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About SS ... Maybe people who are super rich should not get SS ?? I dunno. Maaybe. (Original Post) trueblue2007 Apr 2019 OP
Raise the cap. Freethinker65 Apr 2019 #1
Yep. Listen to this poster. Just raise the cap at how much salary can be taxed. manor321 Apr 2019 #2
How about no cap at all? llmart Apr 2019 #5
Yup. Let them collect the same as everybody else, and pay the same as everybody else. lagomorph777 Apr 2019 #9
Do you know how the amount people are paid is calculated? nt dumbcat Apr 2019 #20
It's based on the most recent 5 years of income, I believe. lagomorph777 Apr 2019 #46
Based on highest 35 years of income. yellowcanine Apr 2019 #54
Thanks! lagomorph777 Apr 2019 #64
If someone pays into it they should receive the benefits. Lochloosa Apr 2019 #3
Raise the cap, or eliminate it. The Velveteen Ocelot Apr 2019 #4
I'm ignorant..... i will have to study this. i don't know what RAISE THE CAP means. trueblue2007 Apr 2019 #7
There's an upper limit on how much of your income is subject to FICA. lagomorph777 Apr 2019 #10
You have to pay FICA tax as part of your tax bill, but only up to a certain income level. The Velveteen Ocelot Apr 2019 #13
Any earnings under I think $125,000 are subject to SS taxes. Blue_true Apr 2019 #27
It's an attractive idea, but . . . gratuitous Apr 2019 #6
"Entitlement" is a synonym for "earned benefit." lagomorph777 Apr 2019 #12
Thank you! shanti Apr 2019 #24
Can a rich person currently voluntarily not recieve SS benefits? Blue_true Apr 2019 #29
I have always thought we need to raise the cap. Laffy Kat Apr 2019 #8
A millionaires fortune could change, so can a billionaire's fortune change. Blue_true Apr 2019 #31
SS is already means tested. After you reach doc03 Apr 2019 #11
Bookmarking. n/t rzemanfl Apr 2019 #15
I read the SS site a few minutes ago. Blue_true Apr 2019 #32
We are talking two totally different subjects. You are talking of a reduction of benefits. doc03 Apr 2019 #44
Ok, I understand your point better. nt Blue_true Apr 2019 #45
Eliminate the cap on paying into Social Security and make a cut off for those that receive it. PeeJ52 Apr 2019 #14
How do you "cutoff" someone who paid into the system because that person is rich? Blue_true Apr 2019 #33
You say, no soup for you... It's easy... They probably had plenty of handouts from the government... PeeJ52 Apr 2019 #47
If only it was that simple. A lot of rich people didn't get rich by taking government handouts. Blue_true Apr 2019 #49
Or wait.. Just like they did it with tRump's tax cuts. They just do it... PeeJ52 Apr 2019 #48
No. But it's not a huge problem. fescuerescue Apr 2019 #16
Exactly. Salviati Apr 2019 #18
If someone's a billionaire they are going to wait until they're 70 to collect their SS. llmart Apr 2019 #23
Peanuts!!! The poster made an excellent point. Blue_true Apr 2019 #34
Another point... llmart Apr 2019 #40
Or stock payouts, which avoids FICA because it is deferred. Blue_true Apr 2019 #42
Why just consider billionaires? Flaleftist Apr 2019 #56
Well I'm addressing the OP's wealth point. fescuerescue Apr 2019 #58
Something has to change. SS will become insolvent if it doesn't right? Flaleftist Apr 2019 #60
I read a few years ago this: raise the cap to $250,000 and extend SS another 15 or so years. machoneman Apr 2019 #17
And while raising the cap... Salviati Apr 2019 #19
The Cap should be eliminated entirely. nt Blue_true Apr 2019 #35
"Means Test" - not a new idea Maine-i-acs Apr 2019 #21
Once "means testing" starts Republicans will chew away at this until rurallib Apr 2019 #26
Someone put up a post about what would be saved, almost 0. Blue_true Apr 2019 #36
means testing sounds fair rurallib Apr 2019 #37
We should stay away from means testing. Push for eliminating the Cap instead Blue_true Apr 2019 #38
Voluntarily forego? former9thward Apr 2019 #57
You cannot introduce a sudden change in SS. Has to be gradual and phased in. BSdetect Apr 2019 #22
I looked around. It is vague whether a rich person who has paid into SS Blue_true Apr 2019 #25
Well, you really don't even have to have an option. llmart Apr 2019 #41
Honestly, if I am still working and healthy at 80, Blue_true Apr 2019 #43
Raise the cap, there goes another 12 percentage points of taxes that we need for things Hoyt Apr 2019 #28
means test & eliminate the cap samir.g Apr 2019 #30
Means testing SS is a wedge among Democrats Recursion Apr 2019 #39
Understand the logic, but disagree with the idea. Caliman73 Apr 2019 #50
We need to tax capital gains at higher rates on stocks to help pay for medicare for all kimbutgar Apr 2019 #51
No! Absolutely don't have a means test. PoindexterOglethorpe Apr 2019 #52
At a certain point though, isn't the cost of administering a means test meadowlander Apr 2019 #53
Maybe TheFarseer Apr 2019 #55
NO. Means testing will label the program "welfare" Liberal In Texas Apr 2019 #59
EXACTLY. It would turn it into "welfare" and doom the program in the long run. pnwmom Apr 2019 #62
Define rich? Texasgal Apr 2019 #61
Which is one of the big problems with this. Liberal In Texas Apr 2019 #63
Rich people,paid imto it also, they deserve it. Nt USALiberal Apr 2019 #65
Socialism is the answer my friend. Joe941 Apr 2019 #66
Howard Dean: "Bill Gates deserves free health care" brooklynite Apr 2019 #67

