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(Washington Post)   Three-quarters of all states are run through single-party government, which has led to the establishment of what are essentially 2 Americas. Herpistan and Derpistan, let's call them   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 196
    More: Stupid, red states, Democratic Governors Association, alternative model, National Governors Association, establishments, Republican Governors Association, National Conference of State Legislatures, state governments  
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5144 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Dec 2013 at 1:43 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-12-29 10:51:36 PM  

HeadLever: Smackledorfer: Social Security, what to do?

I have already given you the outline:

HeadLever: My idea would be to reduce the SS trust fund to about 1 year worth of funds.  You could still borrow from the fund, but my idea would have it more of a pay-as- you-go type system where it would not rack up as much interest as it does now.  Quit making my point into a strawman.

That proposal would drop the SS trust fund balance from a current 2.2T to about $700 Billion.  This move would reduce the yearly interest payments due to these non-marketable bond from about $100B/year to about $35B.  After that, you would adjust the SS withholding rates every normal year in order to keep about 1 years worth of bonds in the SS trust fund.  During bad years, you could draw off the trust fund by reducing withholding or increasing benefits (or a combo of both).  Once the bad years are over, you can adjust the withholding rates upward to restock the trust fund.

This way you keep the benefits and withholding tied into the present instead of kicking the can down the road.


A better plan would be to set aside money for a certain number of years in the future (let's say 2 to give it a cushion) that by law can't be touched for any other purpose.  Feed additional money in per year at a rate equal to current payouts plus inflation, plus an additional percentage based on projected future needs.

That way the fund can earn positive interest and can be added to gradually over time as needed to prevent any sudden huge shortfalls.
 
2013-12-29 10:57:27 PM  

HeadLever: glmorrs1: My mom's boyfriend thinks welfare is bankrupting the country and that it's all being wasted on welfare queens, and no matter how many times I show him articles and studies that say the opposite, he just dismisses them and says he knows he's right because he's "seen it with [his] own eyes."

Welfare - if he means medicare and medicaid and SS - is one of the largest financial issues we have going forward as a country.  They need addressed or we will continue to go deeper and deeper into debt.  Being bankrupt and waste on welfare queens are defiantly partisan hyperbole, but there is some merit to part of his argument.


Bullshiat. Straight up bullshiat. Our bloated military is to blame. If we stopped making multi-million dollar tanks and jets that we don't need and are just going to put into open air storage in the desert then we'd have the money to fund SS, Medicaid, and Medicare.
 
2013-12-29 10:59:08 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: A better plan would be to set aside money for a certain number of years in the future (let's say 2 to give it a cushion) that by law can't be touched for any other purpose.  Feed additional money in per year at a rate equal to current payouts plus inflation, plus an additional percentage based on projected future needs.

That way the fund can earn positive interest and can be added to gradually over time as needed to prevent any sudden huge shortfalls.


O.o
The Trust Fund already earns interest.
Additional comment: A cash balance of a year or two is money not earning interest.
 
2013-12-29 11:04:42 PM  

Smackledorfer: It wouldn't reduce any payments because it wouldn't reduce spending.


This issue is separate from the issue of payments.  That is solely set by the amount each beneficiary receives, what age each beneficiary is eligible for benefits and what age they live to.  All of these variables are independent of the amount of money that is in the SS trust fund.

In the end it really does not matter if we reduce spending so long as we can increase taxes at the same time.  My point is to do it in a fashion where we are better adapt at equalizing taxes and spending.  The current system is terrible in this regard.
 
2013-12-29 11:08:11 PM  

demaL-demaL-yeH: TuteTibiImperes: A better plan would be to set aside money for a certain number of years in the future (let's say 2 to give it a cushion) that by law can't be touched for any other purpose.  Feed additional money in per year at a rate equal to current payouts plus inflation, plus an additional percentage based on projected future needs.

That way the fund can earn positive interest and can be added to gradually over time as needed to prevent any sudden huge shortfalls.

O.o
The Trust Fund already earns interest.
Additional comment: A cash balance of a year or two is money not earning interest.


Ah, carry on then.

I'd just adjust it such that the money paid into the program per year must equal at minimum the maximum projected payout from the program in the following year.  Removing the wage cap so that all earnings are taxed would be an easy way to greatly increase the revenue of the program without impacting the vast majority of people at all.
 
