August last year the Obama Budget director, working at the CBO wrote
Quote:Today, Social Security
Social Security is a prime example of the failure of Socialism in a capitalist economy. Shit don't flow uphill.
What gets me is the vast differences in how different agencies are calculating the surplus. Obviously, nobody seems to know what the surplus is. We are talking about something that is no more complicated than looking at a bank statement and yet we get different figures from different agencies depending on their own agenda.
OK, this is one that really, really pissses me off because it's the Republicans who truly screwed this pooch!
Social Security was absolutely safe - absolutely! it couldn't be touched for anything other than payments to beneficiaries and drawing interest to expand the system - until Reagan decided to raid the system to cover his fast ballooning deficits. You paid into a Social Security after 1982 and Reagan spent the money on Star Wars systems that still don't work and to pay off his buddies the Iranians! Thank you very fucking much, Ronnie, you addle brained nicompoop!
Since the time Reagan said it was OK to take money to cover whatever a politician wanted to waste money on, such as several illegal military actions in South America or more tax cuts to his friends, SS has been the candy box without a lid for every hack-kneed idea of the past three Republican administrations.
I suppose you two jokers don't remember George the Dumber laughing at the idea of Al Gore's Social Security lock box way back in 2000? I suppose you don't remember Social Security being on a relatively stable footing when Clinton left office after the budget had been balanced without raiding the funds for two years? I suppose you don't remember the projected budget surplus that Bush the Kid wasted in his first two years in office? I suppose you don't remember George the Frat Boy peddling his "privatization" plan that would have ruined the retirement of everyone involved with this last stock market crash that has wiped out 50% of market value?
That lock box would have put the lid back on the candy jar and the system would have been safe for the forseeable next 75 years - which is as far as the government projects future spending. Instead both Reagan and the Bush Criminals raided the fund for everything they wanted - which always seemed to be more tax cuts to their rich friends and George's "have more" base and then he borrowed the money from the Saudis and the Chinese to pay for his illegal wars.
Why don't you two pull your heads out of your asses and wake up to what thirty years of Reaganomics has done to this country? You can't have tax cuts all the time if you want a working government.
Maybe you guys don't want a working government. Maybe you like the way the last eight years of no government for the people and the last 27 years of deficit spending have ruined the actual working class citizen of this country and how our economy has turned out. Most of the rest of us don't like the results of Republican schemes and that's why we told you all to go stand in the corner and shut your fuckin' yap.
Stop with this bullshit. More of the same only gets you more of the same. Until all politicians stop raiding the SS surplus fund, this is not going to get fixed. When it gets fixed, the system will once again be solvent as it was planned to be sixty years ago.
After eight years of wasted time and even more wasted deficits - how did the Republicans plan on paying for the multi-trillion dollar (Republican hated until that time) Medicare Plan "D" while they were running on more tax cuts in 2004? - and a widening gap between the have's and the now-we-have-not-so-much's there isn't a thing you can come up with that can't be pinned directly on the bullshit ideas the right has been spouting for three decades. We have deficits that were run up under the Republicans and now we have to find a way to pay the bills. So shut up and get the hell out of the way while the grown ups get to work.
Why don't we also discuss how the Republicans have for the last fifteen years protected their rich contributors from paying their fair share of SS withholdings? Let's take someone like Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, as an example. Jones has a very good tax attorney who keeps most of his income held back and deferred from taxes and SS holdings. Even without a good attorney, thanks to the Republicans, Jones pays a smaller percentage of his yearly income into SS than would his secretary or a janitor at one of his firms. So Jones gets by with more money every year he works due to smaller withholdings while the janitor takes home less every year he works for Jones.
When Jones retires, thanks to the Republicans having blocked any attempts by Democrats to scale his SS payments to his actual wealth, Jones gets back his share of SS payments. So Jones might take in an additional $5k each month in SS payments. Probably more but let's stick with an easy $5k a month for Jerry.
What does $5k a month mean to a billionaire? Is that $5k going to be the difference between Jones running his fountains outside his home for a few hours less each day because he can't afford to pay the utilities otherwise? That would be nice since Jones' fountains are consuming more than their fair share of Texas' dwindling natural resources just so Jerry has something nice to look at - on the days when he stays in that particular house.
If the Republicans had gone along with scaling SS payments, there would be a hundred dollars a month more for the retired janitor who may be deciding whether to pay for groceries this week or pay for the utilities to heat or cool the house. Both he and Jones would be fine. As is only the rich Republican donor gets more than his share of the wealth on payments into the system that amounted to less of his income.
Oh, and if the payments were scaled to actual wealth and Jones took home a few hundred a month less in SS pay outs, SS would be in much better shape for a much longer period than is projected under the current Republican drawn scheme.