Lochloosa

(16,130 posts)
3. If someone pays into it they should receive the benefits.
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 04:06 PM
Apr 2019

The top threshold for the cutoff should be raised.

And as Al Gore said, put SS in a lockbox and quit raiding the money.

We don't have a spending problem in this country, we have a revenue problem.

lagomorph777

(30,613 posts)
10. There's an upper limit on how much of your income is subject to FICA.
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 04:23 PM
Apr 2019

Essentially a gift to millionaires and billionaires.

The Velveteen Ocelot

(116,545 posts)
13. You have to pay FICA tax as part of your tax bill, but only up to a certain income level.
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 04:34 PM
Apr 2019

This is withheld from your paycheck, or else you have to pay it separately if you are self-employed, at twice the amount because employers contribute half. As of 2017 this was 7.65% of earnings up to $127,200. Employees pay 6.2% of their earnings for Social Security retirement benefits and their employer pays 6.2% for a total of 12.4% of a worker's income. An additional 1.45% tax is also collected to fund Medicare, and this is also matched by employers. Raising the cap would mean that people making more than $127,200 would have to contribute those percentages of all of their income.

Blue_true

(31,261 posts)
27. Any earnings under I think $125,000 are subject to SS taxes.
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 08:21 PM
Apr 2019

Earnings above that are not. So a person that makes $3,568,980 per year pays SS taxes only on the first $125,00 or so of the earnings, or basically pay in for less than a month. There are several proposals, one is raise the earnings cap, the other is eliminate the cap altogether. For example, if the earnings cap was raised to $535,000, a person that earns $3,568,980 annually would pay SS tax on the first $535,000 of that salary, or pay for a few weeks more than the current cap would have that person pay. The other option, removal of the cap would see the person pay SS taxes on the full $3,568,980 of earnings, thereby putting more money into the Social Security Trust Fund.

gratuitous

(82,849 posts)
6. It's an attractive idea, but . . .
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 04:08 PM
Apr 2019

If the government stopped paying SS benefits to wealthy folks who had paid into it, SS would be derided even more as an "entitlement" rather than an earned benefit, making it that much easier to put down beneficiaries as moochers who made bad choices not to be billionaires. When something becomes identified in the public mind as a handout to poor people, it makes it that much easier to demonize and gives traction to politicians who want to cut it.

On the other hand, if we removed the earnings cap on social security, it would fund better benefits for everyone.

lagomorph777

(30,613 posts)
12. "Entitlement" is a synonym for "earned benefit."
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 04:24 PM
Apr 2019

We need to stop letting the Reptilians subvert our language.

Blue_true

(31,261 posts)
29. Can a rich person currently voluntarily not recieve SS benefits?
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 08:36 PM
Apr 2019

If not, maybe that option should be made available. The rich person would not be denied SS benefits if that person's fortunes change, but the person should be allowed to never recieve SS benefits if the person's wealth holds up for life. The procedure could follow a reverse countdown clock, with each year the person choses not to get paid being lost forever to that person, with the ultimate being the person dies before collecting a cent. I like that concept.

Blue_true

(31,261 posts)
31. A millionaires fortune could change, so can a billionaire's fortune change.
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 08:42 PM
Apr 2019

I remember one of the world's first handful of billionaires going virtually broke when he bet on an ambitious timber project. If that man had paid into SS, would it be right to deny him benefits because he was once a billionaire?