2013-12-29 11:08:40 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: A better plan would be to set aside money for a certain number of years in the future (let's say 2 to give it a cushion) that by law can't be touched for any other purpose.


That is pretty much the same system I am describing.  The non-marketable bonds that currently make up the SS trust fund cannot be used for any other purpose.  They currently get an interest rate of a bit over 4%, IIRC.  Your 2 year buffer would set the SS trust fund amout to be about 1.4 Trillion.
 
2013-12-29 11:15:28 PM  

glmorrs1: Our bloated military is to blame.


What we spend on this 'bloated military' is about 75% of what we spend on Social Security and about 80% of what we spend on Medicade/medicare.  We could completely do away with the 'bloated military' spending and even ignoring any negative feedback, we would still have a deficit.

Also, projected spending increases in our 'bloated military' are expected to nil compared to GDP.  Medicare and SS, on the other hand are expected to increase greatly compared go GDP.

That is not to say that part of the solution is not to do something about DoD spending.  However, it is not the sole cause.  Nor is it a substantial driver of projected future deficits.
 
2013-12-29 11:18:34 PM  

TV's Vinnie: Blue states in the year 2050:
[1.bp.blogspot.com image 850x680]

Red States in the Year 2050:
[www.centives.net image 800x526]


So, you're saying blue states will be ripe for the plucking while the red states will have bred uncountable hordes of eager invaders, steeped in militarism and personal sacrifice.

All goes according to plan.
 
2013-12-29 11:29:20 PM  

glmorrs1: Bullshiat. Straight up bullshiat. Our bloated military is to blame. If we stopped making multi-million dollar tanks and jets that we don't need and are just going to put into open air storage in the desert then we'd have the money to fund SS, Medicaid, and Medicare.


Government spending only creates jobs when it's spent on those tanks and jets.
 
2013-12-29 11:35:35 PM  

Lee Jackson Beauregard: Government spending only creates jobs when it's spent on those tanks and jets.


That has to be one of the dumbest strawmen that I have seen on here for quite some time.  Did you sprain something coming up with that 'witty' talking point?
 
2013-12-29 11:54:32 PM  

HeadLever: Smackledorfer: It wouldn't reduce any payments because it wouldn't reduce spending.

This issue is separate from the issue of payments.  That is solely set by the amount each beneficiary receives, what age each beneficiary is eligible for benefits and what age they live to.  All of these variables are independent of the amount of money that is in the SS trust fund.

In the end it really does not matter if we reduce spending so long as we can increase taxes at the same time.  My point is to do it in a fashion where we are better adapt at equalizing taxes and spending.  The current system is terrible in this regard.


Poor wording on my part:

It wouldn't reduce any of the government's payments back to the trust because it wouldn't reduce government deficit spending.

That is absolutely not separate from your chief complaint that it is somehow pushing our debt.

All your proposal does is make ss even more politically charged and affected by brinksmanship.

We shouldn't be trying to twist ss around with every bump and dip in the economy. Look at the largest complaint about it: omg it'll be broke in thirty years!


You want to make it 'omg it'll be broke in a year'. If you think the system will auto-adjust you overestimate our legislature; they are already both the driving force of complaints about, and largest impediment to finding a solution to, our social security problems.
 
2013-12-30 12:02:31 AM  
The Fark Politics tab: my daily source for intelligent discussion on tax policy and buttsex.
 
2013-12-30 01:40:45 AM  

TV's Vinnie: Blue states in the year 2050:
[1.bp.blogspot.com image 850x680]

Red States in the Year 2050:
[www.centives.net image 800x526]


blue:
theeconomiccollapseblog.com

red:
www.belch.com
 
2013-12-30 04:13:50 AM  

HeadLever: Lee Jackson Beauregard: Government spending only creates jobs when it's spent on those tanks and jets.

That has to be one of the dumbest strawmen that I have seen on here for quite some time.  Did you sprain something coming up with that 'witty' talking point?


Um... I'm going to have to say that, while I've only noticed you today (quite prominently, in several threads), I agree with your detractors. You are disingenuous intentionally and play it off as nothing, you hold extreme views and try to play the 'can't we all just got along while you stop persecuting me' with poor results, and while you seem knowledgeable (honestly) I think that YOU think you're far more clever than you appear or (more horrifying to you) actually are.

