If we cut the defense budget in half, can we leave social security alone?
Just a Question…
This post is in: Domestic Politics, Military, Politics, Assholes
This post is in: Domestic Politics, Military, Politics, Assholes
If we cut the defense budget in half, can we leave social security alone?
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Not when the Baby Boomers get an opportunity to stick it to anyone who wasn’t old enough to fuck in the mud on Yasger’s farm in ’69.
How the fuck is this country supposed to defend itself from Cananda and the Lower Antillies with only (fill in correct number)/2 nukes?
Only if some of those dollars are redirected to fixing the economy.
I’ve been assured by several denizens here that no changes to SocSec will ever occur. Evah!
So don’t sweat it boss.
I think Hoyer and dems are just baiting the wingnuts to grab that third rail of politics, knowing they can’t help themselves by proposing schemes to let their Wall Street benefactors get their greedy hands on that massive nestegg. Dems, aren’t stupid to be serious about legislating on SS this close to an election. Hoyer mentioned it in passing in a speech and Boehner took that big hunk of cheesy rat bait and ran with it.
Lots of false flags being planted right now, on both sides. This one is radioactive for wingnuts in an upcoming election where seniors always come out for mid term elections.
Today’s bully pulpit news is Senator Baucus whinging that Obama recess appointed Berwick – 3 months after nomination that Baucus has not bothered to even schedule for hearing.
This is the raw material with which the Obama administration has to work and so their legislative accomplishments are, for any reasonable observer, absolutely stunning.
@Corner Stone: AS one of those who swore up and down that this would never happen, I apologize for being wrong. I forgot about Boomer vindictiveness. You may flog me as you please.
No we can’t. We have a whole new generation to screw here, let’s get to work.
@Hunter Gathers: It’s a little early to be raising the retirement age if you want to maximize the benefit to the baby boomers while sticking it to everyone else. If everything runs according to the course it’s followed since I’ve been alive, the retirement age should rise just as I approach it, so that means it can’t be implemented for at least another 15-18 years.
@Hunter Gathers: I forgot about Boomer vindictiveness.
I dunno about vindictive, but I fully expect to hear, not so long from now, “Boomers covered? OK. We’re raising the Social Security minimum age to 70 now, Gen X. Er, sorry about the Reagan Revolution and all. Oh, and your music still sucks.”
(edit: basically what jwb said while I was typing.)
Could it be that we can have an actual debate on the necessity of spending as much as the rest of the world combined on “defense” spending? I don’t understand why we spend so much without ever considering the opportunity cost of having such a bloated military budget.
Crusading free marketeer columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times gives the what-for a bunch of seditious little girls for giving away lemonade in her nice neighborhood instead of selling it, which was what God intended.
Thanks, you shit little communist girls, for ruining this poor free marketeer’s July 4th holiday, which we celebrate for the launching of the first stock market independently of London.
It’s tough having to fight soshullism left and right and vanquishing its young troops in every neighborhood, even the nice rich ones, but somebody’s gotta do it.
The lady must be a fucking riot on Christmases and birthdays — “No I didn’t bring you a god-damned ‘present’, you worthless little 5 year old leach!” “Who invited crazy Terry again?”
@Xecky Gilchrist: retirement age is already raised. (Not quite to 70 yet.) I’m technically not quite Gen-X but in the “ha ha, no age 65 for jooooo” group.
NO WE CAN NEVER LEAVE SOCIAL SECURITY ALONE ITS SOCIALIST MARXIST AND EVIL GET RID OF IT PRIVATIZE IT GET GOVERNMENT OUT OF OUR RETIREMENT BENEFITS DOOM DOOM DOOOOOM.
Okay, how many of you recognized that as overenthusiastic sarcasm?
No. The entire DC establishment’s happiness depends upon old people dying in utter destitution. They will not have things any other way.
Of course not. An obvious corollary to defense spending being magical and not raising the deficit no matter how high it gets is that cuts to it don’t reduce the deficit at all. So cuts to the defense budget will not help fund Social Security at all. The president of Raytheon assures me of this…
Ok, I’m thick. If 60 is the new 50, life expectancy is almost 80 what’s so crushingly terrible about adjusting the social security accordingly?
@Hunter Gathers: The whole point I was making recently about The Catfood Commission was not that I had any actual fear of it being competent.
My fear is that any time you crack the door a little, just a sconce, the fucking cockroaches come flooding in.
IOW, the debate about what to do about the “SocSec Crisis” becomes a “reasonable” one to have, and “reasonable” people always somehow seem to agree that “sacrifices” must be made and “tough decisions” have to be decided.
Then lots of peons get fucked and it becomes a big game of grabass and hoocoodanode all at the same damn time.
why do you hate free love?
Shucksters, Hucksters, and Reprobates
Have a bake sale instead.
OT, but I watching Rachel Maddow on Tweety. Maddow is on location in Afghanistan.
I gotta say, that to my mind, Rachel stands hands and feet above Keith O/Tweety, and the whole MSNBC fam. She can be aggravating sometimes on her show, but she was damn good on Tweety.
It has to have been the most calm, restrained, and interesting interview Tweety has had.
If Rachel wanted to give up the hosting game, I could see her as an overseas correspondent. She’s informative without being boring.
Keith O/Joe Scar/Tweety/Andrea “Mrs Greenspans” Mitchelll, etc. doesn’t deserve to be on the same network as Rachel..
Good on Rachel.
@General Stuck: Except remember that these seniors are the same ones who were yelling about government keeping its hands off of Medicare. I’m not saying that you are wrong about how the seniors will react, I’m just saying that many of them are clearly nutcakes, and if Faux News starts yammering on about how the Dems by not following Gooper plans to gut Social Security are actually destroying Social Security, I would not at this point bet that our seniors will support the Dems. On the other hand, if these folks willingly vote for people who tell them that and how they are going to screw them over, it’s really going to be hard to feel sorry for them when their representatives in fact screw them over.
Or we could drop old folks from bombers.
peach flavored shampoo
Would be fun to make her buy her own birthday gift. Charge her $20, then watch her surprise when she opens up a $15 gift certificate.
Why not cut social security spending in half and use the savings to cut taxes for those that are currently bearing most of the tax-paying burden?
People over sixty tend to get pushed out of their jobs on a fairly regular basis. They call it ‘forced retirement’. With the near extinction of the pension system, you are going to push people into poverty a good ten years before they are able to receive benefits they spent a lifetime paying in to. And no place that I know of will hire people over the age of 55, let alone 60.
How about we kick out all the Very Serious People who are *already* 65 who are fucking over the younger generations out of their golden years?
Make them work for a living (coal mine? Ditch digging? Garbage collection?) instead of concern-trolling about problems they will never face. Sounds like a plan to me.
And my second proposal, like unto the first, is that every VSP who concern-trolls about the debt during 10 percent unemployment and huge long-term unemployment be immediately laid off to start collecting their own damned unemployment. Better yet, find cause for firing them so they don’t *get* to collect unemployment.
I nominate Niall Ferguson as the first to go.
I’m just curious as to where they get the idea that there are a wealth of jobs out there for 60+ year olds to get hired into. The only places you can get a job with any decent salary and benefits while being 60+ is Congress. Otherwise you better hope ol’ George down at the Wal-Mart keels over so you can take over his greeting job.
Social Security can be fixed without touching the retirement age. It does mean you have to raise taxes on those making more than 100K a year. I know perish the thought. You could also as suggested go after the Defense budget which is obscene.
Plus going to have the concern trolls and whiners about 100K isn’t a lot of money for those living in places like NYC. Actually a 100K is a lot of money no matter where you live. It’s enough to live comfortably. You might not get to go out as often as you like, go to as many plays, ballgames, et al, but at 100K a year you are doing very very very nicely so spare me the whines about taking a tax hit.
Lives in NYC making a lot less than 100K
I anticipate hitting my late 60s with no real retirement savings – career crushed by Boomers crushing advancement by taking management slots and holding them like the fucking ticks they are for 40 years, having any savings lost in Boomer created bubbles, and having no expectation of social security on diminished numbers, not that it would start before I’m 70 anyway.
In that kind of world, I might as well try retirement in prison, gaining that prison term by stepping on Boomer IVs in high quality Boomer nursing homes. I’ll try and take out some Boomer pundits and Boomer celebrities, too.
@Hunter Gathers: I know, I’m 60. I thought this debate was about future eligibility?
