PDA

View Full Version : More "bait and switch" by BushCo...


jAZ
02-01-2005, 02:36 AM
(can you tell I can't sleep? I haven't paid this much attention to politics in months.)

I'm a fan of the idea of providing private accounts along side SS. I've said this many times here in the past.

But I also recogize that Bush is using the same BS politics that he used to push a bogus Iraq war through BS information wrapped in scary sounding predictions.

He's pulling more "bait and switch" crap again with SS.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/01/opinion/01krugman.html?oref=login

Many Unhappy Returns
By PAUL KRUGMAN

Published: February 1, 2005

The fight over Social Security is, above all, about what kind of society we want to have. But it's also about numbers. And the numbers the privatizers use just don't add up.

Let me inflict some of those numbers on you. Sorry, but this is important.

Schemes for Social Security privatization, like the one described in the 2004 Economic Report of the President, invariably assume that investing in stocks will yield a high annual rate of return, 6.5 or 7 percent after inflation, for at least the next 75 years. Without that assumption, these schemes can't deliver on their promises. Yet a rate of return that high is mathematically impossible unless the economy grows much faster than anyone is now expecting.

To explain why, I need to talk about stock returns. The yield on a stock comes from two components: cash that the company pays out in the form of dividends and stock buybacks, and capital gains. Right now, if dividends and buybacks were the whole story, the rate of return on stocks would be only 3 percent.

To get a 6.5 percent rate of return, you need capital gains: if dividends yield 3 percent, stock prices have to rise 3.5 percent per year after inflation. That doesn't sound too unreasonable if you're thinking only a few years ahead.

But privatizers need that high rate of return for 75 years or more. And the economic assumptions underlying most projections for Social Security make that impossible.

The Social Security projections that say the trust fund will be exhausted by 2042 assume that economic growth will slow as baby boomers leave the work force. The actuaries predict that economic growth, which averaged 3.4 percent per year over the last 75 years, will average only 1.9 percent over the next 75 years.

In the long run, profits grow at the same rate as the economy. So to get that 6.5 percent rate of return, stock prices would have to keep rising faster than profits, decade after decade.

The price-earnings ratio - the value of a company's stock, divided by its profits - is widely used to assess whether a stock is overvalued or undervalued. Historically, that ratio averaged about 14. Today it's about 20. Where would it have to go to yield a 6.5 percent rate of return?

I asked Dean Baker, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, to help me out with that calculation (there are some technical details I won't get into). Here's what we found: by 2050, the price-earnings ratio would have to rise to about 70. By 2060, it would have to be more than 100.

In other words, to believe in a privatization-friendly rate of return, you have to believe that half a century from now, the average stock will be priced like technology stocks at the height of the Internet bubble - and that stock prices will nonetheless keep on rising.

Social Security privatizers usually defend their bullishness by saying that stock investors earned high returns in the past. But stocks are much more expensive than they used to be, relative to corporate profits; that means lower dividends per dollar of share value. And economic growth is expected to be slower.

Which brings us to the privatizers' Catch-22.

They can rescue their happy vision for stock returns by claiming that the Social Security actuaries are vastly underestimating future economic growth. But in that case, we don't need to worry about Social Security's future: if the economy grows fast enough to generate a rate of return that makes privatization work, it will also yield a bonanza of payroll tax revenue that will keep the current system sound for generations to come.

Alternatively, privatizers can unhappily admit that future stock returns will be much lower than they have been claiming. But without those high returns, the arithmetic of their schemes collapses.

It really is that stark: any growth projection that would permit the stock returns the privatizers need to make their schemes work would put Social Security solidly in the black.

And I suspect that at least some privatizers know that. Mr. Baker has devised a test he calls "no economist left behind": he challenges economists to make a projection of economic growth, dividends and capital gains that will yield a 6.5 percent rate of return over 75 years. Not one economist who supports privatization has been willing to take the test.

But the offer still stands. Ladies and gentlemen, would you care to explain your position?

RINGLEADER
02-01-2005, 09:53 AM
:doh!:

Jaz, I'd suggest you don't turn to Paul Krugman for your opinions on the Bush Social Security plan that hasn't even been proposed yet.

Soupnazi
02-01-2005, 10:10 AM
Krugman is such a jackass. I could debunk just about every economic op-ed of his.

He can spin it however he wants, but nothing will change the fact that at my age, SS will achieve a return on my investment of ~ -0.5% to +1.0%, while I could kill SS with a simple savings account.

Why doesn't Krugman talk about the return of US govt 10-yr treasuries? Even at today's low interest rates, I can get easy 4% yield with safe, govt treasuries. But that's not a "scary" enough concept to support his POV.

Krugman wants me to not even have the option of choosing what to do with my money. That pisses me off worse than his flawed logic and phony "truth."

beavis
02-01-2005, 10:17 AM
Krugman wants me to not even have the option of choosing what to do with my money. That pisses me off worse than his flawed logic and phony "truth."
I'm already getting tired of this "it's insurance, not a savings account" line. Thanks, but I already get screwed by enough insurance companies. I'll take my chances without it.

Chief Henry
02-01-2005, 10:18 AM
Krugman is such a jackass. I could debunk just about every economic op-ed of his.

He can spin it however he wants, but nothing will change the fact that at my age, SS will achieve a return on my investment of ~ -0.5% to +1.0%, while I could kill SS with a simple savings account.

Why doesn't Krugman talk about the return of US govt 10-yr treasuries? Even at today's low interest rates, I can get easy 4% yield with safe, govt treasuries. But that's not a "scary" enough concept to support his POV.

Krugman wants me to not even have the option of choosing what to do with my money. That pisses me off worse than his flawed logic and phony "truth."


rep. to you Soupnazi

One of the falacys that the left have been squaking about is that
people will have just STOCK investments to invest this money. Well, thier trying to SCARE people again......If people just stuck the $$$ into a dam CD, it would be better than hows it being handled now.

Soupnazi
02-01-2005, 10:30 AM
His P/E ratio stuff is nonsensical as well. The P/E on the DJIA today is 17.3 roughly. His historical figure of 14 includes the time of the great depression, in which almost zero outside investment took place in the stock market. The interesting thing about allowing SS money to go into the stock market is that it will provide a consistent inflow into the market. This will help stock prices increase, and will level off volatility a bit.
His assumptions also assume that every company in the stock market will perform equally for the time period going forward.
If SS is insurance, then it's the worst run insurance company in the world. How many insurers have had to hike up public taxes to raise funds to cover it's payments?
I guess all these people who have made their money to fund retirement in the stock and bond market are just morons who should've given it all to the government and had a bigger piece of "insurance" waiting for them at the end.

RINGLEADER
02-01-2005, 10:34 AM
Krugman is such a jackass. I could debunk just about every economic op-ed of his.

He can spin it however he wants, but nothing will change the fact that at my age, SS will achieve a return on my investment of ~ -0.5% to +1.0%, while I could kill SS with a simple savings account.

Why doesn't Krugman talk about the return of US govt 10-yr treasuries? Even at today's low interest rates, I can get easy 4% yield with safe, govt treasuries. But that's not a "scary" enough concept to support his POV.

Krugman wants me to not even have the option of choosing what to do with my money. That pisses me off worse than his flawed logic and phony "truth."


Or he could cite a program (in Galveston County, TX) that has been in place for decades where private social security accounts are generating nearly 7%. They did it with annuities and insurance. Private accounts doesn't mean rolling everything into a five-digit stock. And just by virtue of how the riskiest stocks trade it would be hard to get 40 years worth of investments into them (unless you picked a different one every couple years and never learned from your mistakes).

Personally, if I had an investment account, I'd put the majority of it into treasuries (which may have additional benefits depending on how the SS accounts are taxed or not taxed), put some into big-cap mutuals and leave it at that.

Frankly, I think the percentage of Americans that would be taken with sham stocks and sham funds is probably about the same as the percentage of Americans who get taken with the same schemes now. As I said, they would either have to have a very good con man working the scheme who could keep it going for decades (I'd say that's about as close to impossible as you can get) and simultaneously keep making the mistake of investing poorly over and over. We can all be concerned by the actions that these individuals take, but just because they're inept shouldn't make the concept illegitimate for the vast, vast, vast majorities of Americans who wouldn't make these mistakes.

But I do love the Dem spin on this one:

* There is no crisis (when the Dems were all claiming there was in the late 90's)

* The stock market is risky...look it went down 100 points today (when most people's careers last more than a day...or even a decade)

* This whole idea is just so Bush can reward Wall Street with fees (when the majority of the money will likely go into government instruments)

The overwhelming fact is that Social Security has been about the poorest returning investment (yeah, yeah, I know it isn't an "investment" per se, but it should be thought of as one even if the money you're contributing isn't actually the money you're receiving at the end of the day) over the past six decades. Why the libs want to fight for it makes about as much sense as why the hard-left libs take the same position as the insurgents in Iraq.

Yep, another winning issue for Jaz and his liberal friends who are willing to forego their own beliefs as long as Bush doesn't get to do something that anyone with a three-year-old's level of common sense can see is a good thing.

Cochise
02-01-2005, 10:36 AM
rep. to you Soupnazi

One of the falacys that the left have been squaking about is that
people will have just STOCK investments to invest this money. Well, thier trying to SCARE people again......If people just stuck the $$$ into a dam CD, it would be better than hows it being handled now.

It's just like how there are always going around clucking that Republicans are going to take away old people's insurance and prescription drugs and abolish school lunches and pour arsenic in the drinking water and everything else.

There is no way, in hell, that this is a bad idea. They don't have a leg to stand on. It is undeniable fact that anyone could take the money they are FORCED to sink into social security, and put it in a simple savings account to make more. They may have objections to how it would be implemented or how to hande the transition, but the bottom line is that it makes no sense the way it is now.

The oppose social security reform because of the simple fact that they didn't come up with it, and they need the issue, politically speaking. They can't join with the Republicans and get something done because then they won't be able to scare people with this issue. The Democrats need social security to continue to be a problem so they can continue saying Republicans are trying to take it away.

Besides, what is a better fund to raid for your big-government pet projects than Social Security?

Anytime you try to drain some of the slop out of the pork-trough, you are going to get some opposition from those eating out of it.

RINGLEADER
02-01-2005, 10:43 AM
The political reality is that the Dems aren't opposing it because they're worried that some might invest poorly...they're against it because social security is one of the last great (in terms of scope) contributions their party can point to (even though it hasn't been doing them a lot of good in the past few elections).

If the Dems were smart they'd propose limiting the amount that is taking from the social security contribution and increase an amount that the individual can commit to the savings account. But they also have to acknowledge that only by giving people a method of retiring with more money will they be able to make up the shortfall that will exist in a few decades.

Actually, if I was a Dem strategist I'd try to move this along so that I could put some kind of controls over how the money is invested. Personally, I think it's a terrible idea, but at least they wouldn't be paddling upstream when they come out with some kind of compromise proposal (which they're absolutely stupid if they do not...and it can't be some smoke and mirrors proposal either or they're going to get steamrolled on this one).

BIG_DADDY
02-01-2005, 10:50 AM
This just in, jaz isn't into Bush.

BIG_DADDY
02-01-2005, 10:56 AM
Heaven forbid, people controlling their own money, the horror. Most of us will pay WAY, WAY more into social insecurity than we will ever get back. I wonder what the rate of return is on that. What a stupid article.

homey
02-01-2005, 11:04 AM
The political reality is that the Dems aren't opposing it because they're worried that some might invest poorly...they're against it because social security is one of the last great (in terms of scope) contributions their party can point to (even though it hasn't been doing them a lot of good in the past few elections).

If the Dems were smart they'd propose limiting the amount that is taking from the social security contribution and increase an amount that the individual can commit to the savings account. But they also have to acknowledge that only by giving people a method of retiring with more money will they be able to make up the shortfall that will exist in a few decades.

Actually, if I was a Dem strategist I'd try to move this along so that I could put some kind of controls over how the money is invested. Personally, I think it's a terrible idea, but at least they wouldn't be paddling upstream when they come out with some kind of compromise proposal (which they're absolutely stupid if they do not...and it can't be some smoke and mirrors proposal either or they're going to get steamrolled on this one).

Can we just change your name to Sean Hannity? Question somthing in your life, just once. It will be good for you.

BigMeatballDave
02-01-2005, 11:20 AM
Can we just change your name to Sean Hannity? Question somthing in your life, just once. It will be good for you.What did this have to do with what RL said? Do YOU enjoy funding an account you'll never see a dime of?

KCWolfman
02-01-2005, 04:31 PM
My 401k has returned much much more than 3% annually, in fact without calculating out profits each year I am near 11% after the last 12 years. Where does Krugman invest his portfolio, Go Chicken Go!?

Krugman is obviously an idiot.

KCWolfman
02-01-2005, 04:34 PM
Can we just change your name to Sean Hannity? Question somthing in your life, just once. It will be good for you.
Exactly.

So do you invest in the market on a retirment program? If so, why? If not, why not?

Cochise
02-01-2005, 04:41 PM
Exactly.

So do you invest in the market on a retirment program? If so, why? If not, why not?

Maybe homey would rather we beg for the ability to contribute all our excess income into social security. You know, since it's such a great program and all.

KCWolfman
02-01-2005, 04:45 PM
Maybe homey would rather we beg for the ability to contribute all our excess income into social security. You know, since it's such a great program and all.
I am hoping for a serious answer from him.

If he invests in a retirement program, I want to know why he thinks this should even be a topic of discussion. If not, then I understand why he has the "government take care of me" attitude.

2bikemike
02-01-2005, 05:12 PM
I think that Bush should just say to all the reps in DC do give up their congressional retirement package and go onto the SS roles if they think its such a great system.

Hell hardly any federal employee pays into social security.

KCWolfman
02-01-2005, 05:27 PM
I think that Bush should just say to all the reps in DC do give up their congressional retirement package and go onto the SS roles if they think its such a great system.

Hell hardly any federal employee pays into social security.
Tom Daschle will make over 1,000,000 dollars if he lives to the average age of 79 years. How dare idiots like him and Krugman expect the average American can't live successfully off an average retirement package.

Rausch
02-01-2005, 05:58 PM
Not only do I have more belief in my ability to manage my money than the govts., but without an option like this there won't BE any SS.

WilliamTheIrish
02-01-2005, 06:06 PM
jAz,

I'm going to be totally honest here and tell you that I'm not a 'money' guy. But this article from NRO Online (http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_luskin/luskin200501110842.asp) tells me that Krugman is a huge hack.

According to Luskin, by 2009 the SS surplus will to 103.7 bill. That's 4.3 bil short of expenditures. The Fed will have to raise that shortfall from capital markets. Or it can raise taxes or cut bennies. Or both.

(You can imagine the outcry from either side)

2018 has been the year that has been projected as the 'crisis' year. But according to Luskin:

That’s the year, according to the trustees, that the Social Security surplus will disappear entirely and become a deficit. In other words, for the first time tax revenues will be less than the benefits paid out that year.

This is a solid article. I've run the tables by some friends who are 'money guys'. They tend to agree with Luskin's opinion because it's grounded in numbers.

Krugman.... ugh. I have a hard time believing you believe him.

RINGLEADER
02-01-2005, 07:46 PM
Can we just change your name to Sean Hannity? Question somthing in your life, just once. It will be good for you.


Sure seemed like I was questioning something Homey. Namely, that we probably shouldn't listen to a political hack like Krugman who has had his economic assumptions blasted by a bunch of people on a football forum and that it might be a good idea to reference a privatized retirement plan that has already been in place and is delivering 350% more income than the current system that you seem to be advocating.

But if that's not enough for you, Homey, just tell me what part of Bush's Social Security plan you think I should oppose and I'll set about questioning whether it's better than the status quo.

RINGLEADER
02-01-2005, 07:51 PM
[crickets chirping]

RINGLEADER
02-01-2005, 08:02 PM
The neo-Dem's 5-point platform:

1. Question the validity of elections in Afghanistan and Iraq like Al Qaeda does;

2. Fight to keep social security the worst-performing retirement investment;

3. Make sure every vote counts (just not those of the GOP voters who's tires we slashed);

4. Keep promising to fight a "smarter" war on terror while simultaneously voting to cut the military's funding and stopping recruiters from doing their job;

5. Hire the nutbag who claimed he didn't know if Usama was guilty, that capturing Saddam did not make us safer, that said he didn't know if the US would always have the best military, and exclaimed that he wanted to be the first gay president to be our political leader!

RINGLEADER
02-01-2005, 08:08 PM
BTW, I like the fact that Jaz completely turned on the subject of social security privatization and claimed Bush was cooking the numbers based on an article from a liberal columnist.

Either you want to have control over a portion of your retirement or you don't Jaz. I don't see how Bush has much control over what the markets are going to be doing 40 years from now. I don't doubt that there will be liberals making bad investing decisions for decades who blame Bush.

It must suck having so little confidence in yourself that you need a guy who writes for the New York Times to tell you that keeping and investing your own money is a bad thing. But, what the hay, at least he has that evil BushCo to heap all the responsibility onto for a concept he professed to embrace last year (and who's failure to pass during Bush's first term he used as one of the reasons he no longer supported him).

jAZ
02-01-2005, 09:19 PM
Either you want to have control over a portion of your retirement or you don't Jaz.
There's no false choise there! No siree bob!

:shake:

Brock
02-02-2005, 09:24 AM
What a bunch of nonsense. I barely paid attention to my 401k, and it made 14 percent in 2004.

KCTitus
02-02-2005, 09:28 AM
The Krugman Truth Sqaud, as mentioned by WTI, knock this silliness out of the park. If the Communist party of the US endorses Baker and Krugman as 'good' sources on Social Security reform, I would expect one to take pause and consider the source, but alas, Jaz isnt paying attention...

http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_luskin/kts200502021117.asp

BIG_DADDY
02-02-2005, 09:30 AM
There's no false choise there! No siree bob!

:shake:

You don't now shit about this subject you should just delete it so you don't look like a fool.

