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View Diary: Hell, No! Social Security Contributes Nothing To Deficit (119 comments)

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  •  It may be true that SS contributes nothing (1+ / 0-)
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    to the deficit now but it is also true that SS will "contribute" a lot to the deficit in coming years.  Those facts are undeniable and so I find it weird to argue that it doesn't contribute to the deficit when we are only a few short years away from it doing so.

    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

    by theotherside on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 05:52:29 AM PDT

    •  I for one don't care for the combined budget (0+ / 0-)

      If I want to see the real deficit, I compare the total government debt from one year to the next.

      The combined budget, since the days of LBJ, has counted Social Security's net inbound cashflow as offsetting the deficit of the rest of the budget - as if the SSTF didn't exist.  As long as the net cashflow was positive this made the headline deficit figure look good and so Presidents of all political stripes used it.

      If you wish to continue counting SS's net cashflows towards the headline deficit number once they turn negative, you will gain an inaccurate picture of the state of the federal debt, just as you did if you counted them towards the headline deficit number while they are positive.

      For instance, if you believed GWB's FY2006 budget headline deficit figure of $248 billion you would be mistaken if you thought that the debt would increase by that much.  In fact it rose by $574 billion, $274 billion of the difference being the counting of Social Security's net cashflow as federal income.

      The takeaway is that the only way of contriving a SS contribution to the deficit in the future is by using combined budgeting.  It presents just as dishonest a picture of government finances as precisely the same tactic did in years past.

      Fake candidates nominated by the GOP for the recalls: 6 out of 7. Fake signatures on the recall petitions: 4 out of 1,860,283.

      by GeoffT on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 06:29:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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