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Author: MisterFungi Three stars, 500 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 56846  
Subject: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/2/2013 9:42 AM
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As do Telegraph and Seattle Pioneer, I rarely miss reading The New Yorker. But somehow I missed this piece by former TMF-er James Surowiecki when it appeared in December. It's about the "Social Security and Medicare are doomed!" meme. Definitely worth reading.

www.newyorker.com/talk/financial/2012/12/24/121224ta_talk_su...

Excerpt: << Projections show that, owing to an aging population and rising health-care costs, the Medicare Trust Fund will become insolvent in 2024 and Social Security in 2033. The image of empty coffers is a powerful one: half of all Americans aged between eighteen and twenty-nine don’t think that Social Security will exist when they retire. That’s a bizarre thing to believe about an important government program. No one ever says, “I don’t think the U.S. Army will be there when I get old” or talks about the Defense Department “going broke.” We assume that there will always be a need for the military, and that we’ll end up paying the taxes that are necessary to fund it. But, because Social Security and Medicare have always been self-supporting, it’s easy to believe that they’ll just vanish if the trust funds dry up. This isn’t the case. >>
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Author: salaryguru Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47629 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/2/2013 12:22 PM
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. . . half of all Americans aged between eighteen and twenty-nine don’t think that Social Security will exist when they retire.

The wealthy, powerful masters of the right's groupthink have been very successful at repeating the meme about "Social Security and Medicare won't be there by the time I retire." They realize that people who are in retirement or closing in on it are never going to favor cutting off their retirement safety net. They have to convince young people, who don't generally have a clue about retirement needs and can't concieve of ever needing financial or medical help, to accept that these programs have nothing to do with their lives.

I used to give presentations on "Engineering Your Retirement" and was invited a few times to present to groups of young engineers at the beginning of their careers. I was surprised how many of them were comfortable repeating that they believed that Social Security and Medicare would not be around when they retired. My guess is that it was more like 75% of the audience than 50% cited in this article. But when I questioned them about why they believed that, they really had almost no knowledge about the programs or government spending or long-term economic issues.

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Author: MisterFungi Three stars, 500 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47630 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/2/2013 1:21 PM
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My guess is that it was more like 75% of the audience than 50% cited in this article.

Well, you gotta cut 'em some slack, what with them being, you know, engineers.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47632 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/2/2013 2:47 PM
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<<As do Telegraph and Seattle Pioneer, I rarely miss reading The New Yorker.>>



Heh, heh!



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47633 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/2/2013 2:54 PM
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The smart move for young people would be to insist that their payroll taxes no longer fund SS and Medicare, but go into a new system that actually accumulates reserves for them, preferably in their name.

The current Social Security system is a shell game created by politicians that pays benefits almost entirely out of taxes paid by current workers.

That gave retirees a huge incentive to deman benefits 'way in excess of anything they paid into the system, since benefits paid were only casually related to taxes paid.

Politicians acdcomodated that by jackin g up benefits, and then jacking up taxes paid by current workers.

It's a racket and a Ponzi scheme that should be terminated.

Pay current benefits to those "promised" benefits, but don't use current taxes paid by workers to fund the system. When it fails, it fails.

My personaly priority is to protect current workers and young people in particular from going through additional generations as victims of this shell game.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47635 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/2/2013 3:17 PM
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Seattle Pioneer analyzes,

Pay current benefits to those "promised" benefits, but don't use current taxes paid by workers to fund the system. When it fails, it fails.

My personaly priority is to protect current workers and young people in particular from going through additional generations as victims of this shell game.


Hard to see how current workers are being victimized when most will get Social Security benefits well in excess of what a GOP-approved, Wall Street managed insurance company would sell them in an annuity for the same price.

http://retireearlyhomepage.com/betterdeal.html

You ask most people today, "Who do you trust, Social Security or Wall Street? Only a math-challenged Tea-Bagger is going to choose 'Wall Street'.

intercst

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47636 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/2/2013 3:48 PM
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It's a racket and a Ponzi scheme that should be terminated.<?i>

When people compare SS to a Ponzi schemes, they are actually saying one of two things;

1) I have no idea what a Ponzi scheme is, or

2) I have no idea how SS works.

Which really boils down to them announcing they have no idea what they are talking about.


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Author: AngelMay Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47637 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/2/2013 3:49 PM
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Which really boils down to them announcing they have no idea what they are talking about.

------


Exactly.
So why listen to anything they have to say?

AM

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47638 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/2/2013 4:24 PM
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The wealthy, powerful masters of the right's groupthink have been very successful at repeating the meme about "Social Security and Medicare won't be there by the time I retire." They realize that people who are in retirement or closing in on it are never going to favor cutting off their retirement safety net. They have to convince young people, who don't generally have a clue about retirement needs and can't concieve of ever needing financial or medical help, to accept that these programs have nothing to do with their lives.

And it is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, flim-flam jobs of all time. Early in his first term, Ronald Reagan cut income taxes mostly for the wealthy and raised payroll taxes which mostly effects lower income earners. This policy had two interesting effects. One is that it obviously shifted the tax burden towards lower income earners. And secondly, payroll taxes generated a giant surplus for 30 years. This surplus of course was spent in the general budget. In other words, the SS surplus helped fund those income tax cuts for the wealthy.

So now we're getting to where the surplus is dwindling. The meme is that since SS taxes aren't subsidizing income taxes much anymore, there needs to be a change in the way the system works. And that change is a cut in SS benefits in order to maintain low income tax rates for the wealthy.

Like I say, it is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, flim-flam jobs of all time. It all happened in plain sight too.

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47640 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/2/2013 6:43 PM
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intrecst:"Hard to see how current workers are being victimized when most will get Social Security benefits well in excess of what a GOP-approved, Wall Street managed insurance company would sell them in an annuity for the same price."

I doubt whether most workers will get half the SS they've been promised


With only 2 workers per retiree, they'll revolt before long if they have to fork up $10,000-15,000 each to fund the cruises of the baby boomers who together (married) might bring in 50K a year, while they are working their butts off to get $40,000 a year, and having to pay 50% of it in taxes for the SS and Medicare of the 'retirees'.

that won't work for long.

The demographics will collapse the current system and it will be highly means tested.

Which means most engineers won't ever see a dime because they will save some of them for their own retirement.



t.

