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November 30th, 2010
04:40 PM ET

Denying Social Security for people earning more than $150,000?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As we await the final recommendations from President Obama's deficit commission, one Democratic-led policy group is out with its own bold proposal:

Bloomberg News reports that the think tank Third Way wants to trim or eliminate Social Security benefits for what they consider high-income retirees.

The plan is to boost monthly benefits for poorer retirees - while reducing them on a scale starting with individuals who have $150,000 in outside income or couples with $250,000.

Social Security benefits would be eliminated all together for individuals making $200,000 or couples with $400,000 in income. The group says people who don't need Social Security shouldn't get it.

This is despite the fact that these people have paid into Social Security throughout their working lives.

Third Way also wants to raise the retirement age, limit cost-of-living increases and help young workers create private retirement accounts.

Third Way says its proposal will come out after the deficit panel's report and is meant as a kind of cover for Congressional Democrats to support unpopular deficit-cutting measures.

Republicans have argued for raising the retirement age as well as limiting benefits for wealthier retirees. But most Democrats don't want to touch Social Security at all - when it comes to cutting the $13 trillion plus debt.

However, some Democrats do support cutting benefits. As Senator Kent Conrad put it: "Those who say don't touch it aren't dealing with reality."

As for that deficit commission, like we said yesterday here in the Cafferty File, don't bet on it. The panel now says it will delay the vote that was set for tomorrow until Friday, although they still plan to release the report tomorrow.

Here’s my question to you: Should people earning more than $150,000 be denied Social Security benefits?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 6pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.


Filed under: Social Security
soundoff (158 Responses)
  1. JoshA

    Jack,
    People working in the public sector are more of a drain on the economy collecting pensions than people in the private sector collecting social security. Go after them and leave social security alone!!!!!!!!!!

    November 30, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  2. Rich - TX

    Jack,

    Do I need to collect social security, No. Do I earn more than $150,000. Yes. I am a high school drop out who worked his butt off making very little money most of my life. My company and I are finally making good money and I am going to be punished. Either social security works or it doesn't. Don't punish those of us who chose to work 2 and 3 jobs for years while others were willing to settle for less. We used to have choices in this country. We are looking more like a socialist country all of the time.

    November 30, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  3. Bill Sodeman

    Perhaps, but what happens to all of the premiums that person has paid into the Social Security system? Do they go to someone else? Millenials and Generation X in the USA are already subsidizing Social Security checks. Will Social Security be funded when these younger citizens need their benefits?

    November 30, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  4. Eric - Houston

    Absolutely not! If they paid FICA taxes for years, probably the maximum, under the promise that they would receive benefits, then changing the deal now would be unconscionable. They could be phased out using a sliding reduction percentage based on age however. That is 20 year olds would be told that they would not receive benefits at retirement age if they met a specific and disclosed means test, 25 year olds would receive 15% benefits, 30 year olds 30% benefits, 35 year olds 45% and so on with 55 year olds receiving 100% benefits upon retirement regardless of means. This would allow for long term liability reductions while both allowing for people to plan as well as keeping faith with the American people, something government is not very good at.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  5. Overby from Melbourne

    If they put their money into the system, of course. If they're going to be denied it, then they should get a full refund on what they paid in. The fact that people are getting it when they never paid into the system is the problem.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  6. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    tampa, fl no, but medicare needs to get it's act together and become more like the hmo's it hires to do the work it doesn't seem to be able too, like negotiating contracts with hospitals, negotiating lower drug costs, and stopping the rampant fraud (1/3 of medicare's payments). our leaders should also have their cushy retirement packages converted to just social security, like we have.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  7. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    As long as they don't pay any social security taxes. If they pay taxes then yes they should get their benefits.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  8. Brian McPhillips

    No. $150K wage does not warrant foregoing Social Security Benefits. However, I do believe earners of $500K or more should not get Social Security Benefits, BUT have to pay into it up to the Taxable Wage Base. In order for those whom have annually earned $500+ to receive benefits, they must prove hardship – including supplying the SSA proof that they do not have huge pension accounts.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  9. Phil-Washington State

    Absolutely NO! These people have paid into Social Security all their working lives. Regardless of their income, they have earned the right to be compensated. That's the way the system works, doesn't it?

    November 30, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  10. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, if they contributed to Social Security all their lives, they have earned their benefits. Before they start "means testing" the contributors, they better stop paying out to the welfare creeps who have never contributed a dime to Social Security, or Medicare/Medicaid, and stop payingout to people that died years ago. Clean up the fraud, waste and abuse in SS/Medicare, and you will find out that you don't have a problem with either of them.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  11. Rohn

    Social Security was set up as a safety net. Does someone who earns $150,000/ year need a safety net? I think they could live comfortably on $150,000. That almost 3 times what I make now.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  12. Stella-Northern New York

    My dear Jack. NO, they should not be denied benefits they have earned and worked hard for. Accordingly to Ron Paul and his followers they believe Social Security should be abolished period! Everyone is on their own irregardless of their circumstances. The Republicans no doubt would like to play with it on stock market knowing full well (guaranteed)every penny will be lost.. Not the super rich of course. They are the ones who will get every penny of it. The Democrats always protected our Social Security in the past. Who knows what they'll do today. It looks more and more like President Obama is caving in on everything the other sides want. Maybe SS is on its way out. Isn't that part of the "BIG PLAN" to eliminate the middle class???

    November 30, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
  13. Steve

    It should be reduced on a sliding scale..If there is a threshold that maximizes the amount you pay, the same should be done on collecting it...say every 10K in income should lower the amont you collect...Somethings gotta give, folks!!!!!

    November 30, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  14. Arnold MI

    Anyone who has paid into Social Security should be eligible for the same benefits that everyone else is entitled to, but they should have to pay taxes on the Social Security as a combined income.

    They should also be required to pay into Social Security on their entire income until they reach the legal age of retirement, unless they become disabled.

    Social Security should also standardize of the benefit amount for retiree's regardless of their income while working. This will guarantee everyone a pension and keep consumer spending at adequate levels for the growing retirement community.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  15. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    If they paid them we Social Security should pay it out.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  16. riley oday

    Sure go ahead and do it. What can they do about it ?

    Same for all the other unpopular ideas. What can you do about it ?

