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View Diary: Nadler: Fire Alan Simpson (174 comments)

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  •  EXACTLY (6+ / 0-)

    SS surplus has subsidized lower general taxes.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 03:00:29 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  It's also helped pay for wars. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Peril, maryabein, Wom Bat

      starting with Vietnam.  That's when they started dipping into the trustfund.  We always have money for wars.

      •  Lesser people also fought the wars (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        magnetics, JesseCW

        You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

        by Cartoon Peril on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 03:13:43 PM PDT

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      •  Money is fungible (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Robobagpiper

        By which I mean you can't tell whether or not a particular tax dollar went to pay for a war, or for Amtrak.

        In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

        by blue aardvark on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 03:19:29 PM PDT

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        •  S.S. was first raided during the Vietnam War. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cartoon Peril

          Of course we don't know exactly which dollars went for what, but we do know that it made the deficit look smaller at a time when we were engaged in a very unpopular war.  It was Lyndon Johnson who was first to put the S.S. surplus in with all the other money and write I.O.U's for the trustfund.  S.S. has had a surplus every year since its existence except of course, for this year.  This is the first year that S.S. has had a deficit.  I guess they spent all those surpluses on other things.  Ronald Reagan raised S.S. taxes and said that he was going to save that money for when the boomers retired.  No money was saved, and now we have a S.S. deficit for the first time ever and no money saved for it.

           The feds don't mind taking money out of the trustfund, but putting it back is another thing.  It's something the GOP and people like Simpson don't want to do, ever.  George W. Bush reminded us that all those I.O.U.'s are just paper.

          •  It went to t-bills, safest investment on earth (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            denise b, jennylind

            Seriously, what did you think they were going to bury a coffee can full of money in the backyard?

            The 1983 legislation was extremely clear. The money would be collected and invested in government treasury bills. This was by far the safest and best place to put the money.

            The problem is assholes like Bush saw this extra money and decided to hand it out in tax cuts, the vast majority of which went to rich people. So now instead of paying us back, they want to pretend the money is gone.

            It is one of the oldest con-jobs in the world.

            Funny how they never disparage the t-bills owned by China or the Saudi princes. They only pretend like the money invested by the working class is gone. Funny how that works.

            Everything I write is within a margin of error of precisely 100%.

            by Bailey Savings and Loan on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 04:20:56 PM PDT

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          •  What exactly would you like them to have done (0+ / 0-)

            with the trust fund? You have to put money somewhere. Where do you think would have been preferable, and why?

            The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. --Bertrand Russell

            by denise b on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 09:10:12 PM PDT

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    •  That goes both ways, of course. (0+ / 0-)

      When SS goes into deficit (as it's slated to do in 2014), it puts pressure on the general fund which must be compensated via higher taxes or more debt.

      Contra Nadler, that's why SS is part of the overall defict / debt issue.

      •  No more so than having to repay China does. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Betty Pinson

        Less so, in fact, since we recapture a goodly chunk of it in taxes.

        the policy elite...are... demanding that we engage in human sacrifices to appease the anger of invisible gods ~ Paul Krugman

        by JesseCW on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 03:26:46 PM PDT

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        •  Very true. (0+ / 0-)
          But we can't just pass law and void our debt to china.  We can, however, unilaterally vary our obligations to the SS trust fund.  
          •  Actually, yes we can (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Anthony Segredo, burrow owl, JesseCW

            It would cause a global financial crisis to make 2008 look like a fun time, but we could by fiat default on all foreign owned US debt.

            In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

            by blue aardvark on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 03:40:50 PM PDT

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          •  What underlies this issue? (3+ / 0-)

            But we can't just pass law and void our debt to china.

            You make that sound like cutting Social Security is not much different from naming a bridge after some retired Congressman.

            Social Security used to be--as recently as 2006--the untouchable in American politics.

            Why would a Democratic Administration be pissing away what little political capital it has left in an obvious attempt to gut the Democratic Party's greatest legacy?

            The answer lies in the desperate condition of our economic system.  Obama has expended nearly all his effort propping up a dying system: the banks, real estate, autos, health insurance companies, MIC.

            We could repudiate our debt to foreign governments or at least reschedule it.  We could drastically cut the defense budget.  We could quit propping up Big Ag, cut Medicare payments to doctors, hospitals and Big Pharma.

            But the government is holding up a Capitalist system that is on life support.

            That's why somebody in the government has to commit political suicide and cut Social Security so that these other subsidies and bailouts can keep this system going a little longer.

            Freedom without equality is a fraud. Equality without freedom is despotism. Michael Bakunin

            by goinsouth on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 03:51:29 PM PDT

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          •  "Vary our obligations"? (0+ / 0-)

            More like voiding our debt to Social Security. Same thing. Not repaying a debt is the same thing in either situation.

            Has everyone in DC and on Wall Street forgotten how finance works? Or do the laws, ethics and morals relating to finance no longer apply?    It's like some weird form of collective  amnesia.

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