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

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  •  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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