@Pancake: Why not go to a teabagger orgy?
Free love, my ass.
The love may have been free, but the penicillin wasn’t.
It amazes me (not really) that the demands to pay for things all come with “we have to cut something else”. Never “we have to increase taxes.”
Like I said, not really surprising. A perusal of tax brackets since 1937 (here) lets you discover that the taxes on the top have declined while the tax rates at the bottom have gone up. It’s really just more of the same.
No, because everything in the federal budget is going to have to take a hit and taxes are going to have to be raised if we’re going to balance the budget and pay off the debt we’ve accumulated so far. (Or we could just avoid a tax hike and let interest on the debt consume a majority of the federal budget).
Funny you should post that here, because when I saw that this morning, I thought, “Terry’s been at that gig a long time. Sounds like it’s high time she retired.”
Slice the shit out of military pay, benefits and allowances, as well as the VA budget too, while we’re at it.
It isn’t like those guys ever did anything for me, either.
Because 60 is *not* the new 50. That’s a marketing catch phrase to separate older citizens from their retirement income.
Sixty is still the old 60.
One thing they can do to “adjust” soc sec is to take off the arbitrary cap on soc sec/medicare taxes so those millionaires can pay entitlement taxes on their entire income instead of the first ~$100,000.
@Michael: Yea, we should quit or jobs to make room for you.
@stuckinred: In a rational world, you’d have a point. But in that rational world, there would be easing of disability requirements for people in physically demanding occupations and things of that nature.
In the world we have, sacrifices must be made, but not by the wealthy or politically connected, so it’s the lower 90% of us who will bear the burden.
So it’s prudent for the rest of us to fight hard and raise enough ruckus that those seemingly rational sentiments don’t shaft us. Too hard, anyway.
Eeeeeeewwwwwwww. Gross. I just threw up in my mouth a little
It is. But it’s my experience that shit tends to get worse, not better, over time when it comes to the workplace.
@edmund dantes: You’ve just hit my “simple tax” platform.
In response to the FAIRTax folk, I submit the SIMPLE Tax.
1) Everything counts as income — dividends, interest, benefits, gifts, etc. There’s a bit of wiggle on things sold in that you get to deduct the cost of purchase.
2) Everyone gets their first $100,000 of income tax-free.
3) All income above the first $100,000 is taxed at 50%.
@jwb: Seniors are not a monolithic voting block. They tend to be more conservative on national security and many are suckers for the RW patriotic jingoism, and also a little more racist and homophobic, depending on where they grew up. Though there are still plenty of dem leaning seniors as well, on the issues overall.
But when it comes to SS, they are nearly monolithic, save for the most intense ideologues. And they do not like the idea of tinkering with SS, especially with the “privatize” word. GWB found that out the hard way.
But this meme of tea baggers being mostly “totes” or seniors is bullshit. Most polls have them at around 55 to 45 men over women, (though some polls actually have it about even). They are overwhelming white, and quite affluent on average income. You saw more of them at rallies possibly, because they are retired with the free time to attend. And the really dumb ones with signs calling for “government to keep it’s hands of my medicare”.
I think the “tote” word is a bad stereotype term. Don’t like it.
@arguingwithsignposts: So longevity has not changed? I’m down with your suggestion.
@Michael: Nice strawman, but the upkeep on the Military personnel is not what’s costing us so much money.
I’d actually argue for upgrading the troops pay, benefits, etc while cutting a lot of the bloat in military systems, star wars, outsourced military functions (i.e. return them to military), mercenaries, et al.
You’d still save billions upon billions upon billions. And still have a military budget way below its current levels.
@Ash Can #35: That was directed to El Cid @ #12. I’m typing on the ancient computer right now and don’t have access to the widgets and doohickeys that regularly appear on the page.
@edmund dantes: “I’m just curious as to where they get the idea that there are a wealth of jobs out there for 60+ year olds to get hired into.”
Who said anything about 60+ year olds getting jobs? This is all about making life for those who aren’t already well-to-do as miserable as possible.
Unfortunately, that’s the theory that’s baked into the system. That’s why you used to have people who’d retire at 55 with 30 years with the company and a nice pension.
Unfortunately, the capitalist system has screwed that up and now all the age groups are fighting for the scraps that are left.
@stuckinred: At some point you want people to leave the work force so that the younger people coming in will have jobs and some upward room. If I stay in until I’m 80 that means someone behind me won’t have a job. Also, some jobs are too physically hard for people to keep working that long — construction, some manufacturing, retail and wait service jobs where people stand on their feet all day. If some people want to work that long and are able to, that’s one thing, but to force them to is not good or right. Also since the workforce and types of jobs have changed, there are fewer actual jobs available. Again, at some point you want people to stop working.
And the boomers have been paying more in Social Security taxes since 1983. We were told that if we paid more now, it would be there when we retired. Check that date…. 1983. That was a solution developed by Alan Greenspan. So it’s just Wall Street wanting to get their greedy paws on the money.
For those born between 1943 and 1954 the full retirement age is 66, it increases 2 months a year until you get to 1960 and later being 67 years of age. And there is an incentive already to keep people working into their 70s, SS benefits are raised if you keep working and don’t begin receiving benefits.
But cuts to defense spending do kill jobs. While maintaining the unemployment net only destroys revenue. And the worst thing for a doctor is taking Medicare. And old people suffer from Social Security. What doctors and the elderly need are more tax cuts. Specifically tax cuts for the top income brackets and for capital gains. :-p
I wouldn’t be so sure. It looks like everyone is trying to dodge the 3rd rail entirely, by playing the “We’ll only target people under 50” card. Old people can feel confident they’ll keep their benefits, and its only their kids that will get screwed. Those lazy kids, currently suffering the highest levels of unemployment in the nation. Who, let’s not forget, are the least likely to be receiving unemployment benefits.
Eat the young!
You keep forgetting all the reasons why we hate you.
1. You got all that great education at a low, low price.
2. Y’all fell into the pit of making progressivism look fucking stupid with outlandish conduct from 67 on.
3. We weren’t allowed our own music. We kept getting warmed over Beatles cuts.
4. Y’all comprised the pudgy, overprivileged ceiling for us in Gen Jones and Gen X.
Not that longevity hasn’t changed, but the human body doesn’t stop aging at the same rate just because we can keep it alive longer.
Longevity, IIRC, refers to length of life, not quality, which can vary widely. 60-year-old bones are still 60-year-old bones.
@PurpleGirl: It took me years to recover from my experience in Vietnam. I didn’t get my doctorate until I was 50. If I’m lucky enough to hang on to the job I have I damn sure will. I don’t make much and if I work until I’m 67 I’ll have 20 in counting the 3 years of the military I purchased. I’m not feeling like I need to get out of anyone’s way.
@arguingwithsignposts: That, I think, is a pretty individual issue. I don’t drink, smoke or eat red meat and I swim a mile a day 7 days a week. I see people way younger than me that are a fucking wreck because of choices they make. Xin Loi.
But overall I see the points ya’ll are making.
@stuckinred: Also, productivity always increases. Someone who works for 40 years today will do a lot more for the total economy than someone who retired 20 years ago, even. Part of the benefit of all of this productivity is increased standards of living, but I think that people also now have earned the right to enjoy a longer retirement when they are done.
@General Stuck: Weren’t the oldsters the only age demographic to vote for McCain. Why, yes, I believe they were.
I take your point about oldsters not being monolithic (the same is true for the younsters, btw—you can still find a lot of conservatives among them), but the over 65 crowd does run more conservative than do the others.
Just Some Fuckhead
Here’s a solution. We cut out social security and draft old people into the military where they’ll get a comparable paycheck and free healthcare, also allowing us to cut Medicare. Then old people will be able to fight the wars they support by being the most reliable Republican demographic. It only helps that they are, by and large, mean and cantankerous and near death anyway.
I know I’m not a fancy pants thinkin’ type, but how in the FUCK does this help Democrats?
One of the biggest tools Dems have against the Republicans is that the Republicans want to cut / privatize / neuter Social Security.
Why oh why oh why would you then take that tool away for some vague notion of “deficit reduction”?
Name one election that has been won because of “deficit reduction”. There are none. Why? Because AMERICAN’S LOVE THEIR ENTITLEMENTS. That is why even George Bush added to it vis a vis the prescription program.
Say it again and again: Americans love their entitlements, they love their entitlements, they love their entitlements.
