Discussion:
Donald Trump is what happens when you screw the middle class
(too old to reply)
awouk
2016-05-05 18:18:05 UTC
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http://www.salon.com/2016/05/04/donald_trump_is_what_happens_when_you_screw_the_middle_class/

The populist groundswell that gave Trump the nomination follows
decades of policies that devastated Main Street
--
die gedanken sind frei
mg
2016-05-05 20:26:32 UTC
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Raw Message
On Thu, 5 May 2016 18:18:05 -0000 (UTC), awouk
Post by awouk
http://www.salon.com/2016/05/04/donald_trump_is_what_happens_when_you_screw_the_middle_class/
The populist groundswell that gave Trump the nomination follows
decades of policies that devastated Main Street
Yup. Bingo! That's exactly right, in a nutshell. You hit the nail
right on the head. End of story. When all the illogical explanations
fail, one must, eventually, consider the logical one that actually
makes sense.
El Castor
2016-05-05 23:07:33 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by mg
On Thu, 5 May 2016 18:18:05 -0000 (UTC), awouk
Post by awouk
http://www.salon.com/2016/05/04/donald_trump_is_what_happens_when_you_screw_the_middle_class/
The populist groundswell that gave Trump the nomination follows
decades of policies that devastated Main Street
Yup. Bingo! That's exactly right, in a nutshell. You hit the nail
right on the head. End of story. When all the illogical explanations
fail, one must, eventually, consider the logical one that actually
makes sense.
OK, what are the hot button issues for you?
mg
2016-05-06 00:05:52 UTC
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Raw Message
On Thu, 05 May 2016 16:07:33 -0700, El Castor
Post by El Castor
Post by mg
On Thu, 5 May 2016 18:18:05 -0000 (UTC), awouk
Post by awouk
http://www.salon.com/2016/05/04/donald_trump_is_what_happens_when_you_screw_the_middle_class/
The populist groundswell that gave Trump the nomination follows
decades of policies that devastated Main Street
Yup. Bingo! That's exactly right, in a nutshell. You hit the nail
right on the head. End of story. When all the illogical explanations
fail, one must, eventually, consider the logical one that actually
makes sense.
OK, what are the hot button issues for you?
The three most important hot button issues for me are:

*Corruption
*Corruption
*Corruption

The other important issues for me are the following which are
probably due to corruption, or mostly due to corruption:

*Social Security
*Medicare
*Obamacare (and regressive taxes)
*Trade Deals
*Immigration and temporary visas
*Relations with Russia
*Regime change wars in the ME
El Castor
2016-05-06 06:46:23 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by mg
On Thu, 05 May 2016 16:07:33 -0700, El Castor
Post by El Castor
Post by mg
On Thu, 5 May 2016 18:18:05 -0000 (UTC), awouk
Post by awouk
http://www.salon.com/2016/05/04/donald_trump_is_what_happens_when_you_screw_the_middle_class/
The populist groundswell that gave Trump the nomination follows
decades of policies that devastated Main Street
Yup. Bingo! That's exactly right, in a nutshell. You hit the nail
right on the head. End of story. When all the illogical explanations
fail, one must, eventually, consider the logical one that actually
makes sense.
OK, what are the hot button issues for you?
*Corruption
*Corruption
*Corruption
The other important issues for me are the following which are
*Social Security
Social Security has invested it's assets in non-negotiable treasuries
since day one. Eighty years later, it's not going to be paid back, but
your SS income is not in danger, and never has been.
Post by mg
*Medicare
What's the problem? Medicare tends toward the crappy, but so do all
socialized medicine schemes.
Post by mg
*Obamacare (and regressive taxes)
We probably agree on Obamacare, but regressive taxes? Speaking of
federal income taxes, the top 1% pay 38%. Top 10% pay 70%. The bottom
50% pay 3%. Sounds progressive to me. Not progressive enough?
Post by mg
*Trade Deals
I don't know enough to comment on that, but IMHO tariffs are a
mistake.
Post by mg
*Immigration and temporary visas
H1Bs are, I believe, an asset -- particularly if they stay. We should
lock down our borders. Without border control we are not a country. I
think Trump would be a positive influence on border control, but I
feel safe in predicting he will never build his wall.
Post by mg
*Relations with Russia
I think neither of us has the knowledge to properly evaluate that.
Post by mg
*Regime change wars in the ME
On that I think we are in complete agreement.
mg
2016-05-06 07:44:01 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Thu, 05 May 2016 23:46:23 -0700, El Castor
Post by El Castor
Post by mg
On Thu, 05 May 2016 16:07:33 -0700, El Castor
Post by El Castor
Post by mg
On Thu, 5 May 2016 18:18:05 -0000 (UTC), awouk
Post by awouk
http://www.salon.com/2016/05/04/donald_trump_is_what_happens_when_you_screw_the_middle_class/
The populist groundswell that gave Trump the nomination follows
decades of policies that devastated Main Street
Yup. Bingo! That's exactly right, in a nutshell. You hit the nail
right on the head. End of story. When all the illogical explanations
fail, one must, eventually, consider the logical one that actually
makes sense.
OK, what are the hot button issues for you?
*Corruption
*Corruption
*Corruption
The other important issues for me are the following which are
*Social Security
Social Security has invested it's assets in non-negotiable treasuries
since day one. Eighty years later, it's not going to be paid back, but
your SS income is not in danger, and never has been.
I'm not at all worried about my social security. Actually, I could
still get along alright if I received none at all. My feeling,
however, is that the best solution to the SS problem is to eliminate
the cap and do absolutely nothing else and I think that the reason
Republican and Democratic politicians refuse to do that is because
that would cost companies money and they have been bought off by the
1%.

My second-best preference is to do absolutely nothing instead of
turning it into a welfare program for the poor, like the Democrats
and Republicans want to do. Trump has said that he will do
absolutely nothing with Social Security. Ergo, I agree with Trump on
that issue.
Post by El Castor
Post by mg
*Medicare
What's the problem? Medicare tends toward the crappy, but so do all
socialized medicine schemes.
The trend with Medicare is obviously to cut benefits, as Obama has
done. The solution I prefer in the case of Medicare is to raise the
contribution amount, or do nothing, and doing nothing is, I believe
Trump's position.
Post by El Castor
Post by mg
*Obamacare (and regressive taxes)
We probably agree on Obamacare, but regressive taxes? Speaking of
federal income taxes, the top 1% pay 38%. Top 10% pay 70%. The bottom
50% pay 3%. Sounds progressive to me. Not progressive enough?
Obamacare was paid for with cuts to Medicare and highly regressive
taxes that fell mostly on the shoulders of people in the middle
income group. Trump says he would like to kill Obamacare and so
would I.
Post by El Castor
Post by mg
*Trade Deals
I don't know enough to comment on that, but IMHO tariffs are a
mistake.
From what I've read, the TPP has very little to do with free trade,
but, in general, I oppose the situation where one segment of society
has to compete with foreign workers and another segment doesn't.
Post by El Castor
Post by mg
*Immigration and temporary visas
H1Bs are, I believe, an asset -- particularly if they stay. We should
lock down our borders. Without border control we are not a country. I
think Trump would be a positive influence on border control, but I
feel safe in predicting he will never build his wall.
We disagree on immigration on H1Bs. I think the purposes of
emigration and temporary workers is to lower workers wages and
provide the Democratic party with a larger voting base.
Post by El Castor
Post by mg
*Relations with Russia
I think neither of us has the knowledge to properly evaluate that.
I think I have more than enough knowledge to evaluate that
situation.
Post by El Castor
Post by mg
*Regime change wars in the ME
On that I think we are in complete agreement.
Josh Rosenbluth
2016-05-06 10:16:57 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by mg
On Thu, 05 May 2016 23:46:23 -0700, El Castor
I'm not at all worried about my social security. Actually, I could
still get along alright if I received none at all. My feeling,
however, is that the best solution to the SS problem is to eliminate
the cap and do absolutely nothing else and I think that the reason
Republican and Democratic politicians refuse to do that is because
that would cost companies money and they have been bought off by the
1%.
Raising the cap will make SS look more like a welfare program than doing
nothing.
Post by mg
My second-best preference is to do absolutely nothing instead of
turning it into a welfare program for the poor, like the Democrats
and Republicans want to do. Trump has said that he will do
absolutely nothing with Social Security. Ergo, I agree with Trump on
that issue.
Doing nothing means we have to find a ton of cash (most likely borrowing
from China) to pay back the Trust Fund, and when we have done that SS
benefits will be cut by 20%.
Post by mg
Post by El Castor
Post by mg
*Medicare
What's the problem? Medicare tends toward the crappy, but so do all
socialized medicine schemes.
The trend with Medicare is obviously to cut benefits, as Obama has
done. The solution I prefer in the case of Medicare is to raise the
contribution amount, or do nothing, and doing nothing is, I believe
Trump's position.
Doing nothing means cutting benefits, unless the cost of providing the
same level of care is reduced.
mg
2016-05-06 10:53:35 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Fri, 6 May 2016 03:16:57 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Thu, 05 May 2016 23:46:23 -0700, El Castor
I'm not at all worried about my social security. Actually, I could
still get along alright if I received none at all. My feeling,
however, is that the best solution to the SS problem is to eliminate
the cap and do absolutely nothing else and I think that the reason
Republican and Democratic politicians refuse to do that is because
that would cost companies money and they have been bought off by the
1%.
Raising the cap will make SS look more like a welfare program than doing
nothing.
I agree and disagree depending on how ones defines the phrase "look
more like".
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
My second-best preference is to do absolutely nothing instead of
turning it into a welfare program for the poor, like the Democrats
and Republicans want to do. Trump has said that he will do
absolutely nothing with Social Security. Ergo, I agree with Trump on
that issue.
Doing nothing means we have to find a ton of cash (most likely borrowing
from China) to pay back the Trust Fund, and when we have done that SS
benefits will be cut by 20%.
I agree that the government will have to pay back approximately $2.8
trillion to the trust fund and that benefits will be cut by about
20% if the government continues to do nothing right up until the
time that the trust fund is depleted.
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by El Castor
Post by mg
*Medicare
What's the problem? Medicare tends toward the crappy, but so do all
socialized medicine schemes.
The trend with Medicare is obviously to cut benefits, as Obama has
done. The solution I prefer in the case of Medicare is to raise the
contribution amount, or do nothing, and doing nothing is, I believe
Trump's position.
Doing nothing means cutting benefits, unless the cost of providing the
same level of care is reduced.
I think that's probably true, but I think that's a better
alternative than taking money out of the fund like Obama did to help
fund Obamacare.
Josh Rosenbluth
2016-05-06 16:07:34 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by mg
On Fri, 6 May 2016 03:16:57 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Thu, 05 May 2016 23:46:23 -0700, El Castor
I'm not at all worried about my social security. Actually, I could
still get along alright if I received none at all. My feeling,
however, is that the best solution to the SS problem is to eliminate
the cap and do absolutely nothing else and I think that the reason
Republican and Democratic politicians refuse to do that is because
that would cost companies money and they have been bought off by the
1%.
Raising the cap will make SS look more like a welfare program than doing
nothing.
I agree and disagree depending on how ones defines the phrase "look
more like".
When you raise the cap, those above the cap will pay more into the
system then they get out of out it (relative to the status quo). That
means more wealth will be transferred from them to those below the cap.
Does that sound more like a welfare program than the status quo?
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
My second-best preference is to do absolutely nothing instead of
turning it into a welfare program for the poor, like the Democrats
and Republicans want to do. Trump has said that he will do
absolutely nothing with Social Security. Ergo, I agree with Trump on
that issue.
Doing nothing means we have to find a ton of cash (most likely borrowing
from China) to pay back the Trust Fund, and when we have done that SS
benefits will be cut by 20%.
I agree that the government will have to pay back approximately $2.8
trillion to the trust fund and that benefits will be cut by about
20% if the government continues to do nothing right up until the
time that the trust fund is depleted.
And yet, you'd rather do that then increase how much SS looks like a
welfare program (leaving aside for the moment that your preferred
solution, raising the cap, makes SS look more like a welfare program)?
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by El Castor
Post by mg
*Medicare
What's the problem? Medicare tends toward the crappy, but so do all
socialized medicine schemes.
The trend with Medicare is obviously to cut benefits, as Obama has
done. The solution I prefer in the case of Medicare is to raise the
contribution amount, or do nothing, and doing nothing is, I believe
Trump's position.
Doing nothing means cutting benefits, unless the cost of providing the
same level of care is reduced.
I think that's probably true,
So, why would you support doing nothing as an alternative to raising
contributions (i.e., premiums and taxes)?
Post by mg
but I think that's a better
alternative than taking money out of the fund like Obama did to help
fund Obamacare.
The money taken out for Obamacare was going only to Part C (Medicare
Advantage), which is funded by general taxes and beneficiary premiums.
I think that was a good deal that didn't impact the fundamentals of
Medicare (Parts A and B).

On another note, you said, "Obamacare was paid for with cuts to Medicare
and highly regressive taxes that fell mostly on the shoulders of people
in the middle income group. Trump says he would like to kill Obamacare
and so would I."

What would you replace it with? What will Trump propose?

We also had a recent discussion on who paid for, and who benefited from
Obamacare
(https://groups.google.com/forum/#!original/soc.retirement/-yFLyHaUPmM/uRgjFfcMDQAJ).
As a reminder, there weren't highly regressive taxes to pay for
Obamacare above and beyond the Medicare Advantage cuts. Those cuts
impacted the middle class more than the rich and account for why the
middle class had a higher burden than the rich.
mg
2016-05-07 00:37:32 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Fri, 6 May 2016 09:07:34 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Fri, 6 May 2016 03:16:57 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Thu, 05 May 2016 23:46:23 -0700, El Castor
I'm not at all worried about my social security. Actually, I could
still get along alright if I received none at all. My feeling,
however, is that the best solution to the SS problem is to eliminate
the cap and do absolutely nothing else and I think that the reason
Republican and Democratic politicians refuse to do that is because
that would cost companies money and they have been bought off by the
1%.
Raising the cap will make SS look more like a welfare program than doing
nothing.
I agree and disagree depending on how ones defines the phrase "look
more like".
When you raise the cap, those above the cap will pay more into the
system then they get out of out it (relative to the status quo). That
means more wealth will be transferred from them to those below the cap.
Does that sound more like a welfare program than the status quo?
I believe that Social Security has to be seen by most everyone as
providing a reasonable benefit amount, considering the safety of the
investment. Otherwise, I think it would be just a matter of time
before the program is eliminated completely. Currently, I think
about 75% to 85% of the public approves of the SS program.

From what I understand, if they raised the cap, or preferably
eliminated it, and did nothing else, those above the cap would be
paying at the exact same tax rate as those just under the cap and
would receive benefit payments according to the same formula that
applies to those just under the cap. However SS has a fixed maximum
monthly benefit amount. I would oppose eliminating the cap on income
that was taxed unless they also eliminated the current cap on
monthly benefits paid.
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
My second-best preference is to do absolutely nothing instead of
turning it into a welfare program for the poor, like the Democrats
and Republicans want to do. Trump has said that he will do
absolutely nothing with Social Security. Ergo, I agree with Trump on
that issue.
Doing nothing means we have to find a ton of cash (most likely borrowing
from China) to pay back the Trust Fund, and when we have done that SS
benefits will be cut by 20%.
I agree that the government will have to pay back approximately $2.8
trillion to the trust fund and that benefits will be cut by about
20% if the government continues to do nothing right up until the
time that the trust fund is depleted.
And yet, you'd rather do that then increase how much SS looks like a
welfare program (leaving aside for the moment that your preferred
solution, raising the cap, makes SS look more like a welfare program)?
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by El Castor
Post by mg
*Medicare
What's the problem? Medicare tends toward the crappy, but so do all
socialized medicine schemes.
The trend with Medicare is obviously to cut benefits, as Obama has
done. The solution I prefer in the case of Medicare is to raise the
contribution amount, or do nothing, and doing nothing is, I believe
Trump's position.
Doing nothing means cutting benefits, unless the cost of providing the
same level of care is reduced.
I think that's probably true,
So, why would you support doing nothing as an alternative to raising
contributions (i.e., premiums and taxes)?
I would settle for raising contributions. However, since SS has a
lot of income transfer components in it, ideally, I think it should
be paid for with a progressive tax that comes from everyone, or
most everyone.
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
but I think that's a better
alternative than taking money out of the fund like Obama did to help
fund Obamacare.
The money taken out for Obamacare was going only to Part C (Medicare
Advantage), which is funded by general taxes and beneficiary premiums.
I think that was a good deal that didn't impact the fundamentals of
Medicare (Parts A and B).
Even so, it was money that was earmarked for Medicare.
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
On another note, you said, "Obamacare was paid for with cuts to Medicare
and highly regressive taxes that fell mostly on the shoulders of people
in the middle income group. Trump says he would like to kill Obamacare
and so would I."
What would you replace it with? What will Trump propose?
I consider Obamacare to be a welfare program and I oppose any new,
or existing, welfare programs that are not paid for out of taxes
collected with a progressive tax system.
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
We also had a recent discussion on who paid for, and who benefited from
Obamacare
(https://groups.google.com/forum/#!original/soc.retirement/-yFLyHaUPmM/uRgjFfcMDQAJ).
As a reminder, there weren't highly regressive taxes to pay for
Obamacare above and beyond the Medicare Advantage cuts. Those cuts
impacted the middle class more than the rich and account for why the
middle class had a higher burden than the rich.
As I recall, the chart that I referenced indicated that Obamacare
was paid for by highly regressive taxes.