Brock
02-02-2005, 09:31 AM
You don't now shit about this subject you should just delete it so you don't look like a fool.

That cow is long out of the barn.

BIG_DADDY
02-02-2005, 09:57 AM
That cow is long out of the barn.

It's stupid he wants to talk about rate of returns when most of us will never get anywhere near what we put in if anything at all under the current structure. Anything to go away from freedom of choice and closer to communism I guess. I just don't understand anyone who would give up their freedom of choice and want to rely on big brother, it's pathetic.

Cochise
02-02-2005, 10:11 AM
It's stupid he wants to talk about rate of returns when most of us will never get anywhere near what we put in if anything at all under the current structure. Anything to go away from freedom of choice and closer to communism I guess. I just don't understand anyone who would give up their freedom of choice and want to rely on big brother, it's pathetic.

jAZ is pro-choice...


...unless you want to choose how to invest your retirement funds.

RINGLEADER
02-02-2005, 12:18 PM
It's stupid he wants to talk about rate of returns when most of us will never get anywhere near what we put in if anything at all under the current structure. Anything to go away from freedom of choice and closer to communism I guess. I just don't understand anyone who would give up their freedom of choice and want to rely on big brother, it's pathetic.


That's a good point...while the Dems like to say that the past results in the market are no guarantee of what future returns might be it IS guaranteed that when the 30-somethings and younger retire the rate of return from Social Security will be even less than what its (dismal) returns have been to date.

KCTitus
02-07-2005, 10:51 AM
Krugman got nailed on this, attempted to respond, not in the NYT but on a blog...the KTS strikes yet again, that even his correction was in fact incorrect.

http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_luskin/kts200502070938.asp

February 07, 2005, 9:38 a.m.
An Off-track Rowback of the Clawback
The Paul Krugman Social Security madness continues.

Shortly following our vivisection of Paul Krugman’s New York Times column last Friday, America’s most dangerous liberal pundit was forced to run a lengthy correction of his errors about President Bush’s Social Security reform proposal.

But did Krugman have the integrity to run it on the pages of America’s “paper of record”? No. Instead he ran it as a letter to the ultra-leftist blogger “Atrios,” signed with the name “P. K.” How classy, how brave — a pseudonymous letter to a pseudonymous blogger.

And was Krugman man enough to admit he’d made a mistake? No. Instead, he began his correction,

My column this morning wasn’t the finest — sometimes the magic works, sometimes it doesn’t.

What Krugman means by “sometimes the magic works” is that, usually, he can get away with it — the lies, distortions, errors, and misquotations — or at least get away with it in the adoring eyes of his angry liberal readers. What he means by “sometimes it doesn’t” is that, every once in a while, the Krugman Truth Squad nails him so totally dead to rights that he has no choice but to deal with it.

Krugman’s error in this latest case was to grotesquely mischaracterize the benefit offset provision in the president’s Social Security personal-account proposal. This is the provision that would require those who opt for a personal account to forgo some of their regular benefits. It’s simply a trade-off — and it’s necessary to prevent double-dipping by both having a personal account and drawing full benefits. But instead of reading the White House briefing on how the provision really works, Krugman relied on a deeply flawed Washington Post story that was later substantially corrected. So Krugman ended up characterizing the benefit offset as a “loan” that would encourage “speculation on margin,” even going so far as to quote a passage in the Post story that had been deleted from the corrected version.

“P. K.” didn’t have the guts to acknowledge any of those specific errors in his letter to “Atrios.” Instead, his correction took the form of what Times public editor Dan Okrent calls a “rowback”. This is when a new-and-improved version is offered without reference to the errors in the original. Never mind the magnitude of the policy decision at stake here. By resorting to a face-saving rowback, Krugman “didn’t have to admit to a mistake; to do the right thing, all he had to do was ‘clarify’ his previous remarks. … But isn’t it worth accepting some brief personal embarrassment in order to head off a looming policy disaster that you yourself have helped create? Apparently not.”

That quotation, by the way, comes from Krugman’s excoriation in the Times of Alan Greenspan for not admitting error in endorsing Bush’s 2001 tax cuts.

But in “clarifying” his most recent remarks Krugman has made even more errors.

In his letter to Atrios, Krugman offers “a better explanation of how the clawback works.” But the benefit offset option is not a “clawback” at all, any more than it is a “loan.” The word “clawback” is another error from the original version of the Washington Post story — the term is eliminated from the corrected version.

The president’s plan would be a clawback if profits in your Social Security personal account above a certain level were recaptured by the government. Suppose, for example, your personal account earned a return of 50 percent. A clawback provision would only let you keep the return up to some maximum, say 35 percent (the difference of 15 percent would go to the government). Obviously such a provision would take away much of the incentive to have a personal account in the first place.

But there is, in fact, no clawback mechanism whatsoever in the president’s proposal. None. The holder of a Social Security account would be able to keep every single penny of earnings, from first to last.

Why won’t Krugman correct his errors honestly on the pages the New York Times? In part it’s because many of Krugman’s errors aren’t errors at all — they are deliberate lies and distortions. And in part it’s because Krugman has an “infallibility complex,” an “inability to admit ever making a mistake” — as Krugman himself once said of the Bush administration.

But this episode is just as much the Times’s fault. Krugman knows that his bosses on the editorial page — Gail Collins and public editor Dan Okrent — don’t dare or won’t bother to challenge him. I know from corresponding with Okrent that whenever there’s a complaint from a critic like me, Krugman just stonewalls Collins and Collins just stonewalls Okrent.

For this reason I no longer bother to send e-mails to Okrent, who seems rather deluded over at the Times. He recently wrote,

The Op-Ed columnists for the first time operate under a formal corrections policy, and if you haven’t been seeing tons of corrections on the page, it may be for the best of reasons: judging by the shrinking volume of complaints I receive from readers, columnists’ errors have become much less frequent.

I made an exception in this case and e-mailed Okrent. I wanted to be sure he knows that the Times’s “formal corrections policy” permits op-ed columnists to quote errors from other newspapers — including errors that are subsequently corrected in those papers — and to deal with such mistakes with nothing more than a rowback on an idiot-fringe leftist website.

But I don’t expect to hear back from Okrent. And I certainly don’t expect to see Paul Krugman do the honorable thing and correct his errors in the pages of what was once America’s newspaper of record.

Cochise
02-07-2005, 10:56 AM
Shortly following our vivisection of Paul Krugman’s New York Times column last Friday, America’s most dangerous liberal pundit was forced to run a lengthy correction of his errors about President Bush’s Social Security reform proposal.


ROFL

the jAZ curse strikes again.

Donger
02-07-2005, 11:00 AM
Ouch.

This thread is starting to remind me of Frankie's infamous "GOP Prince/Schwarzenegger" thread.

Although jAZ has gone strangely silent after posting it...

Cochise
02-07-2005, 11:06 AM
Ouch.

This thread is starting to remind me of Frankie's infamous "GOP Prince/Schwarzenegger" thread.

Although jAZ has gone strangely silent after posting it...

Or the fake document pimping.

SBK
02-07-2005, 11:10 AM
ROFL

the jAZ curse strikes again.

OOPS!!

RINGLEADER
02-07-2005, 11:41 AM
Or the fake document pimping.

Or his claim that calling the Clinton faction of the DNC the "Clintonistas" was somehow equating them with terrorists (he evidently hasn't boned up on his Spanish);

Or his claim that John Kerry didn't say that Senators who voted against the $87 billion would be acting "recklessly" (even though that's what Kerry said);

Or his claim that Richard Clarke was consistent in his 9/11 testimony, his briefings to reporters, and his appearances on PBS when talking about what he wanted done before and after 9/11 (he wasn't consistent at all);

Or his claim that Bush had a secret deal with the Saudis because Bob Woodward's book said so (it didn't and there wasn't a secret deal);

Or his claim that Joe Wilson had exposed an administration plot about the Iraqis attempting to acquire uranium from Africa (turns out they were despite what Wilson said)

It must suck when pretty much every SHOCKING story you post about turns out to be false.

jAZ
02-09-2005, 10:00 PM
OMG, you guys are a riot.

Sorry for not being around, but I'm not sitting at a computer all day at work anymore. I have zero planet time anymore.

If someone will post the link to the 2nd krugman article, I will try to catch up.

WilliamTheIrish
02-10-2005, 12:32 AM
OMG, you guys are a riot.

Sorry for not being around, but I'm not sitting at a computer all day at work anymore. I have zero planet time anymore.

If someone will post the link to the 2nd krugman article, I will try to catch up.

It's not that big of a deal.

Hell I've moved on. Today, I'm pissed about the drug entitlement that going to cost..... well... we still don't know.

RINGLEADER
02-10-2005, 09:51 AM
OMG, you guys are a riot.

Sorry for not being around, but I'm not sitting at a computer all day at work anymore. I have zero planet time anymore.

If someone will post the link to the 2nd krugman article, I will try to catch up.


This is the only reference I've seen to a Krugman follow-up...it was posted at Atrios:

My column this morning wasn't the finest - sometimes the magic works, sometimes it doesn't. Anyway, this may be a better explanation of how the clawback works.

Suppose you invested $1000 a year (constant dollars) in a fund that pays 3 percent real interest. Then after 40 years you would have about $77,000. Suppose that your life expectancy is 20 years at retirement, and that you can buy an annuity with present value equal to that lump sum. Then you would get about $5,000 annually.

The Bush plan, as far as we can tell, is that if you elect to take the private account, your conventional benefits are cut by $5,000 per year. So investing in bonds gets you right back where you started.

If you buy risky assets, and do better than 3 percent, you may end up with, say, $7,000 per year; in that case you have a net gain of $2,000.

But if you do worse, and end up with a lump sum only large enough to buy, say, a $3,000 annuity, your benefits are still cut by $5,000, and you're $2,000 a year worse off.

So what's really happening with the private accounts is that people will be encouraged to take a mortgage on their Social Security benefits, and to speculate in the stock market.

And, of course, all of this has zero bearing, at best, on long-term government finances. In practice, whoever is running America in 2050 will probably end up bailing out the unlucky, so it's a major net negative.

Still sounds like Krugman is flailing for worst-case scenarios and overlooking the fact that there are areas of the country where private accounts are working great. I'm still surprised that you've turned so hostile on what you always claimed was an issue you supported. I remember you holding it against Bush that he didn't make private accounts happen in his first term. Instead of supporting the idea you, like Krugman, seem to be looking for faults just because it's Bush who's pushing the issue.

Quite sad IMO.

jAZ
02-11-2005, 10:37 AM
Still sounds like Krugman is flailing for worst-case scenarios and overlooking the fact that there are areas of the country where private accounts are working great. I'm still surprised that you've turned so hostile on what you always claimed was an issue you supported. I remember you holding it against Bush that he didn't make private accounts happen in his first term. Instead of supporting the idea you, like Krugman, seem to be looking for faults just because it's Bush who's pushing the issue.

Quite sad IMO.
I'm not exactly sure what I'm supposed to be defending regarding Krugman and his article, so if anyone wants to save me the time and effort by restating what I supported that was proved wrong, I'll be happy to respond.

In place of that, I'll take the time to clarify my opinions so that RL doesn't have to feel sad.

1) I support private savings accounts. Always have (since I learned of the idea)... always will.
2) The devil is in the details. In this case, the details that I object to is any attempt to replace SS with private accounts. There is a movement to do just that and it is driving the push toward private accounts. I'll ride the wave only so far.
3) As far as a private account structure that I have always supported, it is one that allows me to set aside ADDITIONAL dollars.
4) I don't support phasing out SS or allowing the well off to opt out of payments into the SS system.

SS is a conservative, low risk, low return baseline mandatory retirement savings plan. It is a cash drain from the higher income to the lower income people. This pisses off people who "want to keep their own money" and they are pushing to elimintate that aspect of SS and replace it with a system that "lets them keep their own money".

The problem is that much like your standard car insurance policy, SS is a wealth/risk redistribution system. And tinkering with that redistribution structure ($$ from wealthy to poor), and changing it to a "you get back what you pay in" system is unworkable in the big picture.

Sure it works when Joe a 30-year old Sprint network admin making 65K/year wants to put his money away. But it doesn't work for Julie a 39 year old hairdresser making 22/year.

The short sighted view of those favoring phasing out the traditional SS system is that every dollar of Joe's money that goes to Judy today will go to Joe instead.

Judy won't make that money back anywhere, and will upon retirement have less to live on, than she would otherwise have had with the contributions from Joe helping out.

Where does Judy get that lost money? She was going to be living month to month even WITH some of the assitance from Joe. Now she has LESS money to live on after retirement.

It won't cost her anyless to live in retirement, she won't be getting sick less. She will instead be forced to make up those dollars by using public services (paid for by a different tax source paid into by the same Joe).

Only now it will be costing Joe additional dollars because instead of going to her Dr who won't see her because she can't pay the co-pay, she will go to the emergency room because they won't refuse her for non-payment.

That unstructured part of the system will increase costs in the log run, because they are outside-the-intended-system costs.

Keeping SS intact as it stands keeps the pooling of community premiums (just like in insurance).

I want to add a private account ALONGSIDE existing social security. My understanding is that is the original view of SS at the time that it was created. It wasn't intended to be the only retirement system, but the lowest risk part of a larger retirement plan.

Adding private accounts alongside existing SS helps to complete that system.

Replacing SS with private accounts just causes a different mess.

KCTitus
02-11-2005, 11:25 AM
I'm not exactly sure what I'm supposed to be defending regarding Krugman and his article, so if anyone wants to save me the time and effort by restating what I supported that was proved wrong, I'll be happy to respond.

Oh, I see. You neither read the krugman article or this thread, that would explain why you've made such a mess of this thread.

The mere suggestion that this proposal is the 'replacement of social security' is laughable.

Redistribution does not work and it never will no matter how hard the left tries to make it work. SS is just another example of a failed 'great society' program that has done nothing more than create wards of the state, the constituency of the left.

jAZ
02-11-2005, 11:44 AM
Oh, I see. You neither read the krugman article or this thread, that would explain why you've made such a mess of this thread.
No, I'm game to respond... I'm working from home today, so catch me while you can. But I'm pretty sure my comments had little to do with the rebuttle articles that you post and Krugman responded to.

My point is, was and continutes to be that Bush is using the same scare tactics to stir up support for something he wants to push through. The part of Krugman's article that relates to this is the "they use optimistic numbers when talking up their solution and use pessimistic numbers when talking down the existing programs".

That's bait and switch, and perfectly in line with the "mushroom cloud" talk that was replaced with the overlybroad WMD, which was eventually replaced with "chemical weapons" until even those weren't found.

Bait and switch.

The articles I saw you posted, did nothing to address that point, but if I missed somethign feel free to summarize and I will respond.

As for their criticism of Krugman's specifics, Krugman can defend that.

Not my point, and not my battle.
The mere suggestion that this proposal is the 'replacement of social security' is laughable.
Laughable?

Taking dollars away from SS and directing it away, makes it a replacement. That's not laughable, that's basic reasoning. If you can't see even the simplest things like this, then we should just quit and save ourselves the effort.
Redistribution does not work and it never will no matter how hard the left tries to make it work. SS is just another example of a failed 'great society' program that has done nothing more than create wards of the state, the constituency of the left.
In one respect, we can agree... redistribution can't be effective if taken to an extreme. But it is effective.

The entire insurance industry is based on this very priciple. It's been operating this way for hundreds of years. The blanket statement that it "does not work" and "never will" is, well ridiculous.

WilliamTheIrish
02-11-2005, 12:09 PM
My point is, was and continutes to be that Bush is using the same scare tactics....

Sorry to chop your post....

What scare tactics? As pundits have pointed out, just a few short years ago the previous administration was talking of a "SS crisis! To go along with the health care crisis, that melded in with the child care crisis

SS reform scares me no more than welfare reform did.

jAZ
02-11-2005, 12:16 PM
Sorry to chop your post....

What scare tactics? As pundits have pointed out, just a few short years ago the previous administration was talking of a "SS crisis! To go along with the health care crisis, that melded in with the child care crisis

SS reform scares me no more than welfare reform did.
Like I said, the devil is in the details.

"SS reform" means almost nothing without the specifics.

I dispute the specifics, not the general notion.

KCTitus
02-11-2005, 12:21 PM
No, I'm game to respond... I'm working from home today, so catch me while you can. But I'm pretty sure my comments had little to do with the rebuttle articles that you post and Krugman responded to.

My point is...blah, blah, blah (sic)

These are not scare tactics, the system is failing because it's not sustainable in it's current form. This is not up for debate or something someone is passing off as propoganda. To use your line, if you cant see that then, yes, we should stop debating this now.

As to your definition of replacement...that's just silly. Giving the person the ability to control 4% of THEIR contributions is not 'replacement', it would be as you stated 'in addition' to the existing system. This doesnt even touch the employer share of FICA which most people dont realize lowers their salary.

Redistribution does not work and the Insurance industry, while close, is nothing like a government redistribution program. I am not forced to send any money to an insurance company. Second, I can shop insurance carriers for better rates, I cannot do this with a federal redistribution program.

jAZ
02-11-2005, 12:59 PM
These are not scare tactics, the system is failing because it's not sustainable in it's current form. This is not up for debate or something someone is passing off as propoganda. To use your line, if you cant see that then, yes, we should stop debating this now.
You speak in generalizations that allow you to feel "right" no matter what the specifics.

The fact is that SS faces of funding shortfall given it's current structure and population forecasts. There are numerous solutions that are discarded by this administration in favor of replacing or phasing out SS.

The scare tactics are nothing new for these guys ("mushroom clouds"), and they are using them to distort the discussion on fixing SS.

It's a legit discussion, one that many people on both sides (including you and I i think) are willing to have. And I credit Bush for (finally) being willing to fund fixing it. He had the opportunity to do so when he first took office in 2000, and Allen Greenspan and Bush's first Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill were eager use part of the pre-taxcut/911 surplus to fix SS.