All those changes to SS in the Reagan years occurred under a democrat congress...Reagan didn't do it...Congress did.
That said...you are not thinking. The issue is not who is to blame but what this means.
The CBO says the surplus next year will be under $3 Billion and then those IOU's must be honored which means a decade of plans to spend surplus money must be replaced by a decade of actual paying for the IOU's. More importantly...this year the budget called for using $89 billion for congressional spending. There is only $16 billion so another $73 billion must be found by either reducing spending that amount or...drum roll please...they will simply print more money and grow the deficit and inflation.
No one was expecting this so we are speaking of perhaps a trillion in surplus money expected through 2019 for spending that is not going to appear....
Quote:All those changes to SS in the Reagan years occurred under a democrat congress...Reagan didn't do it...Congress did.
We have a Democrat Congress as we speak.
Jan, is copying and pasting from Democratic Underground. He has folders on his computer with all sorts of talking points. Mainly written by someone else. With no sources or references. Subjective bullshit. He doesn't even give us the respect of tidying up his paragraph spacing caused by poor plagiarism and application software skills.
Quote:All those changes to SS in the Reagan years occurred under a democrat congress...Reagan didn't do it...Congress did.
Sorry, but it was Reagan's plan, quite a bit of what came out of the fund at that point covered Reagan's illegal activities. That the Democratic Congress of the day allowed the incoming President to have most of his programs passed into law is quite regrettable, we are still paying off those deficits and will be for the next two generations. Worse, we are still feeling the effects of Reaganomics and will be for the next 100 years.
At the time the Reagan plan was made into law no one was even beginning to see into the future to visualize the vast deficits Reagan and then two Bushes would run up. Democrats did what they thought was right given the election of a Republican President just as they did when they gave their support to Daddy Bush during the Iraq war and to George after 9-11.
So why haven't the Republicans ever treated an incoming Democratic President with the same deference? Republicans were investigating Clinton months before he gave the keynote address in 1988. Why are the Republicans the obstructionist party to Obama? They have nothing constructive to offer when their best line of attack is that he uses a teleprompter at a news conference or "he's doing toooo muuuuuuch". Not one Democrat ever said they wanted Reagan to fail. That the Democrats have been played by Republican Presidents without any recompense isn't in doubt. Now it's time to pay for the Bush crimes and the Republicans can't even get one vote for the stimulus in the House. What's up with that?! How do you have government no one pays for?
Let me remind you now, however, your reply hasn't answered why Republicans continue to this day to block fair legislation of SS laws. Why don't the Republicans want their rich donors to pay their fair share into the system and accept scaled payments after retirement in order to make the system more solvent? The Republicans block the same sort of scaled payments for the rich when it comes to Medicare, another highly popular program they have done their best to butcher.
Quote:The issue is not who is to blame but what this means.
No, the issue is who to blame. If there was no one to blame then the problem wouldn't exist now. Social Security was by law only to be used for payments to beneficiaries and to draw interest to expand the program until Reagan came along. If Reagan didn't have to cover some of his until-his-time record deficicts, there would have been no need to raid the trust fund. Don't tell me you're going to blame the Democrats for thinking up Star Wars too? The illegal Iranian arms deal? The illegal support to the Contras? You're going to try to tell me the Democrats came up with the idea of tax cuts to the rich?
Quote:The CBO says the surplus next year will be under $3 Billion and then those IOU's must be honored which means a decade of plans to spend surplus money must be replaced by a decade of actual paying for the IOU's. More importantly...this year the budget called for using $89 billion for congressional spending. There is only $16 billion so another $73 billion must be found by either reducing spending that amount or...drum roll please...they will simply print more money and grow the deficit and inflation.
And I suppose you'll tell me Bush shouldn't have seen this coming? That Bush shouldn't have done something about this before we got to this point? We had twelve years of Republican control of Congress and six years of one party rule. If you want to use who controlled Congress to get Reagan off the hook, you'll have to accept the blame for who controlled Congress when this problem began to surface. The Republicans who controlled Congress during that time should not be held responsible for this situation? They shouldn't have seen the problem before it became a crisis? They ran on SS issues in 2000, 2002 and 2004. Why didn't they do something about the problem that would have had Democratic support back then? The public wanted something done and the Democrats suggested legislation that would have helped the situation but the Republicans wanted none of it of they couldn't privatize to line the pockets of their donors.
What happened to the immigration reform the Republicans ran on in 2006? What happened to the sourge of 3 million, 4 million, 12 million and then 30-40 million illegals who were ruining our country just a few short years ago? McCain ran away from the issue until he had to finally reverse his own position on a bill he introduced. What happened to color alerts to warn us of the impending attacks from rabid Islamic terrorists? The Republicans gin up these issues to get votes and then drop them when they stop working.
