Note: Comments of readers are their own and do not reflect the feelings of Bob Lonsberry or lonsberry.com.
95 Responses to:
REAL SOCIAL SECURITY REFORM
# 1. 12/6/12 12:40 AM by dave
Long before we consider eliminating social security, we should eliminate tax-payer funded pension plans for local, state and federal workers and teachers.
We tax payers paid them generously for their services while in our employ; we should not be expected to continue to pay for them while they no longer provide a service.
'Welfare' is a payment given by the government, paid for by taxes, to people who provide no service for those payments. Free money for nothing.
Oh wait, I just defined 'public pension.'
# 2. 12/6/12 12:50 AM by Al - Hornell,
Social security's one of the greatest crimes committed against the American people. A greater crime's obamacare.
On another note, I thought ed asner was dead!
# 3. 12/6/12 1:35 AM by DD
Thank God you neanderthals lost the election.
# 4. 12/6/12 2:15 AM by Mmaxx Hheadroom
Real private competition for the most efficient investment of each individual's mandatory contributions. Investment of those funds only for aggressive and efficient entrepreneurial and innovational purposes.
Think about it - if they removed the rails at Niagara Falls, wouldn't it make things a lot more interesting?
Latest rumor: Don Alhart fell over the falls years ago while doing a story for Ch. 13. He has since been replaced by an animatronic body double built by the same guy who built Geoff Peterson, co-host and sidekick on Craig Ferguson's show. (much better than Ed McMahon) They tell me that Don's replacement wouldn't fit through the locks - er - I mean doors, at Ch. 13. Yeah, that's the ticket!
Two A.M. and I'm up writing this crap. Oh well, I had to pee anyway - standing up!
# 5. 12/6/12 3:45 AM by Jodi - Wayne County East
It's amusing to watch all the commie libs scurry about like panicked rats trying to gather and secure as much government cheese as they can from the so called wealthy as the bilge pumps are slowly overtaken by more water than they can handle.
I wonder how many can swim for themselves when the U.S.S. Sugar Daddy goes down?
It's a giant ponzi scheme and there is no surplus.
What, me give up some of my cheese to keep us all afloat? NEVER!
What do you expect? I'm just a rat.
# 6. 12/6/12 3:47 AM
9 kids x 12 years of public school x $13,000 = $1,404,000.
9 kids x 4 years public college x $13,000 = $468,000
For school alone the taxpayer is subsidizing you for $1,872,000.
WTFU - Wake the fluck up
# 7. 12/6/12 3:57 AM by Cal - Rochester, NY
What a revolutionary thought! How did we get here? It was FDR when he created Social Security back in 1935. He promised a lock box for the SS money to save for just retirees. We see how all that worked out with all of this money spent now, including for no win wars! It`s kind of late now to demolish SS for those who depend on it to survive. Some Republican politicians, are suggesting for the younger generations, to phase out for a forced private savings program invested in the stock market like Bush Jr! Then if a 2008 crash comes along, they would be pretty much wiped out!
Right now SS is the 3 rd rail of politics. If a politician tries to reform it they are dead! Along with SS FDR created the Progressive Income Tax. Both are planks in the Communist Manifesto, which has pretty much communised our Country by now!
Is Obama the new Stalin? Will he put us Conservatives into deadly concentration camps? This is what his revolutionary buddy underground Bill Ayers wants! Ditto for your commie lib readers for your column! Meanwhile us Conservatives wonder what has just hit us?! We are being forced into slavery, I mean SS, just to survive!
# 8. 12/6/12 4:19 AM by timmy
You continue to misrepresent SS. maybe you don't understand the math; maybe you think SS only pays for retirement benefits. I'm not sure. I suggest you go back to SS school and get the facts and then make a judgement and informed recommendation. .
What scares me is that very few people are saving enough money in other kinds of retirement plans to supplement their SS income. More poor old people are right around the corner. Eliminate SS and the problem gets even worse. You are a prime example of people who do not plan very far into the future. You seem to think having lots of kids is a reasonable retirement plan. Good luck with that plan.
# 9. 12/6/12 4:49 AM by B Smith - Syracuse New York
As a retired person who paid into Social Security since working after school as a teenager I have absolutely no complaints with the system. It doesn't provide all my retirement income, but with the ups and downs of the market I don't think I would have done better investing that extra money myself. There are a lot of ways the system can be saved. If we are living longer, then retirement ages can be raised along with raising the top amount one pays which I think for employees is now around a hundred grand a year.
