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Author Topic: Rep Ron Paul on the Budget Crisis
Colin JM0397
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For anyone not familiar with Congressman Paul, while he is a Republican, his views and the things he supports are much more in line with classical liberal/libertarian.

This is very sobering information. It's straight from the GAO, so not as if everyone in the federal government doesn't know about it. Yet we have big spending Repubs recently replaced by tax and spend more Dems... We're so screwed.

Demographic Reality and the Entitlement State
quote:
The Government Accountability Office, or GAO, is an investigative arm of Congress charged with the thankless task of accounting for the money received and spent by the federal government. As you might imagine, people who spend all day examining the nitty-gritty realities of federal spending and deficits might not share the voters' enthusiasm for grand campaign promises.

David Walker, Comptroller General at GAO, has been on a speaking tour of the U.S recently-- and he pulls no punches when explaining just how precarious our nation's entitlement system really is.

He explains that Social Security and Medicare are headed for a train wreck because of demographic trends and rising health care costs. The number of younger taxpayers for each older retiree will continue to decline. The demand for "free" prescription drugs under Medicare will explode. If present trends continue, by 2040 the entire federal budget will be consumed by Social Security and Medicare. The only options for balancing the budget would be cutting total federal spending by about 60%, or doubling federal taxes.

Furthermore, Walker asserts, we cannot grow our way out of this problem. Faster economic growth can only delay the inevitable hard choices. To close the long-term entitlement gap, the U.S. economy would have to grow by double digits every year for the next 75 years.

In short, Mr. Walker is telling the political class that the status quo cannot be maintained. He is to be commended for his refreshing honesty and unwillingness to provide excuses for the two political parties, the administration, or the even the entitlement-minded American public.

I urge everyone interested to visit the GAO website at www.gao.gov, where you can view a report entitled: "Our Nation's Fiscal Outlook: The Federal Government's Long-Term Budget Imbalance." This report should be required reading for every politician in Washington.

Are ever growing entitlement and military expenditures really consistent with a free country? Do these expenditures, and the resulting deficits, make us more free or less free? Should the government or the marketplace provide medical care? Should younger taxpayers be expected to provide retirement security and health care even for affluent retirees? Should the U.S. military be used to remake whole nations? Are the programs, agencies, and departments funded by Congress each year constitutional? Are they effective? Could they operate with a smaller budget? Would the public even notice if certain programs were eliminated altogether? These are the kinds of questions the American people must ask, even though Congress lacks the courage to do so.

If we hope to avoid a calamitous financial future for our nation, we must address the hardest question of all: What is the proper role for government in our society? The answer to this question will determine how prosperous and free we remain in the decades to come.

And the GAO report: Our Nation's Fiscal Outlook: The Federal Government's Long-Term Budget Imbalance

No matter where you stand on taxes and federal spending today, I think any rational person on either side of the spectrum can see a 100% increase in federal taxes is not feasible and would severely hamper our economy.

Rep. Paul has a good set of questions we need to start with.

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kenmeer livermaile
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Ron Paul rocks. I think his political star will rise in the next few years. This is as good a time as any to shre a thought I had yesterday:

Much as the legacy of New Deal socialism/60s activism/emerging equal rights groups painted the Dem party with an easily applied moniker -- 'liberal', which came to mean something far more than the dictionary definition, whcih far more came to mean something increasingly unflattering, so I wonder if now the republicasn party wilkl increasingly find itself tar-brushed by its close association with and electoral dependency on the likes of the religious Right?

As Millennial Fever wanes, as the likes of Reverend Haggard and Mark Foley become poster boys for as certain kind of 'family values' hypocrisy, I foresee the reps struggling with sinmilar label issues. All that is left is for the media of today to provide a Rush Limbaugh of the new New Left.

Or maybe Michael Moore was just that phenomenon, already peaked and waning.

But I don't think so. I think the internet, through what I will call for sheer convenience sake the 'blogosphere' (and related developments), will create some kind of resurgent counter-culturesque media messiah that will be for the liburls of the '00s what Rush was to the conservatives of the '90s.

It's scary, y'all. Replace 'feminazis' with, um, (I'm thinking), 'theofascists'. I know, that's a right wing thing. But they don't own it. It hasn't attained real universal coinage. But obviously, that wopn't catch on. It will have to be something folksier and more energetic, like, say, 'stormpreachers'. Yeah, I like that. railng against the stormpreachers. KAck-Bibles stormpreachers.

