{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "If Social Security gets repealed/ reduced / changed, can I get a refund for the tax I've already paid? Or is this whole thing just a scam...", "post_id": "58731481fab572001642c29f", "reply_count": 76, "vote_count": 14, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting", "feed_type": "crowd" }
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If Social Security gets repealed/ reduced / changed, can I get a refund for the tax I've already paid? Or is this whole thing just a scam...

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What exactly is wrong with Social Security? It is slowly drawing down on the trust fund. Even in perpetuity with no changes, it can still pay ~75% of promised benefits. Why round that down to zero? Relatively small changes can resolve that gap. Raise the cap on earnings, tweak the benefit formula, tinker with COLA, you're there. And if we actually experience the level of GDP growth Trump has promised, we might not need any of it!

As for the claims of it being a Ponzi scheme: All annuities have the features frequently cited as making it a Ponzi scheme: Lots of payers in the beginning and few beneficiaries, followed by a mature stage where many more beneficiaries start drawing. And beneficiaries receive their benefits from a combination of asset liquidation and current income. The difference is that Social Security's income and benefits are changeable over time to allow the program to survive whereas an annuity contract is fixed at inception.

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@DD1, Libertarians want to end the system because they don't agree with the idea of the government intervening to ensure citizens can't become destitute and live their final years in poverty. They believe such a government program is by-definition "inefficient" and a "waste of money."

However, if you look at the actual activities SSA performs, such as administering claims, it does them quite efficiently. As for investment returns, it is mandated by law to invest only in US Government securities to achieve two things: (1) avoid investment risk as much as possible as it is meant to be an absolute backstop, and (2) prevent the government from having to make asset allocation decisions that would serve to benefit some private companies over others.

As for vesting at 26: You "vest" (not the technical term) when you achieve 40 quarters of covered employment. So this suggests you started working when you were 16. That's quite admirable. However, it doesn't mean you had to earn a lot in that period. So modest means isn't really a part of it.

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Ponzi scheme

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^found the trump voter who just figured it out lol

Social Security is not a scam - as long as everyone pays into it into perpetuity. But if it becomes insolvent no you will not get a refund

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OW1, amazing demeanor and persistence in this thread. Thanks for your contribution

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Right, D1, completely understand how it's set up now...however it gets changed so that I end up seeing 0 benefit...it feels like a complete scam

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E1 *Government sanctioned Ponzi scheme

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Only a partisan can actually believe that SS as it currently stands will exist when they retire and/or is worth saving as is. Private accounts.

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C1, you are politicizing the acturial issues. The upcoming population due to all you non breeders won't be able to foot the bill. It's a Ponzi scheme

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Glad we call it as it is here. My preferred transition model is privatization, I.e. optional contributions and can allocate to one of a variety of private plans (see Chilean model). In that case, pooling can still exist to a degree that your money isn't gone

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It's only a scam if the Republicans get rid of it. If they didn't then we all would have gotten our money at retirement 🙄

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The money people paid has helped your parents, grandparents and/or great grandparents. People decades ago put this system in place to help elderly and unfortunate people, seeing what it was like when it didn't exist. You never saw what it was like. That wasn't covered on the Andy Griffith show, folks.

How shameful to see how greedy, selfish, and inconsiderate people in this country have become. The very same descendants of those people who put this together, contributed, and/or benefitted. Who would have guessed.

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Also, our SS budget is now 20x the original one in 1935. Things will only get worse once the baby boomers are all retired and living to 100 and our generation/next ones stop having kids. We need to completely rehaul it imo given the impact of the demographic trends. You should be funding your own account, not the account of current retirees.

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The money you paid in is already gone - it is paid out to current recipients. Your future benefits will be paid by future tax payers.

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^ and everyone in Chile lived happily ever after.

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I don't know shit. But I know people have been saying this for 40+ years.

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For the record I don't want old people on the street, so I am for a social insurance program. It just needs some work.

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Also, the actuaries didn't mess up. Projecting Social Security requires actuarial projections, which have been mostly right, and economic projections, which we have under-performed. The current deficit is due to the fact that taxable payroll hasn't grown as much as forecast while outlays, which are pegged to CPI, have gone up more than forecast.

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What do we need to reform the system?

Let's be real, if we didn't force anyone to "save" for the future (through whatever system, private acc, social security , whatever) many Americans would have very little by retirement age.

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DD1, you can't promise that you won't become a burden on society. No one can. (Unless you commit suicide, but I don't recommend it just to prove yourself right.) And besides, if your plan is to let other people die destitute in the streets, I don't think the rest of the country supports your plan.

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You don't understand my response because you don't understand the history behind the program. SS was part of FDR's New Deal, created as a direct response to the economic impact the Great Depression had on people thanks to the stock market crash and bank failures wiping out everyone's savings, particularly senior citizens. Because all of their savings were gone and they could no longer work, SS was introduced to help them out. The goal of the program was to alleviate some of the effects and help out as much as possible for the immediate time being, and your point about not effectively raising people out of the poverty line is factually incorrect. It has significantly reduced the amount of people who would otherwise be under the poverty line, even in recent estimates (22 million Americans in 2015). Of course, the issue is that it was never supposed to be a long-term fix, just a short-term response to the majority of senior citizens in 1935 being under the poverty line. It was just never discontinued and actually expanded because other groups started complaining that it wasn't fair they weren't also getting benefits and who doesn't like "free money"?!

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