Now that Republicans have won in November*

Funkenpants wrote:
goman wrote:

However I think the Democrats should even be more bold in proposing lower taxes for the middle class but since they didn't they lost that opportunity.

I don't think democrats can push the "tax cuts stimulate growth" idea because it would fundamentally admit what republicans have been saying for the past 30 years. And what would they get out of it? The republicans aren't going along with a middle class tax cut. They aren't even going along with a middle class tax stay-the-same. The politics of this aren't going to work.

Yeah the politics suck.

But to differentiate from Supply Side Republican Cuts. Democrats could emphasize Demand Side Cuts. That is not in the lexicon because Democrats have not put it out there. They are still living off the laurels of Clinton "Balancing the Budget."

What Democrats do instead is push Education Credits or Child Care Credits or Housing Credits or Cash For Clunkers Stimulus. This is a mess. Just call it Demand Side Middle Class Tax Benefits. Use it over and over to differentiate between Supply Side Cuts the Republicans emphasize and call "Tax Cuts."

goman wrote:

OG - By saying this you are not helping the recovery. 1936-1937 was not even close to a full recovery but Roosevelt listened to the deficit hawks. It was not until the WWII that we really ran up deficits and guess what. A full recovery.

It is better to extend all tax breaks than to not extend them at all. If you have been reading my proposals they are even more progressive than yours in just keeping the taxes we have had for taxpayers less than $200,000.

My proposals have been - payroll tax holiday, extend unemployment benefits, subsidize green technologies, capital gains taxes same as income taxes, $1 Trillion in new stimulus, not a measly $250B in 5 years or whatever Obama is proposing.

STOP Worrying about the deficit. Once we have full employment (More Taxpayers) it will take care of itself. That is how Clinton got a surplus (which meant that we were taxing too much).

Also we are paying less in interest payments now than we were in Clinton's years. YES interest rates matter.

Raising the effective tax rate of the wealthiest people in this country by a tiny amount isn't going to derail the recovery. Conservatives are whining about the deficit, so this is a perfect political trap. They have to pick whether they want to go to the mat defending low taxes for the set of people that saw their wealth triple under Bush or take a modest step to close the deficit by simply asking the rich to pay the same tax rate they paid a decade ago. If the conservatives have a fiscally responsible bone left in their bodies, they'll take the deal instead of mindlessly repeating the mantra to cut taxes.

None of your proposals are really politically viable. A payroll tax holiday isn't going to encourage a company to hire an additional worker while the demand for their products and/or services is still low. Companies are doing fine squeezing productivity gains out of existing employees and, when needed, hiring temporary workers long before they ever think about hiring someone full time.

Extending unemployment benefits are actually a smart idea, but one that is increasingly difficult to get behind because of political rhetoric on the right. Republicans have made the unemployed the new welfare queens, claiming that people can live high on the hog on the paltry amount they get from their unemployment benefits and that those payments stop them from finding a job that a) doesn't exist in the first place, or, if it does is b) is much, much worse and lower playing than the job they previously had.

Subsidizing green technologies sounds wonderful, but what technologies exactly? Do we really want to create the next ethanol subsidy program where one of the ineffective uses of corn is codified by massive government payments?

I'm completely in support of taxing capital gains the same as income because it would increase the amount of money we get from the rich. Income is income: it shouldn't matter whether you earned it from trading stocks or it came in your paycheck.

More stimulus spending is politically dead in the water. The only possible way more stimulus spending would be authorized is if it gets hidden like Obama's recent infrastructure investment deal or we do a double dip.

I can't stop worrying about the deficit because we're hitting the debt levels of Greece and UK, levels where we won't have any choice but to implement austerity measures. The projections are that we'll have (relatively) high unemployment for years to come, so there'd be about five years of deficit spending until the employment levels got somewhat back to pre-recession levels. At that point we'll have no choice but to increase taxes to pay for all the debt we took on.

