Comments on: Is Obama endangering Social Security? http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/12/13/is-obama-endangering-social-security/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: Ming Payton http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/12/13/is-obama-endangering-social-security/comment-page-1/#comment-54465 Thu, 09 Oct 2014 19:47:37 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6545#comment-54465 2012 longchamps is on popular purchase now,Longchamp Eiffel Tower Travelling bag has turned into a beneficial type in the world,Imprinted at first glance in the case symbol in the Eiffel Easy, Tower and SimpleBasic and Easy and

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By: y2kurtus http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/12/13/is-obama-endangering-social-security/comment-page-1/#comment-21924 Tue, 14 Dec 2010 22:30:54 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6545#comment-21924 “it’s been uncontroversial for decades to use the Social Security surplus to help pay for non-Social Security programs. Why should it be more controversial to do things the other way around?”

If you’re willing to go that far why not take another step towards the abyss of the truely absurd. Stop collecting the tax entirely and just print crisp new bills and mail them to seniors via the postal service… problem solved!

…why does a loaf of bread cost $35?

…oh ya problem not solved.

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By: TFF http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/12/13/is-obama-endangering-social-security/comment-page-1/#comment-21918 Tue, 14 Dec 2010 18:03:24 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6545#comment-21918 “It has run a surplus for decades.”

The surplus wasn’t large until the Clinton years. Roughly a single decade of substantial surplus. The cash flow should roughly balance over the next decade, then steadily worsen as the boomers all retire.

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By: ARJTurgot2 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/12/13/is-obama-endangering-social-security/comment-page-1/#comment-21912 Tue, 14 Dec 2010 17:12:18 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6545#comment-21912 What General Fund money? We got a surplus? We got a surplus next year? ten years? foreseeable future?

q) What do you get when you do Keynesian stimulus via tax cuts?

a) California.

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By: ErnieD http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/12/13/is-obama-endangering-social-security/comment-page-1/#comment-21905 Tue, 14 Dec 2010 16:17:10 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6545#comment-21905 The US debate over Social Security has been totally baffling to me. As far as I can tell, it is just about the only government program that has actually delivered what it promised, which is probably why so many knives are out for it. It has effectively been an enforced savings account for retirement with a small amount of income redistribution.

It has run a surplus for decades. Now that there may be a period of deficit a few years from now, all of a sudden it is “welfare?” I think the continuous GOP attempt to castrate Social Security will be a HUGE political miscalculation.

Most Americans have paltry retirement savings and much of the GOP base is located in non-unionized states and work for companies without pension funds. Once those people figure out that the GOP wants to take away their only major source of retirement funds after they have paid those taxes for decades, their base will erupt like Mount St. Helens.

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By: dWj http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/12/13/is-obama-endangering-social-security/comment-page-1/#comment-21901 Tue, 14 Dec 2010 15:27:50 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6545#comment-21901 This is the first real breach in either direction, and it’s the only direction I ever expected. Talk of the “lockbox” was ludicrous insofar as there was never any political chance that social security funds would be moved out of the social security account.

If you consider the treasury bonds to be that — that the general fund was using social security funds, in the same way that the real estate developer two counties over is using the money I deposited in the bank — then I’m not sure what else you would do when social security stores up a surplus. You’ve mocked investment in the stock market; should they lend it to the government at 0 interest by storing federal reserve notes? Should they buy gold or real estate or rocking chairs and sit on that asset? There are only two ways of shifting purchasing power into the future: durable/capital assets, and lending to someone else. (Stock ownership is in some sense in between; you can characterize it either way.)

An actual breach in the account requires an apparently permanent change in the value of its claims and assets that is different from the net flow of funds due to its designated taxes, outflows, and investment gains or losses. I believe this is the first time that has happened, and, aside from some possibility that this transfer or a future transfer of this nature will be backed out, this is the only direction in which any transfer is ever going to be made. The children are right to laugh at you, Al Gore; the politics of Social Security simply won’t allow anything else.

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By: TFF http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/12/13/is-obama-endangering-social-security/comment-page-1/#comment-21888 Mon, 13 Dec 2010 21:37:44 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6545#comment-21888 fresnodan, you can definitely boil it down to that in the end. Taxes and benefits, and with the budget ballooning as it has been I expect that the taxes and benefits will ultimately need to be in balance.

The ratio between working-age adults and retirees is changing dramatically, however, so if we apportion the same percent of GDP to Social Security that we have in the past, it will mean reduced benefits for the retirees. You can try to vote in dramatically higher taxes, but that won’t work well on a variety of fronts.

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By: BryceCovert http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/12/13/is-obama-endangering-social-security/comment-page-1/#comment-21882 Mon, 13 Dec 2010 20:33:16 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6545#comment-21882 I’d like to believe this. It’s logical. But logic doesn’t always prevail, as can be seen in this tax cut debate, where Dems had fact and public opinion on their side and still caved. The attacks on Social Security have been ramping up, particularly with the deficit commission’s proposal, and I don’t think it takes much for Republicans to jump on an opportunity to take a stab at the program. I found this piece in particular very convincing that the payroll tax holiday spells doom for Social Security: http://www.newdeal20.org/2010/12/13/how- the-white-house-is-putting-social-securi ty-at-risk-29856/

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By: fresnodan http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/12/13/is-obama-endangering-social-security/comment-page-1/#comment-21879 Mon, 13 Dec 2010 19:00:04 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6545#comment-21879 The best thing I have read about SS (unfortunately I forget who said – mark this danger of nearing your SS benefit years) is that it is just taxes and benefits – and it will be apportioned in the future pretty much in the past (unless you believe the old will start voting against it, and that the young will vote in greater percentages than they have in the past)

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By: TFF http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/12/13/is-obama-endangering-social-security/comment-page-1/#comment-21878 Mon, 13 Dec 2010 18:47:42 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6545#comment-21878 The Social Security reform under Reagan made a clear distinction between Social Security funds and the general fund. When the Social Security surplus is used to offset borrowing, the Treasury issues a bond to Social Security to represent the obligation. These aren’t negotiable on the broader market, but they nonetheless represent a real obligation.

That said, there will never again by a significant Social Security surplus. Using the general fund to replace Social Security taxes does establish a precedent confusing the two, however the likely implication is an ever-increasing contribution from the general fund to make up for that shortfall. Ultimately the whole concept of Social Security being a separate (and separately funded) system will be erased.

Moreover, the TRUE danger to Social Security comes from the unrestrained borrowing that we are seeing. If the Social Security Trust Fund is ever to be redeemed, the Treasury will need to borrow money to do so. By pushing the federal debt ever closer to the limits (which the market will eventually decide and enforce with the usual arbitrary ruthlessness of free markets), we make it less likely that the Trust Fund can ever be redeemed.

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