Americans only say they want deficit reduction because they think that is what they are supposed to say in order to be Real Americans, but there is a very, very good reason why 1) Dubya increased entitlement spending and 2) there has never been a campaign won on deficit reduction.
Believe it. Democrats are playing with fire.
Getting slow, incremental change in a leftward direction is one thing. But the Obama-appointed debt commission points the other way. Obama has stacked the commission with people who have been wanting to cut Social Security for years. And the rest of the Democratic leadership is on board; Pelosi has guaranteed that if the Senate passes the commission’s plan, it has to receive an up-or-down vote in the House, no matter what the plan actually says.
Call it purity if you want, it doesn’t bother me, but “Democratic” has to mean something besides a slower slide to the right. Or in this case, faster, because Social Security has never been in more danger than it is right now, with Democrats in power.
Is it not time we started calling it the Department of Offense by now? I can’t remember the last time we defended a thing.
@Michael: Yea dog, that GI Bill was great and cost me nothing.
Outlandish conduct, shit, the outlandish conduct was in South fucking East Asia.
Your music never had a chance, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
If we don’t cut Social Security, we’ll never get these lazy old people to take jobs and become productive members of society. What kind of message does it send to our young people that we let people sit on the old, fat asses collecting checks each month for doing nothing?
Just Some Fuckhead
@El Cid: As a parent, I can tell you the real purpose of a lemonade stand is to get the kids out of your fucking hair for two hours. That’s worth the $10 in materials.
@stuckinred: Then you better pray hard that you don’t lose your job. I’ve already worked 30+ years, I’m 58 and I’ve been unemployed for over a year now. As I said, if you want to work, fine, work (if you can keep the job/position). But it makes no sense to force people to work into their 70s or older.
@Zifnab: “I wouldn’t be so sure. It looks like everyone is trying to dodge the 3rd rail entirely, by playing the “We’ll only target people under 50” card. Old people can feel confident they’ll keep their benefits, and its only their kids that will get screwed. Those lazy kids, currently suffering the highest levels of unemployment in the nation. Who, let’s not forget, are the least likely to be receiving unemployment benefits.”
That’s our boomers for us, and, yes, the “under 50 right now card” is exactly the right time frame to screw me, so I’m sure that will happen this time as well.
@General Stuck: Whatever. I don’t support conservatives who put the New Deal at risk, regardless of which party they belong to.
I feel like I must stand up for the honor of my generation. I was born in 1953, so I am a boomer. I drove a car for four years that had a bumper sticker that read “Nixon’s through in ’72” (hey, how did I know it would take 2 years an 8 minute gap and John Dean to get him impeached). I made one Presidential vote that I regret. I voted for John Anderson over Jimmy Carter, because Anderson was pushing to solve the dependence on oil and Carter was less committed. Sadly, we got Regan and I learned to never throw my vote away on principal. I will never get a dime out of Social Security, I’m one of those “useless public employees” that Joe Klein hates, but I support keeping SS going and supporting it by public taxes and financing. I also support one payer health care, regulating financial institutions, breaking up the many monopolies that have formed since Saint Ronnie was elected. I keep my house at 55 degrees during winter, I buy cars that get really good gas mileage. I walked in neighborhoods in Ohio that I had never been in before to ask people to vote for Kerry, only to have Ken Blackwell play games with that election. Frankly, the seniors that are getting the most upset about public programs are 15-20 years older than me, and that does not make them boomers, that makes them war babies, part of “the greatest generation” if you listen to Tom Brokaw. The boomers started after WWII ended in 1945 that makes the youngest of them 65, just retiring and still caught in a lifestyle that changed tremendously from the one they were raised in. My generation marched in Alabama, fought for voters’ rights, civil rights and against the war in Vietnam. We really are a lot nicer and more socially responsible than you give us credit for.
Sorry for the rant, but the boomers are not the entire problem, nor most of the problem. To quote Jessica Rabbit, “we’re not bad, we’re just drawn that way.”
@PurpleGirl: If I believed in anything I would. They are budget cutting like a mofo but I can’t do shit about it.
@Just Some Fuckhead: I endorse.
So what did your “service” in Southeast Asia do for me?
What did participation in the Grenada invasion, the proxy wars in Central America, the Cold War stints in European Vacation countries do for me?
How about Iraq I, Iraq II, or Afghanistan? What did those bits of “service” do to benefit me?
I see a lot of apple cheeked “Real ‘Murkans” gettin’ their rocks off on shooting up unarmed brown guys, fucking local whores and looting civilians, because that seems to be the way they roll.
I don’t think 67-year olds should be using this kind of language for several reasons.
I don’t think we can leave SS alone entirely because it is Medicare that is the problem. It’s a runaway train & small cuts on it won’t help but I don’t see him agreeing to huge cuts on healthcare so SS will have to be adjusted. Hopefully they will remove the cap on wages first and go from there or raise the SS tax.
He said future Medicare deficits keep him awake at nite & didnt appear to be kidding. He always answers this way when someone asks him what keeps him up at nite. Not defense, but Medicare deficits. Personally I would take minor SS adjustment over sacrificing my own healthcare which scares me. I take a lot of medicine to live longer&without them I dont need SS because I’d be dead.
For some reason, I want to declare this the most ridiculous story I’ve ever heard. I hope that newspaper guy yells and nuns and monks, too… maybe even at firefighters and street cops.
@Michael: Aww Mikey, sounds like you have it rough.
@amorphous: Name one?
Actually, no – you’ve been the dogs in the mangers. In order to preserve the benefits of boomers, Gen Jones, Gen X and the millennials are about to take another ass-pounding for your benefit.
I figure that the combined voting demographics of hatred can have all the boomers and what’s left of the greedy grannies of “The Greediest Generation” on cat food at least a few years before they die in fetid nursing homes covered in filthy sheets.
C’mon – lemme know why you didn’t deserve the mythical spit when you returned from Vietnam. It wasn’t like you actually rendered any sort of valuable public service for America.
Totally agree w/your rant.
1. Bad language on the internet? Well, ah nevah!
2. Think of the children!
3. Old people saying bad words look curmudgeonly (especially if they are old curmudgeons)
4. It’s weird
@NR: You mean dems who just did the fait compli with the New Deal by passing universal health care.
You can rest assured that whatever this commission comes up with dems are not going sack The New Deal. SS isn’t the real problem, that can be worked out quite easily and will be without screwing younger workers. It is Medicare that is big deal. Retirement insurance in this country that is guaranteed by the government, probably is the most stabilizing force politically that we have. Everyone that gets old needs it, except for the few rich.
All these machinations about cutting this or taxing that are just chattel politics before an election. We don’t do anything of positive consequence until the 11th hour, when the witching hour comes, on the baby boomer train coming down the tracks. Every politician will then get serious, and in a democracy that always means compromise, or nearly always. SS, medicare etcc is called the third rail for a reason. It is the most potent political issue, especially when it goes into the emergency room for major surgery. They will cancel funding for The Army before letting SS go under, or where it screws too many people, young or old.
@Alex S.: We should all up to the Salvation Army volunteers collecting money in their little savings banks in front of stores at Christmas and throw up both middle fingers and just scream “FUUUUUUUUCK YOU YOU FUCKING SOSHULLIST PARASITES WHY DON’T YOU DIE AND GO BACK TO CUBA WHERE YOUR BLOODSUCKERS CAN GET SHIT FOR FREE!!!” and then complain on right wing websites about how Obama made the store management throw us off the property.
@stuckinred: Longevity has increased. Working longevity has not. Medical technology has enabled us to be old and fairly useless for a very long period of time. Age has increased. Our physical and mental degeneration hasn’t been improved markedly in the meantime.
There’s no 68 year old cop chasing down a perp. There’s no 66 year old roofer putting a new tar and gravel roof on your workplace. There’s no 69 year old flying your short hop commuter route. There’s no 71 year old Pharmacist taking CME courses and filling out your prescriptions.
Hell, there’s no 65 year old techie willing (or honestly, able) to learn a brand new coding architecture from scratch.
105 is the new 90.
I am looking for the link, but saw an article recently about a Pete Peterson road show trying to get voters to support his ideas for social insurance reform. His ideas did not ‘take’ even after a special anti social insurance propaganda educational session. Everyone wanted to increase the SS tax cap, or increase taxes on the rich rather than cut social security benefits or increase the minimum retirement age.
