Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Unseriousness of the GOP

It is a subject that comes up often in conversations with liberals or other Democrats. One US political party tells us the Government can do nothing right while constantly running for political office to make sure that statement remains true. There’s no better recent example than the GOP’s handling of their sacred cow: The Balanced Budget Amendment.

Setting aside the fact that even a well developed Balanced Budget Amendment is a complete farce, what the GOP is putting out there now isn't even a serious attempt at this amendment. Bruce Bartlett at the Fiscal Times discusses this version of amendment and is not kind about it:

If Republicans were really serious about putting a balanced budget amendment into the Constitution they would not have written an entirely new one that is radically and conceptually different from those debated in the past, with new language that constitutional scholars have not even begun to analyze. Republicans would have held weeks of hearings with such experts and planned many more weeks of floor debate. GOP think tanks would have been urged to hold conferences and publish studies of the proposed amendment.

None of this was done, of course, leaving the inescapable conclusion that this is nothing but a political ploy designed solely to appeal to the GOP’s Tea Party wing. The time wasted debating a balanced budget amendment would be better spent taking care of the House’s long list of unfinished business, such as passing appropriations bills.

At a time when we risk a debt default and a full scale depression we have the GOP wasting time marching out legislation designed to fail that is coupled with a pretend attempt to amend the Constitution of the United States simply to please the irrational Tea Party base. It would be hilarious if it weren't so destructive to our way of life.

I'm still holding on to the idea that we will indeed get a debt ceiling deal on time. We just have to wait for all the clowns to exit the GOP clown car and to complete their circus act. After that maybe we can get on to serious business like preserving the fragile recovery and growing jobs.

Posted by Adam Ducker at July 20, 2011 8:59 AM
Comments
Comment #326121

I believe you have it wrong. The Republicans would not come out of a clown car. They would have a stretch Hummer instead, and inside, it would have incandescent lights powered by an internal coal-fired generator.

;-)

Like I was telling my grandfather the other day, The problem with the republican Party is that their Symbolic politics, don’t mesh well with the real results of their policies. They talk about reducing the deficits, but their tax cuts do anything but. They talk about winning wars, but their policies do anything but. They talk about improving the economy with their policies, but none of them have really done well, and what this country’s ended up with is a situation where economic growth on paper, which is dependent on a bubble of debt, has replaced productivity based advancements, with the rise in wages involved with making that happen.

Essentially, the system Republican regulations has given us is one where workers and employees pretend to have the money to drive a consumer economy, and financial companies pretend to be profitable based on all the unrealistic loans and credit they extend, and then sell off to other competitors. Meanwhile, we send manufacturing and even clerical work overseas, yet expect tax cuts to raise employment here, when corporations have clearly shown a bias again paying employees here to do work here.

The big problem is, Republicans expect an economy to emerge out of an elitist, pro-finance, pro-management economic and fiscal policy that such a system doesn’t really support. It won’t. The good fortune of the average person was built on a government structure that helped protect their interests.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 20, 2011 11:00 AM
Comment #326122


First of all, the tea party is deadly serious when it comes to the elimination of progressive legislation. Hard core conservatives always have been serious about that.

Both parties play political games.

If this vote paves the way for Boehner to get 25 or 30 Republican votes to pass a debt ceiling increase, do you think this vote would have been worth the effort?

Posted by: jlw at July 20, 2011 11:10 AM
Comment #326123


Be it a clown car, a stretch Hummer, or a combination of the two, it would definitely be a flex fuel vehicle capable of burning coal, oil, or natural gas.

Posted by: jlw at July 20, 2011 11:17 AM
Comment #326124

I want a pony. There should be a Constitutional amendment that I get a pony. Everyone should get a pony? The Founding Fathers had ponies. Why shouldn’t I get one?

Some people- you know the people I mean- some people think I shouldn’t get a pony. Some people think a vote over my getting a pony would only be symbolic, and would never pass, and that it would be a terrible waste of time considering the problems some people face. It doesn’t matter. I want a pony.

Not only should I get a pony, but in the future, it should require a 2/3 vote to prevent me from getting another pony. There also needs to be a cap to make sure I get a minimum of one pony. My demand for a pony is reasonable and responsible and… and… non-negotiable!

Posted by: phx8 at July 20, 2011 11:26 AM
Comment #326128

Adam
Just because someone believes in smaller government that runs government and not personal lives, does not mean they believe “Government can do nothing right.”

SD
Winning wars? Seriously?
Which side wants to do what it takes to win and which side wants feel-good and ‘humane’ policy that hamstrings our military so that we are not like the enemy?

“The good fortune of the average person was built on a government structure that helped protect their interests”

That may have been true at one time, but it has become a government structure that wants to control their interests in the name of ‘fairness’ and ‘equality.’

Phx8
Sounds more like you are talking about HCR and SS.

Posted by: kctim at July 20, 2011 12:32 PM
Comment #326131


It only took Bush about a month to win the war in Iraq, and at no cost to the taxpayers.

Posted by: jlw at July 20, 2011 1:46 PM
Comment #326132

SD writes; “…when corporations have clearly shown a bias again (against?) paying employees here to do work here…”

BIAS says SD. Horsefeathers say I. Is “bias” a corporate strategy? Nope! Is “bias” a government strategy? For certain.

I find bias in many government actions, especially in subsidies and entitlements based on special interest groups.

Examples:

1) The Davis–Bacon Act requires federal construction contractors to pay “prevailing wage” rates that average 22 percent above market rates, essentially forcing the government to hire four construction workers for the price of five.[7] This will add $10.9 billion to federal construction costs in 2011. Suspending the law would stretch the same amount of infrastructure appropriations over more projects, employing 155,000 additional workers in the process.

2) An executive order from President Obama strongly encourages federal agencies to use project labor agreements (PLAs) on federal construction projects. A PLA requires contractors to sign a collective bargaining agreement with construction unions before beginning work. These bargaining agreements require contractors to hire all workers through union hiring halls. This executive order discriminates against the 87 percent of construction workers who do not belong to unions. Preventing competition from non-union construction workers raises construction costs between 12 percent and 18 percent.[9] This also reduces the number of construction jobs in the economy.

3) Federal policy should not artificially inflate some workers’ wages, while leaving others unemployed. Congress should repeal the Davis–Bacon Act and prohibit PLA requirements for all federally funded construction projects. This would allow construction appropriations to pay for more projects, giving taxpayers better value for their money and expanding the opportunities for unemployed construction workers.

4) The NLRB is currently testing the limits of its legal authority with a case brought against Boeing by the International Association of Machinists (IAM). The union represents workers in Boeing’s Washington state facilities. IAM frequently goes on strike to extract concessions. These strikes have cost Boeing billions of dollars. Consequently, Boeing built its new 787 airliner assembly line in South Carolina, which has a right-to-work law and lower union membership.

President Obama’s NLRB contends that this move is an unfair labor practice. It argues that building a new plant in South Carolina coerces union members and deters them from striking—despite the fact that no union members in Washington State lost their jobs. It is seeking to force Boeing to relocate its nearly completed plant to Washington. The NLRB wants to give union members first preference for new investment and new jobs.

5) Workers in today’s economy increasingly want—and need—flexible schedules to help balance their work and family lives. It is no longer the case that most working parents have a spouse at home to attend to their children’s needs. Many workers want more flexible hours so they can be with their families when needed.

The liberal solution involves requiring companies to provide more paid leave. Such laws often hurt the very workers they are intended to help. When the government requires employers to provide new benefits, they do. However, employers do not take the cost of new benefits out of their profits. Instead, they hold the workers’ total compensation constant, increasing benefits and decreasing cash pay by a roughly equivalent amount.[21] Mandatory paid leave has the unintended consequence of cutting workers’ pay.

A better solution would be to give workers more control over their schedules and their pay. Federal employees have the ability to take overtime benefits as overtime pay or compensatory paid leave. This allows federal workers to bank extra hours at work and earn additional paid time off. Federal employees have the flexibility to be with their family when they need to without taking a pay cut.

6) Federal law denies the 6.9 percent of private-sector workers who belong to a union the opportunity to earn a raise. This is because unions exclusively represent their members in negotiations with employers. No one else—including individual union members—may negotiate separate terms of employment. One contract covers everyone.

Union representatives cannot practicably assess the productivity of hundreds of employees and negotiate appropriate individual pay. Instead, most union contracts base promotions and raises on job classifications and seniority; individual performance reviews are rare.[22] Union members get the union rate for their position.

The law does more than prevent employers from paying below the union rate—it also forbids higher pay. The National Labor Relations Board will strike down any bonuses and merit pay that were not first negotiated with the union.[23] Without this restriction many unionized businesses would pay high-performing employees more. They want to provide incentives for hard work and retain successful employees. Legally, however, they cannot. Union contracts impose a pay ceiling on union members.

As a result, more experienced and educated union members earn substantially less than they would without general representation.[24] Union members are also between one-third and one-quarter less likely to be promoted than non-union workers.[25] The law holds hard-working union members back. No matter how hard they work, they receive the same pay as everyone else. This hurts both those workers and the economy. Employees work harder and become more productive when they are rewarded for doing so. Basing pay partly on individual performance raises workers’ earnings and corporate profits because it makes workers more productive.[26]

Congress should allow unionized companies to reward individual performance. Legislation currently before Congress would do just this. The Rewarding Achievement and Incentivizing Successful Employees (RAISE) Act amends the National Labor Relations Act to allow employers to pay individual workers more than a collective bargaining agreement calls for. Union contracts would still set the minimum that workers would earn, but workers could earn more through their own hard work.[27] Employers could not selectively give raises to anti-union workers to undermine the union, however. Under the RAISE Act it would remain illegal to discriminate against workers on the basis of union membership.

If Congress allowed hard-working union members to earn more, they would take the oppor­tunity to become more productive and get ahead. Productivity, profits, and pay would rise. Economic research shows that the average worker’s earnings rise by 6 percent to 10 percent when the pay is performance-based.[28] This works out to between $2,700 and $4,500 more a year for the typical union member.[29] Instead of fighting over how to redistribute wealth, the RAISE Act encourages employers and employees to work together to create more wealth and spark economic renewal.

