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Entitled Selfishness (Boomer Generation Is in a State of Denial)
The Washington Post ^ | Wednesday, January 10, 2007 | Robert J. Samuelson

Posted on 01/10/2007 1:53:55 AM PST by MinorityRepublican

As someone born in late 1945, I say this to the 76 million or so subsequent baby boomers and particularly to Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, our generation's leading politicians: Shame on us. We are trying to rob our children and grandchildren, putting the country's future at risk in the process. On one of the great issues of our time, the social and economic costs of our retirement, we have adopted a policy of selfish silence.

As Congress reconvenes, pledges of "fiscal responsibility" abound. Let me boldly predict: On retirement spending, this Congress will do nothing, just as previous Congresses have done nothing. Nancy Pelosi promises to "build a better future for all of America's children." If she were serious, she would back cuts in Social Security and Medicare. President Bush calls "entitlement spending" the central budget problem. If he were serious, he, too, would propose cuts in Social Security and Medicare.

They are not serious, because few Americans -- particularly prospective baby-boom retirees -- want them to be. There is a consensus against candor, because there is no constituency for candor. It's no secret that the 65-and-over population will double by 2030 (to almost 72 million, or 20 percent of the total population), but hardly anyone wants to face the implications:

By comparison, other budget issues, including the notorious earmarks, are trivial. In 2005, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (the main programs for the elderly) cost $1.034 trillion, twice the amount of defense spending and more than two-fifths of the total federal budget. These programs are projected to equal about three-quarters of the budget by 2030, if it remains constant as a share of national income.

Preserving present retirement benefits automatically imposes huge costs on the young -- costs that are economically unsound and socially unjust.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; Front Page News
KEYWORDS: babyboomers; economics; financial; genx; retirement; socialsecurity
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1 posted on 01/10/2007 1:53:57 AM PST by MinorityRepublican
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To: MinorityRepublican

I forget - - what did this guy Robert J. Samuelson have to say about George Bush's attempt to introduce a bona fide fix for siocial security wherein people get to invest their social security "contribution" so they could take control of it and watch it grow? You know - - the proposal the scumbag Democrats demogogued into oblivion?

Did Robert J. Samuelson have any opinion about that?


2 posted on 01/10/2007 1:58:54 AM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: MinorityRepublican

Sorry to disagree with this guy, but IMHO, it's the present day "seniors" (aka AARP members and the like) that are preventing a "fix" to the problem.

The politicians are afraid of denying or cutting back benefits because they'll lose the elderly vote.

Most boomers I talk to don't expect to collect SS, and many are planning on working past their 65th birthday, not necessarily because of necessity.


3 posted on 01/10/2007 2:04:09 AM PST by dawn53
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To: MinorityRepublican

Maybe this is why the administration is ao all-fired anxious to get Mexicans in the door - to shoulder the social burden of our retiring baby boomers(?)


4 posted on 01/10/2007 2:07:59 AM PST by The Duke (I have met the enemy, and he is named 'Apathy'!)
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To: MinorityRepublican

"There's no way to rule innocent men.
The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals.
When there aren't enough criminals, one makes them.
One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."


"They proclaim that every man is entitled to exist without labor and, the laws of reality to the contrary notwithstanding, is entitled to receive his "minimum sustenance" his food, his clothes, his shelter, with no effort on his part, as his due and his birthright.
To receive it, from whom? "

AYN RAND


5 posted on 01/10/2007 2:22:16 AM PST by HuntsvilleTxVeteran ("Remember the Alamo, Goliad and WACO, It is Time for a new San Jacinto")
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To: Lancey Howard

Gosh, RIGHT ON TARGET Lancey Howard...Right On Target.


6 posted on 01/10/2007 2:32:13 AM PST by rlmorel (Islamofacism: It is all fun and games until someone puts an eye out. Or chops off a head.)
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To: Lancey Howard

I'd know any specifics, but Samuelson has been pretty solid. He tends to be a straight shooter, he's definitely not a mouthpiece for the DNC.


