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Re: FUNDING SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE

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Message 1 of 17

I do so wish people were a tad more curious about the Social Security "problem", beginning with the Trustee Reports. Those reports, like all financial statements are like a Bikini - what they reveal is interesting, but what they conceal is essential.

 

Here's some of what the Trustees haven't revealed.

1. There was $5,020 BILLION in income between $118,500 and $250,000 in 2016

2. That currently untaxed income would generate an additional $622.5B in revenue

3. The 2017 balance in the SSTF was $2,891.8Billion and the fund currently earns an average of 3% interest.

4. The current shortfall between revenue and expense for the SSTF is $32.4Billion, and the projected increases in this shortfall are going to deplete the SSTF in 2034.

5. BUT if the SSTF revenues increase by $622.5B, the shortfall becomes a surplus, adding $590.1B to the SSTF balance and increasing interest earnings by $17.7 Billion next year.

6. Because of the taxation of SS benefits on incomes above $85,000, the SSTF outlays for OSDI and DI will NEVER exceed the revenues from FICA and earned interest.

 

NO reduction in benefits, NO increase in the tax rate, NO problem FOREVER.

 

To solve the SS problem requires only one thing - removeal of Republicans from positions that can block an immediate increase in the SS "cap" to $250,000.

 

Anybody out there got significantly different numbers, or THINKS there's a flaw in the above logic, trot them out and let's discuss.

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Re: FUNDING SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE

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Message 2 of 17

@GailL1 wrote:

@umbarch64 wrote:

@GailL1  . 

 

Yes....all this needs discussion and eventual legislation. I doubt either you or any of your intended audience will be an actual participant in legislation.  November 6, 2018, the People will vote on who they think will best get them to where they want to be. 

 

Details such as you cite don't inform them adequately. They construct barriers exacerbating disagreement.  Agree on concept first.  Details to accomplish the concept will inevitably follow provided good faith is practiced.  You'd like to do that....wouldn't you?  A common goal?

 

No one will get there without agreement on where they are going.  The first of our founding documents did that.  They knew something.  I see lots of people at all levels of our society grinding their axe, setting up smoke screens and creating distractions.  I have to consider they know what they do and do it with purpose.  No matter who they may be, I can't go along with that.  How about you? 

 

 


You might be surprised at my input - regardless of political party if something saves the government money it gets notice.  Regardless of political party, reason and workability has to be paramount in the idea and concept without doing harm.

 

I hope you don't mind my responding like this...for right now it seems best.  I've clearly stated that the chosen concept must absolutely embody the will of the people together with all implementation that follows.  Your words imply what I propose is politically motivated...it is not.  Your words imply it does not fall within the realm of reason....it absolutely does.  Your words imply it is not workable...it absolutely is.  Your words imply the idea and concept are harmful...they most certainly are not. 

 

There is a rational way to deal with this.  Agree to a commonly held concept for each area.  Retirement is one.  Health Care is another.  Disability is still another.  And there are more.  Express the concept for each in unequivocal terms. 

 

Once agreed to you have the framework into which all elements must fit.  That IS the common goal.  Anyone who now dissembles to deceive is guilty of bad faith bargaining and shouldn't participate. They are not there to implement the will of the people at all....they are there for other reasons.  You know that.

 

When that is done, all parties will work to implement the goal because that is what  they will 'believe' they are there for.  Right now, that's not the case.

 

Everything costs.  It all has to be paid for. I've been clear about that as well.  That's a given.  The goal is a predetermined thing because it's been agreed to.  The most economical way to achieve it has yet to be agreed to.  Logic and the scientific method are essential and will do the job quite well IF adhered to.  I think that's possible.

 

Who pays?  Why the same ones who always pay for everything in the end.  That would be the people of the society....all of them.  Any other way just conveys advantage to a special few.  You wouldn't advocate for that would you?  Now...the share paid by anyone should be in proprotion to resources used.

 

Political preconceptions and ideology never work in the long term.   In fact they are the very antithesis to actual problem solving, relying on disinformation, extortion and coercion to arrive at resolutions that don't work.  Why?  Because they are not rational.  

 

There is already agreement on the concept - medication cost too much money.

Most of the time when the concept is worded like this, people think they are talking about their pocketbook but they are not - they are talking about saving the government money.