7) Tension exists between the interests of private-sector taxpayers and government employees. Government employees provide essential services, such as police protection, paid for by taxes. It is in taxpayers’ interests that government employees work harder and earn less, while government employees would prefer higher pay for less work.

The government should balance these interests fairly. The government should not overpay its workers. Government employment should not transfer wealth from taxpayers to government employees. Similarly, the government should not underpay its employees—public service should not require a vow of poverty. Rather, the government should pay its workers roughly what they would make in the private sector. There should be parity between taxpayers and government employees.

Points above taken from; http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/07/Opportunity-Parity-Choice-A-Labor-Agenda-for-the-112th-Congress

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 20, 2011 2:37 PM
Comment #326135

RF

i find it interesting that all we seem to hear from the left is that house republicans are wasting valuable time passing legislation that has no chance of passing the senate, or receiving the presidents signature. it’s as if they believe the house is full of children arguing with the grownups in the senate and executive branch. meanwhile these same idiots forget they cannot pass anything without the house on board, and ” THE GANG OF SIX ” continues to waste valuable time discussing plans that have no chance of passing the house.

yes let’s give the president total authority to raise the debt ceiling at will without permission from congress. if he is irresponsible as he undoubtedly will be, it will he and the democrats will pay the price. what an absolutely brilliant idea. the problem is, it will be us who are stuck with the even bigger mess he will no doubt create. now ask yourself which house of congress is truely being run by adults? at least at this moment.

Posted by: dbs at July 20, 2011 4:00 PM
Comment #326136

kctim,
I have paid into Soc Sec as long as I have worked.

Why would Social Security face any cuts at all? Why not simply remove the cap, so that everyone pays into it equally?

In 2000, the budget was balanced and running a surplus. Bush cut taxes and waged two wars on credit, and drastically increased the DoD budget.

Why wouldn’t we simply solve our problems by revoking those Bush tax cuts, ending the two wars, and cutting defense?

It seems so obvious, yet it is not even discussed as a solution. It’s like opening the car door that is the American dream, and out pops a bunch of clowns.

Posted by: phx8 at July 20, 2011 4:08 PM
Comment #326137

Phx8
IMO, Social Security has become a retirement plan instead of an insurance plan meant to give aide to those who truly need it. Because of this, it has become a “pony” like you talked about. A “pony” where people demand more and more from government and the top because they refused to prepare themselves.
They too believe that their demand for this “pony” is reasonable and responsible and… and… non-negotiable!

Why wouldn’t we simply solve our problems by revoking those Bush tax cuts? Why not let us keep our money and instead cut spending on some of those old “ponys” and stop creating new “ponys?”

Ending the two wars? Sure, end them but end them responsibly. Neither you or I are privy to the intel or plans of what is going on, but I am glad President Obama is listening to his military advisors instead of his heart.

And cutting defense? I’m with you and we should start with all the fraud waste and abuse. After that, you get into jobs and I am not sure adding thousands to the unemployed is such a great idea right now.

Posted by: kctim at July 20, 2011 4:35 PM
Comment #326141

kctim,
No one is demanding more and more from the people at the top. I would merely suggest we return to the rates in effect when the country used to be successful. What has changed since the country was successful? What made the major financial impact? Answer: The Bush tax cuts, increased DoD spending, two wars fought without being paid for, and the runaway costs of private health insurance.

That’s it. It is that simple.

Let me repeat. Here is what went wrong.

1) Bush tax cuts
2) Increased DoD spending
3) Two wars fought on credit
4) Runaway costs in private health insurance

It is beyond dispute. It is simple. The richest of the rich became richer, while wages for working people actually declined. Life expectancy actually declined in the United States. Think about that.

The fix is simple, yet not even up for discussion.

Posted by: phx8 at July 20, 2011 6:08 PM
Comment #326142

Adan Ducker,

“At a time when we risk a debt default and a full scale depression we have the GOP wasting time marching out legislation designed to fail that is coupled with a pretend attempt to amend the Constitution of the United States simply to please the irrational Tea Party base. It would be hilarious if it weren’t so destructive to our way of life.”

I wonder why Americans are starting to question if there is a liberal agenda?

1967:

LBJ’s “Secretary of the Treasury Henry H. Fowler told Congress today that the government would be unable to pay all its bill if the ceiling on the national debt was not lifted within 30 days. Fowler ran into Republican hostility in day-long testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee… Fowler asked that the ceiling be raised by $7 billion to $337 billion to cover the period until June 30. Further legislation covering the period after June 30 will be needed later he said. Fowler said that payments for such things as old age benefits, veterans pensions, public assistance benefits, tax refunds, and the salaries of government workers would be threatened if the ceiling were not raised.”

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=18ZaAAAAIBAJ&sjid=lWwDAAAAIBAJ&pg=7430,4564972&dq=debt-ceiling&hl=en

1979:

“The US House of Representatives passed legislation yesterday extending the debt ceiling … came after the House rejected a Republican-led attempt to tack on a strong amendment calling for a balanced federal budget. The House vote came after Carter Treasury Secretary Michael Blumenthal claimed in a letter that the Treasury was on the verge of a default and that retired persons would be hit first. ‘About $8 billion in Social Security checks already had been mailed to 35 million Americans,’ Blumenthal said, ‘and there would be no funds to cover them if the House failed to act.’ In addition, he said that the Treasury would not be able to pay civil service retirement benefits, veterans’ benefits, railroad retirements benefits. Blumenthal last week ordered that no further income tax refund checks be mailed until the House acted.”


http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=DH4xAAAAIBAJ&sjid=4aEFAAAAIBAJ&pg=7253,4938880&dq=debt+ceiling&hl=en

The libs need to change their playbook.

Posted by: TomT at July 20, 2011 6:12 PM
Comment #326143

phx8,

“It seems so obvious, yet it is not even discussed as a solution.”

Let me add to your list of obvious but politically unacceptable solutions. Why don’t we also get serious about health care financing. It is the single most important factor driving the deficit. In fact, it is the single most important factor threatening the entire economy. No other developed nation has this problem. It is absurd. Yet, the only solution offered is that we must cut Medicare and Medicaid.

What is so maddening about these budget debates is that obvious solutions are available, yet they never see the light of day. Vested interests in the status quo have captured the political debate. They have framed the debate in such a way as to exclude focus on underlying factors causally related to the deficits in the first place. We are not even seriously discussing reasonable alternatives. There is something terribly wrong when the richest nation on the earth cannot afford health care for its citizens. When social security becomes the go to program for cuts.

Posted by: Rich at July 20, 2011 6:38 PM
Comment #326144

TomT,

Well maybe you would like to hear from Ronald Reagan on the debt ceiling issue:

“Congress consistently brings the Government to the edge of default before facing its responsibility. This brinkmanship threatens the holders of government bonds and those who rely on Social Security and veterans benefits. Interest rates would skyrocket, instability would occur in financial markets, and the Federal deficit would soar. The United States has a special responsibility to itself and the world to meet its obligations. It means we have a well-earned reputation for reliability and credibility – two things that set us apart from much of the world.” Ronald Reagan, September 26, 1987

“This country now possesses the strongest credit in the world. The full consequences of a default—or even the serious prospect of default—by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and on the value of the dollar in exchange markets. The nation can ill afford to allow such a result.” Ronald Reagan, a letter to Senate Majority Leader, Howard Baker, Rep., 1983.

Posted by: Rich at July 20, 2011 6:49 PM
Comment #326145

“And cutting defense? I’m with you and we should start with all the fraud waste and abuse. After that, you get into jobs and I am not sure adding thousands to the unemployed is such a great idea right now.”

Kctim,

Everybody is against fraud and abuse and for motherhood and apple pie. No dispute.

However, if your criteria is no federal cuts in defense that will cost jobs, then you must be in favor of no significant cuts in federal expenditures in general. It is beyond dispute that cut backs in federal expenditures will cost jobs.

You hint that Social Security is some give away program by liberals demanding more and more from the federal trough. That is incorrect. Social Security is not only a pay-go program, it has accumulated a surplus through designated payroll taxes which provide funding for the program independent of general income taxation for approximately the next thirty years.

Posted by: Rich at July 20, 2011 7:07 PM
Comment #326146

Article at THINK PROGRESS.

June 2002, Congress approves $450 billion increase in the debt limit, to $6.4 trillion.

May 2003, Congress approves $900 billion increase, to $7.384 trillion.

The same day, the Senate passed a $350 billion tax break for the wealthy.

Nov. 2004, Congress approves $800 billion increase, to $8.1 trillion.

March 2006, Congress approves $781 billion increase, to $895 trillion.

Sept. 2007 Congress approves $850 billion increase, to $9.815 trillion.

The Republicans said these debt limit increases were vital to keep America’s economy growing.

The Republican leadership voted for these increases without any spending cuts or any talk of balanced budgets.

Posted by: jlw at July 20, 2011 7:52 PM
Comment #326147


Correction: March 2006, Congress approves $781 increase to $8.965 trillion.

Posted by: jlw at July 20, 2011 7:56 PM
Comment #326148


Correction: March 2006, Congress approves $781 billion increase to $8.965 trillion.

Posted by: jlw at July 20, 2011 7:57 PM
Comment #326151

kctim:

It was Democrats who won World War 2. The only thing Republicans do good in war is rewarding Halliburton and Blackwater.

Posted by: Aldous at July 20, 2011 8:36 PM
Comment #326153
I find bias in many government actions, especially in subsidies and entitlements based on special interest groups.

Heritage has to make quite a few assumptions to make this nonsense work Royal. The Davis Bacon act allows the trades to be paid fairly for their work. Good help costs more and on most government projects the expectation level of the Feds is quite high. Using non union workers that may or may not be trained enough to have the skills necessary to perform to the level of the specifications is fool hardy at best. I have worked on Federal projects with both union and nonunion workers and the union workers were much better trained and much more competent. The nonunion workers had much less skill and knowledge levels than the union workers.

