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Social Security. Do you believe individuals should have the right opt out?

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Social Security. Do you believe individuals should have the right opt out?

Old 10-26-07, 03:23 AM
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Social Security. Do you believe individuals should have the right opt out?

I'm guessing the forthcoming debate might get quite heated. Then again, it is the Politics forum.....so everyone is already thick skinned. Pretty straightforward question. Not so straightforward answer. Currently, OASDI is taken out of each paycheck at ~6.2%. Your employer contributes a matching 6.2% to the gov't. The maximum taxable amount for 2007 is $97,500.

http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/cbb.html

Do you think people should be allowed to choose? Why or why not? What would you do?
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Old 10-26-07, 06:49 AM
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Many people already have the opportunity to opt out of Social Security.

Do you believe that individuals should have the right to opt out of paying Federal Income Taxes?
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Old 10-26-07, 07:37 AM
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The problem will be that people will opt out and blow all the money so they won't have any to use in the manner that SS was designed for. Not to mention underfunding the program that's not in the greatest financial shape in the first place.
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Old 10-26-07, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by VinVega
The problem will be that people will opt out and blow all the money so they won't have any to use in the manner that SS was designed for. Not to mention underfunding the program that's not in the greatest financial shape in the first place.
So you admit you approve of a coercive system that places little or no value on personal responsibility?
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Old 10-26-07, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
So you admit you approve of a coercive system that places little or no value on personal responsibility?
Personal Responsibility has its place. Perhaps not the god-like place where many of the members here want to place it. Yes I admit, I have questioned the almighty altar of Personal Responsibility in this one instance.
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Old 10-26-07, 07:45 AM
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I don't necessarily think they should be able to "opt out" but I do think they should have more choice in how at least some of that money is invested, and that money should be "theirs" (ie, my SS account holds my money, and is not spent to fund current retirees). If the program were used as it is supposed to be (accounts for people rather than in and out) underfunding might not be an issue, but I trust the government even less with my money than I trust me with it.
I don't disagree that if they could totally optout, many people will see that as a windfall, similar to tax refunds. However, that's in part because they've been trained to think, "Goverment Will Take Care of You, just Smile and give us 38% of your money".
Oh, and I wouldn't say no to being able to opt out of paying federal income taxes as well.
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Old 10-26-07, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by VinVega
Personal Responsibility has its place. Perhaps not the god-like place where many of the members here want to place it. Yes I admit, I have questioned the almighty altar of Personal Responsibility in this one instance.
I was really more interested in your take on the coercive aspect of the system.
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Old 10-26-07, 08:02 AM
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Is the Federal Income Tax coercive?
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Old 10-26-07, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Is the Federal Income Tax coercive?
Well, yeah, of course it is. Government is inherently coercive, even if it's democratic. It couldn't really function if it wasn't. The point is, how much coercion is acceptable, in what facets of society, and under what conditions? This is quite probably the fundamental subject of discussion in a democratic society.
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Old 10-26-07, 08:16 AM
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I don't mind paying in as long as I get something out eventually. I guarantee that I could do more with 6% over 40 years than the govt. can though, so I wish I had the opportunity to invest it myself.
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Old 10-26-07, 08:16 AM
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Our Libertarian friends will tell you that our government functioned quite well before the introduction of the Federal Income Tax.

Many of them would like to return to those thrilling days of yesteryear.

I promise not to derail the thread any further.
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Old 10-26-07, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
I promise not to derail the thread any further.
Can we hold you to that?
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Old 10-26-07, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by cdollaz
I don't mind paying in as long as I get something out eventually. I guarantee that I could do more with 6% over 40 years than the govt. can though, so I wish I had the opportunity to invest it myself.
One of the principal problems with the Bush (and other) proposals of private accounts is that they want you to be able to withdraw money from the Social Security account - but, they want your Social Security benefit to be computed on the same '51 New Start (much modified) computation method - the same as an individual who didn't opt to take money from the account.
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Old 10-26-07, 08:44 AM
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An aside to wendersfan: Can you change your icon? I liked it more before. I know it's BarÁa but to the uninitiated it looks like the shield for the fashion police.

