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And can the White House and Congress be trusted? With the upcoming "sequester" in two weeks, there will be major cuts to our safety nets. Howard Dean, the Democratic Party leader who once ran for president, says the sequester is a "good thing", because for the first time in a very long time, it also allows us to cut defense spending. (Try telling that to the poor, disabled and elderly.)

Will food stamps be traded for submarines? Will Medicaid be traded for the massive layoff of military personal? And even despite the fact that the most vulnerable among us would be brutally harmed by these cuts? The CEOs in the defense industry won't suffer much...if at all.

The Federal Times reported that an analysis by the Project on Government Oversight found that the average compensation package of a CEO for the top five Pentagon contractors is about $21.5 million. What "shared sacrifice" will they have to make when millions of Americans are laid off from their jobs?

Most voters across the entire political spectrum oppose cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefits. All polls show this. Obama ran on this. And all the Democrats in congress claimed they would protect these programs...that is, before the last election

President Obama just said in his State of the Union address, "We reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future." But yet he also believes that COLAS for Social Security and disability recipients should also be on the table?

When Obama won re-election, it was because of his promises not to cut Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits -- including raising the retirement age -- or cutting the cost of living adjustments. Over a million more voters than Mitt Romney had agreed with President Obama, and that's why they just voted for him.

Now our newly re-elected president sounds like he's caving. I've been getting petitions in my IN box every day, asking Obama and the Democrats to NOT compromise with the Republicans on ANY cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security --- especially for those who have already made the most "shared sacrifices" during the Great Recession.

Show me the money!

As of two years ago, the Social Security Trust Fund was supposed to have $2.6 trillion, according to the Social Security trustees. So why is there an immediate plan to start cutting here? The trustees also said that the combined assets of the Old-Age & Survivors Insurance and the Disability Insurance Trust Funds (OASDI) will be exhausted by 2033 (a conflicting report says Social Security retirement benefits could be exhausted by 2025.)

President Obama’s budget director at the time, Jack Lew, had explained in USA Today that “Social Security benefits are entirely self-financing. They are paid for with payroll taxes collected from workers and their employers throughout their careers. These taxes are placed in a trust fund dedicated to paying benefits owed to current and future beneficiaries."

He said that "even though Social Security began collecting less in taxes than it paid in benefits in 2010, the trust fund will continue to accrue interest and grow until 2025, and will have adequate resources to pay full benefits for the next 26 years.”

But for me, this is the most immediate and most disturbing: The trustees also projected the exhaustion of the Disability Insurance program in 2016. The trustees say that "the DI program faces the most immediate financing shortfall of any of the separate Social Security trust funds; thus lawmakers need to act soon to avoid reduced payments to DI."

With an aging population, the spike in disability claims is something that must be addressed very soon, or many of the Baby Boomers will be SOL.

Jack Lew explains that "for years, the surpluses in the Social Security trust fund have helped to mask our deficits elsewhere. Now that we are paying Social Security back, the problem is not with Social Security, but with the rest of the budget."

In 2001 and 2003 we had the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans; and later Medicare was expanded without paying for it. Not to mention two unpaid wars that accomplished...
what?

Lew said that "blaming Social Security for our fiscal woes is like blaming you for not saving enough in your checking account because the bank lost all depositors' money. The problem is not Social Security; the problem is the mismatch between outlays and revenues in the rest of the budget. Closing that gap and paying down our debt will take tough choices, and the president's budget makes them. Strengthening Social Security is an important, but parallel, issue that needs to be addressed as quickly as possible. But let's not confuse it as either the cause of or a solution to our short-term fiscal problems."

What did he mean by "tough choices"? For who? What did he mean "strengthening" Social Security? That sounds like something right out of the Republican play book.

The Republican rebuttal to Lew

Fox News' Charles Krauthammer strongly disagreed with Lew and said, "The Social Security trust fund is a fiction. In other words, the Social Security trust fund contains nothing.”

