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Old Dec 8, 2012, 01:41 PM   #151
zioxide
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Originally Posted by Dmunjal View Post
I'm only talking about the financial side effects of these entitlement programs, not the moral aspects. They were supposed to be self-funding but are going to bankrupt the nation unless we fix them.

They would have been fine too if the politicians wouldn't have felt the need to raid them and borrow money for other things a bunch of times over the past few decades. They should have just left it alone.

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Actually we just need to reduce spending.

There is ample revenue.
Let's start with the military since they take up the largest portion of our expenses.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 02:57 PM   #152
Dmunjal
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They would have been fine too if the politicians wouldn't have felt the need to raid them and borrow money for other things a bunch of times over the past few decades. They should have just left it alone.
Yes, they raided the funds to spend elsewhere but replaced it with bonds that pay interest. But the point I made is still true. Both SS and Medicare are are no longer self funding as of the last few years. It's even worse when you use GAAP accounting.

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Let's start with the military since they take up the largest portion of our expenses.
Not anymore. Medicare and Medicaid combined are bigger than defense. Defense has been growing steadily for years but healthcare spending is about to explode with the aging population.

To not acknowledge the entitlement problem is ignoring the elephant in the room. Everything else is minor compared to it.

Last edited by balamw; Dec 9, 2012 at 03:04 PM. Reason: fixed quote tags
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 03:32 PM   #153
hulugu
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Originally Posted by Dmunjal View Post
The real fiscal cliff.
You can't really call Social Security an unfunded liability because Congress can change the terms of Social Security and Medicare at any time, by reducing or otherwise shifting benefits.

And, keep in mind that the number includes debts from 2085, which assumes no significant changes in revenue or expenditures, nor any kind of social or technological shift.

Remember as our earlier exchange noted, getting rid of the entire Bush-era tax cuts would ensure funding for entitlements through 2085.

So, we have some choices to make about revenue and expenditure, certainly, but to call Social Security an unfunded liability is inaccurate.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 04:34 PM   #154
NickZac
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Originally Posted by thewitt View Post
Actually we just need to reduce spending.

There is ample revenue.
I agree. And if they take in more revenue, they will just increase spending further. That's exactly what happened in Maryland. It's ridiculous that the government overspends by a trillion dollars in a single year. If the average consumer behaved like that, they'd be bankrupt. If you have $75,000 to live off of, you don't plan to spend $150,000...so why is our government doing that? I'd like to keep some of my own money...I think we've had enough taxes already.



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Let's start with the military since they take up the largest portion of our expenses.
RLY?
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 05:25 PM   #155
Dmunjal
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Originally Posted by hulugu View Post
You can't really call Social Security an unfunded liability because Congress can change the terms of Social Security and Medicare at any time, by reducing or otherwise shifting benefits.

And, keep in mind that the number includes debts from 2085, which assumes no significant changes in revenue or expenditures, nor any kind of social or technological shift.

Remember as our earlier exchange noted, getting rid of the entire Bush-era tax cuts would ensure funding for entitlements through 2085.

So, we have some choices to make about revenue and expenditure, certainly, but to call Social Security an unfunded liability is inaccurate.
What you describe is possible but as you've seen with the current discussion, highly improbable. No one is even talking about letting all the Bush tax cuts expire for everyone or making fundamental structural changes to these programs.

A plague wiping out a large percentage of the senior population is more likely!

These changes might happen but only after a fiscal emergency or currency crisis. Again, highly unlikely as the Republicans will fold like a deck of cards.

Last edited by Dmunjal; Dec 8, 2012 at 08:45 PM.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 02:48 PM   #156
jnpy!$4g3cwk
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Originally Posted by Dmunjal View Post

Yes, they raided the funds to spend elsewhere but replaced it with bonds that pay interest. But the point I made is still true. Both SS and Medicare are are no longer self funding as of the last few years. It's even worse when you use GAAP accounting.
By "self funding" do you mean that SS/Medicare are no longer cash cows that are generating huge surpluses for the general fund to borrow from? Sure, but Social Security in particular has a huge trust fund. If the government pays the SS trust fund what it owes, it will last a long, long time. Since you don't believe in retirement funds, you are being blinded by the corporate-right-wing (e.g. Koch brothers) propaganda about this. May you live long, prosper, retire someday, and realize that people do retire eventually.

