Comment on Entry: The Fiscal Cliff, Not the Problem, authored by warrenpeterson
1. The debt is not sustainable. $16+ trillion is a lot of money, and we haven't even begun to pay it off. The problem with Keynesian economics is that politicians don't know when it's time to stop borrowing to "bring home the bacon" to their constituencies. We're in a pickle, and nobody's even started on trying to get us out of it.

Posted by Politically Incorrect at December 16, 2012 11:28 PM
2. We are in a pickle because politicians are more easily elected when they can promise the goodies, not because they promise to halt the gravy train.

Posted by Eyago at December 17, 2012 05:58 AM
3. I always get a kick when some grumpy old fart who's already got his takes the time to lay on us his fantasy about how things would be if he were king. It's funny how your fantasy declares that future old people will have to get by without the same Social Security and Medicare benefits you've enjoyed for years -- benefits that those future old people are paying for on your behalf right now.

Social Security and Medicare haven't contributed a dime to the $16T debt you are so concerned about.

PS: How old were you when you retired, Warren? Any non-401k type pensions in your retirement finances?

Posted by scottd at December 17, 2012 08:53 AM
4. Consider a value added tax (VAT).

Not only is VAT a huge burden on the economy, it's an invisible revenue-raiser which has, for instance in the EU, stoked the vast government squanderings which now threaten the Euro across the board. We should be reducing government spending, not providing jackpots for opportunist bureaucrats to spend more.

Posted by Insufficiently Sensitive at December 17, 2012 10:03 AM
5. The fringe left "solution" will ALWAYS and ONLY be to ADD MORE TAXES, while NEVER cutting spending.

That's just part of what makes scott tissue a buffoon.

I am not retired. I will likely NEVER retire, and I agree 100% with Warren, particularly when the pit yorkies go yapping around acting like this horrific ultra-left debt isn't even a speed bump... offering no solutions except to idiotically increase taxes.

ALL ENTITLEMENTS WILL HAVE TO BE CUT. While I get that Obama and morons like the fringe left WANT us to be the next Greece, those of us who are adults DON'T want to go there. So will public employee unions, wages and benefits.

I have little money in retirement... nothing close to enough to live on. But I'm driven by that "ask not what your country can do for you" shtick that democrats and their leftist henchmen have long since relegated to the dustbin of history.

Posted by Hinton at December 17, 2012 10:48 AM
6. David Walker, former US Budget comptroller stated this past summer that if we do not significantly reduce our deficit in the next 2-3 years, we will reach the point where Greece was when it went into default.

Once the dollar is no longer accepted as world currency, the chances for this occurrence increase dramatically. Already China and India, the two most populous nations in the world are resisting use of the US Dollar. It is only a matter of time before another currency besides the Dollar becomes the world exchange standard.

Perhaps after Democrats and the public hear and face these clear facts (like waiting for Godot), which the media knows but refuses to report, there will be decisive action - initiated by a tax revolt and austerity measures. To have this president do take this kind of action would probably take nothing short of a Chinese military coup (just joking - sort of). 2016 may be too late to act decisively - and a VAT tax may become mandatory & time will tell :(

Posted by KDS at December 17, 2012 11:24 AM
7. Scottd is why we have a problem today,

He cares not for a solution.
He cares not that there is a problem at all.
He cares only to impugn other people.

The government did three bad things:

1. built a ponzi scheme
2. spent the cash surplus in the golden years
3. did not scale the benefits to reflect changes in outlays

While it matters HOW we got here, it matters more WHAT we do now that we are here.

How about we "man up" and admit there is a mess and start looking at ways to get out of it?

Posted by Eyago at December 17, 2012 12:18 PM
8. Scottd, you should read this summary of the report by the trustees of the Social Security and Medicare funds:
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/TRSUM/index.html

Social Security contributes to the current deficit in two ways. First, interest on the trust fund is paid from general revenues. Second, the payroll tax hasn't been collecting enough to pay current benefits for several years; so general revenues have to fill the gap. General revenues have to be supplemented by borrowing, since there is a big budget deficit. All the general revenue going to Social Security increases the deficit and thus increases the debt.

Medicare part B depends on general revenues for about 75 percent of its spending. The hospital insurance (part A) also depends on general revenues. Every dollar in general revenues spent on Medicare adds to the deficit and thus the debt.

Posted by Micajah at December 17, 2012 03:17 PM
9. Eyago: I'm not the source of your "problem". I pay the taxes that fund Warren's retirement so he can spend it prattling about how others should make do with less.

If you have some specific issue with what I wrote, let me know what it is and maybe we'll talk.

Posted by scottd at December 17, 2012 03:20 PM
10. We need to have a national dialog about what government should be doing as we can't afford to have it doing as much as it is doing now. Or maybe not what it should be doing but what we can afford to do. Things like 50+ different "jobs" programs and politicians throwing around millions to name buildings, bridges and roads for themselves are ridiculous.

Most responsible businesses and households don't go out and buy all the stuff they want/dream of and then try to figure out how to pay for it. They make a budget of likely things and/or needed things and then prioritize.

We need completely different, 180 degree, thinking from our citizens and leaders to cure this and THAT friends, isn't going to happen.

Posted by Oscarphone at December 17, 2012 04:30 PM
11. Re: #11 "Social Security contributes to the current deficit in two ways."

SS and Medicare wouldn't be in nearly as bad a shape as they are now if politicians did what they said they would do. I pay taxes for both SS and Medicare. I don't know about Medicare but Social Security was robbed and replaced with IOUs almost immediately after its implementation. The first SS check was given to a lady who never contributed a cent to it. The problem isn't those two programs, it's how dishonest and deceitful politicians ruined them.

And now the politicians, who make these self aggrandizing raids on the treasury to make themselves look good, what US to bail their asses out. What a way to reward bad behavior.

Posted by Oscarphone at December 17, 2012 04:41 PM
12. Micajah: I have read the trustee's report. I won't comment on the obvious silliness of your claim that SS caused debt by lending the government excess funds to cover a shortfall largely caused by tax cuts to wealthy taxpayers. This is exactly the same as saying a bank causes debt by lending money to someone who spends it to buy a house. Most of us understand that the debtor causes the debt, not the creditor.

Even without that semantic inversion, your argument is silly. You claim that SS has contributed to the debt that has been amassed so far. To make that claim, you would have to know A) The total amount of excess payroll taxes SS has lent to the general fund so far, and B) the total amount of earned interest SS has used to pay benefits. Unless you can show that B is greater than A, you cannot claim that SS has contributed to the $16T debt Warren claims to be so concerned about. Good luck with that.

Posted by scottd at December 17, 2012 04:50 PM
13. Right now, the USA owes $854M/day interest on its debt. This translates to $312 Billion/year and it continues to increase as the debt rises. That is 1/3 Trillion/year, which more than twice as much as raising taxes would produce over the same period of time.

"It's funny how your fantasy declares that future old people will have to get by without the same Social Security and Medicare benefits you've enjoyed for years -- benefits that those future old people are paying for on your behalf right now."

Obamacare will lead to a significant increase in Medicare rationing over what there is now, just as universal health care has done in the UK, with their NHS. That is a fact which refutes the premise of your comment.

If you attempt to understand why what you wrote is false, which you don't seem to understand you would see how the debt and spending as % of the GDP has increased over the last 40 years. There was big underestimation on the cost of Medicate when it was first initiated - economists called on by Congress then estimated only 1/7 of the costs and it has skyrocketed from there, without effective measures to curb costs. Both parties in DC were asleep and the chickens have come home to roost. Social Security is related to demographics. Far more retirees are taking from the system than 30-40 years ago. Thus, SSI was reported in the red this year for the first time ever. Again, the system needed to be changed, but Congress resisted the numerous attempts and Democrats were usually in control. The GOP was not effective enough to get congress to change the costs and benefits and opening the option of using the stock market for savings did not pass in 2005-06 mainly because it was poorly marketed by the Bush administration.

"Social Security and Medicare haven't contributed a dime to the $16T debt you are so concerned about."

That is correct in that both of these are unfunded liabilities which do not count toward our national debt. However, the national debt is dwarfed by unfunded liabilities which now total over $100T, with Medicate being the biggest contributor. Curbing exploding costs would slow down the rise in unfunded liabilities and influence the interest our government pays out and costs really must decrease for it to be effective. In summary, the out of sight, out of mind idea about SSI and Medicare doesn't work and never did, because it influences our actual debt. If the unfunded liabilities were significantly less, the $16T debt would not be as significant as it is. More about the economics of unfunded liabilities later after research- as $100T + seems like a black hole...

More than anyone else, it is the tone of scottd's comment that is disturbing and misleading.

Posted by KDS at December 17, 2012 05:00 PM
14. I am 65 started working in 1965 paid into SS and Medicare since then, how the hell is this an entitlement?
Administrations have borrowed from the account and now it is in deficit?
What is an entitlement are those drawing SS Insurance that have never worked a day in the US.
Or my neighbor who is on SS disability insurance because his trigger finger doesn't work due to carpal tunnel, he was with SPD.
Or those who claim back problems, throw horseshoes and dance around about a ringer like Mic Jaggar.
When SS was established there were 14 workers for every "one" on SS.
Now 3 are paying into SS and Medicare for one working, and that money is being pilfered off for Obama Care. Now that's an entitlement!
Want to change the system of entitlements, get those who have not or will not contribute off the payroll.
But don't tell me this is my entitlement, I paid for the pittance I will receive, and probably only live to collect 30% of what I put into it!

Posted by Bo Bo the rag man at December 17, 2012 05:10 PM
15. KDS: Please tell me specifically what is disturbing or misleading about what I posted @6. I'll summarize my main points just to make it easier for you:

1) Warren has been collecting SS and Medicare benefits for about 10 years. (This is an assumption based on his bio at his website. Warren can correct me if I am wrong about this.) With any luck (and I wish him well!), he'll continue to enjoy these benefits for at least another 10 years.

2) Those benefits are being paid by payroll taxes I and other taxpayers pay. I do this willingly and yet,

3) Warren has the gall to suggest that I should not enjoy the same benefits he does, despite the fact that I am paying for his benefits.