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47644 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/3/2013 12:16 AM
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2) I have no idea how SS works.

Which really boils down to them announcing they have no idea what they are talking about.



I vote #3-- they're lying

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Author: AdvocatusDiaboli Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47645 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/3/2013 10:54 AM
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Interesting page, intercst.

One thing I have to criticize, though:

If you got a 10% annualized return over the last 35 years on that $229,626 in taxes, you'd have more than $1.2 million.

You wouldn't HAVE $229,626 to invest for 35 years, because you accumulate those payments over the course of your career, in most cases with the significant majority of those payments being made in the latter half of your career. Best case scenario, you're looking at an effective investment period for the total amount of maybe 15 years.
Thus, even if you manage to achieve 10%, you'd end up with around 600,000 or so.

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Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47654 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/3/2013 3:50 PM
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AdvocatusDiaboli writes,

Interesting page, intercst.

One thing I have to criticize, though:

If you got a 10% annualized return over the last 35 years on that $229,626 in taxes, you'd have more than $1.2 million.

You wouldn't HAVE $229,626 to invest for 35 years, because you accumulate those payments over the course of your career, in most cases with the significant majority of those payments being made in the latter half of your career. Best case scenario, you're looking at an effective investment period for the total amount of maybe 15 years.
Thus, even if you manage to achieve 10%, you'd end up with around 600,000 or so.

</snip>


Thanks for catching that.

I actually did prepare a spreadsheet which gave a total of $609,471 after 30 years, but I then doubled that to get $1.2 million to account for the employer contribution which is already included in the $229,626 FICA taxes paid. With that correction, it turns out that Social Security is a phenomenal investment for all but an elite few high-income earners who get extraordinary investment returns on their savings.

Check out the revised last paragraph of the article. I've included a link to the spreadsheet.

http://retireearlyhomepage.com/betterdeal.html

intercst

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47655 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/3/2013 4:05 PM
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<<My personaly priority is to protect current workers and young people in particular from going through additional generations as victims of this shell game.

Hard to see how current workers are being victimized when most will get Social Security benefits well in excess of what a GOP-approved, Wall Street managed insurance company would sell them in an annuity for the same price.

>>


Since Social Security has NEGLIGIBLE real reserves and would shortly be BANKRUPT should current tax money not go to pay current benefits, your claims are absurd.


As you well know, Social Security beneficiaries havew zero legal claim, on any benefit should the Congress choose to change benefits or eliminate them, as they have done many times.

And if Gen X, Y and Z combined to change tax law to quit paying taxes into this bankrupt system, it would quickly collapse.

Social Seurity is a confidence game for suckers and a Ponzi scheme depending on new generations of suckers to keep paying taxes to avoid default.


And yes, insurance companies pay out less in benefits because they have ACTUAL INVESTMENTS AND RESERVES to pay benefits, rather than operating as Ponzi schemes.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47656 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/3/2013 4:07 PM
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<<Which really boils down to them announcing they have no idea what they are talking about.

------


Exactly.
So why listen to anything they have to say?

AM
>>


Translation:


Stick your head in the sand. Teddy Kennedy promised me MY benefits, and surely HE wouldn't lie.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47657 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/3/2013 4:13 PM
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<<And it is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, flim-flam jobs of all time. Early in his first term, Ronald Reagan cut income taxes mostly for the wealthy and raised payroll taxes which mostly effects lower income earners. This policy had two interesting effects. One is that it obviously shifted the tax burden towards lower income earners. And secondly, payroll taxes generated a giant surplus for 30 years. This surplus of course was spent in the general budget. In other words, the SS surplus helped fund those income tax cuts for the wealthy.

So now we're getting to where the surplus is dwindling. The meme is that since SS taxes aren't subsidizing income taxes much anymore, there needs to be a change in the way the system works. And that change is a cut in SS benefits in order to maintain low income tax rates for the wealthy.

Like I say, it is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, flim-flam jobs of all time. It all happened in plain sight too.
>>


The Reagan Social Security tax increases WERE a great con job.

Their purpose was to fund the benefits promised to the WWII generation and that worked like a charm.

What failed, as you acknowledge, was that it didn't fund benefits for the boomer generation as was claimed.

So that leaves the issue of who will fund benefits for the baby boom generation? Will taxes be INCREASED, will deficits soar, or will benefits be cut? (or some combination).


My personal bias is to CUT BENEFITS and to end this dishonest intergenerational Ponzi scheme.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47659 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/3/2013 4:34 PM
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SeattlePioneer analyzes,

The Reagan Social Security tax increases WERE a great con job.

Their purpose was to fund the benefits promised to the WWII generation and that worked like a charm.

What failed, as you acknowledge, was that it didn't fund benefits for the boomer generation as was claimed.

So that leaves the issue of who will fund benefits for the baby boom generation? Will taxes be INCREASED, will deficits soar, or will benefits be cut? (or some combination).

</SNIP>


When George W. Bush was selected President by the Republican Supreme Court in 2000 he was left with a budget surplus by Bill Clinton {who's most grievous sin in office was getting a Hummer from a chubby intern.)

Bush's major policy initiatives were $4 Trillion in tax cuts which largely benefited the rich, and $3 Trillion spent on expensive and embarrassing misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, all funded by borrowing from China.

If we still had that $7 trillion (plus interest), Social Security and Medicare would be in a lot better shape. The last election showed that a majority of Americans reject the Republican Chickenhawk and GOP Tea-Bagger agenda.

intercst

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47660 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/3/2013 4:57 PM
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intrecst:"Bush's major policy initiatives were $4 Trillion in tax cuts "


So Obama kept all those tax cuts, other than a few for the 'rich'....and he quickly blew through all the money in just the first month of his new term by blowing 60 billion on porkulus for Sandy..... likely as much as will be raised by the new 'tax on the rich'.

And Obama blew threw 6 trillion in deficit spending in just 4 years. He'll way outspend President Bush..who had the 9-11 disaster occur right after he took office.

If the tax cuts were so bad.....why did Obama keep nearly all of them? hmmm.... cricket's chirping...

WOrse, Obama gave a 33% cut in SS contributions..just when the system is staggering under 11 million new folks on SS...and what, 7 million new folks on SS disability!...... for 2 years..more porkulus that was unfunded.....

