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Invisiblecarbonhoots
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Ol' Bushy's war on social security
    #3444483 - 12/04/04 01:41 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Some of you think this it's such a great thing that the government is moving away from public pensions.

Let me state clearly that there are no free lunches here,"

WASHINGTON - Calling the current system of Social Security benefits unsustainable, a top economic adviser to President Bush on Thursday strongly implied that any overhaul of the system would have to include major cuts in guaranteed benefits for future retirees.

"Let me state clearly that there are no free lunches here," said N. Gregory Mankiw, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, at a conference on tax policy here.

"The benefits now scheduled for future generations under current law are not sustainable given the projected path of payroll tax revenue," he added. "They are empty promises."

Mr. Mankiw's remarks suggested that President Bush's plan to let people put some of their Social Security taxes into "personal savings accounts" would have to be accompanied by changes in the current system of benefits.



Throughout the presidential campaign and in remarks after he was re-elected, Mr. Bush focused almost exclusively on these accounts as a crucial way to shore up Social Security. Most experts have said that the accounts must be accompanied by other belt-tightening measures. When asked about cuts in future benefits, Mr. Bush, however, has said only that any overhaul should make no changes in the benefits for people in retirement or near retirement. The president has said that overhauling the Social Security system would involve "costs," but so far he has not indicated what those might be.

In his speech, Mr. Mankiw flatly rejected raising taxes as a means of saving the federal retirement system, which government actuaries say is on track to become insolvent by 2042 if no changes are made to the current law. Instead, he took particular aim at a specific feature of current law under which retirement benefits are linked to the rise in wages rather than the rise in consumer prices.

"Each generation of retirees receives higher real benefits than the generation before it," Mr. Mankiw said. Because wages typically climb faster than inflation, he said, an average worker retiring in 2050 would get benefits that are 40 percent higher, after inflation, than a comparable worker who retires this year.

Mr. Mankiw emphasized that Mr. Bush has yet to decide on a specific proposal for fixing Social Security, except that it would have to include personal accounts and that it would not include raising taxes. But the issue he highlighted is at the center of a major debate within the administration and among Congressional Republicans.

Policy analysts say changing the way benefits are calculated could save trillions of dollars in decades to come. But it would imply significant reductions from the benefits promised under today's laws. The idea behind personal accounts is that workers, by making investments in stocks and bonds, could more than make up the difference with extra earnings.

In what seemed an effort to anticipate complaints that a new system would reduce future benefits, Mr. Mankiw warned that the benefits promised under current law are fictitious because they cannot be afforded.

"Be wary of comparisons between a new, reformed Social Security system and current law," Mr. Mankiw said. "Unless a listener is discerning, empty promises will always have a superficial appeal."

Claire Buchan, a White House spokeswoman, said Mr. Bush had not decided on a specific plan and refused to comment on any need for reductions in future benefits.

"The president is committed to strengthening Social Security for younger workers so they don't face the massive tax increases or benefit reductions that are certain with inaction," Ms. Buchan said.

The specific issue that Mr. Mankiw highlighted on Thursday, though seemingly obscure, involves the level at which a person's initial benefit is set at the time he or she retires. Under the current formula, which was established by Congress in 1978, the annual benefit is pegged to increases in average wages while the person was working.

The idea was to keep retirement incomes in line with overall wages from generation to generation, and analysts said the formula was far more generous than simply pegging benefits to inflation.

Kent Smetters, a former Treasury official under President Bush who is now an associate professor at the Wharton School of Business, said linking benefits to inflation would in itself save trillions of dollars. But Professor Smetters said the idea was not as tame as it sounded. Although retirement incomes would not be eroded by inflation, the guaranteed benefits of retired people would be lower, and lower than average incomes, as time went on.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company


Edited by carbonhoots (12/04/04 01:43 AM)


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: carbonhoots]
    #3444509 - 12/04/04 02:00 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Can you please stop referring to him as "Ol' Bushy"? It's extremely annoying. kthx


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: carbonhoots]
    #3444511 - 12/04/04 02:02 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

I don't understand what you are trying to get across here. You seem to be for public subsidized retirement benefits and against Bush's idea to allow taxpayers to "hang on" to and invest more of their money, yet you post an article that quite clearly shows that the benefits that are promised to future generations under Social Security CANNOT be paid for.

