Exclusive: CBO predicts Social Security cash deficits in 2010-11; Update: Too much sunny optimism at CBO?

posted at 8:48 am on September 22, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Four years ago, George W. Bush attempted to reform the entitlement program Social Security, warning that the system was accelerating into collapse and would soon run deficits.  Democrats scoffed and claimed the Social Security system was solid and wouldn’t have problems for at least 50 years, as Harry Reid told PBS’ Jim Lehrer in June 2005.  Just last year, the CBO — under the direction of Peter Orszag, now budget director in the Obama administration — claimed that the first cash deficits in Social Security would not come until 2019.

Now, however, the CBO has determined that Social Security will run cash deficits next year and in 2011, and by 2016 will be more or less in permanent deficit mode.  Hot Air has exclusively obtained the summer 2009 CBO report sent to legislators on Capitol Hill but not yet made public, which shows that outgo will exceed income for the first time since the 1983 fix on an annual basis in 2010:

OASDI Summer 2009 projections

OASDI Summer 2009 projections: click to enlarge in new window

The numbers need explaining.  The number to watch is the “Primary Surplus” number, which watches actual income and expenditures without the interest payments from the general fund.  The interest payments mask the fact that costs have begun to outstrip income on an annual basis (individual months have gone into deficit in the past).   One way to look at this, according to my sources, is to think of this as a mortgage, and in 2010-11, the income can’t make the payments, so the general fund has to cover them.  Since the interest obligation compounds, the debt grows.

As we can see, this trend reverses itself temporarily from 2012-15, but the surpluses are minimal.  By 2016, the deficits return, and begin to accelerate again.  By 2019, the primary surplus runs $63 billion in the red, almost triple the deficit in 2017, showing the rapid decline of the Social Security system.

This demonstrates nothing better than the poor and politically calculated analyses that came out of the CBO during Peter Orszag’s tenure at the Congressional agency.  Democrats wanted analyses that allowed them to ignore the problems in Social Security, and Orszag was happy to supply them.  Douglas Elmendorf has had to right the ship at CBO while Orszag continues to blow his predictions at OMB, most notably in overall deficit projections, which Orszag had to admit were off by more than 40% and $2.2 trillion over the next ten years.

Of course, they were helped along by a complacent media unwilling to do math, and a host of apologists for the Left.  Chuck Blahous at the Hudson Institute has a good rundown of those he calls the “mythmakers”.  It’s worth reading in its entirety, as is Robert Reich’s “All is well!” blogpost from four months ago, apparently working off of the Orszag numbers from last year.

The situation at Social Security is much worse than this administration and Democrats in Congress want to admit.  They want to continue busting the deficit and creating new entitlements while the existing ones careen towards collapse.  The new data shows that time has almost run out for reform.  Seniors will still get their checks, but those will increasingly rely on injections from the general fund and not revenues from Social Security payments.  At this point, one has to wonder when SSA becomes a flat-out Ponzi scheme, and who the suckers will be when it blows up.

Update: Fixed a couple of typos, and also recalled (thanks to a Hot Air reader) that SocSec briefly ran an annual cash deficit before the 1983 fix.

Update II: Steve at No Runny Eggs, who has been keeping a very close eye on SSA, says that the CBO numbers project some eye-popping payroll-revenue growth numbers to get back to surpluses (briefly) by 2012.  According to the numbers, CBO projects a 6.19% growth rate in 2012, and 5.69% in 2013, then dropping to 4.59% in 2014 and declining afterwards.  Assuming that they only peak at the 4.59% number for all three years — still a rather optimistic projection — Social Security never actually comes out of its deficits at all:

Be sure to read Steve’s post to get the full explanation of his projections.


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rock the casbah on September 22, 2009 at 9:04 AM

Hope you like working for less in the future, as those non-retiring Boomers help hold down your wages.

BradSchwartze on September 22, 2009 at 10:34 AM

What really gets to me is that the system, when introduced, was specifically stated not to be a retirement system. It was designed like a whole life insurance policy, to cover dependents in the event of an early death by the breadwinner, with a small stipend at the end, if the breadwinner lived long enough to stop working. It was never intended to be, nor was it sold as, a retirement system; the fact that it is being used as such is why it is going broke.

Vashta.Nerada on September 22, 2009 at 10:24 AM

There really wasn’t a concept of retirement, in the way we understand it today, at the time it was first developed, either. The vast majority of people worked until they couldn’t, and didn’t live long after.

ProfessorMiao on September 22, 2009 at 10:37 AM

Hope you like not working for less in the future, as those non-retiring Boomers help hold down your wagestake any available job to pay the food and rent bills.

BradSchwartze on September 22, 2009 at 10:34 AM

Ftfy. Also happening now as opposed to in the future, and not just with Boomers either.

Dark-Star on September 22, 2009 at 10:38 AM

Hope you like working for less in the future, as those non-retiring Boomers help hold down your wages.

BradSchwartze on September 22, 2009 at 10:34 AM

Are they collecting Social Security?

ProfessorMiao on September 22, 2009 at 10:38 AM

The vast majority of people worked until they couldn’t, and didn’t live long after.

ProfessorMiao on September 22, 2009 at 10:37 AM

That, or ran their children ragged as they tried to provide for their own children as well as decrepit parents. (the so-called ‘sandwich’ years) This is still how it works in many Third-World nations; kids are born to be free labor and meal tickets in one’s dotage.