 

So...medications will cost money.  So what?  Medications are essential to life as we know it.  I think we are agreed medications cannot be with held from those who have to have them to live.  The only thing to be determined is how to provide them in the most economic way that is in the interests of the people themselves.

 

The pocketbook you talk about and the government's pocketbook are really one and the same.  In fact, without people there is no need for government at all.  I really do think you know that, but don't want to say it.  You'd rather have a convenient bogeyman.

 

This administration is making some strides but will have to reserve judgement on just how it will work in Medicare Part,D plans.  The last one which is getting kicked around is importing some medication to help,government save money.

 

Details completely irrelevant to this discussion.  Universal Health Care would obviate any need for Medicare Part D....or any plans for it. It's only one solution.  It too has to be paid for.  IF importing meds is more economic for the people, why wouldn't we do it?  Doesn't make sense, you see?  I thought that was a thing we both wanted.

 

One of the biggest reasons why we spend so much money on healthcare without equalization of out come is because we don't rate medication, treatments and procedures for approval based on a good, better, best methodology including price.  Pharma and developers of new treatments and procedures know that once we make price part of the equation they will have to consider it as important as the workability of the medication, treatment or procedure.

 

All that is the way things are right now.  Not the way they could, and should, be.  Let's get back on the same page we started out on.

 

November 6,2018 will come and go and whatever change or not will happen - it doesn't change the concept, the purpose nor the proposals - these problems with SS and Medicare have been around a very long time - several Administrations, a couple of change overs in Congress - yet here we are - same ole problems - so the real problem here is not concepts or proposals but a bunch of politicians that refuse to make the hard choices which could cost them their job if it is not sold in such a way that it is good for you ( or good for the country's pocketbook ).

 

Yes, it will.  My point is that the people now in charge of passing legislation and implementing it aren't doing it.......not for the well-being of the citizenry they're not.

IF you think they are, you do indeed occupy an unreal world.  That's not intended as an insult and I hope you don't see it that way.  All of your stuff above is irrelevant.  I wish you could, or would,  see that.

 

We are a society that wants what we want, when we want it, regardless of cost cause we also want others to help pick up the tab or a lot of it, because they think they deserve it.  To control it,  we have to decide what is offered so they aren't disappointed.  

 

Immediate gratification is indeed a major reason we find ourselves in the pickle we are in.  Worse...it is those currently in the cat bird seat that indulge.  You cannot rationally deny that.  You presume the political status quo and it's political presumptions must continue as is.  That is a presumption and it ain't necessarily so.  It is possible and even preferable to do it a different way.  Now there's a concept for you.  Got nothing at all to do with the Constitution or Rights at all.  Just people being rational.  It can be done.

 

The reason I refuse to be drawn into details is that they are inevitably a  dead end relying entirely upon preconceptions and presumptions that are likely to be invalid.

 

Question everything.  If you don't, you might buy something you're better off without.  Hey...don't think so?  It happened in 2016.  

 

Detail can be counter-productive.  It often leads to analysis-paralysis.  Think about it.

 

 


 

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Re: FUNDING SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE

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Message 3 of 17

@alotofgrey wrote:

Gail,

 

You are very eloquent in what you think our SS problems are. Are you ever going to use your vast knowledge of that to recommend a fix?

 

 


It is NOT, what I THINK is the problem with Social Security; It IS what the SSA - their actuaries, Trustees and the annual income and outflow says about the financial shape of the Trust Funds.

I have linked the Summary of the 2018 report already.  And here is the financial data itself also from them.  You can check them out by Trust Fund or by a combination of them. 

SSA - Social Security Trust Fund Data - Income / Outgo by year

 

The last time the Trust funds were put on solid financial ground as the figures show was 1983 - 1984 when Republican and Democrats worked together to get legislation passed to fix them and build up reserve funds because they knew that the Baby Boomer generation was going to be arriving - it just wasn't enough because once again, they waited until the last minute to user in changes.

SSA - Combined Trust Fund Data - Fiscal Year Trust Fund Operations 1977 - 2017

 

We have been forewarned for a very long time that this is the way it was headed.  The Trustees do a report as to the financial condition of the Trust Funds every year and they are beginning to sound like a broken record with only the year date of prophecies of insolvency changing a little from one year to the next.

