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Karl.........do you discount the fact that when I was paying my 1% or less, it may have equaled or exceeded what 1.45% represents in the salaries or wages in today's world? Just wondering.
A percentage is a percentage. Unless wages have decreased in constant dollars, 1% of a wage in '67 is less than 1.45% today in constant dollars. The rise reflects that health care costs more now than in the 60's when medicare started which means a larger percentage is needed to cover the folks that a wage-earner is supporting. We've survived till now largely because the baby-boom generation is huge. But now that they are starting to retire, the system will eventually break down.
It is the same for SS. The percentage has to be raised as SS costs increase. In the case of SS it is because benefits are increased. But the bottom line is that current workers are paying more than folks that were working before benefits were increased.
That is what makes them a chain-letter. Assuming benefits are increased and never decreased (not talking COLA, but actual increases due to increased HC costs above inflation or for SS acts of congress) then the workers will always have to keep paying more and more until the system breaks down due to unbearable costs. And then the chain is broken and somebody takes it in the shorts when they've paid in, but don't get back.
It is a system that can't continue for ever unless benefits are controlled.