The problem will begin to be fixed when the raiding of the surplus stops. That has been a campaign promise of every Democratic Presidential candidate since Gore. That was one of Obama's campaign promises. He's been in office less than 70 days. Bush had eight years to fix this, the Republicans had twelve. Why do you expect Obama to do something in less than three months?
Remember when George said he'd have a balanced budget by 2009? That was back in 2003! Even then he was hiding the cost of two wars from the real budget and borrowing money to pay off the action. But George stood before us and said his deficits were just temporary and the budget would be balanced by 2009.
George didn't get his privitization so he forgot about Social Security just like he forgot about everything else that had to do with the running of this government for the people and not just for the rich. It's what George did for six years as Texas Governor and for eight years as President. It's what the Republicans have done for the better part of thirty years since Reagan came into office.
Really, Lamont, if you have nothing to say, just acknowledge you don't know what the fuck you're talking about and stay out of this.
Quote:He doesn't even give us the respect of tidying up his paragraph spacing caused by poor plagiarism and application software skills.
Why don't you accuse me of not knowing what I'm talking about because I use a teleprompter? Good Lord, Lamont! You talk too much like a Republican, not a damn thing of value to say and doing the most jabbering of all. If you have nothing but your typical bullshit to add, stay out.
That's funny. You get caught plagiarizing and throw a tantrum. Talking points....YAWN!
Quote:Sorry, but it was Reagan's plan, quite a bit of what came out of the fund at that point covered Reagan's illegal activities. That the Democratic Congress of the day allowed the incoming President to have most of his programs passed into law is quite regrettable, we are still paying off those deficits and will be for the next two generations. Worse, we are still feeling the effects of Reaganomics and will be for the next 100 years.
What utter nonsense. Talk about revisionist history. Incoming president when Congress passed this stuff IN 1983. Reagan had been president for 3 years....Reaganomics fixed the madness of the Carter years...double digit inflation, double digit unemployment and a national malaise that only Obama seems to be able to return us to.
Geeze..read some history.
What utter nonsense. Talk about revisionist history. Geeze..read some history.
What utter nonsense. Talk about revisionist history. Geeze..read some history.
Jan? History? He gets all his history from Democratic Underground. Yep, DU and the "U" stands for "university"....
Reagan was innaugurated in 1981! So he'd been President for about two years when this became law. The 1983 budget compromise saved Reagan from a needed tax increase to pay for his deficit spending sprees and the Democrats, not wanting to fully embarass a President and willing to compromise, went along with the plan offered by the White Hose - oops! - House. It wasn't a very good plan then and it's an even worse plan now. Even if Lamont doesn't have a clue what we're talking about, you know this is true, JIMV!
What Reaganomics devised was the same sort of grand scale Ponzi scheme that put Madoff in jail and AIG into a multi-billion dollar bailout. There isn't enough money in the government coffers and most especially not in the SS trust fund to pay the long term debt that has been leveraged against loans from foreign countries. GWB ran up more of that debt in his first four years in office than all of his predecessors combined. The one party ruled Republican House and Senate went along with the White House adding crap like Medicare Plan "D" without a thought or a provision for how to pay for the plan - even threatening to fire employees who told the truth about the real cost of the plan and arm twisting its way to passage through un-Constitutional procedures. But after twelve years of being in control the Republicans are free of guilt in this situation, is that it?
Yep, after Nixon, Ford and the "malaise years" of the Republicans demonizing Carter, everyone in Washington was still interested in getting things done for a good while into Reagan's term. Reagan and Tip O'Neill were two men who got along despite their political differences. The Democrats took Reagan's 1983 compromise and got stabbed in the back for their efforts. (The Republicans ended any compromise years ago after Clinton's "tri-angulation" strategy took the steam out of their favorite fear based campaign issues. Now they are best known as "The Party of No".)
Then Iran-Contra began to break and the bottom fell out. Then the deficits rose to record levels and the bottom got deeper and blacker.
The rich get richer and the poor get lots poorer Reagonomic theory has been a disaster for decades!
So, tell me, why don't the Republicans want their rich donors to pay their fair share into the system and accept scaled payments after retirement in order to make the system more solvent?
Why didn't the Republicans heed Bill Clinton's advice to "save Social Security first"?
