Published: Sunday, March 20 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT
Harry Reid told us recently that the SS is fine and that the only people who say
it is broken are "government haters". Who are you going to believe,
those who know or Harry Reid?
Krauthammer made inaccurate comments, got called and schooled on them, and is
now whining because someone didn't take his comments as gospel not subject to
any question. Typical Krauthammer. Has anyone seen his clue lying around
somewhere -- he obviously doesn't have one.
To everyone who believes that the Social Security fund is anything more than an
accounting trick, I offer the following question.What would happen
if we passed a law that doubled the size of the trust fund? Congress could
declare a 100% bonus interest payment on government bonds in the trust fund.
The treasury would then owe twice as much money to the Social Security fund as
it now does. Would that solve our current problems with Social Security? Would
there be any benefit at all to such and action? If not why not?
So if we're broke, why were you suggesting just one week ago that we should
invade Libya? Chuck, you can't have it both ways. You can't blast
the president for not invading Libya one day and then completely blast the
president for SS the next.Was Chuck bullied as a child? He seems to
lead a very angry and sad life.
It's distressing to see the war on social security here every day in the Deseret
News. In this column Mr. Krauthammer acknowledges the debt to China, Saudi
Arabia, you and me. It's the you and me part that I'm confused about. The bonds
that pay interest to China and people Krauthammer are legitimate, but because
social security bonds don't pay dividends to private investors, it can be
defaulted on. The intellectual and moral implications of his argument are just
awful. Social Security has been a successful pension, life and disability
insurance for Americans that they pay out of their working wages. That the full
faith and credit of the US applies to wealthy bond holders and foreign nations
and wealth funds, but not to ordinary American citizens is ridiculous.
Krauthammer's war on the truth continues unabated. By his reasoning, anyone who
holds a mortgage that they could not pay off immediately if demanded by their
bank is "broke" and should therefore give up their home.Krauthammer's arguments have been analyzed by non-partisan fact-checking
organizations, and pronounced to be "well-aged hokum."You
want to "reform" Social Security? Fine, it could use some
tweaking.We're living a lot longer now - so we need to seriously
consider raising the retirement age to 67.Accelerating disparities
in wages have resulted in shielding huge amounts of wages earned by the
wealthiest Americans from Social Security taxes while shifting the burden onto
the poor and middle class. Social Security taxes were intended to
apply to 90% of all American wages. For that formula to work today, the ceiling
on Social Security taxes should be around $180k/year. It currently is set at
$108k/year.There is simply no justification for a person earning
$200k/year to pay no more in Social Security taxes than a person earning half
that mount.The problem is not Social Security, the problem is
dishonest rhetoric such as Mr. Krauthammer's.
Krauthammer has now demolished all liberal arguments concerning the health of
Social Security except two.1. Harry Reid said SS is just fine.2. "Rich people" should be required to pay for my retirement.
Great article. Why if it is the same as other debt is not included as part of
the country debts? Great point, because it isn't and to pay it off the country
would have to issued debt and that is what is going to happen unless there is an
adjustment in the fund as the article states. Thanks DNews.
Yes and buy lots of gold from his buddies. The more afraid they make you the
more gold they can sell and high markups.
The word broke implies that the money was spent by the SS plan. "SS trust
fund stolen" is more appropriate.What is broke is the defense
department that bought million dollar missles and $500 hammers with our SS
money.I've served in the USAF, I've seen the waste. $50,000 com
radios that only last a few hours and then have to be replaced. We had to do it
hundreds of times a year and that's just one squadron and one component example.
There's no reason our jets need 5 hours or servicing to 1 hour of flight time
other than massive fraud and waste.SS isn't broken - it was broken
into. For once get it right and address the real problem. You can
iliminate SS and we'll still have an overspending problem. But they won't
illiminate SS or MC. They would have to stop taking money from our checks
woudn't they? You'll see no republican bill to illimibate SS or MC, they just
want to redirect it to wall street.
Krafty Hammer is wrong again. Social Security has not contributed to the
current deficit. Social Security should remain as a separate funding mechanism.
So why divert conversation away from the real issues such as the huge deficits.
In order to balance the budget we need to either get rid of medicaid and/or
reduce everything else big time and raise taxes. I encourage the Editorial Board
to publish articles that discuss common sense solutions to these current
I am amazed at the trust in government expressed here. Astounded! Once again, people in this forum (Furry, I'm talking to YOU) want to kill the
messenger. This bad news didn't originate with Krauthammer, much as many of you
would like to have a whipping boy. In my memory it began with the Office of
Management and Budget in the year 2000. Here's how they explained it, and it's
too bad Krauthammer didn't just cite the source:"These [Trust
Fund] balances are available to finance future benefit payments and other Trust
Fund expenditures but only in a bookkeeping sense.... They do not consist of
real economic assets that can be drawn down in the future to fund benefits.
Instead, they are claims on the Treasury that, when redeemed, will have to be
financed by raising taxes, borrowing from the public, or reducing benefits or
other expenditures. The existence of large Trust Fund balances, therefore, does
not, by itself, have any impact on the Governments ability to pay
benefits." (from FY 2000 Budget, Analytical Perspectives, p. 337).Raising taxes, borrowing from the public, reducing benefits.Those
are your options. The cupboard is bare.
