Social Security starts cashing in US debt

posted at 12:15 pm on March 15, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

We’ve noticed the cash shortfalls at Social Security for more than a year, and now they appear to be permanent.  For the first time, the Social Security Administration will start cashing in its IOUs from the Treasury in order to meet its benefits obligations.  Unfortunately, the Treasury doesn’t have the cash, either:

The retirement nest egg of an entire generation is stashed away in this small town along the Ohio River: $2.5 trillion in IOUs from the federal government, payable to the Social Security Administration.

It’s time to start cashing them in. … Too bad the federal government already spent that money over the years on other programs, preferring to borrow from Social Security rather than foreign creditors. In return, the Treasury Department issued a stack of IOUs — in the form of Treasury bonds — which are kept in a nondescript office building just down the street from Parkersburg’s municipal offices.

Now the government will have to borrow even more money, much of it abroad, to start paying back the IOUs, and the timing couldn’t be worse. The government is projected to post a record $1.5 trillion budget deficit this year, followed by trillion dollar deficits for years to come.

Social Security’s shortfall will not affect current benefits. As long as the IOUs last, benefits will keep flowing. But experts say it is a warning sign that the program’s finances are deteriorating. Social Security is projected to drain its trust funds by 2037 unless Congress acts, and there’s concern that the looming crisis will lead to reduced benefits.

The IOUs won’t last.  Technically, they’re worthless now.  The Treasury doesn’t have the cash to reimburse Social Security, and we’ll have to sell more debt on the lending markets in order to finance the benefits in the short run.

Moody’s sees the pressure on the debt as a risk to the US’s AAA credit rating:

A rise in the proportion of its revenue that the U.S. government spends servicing its debt over the next 10-years, as outlined in the federal budget in February, would see the U.S. government’s Aaa rating come under pressure, Moody’s Investors Service said Monday.

Federal debt affordability has “for the time being” not deteriorated, despite the U.S.’s rising deficit, and is not yet at a level that threatens the rating, Moody’s said in its latest quarterly report on Aaa-rated sovereigns. …

And the 10-year outlook in the budget shows a continuous rise in the debt to GDP ratio and in the debt affordability ratio. The outlook shows the ratio of interest to revenue deteriorating to around 18%, which was roughly the peak level when interest rates were high in the 1980s.

“If such a trajectory were to materialize, there would at some point be downward pressure on the Aaa rating of the federal government,” Moody’s said.

A downgrade in our credit rating would mean that we would have to offer higher return rates on our debt. That would cost us more to service in the short run and make retiring the debt an ever-increasing improbability.  The debt cycle would continue to escalate as we keep paying benefits with cash we don’t have, adding to the debt and putting our credit at even greater risk.

The wheels have begun to fly off the entitlement juggernaut.

Update: Steve Eggleston has more background.


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What foreigners won’t buy the Fed will buy with magically funny money.

Audit the FED!

Sapwolf on March 15, 2010 at 1:27 PM

All you folks 55+ who have not saved for your retirement better get on good terms with you kids real quick because they’ll be supporting you the rest of your lives.

And if you’re not on good terms with them and they won’t support you get fattened up because Soylent Green is people.

BowHuntingTexas on March 15, 2010 at 1:28 PM

Well obviously the problem is demographics, and the obvious answer to that is immigration and abortion. Open the gates to immigrants and outlaw abortions. What’s the problem?

/heh

Skandia Recluse on March 15, 2010 at 1:28 PM

journeyintothewhirlwind on March 15, 2010 at 12:40 PM

I’ve been saying that since day one. When it comes time to implement 0bamacare, there will be a ‘whoops, we miscalculated’ moment and we’re gonna get nailed to the wall with more taxes.

They’re going to treat this advance payment on death panel service just like they did SS.

koz on March 15, 2010 at 1:39 PM

For the first time, the Social Security Administration will start cashing in its IOUs from the Treasury in order to meet its benefits obligations.

So, what?

All Social Security has to do now is print its own bonds, and sell them to the Treasury. Problem solved!

Geeze. This is the problem with conservatives; we just don’t think far enough outside the box.

logis on March 15, 2010 at 1:40 PM

The demonrat solution is to spend trillions we don’t have for healthcare reform so we can add 30,000,000 additionally insured to an already bankrupt systrm. This removes all doubt that liberalism is a mental disorder and our country will pay the price for letting it happen.

volsense on March 15, 2010 at 1:45 PM

Hmmmm.