Bush bailed on that project (IMO in a political attempt to gain political capital and goodwill at the expense of fixing the problems facing our nation) in favor of his flawed tax plan. But I digress.

As to your definition of replacement...that's just silly. Giving the person the ability to control 4% of THEIR contributions is not 'replacement', it would be as you stated 'in addition' to the existing system.
What are you missing? Because you are missing something. That 4% (or whatever the currently proposed number) is redirected away from SS funding. As far as that 4% goes, SS has been replaced with private accounts.

For it to be ANYTHING other than replacement, it would have to be ADDITIONAL dollars. If Bush proposed keeping SS tax revenue streams intact and adding an optional additional private account tax that would work like a 401K only one available to ALL AMERICANS - I'm all for it.

It basically would give lower income americans an easily accessible financial vehicle for saving for retirement by using pre-tax dollars aside.

I would even be in favor of making such a program manditory in ADDITION to the existing SS.

But replacing it with private accounts (today 4%, tomorrow 10%, eventually 100%) is fundamentally flawed approach to the problem of retirement savings.

Redistribution does not work and the Insurance industry, while close, is nothing like a government redistribution program. I am not forced to send any money to an insurance company. Second, I can shop insurance carriers for better rates, I cannot do this with a federal redistribution program.
You must not drive a car. Because if you did, you would realize that you are FORCED to send money to the insurance company. And to your second point, it's a nice-to-have option, but doesn't change the underlying flaw of the replacement strategy the Republicans are pushing.

Every insurance company you shop with has a bunch of low risk customers who's over payment is subsidizing (wealth redistribution) a high risk drivers' underpayment.

It's been working for years. Saying broadly that it doesn't work is wrong.

jAZ
02-11-2005, 01:05 PM
Additionally, Republicans pushing this replacement completely ignore the central point that even if you replace SS entirely with private accounts, the poorest in the nation will have the least income to spend in retirement.

But they will still have $$ needs. Certainly exceeding their retirement $$.

Those people will be taking money from the system somewhere and that money will be "YOUR" money just like it is today. Only it's going to be in unplanned for ways.

This debate (as it has played out over the last few months) has been an ideological shell game cloaked in fear mongering to move people to take dramatic actions that are ideologically driven, rather than pragmatic decisions that are solution driven.

It's exactly how Bush and the PNAC handled Iraq. It's the same bait and switch.

jAZ
02-11-2005, 01:09 PM
And with that, I really must work.

I'm working from home, and so far (as typical with this board) my time is sucked away with these discussions.

I might read responses the rest of the day, but I probably won't reply. Takes far more time and effort, as you all know.

I sure hope someone doesn't make fun of me for "running away" again. Cause that would crush me.[/sarcasm]

KCTitus
02-11-2005, 01:47 PM
You speak in generalizations that allow you to feel "right" no matter what the specifics...

Are you speaking to me or to yourself? Using the 'pre9/11 surplus to fix SS' is probably one of the most ridiculous generalizations Ive heard yet. You talked about options, yet mentioned none.

Basically, with this program beginning to crumble under its own weight, we are left with two choices. Raise taxes to extreme levels, the solution you now have advocated or restricting it to only those individuals who have no recourse. Allow people to control a fraction of how the money is invested/saved gives them some control over their retirement.

I did get quite a chuckle out of your 'new' account plan as a new tax that the government in turn gives back to the individual to 'save' on his own. That is bureaucratic/wonk BS.

As for the insurance analogy, I didnt realize that the discussion of 'the insurance industry' was limited to car insurance only.

Driving a car requires a minimum of coverage, I am not required to buy 'everything' that insurance company has to offer. I can pick and choose what type of coverage I want. Oddly, it's similar to this plan, where I have a choice...I can choose if I wish, to divert 4% to a fund that will provide me a greater return than zero.

KCTitus
02-11-2005, 01:48 PM
Additionally, Republicans pushing this replacement completely ignore the central point that even if you replace SS entirely with private accounts, the poorest in the nation will have the least income to spend in retirement.

But they will still have $$ needs. Certainly exceeding their retirement $$.

Those people will be taking money from the system somewhere and that money will be "YOUR" money just like it is today. Only it's going to be in unplanned for ways.

LOL...Jaz bemoans the scare tactics of bush. I guess scare tactics are the sole domain of the lefties. Nice work!

Donger
02-11-2005, 02:05 PM
the poorest in the nation will have the least income to spend in retirement.

Well, what do you expect?

Cochise
02-11-2005, 02:16 PM
More lame ass takes by JazCo

jAZ
02-11-2005, 03:20 PM
Using the 'pre9/11 surplus to fix SS' is probably one of the most ridiculous generalizations Ive heard yet. You talked about options, yet mentioned none.
You'll have to talk to Greenspan on O'Neill if you have a problem believing that.
Basically, with this program beginning to crumble under its own weight, we are left with two choices.
Wrong, there are more than 2 choices.

But if you follow Bush's lead by generalizing enough you too can blur out the numerous other options in between your two choices.

Once you are down to only two options, all you have to do is speak menacingly enough about the clearly unsavory choice that you present opposite your solution, and you are home free!

You learn well from your masters, yes you do.

jAZ
02-11-2005, 03:23 PM
As for the insurance analogy, I didnt realize that the discussion of 'the insurance industry' was limited to car insurance only.

Driving a car requires a minimum of coverage, I am not required to buy 'everything' that insurance company has to offer. I can pick and choose what type of coverage I want. Oddly, it's similar to...
... having the existing mandatory SS tax, and having the choice to save additional funds through a 401K plan or an additional private savings account.

Yes, thank you for pointing that out.

jAZ
02-11-2005, 03:25 PM
Well, what do you expect?
That's what I expect.

Not sure why you ignored the central point and chose to focus your post on that line, but it's your bandwidth, do with it what you please.

Donger
02-11-2005, 04:04 PM
That's what I expect.

Not sure why you ignored the central point and chose to focus your post on that line, but it's your bandwidth, do with it what you please.

You miss my point (I guess).

Are you suggesting that "the poor" should for some reason no longer be poor upon retirement?

jAZ
02-11-2005, 05:53 PM
You miss my point (I guess).

Are you suggesting that "the poor" should for some reason no longer be poor upon retirement?
I didn't miss your point, but it appears you missed mine.

Maybe I chose my words better in a prior post.
The short sighted view of those favoring phasing out the traditional SS system is that every dollar of Joe's money that goes to Judy today will go to Joe instead.

Judy won't make that money back anywhere, and will upon retirement have less to live on, than she would otherwise have had with the contributions from Joe helping out.

Where does Judy get that lost money? She was going to be living month to month even WITH some of the assitance from Joe. Now she has LESS money to live on after retirement.

It won't cost her anyless to live in retirement, she won't be getting sick less. She will instead be forced to make up those dollars by using public services (paid for by a different tax source paid into by the same Joe).

Brock
02-12-2005, 09:27 AM
jIZ, your viewpoints in this thread perfectly illustrate why you will never have 2 nickels to rub together. What a display of ignorance. No wonder you have such problems with credit cards.

jAZ
02-12-2005, 12:16 PM
jIZ, your viewpoints in this thread perfectly illustrate why you will never have 2 nickels to rub together. What a display of ignorance. No wonder you have such problems with credit cards.
And this post shows how easy it is for someone just like you to pretend you have insight and how easy it is for others to see through your facade to know you have none.

KCWolfman
02-12-2005, 03:00 PM
... having the existing mandatory SS tax, and having the choice to save additional funds through a 401K plan or an additional private savings account.

Yes, thank you for pointing that out.
The only problem with your plan is you and other wackos keep bumping up the tax. It started at least than 3% and is now at a raging 12%. The "existing" plan is a monster out of control and has no real plan from liberals to correct other than "let's tax more" or "let's blame Republicans when they want to fix it".

KCWolfman
02-12-2005, 03:01 PM
Additionally, Republicans pushing this replacement completely ignore the central point that even if you replace SS entirely with private accounts, the poorest in the nation will have the least income to spend in retirement.

But they will still have $$ needs. Certainly exceeding their retirement $$.

Those people will be taking money from the system somewhere and that money will be "YOUR" money just like it is today. Only it's going to be in unplanned for ways.

This debate (as it has played out over the last few months) has been an ideological shell game cloaked in fear mongering to move people to take dramatic actions that are ideologically driven, rather than pragmatic decisions that are solution driven.

It's exactly how Bush and the PNAC handled Iraq. It's the same bait and switch.
The poorest in this nation will still have Medicaid and Welfare. Neither are tied to Social Security.

Nice try, next topic

KCTitus
02-12-2005, 08:08 PM
You'll have to talk to Greenspan on O'Neill if you have a problem believing that.

Wrong, there are more than 2 choices.

But if you follow Bush's lead by generalizing enough you too can blur out the numerous other options in between your two choices.

Once you are down to only two options, all you have to do is speak menacingly enough about the clearly unsavory choice that you present opposite your solution, and you are home free!

You learn well from your masters, yes you do.

Excellent...you neither address my post or address the reality of the situation.

You once again fail to acknowledge the SS is crumbling under its own weight and go ramble on about bushco. It's really nothing surpising coming from you.

If faced with actual factual problems, the eyes begin to glaze over and the pre-programed mantras begin spilling out...

jAZ
02-13-2005, 02:05 AM
Excellent...you neither address my post or address the reality of the situation.

You once again fail to acknowledge the SS is crumbling under its own weight and go ramble on about bushco. It's really nothing surpising coming from you.

If faced with actual factual problems, the eyes begin to glaze over and the pre-programed mantras begin spilling out...
Funny that you ignore the problems I describe in your effort to dance around my points and ridicule my posts.

I repeatedly acknowledged that something needs to be done to improve SS. That you missed that probably says a great deal about your ability to ignore what you don't want to hear.

I have also said repeatedly that there are more than 2 options available to consider.

I am pushing for an option that neither you nor any other Bush backers seem willing to accept exists.

I can't do much about your willingness to ignore reality and pretend that the world is only Bush's way or the highway. There is a real world outside of Bush-land.

SS isn't perfect. Encouraging private retirement savings beyond SS is the best step toward fixing SS. Pulling money out of SS is NOT required to encourate private retirement savings. No matter how many times you, Bush or anyone else tries to pretend so.

stevieray
02-13-2005, 07:20 AM
Funny that you ignore the problems I describe in your effort to dance around my points and ridicule my posts.

I repeatedly acknowledged that something needs to be done to improve SS. That you missed that probably says a great deal about your ability to ignore what you don't want to hear.

I have also said repeatedly that there are more than 2 options available to consider.

I am pushing for an option that neither you nor any other Bush backers seem willing to accept exists.

I can't do much about your willingness to ignore reality and pretend that the world is only Bush's way or the highway. There is a real world outside of Bush-land.

SS isn't perfect. Encouraging private retirement savings beyond SS is the best step toward fixing SS. Pulling money out of SS is NOT required to encourate private retirement savings. No matter how many times you, Bush or anyone else tries to pretend so.

:deevee:

KCWolfman
02-13-2005, 08:40 AM
SS isn't perfect. Encouraging private retirement savings beyond SS is the best step toward fixing SS. Pulling money out of SS is NOT required to encourate private retirement savings. No matter how many times you, Bush or anyone else tries to pretend so.

tranlsation - Let the government take your money and invest it for you - they are so much smarter than you are - except when you vote and you don't chose the party I like.

jAZ
02-13-2005, 10:02 AM
tranlsation - Let the government take your money and invest it for you
Not exactly.

Let the gov't take your money and invest it for everyone. You may get back exactly what you paid in, or you may get back less than you paid in. Some people will get back more than they paid in.

That's the nature of an insurance program. SS is a retirement insurance program. It should NOT be the only pilar of a retirement program, but it should be. Nor should private accounts.

RINGLEADER
02-13-2005, 10:03 AM
I'm not exactly sure what I'm supposed to be defending regarding Krugman and his article, so if anyone wants to save me the time and effort by restating what I supported that was proved wrong, I'll be happy to respond.

You used his article as the basis of an attack on the only president who's been willing to support a program you say you support. If you don't support what he was saying why is the title of this thread "More 'bait and switch' by Bushco"?

In place of that, I'll take the time to clarify my opinions so that RL doesn't have to feel sad.

1) I support private savings accounts. Always have (since I learned of the idea)... always will.
2) The devil is in the details. In this case, the details that I object to is any attempt to replace SS with private accounts. There is a movement to do just that and it is driving the push toward private accounts. I'll ride the wave only so far.
3) As far as a private account structure that I have always supported, it is one that allows me to set aside ADDITIONAL dollars.
4) I don't support phasing out SS or allowing the well off to opt out of payments into the SS system.



1. Good for you...but in the past you claimed that you wanted private social security accounts. Now you're claiming that you really meant that you just wanted some kind of voluntary government-controlled savings account. If that's the case then why not just save the money on your own? Do you really need the government's help to put money into a 401K or an IRA or into a mutual fund?

2. I don't think Bush...who you again blamed for "baiting and switching" you, has made a proposal that will replace SS with private accounts...although such a thing would be good considering the SS program is headed for bankruptcy. Social Security cannot function as it was original designed or is presently implemented. If you don't want to change it, then fine...but bear in mind that you'll need $5-6 trillion to pay back the IOUs the government has issued between 2018 and 2042. So while I don't think you can point to any plan that eliminates social security, you're free to argue that we should keep it around despite the fact that better options exist.

3. This is a change for you Jaz. I remember you saying that one of the reasons you didn't like Bush is that he didn't tackle social security and private accounts. It's a nice way for you to suddenly find fault with something you pretended to support, but again, why do you need a government program to help you save money for the future? That's just stupid IMO...and even if you claim you need help investing for the future the government would be the last place I'd turn to.

4. Again, I can't find anyone who has proposed phasing out Social Security, even though it should be. And I don't understand why you think only the "well-off" would support getting 300% more for their money and to have that money guaranteed (versus the present social security system that will fail). Put simply, would you rather the US government borrow $1 trillion dollars to transfer the majority of the population to private accounts that they own and ARE guaranteed to pay out, or would you rather the US government borrow $5-6 trillion dollars to keep the existing system solvent through 2042 at which point it would have to borrow close to half a trillion dollars every year thereafter to keep it going. Seems like a pretty simple choice.

SS is a conservative, low risk, low return baseline mandatory retirement savings plan.

Actually it's a tax reappropriation that has been used as part of the general funds for decades. The falacy of the Krugman argument is that Social Security will continue to function when most everyone agrees that the government will have to pay back the IOUs it spent for other things between 2018 and 2042 and then will have to reduce benefits (making the return a net negative, blowing your low-risk, low-return argument out of the water) to 70% of their current flow according to Democrats. They claim this means it will not go bankrupt...but every company that's owed me money and has declared bankruptcy has paid me back with a similar cents-on-the-dollar scheme.

It is a cash drain from the higher income to the lower income people. This pisses off people who "want to keep their own money" and they are pushing to elimintate that aspect of SS and replace it with a system that "lets them keep their own money".

You don't know what you're talking about Jaz. The social security taxes are capped so the evil "rich" don't pay more than the lower income people. I've said before that I'd favor means testing social security up to a capped point if it GUARANTEED that there would be private accounts. But your claim that it is a cash drain from the higher income is just factually inaccurate.

The problem is that much like your standard car insurance policy, SS is a wealth/risk redistribution system. And tinkering with that redistribution structure ($$ from wealthy to poor), and changing it to a "you get back what you pay in" system is unworkable in the big picture.

You're wrong and you're wrong. Look at Galveston Country, TX and tell me it is unworkable. Again, you can pay a trillion in transition costs now or you can pay $5-6 trillion later to keep the system going in its present form that, even by the Dems own estimates, will result in a net loss of return to workers from 2042 on.

Sure it works when Joe a 30-year old Sprint network admin making 65K/year wants to put his money away. But it doesn't work for Julie a 39 year old hairdresser making 22/year.

Why not? Tell me what is the biggest risk if Julie MIGHT get only a portion of what Social Security was going to deliver or the full amount of what is saved for 27 years? Also, you're again glossing over the fact that if you keep the system functioning in its present state it will not only cost trillions more to keep it running from 2018 to 2042, it will cost trillions more to keep it running every decade thereafter. The situation is untenible.

The short sighted view of those favoring phasing out the traditional SS system is that every dollar of Joe's money that goes to Judy today will go to Joe instead.

Judy won't make that money back anywhere, and will upon retirement have less to live on, than she would otherwise have had with the contributions from Joe helping out.

Where does Judy get that lost money? She was going to be living month to month even WITH some of the assitance from Joe. Now she has LESS money to live on after retirement.

Unless social security can't deliver. Which we all know it won't be able to deliver without massive government spending. This is a ridiculous argument, but if you feel more comfortable in hoping social security is there for the next generation or letting them have their own account with their own money then you've REALLY changed your position on this topic.

Keeping SS intact as it stands keeps the pooling of community premiums (just like in insurance).

No, it doesn't. You're failing to realize that even if you look at the payroll TAX as a "pooling of community premiums" it will not generate enough revenue to pay out at a pace that earns even .1% on the money (so it's a terrible "investment"), and what it does pay out will be only a percentage of what you're assuming it will make (unless the Dems are wrong in their estimates). You're also not factoring in what $5-6 trillion in additional debt (to keep the system running until the 2040's when it REALLY has problems) will do to the economy. Again, you're favoring blowing trillions on a program that ultimately fails after you spend those trillions instead of a wealth-creative system that has proven it works in several counties and ultimately (hopefully) reduces the pressure that social security would otherwise bring to bear on the economy.

I want to add a private account ALONGSIDE existing social security. My understanding is that is the original view of SS at the time that it was created. It wasn't intended to be the only retirement system, but the lowest risk part of a larger retirement plan.

Nothing in this comment addresses the fact that to keep social security going in its present form you're going to burn through trillions and, at the end of the day, have a program that still fails. It also begs the question of why you would need government assistance to have such an investment tool when they a) already exist, and b) private investing options return better results even with tax-deferred benefits.

