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Ayn Rand and Social Security

Posted by overmanwarrior 3 years, 9 months ago to Government
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Social Security was a stupid idea, and it never should have been enacted. It is an insult to stick the government in between Americans and their so-called retirements. I resent every deduction taken from my paycheck as a theft stolen from me, because the government will never be in a position to pay me back all the money I have “invested” under coercion. I have personal friends who hate Social Security so badly they have essentially given up their citizenship over the issue. One of those friends had began plotting his deferral from the Social Security system in the 5th grade—no kidding. He was a very smart kid and while the other kids were talking about the rock band KISS and the new show on television called The Dukes of Hazzard, he was planning on how to legally refuse his obligations toward Social Security. As an adult, he gave up his citizenship after years of legal entanglement—but—he doesn’t pay into the system, because as he was always right, Social Security is stolen money not granted by an infant when they are issued a card after being registered by their parents. His argument was that his parents didn’t have a right to commit him to a life obligation into such a contract with the government.
SOURCE URL: https://overmanwarrior.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/ayn-rand-and-social-security-confiscated-money-that-is-owed-eventually/


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    Posted by SaltyDog 3 years, 9 months ago
    Sadly, it gets worse.

    If you file for and receive Social Security "benefits" (and please note that they no longer use the word 'entitlement), then have more than $18,500 in earned income, your SSI benefits can be taxed at 50%!
    To top it all off, when you pass away, SSI STOPS. Period. Your estate gets nothing. It all returns to the government, even if you died prior to receiving your first payment. If you tried to set up a retirement plan for your employees using that model, they'd put you in jail, and rightfully so.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 9 months ago
      Now how's that for an investment! Lol
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      • Posted by SaltyDog 3 years, 9 months ago
        My point exactly. Had they offered me a choice as little as ten years ago, I would have agreed that they could keep everything that I had put in if they would allow me to opt out and invest the money as I see fit going forward. Of course, they'd never offer that because anyone with opposable thumbs would have snatched that deal up in a heartbeat.
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        • Posted by MinorLiberator 3 years, 9 months ago
          Agreed. I believe several 'opting out' programs are being suggested by (relatively) more rational politicians. Hopefully they eventually succeed.

          I don't remember the exact numbers, but I remember a simple investment analysis done years ago that showed if you could opt out of SS from the start of working, and invested what would have been your SS deduction, even at a fixed, very low rate of interest, you would have at least a $1M, or more, nest egg at 65.

          I also know, as probably all of us do, if you look at your annual summary of your cumulative lifetime SS contributions, you will NEVER get that amount of money back, unless perhaps your name is Methuselah.
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          • Posted by SaltyDog 3 years, 9 months ago
            You're quite right, ML.

            The actual example is that if you are average Joe, worked for around 40 years, invested the SSI amount at the then current CD interest rate over the years, today you would have well in excess of $1mm, and here's the key...YOU would own it. It would continue to accrue in retirement, unlike Social Security, and if you've invested prudently, your heirs would inherit that amount or significantly more.
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  • Posted by coaldigger 3 years, 9 months ago
    The most outrageous part is that not only did the government steal 15% of our income, they stole it again from the fund, bankrupting the system and now we owe it as debt. Not being satisfied with their thievery, they added payouts to groups that were never even in the system creating programs for widows, orphans, the disabled and other charity cases. The funds wisely invested would have provided a better payout upon retirement than SS benefits and we have to kiss their butt to get some of it back. Now they propose saving the system by reducing the payout to those that paid the most in. You can't make this stuff up.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 9 months ago
      No you can't. I view it as a tragic failure of an epic debacle built with looted money and only good intentions as support.
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      • Posted by ewv 3 years, 9 months ago
        Good intentions? It was conceived as a way to buy votes with money that would be collected into the system from others later. It was Bernie from the beginning.
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        • Posted by  $  nickursis 3 years, 9 months ago
          Exactly. I cannot stand the idea they have stolen money from me, given to someone else, and promised something similar to me "IF", "IF", "IF", and more "If"s thasn you can ever understand. It is all gone, there is nothing, it is the single most glaring example of the "Looter" syndrome AR talked about in AS, one reason I profoundly believe in the book. SS is the posterboy program for Looting. A pox on it... I plan on working until I drop dead...
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  • Posted by jsw225 3 years, 9 months ago
    The easiest way to figure out when the Government is involved in "Legal Plunder" is if you would personally be tracked down, arrested, and punished for doing the exact same thing the Government has done.

