Video: Social Security surpluses gone

posted at 10:56 am on March 26, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

PBS reports that the Social Security surplus, once considered safe for a generation, now may disappear in two years, next year … or may already have vanished.  According to Treasury’s website, we tipped over into deficit spending of SocSec in February of this year. The sudden disappearance of SocSec surplus will have dramatic impacts on budget-deficit projections, as the clip explains, since administrations use the surplus to make the deficits look smaller than they really are:

Four years ago, George Bush took the momentum from his re-election and announced an ambitious plan for Social Security reform. Despite having sounded the warning bell on SocSec stability in the Clinton years, Democrats suddenly discovered that the system was so sound that any attempt to reform it was “radical” and and attack on benefits for senior citizens.  They attacked Bush for even considering reforms along the lines of optional privatization and dug their heels into Capitol Hill until they turned blue.  Democrats like Robert Casey ran on the issue in the midterms.  Harry Reid said the crisis didn’t existNancy Pelosi concurred.  Bush eventually had to drop the issue altogether.

Of course, Democrats had some help.  People like Paul Krugman, who had warned about SocSec solvency, suddenly claimed that Bush was fearmongering on the issue.  Ruth Marcus took Krugman to task on this point in November 2007.  The NEA threw its union membership into the fray in opposition to reform.

But they were not alone.  Peter Orszag, now Barack Obama’s budget director, produced a particularly rosy projection in August of last year while working at CBO, emphasis mine:

Today, Social Security’s revenues each year are greater than its outlays, but as the baby-boom generation (people born between 1946 and 1964) continues to age, growth in the number of Social Security beneficiaries will accelerate, and outlays will grow substantially faster than revenues. CBO projects that outlays will first exceed revenues in 2019 and that the Social Security trust funds will be exhausted in 2049.2 If the law remains unchanged, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will then no longer have the legal authority to pay full benefits.

Orszag has a history of rose-colored analyses that tend to benefit those for whom he works.  For instance, this paper written in 2002 by Orszag and two others insisted that the risk of Fannie Mae failure was incredibly small — one in 3 million, actually (emphases mine):

This analysis shows that, based on historical data, the probability of a shock as severe as embodied in the riskbased capital standard is substantially less than one in 500,000 – and may be smaller than one in three million.20  Given the low probability of the stress test shock occurring, and assuming that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac hold sufficient capital to withstand that shock, the exposure of the government to the risk that the GSEs will become insolvent appears quite low.

Given the extremely small probability of default by the GSEs, the expected monetary costs of exposure to GSE insolvency are relatively small — even given very large levels of outstanding GSE debt and assuming that the government would bear the costs of all GSE debt in the case of insolvency. For example, if the probability of the stress test conditions occurring is less than one in 500,000, and if the GSEs hold sufficient capital to withstand the stress test, the implication is that the expected cost to the government of providing an explicit government guarantee on $1 trillion in GSE debt is just $2 million.

Two other points are worth noting. First, analysis of the risks posed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must carefully consider the alternatives. In the absence of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, mortgage risk would likely be held by large banks and other types of financial institutions, which themselves benefit from the perception that they are “too big to fail.” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are among the largest financial institutions in the country. Even in the absence of a GSE charter it is likely that they would continue to benefit from their size, since the government has intervened on behalf of other large institutions in the past.21 …

To be sure, it is difficult to analyze extremely low-probability events, such as the one embodied in the stress test. Even if the analysis is off by an order of magnitude, however, the expected cost to the government is still very modest.

Who funded that incisive look into the risk of collapse at Fannie Mae?  Er … Fannie Mae. How did that prediction work out?  About as well as his Social Security projections from just seven months ago.

This is the quality of financial projections Democrats have provided over the last few years, and now we have Orszag in charge of the budget.  Yesterday we pointed out the fact that even Orszag’s sunny predictions of the deficit over the next 12 years exceeds anything seen during the Bush administration — and now he’s lost the Social Security surplus for those years to mask even bigger deficits.


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DFCtomm,
You seem to be implying that welfare benefits are a bigger burden than social security IOU’s. i dont think that it is.

When there are about 80 million boomers who are going to start retiring in the next few years, and you have to cut an average check of say 1500$ a month per retiree,( it was 1000$ average in 2000 and there is some sort of inflation index to the benefits).

Let’s assume that just half of the 80 million contributed to SS – you are talking about the Govt being responsible for paying about 1500$ times 40 million = 60,000 million = 60 billion per month and 720 billion a year.

And we havent even come close to talking about Medicare yet.

It is truly scary.

nagee76 on March 26, 2009 at 12:55 PM

I predicted the negative flow of ss to begin in 2010 several years ago, so I’m not far off.

It didn’t begin yet. Feb. had very low revenue numbers. If the economy picks up that number will go up. This happened back last Nov also. Not saying that the system doesn’t suck, just saying negative flow has not yet begun.

sweeper on March 26, 2009 at 12:55 PM

I have fun with getalife. Though its a guilty pleasure, like poking an insurgent in a cage with a pointy stick.

I shouldn’t enjoy it, I know, but I do.

sonofdy on March 26, 2009 at 12:56 PM

All the job losses from the bush economc disaster effected this fund.

Another reason to support the stimulus and the President’s main agenda of creating jobs.

getalife on March 26, 2009 at 11:44 AM

You’re like a Chatty Kathy who spits out one-line liberal talking points designed specifically for the lower IQ, sponge-brained liberal. Have you no original thoughts whatsoever?

