that they want to "preserve" Social Security (yeah, right), so what's the problem?

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Reply Please, somebody, tell me why we CAN'T raise the SS cap? (Original post)
CTyankee Jan 2013 OP
dawg Jan 2013 #1
CTyankee Jan 2013 #2
Paulie Jan 2013 #6
dawg Jan 2013 #8
hfojvt Jan 2013 #51
unblock Jan 2013 #3
CTyankee Jan 2013 #7
AnotherMcIntosh Jan 2013 #4
CTyankee Jan 2013 #10
AnotherMcIntosh Jan 2013 #31
dawg Jan 2013 #23
historylovr Jan 2013 #29
randome Jan 2013 #35
LisaLynne Jan 2013 #5
snappyturtle Jan 2013 #9
CTyankee Jan 2013 #12
snappyturtle Jan 2013 #16
Jackpine Radical Jan 2013 #11
CTyankee Jan 2013 #14
Jackpine Radical Jan 2013 #30
srican69 Jan 2013 #15
Jackpine Radical Jan 2013 #50
CTyankee Jan 2013 #58
Scuba Jan 2013 #13
closeupready Jan 2013 #26
Odin2005 Jan 2013 #17
AnotherMcIntosh Jan 2013 #33
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #18
Raine1967 Jan 2013 #55
newfie11 Jan 2013 #19
Pirate Smile Jan 2013 #20
Riley18 Jan 2013 #21
SammyWinstonJack Jan 2013 #22
leftyohiolib Jan 2013 #24
CTyankee Jan 2013 #42
robinlynne Jan 2013 #25
godai Jan 2013 #27
Oilwellian Jan 2013 #32
oldhippie Jan 2013 #34
randome Jan 2013 #36
oldhippie Jan 2013 #39
randome Jan 2013 #47
Oilwellian Jan 2013 #46
randome Jan 2013 #49
robinlynne Jan 2013 #38
ProSense Jan 2013 #28
CTyankee Jan 2013 #61
Cal Carpenter Jan 2013 #37
L0oniX Jan 2013 #40
global1 Jan 2013 #41
CTyankee Jan 2013 #43
global1 Jan 2013 #44
Oilwellian Jan 2013 #48
global1 Jan 2013 #52
MissMillie Jan 2013 #45
MannyGoldstein Jan 2013 #53
Hoyt Jan 2013 #54
OnlinePoker Jan 2013 #56
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #60
CTyankee Jan 2013 #62
randome Jan 2013 #63
global1 Jan 2013 #57
grantcart Jan 2013 #59
Sarah Ibarruri Jan 2013 #64
Amonester Jan 2013 #65
Sarah Ibarruri Jan 2013 #66
randome Jan 2013 #67

Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:37 AM

1. Rich man say no.

So we can't. Those are the rules in the USA.

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Response to dawg (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:37 AM

2. no debate? Ever?

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:39 AM

6. Rich man supporters have majority in US House of Representatives

So no Debate, until they are run out of office; which means after the next US Census and redistricting...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:42 AM

8. It's not up to me.

I hope it happens. But judging on the way deals get made in this country, it seems pretty unlikely right now.
(Maybe a small raise in the cap will get traded to us in return for Chained CPI.)

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Response to dawg (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:33 PM

51. Obama took the Grover-Norquist-lite pledge

no tax increases for incomes under $250,000.

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:38 AM

3. yup. if reagan could strengthen social security by DOUBLING fica taxes,

why is cutting benefits now somehow the only way to "strengthen" social security?

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Response to unblock (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:40 AM

7. this seems so easy peasy. I say call their bluff...

show them how much more $$$ would flow into SS coffers if the cap were raised.

At least get the ball rolling. Obama's just had a great winning hand and it's time to strike again while the memory of victory is still fresh...

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:39 AM

4. Occam's razor: The wealthy don't want that.

 

If Obama wanted that, he would propose raising the SS cap.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:43 AM

10. It may not be the right time. But he should take some lessons from his great victory.

The American voters want SS and I think they sincerely want it to remain on solid footing. Same voters have already registered their distaste with income inequality. What better way to put us more on the road to economic justice than by raising the cap?

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:36 AM

31. He "should take some lessons"? Can't we assume that he is a smart man? One who is fully informed?

 

And one whose actions are consistent with his real goals?

You are right. The voting public both wants SS and is not happy with the great income disparity. You're also right that raising the cap would strengthen SS and move us in the direction of greater economic justice.