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Josh Rosenbluth
2016-05-07 01:50:23 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by mg
On Fri, 6 May 2016 09:07:34 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Fri, 6 May 2016 03:16:57 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Thu, 05 May 2016 23:46:23 -0700, El Castor
I'm not at all worried about my social security. Actually, I could
still get along alright if I received none at all. My feeling,
however, is that the best solution to the SS problem is to eliminate
the cap and do absolutely nothing else and I think that the reason
Republican and Democratic politicians refuse to do that is because
that would cost companies money and they have been bought off by the
1%.
Raising the cap will make SS look more like a welfare program than doing
nothing.
I agree and disagree depending on how ones defines the phrase "look
more like".
When you raise the cap, those above the cap will pay more into the
system then they get out of out it (relative to the status quo). That
means more wealth will be transferred from them to those below the cap.
Does that sound more like a welfare program than the status quo?
I believe that Social Security has to be seen by most everyone as
providing a reasonable benefit amount, considering the safety of the
investment. Otherwise, I think it would be just a matter of time
before the program is eliminated completely. Currently, I think
about 75% to 85% of the public approves of the SS program.
From what I understand, if they raised the cap, or preferably
eliminated it, and did nothing else, those above the cap would be
paying at the exact same tax rate as those just under the cap and
would receive benefit payments according to the same formula that
applies to those just under the cap. However SS has a fixed maximum
monthly benefit amount. I would oppose eliminating the cap on income
that was taxed unless they also eliminated the current cap on
monthly benefits paid.
Assume they raise the cap on monthly benefits. It would still be the
case that those above the cap will pay more into the system then they
get out of out it (relative to the status quo). I again ask (I don;t
think you answered), does that sound more like a welfare program than
the status quo?
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by El Castor
Post by mg
*Medicare
What's the problem? Medicare tends toward the crappy, but so do all
socialized medicine schemes.
The trend with Medicare is obviously to cut benefits, as Obama has
done. The solution I prefer in the case of Medicare is to raise the
contribution amount, or do nothing, and doing nothing is, I believe
Trump's position.
Doing nothing means cutting benefits, unless the cost of providing the
same level of care is reduced.
I think that's probably true,
So, why would you support doing nothing as an alternative to raising
contributions (i.e., premiums and taxes)?
I would settle for raising contributions. However, since SS has a
lot of income transfer components in it, ideally, I think it should
be paid for with a progressive tax that comes from everyone, or
most everyone.
We were talking Medicare at this point, not Social Security.
Nonetheless, wouldn't a progressive tax make it look more like a welfare
program because progressive taxes transfer wealth.
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
but I think that's a better
alternative than taking money out of the fund like Obama did to help
fund Obamacare.
The money taken out for Obamacare was going only to Part C (Medicare
Advantage), which is funded by general taxes and beneficiary premiums.
I think that was a good deal that didn't impact the fundamentals of
Medicare (Parts A and B).
Even so, it was money that was earmarked for Medicare.
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
On another note, you said, "Obamacare was paid for with cuts to Medicare
and highly regressive taxes that fell mostly on the shoulders of people
in the middle income group. Trump says he would like to kill Obamacare
and so would I."
What would you replace it with? What will Trump propose?
I consider Obamacare to be a welfare program and I oppose any new,
or existing, welfare programs that are not paid for out of taxes
collected with a progressive tax system.
Again, progressive taxes imply that wealth will be transferred
downwards. Which means you support welfare programs.
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
We also had a recent discussion on who paid for, and who benefited from
Obamacare
(https://groups.google.com/forum/#!original/soc.retirement/-yFLyHaUPmM/uRgjFfcMDQAJ).
As a reminder, there weren't highly regressive taxes to pay for
Obamacare above and beyond the Medicare Advantage cuts. Those cuts
impacted the middle class more than the rich and account for why the
middle class had a higher burden than the rich.
As I recall, the chart that I referenced indicated that Obamacare
was paid for by highly regressive taxes.
Check the link and our conversation. The entire cause of the rich
paying less was Medicare Advantage.
mg
2016-05-07 07:54:17 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Fri, 6 May 2016 18:50:23 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Fri, 6 May 2016 09:07:34 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Fri, 6 May 2016 03:16:57 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Thu, 05 May 2016 23:46:23 -0700, El Castor
I'm not at all worried about my social security. Actually, I could
still get along alright if I received none at all. My feeling,
however, is that the best solution to the SS problem is to eliminate
the cap and do absolutely nothing else and I think that the reason
Republican and Democratic politicians refuse to do that is because
that would cost companies money and they have been bought off by the
1%.
Raising the cap will make SS look more like a welfare program than doing
nothing.
I agree and disagree depending on how ones defines the phrase "look
more like".
When you raise the cap, those above the cap will pay more into the
system then they get out of out it (relative to the status quo). That
means more wealth will be transferred from them to those below the cap.
Does that sound more like a welfare program than the status quo?
I believe that Social Security has to be seen by most everyone as
providing a reasonable benefit amount, considering the safety of the
investment. Otherwise, I think it would be just a matter of time
before the program is eliminated completely. Currently, I think
about 75% to 85% of the public approves of the SS program.
From what I understand, if they raised the cap, or preferably
eliminated it, and did nothing else, those above the cap would be
paying at the exact same tax rate as those just under the cap and
would receive benefit payments according to the same formula that
applies to those just under the cap. However SS has a fixed maximum
monthly benefit amount. I would oppose eliminating the cap on income
that was taxed unless they also eliminated the current cap on
monthly benefits paid.
Assume they raise the cap on monthly benefits. It would still be the
case that those above the cap will pay more into the system then they
get out of out it (relative to the status quo). I again ask (I don;t
think you answered), does that sound more like a welfare program than
the status quo?
With a government welfare program, I don't think it becomes more or
less of a welfare program as a result of how it's paid for. In other
words, whether it's paid for by a large number of people, or a small
number of people, or paid for with a regressive tax system, or a
progressive tax system, that doesn't make it more or less of a
welfare program.

However, I don't think there's any doubt that if someone was
required to pay more into a welfare program than they were paying
before, they are going to have less money after taxes than they did
previously.
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by El Castor
Post by mg
*Medicare
What's the problem? Medicare tends toward the crappy, but so do all
socialized medicine schemes.
The trend with Medicare is obviously to cut benefits, as Obama has
done. The solution I prefer in the case of Medicare is to raise the
contribution amount, or do nothing, and doing nothing is, I believe
Trump's position.
Doing nothing means cutting benefits, unless the cost of providing the
same level of care is reduced.
I think that's probably true,
So, why would you support doing nothing as an alternative to raising
contributions (i.e., premiums and taxes)?
I would settle for raising contributions. However, since SS has a
lot of income transfer components in it, ideally, I think it should
be paid for with a progressive tax that comes from everyone, or
most everyone.
We were talking Medicare at this point, not Social Security.
Nonetheless, wouldn't a progressive tax make it look more like a welfare
program because progressive taxes transfer wealth.
I personally don't believe that a progressive tax system is a form
of welfare. However, if you wanted to pay for a welfare system with
a regressive tax system, presumably, the way to do it would be to
have everyone pay the same percentage of their income into the
program.
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
but I think that's a better
alternative than taking money out of the fund like Obama did to help
fund Obamacare.
The money taken out for Obamacare was going only to Part C (Medicare
Advantage), which is funded by general taxes and beneficiary premiums.
I think that was a good deal that didn't impact the fundamentals of
Medicare (Parts A and B).
Even so, it was money that was earmarked for Medicare.
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
On another note, you said, "Obamacare was paid for with cuts to Medicare
and highly regressive taxes that fell mostly on the shoulders of people
in the middle income group. Trump says he would like to kill Obamacare
and so would I."
What would you replace it with? What will Trump propose?
I consider Obamacare to be a welfare program and I oppose any new,
or existing, welfare programs that are not paid for out of taxes
collected with a progressive tax system.
Again, progressive taxes imply that wealth will be transferred
downwards. Which means you support welfare programs.
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
We also had a recent discussion on who paid for, and who benefited from
Obamacare
(https://groups.google.com/forum/#!original/soc.retirement/-yFLyHaUPmM/uRgjFfcMDQAJ).
As a reminder, there weren't highly regressive taxes to pay for
Obamacare above and beyond the Medicare Advantage cuts. Those cuts
impacted the middle class more than the rich and account for why the
middle class had a higher burden than the rich.
As I recall, the chart that I referenced indicated that Obamacare
was paid for by highly regressive taxes.
Check the link and our conversation. The entire cause of the rich
paying less was Medicare Advantage.
I don't see the issue of what percent of ACA was paid for by cuts to
Medicare as being especially pertinent to the issue. However, if the
authors broke that out, it might still be a point of interest, I
suppose. The referenced report is 43 pages long and I don't know
which part of the report you are referring too.
http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2014/01/potential%20effects%20affordable%20care%20act%20income%20inequality%20aaron%20burtless/potential%20effects%20affordable%20care%20act%20income%20inequality%20aaron%20burtless.pdf



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m***@my-deja.com
2016-05-07 12:57:09 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by mg
On Fri, 6 May 2016 18:50:23 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Fri, 6 May 2016 09:07:34 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Fri, 6 May 2016 03:16:57 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Thu, 05 May 2016 23:46:23 -0700, El Castor
I'm not at all worried about my social security. Actually, I could
still get along alright if I received none at all. My feeling,
however, is that the best solution to the SS problem is to eliminate
the cap and do absolutely nothing else and I think that the reason
Republican and Democratic politicians refuse to do that is because
that would cost companies money and they have been bought off by the
1%.
Raising the cap will make SS look more like a welfare program than doing
nothing.
I agree and disagree depending on how ones defines the phrase "look
more like".
When you raise the cap, those above the cap will pay more into the
system then they get out of out it (relative to the status quo). That
means more wealth will be transferred from them to those below the cap.
Does that sound more like a welfare program than the status quo?
I believe that Social Security has to be seen by most everyone as
providing a reasonable benefit amount, considering the safety of the
investment. Otherwise, I think it would be just a matter of time
before the program is eliminated completely. Currently, I think
about 75% to 85% of the public approves of the SS program.
From what I understand, if they raised the cap, or preferably
eliminated it, and did nothing else, those above the cap would be
paying at the exact same tax rate as those just under the cap and
would receive benefit payments according to the same formula that
applies to those just under the cap. However SS has a fixed maximum
monthly benefit amount. I would oppose eliminating the cap on income
that was taxed unless they also eliminated the current cap on
monthly benefits paid.
Assume they raise the cap on monthly benefits. It would still be the
case that those above the cap will pay more into the system then they
get out of out it (relative to the status quo). I again ask (I don;t
think you answered), does that sound more like a welfare program than
the status quo?
With a government welfare program, I don't think it becomes more or
less of a welfare program as a result of how it's paid for. In other
words, whether it's paid for by a large number of people, or a small
number of people, or paid for with a regressive tax system, or a
progressive tax system, that doesn't make it more or less of a
welfare program.
That is correct. And in the context of how welfare is being
discussed, what determines it would be what makes one eligible
to qualify. If everyone that pays into it is eligible to
receive proportional benefits then it is not a welfare program.
And I agree the most painless way to help the program is to
remove the cap. Even so that should be slowly phased in when
the trust fund starts to move into the red.
Post by mg
However, I don't think there's any doubt that if someone was
required to pay more into a welfare program than they were paying
before, they are going to have less money after taxes than they did
previously.
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by El Castor
Post by mg
*Medicare
What's the problem? Medicare tends toward the crappy, but so do all
socialized medicine schemes.
The trend with Medicare is obviously to cut benefits, as Obama has
done. The solution I prefer in the case of Medicare is to raise the
contribution amount, or do nothing, and doing nothing is, I believe
Trump's position.
Doing nothing means cutting benefits, unless the cost of providing the
same level of care is reduced.
I think that's probably true,
So, why would you support doing nothing as an alternative to raising
contributions (i.e., premiums and taxes)?
I would settle for raising contributions. However, since SS has a
lot of income transfer components in it, ideally, I think it should
be paid for with a progressive tax that comes from everyone, or
most everyone.
We were talking Medicare at this point, not Social Security.
Nonetheless, wouldn't a progressive tax make it look more like a welfare
program because progressive taxes transfer wealth.
I personally don't believe that a progressive tax system is a form
of welfare. However, if you wanted to pay for a welfare system with
a regressive tax system, presumably, the way to do it would be to
have everyone pay the same percentage of their income into the
program.
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
but I think that's a better
alternative than taking money out of the fund like Obama did to help
fund Obamacare.
The money taken out for Obamacare was going only to Part C (Medicare
Advantage), which is funded by general taxes and beneficiary premiums.
I think that was a good deal that didn't impact the fundamentals of
Medicare (Parts A and B).
Even so, it was money that was earmarked for Medicare.
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
On another note, you said, "Obamacare was paid for with cuts to Medicare
and highly regressive taxes that fell mostly on the shoulders of people
in the middle income group. Trump says he would like to kill Obamacare
and so would I."
What would you replace it with? What will Trump propose?
I consider Obamacare to be a welfare program and I oppose any new,
or existing, welfare programs that are not paid for out of taxes
collected with a progressive tax system.
Again, progressive taxes imply that wealth will be transferred
downwards. Which means you support welfare programs.
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
We also had a recent discussion on who paid for, and who benefited from
Obamacare
(https://groups.google.com/forum/#!original/soc.retirement/-yFLyHaUPmM/uRgjFfcMDQAJ).
As a reminder, there weren't highly regressive taxes to pay for
Obamacare above and beyond the Medicare Advantage cuts. Those cuts
impacted the middle class more than the rich and account for why the
middle class had a higher burden than the rich.
As I recall, the chart that I referenced indicated that Obamacare
was paid for by highly regressive taxes.
Check the link and our conversation. The entire cause of the rich
paying less was Medicare Advantage.
I don't see the issue of what percent of ACA was paid for by cuts to
Medicare as being especially pertinent to the issue. However, if the
authors broke that out, it might still be a point of interest, I
suppose. The referenced report is 43 pages long and I don't know
which part of the report you are referring too.
http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2014/01/potential%20effects%20affordable%20care%20act%20income%20inequality%20aaron%20burtless/potential%20effects%20affordable%20care%20act%20income%20inequality%20aaron%20burtless.pdf
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Josh Rosenbluth
2016-05-07 17:00:35 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by m***@my-deja.com
And in the context of how welfare is being
discussed, what determines it would be what makes one eligible
to qualify. If everyone that pays into it is eligible to
receive proportional benefits then it is not a welfare program.
But Social Security doesn't provide uniformly proportional benefits.
The more money you make, the lesser the proportion you get in benefits
than you pay in. Does that make SS like welfare in any manner?

https://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/bendpoints.html
Post by m***@my-deja.com
And I agree the most painless way to help the program is to
remove the cap.
Consider someone who makes more than the cap. The status quo for their
income above the cap is to pay nothing in SS taxes and get nothing in SS
benefits.

If we raise the cap and provide benefits using the part of the above
chart after the second bend point, they will pay more in SS taxes than
they receive in benefits for the income above the cap (relative to the
status quo). Does that make SS even more like welfare?
m***@my-deja.com
2016-05-08 01:12:35 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by m***@my-deja.com
And in the context of how welfare is being
discussed, what determines it would be what makes one eligible
to qualify. If everyone that pays into it is eligible to
receive proportional benefits then it is not a welfare program.
But Social Security doesn't provide uniformly proportional benefits.
The more money you make, the lesser the proportion you get in benefits
than you pay in. Does that make SS like welfare in any manner?
It is that way now. What about the people that pass away without
collecting a dime. I understand that people that pay more into
will receive more in benefits and that is fine. Whats the problem?
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
https://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/bendpoints.html
Post by m***@my-deja.com
And I agree the most painless way to help the program is to
remove the cap.
Consider someone who makes more than the cap. The status quo for their
income above the cap is to pay nothing in SS taxes and get nothing in SS
benefits.
If we raise the cap and provide benefits using the part of the above
chart after the second bend point, they will pay more in SS taxes than
they receive in benefits for the income above the cap (relative to the
status quo). Does that make SS even more like welfare?
Josh Rosenbluth
2016-05-08 01:57:24 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by m***@my-deja.com
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by m***@my-deja.com
And in the context of how welfare is being
discussed, what determines it would be what makes one eligible
to qualify. If everyone that pays into it is eligible to
receive proportional benefits then it is not a welfare program.
But Social Security doesn't provide uniformly proportional benefits.
The more money you make, the lesser the proportion you get in benefits
than you pay in. Does that make SS like welfare in any manner?
It is that way now. What about the people that pass away without
collecting a dime. I understand that people that pay more into
will receive more in benefits and that is fine. Whats the problem?
I don't think there is a problem. I was just asking mg if he thinks the
status quo Social Security system is in any way welfare. If the answer
is "yes", then it would seem his preferred "fix" for Social Security
(raising the cap) would make it more like welfare, even though he has
said he doesn't want it to become more like welfare.