    I.E. Bernie Madoff structured his "Retirement Fund" exactly the same as Social Security. Ask him how it's working out for him and his investors.
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  • Posted by Wonky 3 years, 9 months ago
    I sleep at night by acknowledging that it is just a tax. At 41, I won't get a penny of it back. If and when everyone receiving it begins to give it back to the workers that it is being stolen from, then we'll only have lost 90% of it to the administration cost of the whole farce, early death, and the income tax on it. Since I'm not planning on using it, I'll be finding some nice young hard working folks to hand it back to along with a copy of Atlas Shrugged, while I think fondly of Ragnar Danneskjöld.
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  • Posted by  $  RobertFl 3 years, 9 months ago
    It IS an entitlement. You are entitled to get YOUR money back from the government. The problem here is, liberals have redefined "Welfare" to be an "entitlement". This is wrong because you are not entitled to someone else's money (so the producers believe, we know what the parasites think). This "entitlement" definition is what trips people up when is come to SSI, or Welfare - the libs want them to both be the same thing. Vilify one, vilifies the other.
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  • Posted by Turfprint 3 years, 9 months ago
    I was 12 years old when my dad took me to the SS office to register. He said "You will be forced to pay into this your whole life. When it's your turn to collect there won't be any money to pay you." I asked, "Why not?" Dad said, " They will take the money and use it for other things, that's what the government always does."

    That was 59 years ago. I remember it perfectly. I always believed he would be proven correct. So each and every time I get a check I am surprised. But I frgging paid into that fund every paycheck since I was 12. It is not an entitlement!
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    • Posted by  $  WilliamShipley 3 years, 9 months ago
      People who get into a Ponzi scheme early make out well. You are at the trailing end of people who are going to get what was promised (although that's not a good investment return).

      In the very near future Social Security will stop being a cash cow that the government uses to get funds and becomes a liability

      Expect that it will be under fire from the same liberals who value it so highly when it cuts into thei money for the programs they use to buy voters.

      Suddenly means testing our retirement account will become the popular thing.
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  • Posted by  $  richrobinson 3 years, 9 months ago
    I hate when a politician talks about how people rely on Social Security and how they need it. Did they ever explain to people how much more they would have if the government quit taking their money? What if it was a real retirement plan? How much would they get? Social Security stinks.
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  • Posted by  $  jlc 3 years, 9 months ago
    The other fact that I have recently discovered is that while, technically, SS does not require that you use Medicare and Medicare does not technically require that you accept SS...(wait for it)...Clinton passed a law in 1993 that linked the two of them: If you accept Medicare you have to also accept SS. (Yes, even if you have complete medical coverage through a corporate policy.) So you now must let the same gov that runs the IRS and the Post Awful can run your health care.

    This is almost made moot by the ACA...but I still have hope that will be repealed. Soon. Please.