Your constant use of the word 'strawman' is either projection or intentional trolling. Stop trying to pretty up your ugly views, because you have no evidence and change the subject when others do.
 
2013-12-30 04:32:32 AM  

TV's Vinnie: Blue states in the year 2050:
[1.bp.blogspot.com image 850x680]

Red States in the Year 2050:
[www.centives.net image 800x526]


fark that noise. I'll take the magic and the hot lady elves over the Orwellian dystopia.
 
2013-12-30 05:35:21 AM  
We'll just see which states enact Sharia law first.
 
x23
2013-12-30 08:18:40 AM  

Pants full of macaroni!!: ITT: yet another Conservative equates all homosexuals with child molesters, and all Liberals with both.


the best part is how extremely on-topic the post was. it was super relevant.
 
x23
2013-12-30 08:28:30 AM  

MithrandirBooga: On one hand, term limits can be good because they prevent a cult-of-personality from perpetual rule and creating such an effective self-perpetuating machine that nobody can ever get them out of power, and corruption abounds.

On the other hand, term limits can be bad, because during a lame duck session the bureaucrat now has no incentive to serve the public beyond their public legacy, and is free to focus on crafting legislation and policies that will benefit him/her once out of office.



yeah. there are definitely pros/cons to term limits.

i think might make it make more sense to combine term limits with public-financed elections (federal / state / local / everything). but then you'd also need to do something about after-office bribing. be it with a promised pretend-job or whatever. i don't know how to fix that. maybe something similar to a non-compete clause that exists in the private sector.

or maybe... no term limits at all for any office BUT no consecutive terms either. i imagine that also would introduce other different problems though. essentially every term would be lame-duck... but if you ever want another term again you should probably accomplish something memorable enough you get a chance again in 2 / 4 / 6 years.
 
2013-12-30 09:46:12 AM  
Conservatives want to make the world a better place for themselves. Liberals want to make the world a better place for everybody. Liberals might not always be competent in trying to achieve their goal. You'd better pray that Conservatives never are.
 
2013-12-30 10:37:16 AM  

HeadLever: What we spend on this 'bloated military' is about 75% of what we spend on Social Security and about 80% of what we spend on Medicade/medicare.  We could completely do away with the 'bloated military' spending and even ignoring any negative feedback, we would still have a deficit.

Also, projected spending increases in our 'bloated military' are expected to nil compared to GDP.  Medicare and SS, on the other hand are expected to increase greatly compared go GDP.

That is not to say that part of the solution is not to do something about DoD spending.  However, it is not the sole cause.  Nor is it a substantial driver of projected future deficits.


You know, let's ignore the fact social security, Medicare, and Medicard are actually paid with payroll taxes (FICA), are compartmentalized sections of the budget that aren't actually -- when left alone -- in  any danger whatsoever, and as such is one of the biggest goddamn bullshiat GOP talking points in American history.

Let alone when you figure in the GOP could not possibly give a damn about the payroll tax (in fact, the party platform is generally raising payroll taxes), and intentionally obfuscate the issue by ignoring any distinction between taxes, to what funds those taxes go, and thereby confuse lower- and middle-class voters of thinking of their  payroll taxes rather than their  income taxes (which they generally don't actually pay, after figuring in deductions, credits, and refunds) when it comes to soaring rhetoric about lowering "taxes".

Which leaves the defense budget. Amazing how that works, isn't it. But nope, two Southern states -- one of which so socially and politically backwards that it's just since the black guy was put in the White House they've begun to figure out that entire 'Southern Strategy' thing, and the other a fire sale morass of corruption thanks to the fossil fuel industry -- have Democratic Senators (let's just not bring up the party of the Governor, state reps, or Representatives), therefore Ted Cruz is automatically President and Obama is a fluffer for gay scheisse porn.

Oh, and for the love of God let's not bring up Texas.
 
2013-12-30 11:29:04 AM  

TV's Vinnie: Blue states in the year 2050:
[1.bp.blogspot.com image 850x680]

Red States in the Year 2050:
[www.centives.net image 800x526]


Not even close.  Let me give it a try...

Blue:
4.bp.blogspot.com
People living in squalor in the streets.


Red:
s3.amazonaws.com
Jobs created!
 
