On Obama’s threats, and the ‘guarantee’ of Social Security

What really ought to scare Grandma? How about that President Obama has made it clear that her Social Security is “guaranteed” only if those in Washington feel like paying up?

From an editorial in Investors Business Daily:

Obama beat everyone … with his scaremongering claim that Social Security checks are at risk if he doesn’t get his way on the debt ceiling. “I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on Aug. 3 if we haven’t resolved this issue,” he told CBS News, “because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.”

Wait! What happened to Social Security’s “guarantee”? You know, the iron-clad assurance of Social Security benefits in exchange for paying into the program your whole working life? It’s something Democrats constantly talk about, particularly when attacking Republicans who propose privatizing the program.

As Nancy Pelosi once put it: “Social Security has never failed to pay promised benefits, and Democrats will fight to make sure that Republicans do not turn a guaranteed benefit into a guaranteed gamble.”

The AFL-CIO warned in 2005 about “President Bush’s plan to replace Social Security’s guaranteed benefits with risky private accounts.” The AARP describes Social Security as “the guaranteed part of your retirement plan.” Etc., etc.

Turns out, this “guarantee” is a lie.

This is an excellent point that I touched on when Obama and the lame-duck Congress agreed last December to a one-year cut in the federal payroll tax (you know, the last time Obama called Republicans “hostage takers”). The cord between payroll taxes and Social Security benefits is being severed ever more.

If your payroll taxes truly entitle you to Social Security payments when you retire, then how could Obama withhold those payments from retirees now? Even if you understand that today’s workers pay for today’s retirees, but believe the politicians’ assurances that excess payments are safely ensconced in a trust fund, then you might wonder how Obama could avoid making Social Security payments when payroll taxes are still coming in and there’s all that trust fund money to make up the difference. (In fact, the politicians have already spent almost all of the trust fund money, and would have to use new tax revenues to pay back the trust fund.)

What’s more, Reuters’ James Pethokoukis earlier this week posted a chart demonstrating that projected tax receipts through the month of August would be enough to cover all interest payments on the debt, Social Security payments, Medicare payments, “essential” defense spending about about $50 billion of “other” for the month. As I’ve said before, that doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be a price, maybe too steep a price, to pay for failing to raise the debt ceiling — but it does mean there will be “the money in the coffers” to keep up Social Security payments. As he does too often, Obama is using a patently false example to make what otherwise is a defensible point.

Either Obama’s not being truthful when he says Social Security payments might be at risk, or he and his fellow Democrats have been lying when they assail Republican plans to reform Social Security as attacks on an otherwise rock-solid program.

So, which is it?

And are you still so sure that giving individuals more control over their own retirement funds is such a bad thing?

– By Kyle Wingfield

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193 comments Add your comment

Dave R.

July 14th, 2011
12:55 pm

“Either Obama’s not being truthful when he says Social Security payments might be at risk, or he and his fellow Democrats have been lying when they assail Republican plans to reform Social Security as attacks on an otherwise rock-solid program.

So, which is it?”

I vote for BOTH, Kyle! :D

Dave R.

July 14th, 2011
1:00 pm

But remember, I come from the state where the term “Vote early, vote often” was first coined. ;)

affableman

July 14th, 2011
1:14 pm

Creditors have to come first otherwise the dollar will quickly become worthless. It’s that simple.

All Obama was doing is stating the truth. He can keep up payments to seniors while the dollar collapses and we get hyperinflation because we import so much stuff or he can make payments to creditors to try to hold the dollar’s value for as long as possible. It’s a no brainer. It’s not scare tactics, it’s reality. Something the Republicans want no part in anymore.

Used to be a Republican until they lost their minds.

that's goofy

July 14th, 2011
1:18 pm

I was educated in a public school so forgive me if I am not up on “facts”.

Legislative branch controls money – not Executive. Therefore the President cannot withhold checks. I don’t see a quote that says he will withhold them. I read that he is implying that if we default we won’t be able to cover the checks.

IRIA MATTHEWS

July 14th, 2011
1:19 pm

If Americans think we have problems now just wait for the ss checks to fail for one month. everyone in this counrty will be adversrly affected. the nursing home, the hospitals,the banks,the private medical professionals,the utility companys,loan companys,drug companies,pharmacies, walmart,kmart, veternarians, everyone. talk about disaster, we will have to come up with a stronger word to describe it !!!!