Adding private accounts alongside existing SS helps to complete that system.

Replacing SS with private accounts just causes a different mess.

:shake:

jAZ
02-13-2005, 10:04 AM
:deevee:
ZZZ

(wee! fun with smilies!)

RINGLEADER
02-13-2005, 10:09 AM
It's a legit discussion, one that many people on both sides (including you and I i think) are willing to have. And I credit Bush for (finally) being willing to fund fixing it. He had the opportunity to do so when he first took office in 2000, and Allen Greenspan and Bush's first Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill were eager use part of the pre-taxcut/911 surplus to fix SS.


Jaz, this has been discussed on other threads, but there was never a "pre-taxcut/911 surplus". It NEVER existed. That's why the national debt continued to rise to new highs EVERY YEAR of the Clinton presidency. The surplus that the Dems like to cling to was vapor - composed primarily of capital gains tax revenues that should never have existed in the first place being projected to continue at the same unsupportable pace for 10 years into the future. You take away just that one component and leave the economic growth (which downturned during Clinton's final year in office) intact in your assumption and the projected "surplus" is essentially vaporized into nothingness.

I know that doesn't square with your Dem talking points that Clinton left Bush with a $5 trillion surplus that he squandered, but they're the facts nonetheless.

jAZ
02-13-2005, 10:18 AM
Jaz, this has been discussed on other threads, but there was never a "pre-taxcut/911 surplus". It NEVER existed. That's why the national debt continued to rise to new highs EVERY YEAR of the Clinton presidency. The surplus that the Dems like to cling to was vapor - composed primarily of capital gains tax revenues that should never have existed in the first place being projected to continue at the same unsupportable pace for 10 years into the future. You take away just that one component and leave the economic growth (which downturned during Clinton's final year in office) intact in your assumption and the projected "surplus" is essentially vaporized into nothingness.

I know that doesn't square with your Dem talking points that Clinton left Bush with a $5 trillion surplus that he squandered, but they're the facts nonetheless.
Take that up with Greenspan and O'Neill. They both saw an opportunity to address SS and both fought against Bush's efforts to direct those efforts toward his tax cut instead.

Hell, take it up Bush himself. Or did he not campaign to use the surplus you are saying didn't exist to give "tax relief". Or maybe he was fully planning on driving us into bankruptcy from day 1.

RINGLEADER
02-13-2005, 10:19 AM
Not exactly.

Let the gov't take your money and invest it for everyone. You may get back exactly what you paid in, or you may get back less than you paid in. Some people will get back more than they paid in.

That's the nature of an insurance program. SS is a retirement insurance program. It should NOT be the only pilar of a retirement program, but it should be. Nor should private accounts.


SS is a tax reappropriation system that has funds that no longer exist and, if you had your way, that money would have to generated by adding to the debt. You can't even tax your way out of the problem at this point.

You further whiff on your example because social security, unlike insurance, does not - and cannot in its present form - take into account important variables like life expectancy and the cost for the "retirement insurance" as you put it. Using your "insurance" analogy, which I'm sure you're very proud of despite its errors, the premium for the "retirement insurance" would already be adjusted at the time new workers are coming into the system or the benefits paid out would already be adjusted for those retiring because, again, unlike an insurance vehicle the person covered is not the person responsible for paying the premium.

But it is nice to see that your liberal colors are flying proudly. "Let the governmetn take your money and invest it for everyone." What stupidity, unless you can point to a single example of how the government has taken money and invested it with an eye towards return and EVER succeeded.

RINGLEADER
02-13-2005, 10:28 AM
Take that up with Greenspan and O'Neill. They both saw an opportunity to address SS and both fought against Bush's efforts to direct those efforts toward his tax cut instead.

Hell, take it up Bush himself. Or did he not campaign to use the surplus you are saying didn't exist to give "tax relief". Or maybe he was fully planning on driving us into bankruptcy from day 1.


The CBO showed a surplus, there is no doubt. So did the California budgeting office. Seems when the dot-com bubble burst those capital gains tax revenues didn't materialize on a federal or state level. I also think Greenspan mentioned that there was an economic downturn before Bush even took office and he also said one time that the 9/11 attacks impacted the economy.

But you keep looking beyond the facts and hold onto those quotes from 2000 real tight sparky.

jAZ
02-13-2005, 11:10 AM
The CBO showed a surplus, there is no doubt. So did the California budgeting office. Seems when the dot-com bubble burst those capital gains tax revenues didn't materialize on a federal or state level. I also think Greenspan mentioned that there was an economic downturn before Bush even took office and he also said one time that the 9/11 attacks impacted the economy.

But you keep looking beyond the facts and hold onto those quotes from 2000 real tight sparky.
I'm pretty sure I attributed some of the disappearance of the surplus to 9-11 as well. In fact you quoted me doing so.

And you are right, part of it was attributed to a slowing economy.

But you seem to be suggesting that
1) the (lets call it a projected) surplus didn't ever exist (you seem to recongnize now that's assinine) and
2) there was never any time when Bush was mulling over what to do with the projected surplus and
3) that he chose to use that projected surplus to justify immediate cuts in tax revenues (which oddly enough gives him even greater justification for telling people that the money in the SS trustfund vanished) and

Looking back the entire thing looks like a scam from day 1. A scam to deliberately appear to bankrupt the trustfund in order to create a scenario that could possibly appear to justify the calls they fully planned to make to replace SS not because it doesn't work, but because it's ideologically inconsistant with Bush's agenda.

It's the same approach he followed in invading Iraq.

Try to create an environment so dramatic in appearance that it creates popular support for your previous agenda. All the while acting like it wasn't the plan all along, but just a series of unfortunate and unavoidable events that lead to his actions being necessary.

jAZ
02-13-2005, 11:11 AM
SS is a tax reappropriation system that has funds that no longer exist and, if you had your way, that money would have to generated by adding to the debt.
You might want to check with Alan Greenspan about that little RNC talking point.

Afterall Greenspan did design the program to fund the SS Trust Fund (back when the Republicans were in the WH doncha know), with increased tax rates that were designed to allow baby boomers (and everyone who followed) to pre-pay for their collectively growing future needs (since their population growth was going to cause a problem for SS).

Now you and Bush are repeating the RNC talking point that the money is now gone.

That's odd, huh?

KCWolfman
02-13-2005, 12:34 PM
Not exactly.

Let the gov't take your money and invest it for everyone. You may get back exactly what you paid in, or you may get back less than you paid in. Some people will get back more than they paid in.

That's the nature of an insurance program. SS is a retirement insurance program. It should NOT be the only pilar of a retirement program, but it should be. Nor should private accounts.
I don't want the government to take my money and give it to other people. They already do that with other taxation. Your socialistic viewpoint is scary and, to be honest, downright theft.

RINGLEADER
02-13-2005, 01:50 PM
You might want to check with Alan Greenspan about that little RNC talking point.

Afterall Greenspan did design the program to fund the SS Trust Fund (back when the Republicans were in the WH doncha know), with increased tax rates that were designed to allow baby boomers (and everyone who followed) to pre-pay for their collectively growing future needs (since their population growth was going to cause a problem for SS).

Now you and Bush are repeating the RNC talking point that the money is now gone.

That's odd, huh?


Dude, I'm sorry but you're just wrong. The government is mandated to provide a rate of return on the surplus but it's entirely by way of IOUs. There's no fund with money in it...it's all supported by the trust and confidence of the federal government at this point.

I don't understand where you're getting your information (like the claim earlier that wealthy people are against social security because they have to pay more when the taxes paid into social security are capped at $90,000).

RINGLEADER
02-13-2005, 01:50 PM
I'm pretty sure I attributed some of the disappearance of the surplus to 9-11 as well. In fact you quoted me doing so.

And you are right, part of it was attributed to a slowing economy.

Which, by way of example, is another reason why you should question the social security solvency issues because another downturn in the economy would balloon the multi-trillion dollar figures I've cited even more.

But you seem to be suggesting that
1) the (lets call it a projected) surplus didn't ever exist (you seem to recongnize now that's assinine) and

The <U>projected</U> surplus existed in the minds of some...but it never existed in reality. If I have a store open and have a sale and do 10x the business that day I can't automatically expect that my sales are going to be 10x (or even 2x) on any other day. That's pretty much what the revenue projections from the late 90s were doing. Look at what percentage of the surplus was coming from capital gains tax revenues and what they ended up being actually and my point is proven.

2) there was never any time when Bush was mulling over what to do with the projected surplus and

Everybody was mulling over what to do with the surpluses. Had the good times continued forever that would have been one thing, but they ended in 2000 and weren't re-projected until after Bush was in office and his tax bill passed in 2001. Saying he had intentions for a surplus while running for election and saying he projected surpluses after the downturn and 9/11 are two very different things. I know the liberal point of view is that tax cuts rob the economy of revenues but reality has shown that the opposite has taken place despite 9/11 and the recession.

3) that he chose to use that projected surplus to justify immediate cuts in tax revenues (which oddly enough gives him even greater justification for telling people that the money in the SS trustfund vanished) and

Well the government shouldn't operate with surpluses. You quote Greenspan a lot and that's his philosophy. But again, you're comparing different events at different times. And admittedly there IS a philosophical difference as well. Personally, I believe there is a lot of evidence you can point to that shows that the tax cuts helped spur the economy at a time when it needed it. Most economists I talk to say that any plan will take 18 months to 2 years to be felt. If you agree with that timetable then the economy took a nosedive up and until a couple years after the second set of cuts were enacted. But it is subjective and if you're partisan you want to blame all of the job losses in Bush's first year to Bush policies that weren't enacted until seven months into his presidency and I understand why a lib would want to do that because if you take 2001 out of Bush's column he's done a decent job considering what's transpired.

Looking back the entire thing looks like a scam from day 1. A scam to deliberately appear to bankrupt the trustfund in order to create a scenario that could possibly appear to justify the calls they fully planned to make to replace SS not because it doesn't work, but because it's ideologically inconsistant with Bush's agenda.

I hate to break it to you Jaz, but the trustfund has been bankrupt for the last 10 years. And as Amnorix and I discussed it was started by Johnson when he incorporated trust funds like social security into the budget, was made much worse by Reagan and House Democrats in 1985 when they allowed themselves one year to dip into the surplus before deciding that it was such a good deal they'd continue doing it ad infinitum. Both parties deserve the discredit for this action, but the money was gone long before Bush arrived. It's good that you at least recognize that it's bankrupt - that's more than most Dems will allow. There is absolutely no getting around the fact that transitioning to private accounts will cost anywhere between $600 billion and $2 trillion depending on which plan that's out there now you'd like to embrace...but the cost to keep the system going and pay back the spent surpluses that are projected to pay social security benefits between 2018 and 2042 will cost at a minimum $5 trillion and likely much more considering the economy likely won't continued growing at its present clip for the next 13 years.

It's the same approach he followed in invading Iraq.

Oy. If Saddam's own generals thought they had WMDs and the UN said three weeks before the invasion that Saddam hadn't accounted for tons of anthrax then why do you blame Bush for listening to the CIA and foreign intelligence services that said there were? Do you really think we should have given Saddam the benefit of the doubt? Seriously. Because if you blame Bush for going into Iraq on false pretenses those are just a few of the facts that you're overlooking.

The libs already got their ass handed to themselves once on this issue, I'd have thought you would have given it up by now.

Try to create an environment so dramatic in appearance that it creates popular support for your previous agenda. All the while acting like it wasn't the plan all along, but just a series of unfortunate and unavoidable events that lead to his actions being necessary.

For someone who likes the idea of private accounts as an alternative to social security (something, again, you blamed Bush for not tackling all last year), you sure seem to trying hard to find a conspiracy theory to explain why...um, why Bush is doing what you blamed him for not doing last year.

And no, I don't believe for a second that you meant "private accounts in addition to social security" when you were making that case last year. Seriously, Jaz, you haven't addressed it before, but if you want a voluntary investment program just start a Roth IRA or join a 401k. Do you really want your investment decisions dictated by the government? Really? I guess I understand that you now have to say that you do because to make any other position would betray your ever-changing position on social security...a position I remember pretty well because you were moaning when Kerry said he wasn't going to change social security at all.

RINGLEADER
02-13-2005, 01:58 PM
Now you and Bush are repeating the RNC talking point that the money is now gone.

That's odd, huh?


I got this from Fool.com so I'm pretty sure you'll understand it:

Myth 2: These trust funds have money
Those trust funds are invested in special-issue Treasury investments, which are the safest investments in the world. However, they also represent a loan that Uncle Sam will have to pay back in the future. <B>So when Uncle Sam slips his debit card into the trust fund ATM in 13 years, he'll just receive an IOU -- from himself. In other words, instead of billions of dollars' worth of reserves, the trust fund represents billions of dollars' worth of debt. How will the government be able to pay this debt, i.e., pay the Social Security benefits that won't be funded by tax receipts? By borrowing more money or raising taxes.</B>

RINGLEADER
02-13-2005, 02:01 PM
Seriously Jaz, now that you know two of your beliefs about social security (that Bush wants private accounts because the wealthy have to pay more and the fact that there is no trust account with money in it) do you still disagree that we shouldn't change the system with private accounts that are transitioned with a trillion dollar loan instead of keeping the failing system going with a five trillion dollar loan (at least)?

jAZ
02-13-2005, 02:43 PM
I don't want the government to take my money and give it to other people. They already do that with other taxation. Your socialistic viewpoint is scary and, to be honest, downright theft.
You are welcome to your opinions, but if that's the case, then get the hell off my internet and get the hell off my roads. I'm sure you can manage both on your own.

jAZ
02-13-2005, 03:06 PM
Everybody was mulling over what to do with the surpluses. Had the good times continued forever that would have been one thing, but they ended in 2000 and weren't re-projected until after Bush was in office and his tax bill passed in 2001.
And thus endth the debate.

Whether things worked out differently AFTER Bush made his choices has zero bearing on the facts and circumstances that he was presented with at the time.

And those facts and circumstances (regardless of how hard you try to deny it) were that there was a surplus projected before, during and after Bush took office. And Greenspan and O'Neill BOTH tried to get Bush to use that opportunity to deal with SS.

Bush refused and listened to Karl Rove instead. He (as is often the case) listened to his political people rather than his policy people. It works great for trying to get re-elected, but does so at the expense of sound policy.

Bush sold out solidifying SS in favor of a bogus "stimulus" package of tax cuts. My guess is he did so, deliberately. He calculated that taking that opporunity to address SS would leave him with ZERO opportunity to implement his ideological vision of phasing out SS.

jAZ
02-13-2005, 03:09 PM
Seriously Jaz, now that you know two of your beliefs about social security (that Bush wants private accounts because the wealthy have to pay more and the fact that there is no trust account with money in it) do you still disagree that we shouldn't change the system with private accounts that are transitioned with a trillion dollar loan instead of keeping the failing system going with a five trillion dollar loan (at least)?
You keep saying that you don't twist people's words... here's your chance to prove it. Stop paraphrasing my "beliefs" and quote them.

KCWolfman
02-13-2005, 03:14 PM
You are welcome to your opinions, but if that's the case, then get the hell off my internet and get the hell off my roads. I'm sure you can manage both on your own.
If the internet and roads were paid by you and you alone, you would have a point to your wandering analogy. As it is, I pay for those as well and I am taxed for it. If you are stating that SS needs to fund the poor, you are making a huge amount of conclusilatory leaps that befuddle me.

#1. What are welfare and food stamps to provide for people over the age of 65? If there is already a government program in place to help the impoverished elderly, why do we need a second one?

#2. Are you stating people are simply not smart enough to invest their own funds and we are to trust the government to do a better job? The same government you carp about constantly? Hardly consistent of you, is it?

#3. If SS is good enough for us, why isn't it good enough for Congress? Such a great deal should include the lawmakers, shouldn't it? I wonder why they don't participate? Do you have any reason as to why?

#4. Why can't we increase the amount of welfare and food stamps to impoverished elderly and leave the retirement funds in the hands of the people working their asses of for those funds?

#5. Keeping the current SS system simply enables to poor planners in this nation to continue their poor planning. Why should I have to pay for the mistakes of others. Unless you plan on sending me checks to help me with my electric bill for my internet and maintenance to keep my car on those roads we all pay for. I will gladly forward my address so you can start sending a percentage of your check due to your considerate concern.

RINGLEADER
02-13-2005, 05:40 PM
And thus endth the debate.


How classic. Jaz raises an issue of his own invention that wasn't being debated and when I agree he holds it out as evidence of his rightness in the debate about social security. It's a shame you let your hatred for Bush cloud an issue you at least pretended to care about in the past.

RINGLEADER
02-13-2005, 05:46 PM
You keep saying that you don't twist people's words... here's your chance to prove it. Stop paraphrasing my "beliefs" and quote them.

Jaz comments underlined and linked to his original post:

<a href="http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showpost.php?p=2271720&postcount=43">SS is a conservative, low risk, low return baseline mandatory retirement savings plan. <B>It is a cash drain from the higher income to the lower income people.</B> This pisses off people who "want to keep their own money" and they are pushing to elimintate that aspect of SS and replace it with a system that "lets them keep their own money".</a>

Social security is neither a low risk, low return savings plan nor is it a cash drain from the higher income to the lower income because the amount of income that is taxed under the system is capped at $90,000.

<a href="http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showpost.php?p=2274264&postcount=77">You might want to check with Alan Greenspan about that little RNC talking point. Afterall Greenspan did design the program to fund the SS Trust Fund (back when the Republicans were in the WH doncha know), with increased tax rates that were designed to allow baby boomers (and everyone who followed) to pre-pay for their collectively growing future needs (since their population growth was going to cause a problem for SS).</a>

So you're saying it was a Republican that vetoed Republican legislation from Greenspan that would have "fixed" the system by allowing younger people to pay more taxes? It's pretty clear that there is no trust fund and the argument that you claim Greenspan was making would not fix the system either. Can you continue the program by raising taxes? Certainly, but it still will eventually collapse. You're also completely skirting the fact that raising taxes will NOT increase returns to the same level as has been proven in those areas that do allow private accounts comprised of only the most conservative investments.

