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Old 07-23-2011, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,746 posts, read 4,226,506 times
Reputation: 6866

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Two proposals that were recently released:

Heritage Foundation:
http://www.savingthedream.org/about-...vAmerDream.pdf

Senator Coburn
http://coburn.senate.gov/public//ind...0-79c43f33913a

The Heritage Foundation's proposal did not surprise me. Senator Coburn's plan was a bit of a shocker, given that he is a Congressman. Perhaps he does not intend to seek reelection ?
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,769,401 times
Reputation: 32309
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
Two proposals that were recently released:
Heritage Foundation:
http://www.savingthedream.org/about-...vAmerDream.pdf
Senator Coburn
http://coburn.senate.gov/public//ind...0-79c43f33913a
The Heritage Foundation's proposal did not surprise me. Senator Coburn's plan was a bit of a shocker, given that he is a Congressman. Perhaps he does not intend to seek reelection ?
You speculate that Sen. Coburn may "not intend to seek reelection". Did you mean this as a criticism or a compliment? I think we need more politicians who put rationality and the long-term interest of the nation ahead of their own re-election hopes. His proposal is long (26 pages) but very rational and very well thought out. He starts by pointing out what we all ought to admit right now - that we are between a rock and a hard place with regard to Social Security. Here are his proposals:

1. Reduce benefits for higher income earners
2. Increase retirement age to reflect gains in life expectancy
3. Improve calculation of COLA's
4. Adjust the spousal benefit calculation

Now I can make counter-arguments against all four of the proposals. But I want to know what poster Lenora would propose as solutions, if, as she seems to be implying, she doesn't like the above four. Is she in favor of doing nothing and waiting for the train wreck? Let's face it: Nothing that can be done will fail to gore somebody's ox. Sen. Coburn's four suggestions are about as reasonable as any I have seen, and I follow this debate.

In addition, Sen. Coburn has some common-sense proposals for reforming the disability program. Why do you think disability awards have been increasing at an exponential rate? Isn't that in itself a gigantic red flag that something is wrong? Do you really think the human gene pool has changed so much in a few decades that we have scads more disabled people? Wouldn't it be worth doing something to cut the fraud and abuse in order to preserve disability payments for those who are truly disabled? Or would it be better to do nothing and wait for the train wreck? The disability train wreck is coming sooner than the Social Security retirement benefits train wreck, so the former is even more critical to address than the latter.
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:35 AM
 
48,516 posts, read 84,044,795 times
Reputation: 18051
The one thing I come out of this with is no matter what SS as a program to supplement retirement is less secure as to certtainty of payments even if reduced as trutees say.Many politicains have no incentive to reform or fix it has they constantly use it more than any program as a scare tactic to get votes and support.Someone mention reform and the same old crowd says the reformer wants to elminate SS.I trust wall street more than washington now actually.
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Old 07-23-2011, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Metromess
11,798 posts, read 22,005,395 times
Reputation: 5074
I don't think either is deserving of much trust.
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Old 07-23-2011, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,746 posts, read 4,226,506 times
Reputation: 6866
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
You speculate that Sen. Coburn may "not intend to seek reelection". Did you mean this as a criticism or a compliment? I think we need more politicians who put rationality and the long-term interest of the nation ahead of their own re-election hopes. His proposal is long (26 pages) but very rational and very well thought out. He starts by pointing out what we all ought to admit right now - that we are between a rock and a hard place with regard to Social Security. Here are his proposals:

1. Reduce benefits for higher income earners
2. Increase retirement age to reflect gains in life expectancy
3. Improve calculation of COLA's
4. Adjust the spousal benefit calculation

Now I can make counter-arguments against all four of the proposals. But I want to know what poster Lenora would propose as solutions, if, as she seems to be implying, she doesn't like the above four. Is she in favor of doing nothing and waiting for the train wreck? Let's face it: Nothing that can be done will fail to gore somebody's ox. Sen. Coburn's four suggestions are about as reasonable as any I have seen, and I follow this debate.

In addition, Sen. Coburn has some common-sense proposals for reforming the disability program. Why do you think disability awards have been increasing at an exponential rate? Isn't that in itself a gigantic red flag that something is wrong? Do you really think the human gene pool has changed so much in a few decades that we have scads more disabled people? Wouldn't it be worth doing something to cut the fraud and abuse in order to preserve disability payments for those who are truly disabled? Or would it be better to do nothing and wait for the train wreck? The disability train wreck is coming sooner than the Social Security retirement benefits train wreck, so the former is even more critical to address than the latter.
Call me cynical, but the mere fact that Sen. Coburn's proposal was released (with typos) while everyone in the nation is focused on the debt ceiling, leads me to believe he didn't expect anyone to actually read his proposal.

I'm not familiar with Sen. Coburn, but it seems to me any republican who seeks to immediately reduce benefits to those with an earnings record averaging greater than $2,433/month is going to p.o. a lot of his constituents. (I didn't see where he intends to limit this particular reform to future retirees. If you see that, please feel free to direct my attention to the page number. Wouldn't be the first time I missed an important point.)

The phasing in of the reduction of spousal benefits would begin next year. Although he indicates he is in favor of reducing spousal benefits because a two member household doesn't need the full 50%, he did not address the award of spousal benefits to divorced spouses. Was this intentional? Again, being a bit cynical, I'd vote yes.