4) One of his reasons for this is because he is concerned about the $16T in debt the US govt has accrued. This makes no sense, because SS has not contributed anything to that $16T in debt. Not one dime. So Warren is being misleading by suggesting that debt is a reason for cutting SS.

Medicare is a little more complicated, but let's stick with SS for now. Can you tell me anything I've said that is false or misleading with respect to SS? If you can't, just acknowledge that and we can move on to Medicare if you like. Otherwise, I don't see much point in going further.

Posted by scottd at December 17, 2012 05:46 PM
16. .
Warren, thanks for the boat load of stoopid here.

My fave is 3c:
"and convert pensions to 401K type retirement plans."

Can we start with you Boeing pension and refund the DOD AWACS program? When can expect your check to hit the Treasury?


Posted by MikeBoyScout at December 17, 2012 05:56 PM
17. Medicare is a little more complicated, but let's stick with SS for now. Can you tell me anything I've said that is false or misleading with respect to SS? If you can't, just acknowledge that and we can move on to Medicare if you like. Otherwise, I don't see much point in going further.

Posted by scottd at December 17, 2012 05:46 PM

OK, it was misleading because you are implying that neither SSI or Medicare will change in the coming years, in spite of our nation's perilous financial condition. I would be willing to bet that you and anyone else who sides with what you wrote is in for a rude awakening !

Posted by KDS at December 17, 2012 06:00 PM
18. @15 -I get that you have a beef with Warren, but my discussion had nothing to do with him - so for practical purposes, there is no point in making it about Warren.

My response focused on the appalling lack of foresight by those who passed Medicare back in the 60's and since then. SSI was passed in the 1930's, but once again it could have been reformed along the way, but it wasn't nor was Medicare. There is plenty of blame to go around to both parties and it reinforces the adage that "people get the government they deserve".

Posted by KDS at December 17, 2012 06:10 PM
19. scott d @ 3: Social Security and Medicare haven't contributed a dime to the $16T debt you are so concerned about.

Are you really that stupid, Scott? Apparently so. Medicare is insolvent and so too is SSI due to many presidents STEALING the from the funds and diverting them to some other area of government. The first step in dealing with a problem is admitting that their is, in fact, a problem. I see you're not even at stage 1 of the recovery program. Wow!!

As for VAT, hell no!! These A-holes already spend too much and aren't serious about the debt. The problem isn't revenue, it's spending. Always has been, always will be.

Posted by Rick D. at December 17, 2012 06:45 PM
20. OK, it was misleading because you are implying that neither SSI or Medicare will change in the coming years,

No, I'm not. I merely made fun of Warren's notion that I should pay for his benefits while accepting that my benefits should be much less or maybe even eliminated. (Eliminating cost-of-living adjustments -- Warren's suggestion -- would mean that benefits at the end of my expected lifetime would be about 40% of what Warren enjoys.)

SSI was passed in the 1930's, but once again it could have been reformed along the way, but it wasn't

Not true. SSI has been reformed multiple times. Tax rates have been increased and retirement age raised. The net result is SSI will be able to pay full scheduled benefits until at least 2032. After that, it will be able to pay 75% of scheduled benefits indefinitely, if nothing else is done. That's better than what Warren suggested.

Strangely enough, Warren never explores what it would take to maintain full scheduled benefits. Instead, he prefers baseless scaremongering -- pointing to a debt that SSI had nothing to do with.

SSI is a great program that provides income security for millions of retired Americans. If we raised payroll tax rates 0.1%/yr over the next 20 years (and then stopped), we could fund full scheduled benefits indefinitely. If you don't like that particular proposal, there are other, relatively painless ways to accomplish the same goal. Some folks may be ideologically opposed to this, but I'll bet if that choice were honestly put in front of the American people as an alternative to the proposals of folks like Warren, there'd be no contest. Maybe that's why Warren resorts to the scaremongering.

Posted by scottd at December 17, 2012 06:50 PM
21. RickD: Are you really that stupid? Tell me how much of the $16T debt is due to SSI. Give me a number.

Hint: You won't be able to do that. The cumulative SSI taxes collected since inception is greater than the cumulative benefits paid out.

But keep yelling. With any luck, you'll convince Republicans to advocate major SS cuts. I think that would be great.

Posted by scottd at December 17, 2012 07:01 PM
22. Scottd: Have you ever heard of the baby boomer generation? They have made SSI insolvent unless restructured. Are you that daft as to not realize this reality? And if you don't believe me, well, hear what the CBO says about it.

http://dailycaller.com/2012/10/04/congressional-budget-office-warns-of-social-security-insolvency-by-2033/

Posted by Rick D. at December 17, 2012 07:16 PM
23. Scottd,

My point re; #6 was that you were seemingly ignoring that there was a problem and preferred to score needless points. My post made clear my point. We have a problem. I am concerned with the causes only as a guideline for preventing them in the future, but I am more concerned with a solution. Your post seemed to either deny there was a problem or at least be unconcerned about it.

However...

I see from post 20 that you do see a need for some sort of reform. As for the reforms of the past, they do not seem to be adequate in light of the current problems, especially considering that many beneficiaries will be receiving benefits in excess of contributions. A program cannot survive with that kind of arithmetic. The fact that some have received more generous benefits so far does not mean we should not consider scaling them back as Warren suggests. It seems not much different than your advice that we increase contributions. In either case the future generations will get less of a deal the the current and recent past.

So, while I can appreciate that you have a different solution, I was not impressed by your initial sniping. It is that kind of attitude that generates ill will and inhibits discussions on what might actually be helpful. If one side can paint the other side as a heartless villain, they seem to think that a better use of their efforts than attending to the actual need of solving problems. That is why I said what I said about you being part of the problem.

Posted by Eyago at December 17, 2012 08:01 PM
24. Rick: Still waiting to hear how much of our current $16T debt is due to SSI. After you answer that one, we can talk about some of your other concerns.

Posted by scottd at December 17, 2012 08:04 PM
25. I was not impressed by your initial sniping

Nor was I, by yours...

It is that kind of attitude that generates ill will and inhibits discussions on what might actually be helpful.

Oh, please -- that's especially rich coming from you.

I've presented some basic facts regarding SSI. No one has refuted them. It's not the cause of our current debt and the program is not in crisis. I've shown that it is relatively simple to keep it on track even after 2032. Instead of lecturing me about "being part of the problem" for pointing this out, how about you tell me what your solution is -- without the usual hyperbole?

Posted by scottd at December 17, 2012 08:24 PM
26. OK, it was misleading because you are implying that neither SSI or Medicare will change in the coming years,

"No, I'm not. I merely made fun of Warren's notion that I should pay for his benefits while accepting that my benefits should be much less or maybe even eliminated. (Eliminating cost-of-living adjustments -- Warren's suggestion -- would mean that benefits at the end of my expected lifetime would be about 40% of what Warren enjoys.)"

Sadly enough, Warren may not be far off, due to the demographics, where they have changed detrimentally with a higher proportion taking out than putting into the system. To clarify - Its not a conspiracy, it's how the system is and periodic reforms are unlikely (unless the next one is radical) to make it so you or I can receive as much as Warren does. Bush tried to tie it to the stock market, but did an abysmal job of selling it and he could have patterned after the FED Gov't's thrift savings plan and sold it as an option and if explained correctly, most people would have seen the advantage and gone for it, but that didn't happen.

If you have been saving 401K's or Roth IRA's, that will compensate for much of that deficiency in SSI, but there are other sources of retirement income nowadays. SSI was originally set up in the 1930's when life expectancy was about 68, so on the average - people received it for 6 years at most before they kicked the bucket. The average life expectancy has increased to 80+, so the age for withdrawl ought to increase to make it as it was originally intended. Most people under 50 don't believe they will see any SSI when they are old enough to receive. That well is drying up, and other wells (IRA's and 401K's have been set up).

The so-called SSI lockbox went into the red earlier this year for the first time ever, it was temporary, but most economic think tanks - right or left believe SSI will become insolvent by about 2038 +/-.

I noticed that you neglected to bring up changes in Medicare and there are complex factors influencing it, including Obamacare.

Posted by KDS at December 17, 2012 08:44 PM
27. shorter scottd: "Don't worry, we'll just spend our way into prosperity!!"

Brilliant!

Posted by Rick D. at December 17, 2012 09:01 PM
28. So many clammoring about SS not adding to the debt... Yet just today, the White House talks of cutting Social Security to help reduce the deficit. I guess the White House is wrong, eh?

Posted by Shanghai Dan at December 18, 2012 09:43 AM
29. Dan: How much of our current debt is due to Social Security?

Posted by scottd at December 18, 2012 09:53 AM
30. scottd only cares about being a snark-machine and gumming up the works, he's a wrecker.

Posted by SmoledMan at December 18, 2012 12:25 PM
31. Warren sez, "Reset eligibility by age"

KDS sez, "The average life expectancy has increased to 80+, so the age for withdrawl ought to increase to make it as it was originally intended."

Warren oversimplifies solutions and KDS is without a clue.

You would condemn the least educated, those who usually have the hardest manual labor tasks involved in their work, regardless of color but especially blacks, to work until they die. Then again, perhaps that's what you want, for you to reap from the toil of others.

Take for example, the data showing that life expectancy for white women without a high school diploma is 73.5 years, compared with 83.9 years for white women with a college degree. For white men, it's 67.5 years for the least educated white men compared with 80.4 for those with a college degree or better. Raise SS to 67 and what should the least educated, including white males, expect to get out of it? Amazingly, the life expectancy for some groups of Americans is going down.

http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/31/8/1803.abstract

From the abstract,

"It has long been known that despite well-documented improvements in longevity for most Americans, alarming disparities persist among racial groups and between the well-educated and those with less education."

"We found that in 2008 US adult men and women with fewer than twelve years of education had life expectancies not much better than those of all adults in the 1950s and 1960s."

"In 2008 white US men and women with 16 years or more of schooling had life expectancies far greater than black Americans with fewer than 12 years of education--14.2 years more for white men than black men, and 10.3 years more for white women than black women."

