Obama missed chance to embrace Social Security reform

In his low-risk, low-gain State of the Union address, President Obama made sure to pay homage to the work done by the bipartisan deficit-reduction commission that he created, while also ensuring that he kept its specific recommendations safely at arm’s length.

That includes the panel’s recommendations on Social Security reform, which is too bad, because for the most part I think those suggestions were fair and effective.

The most important decision made by commission members regarding Social Security was to honor the integrity of the Social Security trust fund. They gave the program full credit for the hundreds of billions of dollars that have been divreted from the fund over the last quarter century to run the rest of government. In effect, we’ve been using a Social Security surtax on the working and middle class to finance tax cuts for the wealthy, and the time has come for that arrangement to end. The commission implicitly accepts that reality.

In fact, every time you hear someone warn that Social Security will go bankrupt in 2015 or 2016, they’re committing rhetorical bank robbery. They’re implying that the working people of America should be stripped of the billions of dollars they have contributed to the program out of their paychecks every week for decades now. The deficit commission, to its credit, rejects that notion.

With no changes, however, the current calculation is that the trust fund does run dry around 2037, which would force a 22 percent cut in benefits. But with small adjustments today on both the spending and revenue side, that can be avoided.

The commission accomplishes that goal in several ways:

– It reduces benefit growth for those in the top-earning brackets while protecting it for those at the lower end of the scale. In other words, it makes the program slightly more means tested.

– It protects the growing number of senior citizens who outlive their own personal financial resources by “bumping up” benefits by 5 percent for those 85 and older.

– It gradually pushes back the retirement age, eventually pushing it to 68 by 2050, and 69 in about 2075; the Early Eligibility Age (EEA) would increase to 63 and 64 in step. It would also implement a hardship exemption for those physically unable to work beyond age 62.

– Back in the early ’80s, Social Security taxes were levied on 90 percent of payroll dollars. As the earning power of those at the upper level has increased — meaning a growing portion of their paycheck became exempt from SSI — that percentage has decreased. Raising the cutoff level enough to make 90 percent of payroll dollars taxable again would increase revenue to the program.

– Bring state and local government employees hired after 2020 into the system.

– Change how the cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security benefits is calculated. That’s probably the most politically volatile of the commission’s recomendations. Most experts agree that the current COLA system raises benefits faster than the actual inflation experienced by seniors; most politicians agree that trying to change that system would nonetheless be suicide. But it has to be part of any effort to bring the program into fiscal balance.

lifexepectancyss

The only part of the recommendations I question is the increase in retirement age. A documented increase in life expectancy does not necessarily translate into increased longevity in the workforce. Living longer, in other words, may not mean that you’re capable of working longer. In addition, most of the lifespan increase has accrued among those at the upper end of the economic scale. For those at the lower end of the scale — a group that includes most of those with physically demanding jobs — a delayed retirement can mean no retirement. The commission did make a good-faith effort to address that problem with its proposed hardship exemption, but I’m still not sold on the idea.

Politically, there’s no great push to deal with Social Security at the moment. The expectation is that SSI reform will be addressed later, as part of some grand budget deal. Maybe so. On the other hand, the fixes required to “save” Social Security are relatively minor and easy compared to those needed to address the overall budget crisis. And if Social Security does get rolled into some larger budget deal, the outcome could be considerably less favorable to senior citizens than the approach recommended by the deficit commission.

– Jay Bookman

338 comments Add your comment

jm

January 26th, 2011
9:14 am

Yeah, all he had was one short vague line about Social Security. As several commentators pointed out, he was pretty weak on the long term deficit reduction issue.

Peadawg

January 26th, 2011
9:15 am

He also missed the chance to embrace spending cuts with all the “investments” he kept talking about.