And, BTW, even many conservatives -- that is, at least people who used to be considered conservatives, but, are now considered moderate-to-liberal, like Mickey Edwards, understand that it isn't responsible to fight two wars "off the books", cut taxes, and borrow the money. On Bill Moyers weekend program, Edwards described it this way:

Quote:

In a preview of this weekend’s Moyers & Company, former Republican congressman Mickey Edwards talks about Grover Norquist’s beguiling ability to hold elected officials to absolute anti-tax positions. “It’s not conservatism, not rational, not adult,” Edwards tells Bill. “It’s a 12-year-old’s kind of thinking.”
http://billmoyers.com/episode/previe...-tax-ideology/

-

Now, getting back to Social Security, disability, and Medicare. Some facts:










Thumb resize.

Last edited by balamw; Dec 9, 2012 at 03:06 PM.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 03:29 PM   #157
Dmunjal
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There are many reports that show Medicare will be insolvent between 2016 and 2024.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/aroy/201...uble-counting/

Why do you assume I'm a conservative? I don't necessarily disagree with these programs. I just want them to be funded properly so we don't have to borrow or print to fund them.

If we set up the necessary taxes to pay for them, then the Federal Government wouldn't be risking insolvency in the next few decades.

The problem is that the middle class doesn't want to pay for them. We would need to triple payroll taxes and maybe make the income tax closer to 50% to balance the budget to pay for these programs. And it gets worse in the outlying years.

If we don't have the will to tax the middle class appropriately, then let's reform the programs to fit within the revenue generated.

My issue is the debt and risk to the solvency of the country. Right now, the Federal Reserve is debasing the dollar to pay for the deficit which risks a future currency crisis.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...039087636.html

"In short, if the government confiscated the entire adjusted gross income of these American taxpayers, plus all of the corporate taxable income in the year before the recession, it wouldn't be nearly enough to fund the over $8 trillion per year in the growth of U.S. liabilities."

Last edited by Dmunjal; Dec 9, 2012 at 04:11 PM.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 01:21 PM   #158
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"In short, if the government confiscated the entire adjusted gross income of these American taxpayers, plus all of the corporate taxable income in the year before the recession, it wouldn't be nearly enough to fund the over $8 trillion per year in the growth of U.S. liabilities."
It's an economic disaster in the making, on par with Spain or Greece. And instead of trying to fix it, Obama is full steam ahead with ever-larger spending, debt, and deficit. All together now, "Thanks Barack!"

http://www.wtop.com/931/2874931/AP-s...naire-tax-hike

Looks like Boehner has offered tax hikes on $1M+ earners. I'm fine with that. He needs to hold his ground on the $250k earners though. These tax hikes are a joke, all economists agree the revenue from them is a drop in the bucket compared to the massive record setting debt and deficit that Obama has been running. The sole reason Obama is pushing for these is as a talking point. It's a token gesture, political posturing, nothing more. It's not a solution to his spending problem, not even part of a solution.

Congress has Obama by the balls, only Obama is too arrogant to realize it. Congress is elected by the people, to represent our interests, just the same as Obama is. Only Congress is individuals from every state, so they are a much better real representation of what the people want. And Obama is flat out ignoring them, smug and arrogant as can be.

They've put one budget after another in front of Obama, and he rejects them right away based solely on the $250k earners tax hike issue. Obama is playing obstructionist fool, and failing to work across the aisle. I sincerely hope that congress puts this one last budget in front of him, and then walks away from the bargaining table. "Take it or leave it".

When asked about the fiscal cliff during the debates, Obama's response was "It won't happen". Period. End of discussion. Putting one last budget in front of him and then walk away will either force him to wake up, cooperate, and compromise, or turn him into a liar and a laughing stock.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 01:42 PM   #159
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Originally Posted by dime21 View Post
all economists agree the revenue from them is a drop in the bucket compared to the massive record setting debt and deficit that Obama has been running.
I'm amazed that all economists agree on anything at all.