Unfortunately as a kidney dialysis patient this probably means I’ve got a couple years before supporting my treatments becomes impossible through medicare.

*shrug* we have to die sometime. What happens, happens.

memomachine on March 15, 2010 at 1:45 PM

BowHuntingTexas on March 15, 2010 at 1:28 PM

You say that with so much glee–as if you wish all these to have to turn to assistance and Medicaid. That will cost taxpayers a whole lot more than things do at present. If you think the government controls things now, wait and watch what will happen should millions of SS checks stop flowing. Be careful what you wish for.

jeanie on March 15, 2010 at 1:56 PM

All Social Security has to do now is print its own bonds, and sell them to the Treasury. Problem solved!

Isn’t this the definition of “check kiting”?

Old Fritz on March 15, 2010 at 1:58 PM

jeanie on March 15, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Not being gleeful. Just honest.

What did people do before all these freebees from the government / taxpayers?

That’s what we’re going to pro / regress to.

BowHuntingTexas on March 15, 2010 at 2:08 PM

Hey, how ’bout we just start up another huge -no, make that hugest yet- program and when the cash starts rollin’ in from that we can move it over to the SSA

Not as far fetched as you might think. The pre-payments of ObamaCare are not going to sit idly accruing interest and awaiting use. That’s what the gov. promised about the SS Trust Fund and how’s that working out!!! Your post is prophetic.

jeanie on March 15, 2010 at 2:12 PM

Old dumb W tried to fix it as well as Fannie and fight a war. Boy that guy was dumb.

tomas on March 15, 2010 at 2:14 PM

“The wheels have begun to fly off the entitlement juggernaut.”

Just print more money!

Come on, people…. Obowma is in charge. Relax!

Seven Percent Solution on March 15, 2010 at 2:14 PM

Yikes! I need to get my taxes done and bank the refund before they run out of cash and send me an Obama T-Shirt instead.

BobMbx on March 15, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Come on, people…. Obowma is in charge. Relax!

Seven Percent Solution on March 15, 2010 at 2:14 PM

Wasn’t that the advice Bobby Knight gave once (specifically, just before he got his bags packed and tossed from Indiana)?

steveegg on March 15, 2010 at 2:21 PM

All Social Security has to do now is print its own bonds, and sell them to the Treasury. Problem solved!

Isn’t this the definition of “check kiting”?

Old Fritz on March 15, 2010 at 1:58 PM

It’s also exactly what has been done for 50 years or more. You know what the SSA Trust Fund is full of?

IOUs from Uncle Sam. They should be called markers; its more appropriate.

BobMbx on March 15, 2010 at 2:23 PM

If we follow our current path “austerity measures” are likely to be in our future.

What happens is that people start rioting. Public sector unions riot. Students riot. Transportation worker strike.
Taxes go way up.

This is why Europe is such an appealing model to the Social Democrat

r keller on March 15, 2010 at 2:23 PM

BowHuntingTexas on March 15, 2010 at 2:08 PM

As SS and I were born the same year, I can’t answer that. But, since this broken system does exist and millions of seniors depend on it, I can safely promise disaster if it dries up. As for those who did manage to save for retirement or have company pensions, or both, most could live on these but many would still need gov. assistance as what was a good pension 10 or 15 years ago is not anymore. I have no solutions and wish none were necessary but do know that for many elderly, SS is their entire income and these would have to turn to more expensive gov. programs should it dry up. Net loss. However, these folks have learned to live very frugally since SS provides them with only about 12 to 14k a year. They might surprise you with their ability to survive, perhaps better than many younger people?

jeanie on March 15, 2010 at 2:23 PM

The wheels have begun to fly off the entitlement juggernaut.

Hey, what about a Home Equity Loan? Oh wait….you need equity to do that….never mind.

BobMbx on March 15, 2010 at 2:28 PM

What did people do before all these freebees from the government / taxpayers?

That’s what we’re going to pro / regress to.

BowHuntingTexas on March 15, 2010 at 2:08 PM

SocSec is not a “freebie”. These douches in Wash. have been confiscating money from it’s citizens know full well that they were running a Pyramid Con. Those who expect to get a return on those confiscated funds are not expecting anything but what they were forced to give up.

thomasaur on March 15, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Again, might I provide historically we have had a 31-17 majority of democrats in congress since 1913

NOW TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR COUNTRY!

xler8bmw on March 15, 2010 at 2:29 PM

What we really need is some real nice crystal stem ware for state dinners and more publicly funded sports venues.