Pretty lousy system, isn’t it? Oh well. At least a few generations had another option.

Dark-Star on September 22, 2009 at 10:41 AM

Shocking that a ponzi scheme could run out of money. Seriously, it’s time to elect some grown ups that will get rid of these doomed social programs.

hawksruleva on September 22, 2009 at 10:43 AM

At this point, one has to wonder when SSA becomes a flat-out Ponzi scheme, and who the suckers will be when it blows up.

I believe we reached that point sometime back in the 1990s.

This, of course, can’t be blamed on the filthy liar to any great extent but his party needs to be nailed to the wall for the way they have mis-managed this program and refused to even consider the privitization plan of GWB.

highhopes on September 22, 2009 at 10:44 AM

Pretty lousy system, isn’t it? Oh well. At least a few generations had another option.

Dark-Star on September 22, 2009 at 10:41 AM

What’s lousy about it? Children are cared for by their parents, they should return the favor when their parents need help.

If it’s too much of a BURDEN on you to care for the people who raised you, let them starve and cut off their meds, and go back to finding financing for your Lexus.

hawksruleva on September 22, 2009 at 10:45 AM

Seriously, it’s time to elect some grown ups that will get rid of these doomed social programs.

hawksruleva on September 22, 2009 at 10:43 AM

Politically speaking, no social program is going to be eliminated. They have to collapse on their own so the politicians are picking up the pieces not “taking away” something.

highhopes on September 22, 2009 at 10:46 AM

That, or ran their children ragged as they tried to provide for their own children as well as decrepit parents. (the so-called ’sandwich’ years) This is still how it works in many Third-World nations; kids are born to be free labor and meal tickets in one’s dotage.

Pretty lousy system, isn’t it? Oh well. At least a few generations had another option.

Dark-Star on September 22, 2009 at 10:41 AM

I don’t know that the ‘providing’ was always hugely onerous. It was normal for one adult child to stay in the parents’ home when he married. So if the parents owned the home, the adult child living with them didn’t have the burden of providing housing to his family. And his mother could provide child care etc. while the son and daughter-in-law both worked outside the home.

ProfessorMiao on September 22, 2009 at 10:47 AM

I think the Dems may become fiscal conservatives to fix this problem…

…they will get rid of the CBO to free up some cash.

Joe Caps on September 22, 2009 at 10:50 AM

What’s lousy about it?

It puts an insane amount of pressure on the ‘sandwiched’. A typical sandwich-parent may well be dealing with trying to control a rebellious/sullen/lazy teenager or two, maintain their marriage, provide care for their aging parent(s)*, perform well enough at their job(s),

Now of course, this all wasn’t quite as bad a problem back in the day when we weren’t all crowded together like sardines…

Children are cared for by their parents, they should return the favor when their parents need help.

No sh!t, Sherlock. But their parents should not HAVE to rely on them because there is no way for the average person to save up for at least semi-independent retirement. Again – options.

If it’s too much of a BURDEN on you to care for the people who raised you, let them starve and cut off their meds, and go back to finding financing for your Lexus.

hawksruleva on September 22, 2009 at 10:45 AM

Ah yes, the typical rich-brat slur by a clueless ‘conservative’.

I couldn’t even afford a Lexus if you gave it to me for free, nor any other car for that matter. Maintenance costs, you know. PTL that this nation is still rich enough to have public transit.

*this is especially hard if said parent(s) have developed mental or physical issues that require special care.

Dark-Star on September 22, 2009 at 10:53 AM

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m taking ACORN’s advice and burying my cash in the back yard. I’ll also be claiming my chihuahua as a dependent from now on. (In case I get caught I bought some Obama bumper stickers and a ‘Bush is a war criminal’ t-shirt so I can blame it on TurboTax.)

To ease my state of mind I am taking Robert Reich’s advice to change my assumptions about the future. If I ASS-U-ME it will be better, well then it WILL BE.

Is there anything else I should do? Help me ObamACORN. You’re my only hope.

Onus on September 22, 2009 at 10:56 AM

I’m not so sure that calling Social Security an “entitlement program” is an accurate description.
To me it’s more of a social insurance program, which at times is fiscally mismanaged. And trust me on this. If your spouse should die suddenly, leaving you to raise your very young children on your own, you will be thankful that such a program exists and that both you and your spouse paid into it.

OxyCon on September 22, 2009 at 10:58 AM

Well. let’s see: I am almost 59 and plan on retiring when I am 62. SS will only be a part of the mix to support me upon retirement. I will, of course, demand my full SS payment that I have paid in to since I was 16, in 1967.

The federal government can shut down everything but the military to make sure they pay what I am owed. Education? Closed. Energy? Closed. HUD? Closed. I simply don’t care.

As for those of you who are under 40, I suggest you consider your SS “contributions” to be essentially worthless.

Mine? No.

sdillard on September 22, 2009 at 11:00 AM

I have a theory about Obama’s omnipresence. I think Axelrod/Emanuel and Obama are keeping him in the news and on tv 24/7 to keep the focus on the surface so people don’t see what’s going on behind the scenes (and there’s a ton going on in their radical agenda). Beck has pierced the smoke screen.

marklmail on September 22, 2009 at 11:01 AM

OxyCon on September 22, 2009 at 10:58 AM

Nailhead. SS was indeed designed as a sort of social insurance program and would have worked if it hadn’t been mismanaged. Unfortunately the monies that were designated to it have been looted and the whole thing is now little more than a second form of general head-tax.