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Colin JM0397
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I disagree. Lib/leftist talking heads have shown time and time again they can't hang in the free marketplace. Air America - 'nuff said.

The fundamental issue is what continues to be wrong with the (more leftists) Dems - they keep thinking the people just don't get it, that if they just packaged their message properly with a proper media-savvy person, the people will get it. All the dull masses will finally see the light.

You put a pile of poop in a pretty little box and wrap it up all nice, it still stinks just the same. The US public - whether left or right leaning - is overwhelmingly centrist, so therefore rejects both the far right and far left extremes.

This, on another note, is why Pelosi will - in my estimation, be looking at a short 2-year term as Speaker... Maybe she'll make it past the 08 elections, but I don't think much longer than that.

That said, if I was in Paul's district, I'd petition him to quit the Repubs and go independent or Libertarian. If someone would lead the charge, perhaps it’ll be the catalyst to a real new option.

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gruevy
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I had a sad talk with my dad about this the other day. He told me (and he's right) that if they cancel or diminish his social security benefits so that he doesn't get what he has been promised after paying in for 30+ years, it would be a huge travesty.

I simply responded that while I appreciated his problem, we have two choices: Screw the old AND the young, or just screw the old. There is no doubt in my mind that I will never see a dime of what I'm paying into social security. The question is how much longer I have to throw away my money.

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The Pixiest
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I always thought a good poster for social security would be a crying infant with the words "Social Security: It's as easy as taking candy from a baby"

Becuase that's what the old really are doing. They're stealing from the next generation. Just as their parents and grandparents stole from them.

They've been cheated and lied to their whole life, and by god if they aren't going to do it to the next generation too, because damned if two wrongs don't make a Right. or at least an entitlement.

But hey, old people vote and young people don't. And young people don't seem to realize exactly how much they're being looted.

So it's going to stay this way till it collapses.

(prolly about the time I'm ready to retire.)

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kenmeer livermaile
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I wonder why it is just social security we are describing here as being insolvent. Hell, everything's insolvent.
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kenmeer livermaile
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"I disagree. Lib/leftist talking heads have shown time and time again they can't hang in the free marketplace. Air America - 'nuff said."

Will Rogers. 'nuff said.

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gruevy
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Fortunately for my parents, I'm going to be able to retire them within the next 10 years or so, but for all the others who weren't fortunate to have motivated, successful children, I do truly feel sorry. They were simply stolen from, and this entire nation is suffering financially because of it. If they had that extra money every month, it's possible that there would be a lot less debt and a lot more investing going on, which leads to a retirement, instead of working until death. Putting off payment of social security benefits so that it is closer to the average age of death is reprehensible, btw.
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kenmeer livermaile
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The demographic whereby folks commonly live into their upper 70/80s is as much a part of this problem as anything.
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javelin
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So the solution is kill the old people? Soylent green, anyone? It's lunch time!
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Wayward Son
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quote:
There is no doubt in my mind that I will never see a dime of what I'm paying into social security. The question is how much longer I have to throw away my money.
I've never seen SS as "throwing" away my money. I've always thought of it as supporting our elderly. When my mom was still alive, I thought of it as my way of sending her $600-$800/month without having to dish out that much each month. And after she passed away, I think of it as my way to make sure our mothers and fathers don't fall into abject poverty.

The fact that I might not see anything for it doesn't diminish the fact that it helps people now. People that just about everyone agrees should be helped.

quote:
Lib/leftist talking heads have shown time and time again they can't hang in the free marketplace. Air America - 'nuff said.
I'm glad to see that you're one of those people that doesn't believe the MSM is controlled by the Left, jm. Because if you include CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, etc., the conservative media is just a bunch of kids selling lemonaid on the corner. [Smile]
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Colin JM0397
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Left vs. Right leanings.
To me, yes, much of the MSM is left-leaning, but there's a big difference between left-leaning and socialist.

I find the vast majority of MSM offensive not due to the left/right leanings, but becuase they act as if the average viewer is an idiot.
If the average folks are indeed idiots, it's from watching the MSM crap, not becuase they started off as idiots.

