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(Yahoo)   What's that Congress? Don't want to raise the debt ceiling? That's OK, we'll just take the money out of your pensions   ( finance.yahoo.com) divider line
    More: Asinine, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, debt limit  
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5718 clicks; posted to Politics » on 15 Jan 2013 at 9:23 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



174 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2013-01-15 05:02:14 PM  
I sent my congressman(R) a nice email letting him know that I considered this situation unacceptable and urging him to solve the problem quickly, without compromising the ability of the government to function.

/I got back a lovely form letter that appeared to be automatically generated.
//I may also have used the words "juvenile" and "sophomoric"
 
2013-01-15 05:35:12 PM  
How is this even legal - isn't borrowing from anywhere covered by the debt limit, or is it written to only restrict issuing bonds?
 
2013-01-15 07:27:31 PM  
I think we should repeal their healthcare plan, too
 
2013-01-15 08:06:11 PM  
I had to look up Congressional pension. Apparently this is the FERS system and that does include congressmen (vested after 5 years; based on top 3 years salary). In 2002, the average pension payment ranged from $41,000 to $55,000.

Wiki also list grounds for forfeiture, which includes: "Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud the United States", so the current congress has already lost theirs.
 
2013-01-15 08:25:21 PM  
Problem: Drowning.
Solution: Snorkel extension.


/Obvious
 
2013-01-15 08:29:40 PM  
It's not really their pensions, it's every federal employee's pensions. And Geithner says it won't really affect anything since he'll pay it back once he can, but what happens if we have to default? Do payments stop then?
 
2013-01-15 09:08:41 PM  

nmrsnr: It's not really their pensions, it's every federal employee's pensions. And Geithner says it won't really affect anything since he'll pay it back once he can, but what happens if we have to default? Do payments stop then?


Short answer? No one knows what happens if we default. The method by which the US government makes payments is automated. There's never been a scenario where it went to make a payment and got a 404 message. So...no one knows.
 
2013-01-15 09:10:33 PM  

MrBallou: n 2002, the average pension payment ranged from $41,000 to $55,000


Interesting. If I stay until age 65 I'd have 29 years of service and FERS would only pay me.$30K, maybe. How does Congress get such a  good deal.

rwhamann: How is this even legal


It's part of the "run government like a business" model.
 
2013-01-15 09:26:48 PM  

Amos Quito: Problem: Drowning.
Solution: Snorkel extension.


/Obvious


GOP solution? Drown.Then.. erm. oh. damn.
 
2013-01-15 09:28:37 PM  
How about we just give citizens the right to fire EVERYONE in congress when your approval rating as a whole drops below 50%?
 
2013-01-15 09:28:47 PM  

edmo: Interesting. If I stay until age 65 I'd have 29 years of service and FERS would only pay me.$30K, maybe. How does Congress get such a good deal.


GOP Socialism
 
2013-01-15 09:29:49 PM  

The Angry Hand of God: How about we just give citizens the right to fire EVERYONE in congress when your approval rating as a whole drops below 50%?


Those are called "elections."
 
2013-01-15 09:34:36 PM  

TofuTheAlmighty: The Angry Hand of God: How about we just give citizens the right to fire EVERYONE in congress when your approval rating as a whole drops below 50%?

Those are called "elections."


I suppose you are right. I just wish the 50% of people that voted for the person I didn't like wouldn't keep doing that.
 
2013-01-15 09:34:53 PM  
Wake the feck up elected lawyers, there is some numbering to do.
 
2013-01-15 09:36:12 PM  

rwhamann: How is this even legal - isn't borrowing from anywhere covered by the debt limit, or is it written to only restrict issuing bonds?


Theoretically you're right in that this is replacing one liability with another, but the debt limit was created to replace a system where Congress had to vote on every single debt issue, so it pertains only to debt instruments.
 
2013-01-15 09:37:31 PM  

DamnYankees: nmrsnr: It's not really their pensions, it's every federal employee's pensions. And Geithner says it won't really affect anything since he'll pay it back once he can, but what happens if we have to default? Do payments stop then?

Short answer? No one knows what happens if we default. The method by which the US government makes payments is automated. There's never been a scenario where it went to make a payment and got a 404 message. So...no one knows.


No one knows what will happen? How about a credit downgrade that makes borrowing more expensive, thus making paying down the debt more difficult. This isn't rocket surgery or brain science.
 
2013-01-15 09:37:55 PM  

www.jcscreenprinting.com

 
2013-01-15 09:38:27 PM  
Thanks, Obama.
 
2013-01-15 09:44:59 PM  
Now *that's* running Government like a business.
 
2013-01-15 09:46:20 PM  

rustypouch: Thanks, Obama.


I suspect the falderall about OMGOBAMMAVGONNATAKEMAHGUNZ has as much to do with keeping the mouthbreathers distracted as anything
 
2013-01-15 09:48:55 PM  

brap: Wake the feck up elected lawyers, there is some numbering to do.


Seriously, they need to number it out.
 