    Leave the country is about all you can do.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  17. Michael H. in Albuquerque, NM

    Social Security was intended to suppliment the income of the poorest retired senior citizens. It is a government program for the needy, not an investment for the wealthy.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  18. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Jack
    Making people who earn $150,000 a year uneligible for Social Security benefits is a great idea, as long as you don't take their money in deductions. Creating money from thin air is tough but, staeling is illegal

    November 30, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  19. Alex in Gig Harbor, WA

    Yes, Jack, it is about time there was a means test to receive Social Security. It should be a safety net, not a bonus. It would make more sense than raising the retirement age since not everybody can physically work into their late 60s.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  20. Mike from Denver

    Denial is such a strong word. I believe that if people earning more than $150,000 pay into the system, they have a right to receive the benefits. On the other hand, no one is forced to cash the checks. One day maybe I will have the opportunity to make that choice.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  21. Roger in South Carolina

    Many of us who have paid into Social Security at the top rates over the years made concrete retirement plans based, in part, on our return of these "enforced savings" in our later years. If there is going to be Social Security means testing, its onset should be delayed sufficiently to allow for future retirees to have acquire enough of a "nest egg" so that Social Security benefits become irrelevant. However, means testing may be somewhat less of a "burden" to the recipient if you define "earning more than $150,000" as being related to active employment income rather than cash flow generated from pension plans and other fixed revenue streams.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  22. Jim

    Jack,

    No, but someone making over $1 million should be cut off from the trough. If you're making that type of money today and saving part of it then retirement is not going to be a problem for you later on.

    By today's standards someone making $150K is equivalent to $75K in 1990 by my guesstimate. Cost of living has gone up a lot in the last 20 years, and will continue to rise.

    Jim in Denver, CO

    November 30, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  23. K.C. Wright

    NO, person's earning more than $150,000 should not be denied social security benefits. I assume that our government would still insist that these people that fall into this category will be required to to pay into this benefit.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  24. Jane (Minnesota)

    A retired person making $150,000 really doesn't need the extra income in my opinion.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  25. jean2009

    One word...No.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  26. Thom Richer

    Anyone who has an income of such an amount after retirement, should not receive SS benies. I have never lived on $150K a year in all of my 68 years and raised a family of 4 on less than a third of that amount per year without tax breaks, deductioins or loopholes afforded the wealthy. If someone out there wants to pay me $150K a year till I die, I will gladly give up my SS money. I'll wait for your call.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    November 30, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  27. Andrew Amherst NY

    They paid into it... why shouldn't they get it? Jack you do realize at those income levels 80% of their SS income is taxed and sent right back to Washington to spend on some other program.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  28. honest John in Vermont

    Of course deny it, no wonder SS is going broke if it has to pay the rich. . I never knew the rich collected SS, thought it was for the hungry, disadvantaged and the middleclass.

    And ya wonder why this country is broke?

    November 30, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  29. Paul Austin,Texas

    No because I do not beleive that the system was set up that way. If they paid in then they should be given benefits as the rest of us.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  30. AndyZag Lynn, MA

    Are you out of your mind? You expect some one to pay in to Social Security and now, because they have been successful in their careers, you think that they shouldn't receive their benefits? Bull droppings! Why not change your question to should the Congress of the United States pay back all of the money, with interest, that they stole from the Social Security Fund and subsequently placed it in a situation where it will not be solvent in the future. Send your question to the Congress of the United States. They raped the Social Security coffers, ignored rre-paying Social Security and now Oh My the trust is going broke. Maybe Congress should give up their perks as a first step to stabilizing the Social Security Fund.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  31. AB

    No, Jack, anyone who pays into the Social Security System is legally entitled to collect from the system. This principle applies to retirement benefits and not to disability benefits. To be eligible for disability benefits, you have to earn under a certain level of earnings. People who earn $150,000 are not eligible. People can and should still get their retirement benefits and be taxed at the 85% rate if they have earnings over $100,000. That is legal and fair.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  32. KDS Irvine, CA

    No Jack absolutely not, they pay into Social Security just like everyone else who make less. My Dad makes a lot of money and has worked very hard over the years to get where he is at. He has been paying into Social Security for 39 years now and is entitled to collect when he retires.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  33. bud rupert

    NOPE! They paid into the program like everybody else so NO they should not be denied – However it does make some sense that the wealthy volunteer not to receive a check for the good of the whole and to help keep the program solvent. I guess you could say it's one way of giving back.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  34. greg, bremerton, wa

    More, more more...please give us more say the politicians. More money, please...pretty please. we don't have a clue how to be responsible with your money, we aren't accountable for over-spending, for undeclared wars, so just give us more and...shut up citizens. Oh, now we want even more...give us all of your money that you paid into Social Security. Right. Just can't wait to give my money to all the politicians. More, more, more.

    Our government is SICK...spoiled, incompetent, cheatful and king!

    November 30, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  35. Bizz Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I don't think it should matter whether a person makes $150,000. Social security payments should be decided on the pension they receive. There are many people especially in gov't who earned $150,000 and collects close to full pay when they retire. At the same time there are people who make decent money and have a bad retirement plan or lost their money in the stock market that depends on social security to live.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  36. Loren

    No. Social security is a contract with America, if you pay in, you will be paid. What they should do is eliminate payments to people who haven't paid in, and stop Congress looking at Social Security as a candy jar to reward their pet special interest groups.

    So either go back to the initial principles of social security or phase it out. Stop playing games with the American people.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  37. James in San Diego

    Absolutely not. That would give the conservatives and the blue dogs the grounds to call it "just another welfare program" for the undeserving poor; and we all know how well those are supported. I need Bill Gates to get his full benefit so I can get mine.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  38. Zack Austin, Texas

    If the cap is removed from all salaries, those making $150,000 a year should receive social security. If the cap is not removed, then they should receive nothing.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  39. Burt in Az

    No. You pay into a system and then can't collect. That sounds like a case for the bunko squad. What is next, the insurance companies refusing to pay medical benefits because you make too much.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  40. Allen in Hartwell GA

    If I were in the position of having an annual income of $150,000 after retirement, I would be willing to forgo a monthly Social Security check. But the problem with most people earning this much is that they have to get every penny they can just to afford the life they became accustomed to.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  41. chris

    I assume you mean that if denied, they would no longer have to pay in. Additionally, they would recieve some form of retroactive tax benefits to make up for part of their past costs, since no they longer benefit from the "fruits of their labor". Otherwise, the question is.... just... plain...stupid

    November 30, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  42. Steve in Fl

    Might as well, Jack. They're already on GOP Welfare.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  43. Anna

    If it will help the deficit fiasco..sure..Give me the ability to claim a tax deduction for what I would have received and both the tax saving crowd and deficit hawks should be happy.. But the caveat should be all saving stays in Social Security to shore it up and not kill it which is what some people in the Congress are trying to do. Social Security was set up as a "promise" to protect those who are too old and weak to do so. If I am making $150,000. a year I don't fit the criteria and would try to save something I may need in the future.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  44. IRMA REYNA