The same article also explained the thinking of the Pete Peterson / catfood debt commission plan. The general idea is to find BS excuses not to pay back the borrowed SS trust fund money, and use the resulting and supposedly more dire financial status of SS, without the trust fund (since it would now be classed as stolen), as an excuse for cutting benefits.
If the initial reception is any indication, the Congresscritters will hear such a fuss from the voters that this attempt to steal the SS trust fund money will fail just as the Bush Jr. privatization scam failed.
Social security is a disability and a retirement program. The rules for getting on SS disability were relaxed a few years ago, and researchers can already see increased sensitivity of SS disability enrollments to changes in economic conditions. You don’t hear much about it because it is a relatively small program compared to the real long run budget problem, which is Medicare. But some are already talking about the SS disability program ‘crisis’.
The old 65 is the new 65 when it comes to people who have to do physical tasks as part of their work. So, unless it is coupled with greatly expanded career retraining programs for late middle aged people, continued increases in the retirement age will probably just result in hardship, and alarms about the new new SS disability program crisis.
@Michael: You are don;t know what the fuck you are talking about.When I came home I busted my ass trying to stop the war, you ever hear of Operation Dewey Canyon III? The VVAW? You so bothered about the current bullshit what are you doing? You have a quick trigger and a nice way of fucking with people you don’t know shit about. How you do f2f?
My husband was DRAFTED when he dropped a class at college. Quickly I might add & he had the choice of serving or being a WATB about it & being barred from the states for yrs.
He is BROWN & doesn’t regret his service, but he still says he wouldn’t have enlisted except for Airforce because he wanted to fly & couldn’t afford a college that taught it but AF didnt want him & the Army insisted.
He deserves EVERYTHING he got from the VA because he was DRAFTED.
@Sloegin: And there is a continuous shortage of Soylent Green. What’s up with that?
Just Some Fuckhead
Meh, I think my idea still has merit. What’s the fastest a tank will go? 45 mph? Sounds like that will work.
@amorphous: @cat48: save your breath with this schmuck and tell your hubby welcome home for me.
The only thing that can save this country is to bring back the draft. Fewer opportunistic wars and a short course in growing up for our youth to focus on what is important and what is not.
Let me repeat: We — the Boomers — have been paying more in FICA taxes since 1983 because of the solution developed by Alan Greenspan at that time.
All you youngsters better read those benefit summaries SSA sends you once a year to see just what your benefits are projected to be before you talk about adjustments. And, if you didn’t know it before, let me clue you in now… we get to continue paying income taxes on Social Security, again thanks to Alan Greenspan.
@General Stuck: Maybe Soylent Green can become the corporate sponsor of Social Security.
Probably people have already said this, but I think one of the things that keeps Social Security popular is that it is self-funding. I think it would better to raise the cap or means test more or something like that. There are plenty of fairly easy solutions along these lines.
EDIT: I realize it’s all essentially an accounting trick, but still, it works in terms of optics.
@cat48: Greetings From the President!!
@General Stuck: Meaning we’ll come to the usual compromise of the boomers being able to screw everybody else.
Watching just a little bit of Tweety today after seeing Rachel just made my head hurt. Chris doesn’t suffer from lack of self esteem whatsoever. He truly believes his knee-jerk/tingle political assumptions are always brilliant. You can just see him beaming when he thinks he has scored some point with a guest even if it only makes sense to him. I expect him to just come out and say on the show some day, “God, I am so awesome”.
Leaving lurker mode briefly to say to poor widdle Mikey, “You are an asshole.”
Thank you, I will tell him Welcome home. He’s still kinda cute. :)
@Stuck Still can’t believe those ltrs said “Greetings” Kinda of cruel in a way…….maybe no salutation would have been better.
@jl: ...So, unless it is coupled with greatly expanded career retraining programs for late middle aged people,…
Retraining for what and of what type? Without a guarantee of actual jobs training won’t help anybody. Sorry, but the education thing just sticks in my craw… I’m a reasonably good user of computers now. If I took training to become a systems administrator, for an example, I don’t think that would get me a job… I know people with actual experience as systems administrators who can’t get jobs. Education isn’t the solution to everything. I wish I knew a way to force companies to hire middle-aged workers but I don’t.
We knew it was going broke in the late 70s. Congress put in fixes that changed “full retirement” in the 80s as stated above, so boomers were affected.
We still have to fix it as it’s going broke with fewer contributors and more beneficiaries. What’s being suggested is probably the least damaging to the system as we know it, although obviously not particularly fair to folks 20 years or more away from retirement age. But if we don’t want to “privatize” (and i don’t like that option) what are the alternatives? Raise payroll tax? Fund from general revenue? These are less appealing to the public at large, but maybe fairer. They could cut children and spousal benefits, etc, but that’s just nibbling at the edges.
Full disclosure, I’m a federal employee who is in civil service retirement sys and am technically eligible to retire – I’m 58 and will be working for a while more. Feds hired after 1985 (or thereabouts) are in the social security system. We were given an option to change systems back then and declined.
@jwb: Naw, they know people under 50 also vote. You might get screwed a little, but we boomers will kiss you first.
Dougj presents the solution. Raising the cap. But dems are afraid the wingnuts will then classify SS and Medicare as a welfare program of redistributing the wealth of the wealthy. Along with means testing which is also basic common sense.
And the wingnuts surely will do this. But when the fiscal back is against the wall on these programs, dems are going to have to risk it. I doubt claims of welfare will go far in demagogueing the issue, except with the 27 percenters. Who will scream soshulist on the way to the bank to cash their ss checks. Everyone else will call it fair and progressive taxation that has to occur in any stable free market democracy.
As long as we’re on the topic….. the top recommended diary on GOS:
Ah, another ‘the sky is falling’ headline at TPM.
I think there is a bogus and a real social security funding problem.
The bogus problem is what will happen in the short to medium run if the feds decide that they cannot afford to pay back the trust fund money that that boomers have been paying into and building up since the 1983 Greenspan deal. If they decide to not pay back (that is, IMHO, if they steal) the trust fund money then there will be shouts about an immediate crisis.
Starting around 2040 or 2050, over the long run, SS will benefits will be about 20% to 25% below those promised for the indefinite future. That is a real problem, and fixes such as increasing or removing SS tax cap, or carefully planned increases in benefits for those who can work into their seventies, are probably needed. But every real expert I have read says that tinkering with the existing program will be sufficient to solve the long run problem. Things like across the board increases in minimum wage for retirement, or indexing future benefits for current workers to inflation are more than tinkering. They are very significant cuts and undermine the insurance aspects of the program, IMHO.
Note that even a 20% to 25% reduction in scheduled benefits would give current workers a higher real income in today’s dollars compared to current SS benefits because the benefits grow with real wages, not inflation, for future retirees. However, future retirees would have a lower income relative to future current workers. Proposals to index future benefits for future retirees to inflation will reduce the future retirees’ SS benefits far more than 20% to 25%, and eventually will result in an effective SS benefit of zero real dollars per month.
@cat48: Nixon was president when I got mine, so I wasn’t impressed all that much.
@General Stuck: “a short course in growing up for our youth to focus on what is important and what is not.” Except it’s not the youth who need this lesson most.
ETA: though it may be that only the youth are in a position to save us.
There are what I consider easy solutions which makes me wonder why some are hysterical about it, HuffPo, et al. Being old though, I lived thru Reagan’s commission & it was minor adjustments to the law. This is not the first time for an adjustment so I’m less scared about it because anything else like major changes would be a shitstorm! No politician would survive voting for it including the prez.
Nixon was the last liberal president.
@jwb:LOL, Everybody is young once.
If everyone had to spend a couple of years with the prospect of dying on a foreign battlefield, we wouldn’t need the term “chickenhawk” nor manic progressives. Pragmatists would run things, not ideologues. That is just my opinion of course.
This is for you, Mikey.
whinge: A cry; A complaint; To complain or protest, especially in an annoying or persistent manner
You whinge too much.
Three words: Old Man’s War
“EDIT: I realize it’s all essentially an accounting trick, but still, it works in terms of optics.”
How is it an accounting trick?
Over the long run of several generations, in each generation, the current generation of workers pays the retirement of the current generation of retirees. The current generation of workers in turn gets their retirement paid for by the following generation of workers (that is, their kids).
