Third Party & Independents Archives

December 06, 2004

President Bush Does Not Have a Plan!

Scott McClellan, President Bush’s spokesperson to the press, said today in his press briefing that the President does not have a plan for Social Security. Instead, McClellan said, the President has a set of principles. McClellan states the President is committed to not passing on the tax burden for Soc. Sec. in current form to future generations. Also, that the President is reaching out to Congress on both sides of the aisle to come up with a plan to continue Social Security.

One thing McClellan said is indisputable. The President does not have a plan for Social Security. The majority of Americans do not want Social Security to fail as a safety net for our elderly or for themselves when they retire, after society has no further use for them. The President presents the image of being committed to saving Social Security so America does not discard its elderly to the alleys and gutters of society. But, is the image an illusion?

The current system comes with something all alternatives lack, a full faith and credit guarantee backed by the United States Government that the social security checks will arrive in the mail to those who paid into the system. This is clearly one aspect of Social Security that the President is committed to doing away with. The President wants to replace a guaranteed retirement supplement with a Private Savings Account (PSA) model that will not provide any guarantee for minimal living standards tied to cost of living at the time of retirement.

As for not passing the tax burden on to future generations, that is a bold faced lie to the American people. The PSA will be funded by a percentage of paycheck deductions now coming out of funding for Social Security. This means less revenue taken in by the government to fund Social Security, plain and simple. If Social Security continues, the costs of it will continue to be passed on to future generations as it has in the past. The PSA deductions will have to be replaced by general tax revenues.

Since we are currently running deficits and a huge national debt, that means the Transition Costs of keeping Soc. Sec. funded minus the Private Savings Account revenues, will be added to the deficits and national debt. The deficits and national debt are simply a way of passing the cost of spending now on to future generations. The President's statement that he wants to avoid passing the Social Security tax burden to future generations is just a plain flat out lie. There is no way to save Soc. Sec. without passing its deficit period's costs to future generations. Which begs the question, is the President really committed to saving it, or destroying it?

Beware! Scott McClellan is stating that the Cost of the Transition from Social Security deductions to PSA deductions while keeping Social Security funded, is not a cost, but a Savings! Folks, George Orwell would be proud of the Whitehouse's DoubleSpeak and NewSpeak designed entirely to deceive. The President's spokesperson says if we do nothing it will cost more, therefore, the transition costs are not costs at all, but a savings.

Either the President intends to 1) start cutting Social Security benefits for current recipients in order to allow the working generation to pull money out of Soc. Sec. and redirect it into the Private Savings Accounts or, 2) the President intends to keep current recipients benefits the same which will pass the transition costs to the deficit and national debt to be paid for by future tax payers, or, 3) the President intends to under fund Social Security until the day arrives, (hastened by the PSA's) when there is insufficient federal revenues to sustain Soc. Sec, at which time the program simply ends. If it ends, those with PSA's will have some money for retirement, but, less than Soc. Sec. now provides, and those millions upon millions without PSA's will simply not have a Soc. Sec. plan to keep them from bankruptcy, and cardboard boxes in alleys.

Think of rolling hills as far as one can see. That is Social Security funding. Over the decades the program has run deficits, then surpluses, then deficits and now surpluses, and in another decade or two, another deficit period. The only problem with Soc. Sec. funding is that Congress has so deepened our national debt through deficit spending, that there will be no revenue surpluses to draw from to carry us through the valley of the next deficit period to the next hilltop of surpluses again.

What is wrong with Soc. Sec. is the Congress and the people who continue to reelect these fiscal idiots with no regard for spending discipline and even less for the intelligence of the American people. You the voters who voted to reelect Congress persons reelected this problem, now the President, in essence is correctly saying live with your decision. The President however, really can't get off the hook that easily, however, because of the veto pen.

If the President was sincerely committed to saving Social Security, he would veto every dime of pork spending, wasteful spending, and fraudulent spending by the Congress, thus helping to insure deficits and debt do not derail the Social Security system. But, that concept is abhorrent to the President, because, he clearly believes those who can afford to retire on their own should, and those who can't, well, that is their own fault and the wealthy should not have to pick up the burden of old, useless, retired people who don't work anymore. Let them eat cat food and go without medications or housing, that will be good for America by getting rid of them that much sooner. These may not be the thoughts that Bush dreams about at night, but, they could well be the consequences of his Presidency.