Krauthammer asserts that "when your FICA tax is taken out of your paycheck, it does not get squirreled away in some lockbox in West Virginia where it's kept until you and your contemporaries retire. Most goes out immediately to pay current retirees, and the rest goes to the U.S. Treasury and is spent --- on roads, bridges, national defense, public television, whatever --- spent, gone."

He says those promises are like worthless pieces of paper, like I.O.U.s, and are nothing more than "claims on the Treasury" --- and that current Social Security benefits come from taxes and borrowing during the fiscal year.

So who do we believe? Supposedly the Social Security Trustees (under all political administrations) have all been telling us the same thing...that there's a lock box somewhere (just like there's still gold in Fort Knox).

But even so, Social Security revenues have declined during the economic downturn, because fewer people were working; so the government has been paying out more in benefits than it has been taking in, and hence needing additional federal revenues.

Forbes agrees with Krauthammer, and says "the federal government has borrowed all of that trust fund money and spent it, exactly as Krauthammer asserted. And the only way the trust fund can get some cash to pay Social Security benefits is if the federal government draws it from general revenues --- or borrows the money --- which, of course, it can’t do because of the debt ceiling."

Forbes also says that "if the budget crisis has done nothing else, it has exposed the decades-long lie about the solvency of the Social Security trust fund. The trust fund may be backed by the 'full faith and credit of the federal government', but did not hold any real assets."

Is this why the Republicans want more cuts to Social Security, and why Obama and the Democrats just "appear" to want to save it?

The Social Security Administration says that "over the 75-year period, the Trust Funds would require additional revenue equivalent to $6.5 trillion in present value dollars to pay for all scheduled benefits." That would equate to $90.2 billion a year for the next 75 years.

A fair remedy

Currently, there is a staggering $1 trillion in personal income that escapes Social Security taxes every year, partly because of the $113,000 "cap" on someone's annual income. Maybe if members of congress eliminated the $113,000 "cap" on Social Security taxes for the very wealthy, and then just tax everyone 6.2 percent on 100% of their total annual income, we wouldn't be having this discussion about shortfalls in the Social Security Trust Fund.

Instead of allowing for more tax evasion with Swiss bank accounts and dummy corporations in the Cayman Islands, and members of congress caving in to the interests of big business through lobbyists who advocate against a fair minimum wage, and allowing for the ridiculously low tax rates on capital gains --- maybe then congress could fairly tax the wealthy to fully fund the Social Security Trust Fund.

Also, if people earned better wages, they could also pay more into the Social Security Trust Fund. Obama wants to raise the federal minimum wage to $9 per hour and peg it to inflation. John Boehner says, "When you raise the price of employment, guess what happens? You get less of it." (Although 20 years of studies by various economists have never made that correlation.)

Boehner and the Republicans also likes to parrot, "We don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem." He and all the Republicans have always thought that spending on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security was "a problem".

What probably concerns House Republicans, as well as the business lobby, most about Obama's proposal is not just the nominal minimum wage hike. It's the inclusion of a cost-of-living adjustment, which would tweak the minimum wage each year to adjust for inflation. This would guarantee that workers on the lowest rung of the economic ladder don't lose purchasing power. It would also mean fast-food companies like McDonalds and other low-wage employers like Walmart would have to pay higher wages every year if there's higher inflation.

And with a raise, these American workers would also be paying more in federal and Medicare taxes too. That's why off-shoring jobs to places like China, to pay people in China, only enriches the Chinese economy and China's national treasury at the expense of ours.

But the Republicans may try to give Democrats some kind of wiggle room in the minimum wage debate, by "compromising" with them on the cost-of-living part of the package. But if that happens, then working Americans will only see their purchasing power declining again, year after year, just like it has for decades.

Old People

We also have to worry about how congress wants to treat our elderly with their cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security and disability benefits.

Just recently the White House press secretary said that the president would be open to reducing Social Security's benefit structure as part of a 'big deal' to avert sequestration. That proposal, known as chained CPI, would alter the annual adjustment in how benefits are paid to Social Security recipients, by using a less generous calculation of inflation.

In general, the Democrats (excluding most in the Progressive Caucus) are also now saying that by using chained CPI we are able to reduce the Social Security cost-of-living adjustments, which rises more slowly than regular CPI, because they probably think that accounts for the way our elderly switches to pet food when the price of people food rises.