2013-12-30 11:32:53 AM  

Smackledorfer: It wouldn't reduce any of the government's payments back to the trust because it wouldn't reduce government deficit spending.


Incorrect.  Reducing the principal in the SS trust fund reduces the amount of interest obligation generated by these bonds.  While this is not a huge cost in the grand scheme of things, it is an increase of debt associated with this program.

That is absolutely not separate from your chief complaint that it is somehow pushing our debt.

My chief complaint is not so much about the debt, but the inability to update the program to meet current financial needs.  The debt generated by SS is mainly just the interest that the trust fund generates which is about 100B/year.  This is not an insignificant amount, but it is not that large compared to other issues.

All your proposal does is make ss even more politically charged and affected by brinksmanship.

As opposed to now when they are afraid to even talk about it?  If you want to continue to kick the can down the road because you are afraid to actually debate the issues, you are a part of the problem, my friend.

We shouldn't be trying to twist ss around with every bump and dip in the economy.

That is why you still maintain a balance in the trust fund.  That gives you the ability to smooth out those bumps and dips as you have a reserve which to draw from and add to.
 
2013-12-30 11:34:22 AM  

Smackledorfer: You want to make it 'omg it'll be broke in a year'


?  Where did I say that?  Please quit with the strawmen.  Having one year of benefits as a reserve in the SS trust fund has nothing to do with it being broke in a year.
 
2013-12-30 11:41:03 AM  

inclemency: Your constant use of the word 'strawman' is either projection or intentional trolling.


A strawman is an easily-refuted argument fabricated and passed off as another true argument in order to easily dismiss another's argument or standing.

When Smakledorfer says, "you want to make it 'omg it'll be broke in a year', he is trying to turn my proposal into something that is is not.  Since it is his argument has no basis in what I really said, (do you really think that I want to have SS broke in a year) all I need to do is to ask him where I said that.

Since he cannot point to anything that I said that will lend itself to this argument, the tag of strawman is justified.
 
2013-12-30 11:49:20 AM  

that bosnian sniper: You know, let's ignore the fact social security, Medicare, and Medicard are actually paid with payroll taxes (FICA), are compartmentalized sections of the budget that aren't actually -- when left alone -- in  any danger whatsoever, and as such is one of the biggest goddamn bullshiat GOP talking points in American history.


Actually, if left alone, SS is in big danger of having the trust fund wiped out and having its benefits reduced substantially.  Medicare cost are expected to climb from 3.0% of GDP now to about 4.9% of GDP in 20 years, but let's ignore these substantial costs for the sake of your argument.


Let alone when you figure in the GOP could not possibly give a damn about the payroll tax (in fact, the party platform is generallyraising payroll taxes), and intentionally obfuscate the issue by ignoring any distinction between taxes, to what funds those taxes go, and thereby confuse lower- and middle-class voters of thinking of their  payroll taxes rather than their  income taxes (which they generally don't actually pay, after figuring in deductions, credits, and refunds) when it comes to soaring rhetoric about lowering "taxes".

except for when they do

Which leaves the defense budget. Amazing how that works, isn't it. But nope, two Southern states -- one of which so socially and politically backwards that it's just since the black guy was put in the White House they've begun to figure out that entire 'Southern Strategy' thing, and the other a fire sale morass of corruption thanks to the fossil fuel industry -- have Democratic Senators (let's just not bring up the party of the Governor, state reps, or Representatives), therefore Ted Cruz is automatically President and Obama is a fluffer for gay scheisse porn.

BacksSlowlyIntoBushes.jpg
 
2013-12-30 12:08:23 PM  

HeadLever: Actually, if left alone, SS is in big danger of having the trust fund wiped out and having its benefits reduced substantially.  Medicare cost are expected to climb from 3.0% of GDP now to about 4.9% of GDP in 20 years, but let's ignore these substantial costs for the sake of your argument.


if by "wiped out" you mean "hit the point at which interest payments on the trust fund alone aren't sufficient to cover cost", sure. Which is, if I remember correctly, 2058 for Social Security and 2026 for Medicare. Largely based upon actuarial tables and population growth estimates that  don't account for what will be the Great Baby Boomer Die-Off of the next thirty years, mind you, at which point SS and Medicare will almost certainly normalize.