Another nice touch would be to get nancy (stretch) pelosi a nice G5 and a few for her family members.

TheSitRep on March 15, 2010 at 2:33 PM

So, what?

All Social Security has to do now is print its own bonds, and sell them to the Treasury. Problem solved!

Geeze. This is the problem with conservatives; we just don’t think far enough outside the box.

logis on March 15, 2010 at 1:40 PM

This is the problem with liberals. They don’t know what they’re talking about…

I suggest you read this and come back and comment…

voiceofreason on March 15, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Let them eat Hopenchange.

OzzieMan on March 15, 2010 at 2:37 PM

My link disappeared…

Social Security: “Here It Comes”

voiceofreason on March 15, 2010 at 2:37 PM

We won’t make it to 2012. Who out there is possibly going to buy a trillion dollars worth of T-bills every year for the next 3? China? Or worse, Iran? What better way to grab us by the short-hairs and destabilize us further economically, all without firing a single shot?

Thanks a BUNCH, Dumb-ocrats!!

Phil-351 on March 15, 2010 at 2:38 PM

We won’t make it to 2012. Who out there is possibly going to buy a trillion dollars worth of T-bills every year for the next 3? China? Or worse, Iran? What better way to grab us by the short-hairs and destabilize us further economically, all without firing a single shot?

Phil-351 on March 15, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Oh man…I completely forgot about that possibility.

Wonder if somewhere, a bunch of various nasties are pooling together their filthy money to start literally buying the nation out from under us?

Dark-Star on March 15, 2010 at 2:42 PM

The gubment soon will have no wealth to tax. They have already consumed it all.

I will soon be apparent to most that we need to exercise the part of the DOI that states;

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government

TheSitRep on March 15, 2010 at 2:46 PM

The worst part of all of this is you know that supposed Clinton “surplus” from years ago? There wasn’t any, it was just money they were draining out of SS.(Putting the gov on the hook for bigger payments down the road.)

Dave_d on March 15, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Doesn’t anyone in Washington “feed the pig”?

elderberry on March 15, 2010 at 2:55 PM

In return, the Treasury Department issued a stack of IOUs — in the form of Treasury bonds — which are kept in a nondescript office building just down the street from Parkersburg’s municipal offices.

As I understand it, they’re not even Treasury bonds.

Kralizec on March 15, 2010 at 3:00 PM

“Those bonds are protected by the full faith and credit of the United States of America,” Kennelly said. “They’re as solid as what we owe China and Japan.”

Ridiculous.

Kralizec on March 15, 2010 at 3:03 PM

Part of the austerity we need to institute on SS is to admit it isn’t working demographically, and change retirement ages NOW;
Over 55, leave as is
45-55 retire around 67 or 68
35-45 around 69
under 35, around 70
Be honest with people and let them know what to expect, while still taking care of our obligations to seniors.

Cut education spending by the FED Govt, cut federal taxes in most areas and let states and counties determine what to tax for roads, education,etc
Put the FED govt back in the box they were intended to be in, but do it on a sliding scale to minimize the pain for the elderly.

Red State State of Mind on March 15, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Ironically, next year the first wave of Boomers turn 65. Should get really, really gory, really, really quickly. The next generation to have enough people that could pay enough in to even half-way balance this out is the Echo-Boomers, AKA GenY. Unfortunately, due to their age most are still making minimum wage.

di butler on March 15, 2010 at 3:39 PM

All you folks 55+ who have not saved for your retirement better get on good terms with you kids real quick because they’ll be supporting you the rest of your lives.

And if you’re not on good terms with them and they won’t support you get fattened up because Soylent Green is people.

BowHuntingTexas on March 15, 2010 at 1:28 PM

I have little retirement and no kids. Can I sell my body?

leftnomore on March 15, 2010 at 3:42 PM

“Backed by the full faith and credit of the US Government.”

Akzed on March 15, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Kralizec on March 15, 2010 at 3:03 PM

Ha! Hadn’t seen that!

Akzed on March 15, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Conquer Mexico for oil, sell Mexicans to Japan. Problem solved.

Akzed on March 15, 2010 at 3:53 PM

leftnomore on March 15, 2010 at 3:42 PM

Do you have other friends or family you might be able to live with?

Do you belong to a church?

The one that’s going to cause riots is when the feds come after 401(k)s to prop up Socialist security.