Clinton got a surplus by not cutting taxes during an economic expansion. A surplus isn't a bad thing, especially when we really need years and years of surpluses to put a dent in the amount of public debt we're carrying. Yes, interest rates are low, but that's not necessarily a good thing. Easy access to cheap capital got us in this mess to begin with and it's what's keeping the financial industry still alive. It's not like we need to keep rates low because companies are starving for capital. Companies have issued up to $50 billion a day in corporate bonds because investors are looking for anything with a higher return than the nothing.nothing they're getting from banks.

OG - With progressives like you we will never get out of this mess. Being a deficit hawk is part of the problem. It is the reason why the original stimulus was not big enough. And as I am trying to point out, it is not good economics.

Public Deficit = Private Surplus (savings)

Public Surplus = Private Deficit

No the deficit does not matter and neither does the debt. Because what matters is jobs, productivity and economic growth.

Stop focusing on the deficit and focus on the people.

Ruth Marcus on the small business job creation engine.

It is taken as gospel among politicians of both parties that small business is the engine of job creation. "We're starting with small businesses because that's where most of the new jobs do," President Obama said this year. "Small businesses are the job generator of America," echoed Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain.

They're in good company. George W. Bush, John Kerry, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan have all made that claim. Only one problem: These assertions are overblown and simplistic. Take it from a reliable source -- the chief economist for the Small Business Administration. "It's not true," Zoltan Acs told me when I asked about whether small business is, in fact, the engine of job creation. "It's half the story."

Small businesses are job creators; they are also job destroyers, as firms fail. Most start-ups do: About 40 percent of jobs created by start-ups are eliminated in the first five years. Meanwhile, established small businesses -- your neighborhood dry cleaners -- don't generate many new jobs.

Yup. That tripe needs to stop being spouted along with the gem that consumer spending accounts for 70% of the economy.

This is the kind of thing that keeps my enthusiasm down to vote democratic this fall:

WASHINGTON — The White House will name Wall Street critic Elizabeth Warren to a special advisory role in setting up the new Consumer Protection Agency called for by the financial regulatory overhaul, a source familiar with the White House's plans told NBC News on Wednesday.

Link. Warren is capable of running the new agency and is an expert in her field, but she lacks support of the financial industry, so naturally the Obama administration believes she's too controversial to put in as a regulator. Instead, they put her in some bogus role where she can be politely ignored. Every time I'm ready to get fired up to go vote democratic, Obama does something like this and just sucks the wind out of my sails.

Funkenpants wrote:

Every time I'm ready to get fired up to go vote democratic, Obama does something like this and just sucks the wind out of my sails.

I'm starting to think Obama is somehow related to Peter Molyneux. He'll talk about doing these amazing things that will revolutionize the country, people get all fired up about the "change that's a'comin'" and in the end all we'll end up with is the same thing we've had all along but with a new coat of paint.

If small business relief does not sustain jobs, then what is it?

It is demand from income.

Funkenpants wrote:

Instead, they put her in some bogus role where she can be politely ignored.

How do you know it's a bogus role where she can be politely ignored? This is the source I found:

Ms. Warren will be named an assistant to the president, a designation that is held by senior White House staff members, including Rahm Emanuel, the chief of staff. She will also be a special adviser to the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, and report jointly to Mr. Obama and Mr. Geithner.

Link

Funkenpants wrote:

This is the kind of thing that keeps my enthusiasm down to vote democratic this fall:

WASHINGTON — The White House will name Wall Street critic Elizabeth Warren to a special advisory role in setting up the new Consumer Protection Agency called for by the financial regulatory overhaul, a source familiar with the White House's plans told NBC News on Wednesday.

Link. Warren is capable of running the new agency and is an expert in her field, but she lacks support of the financial industry, so naturally the Obama administration believes she's too controversial to put in as a regulator. Instead, they put her in some bogus role where she can be politely ignored. Every time I'm ready to get fired up to go vote democratic, Obama does something like this and just sucks the wind out of my sails.