    Jan
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  • Posted by Matcha 3 years, 9 months ago
    In response to Jan's post, just because people fail to look out for themselves doesn't mean I am responsible to pad their corners. You are free to do so. What were they doing while my husband was working two jobs. After we were married we had two babies 11 months apart within 2 years and he earned two more college degrees. Our road to financial success was tough and often included working late and every Saturday. We also lived a thousand miles from our parents so we were truly on our own. There was one car. I have helped family members financially when I chose to do so. They a least had to listen to my lecture when I helped them. No one, no government has a right to redistribute what I earned. If I were not a southern lady I'd say f... them. Also, the government will waste our money and take our freedoms and collapse the country. Laws of Economics do exist.
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  • Posted by Matcha 3 years, 9 months ago
    I don't have a problem with AR taking Social Security. She probably needed to since she paid taxes. There is no doubt in my mind that Social Security has made life better for many people. That does not justify the government obligating us to eternal slavery paying for everything for everyone. I will opt for Freedom and all the risk that comes with it. That includes taking care of elderly parents. Maybe that's not a bad idea.
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  • Posted by  $  KSilver3 3 years, 9 months ago
    The same can be said of all these entitlement programs. If we simply took all the money we spend on entitlements today, and wrote a check to every American citizen, we would all be millionaires. The bureaucracy eats up .75$ on the dollar conservatively, and those of us not as close to retirement know we are simply paying for our parents retirement, and will never see a penny on the dollar we put in.
    The age of collections when SS was started was exactly 1 year over the average life expectancy at the time. Now people collect for almost as long as they pay in, and the amount they collect has no resemblance to the amount they paid.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 3 years, 9 months ago
    I was forced to pay into S.S. and have been receiving it for over 15 years. I will never live long enough to get my money back, let alone any kind of profit from the Roosevelt rip-off, but I'll do my best to squeeze every penny out of it that I can. I have always hated the "F" as in F.I.T. - F.I.C.A. - F.U.K.I.T.
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  • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 3 years, 9 months ago
    It is not a bad idea to invest for old age and retirement. In fact if one could live with only a government mandate (I would have issue with even this) like auto insurance, but stayed out of the funding, a savings plan that was private and individuals invested their own money it may have even profited and left remaining funds to heirs. It is government control and it is a ponzi scheme. The "separate" account has not been invested it has been raided and spent on other "goodies." The fund is reliant on demographic changes and is theft from one generation to the next. One cannot blame the recipients for the mismanagement of their money. It is all on the government. FDR knew this would happen eventually, but not until he had won the votes he wanted. A competitive, private market system was offered as an amendment to the Social security system and was defeated. The amendment was offered by Senator Bennett Clark. The Act "would have allowed employers to opt out of the system as long as they offered their employees pensions with better benefits. Senator Robert M. La Follette, a strong supporter of the original version.objected to offering citizens a choice among plans: If we shall adopt (the Clark) amendment, the government having determined to set up a federal system of old-age insurance will provide, in its own bill creating that system, competition which in the end may destroy the federal system.... It would be inviting and encouraging competition with its own plan which ultimately would undermine and destroy it." pg.184, Jim Powell, FDR's Folly...
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  • Posted by dbhalling 3 years, 9 months ago
    Chile and several other countries have converted their transfer payment retirement programs into real investment accounts with amazing results for all. A truly free society would not coerce me to save for retirement, but if we are going to have a system it should be a real retirement system.
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    • Posted by  $  jlc 3 years, 9 months ago
      This is clearly an appropriate idea dbhalling.

      It is fine to say that we should use Ant and Grasshopper...but I ask: How many of your friends have substantial retirement accounts? Very few of mine do. So what happens when the 80% of the people in the country who do not provide for retirement get too old for work?

      I do not have a Randist answer for this. I think one of the persistent problems with Ayn Rands philosophy is that she hopes that we will be good and wise if we are free. Since my observations run counter to that, I would respectfully suggest that if the gov taxed each citizen a 'retirement' fee, put that money in an individual account that was owned by the citizen (and which became part of his estate) and which was both privately handled and firewalled from gov use (as funds or as collateral) we might have a workable system.

      As it is, dbhalling's idea of transferring our SSA funds to actual investment accounts would be a big relief. I agree that this is philosophically sub-par, but I struggle to imagine a workable system that does not compensate for human short-sightedness.

      Jan
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      • Posted by  $  edweaver 3 years, 9 months ago
        There was not a SS system prior to FDR and people survived. And in most cases better than they do today with a government run system. There is no better force on people than to know they may not survive if they do not make the correct decisions. Society has become soft from these safety nets & handouts. Until they are gone we will never know what true freedom is like.
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        • Posted by  $  jlc 3 years, 9 months ago
          It was my impression that the family was a more stable institution 70 years ago and that 'retirement' for many people meant 'moving in with the kids'. We do not have as many functional families now and a lot of elderly people would not have that resource.

          I can understand your disagreeing with me; I would like to disagree with me. What I have written is where logic has lead me.