"These gaps have widened over time and have led to at least two "Americas," if not multiple others, in terms of life expectancy, demarcated by level of education and racial-group membership."

Posted by Doctor Steve at December 18, 2012 12:27 PM
32. Doctor Steve @31

It might be more appropriate to talk about life expectancy from the age of retirement rather than overall life expectancy.

The life expectancy of a person who reaches age 65:
white female: 19.23 year
White Male: 16.22
Black Female: 17.65
Black Male: 14.12

The difference are not as stark from that perspective, with only 2 years separating the two races, and 3 years separating the genders.

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr57/nvsr57_01.pdf

Posted by Eyago at December 18, 2012 01:00 PM
33. Eyago: Two points --

1) SS eligibility age is already scheduled to rise to 67. So we can just subtract 2 years from your figures to estimate how long someone will receive SS payments. Don't have the exact figures, but the answer is somewhere around 15 years.

2) What was life expectancy at age 65 in 1940? (Ans: 13.7 years)

So the point about rising life expectancy is another right-wing crock -- meant to mislead rather than illuminate. Since 1940, life expectancy at retirement age has only increased a year or two. And the rate of SS taxes has gone up substantially to accomodate this.

Posted by scottd at December 18, 2012 01:14 PM
34. stevie sez:

"You would condemn the least educated, those who usually have the hardest manual labor tasks involved in their work, regardless of color but especially blacks, to work until they die. Then again, perhaps that's what you want, for you to reap from the toil of others."

You are making stuff up again, stevie. Get back on your meds - you are suffering another paranoia attack causing you to freak out and prevaricate about 2 years - LMAO !!

"Take for example, the data showing that life expectancy for white women without a high school diploma is 73.5 years, compared with 83.9 years for white women with a college degree. For white men, it's 67.5 years for the least educated white men compared with 80.4 for those with a college degree or better. Raise SS to 67 and what should the least educated, including white males, expect to get out of it? Amazingly, the life expectancy for some groups of Americans is going down."

You are out of context - life expectancies have increased just as I stated since the 1930's. You make no points just an attempt to agitate. Raising to SS age from 65 to 67 would save money and your claim of the life expectancy going down in a few groups, but still well above 67. Your emotional response dismisses your reason. Now tell us that the sky is falling.

"So the point about rising life expectancy is another right-wing crock -- meant to mislead rather than illuminate. Since 1940, life expectancy at retirement age has only increased a year or two. And the rate of SS taxes has gone up substantially to accomodate this."

Show us your evidence please - what was the life expectancy in 1940 ? maybe a year or two since the 1960's. Conversely, its a leftwing crock that SSI will not change quite a bit in the next 20 years - So why are you and stevie is such denial ? Go with the flow because none of you can do anything about the changing demographics.

YOu are also afraid to address medicare, just like the other lefties who flee from it - Obamacare is the problem and it won't go away. Your silence is deafening.

Posted by KDS at December 18, 2012 02:00 PM
35. Scottd,

$112 billion so far, and between now and 2021 it will add another $518 billion.

Any other questions?

Posted by Shanghai Dan at December 18, 2012 02:08 PM
36. @34 KDS on December 18, 2012 02:00 PM,

"Show us your evidence please - what was the life expectancy in 1940 ? maybe a year or two since the 1960's."

You losers are just so fricking lazy in addition to being thick.

Life Expectancy for Social Security

Posted by MikeBoyScout at December 18, 2012 02:23 PM
37. @35 Shanghai Dan on December 18, 2012 02:08 PM,

From the article you've sited
"And keep in mind, if nothing is done, when those trust funds are exhausted, benefits would have to be cut by 22 percent in 2037, and more each year after that, according to the most recent report of the system's trustees. By 2084, the system will generate only enough revenue to pay for 75 percent of promised benefit levels."

There's no crisis with SSI. SSI has not and will not contribute to the fiscal deficit.

Can its financial position be improved? Sure.
To the extent that we wish to improve SSI and/or its viability beyond 2037 (25 years from now) we could today double the maximum taxable earnings with no effect on the broader economy nor those of us who would be paying a little more.

Posted by MikeBoyScout at December 18, 2012 02:30 PM
38. MikeBS,

Social Security is currently adding to the deficit. You're trying to switch the question to "crisis for SSI" which is a different beast altogether. But SSI right now adds to the deficit and, hence, debt.

Posted by Shanghai Dan at December 18, 2012 02:35 PM
39. Sorry, Dan. Your link doesn't show how much Social Security has contributed to our current debt. It shows that for 2010-2012, SS collected $112B less in taxes than it paid out in benefits.

However, from the start of the program through 2009, SS collected a total of $13866B and only paid out a total of $11326B in benefits.

I'll do the math for you to make it easy -- that's a surplus of $2540B. We'll subtract the $112B you noted which still leaves us with a $2428B surplus.

SS has not contributed to our current debt. Thanks for playing.

Posted by scottd at December 18, 2012 03:02 PM
40. Explain why SSI was in debt this year, during when the revenues were down. I know it probably won't be next year if revenues are up, but it seems to contradict your numbers - provide your source for numbers to Dan for transparency sake

Posted by KDS at December 18, 2012 03:45 PM
41. scottd,

MBS actually addressed your issue for me. The number of years of life after 65 has grown, per MBS' link, by 2.6 years for men and 4.9 for women, but that was for 1990. I my link covers another 10 years and shows another year increase for men. That does not cover any additional growth that might have come in the last 12 years. So we are at 3.6 and 4.9. That is meaningful. It represents a 25-30% increase.

Maybe you should get exact figures and consider the implications.

You should cogitate on the reality that the ratio of those paying in to those receiving benefits has changed significantly over the years and how that changes the balance sheet.

You might also consider the fact that social security is already paying out more than it brings in and is expecting to continue to do so. Not sure how you can blithely wash that away. Yes contributions have increased tremendously beyond what was originally planned and promised, but apparently it still is not enough. But since you don't care about the actual fiscal realities of now, I guess we just live in scottd fantasy land that everything is just fine. After all, when falling from a 100 story building, the first 99.99 stories everything is "just fine" and there is no crisis. None of that is adding to our death, so why worry, right? That is the sum of your arguments. SS has not contributed to the debt, just like the first 80 stories has not contributed to the falling person's death.

Finally, you still have made no distinction between the value of your position that we increase contributions more verses your contempt for the lowing of benefits. Both have a similar result: a smaller benefit to contribution ratio. Whether it comes from the income or the outgo, it's still the same thing.

One more note:

Until recent years, Social Security recipients received more, often far more, than the value of the Social Security taxes they paid. However, because Social Security payroll tax rates have increased over the years and the full retirement age (the age at which unreduced benefits are first payable) is being increased gradually, it is becoming more apparent that Social Security will be less of a good deal for many future retirees. For example, for workers who earned average wages and retired in 1980 at the age of 65, it took 2.8 years to recover the value of the retirement portion of the combined employee and employer shares of their Social Security taxes plus interest. For their counterparts who retired at the age of 65 in 2003, it will take 17.4 years. For those retiring in 2020, it will take 21.6 years.

http://aging.senate.gov/crs/ss6.pdf


Posted by Eyago at December 18, 2012 03:47 PM
42. scottd - You need to learn how to interpret data correctly. The numbers below show the year & avg. life expectancy of men, to further illustrates what Eyago was saying.

1940 - 53.9
1950 - 56.2
1960 - 60.1
1970 - 63.7
1980 - 67.8
1990 - 72.3

This means that a far lesser proportion of men received SSI in 1940-1960 than now. :The flimsy arguments about life expectancy going down is dust in the wind. Coupled with the changing demographics going against paying into the system, it is plain as the nose on your face why SSI must radically change or go off the cliff and it will be insolvent by 2038 +/- as I stated earlier.

MikeBS did the left a favor and it wasn't on us - it was on you to show us the evidence as you were trying to refute our point. If it would have been the other way around, it would have been incumbent on us to show you the numbers.

Posted by KDS at December 18, 2012 04:02 PM
43. @ Shanghai Dan & KDS (and only a slightly lesser extent Warren),

Does it really never occur to you that you:

1) Usually bring no knowledge of the subjects you comment upon?
2) Knowing nothing should do just a little bit of homework on the subject before opening your yaps?

@41 Eyago on December 18, 2012 03:47 PM,
The link I provided does show a slightly different picture about life expectancy than scottd, but your " represents a 25-30% increase" is mixing apples and oranges when it comes to numbers.

Let's see if we can figure it out.
In 1940 the SSI retirement age was 65 and the Average Remaining Life Expectancy for Those Surviving to Age 65 was 12.7 years.
In 1990 the SSI retirement age was 65 and the Average Remaining Life Expectancy for Those Surviving to Age 65 was 15.3 years.
15.3-12.7= 2.6

For those born in 1960 and later, the SSI retirement age is 67.
67-65=2

2.6-2=0.6

Yes, Eyago, there is a difference, but it is minor. And had you read the contents of the link I posted above you also would have read
"(Increases in life expectancy are a factor in the long-range financing of Social Security; but other factors, such as the sheer size of the "baby boom" generation, and the relative proportion of workers to beneficiaries, are larger determinants of Social Security's future financial condition.)"

Bottom line is that even with the recession and increases in life expectancy and a temporary reduction in the payroll tax and ... the SSI system is fully solvent until 2037 and solvent at 75% of benefits until 2084. There is neither value or need to modify SSI benefits in 2012/13 in scope of a budget negotiation.

Posted by MikeBoyScout at December 18, 2012 04:14 PM
44. MBS-n When it comes to bringing knowledge to the discussion, you are the pot calling the kettle black, but as a lawyer, you can obfuscate pretty well. It wouldn't matter how much knowledge anyone brought - if it didn't meet with your political criteria, you would tune it out and show your intolerance.

Enough of the hair splitting. A flimsy argument for not changing SSI for the immediate future while kicking the can continues. The handwriting is on the wall.

Keep avoiding discussion of Medicare - the mantra of the left.