What you  don't hear about from the right is this shiat's happened before -- in the late '70s and early '80s, when the Depression generation was hitting retirement age, and the Boomers hadn't fully entered the workforce...and when they did, SS/Medicare normalized until the Boomers started hitting retirement age. All to buttress an offensive against either policy then, as well.

except for when they do

Oh yes, Paul Ryan is  concerned...about a payroll tax  cut. Not exactly helping your position, here.

BacksSlowlyIntoBushes.jpg

That's  probably a good idea.
 
2013-12-30 12:23:41 PM  

that bosnian sniper: if by "wiped out" you mean "hit the point at which interest payments on the trust fund alone aren't sufficient to cover cost", sure.


No, the trust fund itself will be wiped out.  Current projections have that happening about 2038.

See for yourself:
mercatus.org

I am starting to think that you are related to Bagdad Bob.
 
2013-12-30 12:25:24 PM  

that bosnian sniper: Largely based upon actuarial tables and population growth estimates that  don't account for what will be the Great Baby Boomer Die-Off of the next thirty years, mind you, at which point SS and Medicare will almost certainly normalize.


You mean like this?
www.taxnetwealth.com

The projections certainly do account for a normalization of these costs.
 
2013-12-30 12:28:11 PM  

that bosnian sniper: n the late '70s and early '80s, when the Depression generation was hitting retirement age, and the Boomers hadn't fully entered the workforce..


lolwat?

How old would the boomers be in the late 70s and 80s?  Or did Boomers hang out in their mom's basement until 30 or 40 like you?
 
2013-12-30 12:50:26 PM  

HeadLever: I am starting to think that you are related to Bagdad Bob.


http://www.ssa.gov/oact/tr/2013/2013_Long-Range_Demographic_Assumpti on s.pdf

Well...shiat. I didn't know Ray Kurtzweil was an SSA trustee. I, for one, welcome our 122-year-old Baby Boomer overlords.

Who are defined by the Census Bureau as having been born between 1946-1964. Most of which, in 1980, would have just been getting out of high school and/or college, and therefore not fully in the workforce.
 
2013-12-30 12:53:58 PM  

that bosnian sniper: Oh yes, Paul Ryan is  concerned...about a payroll tax  cut.

That bosnian sniper:GOP could not possibly give a damn about the payroll tax


lol, backpedal much?
 
2013-12-30 01:00:30 PM  

that bosnian sniper: Who are defined by the Census Bureau as having been born between 1946-1964. Most of which, in 1980, would have just been getting out of high school and/or college, and therefore not fully in the workforce.


If we take the median of that timeframe and assume an average from that, your average boomer would be 25 in 1980.  "Most" would be well into the workforce in 1980, especially when you consider that only about 1/3 have a college degree.
 
2013-12-30 01:02:24 PM  

HeadLever: that bosnian sniper: Oh yes, Paul Ryan is  concerned...about a payroll tax  cut.

That bosnian sniper:GOP could not possibly give a damn about the payroll tax

lol, backpedal much?


I didn't know Paul Ryan was the entire GOP, and I can't help but notice you ignored this entire part of my post, with emphasis,

that bosnian sniper: ...(in fact, the party platform is generally raising payroll taxes), and intentionally obfuscate the issue by ignoring any distinction between taxes, to what funds those taxes go, and thereby confuse lower- and middle-class voters of thinking of their  payroll taxes rather than their  income taxes (which they generally don't actually pay, after figuring in deductions, credits, and refunds) when it comes to soaring rhetoric about lowering "taxes".
 
2013-12-30 01:04:00 PM  

HeadLever: If we take the median of that timeframe and assume an average from that, your average boomer would be 25 in 1980.  "Most" would be well into the workforce in 1980, especially when you consider that only about 1/3 have a college degree.


...and this crap started in the '70s. Concern over the long-term solvency of social security started in '73, if I remember right -- at which point the  oldest of the Boomers would have been twenty-six. Forget medians.
 
2013-12-30 01:12:40 PM  

that bosnian sniper: I didn't know Paul Ryan was the entire GOP,


lol, so he speaks for the entire GOP only when it is political convenient for you?  The rest of the time, he is an outlier...

Keep those goalpost moving sir.

...and this crap started in the '70s. Concern over the long-term solvency of social security started in '73

Here you are kind of correct.  The issue was brought to the front by Carter back around 77 or so and the changes to the law were enacted in 83 under Reagan to shore up the financials of the program.
 