Dark-Star on September 22, 2009 at 11:02 AM

and who the suckers will be when it blows up.

Here is the easy answer: my kids. Not only that, but my wife will be left high and dry, too. She is 11 years my junior and I’m a parasite now.

Mirimichi on September 22, 2009 at 11:04 AM

*this is especially hard if said parent(s) have developed mental or physical issues that require special care.

Dark-Star on September 22, 2009 at 10:53 AM

It is a sad irony that the increased life expectancies of recent decades have greatly exacerbated the problems of caring for aging parents.

ProfessorMiao on September 22, 2009 at 11:07 AM

Shocking that a ponzi scheme could run out of money. Seriously, it’s time to elect some grown ups that will get rid of these doomed social programs.

hawksruleva on September 22, 2009 at 10:43 AM

Bush tried but donks would have no part of it.

I don’t see what the problem is here. We have plenty of funny money to bail out banks, bail out the auto industry, give health care to everyone and pay for Cap and Trade, so there must still be like a kazillion dollars left on the gubmint money tree for the old folks.

/sarc

The government has no business sense. If they ran a lemonade stand they would sell it for $10,000 a glass and anticipate with excitement how friggin much money they’ll make by selling only one glass.

fogw on September 22, 2009 at 11:09 AM

SS was indeed designed as a sort of social insurance program and would have worked if it hadn’t been mismanaged. Unfortunately the monies that were designated to it have been looted and the whole thing is now little more than a second form of general head-tax.

Medicare also has been looted. Had these social welfare programs been under the direction of a private entity, those CEO’s would be in orange jumpsuits for a long, long time.

Yet I read Paul Krugman (and other Progressives) who say over and over and over how great Medicare and Social Security are even though they have trillions in unfunded liability. He never seems to mention that part. Only that we should go further, including the ultimate Liberal agenda: single-payer health care.

This is why our Founders had it right: limited government is, and always will be, the answer to 99% of our problems.

visions on September 22, 2009 at 11:11 AM

sdillard on September 22, 2009 at 11:00 AM

Totally effing agree. I started in 1961. Before that if you count my part time jobs when I was in high school.

Mirimichi on September 22, 2009 at 11:12 AM

To me it’s more of a social insurance program, which at times is fiscally mismanaged. And trust me on this. If your spouse should die suddenly, leaving you to raise your very young children on your own, you will be thankful that such a program exists and that both you and your spouse paid into it.

OxyCon on September 22, 2009 at 10:58 AM

Which is why means testing makes sense. But along with that reform and privitization, the biggest cost saver would be to reign in the entitlements to a more reasonable level of benefits. The filthy liar is attempting to destroy the quality of healthcare, why isn’t he attempting to resolve this issue?

Oh! That’s right. Healthcare is the crisis that needs to be solved now, not SS.

highhopes on September 22, 2009 at 11:12 AM

As for those of you who are under 40, I suggest you consider your SS “contributions” to be essentially worthless.

Mine? No.

sdillard on September 22, 2009 at 11:00 AM

Yours are worthless too. The courts have already ruled that you have no rights to the money you paid in, and the system will go broke in the near future.

Vashta.Nerada on September 22, 2009 at 11:13 AM

Again, what’s your solution? How would you solve the problem.

Trent1289 on September 22, 2009 at 10:28 AM

Well, create a healthy private enterprise system, lower corporate taxes, give incentives to buy and develop manufacturing in the U.S.
Bring energy sources back home, remove regulation, leeson government interference, bring back power to the states, and remove it from Washington.
Limit lobbyists, limit politician’s power, all of these things create a healthy society, that allows us to then focus on the “right” things.

right2bright on September 22, 2009 at 11:14 AM

Did you go to school, that is a school I built for you…
right2bright on September 22, 2009 at 9:33 AM

So you believe the fact that you paid taxes all your life entitles you to take someone else’s money now that you are retired?

MarkTheGreat on September 22, 2009 at 11:15 AM

The situation at Social Security is much worse than this administration and Democrats in Congress want to admit. They want to continue busting the deficit and creating new entitlements while the existing ones careen towards collapse.

Priorities.

ted c on September 22, 2009 at 11:16 AM

It is a sad irony that the increased life expectancies of recent decades have greatly exacerbated the problems of caring for aging parents.

ProfessorMiao on September 22, 2009 at 11:07 AM

Pretty cruel irony, isn’t it?

Also, in my humble unprofessional opinion, there seem to be an increasing number of health problems related to old age. Now of course there could be literally a million reasons for that, but it does seem to be happening…

Dark-Star on September 22, 2009 at 11:16 AM

Yours are worthless too. The courts have already ruled that you have no rights to the money you paid in, and the system will go broke in the near future.

Vashta.Nerada on September 22, 2009 at 11:13 AM

You are correct, too. So, in a nut shell, we are all screwed.

Mirimichi on September 22, 2009 at 11:16 AM

Not to worry people. There are still billions of dollars in IRA’s and 401-K’s that can be looted.

Mirimichi on September 22, 2009 at 11:18 AM

So you believe the fact that you paid taxes all your life entitles you to take someone else’s money now that you are retired?