 

As any other interested American citizen, I have my opinions on what should be done - There are many fixes that have already been proposed - by both parties.  Included among them are other proposed changes to fix other things which some folks think need to be fixed ( examples:  using the CPI-E for COLA for SS beneficiaries, a new formula for those affected by the Windfall Elimination Provision or the Pension Offset provision, and many, many others, both big and small) - if we are gonna do any of these - they need to be analyzed as to their cost and benefit so that the whole reform effort can happen at one time.   that is why they are ALL listed here:

SSA - Social Security Actuarial Publications - Proposals Affecting Trust Fund Solvency

 

For many of us here - beneficiaries and those soon to come - most of whatever changes will not affect us too much but we need to be conscious of what it will do to our children and grandchildren - both pro and con.  What will the whatever changes do to affect our economy and jobs market since many of these changes add a good bit of financial burden to the pocketbooks of people and their employers.

 

I am not saying that changes like this should not be done - I am saying that people need time to adjust to anything drastic.  The same way beneficiaries have been forewarned that unless we tackle this fiscal problem - come about 2034, ALL beneficiaries as of that time will automatically receive about a 20% - 25% reduction in benefit dollars because there is a fail-safe built into the SS law concerning what happens when the Trust Fund reserve is depleted.

 

* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Re: FUNDING SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE

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Message 4 of 17

Gail,

 

You are very eloquent in what you think our SS problems are. Are you ever going to use your vast knowledge of that to recommend a fix?

 

 

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Re: FUNDING SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE

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Message 5 of 17

@Olderscout66

 

Congressional Research Service 03/17/2017 Report # RL32896 - Social Security: Raising or Eliminating...

 

Raising or eliminating the cap on wages that are subject to taxes could reduce the long -range deficit in the Social Security trust funds. For example,   phasing in an increase in the maximum taxable earnings to cover 90% of earnings over the next decade would eliminate roughly 30% of the long- range shortfall in Social Security. If all earnings were subject to the payroll tax, but the base was retained for benefit calculations, the Social Security trust funds would remain solvent for over 60 years. However, having different bases for contributions and benefits would weaken the traditional link between the taxes workers pay into the system and the benefits they receive.

 

Handling it differently would give different results, of course, and there are several proposals.

However, we must make sure that whatever we do does not bring additional harm specifically to the economy and jobs.  That's one reason to handlie this incrementally - not all at once - there are several proposals along this line too.

 

Yes, I believe that increasing the taxable earnings base will be one part of the equation to reform the program - but I don't think it will be the only one - especially if added cost or benefits are added to the program at the same time, which many people want to do. 

 

For new added benefits, who should pay especially if those benefits are applied to benefits today?  Or should they just be added in so that the new benefits are applied sometimes in the future?

* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Re: FUNDING SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE

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Message 6 of 17

What Gail says is true about how the DI Trust Fund will fail before the OASI IF NOTHING IS DONE.

 

If Republicans retain control of House and Senate nothing will EVER be done that does not involve shifting more of the burden of Government to the backs of the bottom 99%.

 

If Republicans are expurgated next November as they should be, Democrats can pass an increase to the SS "cap" raising it to $250,000 and solving the funding problems with no decrease in benefits and no increase in the tax rate for covered income, but it must be done NOW - just like the GOP hand-outs to the 1% have always been done, NOT phased in over a decade as GOPers demand.

 

SAVE SOCIAL SECURITY

VOTE OUT THE NRAGOP IN NOVEMBER

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Re: FUNDING SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE

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Message 7 of 17

@alotofgrey wrote:

@GailL1 wrote:

@alotofgrey wrote:

Funding Social Security and Medicare?

 

Social Security is an organization that manages a number programs. Medicare is one of those programs.

 

Each program is stand alone and has its own funding. If you want to talk about SS funding you have to identify the SS program that you are talking about.

 

 

 


The similarities are that they are fast becoming insolvent and have similar funding mechanisms - payroll taxes, Taxation on SS benefits, etc.

 

BTW, SS Old Age and Survivors Trust Fund and the SSDI Trust fund are now sharing revenues and have been since 2015 -'done to keep SSDI trust fund afloat.

 

 Gail,

 

Similarities, they, insolvent, sharing, afloat, yada, yada,.....please.

 

That SS Disability Insurance program (SSDI) is underfunded. You know that and you know what the fix is. To make what you said even worse, you know that fix is trivial.

 

So when are you going to stop complaining about that problem and start talking about fixing it?

 

Note: That SSDI program is not a retirement program. Its insolvency does nothing to our retired.