<a href="http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showpost.php?p=2274183&postcount=69">That's the nature of an insurance program. SS is a retirement insurance program. It should NOT be the only pilar of a retirement program, but it should be. Nor should private accounts.</a>

SS is the furtherest thing from an "insurance program" as you can get.



Once again you seem to find more interest in trying to deflect the debate rather than answer a simple question: Do you favor keeping social security going in its present form and paying $5 trillion (at least) to repay the IOUs or do you think it makes more sense to allow a portion of the social security taxes to be kept under the control of the individual and not the government and pay the $1 trillion it would cost to transition?

jAZ
02-13-2005, 06:47 PM
If the internet and roads were paid by you and you alone, you would have a point to your wandering analogy. As it is, I pay for those as well and I am taxed for it.
You seem unwilling to pay your good money into a community resourse which you are not going to be required to share with others if you use it at all (and at a possible loss of income on your part). Just pointing out other similar resources that you convienently ignore.

Oh, or do you drive on rural interstate roads in Southern Alaska regularly?

jAZ
02-13-2005, 06:50 PM
Jaz comments underlined and linked to his original post:

<a href="http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showpost.php?p=2271720&postcount=43">SS is a conservative, low risk, low return baseline mandatory retirement savings plan. <B>It is a cash drain from the higher income to the lower income people.</B> This pisses off people who "want to keep their own money" and they are pushing to elimintate that aspect of SS and replace it with a system that "lets them keep their own money".</a>

Social security is neither a low risk, low return savings plan nor is it a cash drain from the higher income to the lower income because the amount of income that is taxed under the system is capped at $90,000.

<a href="http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showpost.php?p=2274264&postcount=77">You might want to check with Alan Greenspan about that little RNC talking point. Afterall Greenspan did design the program to fund the SS Trust Fund (back when the Republicans were in the WH doncha know), with increased tax rates that were designed to allow baby boomers (and everyone who followed) to pre-pay for their collectively growing future needs (since their population growth was going to cause a problem for SS).</a>

So you're saying it was a Republican that vetoed Republican legislation from Greenspan that would have "fixed" the system by allowing younger people to pay more taxes? It's pretty clear that there is no trust fund and the argument that you claim Greenspan was making would not fix the system either. Can you continue the program by raising taxes? Certainly, but it still will eventually collapse. You're also completely skirting the fact that raising taxes will NOT increase returns to the same level as has been proven in those areas that do allow private accounts comprised of only the most conservative investments.

<a href="http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showpost.php?p=2274183&postcount=69">That's the nature of an insurance program. SS is a retirement insurance program. It should NOT be the only pilar of a retirement program, but it should be. Nor should private accounts.</a>

SS is the furtherest thing from an "insurance program" as you can get.



Once again you seem to find more interest in trying to deflect the debate rather than answer a simple question: Do you favor keeping social security going in its present form and paying $5 trillion (at least) to repay the IOUs or do you think it makes more sense to allow a portion of the social security taxes to be kept under the control of the individual and not the government and pay the $1 trillion it would cost to transition?
Good work, my words speak light years better for me than you or your twisted paraphrasing could ever do. Now kindly remove your twisted paraphrasing of my quotes, and we will be good to go.

And please make sure to keep your opinions out of my mouth in the future. It's harder to win arguments that way, but you end up with a good deal more self-respect when it's all said and done.

jAZ
02-13-2005, 06:55 PM
Once again you seem to find more interest in trying to deflect the debate rather than answer a simple question: Do you favor keeping social security going in its present form and paying $5 trillion (at least) to repay the IOUs or do you think it makes more sense to allow a portion of the social security taxes to be kept under the control of the individual and not the government and pay the $1 trillion it would cost to transition?
Debating RL is like debating the guy in Memento.


http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showpost.php?p=2271720&postcount=43
...I'll take the time to clarify my opinions so that RL doesn't have to feel sad.

1) I support private savings accounts. Always have (since I learned of the idea)... always will.
2) The devil is in the details. In this case, the details that I object to is any attempt to replace SS with private accounts. There is a movement to do just that and it is driving the push toward private accounts. I'll ride the wave only so far.
3) As far as a private account structure that I have always supported, it is one that allows me to set aside ADDITIONAL dollars.
4) I don't support phasing out SS or allowing the well off to opt out of payments into the SS system.

SS is a conservative, low risk, low return baseline mandatory retirement savings plan. It is a cash drain from the higher income to the lower income people. This pisses off people who "want to keep their own money" and they are pushing to elimintate that aspect of SS and replace it with a system that "lets them keep their own money".

The problem is that much like your standard car insurance policy, SS is a wealth/risk redistribution system. And tinkering with that redistribution structure ($$ from wealthy to poor), and changing it to a "you get back what you pay in" system is unworkable in the big picture.

Sure it works when Joe a 30-year old Sprint network admin making 65K/year wants to put his money away. But it doesn't work for Julie a 39 year old hairdresser making 22/year.

The short sighted view of those favoring phasing out the traditional SS system is that every dollar of Joe's money that goes to Judy today will go to Joe instead.

Judy won't make that money back anywhere, and will upon retirement have less to live on, than she would otherwise have had with the contributions from Joe helping out.

Where does Judy get that lost money? She was going to be living month to month even WITH some of the assitance from Joe. Now she has LESS money to live on after retirement.

It won't cost her anyless to live in retirement, she won't be getting sick less. She will instead be forced to make up those dollars by using public services (paid for by a different tax source paid into by the same Joe).

Only now it will be costing Joe additional dollars because instead of going to her Dr who won't see her because she can't pay the co-pay, she will go to the emergency room because they won't refuse her for non-payment.

That unstructured part of the system will increase costs in the log run, because they are outside-the-intended-system costs.

Keeping SS intact as it stands keeps the pooling of community premiums (just like in insurance).

I want to add a private account ALONGSIDE existing social security. My understanding is that is the original view of SS at the time that it was created. It wasn't intended to be the only retirement system, but the lowest risk part of a larger retirement plan.

Adding private accounts alongside existing SS helps to complete that system.

Replacing SS with private accounts just causes a different mess.

KCWolfman
02-13-2005, 07:14 PM
Good work, my words speak light years better for me than you or your twisted paraphrasing could ever do. Now kindly remove your twisted paraphrasing of my quotes, and we will be good to go.

And please make sure to keep your opinions out of my mouth in the future. It's harder to win arguments that way, but you end up with a good deal more self-respect when it's all said and done.
Thank goodness you are not guilty of the same thing, eh?

You are welcome to your opinions, but if that's the case, then get the hell off my internet and get the hell off my roads. I'm sure you can manage both on your own

jAZ
02-13-2005, 07:16 PM
Thank goodness you are not guilty of the same thing, eh?
So you are saying that you don't mind paying for community resources?

Gosh, I never would have imagined.

Gee, I'm so sorry. I won't make that mistake again.

KCWolfman
02-13-2005, 07:17 PM
You seem unwilling to pay your good money into a community resourse which you are not going to be required to share with others if you use it at all (and at a possible loss of income on your part). Just pointing out other similar resources that you convienently ignore.

Oh, or do you drive on rural interstate roads in Southern Alaska regularly?
My taxes already go to a "community resource", it is called "welfare" and "food stamps".

No small wonder you ignored all 5 of my points.


Now, if you are to determine what is and what is not a community resource, please forward your funds to me immediately. I have more children than you do, and I have 3 cars a mortgage and college funds to consider. You have failed miserably in assisting your "community". Please don't be a hypocrite - send your money immediately.

KCWolfman
02-13-2005, 07:19 PM
So you are saying that you don't mind paying for community resources?

Gosh, I never would have imagined.

Gee, I'm so sorry. I won't make that mistake again.
Not at all. I already do.

Now why do I have to pay the same resource twice? And why doesn't Congress have to pay it at all? If SS is such a good thing, why isn't your role models like Barney Frank and Tom Dasshole paying their fair share?

Perhaps they drive on those Alaskan rural routes you were speaking of?

jAZ
02-13-2005, 07:33 PM
Now why do I have to pay the same resource twice?
I'm sure there is a solution that would allow you to pay into a single bucket, but that bucket would just be 2x as big. It's just pushing money around. Cutting off funding for lower income retirement savings doesn't actually make the cost of living in retirement go down. It just makes it harder for low income retirees to meet that cost of living.

The needs aren't any smaller, even if you phase out SS.

People will just seek other sources that were never designed to meet the new or alternative demands.

(I'm actually impressed with the potential to this exchange.

I think you and I are as close as anyone I've talked to in the last 2 days, to having a real discussion of the issues... rather than a baseless partisan slugfest that this place has spiraled into.

jAZ
02-13-2005, 07:37 PM
And why doesn't Congress have to pay it at all? If SS is such a good thing, why isn't your role models like Barney Frank and Tom Dasshole paying their fair share?
Is it just Democrats in Congress that aren't paying into SS? Or is it Republicans as well?

Ooops!

http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/Specials/P107171.asp

Myth No.2: Congress doesn't pay into Social Security, so it doesn't care about fixing the crisis. The idea that U.S. lawmakers don't pay into Social Security is 20 years out of date. Before 1984, U.S. representatives and senators -- like all other federal employees -- weren't covered by Social Security and didn't pay into the system. Congress passed a law in 1983, which took effect the next year, requiring all its members (and all federal employees hired after that year) to participate in the system.

This myth is often accompanied by the assertion that Congress participates in a private pension scheme that pays them their salaries for the rest of their lives. In fact, the Civil Service Retirement System, which covered federal employees in earlier decades, was closed to new participants after 1983. The pensions available under this old system depend on the federal worker's pay and tenure with the government, but by law can't exceed 80% of the final year's pay. Benefits paid under the system are reduced by the amount of Social Security the participant receives.

The reason Congress hasn't fixed the Social Security crisis is politics. The most likely solutions -- raising taxes, cutting benefits, establishing private accounts or some combination of the three -- all face strong opposition. In addition, the people currently receiving benefits are represented by one of the strongest, most politically-connected lobbies in existence: AARP. The 20-something workers who likely will pay the cost for Congressional inaction don't have nearly the same clout.

jAZ
02-13-2005, 07:41 PM
Social security is (not) a low risk, low return savings plan...
That's odd...

I got this from Fool.com so I'm pretty sure you'll understand it:

Myth 2: These trust funds have money
Those trust funds are invested in special-issue Treasury investments, which are the safest investments in the world
But in RL's world, I guess the safest investments in the world are not low risk.

KCWolfman
02-13-2005, 07:44 PM
Is it just Democrats in Congress that aren't paying into SS? Or is it Republicans as well?

Ooops!

http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/Specials/P107171.asp

Myth No.2: Congress doesn't pay into Social Security, so it doesn't care about fixing the crisis. The idea that U.S. lawmakers don't pay into Social Security is 20 years out of date. Before 1984, U.S. representatives and senators -- like all other federal employees -- weren't covered by Social Security and didn't pay into the system. Congress passed a law in 1983, which took effect the next year, requiring all its members (and all federal employees hired after that year) to participate in the system.

This myth is often accompanied by the assertion that Congress participates in a private pension scheme that pays them their salaries for the rest of their lives. In fact, the Civil Service Retirement System, which covered federal employees in earlier decades, was closed to new participants after 1983. The pensions available under this old system depend on the federal worker's pay and tenure with the government, but by law can't exceed 80% of the final year's pay. Benefits paid under the system are reduced by the amount of Social Security the participant receives.

The reason Congress hasn't fixed the Social Security crisis is politics. The most likely solutions -- raising taxes, cutting benefits, establishing private accounts or some combination of the three -- all face strong opposition. In addition, the people currently receiving benefits are represented by one of the strongest, most politically-connected lobbies in existence: AARP. The 20-something workers who likely will pay the cost for Congressional inaction don't have nearly the same clout.
Dodge. I thought you were bitching about RL doing just that? Why do you get a free pass?

Again, if SS is such a great deal, why don't the people who want to continue the program in Congress (i.e. your liberal buddies) pay into the program? Your continual dodging of the same white elephant in the room certainly doesn't lend to an intelligent discussion on the topic, does it?

KCWolfman
02-13-2005, 07:45 PM
That's odd...


But in RL's world, I guess the safest investments in the world are not low risk.
Did you know I can invest my 401k in T-Bills. The nice thing is I don't have to if I don't want to. Too bad, many people like you feel the average person is too stupid to figure that out on his own.

jAZ
02-13-2005, 07:55 PM
Dodge. I thought you were bitching about RL doing just that? Why do you get a free pass?

Again, if SS is such a great deal, why don't the people who want to continue the program in Congress (i.e. your liberal buddies) pay into the program?
Since when is posting an article showing your question to be rife with snopes-esque mythology "dodging" the question.

It's pointing out that you are wrong in suggesting that Congress doesn't "pay into" SS. You are 100% wrong.

If you being 100% wrong is a dodge. Then you are a fully loaded Durango.

jAZ
02-13-2005, 07:58 PM
Did you know I can invest my 401k in T-Bills. The nice thing is I don't have to if I don't want to. Too bad, many people like you feel the average person is too stupid to figure that out on his own.
And you are fully able to do just that.

And if I had my way, you would be able to do the same even if you didn't have access to an employer-based 401K plan. You would have the option of having private accounts to invest added dollars into.

But those dollars wouldn't be re-directed away from the baseline SS system. One that operates as retirement insurance for everyone.

KCWolfman
02-13-2005, 07:58 PM
Since when is posting an article showing your question to be rife with snopes-esque mythology "dodging" the question.

It's pointing out that you are wrong in suggesting that Congress doesn't "pay into" SS. You are 100% wrong.

If you being 100% wrong is a dodge. Then you are a fully loaded Durango.
Read again, my friend. Tom Daschle, Ted Kennedy, and any else elected prior to 1983 are enjoying a lavish retirement program not allowed to the common man. Why are they allowed to dodge the program? Why shouldn't they have to turn those funds to SS $$$$?

KCWolfman
02-13-2005, 07:59 PM
And you are fully able to do just that.

And if I had my way, you would be able to do the same even if you didn't have access to an employer-based 401K plan. You would have the option of having private accounts to invest added dollars into.

But those dollars wouldn't be re-directed away from the baseline SS system. One that operates as retirement insurance for everyone.
I guess if you support double taxation for "community resources" and want to instill a socialist form of government, it makes sense. For those who choose not to invest wisely, it would be sweet for them to steal from intelligent hard workers.

jAZ
02-13-2005, 08:03 PM
Read again, my friend. Tom Daschle, Ted Kennedy, and any else elected prior to 1983 are enjoying a lavish retirement program not allowed to the common man. Why are they allowed to dodge the program? Why shouldn't they have to turn those funds to SS $$$$?
Oh, so you are asking why they were grandfathered? Or are you asking why Democrats were grandfathered, but not Republicans? Or are you just ignoring the fact that there are more than a few Republicans that were in congress prior to 1983.

In either case, you point is a worthy point of criticsm. It's a trivial dollar amount, that has almost zero impact regarding the SS treasury fund... but the principle behind the criticsm is valid.

I'm all for taking away the special privliges of the remaining oldtimers in Congress.

But not just the Dems. K?

Republicans too.

Now that we are (hopefully) in agreement on this issue. Why does it matter at all again?

jAZ
02-13-2005, 08:08 PM
I guess if you support double taxation for "community resources" and want to instill a socialist form of government, it makes sense. For those who choose not to invest wisely, it would be sweet for them to steal from intelligent hard workers.
Why aren't you fighting to reform automobile liability insurance requirement laws? There's some guy somewhere who got into an accident who is taking money out of your pocket as a result.

If we have successfully moved past all the Republican BS about the viability of SS, and we are actually now admitting what the true issue is... an ideological objection to the very nature of Social Security... then maybe we are making progress.

You can try to smear me with whatever language you want, but a healthy and wealthy society such as our's will always have an aspect of "socialism". Espcially given the Christian perspective that our citizens have.

KCWolfman
02-13-2005, 08:12 PM
Why aren't you fighting to reform automobile liability insurance requirement laws? There's some guy somewhere who got into an accident who is taking money out of your pocket as a result.

If we have successfully moved past all the Republican BS about the viability of SS, and we are actually now admitting what the true issue is... an ideological objection to the very nature of Social Security... then maybe we are making progress.

You can try to smear me with whatever language you want, but a healthy and wealthy society such as our's will always have an aspect of "socialism". Espcially given the Christian perspective that our citizens have.
I didn't realize I smeared you with any name? Can you point out the name I used? I stated that you support a double taxation socialistic viewpoint that borders on theft.

The lady doth protest too much, methinks

KCWolfman
02-13-2005, 08:14 PM
Why aren't you fighting to reform automobile liability insurance requirement laws? There's some guy somewhere who got into an accident who is taking money out of your pocket as a result.

If we have successfully moved past all the Republican BS about the viability of SS, and we are actually now admitting what the true issue is... an ideological objection to the very nature of Social Security... then maybe we are making progress.

You can try to smear me with whatever language you want, but a healthy and wealthy society such as our's will always have an aspect of "socialism". Espcially given the Christian perspective that our citizens have.
And honestly, I don't give a damn about "viability". When you keep increasing the percentage of total money taken from a paycheck for a single program, your system is flawed and bound to fail or you will continue to steal.

jAZ
02-13-2005, 08:17 PM
I didn't realize I smeared you with any name? Can you point out the name I used? I stated that you support a double taxation socialistic viewpoint that borders on theft.

The lady doth protest too much, methinks
I don't care much. I'd rather you address the points raised. If you didn't mean "socialist" as a smear, then I will take you at your word.