Laura

July 14th, 2011
1:23 pm

Time that we all stop paying into SS. If the money won’t be there when we need it then why are we giving it to the govt? So they can give it to illegals and foreign countries? Time to start an uprising to end the Ponzi Scheme! Keep in mind that if SS checks do not go out that will have been Obama’s choice. But then you didn’t really think that he liked Americans did you?

Kyle Wingfield

July 14th, 2011
1:28 pm

affable: The idea that it’s interest payments or SS benefits is one of those “false choices” Obama likes to accuse other people of offering up. Like I said, that doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences if the debt ceiling isn’t raised. But it’s simply not true that there would not be money to pay SS benefits. It’s a scare tactic at a particular demographic, plain and simple.

goofy: It’s my understanding that it would be up to the Treasury to prioritize outlays — that’s what the chief actuary for the Social Security Administration suggested in testimony to Congress yesterday — but we haven’t been down this road before. And as for his implication, that’s my point: It’s not true, or at least it doesn’t have to be true…his administration would be the ones making such a choice.

Carlosgvv

July 14th, 2011
1:32 pm

Over 50 million people are on Social Security and other benefits. This is a large enough voting bloc to unseat every politician now in office. I’m sure this is not lost on our politicians and they will find a way to keep those SS checks coming.

jconservative

July 14th, 2011
1:39 pm

As I recall Bill Clinton said the same when he was president and it worked then. I suspect it will work now.

But now that McConnell is on board for a “guaranteed” increase in the debt ceiling it is just a matter of “when” not “if”.

As I keep saying, it is the responsibility of Congress to see that the US government has the money to pay its debts, not the Executive Branch. So Congress will do their job or not do their job. The president’s hands are tied until Congress does something or nothing.

So why is every one focused on the White House? Because of the 2012 elections!

EM

July 14th, 2011
1:50 pm

Obama and his demons are playing all of us for fools again. Just like, $800 Billion Stim Package, (that I can distribute to my Buddies) will cure our economy.
OR How ’bout We Must Pass The Healthcare Bill to See What Is In It!!!!!!!!!!
OR How ’bout if you don’t give me more money to give to my voters, grandma will starve and our military will not be paid. Give ME A BREAK, how stupid to they think we are. I can see how people get into CULTS….If The Koolaid Drinkers Will Vote for and Follow This Lost List of LIES, then we are in much more trouble than I thought!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

karen

July 14th, 2011
1:52 pm

Let the impeachment begin! Tired of this bozo president and his dictatorship ways.

TruthBe

July 14th, 2011
1:56 pm

First of all the Federal Government collected enough money to pay the mortgage payment and the SS checks. Comrade Obama an his partners in crime the democrats are playing nothing but politics with the lives of the American People. In other words FORCING them to do what he says or else. We need to cut ALL spending both Federal and State. Government has become to big and abusive for our own good. Big Brother Government is the enemy of the American People. Obama and his Master Soros are the Captains of this corrupt sinking ship. Wake Up People and vote this LIAR in-Chief Obama out of office before it’s too late.

Ryan

July 14th, 2011
1:56 pm

What further evidence does the American people need to see to fully comprehend that it’s time to scrap these leaders and start all over?

ITS BUSH'S FAULT

July 14th, 2011
1:56 pm

To all you short term memory folks , remeber you supported bush.lol

Jed

July 14th, 2011
1:59 pm

Kyle, you totally read the statement wrong. Obama did not say he would withhold ss checks but that could be a consequence of not raising the debt ceiling. The republican clowns are not offering one single bargaining point. Obama has asked for a discussion on entitlement programs but no the party of no cares more about politics, big corporations, tax loop holes, perserving the tax cuts for the rich. Keeping Obama from being reelected and killing the middle class, seniors, and poor is the republicans objective. They are so ignorant one would think they went to public school in Georgia.

PsedoTurtle

July 14th, 2011
2:00 pm

Obama does not have the right to amend or terminate SS benefits under current law, only congress has that right, and according to the latest Supreme Court rulings, Social Security recipients have a PROPERTY RIGHT to their benefits, and therefore they cannot simply be taken away by congress at its whim as most commentators keep repeating, which is completely wrong. Below is an excerpt from the latest Supreme Court decision. Decide for yourself.

