Skip to comments.Barone: Obama, rivals duck the entitlement crisis
Posted on 08/28/2011 5:01:25 PM PDT by gusopol3
Some of society's most intractable problems come not from its failures but from its successes. Often you can't get a good thing without paying a bad price.
A prime example is our public old-age pension system Social Security. It has been completely successful in wiping out poverty among the elderly. Old ladies no longer have to eat cat food to survive.
But we pay some prices for this. One is a lower savings rate. China has a humongous savings rate in part because it has no reliable old-age pension system. People have to save if they don't want to starve.
In the United States we got out of the habit of saving. In the decade up to the financial crash of 2008, the U.S. savings rate fell below zero.
We felt comfortable borrowing on the supposedly ever-increasing values of our houses to support current and sometimes lavish consumption. Now we're paying the price.
But even if our savings rate rises back to the level of, say, the 1980s, it still may be lower than optimal.
The longer-term price any society pays for a public old-age pension system is lower birthrates. Farmers had large families in order to provide additional labor for their working years and sources of income for their dotage. So did factory workers a century ago.
(Excerpt) Read more at campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com ...
Do save, because SS is not enough thanks to quantitative easing and reality.
I repeat (as often as necessary)
Anyone younger than 50 who thinks he/she is going to see ONE DIME of Social Security is nucking futz.
You should ABSOLUTELY save for your own retirement (401K makes the most sense but I fear the congress may make an attack on those funds in the next 20 years).
Think of SS and SSI as just another tax — a burden placed on the shoulders of the productive to subsidize the Great Society Ponzi scheme.
dang you reality!! dang you to heck!!
“Perry calls Social Security ‘monstrous lie’”
Houston Chronicle ^ | August 28, 2011 | PEGGY FIKAC, AUSTIN BUREAU
“SS is not enough thanks to quantitative easing and reality”
Nor was it ever supposed to have been. It was sold as a supplement to one’s retirement plan. Down with all the socialism.
I doubt it will even be that long. I give it 5-10 years tops, before the game changer takes place, whatever that may be.
SS was a pretty good deal for those who got paid early, but that’s true of any Ponzi scheme. Politicians have simply promised far more than the economy can ever deliver. Not only that, but they kept expanding eligibility and spent the excess receipts on other programs.
SS could probably be saved, and I believe it should be saved for those who really are old and infirm. Eligibility requirements must be tightened, and the retirement age must be increased. Strange though it may be, it’s going to take a conservative-led government to have any hope of salvaging SS for those who truly need it. The liberals have proven many times they only know how to spend more, and that’s just not going to work much longer.
People might split hairs over the numbers but this is worth reading.
The question remains, do “we” have the integrity and honor to do what is right and radically reform and phase out these sacred cows now to preserve a better future for our children or do we continue to worry about “what’s in it for us?”
Sadly, I know the answer. Many Freepers rightfully get upset at the prospect of social security not being paid. Afterall, they loudly tell us that they paid into the system. They did. Nobody argues that.
However, they also voted for the politicians that have looted the treasury and forced my 2yo, 4yo, and 6yo to pay for your benefits today. They point to payroll deductions and loudly proclaim the money is there even while the government is borrowing 42 cents on each dollar. How is that fair? Don’t we as adults understand ponzi schemes? Why is Social Security the only ponzi scheme that could work indefinitely? We would have to cut out the entire Federal government besides entitlements and interest on the debt to continue these programs.
I don’t think we have it in us to do the right thing on entitlements. The left believes in income redistribution and they bought out enough right minded Americans with social security to protect entitlements. Meanwhile the debt for my kids continues to increase and not one of them will ever see a dime. How brilliant the progressives were when they hatched this scheme. Our grandparents and parents bought it hook, line, and sinker. We refuse to change it. I make a good wage and have paid into social security for two decades. I pay close to the maximum and I won’t ever see a dime of it either. I am convinced of that. Let’s call it what it is.... generational robbery.
Should also be the same for all Federal Pensions including Congress, Presidents and Military . Unless the money was previously withheld/set aside, you don't get any more than those who paid into Social Security their whole working lives.
