Social Security reform

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  • shaun_ SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Dec. 16, 2011 11:07 p.m.

    @Mountanman. I agree that putting 12 percent aside at three percent is a far better return than what a person receives back in social security, but unless someone could get a better return than 3 percent, inflation would eat most of the interest gained.

    Of course Wall street would be foaming at the mouth to get us good ol taxpayers a higher return of course, but I wouldn't want to give those clowns any more money.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Dec. 15, 2011 10:12 p.m.

    I could comment on Chaffetz's plan if I had it before me in detail and in Chaffetz's own words. Instead we have a characterization of it by a third party with a number of often partisan responses.

    I can say that the simile that one person suggested, of Social Security being like old people eating all the buffet before the other customers could get to the front, is a poor one. It's more like paying for the buffet only to find that armed legislators had pushed into the front of the line, sold the food, then tried to send the paying customers home.

    The rest of the analogy could be that the customers got together and performed a citizens' arrest on the legislators. The guilty congressmen were jailed and banned from the buffet for the rest of their lives and had their own buffet confiscated (that is were denied their own gold-plated retirement plan).

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 15, 2011 7:18 p.m.


    Contrary to what you appear to believe, we live in modern America not in the times long gone past. Most of us recognize and appreciate the freedom we get from the group effort of a lot of people working together toward a common goal. Your attitude toward people betrays the greed you have and your shame for it.

    Fret not for you are just like most of us. The competition for survival is fierce and the desire for riches to ward off the enemies of survival is very strong.

    If you will see civilization for what is doing for us, you will realize that the more your give, the more you get. The problem is that it works for hate just as much as for love.

    We live longer and have more freedom than we had in the past. Much of this is due to technology but it is also because we learn how to live together. And since no one can predict the future, Social Security is a good thing.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    Dec. 15, 2011 4:55 p.m.

    For many young working people; social security is like standing in line at a buffet. We are watching the elderly people in front of us talking everything: all the food, all the meat. The turn around and tell us to be patient, that they will bring more food, but what we see is less and less food, and the restaurant is starting to turn out the lights.
    Added to the problem; is we are being told; you need to pay the bill for those in front of you. And the longer you are in the line; the more you have to pay; those in the front; eating the food paid $1, those just stepping up to get a plate paid $5, there are some in back of them; that paid $10, and some in back of them; who had to pay $20, I am back where I have to pay $200, I feel sorry for those in back of me that have to pay $1000.
    But those in the front; just keep taking all the food and meat; they say they paid and deserve to eat all they want.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 15, 2011 4:50 p.m.

    Lead by example rep Chaffetz. Before you gut our social security, first gut your congressional retirement and your own investments that you plan to use for your retirement. Donate these for the cause of reducing the national deficit.

    Don't expect only others to suffer for the causes you believe in, be willing to suffer and sacrifice yourself. Lead by example.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    Dec. 15, 2011 4:34 p.m.

    Ultra Bob | 9:50 a.m. Dec. 15, 2011

    The responsiblity to take care of the elderly should fall on the children. parents used to live with their children when they got old. The parents take care of the kids, then the kids take care of the parents if needed. When did the government decide to take over this resposibility?
    Retire's now benefit from both pension and social security. Many of them own their own homes, and do not have house payments. simply put, many of those receiving social security benefits, could live very comfortably without the money. It really in many ways comes down to greed. Retired persons figure the government owes them; they do not think that the government has no money; and is just talking money from working people; many of who are in poverty; to fund their lifestyle.
    I have nothing against those who need help; getting help. I do believe it should come first from their children, then charity-church, and lastly basic support from the government.
    However the wealthy rich retired persons need to start stepping up and admit that social security for them; is just not right or honest.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    Dec. 15, 2011 2:57 p.m.

    Mountanman | 8:46 a.m. Dec. 15, 2011 cont:

    The bank says; that is well and good, but what about the 14 trillion dollars in debt he has accumulated: farmer Jones tells the banker; he never intended to pay the money back, he always figured his grandchildren, and great grandchildren would have to pay back the money he borrowed.
    And so he lived the rest of his life, relying on the money he saved. And passed his debt onto his children.
    And the farm was reposed by the bank. And his grandchildren worked in a sweatshop to try and pay back their grandfathers loans.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    Dec. 15, 2011 2:55 p.m.

    Mountanman | 8:46 a.m. Dec. 15, 2011

    Farmer Jones works his whole life. He takes 15% of everything he makes, and puts it in the bank.
    At the same time, he takes out a line of credit at the bank. He buys all sorts of things with the money, he buys his friends things, travels around the world, buys sports cars, the bank just keep increasing his spending limit, and he spends more, and more, and more.
    Pretty soon, he is 14 trillion dollars in debt.
    Farmer Jones decides to retire, he goes down to the bank, and says he wants to start withdrawing his money from his savings account.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 15, 2011 1:54 p.m.

    Mountainm: Where to start? In the eighties, there was a push in the life insurance business to stop selling cash value life insurance and to "buy term and invest the difference". Excellent Strategy...take care of the family with the low cost term insurance and invest in stocks with the difference it would have cost you to buy "permanent" insurance. The sales of the expensive product tanked as people took the advice. Five years later several journals published surveys of how the "modern" strategy was working. Guess what? They bought the term insurance but never got around to the investing the rest of the money. A similar phenomenon happens with the 401 K. People either don't invest or the invest less than they need to build a stable future. Hence Social Security is still a vital piece of a multi pronged approach to retirement security.

    PS. In 2005, when President Bush promoted his idea of private accounts for SS the Congress and the White House were still in the hands of the Republicans! Sorry to burst your bubble. The reason the idea was never even introduced because over 75% of the public opposed the idea.

  • oldasdirt Grantsville, UT
    Dec. 15, 2011 1:36 p.m.