We can't afford to give all of the future retirees a ton of money. There just aren't enough taxpayers to support that. The only way to fix the problem is to cut benefits or raise social security taxes drastically. It looks as if privatization(if done correctly) is the only thing that can save the whole disgusting mess.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3444540 - 12/04/04 02:14 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Seriously. Even when I was making minimum wage at my last job, the social security taxes really fucked me over, and I'm not even going to see the benefits of that money if social security keeps at its present course. If that money hadn't been taxed away, I might not have to mooch off my parents so much, which would allow them to save more money for their retirement.


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InvisibleAhronZombi
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: silversoul7]
    #3444544 - 12/04/04 02:16 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

screw the system screw ss and screw bush too


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Offlinelonestar2004
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: AhronZombi]
    #3445168 - 12/04/04 08:48 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

i have a 401k that i pay into, because there is no way s.s. will be around when i get old. i would love to be able to use some of the money s.s. takes out of my check and put into my 401k.


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InvisibleDNKYD
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: lonestar2004]
    #3445337 - 12/04/04 10:05 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

It irritates the living shit out of me that I keep paying SS every month despite this junk. I know I won't see this money when I get old. They need to let ME put MY money into a private savings account that I have rights to, instead of feeding it to a ever-hungry federal monster.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: lonestar2004]
    #3445364 - 12/04/04 10:22 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

i would love to be able to use some of the money s.s. takes out of my check and put into my 401k.

And if a lorry ploughs into your car tomorrow and leaves you sucking soup through a straw for the rest of your life will you have enough in your private account to keep yourself?


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: Xlea321]
    #3445407 - 12/04/04 10:40 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Social Security has nothing to do with paying for catastrophic medical bills. It gives a small monthly allowance to people who are above a certain age or people who are disabled. That small monthly allowance would never be able to pay for a life eating through a straw anyway.

My main problem with social security is not helping people who are sick, but the fact that it has become a behemoth of a retirement plan. A large amount of a worker's income is taken away from them and put into the social security fund. I would much rather have that money in my pocket and do what I wanted with it. I especially think that as things are now, it is not possible to fund the social security program at the current level. The U.S. federal government will have to borrow even more money to keep it going.

With the amount of Social Security tax I pay every month, I could pay for health insurance and put away a nice amount for retirement.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3445438 - 12/04/04 10:55 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Social Security has nothing to do with paying for catastrophic medical bills.

Not talking about the medical bills. I'm talking about from 3-5 years after the accident when you're unable to work and there's nothing left in the private bank account. What happens then?


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3445443 - 12/04/04 10:58 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Social Security has also become a vicious trap. Think of all of the people who have given large amounts of their income to the Social Security fund over their entire lives. Even people like me who are unhappy about all of that money being taken away from them are now faced with the opinion that they should get some of that money back. If the program were to end today, think of all of the people who are nearing retirement age who have contributed thousands and thousands of dollars to it. If benefits were to be cut partially or completely it is inevitable that a lot of these people would be enraged and feel ripped off.

So, part of me recognizes that Social Security is unsustainable. But another part of me realizes I have paid so much into it that I should get something out of it. What a socialist mess.


Edited by RandalFlagg (12/04/04 11:03 AM)


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: Xlea321]
    #3445451 - 12/04/04 11:03 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)


Not talking about the medical bills. I'm talking about from 3-5 years after the accident when you're unable to work and there's nothing left in the private bank account. What happens then?

Will that $400 a month that you get from Social Security be enough to pay the bills? Hell no.

As I said, the "taking care of sick people" aspect of Social Security I don't mind as much. The thing about it that is really bothersome is that it tries to be a retirement plan. It takes away so much of a person's money that a lot of people are incapable of saving on their own.


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Invisiblelooner2
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3445475 - 12/04/04 11:11 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

The reason SS is such a pitiful mess is because of the incredibly dense and selfish voting block between the ages of 60 and death. If you mention even reforming SS they will not think twice and vote you out instantly. Something needs to be done-- but thats been said for 10 years now. I propose euthanasia!