That is, mg's position seemed inconsistent to me.
Post by m***@my-deja.com
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
https://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/bendpoints.html
Post by m***@my-deja.com
And I agree the most painless way to help the program is to
remove the cap.
Consider someone who makes more than the cap. The status quo for their
income above the cap is to pay nothing in SS taxes and get nothing in SS
benefits.
If we raise the cap and provide benefits using the part of the above
chart after the second bend point, they will pay more in SS taxes than
they receive in benefits for the income above the cap (relative to the
status quo). Does that make SS even more like welfare?
Josh Rosenbluth
2016-05-07 17:11:37 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by mg
On Fri, 6 May 2016 18:50:23 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Assume they raise the cap on monthly benefits. It would still be the
case that those above the cap will pay more into the system then they
get out of out it (relative to the status quo). I again ask (I don;t
think you answered), does that sound more like a welfare program than
the status quo?
With a government welfare program, I don't think it becomes more or
less of a welfare program as a result of how it's paid for. In other
words, whether it's paid for by a large number of people, or a small
number of people, or paid for with a regressive tax system, or a
progressive tax system, that doesn't make it more or less of a
welfare program.
Then, what makes a welfare program a welfare program? Specifically,
what do Democrats and Republicans want to do that would turn Social
Security into a welfare program, such that you would prefer to do
nothing instead.
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
We also had a recent discussion on who paid for, and who benefited from
Obamacare
(https://groups.google.com/forum/#!original/soc.retirement/-yFLyHaUPmM/uRgjFfcMDQAJ).
As a reminder, there weren't highly regressive taxes to pay for
Obamacare above and beyond the Medicare Advantage cuts. Those cuts
impacted the middle class more than the rich and account for why the
middle class had a higher burden than the rich.
As I recall, the chart that I referenced indicated that Obamacare
was paid for by highly regressive taxes.
Check the link and our conversation. The entire cause of the rich
paying less was Medicare Advantage.
I don't see the issue of what percent of ACA was paid for by cuts to
Medicare as being especially pertinent to the issue. However, if the
authors broke that out, it might still be a point of interest, I
suppose. The referenced report is 43 pages long and I don't know
which part of the report you are referring too.
http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2014/01/potential%20effects%20affordable%20care%20act%20income%20inequality%20aaron%20burtless/potential%20effects%20affordable%20care%20act%20income%20inequality%20aaron%20burtless.pdf
Page 23:

"Medicare changes account for much of the income decline in the top 70
percent [...] The ACA called for the elimination of excess subsidies in
Medicare Advantage plans. [...] Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans
is distributed throughout the income distribution, but aged households
have somewhat lower incomes on the average than do the nonaged."

The study does show that the middle class ($35K+) lost more under
Obamacare than the upper class, but it wasn't a regressive tax that
caused it. It was the Medicare Advantage cuts.
mg
2016-05-08 02:58:30 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sat, 7 May 2016 10:11:37 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Fri, 6 May 2016 18:50:23 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Assume they raise the cap on monthly benefits. It would still be the
case that those above the cap will pay more into the system then they
get out of out it (relative to the status quo). I again ask (I don;t
think you answered), does that sound more like a welfare program than
the status quo?
With a government welfare program, I don't think it becomes more or
less of a welfare program as a result of how it's paid for. In other
words, whether it's paid for by a large number of people, or a small
number of people, or paid for with a regressive tax system, or a
progressive tax system, that doesn't make it more or less of a
welfare program.
Then, what makes a welfare program a welfare program?
The dictionary definition of "welfare"is: "Financial or other aid
provided, especially by the government, to people in need."
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/welfare
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Specifically,
what do Democrats and Republicans want to do that would turn Social
Security into a welfare program, such that you would prefer to do
nothing instead.
They want to cut the amount of the retirement checks for higher
income recipients and use the money to make the system cash-flow
positive and to increase the benefits to the lower-income
recipients.

If, instead, they do nothing then all recipients would have their
benefits cut by 20%. If they cut only the benefits from the
higher-income recipients, as described above, the cuts would
obviously be larger than 20%.
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
We also had a recent discussion on who paid for, and who benefited from
Obamacare
(https://groups.google.com/forum/#!original/soc.retirement/-yFLyHaUPmM/uRgjFfcMDQAJ).
As a reminder, there weren't highly regressive taxes to pay for
Obamacare above and beyond the Medicare Advantage cuts. Those cuts
impacted the middle class more than the rich and account for why the
middle class had a higher burden than the rich.
As I recall, the chart that I referenced indicated that Obamacare
was paid for by highly regressive taxes.
Check the link and our conversation. The entire cause of the rich
paying less was Medicare Advantage.
I don't see the issue of what percent of ACA was paid for by cuts to
Medicare as being especially pertinent to the issue. However, if the
authors broke that out, it might still be a point of interest, I
suppose. The referenced report is 43 pages long and I don't know
which part of the report you are referring too.
http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2014/01/potential%20effects%20affordable%20care%20act%20income%20inequality%20aaron%20burtless/potential%20effects%20affordable%20care%20act%20income%20inequality%20aaron%20burtless.pdf
"Medicare changes account for much of the income decline in the top 70
percent [...] The ACA called for the elimination of excess subsidies in
Medicare Advantage plans. [...] Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans
is distributed throughout the income distribution, but aged households
have somewhat lower incomes on the average than do the nonaged."
The study does show that the middle class ($35K+) lost more under
Obamacare than the upper class, but it wasn't a regressive tax that
caused it. It was the Medicare Advantage cuts.
Charts 5a-6b, which show the losses and gains for various income
groups all indicate that the ACA was paid for by significantly
higher losses for the lower income groups than the higher income
groups.

In addition, the losses for the lower income groups are probably
underestimated and the loses for the higher-income group are
probably over estimated for two reasons: (1) They are probably
including the 3.8% Medicare Surtax as a funding source for the ACA,
while it's actual just an income tax hike that doesn't fund
Obamacare.
http://benefitslink.com/articles/guests/2014_07_08_lurie.html

And (2), the Additional Medicare Tax of 0.9% and the 3.8% Medicare
Surtax are not indexed for inflation. So, these taxes will
eventually have to be paid for by lower-wage individuals, also,
which constitutes additional regressive taxes.
http://taxfoundation.org/blog/obamacare-s-inflation-taxes
Josh Rosenbluth
2016-05-08 05:01:27 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by mg
On Sat, 7 May 2016 10:11:37 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Specifically,
what do Democrats and Republicans want to do that would turn Social
Security into a welfare program, such that you would prefer to do
nothing instead.
They want to cut the amount of the retirement checks for higher
income recipients and use the money to make the system cash-flow
positive and to increase the benefits to the lower-income
recipients.
Right. That's another way of saying they want to lower the ratio of
benefits/taxes for high income recipients. But raising the cap, even
while providing increased benefits, has the same effect (likely to a
lesser degree). Which means your preferred "fix" also makes Social
Security more of a welfare program than it is today. So, why do you
prefer raising the cap to doing nothing?
Post by mg
If, instead, they do nothing then all recipients would have their
benefits cut by 20%. If they cut only the benefits from the
higher-income recipients, as described above, the cuts would
obviously be larger than 20%.
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
We also had a recent discussion on who paid for, and who benefited from
Obamacare
(https://groups.google.com/forum/#!original/soc.retirement/-yFLyHaUPmM/uRgjFfcMDQAJ).
As a reminder, there weren't highly regressive taxes to pay for
Obamacare above and beyond the Medicare Advantage cuts. Those cuts
impacted the middle class more than the rich and account for why the
middle class had a higher burden than the rich.
As I recall, the chart that I referenced indicated that Obamacare
was paid for by highly regressive taxes.
Check the link and our conversation. The entire cause of the rich
paying less was Medicare Advantage.
I don't see the issue of what percent of ACA was paid for by cuts to
Medicare as being especially pertinent to the issue. However, if the
authors broke that out, it might still be a point of interest, I
suppose. The referenced report is 43 pages long and I don't know
which part of the report you are referring too.
http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2014/01/potential%20effects%20affordable%20care%20act%20income%20inequality%20aaron%20burtless/potential%20effects%20affordable%20care%20act%20income%20inequality%20aaron%20burtless.pdf
"Medicare changes account for much of the income decline in the top 70
percent [...] The ACA called for the elimination of excess subsidies in
Medicare Advantage plans. [...] Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans
is distributed throughout the income distribution, but aged households
have somewhat lower incomes on the average than do the nonaged."
The study does show that the middle class ($35K+) lost more under
Obamacare than the upper class, but it wasn't a regressive tax that
caused it. It was the Medicare Advantage cuts.
Charts 5a-6b, which show the losses and gains for various income
groups all indicate that the ACA was paid for by significantly
higher losses for the lower income groups than the higher income
groups.
Right - because of the cuts in Medicare Advantage, not some phantom
regressive tax that doesn't exist.
Post by mg
In addition, the losses for the lower income groups are probably
underestimated and the loses for the higher-income group are
probably over estimated for two reasons: (1) They are probably
including the 3.8% Medicare Surtax as a funding source for the ACA,
while it's actual just an income tax hike that doesn't fund
Obamacare.
http://benefitslink.com/articles/guests/2014_07_08_lurie.html
Of course an increase in general taxes isn't dedicated to a specific
line item. But that applies to your phantom regressive tax just as well
(assuming that it existed). It is quite proper to count all of the
taxes and cuts, no matter their source, that were budgeted to pay for
Obamacare in analyzing who bore the burden. And that's exactly what
Brookings did.
Post by mg
And (2), the Additional Medicare Tax of 0.9% and the 3.8% Medicare
Surtax are not indexed for inflation. So, these taxes will
eventually have to be paid for by lower-wage individuals, also,
which constitutes additional regressive taxes.
http://taxfoundation.org/blog/obamacare-s-inflation-taxes
The effect of inflation on those two taxes will make them less
progressive. It will not make them regressive. Overall, the cost of
Obamacare will become more regressive because the progressive nature of
these two taxes will fall even further short of making up for the
regressive nature of the Medicare Advantage cuts.
mg
2016-05-08 05:41:03 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sat, 7 May 2016 22:01:27 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Sat, 7 May 2016 10:11:37 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Specifically,
what do Democrats and Republicans want to do that would turn Social
Security into a welfare program, such that you would prefer to do
nothing instead.
They want to cut the amount of the retirement checks for higher
income recipients and use the money to make the system cash-flow
positive and to increase the benefits to the lower-income
recipients.
Right. That's another way of saying they want to lower the ratio of
benefits/taxes for high income recipients. But raising the cap, even
while providing increased benefits, has the same effect (likely to a
lesser degree). Which means your preferred "fix" also makes Social
Security more of a welfare program than it is today. So, why do you
prefer raising the cap to doing nothing?
You seem to be deleting some of my replies to your post and then
asking essentially the same question over again.
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
If, instead, they do nothing then all recipients would have their
benefits cut by 20%. If they cut only the benefits from the
higher-income recipients, as described above, the cuts would
obviously be larger than 20%.
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
We also had a recent discussion on who paid for, and who benefited from
Obamacare
(https://groups.google.com/forum/#!original/soc.retirement/-yFLyHaUPmM/uRgjFfcMDQAJ).
As a reminder, there weren't highly regressive taxes to pay for
Obamacare above and beyond the Medicare Advantage cuts. Those cuts
impacted the middle class more than the rich and account for why the
middle class had a higher burden than the rich.
As I recall, the chart that I referenced indicated that Obamacare
was paid for by highly regressive taxes.
Check the link and our conversation. The entire cause of the rich
paying less was Medicare Advantage.
I don't see the issue of what percent of ACA was paid for by cuts to
Medicare as being especially pertinent to the issue. However, if the
authors broke that out, it might still be a point of interest, I
suppose. The referenced report is 43 pages long and I don't know
which part of the report you are referring too.
http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2014/01/potential%20effects%20affordable%20care%20act%20income%20inequality%20aaron%20burtless/potential%20effects%20affordable%20care%20act%20income%20inequality%20aaron%20burtless.pdf
"Medicare changes account for much of the income decline in the top 70
percent [...] The ACA called for the elimination of excess subsidies in
Medicare Advantage plans. [...] Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans
is distributed throughout the income distribution, but aged households
have somewhat lower incomes on the average than do the nonaged."
The study does show that the middle class ($35K+) lost more under
Obamacare than the upper class, but it wasn't a regressive tax that
caused it. It was the Medicare Advantage cuts.
Charts 5a-6b, which show the losses and gains for various income
groups all indicate that the ACA was paid for by significantly
higher losses for the lower income groups than the higher income
groups.
Right - because of the cuts in Medicare Advantage, not some phantom
regressive tax that doesn't exist.
Post by mg
In addition, the losses for the lower income groups are probably
underestimated and the loses for the higher-income group are
probably over estimated for two reasons: (1) They are probably
including the 3.8% Medicare Surtax as a funding source for the ACA,
while it's actual just an income tax hike that doesn't fund
Obamacare.
http://benefitslink.com/articles/guests/2014_07_08_lurie.html
Of course an increase in general taxes isn't dedicated to a specific
line item. But that applies to your phantom regressive tax just as well
(assuming that it existed). It is quite proper to count all of the
taxes and cuts, no matter their source, that were budgeted to pay for
Obamacare in analyzing who bore the burden. And that's exactly what
Brookings did.
Post by mg
And (2), the Additional Medicare Tax of 0.9% and the 3.8% Medicare
Surtax are not indexed for inflation. So, these taxes will
eventually have to be paid for by lower-wage individuals, also,
which constitutes additional regressive taxes.
http://taxfoundation.org/blog/obamacare-s-inflation-taxes
The effect of inflation on those two taxes will make them less
progressive. It will not make them regressive. Overall, the cost of
Obamacare will become more regressive because the progressive nature of
these two taxes will fall even further short of making up for the
regressive nature of the Medicare Advantage cuts.
---
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Josh Rosenbluth
2016-05-08 06:23:15 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by mg
On Sat, 7 May 2016 22:01:27 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Sat, 7 May 2016 10:11:37 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Specifically,
what do Democrats and Republicans want to do that would turn Social
Security into a welfare program, such that you would prefer to do
nothing instead.
They want to cut the amount of the retirement checks for higher
income recipients and use the money to make the system cash-flow
positive and to increase the benefits to the lower-income
recipients.
Right. That's another way of saying they want to lower the ratio of
benefits/taxes for high income recipients. But raising the cap, even
while providing increased benefits, has the same effect (likely to a
lesser degree). Which means your preferred "fix" also makes Social
Security more of a welfare program than it is today. So, why do you
prefer raising the cap to doing nothing?
You seem to be deleting some of my replies to your post and then
asking essentially the same question over again.
I delete to make things easier to read, but try not to change the
content in doing so. But, sometimes I mistakenly delete something
substantive. I don't think I deleted any substantive reply of yours to
my question above, and that's why I keep asking it.
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
We also had a recent discussion on who paid for, and who benefited from
Obamacare
(https://groups.google.com/forum/#!original/soc.retirement/-yFLyHaUPmM/uRgjFfcMDQAJ).
As a reminder, there weren't highly regressive taxes to pay for
Obamacare above and beyond the Medicare Advantage cuts. Those cuts
impacted the middle class more than the rich and account for why the
middle class had a higher burden than the rich.
As I recall, the chart that I referenced indicated that Obamacare
was paid for by highly regressive taxes.
Check the link and our conversation. The entire cause of the rich
paying less was Medicare Advantage.
I don't see the issue of what percent of ACA was paid for by cuts to
Medicare as being especially pertinent to the issue. However, if the
authors broke that out, it might still be a point of interest, I
suppose. The referenced report is 43 pages long and I don't know
which part of the report you are referring too.
http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2014/01/potential%20effects%20affordable%20care%20act%20income%20inequality%20aaron%20burtless/potential%20effects%20affordable%20care%20act%20income%20inequality%20aaron%20burtless.pdf
"Medicare changes account for much of the income decline in the top 70
percent [...] The ACA called for the elimination of excess subsidies in
Medicare Advantage plans. [...] Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans
is distributed throughout the income distribution, but aged households
have somewhat lower incomes on the average than do the nonaged."
The study does show that the middle class ($35K+) lost more under
Obamacare than the upper class, but it wasn't a regressive tax that
caused it. It was the Medicare Advantage cuts.
Charts 5a-6b, which show the losses and gains for various income
groups all indicate that the ACA was paid for by significantly
higher losses for the lower income groups than the higher income
groups.
Right - because of the cuts in Medicare Advantage, not some phantom
regressive tax that doesn't exist.
Post by mg
In addition, the losses for the lower income groups are probably
underestimated and the loses for the higher-income group are
probably over estimated for two reasons: (1) They are probably
including the 3.8% Medicare Surtax as a funding source for the ACA,
while it's actual just an income tax hike that doesn't fund
Obamacare.
http://benefitslink.com/articles/guests/2014_07_08_lurie.html
Of course an increase in general taxes isn't dedicated to a specific
line item. But that applies to your phantom regressive tax just as well
(assuming that it existed). It is quite proper to count all of the
taxes and cuts, no matter their source, that were budgeted to pay for
Obamacare in analyzing who bore the burden. And that's exactly what
Brookings did.
Post by mg
And (2), the Additional Medicare Tax of 0.9% and the 3.8% Medicare
Surtax are not indexed for inflation. So, these taxes will
eventually have to be paid for by lower-wage individuals, also,
which constitutes additional regressive taxes.
http://taxfoundation.org/blog/obamacare-s-inflation-taxes
The effect of inflation on those two taxes will make them less
progressive. It will not make them regressive. Overall, the cost of
Obamacare will become more regressive because the progressive nature of
these two taxes will fall even further short of making up for the
regressive nature of the Medicare Advantage cuts.
mg
2016-05-08 06:49:00 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sat, 7 May 2016 23:23:15 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Sat, 7 May 2016 22:01:27 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Sat, 7 May 2016 10:11:37 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Specifically,
what do Democrats and Republicans want to do that would turn Social
Security into a welfare program, such that you would prefer to do
nothing instead.
They want to cut the amount of the retirement checks for higher
income recipients and use the money to make the system cash-flow
positive and to increase the benefits to the lower-income
recipients.
Right. That's another way of saying they want to lower the ratio of
benefits/taxes for high income recipients. But raising the cap, even
while providing increased benefits, has the same effect (likely to a
lesser degree). Which means your preferred "fix" also makes Social
Security more of a welfare program than it is today. So, why do you
prefer raising the cap to doing nothing?
You seem to be deleting some of my replies to your post and then
asking essentially the same question over again.
I delete to make things easier to read, but try not to change the
content in doing so. But, sometimes I mistakenly delete something
substantive. I don't think I deleted any substantive reply of yours to
my question above, and that's why I keep asking it.
Why don't you put it back again and reply to the definition I
provided for welfare and then, based on that definition, explain why
you believe that raising the cap makes it more of a welfare program?
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
We also had a recent discussion on who paid for, and who benefited from
Obamacare
(https://groups.google.com/forum/#!original/soc.retirement/-yFLyHaUPmM/uRgjFfcMDQAJ).
As a reminder, there weren't highly regressive taxes to pay for
Obamacare above and beyond the Medicare Advantage cuts. Those cuts
impacted the middle class more than the rich and account for why the
middle class had a higher burden than the rich.
As I recall, the chart that I referenced indicated that Obamacare
was paid for by highly regressive taxes.
Check the link and our conversation. The entire cause of the rich
paying less was Medicare Advantage.
I don't see the issue of what percent of ACA was paid for by cuts to
Medicare as being especially pertinent to the issue. However, if the
authors broke that out, it might still be a point of interest, I
suppose. The referenced report is 43 pages long and I don't know
which part of the report you are referring too.
http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2014/01/potential%20effects%20affordable%20care%20act%20income%20inequality%20aaron%20burtless/potential%20effects%20affordable%20care%20act%20income%20inequality%20aaron%20burtless.pdf
"Medicare changes account for much of the income decline in the top 70
percent [...] The ACA called for the elimination of excess subsidies in
Medicare Advantage plans. [...] Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans
is distributed throughout the income distribution, but aged households
have somewhat lower incomes on the average than do the nonaged."
The study does show that the middle class ($35K+) lost more under
Obamacare than the upper class, but it wasn't a regressive tax that
caused it. It was the Medicare Advantage cuts.
Charts 5a-6b, which show the losses and gains for various income
groups all indicate that the ACA was paid for by significantly
higher losses for the lower income groups than the higher income
groups.
Right - because of the cuts in Medicare Advantage, not some phantom
regressive tax that doesn't exist.
Post by mg
In addition, the losses for the lower income groups are probably
underestimated and the loses for the higher-income group are
probably over estimated for two reasons: (1) They are probably
including the 3.8% Medicare Surtax as a funding source for the ACA,
while it's actual just an income tax hike that doesn't fund
Obamacare.
http://benefitslink.com/articles/guests/2014_07_08_lurie.html
Of course an increase in general taxes isn't dedicated to a specific
line item. But that applies to your phantom regressive tax just as well
(assuming that it existed). It is quite proper to count all of the
taxes and cuts, no matter their source, that were budgeted to pay for
Obamacare in analyzing who bore the burden. And that's exactly what
Brookings did.
Post by mg
And (2), the Additional Medicare Tax of 0.9% and the 3.8% Medicare
Surtax are not indexed for inflation. So, these taxes will
eventually have to be paid for by lower-wage individuals, also,
which constitutes additional regressive taxes.
http://taxfoundation.org/blog/obamacare-s-inflation-taxes
The effect of inflation on those two taxes will make them less
progressive. It will not make them regressive. Overall, the cost of
Obamacare will become more regressive because the progressive nature of
these two taxes will fall even further short of making up for the
regressive nature of the Medicare Advantage cuts.
---
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https://www.avast.com/antivirus
Josh Rosenbluth
2016-05-08 14:51:06 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by mg
On Sat, 7 May 2016 23:23:15 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Sat, 7 May 2016 22:01:27 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Sat, 7 May 2016 10:11:37 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Specifically,
what do Democrats and Republicans want to do that would turn Social
Security into a welfare program, such that you would prefer to do
nothing instead.
They want to cut the amount of the retirement checks for higher
income recipients and use the money to make the system cash-flow
positive and to increase the benefits to the lower-income
recipients.
Right. That's another way of saying they want to lower the ratio of
benefits/taxes for high income recipients. But raising the cap, even
while providing increased benefits, has the same effect (likely to a
lesser degree). Which means your preferred "fix" also makes Social
Security more of a welfare program than it is today. So, why do you
prefer raising the cap to doing nothing?
You seem to be deleting some of my replies to your post and then
asking essentially the same question over again.
I delete to make things easier to read, but try not to change the
content in doing so. But, sometimes I mistakenly delete something
substantive. I don't think I deleted any substantive reply of yours to
my question above, and that's why I keep asking it.
Why don't you put it back again and reply to the definition I
provided for welfare and then, based on that definition, explain why
you believe that raising the cap makes it more of a welfare program?
Your definition:

"Financial or other aid provided, especially by the government, to
people in need"

That's rather vague, and so I asked you to say "Specifically, what do
Democrats and Republicans want to do that would turn Social Security
into a welfare program."

That discussion remains as-is above, and answers why I think (using your
application of your definition) raising the cap makes it more of a
welfare program.
mg
2016-05-08 20:18:47 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sun, 8 May 2016 07:51:06 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Sat, 7 May 2016 23:23:15 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Sat, 7 May 2016 22:01:27 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Sat, 7 May 2016 10:11:37 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Specifically,
what do Democrats and Republicans want to do that would turn Social
Security into a welfare program, such that you would prefer to do
nothing instead.
They want to cut the amount of the retirement checks for higher
income recipients and use the money to make the system cash-flow
positive and to increase the benefits to the lower-income
recipients.
Right. That's another way of saying they want to lower the ratio of
benefits/taxes for high income recipients. But raising the cap, even
while providing increased benefits, has the same effect (likely to a
lesser degree). Which means your preferred "fix" also makes Social
Security more of a welfare program than it is today. So, why do you
prefer raising the cap to doing nothing?
You seem to be deleting some of my replies to your post and then
asking essentially the same question over again.
I delete to make things easier to read, but try not to change the
content in doing so. But, sometimes I mistakenly delete something
substantive. I don't think I deleted any substantive reply of yours to
my question above, and that's why I keep asking it.
Why don't you put it back again and reply to the definition I
provided for welfare and then, based on that definition, explain why
you believe that raising the cap makes it more of a welfare program?
"Financial or other aid provided, especially by the government, to
people in need"
That's rather vague, and so I asked you to say "Specifically, what do
Democrats and Republicans want to do that would turn Social Security
into a welfare program."
That discussion remains as-is above, and answers why I think (using your
application of your definition) raising the cap makes it more of a
welfare program.
If you don't like that dictionary definition then perhaps you might
want to find another dictionary, or write them a letter of protest.
Josh Rosenbluth
2016-05-08 20:40:23 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by mg
On Sun, 8 May 2016 07:51:06 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Sat, 7 May 2016 23:23:15 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Sat, 7 May 2016 22:01:27 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Sat, 7 May 2016 10:11:37 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Specifically,
what do Democrats and Republicans want to do that would turn Social
Security into a welfare program, such that you would prefer to do
nothing instead.
They want to cut the amount of the retirement checks for higher
income recipients and use the money to make the system cash-flow
positive and to increase the benefits to the lower-income
recipients.
Right. That's another way of saying they want to lower the ratio of
benefits/taxes for high income recipients. But raising the cap, even
while providing increased benefits, has the same effect (likely to a
lesser degree). Which means your preferred "fix" also makes Social
Security more of a welfare program than it is today. So, why do you
prefer raising the cap to doing nothing?
You seem to be deleting some of my replies to your post and then
asking essentially the same question over again.
I delete to make things easier to read, but try not to change the
content in doing so. But, sometimes I mistakenly delete something
substantive. I don't think I deleted any substantive reply of yours to
my question above, and that's why I keep asking it.
Why don't you put it back again and reply to the definition I
provided for welfare and then, based on that definition, explain why
you believe that raising the cap makes it more of a welfare program?
"Financial or other aid provided, especially by the government, to
people in need"
That's rather vague, and so I asked you to say "Specifically, what do
Democrats and Republicans want to do that would turn Social Security
into a welfare program."
That discussion remains as-is above, and answers why I think (using your
application of your definition) raising the cap makes it more of a
welfare program.
If you don't like that dictionary definition then perhaps you might
want to find another dictionary, or write them a letter of protest.
Why does the dictionary definition apply to what Democrats and
Republicans want to do to Social Security, but it doesn't apply to
raising the cap. In our exchange above, I explained why it applies to both.
mg
2016-05-08 21:50:55 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sun, 8 May 2016 13:40:23 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Sun, 8 May 2016 07:51:06 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Sat, 7 May 2016 23:23:15 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Sat, 7 May 2016 22:01:27 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Sat, 7 May 2016 10:11:37 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Specifically,
what do Democrats and Republicans want to do that would turn Social
Security into a welfare program, such that you would prefer to do
nothing instead.
They want to cut the amount of the retirement checks for higher
income recipients and use the money to make the system cash-flow
positive and to increase the benefits to the lower-income
recipients.
Right. That's another way of saying they want to lower the ratio of
benefits/taxes for high income recipients. But raising the cap, even
while providing increased benefits, has the same effect (likely to a
lesser degree). Which means your preferred "fix" also makes Social
Security more of a welfare program than it is today. So, why do you
prefer raising the cap to doing nothing?
You seem to be deleting some of my replies to your post and then
asking essentially the same question over again.
I delete to make things easier to read, but try not to change the
content in doing so. But, sometimes I mistakenly delete something
substantive. I don't think I deleted any substantive reply of yours to
my question above, and that's why I keep asking it.
Why don't you put it back again and reply to the definition I
provided for welfare and then, based on that definition, explain why
you believe that raising the cap makes it more of a welfare program?
"Financial or other aid provided, especially by the government, to
people in need"
That's rather vague, and so I asked you to say "Specifically, what do
Democrats and Republicans want to do that would turn Social Security
into a welfare program."
That discussion remains as-is above, and answers why I think (using your
application of your definition) raising the cap makes it more of a
welfare program.
If you don't like that dictionary definition then perhaps you might
want to find another dictionary, or write them a letter of protest.
Why does the dictionary definition apply to what Democrats and
Republicans want to do to Social Security, but it doesn't apply to
raising the cap. In our exchange above, I explained why it applies to both.
My question is whether or not you agree with that definition and, if
so, would you please explain why you believe that raising the cap
makes it more of a welfare program.

I think that responding to your assertion regarding Democrats and
Republicans would just send us off on a wild-goose chase, chasing
irrelevant minutiae in a debate that's already bogged down with
minutiae, including a disagreement over the definition of words.
Josh Rosenbluth
2016-05-08 22:56:11 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by mg
On Sun, 8 May 2016 13:40:23 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
"Financial or other aid provided, especially by the government, to
people in need"
My question is whether or not you agree with that definition
Yes, I do.
Post by mg
and, if
so, would you please explain why you believe that raising the cap
makes it more of a welfare program.
Currently, the Social Security tax rate is 12.4% (employee+employer
share) applied to a cap of $118,500 of income per year. Thus, a person
making $10,000 a year pays $1240 each year into Social Security, whereas
a person making $118,500, $500,000, $1,000,000 or $10,000,000 a year
pays $14,694 each year.

The person making $10,000 a year will receive $9000 as their annual
Social Security payment. The people making at least $118,500 a year
will receive about $34,000 as their annual Social Security payment.

So, the ratio of annual benefit to annual tax payment is 7.3 (9000/1240)
for the person making $10,000 a year, and 2.3 (34,000/14,694) for a
person making at least $118,500 a year.

Would you agree that because the benefit-to-payment ratio is higher for
low-income earners than high-income earners, the current Social Security
has a welfare aspect to it because "financial [...] aid [is] provided
[...] by the government [...] to people in need"?

Assume Social Security is changed so that the benefits for people making
$100,000 or more were reduced by 40% without any cuts for those making
less than $100,000, and without any tax increases on anyone. A person
making at least $118,500 would have a benefit of $20,400, and a
benefit-to-payment ratio of 1.4. I believe you characterized such a
change as making Social Security more like welfare, and that sounds
right to me to because it would further provide "financial [...] aid
[...] by the government [...] to people in need".

Now, what would happen if instead we raised the cap to $10,000,000? A
person making $500,000 would now pay $62,400 in annual Social Security
taxes and receive an annual benefit of about $91,000. That results in a
benefit-to-payment ratio of 1.5. The $1,000,000 earner has a ratio of
1.3, and the $10,000,000 earner a ratio of 1.2. And that too would
further provide "financial [...] aid [...] by the government [...] to
people in need", and thus make Social Security more like welfare.
mg
2016-05-09 13:49:32 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sun, 8 May 2016 15:56:11 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Sun, 8 May 2016 13:40:23 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
"Financial or other aid provided, especially by the government, to
people in need"
My question is whether or not you agree with that definition
Yes, I do.
Post by mg
and, if
so, would you please explain why you believe that raising the cap
makes it more of a welfare program.
Currently, the Social Security tax rate is 12.4% (employee+employer
share) applied to a cap of $118,500 of income per year. Thus, a person
making $10,000 a year pays $1240 each year into Social Security, whereas
a person making $118,500, $500,000, $1,000,000 or $10,000,000 a year
pays $14,694 each year.
The person making $10,000 a year will receive $9000 as their annual
Social Security payment. The people making at least $118,500 a year
will receive about $34,000 as their annual Social Security payment.
So, the ratio of annual benefit to annual tax payment is 7.3 (9000/1240)
for the person making $10,000 a year, and 2.3 (34,000/14,694) for a
person making at least $118,500 a year.
Would you agree that because the benefit-to-payment ratio is higher for
low-income earners than high-income earners, the current Social Security
has a welfare aspect to it because "financial [...] aid [is] provided
[...] by the government [...] to people in need"?
Assume Social Security is changed so that the benefits for people making
$100,000 or more were reduced by 40% without any cuts for those making
less than $100,000, and without any tax increases on anyone. A person
making at least $118,500 would have a benefit of $20,400, and a
benefit-to-payment ratio of 1.4. I believe you characterized such a
change as making Social Security more like welfare, and that sounds
right to me to because it would further provide "financial [...] aid
[...] by the government [...] to people in need".
Now, what would happen if instead we raised the cap to $10,000,000? A
person making $500,000 would now pay $62,400 in annual Social Security
taxes and receive an annual benefit of about $91,000. That results in a
benefit-to-payment ratio of 1.5. The $1,000,000 earner has a ratio of
1.3, and the $10,000,000 earner a ratio of 1.2. And that too would
further provide "financial [...] aid [...] by the government [...] to
people in need", and thus make Social Security more like welfare.
Thank you for the numbers. Yes, indeed, I agree that the SS program
has a (large) welfare aspect to it, already. My highest priority and
biggest concern is that the current plan to cut benefits for the
higher wage earners and not the lower wage earners will eventually
result in the destruction of the SS system. I think Democrats see
that solution as a clever way to solve the problem, but I think they
are falling into a Republican trap that will kill the Social
Security program when we eventually get an aggressive Republican in
office who points out that the returns are absolutely atrocious for
the "middle class" and that they could do much better by simply
investing in their own retirement plan.

My second biggest concern is that I believe that everyone should
contribute to welfare programs via a progressive tax system and they
should not be financed by only a selected segment of society.
Therefore, I don't think it's fair for those who made above
approximately ~$60K a year and less than ~$120K per year to shoulder
the entire burden for this welfare program. Other than that, I'm
open to a whole variety of possible solutions.

My absolute favorite solution would probably be to remove all the
welfare components out of the SS program and then let the benefit
float up and down based on the amount of payroll taxes going into
the SS fund. Then I would create a new (welfare) program that
supplements the retirement benefits for those on the bottom half of
the income scale and it would be paid for out of the general fund.