Are the $174,000 annual congressional salaries also calculated in this way every year? Or did they get that fat all my themselves?

Is any 401k or pension fund really safe?

Because of the massive amounts of money allocated to pension funds, they are always a ripe target for theft. Union bosses in the 70's were caught skimming when the Mafia was once involved with the labor unions. And Bernie Madoff's Ponzi Scheme instantly comes to mind too, but there are many others. Some argue that the Social Security Trust Fund is such a scheme, but is it really? I for one certainly can't say.

The Republicans have always wanted to privatize Social Security, but most of us aren't hedge fund managers or stock brokers, and couldn't possibly know how to properly manage a stock portfolio. Most of us feel safer and more comfortable with having it automatically deducted from our paychecks...and kept in a government "lock box" called the Social Security Trust Fund
(because, after all, it can be "trusted", right?)

But if our money isn't safe with the government, think again about trusting your money with a money manager.

Institutional money is deeply tied up in hedge funds, and many are tied to our pensions. But whose interests do the CEOs and other corporate directors really have at heart? How many boards do they sit on simultaneously, and do they sit alongside other directors who are also serving on the same multiple boards?

Consider the two Bear Stearns funds that collapsed in the summer of 2007 and served as harbingers of the eventual financial crisis. They shared not only the same fund managers, but also independent directors --- in this case, both professional independent directors --- meaning they were affiliated with a financial services company.

By way of the Mapping Shadow Influence Project, according to the Foundation for Fund Governance database, one of these directors from Bear Stearns currently sits on the boards of 120 other funds --- and the other sits on 38.

Both directors were cited by U.S. courts for not performing their oversight duties adequately by approving 165 trades with other Bear Stearns funds... after those trades already happened. The trades allegedly allowed the Bear Stearns fund to hide investor's losses


According to the most recent data, both directors sat on funds with U.S. public pension money invested between them and at least seven others --- including the Pennsylvania Public School Employees Retirement System, the Fairfax County Retirement System, and the California Public Employees Retirement System. The directors serve together on several of these funds.

Indeed, many independent directors hold multiple directorships, sometimes numbering in the hundreds. Moreover, many of these directors are interconnected, sitting together on multiple boards, as the Foundation database shows.

Just as many directors of the large corporations sit on each others board of directors. The big banks, hedge funds, and private equity firms are the largest institutional investors of the corporations on the S&P and Dow Jones. And through corporate raiders such as Mitt Romney, we know all too well how pension funds are treated by private equity firms.

In conclusion...

Getting back to the question: Is there is no money in the Social Security Trust Fund? And if the Wall Street bankers are still crooks, and the ultra-wealthy and large multi-national corporations are still dodging taxes, and if congress refuses to eliminate the "cap" for Social Security taxes, and if the Republicans refuse to raise the minimum wage and index it to the cost-of-living, and if congress refuses to tax capital gains as ordinary income... then what other options are left for the disabled and/or those who'll eventually need a retirement savings?

Should they start collecting aluminum cans and stash their money under an old mattress?


Originally posted to Bud Meyers on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 06:41 PM PST.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders.

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Comment Preferences

  •  the trust fund is a bit of a red herring (7+ / 0-)

    I think the temporary build-up of the trust fund has caused more confusion than it solves.

    Social Security is a pay-as-you go system. The working generation pays in, and that money is divided among the retirees. That system is simple, extremely stable, cannot go "bankrupt", and is probably the most effective government program we have.

    To keep current levels of benefits (or slightly increase them because 401ks have failed as a system) in about 10-15 years, we will probably need to increase payroll taxes (by increasing the cap).

    The trust fund isn't fundamental to the system. Its purpose is to smooth out year-to-year variations in the economy, and temporarily has a bit of extra buffering to deal with the baby boomer generation.

    The trust fund is invested in treasuries. If Krauthammer and Forbes don't understand how government bonds work, they should resign and shut up forever.