Ken, sounds to me more like Rogers was a good old centrist who leaned a bit left - but had quite a disdane for governmnet in general, so I'll chalk him up as more classically liberal:

"Communism is like prohibition, it's a good idea but it won't work. "

"So when all the yielding and objections is over, the other Senator said, "I object to the remarks of a professional joker being put into the Congressional Record." Taking a dig at me, see? They didn't want any outside fellow contributing. Well, he had me wrong. Compared to them I'm an amateur, and the thing about my jokes is that they don't hurt anybody. You can say they're not funny or they're terrible or they're good or whatever it is, but they don't do no harm. But with Congress — every time they make a joke it's a law. And every time they make a law it's a joke."

"Rogers was a lifelong Democrat but he studiously avoided partisanship. He contributed to the Democratic campaign funds, but at the same time he frequently appeared on benefit programs to raise money for the Republican treasury. Republican leaders sought his counsel in their campaigns as often as did the Democrats." ~ P. J. O'Brien

Actually, he seems to be quite the humanist. Here are a bunch more: Will Rogers

I'll have to print this one out for my wife: "The best doctor in the world is the veterinarian. He can't ask his patients what is the matter — he's got to just know."
A'hem, just have to change that "he" to "she". [Wink]

[ November 16, 2006, 02:05 PM: Message edited by: jm0397 ]

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RickyB
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gruevy, repeating that alarmist meme won't make it truer. All that needs to be done to save the solvency of Social Security is raise the level of income that pays SS tax. It's currently at 90K/yr. Raise it to 120K - problem solved. Raise it to 200K - problem solved even if a medical breakthrough raises life expectancy much beyond projections.

If people had that extra bit of money every month they'd just sink it into the same debt they're in now. People aren't in debt because they're a few hundred bucks a month short, but because they spend more than they can afford, because that's how they're mass-conditioned to behave. SS is the sagfest place the money can be put. Any system needs small adjustments to cope with changing conditions. Just raise the tax ceiling a bit and stop scaring people [Smile]

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RickyB
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"I find the vast majority of MSM offensive not due to the left/right leanings, but becuase they act as if the average viewer is an idiot."

Amen, brother. I always feel that the mass media in America talk about precisely the wrong point, no matter what the subject. They always bloviate about some minor or misguided aspect, while studiously ignoring the actually germane point.

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Colin JM0397
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Perhaps have the senate and congress pay in while we're at it?

Ricky, there's one fallacy there: SS money isn't "put" anywhere; it's spent as it comes in. That whole SS trust fund crap from the 2000 elections was... well, crap.

That's why the repubs were looking for the private investment accounts, because then you truly could put the money somewhere where you know you'll have access to it in the future. I'm still highly peeved the Dems killed that one because it's a decent plan that would and could work. "Risky scheme" my ass.

They opposed it because it would have shed a lot of light on this jackass of a fiscal policy where the feds “borrow” the SS surplus every year to shore up the budget deficit. If we were to lock up (remember Gore’s “Lock Box?”) those funds in privately managed investments, that’s one taxpayer teat you just removed from the feds big fat mouth.
That, and only that, is why the Dems opposed SS privatization.

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RickyB
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First of all, SS money (any surplus) is too invested. 2nd, it doesn't matter that it's spent. It's meant to be spent. You pay now so that granma can get now.

Now, I totally support preventing the feds burrowing from SS. As for the privat eaccounts - It is too a risky scheme because there was nothing there to prevent people losing their money. If you invest privately and lose, you're screwed. The Fed has to pay you regardless of how its portfolio is doing. Show me a way to guarantee the private investment, and my opposition goes down. Then again, that would be very like what we have now.

[ November 16, 2006, 04:55 PM: Message edited by: RickyB ]

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FiredrakeRAGE
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RickyB said:
quote:
If people had that extra bit of money every month they'd just sink it into the same debt they're in now. People aren't in debt because they're a few hundred bucks a month short, but because they spend more than they can afford, because that's how they're mass-conditioned to behave. SS is the sagfest place the money can be put. Any system needs small adjustments to cope with changing conditions. Just raise the tax ceiling a bit and stop scaring people [Smile]
I know that I would be using the extra 15% of my paycheck to pay down more of my school loans.

