May 22, 2012

A New Idea That's Going Nowhere

     This idea is going nowhere but Ezekiel Emanuel authored an op ed piece in the New York Times yesterday advocating that full retirement age for Social Security be raised on some sort of sliding scale based upon "lifetime wealth" which he defines basically as lifetime earnings covered by the F.I.C.A. tax. Full retirement age stays where it is for lower income people but raises for higher income people.
     I see few Democrats interested in this since it is a back-handed way of means testing Social Security and means-testing Social Security would undermine its support. I see few Republicans interested in this since it discriminates against high income individuals. Republicans already have problems with the graduated income tax.
     By the way Ezekiel Emanuel does not seem to know that full retirement age is already set to rise to 67 under current law. And also by the way, yes, Rahm Emanuel is his older brother and the two frequently disagree.


Anonymous said...

"going nowhere."

I assume you come to this conclusion because it is a common sense idea/approach to a difficult problem. Therefore, by default, politicians will ignore it.

Anonymous said...

There is not a one-to-one relationship (or inverse relationship) between earnings and work that prematurely wears down the body. Union construction and mining work can provide a good rate of pay but are also hard on the body over the years.

The idea of a verable retirement age is a good idea, especially if it recognizes that a lot of people applying for "disability" are more simply physically "worked out" by years on their job, but it needs to be though out more completely.

Also, I view a variable retirement as LOWERING the presumed "worked out" age for individuals with a history of physically taxing labor -- rather than just a backhanded way for further delay granting full RSI to babyboomers.
{I do think professors, for examplem can _work_ through their 80s and not dip into our limited SS trust funds. ...}

Anonymous said...

Another idiot trying to figure out how to spend my money. Can I please opt out of this thing? I won't ask for a dime more than I have already paid in. I'll continue to be responsible for myself.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:31

Consider a single man who earns the average wage throughout his career ($43,100 in 2010 dollars), works every year from age 22 to 64, and then retires at age 65 in 2010. Over his lifetime he has paid $345,000 into the system. But he is likely to get back $72,000 more than that, or $417,000 in Social Security and Medicare payouts, according to recent Urban Institute calculations. A single women with the same work and tax history will come out even further ahead due to her longer life expectancy, likely netting $464,000 in lifetime benefits, which is $192,000 more than she paid into the system. These amounts are in constant 2010 dollars and assume a 2 percent real interest rate.

Medicare benefits are the main reason most workers are coming out ahead. A male earning the average wage throughout his working life who retires in 2010 paid $55,000 into the Medicare trust fund, but is likely to receive $161,000 worth of Medicare benefits, the Urban Institute found. In contrast, he pays $290,000 in Social Security taxes throughout his career and collects $256,000 in retirement payments.

Good luck getting insurance on your own at retirement age for less than $150 per month like Medicare!