This is getting pretty old, Charlie.If the Republicans had had their
way during the Bush administration, people would have been encouraged to invest
their retirement savings in the stock market and have lost it all by now. The
only ones to benefit from this move would have been the Wall Street bankers who
caused the financial crisis in the first place.The government needs
to pay back what they owe to the Social Security Trust Fund and keep their
fingers out of our retirement funds. George W. Bush tried to further destroy
the Trust Fund to the financial gain of his Wall Street cronies make them even
richer. Who knows what his personal gain would have been other than lucrative
lecture and appearance deals before conservative audiences.Appealing
to the anti-Social Security crowd can be a profitable industry. Like government
they don't like, getting rid of Social Security is a step in re-establishing
their dominance over the American people as existed in the early days of the
Charles, Charles, Charles. You shoulda taken an accounting class or two.There are dozens of "funds" created by the government. Some
are even "trust" funds. We have highway funds, government retirement
funds, medicare and medicaid funds, workman's comp funds, etc. The purpose of
the funds are just more methodologies of collecting taxes. All the receipts go
into the treasury to be used for government expenses. Expenses such as buying
jet planes and ships, paying retirement for ex presidents and congressmen,
paying unemployment benefits. Sometimes the government even keeps ledgers to
track whether it is taxing too much or paying out too much, such as in the case
of social security. Right now the SS fund shows a balakce sufficient enough to
be solvent until 2037 before the government has to decide whether to tax more of
pay out less.Oh, and those special bonds (IOU's) in the SS fund...
They are simply there to keep track of interest the fund should have earned had
they been real treasury bonds. Of course the bonds are not real treasury bonds.
But, if the government wanted to it could turn them into real treasury bonds
and sold on the market.
If SS is broke then the military is REALLY broke. So is are farm subsidies and
the CIA, FAA and every other funcion of the government.At least SS
and Medicare were funded from payroll taxes for the purpose of SS and MC.SS and MC are the ONLY government function that aren't broke. They've
been robbed of the savings they should have had but the funding is still
specifically for the purpose of SS and MC.Fix your broken military.
@Gus Talwynd:"The government needs to pay back what they owe to
the Social Security Trust Fund and keep their fingers out of our retirement
funds."Good heavens, Gus. You're as ill-informed as Chuck.
Where is the government going to get money to pay the SS Trust Fund back? Did
you not get the memo? The government is broke. No money to pay anything back.
Besides, any and all government "funds" are simply bookkeeping entries
indicating where the funding (taxes) comes from and where it goes, with a bit of
an effort to balance income to outgo. All tax receipts regardless of source
goes into the treasury.And, by the way, supposing the government
paid the SS Trust Fund back what it "borrowed," as you suggest. What
would you have the fund manager do with the money, put it in a cash drawer at
the SS Administration office? Would that be in one dollar bills or perhaps
100's? Or maybe the manager should invest it in the stock or bond market to
earn a return. Well, the manager has decided something like that. Only the
bonds are "special," paying a nominal return rate.
@Screwdriver:"If SS is broke then the military is REALLY broke.
So is are farm subsidies and the CIA, FAA and every other function of the
government."Not you too!!The federal government IS
broke. It has no money. It has to borrow 40 cents of every dollar it spends.
Regardless of what it's spent on.If you were to add up all cash the
government might have laying around and all the debt it has incurred you would
find that it is short by a total of $14 trillion. Some refer this to the (wait
for it)... National Debt."At least SS and Medicare were funded
from payroll taxes for the purpose of SS and MC."Why do you
single out those two funds? There are dozens of "funds" that are
funded by taxes... some by payroll taxes such as federal employee retirement.
And others by other taxing methods such as the federal tax on the gas you put
into your car's gas tank... for building roads, highways, and freeways.
I am amazed at how people can remain so blissfully ignorant. The Social
Security Trust Fund is a fiction. The fund is full of IOU's from the government
to the government. If I write myself an IOU for a billion dollars, does that
make me a Billionaire?If we ever hope to solve our problems we must
look at them realistically and not with wishful thinking. The fact is current
Social Security payments will only ever be paid with current tax collections or
current borrowing. All sides of the debate agree on this. To fix
the problems of Social Security we need to find a way to make sure future
benefits paid out do not exceed future revenue. That can be accomplished by
raising taxes or lowering benefits. There is no magic solution. Krouthamer's
suggestion of lowering benefits for the most well off retires is the most
logical first step.
@wbm: "Krauthammer's suggestion of lowering benefits for the most well off
retirees is the most logical first step."The well-off don't get
much more than the poor in SS benefits. The calculation of benefits is skewed
to the poor. Furthermore, the well off pay taxes on the benefits they receive.
Not so with the poor.
Republicans are not going to do away with SS and Meidcare. Put your reality caps
on. They would have to stop taking SS and MC taxes from your paychecks. They are
just preparing the conservative base for giving the revenue stream to wall
street - watching them lose it and then not having anything.And they
are not going to have a means test for SS and MC because republicans love thier
benefits - they just don't want to pay anything for them.
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