In regard to what makes a welfare program "worse" or "better" or
bigger or smaller, etc., the definition of welfare is, "financial or
other aid provided, especially by the government, to people in
need".

There's nothing in the definition about how the government acquires,
or collects the money. That's a
political/philosophical/ethical/psychological issue. So the method
of acquisition is irrelevant. The welfare system isn't worse or
better if you get all the money from one person, or you get the
money from 300 million people. In the context that we are talking
about, the welfare program gets worse if the total amount of money
the government pays out becomes greater and the welfare program gets
better if the total amount of money the government pays out becomes
smaller.
Josh Rosenbluth
2016-05-09 15:57:29 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by mg
On Sun, 8 May 2016 15:56:11 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Sun, 8 May 2016 13:40:23 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
"Financial or other aid provided, especially by the government, to
people in need"
My question is whether or not you agree with that definition
Yes, I do.
Post by mg
and, if
so, would you please explain why you believe that raising the cap
makes it more of a welfare program.
Currently, the Social Security tax rate is 12.4% (employee+employer
share) applied to a cap of $118,500 of income per year. Thus, a person
making $10,000 a year pays $1240 each year into Social Security, whereas
a person making $118,500, $500,000, $1,000,000 or $10,000,000 a year
pays $14,694 each year.
The person making $10,000 a year will receive $9000 as their annual
Social Security payment. The people making at least $118,500 a year
will receive about $34,000 as their annual Social Security payment.
So, the ratio of annual benefit to annual tax payment is 7.3 (9000/1240)
for the person making $10,000 a year, and 2.3 (34,000/14,694) for a
person making at least $118,500 a year.
Would you agree that because the benefit-to-payment ratio is higher for
low-income earners than high-income earners, the current Social Security
has a welfare aspect to it because "financial [...] aid [is] provided
[...] by the government [...] to people in need"?
Assume Social Security is changed so that the benefits for people making
$100,000 or more were reduced by 40% without any cuts for those making
less than $100,000, and without any tax increases on anyone. A person
making at least $118,500 would have a benefit of $20,400, and a
benefit-to-payment ratio of 1.4. I believe you characterized such a
change as making Social Security more like welfare, and that sounds
right to me to because it would further provide "financial [...] aid
[...] by the government [...] to people in need".
Now, what would happen if instead we raised the cap to $10,000,000? A
person making $500,000 would now pay $62,400 in annual Social Security
taxes and receive an annual benefit of about $91,000. That results in a
benefit-to-payment ratio of 1.5. The $1,000,000 earner has a ratio of
1.3, and the $10,000,000 earner a ratio of 1.2. And that too would
further provide "financial [...] aid [...] by the government [...] to
people in need", and thus make Social Security more like welfare.
Thank you for the numbers. Yes, indeed, I agree that the SS program
has a (large) welfare aspect to it, already. My highest priority and
biggest concern is that the current plan to cut benefits for the
higher wage earners and not the lower wage earners will eventually
result in the destruction of the SS system. I think Democrats see
that solution as a clever way to solve the problem, but I think they
are falling into a Republican trap that will kill the Social
Security program when we eventually get an aggressive Republican in
office who points out that the returns are absolutely atrocious for
the "middle class" and that they could do much better by simply
investing in their own retirement plan.
My second biggest concern is that I believe that everyone should
contribute to welfare programs via a progressive tax system and they
should not be financed by only a selected segment of society.
Therefore, I don't think it's fair for those who made above
approximately ~$60K a year and less than ~$120K per year to shoulder
the entire burden for this welfare program. Other than that, I'm
open to a whole variety of possible solutions.
My absolute favorite solution would probably be to remove all the
welfare components out of the SS program and then let the benefit
float up and down based on the amount of payroll taxes going into
the SS fund. Then I would create a new (welfare) program that
supplements the retirement benefits for those on the bottom half of
the income scale and it would be paid for out of the general fund.
In regard to what makes a welfare program "worse" or "better" or
bigger or smaller, etc., the definition of welfare is, "financial or
other aid provided, especially by the government, to people in
need".
There's nothing in the definition about how the government acquires,
or collects the money. That's a
political/philosophical/ethical/psychological issue. So the method
of acquisition is irrelevant. The welfare system isn't worse or
better if you get all the money from one person, or you get the
money from 300 million people. In the context that we are talking
about, the welfare program gets worse if the total amount of money
the government pays out becomes greater and the welfare program gets
better if the total amount of money the government pays out becomes
smaller.
I'm going to assume (correct me if I am wrong), that you meant to say
welfare becomes worse (better) if the total amount of money *paid to
people in need* goes up (down).

So by that rule, a 40% cut in Social Security benefits to those who make
at least $100,000 would have not made welfare either better or worse
because the total amount of money the government pays out to people in
need neither goes up or down. Are you sure you believe that such a 40%
cut would not make Social Security more like a welfare program?
mg
2016-05-10 20:40:15 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Mon, 9 May 2016 08:57:29 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Sun, 8 May 2016 15:56:11 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Sun, 8 May 2016 13:40:23 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
"Financial or other aid provided, especially by the government, to
people in need"
My question is whether or not you agree with that definition
Yes, I do.
Post by mg
and, if
so, would you please explain why you believe that raising the cap
makes it more of a welfare program.
Currently, the Social Security tax rate is 12.4% (employee+employer
share) applied to a cap of $118,500 of income per year. Thus, a person
making $10,000 a year pays $1240 each year into Social Security, whereas
a person making $118,500, $500,000, $1,000,000 or $10,000,000 a year
pays $14,694 each year.
The person making $10,000 a year will receive $9000 as their annual
Social Security payment. The people making at least $118,500 a year
will receive about $34,000 as their annual Social Security payment.
So, the ratio of annual benefit to annual tax payment is 7.3 (9000/1240)
for the person making $10,000 a year, and 2.3 (34,000/14,694) for a
person making at least $118,500 a year.
Would you agree that because the benefit-to-payment ratio is higher for
low-income earners than high-income earners, the current Social Security
has a welfare aspect to it because "financial [...] aid [is] provided
[...] by the government [...] to people in need"?
Assume Social Security is changed so that the benefits for people making
$100,000 or more were reduced by 40% without any cuts for those making
less than $100,000, and without any tax increases on anyone. A person
making at least $118,500 would have a benefit of $20,400, and a
benefit-to-payment ratio of 1.4. I believe you characterized such a
change as making Social Security more like welfare, and that sounds
right to me to because it would further provide "financial [...] aid
[...] by the government [...] to people in need".
Now, what would happen if instead we raised the cap to $10,000,000? A
person making $500,000 would now pay $62,400 in annual Social Security
taxes and receive an annual benefit of about $91,000. That results in a
benefit-to-payment ratio of 1.5. The $1,000,000 earner has a ratio of
1.3, and the $10,000,000 earner a ratio of 1.2. And that too would
further provide "financial [...] aid [...] by the government [...] to
people in need", and thus make Social Security more like welfare.
Thank you for the numbers. Yes, indeed, I agree that the SS program
has a (large) welfare aspect to it, already. My highest priority and
biggest concern is that the current plan to cut benefits for the
higher wage earners and not the lower wage earners will eventually
result in the destruction of the SS system. I think Democrats see
that solution as a clever way to solve the problem, but I think they
are falling into a Republican trap that will kill the Social
Security program when we eventually get an aggressive Republican in
office who points out that the returns are absolutely atrocious for
the "middle class" and that they could do much better by simply
investing in their own retirement plan.
My second biggest concern is that I believe that everyone should
contribute to welfare programs via a progressive tax system and they
should not be financed by only a selected segment of society.
Therefore, I don't think it's fair for those who made above
approximately ~$60K a year and less than ~$120K per year to shoulder
the entire burden for this welfare program. Other than that, I'm
open to a whole variety of possible solutions.
My absolute favorite solution would probably be to remove all the
welfare components out of the SS program and then let the benefit
float up and down based on the amount of payroll taxes going into
the SS fund. Then I would create a new (welfare) program that
supplements the retirement benefits for those on the bottom half of
the income scale and it would be paid for out of the general fund.
In regard to what makes a welfare program "worse" or "better" or
bigger or smaller, etc., the definition of welfare is, "financial or
other aid provided, especially by the government, to people in
need".
There's nothing in the definition about how the government acquires,
or collects the money. That's a
political/philosophical/ethical/psychological issue. So the method
of acquisition is irrelevant. The welfare system isn't worse or
better if you get all the money from one person, or you get the
money from 300 million people. In the context that we are talking
about, the welfare program gets worse if the total amount of money
the government pays out becomes greater and the welfare program gets
better if the total amount of money the government pays out becomes
smaller.
I'm going to assume (correct me if I am wrong), that you meant to say
welfare becomes worse (better) if the total amount of money *paid to
people in need* goes up (down).
So by that rule, a 40% cut in Social Security benefits to those who make
at least $100,000 would have not made welfare either better or worse
because the total amount of money the government pays out to people in
need neither goes up or down. Are you sure you believe that such a 40%
cut would not make Social Security more like a welfare program?
I believe that increasing the welfare component of Social Security,
beyond what it already is, will probably eventually result in the
destruction of the program. The proposal to cut the higher earner's
benefits and and keep the benefits the same, or even increase them,
for lower wage earners will increase the amount of welfare benefits
paid to the "poor". So, in this situation, I consider increasing
welfare benefits as a bad thing.
Josh Rosenbluth
2016-05-11 01:43:21 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by mg
On Mon, 9 May 2016 08:57:29 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Currently, the Social Security tax rate is 12.4% (employee+employer
share) applied to a cap of $118,500 of income per year. Thus, a person
making $10,000 a year pays $1240 each year into Social Security, whereas
a person making $118,500, $500,000, $1,000,000 or $10,000,000 a year
pays $14,694 each year.
The person making $10,000 a year will receive $9000 as their annual
Social Security payment. The people making at least $118,500 a year
will receive about $34,000 as their annual Social Security payment.
So, the ratio of annual benefit to annual tax payment is 7.3 (9000/1240)
for the person making $10,000 a year, and 2.3 (34,000/14,694) for a
person making at least $118,500 a year.
Would you agree that because the benefit-to-payment ratio is higher for
low-income earners than high-income earners, the current Social Security
has a welfare aspect to it because "financial [...] aid [is] provided
[...] by the government [...] to people in need"?
Assume Social Security is changed so that the benefits for people making
$100,000 or more were reduced by 40% without any cuts for those making
less than $100,000, and without any tax increases on anyone. A person
making at least $118,500 would have a benefit of $20,400, and a
benefit-to-payment ratio of 1.4. I believe you characterized such a
change as making Social Security more like welfare, and that sounds
right to me to because it would further provide "financial [...] aid
[...] by the government [...] to people in need".
Now, what would happen if instead we raised the cap to $10,000,000? A
person making $500,000 would now pay $62,400 in annual Social Security
taxes and receive an annual benefit of about $91,000. That results in a
benefit-to-payment ratio of 1.5. The $1,000,000 earner has a ratio of
1.3, and the $10,000,000 earner a ratio of 1.2. And that too would
further provide "financial [...] aid [...] by the government [...] to
people in need", and thus make Social Security more like welfare.
Thank you for the numbers. Yes, indeed, I agree that the SS program
has a (large) welfare aspect to it, already. My highest priority and
biggest concern is that the current plan to cut benefits for the
higher wage earners and not the lower wage earners will eventually
result in the destruction of the SS system. I think Democrats see
that solution as a clever way to solve the problem, but I think they
are falling into a Republican trap that will kill the Social
Security program when we eventually get an aggressive Republican in
office who points out that the returns are absolutely atrocious for
the "middle class" and that they could do much better by simply
investing in their own retirement plan.
My second biggest concern is that I believe that everyone should
contribute to welfare programs via a progressive tax system and they
should not be financed by only a selected segment of society.
Therefore, I don't think it's fair for those who made above
approximately ~$60K a year and less than ~$120K per year to shoulder
the entire burden for this welfare program. Other than that, I'm
open to a whole variety of possible solutions.
My absolute favorite solution would probably be to remove all the
welfare components out of the SS program and then let the benefit
float up and down based on the amount of payroll taxes going into
the SS fund. Then I would create a new (welfare) program that
supplements the retirement benefits for those on the bottom half of
the income scale and it would be paid for out of the general fund.
In regard to what makes a welfare program "worse" or "better" or
bigger or smaller, etc., the definition of welfare is, "financial or
other aid provided, especially by the government, to people in
need".
There's nothing in the definition about how the government acquires,
or collects the money. That's a
political/philosophical/ethical/psychological issue. So the method
of acquisition is irrelevant. The welfare system isn't worse or
better if you get all the money from one person, or you get the
money from 300 million people. In the context that we are talking
about, the welfare program gets worse if the total amount of money
the government pays out becomes greater and the welfare program gets
better if the total amount of money the government pays out becomes
smaller.
I'm going to assume (correct me if I am wrong), that you meant to say
welfare becomes worse (better) if the total amount of money *paid to
people in need* goes up (down).
So by that rule, a 40% cut in Social Security benefits to those who make
at least $100,000 would have not made welfare either better or worse
because the total amount of money the government pays out to people in
need neither goes up or down. Are you sure you believe that such a 40%
cut would not make Social Security more like a welfare program?
I believe that increasing the welfare component of Social Security,
beyond what it already is, will probably eventually result in the
destruction of the program. The proposal to cut the higher earner's
benefits and and keep the benefits the same, or even increase them,
for lower wage earners will increase the amount of welfare benefits
paid to the "poor". So, in this situation, I consider increasing
welfare benefits as a bad thing.
OK. But then as my math demonstrates above, raising the cap would also
increase the amount of benefits paid to the poor. Yet, it appears you
don't think this is a bad thing. Why?
mg
2016-05-11 03:20:32 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Tue, 10 May 2016 18:43:21 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Mon, 9 May 2016 08:57:29 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Currently, the Social Security tax rate is 12.4% (employee+employer
share) applied to a cap of $118,500 of income per year. Thus, a person
making $10,000 a year pays $1240 each year into Social Security, whereas
a person making $118,500, $500,000, $1,000,000 or $10,000,000 a year
pays $14,694 each year.
The person making $10,000 a year will receive $9000 as their annual
Social Security payment. The people making at least $118,500 a year
will receive about $34,000 as their annual Social Security payment.
So, the ratio of annual benefit to annual tax payment is 7.3 (9000/1240)
for the person making $10,000 a year, and 2.3 (34,000/14,694) for a
person making at least $118,500 a year.
Would you agree that because the benefit-to-payment ratio is higher for
low-income earners than high-income earners, the current Social Security
has a welfare aspect to it because "financial [...] aid [is] provided
[...] by the government [...] to people in need"?
Assume Social Security is changed so that the benefits for people making
$100,000 or more were reduced by 40% without any cuts for those making
less than $100,000, and without any tax increases on anyone. A person
making at least $118,500 would have a benefit of $20,400, and a
benefit-to-payment ratio of 1.4. I believe you characterized such a
change as making Social Security more like welfare, and that sounds
right to me to because it would further provide "financial [...] aid
[...] by the government [...] to people in need".
Now, what would happen if instead we raised the cap to $10,000,000? A
person making $500,000 would now pay $62,400 in annual Social Security
taxes and receive an annual benefit of about $91,000. That results in a
benefit-to-payment ratio of 1.5. The $1,000,000 earner has a ratio of
1.3, and the $10,000,000 earner a ratio of 1.2. And that too would
further provide "financial [...] aid [...] by the government [...] to
people in need", and thus make Social Security more like welfare.
Thank you for the numbers. Yes, indeed, I agree that the SS program
has a (large) welfare aspect to it, already. My highest priority and
biggest concern is that the current plan to cut benefits for the
higher wage earners and not the lower wage earners will eventually
result in the destruction of the SS system. I think Democrats see
that solution as a clever way to solve the problem, but I think they
are falling into a Republican trap that will kill the Social
Security program when we eventually get an aggressive Republican in
office who points out that the returns are absolutely atrocious for
the "middle class" and that they could do much better by simply
investing in their own retirement plan.
My second biggest concern is that I believe that everyone should
contribute to welfare programs via a progressive tax system and they
should not be financed by only a selected segment of society.
Therefore, I don't think it's fair for those who made above
approximately ~$60K a year and less than ~$120K per year to shoulder
the entire burden for this welfare program. Other than that, I'm
open to a whole variety of possible solutions.
My absolute favorite solution would probably be to remove all the
welfare components out of the SS program and then let the benefit
float up and down based on the amount of payroll taxes going into
the SS fund. Then I would create a new (welfare) program that
supplements the retirement benefits for those on the bottom half of
the income scale and it would be paid for out of the general fund.
In regard to what makes a welfare program "worse" or "better" or
bigger or smaller, etc., the definition of welfare is, "financial or
other aid provided, especially by the government, to people in
need".
There's nothing in the definition about how the government acquires,
or collects the money. That's a
political/philosophical/ethical/psychological issue. So the method
of acquisition is irrelevant. The welfare system isn't worse or
better if you get all the money from one person, or you get the
money from 300 million people. In the context that we are talking
about, the welfare program gets worse if the total amount of money
the government pays out becomes greater and the welfare program gets
better if the total amount of money the government pays out becomes
smaller.
I'm going to assume (correct me if I am wrong), that you meant to say
welfare becomes worse (better) if the total amount of money *paid to
people in need* goes up (down).
So by that rule, a 40% cut in Social Security benefits to those who make
at least $100,000 would have not made welfare either better or worse
because the total amount of money the government pays out to people in
need neither goes up or down. Are you sure you believe that such a 40%
cut would not make Social Security more like a welfare program?
I believe that increasing the welfare component of Social Security,
beyond what it already is, will probably eventually result in the
destruction of the program. The proposal to cut the higher earner's
benefits and and keep the benefits the same, or even increase them,
for lower wage earners will increase the amount of welfare benefits
paid to the "poor". So, in this situation, I consider increasing
welfare benefits as a bad thing.
OK. But then as my math demonstrates above, raising the cap would also
increase the amount of benefits paid to the poor. Yet, it appears you
don't think this is a bad thing. Why?
When it comes to solving the SS problem, I don't think any option is
a good thing. I think all options are bad. So, for me, it becomes a
matter of choosing the lessor evil when the various options are
compared.