Federal policy should not artificially inflate some workers’ wages, while leaving others unemployed.

Correct me if I am wrong Royal but Davis Bacon wages are union scale in every place I have worked. The wages are not inflated the real issue is the lack of pay scales for the non union worker. The nonunion contractors can bid the project and pay the union wages.

As a result, more experienced and educated union members earn substantially less than they would without general representation.[24] Union members are also between one-third and one-quarter less likely to be promoted than non-union workers.[25] The law holds hard-working union members back. No matter how hard they work, they receive the same pay as everyone else.

What a crock, if this were true nonunion workers would be paid more than union workers. But they are not unless they are on a Davis Bacon project. The same pay as everyone else is more than the 90% of nonunion workers make. I wonder where they think these guys are getting promoted to? Project Supervisor or foreman?

Posted by: j2t2 at July 20, 2011 8:51 PM
Comment #326154

I love it when socialist claim to be Reaganites when they’re trying to shove bullshit down the throats of Americans. Everybody wants to be a Reaganite; didn’t the left call him a crazy old man who had lost his marbles?

Aldous says:

“kctim:
It was Democrats who won World War 2. The only thing Republicans do good in war is rewarding Halliburton and Blackwater.”
Posted by: Aldous at July 20, 2011 08:36 PM

I thought it was the American military who won WWII. The Democrats were is sitting on their LA’s in DC trying to figure out who to screw next.

Posted by: Mike at July 20, 2011 9:33 PM
Comment #326155

The title the post is “The unseriousness of the GOP”

Well I have a better one:

“The dingbatness of liberal women”


http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/07/20/msnbc_to_gop_congressman_do_you_have_a_degree_in_economics.html

Posted by: Mike at July 20, 2011 9:52 PM
Comment #326157

Mike,

Funny coming from the party of Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin.

Posted by: Aldous at July 20, 2011 11:35 PM
Comment #326158

Aldous, Remember you have the dingbat women who said “We have to pass it to see what’s in it.” and she was third in line to the Presidency if Obama and Biden happened to get killed.

Posted by: KAP at July 21, 2011 12:15 AM
Comment #326159

Mike,
The Congressman makes an incredible assertion, that he believes the US would not have gone into a depression without the bailout. It was a very stupid statement. Very stupid. Extremely stupid. What’s really funny is that the conservative blogasphere pretends the pure asininity of the statement is irrelevant. Most of the sites edit the full transcript so that the poor gullible conservative viewers will not understand the context of the stupidity in which that Contressman functions. That Congressman thinks he knows better than the Chairman of the Federal Reserve? Seriously? But this is what happens when the conservative echo chamber engages itself, and disengages from reality.

Posted by: phx8 at July 21, 2011 12:16 AM
Comment #326160

Phx8, I’ll tell you who is asinine; the joke we have for a president who is threatening and trying to scare Americans.

TomT had a couple of good links and I noticed no liberals wanted to touch it. His links show a history of the Democratic Party trying to scare Americans. It’s right out of the left’s play book, and a real shame when that’s all you have to try to get your agenda passed. I hope the House freshman hold the line; this default propaganda is pure crap.

So your answer to a dingbat socialist newswoman is Palin and Bachmann? Well Palin and Bachmann are doing their jobs, and it just scares the left, doesn’t it? They are both a thorn in the side of the libs, and I say more power to them. Rush Limbaugh always said, “You can tell who a liberal is scared of; it’s the one they attack the most”.

Posted by: Mike at July 21, 2011 12:39 AM
Comment #326161

Mike,
You seem to think the links presented by TomT represent scare tactics. You’re just not getting it.

The threat to not raise the debt ceiling risks catastrophic consequences for the economy. Moody’s and S&P have already issued a warning, and placed US treasuries on a credit downgrade watch.

Do you know what that means?

The President of the United States has warned about the danger surrounding this issue. The Secretary of the Treasury has warned about the danger. The Chairman of the Federal Reserve has warned as well. The Republican Senate Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House have also acknowledge the profound danger.

Yet many Republicans continue to insist on not raising the debt ceiling under any circumstances. This is very dangerous. Your guys are playing with fire, and you seem to be in deep denial about the potential repercussions.

I think the ceiling will be raised, regardless of whether a grandiose deal is cut. The danger here is that Moody’s and S&P may conclude that a downgrade to AA1 is necessary before August 2nd. What do you think will happen if the US debt rating is downgraded? Do you understand what that means?

Posted by: phx8 at July 21, 2011 1:54 AM
Comment #326162

I hope the US does default its debt obligations. It’ll be nice to see the GOP lose its corporate support for once.

Posted by: Aldous at July 21, 2011 3:05 AM
Comment #326166

“TomT had a couple of good links and I noticed no liberals wanted to touch it.”

Other than pointing out that Reagan utilized the same “scare tactics” when faced with the same debt ceiling issue. Perhaps, it isn’t scare tactics but the simple reality of what would happen if the debt ceiling was not raised.


Posted by: Rich at July 21, 2011 6:49 AM
Comment #326167

The Tea Party wing of the GOP must be a combination of completely oblivious to the reality of a default combined with a number of people who want it to happen so we’re forced to cut spending and shrink government.

It’s not going to hurt the wealthiest Americans and it’s sure not going to hurt big business. We’ll hear about personal responsibility right away. I mean, no one makes you be poor and unprotected in depression. You should have worked harder and planned ahead. Or you should have listened to Glenn Beck and bought your gold and guns and seeds and gone into the woods to live on mushrooms and grub worms.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 21, 2011 8:29 AM
Comment #326168

But then again the conservative movement in America has such a strong vein of anti-authoritarianism that it also kind of makes sense that the Tea Party would so easily buy into the message of Michelle Bachmann and others when they say the talk of depression is greatly exaggerated. Now, let’s stick it to the man and not believe what they say! We’ve got guns and that means we can reject your reality and substitute our own, dang it.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 21, 2011 8:32 AM
Comment #326169

Mike time to put the kool aid down and step away.

I love it when socialist claim to be Reaganites…
No one claimed to be a Reaganite Mike.

The title “The unseriousness of the GOP” seems to be appropriate for the article and comments until you decided to try to change the subject with your nonsensical retitling. In fact Mike you prove the point Adam is making with your foolish comments.

His links show a history of the Democratic Party trying to scare Americans. It’s right out of the left’s play book, and a real shame when that’s all you have to try to get your agenda passed.

Ah yes the tinfoil hat conspiracy of the day from the talk radio conservatives. The links regarding the debt ceiling are as relevant today as they were then, no scare tactics just reality, that seems to be what has thrown you into such a tizzy. Rich’s link to Reagan shows that even “a crazy old man who had lost his marbles” can figure it out. Why can’t you?

I hope the House freshman hold the line; this default propaganda is pure crap.

So just say it, Reagan was lying right Mike? Reagan is a socialist, right Mike? I suppose Moody is a socialist organization and are just scaring the fascist on the far right that can’t tell they are being used by conservative movement leaders.

For someone to actually make this statement shows just how far the fascist right wing tea bags of this country will go to bring the United States down to third world status. You should be ashamed of yourself Mike for following the likes of Limbaugh and others of his ilk that would lead you to believe such nonsense.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 21, 2011 8:52 AM
Comment #326170

Phx8
Sorry, but it is not beyond dispute. If it were, there would be no problem.

The tax cuts are not went wrong, it was the massive spending increases after the cuts were implemented that went wrong.

Yes, defense spendiing has contributed to what went wrong.

And yes, health care costs also contribute their share. You blame evil insurance companies, I blame the people who refuse to pay for insurance and who abuse the system.

I do not care what another person makes, so I do not blame them for all problems. If I do not feel I am being paid fairly, I find another job. I do not expect government to do it for me.

Yes, I have seen the studies that show our life expectancy has declined. I cannot remember for sure, but what is the number of years between us and the top country?

“The fix is simple, yet not even up for discussion.”

The fix is only simple for those who are willing to disregard individual rights and those who don’t give a crap about those truly in need. The rest of us want a balance that favors rights over desires.

Posted by: kctim at July 21, 2011 10:43 AM
Comment #326171

Aldous
It was the military that won WW2 and they were not hampered by feel-good policy.

Rich
I did not mean to imply “no federal cuts in defense that will cost jobs,” but rather that that has to be taken into account. And yes, I feel the same way about ‘federal expenditures” at this point in time. SMART cuts are needed all around.

I am aware of what SS is and how it has been abused by government and the people. I do not hint at anything. SS as it is today is liberal policy that discourages personal responsibility and that has bled throughout all the other government programs. Why save for retirement, a broken bone or food, if government is going to give those things to you. You add constant growth of the population with increasing dependency on government and the feel-good programs will fail.

Posted by: kctim at July 21, 2011 10:59 AM
Comment #326174

Kctim,

Ok, we are in agreement that federal cuts will have a negative impact on jobs in a difficult employment market. I also agree that the operative word on federal expenditures is SMART. I happen to believe that much more should be done by both parties in tying federal expenditures to general economic development. If it stimulates, keep it. If it hinders development, discard it.

We disagree on Social Security. It is my opinion that it is not a program that discourages individual responsibility. It is something that people have paid into for their entire working lives with the expectation that it will be available upon retirement or provide a modicum of income upon disability. It has been self sufficient through the payroll taxes for decades. People have been paying for SS in retirement and their expectations are not that the government will give them something for nothing upon retirement or disability.

“You add constant growth of the population with increasing dependency on government and the feel-good programs will fail.”

If there was constant growth of the working population at rate sufficient to offset the loss of baby boomers from the work force there would be no long term problem with Social Security. It is the increasing dependence of SS on fewer workers relative to beneficiaries that is the long term problem with SS. It is a dynamic of population size by age that is the problem not the result of some “feel-good” largesse of liberals.