Posted by KDS at December 18, 2012 04:39 PM
45. eyago: I don't think we're in major disagreement regarding life expectancy at 65. In 1940, it was 13.7 years (avg of men and women). The figures you quoted puts the avg at 17.7 in 2000, an increase of 4 yrs. Life expectancy at 65 isn't increasing very rapidly, it's increasing at a rate of about 0.6 yrs/decade. If you want to extrapolate that out, that brings us to around 18.6 yrs now.

In 1940, the retirement age was 65, so SS recipients received benefits for an average of 13.7 yrs.

We're already raising the retirement age to 67. Right now, it's 66. So the average SS recipient will collect benefits for 17.6 yrs. That's an increase over what it was in 1940, but it's nowhere near the scare number uninformed conservatives like KDS like to throw around.

The average length of time benefits are paid has increased 28%. On the other hand, the tax rate to pay those benefits has increased 520% since 1940. So my point stands -- there has been a relatively small increase in the time the average person receives SS benefits, but there is a much larger increase in the amount of money collected to pay those benefits. Increased life expectancy just isn't a very big problem for SS.

In the long run, our current payroll tax rate is enough to pay 75% of scheduled benefits indefinitely, without raising the retirement age beyond 67 (current schedule). We can either choose to live with lower benefits starting around 2032 or we can make relatively minor adjustments such as increasing the payroll tax by 0.1%/yr over 20 years. If we do that, we can pay all scheduled benefits indefinitely. Or we can choose some compromise between these two options.

It's not exactly a radical change. Conservatives don't like to talk about it that way because they are hoping to scare people into accepting radical cuts to a successful and popular program.

And, despite Dan's futile point to the contrary, my other point still stands: SS has not contributed at dime to our current debt of $16T.

Posted by scottd at December 18, 2012 04:39 PM
46. MBS - also in the SSA report was the following:
Percentage of Population Surviving from Age 21 to Age 65

1940 Male - 53.9, Female - 60.6
1990 Male - 72.3, Female - 83.6

No money exists in the SS trust fund, only special IOU's. The money paid back to the fund from the general fund (to technically keep it solvent) is borrowed money. The borrowed money adds to the deficit.

Posted by SouthernRoots at December 18, 2012 04:42 PM
47. hat's an increase over what it was in 1940, but it's nowhere near the scare number uninformed conservatives like KDS like to throw around.

What scare numbers - those are just the facts for the numbers I showed.

Why do you and Mike BS persist in hair splitting ?
@46 sums lt up rather well.

I am ready to move on and I guess no one disagrees with my assessment of Medicare - as there has been nothing added to the discussion.

Posted by KDS at December 18, 2012 05:11 PM
48. "Bottom line is that even with the recession and increases in life expectancy and a temporary reduction in the payroll tax and ... the SSI system is fully solvent until 2037 and solvent at 75% of benefits until 2084. There is neither value or need to modify SSI benefits in 2012/13 in scope of a budget negotiation."

In other words, the accumulated debt won't matter. Would you care to guess how much SSI you would receive monthly when you retire ? I challenge your bottom line - SSI will likely be insolvent after 2037 (in its present state). An additional source of funding or more than expected and a more favorable demographic could change that though and NOONE really knows , so your bottom line is all conjecture and elicits a big YAWN..

Posted by KDS at December 18, 2012 05:19 PM
49. Scottd @ 39:

Factcheck disagrees with you. So does the CBO, and the White House.

MikeBS @ 43:

Where am I wrong? Or is this just another one of your insults for no reason?

Posted by Shanghai Dan at December 18, 2012 05:35 PM
50. In other words, the accumulated debt won't matter

Up through 2032 (or 2037 -- depending on the source of your estimate), the accumulated debt due to SSI will be approximately zero. So you're right, it won't matter.

Would you care to guess how much SSI you would receive monthly when you retire ?

I plan to start collecting SS in 2024. At that point, I guess my monthly benefit will be pretty close to what it's currently expected to be.

Sometime around 2032, it may drop to ~75% of what I expected, but I don't think that's going to happen. More likely, we'll make some minor changes to the payroll tax rate and tax base and maybe some minor changes to the benefit schedule. This will happen because the changes will not be radical and SS is a very popular program with a large and growing constituency. So my guess is that even after 2032, I'll get somewhere between 90-100% of scheduled benefits.

My hope is that Republicans will continue to throw themselves on the rocks with phony scare stories and attempts to gut the program. It's done them wonders so far.

Posted by scottd at December 18, 2012 05:43 PM
51. "Go with the flow because none of you can do anything about the changing demographics."

Good advice for demographic-change-hating Republicans who keep losing national elections to a Kenyan-born, commie-fascist jihadist, KDS. For progressives? Eh, not so much. I think they get it already.

"I guess no one disagrees with my assessment of Medicare"

You'd guess wrong. Just because you say something stupid and nobody comments does not make you correct. Doesn't it seems more likely that, after reading your previous mindless blather, no one wants to bother with someone so damned stupid as you? Just look at the idiocy that is your so-called contribution to this thread.

Posted by Doctor Steve at December 18, 2012 05:45 PM
52. Factcheck disagrees with you. So does the CBO, and the White House.

No they don't. It's quite possible that you don't understand the difference between a current year deficit and accumulated debt/surplus.

In any case, I don't expect you to admit your error. Others can look up the facts I cited and draw their own conclusions. Your agreement really isn't a priority for me.

Posted by scottd at December 18, 2012 05:46 PM
53. I haven't looked straight into Sennheisers and am needing new tote.

Posted by ?????? at December 18, 2012 06:27 PM
54. "I guess no one disagrees with my assessment of Medicare"

"You'd guess wrong. "

Not one shred of evidence to the contrary - just more cowardly 4-year old level insults. It must really suck to be you. STick it where the sun don't shine, stevie !

Posted by KDS at December 18, 2012 07:29 PM
55. No they don't. It's quite possible that you don't understand the difference between a current year deficit and accumulated debt/surplus.

In any case, I don't expect you to admit your error. Others can look up the facts I cited and draw their own conclusions. Your agreement really isn't a priority for me.

Posted by scottd at December 18, 2012 05:46 PM

Your hair splitting is mind boggling and counterproductive. You can't admit your approach would need some changes even if it starred you in the face, which it seems clear.

You, MBS and stevie love to point fingers but you seldom ever propose any viable solutions. If ;you can't see that SSI needs a significant change/fix to keep it sustainable or replaced with 401K's and Roth IRA's, there is no hope for clear thinking from you and probably much of the left. However, I believe in working toward solutions after the finger pointing is done - instead of playing gotcha that in the end, benefits no-one.

Posted by KDS at December 18, 2012 07:48 PM
56. Your hair splitting is mind boggling and counterproductive.

What hairs have I split? Just pointing out some facts. They seem to be in short supply in your comments.

Feel free to point out any factual inaccuracies.

You, MBS and stevie love to point fingers but you seldom ever propose any viable solutions.

Check out my comments @20, @45, and @50. Hard to see how you could miss those proposed solutions.

Posted by scottd at December 18, 2012 08:09 PM
57. Scottd,

Can you explain how a deficit does not add to the debt?

Posted by Shanghai Dan at December 18, 2012 09:00 PM
58. Dan: I will try to keep this simple for you.

If you have a $300B surplus one year and a $100B deficit the next, how much debt have you accumulated?

Posted by scottd at December 18, 2012 09:13 PM
59. Your hair splitting is mind boggling and counterproductive.

"What hairs have I split? Just pointing out some facts. They seem to be in short supply in your comments.'

The topic of SSI is small ball compared to entitlements and tweeking of the payroll tax will extend is a limited number of years. Facts of consequence ? Your interpretation of the life expectancy age was wrong, as already pointed out, but it is what it is. SSI is the least problematic - its the entitlements are what is adding a mountain of debt.

@45 - "We can either choose to live with lower benefits starting around 2032 or we can make relatively minor adjustments such as increasing the payroll tax by 0.1%/yr over 20 years. If we do that, we can pay all scheduled benefits indefinitely. Or we can choose some compromise between these two options.

It's not exactly a radical change."

A radical change is what will really be needed to keep it sustainable past 20-25 years from now. The payroll tax increase will help a little, but not enough in the long run. My solutions are use a Thrift Savings plan approach as an option for the Government trust fund or substitute money into a 401K or Roth IRA for SSI and make it tax free. I am not the first to suggest these and it is not like what Bush proposed in 2005.

The scare numbers I throw out are not for SSI as you like to use in your false narrative, they are for Medicare, Medicaid and welfare - the entitlements ! and the payout is getting beyond scary for those. $100 T in unfunded liability is the bottom line.
I don't have the long term solution for this, other than less Medicare and the others and increasing rationing looms and Obamacare contributes to this by taking $716 B over the next 10 years and who knows how much beyond then ? It is certain that this 800# elephant in the room it isn't going away.

Posted by KDS at December 18, 2012 09:27 PM
60. Liberal's like Obama and his sycophant's really aren't interested in the deficit as long as they're the one's doing the spending. They'll just bitch and whine about it when their guy is out of power after running it up by 10+ trillion at the end of this clown's 8 years. Stupid is as stupid does, and Obama isn't that smart...why else would he insist on hiding his academic records while declaring he's "transparent"? Phony, yes. Transparent? Hardly.

Posted by Rick D. at December 18, 2012 09:48 PM
61. Why aren't they doing the budget negotiations in front of CSPAN but instead in private ? The GOP are chumps for not demanding it. They will gladly kick the can down the road for the next administration to deal with when it comes to making meaningful budget reforms and cutting spending - leading from behind once again. Obama said on Letterman in October that he ignored math after the 7th Grade - that definitely shows/he is remedial at math and willfully ignorant because it is his neo-marxist ideology drives him.

The GOP will have to be the ones who financially save the country - if anyone does.

Posted by KDS at December 18, 2012 10:06 PM
62. Scottd:

I'll try to keep it simple for you: there is no "lock box" with that surplus. It's been spent in its entirety and replaced with IOUs from the Government. Cashing those out now means we're paying general revenues to cover costs - adding more to the debt.