But back to those other posts you have seemingly overlooked in your quest to talk about what is, and what is not a "smear".

jAZ
02-13-2005, 08:21 PM
And honestly, I don't give a damn about "viability". When you keep increasing the percentage of total money taken from a paycheck for a single program, your system is flawed and bound to fail or you will continue to steal.
As weird as it sounds (because I stopped even responding to you for nearly a year)... I honestly enjoy talking about this issue with you more than anyone else so far.

You are honest about what the issue truely is about. No hiding behind bogus scare tactics about viability. You aren't parroting the RNC talking points that RL is.

You are saying what most of the anti-SSers are probably thinking, but what they know isn't politically effective rhetoric.

As much as I totally disagree, I give you some kudos for your efforts here.

KCWolfman
02-13-2005, 08:24 PM
I don't care much. I'd rather you address the points raised. If you didn't mean "socialist" as a smear, then I will take you at your word.

But back to those other posts you have seemingly overlooked in your quest to talk about what is, and what is not a "smear".
Socialists live fine in other nations. I have no problem with Socialists. Their more affluent members frequently come to our nation to enjoy our medical resources, entertainment, and to invest in true capitalism.

I just don't want socialism rampant in my nation.

KCWolfman
02-13-2005, 08:25 PM
As weird as it sounds (because I stopped even responding to you for nearly a year)... I honestly enjoy talking about this issue with you more than anyone else so far.

You are honest about what the issue truely is about. No hiding behind bogus scare tactics about viability. You aren't parroting the RNC talking points that RL is.

You are saying what most of the anti-SSers are probably thinking, but what they know isn't politically effective rhetoric.

As much as I totally disagree, I give you some kudos for your efforts here.
To be honest, Amnorix has done the same for the left, almost. He has admitted that the Dems don't want to touch SS, not because it is "viable" as you allude to, but rather because they are afraid of losing the elderly vote.

jAZ
02-13-2005, 08:26 PM
Socialists live fine in other nations. I have no problem with Socialists. Their more affluent members frequently come to our nation to enjoy our medical resources, entertainment, and to invest in true capitalism.

I just don't want socialism rampant in my nation.
You might want to move to a less Christian nation then. Those Christians are always following in Jesus' footsteps and seeking to help the poor.

KCWolfman
02-13-2005, 08:28 PM
You might want to move to a less Christian nation then. Those Christians are always following in Jesus' footsteps and seeking to help the poor.
I thought this was a non-secular nation. Funny how it can be either dependent upon the need of the speaker, eh?


Actually, a Christian nation would give out of love from their own pocket. They wouldn't assign a mandatory taxation because a Christian nation would require no such law.

Nice try, but hardly accurate.

jAZ
02-13-2005, 08:32 PM
To be honest, Amnorix has done the same for the left, almost. He has admitted that the Dems don't want to touch SS, not because it is "viable" as you allude to, but rather because they are afraid of losing the elderly vote.
Well, there is certainly some of that. But that's going on in both parties. There are plenty of Republicans in states like Florida and Arizona, that are resistant to Bush's rhetoric.

If there is anything "dishonest" on the Dems side, it's less about the elderly vote, and more driven by the need to define itself politically.

They have picked this issue as their line-in-the-sand issue that they hope will help to unify them to become an effetive opposition party.

Regardless of how 50/50 the nation is politically, the Republians are in control of 100% of the gov't. Leaving the Dems politically weak enough for the time being that they must act as an opposition party.

The Republicans did it in the 90's. The Dems are doing it now. But they Dems sure won't be talking about that aspect of this issue, because much like the Republicans' "I just don't like SS" mantra... the "I want to build an identity for my party" mantra won't win any votes for the Dems.

jAZ
02-13-2005, 08:43 PM
I thought this was a non-secular nation. Funny how it can be either dependent upon the need of the speaker, eh?


Actually, a Christian nation would give out of love from their own pocket. They wouldn't assign a mandatory taxation because a Christian nation would require no such law.

Nice try, but hardly accurate.
Actually quite accurate.

But maybe too personal. I didn't mean it as a "smear" (seriously).

My point is that the entire consideration of establishing social welfare programs in this nation is at least (or in large) partly from a moral "look out for the weakest among us" princple.

A less Christian nation may not have that same Jesus-like view of culture.

KCWolfman
02-13-2005, 08:58 PM
Actually quite accurate.

But maybe too personal. I didn't mean it as a "smear" (seriously).

My point is that the entire consideration of establishing social welfare programs in this nation is at least (or in large) partly from a moral "look out for the weakest among us" princple.

A less Christian nation may not have that same Jesus-like view of culture.
I have no problem with that concept, thus the reason I support the expansion of Welfare and Medicaid to support the elderly who do not invest well. When given a longterm outlook of "I can invest my own dollars my own way with a free retirement analyst that my investment company provides" or "I can spend all my money now and live off welfare when I am older" most of us will make the correct decision and get the crutch of SS out of existence.

jAZ
02-13-2005, 09:16 PM
I have no problem with that concept, thus the reason I support the expansion of Welfare and Medicaid to support the elderly who do not invest well. When given a longterm outlook of "I can invest my own dollars my own way with a free retirement analyst that my investment company provides" or "I can spend all my money now and live off welfare when I am older" most of us will make the correct decision and get the crutch of SS out of existence.
It seems from where I am sitting that you are bickering over names.

SS, Welfare, Medicaid... They are at their core, all identical programs based on the "look out for your weaker brother" philosophy. They are all socialist programs.

You can defund one program, and increase funding elsewhere.

Those that have an ideological objection to "giving my money to the other guy", will (if they are being intellectually honest) have an objection to all or none.

The names matter little to me. You can have 1 big bucket to put tax dollars into, or you have have 3 small ones. Both approaches have their beauacratic costs.

Wanting to phase out SS while racheting up other wealth redistribution programs seems inconsisent to me.

I am glad to hear a Republican who is willing to admit that there is value in a wealth redistribution program of some kind. That kind of parsing (rather than dismissing something whole cloth) makes for an honest discussion.

KCWolfman
02-13-2005, 09:25 PM
It seems from where I am sitting that you are bickering over names.

SS, Welfare, Medicaid... They are at their core, all identical programs based on the "look out for your weaker brother" philosophy. They are all socialist programs.

You can defund one program, and increase funding elsewhere.

Those that have an ideological objection to "giving my money to the other guy", will (if they are being intellectually honest) have an objection to all or none.

The names matter little to me. You can have 1 big bucket to put tax dollars into, or you have have 3 small ones. Both approaches have their beauacratic costs.

Wanting to phase out SS while racheting up other wealth redistribution programs seems inconsisent to me.

I am glad to hear a Republican who is willing to admit that there is value in a wealth redistribution program of some kind. That kind of parsing (rather than dismissing something whole cloth) makes for an honest discussion.

If 4% is "wealth redistribution" and not simple "taxation" who is guilty of "bickering over names"? Seems to me that you are.

As far as inconsistency, I disagree heartily. SS is considered an entitlement. It is an entitlement program. People consider it a given that they will receive it. Thus EVERYONE gets the funds when it is not necessary, plus those who pay exponentially in get very little in return.

As an expanded welfare system, less will think of welfare as an entitlement and instead become active in their investment portfolios so that they do not eventually become dead weights on society. I currently am managing an office of 15 employees. Only 3 invest in their retirement program - even when the company offers to match their funds up to 3K a year and offer them full vestment after 3 months. Why? Because they want their money now and they know they will have social security later.

I guarantee that most of those employees would not only invest their funds, but be active participants in the distribution, calculation, and watching of those funds if a mandatory retirement program were initiated over SS. Hell, the scaredy cats could put their money right back in T-Bills if they didn't want to invest more heartily.

It is the logical thing to do to let the people take care of their own money. If you feel the need to graze off the top of it for the stupid, the poor, and the inept at retirement age, I have no qualms with that. Just don't take 12% of a paycheck and say it is necessary to help the poor - that is a lie.

jAZ
02-13-2005, 10:54 PM
I currently am managing an office of 15 employees. Only 3 invest in their retirement program - even when the company offers to match their funds up to 3K a year and offer them full vestment after 3 months. Why? Because they want their money now and they know they will have social security later.
Weren't you the one trying to get me to call people like this "too stupid to trust with their own money"? Are you calling your employees "too stupid to trust with their own money"?

Because clearly they are not thinking clearly by rejecting pre-tax investments currently available to them with a free matching contribution and a SS that has no money and is in "crisis".

What to make of your employess?

Are they an example of exactly why a SS-esque baseline mandatory pooled retirement system is required? You have to make a total leap of faith (based on nothing factual) to say that these very people would act differently if they had private accounts (that they currently have access to, but refuse to accept free money to contribut into).

Your example is an example of far more than you were planning, I suspect.

KCWolfman
02-14-2005, 05:12 AM
Weren't you the one trying to get me to call people like this "too stupid to trust with their own money"? Are you calling your employees "too stupid to trust with their own money"?

Because clearly they are not thinking clearly by rejecting pre-tax investments currently available to them with a free matching contribution and a SS that has no money and is in "crisis".

What to make of your employess?

Are they an example of exactly why a SS-esque baseline mandatory pooled retirement system is required? You have to make a total leap of faith (based on nothing factual) to say that these very people would act differently if they had private accounts (that they currently have access to, but refuse to accept free money to contribut into).

Your example is an example of far more than you were planning, I suspect.
I am not making any type of leap at all. I am stating that people will continue to let the government coddle them if people like you have their way and continue to expect the government to think for us.

Furthermore if MANDATORY retirement funds were to take the place of SS they would have no choice but to get involved, would they?

RINGLEADER
02-16-2005, 10:39 AM
Good work, my words speak light years better for me than you or your twisted paraphrasing could ever do. Now kindly remove your twisted paraphrasing of my quotes, and we will be good to go.

And please make sure to keep your opinions out of my mouth in the future. It's harder to win arguments that way, but you end up with a good deal more self-respect when it's all said and done.


ROFL

RINGLEADER
02-16-2005, 10:41 AM
I'm sure there is a solution that would allow you to pay into a single bucket, but that bucket would just be 2x as big. It's just pushing money around. Cutting off funding for lower income retirement savings doesn't actually make the cost of living in retirement go down. It just makes it harder for low income retirees to meet that cost of living.

The needs aren't any smaller, even if you phase out SS.


So who's proposed phasing out social security?

RINGLEADER
02-16-2005, 10:45 AM
That's odd...


But in RL's world, I guess the safest investments in the world are not low risk.


Egads Jaz, there is no money being invested. You've made that point yourself in your other posts. The rate of return is actually less than zero based on the latest social security statement I got that showed the system will be paying only 73 cents on the dollar when I retire...that's more than a 25% decrease in the actual projected return. Fully-funded social security pulls less than 3%...if you reduce 25% of return on top of that you get a net-negative return on your money.

KCTitus
02-16-2005, 10:46 AM
So who's proposed phasing out social security?

Well...that's the interesting point. Jaz understands SS isnt viable and destined for the ash heap of history, but damned if he isnt going to fight to the death to protect one of the greatest socialist accomplishments in US history.

Donger
02-16-2005, 10:51 AM
Well...that's the interesting point. Jaz understands SS isnt viable and destined for the ash heap of history, but damned if he isnt going to fight to the death to protect one of the greatest socialist accomplishments in US history.

I asked that question earlier, but jAZ either has me on iggy or simply ignored the question.

Why are the Democrats so intent on resisting changes to SS? What is their reasoning? Do they have some vested interest in the present system?

RINGLEADER
02-16-2005, 10:55 AM
Why aren't you fighting to reform automobile liability insurance requirement laws? There's some guy somewhere who got into an accident who is taking money out of your pocket as a result.

If we have successfully moved past all the Republican BS about the viability of SS, and we are actually now admitting what the true issue is... an ideological objection to the very nature of Social Security... then maybe we are making progress.

You can try to smear me with whatever language you want, but a healthy and wealthy society such as our's will always have an aspect of "socialism". Espcially given the Christian perspective that our citizens have.


Republican BS? I do hope you know that Harry Reid, Bill Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Charles Schumer, and a bunch of other members of the Dem leadership were calling social security's solvency a crisis a couple years ago. Heck, Greenspan was saying social security couldn't continue in its present form this morning.

Of course, like your claim that Bush wants to get rid of social security despite saying just the opposite, I'm sure you don't want to be bothered by facts that run contrary to your own beliefs.

Jaz (circa 2004): I liked Bush's ideas for private social security, but the one thing I supported Bush on he failed to deliver.

Jaz (circa 2005): Bush is trying to fool people by saying social security is in crisis and I actually never wanted private accounts, I really wanted people to be able to put more money above and beyond social security into the system because I'm too inept to invest without the government's help.

Amnorix
02-16-2005, 10:57 AM
I asked that question earlier, but jAZ either has me on iggy or simply ignored the question.

Why are the Democrats so intent on resisting changes to SS? What is their reasoning? Do they have some vested interest in the present system?

I posted a lengthy response to that and then had an exchange with KCWolfman.

I can't get into a big debate on it again, but there certainly is no "vested interest". I know it's odd for Republicans to think of this possibility, but some representatives in Congress vote for things that don't just help themselves and their country club buddies....

:p:p:p:p:p:p:p:p:p

mlyonsd
02-16-2005, 10:59 AM
I asked that question earlier, but jAZ either has me on iggy or simply ignored the question.

Why are the Democrats so intent on resisting changes to SS? What is their reasoning? Do they have some vested interest in the present system?
The answer to that is quite simple. SS is one of the few issues left that the democrats own. They have always been considered as the SS watchdog/protector. It's an issue Americans still believe the democrats know how to manage better then the republicans.

They lose the SS issue and they'll be reeling for years. Let's just hope they step up and help find a way to fix it. To pretend it's not in trouble is doing the American public a terrible injustice.

RINGLEADER
02-16-2005, 11:07 AM
Well...that's the interesting point. Jaz understands SS isnt viable and destined for the ash heap of history, but damned if he isnt going to fight to the death to protect one of the greatest socialist accomplishments in US history.

I don't have any problem with social security up until the 80s when it started to become apparent that the number of retirees would greatly outpace new revenue coming into the system. The minute they started having to jack the taxes to maintain the viability of the system it underscored the need for a change. Now it's so bad the sell isn't that hard to make that changes need to be made.

Jaz hasn't explained why having a program that supplements the original social security program (allowing it to pay out what it gets in without having to print more money) is bad;

Jaz hasn't explained why having money put into social security earn 300% more than the present system is a bad thing (something that has been proven out by federal programs and the annuity/muni-driven alternatives that have been operating in some parts of the country);

Jaz hasn't explained why spending $1 trillion on transition costs to incorporate the concept of private accounts is not better than spending $5-6 trillion to keep it going between 2018 and 2042 (and then an addition half trillion every year thereafter);

Jaz hasn't explained why his idea to allow people to contribute additional money above and beyond social security taxes into a private account is any different than contributing to a 401k or an IRA nor has he explained how this would enable social security to make up the 27% shortfall the program now projects in 2042.

Jaz hates Bush so he hates the idea of private accounts. It isn't any more complicated than that. Last year he said one of the reasons he was sour on Bush was because he HADN'T pushed through social security reform...now he says Bush is trying to phase out the system even though Bush never said such a thing (unless you want to finally point us all to the quote that supports this conclusion Jaz).

I expect he'll spend plenty of time walking back from his earlier comments about Greenspan's position now that Greenspan has come out this morning in favor of changing the system. I guess Greenspan is too stupid to have an opinion that isn't fed to him by the GOP too, eh Jaz?

Cochise
02-16-2005, 11:14 AM
So, will someone summarize the thread for me. What is the Evil BushCo (tm) objective in this?

Not what the Chicken Little predictions of liberals are. What is the objective.

Is the entire purpose to kick old people out in the street? Is it to funnel money to Kenneth Lay? Are they secretly trying to expand the hole in the ozone layer? Is it over oil? Is there lying going on for which people will be dying? Are they trying to help out their rich buddies? Are they trying to raise money to pour arsenic in drinking water? Is the goal to eliminate school lunches, chop off all the gay people's weiners, or send all the black people back to Africa?

Come on libs, if not to give consumers control over their own money, what are they REALLY up to. What's the true objective. Let us know how it's borderline treason and they should be on trial for murder or some such. You know you want to.

KCTitus
02-16-2005, 11:20 AM
I posted a lengthy response to that and then had an exchange with KCWolfman.

I can't get into a big debate on it again, but there certainly is no "vested interest". I know it's odd for Republicans to think of this possibility, but some representatives in Congress vote for things that don't just help themselves and their country club buddies....

Amnorix, Im sure your response was somewhat cogent and bereft of mantra and standard rote, but let's be honest here...the 'vested' interest is the constituency of the dependency class it's created.

KCTitus
02-16-2005, 11:23 AM
Jaz hasn't explained...

One thing I have learned is that Jaz has a bad habit of making accusations of things sans proof or evidence. Much like the whole Rather thing, he's making the accusations and not supporting it with evidence.

Cochise
02-16-2005, 11:25 AM
One thing I have learned is that Jaz has a bad habit of making accusations of things sans proof or evidence. Much like the whole Rather thing, he's making the accusations and not supporting it with evidence.

Remember, the fact that there's no proof whatsoever is not important, we should pay attention because of the 'seriousness of the charge' (tm)

RINGLEADER
02-16-2005, 11:34 AM
Remember, the fact that there's no proof whatsoever is not important, we should pay attention because of the 'seriousness of the charge' (tm)

Exactly, more "Fake, but accurate" nonsense:

Jaz: Bush wants to phase out social security.
Bush: Private accounts would supplement social security and help make up any shortfall with investments that have better returns.
Jaz: Bush wants to phase out social security.

RINGLEADER
02-16-2005, 12:05 PM
Well...that's the interesting point. Jaz understands SS isnt viable and destined for the ash heap of history, but damned if he isnt going to fight to the death to protect one of the greatest socialist accomplishments in US history.


On another one of Jaz's social security threads he claimed Bush's stated plan called for the elimination of social security. When I pointed out that Bush said just the opposite in his SOTU speech he came back with this classic:

Of course, you will be making the opposite case that the Bush Administration is making behind closed doors to their Republican friends.