7 posted on 01/10/2007 2:54:51 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (Peace will come when the Palestinians love their children more than they hate Israel)
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To: MinorityRepublican
We can live beside the ocean
Leave the fire behind
Swim out past the breakers
Watch the world die

- Everclear
8 posted on 01/10/2007 2:57:13 AM PST by Thrownatbirth (.....when the sidewalks are safe for the little guy.)
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To: MinorityRepublican

(Boomer Generation Is in a State of Denial)

Egypt?


9 posted on 01/10/2007 3:08:53 AM PST by fivecatsandadog (Don't let reality ruin your day.)
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To: qam1; ItsOurTimeNow; PresbyRev; tortoise; Fraulein; StoneColdGOP; Clemenza; m18436572; ...
Xer Ping

Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.

Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.  

10 posted on 01/10/2007 3:47:31 AM PST by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: Lancey Howard

Did Robert J. Samuelson have any opinion about that?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I believe this is the same man whose writings were once boldly quoted by some young Freeper who wanted to put me in my place when I disagreed with his assertion that "there has been virtually no inflation in this country since 1982". It would be funny if it weren't so tragic to think that someone actually believed that.


11 posted on 01/10/2007 4:02:59 AM PST by RipSawyer (Does anybody still believe this is a free country?)
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To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran

AYN RAND
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

People may say what they choose about her but in my book she hit more nails squarely on the head than most carpenters and I say that as the son, grandson and nephew of carpenters and with all due respect to carpenters.


12 posted on 01/10/2007 4:07:39 AM PST by RipSawyer (Does anybody still believe this is a free country?)
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To: MinorityRepublican
If he were serious, he, too, would propose cuts in Social Security and Medicare.

Why take more away from the people who paid into it? If the money paid into it had been invested and allowed to grow at the prevailing market rates, instead of being plundered and squandered, there would be enough. This is the single largest CRIME in this country. Only instead of indicting the criminals, they just quietly take more away from those who invested in it.

13 posted on 01/10/2007 4:11:36 AM PST by PistolPaknMama (Al-Queda can recruit on college campuses but the US military can't! --FReeper airborne)
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To: MinorityRepublican
Here in Britain, we're being forced into more private provision for pensions and the retirement age is being pushed up to 68. This is the start of solving the problem, but not a fix. I see no political willingness at this time from American politicians to even start to address this issue.

Regards, Ivan

14 posted on 01/10/2007 4:12:24 AM PST by MadIvan (I aim to misbehave.)
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To: RipSawyer

I agree with you, Rip.


15 posted on 01/10/2007 4:13:05 AM PST by Dudoight
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To: MinorityRepublican

Well, not all boomers are liberals, which is what this article is saying.


16 posted on 01/10/2007 4:13:24 AM PST by caver (Yes, I did crawl out of a hole in the ground.)
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To: MinorityRepublican

It will solve itself one way or another. At some point the workers will be so heavily taxed that they will either openly revolt or quit working. If they revolt, there will be blood in the streets and the survivors will go back to some sort of a "pay your own way, work or starve" system. Alternately, they may just quit working. If the latter, the govt. will go the totalitarian route, force them to work, and the country will do the socialist spiral down to where everybody is standing in line hoping to get their turnip ration. Too bad, but if people were smarter, outcomes would be better.


17 posted on 01/10/2007 4:27:12 AM PST by tickmeister (tickmeister)
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To: MinorityRepublican

The X'rs seem to forget that the more mom and dad boomer die with,( $$ assets, property etc. ) the more their children stand to gain .


18 posted on 01/10/2007 4:29:29 AM PST by Renegade
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To: MadIvan

For those that were born in 1946 and later there already exist and passed where the full retirement has been extended to 66 3/4 yrs of age and are in increments of age until the age for full retirement is at age 70 yrs. I do not know where the cut offs are on the scale but this was put into effect in the 1980's or early 1990's don't remember exactly.


19 posted on 01/10/2007 4:45:53 AM PST by AIC
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To: MinorityRepublican
This government has taken tens of thousands of dollars from me and from my husband by force of law. I want it back.

