Did Romney gets it right suggesting means testing??

tobr24u(z6 RI)September 25, 2012

It seems to me that he made some sense by making this proposal in regard to Social Security and Medicare. I will be shocked if you disagree with me on this matter...

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youngquinn_gw

for your info even we dont give pensions to everybody.
The social security pension drops out when you have an income of $44000 pa.
But if you qualify for even one dollar of pension , youare entitled to $5 pharmaceutical prescriptions cheap travel free ambulance cover etc .

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 5:32AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

Hmm, maybe we should adopt your system, though we hate to believe any furriiners have better ideas than we do...

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 6:13AM
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jmc01

he sure is getting it right with the idea of means testing. NPR told me last week that the average American will get $200,000 more back in Medicare benefits than they paid in. My country can't afford to continue that spending and I'mwilling to be means tested and pay my share.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 7:16AM
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pnbrown

I know a near-billionaire who is on his wife's health insurance from her career in public school. She is retired because she inherited millions of her own.

BTW, he made his millions by vigorous boot-strapping. His first and best decision was to be extremely smart (wasn't that clever?). Then he went and created MIT so he could get a scholarship to attend and get his degree. Then he invented fiber optics so he could make some minor but useful advancements to that industry. Minor but useful advancements can be worth untold millions to industry at an economic high point, it turns out (no accident, I'm sure). The wife just had the plain good sense to have a father that made millions, no doubt by vigorous boot-strapping of his own.

Since society should be blind (when it comes to welfare for the rich), they get their health insurance paid for by local tax-payers. You can bet they'll be voting for Obama. They are very nice people, btw.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 7:33AM
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esh_ga

Means testing for a system that they paid into? If the system determines you make too much money to participate, will they at least give you the money that you paid into it (plus some interest)?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 7:38AM
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pnbrown

"Means testing for a system that they paid into? "

Yes. It is very reasonable. SS is a welfare system, everyone should pay something in, and people over a certain wealth level shouldn't collect.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 8:18AM
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youngquinn_gw

when you say "everyone should pay into it" do you just mean through taxes or is there a separate payment on top of taxes for it?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 8:24AM
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esh_ga

There is a separate social security tax that is withheld from your wages. Your employer holds it back, adds some more to it and sends it to the government.

This is separate from Federal and State Income taxes.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 8:32AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

If not means tested then maybe as an alternative lift the income limit. All income is taxed not capped at the 90K.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 9:33AM
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david52_gw

You could fix Social Security pretty quickly by removing the income limit and including income from dividends and capital gains - not just earned income - into the pool, as well as increasing the retirement age.

Fixing Medicare is more difficult as its part of the dysfunctional US healthcare system, where its fee for service, not wellness / outcomes that are paid for.

I think both parties recognize this - that we need to shift from fee for service over to wellness/outcomes, however the Republicans think that private for-profit insurance companies and the 'market place' are the way to go, while the Democrats think that the gvt is better equipped to guide the process.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 10:26AM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

All income is taxed not capped at the 90K.

Currently it stands at $110,100. I agree with greatly increasing the cap since a flat tax is regressive, and a flat tax that does not touch the higher income earners is even more regressive.

Sefl-employed individuals pay both sides of the FICA tax minus a small credit iirc.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 10:27AM
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jon_in_wessex(z8/9 UK)

No means testing on the State Pension here.

Best wishes
Jon

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 12:50PM
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pnbrown

But should there not be?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 12:51PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

Currently it stands at $110,100.

Thanks I was going on what it was when I was doing taxes. I did not research that before I made my alternative suggestion.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 12:53PM
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patriciae_gw(07)

The rules for collecting SS have been changing ever since the whole thing got voted in in the 1930's so I dont have any problem with means testing. I think we also need to raise the cap and do anything else that is necessary. It is too valuable and important a program to not support as a nation. What is not to like-a program that keeps almost half of our most vulnerable citizens out of poverty?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 2:19PM
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demifloyd(8)

It depends on how the means testing is implemented.

If people of certain means can opt of the system and get back all of them money contributed with interest, good.

But you look at someone that contributes thirty or forty or more years, saves, makes good decisions, and they're out of luck because they did so, and all of their social security money goes to others that didn't?

I don't think so.

That's tantamount to the comparison of high school students--you've worked hard, studied, have straight A's and the other kids didn't study, smoked weed, failed tests and skipped class.

But they want to graduate, so since you have more than enough grade points, yours are taken from you and redistributed to those that didn't study, smoked weed, failed tests and skipped class.