TaxPayer

January 26th, 2011
9:18 am

Bring state and local government employees hired after 2020 into the system

Once Republicans get their legislation allowing states to go bankrupt, this one might be pretty easy to push through. All those broken pension promises are going to make people think twice before putting their faith in the words of another politician. Trust me. Just accept less pay now and we’ll give you more when you retire. Riiiiiight. It’s time to start asking for cash in advance.

larry

January 26th, 2011
9:18 am

One thing we do not need to do is privitize SS. But one person brought up a good point on the last blog. The last of the Baby Boomers will start retiring in 2032 but the question is how many of the first wave of Baby Boomers will still be around then. I think the system will right itself after the Baby Boomers.

jm

January 26th, 2011
9:19 am

Also, Jay, I kind of hear your argument on “longevity in the workforce”. But its simple math. If you then want people to get benefits for far longer, then you have to raise the payroll tax. And its already really high and provides a further disincentive to work.

Not to mention, life expectancy is going to increase by far more than 2 years by 2050. Estimates often go as high as 86 and some as 90, which is far more than current life expectancy.

I thought the deficit commission was weak, but that’s the nature of compromise. And Obama left it to someone else to do the heavy lifting. Appears he’s running for re-election, not so much to actually get things done.

jm

January 26th, 2011
9:20 am

“And if Social Security does get rolled into some larger budget deal”

You mean, during the middle of a Federal financial crisis that could happen anytime and most certainly within 5 years if nothing is done?

jm

January 26th, 2011
9:22 am

larry – the system does not “right itself”. Anymore than the Titanic will be sailing into port anytime soon.

Partial, but not full privatization, seems like an intelligent compromise to me, for people under the age of 50.

Scout

January 26th, 2011
9:25 am

Jay:

Your buddies Bob & Kyle on the other threads say it best:

“Another State-of-the-Union Yawn”

“Obama gives a speech we can’t take seriously”

You should read them.

Granny Godzilla

January 26th, 2011
9:25 am

Thanks for bringing up the problem regarding life expectancy…..

Jay

January 26th, 2011
9:26 am

Privatization achieves nothing, jm.

Where are you going to get the $$$$ to put into the private accounts? Take them from the $$$ used for the public accounts? You can’t both sustain the current system AND finance a separate private system with the same money.

And then there’s the whole stock-market volatility question. One reason that pensions — private as well as public — are in such financial trouble is because they relied on investment income that didn’t pan out. Higher rewards require higher risks.

Jay

January 26th, 2011
9:27 am

I like to draw my own conclusions, Scout. But thanks for the advice.

jm

January 26th, 2011
9:29 am

Jay, do you consider the discrepancy between the life expectancy of your income groups is directly related to personal choices, in particular, smoking?

The lower bracket doesn’t have so much physically demanding work that they die earlier. They smoke more, and therefore die earlier. Given that smoking takes 5-6 years off life expectancy and poorer people smoke 2 to 3 times more.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/105550/among-americans-smoking-decreases-income-increases.aspx

larry

January 26th, 2011
9:29 am

By 2037 there will be less people taking SS benefits even if life expectancy is as high as 90. And no , no privatization for people under the age of 50.

Companies have gotten rid of penisions in favor of 401(k)’s which still haven’t recovered from the economic meltdown. And partial privatization would add to that misery.
Like i said before , add .01% to the companies part and to the employees part , that will make it solvent.
Same with Medicare along with extending the cap to 500,000 instead of 106,800.

Gabriel Sterling

January 26th, 2011
9:30 am

Wow Jay, as you know I don’t usually agree with you. However, you are right in that we need to start making small adjustments NOW to the system, while protecting the integrity of the system for those who will be getting benefits in the next 15 years or so. I’ve not heard anyone say the Social Security system will be “bankrupt” in 2016, but it will be laying out more dollars than it brings in by then.

I don’t agree with all the steps the Commission laid out, but at least they try and tackle the problem. The big problem is the electeds, both Republican and Democrat alike, are too scared to do anything.

The only elected official with the guts to put a plan on the table is GOP Rep. Paul Ryan with his “Roadmap”. Also, deserving of praise is Dem Sen. Ron Wyden who has been willing tackle these issues as well.

RogersParkRob

January 26th, 2011
9:31 am

The assumption is the trust fund has money in it. The problem is I dont know if it does or it doesn’t. What the Republicans should do is tell us whether this fund has money in it and how much is put in it on a yearly basis.

