Our story today on Social Security by senior producer John Schoen has generated more than 1,500 comments in just over three hours since publication. There is a reason the entitlement program is considered the "third rail" of politics.
While Democrats and Republicans debate whether to change Social Security benefits as part of a bitterly contested deficit-reduction plan, our story makes the point that ultimately changes are all but inevitable.
Among the likely changes outlined in the story:
- Raise the cap on wages subject to the Social Security Tax.
- Raise the retirement age.
- Change the formula for calculating benefits.
Needless to say, there is a lot of anger in the comments, even many of the more thoughtful ones. In general taxpayers who have been working for years express anger at the prospect they might have to pay more into the system or collect less in benefits.
The fight over Social Security is largely a generational battle, with younger workers blaming baby boomers and older retirees with somehow "rigging the system."
"As a 71-year-old, I have difficulty with getting inside the head of a 21 year old, but trust me, this was not a diabolical plan on our part," says one self-identified "grandma." Many commenters complain that the government has mismanaged the Social Security trust fund or squandered away billions.
One commenter, "Magnum Serpentine," calls our article bogus and contends the Social Security shortfall could be solved easily by drastically cutting the nation's military spending.
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