POWELL, J., Opinion of the Court
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

424 U.S. 319
Mathews v. Eldridge
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT

No. 74-204 Argued: October 6, 1975 — Decided: February 24, 1976

MR. JUSTICE POWELL delivered the opinion of the Court.
The issue in this case is whether the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment requires that, prior to the termination of Social Security disability benefit payments, the recipient be afforded an opportunity for an evidentiary hearing.
…………..
III
A
Procedural due process imposes constraints on governmental decisions which deprive individuals of “liberty” or “property” interests within the meaning of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth or Fourteenth Amendment. The Secretary does not contend that procedural due process is inapplicable to terminations of Social Security disability benefits. He recognizes, as has been implicit in our prior decisions, e.g., Richardson v. Belcher, 404 U.S. 78, 80-81 (1971); Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401-402 (1971); Flemming v. Nestor, 363 U.S. 603, 611 (1960), that the interest of an individual in continued receipt of these benefits is a statutorily created “property” interest protected by the Fifth Amendment. Cf. Arnett v. Kennedy, 416 U.S. 134, 166 (POWELL, J., concurring in part) (1974); Board of Regents v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564, 576-578 (1972); Bell v Burson, 402 U.S. at 539; Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. at 261-262. Rather, the Secretary contends that the existing administrative procedures, detailed below, provide all the process [p333] that is constitutionally due before a recipient can be deprived of that interest.
This Court consistently has held that some form of hearing is required before an individual is finally deprived of a property interest. Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 557-558 (1974). See, e.g., Phillips v. Commissioner, 283 U.S. 589, 596-597 (1931). See also Dent v. West Virginia, 129 U.S. 114, 124-125 (1889).
The right to be heard before being condemned to suffer grievous loss of any kind, even though it may not involve the stigma and hardships of a criminal conviction, is a principle basic to our society.

No Longer Repblican

July 14th, 2011
2:03 pm

I was going to post something intelligent about how it is time to stop all the game playing on both sides, but this stupid article by Wingfield typifies the stupidity of so many on the right. Kyle you need to go work for a media outlet owned by Rupert Murdoch and not one that does legitimate news coverage. I hear Fox is still passing out the Kool aid.

radiohead

July 14th, 2011
2:04 pm

Everything Obama says now is calculated to assure his re-election. Instead of being honest about the economy he’ll say whatever it takes to get the most votes. His policies do not work, in particular his new Obamacare mandates, and will bankrupt the country. We need to get him out of there before he “fundamentally changes America” as he promised.

Jimmy62

July 14th, 2011
2:06 pm

Affableman: Any hyperinflation is fully at the feet of Obama and the Fed, who are now looking in to diluting our currency even more. They should be in jail for literally stealing value from my bank account, it’s out and out theft. In o way is hyperinflation the fault of Republicans trying to keep our country from collapsing under its own debt.

TNT Irish65

July 14th, 2011
2:09 pm

So many errors on the facts, it’s like watching germs multiply in a petri dish! The combination of immaturity and a mind closed to opposing facts is too much to correct in a book, let alone a comment.

JDW

July 14th, 2011
2:12 pm

Frankly Kyle I believe the only person struggling with being truthful is a certain “conservative” columnist…

Let’s take your first unfounded statement… “Obama’s not being truthful when he says Social Security payments might be at risk” The actual quote was “I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven’t resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it,”

Now what part of that are you struggling with…how could anyone including James Pethokoukis say anything else? If the Ceiling is not raised no one knows how much money will be available on Aug 3. It might be enough it might not. If fact if you would take the time to read beyond the chart in your reference you would find this very point is made in the Q&A…

“Q: What happens on August 3 if the debt limit is not increased?

A: … Using August 2010 spending and receipts as a proxy, the Treasury will probably take in $5-$10 bn in revenue on August 3, leaving insufficient revenues to make Social Security payments partly unfunded even if all other spending is deferred. Since the Treasury has carried a minimum cash balance of about $20 bn since 2009, and currently carries a balance of $74 bn, Social Security payments might still be made by drawing down the Treasury’s cash balance.”

That statement is full of guesses and suppositions and the conclusion is there MIGHT be enough money…only a moron would guarantee that the payments could be made at this point. If the Republicans can’t seem to face facts it is the Presidents job to point that out which he did. He never said the payments would not be made nor did he say they would never be made, nor did he say, you insinuate, that the people that have paid into the program are no longer entitled to payment.

Now moving on to your next bit of hyperbole, “he and his fellow Democrats have been lying when they assail Republican plans to reform Social Security as attacks on an otherwise rock-solid program.”