Here's a likely answer to your question from the article you linked:

However, the job will not require Senate confirmation.
OG_slinger wrote:
Funkenpants wrote:

This is the kind of thing that keeps my enthusiasm down to vote democratic this fall:

WASHINGTON — The White House will name Wall Street critic Elizabeth Warren to a special advisory role in setting up the new Consumer Protection Agency called for by the financial regulatory overhaul, a source familiar with the White House's plans told NBC News on Wednesday.

Link. Warren is capable of running the new agency and is an expert in her field, but she lacks support of the financial industry, so naturally the Obama administration believes she's too controversial to put in as a regulator. Instead, they put her in some bogus role where she can be politely ignored. Every time I'm ready to get fired up to go vote democratic, Obama does something like this and just sucks the wind out of my sails.

Here's a likely answer to your question from the article you linked:

However, the job will not require Senate confirmation.

This.

I think the blatant Republican manipulation of the Senate confirmation process is a very important issue that is getting very little attention from the press and the public at large. Furthermore, I think it is having a real impact on Obama's agenda, as his administration is significantly behind where they should be in filling sub cabinet level positions that actually over see much of the day to day implementation of his agenda.

This is an interesting Huffpost piece on the current state of just judicial nominations. Similar tactics and resulting backlogs can be found with all manner of positions that require Senate confirmation.

But I guess this is a strategy that is working for GOP, as Obama still takes a hit when he tries to side step the process.

OG_slinger wrote:

Here's a likely answer to your question from the article you linked:

Bah, that's their answer for anything they don't want to do. For one thing, they've already made a huge number of appointments that republicans are trying to block. All of a sudden, they get concerned about that with this one. Second, if they wanted her, they have the option of making a recess appointment. So I don't find their stated reason all that credible.

It's also worth noting that if you cave every time a republican says boo, what you can expect is more republicans saying boo.

Edit- In some ways, I suppose the entire issue is kind of nothing to worry about since Congress will never do what needs to be done in terms of regulating or prohibiting the kind of debt/credit driven consumer economy we've built. So whether she's there or not probably won't make any difference.

edit:

Funkenpants wrote:

For one thing, they've already made a huge number of appointments that republicans are trying to block. All of a sudden, they get concerned about that with this one.

Well for one, they can put her in charge without appointing her.

Two, were those other appointments more critical? For now the agency is under the power of the Treasury Dept. so they can do what they want.

Second, if they wanted her, they have the option of making a recess appointment. So I don't find their stated reason all that credible.

What difference would her getting a recess appointment make though? It would only last a year.

Paleocon wrote:

I'm not sure that needs testing for entitlements is cost effective, since it would add an extra (very expensive) layer of bureaucracy to the process that would end up costing more than the savings from cutting people off the welfare rolls. Aside from that, I agree with all your above points.

It isn't really the welfare rolls I'm concerned about. Clinton did most of that work back in the 1990's. It's the Social Security rolls. If you're making $250k/year off of stock dividends, you probably don't need the Social Security check.[/quote]

Every couple of years I have to visit Russian Consulate in NY for one reason or another. Every time, there are enough Brighton Beach-type seniors in the line to keep a lively discussion going on how to receive SSI and Medicare and Medicaid and work a part type job and receive subsidised Progam 8 housing and have a couple of cars registered to their name and take abroad vacations every year. That's welfare scamming taken to an art form.

Needless to say, all of them are die-hard Republicans.