----------

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Originally Posted by dime21 View Post
Congress has Obama by the balls, only Obama is too arrogant to realize it.
How has congress got Obama by the balls?

Thanks to demographics 2016 is basically a shoe-in for a democratic president.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 01:45 PM   #160
MadeTheSwitch
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Originally Posted by dime21 View Post
Congress has Obama by the balls, only Obama is too arrogant to realize it. Congress is elected by the people, to represent our interests, just the same as Obama is. Only Congress is individuals from every state, so they are a much better real representation of what the people want. And Obama is flat out ignoring them, smug and arrogant as can be.
Riiiight. Still being as partisan as ever I see. Even AFTER losing an election. Wow. You just don't get it do you? Obama CAMPAIGNED on these tax increases and people still voted for him regardless. POLLING also suggest that people want to see these tax increases in place. But somehow you have this twisted to be some sort of mandate for what the losing party wants. How does that work in your mind?
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 01:46 PM   #161
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Thanks to demographics 2016 is basically a shoe-in for a democratic president.
Has the movement started to draft Michelle Obama??

More Black, by half, and a Woman too.

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Old Dec 19, 2012, 11:46 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by Dmunjal View Post
There are many reports that show Medicare will be insolvent between 2016 and 2024.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/aroy/201...uble-counting/
Unfortunately, the Koch-funded punditocracy continues to jabber about entitlements going broke, bankrupt, etc. Zero credibility.

These programs will go broke if we make them go broke. If we don't mess with it, the main Social Security Trust Fund, AKA, OASI, will last until about 2042. Likely, longer than I personally will know about. If I'm still around in 2042 and the fund starts to go negative, go ahead, cut my benefits 25%-- that will last indefinitely, even if I live to age 116.

It is a bald lie to claim that "Social Security is broke" or "Social Security is insolvent" or any such thing as all these Koch-financed folks like AFP keep doing. Current projections for Medicare, the biggest problem, show a deficit starting around 2019. That gives us 6 years to figure out a better way to provide healthcare for the poor and elderly in the U.S.

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Why do you assume I'm a conservative?
Social conservative, fiscal conservative, or gold-standard-conservative? You tell me which parts may or may not apply to you; I assume nothing at this point. The word conservative means so many different things to different people.

I think we are both agreed that social programs should be paid for somehow:

Quote:
I don't necessarily disagree with these programs. I just want them to be funded properly so we don't have to borrow or print to fund them.

If we set up the necessary taxes to pay for them, then the Federal Government wouldn't be risking insolvency in the next few decades.
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The problem is that the middle class doesn't want to pay for them.
Speak for yourself. I know a whole bunch of middle class people who supported President Obama, who want to maintain Social Security, and, some form of public healthcare, even though they know some of their taxes will have to go up. Including me. And, I don't mind paying for my retired acquaintances SSM and Medicare. I just want you to pay for mine when I get around to retiring. That is how the system is designed, and, I like it that way because it reflects physical reality (that is, you will be working, and, I won't be).

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We would need to triple payroll taxes and maybe make the income tax closer to 50% to balance the budget to pay for these programs. And it gets worse in the outlying years.
I have no idea what you are talking about. For example, Social Security can stay the same for 30 years, and then, will need a 33% tax increase, not triple. You will have to spell out a lot more details so that people will know what you are talking about. And, don't bother to give me the Koch's summary-- I don't believe them. I want to see the details myself.

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My issue is the debt and risk to the solvency of the country. Right now, the Federal Reserve is debasing the dollar to pay for the deficit which risks a future currency crisis.
The Federal Reserve strategy right now is Quantitative Easing. See, as an alternative strategy, Austerity. I think we are agreed that with QE, if the Fed doesn't take certain steps when the economy heats up, we will get inflation. The Fed isn't "debasing the dollar" now, but, it will be if it doesn't start reversing the process when unemployment drops and inflation goes up.
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