The problem with social-services democrats is that they assume that everyone is a moron. Some people are morons - they'll take their knocks and learn from them. Some people are not, and they'll be markedly better off without a huge social security tax foisted off on them.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
Some people are morons - they'll take their knocks and learn from them.
But we're talking about retirement here. How is somebody going to "learn" when he's 70 years old? [Confused]
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Wayward Son
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Actually, all talk about Social Security is beside the point. Looking at the graph from the government website, the percentage of Social Security only goes up from about 4 percent to about 5 percent of the GNP sometime around 2030, and stays steady for the rest of the graph. It is Medicaid and Medicare that keep growing.
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kenmeer livermaile
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"It is Medicaid and Medicare that keep growing."

The cost of keeping old folks alive.

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javelin
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Soylent Green!
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RickyB
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"I know that I would be using the extra 15% of my paycheck to pay down more of my school loans."

And when retirement came you would have... what? I thought the idea was to let people invest more wisely for retirement, not to let them use the money for whatever.

No, we don't think everyone's a moron. However, it was determined, following a serious crisis in the nation's history, that it would be a really great idea to make sure that when people got old they had a few bucks to get by on - whether or not they were morons. If they're not, bully for them and the extra bit of taxation didn't really hurt them - but made sure a few simple-minded (or plumb unlucky) folk still aged with dignity. It's a huge sacrifice, I know, and we all thank the blessed chosen ones from the bottom of out hearts for it [Smile]

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Colin JM0397
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"...risky scheme because there was nothing there to prevent people losing their money."

Oh bullsh*t!

That attitude is screwing all of us out of a better retirement to save a few morons from themselves so you can feel good about taking care of the poor morons. The problem is, now you've reduced us all to the lowest common moronic denominator. Those of us who could and would turn those pennies into a nice investment account now are not allowed to do so. You know what’s risky? Expecting the government to care for you and only retiring on SS income – now that’s moronic.

- Anyone who's put money in an investment account or in the bank knows about secured investments - CDs and savings accounts backed by FDIC insurance, government bonds, etc. Those are not risky, they are guaranteed. If you’re worried about risk, you simply don’t put your money in non-secured investments.

- Even if one chooses to go with non-secured, there are multiple ways to ensure morons don't, for example, put all their SS money in Enron stock. We simply set it up like a big 401k account and limit the options that people can invest in. You could even make one of the options to give the money back to the government in the form of bonds that they'll have to repay to you, not back to themselves as SS currently works. How risky are US t-bills?

- The plan as it was proposed was only for a small percentage of SS to be diverted to private accounts, not all of it. Therefore, if you are a moron and still manage to lose all your privately funded SS money, you still have the majority of it going to the government.

Let's break it down to an analogy of an individual, Frank.
Frank has the ability to put 15% of his salary away for retirement right now, every year until he retires. But, he has to stay in his average home and drive a couple year old average car.
OR
He also has the ability to go buy a kick-ass new house, new car, and a vacation home in Hawaii, but all on credit. He can do this now, and does make enough to make the interest payments. As for retirement, he's not sure how he'll pay of this debt principle, but he's hoping a solution will come along and it'll work itself out eventually.

Which one of these is the risky scheme?

BTW, Ricky, I do understand where your motives lie and why - I honestly do not fault you there.
However, I do fault you for believing the Dem leadership has their hearts in the same place merely because they try to claim they do. To them it has nothing to do with caring for anyone, and everything to do with me having control of my own money equates to them having less of my money to conduct their usual shenanigans with.

[ November 17, 2006, 09:17 AM: Message edited by: jm0397 ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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Well, the cncept on which SSI is based -- leveraging the common welath into some kind of reliable nest egg so we don't have old derelicts pushing shopping carts on every corner, or poorhouses where the ill and aged and insane make life lovely for each other -- obviously needs more thought. LOTS of thought. We the people deserve to be presented by the President and Congress with a wide number of options.

The emotional aspects of selling alternative SSI MUST be addressed if such optins are to be even remotely understood by the mass-mediated public.

The Bush administration did an even lousier job with their SSI reforms than Bill & Hillary did with national health care. B&H dorwned us in options while insufficiently addressing our well-founded fears of governmental corruption and bureaucratic waste. Bush failed to allay our obvious and justified suspicions that he, a patrician fat cat with shady stock deals in his background, wasn't simply funneling tax dollers into the pockets of his cronies, an idea that held especial resonance considering Enron and Bush's close ties to that bunch.