I liked one of Dan Gross' points on the dire predictions for the expiration of the tax cuts:

4) The bold and confident assertions made about the links between tax rates and economic growth, market performance, and prosperity are almost certainly wrong. Turn on CNBC or look at the Wall Street Journal op-ed page these days, and you’ll learn that we must keep tax rates on capital gains, dividends, and income precisely where they are because shifting them to different levels will {ableist slur} economic growth. Keep this in mind: The people who designed the current, unsustainable tax system promised us that lower marginal rates, and lower taxes on capital and dividends, would boost the economy, promote investment, create jobs, spur market performance, and raise everybody’s income. They were wrong. (It’s no coincidence that these same people also warned us that raising taxes in 1993 would kill market returns and the economy. They were wrong then, too. They’re pretty much always wrong.)

As I’ve pointed out, the years under the current tax regime have been a lost decade. Pick your metric—median income, employment, stock market returns, economic growth—the low-tax ’00s sucked. Yet proponents of keeping the tax cuts persist in making the argument: To avoid a repeat of the past decade, we must have the exact same tax policies as we did for the past decade.

If you're making $250k/year off of stock dividends, you probably don't need the Social Security check.

But it's your money. It shouldn't matter how much you're making now, you get back what you put in.

MaverickDago wrote:
If you're making $250k/year off of stock dividends, you probably don't need the Social Security check.

But it's your money. It shouldn't matter how much you're making now, you get back what you put in.

If you got back what you put in or if it was your money, it would be called Social Security Savings Accounts, not Social Security (technically, Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability) Insurance.

Just think about it: if I die soon enough and you live long enough, you get what you put in AND what I put in, while I get nothing.

Dago is right. We could have a different discussion about what Social Security should be and how it's being used today, but as it was conceived and implemented, it's your money. I've heard a local congressional rep quote that when social security was enacted, life expectancy was a year les than when SS kicked in, and the average retiree collected for only 11 months. If we want to institutionalize SS as retiree welfare, a lot of changes need to take place.

Jolly Bill wrote:

Dago is right. We could have a different discussion about what Social Security should be and how it's being used today, but as it was conceived and implemented, it's your money.

Okay--can you show me evidence that it was conceived and implemented as your money?

Bookmarked because I can't resist threads that depress me.

Wow. Stop the presses. I'm actually with Cheeze on this one. As Social Security was conceived, it was NOT your money. It was a lot closer to, as he says, an insurance system.

In point of fact, as it was originally conceived, it was indexed for end of work and life expectancy. Since back then those two events were pretty close, the system was a lot more affordable. The idea was that folk who put in 30 years of work shouldn't have to outlive their money and live in penury irrespective of their salaries.

The problem arises now that medical technology has created a serious gap between end of work and life expectancy. Furthermore, folks are working later now than they did in previous generations. And the system was never intended to provide 30 years of retirement benefits for someone who only worked 20 years.

We could have a different discussion about what Social Security should be and how it's being used today, but as it was conceived and implemented, it's your money.

Really? Because here's the description of the Act...

To provide for the general welfare by establishing a system of Federal old-age benefits, and by enabling the several States to make more adequate provision for aged persons, blind persons, dependent and crippled children, maternal and child welfare, public health, and the administration of their unemployment compensation laws; to establish a Social Security Board; to raise revenue; and for other purposes.

Right on the first page of the Act. BTW, that's the entirety of the description of the Act, not an excerpt.

Because the money paid into social security is intended for the general welfare, to include providing for the aged, blind, dependent children, crippled children, mothers and children, public health and unemployment compensation... No, it's not your money to get back later as if you'd popped it into a bank.

Jolly Bill wrote:

Dago is right. We could have a different discussion about what Social Security should be and how it's being used today, but as it was conceived and implemented, it's your money. I've heard a local congressional rep quote that when social security was enacted, life expectancy was a year les than when SS kicked in, and the average retiree collected for only 11 months. If we want to institutionalize SS as retiree welfare, a lot of changes need to take place.