    Anyone who put money into Social Security should be able to get
    some of it back. You should get what you put it in – otherwise the goverment should give it all back.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  45. Craig in Arizona

    Well now the shoe is on the other foot. When the Government wants to seize additional funds from the "Rich" in the form of tax increases, the pitch forks came out and the villagers cried, "tax the rich". Now the cry will be, "We paid into SS, that is our money". Well guess what, it stopped being your money the day the Government took it from your paychecks. It's gone, vamous! It is not sitting around somewhere in an account. That is why it is called an unfunded liability. This is what happens when we trust the Government with ours, or other peoples money.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  46. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    No I don't think social security should be denied to the wealthy. Give them the option of receiving it or not. If they graciously refuse based on not needing it then they should be given a tax incentive for helping their fellow citizens who do need the money and their country as a whole.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  47. Celeste

    They paid their share into the system, they should get their benefits. As it is any couple making over $36,000/year(I might be off, but the last time I looked it was 36K) can be taxed up to 85% of their social security income, so it is not like the people in the $150k+ brackets are going to see much of their benefits anyways. However, if benefits have to be cut, I'd rather it be at the top end of the pay scale rather than the lower end. I'm in my 20's and I honestly believe I will be lucky if I ever see any of the money I've paid in. It would be foolish for anyone my age to plan on having these benefits available to us upon reaching retirement age.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  48. Anthony from Swedesboro, NJ

    The rich only care about their rights while sending this country into an economic spiral downwards. They want to keep their tax breaks and social security checks no matter that the country, which blessed them with wealth, goes down the drain. Our soldiers are dying every day to defend the rich. The least they could do is spare a few shekels to keep us and themselves afloat. Even Scrooge saw the light when it was almost too late.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  49. Peter

    "The group says people who don't need Social Security shouldn't get it. "

    That is beside the point. These people paid into it, they should get their benefits, or else just call it elderly welfare.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  50. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Absolutely not. What should happen is that the Federal government should return every cent they stole out of social security. What Bernard Madoff did and was sentenced to prison time for congress did with a blink of an eye and did it free and clear of prosecution. When you take funds that do not belong to you and use them for something that they were not suppose to be used for that is called theft. Unfortunately these thieves were elected instead of arrested.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  51. Dee in New Paris Ohio

    Good idea! Social SECURITY should be just that, a secure income for those who never make enough money in their working lives to save much for retirement, and those with limited retirement funds.

    And people should quit griping about those retirees getting benefits! Some people NEVER make enough to do any saving for retirement and that's just a fact of life. So, those who DO have the ability to save should do so, and make some plans for retirement. The others, who usually work their entire lives in low-paying, thankless jobs should get Social Security. Period!

    November 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  52. Annie, Atlanta

    No. Like you said, they earned it. Just remove the cap of $106,800, for crying out loud. Is lack of common sense a prerequisite for elected office these days?

    November 30, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  53. john ....marlton, nj

    If the have to pay ss taxes they should receive benfits ...

    He is the problem .. social security insurnace is not insurance, it is a ponzi scheme run by the govt set up to transfer wealth from one electorial period to another ... it has gotten to the point the transfer is from one generation to another ...

    How about combining SS and federal pensions .. with min ages, max benfits etc. .. or convert ss accounts to individual accounts .. everyone over forty already gets a statement every year ...

    November 30, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  54. Michael

    This is simple math, folks. The median income in the USA is $32,140 (US Census Bureau, 2006). Do you really need social security when you are making the equivalent of 5 median Americans?
    Maybe they could each use 1/5 of your share instead.

    November 30, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  55. john ....marlton, nj

    If they have to pay ss taxes they should receive benefits ...

    Here is the problem .. social security insurnace is not insurance, it is a ponzi scheme run by the govt set up to transfer wealth from one electorial period to another ... it has gotten to the point the transfer is from one generation to another ...

    How about combining SS and federal pensions .. with the same minium ages, max benfits , etc. .. or convert ss accounts to individual accounts .. everyone over forty already gets a statement every year ...

    November 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  56. Rus in St. Paul, MN

    Why should people be denied? We've been told all our lives that we're paying into this system to get something out of it later on in life. What happens when we have another market crash sometime in the future, people lose their savings, and don't even have Social Security to fall back on anymore, despite years investing into it? What is fair about that? Why not instead give retired folks a tax credit if they give up their benefits in a given year? Make it optional to at least let folks get a benefit for 40 years paying into the system.

    November 30, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  57. Scott Stodden

    No, No, No, Absolutley Not! Jack All Working Americans Have Paid Into Social Security Weather There Rich Or Poor And Its Not Right To Deny Any Social Security If They Qualify People Talk About Communism Well Here Is Communism At Its Fullest!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    November 30, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  58. Bob C

    If they paid into Social Security, they should not be denied this benefit. However, they should be allowed to refuse receiving an actual Social Security payment and instead claim their portion of the anticipated benefit in the form of a tax write off.

    November 30, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  59. dale Ia.

    If said person pays into the system ,,no,, whats wrong is the cut off point is 106,000? ,,raise the cap too 1,000,000 in today's money,, raise the retirement age for those not born yet. a flat tax on all no de-ducks,,.

    November 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  60. katiec Pekin, IL

    Guess I was under the misconception that there were already limits on earnings when receiving Social Security. If not there should be.
    Jack, you stated everyone pays Social Security all their lives. Not true as that applies only to us abused middle class Americans, as once you make $106,000 in wages you stop paying into Social Security. That cap should definitely be raised

    November 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  61. john j. grimes watertown, ma.

    Let's make it simple. If I had $150,000 a year to live on I wouldn't mind passing on Social Security. Of course, I don't come close to such a figure so I would be in total favor of such a proposal. Anyone making that kind of money should have enough put away to last them until the final bell tolls.

    November 30, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  62. Jeff In Minnesota

    There has to be some sort of means testing for social security. If someone is retired and still able to generate income in the neighborhood of $150,000 or more, what do they need social security for in the first place?

    And the retirement age has also got to change. In 1933 when social security was enacted, the retirement age was set by actuaries at 65 years because the average life expectancy in the US in 1933 was around 62 years, meaning that the majority of citizens would never collect social security. Therefore, social security would be self sustaining. With the average age of life expectancy now hovering around 80+ years, practically everyone gets the benefit. It doesn't take an actuary to figure out that there's a problem?