So what if you don't get in the college you wanted to, and worked for, because someone decided a C average was good enough for you to "get by," that you didn't need a 4.0 or better to get into a great college, you'll do just fine at a lesser college, because those other people need go to college, too--you're just selfish for wanting more than you need, even though you made the sacrifices and worked for it.

Unfortunately, this is the mindset of many liberal thinkers today.

Never mind that it only perpetuates mediocrity and rewards sloth, in addition to eradicating incentives to do the right thing.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 2:49PM
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esh_ga

Yeah, I'm with demi on this one. People shouldn't pay in and then not get anything. Any solution needs to address that concern.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 2:54PM
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chase_gw

Not sure how it works in the States but here your CPP , basically the equivalent of SS, is considered taxable income . So for those of us with income in addition to CPP get it taxed as regular income so it actually can, and does, take you into a higher income tax bracket.

I'm OK with that but then again I strongly believe that we who have much have an obligation to those who have less.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 3:08PM
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duluthinbloomz4

Yes, here in the states, SS is taxed as ordinary income if your income in addition to SS is over...

...$25,000 for single, head of household, or qualifying widow or widower with a dependent child.
$25,000 for married individuals filing separately and who did not live with their spouses at any time during the year.
$32,000 for married couples filing jointly.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 3:54PM
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mylab123(z5NW)

I also agree with Demi and Esh. This is a product which was purchased, as outlined by an agreement by both parties.

If we want to change the way social security currently operates, then fine - if the citizens agree on how best it is changed, then fine again - but thus far, those who have paid into it, paid for a product to be rendered without equivocation.

However, I do think that those who clearly don't require the funds for any financial security and yet, collect them anyway, represents problem which exists about the program in that it goes against the entire puropse and spirit which inspired the program's design to begin with.

It wasn't begun with the idea or intention or spirit to also increase yet further the income of those who have no actual, real need for it.

It was begun for those who DO have a need for it.

The system does need an overhaul in order to work properly, as intended.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 4:42PM
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pnbrown

SS is pure socialism, right? It is the able-bodied and minded supporting the crippled, the hale supporting the ill, the wealthy supporting the impoverished.

So it is utterly right and reasonable for those who don't need it to not take it.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 6:51PM
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elvis

"Did Romney gets it right suggesting means testing??"

Yes. I'm for it.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 6:53PM
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pnbrown

Elvis, are you my alter ego?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 9:09PM
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youngquinn_gw

PN I agree that it is right for those who do not need it to not take it.

when your employer puts away money for you (adding it to your own contributions) that is called Superannuation , in Australia.

That is compulsory and the employer must add 10% of your salary every year.

That is in addition to the Governmwent offered pension.
The aim of superannuation is to reduce the pensions being paid.

But if you dont have sufficient in your superannuation accopunt you will then qualify for a Governemtn pension .
Qualifying for a Governemtn pension has benifts like $5 presciptions.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 9:14PM
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chase_gw

We have two " government pensions" in Canada. One is like SS in the States, both the employee and the company contribute based on salary. You must contribute to it to collect it and it is fully taxable as income.

The other is from the federal tax base and goes to every Canadian once they reach the age of 65. It is not tied to employment, all Canadians get it but it its taxed back if your income is over a certain amount. I'm OK with that. I'd much rather it went to those who really need it....in the end we all benefit in a society that ensures the needs of its elders are met.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 9:26PM
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youngquinn_gw

Chase our Government pension is not tied to employment either, and like you it is means tested. Going to thosewho need it.

If the American SS is tied to employment then what happens to Americans who are unemployed?
How do they live in their old age?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 9:30PM
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elvis

Posted by pnbrown z6.5 MA (My Page) on Tue, Sep 25, 12 at 21:09

"Elvis, are you my alter ego?"

I'm for it. ;D

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 9:31PM
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duluthinbloomz4

Americans who did not pay into the Social Security system during their working careers* have to rely on personal savings and any employer pension.

If they're fortunate, they have those two legs of the "three legged" stool in their retirement years.

*I'm thinking some state and local employees (and there are others) who pay into their own retirement-type plan. Until 1984, employment by the Federal government was covered under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and not by Social Security.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 10:16AM
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esh_ga

Yes, my dad worked for the government and does not get Social Security. He must have been in the CSRS. His retirement is over 3K a month, it would be interesting to see what he would have gotten with SS plus a smaller pension. I'm guessing he would have gotten more money total that way. But he seems comfortable (home is paid for).

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 10:52AM
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