Things can go wrong with such a system, and it may need gradual adjustment due to changes in growth of fertility, or per capita real labor productivity. But it is not an accounting trick.
I don’t think the trust fund is an accounting trick either. The current generation of boomers paid increased taxes, worth real goods and services that they have lost, to increase the trust fund, that was needed to pay for the temporary surge in retirement when the danged boomers left the scene.
The feds borrowed that money to reduce the deficit. If the trust fund is an accounting trick, please explain how that is so to boomers (and younger folks) who forked over real money worth valuable good and services in taxes since 1983, supposedly to insure their retirement (and is now threatened).
@General Stuck: Yup, it’s the Cheneys and Bill Kristols of this world who need this lesson most. It may be, however, that only the youth can effectively learn this lesson.
@Just Some Fuckhead:
Suddenly, there would be a surge in the number of people refusing to serve in Obama’s war.
I make no bones about the need to make some changes, but raising the retirement age isn’t a very sound way to do it.
Wile E. Quixote
Hey honey, we Gen-Xers have been paying those increased taxes as well. I turned 18 in 1983 and started working that year to put myself through college. Generation X has been paying more in SS taxes than the boomers ever did.
Just Some Fuckhead
@Brien Jackson: Back in the day when we used to play a lot of beach volleyball, there would always be these “locals” that would ask to play with our large group, many of whom would be sitting waiting for their opportunity to play. The losing side would sit down and give the sitters a chance to play. But not these locals. They would simply switch sides and continue to play on the other side. That’s what you ex-Republicans remind me of. You completely fubarred your opportunity and now you want to simply switch sides and continue to control the game.
Here and here. What amazes me is how transparent Peterson’s bullshit is and how it appeals to nobody except assholes like David Brooks and David Broder. Even after browbeating the participants with dire warnings and giving them false choices,
And the Huffington piece says that 85% of the participants wanted defense cuts. Why do Americans hate America?
“Trick” isn’t the right word, what I mean is that, in principle it wouldn’t matter if it used money from the regular income tax source, but I still think it’s better that it be funded completely with its own tax.
And the President as well obviously, seeing as how it is The President’s Commission on Catfood.
@Just Some Fuckhead:
Then there was the Nancy boys who sat on the sidelines complaining nobody was good enough for them.
I’m very far from being a Fire Bagger, but if the Democrats really did something like this, it would would make me question why I was in the party. At least when Democrats were in the minority, they had the sense to fight against attacks on social security; did we get them a majority just so they could compromise on the one issue they were actually able to hold the line on when Republicans were in power?
Just to add, we had a bipartisan compromise on social security under Clinton. That’s when Greenspan convinced us we needed to be economically responsible, and increase regressive payroll taxes to build a trustfund for the baby boomers when they retired. Then as soon as a Republican came President, it was look at this surplus; let’s give rich people a tax cut! Now that Democrats are in power, we’re being told the trustfund doesn’t count, social security is once again bankrupt, and reasonably fiscally responsible Democrats must compromise to shore it up. . . again.
I’m embarrassed to say I was taken in when we went through this under Clinton. I’m horrified that any Democrat would be taken in after being fleeced once. Fool me once, shame on you . . .
@Just Some Fuckhead:
Nice story, but no idea what it has to do with anything.
It should be noted that longevity since birth has increased, but longevity since working age has not increased very much at all since around the 1920s or so. This makes the longevity argument a poor one.
You know, there was a time when it was generally accepted that if you were trying to ignore something while acting like you weren’t ignoring it, you created a commission. Now we’re sure that the creation of a commission is proof someone really cares. Get a grip.
I’m very much against means testing for social security. One of the things that keeps it popular in my opinion is that it’s not means tested, which means you can’t demonize it saying liberals want to give your money to lazy poor people. I could support raising the cap. But the whole debate makes me leery; I don’t want to buy into the fantasy that our budget is in crises because of social security when realistically speaking it’s among the least of our problems.
@Wile E. Quixote: Boomers are still working… or at least most of them are, those who haven’t been fired. The Boom years are taken to be 1944 to 1964. You are on the cusp, just after the boom supposedly ended. I don’t understand the bashing of Boomers.
@Brien Jackson: Former republicans are just as welcome as self appointed purity police. Pay no never mind to JSF BS.
@Brien Jackson: You get a grip mi hijo.
He tried to form a commission, asked Congress to do so. They said No.
He then went ahead anyway.
If all he wanted was cover to say, “Meh, I tried it people.” Then he could’ve stopped and blamed “liberals” in Congress or some shit. He didn’t do that. He kept it going.
And as I have said, The Commission is beside the point. After we stuffed it in GWB’s face when he tried it on and Nancy said, “Never”, we’re now going to offer our own plan?
If you’re feeling complacent then you just keep on with your complacent self.
Me? I’m not feeling too confident in the 11-D chess at this point.
I just wanna say three things here:
1) I am currently unemployed and as such am not paying into Social Security right now. You want solvency in Social Sec? Get me and 27 million others full-time employment and you’ve got more people paying back into that system again.
2) Is there any way other than full-out privatization (which would kill millions when (not if) there was another Wall Street crash) to get Social Security to earn money and increase available funding?
3) Buy my ebook. I need the income.
Means testing would be the downfall of social security, as it would finally let Republicans demonize it as welfare for those old bucks, yada yada.
As to the problem with the program, no, it’s not a crisis, but it’s obvious enough that something has to change. Between people living longer, the hit it’s sure to take on payroll taxes from the recession, and the increased concentration of wealth/income above the eligibility threshold for the payroll tax, the program won’t stay solvent without some sort of change. The nice thing is, done right, you could make a lot of small adjustments that, together, would shore things up, while being mostly imperceptible to most people.
Just Some Fuckhead
Yeah, it’s a purity thing to question the wisdom and insight of Republicans who just recently broke the whole fucking world and now want to switch sides and tell us how to fix everything.
We lack the political will to tell the Pete Petersons of the world that they owe more in taxes because they are getting the opportunity to make those fortunes, and to otherwise STFU and die if they don’t like it. Social Security may indeed have problems but they could be solved with higher taxes on higher income earners.
The deficit is due to tax cuts which went mostly to those same high income earners and two elective wars paid for outside of the regular budget process and with borrowed money.
@Wile E. Quixote:
But every boomer knows some dude who almost got drafted to ‘Nam, so they’re all live wires and entitled to benefits.
Alan Simpson believes that SocSec is currently insolvent.
This is the man President Obama appointed to co-chair the commission.
A man who has been so wrong, for so long on SocSec that the documentation could fill a beachside harlequin romance novel.
But wait…Simpson was appointed because we all really know he’s incompetent and will blow things up from the inside, all Michael Steele like and shit.
Simpson’s really The Mole!
@Michael: Crawl back under your rock shithead.
@stuckinred: No shit. jeebus,
Maybe I’m looking at this incorrectly, but if we raise the retirement age, doesn’t that have the same effect as pushing a lot more people into the workforce? Does our economy have the mojo to absorb all those “new” workers?
I’m just about to hit 61. Five years ago I was looking around for a different job. Any job that paid at least what I was making. (Not all that much BTW) and noticed that the only jobs a 55 year old could get required at least a masters. Having worked most of my life in mfg I don’t have one of those. People told me to go back to school, but the reality is that even in decent times finding a job at 55 and up is very hard. So my choice was to start up a new biz, work for myself. That’s because the only way for me to live at all after retirement is to work till after 70. And the age was 65 when I started working so that tarnished brass ring is, as always, being moved just slightly out of reach. I wouldn’t be so bitter if it wasn’t for all the rich fucks complaining about how much they suffer while making more per year than I will make in my lifetime.
Because, despite all the blather about the people living longer, people who live to 60 really don’t live much longer now than they did 70 years ago. The greatest increase in aging stats is that kids don’t die as often as they used to.
Add to that the fact that people tend to unload older workers and are not excited about hiring them. My current owners require retirement at 65 what would you suggest people do for those other 5 years – there are only so many Sprawl-Mart greeter jobs around.
@Michael: Fuck you very much. With a rusty implement of your chosing. My father, a YELLOW man in the old vernacular, joined the USAF to become a US citizen and ended up doing a tour in Vietnam. 100% guarantee he didn’t deserve the treatment his so-called fellow citizens gave him when he came home and for years thereafter (when they weren’t messing him about for being a ch*nk or a g**k himself, dipshits like you bad-mouthed him for being a vet!) But he loved this country still. Served it for 20 years including working on the fuckin’ Space fuckin’ Shuttle, thanks so fuckin’ much for asking about what he and his ilk did for you.