MarkTheGreat on September 22, 2009 at 11:15 AM

Sorry, I don’t understand your question, regarding my post. You really don’t make sense in this argument, I have explained to you several times my belief that I should be paid back what I put in.
It is rather basic, and you don’t seem to understand that very basic concept…I was forced to pay into SS, then when you retire they pay it back.
You have not been able to grasp that very simple concept, don’t bother me with your inane arguments, you don’t make sense.
I will type real slow….What I was forced to pay in, I expect back….even you should be able to understand that basic mathematical principle, but you won’t.

right2bright on September 22, 2009 at 11:21 AM

So you believe the fact that you paid taxes all your life entitles you to take someone else’s money now that you are retired?

MarkTheGreat on September 22, 2009 at 11:15 AM

I’d be happy to get back every dollar I put into S.S. for 45 years, at 3% interest per year.

I don’t want your money or anyone elses. Just give me back what I put in.

What’s unfair about that?

fogw on September 22, 2009 at 11:21 AM

Those death panels are starting to make more and more sense. Lower healthcare costs, decrease the SS rolls, free up jobs for the young. Maybe TOTUS is a dumb like a fox.

Trent1289 on September 22, 2009 at 11:21 AM

ProfessorMiao on September 22, 2009 at 9:39 AM

So the boomers were responsible for voting in the politicians who scaled back SS security so that it was actuarily sound?????

MarkTheGreat on September 22, 2009 at 11:21 AM

I will type real slow….What I was forced to pay in, I expect back….even you should be able to understand that basic mathematical principle, but you won’t.

right2bright on September 22, 2009 at 11:21 AM

The supreme court disagrees with you.

Vashta.Nerada on September 22, 2009 at 11:23 AM

If it’s too much of a BURDEN on you to care for the people who raised you, let them starve and cut off their meds, and go back to finding financing for your Lexus.
hawksruleva on September 22, 2009 at 10:45 AM

Don’t mind taking care of my own parents, it’s paying for your parents’ Lexus that bugs me.

Akzed on September 22, 2009 at 11:29 AM

Nailhead. SS was indeed designed as a sort of social insurance program and would have worked if it hadn’t been mismanaged.
Dark-Star on September 22, 2009 at 11:02 AM

no it was designed as a ponzi scheme, FDR rejected the notion of it being a savings account…where people got back what they put in…and the money was theirs…

right4life on September 22, 2009 at 11:29 AM

that is what a “society” does.

right2bright on September 22, 2009 at 10:17 AM

And I thought it was only liberals who didn’t know the difference between “society” and “government”.

MarkTheGreat on September 22, 2009 at 11:31 AM

right4life on September 22, 2009 at 11:29 AM

Exactly. If it were a private insurance plan being run as it has been run, it would have been shut down decades ago and everyone who ever worked for it would be keelhauled.

Akzed on September 22, 2009 at 11:32 AM

for those who dont think SS is needed, in the Depression the NYC sanitation dept had a division that just picked up dead old people off the streets

ginaswo on September 22, 2009 at 10:19 AM

Do you have a citation to support this myth???

MarkTheGreat on September 22, 2009 at 11:32 AM

This web site

http://www.heritage.org/research/features/budgetchartbook/Default.aspx

presents information on the larger situation, which is even worse for the Americans.

Kralizec on September 22, 2009 at 11:32 AM

I’m not so sure that calling Social Security an “entitlement program” is an accurate description.
To me it’s more of a social insurance program, which at times is fiscally mismanaged. And trust me on this. If your spouse should die suddenly, leaving you to raise your very young children on your own, you will be thankful that such a program exists and that both you and your spouse paid into it.

OxyCon on September 22, 2009 at 10:58 AM

According to my SocSec ‘statement’, if I die tomorrow, SocSec would pay out just enough to keep them with bread and bologna. The death benefits are a joke. I pay premiums for a real life insurance plan that will provide for my wife and kids that costs less and privides for a helluva lot more.

Nice try. BTW, FIFY.

Phil-351 on September 22, 2009 at 11:33 AM

for those who dont think SS is needed, in the Depression the NYC sanitation dept had a division that just picked up dead old people off the streets
ginaswo on September 22, 2009 at 10:19 AM

Yeah right. Did they have departments for teens and toddlers’ corpses too?

Akzed on September 22, 2009 at 11:33 AM

Hope you like working for less in the future, as those non-retiring Boomers help hold down your wages.

BradSchwartze on September 22, 2009 at 10:34 AM

Another great socialist myth rears it’s head.

Wages are based on the productivity of the worker.

MarkTheGreat on September 22, 2009 at 11:35 AM

The supreme court disagrees with you.

Vashta.Nerada on September 22, 2009 at 11:23 AM

I understand that, but that doesn’t change the math or my perception.
However, that ruling was based on the fact that under certain individual legal conditions (after evidentiary hearings), like deportation, they can cease payments.
They (congress) has to alter, or amend the benefits to deny the payments in other cases…so as it stands, as the SS law stands, they must pay.
When they legally amend it not to pay, then you have a stronger case.

right2bright on September 22, 2009 at 11:36 AM

I have explained to you several times my belief that I should be paid back what I put in.

right2bright on September 22, 2009 at 11:21 AM

Just because you believe in fairy tales, doesn’t mean the rest of us have to.

You have no right to recover any tax money you have paid. Regardless of which tax it was.

The fact that you seem to think that you have a right to steal money from others really makes me wonder when you claim to be a conservative.

MarkTheGreat on September 22, 2009 at 11:39 AM

At this point, one has to wonder when SSA becomes a flat-out Ponzi scheme, and who the suckers will be when it blows up.

It’s me and people my age and younger. Only, we never got a say in the matter. At least those who gave money to Madoff had a choice. Here, my money is taken before I even see it, and I’m sick of it.