BowHuntingTexas on March 15, 2010 at 4:06 PM

The night is always the darkest, just before the dawn.

We will prevail.

ted c on March 15, 2010 at 12:17 PM

There isn’t always a silver lining behind a dark, dark cloud. Sometimes, what’s back there is much worse.

sharrukin on March 15, 2010 at 4:08 PM

Conquer Mexico for oil, sell Mexicans to Japan. Problem solved.

Akzed on March 15, 2010 at 3:53 PM

Sell them? You couldn’t give them away!

Dark-Star on March 15, 2010 at 4:08 PM

Red State State of Mind on March 15, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Not enough. Not even close.

MarkTheGreat on March 15, 2010 at 4:13 PM

SocSec is not a “freebie”. These douches in Wash. have been confiscating money from it’s citizens know full well that they were running a Pyramid Con. Those who expect to get a return on those confiscated funds are not expecting anything but what they were forced to give up.thomasaur on March 15, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Think of social security as just another tax. The courts have confirmed that we have no right to the money. Prepare to not receive any payback, because there likely will be none.

Vashta.Nerada on March 15, 2010 at 4:26 PM

I’ve always been a big fan of letting folks opt-out of SSN and giving them a lump-sum payout on what they put in… in this era of a trillion here or there, the idea that you can stop paying for SSN and get your money back is attractive. It would torpedo SSN and the government, but they are going to get that anyway.

Better the torpedo you know and can predict rather than this bit by bit coming apart. If you really want the government to run you an annuity you can still pay for the privilege…as it is I know I will get nothing, zero, no return whatsoever on the SSN money I’ve put into the system and knew that in the mid 1980′s when it was predicted that 2050 would see SSN go under.

By the early 1990′s it was 2030.

Just 3-4 years ago that was 2020.

Last year it was 2015.

That’s a decay curve, folks. This is the year it starts, then it goes very quickly after that.

ajacksonian on March 15, 2010 at 4:49 PM

The piper must finally be paid.
Time for me to seriously, & not just semi-consider another retirement alternative.
Not that I EVER was going to depend upon SS for my retirement.

Badger40 on March 15, 2010 at 4:57 PM

The one that’s going to cause riots is when the feds come after 401(k)s,and the rest of your private property to prop up Socialist security.

BowHuntingTexas on March 15, 2010 at 4:06 PM

I’m pessimistic, what can I say.

Badger40 on March 15, 2010 at 4:59 PM

Democrats blocked reform of SS when Bush tried to fix it. They said everything was fine. This needs to be hung around their necks.

Rod on March 15, 2010 at 5:01 PM

This would seem to be the ideal post to include the video of Democrats- Obama front and centre- applauding their obstruction of Bush’s attempt to fix SS (at his SOTU speech if I recall correctly).

Jay Mac on March 15, 2010 at 5:15 PM

Hence Obama seizing more and more American land. If we do not stop him, foreign countries will own huge swaths of our heartland in return for his money for his utopian society.

patriotparty1 on March 15, 2010 at 5:18 PM

This would seem to be the ideal post to include the video of Democrats- Obama front and centre- applauding their obstruction of Bush’s attempt to fix SS (at his SOTU speech if I recall correctly).

Jay Mac on March 15, 2010 at 5:15 PM

It really is. The video I’d rub their face in is the one of them booing during the SOTU when he said SS was nearing collapse.

Rod on March 15, 2010 at 5:22 PM

We conservatives have been asleep on this issue for at least 30 years. I’m still not sure we’ve begun to wake up even now.

oakland on March 15, 2010 at 6:09 PM

Democrats blocked reform of SS when Bush tried to fix it. They said everything was fine. This needs to be hung around their necks.

Blaming the “other side” won’t get conservatives anywhere. We need to look within. Why didn’t we show our colors under Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II as this problem set out its roots? We have only ourselves to blame. The democrats wouldn’t have succeeded in this had we conservatives stood in the way as many are doing now. The horse has left the barn.

oakland on March 15, 2010 at 6:13 PM

This means that RIGHT NOW either taxes go up, other programs get cut or we go into even more debt. There are NO OTHER options. So how’s that changy-hopy thing working out for you?

Fred 2 on March 15, 2010 at 6:30 PM

We conservatives have been asleep on this issue… Blaming the “other side” won’t get conservatives anywhere. We need to look within… We have only ourselves to blame… had we conservatives stood…

oakland on March 15, 2010 at 6:09 PM
oakland on March 15, 2010 at 6:13 PM

Who’s “we”, kemosabe?