Posted by: Rich at July 21, 2011 11:27 AM
Comment #326175

kctim,
A reasoned response on your part. I am absolutely fine when people make a stand for individual rights, and in the conflict with the rights of society, I will often stand on the side of individual rights. One of my chief objections to Libertariansism is the failure to recognize that there is even a conflict between individual and group rights, or that the individual must always be put above the society. Pardon the Star Trek reference, but they put it very well: do the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many, or vice versa?

Posted by: phx8 at July 21, 2011 11:38 AM
Comment #326179

Adam Ducker-
Very good, you have learned from the master.

Seriously, that seems to be the Republican motto nowadays.

kctim-
Look, when you train up a soldier, you’re training them up to be what in normal situations would be unacceptable. Without discipline, without rules of engagement, you will see darker behavior than what will reflect well on our country.

You ought to read Von Clausewitz and Sun Tzu. Rather than just reflect this video-game idea of behavior taken to full excess to win, they talk about war in terms of being able to make the right choices in the right places in order to win.

The Right Wing in this country chose to support a war of occupation. It is ridiculous to think you can win a war of occupation, crush an insurgency, without the support of the people.

And put plainly, you don’t win that support by beating, raping, torturing, and otherwise humiliating your way through the population. That may work in the fantasy world of a TV show or movie, but in the real world, people give support to your enemy when you pull that **** on them. hell, as the occupier, you already got the strike against you that you are a member of a foreign military that showed up in their country without being asked.

Naturally, if you are a soldier, having to fight an enemy in that environment, it will get intolerable, frustrating, but that’s why we have a chain of command and rules of engagement. We cannot merely run our military policy by the feelings of the soldiers at the bottom of the hierarchy.

That may have been true at one time, but it has become a government structure that wants to control their interests in the name of ‘fairness’ and ‘equality.’

Well, in the course of my lifetime, I have seen more of that structure eroded by people like you complaining about government market intervention than I’ve seen that invasion.

As for social security? Look, the folks you let run wild on Wall Street have torn through many folk’s retirement funds, or put them in a position where their savings and nest egg had to go to keeping their heads above water.

And you’d do what, reduce what they have to keep their heads above water? It makes no economic sense. These people won’t simply go away, nor will their needs, or anything else. Maybe it means that the folks who fund Republican campaigns won’t have to outlay as much money, but in return, many Americans would feel the burden of supporting their destitute parents and older relatives.

These aren’t just magic numbers that can be shifted around without consequences. You say it would leave more in people’s pockets, but I bet you that it also takes more out of people’s pockets. What you get in money you don’t have to pay in to Social Security, you lose in terms of having to pay for the needs of those who it would otherwise help.

And cutting defense? I’m with you and we should start with all the fraud waste and abuse. After that, you get into jobs and I am not sure adding thousands to the unemployed is such a great idea right now.

That’s a funny thing to say, you know, because that’s what many Democrats would say and have said in response to Republicans and Conservatives and their proposals to make big cuts in state, local, and federal government.

As a matter of fact, Republicans have added hundreds of thousands to the rolls of the unemployed over the last year or so, all in the name of doing what you recommend. If it’s bad to cut jobs associated with the military and its procurement, then tell me: does that also apply to civilian and domestic concerns.

The tax cuts are not went wrong, it was the massive spending increases after the cuts were implemented that went wrong.

There is an objective effect to those tax cuts: revenue decreased. That meant that there was a negative effect before we even started spending. The idea was that the economy would improve more, but that didn’t happen.

There was no real attempt to offset the cuts, and nor would there have been. The theory repeatedly sold with the tax cuts was a Keynesian one, if a very inefficient form of it. The idea was that having more money in their hands would lead to people creating more jobs.

Didn’t happen that way. Regardless, though, the departure from balance was deliberate, as was the failure to offset the cuts.

So was the refusal to raise revenues to cover new spending.

Now you might say that people have learned their lesson, but just look at the debt ceiling discussions. You’ve got Conservatives all over the place saying, look, we’re getting three to one ratios in this deal on spending decreases and tax increases, and they’re nixing the deal over the tax increase. They’re getting most of what they want, but they’re balking, and are unlikely to get a better deal, now that they’ve balked. Sure, they’ve stood up symbolically for decreasing spending, shrinking government, and reducing taxes, but they’ve only really managed to reduce taxes, and have done so without limit or sense. And really, it’s fiscally dumb, because that means you’re trying to resolve a deficit with one hand tied behind your back.

Why save for retirement, a broken bone or food, if government is going to give those things to you. You add constant growth of the population with increasing dependency on government and the feel-good programs will fail.

The fundamental failure of comprehension on the part of the right is the notion that people were ordinarily able to save for retirement in this fashion before hand, or that people could really count on it. When Social Security was created, people were fresh from an economic disaster that almost certainly wiped out the retirement nest egg of millions of Americans, and put the economic future of many elderly folks in jeopardy. Social security is not about stellar returns on investment, it’s about having something there, guaranteed to be there, something that won’t go away if the economy goes bad, or the banks fail, or any of that happy horse**** happens.

Republicans seem to operate on best case assumptions, and seem ill prepared for disaster. If it weren’t for Social security, people would be hedging on retirement, or simply be in a position where they could not prepare for it at all. In turn, that would make burdens of these people to their families, burdens that would have an economic effect.

The Republicans aren’t cutting smart. They’re cutting programs that help anticipate weather, that help us mitigate disasters, explore scientific matters, and do other things that help us keep competitive. And why? Because of this insistence that all good must come from the private sector for it to be acceptable.

It’s time for alternatives to this bankruptcy of ideas, before it translates to a bankruptcy of the nation in general.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 21, 2011 1:41 PM
Comment #326180

Royal Flush-
I find it interesting that you change the subject so quickly. I also find it interesting that you then proceeded to cut and paste wholesale from an American Enterprise Institute web page, rather than come up with points of your own, doing your own thinking in order to line up what you were saying.

The subject was whether there was a bias against using new incoming money to help employ people. I guess you couldn’t dispute the fact that many corporations simply chose to move factories abroad, or pay dividends to investors. I guess you can’t dispute that rich folks, rather than spend the money, tended to save it, defeating its purpose as stimulus.

Worse yet, you attack union representation, then, as if it were responsible for lower wages, etc, even though many aspects of people’s working lives were better when unions had greater pull.

Your people made lots of promises to the working people of this country. Unfortunately, your political promises wrote checks your policies couldn’t cash, and the Tax cuts that were supposed to create a bonanza of prosperity, instead preceded the worst decade of job creation since WWII.

TomT-
You know, if we were driving together, and I pointed towards a semi that was coming right for us, and said “watch out”, I think you’d hit the accelerator just to spite me.

You have to realize that some scare tactics works so well, because they site consequences that are real. You can’t merely oppose everything because we’re for it.

Mike-
Palin and Bachmann would be minor figures in a sane party. If we fear them, we fear their stupidity most of all.

We fear a replay of Bush, with a political manipulator in charge who couldn’t write policy worth a damn, yet was supported by legions of supporters who spun, rationalized and made excuses for their leader, even as they strained to ignore his bitter failures.

I like having somebody in charge who can think, who can figure out more than how to play the political angle. I want somebody in charge who can actually govern, not merely a figurehead for special interests.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 21, 2011 2:03 PM
Comment #326181

Rich
The problem is that more and more Americans have gone from thinking of SS as a way to help supplement their retirement to expecting it to be their only form of retirement. They would rather eat out and buy the latest and greatest than think about their future. This causes an undue burden on the system and carries over to other social programs like welfare and health.

If we promoted individual responsibility half as much as we do dependency, the entire system would be better off.

Posted by: kctim at July 21, 2011 2:38 PM
Comment #326182

Phx8
“do the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many, or vice versa?”

I do not see individual rights as ‘needs,’ which is why I always say that the desires of the many do not trump the rights of the individual.

Posted by: kctim at July 21, 2011 2:48 PM
Comment #326183

SD
I was trained as a soldier and I am well aware of the need for sensible ‘rules of engagement.’ I am also well aware how some of those rules hinder our military. Limits on caliber, edged weapons, bombs etc… are nothing but feel-good ideas designed to make an inhumane action humane in the eyes of those back home.

And to put it plainly, IMO, the “right wing” as you say, would have chosen a much more severe action IF they were allowed to. You fight a war to destroy your enemy, not to convince them to be your friend.

“the folks you let run wild on Wall Street have torn through many folk’s retirement funds”

So what about the folks you let run wild in government, who have forcibly taken tens of thousands of dollars from me that has prevented me from the retirement of my choosing?

“These people won’t simply go away, nor will their needs, or anything else”

No they won’t. But then again, I am not the one claiming I care about them while I pay for internet access and $7 latte’s instead of actually helping them.

I know they won’t go away and that we can’t just throw them to the wolves, but why keep encouraging future generations to end up in the same place?

“Regardless, though, the departure from balance was deliberate, as was the failure to offset the cuts.”

I agree. And I believe huge spending cuts should have been the way to offset the tax cuts.

“Social security is not about stellar returns on investment, it’s about having something there, guaranteed to be there, something that won’t go away if the economy goes bad, or the banks fail, or any of that happy horse**** happens.”

Guaranteed? According to President Obama, that is not true at all and blaming it all on the right still won’t make it a guaranteed thing.
So, with that in mind, would you rather be standing by your mailbox hoping for money to arrive OR would you rather have the money in hand when you need you it?

Posted by: kctim at July 21, 2011 3:31 PM
Comment #326186


kctim, I see Social Security as a recognition that many people would not or could not be personally responsible in regards to saving for their future. So the government mandated personal responsibility for workers and owners.

You say that more and more people are relying on Social Security as their only means of income for retirement. That could possibly be true in numbers, but not as a percentage of the population. Today, many more people take advantage of other means of retirement income with 401Ks and other investment opportunities. The number of businesses designed to provide services to these people has grown as well.

The greatest deterrent to retirement savings are low wages and a high and costly standard of living.

With one hand we encourage savings, with the other we discourage it.