This weekend I checked my email and received another update on my Social Security money. Only in it, it also warned me that by the time I’m even old enough to collect, my investment will be almost worthless. It just stated it matter of factly without even pretending to have a solution other than to pay me less and reminding me that Social Security was never meant to replace an actual retirement account in the first place.

Esthier on September 22, 2009 at 11:39 AM

When they legally amend it not to pay, then you have a stronger case.

right2bright on September 22, 2009 at 11:36 AM

They might amend it, or the Chinese might decide to stop buying our bonds, one of the two.

Vashta.Nerada on September 22, 2009 at 11:39 AM

I’d be happy to get back every dollar I put into S.S. for 45 years, at 3% interest per year.

I don’t want your money or anyone elses. Just give me back what I put in.

What’s unfair about that?

fogw on September 22, 2009 at 11:21 AM

That money is gone. Stolen.
What’s unfair is your desire to steal from others in order to replace money that was stolen from you.

It’s not your money. It was never your money. It was nothing more or less than yet another tax.

MarkTheGreat on September 22, 2009 at 11:40 AM

Which is why I’m already brainstorming on how to fall off the income grid as much as possible.

Bishop on September 22, 2009 at 8:53 AM

You are not alone.

Monica on September 22, 2009 at 9:02 AM

And two more here.

GrannyDee on September 22, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Wages are based on the productivity of the worker.

MarkTheGreat on September 22, 2009 at 11:35 AM

Wages are based on how much or little the people paying the worker feel like paying them (big-box companies especially) or how much the worker can gouge the payer(s).

If our congresscritters wages were based solely on productivity, most of them would be supplementing their income by at fast-food joints or as taxi drivers.

Dark-Star on September 22, 2009 at 11:43 AM

ProfessorMiao on September 22, 2009 at 9:39 AM

So the boomers were responsible for voting in the politicians who scaled back SS security so that it was actuarily sound?????

MarkTheGreat on September 22, 2009 at 11:21 AM

That wasn’t your argument, so it wasn’t what I was responding to. You said that boomers were responsible for the expansions of SS entitlements. Don’t be so freaking dishonest. The argument is political and ideological, not generational. But go ahead, smear an entire generation by attributing things to all of them that none of them did, then pretend that you were only smearing them for things that some of them did. And then complain when others pull the same tactics on you by saying that your generation is the most spoiled, self-serving in human history. (I’m not saying that’s true, I’m saying that it’s the same kind of divisive lie you are perpetrating.)

And by the way, Pelosi and Reid are not baby boomers, nor was Ted Kennedy. But yes, Obama is.

ProfessorMiao on September 22, 2009 at 11:43 AM

Of course there is going to be a surplus in 2012 and 2013. That’s when all the make-work jobs of porkulus are supposed to kick in.

red131 on September 22, 2009 at 11:43 AM

And I thought it was only liberals who didn’t know the difference between “society” and “government”.

MarkTheGreat on September 22, 2009 at 11:31 AM

Typical, you should try reading and actually comprehending what someone writes, rather then trying a series of “I gotcha” posts.
Basically, as you look back on your posts, it is a series of you not understanding what others have posted. We don’t have time to educate you, you have to begin learning and understanding what posters are writing about on your own.
That is why we have placed you at the children’s table, because you can’t honestly converse with adults.

right2bright on September 22, 2009 at 11:44 AM

That money is gone. Stolen.
What’s unfair is your desire to steal from others in order to replace money that was stolen from you.

It’s not your money. It was never your money. It was nothing more or less than yet another tax.

MarkTheGreat on September 22, 2009 at 11:40 AM

And of course, it’s only unfair for people who’ve had their SS contributions stolen for more than 30 years to complain about it, and absolutely justified for those who’ve had far less stolen to blame those same people for stealing from them.

Hypocrite.

ProfessorMiao on September 22, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Of course there is going to be a surplus in 2012 and 2013. That’s when all the make-work jobs of porkulus are supposed to kick in.

red131 on September 22, 2009 at 11:43 AM

Around the same time 0bama is up for reelection…are you thinking what I’m thinking?

Dark-Star on September 22, 2009 at 11:45 AM

They might amend it, or the Chinese might decide to stop buying our bonds, one of the two.

Vashta.Nerada on September 22, 2009 at 11:39 AM

Yes, I wonder if a bank accepts SS benefits paid in Yen…

right2bright on September 22, 2009 at 11:46 AM

The ‘hairline’ on that guy is straighter than a starched ruler.

tatersalad on September 22, 2009 at 11:47 AM

ProfessorMiao on September 22, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Don’t bother with him, he just argues to argue.
He basically believes if you placed your money in a bank, and it was stolen, the bank doesn’t owe you anything.
Believe me, he knows he is wrong, he just likes to post and stir up problems.
He has to known, no one is so stupid as not realizing what he is posting is ridiculous…

right2bright on September 22, 2009 at 11:49 AM

If our congresscritters wages were based solely on productivity, most of them would be supplementing their income by at fast-food joints or as taxi drivers.

Dark-Star on September 22, 2009 at 11:43 AM

Comment of the Day™

steveegg on September 22, 2009 at 11:50 AM

Dark-Star on September 22, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Absolutely

red131 on September 22, 2009 at 11:50 AM

MarkTheGreat on September 22, 2009 at 11:40 AM

That money is gone. Stolen. I already know that, what’s your point?