It isn't the means of building retirement vessels that is the problem neary so much as the selling of same to the public. Government has the 'welfare society' clout and obligation to provide such vessels, but has a massive image problem in doing so credibly.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Expecting the government to care for you and only retiring on SS income – now that’s moronic.
But that's the point of Social Security. You can object to Social Security itself on that basis, but the whole point of the program is that it's a "secure" nest egg that even morons can't lose; it's a subsidy for the unlucky and the stupid.
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Ivan
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Yeah, Social Security really isn't a problem. It's expensive, but there are simple steps we could take to make it cheaper and still keep it fair. (Like, you know, indexing it to inflation rather than wages. This makes COMPLETE sense to me, and would be a HUGE step to dealing with the problem.)

As for Medicare/Medicaid, these problems are going to die, and they should die. We need a national healthcare solution. It's cheaper due to economies of scale, and allows for a more fair system of rationing. More importantly, proceedures that cost TONS of money and extend a miserable life another 3 months will not be funded.

It's true that on our current path, we will meet with disaster in a few years. Which is why I really hope the 2008 election is about reforming our nation's healthcare and old-age care programs. (But it won't. It'll be about this damn war. Terrorism won't destory us, we will. Yeesh.)

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Ivan
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And as for "privitizing" SS, there are ways to do it (with, say, 5 total options and strict government regulation of privately-run funds) so that it isn't very dangerous at all, and I wouldn't really mind us doing that. The real question is whether the additional costs of running it like this would outweigh the additional revenue. [Wink]
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Wayward Son
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quote:
- Anyone who's put money in an investment account or in the bank knows about secured investments - CDs and savings accounts backed by FDIC insurance, government bonds, etc. Those are not risky, they are guaranteed. If you’re worried about risk, you simply don’t put your money in non-secured investments.
FDIC only insures up to $100,000, as I’m sure you’re aware. And government bonds—T-bills and such—is how the government borrows from the Social Security Trust Fund now. So the government is all ready using the most risk-free, safe way of investing the funds. For those who are risk-adverse, no change is needed.

It is only for those who think they can make more on the investment through risk that want to change things.

quote:
- Even if one chooses to go with non-secured, there are multiple ways to ensure morons don't, for example, put all their SS money in Enron stock. We simply set it up like a big 401k account and limit the options that people can invest in. You could even make one of the options to give the money back to the government in the form of bonds that they'll have to repay to you, not back to themselves as SS currently works. How risky are US t-bills?
If we are going to limit how the money is invested, why bother bringing in the public? Have the SS administrators divide the money into the different investment options they determine are the safest. I could even live with a voting system—SS contributors can vote on which investment they’d like their money to go to. But this was the not system that was being sold. We were told we’d be in control of “our” money—not some Washington bureaucrat. What’s the use of a retirement system that forces us to contribute as much as before, and only allows us a couple of new invest options determined by some fat-cats wanting to line their own pockets? How long do you think that would last.

Limiting investment options isn’t that big of a change to the current system.

quote:
- The plan as it was proposed was only for a small percentage of SS to be diverted to private accounts, not all of it. Therefore, if you are a moron and still manage to lose all your privately funded SS money, you still have the majority of it going to the government.
Ask yourself, jm—how do we know an investment is risky? If everyone who invests in it gets the same return, is the investment risky? Of course not. Only if some people get less of a return, or none at all, or lose their investment, is an investment considered risky. And if you get one million people investing in a risky investment, what are the odds of some of these “morons” of having less money than if they hadn’t invested with risk? About 100 percent, right?

Now, what do we do with those people who lost their investment? Tell them too bad, so sad, go get a shopping cart from their local grocery store? After all, we have now guaranteed that some people will have less return, and therefore a smaller monthly check, than average. Perhaps we should take some money from those who had a larger return on their investment? I didn’t think so. [Smile]

So to allow some people to get a better return on their SS money than average, we guarantee that some will have a worse return. What kind of “safety net” is that?? Where you don’t even know—you can’t be guaranteed—of what you are going to get?

Perhaps like the one we have now. But there is one other factor you neglect to mention.

During the transition from the current Ponzi scheme to this new, investment scheme, Social Security Trust Fund would be losing money. The income previously designated for paying the current checks, or for investment for later checks, would be diverted to these new accounts specifically for individuals. As a result, the US government would have to pump millions of dollars into Social Security to keep it solvent. Or just watch the current surplus dwindle to nothing, insuring that millions of dollars would be needed in the future.