    November 30, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  63. John from San Antonio

    Hell yes! Let's get it over with and just deny anyone that shows any initiative at all anything. We can all just sit back, enjoy the good life and let the government take care of us.

    November 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  64. Dennis north Carolina

    the law says that all people who work has to pay social security up to a certain amount. if you pay into the system than you should be able to collect the benefit. there are changes that need to be made to the payment system and the collecting of the social security tax. billions of dollars go uncollected each year because of fraud and corruption.

    November 30, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  65. Paul, New Port Richey, Fl

    To welch on a promise made long ago is abhorrant to anyone with a shred of honor and integrity. But then again, we are talking about our shady and double dealing government aren't we?

    November 30, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  66. worker

    It looks like the people do not even want to touch this subject.

    November 30, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  67. Dick B

    By the time my children begin drawing social security it may take $150,000 a year to get by.

    November 30, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  68. Arlene, Illinois

    Those who say cutting Social Security should be done to cut
    the deficit of 13 trillion should just try and live on my S.S. check
    of $ 681. Republicans, are you listening? Evidently all the Tea
    party member must not be on Social Security.

    November 30, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  69. Karen, Idaho

    Social Security should be just that–security for those who need an income to survive. As long as their is an income cap allowing those making top dollar to pay into the system only up to a certain level, there should be an income level for those receiving Social Security. The rich do not need income assistance and are greedy if they accept it just because they can.

    November 30, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  70. Gregory Tripp, Mechanicsburg

    It's rediculous to pay someone Social Security when they don't need it. Those with retirement incomes exceeding what most people earn during their prime earning years should not receive it. The same goes for medicare. These rich retirees need to get off social welfare so it can help those who truly need it.

    November 30, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  71. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York

    Jack,
    All Congress needs to do is to remove the current $106.800 cap of social security taxes. This would both restore the fairness of progressivity and lengthen the solvency of social security.
    But since we're asking for a bigger contribution from Wolf, just run it by him first.

    November 30, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  72. Carol Kentucky

    Most social security beneficiaries earn less than 25,000.oo a year.every dime is taxable...

    My income is in that range,,my social security after taxes is $800.00 a month....... it payes my house and car insurance and property taxes and buys a few groceries..many people I know have only social security....
    At 150,000.00 social security would not mean a whole lot...and would not cause homelessness or hunger or lack of medical care as it would with those under 25,000. The republican want to cut social security, then let them cut the wealthy who do not need it the rich who do not need it

    November 30, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  73. Sickandtired

    Are You Kidding Me ???? A lot of these people probably worked hard for that kind of salary. When the countries economy first tanked a few years ago, lots of people were nearly wiped out of their earnings and savings in stock that they invested into and may have to rely on their impending social security to keep from becoming destitute.

    Why not ask if people who sit on their Butts all day and do NOTHING should be denied Welfare ???

    November 30, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  74. HURRICANEPAUL from Hawaii

    Yeah, RIGHT Jack, just what The Tea Party Force needs right now is MORE ammuntion to use against the Democrats in 2012.

    Messing with their Social Security benifits is like stirring up a bunch of angry bees.

    If you still think The Tea Party Force are just a bunch of "old white guys" and "kooks" and "wackos", as they are so often painted in the press, then you haven't learned anything from the last election and Obama will be a one-term president,just like Jimmy Carter.

    November 30, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  75. Rich Noone

    Even though those making over 200K may be more able to live off their savings than those making less; It is not fair for those currently in the SS system. They have taxed for years (in most cases) and should be entitle to their benefits earned.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  76. Elwood - Myrtle Beach,SC

    Yes, social security wasn't created for the wealthy. If social security goes bankrupt then these folks aren't going to end up in the poorhouse. They can whine about their right to benefits due to their contributions but there is a reason it's called a TAX. Some of MY tax dollars get spent in ways that don't benefit me and I whine about that too but until the system becomes solvent (if ever) then I think it's fair to look at options that benefit society as a whole.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  77. Ralph Spyer

    If a American has put into Social Security then he or she must be included in social security. First rich people pay more taxes, they buy biger homes ,better cars,they spend more. ACCOUNTABLE by our government for the money that was taken out of the social security and put into a general fund, just put our money back. I don:t care if we pull out of the two wars' cut foreign aid. cut police,cut schools, cut every social program their is .but do not touch my social security.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  78. Christimarie

    How dare they!!! Anyone who pays into Social Security should be eligible to receive it. I don't hear them talking about public employees with huge PENSIONS. Lets cut that crap. There are people receiving Social Security who never paid into it. THAT needs to STOP!!!

    November 30, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  79. th

    Q: Should people earning more than $150,000 be denied Social Security benefits?

    A: Absolutely.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  80. Gigi Oregon

    I see Social Security as an Insurance program. If you die you don't receive benefits nor does your family benefit from your fund. If you make $150,000... You don't need it. You have been blessed.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  81. AYESHA

    So can I also stop paying social security taxes? how about a refund over the past 20 years with interest? When did government become the biggest mandatory charity? What's next? No Medicare for the rich? This is so abhorrant I don't even know where to start? I'm speechless.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  82. Eloy Villa

    Of course not, if they paid into SS. Social Security is not a welfare program. It was intended that people paid into it and would get paid benefits just like a retirement account. The Federal Government should not renege on it's promise. Actually if a private retirement acoount holder such as a bank would try to renege on paying benefits the government would prosecute.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  83. Bodie

    It took me 30years to finally make it! While paying social security, cut me a check in full and you can do what you want!

    Plus as a business owner, if the government would butt out i could hire 15 more people with good jobs. Health care increase 11%with reduced coverage,......it never stops!!!!

    November 30, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  84. Martin Wielgus

    I collected SSI when I reached full retirement age (66.5) but continued to work. So I not only had to pay Social Security on my income, I had to pay the tax on my Social Security income. So anyone who makes more in earned income than the amount earned in Social Security has automatic limitiations on the amount collected. This whole argument about limiting social security is based on total ignorance of how the system works. You cannot collect Social Security (full benefilts) if you are making anywhere near 100,000/yr. Get over it.

    Martinsburg, WV

    November 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  85. Bob M.