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3445544 - 12/04/04 11:40 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

People need to realize there is no such thing as a Social Security "fund". A "fund" implies a lump of money sitting somewhere -- presumably invested -- out of which can be drawn payments to recipients. This is not what occurs with US Social Security income -- it goes into the same general pot of tax revenue that income taxes do and is spent (overspent, actually) just like all other government revenue.

When an SS payment is made to some retired American, it isn't taken out of the "SS fund", it's taken out of general revenues. It is -- no exaggeration -- a textbook example of a Ponzi scheme.

pinky


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: Phred]
    #3445554 - 12/04/04 11:45 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

I was under the impression that the federal government's collected taxes and the collected social security money were kept seperate. I could have sworn I have heard that before.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3445565 - 12/04/04 11:50 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

A lot of people are under that impression.

pinky


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: Phred]
    #3445573 - 12/04/04 11:54 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Do you have a source on that?

Are you saying that the federal government's collected revenues and collected Social Security monies are all kept together in the same pot? And that Social Security monies can be used for other stuff?


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3445718 - 12/04/04 12:45 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Sure. Here's one. You can find dozens of others with a Google search.

http://www.fee.org/vnews.php?nid=4569

It's a very detailed article, well worth reading in its entirety, but here's the nitty-gritty --

Quote:

The Social Security Act of 1935 created an ?Old-Aged Reserve Account? in the Treasury and required that every year an amount determined sufficient to pay that year?s benefits was to be appropriated to it. Any of this money not needed for benefits was to be invested in federal debt (including unmarketable debt issued for this purpose) earning 3 percent interest, or other government-guaranteed debt.[4]




It is not a "fund", it is merely an account, no different from the account for Defense or Education or Immigration or Energy. At no time is there more in the account than is required to cover the anticipated payouts for the current fiscal year. It is an accounting convenience, nothing more. It most certainly is not a trust fund.

SS payments are not even deposited directly into the account -- the account is filled from general revenues (of which, obviously, SS payroll deductions comprise a part) collected by the federal government.

pinky


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: carbonhoots]
    #3445728 - 12/04/04 12:48 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

One thing I've noticed in my experiences at various jobs I've had is that while income taxes may be targeted at the rich, Social Security tax was fucking me and all the other low-wage workers over. All on this false pretense that we were going to get it back someday. I think if we got rid of Social Security tax, it may be bad for some elderly people in the short run, but in the long run it would greatly increase the standard of living for low-wage employees.


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Offlinezappaisgod
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: silversoul7]
    #3446335 - 12/04/04 04:14 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

And don't forget, kiddies, your paystub only tells you half the story. Your employer makes an equal payment, which could have gone into your gross wages if he didn't have to pay it to the gov.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: zappaisgod]
    #3446392 - 12/04/04 04:29 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

which could have

It could have, but if the employer wasn't tied into it by the government it's more likely he'd keep the money for himself and not give you anything.


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InvisibleDirtMcgirt
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: zappaisgod]
    #3446409 - 12/04/04 04:32 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

which could have gone into your gross wages if he didn't have to pay it to the gov




BS. That would go into your employer's profit margins not your wage. Thats determined on other factors.

Quote:

but in the long run it would greatly increase the standard of living for low-wage employees.




No, because when you do away with ss retirement funds granny and gramps of the poor who don't have a retirement plan because they were low-rent all their lives now live at your home because they can't support themselves. Now you have to take care of them alngside taking care of yourself which brings your standard of living down. Privatizing SS won't necessarily be helpful for the low wage worker at all. When you pay 16.75 out of your $650 every other week that accounts for not nearly as much as somebody makin $100,000 a year. It's the rich paying for the poor's retirement...not the poor paying for the old. Think what you want of that but don't assume this is best thing for the lower classes.


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"And we, inhabitants of the great coral of the Cosmos, believe the atom (which still we cannot see) to be full matter, whereas, it too, like everything else, is but an embroidery of voids in the Void, and we give the name of being, dense and even eternal, to that dance of inconsistencies, that infinite extension that is identified with absolute Nothingness and that spins from its own non-being the illusion of everything."