Primarily, speculation about why the economy isn’t growing faster, isn’t producing jobs is that people are worried, paying down debt, saving, they are not buying! When Americans don’t spend most of their money buying things, the economy suffers. The lower you are on the economic ladder the greater the percentage of your income that is spent on consumption by necessity.

The economy is so dependent on consumption the government takes money from people with excess, much of which they would save, and gives it to the poor who will or have to spend it.

Posted by: jlw at July 21, 2011 5:39 PM
Comment #326188

kctim,
There is more than one kind of freedom: freedom from, and freedom to.

Posted by: phx8 at July 21, 2011 5:52 PM
Comment #326189

It’s obvious that SD has never been in the military. I guess he stayed at a Holiday Inn Express one night so he knows everything about it now.

Posted by: tdobson at July 21, 2011 6:14 PM
Comment #326190

“If we promoted individual responsibility half as much as we do dependency, the entire system would be better off….They would rather eat out and buy the latest and greatest than think about their future.”

Kctim,

I agree. But that is the nature of our consumer economy. McMansions for everybody, big screen TVs, huge SUVs, etc. I, personally, am pi—-d off by the looting of housing equity over the past decade. My wife and I lost a substantial amount of equity in our home due to the reckless behavior of banks and irresponsible individual home owners.

But, I don’t think SS falls into that category. It has been a conservative forced saving program through payroll taxes. The same for Medicare. I used to think when I was younger that I could do a heck of lot better if I had the option of investing that money, including the employer share, in the private markets. In fact, I would have been better off. But, what if I had become disabled? What if the markets crashed at a time that we needed the money for retirement? One of the most serious problems of the recent financial collapse has been insolvency of private pension funds invested in the private markets.

As more and more companies opt out of defined benefit pension plans in favor of voluntary 401K plans and roll back health insurance retirement benefits, SS and Medicare are becoming increasingly important for old age income and health care. In my opinion, we should be focused on saving Social Security and Medicare, not cutting them. There are options. The first and foremost is to address the principal threat to the entitlements: health care inflation.

Posted by: Rich at July 21, 2011 6:39 PM
Comment #326191
The problem is that more and more Americans have gone from thinking of SS as a way to help supplement their retirement to expecting it to be their only form of retirement.

kctim why is that a problem? The government doesn’t have to pay any more than what these more and more Americans have earned. Why is it any skin off your back?

They would rather eat out and buy the latest and greatest than think about their future. This causes an undue burden on the system and carries over to other social programs like welfare and health.

Yes but they also pay into SS and Medicare and help the guy who runs the restaurant and the retail store to pay the bills. If they choose not to save for retirement that is on them. SS is insurance for old age not a guarantee to live a lifestyle beyond the minimum the SS pays. What undo burden does this cause to the system? These people, us them, you and me pay into the system until we reach the 6 figures in salary and then we get a free ride while still being entitled to SS benefits. It seems to me it is the upper class that game the system because you sure don’t see them not taking SS just because they have also saved additional money for retirement.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 21, 2011 7:44 PM
Comment #326194

US Military led by DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT and DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS won World War 2.

Its called leadership.

Posted by: Aldous at July 21, 2011 7:55 PM
Comment #326207

SD

“I like having somebody in charge who can think, who can figure out more than how to play the political angle. I want somebody in charge who can actually govern, not merely a figurehead for special interests.”

If that is the truth, then why are you a democrat?

On SS nobody has brought up the point that all the children who receive SS because an adult in their family does. That should be eliminated.

I would like to congratulate you on your use of Elmer’s glue. It work great for you.

Posted by: tom humes at July 21, 2011 9:32 PM
Comment #326208

Aldous, And democrats also got us into Korea,and Viet Nam in which, Korea still tech. is not over and Viet Nam was a disgrace because of the Democrats and their Politics. No Aldous it was because the 2 Presidents during WW2 knew to let the Generals and Admirals alone to do their jobs, but Truman stuck his nose into Korea that’s why that one isn’t tech. over and why there is a North and South, likewise for Nam but the Democratic leadership really screwed that up.

Posted by: KAP at July 21, 2011 9:42 PM
Comment #326209

“…but Truman stuck his nose into Korea that’s why that one isn’t tech. over..”

Truman stuck his nose in it? Truman was the Commander in Chief not MacArthur. He fired MacArthur for gross insubordination.

Posted by: Rich at July 21, 2011 10:58 PM
Comment #326210

Like I said Rich Truman stuck his nose in instead of letting Macarthur do his job. Much like Nam politicians sticking their nose where it don’t belong and we both know how Nam turned out.

Posted by: KAP at July 21, 2011 11:07 PM
Comment #326211

Rich

“He fired MacArthur for gross insubordination.”

Document that please.

I know what happened. I just want to hear what the liberal-left do to twist and spin and re-write history.

Posted by: tom humes at July 22, 2011 12:33 AM
Comment #326219

JLW
Should government forcibly lower the standard of living of one person in order to try and raise the standard of living of another? Should government mandate punishment for those who are personally responsible?

SS would not be sustainable it many more people did not take advantage of other means of retirement. But in my own experiences, that number is shrinking and the number who expect SS to be their retirement, is growing.
In my opinion though, a false sense of entitlement has led to our rampant consumerism and our priorities are all screwed up.
The greatest deterrent to retirement is the Big Mac, cars and the latest electronic gizmo.

“The economy is so dependent on consumption the government takes money from people with excess, much of which they would save, and gives it to the poor who will or have to spend it.”

And that only creates an ever growing vicious cycle that is doomed to failure for the people. The economy eventually becomes totally dependent on mass consumption which only creates the government need to make more people dependent on government. At that point, people happily give up their individual freedoms for an IPad.

Posted by: kctim at July 22, 2011 9:47 AM
Comment #326220

Phx8
“There is more than one kind of freedom: freedom from, and freedom to.”

VERY valid point my friend. But again, it comes down to if one believes if desires trump rights.

- Freedom from government running your life or the freedom to have government give you what you desire.

Posted by: kctim at July 22, 2011 9:59 AM
Comment #326222

Rich
I’m not trying to be a smartass, but what if you walked outside and a jet engine fell on your head? Should we pay government to provide concrete tunnels for our travels?
If we allow government to rule personal lives based on fearful what-if scenarios, we lose. And it has never been more evident than it is today.

“In my opinion, we should be focused on saving Social Security and Medicare, not cutting them. There are options. The first and foremost is to address the principal threat to the entitlements: health care inflation.”

Then we are in agreement. The problem is HOW we do that.
IMO, the less people dependent on SS, Medicare and Medicaid, the more there is for those who truly need it. Encouraging personal responsibility will only strengthen those programs.


Posted by: kctim at July 22, 2011 10:14 AM
Comment #326224

J2

It is a problem because it is MY money.
It is a problem because it weakens the programs.
It is a problem because it encourages spending and weakens saving.
It is a problem because SS was meant to be an insurance program, not a retirement program.

“If they choose not to save for retirement that is on them.”

No, it is forcibly put on all of us.

“What undo burden does this cause to the system?”

It places people who WON’T prepare in the same category as those who CAN’T prepare. That means less benefits for those who truly deserve them.

“It seems to me it is the upper class that game the system because you sure don’t see them not taking SS just because they have also saved additional money for retirement.”

You buy car insurance. Do you not use it when you are in an accident? Even though you have the money in your bank account to pay for it? Why? Because even though you were forced to get the insurance, it is still your money in the first place.

Posted by: kctim at July 22, 2011 10:28 AM
Comment #326226

Here’s what’s going to happen if the debt ceiling isn’t raised: A small potion of the ultra wealthy are going to become even more wealthy and the vast majority of the people will suffer even more.
Here’s what’s going to happen if the debt ceiling is raised: A small portion of the ultra wealthy are going to become even more wealthy and a vast majority of the people will suffer even more.
Prove me wrong.

Posted by: Stephen Hines at July 22, 2011 11:24 AM
Comment #326227

Stephen Hines-
Why? You seem content to just cling to one idea.

The truth is, not raising the debt ceiling will not just be a failure of treasuries and the American dollar, it will be a failure of municipal and state investments, and so many other systems and financial resources.

If you want to indulge in nihilism of the kind that would equate that kind of disaster with the very imperfect, but nowhere near as disastrous status quo, be my guest. But I’m taking this threat seriously.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 22, 2011 12:20 PM
Comment #326228
It is a problem because it is MY money.

Not just your money our money. Their money. Everyone the works and pays into SS has their money involved for them and their family. Only the survivors of a payroll tax paying American that may not have worked can collect some benefits just like any other insurance program. The difference is when you are not working you do not pay into the program yet it is still there for you and your family, unlike private sector insurance plans.

It is a problem because it weakens the programs.

Because some people may think it is a retirement program does not weaken the program it weakens the people who think that way. The facts are there for all to see. It is not a hidden loophole that snares the uninformed.


It is a problem because it encourages spending and weakens saving.

No it doesn’t, if it did none of us would have retirement accounts separate from the SS program. The problem is more the individual that can save but chooses not to. But even then it is a double edged sword. The economy suffers the more we save. The program itself does not encourage nor discourage people. They may use SS as an excuse but lets face it when you are younger retirement is not your first priority.

It is a problem because SS was meant to be an insurance program, not a retirement program.

And it is an insurance program not a retirement program. Because one may choose to use it as a retirement plan doesn’t mean it is the fault of the program. Because one chooses to use it as a retirement plan does not mean one gets more money than the person who chooses to use it as an insurance program.

“If they choose not to save for retirement that is on them.”

No, it is forcibly put on all of us.

No it is not. It is the law, we elected our reps who passed the law, no force used. Once again it is not the SS program that suffers when people choose to use it as a retirement program. You don’t suffer for them. You pay into the program and based upon your wages over the years you receive back from the program just as these people you think you are paying for.

It places people who WON’T prepare in the same category as those who CAN’T prepare. That means less benefits for those who truly deserve them.