    •  Thanks Ferg (0+ / 0-)

      That helps explain some things.

    •  The Pete Peterson Foundation has spent (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WheninRome, alain2112, tle

      almost a half a billion dollars in just the past few years trying to confuse lawmakers and teh stupid:

      From Paul Blumenthal..paulblumenthal@huffingtonpost.com

      "According to a review of tax documents from 2007 through 2011, Peterson has personally contributed at least $458 million to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation to cast Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and government spending as in a state of crisis, in desperate need of dramatic cuts."

      That's "at least".  And that doesn't include the Koch's, de Vos', Waltons, Simmons and the other billionaire sociopaths.

      Meteor Blades has a post up describing how anonymous billionaires have spent $120 million dollars to buy lawmakers and teh  stupid to convince us there is no climate change.

      We are under attack from the billionaires.
      They use corporations to hide their true names.

      Convict the billionaires of being sociopaths and all of societies problems will be easy to resolve.  They are clearly mentally ill.

      "It riles them to believe you perceive the web they weave." Moody Blues

      by BrianParker14 on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 09:43:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bud - I'd try and educate you why (4+ / 0-)

    SocSec is wage insurance, not an income redistribution program and the logic behind the "cap", but only when I see you actually engage in our community. In particular really participate in the comment section in your diaries.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 07:17:51 PM PST

  •  Cutting the social safety net is going to earn my (0+ / 0-)

    lasting enmity.  It is a death nell for many and alot of hard times for others.

  •  HIT AND RUN AUTHOR (4+ / 0-)

    Bud wrote a very popular diary yesterday. It had more than 100 comments. Total comments from Bud, one the tip jar. A total of six diaries, ten comments. This is a hit and run new author who isn't interested in our response to what he drops off at DKOS.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 07:23:36 PM PST

    •  To My Eye This is a Growth Industry Here Lately. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, HappyinNM

      That and few-liners linking to their own blogs.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 07:37:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dazed and Confused (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WheninRome, corvo

      I'm still not quite sure why comments and the tip jar are such an important part of the "community protocol" for those that post diaries here.

      What am I missing, is this supposed to be more like chat room? I just like to research and write, not to answer to all the comments, or to debate the facts, or to critique my writing skills.

      "Six diaries, ten comments"? ---- Is that suppose to say something about my character? I guess I just don't get it.

      But thanks for keeping track for me  ;)

      •  It's a self fulfilling prophesy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo

        If you're not in the club, then your diaries get little exposure. So then the members of the club can come in and scoff if a diary that isn't getting any play  isn't getting promotion by the author. Vicious circle. See: Sendak's Higglety Pigglety Pop.

        And no, I don't believe you are obligated to promote and handhold a diary just because......because it's a diary. People comment or they do not.

        It's bad form IMO to go around tallying user ID #s and assigning nefarious purposes to larger ones. I've been reading here for years and it took me like 7 years to sign up again and participate. I was doing other things I suppose.

        BTW, I really liked yesterday's diary.

      •  Dear Bud: Welcome to Junior High School. n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WheninRome
  •  Geez, this isn't that controversial (0+ / 0-)

    Sometimes whatever you intend might not come to pass. Sometimes diaries are so uncontroversial they evoke no comments that need refuting, or maybe you posted a diary and then a thing comes up that you couldn't foresee and you can't rec or respond or attaboy or whatever.

    Frankly I'm not surprised about the dudgeon considering the source. Been there. Different road, but same rodeo.

  •  Some possible answers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WheninRome
    As of two years ago, the Social Security Trust Fund was supposed to have $2.6 trillion, according to the Social Security trustees. So why is there an immediate plan to start cutting here?
    Quite simply, because the SSTF is at or close to its projected peak value.  If Social Security is cut now to achieve a lasting cashflow balance, then the government will owe the SSTF $2.6 trillion forever, i.e. there is $2.6 trillion that will never, ever have to be repaid.  IOUs that will never be exercised may as well be torched.

    That's nearly enough to pay for a decade-long war or two.