I’m beginning to suspect that you’re nothing more than a browser plug-in that, when clicked, inserts inane liberal quotes into a thread everytime Allah or Ed wants to up the thread count a bit.

Time to fess up boys. This recycled tripe is getting more than a little stale. Suggest you spend the 35 bucks to get the registered version with the larger database.

Rod on March 26, 2009 at 12:58 PM

The dem/Obama recession and the Dem/Obama deficit spending will wreck social security. And think of what it will do to the economy when the dems and Obama add socialized health care. Think of the efficiency of the post office, DMV, congress, EPA, or any other governent bureaucracy, and equate that to socialized medicine.

Johan Klaus on March 26, 2009 at 12:58 PM

not that I would do that ;-)

sonofdy on March 26, 2009 at 12:59 PM

getalife on March 26, 2009 at 11:44 AM

Once again, you are in the enviable position of not needing to comprehend things you’ve written.

lorien1973 on March 26, 2009 at 12:59 PM

LimeyGeek,
Yep.That would be the Donkeys and the scared Elephants who dont have the courage of their convictions.

nagee76 on March 26, 2009 at 12:44 PM

Hey buddy, I’m with you :)

LimeyGeek on March 26, 2009 at 1:03 PM

You are right Maxx and i give up. I will just ignore the creature.

sheebe on March 26, 2009 at 12:49 PM

At the risk of making Getabetterlife and all the other trolls very happy, I’d like to point out that they’re winning. By engaging these a$$wipes to the extent that a lot of posters do, you are chasing away others. It’s BORING to read all this schoolyard namecalling and pissing matches. There are many, many past HA participants who don’t post anymore. I’d like to say hundreds, but who knows-Call me names and tell me I’m no fun, but for anyone who’s been here for over a year, you know what I’m talking about.

anniekc on March 26, 2009 at 1:04 PM

I am simply NOT going to sit by and listen to self proclaimed “conservatives” complain about the government letting them down when it comes to SS.

csdeven on March 26, 2009 at 12:48 PM

Name any retirement vehicle presently safe from government appetite. Remember, the concept of contractual obligation has just come under threat.

a capella on March 26, 2009 at 1:05 PM

Name any retirement vehicle presently safe from government appetite. Remember, the concept of contractual obligation has just come under threat.

10 to 1 the 401k’s etc fall under social security within a year.

sonofdy on March 26, 2009 at 1:09 PM

getalife on March 26, 2009 at 11:44 AM

So, how much has the dem/Obama recession cost you?

Johan Klaus on March 26, 2009 at 1:13 PM

All the job losses from the bush economc disaster effected this fund.

Another reason to support the stimulus and the President’s main agenda of creating jobs.

getalife on March 26, 2009 at 11:44 AM

SS and Medicare is the liberal Rosemary’s Baby.

$60 trillion in the hole and growing and 2-3 trillion a year.

It’s based on numbers as bogus as an Obama budget.

Chuck Schick on March 26, 2009 at 1:13 PM

You seem to be implying that welfare benefits are a bigger burden than social security IOU’s. i dont think that it is.

When there are about 80 million boomers who are going to start retiring in the next few years, and you have to cut an average check of say 1500$ a month per retiree,( it was 1000$ average in 2000 and there is some sort of inflation index to the benefits).

Let’s assume that just half of the 80 million contributed to SS – you are talking about the Govt being responsible for paying about 1500$ times 40 million = 60,000 million = 60 billion per month and 720 billion a year.

And we havent even come close to talking about Medicare yet.

It is truly scary.

nagee76 on March 26, 2009 at 12:55 PM

You’re dealing with different issues, the raiding of the trust fund, and the benefits themselves. We can’t undo what has been done we can only proceed with the circumstances we are faced with. The trust fund is drained so all SS benefits, which include SSI are ongoing expenditures, and that’s why I discussed only ways to cut current benefits.

DFCtomm on March 26, 2009 at 1:14 PM

10 to 1 the 401k’s etc fall under social security within a year.

sonofdy on March 26, 2009 at 1:09 PM

I don’t think they’re that brash. That’s Annie get your gun voodoo there.

DFCtomm on March 26, 2009 at 1:17 PM

If they try the scam of rolling my IRA into SS, I will cash it out and pay the penalty as the money left will be more than I will ever see when I hit SS age.

JIMV on March 26, 2009 at 1:17 PM

Name any retirement vehicle presently safe from government appetite. Remember, the concept of contractual obligation has just come under threat.

a capella on March 26, 2009 at 1:05 PM

Living within ones means, diversifying your portfolio, self reliance, food storage, and keeping cash out of institutions that the government has their fingers in. I’ve been doing that since the 80′s. This economic downturn hasn’t affected my retirement funds at all. As a matter of fact, when reason returns to the financial sector, I’m going to be in position to feast off the corpses of those who pushed for the bailouts.

csdeven on March 26, 2009 at 1:18 PM

ernesto wrote:

1) Bush style reform would mean that the pain felt by 401k’s right now would be hitting those who are even less able to withstand it. We dodged a bullet.

This is not true.

Bush’s reform was voluntary and targeted at those 3-4 decades from retirement. The default funds would be lifecycle funds that automatically rebalance towards bonds as you get closer to retirement.