Actually how Social Security is being used today is *exactly* how FDR imagined it to be:

FDR wrote:

There is no reason why everybody in the United States should not be covered. I see no reason why every child, from the day he is born, shouldn't be a member of the social security system. When he begins to grow up, he should know he will have old-age benefits direct from an insurance system to which he will belong all his life. If he is out of work, he gets a benefit. If he is sick or crippled, he gets a benefits. And there is no reason why just the industrial worker should get the benefit of this. Everybody ought to be in on it--the farmer and his wife and family. Cradle to grace--from the cradle to the grave they ought to be in a social insurance system.

The initial law provided unemployment insurance and old-age pensions as well as allocated additional money for indigent elderly care, public health services for children and pregnant mothers, and care for the blind.

It was an insurance system where all existing workers paid in through the controversial use of payroll taxes. It wasn't 'their' money. It went into a general pot from which the current crop of beneficiaries were paid. This pay-as-you-go set up is why everyone's concerned about the impact the Baby Boomers retiring will have on the liquidity of the system: the ratio of payors to payees is going to go out of whack for quite a while.

The law hasn't kept up our lengthening lifespans. The average lifespan in 1935, when Social Security was passed, was 61.7 years. The law mandated that you could begin to draw limited benefits at 62 and full benefits at 65. Today the average lifespan is 78.2 years. Congress last modified the age at which full benefits could be accessed in 1983 when they increased it from 65 to 67.

If you're up in arms about that, then try to get your Congressperson to raise the age when benefits kick in or reduce what they get. I'm sure they'll be willing to piss off their constituents who *always* vote to help you out.

Alternatively, you could simply remove the cap on payroll taxes so SS taxes are paid on income you make above $102,000 and stop payments to wealthy retirees (since it's really an insurance program you shouldn't get the benefits if you don't meet the requirements: if you're pulling down $250,000 a year in investment income, you hardly can be considered indigent). Raising the benefit age will be the hardest to do because you're going to have to actively screw over one generation--and that won't be the generation currently getting the benefits.

OG and others - Lifespan is the wrong metric for understanding social security disbursements.

In 1935, if someone lived to 62 they were expected to live 13 more years. Now they are expected to live 20 more years.

goman wrote:

OG and others - Lifespan is the wrong metric for understanding social security disbursements.

In 1935, if someone lived to 62 they were expected to live 13 more years. Now they are expected to live 20 more years.

Explain how it's wrong.

In 1935 people, on average, died right after they qualified for partial benefits and three years before they qualified for full benefits. Today people live an average of 12 years after they qualify full benefits. That's a long time to pay out benefits and, without adjusting the age at which people can qualify, it will just get longer as lifespans increase. That means we'll pay out more money as the lifespans of beneficiaries get longer and that additional money has to come from the payroll taxes of current workers.

OG_slinger wrote:
goman wrote:

OG and others - Lifespan is the wrong metric for understanding social security disbursements.

In 1935, if someone lived to 62 they were expected to live 13 more years. Now they are expected to live 20 more years.

Explain how it's wrong.

In 1935 people, on average, died right after they qualified for partial benefits and three years before they qualified for full benefits. Today people live an average of 12 years after they qualify full benefits.

I think it's wrong because you're confusing the arithmetical mean of the ages at which people died with *individual persons* dying. It's like if the average household as 2.5 kids, that doesn't mean anyone is splitting children in half. It means something like half the households have 2 kids and half have 3 kids.

For example, the average life span in 1935 may have been 61.7 years, but have you checked how that was calculated? In 1935 you still have things like blue babies dying because we weren't yet operating on an infant's heart. All those dead babies are pulling the the 'average'--the mean average--down. Now after we start being able to save people from childhood diseases, not all of those people make it to collecting Social Security. A lot of them die later but they still die before they hit the age to collect, so they're pushing up the average age without ever actually becoming a burden on the Social Security system.

CheezePavilion wrote:

I think it's wrong because you're confusing the arithmetical mean of the ages at which people died with *individual persons* dying. It's like if the average household as 2.5 kids, that doesn't mean anyone is splitting children in half. It means something like half the households have 2 kids and half have 3 kids.