Carolyn

20 posted on 01/10/2007 4:49:00 AM PST by CDHart ("It's too late to work within the system and too early to shoot the b@#$%^&s."--Claire Wolfe)
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To: MinorityRepublican
I turned 62 last year and had to decide whether to take the money now or wait till I'm 65.

I chose to take the money now because I have doubts as to future benefits.

Social Security needs to be slowly privatized over a period of time. I'm sure some actuarial could figure out what the ratio should be to continue to fund benefits for folks like me and to fund private investment vehicles for those coming up.
21 posted on 01/10/2007 4:50:52 AM PST by upchuck (The American coup de grāce is well on its way. Thus far, the Donks haven't had to fire a shot.)
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To: MinorityRepublican

Tell ya what, just give me my money back from what SS and medicare/medicaid has taken and I won't take ANY SS or medicare.medicade.


22 posted on 01/10/2007 4:54:46 AM PST by Just another Joe (Warning: FReeping can be addictive and helpful to your mental health)
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To: Renegade

That's okay; I'll have to liquidate my inheritance anyway. It will be in asssets, and I won't be able to afford the death tax.


23 posted on 01/10/2007 4:54:51 AM PST by Doohickey (I am not unappeasable. YOU are just too easily appeased.)
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To: The Duke

You know, that is something I hadn't thought of.


24 posted on 01/10/2007 4:55:58 AM PST by Redleg Duke (Heaven is home...I am just TDY here!)
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To: tickmeister

" but if people were smarter, outcomes would be better"


The left has had a strangle-hold on the education apparatus for decades. They do not wish people to be smart. Actually they would cease to exist if people were properly educated.


25 posted on 01/10/2007 4:56:40 AM PST by David Isaac
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To: Lancey Howard
what did this guy Robert J. Samuelson have to say about George Bush's attempt to introduce a bona fide fix for siocial security

GWB also attempted to cut the growth rate by tying the yearly Social Security increases to the CPI rate rather than the inflation rate, or something like that.

The DemoCraps screamed bloody murder, accusing GWB of "cutting" the life out of seniors, or some such baloney rhetoric.

26 posted on 01/10/2007 4:57:33 AM PST by Edit35
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To: MadIvan

The original SS "retirement age" exceeded an American's average life expectancy - maybe its time to up the age requirment accordingly?


27 posted on 01/10/2007 5:00:20 AM PST by Little Ray
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To: Doohickey


"I'll have to liquidate my inheritance anyway. It will be in asssets, and I won't be able to afford the death tax. "

Talk to the Kennedys. They seemed to know how to avoid a lot of taxes when Jackie died .


28 posted on 01/10/2007 5:12:59 AM PST by Renegade
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To: Lancey Howard

If you read the full article and pursued any of the 4 links Samuelson provided in that article to op-eds written in late 2004 and early 2005, you'll see that he has written on this subject in great depth and passion before. This is the "good" Samuelson -- one of the best writers on economic and political economics out there. And he did give Bush credit for trying to reform Social Security, but he ultimately cast criticism at Bush for the huge entitlement expansion in Medicare which has a worse problem than Social Security. And he was also critical of the President's shielding most Baby Boomers from any potential benefit cut (I'm sure the President viewed that as the only way, politically, that this could be pursued).

I agree: the talking heads and Samuelson should heep most of their disdain on the Dems who never offered to even join the debate. And I don't see enough criticism of Clinton who had the best opportunity to address entitlement reform (this was Clinton's "Bridge to the 21st Century" built by the "cans kicked down the road" for following administrations). I also agree that Bush's private accounts and transition plan is the right way to permanently fix Social Security -- and I wish Samuelson would give Bush some credit for that. But I think he's stuck on the refusal of these political "leaders" to do the responsible thing which is to make the case for benefit cuts for all coming into Social Security benefit season.


29 posted on 01/10/2007 5:20:28 AM PST by ReleaseTheHounds
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To: tickmeister
It will solve itself one way or another. At some point the workers will be so heavily taxed that they will either openly revolt or quit working.

You can only avoid reality for so long. But for some people it's worth doing on someone else's dime.