2013-12-30 01:44:03 PM  
HeadLever: ...so he speaks for the entire GOP only when it is political convenient for you...

Okay, let's assume he is, and I'll go with your interpretation of things.  Purely for the sake of argument.

The guy who  really, truly cares for the middle class and small business, wants lower taxes all around because business and economic growth, and jobs.  Except for the regressive tax that actually puts the heaviest burden on the middle class and small business.That, he wants raised, and for the middle class and small business.To shore up systems that are in jeopardy on paper, because somebody thought, "hey, what if the Baby Boomers just stop dying?".

But, don't pay attention to the actual difference between payroll taxes and income taxes. Because 47% and socialism, or whatever, because all taxes are really income taxes, right?
 
2013-12-30 01:53:17 PM  

that bosnian sniper: The guy who  really, truly cares for the middle class and small business, wants lower taxes all around because business and economic growth, and jobs.  Except for the regressive tax that actually puts the heaviest burden on the middle class and small business.That, he wants raised, and for the middle class and small business.To shore up systems that are in jeopardy on paper, because somebody thought, "hey, what if the Baby Boomers just stop dying?".


not sure what you are getting at here.  Payroll taxes always have to balance the tax impacts to the working with the benefits of the program.  You don't get one without the other.  I am pretty sure that if he could make money appear out of thin air to pay for all of these programs, he would do it.

Or are you really dumb enough that he thinks that we should just tax folks because he is 'mean'?

Payroll taxes are used to fund off-budget items, while income taxes are used to fund on-budget items. Each have their own set of issues and each need to be funded appropriately.
 
2013-12-30 02:34:08 PM  

HeadLever: not sure what you are getting at here.  Payroll taxes always have to balance the tax impacts to the working with the benefits of the program.  You don't get one without the other.  I am pretty sure that if he could make money appear out of thin air to pay for all of these programs, he would do it.


Yes, it farking does. It helps when the damn FICA cap is actually increased proportional to per capita income and rate of inflation, or at least benefit caps. Seriously, if we'd stuck with Ronnie "fark the middle class" Reagan's turd of a regressive policy, social security would still be  indefinitely fiscally-solvent. That's  counting how we cook the books assuming for magically-decigenerian Boomers, and fertility/immigration rates continuing to fall.

Or are you really dumb enough that he thinks that we should just tax folks because he is 'mean'?

No, I think he's a asshat who intentionally plays rhetorical legerdemain to achieve a political agenda, which is neither a new game nor a particularly opaque or creative one, being that it's been in the GOP playbook since Reagan. Hike  payroll taxes, rile up the rubes about "taxes", then leverage that dissatisfaction to cut  income taxes. Because the average middle class citizen doesn't know the difference between  payroll taxes and  income taxes, they eat it up thinking their taxes will go down (but really, they're going  up).

Payroll taxes are used to fund off-budget items, while income taxes are used to fund on-budget items. Each have their own set of issues and each need to be funded appropriately.

So,  why on Earth did you bring up social security and Medicare then when the person to whom you were speaking was discussing "on-budget" items?

i.imgur.com

 
2013-12-30 02:56:56 PM  

that bosnian sniper: So,  why on Earth did you bring up social security and Medicare then when the person to whom you were speaking was discussing "on-budget" items?



Sorry, but you don't know what you are talking about.  Glmorris1 was not only discussing 'on-budget' items.  Case in point:

glmorrs1: Bullshiat. Straight up bullshiat. Our bloated military is to blame. If we stopped making multi-million dollar tanks and jets that we don't need and are just going to put into open air storage in the desert then we'd have the money to fund SS, Medicaid, and Medicare.


If you can't even take the time to understand basis of our argument, you may want to hold off in making assertions to the contrary.  As the saying goes, "It is sometimes best to keep quite and thought a fool rather then speak up and remove all doubt.".
 
2013-12-30 03:40:25 PM  

HeadLever: If you can't even take the time to understand basis of our argument, you may want to hold off in making assertions to the contrary.  As the saying goes, "It is sometimes best to keep quite and thought a fool rather then speak up and remove all doubt.".


Yeah, it's not like the federal government has ever used general funds to supplement Social Security, Medicare, and Medicard during payroll tax holidays.
 