So actually, while people would be down right now, they would also be depositing in a down market. 30-40 years from now that will be looked back as a well-timed investment.

Chuck Schick on March 26, 2009 at 1:19 PM

They attacked Bush for even considering reforms along the lines of optional privatization and dug their heels into Capitol Hill until they turned blue.

Kinda reminds me of Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac…………..

……….. and look at where we are today.

Seven Percent Solution on March 26, 2009 at 1:28 PM

This economic downturn hasn’t affected my retirement funds at all. As a matter of fact, when reason returns to the financial sector, I’m going to be in position to feast off the corpses of those who pushed for the bailouts.

csdeven on March 26, 2009 at 1:18 PM

I wish you every success, but this hairball hasn’t even attained maximum mass and velocity yet. The rules change daily and Uncle Sam is sniffing out all potential sources of revenue. Concepts of personal property are blurring and financial security may very well mean something entirely different in ten or fifteen years, particularly when the ag segment gets nationalized.

a capella on March 26, 2009 at 1:33 PM

This economic downturn hasn’t affected my retirement funds at all. As a matter of fact, when reason returns to the financial sector, I’m going to be in position to feast off the corpses of those who pushed for the bailouts.

csdeven on March 26, 2009 at 1:18 PM

It’s a good feeling, isn’t it ;)

LimeyGeek on March 26, 2009 at 1:34 PM

Still—it always seems kind of odd to me that the vast pot from which government ‘employee’ pensions are drawn never seems to be in serious jeopardy. If it is, we never hear about it.

jeanie on March 26, 2009 at 1:35 PM

At the risk of making Getabetterlife and all the other trolls very happy, I’d like to point out that they’re winning. By engaging these a$$wipes to the extent that a lot of posters do, you are chasing away others. It’s BORING to read all this schoolyard namecalling and pissing matches. There are many, many past HA participants who don’t post anymore. I’d like to say hundreds, but who knows-Call me names and tell me I’m no fun, but for anyone who’s been here for over a year, you know what I’m talking about.

anniekc on March 26, 2009 at 1:04 PM<

Great post anniekc! I just hate being mean, but as old as I am my buttons get pushed and can’t stop. And yes the trolls have taken away a lot of great posters. I haven’t posted that much either lately. Been on Manly Rash’s site. HA still rocks though and have missed you all.

sheebe on March 26, 2009 at 1:36 PM

Why do that? It isn’t like the shit bag is to be taken seriously. It’s fun to hold up a mirror and show it what it is. It is simply a useful tool who spews little balls of donkey shit out of it’s throat every time it opens it’s mouth. And that trail of shit is gobbled up by it’s moonbat ilk.

csdeven on March 26, 2009 at 12:53 PM

Another great point! Thanks scdeven!

sheebe on March 26, 2009 at 1:38 PM

The bush collapse is saved but the bush recession continues.

getalife on March 26, 2009 at 12:07 PM

How much credit does Nancy and Dirty Harry get for the recession?

BTW, the shortfall in SS could not be made up from those “millions” of jobs that went overseas. Tell the rest of us why the jobs left to begin with.

Your guy owns the recession with all the spending on stuff that has nothing to do with stimulating the economy in the short term and everything with extending the recession in the long term. I almost forgot, your guy was one of those that voted ‘YES’ for the TARP, before he was ‘The Pretender in Charge’.

belad on March 26, 2009 at 1:43 PM

Fortunately I considered everything taken out of my check, to be gone for good.

darktood on March 26, 2009 at 1:43 PM

DOES THIS MEAN WE CAN PROCECUTE CONGRESS FOR A PONZI OF TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS. I QUOTE THE LAST SEN SCOOP JACKSON TO THE CONGRESS “BEWARE OF AN ANGRY AMERICA”

rone5847 on March 26, 2009 at 1:45 PM

This economic downturn hasn’t affected my retirement funds at all. As a matter of fact, when reason returns to the financial sector, I’m going to be in position to feast off the corpses of those who pushed for the bailouts.

csdeven on March 26, 2009 at 1:18 PM

It’s a good feeling, isn’t it ;)

LimeyGeek on March 26, 2009 at 1:34 PM

Fortunately I’m with you guys, but it only holds true as long as the basic underlying system survives intact, and I have doubts that it will, and if it doesn’t then all bets are off.

DFCtomm on March 26, 2009 at 1:46 PM

The bush Democrat collapse is saved but the bush Democrat recession continues.

getalife on March 26, 2009 at 12:07 PM

There, fixed it for you.

As you’ve been told dozens of times (but still haven’t gotten through that thick skull of yours)… Congress passes the budget. The President can only sign or reject what is sent him. Sure, Bush was weak… but make no mistake, it was the Democrat controlled Congress (through risk-multiplying laws, filibustering oversight, and increased debt spending) that enabled this mess.

However, I still think you’re wrong. The worst is yet to come…

dominigan on March 26, 2009 at 1:52 PM

I have fun with getalife. Though its a guilty pleasure, like poking an insurgent in a cage with a pointy stick.

