Photo of the Day

From today’s N&O story about the “Spending Revolt” bus tour:

Gotta love it– a bunch of old white folks who are undoubtedly a net drain on the government treasury out there rallying to restrain spending.  Here’s the core of your modern Republican party.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

3 Responses to Photo of the Day

  1. Mike says:

    I have not encountered this statistic: how much did today’s 65-year old contribute to social security throughout a lifetime of working? I’d like to see this in absolute dollars and in constant dollars. I imagine this is not a simple matter because of the variation in incomes and number of years of contributing, but still, I would be curious to know the difference between what someone put in and what they are taking out.

    • Steve Greene says:

      1) It doesn’t matter. You are not paying for your own retirement– you are funding the retirement of current retirees. It is social insurance, not a retirement plan.
      2) Because of cost of living adjustments and current life spans, the average recipient collects far more money than they put in.

      • Mike says:

        And, of course, everyone should get out more than they put in, otherwise what’s the point? It would be the worst savings account in history if you got what you put in. But if current retirees saw that they were getting something like 25 times what they had contributed then they may be more amenable to a means-test that reduced that to, say, 20 times. I made those numbers up, but any effort to raise the age or impose any type of means testing will require some good PR and issue framing.

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