So fuck you and your fucking holier-than-fucking-thou bullshit attitude. You may not agree with the policies of the government but that is not the fault of the people who served, who’s shoes you’re not fit to fuckin’ spit polish!
@Just Some Fuckhead:
Does previous service or being a liberal get me out of the military?
@frankdawg: I asked a question, I don’t suggest shit.
@Pancake: Why not just let those who bear most of the tax burden burn all of the freeloading senior citizens in their fireplaces for warmth? It would ease our dependence on foreign oil, and get rid of all of the troublesome bodies of those who would be starving to death anyway.
What did the space shuttle do for me? What did your dad do for me?
I’m really over the trope of knob-gobbling every old welfare queen who wore a uniform and collected a really nice salary and benefits for being a hired hand for an organization that served as nothing more than an enforcement arm for the corporate cartel.
Hell, I suspect that Pablo Escobar’s drug lieutenants have less of a sense of entitlement, but did a lot less damage to the world than your average VA benefit slurping “hero”.
@Michael: You are one lowlife punk.
God, please go fuck off somewhere else.
@Shalimar: Yeah, fer sure. I’ve heard that the older solution of mummifying them (with or without entrails), and then use them as firewood has been largely superceded by the more modern “fluidized bod combustion” system in Aspen and in Jackson Hole.
@Michael: Man, this is the kind of hate we expect from the wingnuts. Just fuck off already.
Ruckus: Yes, I understand.
Chemist: There are fewer jobs in existence now and there won’t many jobs for older people to take. (See Ruckus’s comment above.) For example, in the banking world where there was once 4 banks based in NYC, there is now one and further it combined with a major bank which was built up out of another 3 or 4 midwestern banks. In terms of central headquarters jobs… each merger resulted in the absolute loss of jobs through consolidation.
To wit: Manufacturers Hanover Trust merged with Chemical Bank, then Chemical Bank merged with Chase Manhattan Bank, and Chase Bank merged with P.J. Morgan Guaranty Trust. The final bank was J.P. Morgan Chase. J.P.Morgan Chase then merged with Bank One of Chicago which had undergone its own line of merges. Each of those merges meant there were fewer jobs. And that consolidation has happened in many sectors.
Please. VVAW was a goddamned freakshow, and it turned off the very people you needed to gather up. It was brilliant, inviting Jane Fonda to speak (now there’s a fucking heavyweight foreign policy voice if you ask me – she wasn’t even 30 yet, right?). Then the stunt with the “turning yourselves in as war criminals”? ROFLMAO
How many of you were stoned to the gills at your public events and planning meetings? Did you even try to get them to moderate their conduct?
Hippie punching is necessary at times. So is soldier spitting.
Chee, maybe “Michael” wouldn’t be so bitter if he had more interpersonal skills.
Nah. That can’t be it.
I was a soldier, Cole was a soldier. Spitting is easy done from a distance, harder up close and personal. Internet tough guy.
@Mark S.: thanks for finding the links.
@DougJ: If you were talking about the debt crisis conmens’ shell game flim and word games about SS funding, that is a bag of dirty tricks.
I think SS funding should be strictly separate from general budget expenditures, in order to avoid such tricks, and to emphasize that SS is primarily a social insurance program, not a speculative stock market or other ‘retire really rich’ investment scam, or a general funding mechanism. Means testing would not be a good solution, since that damages the insurance aspect of the program.
@Michael: yes, I forgot the high salary that he got paid as and an enlisted man and later, yes after getting his degree in electrical engineering, a low level officer. That must explain why he had to work a second fucking job most of his career and my mother worked too yet we still had old cars and hand me down clothing. Guess he must have been putting all those riches into some offshore account. Oh, yeah and all the great benies like PTSD, a heart condition and some bug he picked up in the jungle that never really went away all of which contributed to his death at 46. But you go on thinking he was just “an old queen” who felt entitled to shit. And there are thousands like him, underprivileged kids, mostly minorities, who literally fought their way to a more reasonable life. And I won’t get into your inane argument about what the shuttle and the space program in general has done for this country. I’d guess you’ve a Luddite streak at least in regards to things that came out of the military anyway. You’re a putz and I see I’m not the only juicer not so cordially inviting you to sell your bs elsewhere!
-shakes sand off shoes
Good day, sir!
So the big fat slob of an NCO that parked his ass at the AAFES or the Navy Exchange (and who saw zero hard stuff his entire career) gets a big, fat retirement, which he can then use to donate to teabaggers. Awesome!
Interesting how Michael starts off pretending to criticize the military from the left but totally gives the game away when he just can’t keep his mouth shut about Jane Fonda, history’s greatest monster.
@Corner Stone: You’re getting a bit conspiratorial here. I mean to accept your view, basically I have to buy that either Obama wants to gut Social Security or that he has a trusted adviser who wants to gut Social Security and Obama isn’t smart enough to see that this adviser is selling him out. I also have to buy that everyone in the upper reaches of the Democratic party is likewise either wanting to gut Social Security or too stupid to figure out what’s going on. I just find that all rather implausible, and if true we’re already fucked anyway so I may as well live in my fantasy world where Obama is a smart, talented politician who is pursuing this particular strategy for a reason other than selling us all out (even if I’m not certain what his strategy is).
Nothing inconsistent about it at all – she’s a moron. I equate her dumbassed performance art against the war with Jessica Lange testifying at Congress about the farm crisis. Both stupid, both out of their depth.
Hippies against the war – whether ex-military or not – did the cause a disservice by outward appearance and affect alone.
They came off as being drama queens – no gravitas.
Once again, I was wrong.
I admit. I’m a fool. I’m an idiot. I’m 100% completely totally utterly wrong on this one.
Never in a million years did I imagine that old people would allow themselves to be impoverished to the point where they were living on cat food just so we can continue pointless lost wars in third world hellholes.
I confidently predicted that old people (who vote in astounding numbers) would force our out-of-control military-industrial complex to cut back, when the choice came to old people living in penury, or pissing away a trillion dollars a year on an army that can’t win wars anymore.
I was a fool.
I was utterly completely wrong.
Turns out old people love the idea of living on cat food as long as it means America can boast the capability of losing two foreign wars simultaneously.
Apparently old people adore the prospect of starving…if it means we can murder our sons and daughters for no reason in lost wars half a world away.
I thought that was so insane that it was impossible. But then again, I thought the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 and the drunk-driving C student in 2000 was so insane it was impossible.
Coming up next: Republicans and Democrats endorse a bipartisan plan for the entire voting population of America to douse themselves with gasoline and set themselves on fire. And the voters overwhelming support it!
I wasn’t drafted. I joined. BUT only because of the draft. The country was at war, even if you didn’t agree with it. The choices were: Be drafted, Join, Risk jail for being an evader, Immigrate, Stay in school and get a probably useless degree. Or 3 or 4.
Michael doesn’t understand because he never had to make those choices or probably know anyone who had to make them and he thinks if we served we were all warmongers. He has no idea how wrong he is.
Anyone who seeks to pass moral judgment on a group people based on something as out of their control as the year they were born in is a useless idiot. Well, useful to the people who are actually at fault for his grievances and want to remain anonymous, but otherwise useless.
uggh, that free marketer person sounds like a complete douche bag.
I’m 42 and already been told I have work until I am 67. What’s another 3 years? I would hope that my 401(k) is sufficient that my wife
At some point, someone in America is going to have to pay more in taxes. They cannot only go down. And it is going to have to be someone other than the middle & lower classes bearing the brunt of any new taxes.
PurpleGirl is completely correct.
Note, however, that I have run the numbers, and given current life expectancies, the extra bucks I would get every month by waiting to collect until age 70 result in almost exactly the same present value as the amount I would get every month at age 67.
There are two points everyone needs to consider with respect to the payment-stream “retirement fund” aspect of Social Security (remember, as PurpleGirl and others have said, SS—more correctly, OASDI—is a somewhat peculiar hybrid of disability insurance and retirement money).