It is no secret that Social Security revenues are not segregated from general tax revenues and that the assets are not in a separate account (wrongly IMO but it is what it is). In effect those assets have been borrowed by a generation of REPUBLICAN and DEMOCRATIC politicians.

Assuming the US Government continues to pay its debts Social Security as a program is certainly on rock solid ground. Should the US Government default on its obligations then Social Security will be in the same shape as the rest of the creditors…waiting for payment.

Kyle, I give this column a rating of “Pants On Fire”

forgotten citizen

July 14th, 2011
2:12 pm

IF ANYONE’S checks should stop…it should be all of our elected officials, From presidents, to Congress, etc etc..we could save a boat load of money right there….they need to look at the Medicare system..there are a bunch of free loaders that claim to be disabled sucking it dry…or better yet let them have the same insurance and retirement plan as rest of us…bet they would fix that right away

Nomobama

July 14th, 2011
2:13 pm

With each passing day, it is becoming more and more clear just how bad obama is as president. I hiped he would do good for our country, but his policies are heck bent on turning us into greece, italy or spain…in other words a bassackwards socialist state heading toward a crashed currency and bankruptcy.

BlahBlahBlah

July 14th, 2011
2:13 pm

Here’s your problem with August – projected receipts come relatively evenly through the month.

But a big pile of checks (those who started drawing prior to 1998, I think) have to go out on August 3. I’ve seen no guarantees enough $$$ will be there.

Wingfield da Turd

July 14th, 2011
2:14 pm

Wingfield, you have a very difficult time calling president Obama “the President”! You prefer to call him OBAMA, simply because you cannot muster the respect of calling him “the President”.

What a turd…

No Longer Repblican

July 14th, 2011
2:21 pm

I applaud President Obama for not giving in to the idiots in Congress this time. Last year he caved on the tax cuts for the rich. I’m hoping he stands his ground for good this time. If the country defaults it will be a huge disaster economically – and it will sit on the backs of the Tea Part morons.

Stinger

July 14th, 2011
2:24 pm

The republicans better not give in on this one..do not raise that debt ceiling..if they do…I too am no longer republican.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

July 14th, 2011
2:24 pm

Good afternoon all. The prospective money shortage should be instructive. There will be plenty of money to pay social security checks. There will be plenty of money to pay military payrolls. There will be plenty of money to pay interest on maturing debts. There will be plenty of money to pay bureaucrat paychecks. But there will be only enough money to pay three of those four. Wonder what are the priorities of the ditherer-in-chief? Eventually he will have to vote something other than present.

Larry Sinclair

July 14th, 2011
2:25 pm

Obama?

I call him “President Sugar Britches.”

What he calls me, I can’t say or type here.

Dave R.

July 14th, 2011
2:27 pm

“Kyle, you totally read the statement wrong. Obama did not say he would withhold ss checks but that could be a consequence of not raising the debt ceiling. ”

:roll:

And No Longer Republican, don’t even think of going into political consulting. “and it will sit on the backs of the Tea Part morons.”

News Flash, NLR – the President ALWAYS gets blamed for failure.

Kyle Wingfield

July 14th, 2011
2:32 pm

JDW: “If the Ceiling is not raised no one knows how much money will be available on Aug 3.”

What does the debt ceiling have to do with tax collections? Look, I think the “guesses and suppositions” of GS about tax revenues are a heckuva lot stronger than Obama’s hedging about what could get paid and what couldn’t. Take another look at that chart: The gap between revenues and SS benefits (and, when they come due later in the month, interest payments) is in the tens of billions of dollars *every single day of the month*.

In fact, there seems to be more doubt about whether Treasury could physically stop the SS payments from being made than whether there will be enough money to cover the payments themselves.

As for the “it’s no secret” part — that hasn’t stopped generations of politicians, mostly but not exclusively Democrats who are trying to block changes to the program, from saying otherwise. And I’d be willing to wager that most Americans — wrongly, to be sure — believe them.

Did pols from both parties spend the money? Of course. I never said otherwise.

Anyway, it’s interesting you made the Politifact reference, given that Politifact itself gave Obama a “half true” rating in which the main thing on the president’s favor was that there’s no precedent: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/jul/13/barack-obama/barack-obama-said-social-security-and-other-federa/

First Sergeant

July 14th, 2011
2:34 pm

that’s goofy

July 14th, 2011
1:18 pm

Thanks Goofy, you straigthen Kyle out before I could get to him. Godd call!