Posted by David R. Remer at December 6, 2004 04:42 PM
Comments
Comment #37908

Comment deleted: Topic is not Iraq or free medical care in Iraq.

Posted by: AmigaPhil at December 6, 2004 06:10 PM
Comment #37915

David,
“What is wrong with Soc. Sec. is the Congress and the people who continue to reelect these fiscal idiots with no regard for spending discipline and even less for the intelligence of the American people…. If the President was sincerely committed to saving Social Security, he would veto every dime of pork spending, wasteful spending, and fraudulent spending by the Congress, thus helping to insure deficits and debt do not derail the Social Security system.”

Can’t argue with that!

You have quite a lot to say about a plan that doesn’t exist… ;)

Posted by: TheTraveler at December 6, 2004 06:59 PM
Comment #37917

Here’s a plan for Social Security.
Start paying back some of what was stolen from it since 1939.
Instead of spending on pork-barrel, put it into
the Social Security fund.
Then pass a law that prevents the government
from plundering it again. Each year, the surplus
could grow by a about $100 billion.

But it will never happen.
Just based on Congress’ track-record.
They continue the pork-barrel spending and waste,
and voting themselves raises.

Actually, did you know that Congress passed a
measure that made their raises automatic.
Now, they would have to all take a vote to
prevent the raise. Pretty nice, eh ?
Wish I could find a job with automatic raises.
But, that’s the greedy trend in D.C.
And voters keep votin’ for scum like Ted Kennedy
as long as he keeps bringin’ home the pork.
Nevermind that the people of some states
(per capita) get more than people of other states. Because it’s all about wealth redistribution.
It’s legal now.
It’s institutionalized.
It’s commonplace now.
The law has finally been perverted to do
the very thing it is supposed to prevent.

Most people don’t mind reasonable taxes
to help the truly needy and provide for a
national defense, and provide for certain
federal systems, and neither do I.

But, it’s way beyond that now.
Government believes it knows better than you
what to do with your money.
Like create a flu-shot shortage, plunder
Social Security, and vote themselves raises
(automatically).

So, you say Bush doesn’t have a plan ?

Well, he DOES have a plan actually.
He will only give lip service to solving the
problems with Social Security.
No politician has the guts to tackle S.S.
Bush just said that to get re-elected.

Social Security probably wouldn’t be a problem
if government wasn’t spending $1 billion per
day in interest on the National Debt.
But that’s just one of a thousand other ways that
Congress is irresponsible.

There is one simple thing voters could do
to fix the problem, but it seems unlikely they
ever will, because they’re too fond of the
petty partisan squabbling and whining.

Some people say that we should not loose our
experienced politicians. Is government supposed
to be that complicated ? No. If it is
complicated, guess who made it that way?
It seems politicians don’t want voters to see
everything that’s going on. For example, how
many people know that Congress made their raises
automatic ? They did that because every time
their raises came to the floor, lots of people
said they didn’t deserve it. So, Congress did
what they do best, and fixed that problem.
From now own, raises are automatic.

How revealing.

So, perhaps it’s a mistake to expect too much
from Congress. That is, anything constructive.
But when it comes to voting themselves a raise,
they’re all over that. You betcha !

Posted by: Daniel at December 6, 2004 07:27 PM
Comment #37918

TheTraveler said: “You have quite a lot to say about a plan that doesn’t exist… ;)”

When I took economics, the one of the first lessons of the semester was on opportunity cost. For every decision that is made, one has precluded other choices. If one fails to assess the opportunities and costs of what one didn’t choose against what one did choose, one is likely not to have chosen UNwisely.