I shouldn’t enjoy it, I know, but I do.

sonofdy on March 26, 2009 at 12:56 PM

In medieval times, knights would practice combat against practice dummies.

getalife is our dummy.

dominigan on March 26, 2009 at 1:56 PM

I’ve been posting here for well, well over a year too. I try not to pay much attention to getalife or sethstorm or any of the others–but from time to time, they do get on my nerves. The only way to limit them is to stop answering their posts or commenting on them(as I have unfortunately done here). Since many refuse to do this and they will never be banned or self-ban as they have not broken any rules(though I do wonder if generating traffic is why they are tolerated or used)we are stuck with them. Do not think that is why people stop or limit posting though. I am posting a lot less simply because I do not have the time on some days. Also, if no one else bothers with them they turn to each other.

jeanie on March 26, 2009 at 2:02 PM

PBS reports that the Social Security surplus, once considered safe for a generation, now may disappear in two years, next year … or may already have vanished.

Ed… the surpluses never existed. We just had few enough IOU’s to make us think that we actually had something was there. The Social Security Surplus was a joke since the libs started raiding it in the 60′s.

Chaz706 on March 26, 2009 at 2:17 PM

Obama unveils specifics on Socialized health care proposal, to
BURY US ALIVE. That will solve his problem with critics; but don’t think that being his faithful slave will spare you from being gagged, dumped, and covered. Only those who pull Obama’s strings are to remain. One wonders if even Obama will be left above ground.

maverick muse on March 26, 2009 at 2:21 PM

1) Bush style reform would mean that the pain felt by 401k’s right now would be hitting those who are even less able to withstand it. We dodged a bullet.

Hardly. He proposed investing 2% of Social Security funds into the stock market or other investments. We’re only talking a small percentage of contributions from the last few years losing value, not the entire fund. In any case the idea behind privatization was long-term growth, in which case this downturn would not have been a concern.

But I agree we dodged a bullet. As well-intentioned as Social Security privatization might have been, it would have still been run by the federal government. There is no way in hell this program will ever be managed honestly, even if funds are invested in the private market. We’re already seeing reports of TARP funds being funneled back into the pockets of the politicians, so I would imagine that a “privatized” Social Security would have just turned into another pocket-lining scheme.

The only way to fix Social Security is to phase it out. No new payers into the system. We pay off current beneficiaries as well as those who don’t have adequate time to build their nest egg (say, anyone over the age of 40). Personally, I’d be more than happy to forfeit my to-date contributions into that sinkhole if it meant I’d no longer have to pay into it. I can do more on my own with the hundreds of dollars a month I’d save than that Ponzi scheme ever could, plus I wouldn’t be bankrupting my kids in the process.

TheMightyMonarch on March 26, 2009 at 2:24 PM

In medieval times, knights would practice combat against practice dummies.

getalife is our dummy.

dominigan on March 26, 2009 at 1:56 PM

Reminds me of a song by the great rock band NRBQ…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSqgEH2l_5g

Del Dolemonte on March 26, 2009 at 2:28 PM

PBS reports that the Social Security surplus, once considered safe for a generation, now may disappear in two years, next year … or may already have vanished.

Ed… the surpluses never existed. We just had few enough IOU’s to make us think that we actually had something was there. The Social Security Surplus was a joke since the libs started raiding it in the 60’s.

Chaz706

Exactly. And why put into the “just now happened” past tense? Inheriting from Bush. Ludicrous, blame Bush for warning us. As soon as he took office, reforming Social Security to allow us our own savings accounts was his first priority.

Then 9/11 happened.

Now Obama is swindling us into national bankruptcy. All the outcry for the NEED to bail-out x,y,z was fabricated on the premise that we can’t afford to allow a bankruptcy. So there’s NO rationale excusing the knowing crime of Obama, purposely FORCING the bankruptcy of America with callous disregard for our personal and national security, being a MAN OF ANTIPATHY, with no allegiance to our Constitution.

maverick muse on March 26, 2009 at 2:29 PM

Reminds me of a song by the great rock band NRBQ…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSqgEH2l_5g

Del Dolemonte on March 26, 2009 at 2:28 PM

Oops, sorry about that. The band pulled it from youtube.

Del Dolemonte on March 26, 2009 at 2:29 PM

Here’s my opinion on getalife and others…they tend not to answer the people who ask them the questions designed to get them into a conversation. They post their talking points and get off on people sniping back. It’s an ego trip.

So if someone is refusing to enter the conversation and just spout off talking points, stop engaging them. Reward the trolls with responses when they stop being trolls and actually defend their positions.

TheMightyMonarch on March 26, 2009 at 2:37 PM

Isn’t Obama going to be cutting payroll taxes in a month or so? What impact will that have on Social Security?

Terrye on March 26, 2009 at 2:38 PM

It’s a good feeling, isn’t it ;)

LimeyGeek on March 26, 2009 at 1:34 PM

I giggle like a schoolgirl!

csdeven on March 26, 2009 at 2:39 PM

That’s ok.

Bambi and Congress will simply put a 90% tax on those evil 401K’s and IRA’s which those evil people are using to horde money.

CrazyFool on March 26, 2009 at 2:45 PM

Soc Sec. doesn’t need reform. Neither did Fannie and Freddie…. nothing to see here, move along.