That irritates me to no end.
It's time to stop being childish and whining about it not being fair, and take the bull by the tail and face the situation. We have to deal with reality as it exists now, and if you were gullible enough to believe the government your whole adult life, you will just have to live with the consequences.
I was fortunate enough to have a very wise, skeptical father who told me as far back as the 70's I would never see a dime of Social Security and I have lived below my means and saved for decades. I can live without it if I have to.
For those who haven't, you may see some hard times. Hope you've lived a good, charitable life; someone may help you out if you did.
Barone Ignores Abortions effect of Payees 56 Million Missing Taxpayers.. Europe China and USA have the same Problem Homosexual Marriage will save that.. oh but Male Homosexuals will have a net negative Impact on Healthservisces because they die at age 47 hmm..Oh well
Could we please have one sacrificial primary candidate who will stand up and make the rational case for entitlement reform? I know he or she won’t win, but we need someone to take a bullet for the truth.
Even as a saver, I see there’s considerable disincentive to saving. Savings are taxed. Interest rates are nothing. The dollar is being devalued. Inflation is creeping up.
“...take the bull by the tail and face the situation ...”
LOL. Was that intentional or a freudian slip ? Taking the bull by the tail is going to leave you “facing” its a$$.
SS is only a Ponzi scheme in the sense that it promises more benefits than it can realistically provide. That doesn’t mean it can’t be saved for those who truly are old and infirm. That’s why I wrote it’s going to take conservatives to save Social Security.
Personally? I think we owe it to those elderly recipients who are now dependent on it. What we need to do is radically change the eligibility requirements so that far fewer qualify. For example, early retirement at 62 has gotta go. I also like the idea of a partial privatization. At least give young folks the option to save on their own.
newzjunkey: “Even as a saver, I see theres considerable disincentive to saving. Savings are taxed. Interest rates are nothing. The dollar is being devalued. Inflation is creeping up.”
That is SO true. I’m a big saver, too, but I often wonder if I’m the fool for doing so. What good is scrimping and saving your entire life when government inflates it away faster than you can build it? Why be responsible when government is always there to cover the irresponsibility of others? Like it or not, the system is really, really stacked against honest, hard working, responsible citizens. If only I didn’t have this morality stuff, sometimes I think it would be easier to just relax in the arms of Uncle Sam.
Sure SS funds could be saved. Have the fund buy gold or foreign bonds. It would be there when people retire. Unlike now of course. Today it is all spent the moment the government gets it.
Let’s not forget the other ways the Dims have sabotaged SS funding to buy votes.
1) Employer provided benefits are not counted as taxable income for FICA or Income Tax purposes. This means a worker who is actually compensated at a rate of $50K/yr only has “wages” of $30K/yr, and only contributes to SS/M and Income Taxes as though their total compensation was $30K. Leaves quite a hole in revenues while disproportionately reducing taxes on unions and other employees with rich employee benefits.
2) The EITC refunds some of the FICA contributions of low income workers. This leaves a hole in Income Tax revenues that requires more borrowing to balance out.
SS should return to being a “safety net” rather than a “retirement plan”. That means it should only pay out what you are promised as if your remaining years to 65 have zero contributions, with a minimum amount equal to the HHS poverty level. This means SS would never cost more than it does today — the increase in retirees due to the baby boomers would be balanced by lower benefits the further you are from retirement age. Most people under 50 would only get the $900/mo which is poverty level.
The 6.2% worker contributions should stop, so those workers can save that money for their OWN retirements instead of it being spent immediately on CURRENT retirees. Let current retiree benefits and new “safety net level” benefits be paid by the employer’s 6.2% applied to all its labor costs (including benefits) worldwide and applied to imports as containing embedded labor. If the price of American made products includes the cost of supporting SS/M, imports should be treated the same way.
For Medicare, combine it with Medicaid under an HMO with patients randomly assigned to participating doctors and hospitals in their area. Extend medical malpractice immunity to those doctors and hospitals for treatment of M&M patients. Pay for it by continuing the 2.9% portion of FICA, half employer and half worker, but apply it to all labor costs including the embedded labor in imports.