The White House - President Obama - agrees with me. The CBO agrees with me. Factcheck.org agrees with me. It's pretty simple, unless you want to put your blinders on and go for the partisan line (which even the President calls wrong).

Posted by Shanghai Dan at December 19, 2012 11:30 AM
63. Dan is correct - The "lockbox" is a myth perpetrated by Al Gore back in 2000. Just this morning, I saw some headlines about drastic changes ahead for Social Security.

Posted by KDS at December 19, 2012 11:39 AM
64. Dan: So much gibberish instead of just answering a simple question! I didn't say anything about a "lock box". I just asked you a simple question about how one calculates accumulated debt -- something anyone who claims to have run a business should be able to answer easily.

I'll give you the simple answer you're struggling to avoid. If you have a surplus of $300B one year and a $100B deficit in the next, you haven't accumulated any debt. You've accumulated a $200B surplus. That's simple math -- even you should be able to understand it.

When I asked you how much SSI has contributed to the $16T debt the US has accumulated so far, you said the answer was $120B. You got that by taking the difference between taxes collected from 2010-2012 and benefits paid in that same period. So, why didn't you use the period from 2009-2012 instead? If you had done that, the same calculation would have come up with an answer of zero -- nothing added to the accumulated debt! You carefully selected the period you did because that is the only period that gives you the answer you want.

Dan, you're being dishonest. You're trying to tell me there's something special about 2010-2012, but 2009-2012 doesn't count, let alone 1940-2012.

If your goal is to earn the respect of nincompoops like KDS, be my guest. It won't be much of a challenge. But I know you don't know what you're talking about and I don't really care. I've found over the years that there's not much you are correct about.

By all means, keep encouraging the GOP to come out with proposals to privatize or otherwise gut SS and Medicare. I think it's working great for them so far!

Posted by scottd at December 19, 2012 12:36 PM
65. Scottd:

Where's that accumulated surplus? There isn't one - that's the simple answer you simply cannot understand.

That simple enough?

Posted by Shanghai Dan at December 19, 2012 12:45 PM
66. Any plan that does not cut spending now drastically will fail.

Posted by Lysander at December 19, 2012 12:52 PM
67. Where's that accumulated surplus?

Dan, I thought you were smarter than that!

The surplus is located in the accounting entries of the various governmental and banking entities that make up our financial system -- just like surpluses accumulated by individuals, corporations, and governments throughout the modern world. Were you expecting maybe a big stack of Benjamins in a vault somewhere?

Just curious, do you own any bonds? Would it surprise you to learn that whoever originated the bond probably took the money that was raised and spent it? Judging from what you write, I'm wondering if your previous business was run strictly on a cash or barter basis. That would explain a lot.

Posted by scottd at December 19, 2012 02:26 PM
68. scottd - so you admit these "surpluses" are so much accounting trickery.

Posted by SmoledMan at December 19, 2012 02:32 PM
69. You got me, smoledman. Like most everyone else, the SSA keeps track of its funds through the sorcery of "accounting".

Let me guess, you keep all your money in a coffee can.

Posted by scottd at December 19, 2012 02:55 PM
70. I have to say that I am with scottd on this one.

To blame SS for the existing deficit is like borrowing from your uncle last year and then because you owe him money and have to borrow from your brother in law to pay him back, it is your uncles fault that you are going into debt to your brother in law.


We are in debt today because we spent too much on general fund things (mostly) and we borrowed from SS to do that. Now that we need to pay back SS, we have a problem with needing to borrow from some other source since SS no longer has the easy money we can raid.

That does not mean SS does not need reforming. We need to make sure that outlays match income in the long term.

But, we have a bigger problem. We have more money going out than coming in in other areas that need immediate attention: Medicare and the general fund and all that stimulus stuff.

Warren's original post discusses the whole picture, and I think we got too sidetracked on a SS tangent.

Basically, the politicians of the past put us in big pain today and now we have a crisis that no one has the ability to solve because of all the partisanship going on.

Posted by Eyago at December 19, 2012 03:39 PM
71. Eyago @70
Bingo!
I find it interesting how the GOP has found religion now on the debt. Where were they when Dick Cheney declared that debt doesn't matter.

The president had promised to cut taxes, and he did. Within six months of taking office, he pushed a trillion dollars worth of tax cuts through Congress.
But O'Neill thought it should have been the end. After 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan, the budget deficit was growing. So at a meeting with the vice president after the mid-term elections in 2002, Suskind writes that O'Neill argued against a second round of tax cuts.

"Cheney, at this moment, shows his hand," says Suskind. "He says, 'You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter. We won the mid-term elections, this is our due.' ... O'Neill is speechless."

From: Paul O'Neill's 60 Minutes interview and also quoted in Paul O'Neill's book.

The surplus from the Clinton budget wasn't a surplus, but accounting flim-flam. It was counting the surplus from Social Security, which then was justification for Bush-Cheney to spend it on tax cuts and un-budgeted wars. GW Bush was the first president that fought wars without seeking a way to pay for them. Even his father sought ways to pay for the first Gulf War.

Bush's $1 trillion dollar war

Posted by tc at December 19, 2012 04:36 PM
72. Keep your powder dry Americanos.

Posted by jaysantos at December 19, 2012 04:37 PM
73. .
That darn Kenyan Mooslem Soshulist Usurper (twice!) tricked the Speaker and the House Republicans to go with "Plan B"!

Tell us, what are the spending cuts in "Plan B"?

Posted by MikeBoyScout at December 19, 2012 05:12 PM
74. Scottd,

Cool, so let's say you give me $1000. I spend that $1000 on booze and blow and broads. Then I put an "I owe Scottd $1000" note in my wallet. Accounting-wise, it's all good! Real-world - we're both broke.

Simple enough?

TC,

Exactly correct. We haven't had a balanced budget in over 60 years - the last one, where we actually had a real surplus, was in 1957 under Eisenhower. And it wasn't the $1 trillion war costs that did the $16 trillion in spending - it was predominantly social spending.

How? Well, DOD spending - including war costs - are about the same in the 2000s as they were in the 50s (when we last had that surplus), on a percent of GDP basis per capita. Taxation was about the same level on a percent of GDP basis as well. What is up? Government spending - over 110% higher, per capita and on a constant-dollar basis. It's not DOD spending - it's everything else that has exploded our debt.

The Federal Government throughout the 2000s spent about the same on defense and wars as it did in the 50s. All the other spending has dramatically increased.

Posted by Shanghai Dan at December 19, 2012 05:40 PM
75. Cool story, Dan!

I'm sure it impressed the hell out of KDS, plus it gave me a good laugh. Everybody wins!

BTW, I don't think an IOU from you would be worth much -- especially if you keep it in your wallet. Meanwhile, IOUs from the US Govt are so valuable folks are paying near-record prices for them.

Posted by scottd at December 19, 2012 06:28 PM
76. Good Scottd,

Now - how are those IOUs paid for? You know, the ones being called in now that SS taxes aren't enough to cover expenses?

It's called - TAXES. General fund taxes. That's why SS is adding to the deficit - and as a result, the debt. It's why even President Obama admits as much.

Posted by Shanghai Dan at December 19, 2012 07:23 PM
77. Today's quote - "Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him; better take a closer look at the American Indian."

-Henry Ford

An appropriate quote if there is a continued attempt to give away free stuff by Obama for political gain at the expense of the financial well-being of this country... you suckers who voted for him get the government you deserve.

Posted by KDS at December 19, 2012 07:50 PM
78. @77 The American Indians were a conquered people, and the government's objective was to subdue and control them, not make them happy and prosperous. Not surprisingly, the government's Indian policies did not make the Indians happy and prosperous. Who could have guessed?

Posted by Roger Rabbit at December 19, 2012 08:08 PM
79. If I interpret Warren's commentary correctly, he's advocating using inflation to destroy pension and social security promises. I thought conservatives were against that sort of thing?

Posted by Roger Rabbit at December 19, 2012 08:09 PM
80. Why do government debts have to be paid off? Is that a good idea? If investors couldn't own Treasuries, what would that do to our financial system?

Posted by Roger Rabbit at December 19, 2012 08:12 PM
81. Dan @ 76: Exactly right. But people like scott are so tone deaf (like the president himself) that they simply tune out reality for the next 4 years because it doesn't fit their political ideology- see kicking the can down the road. Saddling future generations with 10+ trillion worth of debt will be Obama's lasting legacy; he knows it and so do we. The difference being that we care about saddling our posterity with that enormous debt and obama and the fawning lemming's on the far left do not.

Posted by Rick D. at December 19, 2012 08:12 PM
82. @76 Well yeah, when Uncle Sam borrows money from future Social Security beneficiaries, uses it for general government operations and then collects taxes to pay it back, you end up paying taxes for the general government operations financed by the money borrowed from Social Security. But that doesn't mean those taxes are paying for Social Security. They aren't. And while repaying those loans may contribute to the deficit, it wasn't the Social Security benefits the repaid money will pay for that are contributing to the deficit. It's still the general government operations that were financed by borrowed money that contributed to the deficit. Social Security isn't contributing to the deficit by loaning money to the general budget.

Posted by Roger Rabbit at December 19, 2012 08:17 PM
83. Hi Roger,

Currently, we're paying out more in SS benefits than SS taxes we collect. The balance is covered by general budget receipts (see the link I provided in post 35). Social Security is contributing to the current budget deficit, and is projected to do so from this point on - every year until the program is amended (higher tax rates).

Posted by Shanghai Dan at December 19, 2012 08:29 PM
84. The rodent @ 78: ...the government's objective was to subdue and control them, not make them happy and prosperous.

Interesting observation from someone that can't recognize the goverment's mission hasn't changed from that time- it's still about control. Their objective has simply moved on from American indians to the American citizenry at large. If you make the citizenry increasingly dependent on government, government subdues personal freedoms slowly over time without firing a shot.See self-imposed slavery.

Posted by Rick D. at December 19, 2012 08:33 PM
85. @84 - Spot on and to that I add; "The bigger the government, the smaller the individual"

Posted by KDS at December 19, 2012 08:49 PM
86. tc,

What you have proven in 71 is that deficits don't matter TO YOU. What I know is that politicians play politics. One side is going to try and make the other side look bad and to minimize their own faults. People who care about the deficit will focus on the problem and not the politics. you have chosen to focus on the politics.