I am 100% with eliminating the cap on SS taxes on earnings, that is long overdue. I also would like to see a change that allows rich people that feel they don't need SS payments to them chose to forgo them as long as they remain rich, with the ultimate being they die without collecting.

doc03

(35,595 posts)
11. SS is already means tested. After you reach
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 04:23 PM
Apr 2019

A certain income up to 85% of the benefits are subject to tax. Without digging out my tax forms I think the threshold for a single like myself is $25000. So you can work side by side with someone all your life and put away money in a 401k and get penalized. While the other person doesn't save for his retirement doesn't pay on his benefits. This also goes for us Union members that fought for a pension we are penalized. So if you are super rich a good portion of the money is taken back by the IRS.
Also the people with higher income have to pay a higher premium for their Medicare. I do think they should eliminate the cap on the SS tax. But the benefits shouldn't be taxed at all.

Blue_true

(31,261 posts)
32. I read the SS site a few minutes ago.
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 08:46 PM
Apr 2019

For a person on SS that has not reached full retirement age, that person can earn up to just over $36,000 without facing a SS benefits reduction. For a person at or over full retirement age, the earnings can be unlimited and that person still gets the full SS payout.

doc03

(35,595 posts)
44. We are talking two totally different subjects. You are talking of a reduction of benefits.
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 11:07 PM
Apr 2019

I am talking income tax on the SS benefits. Up to 85% of benefits are taxed regardless of age if you receive over a certain income.
That income threshold was set back in 1982 and it has never been adjusted for inflation. Example $25000 in 1982 is now
$67,391 in todays dollars.

 

PeeJ52

(1,588 posts)
14. Eliminate the cap on paying into Social Security and make a cut off for those that receive it.
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 04:41 PM
Apr 2019

Like how much money to the rich people want to die with anyway?

Blue_true

(31,261 posts)
33. How do you "cutoff" someone who paid into the system because that person is rich?
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 08:54 PM
Apr 2019

How do you do that and justify that? If we start that, people will demand to opt out of SS altogether (not possible now except in a few cases).

I prefer a voluntary system where rich people that have paid in can chose not to get a payout by notifying the SS.gov. Once SS.gov is notified, the person won't receive a payout, with each missed payout being deducted from that person's maximum benefit. The ideal situation would be that a rich person that takes the no payout route dies before getting a cent in payout.

 

PeeJ52

(1,588 posts)
47. You say, no soup for you... It's easy... They probably had plenty of handouts from the government...
Wed Apr 24, 2019, 09:28 AM
Apr 2019

on their path to becoming rich. They can pay it back. If they got social security, they would be paying in back in the taxes anyway because they would probably have so much income anyway. I don't care.. Everybody pays in... make it a maximum payout... and everyone gets up to the max... even your rich people. OK?

Blue_true

(31,261 posts)
49. If only it was that simple. A lot of rich people didn't get rich by taking government handouts.
Wed Apr 24, 2019, 07:57 PM
Apr 2019

They took risks that worked out. I don't favor forcing people to pay into a system that they will not get benefits from, even the ones that are bastards, I would bet that 80% of Americans agree with me because even a beer-swilling yebub who has never really accomplished anything thinks that one lottery ticket that he buys will make him insanely rich, and he don't want THEM taking away his money, that is why so many people vote against their clear best interests. When people become more society oriented across the board, then maybe high earners can be compelled to pay into a system that they will get no benefits from, at least benefits that are tangible to them (it can be argued that having a peaceful society that they can stay rich in is a massive benefit to them, but such an argument will fly over the heads of people that demand something for paying in). If society changes broadly, then maybe there will be higher aspirations, but that is not now nor the foreseeable future.

 

PeeJ52

(1,588 posts)
48. Or wait.. Just like they did it with tRump's tax cuts. They just do it...
Wed Apr 24, 2019, 09:30 AM
Apr 2019

There is nothing fair about the GOP tax cuts. They just did it. They can just "cutoff" someone that paid into the system if they have more than enough to take care of themselves too. The government can do what they want. The GOP has been doing it for years.

fescuerescue

(4,448 posts)
16. No. But it's not a huge problem.
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 04:52 PM
Apr 2019

there are 540 billionaires in the US.

Let's say that 300 are of retirement age. Max retirement benefit is $2861 a month or $34,000 a year. If all 300 draw SS that's $10.3 million per year. The government spends $6.85 million per minute.

So that would save the government about 90 seconds expenses.