Scrappy on March 26, 2009 at 2:59 PM

Phase out SS–suppose it could be done if the Gov. gave it enough forethought and especially enough time because I think it would take at lease one generation, possibly two. I have only limited dealings with SS in the form of Medicare etc but consider it a mixed blessing. On the one hand, I would find medical costs impossible to deal with on my(other than ss)pension but resent the interference in my life that Medicare sometimes warrants and understand it’s punitive effects on generations younger than mine. The cost of Medicare goes up yearly with no end in sight, but it still helps keep medical expenses affordable(for now). Suspect the costs of universal health care would grow much the same but at a much faster and steeper climb. Frankly,judging by the percentage yearly increases in Medicare and corresponding reductions in service, I can see universal health care bankrupting eveyone very quickly and degenerating into an ineffective and useless ‘benefit’ in two generations or less without massive tax increases.

jeanie on March 26, 2009 at 3:06 PM

Isn’t Obama going to be cutting payroll taxes in a month or so? What impact will that have on Social Security?

Terrye on March 26, 2009 at 2:38 PM

I sense the expiration date for that particular Obama promise is rapidly approaching.

Phase out SS–suppose it could be done if the Gov. gave it enough forethought and especially enough time because I think it would take at lease one generation, possibly two.

jeanie on March 26, 2009 at 3:06 PM

That would have been a wise and prudent approach in 1985. Now we’re only inches away from slamming into the brick wall that marks the end of Franklin Roosevelt’s imagination, and the Democrats have their foot down on the gas pedal. I don’t know that any plan with a reasonable chance of passing in the post-Obama environment – let alone the current environment of tossing billions of tax dollars at every favored constituency – could really “fix” the system now.

Any attempt at dramatic reform will run afoul of the most highly organized, motivated, politically persistent special-interest group in America today: the retirees. They’re concentrated in swing states like Florida, they vote in vastly higher percentages than any other group, and they have both the will and the time to endlessly petition and threaten politicians to get what they want. As a demographic, they have more money to spend than virtually any other sector of the electorate, and they’re ready to spend it to ensure their benefits are not reduced in the slightest. Also as a group, they are not particularly moved by arguments that Social Security is damaging to the overall economy due to its unfunded liabilities – they will not allow anything to jeopardize the benefits they feel they are entitled to.

If you think government policy in the Bush and Obama eras was damaged by excessive interference from special-interest groups, just wait until someone suggests privatizing Social Security, and AARP swings into action. The only way to mollify them is to devise a plan that guarantees existing retirees their benefits, and allows younger people paying into the system to opt into private savings accounts. Bush proposed such a plan in 2004, but the Democrats killed it with a fury that we can only wish they would deploy against America’s military enemies. If these latest numbers on Social Security are right, I fear it’s far too late for anything as moderate as Bush’s plan to have any success now.

Doctor Zero on March 26, 2009 at 3:43 PM

So who is the last guy in the room to realize that SocSec was never there in the first place? The government has been raiding the fund for years.

percysunshine on March 26, 2009 at 3:54 PM

Has there ever been a greater triumvirate of looters then Obama, Reid, and Pelosi?

18-1 on March 26, 2009 at 11:05 AM

They’re certainly not the first. If you look at History, you’ll see it’s been repeated over and over ~ when are we going to learn? We need to vote all the demogogue thieves out, including the Fed Bankers (is there another Andrew Jackson per chance?)

http://www.library.gsu.edu/spcoll/spcollimages/labor/19clabor/Labor%20Prints/79-40_21.jpg

corvettelady on March 26, 2009 at 4:05 PM

What I don’t understand is that this is simple, and I mean simple math.

How much is coming in…how much is paid out…the difference is either a plus or a minus.
Plus is good, minus is bad.

That is the balance of the Social Security, even a guy who can’t do his taxes, would be able to figure this one out.
Want another one?
This apply’s to any state…

Take the total state pension fund, add each month what comes in…now subtract each month what goes out (you know who and when someone is going to retire, so figure that in also for future projections if you want).
If it is a plus number, good…a minus number, bad.

I know those are complex formulas for Politicians, so call up any 5th grader and they can help you.

right2bright on March 26, 2009 at 4:13 PM

Hypocrites.

They bitched and moaned for 8 years but never bought a clue.

Sounds like that old adage about why G-d* gave us 2 ears and only 1 mouth…

*You may also insert Natural Selection as your deity, if you so desire.

bluelightbrigade on March 26, 2009 at 4:16 PM

At risk of changing subject but is distantly relevant I think: Should the middle class tax cut not come about will it influence voters against the obama administration?

jeanie on March 26, 2009 at 4:22 PM

He/she is a troll-plain and simple…

nagee76 on March 26, 2009 at 12:37 PM

LOL-You forgot it.

Yeah, but sometimes trolls need to be smacked around with the truth bat.

Besides, sometimes its fun. :-)

-Dave

Dave R. on March 26, 2009 at 4:26 PM

Doctor Zero on March 26, 2009 at 3:43 PM

If what you say is true and I’m not arguing with it–it didn’t hold much sway with obama in the last election. He more or less ignored the elderly lobby except for the occasional visit and 3 or 4 of us prominently in the audience behind him now and then. My take on the matter is that , in general, the elderly did not vote for obama as a group. I thought they voted McCain. Now, did SS figure into this? And, yes, while they are a powerful and passionate group they cannot hold a candle to the unions in either of these. Does that figure into SS reform? Perhaps they actually like the idea of younger people opting for private accounts over time and with consideration for both sides? Also, universal health care would have to become a reality if Medicare were to be phased out. Not looking to argue here, though it may sound that way, just pointing out that perhaps the elderly are not as single minded as you seem to think.

jeanie on March 26, 2009 at 4:37 PM

I realise that we are talking about old farts, when we talk about means testing or stopping Social Security. We can add in about some not-so-old whippersnappers when we are talking about siezing 401Ks. Unlike much of the country, when all those particular peoples’ savings and pensions and earned ss have has been confiscated by the government, there will be some really PO’d older folks.