Scout

January 26th, 2011
9:33 am

“Off Topic”

“Georgia man executed for 1988 killing of teacher”

A) “A 45-year-old convicted murderer was executed Tuesday night for the 1988 shotgun slaying of an Atlanta preschool teacher who was abducted after her car ran out of gas.

“Hammond hit Love repeatedly with the gun barrel, and Porter pulled her aside and raped her. After a disgusted Weldon left, Hammond bound Love’s hands, feet and neck with coat hangers and covered her in a blanket. She somehow managed to free her hands, yelling “Don’t do it.”

Then, Hammond marched Love into the woods. About three minutes later, Porter heard a gunshot and saw Hammond return with blood on his face. When Porter said to his cousin, “you didn’t do what I think you did,” Hammond’s response was “had to.”

B) “We wouldn’t allow a dying pet to be euthanized using drugs with such dubious origins,” said Sara Totonchi of the Southern Center for Human Rights, which filed the lawsuit. “That Georgia would carry out its business of extinguishing a human life in this manner is outrageous and embarrassing.”

C) Is there any way to deport the idiot in B) above ?

Interesting Observation

January 26th, 2011
9:33 am

A MUST READ FOR ALL AMERICANS: Go to MSN’s homepage and read the New York Times’ report of the conclusion by the commission that investigated the financial crisis that led to the Great Recession.

RB from Gwinnett

January 26th, 2011
9:34 am

Only a complete idiot would put any stock in what Obama said last night.

The problem appears to be that too many Americans never get past what our politicians tell us they’re going to do and start looking at what they actually do.

Heard a man say “I like 80% of what Obama says and dislike 80% of what he does”. Pretty much sums it up.

Scout

January 26th, 2011
9:34 am

Jay:

You’re welcome …………. but I read their columns as well as your’s and yes even Cynthia’s.

You should do the same.

Normal

January 26th, 2011
9:35 am

Paul Ryan and his roadmap…to doom. Don’t you think he looks like an Undertaker? :D

jm

January 26th, 2011
9:36 am

Jay 9:26 – (partial) privatization does achieve something. It takes away the ability of the government to spend your “savings” (if that’s what you believe they are), meaning they are more likely to be available in the event of a sovereign default.

IE, if your government goes bankrupt, everyone doesn’t automatically become poor. And that’s not as crazy a risk as it might have seemed 10 or 20 years ago.

I don’t want to argue about rates of return, but it is also likely returns would be higher, and that if you put enough safety measures on the investments available, risk is significantly reduced. Risk doesn’t go away, but you can prevent people from taking stupid risks, and manage them to safer investments as they approach retirement age. It’s not an “either-or” choice. There is a middle ground.

I’m not arguing for full privatization, just partial. And on top of that, I’d argue that tax reform should be accompanied by IRA-401K tax rule consolidation, along with making these savings account gradually mandatory (in other words, forced savings). As much as I hate government intervention, the reason SS is necessary is people aren’t saving for their own retirements.

stands for decibels

January 26th, 2011
9:37 am

Thanks for this, Jay.

Normal

January 26th, 2011
9:37 am

Yessir, Scout…you are one fine himan being, just saying

larry

January 26th, 2011
9:38 am

Don’t you think he looks like an Undertaker?

Well, now that you mention it, he doesnt look like a happy guy.

And how does Michelle Bachmann know exactly where the camera is in the house ? Have you ever noticed when she is up and speaking , she knows where it is.

Doggone/GA

January 26th, 2011
9:38 am

“The problem is I dont know if it does or it doesn’t.”

It does, in pretty much the same sense that your savings account has money “in” it

jm

January 26th, 2011
9:38 am

Jay, also, as I said last night, I liked Obama’s talk, let’s see if he walks the walk. Talk is cheap…..

Jay

January 26th, 2011
9:38 am

jm, I’m sure lifestyle does play a role. Not sure what to do about it, though. Ban smoking?

Might be tempting — my brother is a heavy smoker, a fact that kills me almost as fast as it’s killing him (and yes, I’m talking about YOU, bro!) — but I don’t think that’s a viable answer.