Ok, so, Not planning, but simply moving forward with some principles, has an opportunity cost. The opportunity cost of not saving and guaranteeing a reasonable quality of life for retirees will have a very high cost; certainly higher than not saving SS or not replacing it with a comparably guaranteed quality of life for retirees. But, the cost will not be incurred until Bush is long out of office, so Americans should be looking out for their own interests when Bush and Congress speak on this issue. They will not be paying the cost of their decisions, non-wealthy people will.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 6, 2004 07:52 PM
Comment #37923

A couple of important things to remember about Social Security (or any big government program)

1. The government canít save money like individuals. There is no lock box. There is nothing that the USG can invest in except its own obligations. So you canít save up to use the money later.
2. If the government actually paid off the national debt, it would probably cause economic collapse. So much of what we do depends on a national debt.
3. There is no chance of paying off the debt, anyway. The Congress will use any surplus. The spending began as soon as there was ďspareĒ money. The debt can only be managed. Right now, it is a relatively low percentage of GDP and is manageable.
4. Social Security will always be funded by current payments. At some point there will be too few workers to support retirees. No matter what we pretend to save today. Remember, no lock box.
5. The only way to save the system is to make it robust enough to survive a smaller worker-retiree ratio. This would include things like getting some people to save and invest more on their own and raising the retirement age.
6. None of us should really object to raising the retirement age. Life expectancies have risen, as has the health of older people. You donít have to change anything for current recipients or those near retirement, but those 20 years out could certainly have time to adapt.
7. The full faith and credit of the U.S. only means something if the U.S. can actually pay.

Posted by: jack at December 6, 2004 08:59 PM
Comment #37927

Jack,
That’s why it’s probably a good idea to phase out
Social Security. What good is it?
Theoretically, it could be protected (as is was
originally in 1936).

But you are right. There’s no reason to ever
expect Congress to do anything but keep spending.

And how does $8 trillion in National Debt and
paying $1 billion per day in interest make
sense? Why would paying off the debt cause economic collapse? Lots of states and other countries have much lower debt or balanced budgets. $8 trillion is about 4.5 times more than
the total annual revenues of about $1.8 trillion.

That’s like me making $50K per year and going
out an buying a $222 house. How many people
would qualify for a loan that size? And if they
did, what’s the likelihood they could handle the
payments, insurance, and property taxes?
And if a person has children, it’s even less
likely that person can handle the debt.
It would take 50+ years to pay down the loan.

But the government has some mandatory spending
in that $1.8 trillion of annual revenues.

It just seems very wasteful to pay $1 billion
per day ($365 billion per year) for interest
ONLY. It’s wasteful. Especially, when it
keeps increasing and is projected to be $10
trillion in 2009.
And, the debt is restricting too.

What it really amounts to is the government
wants to control everything and be responsible
for nothing. It’s like a virus. It spreads from
one program to another, from one Congress person
to the next. And when they have totally screwed
up that thing, they move onto the next thing to
totally screw up. And, the government has institutionalized legal plunder
and wealth redistribution.

Can a government that wants to control everything, be responsible for nothing,
and make it’s citizens dependent on it,
really be good at anything ?

Now, there is one interesting thing about all of
that debt. China and Japan and other countries
have invested in that debt. What happens to them
if they don’t collect on those loans?

Also, increasing the retirement age really stinks.
Once again, the government forces your money
from you and
then changes the rules as they go.
But, since S.S. has been so mismanaged and
plundered, not only will they probably raise the
retirement age, they’ll probably reduce the
benefits also (drastically). 77 million baby
boomers are in for a rude awakening.
Social Security is really a huge ponzi scheme.

I wish they’d get mad enough to revolt.
But they won’t. They’ll take it.
Because we’re all sheep, and the pain level
and disaffection must become much more severe
before the we will ever do anything.
So, I guess we deserve it.
I guess there’s no reason to believe
history will not repeat itself.

Posted by: Daniel at December 6, 2004 10:01 PM
Comment #37934

David, that’s an excellent article and you’re right to point out that President Bush hasn’t adopted a plan.

Partial privatization alone is an ideological red herring since it won’t guarantee the solvency of Social Security (if necessary) forty years from now.

If the president is going to truly act as he says, based on the conservative’s scary predictions of Social Security’s imminent demise, he’ll need to also either raise taxes or cut benefits - both of which are political hot potatos.

I suspect that’s why he’s not committing to a real plan.

It’s better for him to just make dire predictions of the solvency of the program, and use the fear to mislead Americans into supporting his partial privatization ideological non-solution.

Posted by: American Pundit at December 6, 2004 11:06 PM
Comment #37935

Jack,

“If the government actually paid off the national debt, it would probably cause economic collapse. So much of what we do depends on a national debt.”