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Offlinezappaisgod
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: Xlea321]
    #3446428 - 12/04/04 04:37 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Alex123 said:
which could have

It could have, but if the employer wasn't tied into it by the government it's more likely he'd keep the money for himself and not give you anything.




That's not how it works junior. A balance is reached between the employer, the employee and the customer. When the government is taken out everybody else benefits.


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InvisibleDirtMcgirt
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: zappaisgod]
    #3446496 - 12/04/04 04:50 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

More profits has nothing to do with the wage of workers. The law of supply and demand is the determining factor. They will pay you as little as they can while keeping a competent workforce. If their is an surplus of workers wages go down. If not they go up, junior....


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"And we, inhabitants of the great coral of the Cosmos, believe the atom (which still we cannot see) to be full matter, whereas, it too, like everything else, is but an embroidery of voids in the Void, and we give the name of being, dense and even eternal, to that dance of inconsistencies, that infinite extension that is identified with absolute Nothingness and that spins from its own non-being the illusion of everything."


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: zappaisgod]
    #3446497 - 12/04/04 04:50 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

When the government is taken out everybody else benefits.

That's not how it works son. If you think getting rid of compulsory pension employer payments is going to mean they'll put the money into your wage packet instead you are living in cloud cuckoo land.


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Offlinezappaisgod
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: Xlea321]
    #3446557 - 12/04/04 05:02 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Once again, I will try to educate you about competitive capitalism. Employers compete with other employers for employees and customers. Employees compete with other employees. Customers look for the best deal. The entity that makes no response to market forces is the government.
As a card carrying Marxist, I know this is utterly antithetical to your world view. However, the Marxist experiment has been an abject failure wherever it has been tried. Your understanding of the forces in a capitalist system are stunted by your refusal to acknowledge it's efficacy. You know not whereof you speak.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: zappaisgod]
    #3446588 - 12/04/04 05:10 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Once again, I will try to educate you about competitive capitalism

I'd much prefer you to stay on-topic and address why you believe employers would bother paying employees the contributions they currently make to the state.

Customers look for the best deal

Once again, what has this to do with employers paying employees the contributions they currently have to make to the government.

As a card carrying Marxist blah blah

:yawn:

Wake me up when you can tell me why employers would choose to pay employees the money they currently pay to the state. I presume you can't which is why you're sticking to blowing it out your ass about "marxists".


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Offlinezappaisgod
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: zappaisgod]
    #3446668 - 12/04/04 05:29 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

zappaisgod said:
Quote:

Alex123 said:
which could have

It could have, but if the employer wasn't tied into it by the government it's more likely he'd keep the money for himself and not give you anything.




That's not how it works junior. A balance is reached between the employer, the employee and the customer. When the government is taken out everybody else benefits.




When there is more money kept in the system there are higher wages, greater profits and lower costs. Everybody benefits.


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: Phred]
    #3447314 - 12/04/04 07:43 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

As an aside, I know SO many people who are scamming social security. Here are some examples:

1. My uncle lives in an apartment building. A scummy family used to live above him. They did not take care of their kids, trashed the place, and received every scrap of public assistance that they could squeeze out of the government. My uncle heard the parents training the kids on how to act more mentally troubled so that they would get more money from Social Security.

2. Someone I know comes from a well to do family. His mother routinely gives him thousands of dollars and buys him anything he needs(cars, a house, etc..). He gets monthly social security checks because his back is messed up, even though he does not have to pay rent(his mother owns the property he lives on) and he never has to worry about surviving. He sits around, snorts oxy-contins all day, and doesn't work.

3. I know a guy who is a partier. All he does is smoke weed and drink. He doesn't work and hasn't his entire life. He can't read for some reason(his brain didn't form right). If you were to speak to him he seems normal, but his mind was never able to grasp reading or writing. He gets a check from social security every month and spends it on weed.

4. I know a girl who is very heavy(5'10 300 pds.). She is still capable of moving without discomfort however(she walks all over the place). She still lives at home, doesn't work(even though she has a nursing degree), and just drinks. She is more than capable of working but she chooses not to. She gets a check from social security every month and spends it on booze.

This is your tax money in action my fellow Americans!