It’s also a fact that a 62-year-old carpenter, for example, isn’t going to be as spry as he once was, regardless of smoking habits.

stands for decibels

January 26th, 2011
9:38 am

I’ve not heard anyone say the Social Security system will be “bankrupt” in 2016, but it will be laying out more dollars than it brings in by then.

which, as I patiently remind people who bring this up, was the whole reason that we took the heretofore unprecedented step in the 1980s to collect a lot more in payroll deductions than were needed to pay for current obligations, to establish a trust fund to account for this expected shortfall.

I do not want to hear how those securities are just “paper.” These were real earnings, paid by real people, with the very real expectation that doing the fiscally responsible thing sooner rather than later would result in something other than “sorry, suckers,” down the road.

Full faith and credit and all that.

/drive-by

TaxPayer

January 26th, 2011
9:39 am

Well, surely we can expect people living longer on life support systems to find some way to continue working and supporting their lifestyle. Otherwise, what’s the point. Perhaps there will be future opportunity for employment in a virtual world. A world where frail human bodies no longer pose a financial burden. After all, we already have cloud computing. We’ll be able to upload the entire content of a human brain in no time. No time at all. Anyway, when silicon memory chips start to randomly fail, will that be the virtual equivalence of that spongiform disease or whatever it was that Reagan had while he was president. What do they call that, I can’t recall.

md

January 26th, 2011
9:40 am

“The expectation is that SSI reform will be addressed later, as part of some grand budget deal.”

It will depend on which moment”we” prefer to have……….will we have our version of the “sputnik” moment, or will will prefer to have our version of the “greek” moment.

As I look around, and see the resistance and division, I’m laying odds on the greek moment.

The misfits will act out of necessity only as votes are too important to all of them……….crisis will dictate at some point in time, but the vote will continue to dictate until then.

Southern Comfort (B.P.O.I.B.W.)

January 26th, 2011
9:40 am

jm

Larry was referring to a comment I made downstairs. The Baby Boomers were given that name for a reason. There has not been another growth boom like it since. Once they all die off, the number of people reaching retirement age will go down some. The main test for SS will be to maintain solvency when the majority of boomers retire and begin to collect. That will be a critical mass of sorts. If SS can remain solvent thru that time period, all you need is to fine tune it to ensure that it continues to remain solvent.

Privatization would lead to nothing but the same outcome that public pensions have achieved. I think the best mix available is what we currently have. You have a minimum thru SS, and if you invest wisely in a 401k or other retirement fund vehicle, yuo can enhance your retirement income thru the market.

Jay

January 26th, 2011
9:40 am

jm, believe me. If the government goes bankrupt, having money in the stock market is NOT going to save you from all hell breaking lose.

Bob

January 26th, 2011
9:41 am

Why on earth would we want to change anything with Social Security ? Where else can you have $13,392 taken by force a year and put in a plan with no return or ownership ? Even tweeking such a great plan would be non sense.

Jay

January 26th, 2011
9:42 am

Scout, if we’re gonna start deporting people who say stupid stuff, as you suggest, I’ve got some names to add to the list.

Keep up the good fight!

January 26th, 2011
9:42 am

Well seems Scout is up to his early morning diatribe — now its let’s deport people with foreign sounding names. Guess Giuliani should be worried….oh wait, its a crazed birther spouting inanity about deportation and then offering advice about how to write opinion blogs…Someone definitely has a higher opinion of themselves than reality truly offers. Yawn

jm

January 26th, 2011
9:44 am

Jay 9:38 – I agree. Ban smoking? As much as possible, then keep taxing the hell out of it. Although as some point out, when you don’t live long enough to collect SS, you’re not a “fiscal drag”. How depressing.

Jay 9:40 – it will if you are also permitted to invest said funds overseas.

Southern Comfort (B.P.O.I.B.W.)

January 26th, 2011
9:44 am

C) Is there any way to deport the idiot in B) above

Only if you wish to piss on her 1st Amendment rights.

Lord Help Us

January 26th, 2011
9:44 am

‘Your maid just put the finishing touches on a nice, clean new room upstairs. Fresh sheets and everything.

Just don’t go all rock-band on me and trash the place, OK?’