Why would you think that those that didn’t prepare do not deserve money from the SS program? They paid into the program the same as those that did prepare. They get what they have coming to them based upon their wages over the years.
Then again why would you think those that prepare deserve any more than what they are entitled to based upon what they have earned in wages over the years? It is not like the payroll tax payer has to give more to either the prepared or the unprepared.

You buy car insurance. Do you not use it when you are in an accident? Even though you have the money in your bank account to pay for it? Why? Because even though you were forced to get the insurance, it is still your money in the first place.

Yes I do kctim. But I pay just as much for my car insurance as they do despite a smaller income. With the SS program those that earn over $100k per year do not pay any additional payroll tax on the additional income. Yet they collect their checks. That is what I meant by gaming the system. It is theirs despite the complaints and the attempts to dismantle the system and they are entitled to it. Just ironic to me. But I guess that proves the point that it doesn’t “encourage spending and weakens saving” as the well to do also collect SS in addition to the money they have saved over the years.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 22, 2011 12:33 PM
Comment #326230

j2t2: I do believe that the checks one gets from SS are capped once they reach a certain amount, so it does not seem unfair to cap the tax also as currently done, if you want to sell the SS program as insurance. In other words, you are limited on what you can get, so your buy in (via tax) should also be no more than what you are going to get out. You can argue that the rich should pay more, and get less than what they have contributed, but then it would be diffcult to sell this as an insurance program.

Posted by: Mike In Tampa at July 22, 2011 1:14 PM
Comment #326232

jlw wrote: “Be it a clown car, a stretch Hummer, or a combination of the two, it would definitely be a flex fuel vehicle capable of burning coal, oil, or natural gas.”


… the latter two of which emanate directly and frequently from the bodies of most Republicans.

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at July 22, 2011 1:45 PM
Comment #326234

J2
It is my money before it is forcibly taken where it becomes you’re and their money. My hard work should not be taken and given for their stupidity.
Yes, I know it is the ‘law’ or whatever else, but so are limitations placed on abortion and the 2nd Amendment, and people fight for the individual freedoms they are supposed to have for those also.

“Because some people may think it is a retirement program does not weaken the program”

If I believe it is my retirement plan, I do not save for my retirement. When I start collecting SS I very quickly discover that it is not enough and I must now use other government programs like food stamps. I must use my SS to make my car payment, my house payment etc… so now I must use local and state programs.

Now, if I believe it is up to me to be responsible enough to plan for retirement, I take steps to prepare myself for retirement. I have savings to help ensure that I do not have to wait by the mailbox for the money to eat, pay bills or pay for pills.
The most important thing though, is that if I do even average, I would be in the position where I do not need SS. If I do not take from SS, that leaves more money in SS. I have strengthened SS, not weakened it.

But no, we would rather encourage spending because SS will be there for us in the future. What we should be doing is encouraging saving so that we do not need SS in the future.

Posted by: kctim at July 22, 2011 2:33 PM
Comment #326237

Mike in Tampa I am not trying to sell SS as an insurance program that is what it is. OASDI or Old age survivors and disability insurance isn’t it?

You are probably right when you say what you can collect is capped so it is fair to cap the payroll tax assuming the caps match.

It is my money before it is forcibly taken where it becomes you’re and their money.

Although I have paid into SS for years not once has it been forcibly taken kctim. Not once. How many times has the police been at your door with a gun collecting payroll taxes?

My hard work should not be taken and given for their stupidity.

Were you the only one in the USA that works hard kctim I would agree with you. Were you the only wise man in the USA I could agree with you. Were you the only one carrying the ball while the rest of us didn’t I would agree with you. But it isn’t all about you. I to work hard, most of us do. I to was wiser and saved for retirement so you are not the only wise man, In fact I would say 2/3rds of us did some saving and could be considered wise men. But does that make the rest of us stupid? Even if it does you are not giving for their stupidity because they had to pay just like you do. I did as well. They just don’t live as high off the hog as those that save so perhaps that is the punishment you seek for the stupid, kctim.


There are no free loaders in SS, kctim, they all contributed and receive based upon what they contributed. Except the spouses and children of course. But are they stupid or just victims of circumstance?

,blockquote>If I believe it is my retirement plan, I do not save for my retirement.

But why blame the SS program? Did they claim to be a retirement plan that would take care of all your retirement needs? Just because you believed incorrectly does not mean the program isn’t working. Your trying to shoot the messenger here IMHO. This is a red herring kctim. This is making the myth fit the ideology.

When I start collecting SS I very quickly discover that it is not enough and I must now use other government programs like food stamps. I must use my SS to make my car payment, my house payment etc… so now I must use local and state programs.

While not an expert at the different programs how does a senior get food stamps unless they have minor children living with them? I don’t know what local and state programs you refer to but this is pretty vague and doesn’t really make the SS program the villain. In fact without the help of SS where would you be? Certainly not making car payments and house payments.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 22, 2011 3:43 PM
Comment #326239

j2t2


“Although I have paid into SS for years not once has it been forcibly taken kctim. Not once. How many times has the police been at your door with a gun collecting payroll taxes?”


yes it has. if you receive a 1099 for work you do, you’re are forced to pay both the employer, and employees portion. if you receive a pay check it is withheld by your employer.
in both cases the withholding is mandated by law. go ahead and try to not pay it, let me know how that works out for you.


“But why blame the SS program?”


exactly, blame the politicians who have stolen the surplus funds every year since johnson was pres. if it weren’t for that there would probably enough to fully fund it for many decades to come. we need a law that forbids the spending of soc sec funds for anything else. why do you think democrats cringe every time the lock box is brought up?

raising the retirement age is horsesh!t. how many will die before they can collect what they have paid in all thier lives? it amounts to reduction of cost through attrition. ya that’s fair.

Posted by: dbs at July 22, 2011 4:06 PM
Comment #326241
raising the retirement age is horsesh!t. how many will die before they can collect what they have paid in all thier lives? it amounts to reduction of cost through attrition. ya that’s fair.

It’s an insurance program; not a retirement program. If I buy fire insurance, but my house does not burn down; I don’t get my money back. If people pay FICA taxes, but they don’t grow old, they don’t get their money either.

Personally, I think it’d be much better if people were responsible for their first 15-20 years of retirement. Perhaps after age 80 or so SS can take over.

Posted by: Warped Reality at July 22, 2011 4:35 PM
Comment #326242

warped

“It’s an insurance program; not a retirement program.”

you have no idea of what you are talking about.

Posted by: dbs at July 22, 2011 5:06 PM
Comment #326243

dbs no force was used. It is a law that was enacted by our elected representatives not some dictator. It is a law that meets the requirements of the constitution. It was passed buy a majority in Congress without force or coercion. The people voted for the representatives that passed the law and the president that signed the bill into law. No force.


Were I not to comply I would be breaking a law and subject to the penalties for breaking the law. Force is used to do the will of the people when laws are broke and those that the law do not comply willingly. I would agree that with the militarization of the police since the Reagan/Bush get tough on crime days the force used by the police is sometimes used excessively and/or wrongly. But that is a different issue.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 22, 2011 5:37 PM
Comment #326244

“exactly, blame the politicians who have stolen the surplus funds every year since johnson was pres. if it weren’t for that there would probably enough to fully fund it for many decades to come.”

dbs,

Please! Nobody has stolen anything. The surplus money is there with interest. Its in special Treasuries that have the same intrinsic value as a dollar bill (the full faith and credit of the United States government).

If the surplus money was held in a vault in some secret place what would make it more valuable? The fact that surplus payroll tax revenues were required by law to be exchanged for interest bearing bonds doesn’t make the surplus less valuable. It makes it more valuable.

When the SS Trust funds cash in a bond, the government can pay it with tax revenue and retire the debt or exchange it for a bond in the open market. In the later case, there would be no net change in the overall federal debt except for any differential in interest rates. Today, that would be a good deal for the government with the low long term interest rates on the open market. Basically, the net effect would be that the intra-governmental portion of the overall national debt would go down and the portion held by the public would increase but the overall debt essentially would stay unchanged.

Of course, if the US were to default on its bond obligations then there would be a problem for Social Security. It was something that the Reagan-Greenspan Commission never anticipated when it began collecting excess payroll taxes to fund baby boomer retirements and having that surplus invested in special US Treasuries.

The idea that Social Security is insolvent in the near term (next thirty years) and has been mismanaged is utter nonsense. The long term problem for Social Security is a demographic problem due to a declining ratio of workers to retirees in the future. It is a world wide problem and not unique to the US. In fact, the US is better off than most of the industrialized world, particularly the Asian countries. We are one of the few countries replacing its population. Most are declining.


Posted by: Rich at July 22, 2011 7:15 PM
Comment #326246
The surplus money is there with interest. Its in special Treasuries that have the same intrinsic value as a dollar bill (the full faith and credit of the United States government).

In that case, Bill Clinton didn’t run a surplus at the end of his term. You can’t have it both ways.

Personally, I don’t think it’s feasible for the government to raise taxes or sell enough bonds to cover the entire SS trust fund, which means people like me cannot rely on SS.

Posted by: Warped Reality at July 22, 2011 8:20 PM
Comment #326249

rich

“Please! Nobody has stolen anything. The surplus money is there with interest. Its in special Treasuries that have the same intrinsic value as a dollar bill (the full faith and credit of the United States government).”


those IOUs are worthless unless they can be redeemed upon demand. that is like you taking your rent money out of one pocket to buy something, and taking the IOUs you put in the other pocket and giving them to your land lord. they are worthless. the tax payers are being screwed by politicians who have pissed away thier future security in order to buy votes.

Posted by: dbs at July 22, 2011 8:58 PM
Comment #326254

Warped Reality, “Personally, I don’t think it’s feasible for the government to raise taxes or sell enough bonds to cover the entire SS trust fund, which means people like me cannot rely on SS.”

WR, since we are about the same age; I don’t believe we can depend upon SS either, but what really bothers me is that I will be paying more and more of my income into a program I will never use. The taxes I pay into FICA would be better served being paid into an IRA or other investments. I fear I will never be able to do as good as my parents or grandparents. We are part of the first generation to go backwards.