2013-12-30 04:57:18 PM  

that bosnian sniper: Yeah, it's not like the federal government has ever used general funds to supplement Social Security, Medicare, and Medicard during payroll tax holidays.


Ok, that just proves that you don't know how these trust funds work.  Let me see if I can help.

When SS is in a surplus, the excess money is used to buy special non-marketable securities which is placed in the trust fund.  The actual tax revenue is transferred to the general fund and spent as a part of normal operations.  That is why there is no 'pot of money' sitting in the SS trust fund; instead it is a stack of government debt.  This process is also the basis for the dumb comment that the SS trust fund is being robbed.

When SS is in a deficit, this process is reversed.  These non-marketable securities are redeemed with money (via tax revenue or additional public debt) from the general fund, which is then used to pay the balance of the SS deficit.

So far so good?

If you can understand this basic process, then you can see that there is an inherent legal relationship between the general fund and these off-budget programs.
 
2013-12-30 09:09:10 PM  

HeadLever: Smackledorfer: You want to make it 'omg it'll be broke in a year'

?  Where did I say that?  Please quit with the strawmen.  Having one year of benefits as a reserve in the SS trust fund has nothing to do with it being broke in a year.


What do you think the "zomg it'll be broke in 30 years" argument is based on?
Why do you think that won't revert to 'zomg it'll be broke in a year' under your changes? I mean, other than the fanciful belief that it will be put into place with an algorithmic monthly (at least, I would think) recalculating of payments and withholding to preserve that 1 year surplus mark you want.

If a recession hit and old people retired in combination with fewer employed young people paying in, your 1 year trust is going to quickly look like a six month empty trust. The immediate response of the deficit hawks, likely including yourself, is going to be to point at it and declare the whole thing a failure and immediately call for reduction in benefits.  I know you may deny this, but you would have a lot more ground to stand on if you weren't already pretending it both drives the national debt and should be referred to as an entitlement. Then you would still be wrong, but at least I might be able to take your intent at face value.
 
2013-12-30 09:14:02 PM  

HeadLever: Ok, that just proves that you don't know how these trust funds work


HeadLever: There is not pot of money in the SS trust fund.  Just a bunch of government debt.

I think you should direct the latter statement to your former.

There IS money in the SS trust fund. A separate area of government is selling bonds to it, but the money is there as surely as a bond, savings account, or trust I put up as a private citizen cannot be called "a bunch of debt".

As I have been repeating this entire thread, whether or not that trust is set up does not affect whether or not congress will deficit spend in the same places they do now, and borrow accordingly. Unless you can look us in the eye, with a straight face, and say that the federal government would really borrow less if they didn't have the SS fund.
 
2013-12-30 10:32:23 PM  

Smackledorfer: What do you think the "zomg it'll be broke in 30 years" argument is based on?


are you really dumb enough to subscribe to that?  In about 19 years, the SS trust fund will be sucked dry if nothing is done, but it will be far from 'zomg, its broke!!!'  It will just mean that the benefits will have to be reduced to whatever tax revenue the payroll tax provides.

The 'broke' rhetoric is nothing but hyperbole invented by those that want to make political points.  You won't hear me spouting this crap.
 
2013-12-30 10:35:32 PM  

Smackledorfer: There IS money in the SS trust fund.


No, there are a stack of non-marketable treasury bonds.  While you may consider this 'money' is it really a liability to the federal government as it is debt.

I am not sure how you keep missing this point, other than it must be hard for you to admit you are wrong.
 
2013-12-30 10:47:19 PM  

Smackledorfer: A separate area of government is selling bonds to it, but the money is there as surely as a bond, savings account, or trust I put up as a private citizen cannot be called "a bunch of debt".


freakoutnation.com

Debt held by government accounts represents balances in the federal government's accounts-primarily trust funds-that accumulate surpluses.Federal budget accounts that are so designated by law. These accounts usually have a designated, or "earmarked," source of revenue. These revenues are authorized to be spent for the programs and activities supported by the trust funds. Examples are the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. are accounting mechanisms used to link dedicated collections with the expenditures of those receipts. Trust funds for Social Security, Medicare, Military Retirement and Health Care, and Civil Service Retirement and Disability account for the vast majority of the total debt held by government accounts.

Read those bolded parts really slow.  Maybe they will finally sink in

Yeah, who am I kidding
 
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