CJ

July 14th, 2011
2:34 pm

In a November 1983 letter from President Reagan to then-Republican Senate Majority Leader Howard H. Baker Jr.::: “The full consequences of a default – or even the serious prospect of default – by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and the value of the dollar…

Congress consistently brings the government to the edge of default before facing its responsibility. This brinksmanship threatens the holders of government bonds and those who rely on Social Security and veterans benefits. Interest rates would skyrocket, instability would occur in financial markets, and the Federal deficit would soar.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/r/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2011/05/14/National-Politics/Graphics/reagan_letter_0514.pdf

DeborahinAthens

July 14th, 2011
2:35 pm

Don’t you get it yet? The Republicans have no intention of raising the debt ceiling because this is their only opportunity to run the economy back into the ditch. They panicked when it was recovering because their only chance of winning the 2012 elections is if the economy is not doing well. They don’t give a rat’s a&$ about the American people. This is the Republican Agenda.

Sandra Moore

July 14th, 2011
2:36 pm

Enter your comments here

No Longer Repblican

July 14th, 2011
2:38 pm

You are so correct Deborah!

Dave R.

July 14th, 2011
2:39 pm

“Don’t you get it yet? The Republicans have no intention of raising the debt ceiling because this is their only opportunity to run the economy back into the ditch.”

Not intended to be a factual statement.

Sandra Moore

July 14th, 2011
2:40 pm

If Obama would create jobs he would have money for the government to spend. He doesn’t know
how to do anything more than spend and raise taxes. Start the impeachment. He is bringing America down. Social Security belongs to the people who paid in and not the illegals and the foreign countries.
Obama is always ass backwards.

Just Me

July 14th, 2011
2:40 pm

“…you know, the last time Obama called Republicans “hostage takers”.”

Well if they don’t want to be called that, then they shouldn’t like that, i.e., if the shoe fits … wear it!

You People Are Suckers

July 14th, 2011
2:40 pm

Kyle – Accepting your argument for the sake of my point (meaning that the link between “payroll taxes” and Social Security has been greatly weakened if not severed), will you admit that the Republican talking point (which you’ve repeated) that a huge percentage of people “pay no federal income tax” is a canard?

If payroll taxes are just thrown into the federal revenue pot and there’s no special guarantee for Social Security and Medicare, that means the 15% people pay for them is just income tax. It’s levied and collected the exact same way (and it is 15%, even for people who are employees, since their employer factors in the 7.5% “employer side tax” when deciding whether to hire them and how much to pay them).

On a related note, that means that our income tax system isn’t “progressive” or even “flat.” It means it’s actually regressive, with people paying more income tax on lower amounts of income than on higher amounts. Income over $106,800 a year is taxed at a lower rate than income below that, if FICA taxes are just like all other taxes. They’re levied exactly the same way as what you label “federal income taxes” and, if your point is correct, spent exactly the same way.

I doubt you’ll reply to this since you don’t like your own contradictions and fallacies to be pointed out, but we’ll see.

Just Me

July 14th, 2011
2:41 pm

“They don’t give a rat’s a&$ about the American people. This is the Republican Agenda.”

Amen Deborah!

Susan Furman

July 14th, 2011
2:41 pm

Enter your comments here

jconservative

July 14th, 2011
2:45 pm

“PsedoTurtle”

I would disagree with your reading of Justice Powell’s opinion. What Powell is saying is that Social Security cannot stop the check of an individual without due process of law. And Social Security has such a system in place and one can appeal to a special Federal District court.

Justice Powell’s opinion does not mean that Congress cannot just scrap the entire program. They can do so. Social Security is a creation of Congress and Congress can end it anytime they chose. The opinion does not mean that the Executive cannot stop ALL payments if funds are not available to fund the checks and they cannot legally borrow the funds.

But we all know Social Security checks are not going to be stopped. That is a 57 million member voting bloc. Neither side is going to kiss off that many voters.

Never forget that the United States has been a socialist society for over 75 years. No one is going to click on “OFF” anytime soon.

Dave R.

July 14th, 2011
2:45 pm

“It means it’s actually regressive, with people paying more income tax on lower amounts of income than on higher amounts. Income over $106,800 a year is taxed at a lower rate than income below that, if FICA taxes are just like all other taxes.’