And as far as your quote goes, it seems Cheney was talking about the impact of the deficit on the ability of a party to win elections. He was showing that Reagan proved deficits don't matter in context to other issues.

On the other hand we have this guy who said hige deficits were unpatriotic. I'm trying to remember his name... I think it was...Oh yeah! Senator Barack Obama. I guess he is the MOST unpatriotic president in the country's history.

So, who was actually right? Obama and his "deficits are unpatriotic?" If so you too are unpatriotic for voting for a guy who had the largest deficits and is promising more. Of is it Cheney, who seemed to accurately describe the fact that deficits DON'T matter to elections and this has been born out in both Bush's re-election and Obama's.

The can is there, give it a bog ole kick. And when the next republican president is in office you can go back to saying deficits are bad.

Do defictis

Posted by Eyago at December 19, 2012 10:00 PM
87. @83 It depends on how you interpret the data. It's true benefit payouts now exceed Social Security tax collections, so the Social Security program now has a negative cash flow and a drawdown of the Social Security Trust Fund is occurring. But the Trust Fund has a positive balance, so if you assume the difference between income and outgo is accounted for as a charge against the Trust Fund, then Social Security's negative cash flow is not being financed by general revenues or operating budget funds. Of course, to the extent that money has been borrowed for general government expenditures and has to be paid back to the Trust Fund before it can be disbursed to SS beneficiaries, the money used to repay the Trust Fund may well be borrowed and thus the repayment is contributing to the deficit. But that doesn't mean Social Security is contributing to the deficit. Also, I think the 2% payroll tax holiday should be accounted for as a general budget expenditure, not a reduction of the FICA tax, as the government apparently is making it up from general revenues -- in effect, the government is paying this 2% tax on behalf of the citizens while this tax holiday remains in effect. At least, it's my understanding that's how the government budget people are accounting for it on the government's ledgers. You can argue this issue both ways, but it really comes down to how you look at it from the accounting viewpoint.

Posted by Roger Rabbit at December 19, 2012 10:04 PM
88. @84, @85 -- About two-thirds of the federal budget is Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. As those programs directly benefit us citizens, in reality, the "government" is the other third that's left -- money that goes for defense, national parks, the space program, etc. I don't mind having the government manage my Social Security and Medicare benefits for me. I trust bureaucrats more than Wall Street or bankers. Your feelings about this may differ, and I don't have a problem with that, given that my point of view won the election.

Posted by Roger Rabbit at December 19, 2012 10:08 PM
89. I'm impressed that the peanut gallery here has not excommunicated Warren over his apostasy:

Reform of the tax systems. [...] In total, increase revenue but dedicate the increase to debt reduction.

He's advocating an overall tax increase. We've been told for thirty-odd years that cutting taxes will make the pie higher, painlessly providing more tax revenues without increasing the tax rates. While the result of this absurd fantasy is not pretty -- see the debt of which Warren tells us to be veddy, veddy afwaid -- no one on the right has challenged it.

Better yet, his proposed increase makes no sense on its face:

For the income tax, a simplified progressive tax where the rich pay the most but everyone pays something and deductions are few.

If you're working two low-paying jobs, eating noodles and living rough, saving for your textbooks and tuition, Warren will have you pay income tax because fairness or something. Never mind that the IRS will spend more money obtaining what you paid than the amount you paid -- it's your impoverishment that counts. Feature, not bug. That will teach you the value of trying to get an education to enter a higher tax bracket!

Meanwhile, get off of Warren's lawn! He doesn't care that he said he'd pay you to mow it!

Posted by tensor at December 19, 2012 10:13 PM
90. Pellet maker philosophized: About two-thirds of the federal budget is Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. As those programs directly benefit us citizens, in reality, the "government" is the other third that's left -- money that goes for defense, national parks, the space program, etc.

Must I really point out how retarded that statement is? That twisted illogic might go over at Goldy's waste treatment plant, roger, but for those with IQ's above room temperature, that comment really doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Posted by Rick D. at December 19, 2012 10:31 PM
91. @90 Ricky Dipshit is lecturing me on IQ? That's funny.

Posted by Roger Rabbit at December 19, 2012 11:23 PM
92. @5 No, you can't cut my Social Security and Medicare so the rich can pay lower taxes than their secretaries.

Posted by Roger Rabbit at December 19, 2012 11:25 PM
93. re 89: Not to put too fine a point on it, but it's 'vewwy, vewwy afwaid', not veddy veddy. Gotta go. I'm gonna go catch a wabbit and FWICCASEE HIM!!!!

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! We must be vewwy vewwy quiet!

Posted by red hiney monkey at December 20, 2012 07:06 AM
94. Roger @ 87:

Yes, it comes down to how Government people are accounting for it. And the CBO - the Government Accounting People - and the White House say that Social Security is contributing to the deficit.

Tensor,

So simplistic of you! Tax increases should be avoided as much as possible, but when necessary they are acceptable. Increasing taxes to DEDICATE THEM TO CUTTING THE DEBT would be an acceptable thing for many conservatives IF IT IS ALSO BALANCED with spending cuts.

Understand this: our Government is literally spending $4000 every year, for every man, woman and child in these United States, that it doesn't have, nor has a plan to earn. Our spending is over twice that it was back in the "golden days" of the 50s and 60s, when you look at it on a per-capita and constant dollar basis.

I'd definitely be willing to talk tax increases IF you balance it with spending cuts. REAL spending cuts, not reductions in increases. Slash Government spending by 20% across the board, and then I'd be happy to match my fair share of a $760 billion annual tax increase provided it's dedicated to debt reduction. The combined $1520 billion in relief would result in a approximately $300 billion in real surplus - debt reduction.

Raising taxes alone will NOT solve the deficit. It will dent it, but we'll still face $1+ trillion ($1,000,000,000,000) deficits. Even with the tax raises that the President and the Democrats want. It simply does nothing - it does not solve the deficit, it does not address the debt.

Tax increases that don't do anything (except, apparently, force those who pay more than their fair share to pay even more, all in the call for fairness) should be avoided at all costs. IF they actually do something - and pairing them with spending cuts would achieve just that - then we can talk.

Posted by Shanghai Dan at December 20, 2012 07:49 AM
95. re 94: Wouldn't it be simpler just to make a rule that the government can't borrow money from the SS fund?

Incidentally, the SS witholding was doubles under Reagan (since it's not a tax -- get it?)and the excess funds were borrowed from SS to run the government. Reagan's stated purpose in doing that was that the baby boomers would need it when they retired.

I wonder how much of my SS money went to some wothless defense contractor?

The trouble with you Republicans is that you cannot see beyond the surface of things to get at the truth. You are easy to fool.

Posted by dorky dorkman at December 20, 2012 08:10 AM
96. @95 -that comment illuminates that Democrats (liberal progs) are out of touch with a majority of the electorate in Fiscal Policy. Afraid and in denial about dealing with entitlements, apathetic about overspending and fiscally irresponsible !

Conversely, Conservative Republicans are out of touch with a majority of the electorate when it comes to Social policy (comments about rape, incest, etc. in the election campaign). That accounts from at least part for why single women voted 67-31 percent Democrat.

Posted by KDS at December 20, 2012 08:38 AM
97. Rabbit (Hare-brain) further shows how out of touch his voting block is with most of the others. So over $100 Trillion in unfunded liabilities doesn't matter to you. Another display of fiscal irresponsibility and apathy.

In @87, you keep mixing SSI - which is funded with Medicare, Medicaid and Welfare, which are unfunded. Once again, you are dead wrong, rodent !

Posted by KDS at December 20, 2012 08:46 AM
98. Dork @ 95:

No, it would be better to make a rule that the Government can't borrow money without a super-majority in both chambers of Congress.

The issue isn't that Government has used the SS surplus to fund excessive spending; the issue is that not only has it used the surplus but even more borrowing to fund excessive spending.

Posted by Shanghai Dan at December 20, 2012 08:53 AM
99. The first step in reducing our deficit and debt is to realize we aren't the world's policeman and withdraw or troops from all foreign locations. That will mean a downsizing of the military by about 50%, but it's necessary because we are on an unsustainable path, financially. The wealth-producing sector of our economy simply cannot produce the wealth required to have this huge overseas empire.

Posted by Politically Incorrect at December 20, 2012 10:13 AM
100. @92,

The rodent is exhibiting the feeling of everyone who "played by the rules" and is now getting the benefits of Social Security and Medicare. Everyone feels the same way, but the Social Security and Medicare systems were horribly mismanaged by an incompetent legislative and executive branches of government.

Both can be made bullet-proof, but it will be a very unpleasant process, requiring a lot of sacrifice by folks who are currently getting benefits.

Posted by Politically Incorrect at December 20, 2012 10:17 AM
101. PI @ 99:

OK, let's do that. Fully agree - pull out from most of our bases, and slash the DOD budget by 50%. Now how do we address the remaining $800 billion of our annual deficit?

Simply put: you cannot balance the budget on defense alone. Even eliminating the DOD altogether - and the FBI, CIA, and all other police/intelligence functions of the US Federal Government - would leave us with a $400 billion annual deficit.

We HAVE to address social security, medicare, and welfare spending. There is no other way to address the deficit.

Posted by Shanghai Dan at December 20, 2012 10:20 AM
102. .
Ridiculous Government Spending the (un)SP peanut gallery is seemingly not concerned about

The Cost of Romney's Government-Assisted Transition: $8.9 Million

One of the less scintillating milestones of the 2012 election was marked by the General Services Administration, when Mitt Romney became the first candidate to take advantage of the Presidential Transition Act of 2010.

[snip]

The GSA says final costs are still being tabulated, but the initial estimated cost for Romney's pre-transition phase is around $8.9 million.