    Well to be, truthful thats a leading question about finances. If Social Security ends up going the way it is proposed, why should someone 40 years old who has worked and been forced to pay into the system not be able to receive any benefits? The fat cat gets fatter and the present provider gets the shaft.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  86. Michael of Manorville, NY

    If they are going to take social security away from anyone after they have paid into the program then they also need to take that fat pension plan that the congress and senate have and contribute all those funds into social security to assist with the paying out to thoses they feel are in need of social security funds. I would love to know what social security would look like today if our greedy and aggrogant politicains had never placed the funds into the general fund. They raped the system and now want the same public that was suppose to benefit from to the program save it. They should all be imprisoned for extortion.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  87. pat

    Social security is a contract between the government and a working person. People work all of their lives, improve their income level and expect to retire with earnings from SS that they have paid into all of their lives. How can the government say, "Sorry, we didn't mean it". Much of our deficit is as a result of the unlawful war in Iraq that our former president launched.

    Why don't we stop paying billions of dollars in benefits/welfare etc. to illegals and take care of our own people before taking care of the rest of the world. When we are back in the black we can start being magnanimous again.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  88. Kathryn

    As a teacher I contributed to a state retirement system for 30 years. After leaving public education I worked for a private company and contributed to Social Security. Upon reaching retirement age, my Social Security benefit was cut in half because I receive a pension (modest) from the state.
    So if those who are earning large salaries cannot take a cut in their Social Security benefits, it is just another case of adding insult to injury for the middle class.
    Another way to address the problem with Social Security is to remove the cap, so that income over $106,000 continues to require a contribution to the system.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  89. Frank Kraick

    Everyone should get back what they paid in and what their employers paid in for them. After that it is wellfare. At which point it should be called wellfare and be need based. I will be 62 next month. It will take 11and 1/3 years for me to get back what was paid in in my name if I live that long. Also, the governement can't raise the "retirment age" only the age that benefits start. Please be clear about that when you report changes to SS. I retired at 61 because I could.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  90. Tony

    Absolutely not. Means testing Social Security is the quickest way to kill it completely, because it will become just another "welfare program" and a prime target for budget cutters. Besides, those who contribute to Social Security are counting on that money and it is not fair to penalize them for having the good sense to save for their future.

    The best way to ensure a future for Social Security is to gradually eliminate the cap on earnings that are taxed. This way those who are better off will contribute more throughout their working lives. But when the time comes for them to retire, they should get the benefits that they have earned.

    Marco Island, FL

    November 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  91. dave

    i am apsolutey FLABBERGASTED that persons earning more than even 50,000 (nevermind 150,000!) should recieve ANY benefits of any kind from us taxpayers WHATSOEVER!!!! how DARE they rob us of our pittance paychecks to supoort their gandiose retirement benefits! how DARE you rob us who earn under 24,000 a year whne you earn double that without working!!! no wonder social security is going bankrupt....it's THEFT and it SHOULD be denied to anyone earning over 50,000 a year PERIOD! my parents LOSE their SS benefits if they accidentally earn 1 dolllar over 24,000 per year, so that the RICH can STEAL their share!!! DISGUSTING! no wonder the 3rd world hates us! if this is how we treat our working poor and underclassed that we deserve their hatred! DISGUSTING!!!!!!!!

    November 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  92. Dave

    Yes, sounds reasonable. As long as they continue to be required to pay into it. Personally, my benefit would be eliminated – but I do not need or want it – considering how much I have been blessed financially and otherwise, why would I?

    November 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  93. Anne

    If someone has paid into the program they should be entitled to the benefits regardless of income.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  94. Glenn from St.Petersburg

    Jack, if that were the case, there would be screams of socialism from all over the place, as if we haven't heard that already. Robbing the rich to share with the poor. After all, most of those affluent folks have paid into the system as well. But it does seem extremely selfish for those people to get benefits while raking in those high dollars every year, while the people who are just trying to make ends meet on nothing BUT Social Security are struggling just to put food on the table. Makes the old saying "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer" sound even more true, doesn't it?

    November 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  95. Lorinda Roland

    NO. Everyone who has paid into Social Security deserves to receive the retirement benefits they were promised – regardless of their income.
    But what else has Social Security been used for ? Plundered to the General Fund ?....what other things does S.S. pay for that is not the retirement fund ? These can be stopped.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  96. John

    If you pay into Social Security, you should receive the benefits. If Democrats float this idea, it will be a sure way for the Republicans to win any future elections.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  97. Bernard

    We have, in the last thirty five years created a generation of cry babies Woe is me I just can't make it on $150,000 Of course you can Others make it on far less. Ask your grandparents about how they made through gas and meat rationing in WW2 and perhaps before that through the 1930's Stop being so self-indulgent and think about your legarcy for the next few generations.

    Bernard in FL

    November 30, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  98. Bill Henning

    Of course, those making over $150,000 in retirement should not receive social security payments. What they paid in should simply be treated as deferred taxes based upon their total financial history.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  99. Winston Galt

    Social Security was supposed to be an insurance account (Federal Insurance Contribution Act) to create a "safety net", not a redistribution of income. We should NOT eliminate Social Security benefits to higher wage earners, they've paid their way already. What we should do is eliminate the requirement that these payments be made to a government agency, and let wage earners invest that money directly into a 401K or IRA similar to Australia's Super Annuation program.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  100. S Diaby

    People should get social security benefit regardless of what they are making. These peole worked hard all they life to earn it. they shouldn't be blame for successfully making more than $200,000.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  101. Dan Leahy

    Sen. Conrad, like anyone who claims Social Security will be "broke" in 2037, is a liar. Also, SS does not contribute a dime to the deficit or the national debt. It has never borrowed a dime, has never missed sending out a check. It is self-funding and, by law, can not pay out more than it takes in. There is no need to means-test, raise the retirement age or to cut back cost-of-living raises. All that is needed is to increase the revenues by 2037. A robust economy would push that date further and further away. Raising or eliminating the cap on wages subject to SS tax would solve the problem with ease. It seems no one will publicly explain these basic facts.
    Dan Leahy
    Santa Barbara

    November 30, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  102. Stephen Hertel

    The social security checks need to stop flowing to people making so much money. A neighbor of mine in the recent past was complaining about the government trying to cut social security and I agreed with the government. He asked me why and I said they already have enough money and this check should be for people that really need it, his answer was that he earned it and it was his "pin" money for traveling and gambling, I am sure glad I work to support people like him, I would hate for the money to fall into the right hands that need it.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  103. Steve Kemp from Sacramento, Ca.

    Well, we don't give dead people Social Security benefits.
    And the rich are dead to me!

    Seriously though, I believe means testing is a good idea.
    But $150k a year ain't that rich.

    And how would that work?
    You make $150k in one year and you lose your S.S.I. forever?

    I'd say that one's cumulative wealth should be the consideration,
    not one's income.