Now, Obama started wars in Libya (a disaster) , is giving billions in aid to the muslim extremists in Egypt (F-16 fighter planes and more).....will get us into wars in Timbuktu (Mali) and who knows what other AFrican countries.

Obama is nothing but song and dance ......while destroying the US one step at a time.

Still 8% unemployment after 4 years in office. wow....What was it under Bush? oh, right, 5%.......

Record low participation in the work force. Some recovery Baracki.

Can't pass a budget.... yep, incompetent.....



t.

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47661 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/3/2013 5:02 PM
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Since Social Security has NEGLIGIBLE real reserves and would shortly be BANKRUPT should current tax money not go to pay current benefits, your claims are absurd.

Yep, and not only that, the county jail has NEGLIGIBLE real reserves and would shortly be BANKRUPT should current tax money not go to pay current services.

It gets worse, the courts, city and national parks, public schools, the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, the FBI, and the dog catcher have NEGLIGIBLE real reserves and would shortly be BANKRUPT should current tax money not go to pay current services.

It is almost like...the government pays its bills out of current revenues plus borrowing. Who knew?

There is a name for people who point out that SS has NEGLIGIBLE real reserves and will shortly go BANKRUPT but don't point out that those statements are also true for virtually all levels of government. They are called flim-flam artists who are trying to the screw the working class out of promised benefits they have been paying for their entire working careers.

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47663 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/3/2013 5:32 PM
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Bush's major policy initiatives were $4 Trillion in tax cuts which largely benefited the rich, and $3 Trillion spent on expensive and embarrassing misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, all funded by borrowing from China.

If we still had that $7 trillion (plus interest), Social Security and Medicare would be in a lot better shape. The last election showed that a majority of Americans reject the Republican Chickenhawk and GOP Tea-Bagger agenda.


It is even worse than that. In addition to the sunk costs, At the beginning of 2000 the budget surplus was sufficiently large that by 2009 the federal debt would have been virtually wiped out and the cost of debt service would be almost zero:

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/ftpdocs/10xx...

The cost of debt service is something like $500 billion a year and will only increase. If we didn't have to pay that interest then the nation's financial problems basically go away.

We'll never know what would have happened, but it is clear that Bush and the rest of the flim-flam artists squandered the opportunity of generation in exchange for a coke fueled orgy of new spending and tax cuts for the wealthy.

The crazy part they can't be content with simply screwing over the country. They want the pain for their disgusting behavior to come out of the hides of working people. The really crazy part is that some working people seem fine with this.

One of the greatest, if not the greatest, flim-flam jobs in history. You know you are dealing with real pros when the mark doesn't realize he's been had.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47664 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/3/2013 5:45 PM
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<<If we still had that $7 trillion (plus interest), Social Security and Medicare would be in a lot better shape. The last election showed that a majority of Americans reject the Republican Chickenhawk and GOP Tea-Bagger agenda.

intercst
>>



If pigs had wings they would fly, intercst.

We would be having the same discussion about Social Security that we are having now, and for the same reasons. The Pay As You Go system is failing, again, and the issue is what we will do about it.

The Pay As You Go system fails repeatedly, every few decades. Congress does something about it (usually raising taxes) and that creates a surplus which then is exhausted by benefit increases.

The Reagan episode both increased taxes AND cut benefits ( by raising the normal retirement age to 67, and making hald of SS benefits subject to income tax).

The issue before us is what we will do NOW to deal with the current problem.


Seattle Pioneer

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Author: ravvt Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47665 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/3/2013 5:49 PM
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intercst whines: Bush's major policy initiatives were $4 Trillion in tax cuts which largely benefited the rich, and $3 Trillion spent on expensive and embarrassing misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, all funded by borrowing from China.

… once again, intercst’s Bush Derangement Syndrome comes into play as he attempts to show a problem /w the Bush tax cuts. He forgets that those tax cuts were so onerous that Urkel chose to extend them completely for 2 additional years because his Porkulus spending bill was running out of gas. The cost of that 2yr extension, which was completely funded by the Chinese and Federal Reserve money printing, added $544 Billion to the national debt.

Bush was a profligate spender …. especially in the period from 2006 – 2008 when the Democrats were in control of Congress … but Bush’s spending pales in comparison to Urkel’s.

Let’s not forget that Urkel has had 4 successive Trillion dollar deficits (so far … more to come) for an economy that came out of recession in June 2009. One or two years of that deficit spending can be blamed on the financial crisis but all of the rest of that excess spending has been a matter of choice by Urkel and the Democrats in Congress …

those choices include: extending the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan for 4 additional years, restarting and extending all of the welfare programs that Clinton had eliminated, and adding innumerable liberal hobby horse spending projects (including tax breaks for Urkel’s favorite campaign donors – the Wall Street banks, wind energy companies, retail & restaurant developers, Hollywood, coal miners, …) and finally an additional $3.4Trillion will be added to the debt because Urkel insisted on extending the Bush tax cuts to the bottom 98% of the income distribution …

So before you blame Bush for the miserable state of the economy, you might want to look carefully at the policies put in place by the Urkel & the Democrats over the past 4 yrs…

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47666 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/3/2013 5:55 PM
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<<There is a name for people who point out that SS has NEGLIGIBLE real reserves and will shortly go BANKRUPT but don't point out that those statements are also true for virtually all levels of government. They are called flim-flam artists who are trying to the screw the working class out of promised benefits they have been paying for their entire working careers.
>>



Most government budgets are adopted year to year. They are funded or not, increased or cut.

Social Security is not like that, and comparing it to other government programs that are is flim flammery.

Suppose a Congress decided to free Gen X, Y and Z from payroll taxes, and allowed Social Security to pay off all promised benefits out of the assets of the system. Obviously, without new tax revenues, money for benefits would run out after a few months or years.

That's a dishonest system, in my opinion. Insurance executives would go to jail were they to try such a thing.

But at least you acknowledge that Social Security is virtually unfunded except for current tax revenue (a Pay as You Go system).

Intecst compared Social Security to an insurance plan which IS fully funded. Such programs are supposed to be able to pay off all their current obligations out of current reserves.

That is the system Social Security ought to be. But of course politicians can't help spending any reserves, so it's always bound to be on the edge of financial collapse.