What’s unfair is your desire to steal from others in order to replace money that was stolen from you. I never said I wanted to steal from others, all I said was I would have been happy just to get back what I put in. Unfortunately, I never will. You throw out a lot of false accusations. Does that make you feel superior to others?

It’s not your money. It was never your money. It was nothing more or less than yet another tax. The hell you say. It wasn’t my money that I put into S.S? I would have liked to have kept it and had it to pay for my children’s college education, and had the option to opt out of the S.S. system. That would have been my preference. I don’t see that as stealing, do you?

fogw on September 22, 2009 at 11:51 AM

And trust me on this. If your spouse should die suddenly, leaving you to raise your very young children on your own, you will be thankful that such a program exists and that both you and your spouse paid into it.

OxyCon on September 22, 2009 at 10:58 AM

OR, how about this? You and your spouse have young children but only one person is the bread winner? Why not do the responsible thing and buy life insurance on that person? Why expect the government to take care of you?

You scenario assumes that the money given will be enough to help a single parent with young children and that the money will actually be there when needed even though the entire point of this post is that it likely won’t.

What’s unfair is your desire to steal from others in order to replace money that was stolen from you.

MarkTheGreat on September 22, 2009 at 11:40 AM

Why are you saying the money must be stolen from others to be paid back? Do you say that when you get a tax refund?

Esthier on September 22, 2009 at 11:52 AM

Hey I’m all for the government running health care. They did such a great job on FDR’s “supplemental retirement” program.

GarandFan on September 22, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Another great socialist myth rears it’s head.

Wages are based on the productivity of the worker.

MarkTheGreat on September 22, 2009 at 11:35 AM

wages are based upon supply and demand…if you have a lot of anything, the prices paid for that go down….so if you have a lot of doctors, they would be paid less because there are more of them…

of course this does not count unions, laws, etc…and the distortions they put into the market…

right4life on September 22, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Esthier on September 22, 2009 at 11:52 AM

Give it up, he is just throwing these things out without thinking.
He isn’t very smart, so he just baits people with his “stolen” idea.
He has been doing this for weeks. He has been discredited numerous times, but he just trolls for attention.

right2bright on September 22, 2009 at 11:57 AM

ProfessorMiao on September 22, 2009 at 11:45 AM
Don’t bother with him, he just argues to argue.
He basically believes if you placed your money in a bank, and it was stolen, the bank doesn’t owe you anything.
Believe me, he knows he is wrong, he just likes to post and stir up problems.
He has to known, no one is so stupid as not realizing what he is posting is ridiculous…

right2bright on September 22, 2009 at 11:49 AM

MarkTheGreat*fillinasappropriate* also seems to think that the rest of us are too stupid to pick up on his switch and bait tactics.

ProfessorMiao on September 22, 2009 at 11:57 AM

What mark is saying is that you’ve been robbed. Lets call the thief Sam. Sam took your money. Years later, as restitution, Sam shows up with most of your money and says “my bad.” The problem is, of course, that Sam stole that cash from some kid you don’t know.

You are so caught up in your robbery, that you’ve decided to turn a blind eye to the more recent crime. It’s a “so long as I get mine” mentality.

Don’t be surprised when people respond to that ideology with the same sort of “selfishness.”

Trent1289 on September 22, 2009 at 11:59 AM

I’m supposed to get my very first SS check in about three weeks. I don’t consider it an “entitlement program,” since I have paid into it, my whole life, but I DO consider it an irresponsible ponzi scheme, as far as its effect on my children’s generation. I just hope that I can collect long enough to be able to be independent and leave a little for my kids.

Bottom line; Bush warned everybody this was coming. Democrats said “Nothing to see here! Move along! Don’t worry!”

Star20 on September 22, 2009 at 11:59 AM

Didn’t Ronnie and Tip work out the ’83 fix so that Social Security woul dbe essentially self funded in perpetuity?

And wasn’t that ruined during the Clinton years when payroll tax was brought back into the general revenues?

Wasn’t that one of the phony ways that he was able to run such large surpluses? In addition to gutting the military?

Just sayin’; dodn’t Reagan fix only to have it ruined again by the big government types?

RocketmanBob on September 22, 2009 at 12:00 PM

Wages are based on how much or little the people paying the worker feel like paying them (big-box companies especially) or how much the worker can gouge the payer(s).

Dark-Star on September 22, 2009 at 11:43 AM

Incorrect. Econ 101, wages always regress towards marginal productivity.

If the wage is above marginal productivity, the worker gets fired.

If the wage is below marginal utility, the company hires more workers until wages hit marginal utility. (The reason for this is simple. If the wage is below marginal utility, the company is making a lot of money off of each worker. More workers means more money.)

MarkTheGreat on September 22, 2009 at 12:00 PM

Bottom line; Bush warned everybody this was coming. Democrats said “Nothing to see here! Move along! Don’t worry!”

Star20 on September 22, 2009 at 11:59 AM

yeah don’t worry…we’ll all get our money back…it just won’t be worth much…

right4life on September 22, 2009 at 12:01 PM

MarkTheGreat on September 22, 2009 at 11:39 AM

agreed. Everything right2bright has written on this post has been borderline progressive. Apparently it’s okay for him to demand his money back at the expense of a younger generation, even though that younger generation will not be able to demand the same retribution.