The issue of too many getting benefits from disability is an administration problem and should be looked at, but that is no reason to disband social security.
Without Social Security we would surely have a lot more poor people because few have either the resources or knowledge to save and invest for retirement. Your thoughts are really not new. Every right wing talk show seems to have the same agenda these days. Bring the system down……but for what. You would really win with your system. The well off would have more? The "good" religious folks like yourself would have more? Would you really be much more satisfied if millions were dirt poor living in the streets only to be fed by the generosity of your type. If it boils down to a choice between your type and government I go with government.
# 10. 12/6/12 4:51 AM by hunter - e. bethany, ny
Just another promise to pay melting away in the face of the global currency meltdown. Eventually, the promise will be unfulfilled for the boomers. It might have worked if Congress could have kept their hands out of the cookie jar by taxing, yet again, and borrowing the proceeds of investors( us ) to balance the virtual books. bye-bye
# 11. 12/6/12 5:01 AM by The Last Mohican
Then if they're going to kill it, they need to take what has already been applied to it and distribute back to the people what they've spent all the years feeding into it (though somehow I don't think that is what you're talking about). Kill the program, pay back the thousands each person paid into it and call it a day. Let me have my own money and invest it as I see fit and start to live on the additional 15% a week from here on out. But to just cut the program off after 30 years of contributions (and longer for some other people) would be a detriment to me and a lot of other people; in effect money we will not only never see again but the stipend that we counted on to supplement our retirement years will be gone. Then again, the way things are going, most people will probably need to work until they can no longer stand any way.
# 12. 12/6/12 5:10 AM
Fine just write me a check for what myself and employers have put in for the last 30 years. Believe me that would put a big smile on my face.
# 13. 12/6/12 5:28 AM
Mr. Know it all strikes again.
# 14. 12/6/12 6:34 AM by C - Rochester
Morning Bob, You're right. Social security disability has to go. No more SSI disability for the people with high blood pressure,alcoholics, drug addicts, add or adhd people, or any other of these b.s. diagnosis from some some state doctor. GET TO WORK and stop feeling sorry for yourself!!!
# 15. 12/6/12 6:39 AM by Bill - Rochester NY
How old are you? Maybe you aren't old enough to remember how senior citizens used to live even as late as the mid-60s. It was horrible. Ronald Reagan wanted to eliminate social security and had a study done by people he trusted to see what would happen to seniors if that happened. Turned out only about 10% of people have the economic acumen and discipline to build a nest egg large enough to replace social security's "meagre" pension. Reagan abandoned the idea.
No doubt there are those receiving disability benefits who are capable of working, but what do you tell the majority who really are laid up? Go off somewhere and die?
# 16. 12/6/12 6:40 AM by Dave B - Elma, NY
Most people will struggle with this one because it is the one tax that we all thought "well at least I'll get some of that money back". So, we all didn't argue too much when paying it. Chopping it off now would make us feel like we are being taken as fools. Which is exactly what we have been all along.
# 17. 12/6/12 6:42 AM
"A tumultuous debate about Social Security has raged for more than two decades in this country, but there has been one point that has won universal agreement: The Social Security system must be preserved."
- Ronald Reagan, 4/20/83, signing a payroll tax to refund Social Security for decades to come.
# 18. 12/6/12 6:55 AM by John - Fairport
The Social Security portion of the FICA tax is 6.2% (4.2% for 2011 & 2012) matched by the employer with another 6.2% for a total of 12.4% - not 15%
You always assume that employers would give the 6.2% they contribute to the employee if Social Security did not exist. I doubt that would happen.
# 19. 12/6/12 6:56 AM by Clee Shay
Social Security is a perfect example of how the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
The basic concept is good, but the end result is something that has been selfishly bastardized by greedy politics and impossible expectations. Like the Nazi's concept of a "Master Race".
As the song by "Melanie" asks: (paraphrased)
"look what they done to my song ma"
"well it's they only thing that i could do half right"
"and it's turning out all wrong ma"
"well they tied it up in a plastic bag"
"and turned it upside down ma"
Social Security: like the description of what a horse designed by a committee looks like. We better REALLY be careful when it comes to genetic engineering!
Too many cooks spoil the soup! (or stew?)
# 20. 12/6/12 6:57 AM by pp - rach
True. All good conservatives on any form of social security should refuse it on a moral basis. Anyone with me?
** crickets **
C'mon! Conservative idol Ayn Rand refused it! .... oh wait ....