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: Phred]
    #3447408 - 12/04/04 08:07 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)


Moreover, Social Security?s Trust Fund does not operate as a trust fund does. Social Security revenues go into the Treasury?s general fund and are automatically credited to the Trust Fund in the form of Treasury bonds. The Treasury pays Social Security benefits and administrative outlays out of general revenue and debits the Trust Fund an equivalent value of bonds. Any leftover Social Security revenue finances general government operations, with an equivalent value of bonds remaining in the Trust Fund as Social Security?s ?surplus;? to cover any revenue shortfalls.[19] This is how a Treasury account, not a trust fund, works. And calling a Treasury account a ?trust fund? to influence public opinion does not make it one.

Jesus Christ. We are buying our own debt? And some of Social Security's money is going to finance non-Social Security things?

It's just another form of taxation, not a protected and seperate program.


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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3447578 - 12/04/04 08:51 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Now you've got it.

pinky


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Offlinelonestar2004
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: Phred]
    #3447841 - 12/04/04 09:56 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

less money going in, more money coming out. wait until more of the baby boom generation stops working. (less money going in) i have read Europe is in big trouble too.


--------------------
America's debt problem is a "sign of leadership failure"

We have "reckless fiscal policies"

America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.

Americans deserve better

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OfflinePhred
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: lonestar2004]
    #3448098 - 12/04/04 10:57 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Canada too. There's really no difference in the way the various governments handle it. None of the money is invested, it all gets spent as soon as it comes in. The payouts have to come from current tax revenues no matter what. If there are enough taxes coming in, no biggie. The problem is that there inevitably comes a time when there are not enough taxes coming in.

pinky


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: zappaisgod]
    #3448901 - 12/05/04 03:59 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

When there is more money kept in the system there are higher wages, greater profits and lower costs

What I'm looking for is some reason why you think the employers would give everyone a payrise instead of keeping the money for themselves.

Everybody benefits.

Do you think company directors are all "marxists" or something?


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3448908 - 12/05/04 04:02 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

This is your tax money in action my fellow Americans!

Yeah but lets face it - you could give me another 100 alleged cases of "fraud" and the amount being lost still wouldn't add up to the tax money being pissed away in Iraq for one day.

Not to mention the much larger problem of corporate tax avoidance. I'd prefer someone with nothing gets 50 bucks a week instead of a billionaire getting away with ripping off millions.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: Xlea321]
    #3448984 - 12/05/04 05:46 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Alex123 said:
When there is more money kept in the system there are higher wages, greater profits and lower costs

What I'm looking for is some reason why you think the employers would give everyone a payrise instead of keeping the money for themselves.



That would depend on how much their work is worth to them. If the employer doesn't use that money to give his workers a raise, he could use it to hire more people, so either the current employees benefit by getting extra money in their pocket or other people benefit by finding employment.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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InvisibleGreat_Satan
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: silversoul7]
    #3449169 - 12/05/04 08:38 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Why would a Canadian care about Social Security in the USA? Oh, I see. He's just looking for more ways to insult our president. And Paul Martin is a faggot.


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OfflineAncalagon
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: Great_Satan]
    #3449190 - 12/05/04 08:45 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Great_Satan said:
Why would a Canadian care about Social Security in the USA? Oh, I see. He's just looking for more ways to insult our president. And Paul Martin is a faggot.



As the, uh, nephew of Paul Martin, I consider that nothing short of a flame. Can we please ban Great_Satan? Please.


--------------------
?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: Ancalagon]
    #3449240 - 12/05/04 09:07 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

He'd just come back with a new screenname. Or with his old one. I think that one just had a temporary ban.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineAncalagon
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: Xlea321]
    #3449643 - 12/05/04 10:56 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Yeah but lets face it - you could give me another 100 alleged cases of "fraud" and the amount being lost still wouldn't add up to the tax money being pissed away in Iraq for one day.