Not that I have to ask, since it’ll never get paid off, but what in the world depends on a national debt?

Posted by: TheTraveler at December 6, 2004 11:33 PM
Comment #37951

David,
so what you’re saying is that the Presidents plan is to pass the burden for Social Security on to future generations.:)

Posted by: Rocky at December 7, 2004 03:29 AM
Comment #37952

Rocky, not really, but, maybe, kind-a-sorta! If the President has a plan, he is not saying what it is. If he doesn’t have a plan, well, his options are limited and most of them include passing the costs on to future generations while either saving Soc. Sec. or bankrupting it. That is all I am saying, but, maybe not, but kind-a-sorta, yeah! :-)>

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 7, 2004 04:16 AM
Comment #37954

Jack (and Traveler),

The only thing I’m aware of that depends on debt is the existence of U.S. Treasury Bills. These are the benchmark for other interest rates and are a ‘safety’ for investors as the most dependable bond on the market.

Do we need some debt? Probably. Do we need this much debt? Definitely not. If we paid off 80% of our debt - and freed up about 8% of the budget for better things than interest - we would be in a much stronger position to mitigate economic shocks than we are now and we would not have a negative long-term impact on the economy.

It is important to note, however, that there is no way to pay down the debt without dampening the economy. What needs to happen is steady, slow surpluses during good times, and smaller deficits during bad times. Our parents built up a debt during the ’70s and ’80s (and now us in the 00’s), and we have to pay that debt or pass it on to our children: somebody has got to pay the piper.

Posted by: Chops at December 7, 2004 09:03 AM
Comment #37980

David,
Let’s talk about privatization for a moment.

In my mind that means that we are going to give S.S. over to a “private” company to oversee. Certinly that “private” company would want to be paid for it’s time and effort, thus decresing the potential pool, and exposing it to possibly greedy fingers.

Do I have this right so far?

Posted by: Rocky at December 7, 2004 02:21 PM
Comment #37999

“In my mind that means that we are going to give S.S. over to a “private” company”

From what Iíve heard, I think the President wants to invest only part of the SS money in private accounts. The Government would still be in control. I don’t know a lot of the details, though. I don’t know if the president does, either.

Government in control? I can’t believe I just wrote that!

Posted by: TheTraveler at December 7, 2004 04:53 PM
Comment #38003

Chops, the great harm of national debt is the incumbent need to collect taxes from taxpayers for the interest. Those interest paying tax dollars do not buy the American tax payer one cent of government goods or services. The biggest waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars today is the interest on our 7.5 (soon to be 8) Trillion dollar national debt. It is a waste of of money that could have been used for consumption of goods or services or capital investments.

Now, members of the GOP are looking to privatize all of Soc. Sec. as a means of reaping a 10 Trillion dollar pool of capital investment money with which the corporations can take risks with to grow their overseas markets.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 7, 2004 05:24 PM
Comment #38004

David and Traveler,
It gives me pause that the President would want to “invest” even a portion of S.S.
As we have seen in the past, investments have the habit of going the way of the Dodo.
Oh, and BTW is the government going to “guarantee” the investments?
This just gets stranger and stranger.

Posted by: Rocky at December 7, 2004 05:25 PM
Comment #38011

The fact is, there are many solutions to
this Social Security problem.

That is, until you throw Congress into the mix.

Then, you might as well kiss you a$$ good bye.
_____________

I’m very suspicious of this investing S.S.
For one thing, Congress has a habit of
complicating things so that they are easier to abuse.
That’s what I would watch out for.

Especially, when there are much simpler solutions.
For one thing, if Congress just cut the pork & waste and start now putting
(say $100 billion per year) into the
S.S. along with all S.S. revenues, and don’t
plunder those funds, that would produce some
surpluses in S.S., and would survive the
approaching 77 million baby boomers that
are about to start drawing benefits.

There’s really plenty of money.
Congress and spending is the problem.

Posted by: Daniel at December 7, 2004 06:11 PM
Comment #38024

I think what President Bush wants is for people to have the option to invest part of the money they pay into SS. They invest some of it if they want to, and the government treats the rest the way it does now.