Seattle Pioneer

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Author: salaryguru Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47667 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/3/2013 6:06 PM
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The issue before us is what we will do NOW to deal with the current problem.

Elect Democrats so we can adjust the income/benefit streams in a rational way. At least that's what those of us who are not math challenged hope. The alternative is that we could elect moron teabaggers to office and turn the nation over to the wealthy elite who will march us back to the era of oligarchy, worker exploitation and child labor.

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Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/3/2013 6:29 PM
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Unemployed people do not contribute to SS.
People on SS disability do not contribute to SS.
Over 5 million people added to the SS disability roles over the last 4 years, significantly more than any equivalent period in the history of this Republic.
Where would the unemployment rate be if those 5 million were not hidden in the SS disability rolls?

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Author: icono5 Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47671 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/3/2013 8:41 PM
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As I read through this thread, I keep remembering Obama's biblical echo: "I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper." What seems to most infuriate conservatives is the idea that we might just owe something--and I'm talking a broader moral, not strictly financial obligation--to anyone outside our immediate clans. That our futures are inextricably interwoven with those of others, and that leaving people to fend _entirely_ for themselves results in a less just, less democratic, and consequently less free society.

Despite the strident protests of some on this board, it's possible to promote both private initiative and public good. Worldwide, a number of advanced, social-democratic nations do this quite successfully. But given the extraordinary degree of wealth disparity in the U.S., there are entrenched interests that go Chicken Little at every modest attempt to provide a minimum social safety net.

I am more than happy to see my FICA taxes go to help current and future retirees. Some day, we will learn to make the modest adjustments--e.g., raising the contribution cap for taxes--that will quickly and easily restore longer-term program solvency. To reach that point, we need to move past our jaded "Citizens United" climate, in which corporate monoliths overwhelm the interests of individual citizens, most of whom understand the cultural value of basic common protections.

A good evening to all!

Steve

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47672 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/3/2013 9:57 PM
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skye:"It is almost like...the government pays its bills out of current revenues plus borrowing. Who knew? "

Surely not Jimmy Carter who told us about the SS lockbox.

Surely not Reagan who did the same


Even more so Billy Clinton who kept telling us along with all his dem friends about the SS lockbox.

Same for Bwarney Franks...and all the other Congressional dems.

Our money is safely locked away in the SS lockbox.

Even more telling is a lockbox full of IOUs the government spent.


You guys and gals are jokes.

You dems have blabbed 'social security lockbox' for so long you don't realize it.

Now, you tell us the gov't pays SS out of 'current revenue'.

What a joke. You can't have it both ways.

And 2 workers can't afford to pay for $25K per retiree in SS benefits, either.

That's where we are at and it might even get worse.

It's a shame libs can't do math.


t.

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47673 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/3/2013 10:13 PM
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Steve:"As I read through this thread, I keep remembering Obama's biblical echo: "I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper." "


Surely you joke! Obama has a half brother in Kenya who needed $100 to go to college. Did Obama help him out? Nope...his half brother is living on like $1.50/week in a slum in Narobi, Obama's 'home' country and he one with "Dreams of his Father'.

Obama's idea is spending OTHER people's money on 'his brothers and sisters' not his own money.

His 'Uncle' in Boston is about to be deported again. He's a bum and has no legal means of support....did Obama give him a dime or help him out? Nope.

Same for Auntie- a border runner, been here illegally for 30 years, living on welfare....did Obama give her any 'support'? Hell, no. He only advocated that OTHERS support her with government housing and handouts!

OBmaa talks a lot, but delivers nothing when it comes to HIS money. Before he ran for office, he didn't even give to charity.

---------



Steve:"What seems to most infuriate conservatives is the idea that we might just owe something--and I'm talking a broader moral, not strictly financial obligation--to anyone outside our immediate clans."

Yes, we educate them, through high school and often with help for college. We provide them infrastructure.

But your 'welfare' society now has 30-40 million leeches, knowing only how to get 'benefits' from the government and a lack of responsibility for themselves and their lives.

Sorry..... we don't 'owe' much of anything to anyone.

People don't have a right to demand to dip into your wallet for any reason at any time, other than 'you have more than they have and they want it'.

--------

Steve:"That our futures are inextricably interwoven with those of others, and that leaving people to fend _entirely_ for themselves results in a less just, less democratic, and consequently less free society."

Hey, it's life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness., not a guaranteed nice income, a house and 20 acres, and apple trees in the back yard and a 20 hour a week job supervising others when you feel like it.

--------



steve:". But given the extraordinary degree of wealth disparity in the U.S., there are entrenched interests that go Chicken Little at every modest attempt to provide a minimum social safety net."


Minimum , yes. 47% of the population not paying taxes - NO

Tens of millions sucking up benefits? Generations of welfare weenies and queenies who make more on benefits than actually can make working? Yes.....

SOrry...the welfare state has gone way way way too far.

-------



Steve:"I am more than happy to see my FICA taxes go to help current and future retirees."

Your money is squandered the moment the government gets it. Turtle tunnels, bridges to nowhere, flower and butterfly museums, airports for Senators with 2 flights a day, Solyndras and 30 other failed greenie companies.

It pays not a dime to 'future retirees'. It is wasted instantly.

-------



Steve:" Some day, we will learn to make the modest adjustments--e.g., raising the contribution cap for taxes--that will quickly and easily restore longer-term program solvency. "

More like raise it 25% on everyone.

--------



Steve:"To reach that point, we need to move past our jaded "Citizens United" climate, in which corporate monoliths overwhelm the interests of individual citizens, most of whom understand the cultural value of basic common protections."

Is that why Obama started up a for profit lobbying corporation himself? To raise hundreds of millions for dem lobbying and action?

----------


t

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47674 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/4/2013 1:25 AM
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I used to give presentations on "Engineering Your Retirement" and was invited a few times to present to groups of young engineers at the beginning of their careers. I was surprised how many of them were comfortable repeating that they believed that Social Security and Medicare would not be around when they retired.


when i was that age, i didn't think *i* would be around to retire.....

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47675 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/4/2013 2:10 AM
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Bush was a profligate spender …. especially in the period from 2006 – 2008 when the Democrats were in control of Congress … but Bush’s spending pales in comparison to Urkel’s.

That is an interesting* lie targeted towards low information voters.