Contra opinionum aliam, a very large percentage of these folks are in the 23 million vetrans. Most are not afraid of very much, and most old veterans of 60 – 70 can whip the snot out of the obamabots shitting in mamma’s basement. If Obama really wants to light the spark that will blow us all away, take away everything these people have worked for. They were soldiers and know how to organize for action. I’m sure a lot of others facing confiscation will follow their lead. When I have nothing left to lose, my constitutional oath goes out the window. If Obama doesn’t have to follow it, I don’t either.

Note, I am not advocating, I am predicting.

Old Country Boy on March 26, 2009 at 4:47 PM

So I guess I should serve catfood once a week…that way by the time I’m ready to retire I will have acquired a taste for it.

ProudPatriot on March 26, 2009 at 5:09 PM

I seem to remember the Democrats standing up and cheering when they blocked Social Security reform.

Perhaps they’ll cheer again when people start asking where the money is.

GarandFan on March 26, 2009 at 5:11 PM

Maybe harry was counting on the money from our lost war.

oakpack on March 26, 2009 at 5:18 PM

ProudPatriot on March 26, 2009 at 5:09 PM

Not necessary since we have been declared as having”…more money to spend than virtually any other sector”.

jeanie on March 26, 2009 at 5:22 PM

So I guess I should serve catfood once a week…that way by the time I’m ready to retire I will have acquired a taste for it.

ProudPatriot on March 26, 2009 at 5:09 PM

Dry type is best. Some milk and sugar,..perhaps some cinammon. Don’t get the fish flavor.

a capella on March 26, 2009 at 5:35 PM

If what you say is true and I’m not arguing with it–it didn’t hold much sway with obama in the last election. He more or less ignored the elderly lobby except for the occasional visit and 3 or 4 of us prominently in the audience behind him now and then. My take on the matter is that , in general, the elderly did not vote for obama as a group. I thought they voted McCain. Now, did SS figure into this? And, yes, while they are a powerful and passionate group they cannot hold a candle to the unions in either of these. Does that figure into SS reform? Perhaps they actually like the idea of younger people opting for private accounts over time and with consideration for both sides? Also, universal health care would have to become a reality if Medicare were to be phased out. Not looking to argue here, though it may sound that way, just pointing out that perhaps the elderly are not as single minded as you seem to think.

jeanie on March 26, 2009 at 4:37 PM

I think the seniors generally preferred McCain from a generational and philosophical standpoint, although many retirees are from deep-blue states or old Democrat families, and tend to vote according to those traditions. However, there was no great sense that Social Security or Medicare issues were front and center in this last election. The seniors lobby is very disciplined – they tend to be the most active members of any community on local issues, but they only mobilize at the state or national level when Social Security or Medicare is threatened.

The last time they really flexed their muscle was during the Medicare prescription drug debate, and they indisputably stood on the winning side of that battle. Note how quickly they turned on Bush when he started talking about Social Security reform, though.

None of this is to say the feelings of the seniors lobby are unfair or inexplicable. I live in Florida, so I have many opportunities to observe them in action. I didn’t mean to slam them earlier, only describe them accurately: they’re tough, motivated, powerful, and absolutely adamant that Social Security must never be altered in any way, even if it destroys the entire federal government in a budget implosion. My parents hail from the trailing edge of the Greatest Generation, and they view Social Security as a sacred compact, something FDR promised them as the crowning jewel of the New Deal. It is both a financial consideration, and an emotional topic for them.

The level of coordination displayed by the seniors lobby is extremely formidable, better than virtually any other interest group, and the demographics of our aging population guarantee a very large membership in AARP and its sister organizations. Simply put, the seniors are one of the toughest teams on the political football field, almost all of them vote with religious intensity, they have a lot of time and resources to apply toward political campaigns, and there are a lot of them. They don’t go off half-cocked on peripheral issues, but the two topics guaranteed to arouse them are Social Security and Medicare. In the unlikely event Obama makes a move to reduce those benefits, or tax them, they’ll blow him away. He’s unlikely to be foolish enough to do that – few politicians are.

My only criticism of the seniors lobby is their utter inflexibility when it comes to discussing these necessary reforms. I don’t blame them for being suspicious of anything that might reduce their benefits, and while they are the overall wealthiest demographic in the country, many of them are struggling on fixed incomes – it’s small consolation to know that 40% of your age cohort are above the national median net worth, if you’re part of the other 60%. The problem is that rapidly approaching brick wall, and that Democrat foot on the gas pedal. We simply waited too long to address the inherent unsustainability of the Social Security Ponzi scheme, and we’ve sailed far past the point where gradual, opt-in privatization schemes are likely to save the day. The large majorities of young people who have been telling pollsters since the 1990s that they expect to lose every nickel they put into Social Security are, sadly, correct.

The system will go bankrupt soon, or maybe already has. Today we learn that our budget deficits may be far larger than we thought, due to a vanished Social Security surplus. Tomorrow we may learn the Social Security system has pushed the entire country over the edge into absolute bankruptcy. If 85% of the federal budget has to go into paying SS benefits, some ugly battles for those limited slices of government pie are going to break out… and it’s not as if we have much chance of growing the economy enough to make the government solvent, at least not until after 2012.