Why haven't you pointed out that the current projections for SS are based on George W. Bush's economy? An economy that netted essentially no new jobs in eight years and weased to its end amid two million job losses in the last six months and a loss of wealth among the US population measured in the trillions with more people living in poverty and more people doing without insurance than during Clinton's worst years. (You've probably forgotten that in his eight years in office Bill Clinton oversaw the addition of over 22 miilion good paying jobs that brought up average income for all classes thereby propping up Social Security - something that hasn't happened under any Republican President over the last half century - and we saw the greatest expansion of the middle class in recent US history. At the same time more people moved out of poverty during Clinton's eight years in office, something that was quickly undone by Bush as poverty increased every year under George.)
When do you expect the Republicans to go into full blown fear mongering on this while hypocritically insisting they had nothing to do with anything for the last thirty years?
"The role of a President is to confront problems - not to pass them on to future Presidents, future Congress or a future generation." GWB, 02/04/05
Semper Fi, Lamont. As you imply (sorry, Jan) there never was a "social security surplus." There was always the HOPE that the markets would never press the indeterminable future into a present reality. "No problem," sayeth "they" (does ANYONE out there know who "they" are???? In a putative DEMOCRACY???), we'll just cook the books and leave the mess to future accountants.
I don't recall anyone ever having laughed at me for being bullish gold and silver, over the last 6 years, when I made my first post regarding what is money and what is not.
Mind you, I am NOT an apocalyptic fool, nor am I a prophet. I am a trader. Buy low, sell high, but BE ON TREND. No, I do not think, in my lifetime, that mass riots will feature, a la some Max Gibson fantasy, a new stone age, where folks barter with shiny metal. As a trader, my thinking is a bit more sophisticated than that. Gold (and silver -- yes, do NOT forget silver) and paper will "spin" around each other for the next 2 decades.
I make my living scoping this shit out. How well I make my living is mercilessly revealed, day by day, by my account balances.
Gold is expensive. Yes. Silver is cheap, relative to gold. Yes. Do the research. At this particular point in the cycle, the mining stocks that have the capital to do what they do are ridiculously underpriced, relative to the money they mine. In an uncertain world, if you do not have 20% of your investable (speculative?? -- whatever) capital in GOOD miners, you are placing your bets on an unlikely outcome. Certainty is not an option. Nobody has that. A couple of weeks ago, I suggested that you all might buy a few shares of AUY, IVN, GG, KGC, and NEM. All are now up at least 20% from that point in time. All are still good. But not as good as they were 3 weeks ago.
There is no "last week." There is no "last month." There is no "last year." All there are, are tomorrow's opening prices and an increasingly evident incompetence, on the part of our monetary and political authorities, to face reality.
Raise cash. That is your lifeline in these uncertain times. Buy modest (MODEST, I said -- the grunions are runnin', and you know what happens to grunions...) amounts of gold, silver, and the shares of the GOOD companies that mine it.
There are no ultimates. NOBODY (certainly, including myself) knows the future. Geithner is a babe among fools. Fait vos jeux. He is starting to blink a lot. And if you aren't watching, "blinks" mean bravado up front and confusion back rear, and rear is what counts. We won't even get into Bernanke.
Protect your ass, and enjoy the things that really matter -- fucking, listening to music, and getting your heartbeat up to 110, at least 30 minutes a day, EVERY day (no excuses, you slackards), and getting in at least 20 minutes a day of HARD laughing at broadcasts that tell you things are okay.
Things are NOT okay. Do your own due diligence, enjoy life as best you can, and own a little of the real stuff. When things change, then you change. But don't place any large bets on things changing soon.
My, how I do go on. Sorry. Happy tunes, and fuck somebody you love tonight, or as soon as possible.
Quote:All there are, are tomorrow's opening prices and an increasingly evident incompetence, on the part of our monetary and political authorities, to face reality.
Couldn't have said it better myself...
Quote: ... there never was a "social security surplus."
As the system has been set up, there is no real money either. It's all in the hands of the Federal Reserve other than the coins you can carry in your pocket. The SS Trust Fund, like Treasury Notes, are backed by the "full faith" of the US government - a bunch of I.O.U.'s. Yes, I know that as do most people. George scared the shit out of a lot of people when he said it and he shouldn't have said it the way he did, but that's George - fear over reason.
The surplus grew and shrank over the years, there have been other periods when the SS fund paid out more than it took in without the sky falling, legislation required or fear stoked, but those were in different times. When you view the entire world ecomony as your private Monopoly game, then there are problems and that is where we find ourself today. Too many people have played with on paper promises of toy money to gain real world assets that left the rest of us with worthless colored paper.
That has been the prevailing attitude which managed to bring us and the world to our knee, tommorow's stock price vs. long term sustainability, a quick buck vs. a fair deal. If that is all that's left after this is "fixed", then we have learned nothing from our collective middle and lower class misery.