The entire social security system is a fraud -- a fraud that, in plain cash terms, is going to cost the American people more than 100 Iraqs would, and then some. The system we have now is in total shambles, it will start running a deficit in 2018. The Social Security trust fund that was set up to stave off the inevitable would be cause for laughter were it not such a disaster. The trust fund is really made up of nothing more than IOUs, promises by the government that the money will be there. The entire thing is smoke and mirrors to cover up the fact that, if reform is not initiated, the United States will be facing unfunded liabilities of more than $26,000,000,000,000 (TRILLION!). As has been said before, were a private company or corporation to try and carry out a system akin to social security, they would be brought up on charges in a heartbeat. Reform in the direction of privatization is not merely a good idea, it is absolutely essential if this country is to have any hope of economic survival. Absence of action with regard to Social Security (and Medicare for that matter, which is in EVEN WORSE shape than Social security -- no thanks to one of Bush's most egregious actions, prescription drug benefits, of last term) will result in total economic calamity for this country. I wish I could say I'm optimistic but with President Bush at the helm, things aren't looking great (however worse they might have been under Kerry).


--------------------
?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: Ancalagon]
    #3449709 - 12/05/04 11:16 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Are you really Paul Martin's nephew?


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OfflineAncalagon
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3449957 - 12/05/04 12:15 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

RandalFlagg said:
Are you really Paul Martin's nephew?



Hah, for better or for worse, no. Thought it would bolster my case for a Great_Satan banning though. Whatever it takes.


--------------------
?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: Ancalagon]
    #3449985 - 12/05/04 12:22 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

The entire social security system is a fraud

As big a fraud as corporate welfare or the "defence" budget?

Reform in the direction of privatization is not merely a good idea, it is absolutely essential if this country is to have any hope of economic survival.

I'd recomend reading Peter Lindert's latest book rather than just the usual free market doommongers.

"[Lindert] provides a valuable history of social spending and proposes a theory about why some nations spend more than others that is closely related to how well democracy works.

"One great question of the early 21st century is whether...welfare states, facing massive commitments to aging populations, will themselves create new insecurities and injustices. Comes now economic historian Peter Lindert, who has thoroughly probed the welfare state, with a surprising message: relax"

"...the most comprehensive historical and econometric examination of the essential value of public expenditures I have seen anywhere.

By the conclusion of this tour, the reader is left with a clear view of a world in which public expenditures on human welfare not only do no harm to national growth trajectories, but one in which investment in the infrastructure of human capital formation is itself growth-enhancing. This core finding of Lindert's exhaustive research will appear radical, perhaps even heretical, to a generation trained in neo-classical economics, but he arrives at it by employing the best of the theory and methodology of that discipline. As such it will be hard to refute."

Two of Lindert's major conclusions are that the spread of democracy has historically played a pivotal role in the rise of social expenditures; and that social spending has not gravely weakened economic incentives and long-term economic growth, despite the drumbeat of criticisms from free-market devotees. Indeed Lindert concludes that the net national costs of social transfers, and of the taxes that finance them, are essentially zero.


http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/det...ks&n=507846


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: Xlea321]
    #3450636 - 12/05/04 03:39 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)


Two of Lindert's major conclusions are that the spread of democracy has historically played a pivotal role in the rise of social expenditures; and that social spending has not gravely weakened economic incentives and long-term economic growth, despite the drumbeat of criticisms from free-market devotees. Indeed Lindert concludes that the net national costs of social transfers, and of the taxes that finance them, are essentially zero.

BULLSHIT Mr. Lindert.  If he is referring to giving poor people money and free stuff, I don't care to argue that(even though I disagree with him).  But, if he is referring to the American system of Social Security, he is very mistaken.  The simple fact is is that a lot of people(the baby boomer generation) are going to retire.  There will not be enough taxpayers paying into Social Security to support the current benefit system for all of these retirees.  The only things that can be done to rectify this situation are to cut benefits, raise the retirement age for benefits, or raise people's taxes that they pay into Social Security.  Or I guess the U.S. federal government can borrow more even more money to pay for all of these retiree's benefits.  :shake:

Some spending on infrastructure does definately help "move a society" forward.  But, there comes a point when excessive social spending takes financial freedom away from individuals and gives it to the state.  I don't like having a significant amount of my income taken away from me by the government.  I am better able to manage my money than the government.

I think the first order of business for the U.S. federal government is to stop spending more money than it takes in.  I think we should cut everything(from the military budget to the social services budget).    We need to at least start breaking even.