Now if we establish the precedent that NOT everyone who pays in is entitled to benefits, what could the fallout be?



Salviati

(6,012 posts)
18. Exactly.
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 04:54 PM
Apr 2019

Cutting billionaires off of SS does nothing to help the finances, but does completely undermine the egalitarian nature of it, which is a powerful tool in fighting for it.

llmart

(15,638 posts)
23. If someone's a billionaire they are going to wait until they're 70 to collect their SS.
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 07:12 PM
Apr 2019

So their maximum would be closer to $3300 or more.

Blue_true

(31,261 posts)
34. Peanuts!!! The poster made an excellent point.
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 09:00 PM
Apr 2019

Cutting off millionaires and billionaires is nothing but a feel good act for those that are not rich. It makes no fucking practical difference. Now, raising the earnings cap makes an enormous difference and my guess is high earners would be ok with that since they would hardly notice, for all practical purposes.

llmart

(15,638 posts)
40. Another point...
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 10:23 PM
Apr 2019

Most of the money that multi-millionaires and billionaires have or make is not from what we think of as wages that are subject to FICA. It's not like they became billionaires by going to work every day like normal people do. They do it through hedge funds or "investments" of some sort or it's family money.

Blue_true

(31,261 posts)
42. Or stock payouts, which avoids FICA because it is deferred.
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 10:37 PM
Apr 2019

But even with that, eliminating the Cap brings a load of "extra" money into the SS Trust Fund because it covers a huge amount of wages that are not now covered.

Flaleftist

(3,473 posts)
56. Why just consider billionaires?
Wed Apr 24, 2019, 09:51 PM
Apr 2019

Maybe it should be based on net worth and income. If someone has a net worth of $10 million+ or is claiming $200k a year income after retirement age, do they really need a social security check? I also support not just raising but eliminating the earnings cap. Maybe the percentage of contributions should actually be increased for very high incomes.

fescuerescue

(4,448 posts)
58. Well I'm addressing the OP's wealth point.
Wed Apr 24, 2019, 10:23 PM
Apr 2019

But feel free to pick any level of financial asset.

Just bear in mind that once the door is opened, the other side, the ones that control the Presidency and Senate will have their own ideas at the level. Maybe they'll want privatize it. Or drug test recipients. Or maybe you have to give up your house to collect.

Pandora's box imo.

Flaleftist

(3,473 posts)
60. Something has to change. SS will become insolvent if it doesn't right?
Wed Apr 24, 2019, 10:43 PM
Apr 2019

If I understand correctly, SS was never intended to be a retirement plan. It was intended to keep peope with a roof over their heads and food on the table when they could no longer work.

machoneman

(4,044 posts)
17. I read a few years ago this: raise the cap to $250,000 and extend SS another 15 or so years.
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 04:54 PM
Apr 2019

Make it $1,000,000 and IIRC it would go to 2085 or 2090!

Salviati

(6,012 posts)
19. And while raising the cap...
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 04:55 PM
Apr 2019

... pin it to inflation, so we don't have to keep having this fight again and again.

rurallib

(62,579 posts)
26. Once "means testing" starts Republicans will chew away at this until
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 08:20 PM
Apr 2019

few get it and what they get is little.
Plus this is always a great way to pit one group against another.

My understanding was that that was why New Dealers stayed away from it 80 years ago.

Blue_true

(31,261 posts)
36. Someone put up a post about what would be saved, almost 0.
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 09:08 PM
Apr 2019

The only thing to come of it would be we stupidly hand republicans a powerful wedge issue to get votes with. We need to start using our fucking heads instead of letting emotions drive us when talking about income inequality issues.

rurallib

(62,579 posts)
37. means testing sounds fair
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 09:10 PM
Apr 2019

but you gotta know anything republicans propose is going to screw people over.

Blue_true

(31,261 posts)
38. We should stay away from means testing. Push for eliminating the Cap instead
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 09:48 PM
Apr 2019

and letting rich people that want to do it voluntarily forego getting a SS payout.

BSdetect

(9,016 posts)
22. You cannot introduce a sudden change in SS. Has to be gradual and phased in.
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 05:21 PM
Apr 2019

Imagine you paid in a huge amount over 40 years or more and someone thinks you don't need it?

If people are compelled to pay in they deserve a payout.

If you want to change a cap change the homeowners exemption here in Sonoma. Its been a mere $7000 for 16 years or more.

House prices have doubled at least. So its like a tax rise over those years.