I really donít see what good that does one way of the other. It doesnít help pay for Social Security.
Either keep it the way it is (while funding it properly and not spending the money), or get rid of it all together (see my posts on the other two sites) and let people have complete control over their money.

Posted by: TheTraveler at December 7, 2004 11:06 PM
Comment #38026

Traveler, I agree completely. Though I favor the first opotion. :)

Posted by: American Pundit at December 7, 2004 11:19 PM
Comment #38030

TheTraveler, Two problems with privatizing. First, the funds would not be guaranteed under proposals I have read to date, and with alarming growing national debt, that could be a problem for in the future.

Second, is that while PSA’s may reap an increased rate of return, it will be partly offset by management fees of 1 to 1.5%. SS currently yields on average about 2%. If the PSA’s earn 5%, subtract 1.5% management fees and you are down to 3.5% earnings with no guarantee against market losses. Add in the costs of individuals not familiar with investment instruments paying for investment advisories, and you cut into the earnings just a small tad more.

At 54, I would be happy to sacrifice the extra PSA earnings of 1 to 2% in exchange for the no risk guarantee by the US Government that my checks will be there.

Bottom line is, any program to offer up PSA’s for SS are going to have to be accompanied by the option to stay in the current system. And 10’s if not a hundred million of Americans are going to elect to remain in the current system. That means the government will still have to maintain the benefits for millions of Americans while radically reducing the revenues paid into the current system by those millions electing PSA’s.

The net result is going to be the poor and lesser educated will go for the current system, and the wealthy and better educated will go for the PSA’s. Ultimately, that leads to the wealthier getting wealthier and the current Soc. Sec. system going bankrupt for the poorer and less educated millions of American workers. It really is a proprosal designed to appeal to true Republican values of a 2 caste American system, just like the Republican Immigration policies designed to keep cheap labor readily available to drive down earnings and benefits for non-professional workers.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 8, 2004 04:27 AM
Comment #38041

And, what are the operating loses of governments
(mis)management of Social Security ?

I’d venture to say that operating costs of S.S.
(i.e. to pay those that mismanage S.S.) costs
as much as 15% to 20% of the total revenues
collected for S.S. That’s a lousy investment.

When reality and Congress’ track-record for
greed and mismanagement are factored into it,
it would be best to phase out S.S. and all other
entitlement programs.

But, for anyone who is concerned that would
ever happen….do NOT worry. That will NEVER
happen because government will never relinquish
the reins of power of any such a huge money
stream. Huge, fuzzy, easily plundered entitlement
systems such as S.S. is what Congress lives for.
What good is a job in Congress if there’s nothing to plunder ?
And how else is Congress going to fund their cu$hy
mult-million dollar pensions and fund pork (e.g. $57000 gold embossed
playing cards for AirForce2), while some troops go without
body armor and the truly needy go without) ?

The problem with S.S. could VERY easily,
and VERY simply be solved. There’s plenty of money revenues.

Lots of problems with the U.S. could VERY easily,
and VERY simply be solved.

Except for one thing standing in the way
of all progress. Congress (a.k.a. Master-Parasites).

TOO MUCH focus and energy is wasted
trying to fix what Congress screws up,
when the people should focus their energy on the perpetrators (Congress).

Some people in society produce.
They design, build, create, produce, and contribute to society
(such as engineers, scientists, chemists, biologists, doctors, nurses,
firefighters, law enforcement, teachers, repair persons, etc.).

And then there are people who feed off of the producers.
They are parasites. They cleverly find ways to live off the
hard work of others. Some professions and groups
attract parasites more than others, but they can be found
everywhere (especially in Congress).
Examples are some (not all) lawyers (such as personal injury lawyers that
quickly get rich from the chaos, pain, and misfortune of others; and are in
league with corrupt government), some judges (who were lawyers before they
became judges), some politicians that never do anything (and many were
lawyers before they became politicians), some clergy (e.g. pedophiles and
hypocrites, etc.), some journalists (e.g. like those that fabricate facts), some
tenured professors (e.g. that do next to nothing), some CEOs (e.g. stealing from
investors), some government employees (e.g. that do next to nothing, or unfairly
harass citizens, such as the IRS), some people of some minorities (e.g. that
disguise ENVY as a demand for EQUALITY), etc.

Many politicians not only produce NO net benefit to society,
but they are detrimental to the democratic process and society.