30 posted on 01/10/2007 5:23:13 AM PST by Aquinasfan (When you find "Sola Scriptura" in the Bible, let me know)
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To: PistolPaknMama

"...instead of being plundered and squandered, there would be enough. ..."

You just pulled back the curtain from the elephant standing in the room. Nobody wants to talk about the generational theft that the congress and courts are engaged in.

If the board of a private company had raided the workers' pension fund, the thieves in congress would be circling the capital and howling like apes. And the left wing media would be flapping their arms calling for heads to be chopped off.


There are still ways out of this mess, but I'm not looking for a knight on a white horse to save us.

Every person will need to find a way to park some portion of his wealth out of reach of the criminals in Washington. I fully expect that these thieves will be trying to raid visible investments next.


31 posted on 01/10/2007 5:25:00 AM PST by sergeantdave (Consider that nearly half the people you pass on the street meet Lenin's definition of useful idiot)
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To: MinorityRepublican

Another "Boomer Bashing" thread... Sometimes I think the people who post these are just trolls trying to stir up divisiveness on this board.


32 posted on 01/10/2007 5:29:56 AM PST by Kenton (All vices in moderation. I don't want to overdo any but I don't want to skip any either.)
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To: upchuck

I got a few more years to go but I, too, am strongly considering grabbing whatver they offer as soon as I can get it. Privatization is in deep hibernation for awhile.


33 posted on 01/10/2007 6:13:56 AM PST by Chi-townChief
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To: Little Ray

Sorry, untrue. Live expectancy at birth in 1937 was over 66 years; retirement age is 65. However, your basic point that the increase in life expectancy has been a major factor in social security's financing problem is right on the mark


34 posted on 01/10/2007 7:03:30 AM PST by NoBullZone (Attempting to dispel ... bull*hit)
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To: NoBullZone

Note to self: Don't rely on memory for statistics. Little Ray is correct. My apologies.


35 posted on 01/10/2007 7:12:20 AM PST by NoBullZone (Attempting to dispel ... bull*hit)
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To: AIC
I do not know where the cut offs are on the scale...

Here is the information from the Social Security Administration's website:

Find Your Retirement Age

36 posted on 01/10/2007 7:26:05 AM PST by DumpsterDiver
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To: Renegade
The X'rs seem to forget that the more mom and dad boomer die with,( $$ assets, property etc. ) the more their children stand to gain .

Unless they decide to become world travelers and blow it all. Bumper stickers saying "We are spending our childrens' inheritance" on RVs indicate that is the case.

37 posted on 01/10/2007 7:28:14 AM PST by superloser
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To: Lancey Howard
I forget - - what did this guy Robert J. Samuelson have to say about George Bush's attempt to introduce a bona fide fix for siocial security wherein people get to invest their social security "contribution" so they could take control of it and watch it grow?

What I saw was no fix. It simply took the bogus T-bills and transferred them from the government to private accounts. They're still bogus at the end of the day because the government would still be spending the surplus.

38 posted on 01/10/2007 7:31:11 AM PST by dirtboy (Objects in tagline are closer than they appear)
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To: Just another Joe

"Tell ya what, just give me my money back from what SS and medicare/medicaid has taken and I won't take ANY SS or medicare.medicade."

Better yet, I will take the hit and just forfeit what they have already taken and if they just let me opt out now, I will not file any claim for SS or medicare......

It is amazing to me that now that the Dems are in power, everyone is complaining that GWB is doing nothing about SS reform, yet when he was trying to get SS reform everyone complained that he was going to make old ladies eat cat food. All he wanted to do was allow people to CHOSE whether to start an account with a SMALL percentage of the SS witholding.

Yet the talking heads convinced the American sheeple that private ownership of their retirement was a bad thing. Better to rely on mommy and daddy in DC than to take personal responsibility. That is one of the many reasons why I am convinced the Republic is dead!

(Many FReeperes are not included in the comments above!)