If we compare the option of cutting benefits for the top earners
only with the option of removing the cap, I prefer the
remove-the-cap-option because it spreads the pain out among more
people and I think that it's more fair.
Josh Rosenbluth
2016-05-11 04:08:14 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by mg
On Tue, 10 May 2016 18:43:21 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Mon, 9 May 2016 08:57:29 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Currently, the Social Security tax rate is 12.4% (employee+employer
share) applied to a cap of $118,500 of income per year. Thus, a person
making $10,000 a year pays $1240 each year into Social Security, whereas
a person making $118,500, $500,000, $1,000,000 or $10,000,000 a year
pays $14,694 each year.
The person making $10,000 a year will receive $9000 as their annual
Social Security payment. The people making at least $118,500 a year
will receive about $34,000 as their annual Social Security payment.
So, the ratio of annual benefit to annual tax payment is 7.3 (9000/1240)
for the person making $10,000 a year, and 2.3 (34,000/14,694) for a
person making at least $118,500 a year.
Would you agree that because the benefit-to-payment ratio is higher for
low-income earners than high-income earners, the current Social Security
has a welfare aspect to it because "financial [...] aid [is] provided
[...] by the government [...] to people in need"?
Assume Social Security is changed so that the benefits for people making
$100,000 or more were reduced by 40% without any cuts for those making
less than $100,000, and without any tax increases on anyone. A person
making at least $118,500 would have a benefit of $20,400, and a
benefit-to-payment ratio of 1.4. I believe you characterized such a
change as making Social Security more like welfare, and that sounds
right to me to because it would further provide "financial [...] aid
[...] by the government [...] to people in need".
Now, what would happen if instead we raised the cap to $10,000,000? A
person making $500,000 would now pay $62,400 in annual Social Security
taxes and receive an annual benefit of about $91,000. That results in a
benefit-to-payment ratio of 1.5. The $1,000,000 earner has a ratio of
1.3, and the $10,000,000 earner a ratio of 1.2. And that too would
further provide "financial [...] aid [...] by the government [...] to
people in need", and thus make Social Security more like welfare.
Thank you for the numbers. Yes, indeed, I agree that the SS program
has a (large) welfare aspect to it, already. My highest priority and
biggest concern is that the current plan to cut benefits for the
higher wage earners and not the lower wage earners will eventually
result in the destruction of the SS system. I think Democrats see
that solution as a clever way to solve the problem, but I think they
are falling into a Republican trap that will kill the Social
Security program when we eventually get an aggressive Republican in
office who points out that the returns are absolutely atrocious for
the "middle class" and that they could do much better by simply
investing in their own retirement plan.
My second biggest concern is that I believe that everyone should
contribute to welfare programs via a progressive tax system and they
should not be financed by only a selected segment of society.
Therefore, I don't think it's fair for those who made above
approximately ~$60K a year and less than ~$120K per year to shoulder
the entire burden for this welfare program. Other than that, I'm
open to a whole variety of possible solutions.
My absolute favorite solution would probably be to remove all the
welfare components out of the SS program and then let the benefit
float up and down based on the amount of payroll taxes going into
the SS fund. Then I would create a new (welfare) program that
supplements the retirement benefits for those on the bottom half of
the income scale and it would be paid for out of the general fund.
In regard to what makes a welfare program "worse" or "better" or
bigger or smaller, etc., the definition of welfare is, "financial or
other aid provided, especially by the government, to people in
need".
There's nothing in the definition about how the government acquires,
or collects the money. That's a
political/philosophical/ethical/psychological issue. So the method
of acquisition is irrelevant. The welfare system isn't worse or
better if you get all the money from one person, or you get the
money from 300 million people. In the context that we are talking
about, the welfare program gets worse if the total amount of money
the government pays out becomes greater and the welfare program gets
better if the total amount of money the government pays out becomes
smaller.
I'm going to assume (correct me if I am wrong), that you meant to say
welfare becomes worse (better) if the total amount of money *paid to
people in need* goes up (down).
So by that rule, a 40% cut in Social Security benefits to those who make
at least $100,000 would have not made welfare either better or worse
because the total amount of money the government pays out to people in
need neither goes up or down. Are you sure you believe that such a 40%
cut would not make Social Security more like a welfare program?
I believe that increasing the welfare component of Social Security,
beyond what it already is, will probably eventually result in the
destruction of the program. The proposal to cut the higher earner's
benefits and and keep the benefits the same, or even increase them,
for lower wage earners will increase the amount of welfare benefits
paid to the "poor". So, in this situation, I consider increasing
welfare benefits as a bad thing.
OK. But then as my math demonstrates above, raising the cap would also
increase the amount of benefits paid to the poor. Yet, it appears you
don't think this is a bad thing. Why?
When it comes to solving the SS problem, I don't think any option is
a good thing. I think all options are bad. So, for me, it becomes a
matter of choosing the lessor evil when the various options are
compared.
If we compare the option of cutting benefits for the top earners
only with the option of removing the cap, I prefer the
remove-the-cap-option because it spreads the pain out among more
people and I think that it's more fair.
That makes sense when comparing cutting benefits for the top earners
versus raising the cap. However, you said you would prefer to do
nothing (resulting in a 20% across the board cut) rather than cutting
benefits for the top earners because the latter makes Social Security
more like welfare. Since my math demonstrates that raising the cap also
makes Social Security more like welfare, why do you prefer raising the
cap over doing nothing?
mg
2016-05-11 05:12:39 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Tue, 10 May 2016 21:08:14 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Tue, 10 May 2016 18:43:21 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Mon, 9 May 2016 08:57:29 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Currently, the Social Security tax rate is 12.4% (employee+employer
share) applied to a cap of $118,500 of income per year. Thus, a person
making $10,000 a year pays $1240 each year into Social Security, whereas
a person making $118,500, $500,000, $1,000,000 or $10,000,000 a year
pays $14,694 each year.
The person making $10,000 a year will receive $9000 as their annual
Social Security payment. The people making at least $118,500 a year
will receive about $34,000 as their annual Social Security payment.
So, the ratio of annual benefit to annual tax payment is 7.3 (9000/1240)
for the person making $10,000 a year, and 2.3 (34,000/14,694) for a
person making at least $118,500 a year.
Would you agree that because the benefit-to-payment ratio is higher for
low-income earners than high-income earners, the current Social Security
has a welfare aspect to it because "financial [...] aid [is] provided
[...] by the government [...] to people in need"?
Assume Social Security is changed so that the benefits for people making
$100,000 or more were reduced by 40% without any cuts for those making
less than $100,000, and without any tax increases on anyone. A person
making at least $118,500 would have a benefit of $20,400, and a
benefit-to-payment ratio of 1.4. I believe you characterized such a
change as making Social Security more like welfare, and that sounds
right to me to because it would further provide "financial [...] aid
[...] by the government [...] to people in need".
Now, what would happen if instead we raised the cap to $10,000,000? A
person making $500,000 would now pay $62,400 in annual Social Security
taxes and receive an annual benefit of about $91,000. That results in a
benefit-to-payment ratio of 1.5. The $1,000,000 earner has a ratio of
1.3, and the $10,000,000 earner a ratio of 1.2. And that too would
further provide "financial [...] aid [...] by the government [...] to
people in need", and thus make Social Security more like welfare.
Thank you for the numbers. Yes, indeed, I agree that the SS program
has a (large) welfare aspect to it, already. My highest priority and
biggest concern is that the current plan to cut benefits for the
higher wage earners and not the lower wage earners will eventually
result in the destruction of the SS system. I think Democrats see
that solution as a clever way to solve the problem, but I think they
are falling into a Republican trap that will kill the Social
Security program when we eventually get an aggressive Republican in
office who points out that the returns are absolutely atrocious for
the "middle class" and that they could do much better by simply
investing in their own retirement plan.
My second biggest concern is that I believe that everyone should
contribute to welfare programs via a progressive tax system and they
should not be financed by only a selected segment of society.
Therefore, I don't think it's fair for those who made above
approximately ~$60K a year and less than ~$120K per year to shoulder
the entire burden for this welfare program. Other than that, I'm
open to a whole variety of possible solutions.
My absolute favorite solution would probably be to remove all the
welfare components out of the SS program and then let the benefit
float up and down based on the amount of payroll taxes going into
the SS fund. Then I would create a new (welfare) program that
supplements the retirement benefits for those on the bottom half of
the income scale and it would be paid for out of the general fund.
In regard to what makes a welfare program "worse" or "better" or
bigger or smaller, etc., the definition of welfare is, "financial or
other aid provided, especially by the government, to people in
need".
There's nothing in the definition about how the government acquires,
or collects the money. That's a
political/philosophical/ethical/psychological issue. So the method
of acquisition is irrelevant. The welfare system isn't worse or
better if you get all the money from one person, or you get the
money from 300 million people. In the context that we are talking
about, the welfare program gets worse if the total amount of money
the government pays out becomes greater and the welfare program gets
better if the total amount of money the government pays out becomes
smaller.
I'm going to assume (correct me if I am wrong), that you meant to say
welfare becomes worse (better) if the total amount of money *paid to
people in need* goes up (down).
So by that rule, a 40% cut in Social Security benefits to those who make
at least $100,000 would have not made welfare either better or worse
because the total amount of money the government pays out to people in
need neither goes up or down. Are you sure you believe that such a 40%
cut would not make Social Security more like a welfare program?
I believe that increasing the welfare component of Social Security,
beyond what it already is, will probably eventually result in the
destruction of the program. The proposal to cut the higher earner's
benefits and and keep the benefits the same, or even increase them,
for lower wage earners will increase the amount of welfare benefits
paid to the "poor". So, in this situation, I consider increasing
welfare benefits as a bad thing.
OK. But then as my math demonstrates above, raising the cap would also
increase the amount of benefits paid to the poor. Yet, it appears you
don't think this is a bad thing. Why?
When it comes to solving the SS problem, I don't think any option is
a good thing. I think all options are bad. So, for me, it becomes a
matter of choosing the lessor evil when the various options are
compared.
If we compare the option of cutting benefits for the top earners
only with the option of removing the cap, I prefer the
remove-the-cap-option because it spreads the pain out among more
people and I think that it's more fair.
That makes sense when comparing cutting benefits for the top earners
versus raising the cap. However, you said you would prefer to do
nothing (resulting in a 20% across the board cut) rather than cutting
benefits for the top earners because the latter makes Social Security
more like welfare. Since my math demonstrates that raising the cap also
makes Social Security more like welfare, why do you prefer raising the
cap over doing nothing?
It's a toss up. Raising the cap, in addition to (partly) solving the
future cash-flow problem, also helps with spreading out the pain of
paying for the welfare components in the existing system. Therefore,
as a matter of fairness, I would prefer that option. However, in the
real world of politics, once they open this issue up for debate,
almost anything can happen. So it might be better to let sleeping
dogs lie and in practice I think doing nothing, at this particular
point in time, is probably the best option.

I don't think that raising the cap makes Social Security more like
welfare as compared to the option of cutting benefits for
high-income earners since all we would be doing by eliminating or
raising the cap is increasing the number of people who pay the
welfare bill. That's assuming, however, that the total size of the
welfare bill remains the same under both options.
rumpelstiltskin
2016-05-09 06:37:31 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by mg
On Sun, 8 May 2016 07:51:06 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
"Financial or other aid provided, especially by the government, to
people in need"
That's rather vague, and so I asked you to say "Specifically, what do
Democrats and Republicans want to do that would turn Social Security
into a welfare program."
That discussion remains as-is above, and answers why I think (using your
application of your definition) raising the cap makes it more of a
welfare program.
If you don't like that dictionary definition then perhaps you might
want to find another dictionary, or write them a letter of protest.
You sure are a feisty sonofabitch, mg! That's meant as a
compliment, though I hasten to add that I also very much
like and respect Josh.

I said something to my son the other day that surprised
myself. We had just been at the house of a famous (in
some circles), friend, where I'd had the pleasure of being
able to hand him a T-shirt, lightly used but still in good
condition, of the only one of his T-shirts of which he didn't
have a single copy left, and really wished he had one.

After my son and I were walking away after the next
visit during which I'd delivered the shirt, I mentioned that
I don't control the conversation as much in our friend's
presence as usual because I was somewhat "intimidated
by his greatness". I surprised myself at that, because
normally I'm so arrogant that just as a matter of course
I regard my own opinions as superior to all others,
though I do restrain myself somewhat from disturbing
tranquility and I do try to indulge the fantasies of
"inferior minds" as long as they those fantasies aren't
too damaging to others.

My friend really liked the T-shirt, I'm happy to say.
He wore it the whole time we were there, even
though he's had two strokes and is very thin now, so
the T-shirt, which is a "large", is at least two
categories too big for him. He has a lot of things to
be proud of, but that T-shirt was of special
significance as representing of one of the most
conspicuous parts of his life. I was surprised when
he'd said he didn't have a single copy of it.
mg
2016-05-09 08:29:48 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by rumpelstiltskin
Post by mg
On Sun, 8 May 2016 07:51:06 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
"Financial or other aid provided, especially by the government, to
people in need"
That's rather vague, and so I asked you to say "Specifically, what do
Democrats and Republicans want to do that would turn Social Security
into a welfare program."
That discussion remains as-is above, and answers why I think (using your
application of your definition) raising the cap makes it more of a
welfare program.
If you don't like that dictionary definition then perhaps you might
want to find another dictionary, or write them a letter of protest.
You sure are a feisty sonofabitch, mg! That's meant as a
compliment, though I hasten to add that I also very much
like and respect Josh.
I said something to my son the other day that surprised
myself. We had just been at the house of a famous (in
some circles), friend, where I'd had the pleasure of being
able to hand him a T-shirt, lightly used but still in good
condition, of the only one of his T-shirts of which he didn't
have a single copy left, and really wished he had one.
After my son and I were walking away after the next
visit during which I'd delivered the shirt, I mentioned that
I don't control the conversation as much in our friend's
presence as usual because I was somewhat "intimidated
by his greatness". I surprised myself at that, because
normally I'm so arrogant that just as a matter of course
I regard my own opinions as superior to all others,
though I do restrain myself somewhat from disturbing
tranquility and I do try to indulge the fantasies of
"inferior minds" as long as they those fantasies aren't
too damaging to others.
My friend really liked the T-shirt, I'm happy to say.
He wore it the whole time we were there, even
though he's had two strokes and is very thin now, so
the T-shirt, which is a "large", is at least two
categories too big for him. He has a lot of things to
be proud of, but that T-shirt was of special
significance as representing of one of the most
conspicuous parts of his life. I was surprised when
he'd said he didn't have a single copy of it.
I have a brand new T-shirt that I've had for about 10 years or so.
It's patterned after the old Big Boy Restaurants and is very
colorful and interesting, I think. I also have a brand new sweat
shirt that says, "I'm retired, You're Not - Nah-nah-nah - nah-nah".
It's about the same age. They were presents and I've been looking
for someone to give them to all this time, but no luck so far.

I think I've mentioned it before, but I never argue in person about
religion, or politics, or much of anything else. I used to love to
do that until I reached about 30, but then decided that it was a
very foolish, if not stupid, thing to do. So, I gave it up and now
restrict my arguments to the internet, and then mostly as a
time-wasting hobby and an amateur study in human nature, as much as
anything else.

Some people are just naturally intimidating in person and they
aren't just the people who talk a lot and control the conversation.
I've found people who just listen and give an occasional,
non-committal grunt or nod can be every bit as intimidating. With
those kind of people, if you're not careful, you can realize later
that you spilled your guts, so to speak, and now he knows everything
about you and you know nothing about him.