For example, the average life span in 1935 may have been 61.7 years, but have you checked how that was calculated? In 1935 you still have things like blue babies dying because we weren't yet operating on an infant's heart. All those dead babies are pulling the the 'average'--the mean average--down. Now after we start being able to save people from childhood diseases, not all of those people make it to collecting Social Security. A lot of them die later but they still die before they hit the age to collect, so they're pushing up the average age without ever actually becoming a burden on the Social Security system.

You're not making a terribly strong argument that lifespan is the wrong metric for understanding Social Security benefits. People are living longer--both by average age and by the good old fashioned actuarial tables the entire insurance industry depends on.

Let's just take white males. In 1939, 64,247 white males out of a theoretical population of 100,000 would still be alive on their 62nd birthday when they qualified for the minimum Social Security benefits. They were expected, on average, to live 13.82 additional years before croaking. 58,305 of those white males out of 100,000 were expected to be alive on their 65th birthday when they qualified for full Social Security benefits, which they could expect to receive for another 12.07 years before they died.

Fast forward to 2006 and 82,978 white males out of 100,000 make it to their 62nd birthday and they're expected to have another 19 birthdays and change. 79,354 white males out of 100,000 make it to their 65th birthday and they have exactly 17 additional birthdays ahead of them on average.

There are far more people reaching the age where they qualify for Social Security benefits today and they are expected to live five or six years longer than their 1939 counterparts. That means we have to pay a lot more people benefits for a much longer period of time. All of which means lifespans are a very important metric for understanding Social Security benefits. Hell, the first person to receive Social Security benefits paid into the system for three months, had her first check be more than what she contributed, and went on to live another 35 years receiving $20K+ in benefits.

OG_slinger wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

I think it's wrong because you're confusing the arithmetical mean of the ages at which people died with *individual persons* dying. It's like if the average household as 2.5 kids, that doesn't mean anyone is splitting children in half. It means something like half the households have 2 kids and half have 3 kids.

For example, the average life span in 1935 may have been 61.7 years, but have you checked how that was calculated? In 1935 you still have things like blue babies dying because we weren't yet operating on an infant's heart. All those dead babies are pulling the the 'average'--the mean average--down. Now after we start being able to save people from childhood diseases, not all of those people make it to collecting Social Security. A lot of them die later but they still die before they hit the age to collect, so they're pushing up the average age without ever actually becoming a burden on the Social Security system.

You're not making a terribly strong argument that lifespan is the wrong metric for understanding Social Security benefits.

I disagree.

People are living longer--both by average age and by the good old fashioned actuarial tables the entire insurance industry depends on.

Maybe, but, as you'll see later on, that fact does not necessarily mean what you think it means.

Let's just take white males. In 1939, 64,247 white males out of a theoretical population

Well that's just it--it's not a theoretical population. It's an actual population. Where are you getting that number from?

There are far more people reaching the age where they qualify for Social Security benefits today and they are expected to live five or six years longer than their 1939 counterparts

Right, but there are also far more people reaching the age where they get a job that triggers the FICA taxes that fund Social Security too, aren't there? I mean, it's not a question of absolute numbers, it's a matter of the ratio of those paying into the system and those contributing to it.

That means we have to pay a lot more people benefits for a much longer period of time.

Okay, but do we also have people contributing funds for a much longer period of time? People today survive industrial accidents in their 20s and chest infections in their 30s and heart attacks in their 40s, and all those people are paying FICA taxes for a much longer period of time. People who reach the age they get Social Security benefits may be expected to live five or six years longer than their 1939 counterparts, but what if the people reaching an age where they pay FICA taxes are expected to spend five or six years longer paying FICA taxes too?

All of which means lifespans are a very important metric for understanding Social Security benefits. Hell, the first person to receive Social Security benefits paid into the system for three months, had her first check be more than what she contributed, and went on to live another 35 years receiving $20K+ in benefits.