    Like or hate it SS is here to stay. Invest in private with your funds always runs a risk, ask Bernie M investors or John Corzines this money has evaporated. Of course the only way that gov't will not tap into this SS "lockbox" would be to install a box on Mars

  • kibitzer Magna, UT
    Dec. 15, 2011 12:51 p.m.

    The biggest lie or deception expressed on this topic is always the suggestion that SS is unfunded. If it seems to be it is because of the lack of integrity and honesty in Congress in whittling SS funds away and the curious silence about the true details of this "crisis" by almost everyone in the political arena.

    Chaffetz has it exactly right if he is saying the problem is one of restoring and applying the funds designated by the country's employees and employers to the designated object, retirement benefits as promised and fully paid for.

    We have had Dems and Repubs both fraudulently spending what were said to be, in effect, expensive insurance premiums to provide a modest income upon retirement, and there are few in government speaking up about it.

    Well done Mr Chaffetz. As for Congress - "confession is good for the soul".
    'Fess up and put right the wrong you have done to the seniors and all the working people (all of us who are employed legally) of the United States of America.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 15, 2011 12:08 p.m.

    I hate to have to admit this, but based on what I've read so far of this proposal, Chaffetz just might have some good ideas here.

    If Congress can somehow manage to put ideology aside for a while, it might become workable.

    But that still doesn't mean we don't need to keep a really close eye on Mr. Chaffetz.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Dec. 15, 2011 12:00 p.m.

    "#2: Congress approved the bank bailouts and both wars as they did Obama's bailout and the war in Libya. Bush's bailout=bad! Obama's bailout=good,"

    What was Obama's bailout?

    TARP was your buddy bushies'. the auto industry repaid their loans.

    Take an ECON 101 class please.

    although I would have preferred to avoid all action in the mid-east, no one other than yourself, believes that Iraq and Libya are even comparable.

    It's like comparing a fly swatter to an atomic bomb.

    But of course, you have your agenda, so carry on and ignore all facts!

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Dec. 15, 2011 10:44 a.m.

    @ The Real Maverick. President Bush made his mistakes but all you said about him is not correct.
    #1: President Bush proposed changes in S.S. but was rejected by the Democratically controlled congress. We can all decide on our own as to why they would do that.
    #2: Congress approved the bank bailouts and both wars as they did Obama's bailout and the war in Libya. Bush's bailout=bad! Obama's bailout=good,
    #3: Congress approved the tax cuts to stop the Clinton recession and it worked. It was congress' out of control spending that had doomed us. President Bush made a mistake by not vetoing congress more!

    What is facinating to me is that the Democrats are running from their own actions and pointing hypocritically at President Bush for the very actions they, themselves approved and voted in! But it isn't suprising considering they need a scapegoat when things went from bad to worse. My only question for you is, how long will Bush, earthquakes in Japan, bad weather, bad luck, the "rich", Wall Street" people who own jets or "evil" corporations be Obama's scapegoat?

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    Dec. 15, 2011 10:39 a.m.

    Many of you are still drinking Wall Street kool aid. Social Security is debt. Debt, debt, debt, owed to the working class. Owed like loans from China, Japan, Goldman Sach or any other bank. Money that is not a giveaway. It's not welfare. It is not cash you can fund a war with. You can infer that the word entitlement is undeserved but it isn't. It is debt. Loans to the government that working Americans have made their entire working lives, payable upon retirement whether at 65, 66, 67 and with some 68. It is not unsustainable. It is not in need of major reform. Just follow the intial guidlines and it will be fine. Weather the influx of baby boomers and it will be fine. Provide meaning jobs to America and it will be fine. Put your attention to regulating Wall Street after all corporations are not people and money is not speech.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Dec. 15, 2011 10:05 a.m.

    Just imagine what could have happened had Bush not forgotten about the retiring baby boomers and NOT given all those unfunded taxes, stimulus, bank bailouts, and wars. We'd be rolling in trillions right now instead of out of them.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 15, 2011 9:50 a.m.

    The reason for the creation of government Social Security was the failure of the private enterprise to provide for working people after they could no longer work.

    The first part of the failure was the nature of the workers themselves. The squeaking wheel of current needs and wants drowns out the whisper of future needs. The simple fact is, people will not set aside money for the time they cannot work.

    The second part of the failure is the competition between commercial interests for the workers money. Young people buy homes, cars, boats, dancing lessons etc., retired people spend money for vacations and travel or maybe just for food and medical care.

    Social security by delaying the spending of the workers money, takes profits away from some and gives them to others. Social Security was a winning for the latter group.

    In todays world, the spend-now group has gained the upper hand. Using the grab-the-money-and-run philosophy, they pursue current profits to the extreme and are actually working to destroy the American government. The Utah Congressional representatives is a part of this group.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Dec. 15, 2011 8:46 a.m.

    Take your forced monthly FICA deductions plus the matching deductions your employer made over your working life, calculate the time value (interest paid on interest) of that money, even with a modest amount of earned interest, say over your working life of 40 years @ 3.0%. Now compare that with the miniscule SS payment you MIGHT get when you retire. On the other hand, don't do it because it will severely depress you what you could have had versus what you will get from S.S.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Dec. 15, 2011 6:56 a.m.

    Are you on Chaffetz's re-election campaign? And I wonder if he would be taken more seriously if had not engaged in clownish behavior for such a prolonged period of time, on top of his extreme strident and partisan stances. A legislator has to be able to work with the other kids, and I haven't seen this characteristic in this Congressman. Just getting elected is not enough. Anyone one of them can drop a bill into the hopper, even with so-sponsors. It does not mean it will go anywhere, and it does not mean the Member of Congress necessarily expects it to move. The key is, can he move it? If he can, then we will take him more seriously.