I've learned something new about politics in the last decade, or so.
As a Democrat, I've always assumed that my fellow Democrats were all
as passionate about a graduated, progressive tax system as I am, but
obviously that's not the case. Apparently, there are a lot of
Democrats, or maybe even most of them, who are perfectly happy to
pay for social programs with a regressive tax on middle-income
people only, if they have to, and establishment Republicans, of
course, are generally more than happy to go along with that idea.
rumpelstiltskin
2016-05-09 16:28:46 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by mg
Post by rumpelstiltskin
Post by mg
On Sun, 8 May 2016 07:51:06 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
"Financial or other aid provided, especially by the government, to
people in need"
That's rather vague, and so I asked you to say "Specifically, what do
Democrats and Republicans want to do that would turn Social Security
into a welfare program."
That discussion remains as-is above, and answers why I think (using your
application of your definition) raising the cap makes it more of a
welfare program.
If you don't like that dictionary definition then perhaps you might
want to find another dictionary, or write them a letter of protest.
You sure are a feisty sonofabitch, mg! That's meant as a
compliment, though I hasten to add that I also very much
like and respect Josh.
I said something to my son the other day that surprised
myself. We had just been at the house of a famous (in
some circles), friend, where I'd had the pleasure of being
able to hand him a T-shirt, lightly used but still in good
condition, of the only one of his T-shirts of which he didn't
have a single copy left, and really wished he had one.
After my son and I were walking away after the next
visit during which I'd delivered the shirt, I mentioned that
I don't control the conversation as much in our friend's
presence as usual because I was somewhat "intimidated
by his greatness". I surprised myself at that, because
normally I'm so arrogant that just as a matter of course
I regard my own opinions as superior to all others,
though I do restrain myself somewhat from disturbing
tranquility and I do try to indulge the fantasies of
"inferior minds" as long as they those fantasies aren't
too damaging to others.
My friend really liked the T-shirt, I'm happy to say.
He wore it the whole time we were there, even
though he's had two strokes and is very thin now, so
the T-shirt, which is a "large", is at least two
categories too big for him. He has a lot of things to
be proud of, but that T-shirt was of special
significance as representing of one of the most
conspicuous parts of his life. I was surprised when
he'd said he didn't have a single copy of it.
I have a brand new T-shirt that I've had for about 10 years or so.
It's patterned after the old Big Boy Restaurants and is very
colorful and interesting, I think. I also have a brand new sweat
shirt that says, "I'm retired, You're Not - Nah-nah-nah - nah-nah".
That's a great T-shirt!
Post by mg
It's about the same age. They were presents and I've been looking
for someone to give them to all this time, but no luck so far.
I think I've mentioned it before, but I never argue in person about
religion, or politics, or much of anything else. I used to love to
do that until I reached about 30, but then decided that it was a
very foolish, if not stupid, thing to do. So, I gave it up and now
restrict my arguments to the internet, and then mostly as a
time-wasting hobby and an amateur study in human nature, as much as
anything else.
Some people are just naturally intimidating in person and they
aren't just the people who talk a lot and control the conversation.
I've found people who just listen and give an occasional,
non-committal grunt or nod can be every bit as intimidating. With
those kind of people, if you're not careful, you can realize later
that you spilled your guts, so to speak, and now he knows everything
about you and you know nothing about him.
I've learned something new about politics in the last decade, or so.
As a Democrat, I've always assumed that my fellow Democrats were all
as passionate about a graduated, progressive tax system as I am, but
obviously that's not the case. Apparently, there are a lot of
Democrats, or maybe even most of them, who are perfectly happy to
pay for social programs with a regressive tax on middle-income
people only, if they have to, and establishment Republicans, of
course, are generally more than happy to go along with that idea.
I'm not among those Democrats, I'm glad to say. I agree
with you that "charity", including disability and the governmental
part of unemployment and child-bearing and -rearing assistance,
should be paid entirely via graduated income tax systems.
mg
2016-05-10 00:38:04 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by rumpelstiltskin
Post by mg
Post by rumpelstiltskin
Post by mg
On Sun, 8 May 2016 07:51:06 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
"Financial or other aid provided, especially by the government, to
people in need"
That's rather vague, and so I asked you to say "Specifically, what do
Democrats and Republicans want to do that would turn Social Security
into a welfare program."
That discussion remains as-is above, and answers why I think (using your
application of your definition) raising the cap makes it more of a
welfare program.
If you don't like that dictionary definition then perhaps you might
want to find another dictionary, or write them a letter of protest.
You sure are a feisty sonofabitch, mg! That's meant as a
compliment, though I hasten to add that I also very much
like and respect Josh.
I said something to my son the other day that surprised
myself. We had just been at the house of a famous (in
some circles), friend, where I'd had the pleasure of being
able to hand him a T-shirt, lightly used but still in good
condition, of the only one of his T-shirts of which he didn't
have a single copy left, and really wished he had one.
After my son and I were walking away after the next
visit during which I'd delivered the shirt, I mentioned that
I don't control the conversation as much in our friend's
presence as usual because I was somewhat "intimidated
by his greatness". I surprised myself at that, because
normally I'm so arrogant that just as a matter of course
I regard my own opinions as superior to all others,
though I do restrain myself somewhat from disturbing
tranquility and I do try to indulge the fantasies of
"inferior minds" as long as they those fantasies aren't
too damaging to others.
My friend really liked the T-shirt, I'm happy to say.
He wore it the whole time we were there, even
though he's had two strokes and is very thin now, so
the T-shirt, which is a "large", is at least two
categories too big for him. He has a lot of things to
be proud of, but that T-shirt was of special
significance as representing of one of the most
conspicuous parts of his life. I was surprised when
he'd said he didn't have a single copy of it.
I have a brand new T-shirt that I've had for about 10 years or so.
It's patterned after the old Big Boy Restaurants and is very
colorful and interesting, I think. I also have a brand new sweat
shirt that says, "I'm retired, You're Not - Nah-nah-nah - nah-nah".
That's a great T-shirt!
Post by mg
It's about the same age. They were presents and I've been looking
for someone to give them to all this time, but no luck so far.
I think I've mentioned it before, but I never argue in person about
religion, or politics, or much of anything else. I used to love to
do that until I reached about 30, but then decided that it was a
very foolish, if not stupid, thing to do. So, I gave it up and now
restrict my arguments to the internet, and then mostly as a
time-wasting hobby and an amateur study in human nature, as much as
anything else.
Some people are just naturally intimidating in person and they
aren't just the people who talk a lot and control the conversation.
I've found people who just listen and give an occasional,
non-committal grunt or nod can be every bit as intimidating. With
those kind of people, if you're not careful, you can realize later
that you spilled your guts, so to speak, and now he knows everything
about you and you know nothing about him.
I've learned something new about politics in the last decade, or so.
As a Democrat, I've always assumed that my fellow Democrats were all
as passionate about a graduated, progressive tax system as I am, but
obviously that's not the case. Apparently, there are a lot of
Democrats, or maybe even most of them, who are perfectly happy to
pay for social programs with a regressive tax on middle-income
people only, if they have to, and establishment Republicans, of
course, are generally more than happy to go along with that idea.
I'm not among those Democrats, I'm glad to say. I agree
with you that "charity", including disability and the governmental
part of unemployment and child-bearing and -rearing assistance,
should be paid entirely via graduated income tax systems.
It's good to know that I have some company in that regard. Lately,
I've been wondering if I was all alone, or wondering if I was going
nuts, or something with the prevailing attitude being that
middle-income people have an obligation to sacrifice all and that we
should spend our lives feeling some sort of guilt for our past sins
in much the same way that Christians are supposed to feel a
permanent and continual state of guilt for their sins and the sins
of Adam and Eve.
rumpelstiltskin
2016-05-10 05:53:11 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
<snip>
Post by mg
Post by rumpelstiltskin
Post by mg
I've learned something new about politics in the last decade, or so.
As a Democrat, I've always assumed that my fellow Democrats were all
as passionate about a graduated, progressive tax system as I am, but
obviously that's not the case. Apparently, there are a lot of
Democrats, or maybe even most of them, who are perfectly happy to
pay for social programs with a regressive tax on middle-income
people only, if they have to, and establishment Republicans, of
course, are generally more than happy to go along with that idea.
I'm not among those Democrats, I'm glad to say. I agree
with you that "charity", including disability and the governmental
part of unemployment and child-bearing and -rearing assistance,
should be paid entirely via graduated income tax systems.
It's good to know that I have some company in that regard. Lately,
I've been wondering if I was all alone, or wondering if I was going
nuts, or something with the prevailing attitude being that
middle-income people have an obligation to sacrifice all and that we
should spend our lives feeling some sort of guilt for our past sins
in much the same way that Christians are supposed to feel a
permanent and continual state of guilt for their sins and the sins
of Adam and Eve.
We've been fleeced, but I'm hopeful that the rise of Bernie
Sanders and Donald Trump are indicators that people are
finally becoming aware that they're being fleeced, and are
getting angry about it.
mg
2016-05-10 06:07:43 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by rumpelstiltskin
<snip>
Post by mg
Post by rumpelstiltskin
Post by mg
I've learned something new about politics in the last decade, or so.
As a Democrat, I've always assumed that my fellow Democrats were all
as passionate about a graduated, progressive tax system as I am, but
obviously that's not the case. Apparently, there are a lot of
Democrats, or maybe even most of them, who are perfectly happy to
pay for social programs with a regressive tax on middle-income
people only, if they have to, and establishment Republicans, of
course, are generally more than happy to go along with that idea.
I'm not among those Democrats, I'm glad to say. I agree
with you that "charity", including disability and the governmental
part of unemployment and child-bearing and -rearing assistance,
should be paid entirely via graduated income tax systems.
It's good to know that I have some company in that regard. Lately,
I've been wondering if I was all alone, or wondering if I was going
nuts, or something with the prevailing attitude being that
middle-income people have an obligation to sacrifice all and that we
should spend our lives feeling some sort of guilt for our past sins
in much the same way that Christians are supposed to feel a
permanent and continual state of guilt for their sins and the sins
of Adam and Eve.
We've been fleeced, but I'm hopeful that the rise of Bernie
Sanders and Donald Trump are indicators that people are
finally becoming aware that they're being fleeced, and are
getting angry about it.
I'm hoping the same thing.
Emily
2016-05-09 12:20:19 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by rumpelstiltskin
I said something to my son the other day that surprised
myself. We had just been at the house of a famous (in
some circles), friend, where I'd had the pleasure of being
able to hand him a T-shirt, lightly used but still in good
condition, of the only one of his T-shirts of which he didn't
have a single copy left, and really wished he had one.
Speaking of T shirts, Friday evening a box arrived from Amazon. I was
excited to think someone had sent me a present. Well, sort of. It
was from my son, his idea of a joke, a Donald Trump T-shirt. I've
been trying very hard to view this in the spirit in which it was
meant, but damn it, being pregnant for nine months and going through
labor should merit something other than a joke. I'm going to send it
on to my husband's nephew. He and all his buddies are Trump
supporters and I'm sure he can give it to one of the girls in the
group who'll probably be thrilled with it.
rumpelstiltskin
2016-05-09 16:28:46 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Emily
Post by rumpelstiltskin
I said something to my son the other day that surprised
myself. We had just been at the house of a famous (in
some circles), friend, where I'd had the pleasure of being
able to hand him a T-shirt, lightly used but still in good
condition, of the only one of his T-shirts of which he didn't
have a single copy left, and really wished he had one.
Speaking of T shirts, Friday evening a box arrived from Amazon. I was
excited to think someone had sent me a present. Well, sort of. It
was from my son, his idea of a joke, a Donald Trump T-shirt. I've
been trying very hard to view this in the spirit in which it was
meant, but damn it, being pregnant for nine months and going through
labor should merit something other than a joke. I'm going to send it
on to my husband's nephew. He and all his buddies are Trump
supporters and I'm sure he can give it to one of the girls in the
group who'll probably be thrilled with it.
Maybe it's evil of me, but I'm thoroughly enjoying Trump's
candidacy. If he actually gets elected, that might be a jolt,
but he might not end up being as bad as his worst
detractors say he might be. There is still the possibility he
could be that bad, or even worse, though.
islander
2016-05-09 14:13:02 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by rumpelstiltskin
Post by mg
On Sun, 8 May 2016 07:51:06 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
"Financial or other aid provided, especially by the government, to
people in need"
That's rather vague, and so I asked you to say "Specifically, what do
Democrats and Republicans want to do that would turn Social Security
into a welfare program."
That discussion remains as-is above, and answers why I think (using your
application of your definition) raising the cap makes it more of a
welfare program.
If you don't like that dictionary definition then perhaps you might
want to find another dictionary, or write them a letter of protest.
You sure are a feisty sonofabitch, mg! That's meant as a
compliment, though I hasten to add that I also very much
like and respect Josh.
I said something to my son the other day that surprised
myself. We had just been at the house of a famous (in
some circles), friend, where I'd had the pleasure of being
able to hand him a T-shirt, lightly used but still in good
condition, of the only one of his T-shirts of which he didn't
have a single copy left, and really wished he had one.
After my son and I were walking away after the next
visit during which I'd delivered the shirt, I mentioned that
I don't control the conversation as much in our friend's
presence as usual because I was somewhat "intimidated
by his greatness". I surprised myself at that, because
normally I'm so arrogant that just as a matter of course
I regard my own opinions as superior to all others,
though I do restrain myself somewhat from disturbing
tranquility and I do try to indulge the fantasies of
"inferior minds" as long as they those fantasies aren't
too damaging to others.
My friend really liked the T-shirt, I'm happy to say.
He wore it the whole time we were there, even
though he's had two strokes and is very thin now, so
the T-shirt, which is a "large", is at least two
categories too big for him. He has a lot of things to
be proud of, but that T-shirt was of special
significance as representing of one of the most
conspicuous parts of his life. I was surprised when
he'd said he didn't have a single copy of it.
That was a very thoughtful thing to do. Well done, sir!

A few years ago, I was assisting in caregiving for an elderly man who
had so many things wrong with his health that there wasn't much that he
could do for himself any more. He was a retired railroad man with a
gruff demeanor who was so rough on the women caregivers who were
responsible for his daily care that they kept quitting. For some
reason, I was able to gain his trust and he confided in me that the one
thing that he wanted to do before dying was to attend his
granddaughter's wedding. But, he was very concerned that he would not
be able to buy her a wedding present. I asked him if he had anything
that was given to him or his wife that was special. He recalled that
his grandmother had given them an old iron skillet as a wedding gift
that they had used for years. I suggested to him that he write up the
story of that skillet and give the skillet to his granddaughter as
something special. He did that and his granddaughter was very touched
by the gesture. She thanked him with a hug and a kiss. That gruff old
man cried when he related the story to me.