Federal spending during the Obama administration has been very constrained in historical terms, especially compared to presidents named Bush or Reagan:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2012/05/24/who-is-the-...




*I say "interesting" because if I were going to lie about something I would try to make it plausible. The teabaggers do the opposite. They find the most easily disprovable, absurd idea and then hoist that as their banner. I find it interesting they try to advance obvious, easily disprovable lies. It wouldn't occur to me to try that tactic.

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47676 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/4/2013 10:44 AM
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phony numbers.

Obama spent a trillion in borrowed money on porkulus..


then counted that trillion as a new 'baseline spending' figure.

duh!


He spent a trillion extra....then the next year, when he only increased it another 5%.......which was another 1 trillion 50 billion more than the baseline two year before...

you only count it as a 5% increase?

GImme a break. He just ramped up his 'baseline' by that trillion in porkulus.....and never bothered to tell anyone that he is really spending 40% more than 2 years before..and each year. that trillion porkulus is 'the new baseline....' a one shot deal now uppped that baseline by a trillion.

Obama is spending us into the poorhouse.

He's borrowed more in 4 years that Bush did in 8 years.

He's borrowed more in the last 4 years that all the first 30 Presidents....



Wow...liberals play loose with the figures.

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Author: salaryguru Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47677 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/4/2013 12:07 PM
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when i was that age, i didn't think *i* would be around to retire.....

I don't know how many don't think they will be around to retire, but it seems like a lot of them are not thinking of retirement at all. Neither did I at that point in my career. When I was a young engineer, I actually loved working and thought I would want to work forever.

The thing that saved my retirement from a lack of early planning is the same thing that saves a lot of other engineer's retirement. We tend to be frugal while making more money than we could spend. So at least some investments are piling up.

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Author: salaryguru Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47678 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/4/2013 12:32 PM
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*I say "interesting" because if I were going to lie about something I would try to make it plausible. The teabaggers do the opposite. They find the most easily disprovable, absurd idea and then hoist that as their banner. I find it interesting they try to advance obvious, easily disprovable lies. It wouldn't occur to me to try that tactic.

I think I understand how the math challenged teabaggers end up posting these outrageous lies. They all watch the same liars on FuxNews and listen to the same liars on the radio talk shows and read the same lying bloggers. The echo chamber picks up the lies they want to believe and repeats them, embellishes them, and amplifies them. It doesn't take long before the ill-informed, angry, fearful teabagger posts that nonsense on these boards.

The part I find really interesting, though, is their complete inability or refusal to learn. Some of the most prolific wingnut posters on PA and this board have their lies outed every single day. They post this nonsense, get some of their wingnut friends to create a little posting circle jerk for a handful or a dozen posts, then someone who isn't math or truth challenged posts actual data or an in-depth investigative report that completely de-bunks their delusional posts. The wingnuts get exposed as complete charlatans and ignorant, math challenged fools. But tomorrow, they do it all over again. In some cases, they re-cycle their de-bunked lies only a few days after they've been exposed to be false.

Not only do I find it interesting that they seem unable or unwilling to learn, but I find it interesting that they seem to find enjoyment in being exposed to be fools on a daily basis. Why don't they feel embarrassed?

Interesting.

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Author: VUCommodore Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47680 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/4/2013 1:18 PM
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If we still had that $7 trillion (plus interest), Social Security and Medicare would be in a lot better shape.

Although I mostly agree with you, my problem is that the government still pretends that Social Security and Medicare are somehow seperate from the rest of the government's income, expenses and balance sheet. Its easy to see how the public doesn't connect the Bush Tax Cuts to SS/Medicare, when we put on this charade that payroll taxes and entitlement programs are a closed system. If the payroll tax was lumped in with all the rest of our taxes on income, and SS/Medicare funded out of general government revenues, that may go a long way towards helping people understand how foreign wars and tax code changes impact the safety of their government pensions and health care.

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Author: JoshRandall Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47681 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/4/2013 1:19 PM
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You libs will pay my social security whether the fund becomes bankrupt or not, you will pay my social security whether or you like it or not.

Baby boomer who doesn't need social security but will demand it from libtards who think it will never go broke.


Just pay me and STFU!! I plan on living longer than Moses.



Rich and greedy baby boomer who got rich the hard way without government help.

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Author: ravvt Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47682 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/4/2013 1:39 PM
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Federal spending during the Obama administration has been very constrained in historical terms, especially compared to presidents named Bush or Reagan

... some people will fall for anything as long as it agrees /w their preconceived notions.

Since you believe that Obama's budgets are "very constrained", maybe you can explain why there has been more than a doubling of the deficits under the Obama regime (8yr projection from the Obama budget) than under Bush or Reagan? ...

... and why do you think the bond market will continue to buy US Treasuries in light of the reckless spending projected in Obama's budget?

... or do you want Helicopter Ben to continue monetizing the debt & debasing the currency via his QE4EVER program?



From Obama's budget document:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget


Deficit Def % of GDP Taxes Taxes % of GDP
Reagan (8yr average) $165B 3.9% $0.75T 17.8%

Bush I (4yr Average) $259B 4.2% $1.08T 17.4%

Bush II (8yr Average) $379B 3.0% $2.14T 17.2%

Obama (Proj 8yr Average) $1.04T 6.6% $3.01T 19.2%


Note: GDP growth numbers for 2013 -2017 period reduced from the Obama projected growth rate of 4 - 6% to 2.5 - 4%. If you think the BO's policies will achieve a 6% growth rate I'd be willing to place a very large wager against that suggestion...

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47683 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/4/2013 1:41 PM
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I fixed SG's post


"I think I understand how the math challenged liberals end up posting these outrageous lies. They all watch the same liars on MS-LSD and listen to the same liars on TV shows like the Mad-Cow and read the same lying bloggers like Huffpo. The echo chamber picks up the lies they want to believe and repeats them, embellishes them, and amplifies them. It doesn't take long before the ill-informed, angry, fearful basement dwelling liberals post that nonsense on these boards."

Most liberals really think there is a money fairy that will provide for all.


Gotcha


t.

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Author: goofnoff Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47684 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/4/2013 3:23 PM
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The reserves aren't dwindling. There is about 2.3 trillion owed by the government to Soc Sec.