The design, construction and space planning for the Romney team's office space, which took up multiple floors in the Mary E. Switzer building a couple miles from the White House, cost about $2.5 million. The furniture bill came in around $740,000, and basics like office supplies cost about $30,000. The biggest chunk by far came from communications and related hardware. Items such as IT services, computer equipment and cell phones cost $5.6 million. The GSA noted that some of the resources would be recycled; Dell Latitude Laptops bought for Romney's 500-strong transition team, for example, will be used by other parts of the federal government. Rent charges were waived by the GSA, as they traditionally are for transition teams during the President-Elect phase.

Surely you're going to write the multimillionaire candidate you voted for and ask him to reimburse our debt ridden government?

Posted by MikeBoyScout at December 20, 2012 10:25 AM
103. Hi, do you have a facebook ID?
bloons tower defense 5 http://bloonstowerdefense5.tumblr.com/

Posted by bloons tower defense 5 at December 20, 2012 10:25 AM
104. Shanghai -- "The issue isn't that Government has used the SS surplus to fund excessive spending...."

The SS 'surplus'??? I thought you said that SS was in financial trouble??? How did they manage to get a 'surplus'?

Posted by red hiney monkey at December 20, 2012 10:55 AM
105. www.strengthensocialsecurity.org/.../release-of-social-security-trustee
"The trustees' report found that Social Security's surplus will be $69.3 billion in 2011. Those who say that Social Security is in deficit this year are flat wrong,"

strengthensocialsecurity.org/.../2012/the-truth-about-the-2012-social-...
The most important fact revealed in the 2012 Trustees Report is that our Social Security system has a large and growing surplus.

How is it that SS has a huge surplus, but you say it's in trouble? Could it be right wing propaganda?

Posted by red hiney monkey at December 20, 2012 11:04 AM
106. @100 Seems to me the people responsible for the mismanagement, not their victims, should bear the "sacrifice" you mention.

Posted by Roger Rabbit at December 20, 2012 11:33 AM
107. Conservatives can bloviate all they want about how entitlements MUST be cut, blah blah blah. There's no more inevitability to this than taxes MUST not be raised on the rich or defense MUST not be cut, et al. It's simply a question of who pays, and we have different priorities about that. For what it's worth, IMO all the Bush tax cuts should expire, and the middle class should pay more taxes too, because when deficits are running over $1 trillion a year, you can't get there with $2.4 trillion of tax increases + spending cuts over 10 years. We'll eat a short-term recession, but it's inevitable we're going to have a recession anyway, when Fed pump priming reaches its limits.

Posted by Roger Rabbit at December 20, 2012 11:39 AM
108. It's the spending that is the issue. We need more. Can you attach pillow speakers to smart phones? And set them to snooze?

I wake up to 1090 and go to sleep to Malloy or Hartmann (repeated at midnight). I guess I'm not the only one.

Posted by: Joanie| December 14, 2012 at 06:54 AM

Folks, this explains it all.

Posted by Friend of the late Bill Wiple at December 20, 2012 12:28 PM
109. How is it that SS has a huge surplus, but you say it's in trouble?

It's simple, monkey. All you have to do to believe that is believe that a US Treasury bond is worthless. If you can believe that, you can believe anything!

Posted by scottd at December 20, 2012 01:15 PM
110. Red Hiney,

At one time, SS was running a surplus. It no longer is - and the shortfall is being covered by general funds.

BTW, your links are woefully wrong. SS is running a deficit, and it's going to continue to grow. Please see the link from post 35 - lots of supporting evidence from the CBO, the White House, and the Social Security Administration itself, which said:

Social Security's expenditures exceeded non-interest income in 2010 and 2011, the first such occurrences since 1983, and the Trustees estimate that these expenditures will remain greater than non-interest income throughout the 75-year projection period.

Social Security - per the SSA - has been in deficit since 2010 and will continue that way unit 2085 (the end of the projection).

Posted by Shanghai Dan at December 20, 2012 01:27 PM
111. @110 Your statement is factually incorrect. The shortfall is not being covered by general funds. That won't happen until the Social Security Trust Fund is exhausted decades from now. Until then, Social Security's negative cash flow is being covered by withdrawing money from the Trust Fund. Using general revenues to repay money borrowed from the Trust Fund for general budget expenses does not constitute paying Social Security benefits with general funds.

Posted by Roger Rabbit at December 20, 2012 01:36 PM
112. In the real world, if you bring in more money than you spend, you have a surplus. You would normally save that surplus by putting it in a bank, who will in turn lend it to someone else who will spend it! Or you might buy a bond. The bond issuer will then take your money and spend it! In the real world, you would still consider the surplus you've saved to be an asset, because you expect the debtor to repay you.

In Dan's world, you can just kiss that money goodbye. Welcome to the world of wingnut finance!

I think that tells you all you need to know about Dan's qualification to expound upon these matters.

Posted by scottd at December 20, 2012 01:47 PM
113. @112- that dead horse has been flogged and beaten sufficiently. Small potatoes compared to cutting spending and reforming entitlements. This discussion has become exceedingly boring after reading the strawmen and obfuscations from Rabbit, MBS and red hiney.

Where's Warren ? Why doesn't he defend his post ? His argument was not all that articulate in places and did not go far enough. He covered enough for there to be 3 or 4 separate posts. Over and out.

Posted by KDS at December 20, 2012 02:42 PM
114. @113: I agree, beating a hasty retreat from this particular wingnut talking point is probably the best strategy for you and Dan. It just makes you look stupid.

For instance, a smarter person would recognize that SS is an entitlement -- something you don't seem to realize when you keep saying we should stop talking about SS and move on to entitlements.

Posted by scottd at December 20, 2012 02:57 PM
115. @114 - you are obtuse and flattering yourself if you believe your arguments are of much consequence at all. I concur with some of your points that are supported by facts, but you have a weakness and you aren't the only one. You fail to see the big picture - cutting spending and reforming the tax code and entitlements - topics of real economic consequence and when someone challenges you, you revert to name calling and looking small.

there are some points made by Dan and Rick D. that were good but ;you were too obtuse or maybe too reactionary to take a step back and understanding that they had a different viewpoint and are as correct about it BTW, Wingnuts are both leftwing and rightwing - John Avlon has written a book about it back in 2010 entitled "Wingnuts - (left and right)"

Where's Warren ?

Posted by KDS at December 20, 2012 03:14 PM
116. Roger,

I assume then you consider the President wrong when he said:

President Barack Obama was closer to the mark than some of his Democratic allies when he said that Social Security is "not the huge contributor to the deficit that [Medicare and Medicaid] are."

I take it you disagree with the CBO, the President, and Social Security itself?

The reason the deficit will never be seriously addressed is because hard-core partisans - like yourself - refuse to address reality. When you have even the President admitting Social Security adds to the deficit, stubbornly clinging to your factually wrong claims simply doesn't help.

The deficit is a combination of many things, including Social Security. Add in all the excess spending the Federal Government has added over the last several decades and we're at the $1.2+ trillion deficits we've witnessed over the last 4 years. And it's going to continue with the help of partisans like you and others here.

Posted by Shanghai Dan at December 20, 2012 04:17 PM
117. Here's the projected budget for 2013:

Fiscal Year 2013
GDP: $16,335.0 billion(1)
Amounts in $ billion

Fed Gov. Xfer State Local Total
Pensions 878.5 b 0 190.8 g 43.5 g 1,112.80 g
Health Care 916.1 b -366 g 498.3 g 134 g 1,182.40 g
Education 136.1 b -104.4 g 270.9 g 518.1 g 820.6 g
Defense 901.4 b 0 1.2 g 0 g 902.6 g
Welfare 422.3 b -54.4 g 180 g 98.9 g 646.8 g
Protection 62.8 b 0 91 g 188.9 g 342.7 g
Transportation 114.2 b -60.9 g 111.6 g 144 g 308.9 g
General Government 28.1 b -0.8 g 31.7 g 54.6 g 113.6 g
Other Spending 96.2 b -49.2 g 86.2 g 355.3 g 488.4 g
Interest 247.7 b 0 49.8 g 65 g 362.5 g
Balance 0 b 0 g 0 g 0 g 0 g
Total Spending 3,803.40 b -635.6 g 1,511.30 g 1,602.20 g 6,281.30 g
Federal Deficit 901.4 b 0 0 0 901.4 b
Gross Public Debt 17,547.90 e 0 1,153.50 g 1,848.40 g 20,549.80 g
Legend:
b - estimated by US budget
g - 'guesstimated' projection by usgovernmentspending.com
e - estimated by usgovernmentspending.com
source: usgovernmentspending.com

Posted by red hiney monkey at December 20, 2012 04:22 PM
118. How can that be final if no budget deal has been completed yet ? The deficit had better be less than $900 B, more like $700 B would be adequate.

Posted by KDS at December 20, 2012 05:39 PM
119. Red Hiney,

The federal budget deficit was $292 billion for the first two months of fiscal year 2013, $57 billion more than the shortfall recorded in October and November of last year, CBO estimates in its latest Monthly Budget Review. Revenues rose by $30 billion, or 10 percent, but outlays increased by $87 billion, or 16 percent.

We're running higher deficits year-over-year, and its not lower revenue - it's increased spending.

Considering we had a $1.1 trillion deficit in 2012, and we're off to a higher deficit rate, there's precious little to say we're going to go under $1 trillion. And the fact we're even talking about a sub-$1 trillion deficit being "good" is a serious failure all around. Deficits in general are bad; having them in any measurable amount in light of the $16.2 trillion debt is, IMHO, criminally negligent.

Posted by Shanghai Dan at December 20, 2012 06:18 PM
120. .
un(SP) wingnuts,

Yesterday the man every Republican Congress critter you support voted for to lead and speak for the House of Representatives said:

"Tomorrow, the House will pass legislation to make permanent tax relief for nearly every American--99.81 percent of the American people. Then the president will have a decision to make. He can call on the Senate Democrats to pass that bill, or he can be responsible for the largest tax increase in American history."

And here we are at "tomorrow" and what was the Republican House capable of doing?

The answer, wingnuts, is nothing.

There is no "Plan B" because you are wingnuts.

You and your Republican representatives are proven to be incapable of governing.

