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View Diary: Eight False Things The Public "Knows" Prior To Election Day (25 comments)

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  •  Figures never lie (0+ / 0-)

    I don't know where you got the data to support #1, but here are real some facts:

    The national debt has increased every year since some time back in the 1960's.

    From 2003 to 2007, it increased about $500b each year.

    In 2008 it increased $653b
    2009 = $2T
    2010 = $1.6T

    Check my math:
    treasurydirect.gov

    Regarding #7

    Social Security can't go broke, because it's a transfer tax. The problem isn't so much that people are getting older, it's that the number of old people is going to roughly double over the next decades while the number of working age people will remain relatively constant.

    The problem is not that the government will not be able to print enough money to cover the checks (they don't really need to print much money anyway since it's mostly electronic). The Congress can simply instruct the Treasury to make it happen.

    The problem is that the status quo is not sustainable. If you think our economy is so strong that you can take another 5 or 6 percent out of it without causing anyone any difficulties, I'd like to hear the explanation. Everyone keeps arguing about the accounting and the finance, but those aren't the problem. The problem is the economy and it's ability to generate jobs that will support so many more retirees. Geez. Right now it's not doing so well supporting the workers -- how do you figure it will support the retirees too?

    •  Please take it somewhere else (5+ / 0-)

      This anti-Social Security stuff is tedious.

      We spend as much as $1.2 trillion a year on military and related programs.  http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      ALL of that military-related spending is borrowed.  And, by the way, the Soviet Union is gone.

      Social Security has a huge surplus and remains completely solvent for at least 25 years, when it dips a bit for a short while, then continues with surpluses.

      --
      Seeing The Forest -- Who is our economy FOR, anyway? Twitter: @dcjohnson

      by davej on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 01:40:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's nothing anti-ss in my post (0+ / 0-)

        You're right, we could eliminate the military and there would be plenty of cash. As you say, there is plenty of cash anyway.

        But what good's all that cash going to do if there's nothing to buy?

        All I'm saying is the status quo doesn't work from an economic standpoint. There are plenty of solutions, but choosing to ignore the problem isn't one of them.

        Even if you set aside the question of the economy, the SS trustees don't paint the rosy picture that you seem to imply: "The 2010 Trustees Reports describe large long-term financial imbalances
        for Social Security and Medicare, and demonstrate the need for timely and effective action. The sooner that solutions are adopted, the more varied and gradual they can be."

        From the last paragraph here:
        http://ssa.gov/...

        What's the long term they're talking about? At the time they prepared the report, which is probably based on pre-meltdown statistics, they were showing that Trust Fund tax revenues have already been exceeded by expenditures, but that the trust funds will continue to grow due to interest. They say that this ceases to be the case and the trust fund begins to decline in 2025, which is 15 years off (page 11). When that happens (which will obviously be sooner now with all the unexpected job losses), the trust funds will no long serve to mask the deficit.

        Now look at the chart on page 7. This is the one I'm really talking about. They show that SS+Medicare will grow from about 6% of GDP in 2000 to about 12% in 2030. That's a massive re-alignment of the economy. Where's that 6% going to come from? And do you think the GDP growth projections they made when they wrote that are still valid?

        •  Hopefully, by 2030 our idiot legislators will (0+ / 0-)

          stop voting based on their legal bribes from Lobbyists - and give the US population what it needs and deserves...

          a Medicare for All program.

          It will cut (in 2010 dollars) about $450 Billion a year from the budget (which is about what the healthcare insurance fiends suck out of the pool of dollars to pay for healthcare, and which a Medicare for All plan would not have to worry about, as it is not a for-profit with excessive executive compensation).

          From this August, 2009 online article:

          A day earlier, UnitedHealth Group had reported its earnings for the second quarter of 2009, which beat analysts’ expectations with profit of $859 million.

          That's $859 Million for ONE quarter of profits from ONE healthcare insurance company, in 2009 - and you know that the current year's number is likely to be higher.

          At some point, there must come a day when the unsustainable nature of our American healthcare system of private, for-profit insurance overcomes the money injected into our political system (by those same insurance moguls), and revamps our national healthcare into a coherent system which enriches the overall health of the nation, instead of the pockets of the wealthy elite.

          That day can't come soon enough for me.

          SS is a false equivalence argument, when the program has been 'banking' funds since the early 1980s to cover those retiring Boomers in the 2010-2030 era. Additionally, a slight increase in the "capped" level of FICA taxes, to about $250,000 of income, should be enough to get over the hump of these retirees into the SS system without driving the Fund into the equivalent of bankrupcty.

          "in Order to form a more perfect Union"
          Basta de Guerra. No más. Enough War. No more.

          by Angie in WA State on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 04:07:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I did the math (0+ / 0-)

            Additionally, a slight increase in the "capped" level of FICA taxes, to about $250,000 of income, should be enough to get over the hump of these retirees into the SS system without driving the Fund into the equivalent of bankrupcty.

            A while ago I took IRS figures and calculated out what the effect of simply eliminating the cap would be. It's not enough.

            But again, the problem isn't finding the cash -- it's producing the goods.

    •  "Debt" and "Deficit" are 2 different words. (0+ / 0-)

      Get a dictionary.

      •  One derives from the other (0+ / 0-)

        If you take the debt at the end of each fiscal year and subtract what it was at the beginning of the year, then you have calculated the actual deficit.

        Learn to read your dictionary.

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