    Or how about simply getting rid of the cap on yearly contributions?
    That seems fairer.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  104. Ardie

    No social security fos those earning $150,000 or more. The original intent of Social security was to subsidize those of low income.
    Come on Congress–make a ground breaking decision.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  105. John Donaldson

    No, Social Security is solvent for the next 24 to 27 years and if we do nothing benefits would still be paid at eighty percent after that. My source is Bloomberg News. This is something we do not have to consider now other priorities should come first. Albuquerque, New Mexico

    November 30, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  106. Erica

    By the time I reach retirement age, more than 25 years from now, there is a chance social security will no longer be around. The truth is all of us are contributing or have contributed to social security without any guarantees – and now that the deficit is as high as it is and there is a need for all Americans to sacrifice in ways that are most reasonable – I agree, that if a single person of retirement age is blessed with outside income equaling $150,000/ year or a couple with $250,000/year, that it is a reasonable sacrifice to forego social security benefits – for the benefit of the country. While this may seem unfair, just think about those of us for whom social security benefits will be non-existent when we retire – even though we too are paying in. Is it a reality? Yes. Am I still paying, when realistically, I don't currently have the money to put aside for my own retirement? Yes.

    However, right now I realize that there are many people barely living on Social Security, and there is much at stake if we don't each contribute to a solution in the way most reasonable and humane to our situation. We all have to expect to make sacrifices if we are to grow strong again as a country. I am willing, because I know that we are in this together.

    Memphis, TN

    November 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  107. Sarah Quinn

    The government had no problem with "punishing" workers of various Departments (other than Congressionals who are not) by reducing their SS benefits if they get a pension from a gov't agency, (Postal Service, Vet. Admin) etc, so what is wrong with others' benefits being reduced, especially those who don't need it? S. Quinn (s=suffering; starving and Stressed)

    November 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  108. A Sheppard

    That is absurd. Where are these people who are making such suggestions coming from, out of space. The term was "paying into Social Security" not "donating" to a fund the government could play with.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  109. Billy (Ann Arbor, MI)

    This would be nothing but a punishment for succeeding and a reward for failure. It would eliminate any incentive for paying into the system an will result is a failed Social Security system for everyone.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  110. Jessie

    No, people who have paid into social security should not be denied benefits. Only people who have paid in should benefit. I would stop payments to previous wives/husbands based on marriage of ten years. With current the life span, ten years isn't a long time to qualify. Cut out handouts except to a very very few.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  111. Barry Cohen

    Wasn't Social Security set up as an insurance program against old-age poverty? Somehow it became a huge bureaucratic giveaway. If anyone in his/her senior years doesn't qualify as an impoverished citizen, then they ought not qualify for benefits, as in the case of any insurance program. Sure they may have paid premiums but isn't that the way insurance works? If the event you are insuring yourself against doesn't happen, you don't get your premiums back. I think $150,000 is actually way too high a determination level.
    barry, NY

    November 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  112. Neven Singleton

    Most or the majority of US citizens will barely make $150,000 in 3 years. That's 3 times as much as the average. In five years that would 3/4 of a million dollars, while the majority in poverty will barely make a million in a lifetime. So yeah the don't need it. There SSI could be used to supplement SS for future generations. Making illegal immigrants pay taxes to work in the US could generate more revenue as well for the budget or SS.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  113. Annette Heilmann

    Once again this is another suggested attempt to take away benefits from those working and earning larger incomes. My answer would be absolutely NO assuming no changes exist with the current Social Security withholding program.

    However I would be in favor of taking away Social Security Benefits for higher income citizens – IF and only IF the US Government would pay back IN FULL plus interest all of the amounts paid into the system by these individuals, and allow these 150K income individuals to "opt-out" of paying in to the Social Security.

    But you and I both know – this option would never happen, as the Social Security Program would go BANKRUPT!

    The government should not take away from those funding the country & program!

    November 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  114. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    No, I believe paying into social security should be an option regardless of ones earnings. If it were an option, we might find more people would be willing to opt out of paying into social security and investing into interest bearing accounts that have no restrictions on how much they earn. I believe at one time Government employees had that option and retired with interest bearing Colas.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  115. lindamason

    Ex-Republican Senator Tom Delay, the father of reducing social security benefits to teachers, firemen, and police officers, was just convicted of fraud. His followers in office still want to cut social security. The 40 quarter rule needs to stand for everyone who paid in good faith no matter their income. They earned it.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  116. Joseph

    I don't feel that Social Security should flat out be denied to anyone that has paid into it. If you were to deny them what they paid into it, shouldn't they also be entitled to a refund? Let's be real, nobody wants to give money back as well as being told the can't reap the reward of their hard earned money. Since not everybody is born into wealth why not just only reward them the amount that was paid into before the new proposed or existing income limits and exempt them from paying when their income meets or exceed the limits, proposed or existing. It seems the only "fair" solution to me.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  117. Betty

    If they cut SS it should be for those making $150,000 or more. While they are at it, how about cutting salary for all of Congress, both houses,and putting them on SS instead of lifelong pensions of their salary. Want to save more money for the country, take all their perks and let them see how the rest of us have to live.
    Betty

    November 30, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  118. William Crosby

    Denying Social Security payments to people that make over $150000 is not the right approach. Those people have paid into the Social Security fund and are entitled to benefits like all others. Adoption of this proposal would kill the entire Social Security program in time.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  119. S Diaby

    People should get social security benefit regardless of what they are making. These people worked hard all they life to earn it. they shouldn't be blame for successfully making more than $200,000.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  120. Linda

    The Social Security recipient receiving $600 a month, who takes a part-time job as a WalMart greeter to make ends meet will find his check reduced if he makes more than a specified, very modest annual income. Meanwhile, the recipient receiving the highest possible Social Security benefit does not suffer for reduction for the income earned on hedge fund investments and the like, no matter how high that income is. Simple fairness and parity would dictate that reducing benefits because of income should be the same in either scenario. Undoubtedly, the Republicans believe that I should care more about the latter than the former, because they might give me a job cleaning their houses for below minimum wage paid off the books and under the table. I find that I am more concerned about the former, who may be unable to afford housing under the current policies. I guess I'm just an irrational socialist.