You assume too much about your audience, methinks. Amusing nonetheless…

RD on March 15, 2010 at 6:33 PM

Amusing nonetheless…
RD on March 15, 2010 at 6:33 PM

i.e., “Andrew Sullivan called and says he wants his shtick back!”

RD on March 15, 2010 at 6:36 PM

You assume too much about your audience, methinks.

“We” are the ones who claim to be conservatives (like myself) who didn’t act when we should have. Apologies if that implicates you unfairly.

Obviously, there are many many conservatives who stood by tacit and watch all this occur over the last thirty or so years (myself included).

oakland on March 15, 2010 at 6:44 PM

The endgame is to use IRA’s and 401K’s to finance treasury bonds.

Spathi on March 15, 2010 at 6:57 PM

Obama said that 95% of Americans would be unaffected by any increases in their taxes. Once again the real truth is polar opposite of his “truth!” 100% of the taxpayers are going to be taxed at a 95% rate to keep this ship of (fools) state afloat. But that’s before we add another unfunded and unsupportable entitlement program to the US Titanic budget. Health care anyone?

chickasaw42 on March 15, 2010 at 7:19 PM

Now the government will have to borrow even more money, much of it abroad, to start paying back the IOUs, and the timing couldn’t be worse. The government is projected to post a record $1.5 trillion budget deficit this year, followed by trillion dollar deficits for years to come.

Isn’t that like using a credit card to pay your mortgage?

Socratease on March 15, 2010 at 7:24 PM

One silver lining for conservatives is that the more Obama borrows, the more debt interest we have to pay every year, the smaller the discretionary part of the budget grows.

At some point, it will be imperative to elect a fiscal conservative who can scale back government.

dedalus on March 15, 2010 at 8:00 PM

After paying the maximum amount for social security tax year after year, and be responsible enough to save up on my own, I may be facing means test and claw back when I am ready to retire, if social security is there still. So the ones who put in the most get the least back. Sometimes, after a long and hard day at work, you wonder why you should bother. Why not just join the leisure class? If Barry manage to screw productive people and success more, it may be time to go Galt and chug Foster, barbecue shrimps on the grill, and sun myself on Bondi Beach.

bayview on March 15, 2010 at 8:21 PM

Geez, I just spent a perfect day skiing at Big Sky and then I read this shi#. How am I supposed to buy my season pass for next year if the Govmint quits sending my checks. Looks like I’ll have to run down to the local sporting goods stock and stock up.

Kissmygrits on March 15, 2010 at 8:41 PM

Am i wrong? Should i change my ways

alecj on March 15, 2010 at 1:17 PM

yes and yes

kanda on March 15, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Geez, I just spent a perfect day skiing at Big Sky and then I read this shi#. How am I supposed to buy my season pass for next year if the Govmint quits sending my checks. Looks like I’ll have to run down to the local sporting goods stock and stock up.

Kissmygrits on March 15, 2010 at 8:41 PM

Actually the tenet is to stop working and stop sending money to the government to the support leaches and losers who are so well represented in lefties. Actually I am saying you can kissmygrits.

bayview on March 15, 2010 at 8:50 PM

Yikes! I need to get my taxes done and bank the refund before they run out of cash and send me an Obama T-Shirt instead.

BobMbx on March 15, 2010 at 2:21 PM

You’re already royally screwed. It’s March. I filed mine in January when I saw the writing on the wall.

All you folks 55+ who have not saved for your retirement better get on good terms with you kids real quick because they’ll be supporting you the rest of your lives.

And if you’re not on good terms with them and they won’t support you get fattened up because Soylent Green is people.

BowHuntingTexas on March 15, 2010 at 1:28 PM

I’m screwed. My parents are about that age.

And I was hoping to get married this year.

I have little retirement and no kids. Can I sell my body?

leftnomore on March 15, 2010 at 3:42 PM

Due to a lack of forward thinking in earlier times… you’re royally screwed.

I don’t know what to say man… you’re situation is FUBAR.

Of course… the situation for all of us is FUBAR at this point.

Anyone in the Provo/Orem area have a spare gun? I’ll gladly trade not with cash but with ammo for all your other guns.

Chaz706 on March 15, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Printing a trillion hasn’t created nary a ripple of inflation. This is essentially the cashing in of a productivity dividend that has been sitting accruing interest all these years since the PC took over.