The issue is the rich guys, who benefitted wildly from using the SS trust fund to finance obscene military spending, do not want to pay up the 2.3 trillion. The military industrila establishment ate the SS trust fund.

Reagan was a pig.

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47685 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/4/2013 3:30 PM
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Since you believe that Obama's budgets are "very constrained", maybe you can explain why there has been more than a doubling of the deficits under the Obama regime (8yr projection from the Obama budget) than under Bush or Reagan? ...

I didn't say "budget" has been very constrained. I said "federal spending" has been very constrained. Those are different words that have different meanings.

This is a common point of confusion I see all the time from conservative posters. They thing because deficits have increased therefore spending must have increased as well. However, that notion is false. The growth rate of federal spending is the smallest it has been in decades, and much smaller than under big spenders like Ronald Reagan.

I've been making this point about Reagan and spending for about 15 years now on the boards, and people are either shocked or just won't believe it. Why believe facts when a myth will do?

... and why do you think the bond market will continue to buy US Treasuries in light of the reckless spending projected in Obama's budget?

Again, you seem confused about the difference between spending and borrowing. I assure you, those are quite different things. The bond market cares not a wit about spending. The bond market cares about getting paid back. That's all they care about and America is the best nation on earth when it comes to getting your money back. After the Revolution, the country was broke and deeply in debt in the form various bonds issued by both the states and the Continental Congress. These bonds had mostly been bought up by speculators. Some argued that it would easiest to ignore the old bonds and start fresh with the new government. Since the governments who issued those bonds didn't really exist anymore and it would mostly benefit a few speculators, defaulting looked like an easy way out.

However, Alexander Hamilton who argued successfully that as a nation, we should honor our words regardless if it was difficult or expensive. The result was the USA has never defaulted on a debt and that is primary reason why the dollar is the world's reserve currency.

The fact the dollar is the world's reserve currency brings us many economic advantages, one of them is that people from other countries are willing to loan us money at interest rates below the rate of inflation. That is a screaming deal from our perspective, and we get that deal only because as a nation we always honor our debts.

As an aside, is the bond market acting like it is concerned about Obama's "reckless spending" as you put it? We borrowing money at below the rate of inflation. Spain and Greece do not get anything close to that deal. Do you know something about economics that the bond market doesn't? Swami says no.

To address your question, there are only two reasons US bonds might not get paid back

1) The cost of debt service becomes so large we don't have money to pay. That theoretically could happen, but right now the cost of debt service--while large in terms of dollars--isn't particularly large in historical terms. For example, the cost of debt service was proportionately much higher when Reagan was president. We paid our debts just fine back then so there is no reason to think we can't do it now or in the future. Take at look at the very same document you linked to. As a percentage, from now until 2022 debt service never even reaches Ronald Reagan levels.

2) Math challenged, teabagging idiots in Congress decide not to allow the Treasury to borrow money for spending math challenged, teabagging idiots in Congress already authorized. In other words, they want to violate the promise our Founding Fathers made at the beginning of this nation.

The fact that the teabaggers are math challenged doesn't bother me. It is more amusing than anything. But their complete and even joyous ignorance of the foundations the nation was built on and their attempts to destroy the institutions that made this nation great--all the while wrapping themselves up in the flag--truly amazes me. The Tea Party is just rationalizations for ignorance and selfishness taken to an extreme.

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Author: goofnoff Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47686 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/4/2013 4:09 PM
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You should complete the Hamilton story. To pay off the bonds hamilton created a levy on whiskey production. HE only levied the small producers. For example, Washington, the biggest whiskey producer by far, paid nothing. This led to the whiskey rebellion. The rebels lost.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47687 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/4/2013 4:10 PM
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<<The issue before us is what we will do NOW to deal with the current problem.

Elect Democrats so we can adjust the income/benefit streams in a rational way. At least that's what those of us who are not math challenged hope. The alternative is that we could elect moron teabaggers to office and turn the nation over to the wealthy elite who will march us back to the era of oligarchy, worker exploitation and child labor.
>>



Thank you for making a convincing case as to why people should vote Republican.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: MisterFungi Three stars, 500 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47688 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/4/2013 4:57 PM
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Just pay me and STFU!! I plan on living longer than Moses.

With that attitude? Doubtful, amigo.

FYI: "As played by McQueen, Josh Randall was the most laconic of a broad television landscape of would-be laconic western series heroes."

Try workin' some more on that "laconic" part, okay?

Love and kisses,
Fungi

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Author: salaryguru Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47689 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/4/2013 5:32 PM
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sg: The alternative is that we could elect moron teabaggers to office and turn the nation over to the wealthy elite who will march us back to the era of oligarchy, worker exploitation and child labor.

SP: Thank you for making a convincing case as to why people should vote Republican.
------------------------------

I guess this is a refreshing post. It's the first time I've heard a Republican freely admit that they favor oligarchy, worker exploitation and child labor. That is, of course, obvious to the well-informed, but Republicans usually deny this so they don't upset their ill-informed base.

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47690 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/4/2013 5:33 PM
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I guess this is a refreshing post. It's the first time I've heard a Republican freely admit that they favor oligarchy, worker exploitation and child labor. That is, of course, obvious to the well-informed, but Republicans usually deny this so they don't upset their ill-informed base.

I gave him a rec.

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Author: icono5 Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47692 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/4/2013 5:43 PM
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Josh: Have you heard that anger issues put a real crimp on longevity? Hey . . . there's this strange rumor circulating that "God is love" shows up repeatedly in the Christian bible. Can you confirm? Do you skip over all of those references--mere inconvenient blips on your path to Wrath and Vengeance? (capitalizations intended)
---------------------------------------------

"You libs will pay my social security whether the fund becomes bankrupt or not, you will pay my social security whether or you like it or not.

Baby boomer who doesn't need social security but will demand it from libtards who think it will never go broke.


Just pay me and STFU!! I plan on living longer than Moses.


Rich and greedy baby boomer who got rich the hard way without government help."

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Author: crassfool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47693 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/4/2013 6:43 PM
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ravvt says

So before you blame Bush for the miserable state of the economy, you might want to look carefully at the policies put in place by the Urkel & the Democrats over the past 4 yrs…

"Urkle"??? Are you 15 years old or something?

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Author: ravvt Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47694 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/4/2013 7:25 PM
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"Urkle"??? Are you 15 years old or something?

