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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Means Testing Social Security

Today a caller suggested to Bob Brinker that one part of a compromise package to avoid going off the fiscal cliff would be to means test social security benefits.

Bob Brinker agreed with the caller's suggestion calling it a "no brainer."

What do you think?


  1. Pete from Boca FLDecember 23, 2012 8:13 PM

    SOCIAL SECURITY IS ALREADY "MEANS TESTED" in the tax code as follows:

    1.) Social Security starts out being 50% excluded from gross income. When a taxpayer's total adjusted gross income exceeds the low $34,000 and $44,000 levels (as of 2007) for Single and Joint Married couples respectively, only 15% of social security gets excluded and 85% gets included in adjusted gross income.

    2.) Then there's the increasing taxation of recognized social security through the progressive tax rate schedules applied to compute tax on taxable income. They start at taxing social security included in taxable income at 10%, then 15%, then 25%, then 28%, then 33%, and currently top out at 35% for year 2012 and rise under current law for 2013 and beyond.

    3.) And then there's the progressive State Income Tax tables...


    ANYONE SUGGESTING "FURTHER 'MEANS TESTING' OF SOCIAL SECURITY" should be ashamed of themselves for displaying such ignorance in my opinion!


  2. "MEANS TESTING SOCIAL SECURITY" punishes those who worked hard and saved money all of their lives and gives money to those who partied, lived for the moment, and didn't save.


  3. Pete from Boca FLDecember 24, 2012 7:52 AM

    Amen i2. Who wants to put money into an insurance scam all their life to find at the end after they have retired that their benefits can be taken away if they earn too much or have accumulated too much savings in the eyes of demogogues and politicians!


  4. Pete is more correct than he knows. What you take out of SS is means tested too. Few people seem to realize that the lower your earnings the higher the percentage you get back. You can find the numbers on the SS website but essentially the lowest paid people get credited 90% but above a certain level it drops to 15%.

    There is an appeals court case that essentially says that the government can reduce SS payments any time they want.

  5. Almost nobody cares if they means test at the million dollar a year level. But that does not fix anything. The best they could do is gradually change the algorithm over the next 20-30 years so that it takes 40 years instead of 35 to get the maximum benefit. That makes the most sense and rewards the contributors to our society.

  6. Social Security is an insurance program. Everyone pays monthly premiums. Everyone should be eligible to receive benefits. One in five American families earns poverty level annual wages. One half of American families earn $51,000 per year or less. Three out of five American families report they have $25,000 or less in total savings. Means testing Social Security would change it from old age insurance into welfare and would demean the majority of Americans who depend upon it in their old age.

    1. Amen!
      Because someone else has more then I do doesn't mean he has part of what I should have. My God (whose son is Jesus the Christ). Is a creative God,he created this whole universe out of nothing.
      A person can work and make billions, everyone else could do the same thing because God is a creative God.
      Penalizing people because they have done well at any level is an ungodly

    2. Mr Amen!
      God made about 4 million with Down Syndrome of which about 350,000 live in the US.
      Are you saying his plan is for them to starve unless they use their limited god given resources to make billions to take care of themselves?
      A good friend of mine has a child with Down Syndrome and taking care of the child pretty much takes all their spare time. It is a good thing she and her husband have great jobs to afford taking good care of their child as well as their other child that helps care for its sibling. I wonder what happens to the poor born into your world that relies on God...

  7. To Pete from Boca FL: Social Security/Medicare is not insurance, it's call society and while "you did build it", you built it not in a vacuum. We all won the geographic lottery, the ticket paid by our progenitors. (No, I'm not a Democrat, I voted for Romney who does understand community)

  8. Probably a good idea to meet & LISTEN to a number of low income elderly before forming a final opinion on this issue.

  9. "There is an appeals court case that essentially says that the government can reduce SS payments any time they want. -Meet & LIsten?? "
    This whole government needs a fundamental change from the top down.
    Probably only guns will do it now. Why not,the first revolution did well,but took
    a lot of sacrifice.


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