Sorry, Jay, but Scout just clogged the toilet…it’s bad.

md

January 26th, 2011
9:45 am

“If SS can remain solvent thru that time period, all you need is to fine tune it to ensure that it continues to remain solvent.”

Might tend to agree if it was a solitary program……..the trust fund was originally raided because it isn’t…….

Southern Comfort (B.P.O.I.B.W.)

January 26th, 2011
9:45 am

jm

If the US goes bankrupt, I don’t think any market would be safe. You’d be better off putting your money in a jar and burying it in your backyard.

Bob

January 26th, 2011
9:45 am

Southern comfort, why should SS be looked at as a minimum when so much money gets dumped into it ? The money put into SS could actually fund someones retirement if they are making much money at all. As it is now, we are stuck dumping money into a bad plan then we have to come up with more money for a real retirement.

Southern Comfort (B.P.O.I.B.W.)

January 26th, 2011
9:46 am

md

That’s part of the fine tuning that needs to be done. Even if it has to be done thru a Constitutional Amendment. Put that money aside so that it can only be used for that purpose and nothing else. The GOP preaches fiscal responsibility. I think that is a fiscally responsible thing to do.

Doggone/GA

January 26th, 2011
9:47 am

“If SS can remain solvent thru that time period, all you need is to fine tune it to ensure that it continues to remain solvent.”

I’ve been thinking about this, and I don’t know that I agree. Yes, it’s true that once the Baby Boomers die off there will be less money to pay out, but right now there’s more money going IN because a lot of us are still working. When we’re gone, so will be the money we pay into SS.

Jay

January 26th, 2011
9:47 am

that’s a good point, jm. A lot of the smokers/heavy drinkers/obese don’t live long enough to collect SSI, so they probably subsidize the retirement of others.

Southern Comfort (B.P.O.I.B.W.)

January 26th, 2011
9:49 am

Bob

I look at it as a minimum because many people don’t exceed the upper income threshhold. Also, if you have money to invest and can do it right, SS becomes a supplimental income backing up your investment income. It’s only a bad plan because we have bad politicians intent on using it as their personal checkbooks instead of leaving it be.

DebbieDoRight

January 26th, 2011
9:49 am

jm: They smoke more, and therefore die earlier. Given that smoking takes 5-6 years off life expectancy and poorer people smoke 2 to 3 times more.

That’s right blame the poor, blame the poor, blame the poor……wash, rinse, repeat.

And Obama left it to someone else to do the heavy lifting. Appears he’s running for re-election, not so much to actually get things done.

What are the repugs doing to get things done? I’ve heard a lot of rhetoric, but haven’t seen any plans in writing or even in the intial stages. OH wait!! They did say they’re going to make a “symbolic” appeal of “Obamacare”!! How could I have forgotten that? U.S.A!!!! U.S.A.!!!

jm

January 26th, 2011
9:49 am

Jay 9:47 – but for what they “save” us in retirement spending, they probably blow through in health care spending….

md

January 26th, 2011
9:49 am

“I’m sure lifestyle does play a role. Not sure what to do about it, though. Ban smoking? ”

You lay out the consequences up front and stick to them……..we choose everything we do.

Wishy washy parents end up with wishy washy kids…………..society is a reflection of those choices.

Time to man up and own our choices…………….

George W

January 26th, 2011
9:51 am

Jay….Obama has missed chances to do many things over the past two years.

Mick

January 26th, 2011
9:51 am

Repeat again and again – social security is not a retirement plan, it is an insurance or the last safety net left before poverty. Most wise people know this and plan accordingly..

Southern Comfort (B.P.O.I.B.W.)

January 26th, 2011
9:53 am

When we’re gone, so will be the money we pay into SS.

That’s only if all of you completely exhaust your total input. Take into account for accidental deaths and such, and I don’t think it’s possible for everyone to completely tap their full investments. If the fund is set up to where it can even earn a percentage of interest, then there’s even the interest from the money that you all are contributing now.

From what has been said, SS is solvent until around 2037 give or take a few years. That puts boomers in the mid to late 80’s for the early boomers. Unless you all live to 100-110 years old, I don’t think you all will tap your full contributions, just as I don’t think I’ll tap my full contributions by the time I take my last breath.