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Author: ravvt Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47695 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/4/2013 7:33 PM
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"Urkle"??? Are you 15 years old or something?

…. You seem to ignore all of the pejoratives that routinely grace these pages that your liberal ilk apply to any Republican president. I thought it would be appropriate to provide the liberal community with some counterpoint.

… and the mere use of a descriptive term for Obamessiah gets your panties in a bunch …

… my work is done!

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47696 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/4/2013 8:01 PM
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skye:"To address your question, there are only two reasons US bonds might not get paid back

1) The cost of debt service becomes so large we don't have money to pay. "

---

If we look at what interest rates have been...I recall 15% 30 year treasury bonds.

If we look at 16 trillion now, and soon to be 20 trillion...and figure out that at 15% interest rates....it would take more money that the entire tax system brings in.....

you obviously have a problem

At historical rates of 5%.....on 20 trillion...that would make just the interest alone...more than any other program. It would either require taxes be raised across the board by 25%......

or a gigantic cut of 50% in Medicare and SS programs, right? And still that wouldn't be enough because you would have to cut just about every other thing 50% as well.

We only take in 2.7 trillion in taxes.

If you can't afford a trillion in interest, no one is going to loan you any money at any interest rate you can afford! That's at a measly 5% interest rate!

---------






skye:"That theoretically could happen, but right now the cost of debt service--while large in terms of dollars--isn't particularly large in historical terms. "


Zero is a nice number, but it isn't going to stay at zero for long. At some point, it will rise to 3-4-5%.

Meanwhile, the value of the dollar has dropped 30% under Obama. the result of zero interest rates. Intentionally devalued dollar. Your money is 'worth less'.

-------



skye:"For example, the cost of debt service was proportionately much higher when Reagan was president."

Yeah....years of CArter and his failed policies left us with 13-15% interest rates!

Of course, with that high interest rates....you got to pay a lot of interest!..

--------



skye:"We paid our debts just fine back then so there is no reason to think we can't do it now or in the future. "

You got a spare $133,300 or so to pay YOUR SHARE back? I didn't think so. Bet your kids and their grandkids won't either.

THe debt will never be paid back. We'll simply pay the interest on it until we no longer can afford to do so....

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skye:" As a percentage, from now until 2022 debt service never even reaches Ronald Reagan levels."

But in Reagan level interest rates, at it easily will!

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skye:" It is more amusing than anything. But their complete and even joyous ignorance of the foundations the nation was built on and their attempts to destroy the institutions that made this nation great"

What? A bloated government? YOu realize the government now employs more people than there were in the entire country in 1776?

The country was built on states rights and a VERY limited federal government given only certain limited functions.

IT wasn't called the Nanny States of America....

or One Nation under a SOcialist.
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Author: lindytoes Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47697 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/4/2013 9:06 PM
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salaryguru:
I think I understand how the math challenged teabaggers end up posting these outrageous lies. They all watch the same liars on FuxNews and listen to the same liars on the radio talk shows and read the same lying bloggers. The echo chamber picks up the lies they want to believe and repeats them, embellishes them, and amplifies them. It doesn't take long before the ill-informed, angry, fearful teabagger posts that nonsense on these boards.

The part I find really interesting, though, is their complete inability or refusal to learn. Some of the most prolific wingnut posters on PA and this board have their lies outed every single day. They post this nonsense, get some of their wingnut friends to create a little posting circle jerk for a handful or a dozen posts, then someone who isn't math or truth challenged posts actual data or an in-depth investigative report that completely de-bunks their delusional posts. The wingnuts get exposed as complete charlatans and ignorant, math challenged fools. But tomorrow, they do it all over again. In some cases, they re-cycle their de-bunked lies only a few days after they've been exposed to be false.

Not only do I find it interesting that they seem unable or unwilling to learn, but I find it interesting that they seem to find enjoyment in being exposed to be fools on a daily basis. Why don't they feel embarrassed? Interesting. (my bold)
.................................
great post, salarguru. I don't understand it either, except the Karl Roves and Roger Ailes of the world were making great progress at hoodwinking the public until recent years. They still do in Republican land. But the tide is changing and the minority population is exploding. They will be the salvation of the US because I don't believe they will vote in significant numbers for Republicans. Did you see the article (maybe here on the boards) that the minority population in California will be greater than the whites I think by next year? I still don't know if we can call them the minority when they dominate.

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47698 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/4/2013 9:25 PM
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Since you believe that Obama's budgets are "very constrained", maybe you can explain why there has been more than a doubling of the deficits under the Obama regime (8yr projection from the Obama budget) than under Bush or Reagan? ...

Because revenues collapsed, not because spending increased.

This is not difficult to understand, unless you are determined not to understand.

Revenues are coming back, along with the economy. In other places, where they demanded austerity and pursued policies to deal with the deficit first, the economies continue to sputter and collapse. Spain. England. Italy. Greece. Iceland. All below where they were in 2007. The US: above where we were in 2007.

Getting it yet?

... and why do you think the bond market will continue to buy US Treasuries in light of the reckless spending projected in Obama's budget?

Because bond holders are more concerned with a return OF principal than a return ON principal.

... or do you want Helicopter Ben to continue monetizing the debt & debasing the currency via his QE4EVER program?

Ah yes, that "debasing of currency" that's being flogged so relentlessly on all the Right Wing Nutter sites. That's probably why interest rates continue to be at historic lows (as opposed to what bond holders would demand if the risk were high).

Oh, and as for your chart. Nice that you include the effects of the Bush years collapse NOT in Bush's numbers, but in Obama's numbers. I wonder if you would do the same if the guy who followed Bush had been that Republican McCain guy? (Answer: of course not. You'd still be blaming Barney Frank for all of it.)
 


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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47700 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/5/2013 12:21 AM
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For example, the cost of debt service was proportionately much higher when Reagan was president."

Yeah....years of CArter and his failed policies left us with 13-15% interest rates!

Of course, with that high interest rates....you got to pay a lot of interest!..


Exactly! Reagan's policies of borrowing huge sums of money when interest rates were high were just plain idiotic. You don't want to be borrowing money when interest rates are high. The stupidity is mind boggling. Only a simpleton would thing such policies were a good idea. All that borrowing of expensive money came at huge cost to the taxpayer.

