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  •  You haven't decided about Social Security!!!??? (4.00)
    Read this:

    The pessimistic prediction by Social Security trustees puts the possible shortfall in Social Security at 3.7 trillion dollars 75 years from now. (Bush's 10 trillion dollar estimate is so absurd it would be laughed out of accounting 101, mainly because it extrapolates until infinity.)

    According to Alan Greenspan, Bush wants to borrow 4.5 trillion dollars over the next 20 years to "save" Social Security (Paul Krugman and the CBO puts the total at 15 trillion over 40 years.)* Think about how this money might be better used to fix a real crisis, which is the explosion in health care costs, with 45 million Americans lacking basic health care coverage. And yet Bush wants to use this borrowed money to "fix" something that isn't even broken. Wake up people!

    It doesn't take a genius to "solve" every potential debt by borrowing more money than you already owe! Think about how stupid this is. A guy walks into a bar and says: "I might possibly have a debt of 3.7 trillion dollars 75 years from now. What am I supposed to do?" Bartender Bush says: "I suggest you borrow 15 trillion dollars over the next 40 years and your problem will be completely solved!"

    Maybe this kind of bogus Harvard Business school math worked at places like Arbusto, Harken Energy and Enron, but any grade school kid can see right through this phony shell game.

    Just like common carnival hucksters, Bush and company are counting on greed and a sucker being born every minute to sell their bogus plan.



    •  Problem is (2.00)
      I do think that private investment accounts are the natural progression of things, and would be more effective at providing for retirement if allowed to supplement the current form of social security.

      I agree with the goal, and the motivation of the Bush plan—I'm just not sure that I agree with the Bush plan itself yet.

      What am I doing on DailyKos? I'm Running for the Right...

      by RFTR on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:59:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  duh (3.83)
        How many times does one need to point out the simple fact that private investment accounts ALREADY exist...IRAs, 401Ks, 457s, and money market choices up the ying yang?  And thanks to ENRON and ilk, just look how effective those have been as supplements.  Yeah...we know who they're REALLY supplementing!
      •  Well (3.33)
        I would argue that private retirement accounts pre-date Social Security, so if anything we're going backwards.

        But for the record, when FDR originally discussed creating Social Security, he promoted the idea of voluntary private accounts alongside SS (not as part of it).  

        I have no problem with people investing for their retirement.  Just don't mess with the guaranteed benefits of SS.  Too many people would be in poverty without it.

        •  Don't pass that FDR right wing lie here (2.50)
          Don't pass along that right-wing lie about what FDR said. At least not in this forum, where people actually think about issues instead of eating pre-digested pablum from Rove and company.
          •  Re-read what I said, please (3.60)
            The right-wing lie is that FDR promoted the eventual replacement of Social Security with private accounts.  That's not what he said, and it's not what I said.

            I said FDR originally proposed that people's retirement should be taken care of using a) Social Security (defined benefit government program) and b) whatever supplemental private accounts people would want to have.


          •  No, it's not made up (4.00)
            I saw Keith Olberman's interview with FDR's grandson, who is highly placed in Social Security Admin, where they took apart Brit Hume's "creative re-construction" of FDR's original statement on what SS could and should be.  He did include private investment in a small way at the beginning, with the hope that it would grow bigger.

            The whole point about SS was that it would be rock-solid, 100% govt-backed investments of the highest grade, so no swindlers could fast-talk the oldsters into make money quick schemes.  And of course, they're running things now.

            "No. I'm pretty fuckin' far from OK."

            by moltar on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:29:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  You have this already (3.80)
        There already is an effective way to privately supplement Social Security -- IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts).  You can open one right now.  

        The goal and motivation of the Bush Plan is to dismantle and destroy Social Security.

      •  key word (4.00)

        but that's not the Bush plan or the motivation for it and the sooner you and those reasonable conservative folks like you see this administration for what it is, the better.

        they are not trying to "fix" or "rescue" or "supplement" or "improve" social security - they are trying to destroy it - some of them even admit it.  

        I truly fear for the future of our nation, and part of my fear is that otherwise reasonable people like yourself keep giving this administration the benefit of the doubt.

        We can disagree on policy. You strike me as a reasonable person who studies issues, but  what about the administration has ever been "conservative?"

        Secret Legal Arguments.

        I mean really.
         It is a orgy of wretched Imperial excess.  They've taken profiteering and slash and burn politics to new levels. It is using both the theocrats and the conservatives in ways that would be funny if not so dangerous to our nation and our world.

        Just as I feel a great responsibility, as a Christian - to stand up to  Dobson and Falwell's misuse of religion - I think anyone who calls themselves a true conservative should be on the freaking front lines against this monstrosity - not "running to the right"

        there will be time for that later - right now our way of life truly is threatened - and it's by the guy you voted for.

        I appreciate you posting here RFTR. I appreciate your sincerity.  I hope your eyes are opening to the monster you've helped create.

        At long last, sir, they have no decency.

        I support Soulforce - seeking Justice for God's GLBT children. Please join us.

        by its simple IF you ignore the complexity on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:14:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Try to pay attention (none)
        There's nothing wrong with Social Security.  You know that, right?
      •  Do the math! (4.00)
        2005 max 401k contribution: $14,000
        2005 max Roth IRA contribution: $4,000
        2005 projected median income: $58,000

        You can save almost 1/3 of the median income tax-free today, IN ADDITION TO SOCIAL SECURITY.

        But you already knew that...