2013-01-15 09:50:18 PM  

rwhamann: How is this even legal - isn't borrowing from anywhere covered by the debt limit, or is it written to only restrict issuing bonds?


How is the debt limit even legal? What if I told my credit card issuers that I have a "debt limit"?
 
2013-01-15 09:50:44 PM  

rustypouch: Thanks, Obama.


Yes, it's a little late, but it's about time he stood up to the terrorists in Congress.

Fortuanately for the country, the Tea Party will die out soon enough
 
2013-01-15 09:52:33 PM  

edmo: MrBallou: n 2002, the average pension payment ranged from $41,000 to $55,000

Interesting. If I stay until age 65 I'd have 29 years of service and FERS would only pay me.$30K, maybe. How does Congress get such a  good deal.


Well. Remind me not work for the Feds.

I'm in state and local gubbam and based on retirement at 62 that provides a factor 2.3 * 27 years for 62.1% or $76k. Is there another component that is being missed? Because if that is an extravagant federal pension, I'm not impressed.
 
2013-01-15 10:00:55 PM  
The debt ceiling will be solved in the next Presidential election when the Republicans get 95% of the vote and the presidency.

/Or is that 105% of the vote?
//Lets see. Redistricting to move all the non-white male landowners into one district and people can only vote if they show their kkk membership card and then swearing their allegiance to the Koch bros by donating 2 pints of blood on the spot which will be dumped in the sewers.
///Plus being able to recite by memory all the words and actions in every honey booboo episode ever. Or just grunting that you like thumb lady and fat child in a loving way that resembles the typical republican incest and pedophilia.
 
2013-01-15 10:01:32 PM  

Voiceofreason01: I sent my congressman(R) a nice email letting him know that I considered this situation unacceptable and urging him to solve the problem quickly, without compromising the ability of the government to function.

/I got back a lovely form letter that appeared to be automatically generated.
//I may also have used the words "juvenile" and "sophomoric"


It's not automatically generated. First, the letter is entered into a computer system. Then, an intern will read your letter on a computer, tag it (which will tally all correspondence by support/oppose and subject matter) send it to the person in the office who covers that subject, and they send you a letter they've already written on the subject. Or, if you're way out there on a letter, they research and write a letter to cover what you wrote, or have the intern do it, if it's one they're not likely to get many letters on.

Your letter usually does see someone's eyes- in the House, that person is often the chief advisor on that subject, since offices are quite small. When you write on a hot topic everyone is writing to them about, you're going to get the same letter back as everyone else, and they're probably just going to read enough to learn the subject and your stance. Even if they don't read it, however, you're still showing up when they look at the correspondence log and see 500 people telling them to pull their heads out of their asses on the debt ceiling and 320 telling them to go ahead and send us into default. That can move representatives on a vote, but it's not gonna affect the true believers.
 
2013-01-15 10:02:40 PM  

DamnYankees: nmrsnr: It's not really their pensions, it's every federal employee's pensions. And Geithner says it won't really affect anything since he'll pay it back once he can, but what happens if we have to default? Do payments stop then?

Short answer? No one knows what happens if we default. The method by which the US government makes payments is automated. There's never been a scenario where it went to make a payment and got a 404 message. So...no one knows.


well we already know it works with negative numbers...
 
2013-01-15 10:07:06 PM  
Just remember kids, when the President is a Republican, raising the debt ceiling is no big deal because deficits don't matter. When the President is a Democrat however then the world will come to an end.
 
2013-01-15 10:09:02 PM  
Is this all leading up to a Second Amendment solution for asshole Republicans?
 
2013-01-15 10:10:21 PM  
boisdejustice.com
 
2013-01-15 10:10:27 PM  
Seemed to work well for Hostess.
 
2013-01-15 10:12:52 PM  

rwhamann: How is this even legal - isn't borrowing from anywhere covered by the debt limit, or is it written to only restrict issuing bonds?


Well, there's this little tidbit from the 14th Amendment to the Constitution:
Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
 
2013-01-15 10:15:17 PM  
There was an article in the Politics section about Michele Bachman's Obamacare repeal, that has since disappeared. How does that work?
 
2013-01-15 10:16:55 PM  
No one is questioning the current debt.

Its adding more to it that is being questioned.

Hard! BECAUSE FREEDOM!
 
2013-01-15 10:21:56 PM  

The Angry Hand of God: TofuTheAlmighty: The Angry Hand of God: How about we just give citizens the right to fire EVERYONE in congress when your approval rating as a whole drops below 50%?

Those are called "elections."

I suppose you are right. I just wish the 50% of people that voted for the person I didn't like wouldn't keep doing that.


The Congresscritter comes home, tells the extra-chromosomes "It is the other guy who is farking everything up." Gets reelected with 75% of the vote.

/applies to both sides
//your guy brings home the bacon. The other guy stuffs bills with pork.
 
2013-01-15 10:24:55 PM  

JAYoung: Well, there's this little tidbit from the 14th Amendment to the Constitution:
Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.