Posted by: Phil at July 22, 2011 9:11 PM
Comment #326257

phil

“The taxes I pay into FICA would be better served being paid into an IRA or other investments.”


true that. unfortunately the gov’t now depends on that money not only to pay soc sec benefits, but also borrows the surplus to fund unrelated expenses, which unless things change drasticly they will never realisticly be able to pay back. and let’s not even talk about the interest.

Posted by: dbs at July 22, 2011 9:25 PM
Comment #326258

“Personally, I don’t think it’s feasible for the government to raise taxes or sell enough bonds to cover the entire SS trust fund, which means people like me cannot rely on SS.”

Well, that is an interesting perspective. What do you suggest? That the government default on its contractual bond obligations? That people who have paid an additional premium for the past thirty years to provide a surplus for their generation’s retirement should forgo that sacrifice and their benefits?

The national debt, commonly bandied about, already accounts for the bonds issued to cover the surplus money received from payroll taxes. Its simply a question as to whether the bonds are in the form of special Treasuries or publicly held bonds. It adds up to the same overall debt.

The fact that people like you cannot rely on SS is a demographic issue. It is the result of a contracting younger population relative to the older population drawing SS. The population isn’t growing sufficiently to provide enough younger workers to pay into the system. Increased immigration, like many European countries have systematically practiced, may help but probably not enough. Have more babies.

Seriously, we know how to produce more with less workers. So, the absence of high population growth is not a real drag on the economy. However, those productivity gains have not found their way into workers’ wages. Wages have stagnated for the middle class. They have been captured by the top 10%. If you really want to assure that SS is available to you, then you need to promote policies which increase wage growth. Its a lesser number of workers having the ability to pay more for SS, a dramatic increase in the worker population, cutting future benefits or taxing those who have benefited from the productivity gains and financialization of our economy. Your choice.

Posted by: Rich at July 22, 2011 9:27 PM
Comment #326260

Finally, a young person who knows what his future holds. Yes Phil, you and WR will have nothing, but you know what, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for you. It was the pot smoking/anti-war/free love generation of the 70’s and your generation who has bought the socialist agenda hook, line, and sinker. You sit in college classes and listen to those socialist professors (the 70’s crowd) fill your heads with mush. I am in my late-60’s and I got mine. And I don’t draw SS either. Why do you suppose my parent’s generation and my generation did so well? Well, let me give you a hint; the more government gets into your pocket book, the less you have of your earnings. The bigger government gets; the fewer rights you have; the more regulations placed on corporations, the fewer jobs. The liberals love to attack corporations and banks; but I’ve only seen a few people who could pay cash for a new car or a house, and I’ve never seen a working man’s paycheck that didn’t come from a corporation. I spent my whole working career, working for one of the largest corporations in America. I enjoyed my job and they paid me a good wage; whatever I have today is the result of working for that corporation. So you bone heads go ahead and complain about corporations and continue voting in AH’s like obama who has declared war on these corporations, even though he likes their re-election dollars, and I will enjoy the my retirement.

Posted by: Conservativethinker at July 22, 2011 9:33 PM
Comment #326261

CT


“Finally, a young person who knows what his future holds. Yes Phil, you and WR will have nothing, but you know what, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for you.”


according to rich they do. they have a bunch of IOUs that carry the full faith and credit of the US gov’t. please excuse me now, while i go laugh my a$$ off.

Posted by: dbs at July 22, 2011 9:51 PM
Comment #326265

dbs,

Enough of the sarcasm and condescending attitude. If you want to debate the issues then do so. Keep to the issues. Good night! Why do I waste my time with this juvenile bunch of know it alls.

Posted by: Rich at July 22, 2011 10:31 PM
Comment #326266

PHi8l & dbs,
Apparently neither of you understand financial markets. If Treasury bonds, notes, and bills are financially unsound, what on earth makes you think equities or other forms of debt would be viable investments? Furthermore, an IRA is only a tax deferral shelter for whatever investment happens to be inside it, whether that be Treasuries, stocks, or whatever. It depends on an assumption most people never really consider- that the sum of tax-deferred accrued interest will exceed the tax rate at the time of withdrawal, as opposed to the current one. Given the lack of liquidity in the meantime, that is, the penalties, an IRA is not much of an investment vehicle. A 401k is a much better bet if it enjoys company matching.

The truth is, Social Security is probably the best possible investment you can make with your money. It is the most secure because it invests in the safest and most conservative securities, namely US Treasuries. If those fail, virtually nothing else will matter- not corporate bonds, not stocks, not even precious metals (unless you manage to flee the country with metals in hand, to a country which is miraculously unaffected by the destruction of the dollar- and by the way, no such country exists, except possibly North Korea and remote locations which do not use currency).

Posted by: phx8 at July 22, 2011 11:58 PM
Comment #326269

phx8,

A bond is not money; it is only a promise to pay money in the future. If you look at the US’s long term fiscal situation, it doesn’t look good. I turn 65 in 2055; I find it hard to imagine the US government raising the money to repay its SS debts to people like me when we retire without severe overhauls to the SS system. The demographics simply aren’t there. There will not be enough taxpayers to support my SS checks. The government will have to judge what gets cut; I have no clue what they will decide so right now I operate as if SS doesn’t exist. My payroll taxes go to fund today’s retirees and today’s government; I don’t expect to get that money back.

As was said before, SS is supposed to be insurance, not a retirement program. What is SS insuring against? Old age? Only people with extremely bad luck or extremely poor choices fail to reach 65 so the insurance is not actually insuring anything. If we raise the retirement age, we could restore SS to its original function as insurance. In this case, it’d be insurance against exceptionally old age. Everyone would be on their own for the first 15-20 years of retirement, with SS kicking in around age 80. The benefits would probably be a lot more generous; people probably wouldn’t need to save money for that portion of retirement. This change would also help us out a lot when confronting the demographic hurdles that SS must overcome.

Posted by: Warped Reality at July 23, 2011 12:32 AM
Comment #326270

There are two ways Social Security can fail.
Both require you to fail yourself, and allow it to happen by listening to GOP conservatives.

The private financial sector wants your Social Security money. They want it very, very badly. It is the honey pot, the pot of gold, the nirvana of investment gold mines. Bush and the GOP conservatives tried to deliver it after the 2004 election, but failed. Most American citizens realized the motivating greed, and the appeal to individual greed (hey, you’ll make lots more money in the stock market- can’t miss!), and they rejected Bush and the Republican conservatives. Thank goodness!!! The private financial sector collapsed in 2007-08, and only a government bailout saved the economy and the private sector. If those private institutions had somehow got hold of Social Security money and squandered it in risky derivatives, who knows how much worse it would have been!

The other danger is for Social Security to be legislated out of existence in order to give the money to the richest of the rich, for example, by raising the retirement age, or lowering the cap (which currently stands at $106,800). Don’t let them do it! Social Security can be solvent forever with a relatively low growth rate. The talk of insolvency depends on an extremely low rate of growth for the economy.

There are people out there who think it is perfectly fine to steal from you in the name of capitalism or free markets or privatization or whatever you want to call it, and they will try to use the law to make it ‘legal.’ It is up to you to take a stand and protect yourself with knowledge, by voting, and with political activism.

Posted by: phx8 at July 23, 2011 12:32 AM
Comment #326271
Social Security can be solvent forever with a relatively low growth rate. The talk of insolvency depends on an extremely low rate of growth for the economy.

From where do you get this. The CBO has firmly established that SS will become insolvent sometime after the 2030s. Even if the government is able to repay the IOUs in the trust fund, there won’t be enough money for when I retire in 2055. I might get 75% of my benefits, but nobody knows for sure how Congress will handle the shortfall.

Posted by: Warped Reality at July 23, 2011 12:46 AM
Comment #326272

WR,
This is an extremely complicated subject- I’ve spent some time searching www.ssa.gov, and it seem like the best thing to do is to leave this to you to research, if you are so inclined. To make a long story short, there are three scenarios projected over the long term, and the assumptions made determine the outcome of those three scenarios. Make gloomy assumptions, and the outcome for SS looks bad. Make normal or rosy assumptions, and it looks very good. I will be out most of tomorrow…

Posted by: phx8 at July 23, 2011 2:09 AM
Comment #326277

warped

“A bond is not money; it is only a promise to pay money in the future. If you look at the US’s long term fiscal situation, it doesn’t look good. I turn 65 in 2055; I find it hard to imagine the US government raising the money to repay its SS debts to people like me”


that is the point i have been trying to make, but rich, and phx8 don’t seem to comprehend. the US currently has more outstanding debt than it can repay in a timely fashion.


“As was said before, SS is supposed to be insurance, not a retirement program.”

wrong, it was supposed to provide a meager retirement for those that failed to or couldn’t do so. it is a social safety net.


“What is SS insuring against? Old age?”

it is insuring against someone reaching retirement age with nothing to survive on. if you want to argue that it should not exist that’s a whole different story. but it does and those who have been forced to pay into it expect that those obligations are met. to keep dragging the carrot down the road because the gov’t can’t keep its obligations is not acceptable.

“Only people with extremely bad luck or extremely poor choices fail to reach 65”

reach 65, or live substatialy longer? no one is saying it should be lowered to say 50, but at 65 the average person has maybe 10 to 20 years max to live. i realize that at your age you see 65 to be the distant future, but believe me the older you get the faster the time goes by. in 2055 i will be 93. that is if i live that long. at 65 most people are past thier most productive years, and finding a job is pretty damn tuff. for many that have to continue working soc sec is a supplement.

Posted by: dbs at July 23, 2011 9:23 AM
Comment #326278

phx8


“Bush and the GOP conservatives tried to deliver it after the 2004 election, but failed. Most American citizens realized the motivating greed,”


the bush plan would have allowed younger workers the ability to control a small portion of thier contributions. the democrats objected because it would have taken away thier ability to borrow and spend some of the surplus. trying to paint a picture of people putting thier money into the commodities market is BS.

time to quit repeating that nonsense.