# 21. 12/6/12 7:26 AM by Jay
Social security is a mandatory substitute for individual discipline. It is, however, a step removed from the outright freebies increasingly prevalent in America. Without it , a major portion of our aging population would live in poverty.
# 22. 12/6/12 7:48 AM by Rick C. - Rochester,NY 14610
Just because you will have to work till you are 80 to bring up your kids doesn't mean you should hate Social Security or the people that are receiving Social Security. Just Keep Paying your Social Security so I can enjoy my check on the 3rd of the month when that time comes!
# 23. 12/6/12 7:57 AM by Poplar Beach
Bob, talk about tilting a wind mills, Social security is here to stay in one form or another. I agree with much you say, especially that Social Security is a second income tax, that it is, and the misuse of SSI (disability) is disgustingly rampant, but many retirees, or near retirees do need to rely on that monthly check. Go to a nursing home sometime, see how many of those folks are being covered 100% by Social Security.
I could live/retire without Social Security. I am eligible, I have not applied yet, but I will, because I paid this tax and the check I will get is as if it were any other retirement fund I paid into.
Would I like to see Social Security go away entirely with everyone becoming self reliant, family reliant, community reliant, yes, but I don't believe in fairy tales, so I concentrate on ideas more possible.
I am for means testing, and raising the retirement age at least 2 years for Social Security and Medicare, probably starting with folks 50 and under. (I am 64, if they raised it for me, I would not complain.) I think all cases of SSI should be reviewed, and thoroughly investigated, to catch the scammers.
This would be a good start to deficit reduction, our countries most serious problem!
# 24. 12/6/12 7:58 AM
The real truth of the matter is that I am willing to pay twice as much in taxes if necessary, but I'll be damned if I give my money to two-bit politicians to piss away trying to play Santa Claus (read "Kenyan communist")to a constituency of adult children suffering from "arrested development"! (mental, ethical, political, legal, and spiritual) Whether they realize it or not they are being "tracked" by the usage of their EBT cards along with other means.
I'm also willing to stick to my guns at all cost.
Planning a holiday trip to Syria. The travel agent says that this year it's really going to be a gas...
# 25. 12/6/12 8:07 AM by prick - webster
Social Security, as a retirement supplement, cannot be eliminated---unless someone can determine how you reimburse all of the folks who have contributed to it all of their working lives.
What MUST be eliminated is the "morphed system" of paying every deadbeat who can't work because of a "hangnail" or"mental condition" (a small percentage of people REALLY do need help). I've always maintained that Social Security itself is not a problem--it is HOW it is administered.
Let's not forget how the Feds have borrowed from Social Security through the years, and never repaid what they borrowed.
# 26. 12/6/12 8:08 AM
If you want to get on your high horse about social services, specifically SSI disability, that's fine. But, leave out the working man and women who paid into the system during the course of their careers. This Marxism analogy in comparison is nothing short of a false pretense. I guarantee you that if you died tomorrow, Mrs. Lonsberry would apply for each one of your children. So please, get your facts straight before doing comparisons of federal programs that are guaranteed to stay, at least in part during your lifetime.
# 27. 12/6/12 8:08 AM by tom - penfield, ny
Great idea Bob, Let's see, I worked for over 40 years and paid into the system since 1970. I expect to collect when I hit 66 in a few years. I calculate that if the government gave me a check for about $750,000 I would be OK with getting rid of Social Security for me and my wife. Does that number sound about right to you? If you are OK with that, how about cutting back military spending too? That is a real drag on our economy and the US spends way too much on it.
# 28. 12/6/12 8:10 AM by Ron
# 29. 12/6/12 8:19 AM by Carl - Wayne
Good for me (70) but will be bad for my kids. Sad times ahead for all. Romney had it right. "I will do my best get America back to work." 51% of America said "SCREW THAT!"
# 30. 12/6/12 8:24 AM by Paul - Rhode Island
Well, I disagree but I respect that you come right out and say you want to get rid of Social Security and (I am pretty sure Medicare too).
Unlike that weasel Paul Ryan who thinks exactly as you do but puts on his best earnest-schoolboy face as he says he has a plan to "save" them.
# 31. 12/6/12 8:32 AM by Abner D
I suspect you favor killing Social Security because you can't foresee a day when you can retire and collect it.
# 32. 12/6/12 8:33 AM by Andy
Corporate America used to provide decent pensions and company financed healthcare plans, years ago. Now it's all about making the workers take responsibility for that themselves while their earnings have shrunk over the last three decades and corporate profits have skyrocketed. Social security is not the problem.