So we should pull out millions of dollars from a “bankrupt” system to change the system to one that is no more secure than the one we have now, and could be even less secure. And what was the reason for this change again?

It doesn’t matter to me why the Democratic leadership opposed this plan, and it shouldn’t matter to you. The only thing that matters is whether it is a good plan or not. And from my analysis, privatizing Social Security that the President proposed was not a good plan, and died a well-deserved death.

Now let’s find some better solution to the problem. One that will actually work.

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Colin JM0397
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Tom, but it is not that any longer. Perhaps it was, but you can barely get by on SS alone - the current average monthly payout for a retiree is $1008.70 web page

Is that enough to get by on? Perhaps if you have a house paid for and live in a city where you can utilize public transport.

However, we're getting wrapped around the SS axle when the whole federal spending car is driving out of control.

So we're back to the main proposition:
100% tax increase
OR
60% reduction in federal spending

Which is it going to be? Or maybe we'll go 50% tax increase with a 30% spending reduction?

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Colin JM0397
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100k covered by FDIC for all accounts at any one bank, so don't keep more than 100k in any one bank, duh! [Roll Eyes]

So a 401k is a risky scheme?
Mutual funds are risky?
Annuities are risky?
Pumping capital straight into the economy vs. letting it filter through the gov't is risky?

You know, you’re right – those are risky! I'm going to pull all my money out of my 401k, stock plan, IRA, and savings accounts and send it to the Treasury to hold for me! Wow, I feel so safe and protected now!

Lets not make overreaching assumptions here. Those claiming “risky” don’t definitively know if such a plan will or will not work, it’s merely your opinion that it might not. So, if something might not work, then it also might work.

Many of you remind me of the folks 10 years ago warning of the masses of homeless, starving people in our cities if we allowed the welfare reform to go through.

So why not take a page from those programs? If we have a might work, might not work situation, then why not set up some pilot programs and see how they do for a while?

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Wayward Son
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quote:
100k covered by FDIC for all accounts at any one bank, so don't keep more than 100k in any one bank, duh!
Really? Are you sure? I always thought that it was the total in all accounts in all banks. [Eek!]


quote:
Lets not make overreaching assumptions here. Those claiming “risky” don’t definitively know if such a plan will or will not work, it’s merely your opinion that it might not. So, if something might not work, then it also might work.

Yes, those other plans are "risky." You don't want to have all your retirement investment in any one of those. Diversification is better. That way, if one of them fails, there is a chance that the others will still be there.

One of the legs of my retirement plan is Social Security. It is guaranteed by the government in a way that is different from my 401K, etc. Yeah, it may not be enough to keep me afloat where I'm living, but at least it's something. Hopefully my other investments will supplement it enough so I can live comfortably.

But if I sank all my investments into something just like a 401K, and that and my 401K failed, who's going to pick up the tab?

A pilot program sounds good, except that retirement planning is Very Long Term in regards to individual investing. What might work over a 5 year period might fail miserably in 10 or 20 years. So by the time you have a proper evaluation of the program, we've all ready reached and passed the crisis you've hoped to avert! [Smile]

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Colin JM0397
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Hey, I'll volunteer.

Yes, on the 100k - sorry if I sound flippant - I'm cranky before I get my workout in:
quote:
The FDIC is an independent agency of the U.S. government. The agency protects depositors up to $100,000 per account if an FDIC-insured bank or savings and loan association fails. Depositors can have more than one $100,000 insured account, as long as each account meets certain requirements, such as a different legal ownership for each.
http://www.lifeinsuranceselling.com/NR/exeres/6CC1E4B9-642B-4E9E-9677-06E38720D720.htm
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RickyB
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quote:
that attitude is screwing all of us out of a better retirement to save a few morons from themselves so you can feel good about taking care of the poor morons.
Exactly. There are a lot more "morons" than you think, plus a lot of people who, due to the vagaries of life, find themselves forced to spend their life savings on an emergency (medical, financial, legal...).

But yes, you're getting "screwed" (less than almost in any liberal democracy), so that not even "morons" die of hunger and cold when too weak to somehow scrounge. That's precisely the idea. Sorry it infuriates you so.

quote:
However, I do fault you for believing the Dem leadership has their hearts in the same place merely because they try to claim they do. To them it has nothing to do with caring for anyone, and everything to do with me having control of my own money equates to them having less of my money to conduct their usual shenanigans with.
Right, because unlike you and em and regular folk, the Dem leadership, for the past 55 year, has been coming solely from the planet Zarquan, where environmental conditions preclude the formation of the same motives as regular folk like you or me.