I'd say that anecdote supports my argument more than yours! ;- D

CheezePavilion wrote:
Let's just take white males. In 1939, 64,247 white males out of a theoretical population

Well that's just it--it's not a theoretical population. It's an actual population. Where are you getting that number from?

It *is* a theoretical population. The actuarial table simply lets you know how many people out of that theoretical population of 100,000 would be alive on their XX birthday, how many would die during that year, and, on average, how many more years they'll be alive.

The CDC a good enough source for you? And the 2006 numbers are from the Social Security Administration .

CheezePavilion wrote:
There are far more people reaching the age where they qualify for Social Security benefits today and they are expected to live five or six years longer than their 1939 counterparts

Right, but there are also far more people reaching the age where they get a job that triggers the FICA taxes that fund Social Security too, aren't there? I mean, it's not a question of absolute numbers, it's a matter of the ratio of those paying into the system and those contributing to it.

You're forgetting that Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system. The FICA taxes someone pays while they're working goes to fund the benefits of some existing 62/65+ year old. So while more people are living longer and paying FICA taxes, that money is already being consumed by the generation getting benefits.

The ratio between FICA payees and Social Security beneficiaries is important, but that number has been going down for decades. Now that the Baby Boomers are retiring there are only 3.1 workers paying for one Boomer's benefits. That will go down to 2.1 workers per one beneficiary by 2031. Lower birth rates and longer lifespans means that fewer workers will have to cough up the money to pay for more and more retirees and do so for longer and longer.

IMAGE(http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/chartbooks/fast_facts/2003/chart36.gif)

CheezePavilion wrote:
That means we have to pay a lot more people benefits for a much longer period of time.

Okay, but do we also have people contributing funds for a much longer period of time? People today survive industrial accidents in their 20s and chest infections in their 30s and heart attacks in their 40s, and all those people are paying FICA taxes for a much longer period of time. People who reach the age they get Social Security benefits may be expected to live five or six years longer than their 1939 counterparts, but what if the people reaching an age where they pay FICA taxes are expected to spend five or six years longer paying FICA taxes too?

The only way you can get five or six additional years of people paying FICA taxes is to make them work another five or six years, Cheeze. That means increasing the age at which people could begin receiving benefits, something that has happened a grand total of one time since 1935 when it was raised a whooping two years.

And even if more people are surviving industrial accidents, chest infections, and heart attacks that still doesn't change the fact the we have to pay benefits to more people for longer and longer periods of time. The same health care improvements that helps a person survive those thing will keep them alive longer after they retire. And since Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system, the additional tax revenue that that industrial accident survivor pays in is immediately paid out to a current retiree.

OG_slinger wrote:
goman wrote:

OG and others - Lifespan is the wrong metric for understanding social security disbursements.

In 1935, if someone lived to 62 they were expected to live 13 more years. Now they are expected to live 20 more years.

Explain how it's wrong.

In 1935 people, on average, died right after they qualified for partial benefits and three years before they qualified for full benefits. Today people live an average of 12 years after they qualify full benefits. That's a long time to pay out benefits and, without adjusting the age at which people can qualify, it will just get longer as lifespans increase. That means we'll pay out more money as the lifespans of beneficiaries get longer and that additional money has to come from the payroll taxes of current workers.

Okay I'll explain again but Cheeze had some good points too. Actually I did explain but you didn't read what I wrote. So I'll write it again.

In 1935, if someone lived to 62 they were expected to live 13 more years. Now they are expected to live 20 more years.

1935 - average of 13 years of SS benefits for a 62 year old.
2010 - average of 20 years of SS benefits for a 62 year old.

This is your explanation which I said is wrong.

1935 - average lifespan 65 years. 3 years of SS benefits at 62.
2010 - average lifespan 79 years. 17 years of SS benefits at 62.

Notice the difference now?