Doctor Zero on March 26, 2009 at 5:57 PM

Any surpluses are gone because for years Congress has stolen any monthly surplus payments, and put them in the general fund, leaving SS an IOU. Not appropriating the money wouldn’t have solved the problem, but would have made it far less severe.

GFW on March 26, 2009 at 6:07 PM

So I guess I should serve catfood once a week…that way by the time I’m ready to retire I will have acquired a taste for it.

That’s no joke. I already spend as much money on cat food for my two cats as I do on myself. I can get by with cheese sandwiches for lunch and dinner.

keep the change on March 26, 2009 at 6:13 PM

The Liberal Crooked Cabal of Corruption.

marklmail on March 26, 2009 at 6:22 PM

I’ve been paying 15% of my paycheck for years, and I will have nothing to show for it. I think I could have done much better for myself with that money over the past twenty years, than the government has done!
.
ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF A FAILED GOVERNMENT PROGRAM. And they are going to run our healthcare. Well, I did not like growing old. I guess I won’t have to worry about that now…

JeffVader on March 26, 2009 at 6:25 PM

They better come up with that money real quick. Or there will be such a march on Washington that will make the government’s head spin. After 50 years of putting that money in(all the while not ever thinking I would see a dime of it)they better cough it up, especially after sending 2 billion bucks to ACORN. I’ve seen a lot of government screw ups in my lifetime, but these last two months have been absolutely unbelievable.

BetseyRoss on March 26, 2009 at 6:39 PM

I’ve been posting here for well, well over a year too. I try not to pay much attention to getalife or sethstorm or any of the others–but from time to time, they do get on my nerves. The only way to limit them is to stop answering their posts or commenting on them(as I have unfortunately done here). Since many refuse to do this and they will never be banned or self-ban as they have not broken any rules(though I do wonder if generating traffic is why they are tolerated or used)we are stuck with them. Do not think that is why people stop or limit posting though. I am posting a lot less simply because I do not have the time on some days. Also, if no one else bothers with them they turn to each other.

jeanie on March 26, 2009 at 2:02 PM

I agree. I have been posing for about a month now and I have already mentioned in one of my posts. No need to bother with them.

One thing though..if the country is turned Socialist who will need Security? We need to totally fight that turning to Socialism.

OneConservative on March 26, 2009 at 6:53 PM

No money left for us. Gone. billions to ACORN so they can get votes to keep these same crooks and thieves in office to steal more of our money. REVOLUTION!

marklmail on March 26, 2009 at 6:54 PM

Hey guys I recently adopted the Social Security Trust Fund method of accounting, and it’s working great. When I’m at a ballgame, and I want to buy a beer, I take the money out of my right pocket and put it into my left pocket. Then my left pocket spends the money and gives my right pocket an IOU for $6. After one game I have like $60 in IOUs in my right pocket. I’m saving them for my retirement.

Ted Torgerson on March 26, 2009 at 7:01 PM

Go here to find out about SS and what has been done to the program

http://www.nikitas3.com/how_social_security_is_gutting_y.htm

Necromancer on March 26, 2009 at 7:17 PM

An excerpt from GAO report number GAO-08-847T released on June 5, 2008

[...]

The future costs of Social Security and Medicare commitments are reported in the Statement of Social Insurance in the Financial Report. We were able to render an unqualified opinion on the 2007 Statement of Social Insurance–a significant accomplishment for the federal government. The statement displays the present value of projected revenues and expenditures for scheduled benefits of social insurance programs. For Social Security and Medicare alone, projected expenditures for scheduled benefits exceed earmarked revenues (i.e., dedicated payroll taxes and premiums) by approximately $41 trillion over the next 75 years in present value terms. Stated differently, one would need approximately $41 trillion invested today to deliver on the currently promised benefits not covered by earmarked revenues for the
next 75 years.

Table 1 shows a simplified version of the Statement of Social Insurance by its primary components.

Table 1: Simplified Statement of Social Insurance as of January 1, 2007 (Dollars in trillions):

Present value of future revenue (earmarked contributions, taxes, and premiums):

Social Security: $34 trillion;
Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A): $11 trillion;
Medicare Supplementary Medical Insurance (Part B): $5 trillion;
Medicare Supplementary Medical Insurance (Part D): $2 trillion;

Total: $52 trillion.

Present value of expenditures for scheduled future benefits[A]:
Social Security: $41 trillion;
Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A): $23 trillion;
Medicare Supplementary Medical Insurance (Part B): $18 trillion;
Medicare Supplementary Medical Insurance (Part D): $11 trillion;

Total: $93 trillion.

Present value of future expenditures in excess of future revenue[B]:
Social Security: ($7 trillion);
Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A): ($12 trillion);
Medicare Supplementary Medical Insurance (Part B): ($13 trillion);
Medicare Supplementary Medical Insurance (Part D): ($8 trillion);

Total: ($41 trillion).

Source: The Department of the Treasury.

Notes: Data are from the fiscal year 2007 Financial Report. Totals do not necessarily equal the sum of the components due to rounding.

[A] These amounts include administrative expenses for the programs.

[B] Under current law, Social Security and Federal Hospital Insurance (Medicare Part A) payments are limited to amounts available to the respective trust funds.