One is that we—you, me, and everyone else now paying into the system—have been buying Treasury bills since 1983. The “extra” money we put into the Social Security Trust Fund is invested in US Government Treasury bonds. These are the same T-bonds that we can buy from the government, except that they are actually printed on paper, in enormous denominations (billions of dollars), and stored in a cabinet in a West Virginia office. If you or I buy a T-bill or T-bond (see treasurydirect.gov) we just get an electronic computer entry, not a fancy engraved-printing paper bond.
If the Treasury defaults on the SSTF, they default on Treasury bonds. This would be a world-shaking event and even the rich and powerful are agin’ it. It is simply not going to happen. If those bonds are presented for redemption, they will be redeemed.
The second thing to remember is that any time you collect a regular monthly check, what you are getting is a form of annuity. The SS check is unique in that it is a “lifetime perpetuity” (a perpetuity is an annuity with no cutoff; SS only has a cutoff after you die, so in that respect it has no cutoff for as long as you will care :-) ) that adjusts with the CPI and is to some extent transferable (via survivor benefits). This makes it more valuable than an ordinary fixed or variable annuity, but either way, it is otherwise just like an ordinary annuity. It therefore has a present value, which you can find with any spreadsheet or financial calculator. This present value is effectively a bond portfolio.
So, every one of us actually has a retirement fund that is invested in Treasury bonds. When you get that piece of paper from the SS administration each year, plug the numbers into a calculator, and find out how much you have invested. If you do have a 401(k) or similar, take your “SS portfolio” into account when making bond-vs-stock-vs-whatever decisions about how much to invest in what. Feel free to adjust your “SS portfolio” value (up, or down, or to zero) based on whether you think Congress will screw it up before or during the time when you are allowed to collect Social Security checks, but take it into account. It matters.
Take heart. Nobody is perfect grasshopper.
@Ruckus: As Stuck noted above, as a country, we’d be better off if the draft were still in place and all of us routinely had to face this choice. I doubt very much that we’d have had either of the Iraq wars, and we’d probably had a lot less other funny business as well. Added bonus: our military probably wouldn’t be on the verge of being taken over by religious nutcases.
oops didn’t finish my first thought…
hope my 401(k) and we manage our money well enough that my wife & I can retire when we want. My plan is that any SS money would be the play money.
Prediction: Congress won’t let the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire, and congress won’t cut our 1-trillion-dollars-plus of useless military spending per year…but congress will slash social security and medicare.
Shoot me now, the mass insanity is more than I can handle. I don’t want to wait for Cthulhu to return and start eating people alive.
@jwb: Andrew Bacevich comments.
Just Some Fuckhead
Loving Michael. Don’t stop. Maybe you could add “Fuckhead Approved” to your handle or sig.
@Just Some Fuckhead: back off
@mclaren: You can always go Galt in a third-world country. I almost think part of the war-on-drugs strategery is to keep Mexico unstable enough to keep the expats down.
It should be public service. You don’t get to select what you do, just like being drafted you get tested and sent. Everyone goes. The only deferment would be a medical condition that would get you released, like a missing limb. One year or two years. If you want to stay in great, the military would probably have room. No skipping for school. You’re 18 you serve. You can go to school after your service. Your dad is connected and you want to go to West Point, fine. After your service. Your dad is a conservative media waste of flesh, you serve.
I think you get the picture.
@jwb: I don’t know what else you want from me here.
You figure it out.
There’s no reason to put SocSec on the table. There’s no reason to pass the House budget resolution enforcement.
There’s no reason to appoint Alan Simpson as co-chair, someone who fundamentally believes SS should not exist and has spoken about this before.
Don’t call me conspiratorial like it’s some nut job Mel Gibson movie.
When Bush wanted to have SS on the table the D’s said FU. Now? It’s on the table.
And all through Obama’s campaign and into his Presidency he has said SS is on the table.
So if you can’t hack that don’t whine to me.
Just Some Fuckhead
@stuckinred: Oh fuck off newbie.
Just Some Fuckhead
@Ruckus: Missing limb? Please. Those are exactly the folks you want. One less thing to get blowed off.
I’m glad you stopped here as it’s never prudent to rely on the female of the species for really anything but more trouble.
@Just Some Fuckhead: I got your newbie you little shit.
Just Some Fuckhead
@stuckinred: Your newbie is you, so I reckon you do. But I’m not little.
@Corner Stone: No, I didn’t mean to accuse you of nut job conspiracy. I’m sorry if it came off that way. And the way things are in the world right now, you may well be right (and I can’t make any more sense of the strategy than what you have offered: on the face of it, the constitution of the commission, if the commission is actually supposed to be serious rather than for show, makes no sense–and even if it is for show it makes little sense). It’s just that if things are the way you say, we as a country are totally, totally fucked and I don’t see any way out, so I might as well slit my wrists now. Therefore, if I’m going to get up in the morning and believe there is a reason to live and fight, I have to believe that Obama knows what he’s doing and is acting in good faith. That’s completely a leap of faith on my part, I know, but it’s what keeps me going.
That 1964 figure has been adjusted in the face of reality. The boom trickled out around ’57 or so. Certainly, the ’57-’64 children don’t have the same perspectives or outlook as the real Boom babies. I married such. Call them Generation Jones or whatever the other term is, they’re not Boomers.
Speaking as a first-wave GenXer who remains quietly curious as to why people who will draw from SocSec don’t get taxed on all their income the way I do just because they make so much more than me.
Just Some Fuckhead
@Lysana: I generally recognize the boomer (read: locust) generation as ’45-’59.
@Corner Stone: “And all through Obama’s campaign and into his Presidency he has said SS is on the table.” Also, there’s putting it on the table (for reasonable consideration as part of large-scale, long-term thinking about budgeting as the baby boomers retire) and there’s putting it on the table (with fucking Alan Simpson to gut it). And there’s also the fact that there’s only one economist on the panel. All sorts of weirdness about the constitution of the committee.
@Just Some Fuckhead:
You can’t hear me but I’m laughing my ass off. Now that’s one more worthless thing not to have to get blown off.
I’d love to not consider myself / be considered a “boomer” but I have never heard of this “Generation Jones” thing before. (I do feel more akin to GenX-ers than boomers in general, I suppose, but I’ve always been suspicious of any blanket labeling in the first place.)
If you mean the reason SS taxes cut off at about $109k (now, it’s climbed up a long way from $88k in the 1990s), there is at least some justification for it: benefits max out, so by Insurance Logic, the costs should also max out.
At the same time, I agree more with the Buffets and Gateses of this country, that higher income people (myself included—not that I am anywhere in their league) should pay more, as we generally get more out of society than lower income folks.
Just Some Fuckhead
@Ruckus: “Blowed off”, in the vernacular.
Tinkering with the program around the margins isn’t at all like Bush’s plan to privatize part of it.
I believe this was the Tiny Tim era when Tiptoe Through the Tulips was popular and stretched into Disco of the late 70’s. Probly when the locust eggs hatched and we got a shitpot full of fuckheads.
@Chris: Gotta say there’s something to it; my first husband was ten years older than myself.
When he was having his teenage years, popular music was flooded with talent, the draft was on (and he was,) the economy was hitting on all cylinders, and someone making minimum wage could afford to support themselves.
When I was having my teenage years, Disco was king, Vietnam was over, the gas crisis & inflation were ruining the job market, and I made minimum wage; I made do with a motorcycle and apartment with cardboard walls.
There just isn’t any way we were the same generation; we weren’t.
@stuckinred: You ever consider therapy? Maybe you can find a laser tag arena that will allow you to hang up posters of your Lady Jane as the target. And you can blammo her ass to your heart’s content.
You’re way too touchy to be 60 and still alive after all your exploits in The Shit.
@Just Some Fuckhead: I think it’s actually most effective to date backwards from 1968 or perhaps Watergate, whether you were old enough to understand what happened in that period in political terms. If those events imprinted on you politically (for good or ill), you are (culturally) a boomer, if they are only historical events, you’re not.
@Brien Jackson: Stop fucking wanking yo.
WTF do you think the resulting recommendations will be?
Raising the retirement age?
Applying some percentage into the stock market?
Some kinds of means testing?
You’re a clown on this.
“Oh no!” “SocSec is in crisis! Or maybe not in crisis but we need to do sumfin bout it!”
No we don’t. Unless you consider 2036 is a crisis for us in the here and now.
Just Some Fuckhead
@General Stuck: Sorry Drama Queen, I’m an X.
@Just Some Fuckhead: I bet your the spawn of hard core wingnuts. amirite. Trying to be a Trostkyite to cover up your winger genes.