We build cars faster than we consume them, without breaking much of a sweat. It is what it is. What is needed is to shorten the 50+ workweek by 1 day and give that Friday to an apprentice from school. The company pays for the apprentice to get to and from the job, bus fare, mileage reimbursement whatever. People need more free time to consume.

pc on March 15, 2010 at 9:09 PM

You all realize of course that they will soon be coming after private retirement accounts?

The Dems look at all that money and salivate.
They will justify confiscating it by claiming that it is so unfair that “the wealthy” have hoarded all that money for themselves.

Incidentally, and I’m of course not advocating violence, but that will be my personal tipping point.

justltl on March 15, 2010 at 9:14 PM

If I were sane, I would convert half of my retirement to gold for my wife and the other half to lead for me.

justltl on March 15, 2010 at 9:27 PM

If I were sane, I would convert half of my retirement to gold for my wife and the other half to lead for me.

justltl on March 15, 2010 at 9:27 PM

The copper coated kind I take it. Sadly, if the financial collapse of this nation makes us look like the worst parts of Detroit then that will come in handy I’m afraid.

Yakko77 on March 15, 2010 at 10:23 PM

I seem to remember that Uhhhhbama’s original scheme was to pass cap and trade and use that money to pay for the health care “reform”. How’d that work out, Barry?

darwin-t on March 15, 2010 at 11:05 PM

Why is social security always put in the same category as medicare, medicaid, food stamps, welfare, etc.? People paid into the social security system for years and years expecting to be able to get some money back when they retire as promised….The beneficiaries of food stamps and welfare have not paid a dime into the system so their programs should be the first to go! Use the money that is to go to these deadbeats to pay social security since the government did not keep their filthy hands out of the funds as they were supposed to do!….If not, give the people all the monies they have mandatorily paid into social security plus interest!!

theaddora on March 15, 2010 at 11:22 PM

One word for everyone on this blog: GOLD.

watson007 on March 16, 2010 at 1:41 AM

What about that “lockbox” that Al was talking about in 2000. There has got to be some money in there, right?/

tommer74 on March 16, 2010 at 1:45 AM

You people make me sick, SS is the best program evah!!!!
Obama will solve the problem with the blue pill and the red pill! Don’t worry, both pills will give the same result, they are just showing some consideration by giving you a choice of color. Once that is dealt with, he will start the fabulous Soylent program to help feed the starving nations of the world. I bet he will even have his logo inscribed on the the Soylent chips to let everyone know, Obama has fed the masses! Yes we can, we need courage, seig heil as the socialist say!

Africanus on March 16, 2010 at 9:58 AM

What about that “lockbox” that Al was talking about in 2000. There has got to be some money in there, right?/

tommer74 on March 16, 2010 at 1:45 AM

Not exactly. Besides, that “lockbox” would not have affected the cash deficits in SocSecurity in the least, and it would have been a substantial-to-massive increase in deficit spending.

steveegg on March 16, 2010 at 10:03 AM

One word for everyone on this blog: GOLD.

watson007 on March 16, 2010 at 1:41 AM

I prefer lead.

steveegg on March 16, 2010 at 10:04 AM

“We” are the ones who claim to be conservatives (like myself) who didn’t act when we should have. Apologies if that implicates you unfairly.
oakland on March 15, 2010 at 6:44 PM

You are lying to yourself, as well as to the rest of us, when you call yourself a conservative.
As has been pointed out, conservatives have tried to fix SS, unfortunately we have never had a filibuster proof majority in the Senate.

So your attempts to blame conservatives for not trying hard enough falls flat.

You are probably too young to remember all of the newspapers puting up front page articles telling the population how there was nothing wrong with SS and that the Republicans were just trying to steal the money for their rich banker friends.

MarkTheGreat on March 16, 2010 at 10:18 AM

Social Security is one of my pet peeves. It is one of the worst systems. Of course, when it was first put in place the tax rate was very low, so who could complain? Then it grew and grew, just like all other entitlement systems do (and Obamacare will if enacted). Now there is an insolvent system that eats up 12.5% of your pay (unless you make the big bucks).

The sad thing to me is that government workers pay in something like the amount the rest of us do into their retirement, but get much more out in the end. Until government employees at all levels are put back into the SS system the problems with it will never get solved because there won’t be the pressure from the government employee unions to fix it. Of course that is the same reason the government employees will never get put into the SS system.

Snidely Whiplash on March 16, 2010 at 1:23 PM

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