So Jaz responds to a request for any evidence that Bush has ever said what he claims he is saying not by linking to a statement or position paper or speech but, instead, by telling us that Bush is saying one thing to the public while telling his "Republican friends" behind closed doors that he actually wants to eliminate it.

Jaz's circular logic knows no bounds... ROFL

Amnorix
02-16-2005, 12:18 PM
Amnorix, Im sure your response was somewhat cogent and bereft of mantra and standard rote, but let's be honest here...the 'vested' interest is the constituency of the dependency class it's created.

Whether SS exists or not, the fact of the matter is that a significant percentage of this country's elderly lives below, near, or barely above the poverty line with little opportunity to significantly increase its income.

This was true before SS existed, and is still the case today. Social Security has several redeeming features:

1. it allows many elderly people who worked most/all of their lives to live an independent life that would otherwise not be possible;

2. it reduces the dependence of the elderly on such things as fixed benefit pension systems, which are covering an ever-decreasing percentage of teh working population;

3. it may increase overall consumption by effectively shifting wealth from those who are somewhat less likely to need it for immediate spending needs to those who are somewhat more likely to need it for immediate spending needs. I have no idea if this is true, but on its face it makes sense to me.

The side effects of #1, above, are especially significant.

Mainly, however, "Social Security" did not "create" a "dependent class" of citizens. Most people's spending habits are not dictated by their expectations with regard to their Social Security income after retirement. People do not decide to spend frivolously or save like misers based on whether they think Social Security will be there or not. Look at my generation (mid-30s). Nearly all of my friends spend like complete idiots and don't save a dime, but they are college educated and, when asked, know full well that Social Security won't be there for them like it was for their parents and grandparents.

Cochise
02-16-2005, 12:18 PM
So Jaz responds to a request for any evidence that Bush has ever said what he claims he is saying not by linking to a statement or position paper or speech but, instead, by telling us that Bush is saying one thing to the public while telling his "Republican friends" behind closed doors that he actually wants to eliminate it.

Jaz's circular logic knows no bounds... ROFL

It's easy to say you weren't wrong if, when caught making stuff up, you revise your position to something that is unknowable and unprovable.

Amnorix
02-16-2005, 12:20 PM
Bush: Private accounts would supplement social security and help make up any shortfall with investments that have better returns.

Seriously -- what is the concept in terms of long-term funding for Social Security. I understand diverting X percent to self-managed, required investment/retirement plans (not sure what they're calling this) -- but how does that fund the balance of Social Security costs into the indefinite future?

Or is that even addressed by the Bush plan (which I understand is really just a broad outline he has given that he wants Congress to write in the first instance).

RINGLEADER
02-16-2005, 12:23 PM
Whether SS exists or not, the fact of the matter is that a significant percentage of this country's elderly lives below, near, or barely above the poverty line with little opportunity to significantly increase its income.

This was true before SS existed, and is still the case today. Social Security has several redeeming features:

1. it allows many elderly people who worked most/all of their lives to live an independent life that would otherwise not be possible;

2. it reduces the dependence of the elderly on such things as fixed benefit pension systems, which are covering an ever-decreasing percentage of teh working population;

3. it may increase overall consumption by effectively shifting wealth from those who are somewhat less likely to need it for immediate spending needs to those who are somewhat more likely to need it for immediate spending needs. I have no idea if this is true, but on its face it makes sense to me.

The side effects of #1, above, are especially significant.

Mainly, however, "Social Security" did not "create" a "dependent class" of citizens. Most people's spending habits are not dictated by their expectations with regard to their Social Security income after retirement. People do not decide to spend frivolously or save like misers based on whether they think Social Security will be there or not. Look at my generation (mid-30s). Nearly all of my friends spend like complete idiots and don't save a dime, but they are college educated and, when asked, know full well that Social Security won't be there for them like it was for their parents and grandparents.

I agree with most of what you're saying here Amnorix, but that doesn't address why it would be a bad thing to let social security continue to function as it was originally intended (pay out whatever comes in, dollar-for-dollar) and supplement that income with revenue from a private account. I just don't see why some libs are so against it (and I'm not including you in that group). You allow the current system to continue, you get a better return on the portion of your investment that is retained, and you don't bankrupt the country trying to keep a failing system aloft. Tell me where the downside is.

Amnorix
02-16-2005, 12:25 PM
I agree with most of what you're saying here Amnorix, but that doesn't address why it would be a bad thing to let social security continue to function as it was originally intended (pay out whatever comes in, dollar-for-dollar) and supplement that income with revenue from a private account. I just don't see why some libs are so against it (and I'm not including you in that group). You allow the current system to continue, you get a better return on the portion of your investment that is retained, and you don't bankrupt the country trying to keep a failing system aloft. Tell me where the downside is.

I don't have a problem with private accounts in theory. I have many questions about how it will operate in certain particulars, but I don't have a problem, really, with any dramatic revamping of SS. As currently constituted, SS is doomed, and the sooner we move to a new system, the better off we will be.

I also disagree with Bush's (nonexistent) plans for funding the transition costs, which last I heard could approach $1 trillion.

RINGLEADER
02-16-2005, 12:29 PM
Seriously -- what is the concept in terms of long-term funding for Social Security. I understand diverting X percent to self-managed, required investment/retirement plans (not sure what they're calling this) -- but how does that fund the balance of Social Security costs into the indefinite future?

Or is that even addressed by the Bush plan (which I understand is really just a broad outline he has given that he wants Congress to write in the first instance).


You don't fund the full balance...you're not going to do that now, nor is it even promised (if you look at your social security statement this year it is promising only 73% of benefits to be paid out in 2042). The plan would phase in private accounts over time and allow those who don't want to have them to continue to get whatever benefit social security is CAPABLE of paying out. You don't make-up the shortfall in this scenario, you let the system run as it was originally intended...every dollar in comes out to the beneficiaries on the other end. You don't worry about meeting the full projected benefit, you lean on the private accounts to supplement what social security is able to pay out.

Greenspan was arguing today that we should go slow, but we should move forward with private accounts. The only reason to go slow is to reduce the amount of the transition cost. This is one area where I break with Bush in that I don't think it is a bad thing to both means test payouts on the back-end nor increase the threshold at which tax dollars are paid into the system. I would support those changes ONLY if it guaranteed that the private accounts could be set up the way Bush envisions and that the current social security system pays out in a manner like that I described above.

My earlier question still stands...I don't understand why liberals (some, at least) are so adamently opposed to something that reduces the amount we need to keep social security solvent, increases the revenue that retirees are able to recoup from a lifetime of paying into the system and gives them more control over how their money for retirement is invested.

RINGLEADER
02-16-2005, 12:32 PM
I don't have a problem with private accounts in theory. I have many questions about how it will operate in certain particulars, but I don't have a problem, really, with any dramatic revamping of SS. As currently constituted, SS is doomed, and the sooner we move to a new system, the better off we will be.

I also disagree with Bush's (nonexistent) plans for funding the transition costs, which last I heard could approach $1 trillion.


Yeah, as I just posted I also have issues with how to pay for the $1 trillion - but I don't think Bush has been mum because he doesn't have a plan so much as he wants to arrive at a consensus of how to make it up. If you want to look at the bright side of things if you moved to the type of program I outlined above (which is what Bush outlined at the SOTU) you can avoid the crushing debt that we'd have to run up ($5-6 trillion) between 2018 and 2042 as well as the ongoing debt of about a half-trillion per year thereafter. $1 trillion in new debt is better than $5-6 trillion. Greenspan said this morning that $1 trillion should be the benchmark for the transition and I know that the only bi-partisan bill that addresses social security has a plan that pegs it at $600 billion, and it does some of the things that I said I'd favor if it insured that private accounts became a reality (means test payouts and increase the taxable wages).

KCTitus
02-16-2005, 12:37 PM
Whether SS exists or not, the fact of the matter is that a significant percentage of this country's elderly lives below, near, or barely above the poverty line with little opportunity to significantly increase its income.

This was true before SS existed, and is still the case today. Social Security has several redeeming features:

To which I say, it's a waste of effort and money if poverty still exists even after the trillions in redistribution that has occurred over the 70-80 years it has existed, then it's a failure.


Mainly, however, "Social Security" did not "create" a "dependent class" of citizens. Most people's spending habits are not dictated by their expectations with regard to their Social Security income after retirement. People do not decide to spend frivolously or save like misers based on whether they think Social Security will be there or not. Look at my generation (mid-30s). Nearly all of my friends spend like complete idiots and don't save a dime, but they are college educated and, when asked, know full well that Social Security won't be there for them like it was for their parents and grandparents.

While it's true that the act of social security didnt necessarily create a dependency class, redistributing wealth to those that didnt earn it was a catalyst. As far as our generation ( I too am mid 30's), I see us as the ones getting squeezed regardless of what happens based merely on demographics of the generations...we're the least numerous of the three...boomer, X, Y.

So while I'm not exactly the model of savings and investment, Im trying and it sure as hell would help if I could divert some from a program I'll never see to something that I know will grow, like my dodge and cox stock fund.

Amnorix
02-16-2005, 12:45 PM
To which I say, it's a waste of effort and money if poverty still exists even after the trillions in redistribution that has occurred over the 70-80 years it has existed, then it's a failure.

Don't be absurd. Everyone who has SS income is better off than they would be without it. People who would be below the poverty line without it are above it, etc.


While it's true that the act of social security didnt necessarily create a dependency class, redistributing wealth to those that didnt earn it was a catalyst. As far as our generation ( I too am mid 30's), I see us as the ones getting squeezed regardless of what happens based merely on demographics of the generations...we're the least numerous of the three...boomer, X, Y.

So while I'm not exactly the model of savings and investment, Im trying and it sure as hell would help if I could divert some from a program I'll never see to something that I know will grow, like my dodge and cox stock fund.

Your statements, here and elsewhere, reflect a consistent belief that wealth redistribution is the greatest possible evil. And that lies at the core of our disagreement here.

I guarantee you that, absent unusual circumstances (such as catastrophic illness -- which by the way is the most significant factor in causing persoanl bankruptcy filings), when I retire I will not need Social Security, in any form, in order to live out my retirement years with what modest needs I may have.

But that doesn't mean I don't recognize its important to a vast percentage of the WORKING population.

RINGLEADER
02-16-2005, 12:58 PM
Don't be absurd. Everyone who has SS income is better off than they would be without it. People who would be below the poverty line without it are above it, etc.




Your statements, here and elsewhere, reflect a consistent belief that wealth redistribution is the greatest possible evil. And that lies at the core of our disagreement here.

I guarantee you that, absent unusual circumstances (such as catastrophic illness -- which by the way is the most significant factor in causing persoanl bankruptcy filings), when I retire I will not need Social Security, in any form, in order to live out my retirement years with what modest needs I may have.

But that doesn't mean I don't recognize its important to a vast percentage of the WORKING population.


I think a lot of people aren't so against helping out the needy, Amnorix, it's relying on a historically incompetent and ineffective federal government to be making these decisions. Social security is a case in point: Great idea that was fine when it was originally launched but has since become a door to greater taxing and greater spending and because of other changes in soceity can no longer sustain itself. Politics is the only reason why we didn't have real changes to the system in 1980 when places like Galveston, Texas DID make changes that have turned out very well (something you rarely hear liberals even attempt to address) using primarily annuities and life insurance (very risk-adverse investments).

The Dems problem is being against the basic reality that the system is unsustainable. Jaz's revised position of wanting additional money to put into mandatory (or voluntary...I'm not quite sure what he's advocating at this point) savings accounts is a safe angle for the libs to play, but it STILL doesn't address the fact that the system is broke and you can't tax your way out of the problem anymore.

KCTitus
02-16-2005, 01:26 PM
Your statements, here and elsewhere, reflect a consistent belief that wealth redistribution is the greatest possible evil. And that lies at the core of our disagreement here.

And you would be correct...giving people money they did NOT earn through their own effort but rather taking from someone else is the most sinister thing I can fathom.

It goes against everything I believe in.

Amnorix
02-16-2005, 01:27 PM
I think a lot of people aren't so against helping out the needy, Amnorix, it's relying on a historically incompetent and ineffective federal government to be making these decisions.

IMHO SS is hardly run incompetently. It's money in/money out.

IMHO I do think people are "against helping out the needy". "Wealth redistribution" is obviously a great evil in the minds of many on this board, and Social Security is a form of wealth redistribution. Many here rant about any form of wealth redistribution as being one step away from Karl Marx and outright socialism, if not communism.

IMHO, anyway.

KCTitus
02-16-2005, 01:29 PM
IMHO I do think people are "against helping out the needy". "Wealth redistribution" is obviously a great evil in the minds of many on this board, and Social Security is a form of wealth redistribution.

I view helping the needy and redistribution of wealth as separate things. The world does not owe anyone a living and life is not fair.

Amnorix
02-16-2005, 01:30 PM
And you would be correct...giving people money they did NOT earn through their own effort but rather taking from someone else is the most sinister thing I can fathom.

It goes against everything I believe in.

IMHO you can't fathom much in the way of sinister things, then. Limited wealth redistribution in the long run makes for a healthier, more balanced society and one that is economically more productive and successful.

(please note that I said "limited")

Amnorix
02-16-2005, 01:31 PM
I view helping the needy and redistribution of wealth as separate things. The world does not owe anyone a living and life is not fair.

Let me guess -- helping the needy ought to be an entirely voluntary action done through local charities?

I agree with your last sentence. The world does not owe anyone a living and life is not fair.

KCTitus
02-16-2005, 01:36 PM
IMHO you can't fathom much in the way of sinister things, then. Limited wealth redistribution in the long run makes for a healthier, more balanced society and one that is economically more productive and successful.

(please note that I said "limited")

I guess I should choose my words more careful if we're being super-literal today...let's just say that I view this program as the worst of all programs because of the sloth it promotes.

When we talk 'trillions' I dont think we should be using the term 'limited' at all.

KCTitus
02-16-2005, 01:40 PM
Let me guess -- helping the needy ought to be an entirely voluntary action done through local charities?

What I find amazing is how the human race managed to survive before social security and other great society programs came into being. Somehow, I find it hard to believe that all of SS dollars are actually 'helping the needy'.

Brock
02-16-2005, 01:46 PM
But that doesn't mean I don't recognize its important to a vast percentage of the WORKING population.

Not to mention the habitually NON-WORKING population.

RINGLEADER
02-16-2005, 02:11 PM
IMHO SS is hardly run incompetently. It's money in/money out.

IMHO I do think people are "against helping out the needy". "Wealth redistribution" is obviously a great evil in the minds of many on this board, and Social Security is a form of wealth redistribution. Many here rant about any form of wealth redistribution as being one step away from Karl Marx and outright socialism, if not communism.

IMHO, anyway.


But the system isn't the same money-in/money-out program that it was at inception. If that's all it was then we wouldn't be having this discussion (then again, the government would have had to do without trillions in extra dollars over the past couple decades too). Unfortunately, the system guarantees (or attempts to guarantee) returns that are devoid of any type of actuarial assumptions. That's just one of the many reasons why Jaz's earlier comparisons of social security and insurance to be, using one of your favorite words, absurd.

Cochise
02-16-2005, 02:15 PM
So, will someone summarize the thread for me. What is the Evil BushCo (tm) objective in this?

Not what the Chicken Little predictions of liberals are. What is the objective.

Is the entire purpose to kick old people out in the street? Is it to funnel money to Kenneth Lay? Are they secretly trying to expand the hole in the ozone layer? Is it over oil? Is there lying going on for which people will be dying? Are they trying to help out their rich buddies? Are they trying to raise money to pour arsenic in drinking water? Is the goal to eliminate school lunches, chop off all the gay people's weiners, or send all the black people back to Africa?

Come on libs, if not to give consumers control over their own money, what are they REALLY up to. What's the true objective. Let us know how it's borderline treason and they should be on trial for murder or some such. You know you want to.

Awh. No one will tell me what the real sinister intent of the Evil BushCo (tm) is. :sulk:

Amnorix
02-16-2005, 02:18 PM
I guess I should choose my words more careful if we're being super-literal today...let's just say that I view this program as the worst of all programs because of the sloth it promotes.

When we talk 'trillions' I dont think we should be using the term 'limited' at all.

You think Social Security -- which is only given to those who worked and which is in some proportion to the individuals earned income over the years, "promotes sloth"??

I honestly can't fathom this conclusion.

RINGLEADER
02-16-2005, 02:41 PM
Hilarious...Schumer was just on the tube with what seems to be the only Dem talking point: "There is no crisis. There is no crisis. There is no crisis."

Rewind to February 12, 1999 when Schumer said: "We have to move on and start fixing social security and preserving it."

Lefty_the_Right
02-16-2005, 02:43 PM
That is really messed up.

I mean, one could say that Rush Limbaugh promotes sloth.
What with his 3 wives, $3,000 a bottle French wine, and Cuban cigars.

Not to mention his oxycontin habit.

But SS?
What a freak.

Donger
02-16-2005, 02:47 PM
That is really messed up.

I mean, one could say that Rush Limbaugh promotes sloth.
What with his 3 wives, $3,000 a bottle French wine, and Cuban cigars.

Not to mention his oxycontin habit.

But SS?
What a freak.

Unless I'm mistaken, one cannot voluntarily not "contribute" to SS. So, if that's the case, why shouldn't he not take the $$$ that was involuntarily taken from him?

Seriously, if you were given the option of stopping your "contributions" to SS on your next and all forthcoming paychecks, would you not do so?

Cochise
02-16-2005, 03:32 PM
Unless I'm mistaken, one cannot voluntarily not "contribute" to SS. So, if that's the case, why shouldn't he not take the $$$ that was involuntarily taken from him?

Seriously, if you were given the option of stopping your "contributions" to SS on your next and all forthcoming paychecks, would you not do so?

I'm sure Limbaugh, Bill Gates, Ted Turner, and all the other richest people in the country will be more than happy to withdrawal whatever they can eventually get from Social Security. You don't get as rich as they are by throwing away money.