    Linda
    Martinsburg, WV

    November 30, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  121. Dale E Garen

    $100,000 per year should be the limit.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  122. A Sheppard

    That is absurd. Where are these people who are making such suggestions coming from. The term was "paying into Social Security" not "donating" to a fund the government can redirect at will.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  123. jim - georgia

    I have two very bright educated sons who have done well and they say that with the way things are going they don't ever expect to receive social security benefits. In view of this they are in favor of allowing younger workers to opt out of social security and contribute to a private retirement account. The rich should be given the same choices – stay in or opt out. Many government workers such as teachers, civil service workers, etc. have never paid into social security and have chosen to put their money in their own individual retirement system, depending on what branch of public service they've worked for. Give everyone this same opportunity. Social security enrollment should be an option and not a requirement.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  124. Catherine Berryhill, Easley S.C.

    There should be no discriminations in social security. The wealthy does a lot for our economy, they should not be punished for this. Give all people their money.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  125. susan schrenk

    jack , i make over 150k , but i didnt always. i started making minimum wage some 30 yrs ago . i did it the old fashion way ..hard work and education. most of my income pays my mortgage, which i will still have at 65!!! however, i would be happy to give up my social security payments. i'll take all of the money i have put in!! i'll take it right now, thank you very much and i'll take care of my self in my retirement.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  126. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack the answers you will get are one of two. For people that make less then 150,000 a year they will say " Hell yes" for those that make more then 150,000 a year they will say "Hell No!!"". What i would ask all of the people voting on the issue however is how would they feel if they paid into a system for 65 years and then all of a sudden were denied what they were promised because our government mismanaged the money they paid in. Next year it may go down to 75,000 and so on.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  127. Bob Englar

    Jack,
    I have contacted you and many others on CNN with no response and I wonder why? Don't any of you reporters get it? Social Security is very easy to fix. JUST TAKE THE CAP OFF. I don't care what you make, and I will give Social Security benefits to everyone no matter how much you've made when you retire, even Donald Trump who will max his contribution of $108,00.00 on January 1. Please wake up and smell the roses.

    Bob

    November 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  128. Joseph Leff

    How about cutting pay for our "Congress critters" (which they increased last year, but didn't increase Social Security)? What they do is essentially a part-time job. Also, let's cut their pensions, which they get after one term in office. No, Jack, I don't think they'd actually do that. I just wish they would.

    Joe in Delray Beach, Florida

    November 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  129. Sharon McMillan

    To be giving Social Security to those making more than 150k a year is ridiculous! Social Security needs to be a "safety net" for those in real need in their later years. Personally, this seems like a common sense proposal that both parties should be able to agree on to lower the feficit quickly. It just makes sense that only those who need it, should receive it. For the last 20 years I've been wondering why my aunt who has 6 million in the bank, has been receiving a S.S. check. It's got to stop!!

    November 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  130. John

    This is nuts ! I have been paying the maximum in social security taxes for my entire working career of 20 years and likely will for the next 20 years. Why should those of us who pay the most get their benefits cut? If you want to raise taxes on people who earn alot (like me), raise income tax rates on the weathly. I would be happy to pay my fair share, but do NOT rob me of the benefits for which I have already paid.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  131. david cochran

    If you pay into it, you should get it no matter how much you make, unless spending it on bankers and bombs makes more sense.
    Next thing to rob will be pensions and IRAs. As long as we sit around and let these psychopahts get us into never ending wars and printing fiat money to bankrupt the county, they will do just that. Destroy the county. Going to hell in a hand basket is one thing but being in debt when we get there is quite another.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  132. Collin

    I think that instead of saying that people making over 150,000 can't receive social security, they should make it so that people making over 150,000 a year should have the option to opt out, but they should not force people out who pay for it. Anyone who pays the social security tax deserves those benefiter that they paid for!

    November 30, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  133. Jeff from TN

    Yes, anyone paying in should benefit otherwise this is just plain old Fraud! Paying money with the intent of not to paying out the benefits.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  134. Dane from Ft Lauderdale

    Yes, people with incomes of more than $150,000 should be denied Social Security. The 1939 amendments to the Act clearly stated the system was there to provide "assistance to the needy aged, the needy blind, and dependent children". People with incomes more than $150,000 aren't needy. This is the needs test that has been talked about for years. When there are so many people that are truely needy the greedy don't need it.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  135. KR

    Isn't that putting cart before the ox? Rich people give taxes so if they need benefits after retiring why deny the good tax payer? How about cutting benefits for those who got them wrongfully in the first place.People who milk the system get disability, abuse narcotics so on and so forth...

    November 30, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  136. Bill in WA

    Deny Social Security to rich people? Sure... As long as they don't have to pay into the system. Most people don't start out earning $150,000 a year though, so for decades they pay in their fair share. Then when they get to where they might be able to get some of that back the government tells them to take a hike...where i come from that is a con at best, if not outright robbery.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  137. Ron - Ardmore, OK

    Of course Social Security benefits should be eliminated for the wealthy. Social Security was never meant to be an individual investment account. It was meant to eliminate “poor farms” and “old folks’ homes”, etc. It was intended to prevent open poverty on the streets as seen in Third World countries. Benefits are already limited by lifespan. Should automobile insurance companies give you back all the money you spent in premiums if you never have an accident? Of course not. They paid out a large percentage of those premiums to those who were not as fortunate/lucky as you. Social Security is an insurance program – no more – no less. If circumstances turn out that there is no need, there should be no benefit.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  138. David Pollan

    I absolutely agree with this idea. Under the current system, Bill Gates would be eligible for Social Security and he's one of the last folks that needs it. It's a question of morality and common sense, if someone already has enough private income to insure a comfortable retirement then exclude those people so the system can better serve those lower income individuals who truly need it.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  139. Roger Sargent

    We should stick it to those evil rich folks every chance we can Jack. Maybe we'll convince them to move their businesses and industries oversees. Once we've run all the wealthy people away, we'll all be better off because we won't have to get up and go to work anymore.
    Roger Albion PA

    November 30, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  140. Jim

    Yes. We've got to get rid of the notion that we are "contributing" to SS. It is a tax. If it was a contribution I would choose not to contribute.

    For all those that argue that they are "due" because they contributed... ask them if everyone's benefits should be cut off once they have gotten back all their contributions. The majority of the elderly would easily out live their benefits.

    Finally, is it fair for a young family just struggling to get by to be taxed (because that's what it is) to help somone making 150K per year? No.

    The only way to make it viable over the long term is to really make it social security... a program to protect our elderly population that is in need of the help.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  141. Debbie

    I do not believe $150,000. made yrly is wealthy by any means. Take the social security away from the members of Congress for starters for they are wealthy and somehow while serving become wealthier.
    I find the sum of $275,000. yrly are not in need of social securtiy income for these people have pensions and or able to put monies
    away for their re-tirement years..I do so hope there are these type of changes and not to effect the backs of the lower/and middle class.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  142. Johnny C (from Los Angeles)

    Hi Jack –

    First off it is outright "thievery" to not give a person his Social Security after they were forced to pay into it by the government. Sounds like a class-action civil discrimination suit that would not lose in the Supreme Court.