          Jan
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          • Posted by  $  KSilver3 3 years, 9 months ago
            Jan- I agree that the family unit was much stronger then, but I would propose that the government is at fault for much of that too. When the government started playing daddy, there was no longer as much of a benefit to keep the family unit together.
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            • Posted by  $  jlc 3 years, 9 months ago
              I think that the cause is a bit different: I think that the fact that men were less crippled emotionally and women were capable of earning their own way in the world made marriage a 'choice' (and allowed you to look for a good partner) rather than a 'requirement' (society gave you no real option). If you add to that the fact that our society is rather hodge-podge and people change over time, it is no surprise that many people experience 'serial monogamy' rather than lifetime marriages.

              Jan
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            • Posted by Mamaemma 3 years, 9 months ago
              When the government started paying for illegitimate babies, there was no longer an incentive for the girl's Daddy to get out the shotgun.
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              • Posted by  $  jlc 3 years, 9 months ago
                I totally agree that the financial endorsement of random procreation is an abysmal thing to have happen. It creates groups of people who may not even merit the word 'family' - because the children were engendered as financial tokens.

                Daddies in traditional families sometimes forget their responsibilities too. (I had to stand-in to give the 'don't treat her wrong' talk to a young man who had proposed to one of my martial arts students...because her dad did not value her enough to do so. The fiance appreciated the fact that I had bothered to take him aside and personally threaten him...even tho he was bigger and stronger than I am and had a second degree black belt and front line military experience. He LIKED the fact that I gave a damn about the woman he loved and that I threatened to mug him in a dark alley if he did her harm. Nice guy.)

                Jan
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      • Posted by Mamaemma 3 years, 9 months ago
        Oh, Jan, it is not up to the government to compensate for human short-sightedness.
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        • Posted by  $  jlc 3 years, 9 months ago
          Mamaemma: If you mean 'this is not philosophically correct', I totally agree with you. But, as Wm is fond of saying, "If Bill Gates says one thing about how a computer works, and the computer does something else...the computer wins." It doesn't matter how brilliant Bill Gates is - reality is its own definition.

          Ayn Rand was brilliant and her philosophy had a huge influence on me. (I read Anthem in grammar school and AS in HS.) But if some aspect of her philosophy does not 'work' in the real world, it does not work. There have been many experiments done on optimism in the human species and their results consistently show that people overestimate the probability that 'good times' are just around the corner and everything will come out well. The further in the future 'the corner' is, the more optimistic they are. (Psychopaths estimate the probabilities much more accurately, interestingly enough.) I actually think that +-2SD of the human population will not provide for retirement (so, somewhere around 80%).

          So I have to say that in order for retirement system to 'work' it has to be able to 'get' (motivate/cause) that 80% to save for their future. A SS system that puts our involuntary donations into a privatized account is certainly better than the SS system we have right now. I can live with that until someone clever figures out how to motivate people to do it on their own.

          Jan
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      • Posted by dbhalling 3 years, 9 months ago
        Jan,

        Chile and other countries experience would suggest that your concern about 80% of the people not having enough for retirement is completely unfounded. Social Security is a very bad deal. Take a look at this article on point https://ari.aynrand.org/blog/2014/07/14/....

        No one has the right to force somebody to do something for their own good - and countries that do always end up putting the average person in a worse position.
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        • Posted by  $  jlc 3 years, 9 months ago
          db -

          You answer that what I said is not philosophically correct. I do not dispute that - and I made that comment myself.

          The article that you linked to did not discuss the biggest difference that I see: that with SS, people will have 'something' for retirement; without SS, most people will save nothing - and they will therefor have nothing. This is the problem that I am grappling with: the same human rationalizations that cause people to put 'too many cattle on the common' will cause people to put 'too few bucks in the retirement account'. This is not because they are evil; this is not an implausible scenario (per experimental evidence); this seems to be because they are human.

          Jan
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          • Posted by dbhalling 3 years, 9 months ago
            Jan,

            I think my statement was much more limited than that. First it is clear that countries that try to save people from themselves, harm far more people than they save. Second, I think you under estimating brilliance of people in a free society and wealth they can create. The reason you and I and people you know do not have large retirement accounts is that it has purposely been stolen. Taxes take that part that you can save above living expenses. The math is a little long winded, but taxes do not take 50% of the wealth you generate, they take somewhere around 99%.
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            • Posted by  $  jlc 3 years, 9 months ago
              Thank you for your discussion. This is helping clarify the key areas in my brain.