        Sources: Amex HUD (pdf)

        I would have expected better trolling from a Yalie. ;) Go Big Red!

        •  But at $58,000.00... (none)
 will not eat well if you do.  That, my friend, is the rub.
          •  you won't eat (none)
            at all. Not if you want someplace to live. And heat.
          •  Actually ... (none)
            It is more of a matter of what you choose to spend your earnings on.

            For example I make only a little more than $58000/year myself and I live in a fairly expensive city (Seattle) yet I'm managing to save nearly 45% of my pre-tax income.

            I manage to eat pretty well too. I also manage to give a fair (3-5% of gross income) amount in political donations and to charity.

            On the other hand I'm single with no kids. I'm happy with my beater car, my modest apartment in a modest neighborhood, I bike to work instead of paying for a gym membership, and I don't have cable or a sat dish.

          •  you can't live on 58,000? (none)
            then you are clueless if you ask me
            Here are my earnings from my SSI report. I no longer live in the States but from the 90's
            90-19,004/ 91-19,677/ 92- 12,531/ 93-4,328/ 94-5,587/ 95-10,891/ 96- 8,156/ 97-11,699/ 98-12,640

            Not only did I eat well throughout the decade but I also: bicycled across North America, traveled extensively in Mexico for two months, completed a BA degree/ studied abroad in Ecuador/ and climbed and skied all over north America. '97 was good year for skiing, went to Vail, Winterpark, Snowbird, Alta, Brighton, Whistler/Blackcomb, and Tahoo in addition to local Oregon mountains. All on 11 grand. Priorities. Barely scraping by on 60 G's a year? bwahahahahahha what fricking loser.

            •  oh please (none)
              And how much money did mommy and daddy float your way? You sound like a trustafarian to me.
              •  i wish (none)
                none. I'm 42 fuckhead. I've been on my own since I was 20. I've worked since I was 14 when I was picking corn on a local farm. Now I'm in Japan and I make about 25 grand a year. In the six years I've been here I have saved roughly 7,000 a year or nearly 30% of my wages. If you can't live on 58000 and save boatloads you are a clueless greedhead. My father was a college professor and died of alcholism some years ago. He left me nothing but my mom lives on his and her pension. There are no trusts, nothing to fall back on for me. I've put up with the bitching and moaning of people like you all my life. crying and whining about how they can't make it on 5 times my pay. Fuck you. You deserve Bush. America deserves  Bush. Even the "liberals" are materialistic greedhead fuck ups. The ultimate losers. If you can't make it in America, you might as well just blow your brains out. You don't even realize how easy you have it. Most, and I mean most, of the world is eating dogshit and barely getting by. You have the chance to experience aspects of the human experience that most don't even dream about yet you saddle yourself with senseless debt on oversized houses, oversized cars, oversized families and oversized bellies, and then whine about how you're barely making it. You don't even know. You should be flat out ashamed that you bitched about your 58,000 being paltry. You don't even know.
                •  Picking corn! (none)
                  In the winter! Uphill! BOTH WAYS!

                  Just because you swing it around doesn't mean anyone cares how big you think it is.

                  Lots of people scrabbled their way to greatness.

                  Why not help them out a bit, so it takes 10 years instead of 50?

            •  and luckily (none)
              you don't have kids or a spouse, own a house, or ever get sick.

              Try one. Any one. Better yet, try 2. And then add college tuition and/or loans, a few bouts of unemployment, and/or an accident.

              Still eating?

      •  You can't increase savings (4.00)
        By borrowing the money to fund the savings.

        You cannot pay the same level of benefits by withdrawing a substantial part of the money going into paying benefits.

        Keeping Social Security as a guaranteed, minimum benefit for everyone is very important.  Everyone who lives longer than the average gets more out of Social Security than they put in.  You can never outlive Social Security, unlike private savings.  If you die early, you won't care--you won't need the money.

        That said, it is very important to save on your own, to the maximum you can.  But do it truly on your own, not with the government telling you what and how much you can save, and what you have to do with it, as in the Bush plan.


        If you're going in the wrong direction and you stay the course, where, exactly, do you wind up?

        by Mimikatz on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:57:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  what IS the goal (4.00)
        of Bush's plan, in your opinion?

        Most of the folks here understand that the goal of his "plan" (which of course doesn't exist) is to destroy SSInsurance and replace it with private accounts, which will line the pockets of the Wall Street brokerage industry.

        If YOUR goal is to shore up SSI so that it doesn't exceed the trust fund, there are simple ways to do that that don't involve destroying SSI and running up the deficit.

        If YOUR goal is to make additional private retirement accounts more accessible, then there are simple ways to do that as well that have nothing to do with SSI.

        If you believe that Bush only wants to "supplement" SSI with private accounts, then you're deluding yourself.  You need to open your eyes.  I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt, since you assert that you are trying to engage in a reasonable dialogue.

        There is NO scenario under which destroying SSI, which will be the result of private accounts replacing it, is "reasonable"

      •  There are already (none)
        many private retirement accounts available.  It would be a lot cheaper to strengthen and promote them.  In the order of funding crises, the general fund, followed by Medicare are much, much bigger crises.  We have many years before we even have to address funding shortfalls in SS.

        I'm a member of a minority group: the reality-based community.

        by Unstable Isotope on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 06:17:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  or better yet (none)
          offer matching funds for those over 50 who open an IRA/401k whose employers don't and who make less than a certain amount. Gradually extend it to everybody.

          That would boost the savings amount, cost less, and provide more of a cushion for those who need it most.

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