Please, in you passion about the "deficit" don't forget that it was a Republican President and a Republican Congress which refused to manage the nation's fiscal position in a time of war, and whose absolutely asinine Randroidian policies led the world to global recession and extraordinary US fiscal deficits.

You people are incompetent know-nothing A-Holes. At this point you are incapable of managing your own stupid f-d up agenda.

Don't believe me, believe your Speaker.

Posted by MikeBoyScout at December 20, 2012 10:11 PM
121. Hey MikeBS,

What's stopped Congress from passing a budget for the last 4 years?

What was the deficit for the last GOP-created budget?

What's driving our current deficits?

Posted by Shanghai Dan at December 20, 2012 10:14 PM
122. Actually, it's the end of the world so whatever stupid bill Boehner came up with doesn't matter. When the Mayan calendar ushers in the Jebus to save us, you left wing heathens will go straight to the nether world. We will stand on the orange bones of the defeated and wield our guns in VICTORY!!1!!!

Posted by Real Conservative at December 20, 2012 10:23 PM
123. Actually, it's the end of the world so whatever stupid bill Boehner came up with doesn't matter. When the Mayan calendar ushers in the Jebus to save us, you left wing heathens will go straight to the nether world. We will stand on the orange bones of the defeated and wield our guns in VICTORY!!1!!!

Posted by Real Conservative at December 20, 2012 10:23 PM
124. Actually, it's the end of the world so whatever stupid bill Boehner came up with doesn't matter. When the Mayan calendar ushers in the Jebus to save us, you left wing heathens will go straight to the nether world. We will stand on the orange bones of the defeated and wield our guns in VICTORY!!1!!!

Posted by Real Conservative at December 20, 2012 10:23 PM
125. Actually, it's the end of the world so whatever stupid bill Boehner came up with doesn't matter. When the Mayan calendar ushers in the Jebus to save us, you left wing heathens will go straight to the nether world. We will stand on the orange bones of the defeated and wield our guns in VICTORY!!1!!!

Posted by Real Conservative at December 20, 2012 10:24 PM
126. Let patty murray and obama push us over the fiscal cliff. Boehner was a bonehead for thinking that bill would solve anything. They really needs to revive Simp;son-Bowles and pass that as a bill then ship over to the Senate and be done with it.

Tomorrow it may not matter, but who knows ? then, nothing may matter. bwahahaha

Posted by KDS at December 20, 2012 10:51 PM
127. "Tomorrow, the House will pass legislation to make permanent tax relief for nearly every American--99.81 percent of the American people. Then the president will have a decision to make. He can call on the Senate Democrats to pass that bill, or he can be responsible for the largest tax increase in American history."
And here we are at "tomorrow" and what was the Republican House capable of doing?

The answer, wingnuts, is nothing."

Mike BS- ;No s**t, Sherlock !! you leftists are wingnuts to ignoring Simpson-Bowles and are no better the Boehner's bonehead plan that thankfully was pulled for lack of votes. Replacing all 435 members of Congress seems like a more attractive option all the time !

Posted by KDS at December 20, 2012 10:57 PM
128. Boehner must be ousted as Speaker of the House. The GOP are being so spineless and negotiating stupidly that they are helping the Dems look good.

Inside word is that Tom Price - R (GA) is the best choice for new speaker. He is someone who can get the GOP message across and be tough negotiator and expose Obama for the ideologue that he is, which Boehner is unable to do !

Liberal extremists - why are you applauding Obama's effort in stonewalling any spending cuts or entitlement reform - you should know that it is better now than later, or do you yearn for Greece ? Even if you do, there is a plurality and probably a majority that don't.

Posted by KDS at December 21, 2012 09:53 AM
129. Shanghai Dan @ 101

"Simply put: you cannot balance the budget on defense alone. Even eliminating the DOD altogether - and the FBI, CIA, and all other police/intelligence functions of the US Federal Government - would leave us with a $400 billion annual deficit.>"

That's correct. If we eliminated the DOD and applied that money to redeeming our bonds, it would take nearly 50 years to pay-off the debt. Social Security, Medicare, and other "people programs" will have to take a hit, too, to pay-off the debt.

We can also look at other creative ways to redeem the debt. For example, the US government owns lots of land, much of which it doesn't need. Why not sell those surplus lands to private buyers? Not only does this raise money to redeem debt, it also puts those properties back on the local property tax roles.

Here's another idea: why not allow certain wealthy people to pay their estate taxes early by offering a 50% reduction in estate taxes for those wealthy folks who opt to pay early. Imagine a 50-year-old, with a $100 million estate opting to pay his estate tax before death so that he can, over his remaining life, re-create the wealth consumed by the estate taxation and pass the full amount on to his chosen heirs.

There are lots of ways we can do this. We just have to get creative as to how we do it. The more ideas out there that help reduce the debt, the better. The hard part is to not slide back into unreasonable debt once we start making progress on paying-off the bonds. THAT'S THE HARD PART!

Posted by Politically Incorrect at December 21, 2012 12:28 PM
130. @129 No, my Social Security savings don't have to take a hit to pay off the GOP's debts. If you feel that strongly they must be paid off, pay them off yourself.

Posted by Roger Rabbit at December 22, 2012 12:02 AM
131. Here's the most unvarnished financial advice I've seen in a long time. http://seekingalpha.com/article/1075141-fiscal-thursday-to-cliff-or-not-to-cliff-that-is-the-question?source=email_macro_view&ifp=0

Posted by Roger Rabbit at December 22, 2012 12:03 AM
132. Roger,

You do know the last President and Congress to pass a budget that did not add to the national debt was GOP-controlled?

And if you plan to receive SS benefits after 2037, then you WILL have a hit to them - per the SSA itself, benefits will have to be cut by a minimum of 25% at that time.

You can be adult and address the issue straightforward without trying to score political points, or you can continue bolting down your rabbit hole...

Posted by Shanghai Dan at December 22, 2012 10:05 AM
133. The problem with reaching the fiscal cliff is that Democrat's aren't intelligent enough to understand we have a spending problem in the first place. It's like dealing with a toddler sometimes with these people. Just refer to the post by the rodent for exhibit A.

Posted by Rick D. at December 22, 2012 10:44 AM
134. The rodent's complaint is not that we have a spending problem with the entire government. He objects to the Republicans spending money on the empire. Spending on social programs is OK, especially if he is getting benefits from one of the social spending programs.

If Social Security would have been designed correctly, it would have been a self-sustaining program, requiring only the FICA taxes to survive. When politicians realized that SS was free money for pork, then the poo-poo hit the fan!

Social Security will eventually fail because the system has never recognized the actuarial changes that have occurred since 1935. Had the program kept up with change, the "normal" retirement age would be something like 78 with "early" retirement available at 74 or 75.

The smart people are those who are doing IRA accounts (either traditional or Roth) because those folks will have CONTROL over their own money (for a change), whereas the SCOTUS has already stated that SS funds are the property of the government, not the plan participants, and the government can stop making those retirement payments any old time it feel like it. That's because Social Security is a TAX, not a savings plan (as that dishonest A-hole FDR said it was).

Gee, the government lied to us yet again! Who didn't see that one coming?

Posted by Politically Incorrect at December 22, 2012 01:14 PM
135. @129 No, my Social Security savings don't have to take a hit to pay off the GOP's debts. If you feel that strongly they must be paid off, pay them off yourself.
Posted by Roger Rabbit at December 22, 2012 12:02 AM

If you were trying to a comedian, that was't funny - on the contrary its a stupid and ignorant - its the Federal Government's debt, not the GOP's or Demoncats. The credit ratings feel strongly that debts much be paid off, as does China and other nations we borrow from.

Complain to your local congress representative if you are concerned about your SS taking a hit instead of insulting our intelligence.

Posted by KDS at December 22, 2012 04:13 PM
136. My bad on the typos -

@129 - If you were trying to a comedian, that was't funny - on the contrary the comment was stupid and ignorant - its the Federal Government's debt, not the GOP's or Demoncats. The credit ratings feel strongly that debts must be paid off, as does China and other nations we borrow from.

Complain to your local congress representative if you are concerned about your SS taking a hit instead of insulting our intelligence. I don't see that happening from you because you are just agitating are really apathetic and a narcissist.

Posted by KDS at December 22, 2012 08:59 PM
137. Verry creative and very enjoyable.

Posted by Matthew Hypolite at December 23, 2012 05:54 AM
138. The comments are interesting! The government is taking SS money to spend not on SS!! Additionally, we are $16 trillions dollars in debt and no one in the government is posting any solutions!!!

Posted by Timman at December 23, 2012 05:54 PM
139. From the UK Telegraph;


"Here in Britain, the Conservatives make much of their determination to cut welfare, as if out-of-work benefits were the heart of the government spending problem. But in fact, in the medium and long term, it is the state benefits that working people think of as a right that present a far more serious dilemma. The reality is that our ever-rising state pension and entirely free health care system are as unsustainable as social security and Medicare in the US. It is not going to be possible for the NHS, paid for by general taxation, to offer world-class modern medical provision - with its never-ending advances and innovations - into the indefinite future.

At some point, we will have to accept that government-funded health care will consist of subsidised core services to be topped up by the patient's own insurance or personal funds, just as dentistry and opticians' services are now. Similarly, pension provision will have to be largely the responsibility of the individual. The greatest contribution that government will be able make to these efforts will be in cutting personal taxes, thus leaving people with more money to pay for provision that they will be free to choose for themselves.

This is not an ideological argument about the moral advantages of a smaller state: it is simple economic necessity. As the man said, there's no money left. And the only ways that anybody can think of for the state to get more of it are either futile (taxing the "rich") or destructive of any possibility of recovery (more borrowing). What began as a banking collapse has turned into a crisis of democratic politics."

That is why entitlement reform and downsizing of central government will be coming now as an option or later as a necessity. It will be a challenge for the low information voters to wrap their brains around this and accept it before reality smacks them up side the head - in a few years when there is no other choice - don't worry that time is coming...

Posted by KDS at December 23, 2012 07:07 PM
Post a comment
Name:


Email Address:


URL:


Comments:


Remember info?