39 posted on 01/10/2007 7:55:10 AM PST by CSM (We're not losing our country, some are just throwing it away. - Sherri-D)
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To: superloser

Depends on the relationships of the parents and children .If the kids are total a$$holes they will be on the outside looking in. Can't blame the parents for how kids turn out . The best parents end up with kids who are out of control many times . Peer pressure and Madison Avenue are a big factor in what kids do away from the home nowadays ( as well as the propaganda left leaning educators .)


40 posted on 01/10/2007 8:03:30 AM PST by Renegade
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To: ReleaseTheHounds

I didn't read the whole article because I started to boil after reading what was posted on the thread. Plus, I can't help but be reminded of the dead socialist economist PAUL Samuelson whenever I see this author's name. Anyway, thanks for your kind reply and the additional info.

Regards,
LH


41 posted on 01/10/2007 8:04:57 AM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: qam1
PING!

Something is happening here and you don't know what it is, do you Mr. Jones?


42 posted on 01/10/2007 8:24:20 AM PST by Jack Black
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To: CSM

Hey. It's not his job now. He's the President, and his party in in the Minority. It is squarely up to Sen. RealEstate from Nevada and Grandmother Pelosi to fix this.


43 posted on 01/10/2007 8:25:59 AM PST by Jack Black
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To: Jack Black

I agree. But I find the hypocracy amazing. When he had the power, the talking heads fought him the whole way, now that he has no power to do anything, these same talking heads are blaming him because nothing is getting done. I include "The Weekly Standard" in that boat. Which is why my subscription was not renewed.

The problem is that the sheeple bought their rhetoric hook line and sinker. And the sheep belong to all generations, not just AARP, Boomer or X, all of them are sheep.


44 posted on 01/10/2007 8:37:59 AM PST by CSM (We're not losing our country, some are just throwing it away. - Sherri-D)
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To: CDHart

"This government has taken tens of thousands of dollars from me and from my husband by force of law. I want it back."

Amen and Double-Dog Dittos to that!!


45 posted on 01/10/2007 8:46:54 AM PST by Polyxene (For where God built a church, there the Devil would also build a chapel - Martin Luther)
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To: MinorityRepublican

This is not the approach I'm crazy about, but I think a politically possible first step is cutting back social security and Medicare for seniors with over, say, one hundred and fifty thousand dollars in other income. Medicare would still cover the catastrophic costs for health care, but beyond that, they'd be on their own.

I would much prefer the option of phasing out Social Security and Medicare all together and letting the States and charity take care of the elderly hardship cases. But that's not going to pass. The best politically feasible option would be to make the Democrats claim that our country is uncaring if rich seniors don't get full benefits.

Also, cutting off rich seniors will save a great deal of money. Seniors are the wealthiest age group in America.

Now is it fair that someone pays into Social Security for their whole life, makes a few million on the side, and then finds their benefits reduced because of their hard work? No. But Social Security and Medicare aren't fair
to begin with, and sometimes, we have to look at the larger picture of how to save money and accept that the result will be unfair to some people.


46 posted on 01/10/2007 8:50:13 AM PST by Our man in washington (The Democratic party is an alliance of narcissists and parasites.)
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To: CSM

Yes, the weekly standard is definately a part of the handwringing caucus of the republican party.

I got extremely annoyed with them over the last year and stopped reading them.


47 posted on 01/10/2007 8:59:02 AM PST by SDGOP
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To: MinorityRepublican

"Socialism is wonderful until you run out of somebody elses money." - Margaret Thatcher


48 posted on 01/10/2007 9:02:12 AM PST by RinaseaofDs (Ignorance should be painful)
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To: MinorityRepublican

Government entitlements are de facto a Ponzi scheme. If any citizen tried to run a scam such as they, he would be frog-marched to prison.


49 posted on 01/10/2007 9:04:59 AM PST by TChris (We scoff at honor and are shocked to find traitors among us. - C.S. Lewis)
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To: The Duke

Not under Bush's plan. Under his plan, we'll bankrupt Social Security even faster by giving benefits to the Mexicans...legal or not.


50 posted on 01/10/2007 10:16:47 AM PST by ark_girl
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