    Fox News' Charles Krauthammer strongly disagreed with Lew and said, "The Social Security trust fund is a fiction. In other words, the Social Security trust fund contains nothing.”
    Since there's a Democrat in the Whitehouse, Republicans like to tout that the National Debt is $16.5tn.  The thing is, if they claim that the SSTF contains nothing, then the National Debt is in fact some $2.6tn lower than that, since the SSTF holdings are counted as an intragovernmental debt.  Their continued posturing over the size of the debt puts the lie to this claim.
    Forbes agrees with Krauthammer, and says "the federal government has borrowed all of that trust fund money and spent it, exactly as Krauthammer asserted. And the only way the trust fund can get some cash to pay Social Security benefits is if the federal government draws it from general revenues --- or borrows the money --- which, of course, it can’t do because of the debt ceiling."
    If the government borrows a billion dollars on the public markets and hands it out in Social Security payments, two things happen: (i) the public debt rises by a billion dollars; (ii) the intragovernment debt to the SSTF falls by a billion dollars because it's being paid off.  Adding them together, the net total national debt change is a big fat zero and the debt ceiling (which applies to the net, not the size of just the public holdings) is utterly irrelevant.

    Fake candidates nominated by the GOP for the recalls: 6 out of 7. Fake signatures on the recall petitions: 4 out of 1,860,283.

    by GeoffT on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 10:28:49 PM PST

    •  Exactly, Congress wants to renege (0+ / 0-)

      on paying the money back. There's no reason for it, except as Hannah says: For authority to stick, it's got to hurt. [or something similar] She can come smack me if I'm inaccurately quoting her.

  •  the sequester doesn't touch the big three (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sewaneepat
    Will food stamps be traded for submarines? Will Medicaid be traded for the massive layoff of military personal?
    so, no.  they are all sequestered from the sequester.

    beyond that, here's the thing about social security:

    they are taking in less in payroll taxes than they are obligated to pay out as we type.

    Both Medicare and Social Security cannot sustain projected long-run program costs under currently scheduled financing, and legislative modifications are necessary to avoid disruptive consequences for beneficiaries and taxpayers.

    ...Both programs will experience cost growth substantially in excess of GDP growth in the coming decades due to aging of the population

    ...Through the mid-2030s, population aging caused by the large baby-boom generation entering retirement and lower-birth-rate generations entering employment will be the largest single factor causing costs to grow more rapidly than GDP.

    ...The deficit of non-interest income relative to expenditures was about $49 billion in 2010 and $45 billion in 2011, and the Trustees project that it will average about $66 billion between 2012 and 2018 before rising steeply as the economy slows after the recovery is complete and the number of beneficiaries continues to grow at a substantially faster rate than the number of covered workers.

    and the thing about that is this:

    boomers = 79 million or so
    gen x = 53 million or so
    millennials = 70-some million
    gen z = less than gen x

    millennials are, so far, not having children at the same rate as their boomer counterparts.  so boomers retire; gen x and millennials already in the workforce replace them.  no new net jobs.

    the rest of the millennials will be in the workforce within 10 years; gen x will start retiring within 20.  still no new net jobs, as the boomers will have finished retiring in 10 years.

    then gen z starts working, only they, so far, don't have the same numbers as gen x.  net loss of workers, and payroll tax revenue, for the millennials' retirement.

    the population drop from boomers to gen x wreaked havoc on SS; the drop between millennials and gen z will be worse.

    so whatever tinkering might be done with raising minimum wage (something that should happen, anyway) and other SS fixes, like raising the cap, that depend on jobs is only going to do so much.

    the only reason SS is making good on obligations now is because they are cashing out trust fund investment assets they built up during times of surplus.  but the days of SS running a surplus are over because of the population dynamics.  the SS trustees predict the current payroll tax shortfalls to persist, and at some point, the investment assets will run out.

    immigration is the only real answer.


    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

    by Cedwyn on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 04:57:19 AM PST

    •  correction: iirc, there is something (0+ / 0-)

      in the sequester about medicaid, i think, but it's on the provider side.

      Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

      by Cedwyn on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 06:35:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Au contraire (0+ / 0-)

      The SSA is not cashing out any assets, and isn't projected to for about another decade.

