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View Diary: The Thing About Social Security (178 comments)

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  •  in 2033, what really happens? (7+ / 0-)

    Congress raises the cap to avoid cutting benefits.

    That's what really happens in 2033.

    •  placing a lot of faith (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      notrouble, SoCalSal, FG

      in that future unknown congress, isn't that?

      Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

      by Cedwyn on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 10:18:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You place alot of faith (13+ / 0-)

        in this Congress it seems to me.

        Not sure that is quite as deffensible as you seem to think

        •  well, it is the devil we know (0+ / 0-)

          who knows what its composition will be 3 or 5 years from now?  especially -- and i do hate to say this -- if dems face electoral backlash over guns somehow.

          Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

          by Cedwyn on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:18:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Could you explain your logic? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SpecialKinFlag, 3goldens

        What makes you think that we will get a better deal on Social Security if we bargain over it now, as opposed to later? Please try to be specific, and explain why you think that this set of elected officials is the best we can possibly hope for in the next twenty years.

        •  Something along the lines of (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3goldens, Roger Fox

          The economy may never recover and Repubs might become dominant again so why take a chance if we can get something done now. Silly logic IMO.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:26:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  nowhere did i claim the current congress (0+ / 0-)

          is the best we'll see for 20 years.  nowhere.

          but it is the devil we know, and a lot can happen between now and 2016.  and as soon as the GOP remotely has the power to do so, they will destroy SS to the greatest extent possible.

          so how confident are you we would hold the white house and congress in 2016? what 2016 dem candidate do you feel would be more liberal than obama?  

          if we have so much faith in future congresses of unknown composition, can't we equally trust them to tweak SS to liberalize it, whatever obama/dems might do now?

          Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

          by Cedwyn on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:27:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Wait (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens, PhilJD, tardis10, Roger Fox

        You're trusting a set of predictions that favor your solution, i.e. that the SSTF will run out of money in 20 years because the economy will be anemic for that time, but not a set of predictions that don't, i.e. that our political system is trending left and so now's not the right time to do this?

        How is that honest arguing? Why are the predictions that favor your reasoning more valid than the ones that don't? Do you have numbers to back this up?

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:25:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i don't think they predicted an "anemic" (0+ / 0-)

          economy.  their projections are just that.  and they do get revised.  

          political systems trending in a particular direction are very slow-paced.  how long should we leave SS alone and see what happens?    

          Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

          by Cedwyn on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 12:51:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think anyone predicts an anemic (0+ / 0-)

            economy for the next 20 years. That's never happened in US history and we've been through much worse. And, anemic as it's been since 2008, the TF still has at least 20 good years in it. Actually, more like 20 bad years and 30 or more good years, depending on how things go.

            And we should leave it alone until the economy picks up and we have a more progressive government. As I've been saying.

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:23:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Trustees do, its there job, they have always done (0+ / 0-)

              so.

              Each year they issue a report with 4 scenarios, low, intermediate, high cost and a stochastic model.

              The legal responsibility of an actuary is to create a conservative financial projection, so what the SS Trustees do is skewed to the anemic.

              FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

              by Roger Fox on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:43:44 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  So anemic that there will be minimal growth (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Roger Fox

                for 20 years? When has that ever happened in US history?

                "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                by kovie on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:56:45 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Never. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kovie

                  A 25 yr recession, 2008 thru 2033 would be the longest downturn since the Black Plague killed off half the planet.

                  Anyone who has read a SS trustees report should admit touting the 2033 date is ridiculous.

                  http://www.dailykos.com/...

                  FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

                  by Roger Fox on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:59:46 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, Japan's been in a decades-long economic (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Roger Fox

                    stagnation. But my understanding is that its situation isn't really comparable to ours. They don't have a powerful sovereign currency like ours, don't have unlimited borrowing power or the ability to print money, they're tapped out on stimulus spending, and they're culturally very economically conservative. We don't have such limitations, and are one of the most dynamic and risk-taking societies in history. We're going to get out of this, and have a vibrant economy in less than 5 years, at most 10. We just need a bit more time, and to kill this GOP zombie that just won't die.

                    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                    by kovie on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:48:15 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Trustees do project a 20 year recession (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cedwyn

            in both the high cost and intermediate cost scenarios.

            FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

            by Roger Fox on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:40:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  betting on future congress (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SethRightmer, tardis10, jabney, Roger Fox

        Absolutely.