 

 

Alotofgrey 

They are both in trouble in the long run - 2032 - 2034 - expect about a 25% reduction in benefits paid out to beneficiaries if something isn't done to bring in more income to the Trust Funds - both of them SSDI and SSOASI.

 

Congress reallocated funds between the (2) Trust Funds back in 2015 to help the SSDI financial problem back then - when the SSDI Trust Fund was scheduled to reduce benefits in 2016 if nothing was done.

 

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 reallocates funds from the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund to the Disability Insurance (DI) trust fund to ensure payment of full disability benefits into 2022; without such a reallocation the DI trust fund would have been depleted in December 2016.

 

Now the SSDI Trust Fund looks almost as good as the SSOASI Trust Fund - that is until they both are declared insolvent in the current forecasted date.

 

the DI Trust Fund is doing better because claims are dropping at least til they begin to rise again in 2027 as forecasted by the Actuaries.

 

Now both need an extra influx of income to keep paying the same scheduled benefits rather than a reduced benefit - which by law they will have to do if more income doesn't flow in - 

From the 2018 Social Security Trustees Report

Considered separately, the DI Trust Fund reserves become depleted in 2032 and the OASI Trust Fund reserves become depleted in 2034. In last year’s report, the projected reserve depletion years were 2028 for DI and 2035 for OASI. The change in the reserve depletion date for DI is largely due to continuing favorable experience for DI applications and benefit awards. In addition, average benefit levels for disabled-worker beneficiaries were lower than expected in 2017, and are expected to be lower in the future. Disability applications have been declining steadily since 2010, and the total number of disabled-worker beneficiaries in current payment status has been falling since 2014. The Trustees assume that the recent favorable experience with DI applications and awards is temporary, and that by 2027 DI incidence rates will return to levels projected in last year’s report. 

* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Message 8 of 17

Once again the GOP is recommending we need to cushoin the ride for the top of the 1% by throwing the 99% under the bus.

 

In 2016, there was $5,020.8B in income between $118.5K and $250K.

In 2017, SSDI was "short" $32.2B

The revenue for DI from raising the "cap" to $250 is 1.8% of $5,020.8B or $90.4B

The increase in revenue for OASI would be $512.1B

 

So raising the cap to cover 90% of total income like Reagan did will fix SS OASI and DI funding problems FOREVER. Yes benefits will increase for OASI, but the Reagan Taxscam has so horribly shifted income from the 99% to the top of the 1%, and the income tax on retirement incomes over $85K insure the increased benefits paid will NEVER exceed the additional reveunes collected by simply raising the cap to $250K and keeping it so it covers at least 90% of total income.

 

Republicans think the 99% must work longer, pay more and get less to "save SS", but what they are "saving" is the GOPerLords excess income.

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Message 9 of 17

@GailL1 wrote:

@alotofgrey wrote:

Funding Social Security and Medicare?

 

Social Security is an organization that manages a number programs. Medicare is one of those programs.

 

Each program is stand alone and has its own funding. If you want to talk about SS funding you have to identify the SS program that you are talking about.

 

 

 


The similarities are that they are fast becoming insolvent and have similar funding mechanisms - payroll taxes, Taxation on SS benefits, etc.

 

BTW, SS Old Age and Survivors Trust Fund and the SSDI Trust fund are now sharing revenues and have been since 2015 -'done to keep SSDI trust fund afloat.

 

 Gail,

 

Similarities, they, insolvent, sharing, afloat, yada, yada,.....please.

 

That SS Disability Insurance program (SSDI) is underfunded. You know that and you know what the fix is. To make what you said even worse, you know that fix is trivial.

 

So when are you going to stop complaining about that problem and start talking about fixing it?

 

Note: That SSDI program is not a retirement program. Its insolvency does nothing to our retired.

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Message 10 of 17

@alotofgrey wrote:

Funding Social Security and Medicare?

 

Social Security is an organization that manages a number programs. Medicare is one of those programs.

 

Each program is stand alone and has its own funding. If you want to talk about SS funding you have to identify the SS program that you are talking about.

 

 

 


The similarities are that they are fast becoming insolvent and have similar funding mechanisms - payroll taxes, Taxation on SS benefits, etc.

 

BTW, SS Old Age and Survivors Trust Fund and the SSDI Trust fund are now sharing revenues and have been since 2015 -'done to keep SSDI trust fund afloat.

 

 

* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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