Peadawg

January 26th, 2011
9:54 am

“Ban smoking? As much as possible, then keep taxing the hell out of it.” – AMEN!

Joel Edge

January 26th, 2011
9:55 am

Jay@9:47
Just so you’ll know. There’s also a tendency among some groups to die young. None of the males in my family make it past 64. Even the non-smoking skinny ones. We’re largely Irish. So we don’t tan well either.

jm

January 26th, 2011
9:56 am

Here’s what the “autopilot” spending of SS and Medicare due to the federal budget. By 2080, 80% of GDP will need to taken in taxes to pay everything. Needless to say, that will never happen. The economy will collapse long before then.

This isn’t debt to gdp. This is just spending to GDP!!!!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/64/GAO_Slide.png

Disgusted

January 26th, 2011
9:56 am

So, let’s take out a loan from a bank and when it’s time to repay the loan tell the bank that we already spent the money, can’t afford to repay the loan, and it’s necessary to rework the loan terms—maybe bring the principal down and let the bank eat the loss.

That’s the popular view toward Social Security right now. People contributed to the fund for decades in exchange for an iron-clad promise that their retirement money was secure. Meantime, the government was spending every penny contributed on other priorities—wars, tax cuts, various programs to support the poor, loans for college, etc. Now the shoe is getting a little tight and we’re told that SS is just another entitlement program that needs to be cut.

And as an alternative, many people are talking about privatizing the program to various degrees, forgetting that current contributors are paying the benefits for current retirees. Nobody talks about how we’re supposed to come up with the extra money to allow the diversion of SS contributions to private accounts.

So how much money is in the SS trust fund? Zero, nada, zilch—all that’s there is a bunch of increasingly worthless IOUs that people say they don’t want to repay because “we can’t afford it.” Back to the bank loan metaphor.

Mick

January 26th, 2011
9:57 am

By the way, I was at a crazy party this past weekend on a friends yacht, I could swear we threw the piano overboard? Nah…

Jefferson

January 26th, 2011
9:57 am

The GOP can’t pass anything, its up to the whole congress and the President.

Doggone/GA

January 26th, 2011
9:57 am

“By 2080″

Not too worry…it’s all going to end on Dec 21, 2012 anyway

jm

January 26th, 2011
9:58 am

Disgusted – that’s pretty accurate.

jm

January 26th, 2011
9:59 am

Doggone – if nothing is done, our economy will collapse by 2015 at the latest. For reference, see Spain, Greece, Ireland, etc etc

Southern Comfort (B.P.O.I.B.W.)

January 26th, 2011
10:00 am

So that was you, Mick?!!?

Joel Edge

January 26th, 2011
10:00 am

Mick@9:57
It’s still there. Go get it.

jm

January 26th, 2011
10:01 am

Digusted – had the funds been invested overseas, it would have been a slightly different matter. But all the scenarios are bad. The only real solution is individual ownership ala Chile, rather than government ownership….

Scout

January 26th, 2011
10:01 am

You guys are so pathetic you can’t even recognize satire anymore.

“Can we deport (B above”

Answer : No ……… it’s Unconstitutional.

However, in your favor you are not as pathetic as (B or the slime who brutally murdered Julie Love that you so flippantly didn’t even acknowledge.

Mick

January 26th, 2011
10:01 am

**if nothing is done, our economy will collapse by 2015 at the latest. For reference, see Spain, Greece, Ireland, etc etc**

Funny how all the experts missed that prediction…

Jefferson

January 26th, 2011
10:02 am

Revenue enhancement is the only answer. Hate to tell you folks, ALL of the tax cuts need to go away.

Southern Comfort (B.P.O.I.B.W.)

January 26th, 2011
10:02 am

The GOP can’t pass anything, its up to the whole congress and the President.

Judging by the facial expressions of Biden and Boehner last night, I’d reconsider that statement. I think one or both of them passed something a few times. :)

Keep up the good fight!

January 26th, 2011
10:03 am

Mick, the piano is just fine. Now the piano player, that is another story.