[...]

Xiphos on March 26, 2009 at 7:36 PM

That’s what you get when you give billions of dollars to Illegal Aliens…KEEP DOIN’ IT!!! Isn’t it working out great????

RealDemocrat on March 26, 2009 at 7:54 PM

If we can survive to the end of this, life might be nice…

There’s not enough taxes in the world to fix this, it’s just a question of waiting until it falls apart.

John_Locke on March 26, 2009 at 8:03 PM

I know he won’t answer but hey anyway GETALIFE,, how will hte stimulus plan help GM, Ford, Chrysler, and Caterpiller increase jobs? You failed to answer which legislation helped bring on the bush diaster and I am really curious on what it was. Demos seem to work better when they are out of power because when they are in power they have no ideas.

garydt on March 26, 2009 at 8:04 PM

Demos seem to work better when they are out of power because when they are in power they have no ideas.

That’ll work.

fogw on March 26, 2009 at 8:52 PM

I think the picture for this story might better be about the story discussing the devil(s). Man are they an evil pair!

Bambi on March 26, 2009 at 9:21 PM

The picture of Pelosi/Reid on this post looks like medicated out patients.

portlandon on March 26, 2009 at 10:55 PM

Add to this the inclination for those who are of sufficient age to retire early…

desertdweller on March 26, 2009 at 11:46 PM

This is the quality of financial projections Democrats have provided over the last few years, and now we have Orszag in charge of the budget. Yesterday we pointed out the fact that even Orszag’s sunny predictions of the deficit over the next 12 years exceeds anything seen during the Bush administration — and now he’s lost the Social Security surplus for those years to mask even bigger deficits.

Dems can’t even manange their own budget, now they want to ‘power grab’ private companies? Congress to over-haul healthcare? Spend 6.1 BILLION on Volunterism for Youth?

TN Mom on March 26, 2009 at 11:55 PM

Daaaammmmnnnn! Pelosi looks terrible in that pic. And Reid thought it was the sweaty tourists stinking up the building…think again.

repalincan on March 27, 2009 at 1:15 AM

Democrats in the Senate are talking of cutting back President Obama’s pledge of tax cuts for most Americans in the face of record deficits. But 63% of U.S. voters now say tax cuts would help the economy, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

Hello 2010…

Keemo on March 27, 2009 at 7:59 AM

clinton never had a surplus
he robbed from social security to balance the budget
the repubs had him on welfare reform and spending and merely lower the rate of deficit spending – NO SURPLUS

Obambi will take the cap on SS away
anyone making more than 101k will keep paying 15% on all their wages – all year long

seniors vote and vote hard, you can’t lower benefits
but you can inflate the money till that $1200 a month doesn’t buy that much

clueless youngsters will have to pay and pay big
those with a brain will all be republicans by the time they land a good job and see all the Obambi funding taxes eat their fat paycheck but they will act like rock stars overspending as if they get their gross not their net income – foolish indeed

as a productive member in my late 40′s (late boomer) I’ll never see a dime on SS – taking care of myself with my own means (never collected unenjoyment, Katrina subsidy, etc)

401ks will be hit, death tax and anything else
triple dipping, carbon tax, increased energy costs, you name it, it’s coming fast

and while we should be belt tightening we will actually be giving illegal immegrants full benefits of our failed systems so they will continually vote in the next round of liberal thieves

10% of the population can’t pay for 90%
top 5% pays 60% of the taxes in America

as companies lay off and go under
the tax base will shrink and shrink
US isn’t a producing country

we are in serious trouble
and this administration is raping and pillaging capitalism for it’s socialistic bent
Obambi knows what he’s doing and can’t conceal his intentions – he just isn’t that clever

2010 can’t come fast enough

audiotom on March 27, 2009 at 10:06 AM

The truth is exposed. We are no longer free because we are not Socially Secured.

Let’s get the facts straight, the NWO is upon us. In only little over 60 days the Administration has, through disregard for the rule of law, passed legislation to give away any of the country’s savings, forced us into working for the government (for free because there is nothing to pay us), and taken away any thought of retiring after one gives it their all.

I just about puked when I heard President Obama say we are a nation of laws that we must adhere to. It is true we are a nation of laws, but only that we agreed to.

When President Obama, says we are a nation of laws he is only referring to those that he considers relevant to his and his cronies agenda.

MSGTAS on March 27, 2009 at 10:36 AM

Democratic plans are all ‘perfect’, ‘invincible’, ‘unsinkable’ or ‘invulnerable’ until they bump into the icebergs of reality.

MaiDee on March 27, 2009 at 12:33 PM

Don’t worry. There’s always the trusty pandemic as a fallback to get rid of excess old folks and the sickly.

They’ve sure been talking up the pandemic lately. Even FEMA is sending emails on the subject to the first responders.

eaglesdontflock on March 27, 2009 at 1:48 PM

““When businesses start to sell less product and need to downsize, they will lay people off. As they expand and sell more product, they will need to hire more people. I just wanted to explain all of that to you.”

Barry left out the key part of this:

“After my first day in the White House in dawned on me that in order to even appear like I had a clue what to do, I needed to know a thing or two about how business actually works. So, I figured I’d call up Mitt Romney; someone with a lot of experience with this business thing. You know what he told me?……”

Fed45 on March 28, 2009 at 12:31 AM

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