The Washington Post article “Could Obama decide a deficit deal is in his interest?” of Sunday 20 February quotes the President: "I believe we should strengthen Social Security for future generations, and I think we can do that without slashing benefits or putting current retirees at risk."
No one wants to put current retired citizens subsisting on $1400/month Social Security at risk. And there is no need to, since that situation will solve itself: In 40 years they will all be gone.
And how about a little means testing. Since the President wants to raise the taxes of people making over $200K/year, why not start by taking away their Social Security? And why limit it to over $200K, how about all who make over $50K? They will all come runnng at you with fistfuls of pay stubs saying “You earned, and your employer paid...,” but no wage earner has ever sent in even a nickel of contribution to Social Security. The actual $ that went to the feds came from the employer bank account, never the wage earner's. If the feds don't get the check, the employer goes to jail, never the wage earner.
It has been a tax on employers from the start. Since all employers must pay the tax, there is no competitive advantage for any employer to do any more than add it to the price of their product, thus converting the 'Social Security tax' to a silent, painless national sales tax. In 2009 this tax was 36% of total federal income.
What must be done is to stop adding people to the system. A step in that process would be making sure potential enrollees are made aware of what Social Security is. The United States Supreme Court did a pretty good job of describing it with these 87 words in the 1961 Supreme Court Fleming vs Nestor decision:
'The noncontractual interest of an employee covered by the [Social Security] Act cannot be soundly analogized to that of the holder of an annuity, whose right to benefits are based on his contractual premium payments. To engraft upon the Social Security System a concept of 'accrued property rights' would deprive it of the flexibility and boldness in adjustment to ever-changing conditions which it demands and which Congress probably had in mind [?!] when it expressly reserved the right to alter, amend or repeal any provision of the Act.'"
And you want to “strengthen Social Security for future generations”?
There is nothing to strengthen. And if you continue to run a $135 billion monthly federal deficit, there won't be any future generation to strengthen anything for.
The Congressional Budget Office was recently quoted saying that Social Security will pay out $45 billion more this year than what it takes in. Isn't that what Bermie Madoff got caught doing? He got 150 years in jail, and we are afraid to just put Social Security out of business?
Our President has made more impression than any of his predecessors saying no more than smoke and mirrors but replaceing the smoke with television.
I've lived in Detroit, St Louis, Kansas City, Pittsburgh PA, Marblehead MA. Worked as tech rep in Southern CA, Bay area, NYC, I've been to Europe a dozen times (Ireland, UK, Scotland, Sweden, Finland, Belgium.
Favorite restaurants are Gene & Georgetti's in Chicago, Roma Cafe in Detroit, Frankie and Johnie's in NYC, Rigazzi's on the hill in St. Louis (Also Charlie Gitto's, was Angelo's when I went there.)
For about a year I had small offices in Clayton MO, in the Country Club Plaza in KC. I rode a ten-speed bike around Lake Michigan (The bottom half in one week in June 1978, another week for the top half in 1980, used the Badger both times.
Don't get to travel much anymore, but still try to rent a car and go around the Lake in March every year. Sure, there's still snow, and it's not warm, OTOH there are no bugs and no toursts. Greatest little tavern in the world is Sherry's Port Bar in Garden UP MI