Blue_true

(31,261 posts)
25. I looked around. It is vague whether a rich person who has paid into SS
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 08:12 PM
Apr 2019

can chose not to get paid once that person reaches full retirement age. Even the social security website does not address that option, it does say that a person can earn as much as they can at full retirement age and still get full social security benefits.

llmart

(15,638 posts)
41. Well, you really don't even have to have an option.
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 10:30 PM
Apr 2019

You don't just automatically get your Social Security when you turn a certain age. You have to apply for it. If you don't apply, you don't get it. So, if a wealthy person never applies for his SS, he could be voluntarily foregoing the money.

I actually know a person who worked until he was almost eighty and he called me (I worked in HR/Benefits for 35 years) and asked me how he should go about applying for his Social Security. I told him that he should have applied when he was 70 because you don't get any more money for waiting any longer than 70.

Never underestimate the stupidity of some people.

Blue_true

(31,261 posts)
43. Honestly, if I am still working and healthy at 80,
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 10:41 PM
Apr 2019

I would not want to retire.

Thanks for the expert perspective.

 

Hoyt

(54,770 posts)
28. Raise the cap, there goes another 12 percentage points of taxes that we need for things
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 08:27 PM
Apr 2019

Last edited Tue Apr 23, 2019, 09:46 PM - Edit history (1)

like healthcare, education, job retraining, guaranteed income for those displaced by technology, Deficit reduction, Debt reduction, infrastructure, safe net, etc.

Taxes need to be increased on wealthy, no question. But this belief that all we need to do is keep increasing taxes on the wealthy is a fallacy. There are not enough of them to tax.

Recursion

(56,582 posts)
39. Means testing SS is a wedge among Democrats
Tue Apr 23, 2019, 10:11 PM
Apr 2019

Bringing it up causes a lot of fuss and never goes anywhere; so just consider it vetoed by an important part of the coalition.

Also, talking about means testing SS buys into the fake framing that it's in some kind of "crisis". It's not. Increase wages and all the problems go away.

Caliman73

(11,764 posts)
50. Understand the logic, but disagree with the idea.
Wed Apr 24, 2019, 08:00 PM
Apr 2019

As other people said, if you pay in you should get a benefit. The best solution is to raise the cap on income taxed for Social Security.

kimbutgar

(21,468 posts)
51. We need to tax capital gains at higher rates on stocks to help pay for medicare for all
Wed Apr 24, 2019, 08:02 PM
Apr 2019

And completely eliminate the cap on social security.

PoindexterOglethorpe

(25,983 posts)
52. No! Absolutely don't have a means test.
Wed Apr 24, 2019, 08:17 PM
Apr 2019

That would open the door very wide to eliminate it for everyone. People pay into the system, they deserve to get their benefit.

If a wealthy person chooses not to file, then that's just fine.

Everyone also needs to understand that FICA is assessed on wages. Not on any other source of income

Also, people fundamentally misunderstand the meaning of "full retirement age". It's not the age at which you max out your SS, but the age at which, if you continue to work, your SS isn't subject to the earnings test.

meadowlander

(4,425 posts)
53. At a certain point though, isn't the cost of administering a means test
Wed Apr 24, 2019, 08:31 PM
Apr 2019

going to be more than you would save by doing this?

Lots of people have money on paper (e.g. farmers sitting on land worth millions of dollars) but don't necessarily have a significant amount of income. So it would be really expensive and time consuming to work out who was "deserving" or not.



TheFarseer

(9,340 posts)
55. Maybe
Wed Apr 24, 2019, 09:44 PM
Apr 2019

We could have a soft cap and then only tax 1% on the rest of someone's salary? I just wonder if that would raise enough money.

I think everyone that pays in should get benefits though to answer the original question.

pnwmom

(109,056 posts)
62. EXACTLY. It would turn it into "welfare" and doom the program in the long run.
Wed Apr 24, 2019, 10:47 PM
Apr 2019

Raise the cap and/or extend it to non-salary forms of income.

Just like Hillary said.

Liberal In Texas

(13,737 posts)
63. Which is one of the big problems with this.
Wed Apr 24, 2019, 10:48 PM
Apr 2019

Where do you draw the line? I can foresee repub reps lowering the line year by year until the program will be practically worthless.

brooklynite

(95,536 posts)
67. Howard Dean: "Bill Gates deserves free health care"
Thu Apr 25, 2019, 09:35 AM
Apr 2019

If you remove upper income people, Social Security becomes another "Poor people" program and loses national support.


More to the point, if you attempted to means test benefits, you'd probably get a lawsuit on the grounds that Social Security taxes were a pay in-pay out system, not funding for an government benefits program.

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