But those are our goals. When they become Obama's goals, he can do what you suggested.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:04 AM

23. I used Occam's razor to shave Schrodinger's cat.

He may, or may not, look really funny right now.

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Response to dawg (Reply #23)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:17 AM

29. Bazinga! Nearly spewed tea all over my laptop. nt

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Response to dawg (Reply #23)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:01 AM

35. Open the box and tell us!

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:39 AM

5. I think you'd need a republican for that.

I really don't see why we can't. I can't even remember hearing any reason from them why we can't, not even a lame one. We just can't because they said so, I guess.

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:43 AM

9. I have never understood why not. I don't think repubs want to preserve SS but rather

privatize it. imho

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Response to snappyturtle (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:45 AM

12. Yeah, but they can't say that out loud. Remember what happened when Bush started

pushing privatization (oh, scuse me, "personalize" SS).

If they are so bent on "saving" SS, which is their cover story, they look pretty weak if they don't at least take up the cap issue in debate/conversation...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:55 AM

16. I agree. nt

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:43 AM

11. We can't do it becaue it would piss off the rich.

Personally, I think we ought to put it up to 250k & use the additional intake to balance the books & to reduce the rates on everyone without tapping the general fund.

I think the top end of payments out should also reflect the raised cap--i.e., pay the rich a little more if they're contributing more. We need to retain a sense of fairness about SS. I strongly oppose means-testing it because that's the beginning of the end for SS. Remember, that's what Ryan wanted to do, and you know what his ultimate plan is.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:47 AM

14. If we pay the rich more, does that defeat the purpose of having the cap raised in the

first place?

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #14)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:30 AM

30. Not at all.

You don't have to retain proportionality, just the general principle that a lifetime of higher earnings gets you somewhat more in returns. It's more of a psychological thing than anything else when it comes to the rich. Many of them just want to know that they're getting a little more than the people who paid in less. It has more to do with snobbery than with need or actual return on investment. They need to know they're receiving at the top rate, even if that rate isn't a whole lot higher than the average rate. Trust me on this.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:50 AM

15. or at least use a Cola revision to the upper limit...

That its where the problem lies...you have increasing payments due to Cola and demographic shifts..while the tax limit keeps shrinking in real terms..

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Response to srican69 (Reply #15)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:33 PM

50. The upper limit has been raised from time to time.

Not too many years ago, it was 95k, iirc, and it's now 106k.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #50)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:22 PM

58. So it's not like it is unheard of. And now that we have established the concept of

economic justice and reducing income inequality in accordance with what the voters said in the last election, we can easily move on to this proposition. Altho probably not until after we do the whole Debt Limit wrangle...

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:46 AM

13. Because it would strengthen SS, and TPTB do not want that.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:13 AM

26. This is The Answer. We need a bluer House.

Even then it's not a likelihood, unless we get a REALLY blue House.

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:56 AM

17. Because nothing progressive is going to pass the House.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #17)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:40 AM

33. Agreed. Only those who will disregard years of experience will believe to the contrary.

 

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:56 AM

18. We can. But then the maximum payout will automatically be increased, too.

What people get from SS is tied by law to what they pay in. That's why the program has pretty much universal support.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #18)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:56 PM

55. I think that this is a very clarifying point.

I never looked at it that way.

Thanks.

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:57 AM

19. I wonder that too

I have not heard that brought up at all.

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:57 AM

20. Pres. Obama has said it & he's for it. He said it solves any solvency issues with Social Security.

He hasn't ran around advocating it or some type of dough nut hole (it still stops at $110,000 but then restarts at $500,000 or something).

I think it is an easy - and easy to understand - solution. I hope he does start advocating for it more loudly in the future.

However, we all know Republicans don't actually care about solvency Except as a way to try to get benefits cut or an irrational excuse to advocate privatization. When POTUS is negotiating with them, they want something that they want as opposed to a solution to the actual issue. I think POTUS and his team decided the least damaging of the horrible options Republicans want - raising retirement age, cutting benefits, privatization, etc. is the Chained CPI.

I've heard POTUS say at a couple of town halls that he thinks raising the cap solves any solvency issues so we know he knows that.

Who prevents it from happening? Republicans and some Democrats representing high-income districts.

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:58 AM

21. I think that since the tax rate did not change

For those making up to $400,000/450,000 then SS cap should extend up to the same amount. Social Security taxes should be taken out of income up to $400,000.

Of course, the rich say no so it is a moot point not even up for debate.

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:00 AM

22. That is a tax increase on the richie rich, so no....NO discussion of that...EVER!

Beside, fixing and preserving SS isn't the agenda, weakening it is.