By contrast, right now we can borrow money at less than the rate of inflation and lock up those amazingly low interest rates for 10-30 years. Last time I checked, TIPS were paying a negative interest rate. In other words, people are paying us for the privilege of owning our debt.

Question: How many times in a lifetime does that happen?
Answer: Not many.

No question deficits need to be constrained, but deficit spending was far more damaging and costly under the reign of St. Ronaldus Maximus than they are now. All we have to do is not be stupid and everything will work out.

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Author: ravvt Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47702 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/5/2013 1:05 AM
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ravvt: Since you believe that Obama's budgets are "very constrained", maybe you can explain why there has been more than a doubling of the deficits under the Obama regime (8yr projection from the Obama budget) than under Bush or Reagan? ...

goofy: Because revenues collapsed, not because spending increased.


… clearly you’re not paying attention.

The deficit number I posted for BO is an 8 yr average, i.e. it takes into account the collapsed revenues near the financial crisis but it also includes the wet dream revenue stream that a 5 & 6% growth rate would deliver. Those growth rates and the financial benefits that would flow from them were so laughable that not a single Democrat in either house of congress would vote for this budget farce.

Are you getting the drift yet?



ravvt: ... and why do you think the bond market will continue to buy US Treasuries in light of the reckless spending projected in Obama's budget?

goofy: Because bond holders are more concerned with a return OF principal than a return ON principal.


… Urkel and Helicopter Ben would be happy to return the principal in devalued dollars!

A hedge fund manager recently quoted a senior official in Obama’s Treasury: “We’re going to kill the dollar!”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeIFcuVTS3U

So those bond holders can get their principal back as long as they don’t mind the loss in purchasing power that the returned capital would provide.

Are you getting the drift yet?



ravvt: ... or do you want Helicopter Ben to continue monetizing the debt & debasing the currency via his QE4EVER program?

goofy: Ah yes, that "debasing of currency" that's being flogged so relentlessly on all the Right Wing Nutter sites. That's probably why interest rates continue to be at historic lows (as opposed to what bond holders would demand if the risk were high).


… you are really putting your ignorance of the monetary system and the role that the Fed plays in setting interest rates on display with that answer.

Because the Fed is purchasing $85Billion / month of Treasuries and mortgage backed securities, the net effect on short and long term interest rates is an unnatural reduction to historic low values. In 2012, the Fed purchased 70% of all Treasuries sold by the gov’t … that’s known as monetizing the debt …

… who the hell does Ben think will buy those bonds in the future when they’re not willing to buy them today. And why does he think he will ever be able to sell those mortgage backed securities that were the toxic waste of the Wall Street banks. The banks couldn’t sell them to anyone … except the Fed. Surely, there is a massive loss in the future for that portion of the Fed balance sheet.

Are you getting the drift yet?



goofy: Oh, and as for your chart. Nice that you include the effects of the Bush years collapse NOT in Bush's numbers, but in Obama's numbers. I wonder if you would do the same if the guy who followed Bush had been that Republican McCain guy? (Answer: of course not. You'd still be blaming Barney Frank for all of it.)

… the Bush numbers include 2001 – 2009 deficits … so they include the $770Billion TARP program …

BO’s numbers include 2010 – 2012 actuals (“stimulus spending” & return to all of the welfare programs that Clinton reduced in the ‘90s) and his administration’s projection for deficits and taxes for 2013 – 2017. Obama’s future deficit numbers are large because he’s planning them to be … not because they are being influenced by Bush’s numbers…

Are you getting the drift yet?

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47718 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/5/2013 2:43 PM
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<<No question deficits need to be constrained, but deficit spending was far more damaging and costly under the reign of St. Ronaldus Maximus than they are now. All we have to do is not be stupid and everything will work out.
>>


That deficits exploded under Obama after he collapsed interest rates is mere coincidence.


The idea that politicians PLAN there spending to coincide with low interest rates is just a fantasy.


Really--- were interest rates to go up again, do you suppose Obama would be proposing to collapse spending to avoid further debt?


Doesn't seem at all plausible to me.

Politicians spend. It's what they DO, by an large. They usually use any excuse or method that enables them to do that.

And unfortunately, I'd have to say that seems to be a rare issue on which there is a non partisan consensus.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47728 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/5/2013 6:09 PM
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Hey SP, you're needed on the Home board.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47778 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/6/2013 4:35 PM
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<<I think I understand how the math challenged teabaggers end up posting these outrageous lies. They all watch the same liars on FuxNews and listen to the same liars on the radio talk shows and read the same lying bloggers. The echo chamber picks up the lies they want to believe and repeats them, embellishes them, and amplifies them. It doesn't take long before the ill-informed, angry, fearful teabagger posts that nonsense on these boards.

>>


As I've told Salary Guru many times, I don't listen to Fox News at all, and I doubt that Tele does either.


Of course, Salary Guru and some other libherals persist in exagerating the influence of Fox News because they can't understand how people would fail to adopt their values once they have explained them.


<<Not only do I find it interesting that they seem unable or unwilling to learn, but I find it interesting that they seem to find enjoyment in being exposed to be fools on a daily basis. Why don't they feel embarrassed?

>>


Salary Guru and many other liberals imagine that the difference between liberals and conservatives come down to understanding a few "facts," which they understand correctly and only fools would dispute.

This illustrates that such people have very little understanding of their fellow man, and of politics.

Most political disputes persist not because of a dispute over facts, but over a dispute in VALUES. If you have a dispute over values, facts are usually not of much importance. Any inconvenient fact will be ignored in order that the underlying value that is important may rule.

Personally, I have no interest in "converting" my liberals friends to my views or values. Discussing the issues of the day is worth while by itself, and I appreciate Salary Guru's continuing interest in providing me with entertainment each day.

Now I KNOW that Salary Guru will ignore the fact that I don't listen to Fox News. It's an inconvenient fact that would interfere with his conception of his conservative political opponents. But that is, of course, the nature of politics for most people, most of the time.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: MisterFungi Three stars, 500 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47790 of 56846
Subject: Re: Surowiecki on Soc Sec, Medicare Date: 2/6/2013 9:22 PM
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SP writes: Most political disputes persist not because of a dispute over facts, but over a dispute in VALUES.

True dat.

http://coreyrobin.com/new-book/

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