    Secondly, if they were so gung ho to follow this approach, then all Government officials should get zero pensions ... not a single one of them is poor and whether the money is from social security or taxes to pay for their post-government role that should be taken away first.

    Of course by now all should know that the government does not want to lead by example ... the Senate just voted down the earmark ban ... Who's looking our for us ... certainly they are only looking out for number one ... themselves.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  143. Marshall S.

    Means test Social Security? So, since I might not see a dime of my Social Security benefit, does that mean I can stop paying into Social Security or better yet get a rebate for eveything I've paid into the retirement fund? No? Then please change the name and call it what it is, another federal tax earmarked to redistribute income. At least make it dedcutable on my 1040.

    MFS

    November 30, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  144. Davies

    Cap the SS at $150.000. I do think that $200,000 would have a better chance of passing.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  145. Jim

    Why don't we reel congress back in by putting their retirement accounts back in social security and their health benefits to be covered by Medicare. They shouldn't be living the sweet life from our tax dollars without having to suffer their own decisions.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  146. Ronda (from Canastota, NY)

    Anyone who pays into Social Security has a right to reap its benefits. But I do think the salary cap should be eliminated. As of now, only the first $106,000 of salary is subject to the SS deduction. That's unfair because it results in a higher deduction rate overall for lower-income workers. The same percentage of SS deduction should apply to total wages or salaries. That would put more money into SS and help keep it solvent. Raising the retirement age for people born after a certain date is also a good idea, and it never hurts for young people to develop a savings plan toward their retirement in addition to Social Security. There are deferred compensation and other savings plans available for anyone who wants to start their own nest egg.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  147. B Smith

    This is unreal! Because someone has WORKED AND PAID INTO Social security their ENTIRE life, you think it is okay to just steal it from them? It would be different if we had a crystal ball and knew that the things we have done over a span of 50 years or so was going to pay off we could OPT OUT of paying in, but we don't and now you think it is okay to steal the money WE worked for and give it to some lazy slob that knew he would get something for nothing, so never BOTHERED TO GET OFF THE COUCH and do something with their life? I OBJECT! IF you want to steal from me to give it to someone "that's not as fortunate" , sorry, I don't want to enable them and the next generation that will think the same way. We need to get back on track. America is "the promised land" and we will all have the opportunity to better ourselves if we don't support the perpetual generations of welfare cases.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  148. RudeGuitar

    Im below that but you should be entitled to every red cent you paid in. How are they going to compensate. I paid in for 40+ years.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  149. Ando russell

    Its already their money to begin with...how much more are we going to let this gov take from us...give me a break

    November 30, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  150. AlphaPoe

    ABSOLUTELY! This is a no brainer. The cost of living for people that live only on SS is not working. There won't be enough money for our kids if it stays the way it is. High income people can live without it. It doesn't matter if they paid into it. It's what works for all Americans. I would voluntarily give it up if I was wealthy. It's just selfish for wealthy people to take it knowing there may not be enough money for our children and grandchildren. It's about time this idea came up.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  151. RO YCE DEAL

    Any one receiving $159K should not receive SOC

    We have an enormous debt problem and these people will not suffer.

    Royce Deal

    November 30, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  152. Pete in AZ

    To not give Social Security to someone who made 150,000 or more is to assume that they have invested wisely. Making that amount of money does not make a person smart and besides if they gave there money to a Bernie Madioff type to invest we know where they would be today, In the street. I

    November 30, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  153. John

    No. It is simply not fair to work hard, pay into SS the entire time and have some misguided liberal want to give your savings to someone else. Guess I may qualify for the proposed cut but they need to know that I am double degreed and worked my (blank) off for 40 years. During that time I struggled and had to forego many things such as vacations and fancy clothes. No one gave me anything except for a dollars pay for a dollars work. Now you want to give my savings to someone else??

    Go cut the horrible waste and fraud out of the other social programs. It is huge!! Also stop these ill-founded wars and the killing of our young men to boot.

    We need charity but social programs (ex SS) have become a lifestyle for lazy, clever people.

    You cannot have my SS. Work and you eat. Don't and you don't.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  154. Dav4id Maruna

    Rich people ca ge Soc Sec? My wife didn't make it for her Herat transplant, and Passed away earlier this year. That cut our small income in half. I am also 100% disabled and on SSDI for me and my 2 sons. I have medicare. We qualified,finally, for food stamps: a whopping $16 a month fr the three of us. And you say rich people get Social Security? Only in America!

    November 30, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  155. Robert

    I'm 55 years old. I started working at age 15. I been paying into the system for forty years. When I retire I will have paid social security for fifty years. I would be happy with half of want your average 20- 25 year government employee receives. Yes I made a lot money in my life and always paid a lot taxes. It never bothered me to pay taxes. I was paying my fair share to help older American have a little help in their retirement years. But now it makes me sick to see my hard earned money wasted by politicians and those who think they are entitled to it. Is this fair I have no say but I have to pay. The difference between me and them is that I see the front the check all the time they see the back at the end of the month.
    Please respect my hard work. I will never receive what I paid in but I would like something back regardless of what I make.
    Otherwise stop calling it a social security tax. Just call it what it is a tax.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  156. Henry Lee

    Social Security is INSURANCE against poverty in old age, Not a retirement account, therefore only those in relative poverty in old age should receive payments. I and my wife are retired on an income of less than $50,000/yr, consider ourselves comfortably above poverty, and would gladly forego our SS payments in order to decrease our disasterous national debt.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  157. Neven, Adams County PA

    By the people, for the people, not just the rich people, Lower & Middle class too.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  158. Tony

    No. That is the stupidest thing I have heard all day. A 150K limit sounds good today but that number would have to be increased on a yearly basis. Heck, in 50 years my grandkids could be making $350K a year working at Wal-Mart. Using a limit to govern this type program is danous
    Example: What about if a person earned less than a $150K for 45 years and the year before they scheduled to retire they earn $150K – would lose their benefits. This is not a sound approach to solving problems. Or, is a person disqualify from benefits if they earned $150K for only one year?
    There are many things that can be done before you start to implement these types of rules. The first thing that should be done is to not allow the congress to spend the social security funds every year. That’s why the system isn’t working today.
    Let’s fix that problem first.
    Tony

    November 30, 2010 at 6:42 pm |