No one is questioning the validity of the public debt. How to pay for the current public debt and if it should incressed is being questioned.
 
2013-01-15 10:28:23 PM  
So who gets to make the final calls if we are against the debt ceiling and have to cut 25-40% of our spending overnight? It might be a good wake up call to cut all money going towards those districts whose representatives voted against raising the debt ceiling...
 
2013-01-15 10:30:29 PM  
I'd rather they take money out of the pensions of the generation that got us into this mess than borrow more money they expect my kids to pay back someday.
 
2013-01-15 10:34:57 PM  
This is standard procedure, stubby. Yes, it's retarded that the debt ceiling is a deal at all, but the treasury secretary always borrows against the pensions when the limit approaches. We have actually already passed the limit, just this and other accounting gimmicks postpones the drop dead date. Same as in 2011; we actually passed the limit I think in May, and geithner strung us along until the last minute deal in August. And of course he immediately paid the pensions back when the limit was raised.
 
2013-01-15 10:35:59 PM  
And Obama's pimp hand remains true.

/This here is some funnay shiat!
//I hope Obama takes all their benefits.
 
2013-01-15 10:42:03 PM  

Mr. Eugenides: I'd rather they take money out of the pensions of the generation that got us into this mess than borrow more money they expect my kids to pay back someday.


Why would they pay it back? He'll, even big companies never go out of debt, let alone the US government.
 
2013-01-15 10:51:05 PM  

Lenny_da_Hog: Now *that's* running Government like a business.


Great.

Why am I thinking of Hostess Twinkies right now?


/Or is it Hoestess?
//Twinkies and hoes
///Good to go
 
2013-01-15 10:52:03 PM  
Why the US won't go into a debt crisis.

I should pop popcorn for the show, except that some politicians want to gut Social Security and the safety net in exchange for 'saving' our economy.
 
2013-01-15 10:53:26 PM  
You know, the Government Bureaucrats, the Senators, and the Congressmen have built this problem. I have no problem with this at all.
 
2013-01-15 10:58:28 PM  
How cute. Thinking politicians get paid by the government and not their lobbyist masters.
 
2013-01-15 11:01:27 PM  

Hollie Maea: Mr. Eugenides: I'd rather they take money out of the pensions of the generation that got us into this mess than borrow more money they expect my kids to pay back someday.

Why would they pay it back? He'll, even big companies never go out of debt, let alone the US government.


Well, you see the assumption with borrowing is that eventually you're going to pay it back. As soon as you make it clear you aren't going to pay it back your ability to borrow goes away. And when you find yourself in a position where you have to borrow money to pay the interest on the money you've already borrowed things will get really spendy real fast because you're going to have to go to those American Sky type folks.

Right now, interest rates are at historically low levels. Our $16.whatever trillion is costing an aggregate 1.5% per year. That's about $250 billion per year in interest. Betting on rates remaining at 1.5% is as stupid as saying "the housing market has never gone down."

If rates go up to 6%, which isn't unreasonable, the interest on the debt is going to go to be over $1 trillion per year. At that point the US will really be screwed.
 
2013-01-15 11:08:27 PM  

Mr. Eugenides: Right now, interest rates are at historically low levels. Our $16.whatever trillion is costing an aggregate 1.5% per year. That's about $250 billion per year in interest. Betting on rates remaining at 1.5% is as stupid as saying "the housing market has never gone down."


Doesn't it concern you that people have been making this exactly argument for  decades about both US debt and Japanese debt and it's never happened?

Mr. Eugenides: If rates go up to 6%, which isn't unreasonable, the interest on the debt is going to go to be over $1 trillion per year.


1) No, it wouldn't. We sell treasury bonds at fixed rates. If interest rates go up next year, that doesn't increase the yield on bonds already issued.

2) If rates ever went up to 6%, that would mean the economy is doing much, much, much better and our deficit would be massively reduced. This would be a good thing.
 
2013-01-15 11:15:58 PM  

Nadie_AZ: Why the US won't go into a debt crisis.

I should pop popcorn for the show, except that some politicians want to gut Social Security and the safety net in exchange for 'saving' our economy.


It's saying that to avoid default we would increase the money supply by a dollar for every additional dollar of debt we want to issue? Considering our monetary base is only $2.7 trillion that's going to get out of control fast as far as inflation.

...which all things considered would be great news for Republicans, who have claimed Obama was going to cause hyperinflation constantly for 4 years, and would be proven right!
 
2013-01-15 11:17:54 PM  

Grungehamster: It's saying that to avoid default we would increase the money supply by a dollar for every additional dollar of debt we want to issue?


That's what we already do. What do you think debt is? It's basically fungible with dollars. It *is* currency already.
 
2013-01-15 11:21:08 PM  

Grungehamster: ...which all things considered would be great news for Republicans, who have claimed Obama was going to cause hyperinflation constantly for 4 years, and would be proven right!


Haven't they been crowing about that since Carter? Maybe even FDR? In response to everything that might let a poor person get ahold of a dollar?
 
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