And right2bright, I don’t think any of those posts responding to you are “gotcha” posts. I think they are pointing out valid flaws in your philosophy. You can’t preach one thing and live another. You can’t condemn government programs then demand money from them. Am I angry that I’m going to pay for my entire life and never see a dime? Damn right I am. Which is why we have to stop it sometime. We have to at least ween off it, and for that, some sacrifices must be made…either in your generation or the next. As I previously posted, I don’t mind paying for a few more years, knowing full well I will never get any back, as long as after that I can opt out. It will help repay those like yourself who deserve it, while allowing those of us in our 30′s to see some light on the horizon.

walnut on September 22, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Typical, you should try reading and actually comprehending what someone writes, rather then trying a series of “I gotcha” posts.

right2bright on September 22, 2009 at 11:44 AM

When you say stupid things, expect to get called on it.
You are the one who thinks govt ought to be doing stuff society should be doing.

MarkTheGreat on September 22, 2009 at 12:01 PM

And of course, it’s only unfair for people who’ve had their SS contributions stolen for more than 30 years to complain about it, and absolutely justified for those who’ve had far less stolen to blame those same people for stealing from them.

Hypocrite.

ProfessorMiao on September 22, 2009 at 11:45 AM

And just where have I ever claimed that anyone has a right to steal, or that anyone does not have a right to complain.

Do you specialize in stupid, or do I just bring out the best in you?

MarkTheGreat on September 22, 2009 at 12:02 PM

What mark is saying is that you’ve been robbed.
Trent1289 on September 22, 2009 at 11:59 AM

No, he’s saying that baby boomers are responsible for robbing blind everyone younger than them. He didn’t respond to the stat to that the vast majority of boomers won’t reach retirement age until 2017, or to the fact that boomers were either not born yet or far too young to vote when the expansions of SS entitlements were enacted.

The first of those facts means that most boomers will get shafted for more earnings than those younger than them, but the doesn’t let reality get in the way of his boomer-bashing.

ProfessorMiao on September 22, 2009 at 12:03 PM

Do you specialize in stupid

MarkTheGreat on September 22, 2009 at 12:02 PM

I think he specializes in trying to fix it…a noble but usually futile pursuit.

Dark-Star on September 22, 2009 at 12:05 PM

And just where have I ever claimed that anyone has a right to steal, or that anyone does not have a right to complain.

Do you specialize in stupid, or do I just bring out the best in you?

MarkTheGreat on September 22, 2009 at 12:02 PM

You implicitly claim that the boomers who will be shafted – who are majority of that generation, by the way – have no right to complain because you have accused them of everything from starting the entitlements, to expanding them, to failing to rein them in.

Too bad you can’t follow your own argument to its logical conclusions.

ProfessorMiao on September 22, 2009 at 12:06 PM

You are so caught up in your robbery, that you’ve decided to turn a blind eye to the more recent crime. It’s a “so long as I get mine” mentality.

Trent1289 on September 22, 2009 at 11:59 AM

No one here is doing that. In fact, I’m one of the ones currently being robbed so that others can get paid. All I want is for the robbery to stop and for the robber to pay back all he stole from. If it means tax breaks for ten years instead of a big check, I’d be OK with that.

Hell, at this point, I’d even settle for making Social Security voluntary again. Let people pay into the ponzi scheme at their peril.

Esthier on September 22, 2009 at 12:09 PM

I for one would be exchange losing 100% of my benefits in 30 years if my payroll taxes don’t go up and 401K rules stay put. I’m sure I’m in the 1% with that, but it’s more than generous.

Chuck Schick on September 22, 2009 at 12:13 PM

In fact, I’m one of the ones currently being robbed so that others can get paid. All I want is for the robbery to stop and for the robber to pay back all he stole from. If it means tax breaks for ten years instead of a big check, I’d be OK with that.

Hell, at this point, I’d even settle for making Social Security voluntary again. Let people pay into the ponzi scheme at their peril.

Esthier on September 22, 2009 at 12:09 PM

Too late for that – the money is gone. If SS was voluntary, nobody would be in it. The problem is a demographic one. Folks who got payments in 1937 never paid in a dime, those who retired in the 1970s and 1980s got their payments ‘returned’ in 18 months, while collecting for twenty years or more. Now, there are just over two workers for every retiree, so the scheme cannot be made to function, and must collapse. It sucks that folks who paid in for ten years get the shaft, and it is even worse for those who paid in for 30 years, but everyone needs to take off the rose colored glasses – everyone who paid in and is not retired is going to end up worse off for having participated.

Vashta.Nerada on September 22, 2009 at 12:16 PM

Chuck Schick on September 22, 2009 at 12:13 PM

I’m in Chuck. As long as one of the consolations to us not getting any benefits means the end of SS.

walnut on September 22, 2009 at 12:17 PM

who the suckers will be when it blows up

I’m convinced it will be me and the other “Tail-End of the Boom-er’s” born in the mid-sixties.
We are the ones who will have paid in for the longest time with no payout in our golden years. I have no doubt I will be working till death because the hyper-inflation and tax burden will make it impossible for me to increase my investments (after I get out from under the debt-load of educating my children). Also factor in the massive unemployment resulting from Healthcare reform and Cap-n-Tax; (i.e. fewer workers paying into the Ponzi). Wheeee! good times ahead!

kooly on September 22, 2009 at 12:18 PM

Too late for that – the money is gone.

The government’s in debt and yet it can still issue tax rebates. I don’t see the difference here. Dollars are interchangeable. It’s not as though I had specific serial numbers on the dollars assigned specifically to me.

