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View Diary: Protecting Social Security from Inaccurate Accounting with an Agenda (44 comments)

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  •  Questions (1+ / 0-)
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    Clem Yeobright

    1. Does FASAB apply to the Trustees report or just the SOSI (Statement of Social Insurance)? Applying FASAB to the budget documents would have no affect on the TR since it is not part of the budget process.

    2. Long range actuarial projections have been part of the Trustees report going right back to 1941. Why only now have you decided it is part of a massive misinformation campaign? was FDR in on it?  I mean this is what pension actuary's do, is it not?

    3. When you say " there's nothing to stop the government from just funding Social Security" did you just mean Congress can legislatively change the benefit levels and revenue streams so they are equal? If so is this a major revelation. Or are you implying that OASDI has the authority to borrow? Or that the executive has the authority to allocate general revenue to Social Security without specific legislative authority?

    Has anyone ever made the argument that the Congress cannot legislate raising taxes by whatever amount it takes to insure that revenue meets the currently scheduled benefits. (I know people claim that we "can't afford" to fund it, but I are we pretending that they mean that literally? )

    •  Most of them are answered if you cared to read (0+ / 0-)

      1. You either know that the FASAB corresponds to advising how all accounting practices in all reports from all actuaries and anything relying on them or you don't. Maybe you don't think there is any accounting involved in all actuaries reports? There is or is supposed to be which was one of the main points in this diary you don't seem to have a grasp on or didn't take the time to read.

      If you don't and cannot pay attention to these simple facts which correspond to the paper I referenced than you have quite the skewed view when it comes to the budgetary process. The information about the FASAB is there for you to read. But fine, I'll answer your question which really says more about you.

      The Statements of Social Insurance provide estimates of the status of the most significant social insurance programs: Social Security, Medicare, Railroad Retirement, and Black Lung social insurance programs, which are administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), HHS, the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), and the Department of Labor (DOL), respectively. The estimates are actuarial present values 2 of the projections and are based on the economic and demographic assumptions representing the trustees’ reasonable estimates as set forth in the relevant Social Security and Medicare trustees’ reports and in the agency financial report of HHS and DOL (Black Lung) and in the relevant agency performance and accountability reports for the SSA and RRB. The projections are based on the continuation of program provisions contained in current law.
      2. Having long range projections existing and actually relying on them(specifically only one out of 3) with bad accounting principles and using them politically to cut the program or make pessimistic assumptions about the program that the trustees are doing are two different things. Again, if you just read the assignment, like the paper in the diary, you would know where my point is coming from instead of the pile of straw you are laying out here. When this type of intergenerational accounting is applied, like say in 2003(from the paper you didn't read but decided to jump in late and comment anyway on matters you know nothing about) national accounting is ignored as well as basic accounting principles like assets and liabilities in the future in those projections which I shant be going over again, because like I said, you didn't read the assignment.

      3. Perhaps you could take 5 minutes and watch the video I provided that answers this question. Too much? OK,how about taking a look at different trust funds between Social Security and Medicare?

      4 Trust Funds, 3 Problems: Why is the Other one so “Healthy”

      Part B of Supplemental Medical Insurance (SMI), which pays for doctors’ bills and other outpatient expenses, and Part D, which pays for access to prescription drug coverage, are both projected to remain adequately financed into the indefinite future because current law automatically provides financing each year to meet the next year’s expected costs.
      Reality is quite a revelation, huh? Wait till you find out how our actual fiscal and monetary system works.

      You're welcome.

      I don't negotiate grand bargains with deficit terrorists!

      by priceman on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 06:45:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow, aren't you an arrogant prick (0+ / 0-)

        1. FASAB applies to the reporting in the consolidated financial statements of the Federal government, of which the  SOSI are one. The SOSI is NOT the Trustees Report, and FASAB rules have no material impact on the Trustees Report. If you have evidence to the contrary you should provide it. Tell me exactly what in the trustees report would change.

        The truth is that the Trustees decide what goes in the Report and how it is reported. End of story.

        Everyone uses the Trustees Report to evaluate the financial status of the OASDI trust funds. Some rely on CBO as well. No one uses the SOSI.

        2. Since when have trustees reports claimed to account for national assets and liabilities? Answer: never. Again your issue is with SOSI, which no one uses to evaluate Social Security. they use the TR, and the TR has used the same basic actuarial principles for a long time. the TR is a report on the actuarial status of the funds. Always has been.

        There is nothing in the Trustees Report which biases national policy toward cutting benefits. Even the introduction of the infinite horizon, as stupid as it is, just says the really long-run imbalance is a little bit larger than the 75 year imbalance. A perfectly reasonable response to both actuarial deficits is to increase revenues and maintain existing scheduled benefits. Big f'ing deal.  The fact that people use statistics to lie is not an indictment of statistics. it is an indictment of lying.

        3. Greenspan said the government can print as much money to pay whomever it wants. True. But they can't do that under the current Social Security law. If Greenspan had said to Ryan, "hey Paul, you little prick, all we have to do is raise the payroll tax rate like Bruce Webb says and everything is fine", would you have included the video?

        Again the MMT folks say we have no fiscal limits. This is an argument against saying we cannot afford to fund Social Security. Although people sometimes say this, it is a laughable claim when taken literally. What they means is we don't want to raise taxes one iota. You don't need MMT to prove that is a totally bogus claim.

        So we are back to the question of whether you think we should legally change the basis upon which we fund social security. SMI is a legally different mechanism. It is a philosophically different mechanism as well. OASDI benefits are closely tied to past wages.  Medicare insures against the cost of medical care, the need for which is not so closely correlated with past wages,  as it is to health.

        The article you linked to notes the truth that SMI trust funds are funded indefinitely. So what? That has not inured them against being the subject of cuts, or being politically undermined. What do you think the MMA was. What do you think Paul Ryan's voucherization BS is about?  Medicare has been subject to far more cost containment than Social Security ever has.

        Whatever. You aren't listening. you are already the smartest guy in the room. Well ast least the MMT guys are and you've read their articles. I'm impressed

        •  Fiscal limits: a logically absurd idea (1+ / 0-)
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          Again the MMT folks say we have no fiscal limits. This is an argument against saying we cannot afford to fund Social Security. Although people sometimes say this, it is a laughable claim when taken literally.

          No, what is laughable is that anybody can think that any sovereign government (or any issuer of liabilities) ever had or could have a fiscal limit on the amount of liabilities it could issue. What is limited is how meaningful these liabilities are, not their nominal amount. A fiscal limit is a preposterous delusion, that no state has ever held  when it came to war. Sovereign governments spend by simply printing the money. That's how we do it right now, with a lot of stupid tricks to pretend we don't.

          Nobody can change the basis on which we fund SS, because it is funded by issuing SS checks, printing money. We can only change the way we pretend to financially fund it. Perhaps the simplest and easiest one right now is Robert Eisner's suggestion of just having the bonds "in" the SS Trust Fund pay higher interest. Problem solved, horizon infinity and beyond. Get rid of FICA and then the trust fund altogether once people understand basic economics again, and then even better this time.

          For MMT is just genuine, Keynesian economics that everybody understood, though more and more vaguely, as Depression memories faded, from the 20s to until around 1970, when ancient superstitions dressed up in fake mathematics purged real economics. And in 1983, the dark age became dark enough that the destructive Greenspan, save-SS-by-destroying-it plan was passed. Before, everybody understood that SS taxes had nothing to do with SS payments, as FDR famously said.

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