      What is the case now is that costs are greater than payroll tax income - payroll tax income plus the interest on Treasury holdings still exceeds costs.

      Immigration is not the only answer: lifting the payroll tax cap as per Sen Sanders' proposal would, according to the SSA, leave it able to pay full scheduled benefits for the next 75 years with an actuarial imbalance of a mere -0.13%.

      Fake candidates nominated by the GOP for the recalls: 6 out of 7. Fake signatures on the recall petitions: 4 out of 1,860,283.

      by GeoffT on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 12:36:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  tell the SS trustees that (0+ / 0-)

        http://www.ssa.gov/...

        Social Security’s expenditures exceeded non-interest income in 2010 and 2011, the first such occurrences since 1983, and the Trustees estimate that these expenditures will remain greater than non-interest income throughout the 75-year projection period. The deficit of non-interest income relative to expenditures was about $49 billion in 2010 and $45 billion in 2011, and the Trustees project that it will average about $66 billion between 2012 and 2018 before rising steeply as the economy slows after the recovery is complete and the number of beneficiaries continues to grow at a substantially faster rate than the number of covered workers.

        Redemption of trust fund assets from the General Fund of the Treasury will provide the resources needed to offset the annual cash-flow deficits. Since these redemptions will be less than interest earnings through 2020, nominal trust fund balances will continue to grow. The trust fund ratio, which indicates the number of years of program cost that could be financed solely with current trust fund reserves, peaked in 2008, declined through 2011, and is expected to decline further in future years. After 2020, Treasury will redeem trust fund assets in amounts that exceed interest earnings until exhaustion of trust fund reserves in 2033, three years earlier than projected last year. Thereafter, tax income would be sufficient to pay only about three-quarters of scheduled benefits through 2086.

        so if they're not redeeming assets, how are they making up the shortfall?

        Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

        by Cedwyn on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 09:23:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  and as for the payroll tax cap vs immigration, (0+ / 0-)

        this is why i specified that immigration was the only real answer.  from your link:

        The level of assets for the theoretical combined OASI and DI Trust Funds would remain positive through 2085, permitting full payment of scheduled benefits on a timely basis. However, the combined assets would be declining as a percentage of the annual cost of the program at the end of the period. For this reason, the OASDI program would not meet the requirements of sustainable solvency.

        ...The assets in the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds would be positive throughout the 75-year period, meaning that solvency would be expected throughout the period. However, assets at the end of 2085, while still positive, would be declining as a percent of annual program cost and so the program would not meet the requirements for sustainable solvency.

        it doesn't matter what tweaks we employ on the salary/worker side if the number of workers takes a nosedive.  i'm not saying don't raise the cap, but srsly, immigration, i.e., more people in the workforce, is the only real answer.

        Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

        by Cedwyn on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 05:55:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Perhaps you should do some more research. (0+ / 0-)

    First of all, as Cedwyn noted, Social Security, Food Stamps, Medicaid, CHIP, SSI (this is SS disability), child nutrition, and a host of other safety net programs are exempt from the sequestration. Period. They will not be touched by sequestration.

    Cuts to Medicare are limited to 2% and are to insurance companies and providers, not to benefits. Most of the $11 Billion that would entail in 2013 could be covered by cutting the extra subsidy to insurance companies for Medicare Advantage (George Bush's privatization scheme).

    If you do some research on Social Security, you will find that they are backed by interest paying government bonds. Unless you think that the Republicans are indeed going to default on the country's debt and plunge the entire world into a Great Great Depression, those bonds are as good as anything. What do you think a dollar bill is? The paper is not worth anything; it is the backing of the US government that makes the dollar bill worth something. Do you think Treasury bonds are worthless? So why do you think the US bonds for SS are worthless? And for that reason alone, SS is NOT a Ponzi Scheme.

    You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

    by sewaneepat on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 05:31:15 AM PST

  •  I trust the SS TRustees (0+ / 0-)

    more than Bud Meyers.

    Cause Mr Meyers is factually challenged.

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 01:56:40 PM PST

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