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Thread: Do you support means testing social security?

  1. #1

    Do you support means testing social security?

    I'm assuming we all agree that social security needs to be phased out. The question is should it be phased out with "across the board" cuts or means testing? Across the board cuts would be some type of plan where you gradually reduce the benefits and gradually reduce the amount paid in. Means testing is where you only give money to the people who didn't save.

    I'm strongly opposed to means testing. It rewards bad behavior and punishes good behavior. It royally effs people that are above the "cutoff" point. Those of you that are in category know what I mean. It's not like when you get a little taken out of your paycheck and given to a welfare queen. That's annoying, but not life altering. It reminds me more of a retired farmer in South Africa who wakes up to find that a law has been passed to "expropriate without compensation". I understand that there's no actual contractual obligation for the government to pay, but it should be a consideration.

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  3. #2
    I support immediate dissolution of legal tender laws, as well as elimination of all taxation, regulation, government employees, and the federal reserve.

    From there the government can do whatever it wants.

    means testing? meh.

    'We endorse the idea of voluntarism; self-responsibility: Family, friends, and churches to solve problems, rather than saying that some monolithic government is going to make you take care of yourself and be a better person. It's a preposterous notion: It never worked, it never will. The government can't make you a better person; it can't make you follow good habits.' - Ron Paul 1988

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  4. #3
    I don't agree with #SS So anything else is just a compromise with the devil

    I think Rand has suggested this in the past. I can make a case for it, but in my mind it would only be logical if it was part of a plan to wean people off it entirely.
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  5. #4
    So, when I'm troubleshooting a computer issue and there's a process that's running out of control, eating up most of the system resources, and costing the company tens of thousands of dollars every hour, at no point does anyone think "You know, we should add more tests to that process to make sure it's only processing records that are really important to us".

    There are fundamental assumptions in that scenario, and I've dealt with them in various guises at least a hundred times.

    1) More often than not, the very first thing to do is KILL THE PROCESS.

    2) Then comes a basic analysis to figure out why the process got out of control.

    3) Often, this cannot be determined and those dealing with the issue move on because in the short term, it probably doesn't matter. The main thrust is always to try to get done what the process was trying to do. At this phase the process might be restarted with the intention to either let it run and finish, or to kill it again immediately if it runs out of control - and it is watched CAREFULLY after restart.

    4) If it runs fine, we go on with life and generally ignore calls for root cause analysis unless we have nothing better to do. ETA the point there is, when you've got a complex process and can't figure out the exact reason why it's not working, the correct thing to do is SCRAP IT ALTOGETHER.
    If we restart it, and it fails again, we again KILL THE PROCESS and start working out other ways to get ALL the records processed. This can and often does result in a complete rethinking of how the process was undertaken to begin with.

    Picking and choosing what gets processed is a last ditch effort that only gets done after you've determined there are no viable alternatives. And then it's only in the short term and is done as damage control.

    If we ever get to that point, of trying to get only the really important stuff processed, general consensus is that this is the worst possible scenario and that if it continues for more than a day or two, people are going to be in danger of getting fired, or potential legal action might be coming.

    The problem with SS means testing is that because it is a federal agency, none of that normal free-market thinking I just typed out will ever happen.
    Means testing will not be implemented as a controlled demolition tactic, nor will it be seen as a massive inconvenience and grounds for dismissal if it continues.
    It'll just be the way things are from then on.
    It'll be the ultimate kicking of the can. Once it starts, it'll be the way Social Security will be solvent for the next 50 years.
    Last edited by fisharmor; 03-02-2018 at 10:23 AM.
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  6. #5
    It is taxable, so there is some means testing in it already.
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  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Danke View Post
    It is taxable, so there is some means testing in it already.
    That's true. What I'm talking about is where you get nothing if you have over a certain amount. For example anyone who has saved over 300K gets nothing. Under 300K you get full benefits.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Madison320 View Post
    That's true. What I'm talking about is where you get nothing if you have over a certain amount. For example anyone who has saved over 300K gets nothing. Under 300K you get full benefits.
    Sounds like a great reason to keep assets where they can't find them.

    But as far as what you ask, means testing SS, exposes SS for what it is: no different than the welfare system.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by specsaregood View Post
    Sounds like a great reason to keep assets where they can't find them.

    But as far as what you ask, means testing SS, exposes SS for what it is: no different than the welfare system.
    Yeah, maybe they would just use normal income to use as the test.

    One reason I don't like means testing is also a reason I don't like progressive taxation. If you are going to tax to pay for government, the pain should be spread out as evenly as possible. Imagine an ultra progressive tax where we confiscate all of the assets of the top 1% and the rate is zero for everyone else. I think it's better to inflict a small amount of pain on everyone, as opposed to wiping out a small percentage. That would happen under an extreme means testing program to the ones just above the cutoff. They would get wiped out.

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  11. #9
    As I told you in the other thread I support means testing AND across the board cuts AS PART OF A STRATEGY TO ELIMINATE SOCIAL SECURITY IN WHICH NO NEW PAYOUTS ARE ALLOWED.
    I think everything that reduces the money flow through the SS system is should be done, I would want to just cut it off for everyone but I don't believe we could get the votes because that would "throw little old ladies out on the street".

    Government has stolen too much from too many to even consider using government to pay back the victims, especially those victims who won't starve.
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