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:08 AM

24. why are you asking us

 

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Response to leftyohiolib (Reply #24)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:43 AM

42. because I believe in "the wisdom of crowds." I always want to seek out other

opinions and a lot of people here have more knowledge about SS than I do, even tho I am on it...

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:10 AM

25. can you explain what raising the cap means? is it paying social security taxes on higher incomes?

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Response to robinlynne (Reply #25)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:13 AM

27. yes n/t

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Response to robinlynne (Reply #25)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:37 AM

32. Here's a good analogy

Everyone who earns less than $110,000 per year, pays FICA taxes on 100% of their income. Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, earned $16 million last year but only paid FICA taxes on $110,000 of his earnings, less than 1% of his total income. See the disparity between the two? Any Democrat who agrees to lower benefits for the elderly, disabled and veterans, and allows this disparity to continue, will be challenged in their next primary.

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Response to Oilwellian (Reply #32)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:58 AM

34. But I think when Blankfein retires and starts drawing SS, ....

 

.... he receives the same capped benefit amount as the workers who made the $110,000 of earnings. If social security is supposed to be a quasi-insurance program as billed, and not a general tax to support other budget items, why should he pay more? He gets the same earned benefit as the $110,000 guy.

It's OK to raise or end the cap and use the revenue for other purposes, but then we would have to stop billing it as the investment or insurance program where the benefit is tied to the contributions. I really don't care either way.

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Response to oldhippie (Reply #34)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:03 AM

36. No, it's still an insurance program. What if the guy who makes $4 million dollars loses his money?

Not likely, perhaps, but possible. SS is there for everyone.

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Response to randome (Reply #36)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:22 AM

39. If the guy that makes $4M loses his money, he get the same benefit .....

 

..... as the guy that loses his $110K. Why should he pay more for his insurance benefit? Does your car insurance company base your premiums on your net worth, or your potential liability?

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Response to oldhippie (Reply #39)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:12 PM

47. Same reason he pays more taxes. Or SHOULD be paying more taxes.

He reaps a greater benefit of Capitalism so he pays more back into the system and still makes out like a bandit. You're right about the car insurance analogy, though. However, this is taxation so it's a little different.

Besides, EVERYONE benefits if SS is available to all. Even the rich benefit by not having to deal with the destitute.

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Response to oldhippie (Reply #34)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:07 PM

46. Why not raise the benefit level as well?

we can maintain a benefit tied to the contributions. I've never understood this argument.

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Response to Oilwellian (Reply #46)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:29 PM

49. Most people end up getting more in benefits than they put in.

So raising the benefit level beyond a certain point would make the program more prone to insolvency.

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Response to Oilwellian (Reply #32)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:13 AM

38. got it! Raise the caps!

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:16 AM

28. Dem Senator Introduces Bill To Lift Social Security’s Tax Cap, Extend Its Solvency For Decades

Dem Senator Introduces Bill To Lift Social Security’s Tax Cap, Extend Its Solvency For Decades
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021871773

It can be done.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #28)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:44 PM

61. I hope he re-submits it in the next Congress starting soon.

I would like to see a fire going under this proposal...

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:04 AM

37. Capitalism

Whether we are talking wages, benefits, taxes, SS contributions, the ultimate result is the redistribution of wealth UPWARD (in both the short and long term, with rare, temporary exceptions). That's how the math works in a capitalist economy.

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:24 AM

40. Our mega rich over lords can but won't n/t

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:39 AM

41. I've Posted This Thread Each Time A Discussion Comes Up Here On DU About "Raising The Cap"....

I think the American People could get behind a campaign to "Raise The Cap".

Check out the following link: http://election.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=439x1818709

I still think a tv commercial - or a 'you tube' clip that can go viral - with pics of all sorts of people 'raising or lifting' their caps - would be a very poignant way of the American People voicing their support for 'raising or lifting the cap' to solidify "Social Security".

I think such a campaign is worth a try versus having the other side attacking SS and weakening it in any way. The idea is to have both typical American People photographed lifting, tipping or raising their caps:

Here's an very vivid example depicting a person slipping under water but raising their cap: http://www.google.com/imgres?q=tipping+your+cap&num=10&hl=en&tbo=d&biw=1280&bih=681&tbm=isch&tbnid=-BPFRSULfYVk2M:&imgrefurl=http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattsuw/2452589523/&docid=zD4ZNznqZ7-KXM&imgurl=&w=640&h=480&ei=dGHkUJfoFYXVqAHFpYCYBg&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=378&sig=100032727667851308664&page=1&tbnh=131&tbnw=175&start=0&ndsp=31&ved=1t:429,r:10,s:0,i:120&tx=27&ty=35

Beyond typical Americans being pictured "raising their cap" we can have Hollywood stars, TV personalities and even politicians pictured "raising their caps".