Sorry if the sarcasm offends you, but seriously - you think the people who represent about 35-40% of the nation on all levels over decades are fundamentally different in the basic motivations than you, me and their counterparts on the other side of the aisle? You think there's a secret drug peope take once they're elected to office on the Dem ticket, which changes them from regular people?

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RickyB
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So people should be content with secure life savings of 100K, which, at such safe terms, will pay them the grand sum of 4K, maybe 5K, per year to live on. As a certain beer commercial would have it - Brilliant!
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Colin JM0397
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Ricky, thanks for the verification of the typical liberal line of thought: "Saving all the morons out there from themselves with your money."

By the way, just who are these morons and where are they? Granted most folks I know are more or less educated, stay out of jail, and earn lower-upper middle-class incomes, yet I've met very, very few true morons in my life. After many years in the Army, college, traveling, and corporate jobs, I feel confident in saying I've experienced a much wider demographic of the US population than the average person has. Yet out of the 1000's of people I've met, I honestly cannot think of more than a handful of true morons.

However, I don’t classify, for example a died-in-the-wool liberal as a moron simply because they disagree with much of what I believe. Whereas the average died-in-the-wool liberal seems to think I am a moron because I don’t agree with their point of view. Therefore, I suppose it is possible for both me and this nameless liberal person to look at the US population in general and come to vastly different moron demographics.

So who exactly are these morons? Do you know any? Have you hung out with them? Did they say they want your help? Who exactly are you talking about?
You're advocating throwing out a new program that could possibly benefit all of us - even the morons, to save a vague and indefinable group of people from something they may or may not do, if they even exist to begin with.

Sounds to me like a classic strawman argument: “that’s a bad idea because the morons will go broke and have no retirement and they’ll be starving and dying on the streets.”

On a side note, how’s this for calming the “save the morons” fears if I was to have a private SS account that I manage myself.
Simply tax the investment income/dividends us non-morons make at a certain percentage to go into the “moron rescue fund”. Say 10% of all gains, and we can pay the morons out the pittance they would have gotten from SS anyway.

Addition: Where'd you get that limited to 100k thing from? We were talking about the FDIC coverage limit per account of 100k, nothing more.

[ November 17, 2006, 03:58 PM: Message edited by: jm0397 ]

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Ivan
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jm-

Say what you will, but Social Security has been wildly successful at reducing (and nearly eliminating) poverty among the elderly.

Here is the first graph I found on this stuff from Google. There's tons of information about it. (edit: not tons of information at that link; the link is pretty much just the graph. I mean there's tons of info out there about SS and elderly poverty. [Smile] )

Say what you will about SS; it has had a pronounced effect on elderly proverty rates, which is basically what it was designed to do.

And I say again: the thing we've really got to be worried about is our nation's healthcare costs, which are going to be shooting through the roof over the next 20-30 years.

[ November 17, 2006, 04:38 PM: Message edited by: Ivan ]

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RickyB
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jm, my mother worked her ass off all her life, was never in any sort of trouble with the law, and other than smoking had no self-destructive vices (ie, she didn't drink, do mind altering drugs or blow her money on shopping). Yet she kept working past retirement age and died with less than 100 thousand dollars in total assets to her name. Bad investments, some bad luck, and there you have it.

There are many, many such. Your assumption that anyone who plays by the rules, doesn't mooch off the rest of us and isn't functionally retarded will have enough to retire on with dignity is infuriatingly disonnected to reality.

So yes. I say it with great pride: The whole idea of the New Deal un general and SS in particular was to ensure that even people who do not function well, wisely or with luck in the rat race don't have to live like rats.

Like I said, I'm sorry this pisses you off so much, but if the alternative is throwing even one old person to the dogs then you can beat your head to a pulp against a large steel spike for all I care [Smile]

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RickyB
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Here's a better idea, jm - we tax your income, and not even all of it if you're so prosperous, and use that on the "morons" (like my mom, you know) and you can invest the rest of your money any way you like and become fabulously rich by virtue of your non-moron-ness. Sounds like the American dream, don't it? [Smile]
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