Jay

January 26th, 2011
10:03 am

So EVERYTHING you post is satire, Scout?

jm

January 26th, 2011
10:03 am

Mick – no, they didn’t. The stupid people did, but not the smart ones. Like the whole UK (which avoided a semi stupid idea, the Euro), and Greece’s bonds have traded at a discount for a long time….

George W

January 26th, 2011
10:04 am

Jay….is everything you post satire?

Jefferson

January 26th, 2011
10:05 am

Biden is a bogart, eh?

Doggone/GA

January 26th, 2011
10:05 am

“all that’s there is a bunch of increasingly worthless IOUs”

Tell that to the Chinese, they seem to think they’re worth something. The trust fund is not a “bunch” of IOU’s – it’s the same investment bonds that the Chinese buy as a secure investment.

jm

January 26th, 2011
10:05 am

SoCo – it was interesting to think and see that the 3 guys on the podium all came from humble beginnings…. of course, so did Dick Cheney

Joel Edge

January 26th, 2011
10:06 am

Keep up the good fight!@10:03
Might have to wipe some seagull poop off it.

jm

January 26th, 2011
10:06 am

Doggone 10:05 – oh lord, not this again…..

Bill Orvis White

January 26th, 2011
10:07 am

Social Insecurity is a failed idea. Yes, Hussein Obama should have put it in his speech that in order to $ave dollars, he would over a five-year period, phase out the program and farm out its “usefulness” to private companies that could do the same thing in a much more efficient manner. But, this is a Socialist-Democrat that we are talking about here which means that he’s behold to AARP, the union thugs and liberal special interests.

Also, Lil Hussein did a cute trick that most politicians and Americans failed to see. This installed-president’s shell-game includes “investments” for a long period of time and then a supposed “freeze after the investments” have been made. In other words, Hussein is going to spend our money before he will stop spending it. THIS IS WHY THIS PRESIDENT HAS DONE MORE DAMAGE TO OUR ECONOMIC HEALTH IN THE LAST TWO YEARS THAN ANY OTHER PRESIDENT IN OUR ENTIRE HISTORY! WAKE UP AMERICA!

Hussein Obama was elected because of his rock star status, not on his skills as a politician. I agree with Neal that this Community Organizer is a colossal failure and it’s showing now more than ever.

Amen,
Bill

Doggone/GA

January 26th, 2011
10:08 am

“oh lord, not this again”

Funny, isn’t it…I had EXACTLY the same reaction to that stupid “IOU” charge.

retired early

January 26th, 2011
10:08 am

Jay

If Obama details his recommendations for cutting the budget without ‘cover’ from the GOP ’sharing political damage’, the GOP will sit back and watch his poll numbers plummet and nothing will get done before the 2012 elections. This has to be a bipartisan package.

jm

January 26th, 2011
10:09 am

Doggone – how many records of lending yourself money do you have? I know you have a file drawer full of documents related to “loans to yourself”

Mick

January 26th, 2011
10:09 am

jm

I was referencing your prediction of US collapse by 2015, I’ll take that bet, we’ll still be chugging along amid some choppy waters…

TaxPayer

January 26th, 2011
10:10 am

If illegal immigrants are willing to pay payroll taxes, then I say we keep them and toss out the ones that don’t want to pay taxes.

Adam

January 26th, 2011
10:10 am

Conservative commentators seem to think that whatever he said wasn’t Republican enough and wasn’t specific enough. Of course if it was specific enough it still wouldn’t be Republican enough. This really isn’t a big surprise.

I am actually glad he’s taking a page from the Republican playbook and NOT being specific about what he’s going to do. Sounds like he’s playing a game of chicken with Boehner. Given his propensity to cry I think he will be the one who blinks first. And THEN we will see what the Republican plans to fix things really are, and which parts of the deficit reduction commision they reject.

Disgusted

January 26th, 2011
10:10 am

Tell that to the Chinese, they seem to think they’re worth something. The trust fund is not a “bunch” of IOU’s – it’s the same investment bonds that the Chinese buy as a secure investment.

They are a secure investment except for the suckers who contributed to SS. It seems that those suckers are the ones we want to stiff, a la the Welcher and his bets. We know we can stiff them without having an adverse effect on the “full faith and credit” of government securities.

