Skip to main content

View Diary: Ezra Klein: The White House is calling for Social Security talks (123 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  A retirement age increase (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cas2

    is a benefit cut, for everyone.

    Also, no it will not be out of money soon.  Not even close.

    Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

    by David Kaib on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 05:25:02 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  2 things (0+ / 0-)

      IF the beni change  doesn't affect you it isn't a cut for everyone.

      It will be out of money . Social Security is financed through a dedicated payroll tax. Employers and employees each pay 6.2 percent of wages up to the taxable maximum of $106,800 (in 2010), while the self-employed pay 12.4 percent.

      Last year, Social Security posted its first deficit since the program was last overhauled in the 1980s. The CBO said at the time that Social Security would post surpluses for a few more years before permanently slipping into deficits in 2016.
      But the new projections show nothing but red ink until the Social Security trust funds are exhausted in 2037.

      this is from Bill Clinton's OMB:

      The balances are available to finance future benefit payments and other trust fund expenditures,but only in a bookkeeping sense. These funds are not set up to be pension funds, like the funds of private pension plans. They are claims on the Treasury, when redeemed, will have to be financed by raising taxes, borrowing from the public, or reducing benefits or other expenditures. The existence of large trust fund balances, therefore, does not make it easier for the government to pay benefits.

      That means that the trust fund bonds will be repaid by collecting more general revenue taxes from you and me, by borrowing the money which means repaying it by collecting more taxes from our children, or by having the government spend less.

      Remember that SS is "funded" because our children will pay billions of dollars in additional taxes, not because there is money to pay benefits.

      •  This (0+ / 0-)

        is incoherent:

        IF the beni change  doesn't affect you it isn't a cut for everyone.

        Since I am a good deal away from retiring, it would affect me. (Does that mean you think it now is a cut for everyone?) More to the point, by 'all' I meant it's not limited to the rich, as you suggested.  But if you think benefit cuts for the vast majority of (but not all) people is a good position, that's your business. It is still a benefit cut, as I said above.

        You have confused borrowing with paying back. Your bank doesn't keep your money in a special place either, but when you go collect, you aren't borrowing.  When it comes to money, bookkeeping sense is the only sense there is. But it's true - the Clinton Admin also engaged in scare tactics to undermine SS.  Just like the Obama Admin.  And the Republicans.  And you.

        I'm not unaware of how SS is funded. Each generation pays for the next. Why you think that means current payees (who have already paid their share) should be screwed is beyond me.

        Please also drop the pretense about the tax burden on our children.  They will be immeasurably harmed if we undermine the most successful government program in history.  

        And if we don't have money, it will likely be because of continued, counterproductive wars and billion dollar tax give aways to the wealthiest top few percents and historically high unemployment and wage stagnation, any of which is solvable if we're interested in solutions that don't involved dismantling the middle class.

        Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

        by David Kaib on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 08:30:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think we are talking past each other (0+ / 0-)

          1- I am saying that rising retirement ages, with an exemption for physical hardship) isn't outrageous

          2- lower incomes would see their benefits rise- while upper incomes would see reduction. That is not a cut for all

          3- I am not trying to "scare" anyone and why on Earth do you suppose that Clinton, Bush, and Obama would all be singing from the same Hymnal if it weren't true?

          4- The funds are going to be depleted soon, and of you think the government will get those Treasury bills back to pay for all the boomers you are sadly mistaken. You say "If we don't have money" Well we don;t and we wont, regardless of our particular political wishes.

          All I am saying is that we need something like the Greenspan commission that led to raising taxes and adjusted the full benefit retirement age. I have never expected to see my full SS payments since I wised up a few years ago. But I would like to see it remain viable for most people who depend on it.

          •  We're not (0+ / 0-)

            going to agree.

            The changes you support (leaving aside the facts we disagree on) would undermine the political support that has protected the program over the decades. What you are suggesting is exactly what opponents of the program have wanted to do since the early 80s (as Bruce's recent diary shows). The only way you won't get your full payment is because too many people have come to accept that they won't.  It's a self fulfilling prophecy.

            Why would Bill and Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and GWB agree that we must invade Iraq because they have WMD's if it wasn't true?  There are, in fact, other options.

            I'm all for modifying the cap (and restoring full employment and a healthy economy) so that we have more money going in, but it's clear we need to lower the retirement age, not vice versa. We do have a high unemployment problem at the moment, after all.

            Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

            by David Kaib on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 09:21:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes we disagree (0+ / 0-)

              Just don't say I am trying to scare people, or worse as some have said I am part of an evil plot to destroy social security.

              Which Diary do you refer to? I'd like to see it.

              cheers

              •  I don't think you are part of a plot (0+ / 0-)

                and I shouldn't have suggested anything about your intentions.

                But there is a plot.  

                Part of the plot is get well meaning people to undermine a program they believe in.

                Speaking of which,  this  is the diary I mentioned.

                Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

                by David Kaib on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 06:19:02 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site