        1. Even the Republicans' crazy budget didn't take Obama's SS cuts.

        2. Demographics favor us long term. By 2021 Texas is a swing state.

        3. Even the Republicans increased Medicare (part D).

        4. Even the Republicans campaigned against Medicare cuts.

        5. The current insane Republican anti-tax is the most virulent in decades. Pendulums swing. It's more likely to be less insane a decade from now.

        6. Even the Republicans are wavering on high-end tax cuts.

        7. Popular sentiment is strongly in favor of strengthening social security.

        Project that out 20 years, when the choice is keeping benefits for seniors and raising the cap on the richest, against cutting 25%, and it's an easy projection. Keeping benefits wins.

        The only way the anti-SS cutters win is by stealth cuts like the chained CPI, and locking in cuts today. Long term they lose.

        •  how do we keep their mitts off of it (0+ / 0-)

          in that interim 20 years?  are you assuming we never lose again?

          Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

          by Cedwyn on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 04:00:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  SS has inherant strength (0+ / 0-)

            leave it alone.

            There isnt anything wrong with SS that a good economy wont fix, raise the min wage, create jobs, see GDP over 2.8% (not a lot), and wait to see what happens when the boomers die off.

            Heres some citations

            http://www.dailykos.com/...

            FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

            by Roger Fox on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:47:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  that won't do it in the face of (0+ / 0-)

              the population dynamics, though.  the millennials just aren't having so many kids.

              Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

              by Cedwyn on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 06:58:07 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Workforce growth of .2% is just silly (0+ / 0-)

                But thats what the SS Trustees use to get to 2033.

                The BLS or Council of Economic Advisors use .5% & .7%, current workforce growth is about .95%.

                Outside of the SS trustees intermediate scenario  no one uses .2%.  I'm trying to talk you off that branch. I've read every SS Trustees report since 2005 and IMHO you would do better to argue that wage growth wont be strong enough.

                But to argue that workforce growth thru 2033 will spike down suddenly, makes no sense, a good portion of workers in 2033 have already been born. You'd have to see a sudden massive decline in US births and the borders would have to be shut to all immigration.  It is likely that Illegall immigration amnesty will occur within the decade, plus immigration reform. This will bring us into .7% workforce growth in 20 years.

                Other wise the US is on a glide path to about .55% workforce growth in 20 years.

                FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

                by Roger Fox on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 05:52:15 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  How much must the cap be raised in 2032 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn

      to maintain SS benefits? Inquiring minds want to know. Because from what I've read, raising the salary cap now could be sufficient to maintain the SS trust fund and SS benefits in 2033; without a fix, those benefits will be reduced 75%.

      A fix to SS now can be relatively painless, and the trust fund will be rebuilt over two decades. Wait, and the fix will be painful and broadly opposed.

      In 2008, 50,898,244 persons were paid $615,344,000,000 in benefits. If the trust fund shortfall occurred in 2008, $153.836 billion would have to be withheld in order to maintain benefit rates. In 2033, the number of SS recipients will be many, many more and the 25% needed to merely maintain benefits will be huge.

      The sh*t those people [republicans] say just makes me weep for humanity! - Woody Harrelson

      by SoCalSal on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 12:09:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  nope (0+ / 0-)

        Cutting now doesn't magically make social security richer.

        First, the dire forecast is for a 25% cut, not 75%.

        It's true if we cut 25% now, we don't need to cut 25% later. (Assuming no funding increases.)

        And if we cut 15% now, we "only" need to cut 10% later.

        But that solves nothing, except baking in cuts early.

        There's no magic here. Cuts now don't reduce the total cuts.

        Cutting 1% each year for 25 years is not "more painless". It's still a 25% cut.

        •  I'm not discussing cuts in that comment, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SethRightmer, Cedwyn

          my comment was about increasing contributions to the SS trust fund earlier rather than later.

          I really can't make sense out of your comment. The chained CPI, if implemented, reduces SS outlays a significant amount over the long term.

          The sh*t those people [republicans] say just makes me weep for humanity! - Woody Harrelson

          by SoCalSal on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:36:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Trust find will not be depleted thru 2090 (0+ / 0-)

        The 2033 date requires a 20 recession, no wage growth in noiminal dollars, and crazy low workforce growth of .2%, which no one uses, most use .5% to .7%, current workforce growth is about .95%.

        Raising the cap to 90% and much more with solid citations here

        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:51:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Probably not (0+ / 0-)

      The trust fund will not be depleted.

      TO believe the trust fund will be depleted requires a 20 yr recession, no nominal wage growth, and .2% workforce growth.

      Pretty grim projections and quite unrealistic. 25 yrs of recession would be the longest economic downturn since the black plague killed off half the humans on Earth.

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:37:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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