I also think we should install a small tax(maybe 1% or 2%) that is taken out of all people's paychecks(rich and poor).  This tax money would go into a trust fund that couldn't be touched.  Also, people could give to this trust fund, and it would be tax deductible(like giving to charities).  The money from this trust fund would be used to pay the interest or the principal on the U.S. federal government debt.  Either we pay it off now, or the future generations will be stuck with a massive and unmanageable debt that will hasten an economic collapse.  To be blunt, we must bite the bullet now in order to save the fiscal health of the country.


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OfflineAncalagon
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: Xlea321]
    #3450906 - 12/05/04 05:08 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

As big a fraud as corporate welfare or the "defence" budget?



Unfathomably bigger than corporate welfare, can't really compare it to the offense budget due to all the intangibles (death, maiming, fun stuff like that). What was the point of even posting that? The topic at hand is not corporate welfare and the defense budget, it is social security.

Quote:

I'd recomend reading Peter Lindert's latest book rather than just the usual free market doommongers.



First of all, the free market doommongers? Time and time again person after person has explained this scenario to you -- it is not free market doommongering, it is a little bit of logic and some elementary arithmetic. Social Security is a ponzi scheme based on a 'pay-as-you-go' system. This means that the first people to receive social security benefits did not pay into the system, their benefits were financed by the workforce of that time under the promise that the workforce of a later generation would pay for them. Besides the fact that I feel this whole process is immoral and, from a utilitarian point of view, economically wasteful, the system did work (in the sense that it didn't automatically fall apart) at first. During those times the workforce was growing fairly rapidly and people didn't live quite as long as they do today, on average. Fast forward a few decades and we have a workforce that is growing much slower (declining rate of birth, etc, etc) and a population that, on average, is living significantly longer. Does it not make sense to you that these facts of demographics aren't going to mesh with the kind of pay-as-you-go system we have? Even had politicians not looted the system time after time, Social Security would have eventually reached a breaking point were nothing else changed. Either benefits would have to be reduced (more likely, the age of initial reception of benefits would be increased to around 70), taxes would have to be raise, or reform in some manner would have to be initiated. Bill Clinton, paragon of the left himself, admitted what I have just said. Do you disagree with any of that?

Nice snippet by the way. I can't wait to read the rest of that unbiased material.


--------------------
?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


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InvisibleGreat_Satan
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: Ancalagon]
    #3451131 - 12/05/04 06:25 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Ancalagon said:
Quote:

Great_Satan said:
Why would a Canadian care about Social Security in the USA? Oh, I see. He's just looking for more ways to insult our president. And Paul Martin is a faggot.



As the, uh, nephew of Paul Martin, I consider that nothing short of a flame. Can we please ban Great_Satan? Please.




Anyone who insults George Bush should be banned. He is the president of my country and was legally elected.


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InvisibleGreat_Satan
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: Ancalagon]
    #3451145 - 12/05/04 06:26 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Ancalagon said:
Quote:

RandalFlagg said:
Are you really Paul Martin's nephew?



Hah, for better or for worse, no. Thought it would bolster my case for a Great_Satan banning though. Whatever it takes.




So Ancalagon lied. He should be banned.


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OfflineRoseM
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: Great_Satan]
    #3452554 - 12/05/04 11:02 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

This time... it seems... :3rd_eye:


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: Ancalagon]
    #3452920 - 12/06/04 12:31 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Unfathomably bigger than corporate welfare

I presume you havn't seen the size of the corporate welfare budget lately?

The topic at hand is not corporate welfare and the defense budget, it is social security

Because you free market guys never seem to say we can't afford those when they're just as big as the welfare for poor people budget. Why is that?

First of all, the free market doommongers?

Yep.

Time and time again person after person has explained this scenario to you -- it is not free market doommongering

Yes it is. Read the book.

I can't wait to read the rest of that unbiased material.

Heaven forbid you read a viewpoint that doesn't correspond to your own  :shocked:


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OfflineAncalagon
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: Xlea321]
    #3454956 - 12/06/04 01:51 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Unfathomably bigger than corporate welfare

I presume you havn't seen the size of the corporate welfare budget lately?