Drama queen? LOL, mirror time dude. You and some of the other mouthy punks on this thread. Sewer trout, one and all.
Don’t let em get to you Stuckinred, not a one, or altogether amounts to a bucket of piss.
Just Some Fuckhead
CS, can you drop me an email?
@Just Some Fuckhead:
Oh looky, the sewer trout are collaborating. How cool is that?
@jwb: Hmm. Do you mean by that “either of them” or “both of them”?
I don’t remember the long hot summer directly, although there was certainly unrest on the campus where my father taught. OTOH, I remember Watergate very, very clearly indeed.
Who said anything about a crisis?
See, just more evidence. Y’all and WereBear’s hubby got rid of Tricky Dick and everything went to shit after that.
@Chris: There’s never a justification for a regressive tax. Never. The social security withholding is regressive — it’s a far smaller percentage of my income than it is of someone who makes a third what I do. That’s always wrong.
(And it’s why I oppose sales taxes to fund state government unless they also include professional services taxes.)
Just Some Fuckhead
@General Stuck: Yeah, we’re conspiring about a comment coup. Are you an adult? Remind me again.
@Just Some Fuckhead: Would you know how to behave towards him or her if he were?
Just Some Fuckhead
@demimondian: Are you suggesting that he or her is, in fact, not an adult?
@Just Some Fuckhead:
I was thinking more along the lines of a circle jerk. But carry on, Impress me.
Just Some Fuckhead
@General Stuck: First of all, it’s not a circle jerk with two people. It’s simply mutual masturbation, which you probably don’t know because you don’t have any friends. Secondly, I’m not aware how someone would do such a thing through email. Maybe you could enlighten us?
What the hell is with this “conspiracy theory” accusation crap????
It is a conspiracy! It’s a conspiracy to slash SS + medicare in order to perpetuate tax cuts for the rich. The top economic 5% have been engaged in a conspiracy against the rest of us for 30 years, ever since the senile sociopath Reagan got elected and slashed the top tax rate from 70% to 28%, so wake up and smell the latte.
We should be talking about a conspiracy because it is a conspiracy — by the rich to enrich themselves, via impoverishing everyone else.
Jesus H. fucking Christ, people, WAKE THE FUCK UP.
@demimondian: I would say clear imprinting of 1968 is the more important, especially to those on the left: because the world refused to change and the US ended up electing bloody Richard Nixon of all people. Failed revolutions always leave deep lasting cultural scars (see Europe, 1848).
Me, I have no political recollection of 1968, and only a hazy recollection of the import of Watergate—though I was already reading the paper at that point and remember following the story and thinking it just weird. I also could never get my head around Vietnam, which on the TV news looked nothing like the war I saw in the movie theater. I don’t consider myself a boomer, though I fall within the most generous definition of the generation (1944-1964).
@mclaren: If this is a conspiracy and Obama is in on it, we’ve already long lost and waking the fuck up won’t do any good.
@mclaren: Sorry, dude, the self-gratifying circle jerk is down the hall to the right.
@Just Some Fuckhead: I just asked John Cole to pass it on to you, as I don’t want to put it in the clear.
It’s what I use for all my porn logins.
Let’s hope mescaline and trips to mountaintops count for something in this life.
Just Some Fuckhead
@Corner Stone: Good, I was gonna suggest you get my email from John if you asked for it.
@Just Some Fuckhead:
Okay then, I stand corrected. Sounds more like a mutual reach around your after. It is preferable that be done thru email. Again, carry on.
No, its exactly the same thing you big dummy! I think the commission’s recommendation’s will almost certainly be monstrous. But the claim that Obama created the commission to gut SS is, well, just fucking stupid.
@jwb: We are going to need more wooden stakes to kill threads like these. Some garlic powder wouldn’t hurt.
@Ailuridae: What is the purpose mein frau?
@Ailuridae: You’re not very bright are you?
Actually I am demonstrably very bright? You, however, are the dimmest of dim bulbs.
I would assume the purpose of a commission regarding the long term debt is to address the long term debt. They likely won’t actually address the issue (it can only be addressed from the cost side by addressing the fact that doctors and their business – hospitals or private practices – have organized themselves in a cabal against the rest of the country.) What they recommend will be awful and monstrous and never be enacted.
Read that paragraph twice. You have never written anything here that contains 1/2 the information. There is a reason for this: you’re dumber than a box of rocks.
@General Stuck: None of threads are faring well tonight.
@Ailuridae: If you’re asking the question then obviously we all know the answer.
No, you’re not very bright.
But I’m sure they have a nice golden trophy for you kid.
Again, it is almost embarrassing how stupid you are.
You still don’t understand a single point of policy regarding anything relevant. Add something, at some point, to a discussion.
I see no evidence whatsoever that Obama has anything to do with the effort by the top 5% to enrich themselves by impoverishing everyone else.
That move seems to be coming out of the Senate with some help from fringe far-right-wingers in the House. While it’s true that Obama appointed the members of the deficit commission, I don’t see any evidence that Obama gave ’em marching orders to arrive at any particular conclusion.
On the contrary — all the evidence supports the conclusion that Obama fought hard for the bailout and passed it over massive opposition from congress. You could argue that Obama should force through another stimulus package, but, to paraphrase a famous military genius from the previous administration, “you pass legislation with the congress you have, not the congress you want.” Obama has got to deal with a congress full of tea party wackos and fringe Republican neo-Hooverites whose prescription for current domestic policy is the same as Andrew Mellon’s in 1930:
Translation: let the whole country shut down and go broke and starve. Been there. Tried that. 1930-32. Didn’t work.
Moreover, the whole neo-Hooverite insanity of “balance the budget and cut the deficits instead of getting the unemployed working again” isn’t just coming out of the U.S. congress — it’s a wave of mass insanity that’s coming out of the entire financial elite across international boundaries, all over the world.
Krugman has been pounding the table and screaming about how insane this neo-Hooverism of “cut the deficits, the hell with getting people working again” is because he points out it’s an exact replay of Herbert Hoover’s failed policies in the early 1930s.
[Paul Krugman, “Budget Deficits: Spend Now, Save Later,” New York Times, 20 June 2010, op. cit.]
Martin Wolf has repeated assaulted this global call for austerity measures by the financial elite, pointing out that it directly contravenes the basic principles of modern economics:
Translation: Inflation is zero problem right now. Nada. Bupkiss. Dick. Zip. Zero. The total money supply isn’t just the amount of money in circulation, it’s the amount of money in circulation times the velocity of circulation (basic economics 101). And right now the velocity of circulation is just about zero. Anyone who has capital is hoarding it. Corporations are sitting on a record trillion dollars of cash and they’re not spending, banks are sitting on many trillions and they’re not lending, consumers aren’t spending, because everyone’s so badly in fucking debt that they’re spending every dime to pay down what they owe, not buying new shit. The banks are insolvent, homeowners are underwater on their mortgages, corporations are hemorrhaging sales everywhere you look.
So the call by the global financial elites to cut deficits lies in the face of basic economics 101, it’s pure Hooverism, and if it succeeds it’ll wreck the global economy, not save it…as Martin Wolf and Paul Krugman and many others are pointing out right now.
Obama has nothing to do with this neo-Hooverite lunacy. Obama has spearheaded the passage of a massive bailout and he’s called for another bailout, which the sane (non-Hooverite) economists agree with en masse. It’s congress that’s refused to pass another bailout, not Obama.
So I don’t know where you’re getting the idea that Obama has anything to do with this neo-Hooverite “cut the deficits and balance the budget in the midst of the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression” craziness. Obama is fighting hard against it. It’s congress, and, more broadly, the exact same economic “geniuses” who got us into this mess in the first place who are now calling for austerity measures instead of another bailout and extension of unemployment benefits.
In fact, what we probably need right now in America is another CCC — get some of those 15 million unemployed people to work planting trees, cleaning up highways, whatever the hell, just get them back to work doing something and get ’em a paycheck until the global economic collapse stabilizes. Housing is still imploding. The stock market is headed down. Office vacancies are still skyrocketing, industrial capacity is in freefall. Small businesses are in a massive downturn, our exports are in the toilet, economic indicators are still falling everywhere you look. This economic collapse ain’t over. And Obama knows that, it’s congress that’s calling for crazy counterproductive fiscal austerity measures, not Obama.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the commission doesn’t even come up with anything.