Normal

January 26th, 2011
10:11 am

B.O.W…Wow…, just…wow.

Scout

January 26th, 2011
10:11 am

“SALT LAKE CITY – State lawmakers are debating whether to designate a semiautomatic pistol as the official gun of Utah, despite protests from people who believe it’s inappropriate because of recent mass shootings.

The bill to make the Browning M1911 (.45) the official gun breezed through a committee hearing this week and is scheduled to be debated by the full House as early as Wednesday.”

TaxPayer

January 26th, 2011
10:11 am

Why doesn’t our US currency have Nixon’s picture on it. After all, didn’t he make it all that it is today.

harvey

January 26th, 2011
10:12 am

I was disappointed that the President simply slid right over the debt commissions recommendations. Why not raise the age for social security if people are working longer. I am 70 and still working. If I can do it, so can anyone. I admit, those in heavy lifting industries might not be able to wait that long, but if photos are accurate, most of the people I see in union labor, and government jobs are way over weight, and it isn’t their age that will incapacitate them, it is their gluttony. If people are too fat to work, then let live off the fat of the land–their own.

dependant-On-Da-Man

January 26th, 2011
10:13 am

Obama has missed chances to do many things over the past two years.

I’m sure he thinks about it everytime he holds a sharp object!!

Keep up the good fight!

January 26th, 2011
10:13 am

Snap…Scout is now demanding that we must be PC in his eyes about a 1998 murder victim when he sets up a questionable and certainly unquestionably bad joke about the exeuction of a murderer. Everyone chastised now? When can I schedule the next poutrage?

Keep up the good fight!

January 26th, 2011
10:13 am

Snap…Scout is now demanding that we must be PC in his eyes about a 1998 murder victim when he sets up a questionable and certainly unquestionably bad joke about the exeuction of a murderer. Everyone chastised now? When can I schedule the next poutrage?

jm

January 26th, 2011
10:13 am

Mick 10:09 – only if some fiscal reform is in the offing. Nothing done, we’re toast.

Nice Guy

January 26th, 2011
10:13 am

Jay – ” In effect, we’ve been using a Social Security surtax on the working and middle class to finance tax cuts for the wealthy, ”

Classic leftist point of view.

How about…that account was raided for the simple fact that politicians in general just can’t stand to see surpluses of money just sit there for the long term. They’re all too greedy, regardless of party. They all have their pet projects that they want accomplished.

Southern Comfort (B.P.O.I.B.W.)

January 26th, 2011
10:13 am

he would over a five-year period, phase out the program and farm out its “usefulness” to private companies that could do the same thing in a much more efficient manner.

If you’re going to phase out the program, why would you need to farm out it’s “usefulness”? Either it’s good or it’s bad. I guess the hamster’s not running too hard on the wheel today. LOL!!!!!

jm

Didn’t think about that, but valid point indeed. I’ll have to remember that when I’m talking to the kiddies and such.

TaxPayer

January 26th, 2011
10:13 am

I see Georgia’s courts have struck down Scout’s wet dream of packing a bulge in church.

Scout

January 26th, 2011
10:13 am

Jay: “So EVERYTHING you post is satire, Scout?”

Being flippant again are we? Pathetic.

I wonder how Julie Love’s family is doing today ?

Scout

January 26th, 2011
10:14 am

Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table,
At which he’s fed.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.

Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for
peanuts anyway!

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won’t be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He’s good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he’s laid…

Put these words
Upon his tomb,
‘Taxes drove me
to my doom…’

When he’s gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.

Joel Edge

January 26th, 2011
10:15 am

harvey@10:12
“so can anyone”
Not necessarily.

dependant-On-Da-Man

January 26th, 2011
10:16 am

Obama has missed chances to do many things over the past two years.

I’m sure he thinks about it everytime he holds a sharp object!! :twisted:

jm

January 26th, 2011
10:16 am

Mick – actually, btw, what do you want to wager that if nothing is done (no tax increases, no spending cuts, no entitlement reform), 2 year treasury yields jump over 8% at some point by 2015? You name the amount….