<hr>

OK... on topic:

Originally Posted by VinVega
The problem will be that people will opt out and blow all the money so they won't have any to use in the manner that SS was designed for. Not to mention underfunding the program that's not in the greatest financial shape in the first place.
I guess the issue is whether or not to bother having a retirement safety net for individuals that at this point is more like a tangle of yarn and cheese wire. Is that better than nothing?
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Old 10-26-07, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
An aside to wendersfan: Can you change your icon? I liked it more before. I know it's BarÁa but to the uninitiated it looks like the shield for the fashion police.
Too late. I've already started a thread in feedback complaining about moderator bias and asking Geoff to appoint more Real Madrid fans as moderators.
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Old 10-26-07, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
So you admit you approve of a coercive system that places little or no value on personal responsibility?
"Personal Responsibility" is all fun and games until some little old lady has to eat cat food.

I find that many people who wave the banner of "personal responsibility" seem to do so selectively... the ethics of personal responsibility for the average shlub on the street is a-okay, but the ethics of personal responsibility for white collar criminals and corporate executives twisting the laws on the books for personal gain is somehow seen differently.

IMO, it shouldn't be a coercive system as long as personal responsibility is taken to its illogical extreme... that is if you "opt out" then you have opted out and don't come running to the government because your "sure thing" investment went south or were taken by a scam.

But that's never going to happen, so a coercive system that provides some baseline of support/coverage is reasonable.
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Old 10-26-07, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Many people already have the opportunity to opt out of Social Security.

Do you believe that individuals should have the right to opt out of paying Federal Income Taxes?
What I find annoying is that the federal government that forces the rest of us into social security, keeps its own employees out of the system. If it is good enough for the rest of us, why is it not good enough for them?
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Old 10-26-07, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Pistol Pete
What I find annoying is that the federal government that forces the rest of us into social security, keeps its own employees out of the system. If it is good enough for the rest of us, why is it not good enough for them?
Where do you get that idea.

Any federal employee who was hired after 1/1984 pays into Social Security. It's called FERS.
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Old 10-26-07, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
Too late. I've already started a thread in feedback complaining about moderator bias and asking Geoff to appoint more Real Madrid fans as moderators.


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Old 10-26-07, 09:50 AM
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Fascist.
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Old 10-26-07, 10:03 AM
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Old 10-26-07, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by wabio

Do you think people should be allowed to choose? Why or why not? What would you do?
Yes, but like everything else, it's complicated.

For most people, it makes no sense, they will blow it on gagets and crack

For some, they would be far better off.

How do you tell them apart and what do you do for the 'mistakes' (the ones you thought would be ok, but aren't)?

It is easier and safer for all to just leave the system as it is.
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Old 10-26-07, 10:41 AM
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I'd love to be able to opt out, in the sense that I'd just pay less in SS tax. I fully expect that I will never receive a single dime that I'm putting into it.

I wouldn't mind paying some sort of tax for SS for the poor and infirmed, but I have no need or desire personally for SS.
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Old 10-26-07, 10:52 AM
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On one hand, I understand the point that if a lot of people opt out they'll poorly spend the money and retire in poverty. However, I look at my SS statement that comes, look at the rate of inflation, etc. -- by the time I retire (assuming I get the benefits they've promised) the amount of money I'll get won't be enough to buy a sandwich. It isn't that much now.

In other words, the people who would opt out and blow the money are the same people who aren't saving for retirement now anyway. The meager "benefits" social security won't be enough to save them.
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Old 10-26-07, 11:07 AM
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I fully expect that I will never receive a single dime that I'm putting into it.
People have been saying that for 4 1/2 decades - at least.

It's kind of like the 'slippery slope' argument.
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