So no thought is given to those that earned a minimum income their entire life, was unable to save and invest and was counting on SS to be their main income. I only say if they put in a certain amount in to the system they should be entitled to get it back but can the govt give accurate and honest figures as to that they are paying out in SS what they recieved over the many years (along with a percentage of investment return). I do agree with you that the fools that bit of more than they could chew in this last home frenzy and are now loosing their homes becuase they did not research nor read the fine print of the loan should not be bailed out.
Social Security benefits are for a wide range of people. From Warren Buffet to the waitress who has worked her ass off for 50 years and put her kids through school but not had that "extra income available" to play the stock market or leverage a 401K to a nice nest egg.
For most of us, we have the opportunity to take 10-20% of every check, tuck it a way and retire at 55 or so and hope that something like dot.com or housing bubble doesn't hit at the wrong time and flush a bunch of it. That group of us use the $1000 or so of SS as an augmentation of benefits that we have paid into for decades.
Others of us have had the opportunities to grow above the norms and not even require the SS benefits for income augmentation. I notice, however that most of us in that group still take those benefits.
Still others of us worked through life playing on the edge, not really preparing for the future but still paying into that SS program every paycheck.
And still others of us did not have the leg up that others had and might just have worked hard all their lives, contributed positively to society, been good citizens, put their kids through school and when the end of the paycheck comes, there is little if any left. 40-50 hours for 40-50 years and maybe that SS that they paid into all that time is all there is.
This is why, like justice the system has been blind to the means of the recipients. As we come to a crunch it looks like some folks want to put glasses on the system.
Why do I bet that instead of looking and saying we should eliminate some benefits for those who have greater than $X assets or greater than $X income there are those that will instead insist we should keep benefits for those who always paid the max into the system and cut the benefits for those who are on the bottom edge.
There is a solution in the middle.