# 33. 12/6/12 8:37 AM by Christopher - Newport News, VA
Like all social welfare programs, they start small with apparent good intentions. But it is really a power grab and a way to enslave the tax payer. Creating dependency is the way many of our government leaders maintain power. By keeping voters on the government plantation they maintain a solid base of voters.
And for those of you that say "I paid into SS and I want my money." I know how you feel. I've paid into it for over 30 years. But the system is broken. If I could turn back time, I would eliminate SS. It is unconstitutional. I would take the 15% and save it and invest it.
Sadly, this will never happen. SS is woven into the fabric of our society. Too many are depending on it. However, it needs a fazed in overhaul and steps taken to eliminate the fraud and abuse.
# 34. 12/6/12 8:40 AM by Sam the Man
Ideally it should be funded with a protected stream of income taxes, starting with recapturing the money borrowed from social security to fund income tax cuts for the rich. Cutting social security allows the rich folks to renege on the three trillion they borrowed from FICA to fund their income tax cuts the last 30 years
# 35. 12/6/12 8:44 AM by Jay
Social security probably won't be significantly re-structured in the near term due to political considerations. But as the population ages, the ratio of retires to full-time workers will mushroom. An eventual overhaul is inevitable. As usual, however, Washington will defer action until we reach crisis level.
# 36. 12/6/12 8:45 AM by Chester
So how isn't this class warfare?
# 37. 12/6/12 8:49 AM by Old Geezer
Having deprived the working population of homes, jobs, and health care, Wall Street is now after the elderly’s old age security.
# 38. 12/6/12 9:02 AM by Sally - Henrietta
Just as our worthless congress folks are entitled to their pension and medical, that we taxpayers have paid for, we, the taxpayers, are entitled to our social security.
# 39. 12/6/12 9:04 AM by Fox News Viewer
Eric Cantor said that the Republicans will be working through the holidays to reach a fiscal cliff agreement. Isn't this a War on Christmas by Eric?
# 40. 12/6/12 9:07 AM by Dee
I was awarded a $1000 year-end bonus this year by my employer. $577 was deposited into my checking account.
# 41. 12/6/12 9:09 AM by Yolanda
Before Social Security existed, about half of America's senior citizens lived in poverty. Today, less than 10 percent live in poverty.
# 42. 12/6/12 9:13 AM
Lift the cap.... apply the payroll tax on incomes above $250,000 a year. Under current law, only earnings up to $110,100 are taxed. This would only impact the wealthiest 1.4 percent of wage earners.
# 43. 12/6/12 9:16 AM by Ultra Bob - salt lake city Utah
No. No. No. It is truly sad that so many Americans find that they can make a living by trashing and destroying the things that make their very existence possible.
# 44. 12/6/12 9:21 AM by cj
you could be right kill it before all the right-wing Congressmen use it all up like Paul Ryan, who started collecting it at age 16. Boy he sure knew how to play the system young! Then they could pay off the deficit but would they? NO, Wallstreet players might make a detour and stop off at a casino first after the Benedict Arnolds are paid off. And does Ron Paul really need it? But he sure is draining it's fund by getting a check every month and how about all the illegals who paid into it and will never get it back. That should have been enough to fatten up the fund.
# 45. 12/6/12 9:27 AM by Donna - Magna, UT
I think that what you really see is a President trying to protect the interests of those below you on the social ladder. So knowing that you have zero chance of taking on the rich and powerful above you, you unite with the rich and powerful politically in a sick attempt to hold off those below you from overtaking you in the pecking order.
# 46. 12/6/12 9:29 AM by peter
As a retired 75 year old, that monthly $1,900 that I receive from S.S. (and so paid into all my working years) is a big relief for my monthly living.
# 47. 12/6/12 9:30 AM by Jamie Morton - Rochester, NY
That's funny, I thought the military is the biggest form of socialism in this world.
# 48. 12/6/12 9:47 AM
The most insane part of Obamacare is the tax on medical devices. All the manufacturers and doctors will do is pass the additional cost on to consumers and taxpayers. A "hidden" tax for sure.
# 49. 12/6/12 9:50 AM by Santa's Elf
Your poll today tells who voted for Obama and how they think. America's morons deserve what they get. Be careful what you wish for, you may get it!
# 50. 12/6/12 9:54 AM by Salvatore
Social Security should only be for white people.
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