Often it is the thought behind the gift that is much more important than
the gift itself.
rumpelstiltskin
2016-05-09 16:28:46 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by islander
Post by rumpelstiltskin
Post by mg
On Sun, 8 May 2016 07:51:06 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
"Financial or other aid provided, especially by the government, to
people in need"
That's rather vague, and so I asked you to say "Specifically, what do
Democrats and Republicans want to do that would turn Social Security
into a welfare program."
That discussion remains as-is above, and answers why I think (using your
application of your definition) raising the cap makes it more of a
welfare program.
If you don't like that dictionary definition then perhaps you might
want to find another dictionary, or write them a letter of protest.
You sure are a feisty sonofabitch, mg! That's meant as a
compliment, though I hasten to add that I also very much
like and respect Josh.
I said something to my son the other day that surprised
myself. We had just been at the house of a famous (in
some circles), friend, where I'd had the pleasure of being
able to hand him a T-shirt, lightly used but still in good
condition, of the only one of his T-shirts of which he didn't
have a single copy left, and really wished he had one.
After my son and I were walking away after the next
visit during which I'd delivered the shirt, I mentioned that
I don't control the conversation as much in our friend's
presence as usual because I was somewhat "intimidated
by his greatness". I surprised myself at that, because
normally I'm so arrogant that just as a matter of course
I regard my own opinions as superior to all others,
though I do restrain myself somewhat from disturbing
tranquility and I do try to indulge the fantasies of
"inferior minds" as long as they those fantasies aren't
too damaging to others.
My friend really liked the T-shirt, I'm happy to say.
He wore it the whole time we were there, even
though he's had two strokes and is very thin now, so
the T-shirt, which is a "large", is at least two
categories too big for him. He has a lot of things to
be proud of, but that T-shirt was of special
significance as representing of one of the most
conspicuous parts of his life. I was surprised when
he'd said he didn't have a single copy of it.
That was a very thoughtful thing to do. Well done, sir!
I don't really deserve any credit. I've met a lot of very
interesting people at his house (and smoked a lot of
really good marijuana there too) that I was glad to be
able to finally do something of real value to him. His
lover, now his husband, said in a newspaper interview
that he's a genius, and he is, in a much more meaningful
way than just an IQ genius.
Post by islander
A few years ago, I was assisting in caregiving for an elderly man who
had so many things wrong with his health that there wasn't much that he
could do for himself any more. He was a retired railroad man with a
gruff demeanor who was so rough on the women caregivers who were
responsible for his daily care that they kept quitting. For some
reason, I was able to gain his trust and he confided in me that the one
thing that he wanted to do before dying was to attend his
granddaughter's wedding. But, he was very concerned that he would not
be able to buy her a wedding present. I asked him if he had anything
that was given to him or his wife that was special. He recalled that
his grandmother had given them an old iron skillet as a wedding gift
that they had used for years. I suggested to him that he write up the
story of that skillet and give the skillet to his granddaughter as
something special. He did that and his granddaughter was very touched
by the gesture. She thanked him with a hug and a kiss. That gruff old
man cried when he related the story to me.
That does sound like a wonderful idea. I have a circular cardboard
plaque on my wall that shows in radial segments all the monarchs of
England from William the Conqueror through the despised and
short-reigning Edward VII, who spoke well of Hitler's regime early on.
In the center of the circle is George VI, the brother of Edward VII
who was crowned after Edward VII was booted out, with his wife
Elizabeth: the current Queen Elizabeth II is their daughter. The
picture must have been printed on the occasion of the accession of
the couple to the throne in 1936. (That Queen Elizabeth was the
much-loved "queen mother" who long outlived her husband and only
died in 2002.) I remember that picture from my earliest childhood,
and got possession of it after my mom died. It's dark with age now.
I suspect it was originally paper with the cardboard backing
and shellacking added by my grandparents at the time George VI
was crowned. It's much more meaningful to me than it would be
to other people.
http://tinypic.com/m/dzwho9/1
Post by islander
Often it is the thought behind the gift that is much more important than
the gift itself.
islander
2016-05-09 19:18:38 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by rumpelstiltskin
Post by islander
Post by rumpelstiltskin
Post by mg
On Sun, 8 May 2016 07:51:06 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
"Financial or other aid provided, especially by the government, to
people in need"
That's rather vague, and so I asked you to say "Specifically, what do
Democrats and Republicans want to do that would turn Social Security
into a welfare program."
That discussion remains as-is above, and answers why I think (using your
application of your definition) raising the cap makes it more of a
welfare program.
If you don't like that dictionary definition then perhaps you might
want to find another dictionary, or write them a letter of protest.
You sure are a feisty sonofabitch, mg! That's meant as a
compliment, though I hasten to add that I also very much
like and respect Josh.
I said something to my son the other day that surprised
myself. We had just been at the house of a famous (in
some circles), friend, where I'd had the pleasure of being
able to hand him a T-shirt, lightly used but still in good
condition, of the only one of his T-shirts of which he didn't
have a single copy left, and really wished he had one.
After my son and I were walking away after the next
visit during which I'd delivered the shirt, I mentioned that
I don't control the conversation as much in our friend's
presence as usual because I was somewhat "intimidated
by his greatness". I surprised myself at that, because
normally I'm so arrogant that just as a matter of course
I regard my own opinions as superior to all others,
though I do restrain myself somewhat from disturbing
tranquility and I do try to indulge the fantasies of
"inferior minds" as long as they those fantasies aren't
too damaging to others.
My friend really liked the T-shirt, I'm happy to say.
He wore it the whole time we were there, even
though he's had two strokes and is very thin now, so
the T-shirt, which is a "large", is at least two
categories too big for him. He has a lot of things to
be proud of, but that T-shirt was of special
significance as representing of one of the most
conspicuous parts of his life. I was surprised when
he'd said he didn't have a single copy of it.
That was a very thoughtful thing to do. Well done, sir!
I don't really deserve any credit. I've met a lot of very
interesting people at his house (and smoked a lot of
really good marijuana there too) that I was glad to be
able to finally do something of real value to him. His
lover, now his husband, said in a newspaper interview
that he's a genius, and he is, in a much more meaningful
way than just an IQ genius.
Post by islander
A few years ago, I was assisting in caregiving for an elderly man who
had so many things wrong with his health that there wasn't much that he
could do for himself any more. He was a retired railroad man with a
gruff demeanor who was so rough on the women caregivers who were
responsible for his daily care that they kept quitting. For some
reason, I was able to gain his trust and he confided in me that the one
thing that he wanted to do before dying was to attend his
granddaughter's wedding. But, he was very concerned that he would not
be able to buy her a wedding present. I asked him if he had anything
that was given to him or his wife that was special. He recalled that
his grandmother had given them an old iron skillet as a wedding gift
that they had used for years. I suggested to him that he write up the
story of that skillet and give the skillet to his granddaughter as
something special. He did that and his granddaughter was very touched
by the gesture. She thanked him with a hug and a kiss. That gruff old
man cried when he related the story to me.
That does sound like a wonderful idea. I have a circular cardboard
plaque on my wall that shows in radial segments all the monarchs of
England from William the Conqueror through the despised and
short-reigning Edward VII, who spoke well of Hitler's regime early on.
In the center of the circle is George VI, the brother of Edward VII
who was crowned after Edward VII was booted out, with his wife
Elizabeth: the current Queen Elizabeth II is their daughter. The
picture must have been printed on the occasion of the accession of
the couple to the throne in 1936. (That Queen Elizabeth was the
much-loved "queen mother" who long outlived her husband and only
died in 2002.) I remember that picture from my earliest childhood,
and got possession of it after my mom died. It's dark with age now.
I suspect it was originally paper with the cardboard backing
and shellacking added by my grandparents at the time George VI
was crowned. It's much more meaningful to me than it would be
to other people.
http://tinypic.com/m/dzwho9/1
It might be very meaningful to your sister's kids who you have spoken of
affectionately (if I remember the family connection correctly).

I really don't know what I might have that would be of interest to my
kids or grandkids and that becomes ever more important as my wife and I
look at downsizing.
Post by rumpelstiltskin
Post by islander
Often it is the thought behind the gift that is much more important than
the gift itself.
rumpelstiltskin
2016-05-10 05:53:01 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
<snip>
Post by islander
Post by rumpelstiltskin
I have a circular cardboard
plaque on my wall that shows in radial segments all the monarchs of
England from William the Conqueror through the despised and
short-reigning Edward VII, who spoke well of Hitler's regime early on.
In the center of the circle is George VI, the brother of Edward VII
who was crowned after Edward VII was booted out, with his wife
Elizabeth: the current Queen Elizabeth II is their daughter. The
picture must have been printed on the occasion of the accession of
the couple to the throne in 1936. (That Queen Elizabeth was the
much-loved "queen mother" who long outlived her husband and only
died in 2002.) I remember that picture from my earliest childhood,
and got possession of it after my mom died. It's dark with age now.
I suspect it was originally paper with the cardboard backing
and shellacking added by my grandparents at the time George VI
was crowned. It's much more meaningful to me than it would be
to other people.
http://tinypic.com/m/dzwho9/1
It might be very meaningful to your sister's kids who you have spoken of
affectionately (if I remember the family connection correctly).
My niece and nephew are 28 and 20, born in the USA after my
grandparents died in England, and have never been across the
Atlantic, so there's not much sense of "family history" there.
That might change though, who knows?

I myself have no idea, and have perhaps never asked, what
the first names of my own great-grandparents were. I have
no photos of them.
islander
2016-05-10 14:24:02 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by rumpelstiltskin
<snip>
Post by islander
Post by rumpelstiltskin
I have a circular cardboard
plaque on my wall that shows in radial segments all the monarchs of
England from William the Conqueror through the despised and
short-reigning Edward VII, who spoke well of Hitler's regime early on.
In the center of the circle is George VI, the brother of Edward VII
who was crowned after Edward VII was booted out, with his wife
Elizabeth: the current Queen Elizabeth II is their daughter. The
picture must have been printed on the occasion of the accession of
the couple to the throne in 1936. (That Queen Elizabeth was the
much-loved "queen mother" who long outlived her husband and only
died in 2002.) I remember that picture from my earliest childhood,
and got possession of it after my mom died. It's dark with age now.
I suspect it was originally paper with the cardboard backing
and shellacking added by my grandparents at the time George VI
was crowned. It's much more meaningful to me than it would be
to other people.
http://tinypic.com/m/dzwho9/1
It might be very meaningful to your sister's kids who you have spoken of
affectionately (if I remember the family connection correctly).
My niece and nephew are 28 and 20, born in the USA after my
grandparents died in England, and have never been across the
Atlantic, so there's not much sense of "family history" there.
That might change though, who knows?
I myself have no idea, and have perhaps never asked, what
the first names of my own great-grandparents were. I have
no photos of them.
I have a nephew who is in charge of the family genealogy and has done a
magnificent job, taking some links back to the 17th century. Lots of
family pictures too. My sister undertook the job of duplicating old
pictures and distributed them around the family, but nothing going back
to before the late 19th century. Guess there wasn't much photography
before then. Very few family artifacts have survived, tho. My parents
house burned in 1918 and a lot was lost then.

With the advent of digital photography we are buried in pictures taken
over the past 20 years. Gotta get them organized some day!
rumpelstiltskin
2016-05-07 15:58:53 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Fri, 6 May 2016 18:50:23 -0700, Josh Rosenbluth <***@nowhere.com>
<snip>
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
We were talking Medicare at this point, not Social Security.
Nonetheless, wouldn't a progressive tax make it look more like a welfare
program because progressive taxes transfer wealth.
I regard a progressive tax system as an inadequate (but
better than nothing) way of transferring some of the wealth
of society back to people who work to create that wealth.
Capitalism itself is a creation of society, one that tends to
transfer wealth to the already wealthy. I regard that
tendency of capitalism as an undesirable effect that needs
at least some way of keeping it from getting "too much"
out of hand.

When we have businesses and people who pay little to
support the society that allowed their wealth to come
into existence (by "offshoring" or by low taxes on wealthy
individuals for example), that's capitalism getting out of
hand IMV. Capitalism should not IMV be an unfettered
thing on which the distribution of benefits within a society
should be based.

Executive skill alone is by no means the only way
wealth is created and therefore into which hands nearly
all created wealth should end up, as seems to be the
philosophy of the "Libertarians".
wolfbat359
2016-05-07 17:23:00 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by rumpelstiltskin
<snip>
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
We were talking Medicare at this point, not Social Security.
Nonetheless, wouldn't a progressive tax make it look more like a welfare
program because progressive taxes transfer wealth.
I regard a progressive tax system as an inadequate (but
better than nothing) way of transferring some of the wealth
of society back to people who work to create that wealth.
Capitalism itself is a creation of society, one that tends to
transfer wealth to the already wealthy. I regard that
tendency of capitalism as an undesirable effect that needs
at least some way of keeping it from getting "too much"
out of hand.
When we have businesses and people who pay little to
support the society that allowed their wealth to come
into existence (by "offshoring" or by low taxes on wealthy
individuals for example), that's capitalism getting out of
hand IMV. Capitalism should not IMV be an unfettered
thing on which the distribution of benefits within a society
should be based.
Executive skill alone is by no means the only way
wealth is created and therefore into which hands nearly
all created wealth should end up, as seems to be the
philosophy of the "Libertarians".
It is often up to the Share Holders. If they feel that the workers are being paid too much and they are not getting what they want, they can replace the CEO with one who sees it their way!
rumpelstiltskin
2016-05-07 17:35:15 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sat, 7 May 2016 10:23:00 -0700 (PDT), wolfbat359
Post by wolfbat359
Post by rumpelstiltskin
<snip>
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
We were talking Medicare at this point, not Social Security.
Nonetheless, wouldn't a progressive tax make it look more like a welfare
program because progressive taxes transfer wealth.
I regard a progressive tax system as an inadequate (but
better than nothing) way of transferring some of the wealth
of society back to people who work to create that wealth.
Capitalism itself is a creation of society, one that tends to
transfer wealth to the already wealthy. I regard that
tendency of capitalism as an undesirable effect that needs
at least some way of keeping it from getting "too much"
out of hand.
When we have businesses and people who pay little to
support the society that allowed their wealth to come
into existence (by "offshoring" or by low taxes on wealthy
individuals for example), that's capitalism getting out of
hand IMV. Capitalism should not IMV be an unfettered
thing on which the distribution of benefits within a society
should be based.
Executive skill alone is by no means the only way
wealth is created and therefore into which hands nearly
all created wealth should end up, as seems to be the
philosophy of the "Libertarians".
It is often up to the Share Holders. If they feel that the workers are being paid too much and they are not getting what they want, they can replace the CEO with one who sees it their way!
I haven't noticed that most shareholders have any real control
over executive compensation. I very much doubt that many of
HP's shareholders would have volunteered to let Carly Fiorina
walk away with a golden parachute of $40M after wrecking HP.

It's like politics, ISTM, in which self-serving bureaucracy
perpetuates the welfare of its own insiders, skillfully
outmanoeuvering any attempts by commoners to "reform" the
status-quo.
El Castor
2016-05-07 00:37:14 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Josh Rosenbluth
Post by mg
On Thu, 05 May 2016 23:46:23 -0700, El Castor
I'm not at all worried about my social security. Actually, I could
still get along alright if I received none at all. My feeling,
however, is that the best solution to the SS problem is to eliminate
the cap and do absolutely nothing else and I think that the reason
Republican and Democratic politicians refuse to do that is because
that would cost companies money and they have been bought off by the
1%.
Raising the cap will make SS look more like a welfare program than doing
nothing.
Post by mg
My second-best preference is to do absolutely nothing instead of
turning it into a welfare program for the poor, like the Democrats
and Republicans want to do. Trump has said that he will do
absolutely nothing with Social Security. Ergo, I agree with Trump on
that issue.
Doing nothing means we have to find a ton of cash (most likely borrowing
from China) to pay back the Trust Fund, and when we have done that SS
benefits will be cut by 20%.
Post by mg
Post by El Castor
Post by mg
*Medicare
What's the problem? Medicare tends toward the crappy, but so do all
socialized medicine schemes.
The trend with Medicare is obviously to cut benefits, as Obama has
done. The solution I prefer in the case of Medicare is to raise the
contribution amount, or do nothing, and doing nothing is, I believe
Trump's position.
Doing nothing means cutting benefits, unless the cost of providing the
same level of care is reduced.
Careful! You are sounding sensible!
m***@my-deja.com
2016-05-06 00:00:15 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by awouk
http://www.salon.com/2016/05/04/donald_trump_is_what_happens_when_you_screw_the_middle_class/
The populist groundswell that gave Trump the nomination follows
decades of policies that devastated Main Street
--
die gedanken sind frei
Yep. The true colors of the GOP are starting to show.
They really do support illegal immigration (immigration as
they like to call it). The only thing is they don't want
is for them have rights. Modern day serfdom, repeating
the mistakes made long ago.
And they don't give a @#$%! about the American people.
All they care about is money and it doesn't matter from
which country it comes from.
w***@msn.com
2016-05-07 16:51:36 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by m***@my-deja.com
Post by awouk
http://www.salon.com/2016/05/04/donald_trump_is_what_happens_when_you_screw_the_middle_class/
The populist groundswell that gave Trump the nomination follows
decades of policies that devastated Main Street
--
die gedanken sind frei
Yep. The true colors of the GOP are starting to show.
They really do support illegal immigration (immigration as
they like to call it). The only thing is they don't want
is for them have rights. Modern day serfdom, repeating
the mistakes made long ago.
All they care about is money and it doesn't matter from
which country it comes from.
You have to be talking about the Democrats and greedy pricks like the Clintons, who enriched themselves by passing trade bills unfavorable to America and which cost millions of Amercans to lose good-paying jobs. How anybody can vote for those cretins must have rocks in their heads. Let's just bll remember that paying bills and maintaining a minimal standard of living is not the topmost of Americans' concern.......no......it's global warming. Liberalism is truly a sickness of the mind. Long live NAFTA and favorable trade bills for China......
m***@my-deja.com
2016-05-08 01:09:33 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by w***@msn.com
Post by m***@my-deja.com
Post by awouk
http://www.salon.com/2016/05/04/donald_trump_is_what_happens_when_you_screw_the_middle_class/
The populist groundswell that gave Trump the nomination follows
decades of policies that devastated Main Street
--
die gedanken sind frei
Yep. The true colors of the GOP are starting to show.
They really do support illegal immigration (immigration as
they like to call it). The only thing is they don't want
is for them have rights. Modern day serfdom, repeating
the mistakes made long ago.
All they care about is money and it doesn't matter from
which country it comes from.
You have to be talking about the Democrats and greedy pricks like the Clintons, who enriched themselves by passing trade bills unfavorable to America and which cost millions of Amercans to lose good-paying jobs. How anybody can vote for those cretins must have rocks in their heads. Let's just bll remember that paying bills and maintaining a minimal standard of living is not the topmost of Americans' concern.......no......it's global warming. Liberalism is truly a sickness of the mind. Long live NAFTA and favorable trade bills for China......
Look it is both parties. What I can't stand is deception.
I don't care for the democrats but the GOP is selling bs
to the US public. And this time the voters called them on it.
me
2016-05-06 08:14:20 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Donald Trump is actually what happens if you screw the productive class with 'progressive' federal policies. They resist. They organize to control the means of exploitation much as worker unions do. They organize against being exploited. They vote with their feet.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-05/number-americans-renouncing-citizenship-just-keeps-going


Frederic Bastiat, a 19th c. French classical liberal thinker also had some prescient advice.
"Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavours to live at the expense of everybody else." and a corollary.
"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."
mg
2018-06-12 20:47:55 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Thu, 5 May 2016 18:18:05 -0000 (UTC), awouk
Post by awouk
http://www.salon.com/2016/05/04/donald_trump_is_what_happens_when_you_screw_the_middle_class/
The populist groundswell that gave Trump the nomination follows
decades of policies that devastated Main Street
Is neoliberalism the problem?

"Neo-liberalism" is a set of economic policies
that have become widespread during the last 25
years or so. Although the word is rarely heard
in the United States, you can clearly see the
effects of neo-liberalism here as the rich grow
richer and the poor grow poorer."
http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=376

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