“The talk of insolvency depends on an extremely low rate of growth for the economy.”


that’s exactly what will happen if we continue down the path obama has taken us on. socialism doesn’t work.

Posted by: dbs at July 23, 2011 9:41 AM
Comment #326279

“The truth is, Social Security is probably the best possible investment you can make with your money.”

posted by phx8.

I don’t consider it a best investment. At my age of 22, I can either pay 7.65% of my income into SS, or if I become an entrepreneur and start my own business, which I want to do, I would pay 15.3% of my income for the rest of my life; this includes Medicare, with absolutely no possibility of ever drawing a penny of it. At $100k a year, which comes to $15,300.00 a year for (at today’s retirement age of 67) 45 years equals $688,500.00. That’s if the rates and ages stay the same, and we all know they won’t, and that’s if I only make $100k a year. We are looking at almost $1 million given to the government with no hope of ever getting it back; but what if I invested this money? I’m sure I would make a much better return. I am a registered Democrat and as I told WR, I voted for Obama, but I have been paying a lot of attention to politics lately, something I never used to do, and I have come to the conclusions the Democratic Party does not have my best interest in mind.

There are billions of dollars in FICA taxes paid into the Federal coffers every year and that money is spent on who knows what? But for sure, it is not invested in a retirement fund for those paying into it. If FICA is so good, why don’t politicians pay into it? I want some answers, and I want a few Democrats on WB to tell me I’m worrying for nothing.

Posted by: Phil at July 23, 2011 10:18 AM
Comment #326280

phil


“I am a registered Democrat and as I told WR, I voted for Obama, but I have been paying a lot of attention to politics lately, something I never used to do, and I have come to the conclusions the Democratic Party does not have my best interest in mind.”


welcome to the real world phil. no one will ever look after your own best interest, and well being like yourself. never take any politician at face value, regardless of party affiliation. follow the money, and pay attention to how they vote on the issues. sometimes a little common sense goes a long way. also avoid allowing emotion to cloud your judgement. it’s easy to feel bad about someone elses lot in life and demand gov’t fix it. my advice is when you see a nobel cause put your hard earned money to work thru reputable private organizations. giving it to politicians to achieve your goals will seldom end well.

Posted by: dbs at July 23, 2011 10:34 AM
Comment #326283

Here’s an interesting take, one I agree with. Don’t see much of this idea here at watchblog.

Silent majority fed up with Washington

Written BTW by a Republican.

Posted by: womanmarine at July 23, 2011 11:12 AM
Comment #326285

Phil,

I would pay 15.3% of my income for the rest of my life;

Actually, you and I pay 15.3% regardless of whether we are self-employed or not. The employer’s contribution is a farce; it just comes out of the employees’ wages.


We are looking at almost $1 million given to the government with no hope of ever getting it back

Although earning $100,000/yr for 45 yrs is a bit of an exaggeration, your conclusion is on the right track. Actually, when we retire we’ll be able to collect somewhere between 2/3 or 3/4 of the benefits promised to us (assuming no changes are made for the next half century). So in the end you and I might end up losing around $100,000 to government spending (I’m using a $50,000/yr annual salary because that’s around the median in this country). To be perfectly honest, I’d even be much happier if our politicians were at least honest about this and explicitly told us that our payroll taxes are being used to fund today’s government instead of the current falsehoods.

If FICA is so good, why don’t politicians pay into it?
This is no longer true.

WM, thanks for the link.

Posted by: Warped Reality at July 23, 2011 11:48 AM
Comment #326287

The talk of insolvency is misleading. What will be exhausted is the trust fund.

But you know something? The solution to that problem is not only feasible, but very feasible: get more revenue.

Unfortunately, some in Government don’t believe budgets run on taxes. There are a great number of things that aren’t feasible nowadays because some people don’t believe in paying for government.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 23, 2011 12:30 PM
Comment #326288

WR

Your claims of $50k being the norm is questionable.

It has been a long time since I was that poverty stricken. Making $100k a year is quite possible by a whole lot of people. The example given that nearly a million given to the government to be entrusted for us is foolish.

phx8 said that SS is one of the best investments around. Hogwash. You don’t even approach a 2% return. I could give you a short list of a hundred places that would provide you with three times that amount and they are safe investments. The caveat is that nobody knows what the next 5 minutes is going to be. I personally started putting in the amount of money taken in FICA taxes into a special investment account back in the late 70’s. At that time the tax was just over 4%. I did that until I retired. The amount was at least 100 times greater in my account vs. my SS account the Administration sent me when I was preparing to retire. So I don’t know where phx8 gets his smokin’ stuff, but here in AZ they leagalized pot so you might get a better quality of stuff here.

Posted by: tom humes at July 23, 2011 1:52 PM
Comment #326296
Your claims of $50k being the norm is questionable.

It has been a long time since I was that poverty stricken. Making $100k a year is quite possible by a whole lot of people. The example given that nearly a million given to the government to be entrusted for us is foolish.

In 2009, median household income was $50,221. If you made $100k a year, then that’s quite an accomplishment. Either you worked very hard, worked very intelligently, had extremely good luck or had a politician for a friend.

Posted by: Warped Reality at July 23, 2011 3:05 PM
Comment #326298

“Unfortunately, some in Government don’t believe budgets run on taxes. There are a great number of things that aren’t feasible nowadays because some people don’t believe in paying for government.”

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 23, 2011 12:30 PM

Great observation Stephen, but did you notice; some in government don’t like budgets either: it has been well over 800 days since the democratic congress passed a budget.

Posted by: Conservativethinker at July 23, 2011 7:35 PM
Comment #326299

What is disappointing about this Social Security discussion is the absence of any discussion on the revenue side.

A problem 26 years from now is so terrible that it demands immediate attention and, from the rhetoric of politicians, it seems that only cuts in benefits can solve the problem. However, Robert Reich, a former Trustee of the Social Security Trust funds, points out that adhering to one assumption of the Reagan-Greenspan Commission’s fix would resolve a substantial if not all its future “insolvency” problem. He points out that the Greenspan Commission’s fix in 1983 assumed that the formula for the ceiling on payroll taxes would hit 90% of all wages covered by Social Security going forward. In fact, that assumption has proved to be erroneous. Currently, the payroll tax only hits 84% of total income. By simply adjusting the ceiling to achieve the 90% target of the Greenspan Commission much of the problem disappears. “If we want to go back to 90 percent, the ceiling on income subject to the Social Security tax would need to be raised to $180,000.”

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-only-social-security-reform-worth-considering-raising-the-ceiling-on-income-subject-to-it-2011-7#ixzz1SyUzJ1mN


Posted by: Rich at July 23, 2011 7:40 PM
Comment #326300

Warped Reality-
I think there was a study out that pointed out that many people who are worth millions, or who make six figure salaries regard themselves as middle class, even though they’re much rarer birds than they give themselves credit for.

People don’t judge themselves by other people’s thought, other people’s experience, they judge them by their own. If they were brought up middle class, they might not even really notice.

In my view, what we need to do, in terms of our attitude towards our education, is ditch the farm-or-factory on a high school education culture. Increasingly, even the good manual labor jobs have become more technical, more training intensive. This is the price we pay for being one of the most technologically advanced cultures on the face of the planet. Basic education is no longer good enough for those who want to remain out of poverty.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 23, 2011 7:47 PM
Comment #326301

Warped Reality, I’m not sure about part of the 15.3% being deducted from my earnings, but as I said, my goal is to have my own business. I was using $100K a year as an average. I realize those are high numbers now, but hopefully I will surpass those numbers. At any rate, it seems to be a lot of money taken from off the top of my earnings with virtually nothing in return.

Thanks for the link to politicians paying into SS. Will this allow them to double dip; drawing SS and government pensions?

dbs, I am fast learning that you are correct about depending upon one’s self. Since I have been paying more attention to politics, I am becoming more concerned that our politicians don’t have our best interest at heart.

Posted by: Phil at July 23, 2011 7:50 PM
Comment #326304

phil

“I’m not sure about part of the 15.3% being deducted from my earnings, but as I said, my goal is to have my own business.”

i’m not sure what warped was trying to say when he/she said 15.3% is deducted from your earnings. as an employee you pay half. all i can assume is that he/she meant the employer figures that into the wage offered. i was self employed for @ 16 years, and paid the full 15.3%. 1/2 is considered self employment tax and is deductable from your gross taxable earnings when you are talking about federal income tax. the other half which you would pay as an employee is not. depending on what you intend to do 100k is well within reach and much more if you work hard and do the right things. i did it myself and i was hardly the poster boy for what a self employed individual should be. if i could do it anyone can. good luck.

Posted by: dbs at July 23, 2011 8:31 PM
Comment #326308
all i can assume is that he/she meant the employer figures that into the wage offered

That’s what I was trying to say. If there was no employer portion of FICA, then employees should expect to get a 7.65% raise.

BTW, I’m male.

Thanks for the link to politicians paying into SS. Will this allow them to double dip; drawing SS and government pensions?

Read my link for the details. It depends on when the Congressman was first elected, whether he/she has any previous employment as a civil servant, and the choices she/he has made. However, I wouldn’t call it double dipping if a politician receives both SS benefits and a federal pension. I know plenty of elderly people who live off of both SS and a pension; if they have contributed to both plans, one thinks they should be eligible for benefits from both plans. Also, the pension available to Congressmen/Congresswomen is identical to the pension plan available to other federal employees.

Regarding the 100 grand annual income thing. I think it’d be best to keep things in terms of 2011 dollars because nearly all government & think tank documents use 2011 dollars (or whatever year the document happens to be published). Otherwise you might end up confusing inflation with real growth. I don’t know what skills/training you have or why you think your business will succeed, but I still wouldn’t get my hopes up too high.

BTW, I think it’s interesting to note that the commenters here appear to skew more affluent than the nation as a whole. My father also earns >100 grand a year. Less than 10% of Americans do that well. On the other hand, I guess it isn’t surprising that only more affluent Americans can afford to spend so much time debating politics over the internet (or subscribe to internet service at all).

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