If SS was voluntary, nobody would be in it.

I don’t see how that matters at all. If no one wants it, then why do we have it?

but everyone needs to take off the rose colored glasses – everyone who paid in and is not retired is going to end up worse off for having participated.

Vashta.Nerada on September 22, 2009 at 12:16 PM

Who are you talking to? Everyone here seems to agree with this. I’m only saying that I’d like the choice, and there’s no reason we can’t do that. There’s no reason a future president can’t decide that it’s insane to force people into a “savings” plan that harms their financial independence.

Esthier on September 22, 2009 at 12:22 PM

walnut on September 22, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Your post makes no sense…what I stated, and you should be more precise in your attack, it that I am owed what I paid in, no more, no less.
Now what “valid flaws” did I post…where I think private society and not government should help the “least among us”, or where I stated that it was faith based organizations, and not the government who built the university system and hospital system?
Or the argument that I what was forcibly taken from me and placed in a program that promised me that it would be repaid to me, they actually do that?

right2bright on September 22, 2009 at 12:23 PM

What’s lousy about it? Children are cared for by their parents, they should return the favor when their parents need help.

If it’s too much of a BURDEN on you to care for the people who raised you, let them starve and cut off their meds, and go back to finding financing for your Lexus.

hawksruleva on September 22, 2009 at 10:45 AM

My parents 401(k) practically evaporated during the crisis.

And they were planning to retire in a few years.

I’m in college about to graduate.

Are you telling me I’m going to be providing for my children and my parents for my entire working career?

No offense to you, really, but it’s looking like a long, long, long, loooong 50 years.

Yours are worthless too. The courts have already ruled that you have no rights to the money you paid in, and the system will go broke in the near future.

Vashta.Nerada on September 22, 2009 at 11:13 AM

The system was broken in the 60′s, when the government saw all that money piled up in a corner and saw that it wasn’t getting spent.

We’ve been broke since the 1990′s. It’s just taken this long for the system to get bad enough for the CBO to admit it. All this deficit spending isn’t helping either.

To those who screwed up this system: may you die in a fire.
To all those about to be screwed by the system: it’s all FUBAR now.

Chaz706 on September 22, 2009 at 12:24 PM

I’m convinced it will be me and the other “Tail-End of the Boom-er’s” born in the mid-sixties.
We are the ones who will have paid in for the longest time with no payout in our golden years. I have no doubt I will be working till death because the hyper-inflation and tax burden will make it impossible for me to increase my investments (after I get out from under the debt-load of educating my children). Also factor in the massive unemployment resulting from Healthcare reform and Cap-n-Tax; (i.e. fewer workers paying into the Ponzi). Wheeee! good times ahead!

kooly on September 22, 2009 at 12:18 PM

Give or take 10 years (more like take to get to the mid-70s), you’re most-likely right. I note that the “early” Boomers are already trying to cut you out of the Boomer generation by saying that the Boom ended around 1962.

steveegg on September 22, 2009 at 12:26 PM

Who are you talking to? Everyone here seems to agree with this. I’m only saying that I’d like the choice, and there’s no reason we can’t do that. There’s no reason a future president can’t decide that it’s insane to force people into a “savings” plan that harms their financial independence.

Esthier on September 22, 2009 at 12:22 PM

You can’t have the choice, because too many people believed the government, and didn’t prepare for their own retirement. Now, they need or demand all of the money that you are currently paying in, plus more borrowed.

The two choices that I can see are either moving SS into the regular budget, along with the 15% FICA tax, and making it into a means tested entitlement program (maybe to be phased out later), or have the US government go into default.

Imagine it is like refinancing an ARM that you shouldn’t have gotten into. You get a fixed rate that you can afford, if you eat only pork and beans for several years, or let the mortgage foreclose.

There is going to be pain for everyone to get out from under this.

Vashta.Nerada on September 22, 2009 at 12:36 PM

One more thing I forgot to mention initially – the cumulative 10-year primary deficits of $152 billion (if CBO’s numbers are right)-$264 billion (if my numbers are right) will need to be added to the overall 10-year deficit of $9 billion and overall projected debt of $22 billion as they are currently unfunded liabilities.

That goes so well with the news of the increase in subsidies in BaucusCare.

steveegg on September 22, 2009 at 12:38 PM

right2bright on September 22, 2009 at 12:23 PM

I didn’t mean to start a war. I just mean that your right to be paid back is just as valid as anyone else’s. With that in mind, you must realize that those in my age bracket will never see a dime, and I’m sure I will be forced to pay just as long as you did. When does it end? When does a generation step up and say enough? I do hope it will be mine, and have even suggested in this thread that I don’t mind carrying some of the burden and even sacrificing my own benefits to see the end of this horrendous program. Unfortunately, I really don’t think that will happen. I think instead it will kill itself off. You will see at least some of what you are owed. I will see none.

walnut on September 22, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Obambi to the next joint session of congress

” Let me be perfectly clear, Social Security is broke. You can’t loot it anymore, its all gone. That’s why my healthcare bill is so important. We need the income stream to loot and rob because these seniors and teabaggers are getting smarter every day.

I thank You for your valiant effort to save the federal pension system and our friends in the unions. I have always been able to count on you.

I am proposing that my former staffers working with ACORN provide counseling to any who need it and urge you to put their funding back in place.

I promised you change and I will not let you down. You can trust the Obama government.

bluegrass on September 22, 2009 at 12:44 PM

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