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That's one small check for a woman, a giant bill for all Amerikind
October 15, 2007 8:43 PM   Subscribe

When it comes to the nation's finances, Kathleen Casey-Kirschling is Public Enemy No. 1. A national milestone - the first baby boomer files for Social Security benefits. These people want to fix it. This woman isn't sure it needs drastic fixing. Neither are these people. If we're worried about not having enough workers to pay for it, is this issue a problem or a solution?
posted by pyramid termite (25 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow, so no baby boomers have filed for Social Security benefits based on disability? That's more amazing than the fact that the first of them (the "demographic timebomb" as Greenspan put it) are retiring.
posted by mullingitover at 8:53 PM on October 15, 2007


Hooray! The great die-off is about to commence!
posted by brain cloud at 9:06 PM on October 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I could only skim it without massive yawns, but I think she is not the first person who has filed who is a baby boomer. She is The First Baby Boomer and she recently filed.
posted by damehex at 9:06 PM on October 15, 2007


I absolutely despise that generation. They were stupid, self-indulgent little twats who never gave a thought for the future. We should just grind them up and use them as animal feed.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 9:22 PM on October 15, 2007 [8 favorites]


Wow, so no baby boomers have filed for Social Security benefits based on disability?
Thank you. This has been driving me nuts all fucking day.
posted by craichead at 9:24 PM on October 15, 2007


They were stupid, self-indulgent little twats who never gave a thought for the future.

Which generation isn't like this, again?
posted by spaltavian at 9:51 PM on October 15, 2007


I think the solution is to fix Social Security and other programs so that they don't take continuous growth as a premise, because that's unsustainable and downright stupid.

Just bringing in more workers so we can continue robbing Peter to pay Paul for a few more generations will only make the problem worse when it eventually does come to a head. It's the economic equivalent of pollution: it seems like a great idea as long as you're not the guy who has to clean it up.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:58 PM on October 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I mean continuous population growth...
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:59 PM on October 15, 2007


I think the solution is to fix Social Security and other programs so that they don't take continuous growth as a premise, because that's unsustainable and downright stupid.

I hear Charles Ponzi developed a truly remarkable proof of the viability of such a solution, but it was too long to fit in the margins of his international reply coupons.
posted by enn at 10:03 PM on October 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


Just raise the payroll tax cutoff. Currently income over $97,000 is not taxed for Social Security.

Double that limit, or eliminate it altogether, and the "problem" disappears instantly.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 10:31 PM on October 15, 2007


I expect this poor woman is about to be swiftboated, for the weakest reason yet: her birthdate. :(
posted by aeschenkarnos at 12:00 AM on October 16, 2007


My family (all Brits) lived in the UK from 1980 to 1984, because my dad was working there. Both my parents now receive small social security cheques from the Uncle Sam.
posted by rhymer at 12:44 AM on October 16, 2007



Just raise the payroll tax cutoff. Currently income over $97,000 is not taxed for Social Security.

Double that limit, or eliminate it altogether, and the "problem" disappears instantly.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 1:31 AM on October 16 [+] [!]


While I agree in principle, in reality this means an immediate mass exodus of the wealthy from the country, and at least half the aggregate wealth of America goes with them.

The country might be improved by losing them, but not their money.
posted by Ryvar at 12:55 AM on October 16, 2007


According to Paul Krugman, paying for Social Security shouldn't be a problem: the Social Security trust fund has steadily accumulated, using higher payroll taxes since the 1980s. The date at which the trust fund will run out, according to Social Security Administration projections, has receded steadily into the future: 10 years ago it was 2029, now it's 2042. As Kevin Drum, Brad DeLong, and others have pointed out, the SSA estimates are very conservative, and quite moderate projections of economic growth push the exhaustion date into the indefinite future.

Here in Canada, the Canada Pension Plan (a similar program) was fixed in 1997 without much fuss.
posted by russilwvong at 1:11 AM on October 16, 2007


While I agree in principle, in reality this means an immediate mass exodus of the wealthy from the country, and at least half the aggregate wealth of America goes with them.


To where? Most of the outrageously rich have all of their tax-eligible wealth neatly sheltered away, anyway. Are they going to move to Canada, or Europe, where they'll be taxed much more heavily? Hm, maybe Iran.
posted by mek at 1:31 AM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Fuck Boomers. Self righteous twats. This just makes me want to screw up my job and sign on the social. Hopefully, that way - they'll never see a penny of my money.

God Damned Filthy, Money-Loving, Earth destroying, Hippocritical Hippy bastards.
posted by seanyboy at 1:49 AM on October 16, 2007


Wow, so no baby boomers have filed for Social Security benefits based on disability?
No, younger generations are receiving disability payments now.
The post pertains only to "retirement" benefits. Being that the person's age is the factor for payment.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:52 AM on October 16, 2007


"Social security depends on continued population growth" posted by pyramid termite

Sadly eponypropriate.
posted by anthill at 5:08 AM on October 16, 2007


"Glass half full," she says. Typical starry eyed boomer. Almost touching in its way.

Question- What kind of pension does she get from her years of public service teaching? More than those in the private sector, I'll be bound.

Solution? Means tested negative income tax. Let's go full circle and return to the early boomer sense of kumbaya.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:46 AM on October 16, 2007


Hippies that voted foir Reagan. That's a generation the world really needs.
posted by Artw at 6:35 AM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Enjoy your retirement, and thanks for all the supply-side voting.

In a few short years, when you are warehoused in a medicare old folks facility, waiting for the dude from Godspell to call you home, may your poorly paid healthcare worker have cold hands.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 6:47 AM on October 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


The only Social Security "crisis" is that conservatives would really like to get rid of Social Security. The program was adjusted to take the aging Baby Boomer population into account back in the 80's. There is no unexpected gap looming. Even with conservative estimates, the program will be fully-funded for decades to come. At some point in the future, it may become necessary to make slight changes to maintain solvency. Raising the retirement age, capping benefits at higher income levels, removing the cap on payroll taxes, charging payroll taxes on higher income levels, or just having higher-than-projected economic growth would all allow Social Security to pay full benefits for the foreseeable future.

Social Security is not a Ponzi scheme. You pay money in while you work; you get a similar amount back when you retire. Nobody's promising profit out of nowhere.
posted by designbot at 8:28 AM on October 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


What designbot said.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:13 PM on October 16, 2007


While I agree in principle, in reality this means an immediate mass exodus of the wealthy from the country, and at least half the aggregate wealth of America goes with them.

Raising the payroll tax limit to $200k is not going to create a mass exodus of two-hundred-thousandaires to other countries. Even raising it to $500k probably wouldn't have much of an effect in that way. I highly doubt many people are going to up and leave their homes, careers and families because of that kind of tax increase.

If a few did leave, the loss of their tax revenue would be more than offset by the gains provided by those who stayed. Plus, the ones who left wouldn't be collecting SocSec benefits later, moving the system further into the black.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 8:16 PM on October 16, 2007


P.S. Thirding Designbot.

SocSec is social insurance. It's not a "Ponzi scheme" (did Rush Limbaugh distribute this talking point? My Rush-listening relatives were spouting it a couple years back also) unless all insurance is.

The whole point of insurance is to pool money and pool risk (risk, in this case, being definable as either being retired or disabled).

These days, the American Right seems very focused on atomizing society -- making people feel that they have to be dependent on no one other than themselves, and that all forms of collective public effort are suspect.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 8:21 PM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


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