Amnorix
02-16-2005, 03:37 PM
Hilarious...Schumer was just on the tube with what seems to be the only Dem talking point: "There is no crisis. There is no crisis. There is no crisis."

Rewind to February 12, 1999 when Schumer said: "We have to move on and start fixing social security and preserving it."
It seems absurd to me. I guess you can honestly say it's "not a crisis," but that doesn't mean it can stay the same.

What we have here is a ship sailing towards something. It's relatively far away, but the report comes back -- "Captain -- iceberg ahead, 5 miles".

I mean, you can't just KEEP GOING in that freaking direction. Go to port, go to starbord, do SOMETHING, but don't just keep heading for the iceberg... It's not a crisis YET, because you don't have to send everyone to the lifeboats, but honest to God..... :shake: :shake: :shake:

Lefty_the_Right
02-16-2005, 03:39 PM
Bill Gates and his father have both weighed in on the subject of Bush's tax cuts.

I'm not suprised that you do not know what they've said.

Bill Gates depends on Grandma's buying windoze software too.
Something that she won't be able to do if the cheap labor conservatives have their way.

Donger
02-16-2005, 03:42 PM
Bill Gates and his father have both weighed in on the subject of Bush's tax cuts.

I'm not suprised that you do not know what they've said.

Bill Gates depends on Grandma's buying windoze software too.
Something that she won't be able to do if the cheap labor conservatives have their way.

Answer the question: If you had the option on your next paycheck to NOT "contribute" to SS, would you or would you not exercise that option?

Amnorix
02-16-2005, 03:44 PM
Answer the question: If you had the option on your next paycheck to NOT "contribute" to SS, would you or would you not exercise that option?
What's best for one individual may not be the policy that is best for all or most of society, or for the country as a whole.

Or would you allow the far-left to stop funding the military with their tax dollars? Would you permit non-parents to stop funding (at both local and national levels) schools and other education related programs?

I'm more or less on your side on this matter, but your query is invalid.

Cochise
02-16-2005, 03:45 PM
Answer the question: If you had the option on your next paycheck to NOT "contribute" to SS, would you or would you not exercise that option?

Oh, why wouldn't anyone want to contribute? It's such a great program. Hell I'd contribute triple if they'd just let me. :rolleyes:

Lefty_the_Right
02-16-2005, 03:49 PM
Are all right wingers ignorant of history?

Do they really not know why it was created in the first place, and why it has nothing to do with the private investment market?

Is there some magic land where their plan has been tried and it was actually BETTER than what we have?

I get the impression that none of you have heard of the great depression, Enron, or any other economic history that would make them question what they are proposing.

Donger
02-16-2005, 03:51 PM
Are all right wingers ignorant of history?

Do they really not know why it was created in the first place, and why it has nothing to do with the private investment market?

Is there some magic land where their plan has been tried and it was actually BETTER than what we have?

I get the impression that none of you have heard of the great depression, Enron, or any other economic history that would make them question what they are proposing.

If you can equate the proposed limited privatization of SS to the causes of the the Great Depression then, no offense, but you're either an idiot or blindly partisan.

Donger
02-16-2005, 03:52 PM
What's best for one individual may not be the policy that is best for all or most of society, or for the country as a whole.

Or would you allow the far-left to stop funding the military with their tax dollars? Would you permit non-parents to stop funding (at both local and national levels) schools and other education related programs?

I'm more or less on your side on this matter, but your query is invalid.

Absolutely. I'd love to decide where my tax dollars go, directly.

Cochise
02-16-2005, 03:54 PM
If you can equate the proposed limited privatization of SS to the causes of the the Great Depression then, no offense, but you're either an idiot or blindly partisan.

Is there an "all of the above" option?

Amnorix
02-16-2005, 03:57 PM
Absolutely. I'd love to decide where my tax dollars go, directly.

Then you'd end up with really stupid government managed by 200 million different people.

Donger
02-16-2005, 03:58 PM
Then you'd end up with really stupid government managed by 200 million different people.

And that differs from today how?

Cochise
02-16-2005, 04:01 PM
Absolutely. I'd love to decide where my tax dollars go, directly.

Not practical obviously but it would be great, wouldn't it? A list of checkboxes that I could use to say "none of my money can go to this".

But alas, the end of porkbarrel politics and pet projects is probably a pipe dream.

Amnorix
02-16-2005, 04:04 PM
And that differs from today how?

Well, right now the US is run by about 10 people. Bush, Cheney, and the Republican leadership of the House and Senate.

Donger
02-16-2005, 04:09 PM
Well, right now the US is run by about 10 people. Bush, Cheney, and the Republican leadership of the House and Senate.

And I'd get rid of them all if someone would come up with a workable way to pay off the national debt.

As to deciding where I'd want my tax monry going, I was being facetious. But, if that fantasy were to miraculously come true, I've do 10% to the military (with fiscal oversight), 10% to national infrastructure and 80% to paying down the debt.

Lefty_the_Right
02-16-2005, 04:17 PM
donger wrote: If you can equate the proposed limited privatization of SS to the causes of the the Great Depression then, no offense, but you're either an idiot or blindly partisan.

Because this isn't about "limited privatization" anymore than resolution 1441 was about disarming Saddam.

And to paraphrase Amnorix: Then you'd end up with really stupid "investment program" managed by 200 million different people.

Donger
02-16-2005, 04:24 PM
Because this isn't about "limited privatization" anymore than resolution 1441 was about disarming Saddam..

Your proof please?

And to paraphrase Amnorix: Then you'd end up with really stupid "investment program" managed by 200 million different people.

Perhaps. But, as I've repeatedly said, as a conservative, I believe that I'm much better aware of my family's needs (both present and future) than is the federal government and am much more capable of providing for both, if allowed.

As an aside, I find it truly amusing that the Democrats hail themselves as being the defenders of choice, as long as has nothing to do with money. Why is that?

Lefty_the_Right
02-16-2005, 04:32 PM
When I said that Bush was lying about WMD's and Al Queda being Iraq, what was my proof?

For that matter, read "The long national nightmare of peace and prosperity are over" from the Onion.

It was written as satire, and yet they got almost everything correct.
http://chak.org/pages/onion/bush_nightmare.html

Could they see the future?
Did they have proof?

Or were they just smart enough to know that a political party that hates social programs wouldn't go out of it's way to destroy them, wage wars in the middle east, and give massive tax cuts to the wealthy.

Either they could knew the future, or Bush republicans are completely morons.

I think it might be the latter.

Lefty_the_Right
02-16-2005, 04:34 PM
WASHINGTON, DC—Mere days from assuming the presidency and closing the door on eight years of Bill Clinton, president-elect George W. Bush assured the nation in a televised address Tuesday that "our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over."


Above: President-elect Bush vows that "together, we can put the triumphs of the recent past behind us."
"My fellow Americans," Bush said, "at long last, we have reached the end of the dark period in American history that will come to be known as the Clinton Era, eight long years characterized by unprecedented economic expansion, a sharp decrease in crime, and sustained peace overseas. The time has come to put all of that behind us."

Bush swore to do "everything in [his] power" to undo the damage wrought by Clinton's two terms in office, including selling off the national parks to developers, going into massive debt to develop expensive and impractical weapons technologies, and passing sweeping budget cuts that drive the mentally ill out of hospitals and onto the street.

During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.

"You better believe we're going to mix it up with somebody at some point during my administration," said Bush, who plans a 250 percent boost in military spending. "Unlike my predecessor, I am fully committed to putting soldiers in battle situations. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a military?"

On the economic side, Bush vowed to bring back economic stagnationby implementing substantial tax cuts, which would lead to a recession, which would necessitate a tax hike, which would lead to a drop in consumer spending, which would lead to layoffs, which would deepen the recession even further.

Wall Street responded strongly to the Bush speech, with the Dow Jones industrial fluctuating wildly before closing at an 18-month low. The NASDAQ composite index, rattled by a gloomy outlook for tech stocks in 2001, also fell sharply, losing 4.4 percent of its total value between 3 p.m. and the closing bell.

Asked for comment about the cooling technology sector, Bush said: "That's hardly my area of expertise."

Turning to the subject of the environment, Bush said he will do whatever it takes to undo the tremendous damage not done by the Clinton Administration to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He assured citizens that he will follow through on his campaign promise to open the 1.5 million acre refuge's coastal plain to oil drilling. As a sign of his commitment to bringing about a change in the environment, he pointed to his choice of Gale Norton for Secretary of the Interior. Norton, Bush noted, has "extensive experience" fighting environmental causes, working as a lobbyist for lead-paint manufacturers and as an attorney for loggers and miners, in addition to suing the EPA to overturn clean-air standards.

Bush had equally high praise for Attorney General nominee John Ashcroft, whom he praised as "a tireless champion in the battle to protect a woman's right to give birth."

"Soon, with John Ashcroft's help, we will move out of the Dark Ages and into a more enlightened time when a woman will be free to think long and hard before trying to fight her way past throngs of protesters blocking her entrance to an abortion clinic," Bush said. "We as a nation can look forward to lots and lots of babies."


Above: Soldiers at Ft. Bragg march lockstep in preparation for America's return to aggression.
Continued Bush: "John Ashcroft will be invaluable in healing the terrible wedge President Clinton drove between church and state."

The speech was met with overwhelming approval from Republican leaders.

"Finally, the horrific misrule of the Democrats has been brought to a close," House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert (R-IL) told reporters. "Under Bush, we can all look forward to military aggression, deregulation of dangerous, greedy industries, and the defunding of vital domestic social-service programs upon which millions depend. Mercifully, we can now say goodbye to the awful nightmare that was Clinton's America."

"For years, I tirelessly preached the message that Clinton must be stopped," conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh said. "And yet, in 1996, the American public failed to heed my urgent warnings, re-electing Clinton despite the fact that the nation was prosperous and at peace under his regime. But now, thank God, that's all done with. Once again, we will enjoy mounting debt, jingoism, nuclear paranoia, mass deficit, and a massive military build-up."

An overwhelming 49.9 percent of Americans responded enthusiastically to the Bush speech.

"After eight years of relatively sane fiscal policy under the Democrats, we have reached a point where, just a few weeks ago, President Clinton said that the national debt could be paid off by as early as 2012," Rahway, NJ, machinist and father of three Bud Crandall said. "That's not the kind of world I want my children to grow up in."

"You have no idea what it's like to be black and enfranchised," said Marlon Hastings, one of thousands of Miami-Dade County residents whose votes were not counted in the 2000 presidential election. "George W. Bush understands the pain of enfranchisement, and ever since Election Day, he has fought tirelessly to make sure it never happens to my people again."

Bush concluded his speech on a note of healing and redemption.

"We as a people must stand united, banding together to tear this nation in two," Bush said. "Much work lies ahead of us: The gap between the rich and the poor may be wide, be there's much more widening left to do. We must squander our nation's hard-won budget surplus on tax breaks for the wealthiest 15 percent. And, on the foreign front, we must find an enemy and defeat it."

"The insanity is over," Bush said. "After a long, dark night of peace and stability, the sun is finally rising again over America. We look forward to a bright new dawn not seen since the glory days of my dad."

Donger
02-16-2005, 04:37 PM
When I said that Bush was lying about WMD's and Al Queda being Iraq, what was my proof?

For that matter, read "The long national nightmare of peace and prosperity are over" from the Onion.

It was written as satire, and yet they got almost everything correct.
http://chak.org/pages/onion/bush_nightmare.html

Could they see the future?
Did they have proof?

Or were they just smart enough to know that a political party that hates social programs wouldn't go out of it's way to destroy them, wage wars in the middle east, and give massive tax cuts to the wealthy.

Either they could knew the future, or Bush republicans are completely morons.

I think it might be the latter.

You're quoting The Onion as evidence?

Wow.

Lefty_the_Right
02-16-2005, 04:45 PM
I can quote Voltaire and Vonnugut too.

They are all fantastic satirists.
Do you know what the defininition of satire is?
Do you know the historical precedent for satire and the state?

If you can't understand the meaning and importance of satire, and why I used the Onion as an example of "predicting" the future, I can see why you think that the Bush tax cuts had a positive effect on the economy.

You just aren't deep enough to grasp more than one subject at a time.

A perfect Bushbot.

Donger
02-16-2005, 04:50 PM
I can quote Voltaire and Vonnugut too.

They are all fantastic satirists.
Do you know what the defininition of satire is?
Do you know the historical precedent for satire and the state?

If you can't understand the meaning and importance of satire, and why I used the Onion as an example of "predicting" the future, I can see why you think that the Bush tax cuts had a positive effect on the economy.

You just aren't deep enough to grasp more than one subject at a time.

A perfect Bushbot.

You ARE amusing; I'll give you that.

Lefty_the_Right
02-16-2005, 04:58 PM
Ok, you tell me.

How did the Onion get to so right on Bush and what he was going to do?

Donger
02-16-2005, 05:00 PM
Ok, you tell me.

How did the Onion get to so right on Bush and what he was going to do?

Sure, I'll play along a little longer.

What exactly did they get right, skippy?

Lefty_the_Right
02-16-2005, 05:02 PM
I pasted the whole thing for you to read.

I have to parse it for you too?

Donger
02-16-2005, 05:05 PM
I pasted the whole thing for you to read.

I have to parse it for you too?

Simple question. What parts of it do you think have come to fruition? I can't answer that for you.

Lefty_the_Right
02-16-2005, 05:09 PM
Bush swore to do "everything in [his] power" to undo the damage wrought by Clinton's two terms in office, including selling off the national parks to developers, going into massive debt to develop expensive and impractical weapons technologies, and passing sweeping budget cuts that drive the mentally ill out of hospitals and onto the street.

During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.

"You better believe we're going to mix it up with somebody at some point during my administration," said Bush, who plans a 250 percent boost in military spending. "Unlike my predecessor, I am fully committed to putting soldiers in battle situations. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a military?"

On the economic side, Bush vowed to bring back economic stagnationby implementing substantial tax cuts, which would lead to a recession, which would necessitate a tax hike, which would lead to a drop in consumer spending, which would lead to layoffs, which would deepen the recession even further.

Wall Street responded strongly to the Bush speech, with the Dow Jones industrial fluctuating wildly before closing at an 18-month low. The NASDAQ composite index, rattled by a gloomy outlook for tech stocks in 2001, also fell sharply, losing 4.4 percent of its total value between 3 p.m. and the closing bell.

Donger
02-16-2005, 05:13 PM
Bush swore to do "everything in [his] power" to undo the damage wrought by Clinton's two terms in office, including selling off the national parks to developers, going into massive debt to develop expensive and impractical weapons technologies, and passing sweeping budget cuts that drive the mentally ill out of hospitals and onto the street.

During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.

"You better believe we're going to mix it up with somebody at some point during my administration," said Bush, who plans a 250 percent boost in military spending. "Unlike my predecessor, I am fully committed to putting soldiers in battle situations. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a military?"

On the economic side, Bush vowed to bring back economic stagnationby implementing substantial tax cuts, which would lead to a recession, which would necessitate a tax hike, which would lead to a drop in consumer spending, which would lead to layoffs, which would deepen the recession even further.

Wall Street responded strongly to the Bush speech, with the Dow Jones industrial fluctuating wildly before closing at an 18-month low. The NASDAQ composite index, rattled by a gloomy outlook for tech stocks in 2001, also fell sharply, losing 4.4 percent of its total value between 3 p.m. and the closing bell.


OK, it's official.

You're a f*cking nutjob.

Lefty_the_Right
02-16-2005, 05:19 PM
Um, yeah, and you are a f***ing a**hole, but what does that prove.

Are you really trying to say that NO ONE could have predicted Bush invading Iraq?

Or that they didn't have any proof?
Because that is what you were asking.

I'm sorry that I provided information that makes you feel bad about your decision to back the Bush administration, but it was a choice.

And one that you can still change your mind about.

You couldn't have been born that way.

Donger
02-16-2005, 05:27 PM
Um, yeah, and you are a f***ing a**hole, but what does that prove.

Are you really trying to say that NO ONE could have predicted Bush invading Iraq?

Or that they didn't have any proof?
Because that is what you were asking.

I'm sorry that I provided information that makes you feel bad about your decision to back the Bush administration, but it was a choice.

And one that you can still change your mind about.

You couldn't have been born that way.

I choose to be an assh*ole.

I doubt you choose to be a nutjob.

Donger
02-16-2005, 05:28 PM
Um, yeah, and you are a f***ing a**hole, but what does that prove.

Are you really trying to say that NO ONE could have predicted Bush invading Iraq?

Or that they didn't have any proof?
Because that is what you were asking.

I'm sorry that I provided information that makes you feel bad about your decision to back the Bush administration, but it was a choice.

And one that you can still change your mind about.

You couldn't have been born that way.

BTW, take a peek at the forth paragraph of the SATIRE that you posted and explain to me how that came to fruition.

This is bizarre...

Amnorix
02-16-2005, 07:36 PM
Not to mention the habitually NON-WORKING population.

Social Security dollars are going to the non-working population (other than surviving spouses)? Do tell.

KCWolfman
02-16-2005, 07:54 PM
Um, yeah, and you are a f***ing a**hole,

This is the same guy that was crying about name calling the other night?

It didn't take long for this libbie to melt down, did it?

SBK
02-16-2005, 08:14 PM
This is the same guy that was crying about name calling the other night?

It didn't take long for this libbie to melt down, did it?

It never does. :shake:

SBK
02-16-2005, 08:15 PM
Um, yeah, and you are a f***ing a**hole, but what does that prove.

Are you really trying to say that NO ONE could have predicted Bush invading Iraq?

Or that they didn't have any proof?
Because that is what you were asking.

I'm sorry that I provided information that makes you feel bad about your decision to back the Bush administration, but it was a choice.

And one that you can still change your mind about.

You couldn't have been born that way.

STFU and turn your rep on so we can all give you an atomic negative rep bomb.