Again the point of such a campaign is to call attention to a relative easy fix to any "so-called" and "false" claims that SS is not solvent into the future.

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Response to global1 (Reply #41)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:45 AM

43. GREAT advertising idea!

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #43)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:52 AM

44. If You Like The Idea Find A Similar Pic Or Take Your Own Picture Of Raising Your Cap......

and post it here. Tweet and Facebook your friends and encourage them to do the same. Let's make this viral and start putting the pressure on the President and Congress to take this action and put the SS debate behind us once and for all.

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Response to global1 (Reply #41)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:22 PM

48. Great idea

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Response to Oilwellian (Reply #48)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:35 PM

52. There You Go - That's The Spirit - Great Pic.....

now Tweet and Facebook it and get your friends to contribute their own pics to this campaign. Let's make this viral. Thanks!!!!!

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:53 AM

45. raise it? double it

triple it.

better yet.... extend it to income other than "earned income"

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:39 PM

53. Because it's class warfare against the Job Creators

And stuff.

Regards,

Third-Way Manny

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:56 PM

54. Supposedly because it's a big "tax" increase for upper middle class.


And you'd have to raise the SS benefits, so it's not all gravy.

It really boils down to few in Congress have the guts to tell everyone making between $113,700 and say $250,000 that their "taxes" just increased by roughly 12 percentage points (employee and employer share of FICA).

For those making a bunch more than that, Congress has no guts and probably thinks they need some income to tax for other things.

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:04 PM

56. You raise the cap, you have to raise the payout to them as well.

If you don't, you're just playing into their hands by making SS exactly what they say it is, a welfare program.

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Response to OnlinePoker (Reply #56)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:30 PM

60. I wish more DUers understood this point.

SS has pretty much universal support because everyone's benefit is tied to what they pay into the system. Yes, someone who earns $10 million pays the same contributions as someone who earns $110,000, but they end up receiving the same benefit.

If you delink the SS benefit from the contributions (for example by having high earners contribute more, without receiving a commensurately higher benefit in retirement), SS will quickly come to be perceived not as a retirement plan but as a welfare program. And we all know what tends to happen to welfare programs (think Bill Clinton 1992).

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #60)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:48 PM

62. Is the raised cap limit/payout ratio the same or do we get more into the SS coffers

than we end up paying out of them?

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #60)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:51 PM

63. It's already means-tested so it's not far from someone characterizing it as 'welfare'.

And actually, we have already hit that point. Contrary to what I thought above, many workers now pay in more than they will receive.

http://business.time.com/2012/08/07/social-security-now-takes-more-than-it-gives/

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:08 PM

57. Raise The Cap.....

http://www.google.com/imgres?q=tipping+your+cap&start=153&num=10&hl=en&tbo=d&biw=1280&bih=681&tbm=isch&tbnid=0Mc5TZikYPQQ2M:&imgrefurl=http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx%3Fs%3D248%26f%3D2069%26t%3D8000131&docid=Go2OJeRm7YqcRM&imgurl=&w=320&h=320&ei=XXfkUJb9HIPRqAGz4oHAAg&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=345&sig=100032727667851308664&page=5&tbnh=137&tbnw=135&ndsp=37&ved=1t:429,r0,s:100,i:214&tx=72&ty=88

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:26 PM

59. It will be raised but it won't be raised by itself.

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 03:07 PM

64. Repukes hate SS. nt

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Reply #64)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 03:09 PM

65. Yep. But they cannot 'win' without it (and they KNOW it). nt

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Response to Amonester (Reply #65)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 03:21 PM

66. That's not what they think. They're brainless creatures. All they care about is...

moving forward with whatever will help the rich and hurt the rest. And they don't think they're involved. They somehow think that magically, in the future, they'll be spared all difficulties in life. With the exception of psychopaths such as Grover Norquist and Karl Rove, who safeguard their future while destroying the U.S., most Repukes do not, and are truly stupid people who think that by screwing up the U.S., they're only hurting "liberals" and somehow they will be spared simply because they're Repukes.

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Reply #66)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 03:24 PM

67. I think you're right.

We do a disservice to ourselves when we think they actually have a 'master plan' in mind. They have such a plan for SOME things but for the rest, they have no more 'strategy' than a plant does when it moves toward the light.

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