And if my grandmother had wheels she’d be a wagon.

‘Cause no matter how much you want to make them, FICA taxes are NOT just like all other taxes, as they are for a specific purpose, that being to pay for an entitlement.

If you just want to make things up to make an argument, I suggest going back to 2nd grade.

Boo

July 14th, 2011
2:48 pm

How about the checks for the President and Congress “don’t go out?” They are the ones who can’t get the job done. They are not earning their money. Social Security has already been earned by those recipients. If our next Presidential choices are Obama and Goofy, I will be voting for Goofy.

MrLiberty

July 14th, 2011
2:49 pm

Its a PONZI scheme. When are you people going to finally get it through your heads? They have been LYING to you every minute of your working life! That’s what government’s do – they LIE.

There is no contract, no promise, no guarantee. There never has been and there never will be. Accounting tricks so criminal anyone else would have been thrown away for life have been perpetrated on the american public and on the SS “books”.

Since 1965 under Johnson, every president and congress has been spending every penny received and putting worthless IOU’s in its place. Well suckers, the government lie has finally been exposed for all to see, the IOU’s finally need to be spent to pay the bills, and they are worthless (unless you continue to screw every future generation).

This is what getting screwed by the “greatest generation”, the one before them who allowed SS to be implemented, and every generation since that bought into the lie that this was a retirement program feels like. It is a weath transfer program, plain and simple. If it were a retirement program there would actually be an account with money in it, and you wouldn’t be able to get back any more than you paid in. You would also be able to leave the balance to your heirs rather than it being stolen by the government as it actually is.

Take the red pill. The truth will set you free. You can finally see the government for what it is – pure evil. Obama’s lies about not paying seniors and other criminal threats are to be expected from government. He is the cornered rat striking out. The lie of government is falling apart and thanks to the internet the whole world is getting to see it – and they are WORRIED.

More americans would rather us default that raise the debt limit. They know that only the parasites will be hurt seriously, and frankly who cares. They would rather bite the bullet finally than keep kicking the can down the road so that their children and grandchildren suffer the horrible consequences. Good for americans. But of course just like the shaft we got when WE said no to the TARP and they said yes, we will get it again here too – count on it.

Bart Abel

July 14th, 2011
2:49 pm

RE: “Either Obama’s not being truthful when he says Social Security payments might be at risk, or he and his fellow Democrats have been lying when they assail Republican plans to reform Social Security as attacks on an otherwise rock-solid program.”

With all due respect to Kyle, I don’t believe that crashing the economy on purpose and impairing our ability to make Social Security payments would demonstrate that Social Security isn’t a solid program any more than crashing my car into a tree on purpose would show that its not a safe car to drive. Yes, my car is safe, if I don’t deliberately drive it off the bridge.

President Reagan wrote that not extending the debt ceiling “threatens the holders of government bonds and those who rely on Social Security and veterans benefits. Interest rates would skyrocket, instability would occur in financial markets, and the Federal deficit would soar.”

By the way, privatizing Social Security would not protect our savings from a deliberate economic catastrophe. To the contrary.

Mark

July 14th, 2011
2:54 pm

Every one seems to be missing the point! It just boils down to the numbers. SS was meant to be a supplement NOT a retirement. It was a sham from the beginning. Life expectancy would assure a never ending surplus, because few would receive a benefit for much time. Most people NEVER read the statement sent to them from the SS admin, where right on the front page it says “DEPLETED”.
Yet blindly so many want to believe rather then be properly informed. Everyone is focused on the problem rather then the solution. Government employed individuals do NOT pay in NOR take from the SS fund. If it was about the people (of the.. By the… For the…), SS would NOT even be on the table as a discussion.

You People Are Suckers

July 14th, 2011
2:57 pm

Dave R. – That’s the point of the argument – Kyle says in one column that there’s a disappearing linkage between payroll taxes and Social Security, and in another claims that a huge percentage of Americans pay no federal income taxes – a figure largely based on not counting “payroll taxes” as “income taxes.”

If payroll taxes aren’t income taxes and are for Social Security and Medicare, then those commitments need to be kept to everyone who has paid in. If they are income taxes, then factor them into calculations of who pays federal income tax and in the overall rate of what particular people should be paying.

If you can’t understand the point I’m making, second grade may be a little advanced for you.

brad

July 14th, 2011
3:01 pm

Dave R., congrats on winning today’s “best twisting of semantics” award.