              I remember when some friends of mine, both of whom had good jobs, chose to spend about $60K...having their yard landscaped. A few months after this project was complete, A lost her job and they both had to subsist on B's paycheck alone. This was difficult: They did not have any savings, or have anything set aside for retirement/emergencies.

              It is examples like this that make me think that if we rearranged society so that the gov did not leech off most of what we earn...people would just spend the money on landscaping and purchasing expensive tools (that they never used - different family from previous example) and not set anything aside.

              I think the very point at which we disagree is that I believe that IF people had a lot more money, they would spend it no more wisely than they do now. You think that if they had more money, they would put some aside for retirement.

              The question I ask is not: What is right? What should we do? What should they do?

              The question is: Will it work?

              If we did not have SS to require people save for the future...would this realistically result in a huge percentage of retired people being totally insolvent?

              Jan
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          • Posted by  $  KSilver3 3 years, 9 months ago
            Also keep in mind that most people are inherently generous as well. If we didn't have to fork over 20-40% of our income, we would have more money left over to help "mom and dad" or others in our community. Churches and private organizations can run programs on a 5-7% average overhead. The government consistently runs at a 75-80% overhead, and that is if you believe their numbers.
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 years, 9 months ago
        "So what happens when the 80% of the people in the country who do not provide for retirement get too old for work? "
        If there were no Soc Sec safety net, many more than 20% would rise to the occasion. Not all of them would, though. It would be good to privatize it with IRA-like accounts, but it's hard to do b/c the system needs today's workers' contributions to pay today's benefits.

        To get off this scheme, people would have to save for their own retirement plus pay additional tax to pay for current benefits. It's like admitting aloud we have this de facto debt (promised future benefits) and starting to pay it off. I don't see this happening.
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        • Posted by SaltyDog 3 years, 9 months ago
          A good point to be sure, CG. It's not something that could be fairly started arbitrarily saying 'Starting today you folks get nothing!" it would need to be phased in over say a generation and the day would arrive when someone entering the workforce on January 1, 20XX would pay nothing in SSI. It took many years to develop something THAT screwed up, and it will take many years to straighten it out. But there must be a will to do it in the first place, and it's as you say, not going to happen. Right before our very eyes, SSI has taken on the mantle of Sacred Cow.
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  • Posted by  $  Mimi 3 years, 9 months ago
    He made his decision around the same time that there was a switch in how one obtained a social security number. I don’t remember which year, but I think before the seventies you didn’t need to apply for a SSC number until you went to work. Is that right? I’m not sure.
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    • Posted by cranedragon 3 years, 9 months ago
      People started reflexively applying for Social Security numbers for their children when parents had to supply the SSNs in order to claim Johnny and Betty as dependents on their income tax returns.

      However, the benefit of the deductions phases out so if you weren't going to get any benefit from the deduction you could ignore the requirement for providing SSNs -- no harm, no foul.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 9 months ago
      That is likely. Sadly we can't even remember such a time as it was considered optional.
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      • Posted by ewv 3 years, 9 months ago
        It was never optional. It has always been required to work. The only "option" was when someone started to work.
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        • Posted by Mamaemma 3 years, 9 months ago
          How much is optional in the US today? SS should have been declared unconstitutional, since it was.
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          • Posted by MinorLiberator 3 years, 9 months ago
            Mama, there was an attempt to rein in FDR and his fellow Socialist cronies, but that attempt failed for Social Security, probably because it was presented as an "investment" scheme instead of the confiscation it was.

            Obviously I believe all such programs should have been declared unconstitutional.

            I know some of the even more outrageous programs were declared unconstitutional, hence FDR's failed attempt to "pack" SCOTUS by adding justices sympathetic to more Socialist schemes. My guess is if the court-packing hadn't failed then, Obama would have tried it by now.
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            • Posted by Mamaemma 3 years, 9 months ago
              Right. Does anybody understand why Roberts caved on Obamacare?
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              • Posted by SaltyDog 3 years, 9 months ago
                The only thing that I can think of is that they know where his family is.
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                • Posted by MinorLiberator 3 years, 9 months ago
                  Yes, no one can read his mind, it is a real mystery. I've read that he was going to vote against it, and the cave was last minute. I'm sure many, many people would love to know why.