In terms of disability benefits, I cannot address all of his faulty assumptions but I can point out that eliminating the reconsideration stage of the disability process and hiring attorneys to represent the government at disability hearings will substantially increase the cost of the program. In addition, his proposal would be disastrous for disabled persons wrongfully terminated by SSA.

My opinion is based on my prior experience as a SSA attorney and as a private practitioner. I have some ideas that could reduce the cost of the program, but I am not willing to post them on a public board. (I have several pending cases before SSA.)

BTW - The human gene pool may not have changed much in the last few decades, but the occupational base has changed. After it is determined that the claimant's impairments prevent him from performing his past work, SSA must then determine "whether there are significant numbers of jobs in the national economy that the claimant can perform given the claimant's residual functional capacity, age, education, and work experience." If the vocational expert cannot identify a significant number of jobs that the claimant can perform, the claimant is awarded benefits. (*Note: The law does not require that there are actual job openings, merely that somewhere in our nation a significant number of identifiable jobs exist that the claimant could perform.)

Nevertheless, I am probably one of the few that would benefit from the Senator's plan because he proposes to slightly raise the bend points. Does this mean I should look away and pretend it's a good plan? I don't think so...
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Old 07-23-2011, 03:18 PM
 
71,916 posts, read 71,971,035 times
Reputation: 49468
i think one area that could be a potential area of found money is the suspending your own ss and allowing it to grow while collecting on a spouse .

i mean,i hope its not touched because thats my plan but the reality is a bankrupt system cant afford do that little perk..
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Old 07-23-2011, 04:58 PM
ifa
 
294 posts, read 370,118 times
Reputation: 371
"Increase retirement age to reflect gains in life expectancy"

What gains in life expectancy? That is a very unfortunate myth. Life expectancy has barely increased for middle-aged Americans (the average has increased because of a decrease in infant mortality). And older Americans are probably sicker now than ever. And even if they were healthy, age discrimination is rampant, so how the heck are we supposed to find and keep jobs when we're old?

Increasing SS retirement age is a stupid idea and will create misery for millions. Not that you can live on SS anyway, but they took our money and we are counting on getting it back.
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:56 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 84,044,795 times
Reputation: 18051
Well the stats shown buy the medicare and SS trutees show that americans are living longer ands collecting for more and mroe years.I really don't thnik nayone living deosn;t see this themelves looking around. You seem to mixup infant survival rates with average age at death.
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:04 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
21,547 posts, read 44,105,067 times
Reputation: 15160
Quote:
Originally Posted by texdav View Post
Well the stats shown buy the medicare and SS trutees show that americans are living longer ands collecting for more and mroe years.I really don't thnik nayone living deosn;t see this themelves looking around. You seem to mixup infant survival rates with average age at death.
Still doesn't deal with the issue of keeping people employed. I was forcibly retired at 67-1/2. I would have worked to 70-1/2 if they would have let me, possibly longer. Self-employed people can continue to work. Empoyees often have no choice in the matter.

Given the new normal of permanently higher unemployment and underemployment and the continued decline of decent paying jobs, it's a real Catch22. People need to work longer to make up for lower wages, SS FRA will be over 67 soon, but the jobs won't be there. So, then what?
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,007,999 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
You speculate that Sen. Coburn may "not intend to seek reelection". Did you mean this as a criticism or a compliment? I think we need more politicians who put rationality and the long-term interest of the nation ahead of their own re-election hopes. His proposal is long (26 pages) but very rational and very well thought out. He starts by pointing out what we all ought to admit right now - that we are between a rock and a hard place with regard to Social Security. Here are his proposals:

1. Reduce benefits for higher income earners
2. Increase retirement age to reflect gains in life expectancy
3. Improve calculation of COLA's
4. Adjust the spousal benefit calculation

Now I can make counter-arguments against all four of the proposals. But I want to know what poster Lenora would propose as solutions, if, as she seems to be implying, she doesn't like the above four. Is she in favor of doing nothing and waiting for the train wreck? Let's face it: Nothing that can be done will fail to gore somebody's ox. Sen. Coburn's four suggestions are about as reasonable as any I have seen, and I follow this debate.

In addition, Sen. Coburn has some common-sense proposals for reforming the disability program. Why do you think disability awards have been increasing at an exponential rate? Isn't that in itself a gigantic red flag that something is wrong? Do you really think the human gene pool has changed so much in a few decades that we have scads more disabled people? Wouldn't it be worth doing something to cut the fraud and abuse in order to preserve disability payments for those who are truly disabled? Or would it be better to do nothing and wait for the train wreck? The disability train wreck is coming sooner than the Social Security retirement benefits train wreck, so the former is even more critical to address than the latter.
I can see your POV as rational. However, peoples' opinions on the matter naively (or calculatingly) ignore the obese elephant in the room--corporate handouts, bailouts, & fraud---and unnecessary wars. Of course the bigwigs will favor cutting anything for the middle class and poor--anything to save their butts on the things they SHOULD be cutting. "The nation"--WE ARE the nation.

(As for disabiiity, too, fine, look at that and make some changes...but FIRST...deal with that elephant.)
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