I don't think you understand the enormity of the Social Security crisis Alex: TWENTY-SIX TRILLION DOLLARS in unfunded liabilities is what's on the table here. How much money was allocated towards Corporate Welfare this year? What are the projected allocations for the next few decades? Do they come close to apporaching $26,000,000,000,000? Didn't think so.

Quote:

The topic at hand is not corporate welfare and the defense budget, it is social security

Because you free market guys never seem to say we can't afford those when they're just as big as the welfare for poor people budget. Why is that?



Perhaps you have selective hearing? No idea really why you havent't heard any fiscal conservatives railing against the defense budget and corporate welfare, we do it all the time. In the Libertarian Viewpoint newspaper I have sitting in front of me, Corporate Welfare is dealt with in a 2/3rds page article on Page 2, Poverty-related Welfare is dealt with in a 1/2 page article on Page 5, and the Defense Department (and US Foreign Policy) is dealt with in a 2/3rds page article on Page 6. Not exactly topics that are being brushed aside. Sorry if this throws off your black and white view of things: libertarians want to get rid of corporate welfare at least as much as we want to get rid of regular federal welfare -- they're both immoral and both unconstitutional. In addition, I think if you could poll the libertarians of the United States, the majority of them would take a sizable increase in the welfare state for a dramatic reduction in the department of defense and a dramatically less interventionist foreign policy. This forum isn't indicative of much.

Quote:

First of all, the free market doommongers?

Yep.

Time and time again person after person has explained this scenario to you -- it is not free market doommongering

Yes it is. Read the book.

I can't wait to read the rest of that unbiased material.

Heaven forbid you read a viewpoint that doesn't correspond to your own



Time is scarce Alex, perhaps you'd like to give me a couple-hundred word summary of the arguments presented in the book, specifically showing why my summary of the 'free-market doommonger' position is fallacious. Can't wait for the synopsis! Thanks!


--------------------
?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: Ancalagon]
    #3455020 - 12/06/04 02:10 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

I don't think you understand the enormity of the Social Security crisis Alex

I don't think you understand it. I think you've read a few libertarian articles in a newspaper and think you've got a handle on it.

TWENTY-SIX TRILLION DOLLARS in unfunded liabilities is what's on the table here.

According to who? Using what assumptions? You do know economic predictions for what might happen 20 years from now generally arn't accurate? Just like all the bullshit scare stories "We cannot afford a minimum wage, it will lead to economic catastrophe and unemployment". Well, we introduced a minimum wage in the UK and everything's just fine and dandy. In fact in the UK unemployment went down and the economy is stronger than it's ever been. Go figure.

How much money was allocated towards Corporate Welfare this year?

I havn't checked.

In the Libertarian Viewpoint newspaper

Maybe you could quote a few articles from that about corporate welfare and the defence budget for us once in a while and give us a break from the welfare scare stories?

Can't wait for the synopsis!

Time is scarce for me too Anca. We can talk about it when you've read the book. Deal?


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Ol' Bushy's war on social security [Re: Xlea321]
    #3455337 - 12/06/04 03:26 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)


TWENTY-SIX TRILLION DOLLARS in unfunded liabilities is what's on the table here.


According to who? Using what assumptions? You do know economic predictions for what might happen 20 years from now generally arn't accurate? Just like all the bullshit scare stories "We cannot afford a minimum wage, it will lead to economic catastrophe and unemployment". Well, we introduced a minimum wage in the UK and everything's just fine and dandy. In fact in the UK unemployment went down and the economy is stronger than it's ever been. Go figure.

We are not talking about abstract economic theories that can't be proven. The math is quite simple.

Number of Baby Boomers retiring X (monthly social security pension + medicare benefits) = A

Number of productive taxpayers paying into the system X (social security taxes + federal taxes going into medicare) = B

In a few years, A will be much greater than B.

There are only four things that can be done:

1. Social Security and federal taxes are raised. Taxpayers will have more of their money taken from them.
2. Social Security and medicare benefits are cut.
3. The eligibility age for medicare and Social Security is raised.
4. The U.S. federal government borrows more money to pay for the shortfall.


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