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View Diary: Newsweek Promotes A $2.6 Trillion Social Security Fraud (63 comments)

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  •  Samuelson is jackass (17+ / 0-)

    Samuelson's article to total crap.

    HE says Social Security is welfare since other people pay for the benefits received. This is only partly true in the sense that workers pay for the benefits of retirees (although it is entirely and increasingly possible that people are both receiving retirement benefits and continuing to work). But of course, no one who is a retiree today was not previously a worker.  You may receive more than you paid in or you may receive less depending on your income. But Social Security benefits, unlike welfare, are based on your actual contributions (scaled to reflect rising living standards across the whole economy), they are not based on your current circumstances.

    AFDC/TANF, Food Stamps/SNAP. SSI are all "welfare" programs where eligibility is conditional on being indigent today. On not being able to pay, now Social Security is the exact opposite. If you didn't pay in,  you cannot collect.

    Social Security is in part insurance. So  a person who becomes disabled can receive income greatly in excess of their contributions, if they suffer a great misfortune. Survivors of deceased workers are assured of a basic level of support. I seriously doubt Mr. Samuelson thinks insurance in general is welfare.

    Social Security is also in part an inter-generational compact. That is, one generation of workers agrees to pay the benefits for the generation of retirees, because they know the following generation will do the same for them. The only people who seem to think this is a bad thing are the people who want to break the compact.

    As for Leonard's post, I do not understand why he thinks the Special Treasuries are an inferior brand of bond. In fact they are better in that they earn market interest, but they bear no price risk. The trust fund can call in the bond at par value no mater what the market interest rates are (if they held regular treasuries and they needed to cash one in when the price of bonds was low, they Trust Fund would potentially lose money.

    Leonard also seems to think that Congress can change the value of the Special bonds by fiat. That is not the case. They are obligations of the treasury. Period. We should note that the proceeds of those bonds when redeemed (and not rolled over) goes directly as cash to retirees. Congress can change the benefit levels or taxes due, both of which can lengthen or shorten the period of time the proceeds of the Trust Fund bonds might be needed to fund benefits, but they cannot cancel the bonds themselves.

    •  Like all aging, overfed Rethug columnists, (5+ / 0-)

      Samuelson sits on his physical assets all day long in front of a computer, completely disconnected from the real world.  He lost me when he said pay equity for women was a bad idea, and that was years ago, back in the 1970s or 80s.

      He's a 7-letter word meaning "anal aperture."  Newsbeak is increasingly irrelevant.  As for Meacham--did he take his $5 billion and quit?  And wasn't Tina Brown the former editor of Vanity Fair or Vogue or something?

      I may be heterosexual, but I'm NOT a Mad Hetter!

      by Neferhuri on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 01:45:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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