                  Still, a mystery. I hope all of the current challenges fare better, as we aren't go to get a repeal with this current moron in the WH, or god forbid, another Democrat President.
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                  • Posted by SaltyDog 3 years, 9 months ago
                    We're not going to get a repeal at all. Ever. there's too much money on the table.
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                    • Posted by MinorLiberator 3 years, 9 months ago
                      As they say, there is a first time for everything. I think the difference between SS, other government programs and Obamacare is that the former started out as "small, safety net" programs, then grew, and also in an era when liberal ideas were almost unchallenged. That is not the case with Obamacare. It was shoved down people's throats, over the opposition of most voters. A majority still oppose it (although I will admit that majority had shrunk somewhat), everyone, if they haven't been hurt themselves by Obamacare, knows someone who has. The minority they trot out to say they've been helped by Obamacare would be pro-Democrat anyway.

                      It is a necessary, although not sufficient, requirement that repeal would require holding both houses of Congress, electing a Republican President in 2016 (with some guts), and, already in the works, reasonable plans to replace, not fix, Obamacare.

                      Finally, if the next SCOTUS ruling goes against Obamacare, as it should, it becomes even more untenable.

                      It will be interesting to watch...

                      (edited for minor content)
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              • Posted by  $  KSilver3 3 years, 9 months ago
                I hate to be a conspiracy theorist, but I do find it interesting that he caved right around the same time the NSA wiretapping program was at it's zenith. If you read the actual decision, it was clearly written to overturn the law, then the very end was changed to confirm the law. Someone or something clearly got to him after the decision was written.
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  • Posted by a59430802sojourner 3 years, 8 months ago
    I'm 73 and rely entirely on Social Security for an income. The government had seen fit to curtail my income at such a level that other retirement options were not possible. However, that said, if the money i "deposited" with the SSA had been used to even buy government bonds, my current income would be much higher and SS would probably be solvent, assuming the government had kept their hands off it. I would have gladly place my money into other retirement options, if i had had income.

    Otherwise, i am in complete agreement with the other comments. Unfortunately, it is too late for me.
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  • Posted by freedomforall 3 years, 9 months ago
    Actually Social Security may be the feds way of relieving their guilt for passing laws to allow looters on Wall Street to steal the retirement savings of the majority of people while enriching themselves and maintaining political control. Remember who "advised" many retirement funds to buy near worthless instruments while the sellers were taking a position exactly opposite to the advice?
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 3 years, 9 months ago
    I am 63, and I have not yet applied for Social
    Security. As I have understood for a long time,(and
    I have sometimes wondered if Ayn Rand took it or
    not), the money that has been taken from me is
    gone. Didn't it go to older people as I was paying
    it in? So if I file for it, there won't be anyplace
    for me to get it from, unless it is from younger
    people who will be paying it in then, will there?
    I would like to believe it was just waiting there
    for me in a box. Or even that it came just from
    the general fund. But that is not how I have
    understood it to be, for a long time. (I am cur-
    rently unemployed, but looking for a job. It is
    my intention never to retire, but just to die on
    the job, whichever job it is).
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  • Posted by hondo500 3 years, 9 months ago
    Social Security was not a bad idea. It Is a flawed idea. You may or may not get all the money out of the system that you put in. Some will and some wont. Since 9 out of 10 people fail to manage their vouluntary 401k contributions, why would we assume they would manage a private SS account? If you do properly manage your 401k, then you can also afford to fund SS and elect never to file for benefits, thereby allowing somebody else less able to manage money to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Most people have not been trained to fend for themselves, and without the SS safety net, we'd have a society with more seniors on the street corner with I'm hungry signs looking for a handout. SS is the organized hand out program. If you consider SS a charity when you put the money in, then you don't have to find HATE for the system. We live in a society that has ample abundance for all to enjoy. Participate and be glad you don't have to rely on SS. If you do receive a check from SS, donate it and you avoid the tax.
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  • Posted by autumnleaves 3 years, 9 months ago
    My grandfather, in 1939, I believe, said "let me get my share, this will never work".
    Also, I believe Galveston was allowed to vote on wether they wanted to be in S.S. Or not.
    Those persons who voted NO, are now are very wealthy!
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