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September 17, 2004

Comments

Little Bill

No one under the age of forty believes they are going to get a dime from Socalist Security, look at the demographics.


Jaysun

Ho hum. Social Security is a pyramid scheme. Those who say it will always be around are either ignorant of the facts or are engaged in wishful thinking. The President's retirement savings accounts is a step in the right direction.

lelio

"By the time you retire, there’ll be nothing left in the Social Security retirement fund.
It’s untrue, of course; but"

Well if it is untrue, then show us how rather than going off about "we're a nation of trust" stuff. How can something remain solvent that's a pyramid scheme? And its not just any pyramid scheme: its one where the major donors to it (the baby boomers) are going to quit putting money in and start taking it out.

PhilipFreneau

>> Prof Brad Delong assures us that the social Security Trust Fund will be there when we need it.

LOL! The Social Security Trust Fund is the U. S. Government general treasury. There is no separate trust fund for Social Security.

dirtboy

"By the time you retire, there’ll be nothing left in the Social Security retirement fund. It’s untrue, of course; but for those who aren’t aware that it’s untrue, it’s profoundly frightening."

Ah, another liberal professor who believes you can both spend money and still count it as an asset.

"We’re set up to be a cooperative society...the belief that you could be left penniless in your old age, after a lifetime of contributing your regular fraction to the public good, creates a huge breach in your sense of trust."

The trust fund was ostensibly set up to reduce the tax burden on workers when the Boomers retire. So the prof is basically conceding that they'll just tax the bejeebers out of Gen X and Gen Y anyway.

Global_Warming

In Ponzi We Tru$t

Ponzi schemes — those enticing come-ons that offer to make huge profits from a small investment in next to no time.

An Italian immigrant named Charles Ponzi, a dapper five-foot-two-inch rogue who in 1920 raked in an estimated $15 million in eight months by persuading tens of thousands of Bostonians that he had unlocked the secret to easy wealth.

Ponzi claimed to have found a way to profit by speculating in international postal reply coupons — a form of prepaid return postage for use in foreign correspondence. After he had paid off his first round of investors, Darby relates, he scarcely had to repeat his story. All that anyone cared about was that he paid 50 percent interest in 90 days. Later, he shortened the investment period to 45 days.

In no time, the money was rolling in. "At the height of his success, Ponzi had offices from Maine to New Jersey." The problem, Darby explains, was that there was no actual investment going on; the only activity was the shuffling of money from new investors to old ones. This kind of swindle, borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, is also known as a pyramid scheme or — since 1920 — a Ponzi scheme.

http://www.smithsonianmag.si.edu/smithsonian/issues98/dec98/ponzi.html

Cacique

Muslims don't believe in social security and once they take over the world through the real weapon of mass destruction, their Women's wombs, this debate will be a mute point. Every 10 American couples (other than muslims) produce 18 children, far less than the 21 needed for replacement. Every 10 muslim couples produce 72 children per generation. Do the math. Do you think these people want to pay to keep old Christian or jewish people alive? NO WAY

Dr. Frank fan

Shorter version: It's bad if people start believing that SS will go bankrupt, therefore stop believing it, even if it's true, and that will make the problem go away because then you'll be willing to stay in the pyramid scheme, and its continued existence depends on people staying in it.

Leftism in a nutshell - "Beliefs trump reality. We can build a pyramid of cards if only you just keep on trusting us, the intellectuals. Now let's have a look at your wallet shall we?"

Choose Ye This Day

You people are all so cynical.

Social Security is safe inside a Lockbox, hidden behind the bumper of the Senate majority leader's car.

Algore told me so.


axenolith

Man, we need some of what the author is smoking. Using GAAP standards (which take into account future liabilities) we're lathering on about 4 Trillion+ this year in debt and rising (and yes, that's a T). There are only 2 ways out of the box the politicians have painted themselves in, default or print money at a rate to make the trees quake in fear...

KarlInOhio

The author acts like it is an all or nothing situation. Either SS is OK as it is or it will disappear completely.

The actuaries point to a long term shortfall of about 1/3. This can be covered by increasing SS taxes by 50% or general income taxes by a similar amount; decreasing benefits by 1/3 by across the board cuts, increases in retirement age, or means testing; or some combination of tax increases and payment cuts. None of those choices are politically easy, so the politicians will postpone the decision until the last possible minute.

I personally expect that retirement ages will increase (easiest because you can do it a long time ahead and its already being done), 401k/IRA withdrawals will have a SS tax applied (time to penalize the successful), and means testing will be put into effect (time to penalize the successful again).

I am planning on getting nothing from SS because I expect to have enough saved where I get kicked off for means testing. Right now I'm putting away over 20% of my gross pay for retirement.

litehaus

Ho hum. Social Security is a pyramid scheme. Those who say it will always be around are either ignorant of the facts or are engaged in wishful thinking. The President's retirement savings accounts is a step in the right direction.

Just thought it needed repeating!

leadpenny

First, FDR needs to be dug up and B-Slapped silly for starting the scam in the first place.

RockyMtnMan

It's funny how our senators and representatives don't pay into SS. I wonder how much money is in their retirement fund, or do they raid it like every other socialist program. It's quite disgusting to see them held to a different set of rules that the rest of us do not qualify for.

Sounds like the 16th Amendment is a catch-all-windfall for socialist programs, which is why I support the NRST.

Publius6961


Neocoms really have a problem with reading comprehension. The key to the article is this sentence:

"By the time you retire, there’ll be nothing left in the Social Security retirement fund.
It’s untrue, of course;"

Of course it's untrue. There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be a "trust fund", so how can it get "emptied"? Only the really really dim-witted believe that Social Security goes into a big separate bag (like Al Gore, the moron poster boy).

Paulus Invictus

Well, my wife and I paid into it for fifty years and now get a modest check each month,and the total is still far less than all we contributed. Another interesting bit of data I got from my ex-employer: the average retiree gets about 13, SS checks before they check out themselves and proceed to the Pearly Gates. We are lucky that we have exceeded that scary and very terminal 13 month average..

muir_redwoods


Every bit of money taken from your paycheck for SS is used immerdiately to buy Treasury notes. Essentially the money is traded for Government IOU's. There is no "Money" in any trustfund just a pile of IOU's from one department in the government to another. It's like kiting checks by writing yourself a check from one checking account and depositing it into another checking account you own and then doing the same from the second account back to the first. You may convince yourself that you have $1MM in play but it's not really there.

There is no rational way for the government to force itself to honor it's IOU's to itself. And there is obviously no money in any trust fund,the T-Bill revenue is spent on general government operations.

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