Many politicians’ major product is diarrhea of the mouth,
clever over-complication of everything (to make it easier to abuse),
clouding the issues, obscuring the facts, making new (unnecessary)
laws that duplicate hundreds of existing laws, pitting people and
parties against each other (with much merriment), perpetuating
petty partisan politics, and running around masquerading as hard
working servants of the public.

They are thieves and they have perverted to do the very thing it
was supposed to prevent (theft, and on a massive scale),

How many governments all through history have had this same problem ?
What was the final outcome ? History does not warrant optimism.

But, it varies. The outcome is sometimes revolution,
sometimes civil war, sometimes oppression
devolving to dictatorships, sometimes the nation
grew weak and is conquered by their enemies.

While reform is much talked about, and it is
the one thing that would ensure a nation’s longevity,
peaceful permanent reform never occurs.

Similarly, plunder (due to greed rooted in laziness)
is the opposite of Work (zeal, enthusiasm), which is painful.
Work is painful, so many politicians choose plunder.
When does the plunder end ? Only when it is more painful than work.
And, even if the plunder ends, it is only temporary, until the
next revolution, civil war, dictatorship, etc.

While we all would prefer peaceful reform (e.g. unite to vote out
all incumbents every election, until things improve, only vote on
non D and R candidates, prosecute pork spending (theft)),
that requires work (which is painful), and that won’t ever happen.

The irony is the work to remedy the deterioration of society
is far less painful than the pain that will result from revolution,
civil war, dictatorship, etc.

But, despite our knowledge of history, it is a human tendency
that humans may never overcome before it’s too late.

So, of those probable choices, I am hoping for revolution.

Posted by: Daniel at December 8, 2004 10:24 AM
Comment #38042

Some troops have no armor, the
truly needy go without, and Social Security
is underfunded ?

In a time of mounting deficits, surely government would restrain frivolous expenditures of taxpayer dollars?

Nope. And a government grant that pays women $75 to watch pornographic videos is proof.

Yes, that’s right, the U.S. government is paying 180 lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual women to watch “erotic video clips of lesbian, gay or heterosexual interactions” to assess their arousal response to pornography. The study, being conducted at Northwestern University, involves female students viewing porn clips with a probe inserted into their genitalia to record sexual arousal.

Posted by: Daniel at December 8, 2004 10:35 AM
Comment #38059

Daniel, you went off the deep end there a bit on the plundering of SS by government. If you haven’t noticed, government officials are salaried or hourly workers. No one gets a percentage of SS revenues. There is the cost of printing and sending the checks and all those administrative salaries who track who is eligible, who is not, then the capital like computers and software. No way it equals 15 or 20% of SS revenues. I will check into it though.

As for the outrageous projects, I totally agree.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 8, 2004 04:15 PM
Comment #38069

Hmmmm. Maybe. That’s why I “ventured” to guess.
It would not surprise me if it were that high.
I think the government should tell us (if they even know). I ran some searches but didn’t
find any numbers on the S.S. administration cost.

I wonder what the IRS administration costs ?
There are a lot of people at the IRS.

How much would be saved there if we went to a flat tax or national sales tax ?
What ever it is, it will go to buy more pork.

Posted by: Daniel at December 8, 2004 05:42 PM
Comment #38070

Daniel, I found a figure on the SS. Admin site for the 2003 Budget, kind of. It states the Admin costs are less than 2% of outlays. Assuming less than means slightly less than, let’s set it at 1.8% of outlays. 2003 outlays were estimated at 62 Billion 709 million. That would put the Admin costs in the neighborhood of 1.25 billion dollars. Since the revenues exceed outlays currently, the percentage of Admin costs compared to revenues would be between 1.6 to 1.7 percent, rough ballpark.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 8, 2004 06:20 PM
Comment #38080

Thanks.
OK. I was off a bit (only about a factor of 10).
: )

Aren’t outlays about $620 billion in 2003 ?
(you stated $62.709 billion above).
Did you mean $620,709,000,000 for ?

That would put administrative costs at
(1.75%)*(620E+9) = $10.85 billion
That’s seems like a lot for writing checks
and maintaining a database of payors and payees.
I’ll bet they could outsource that for 1/10th the cost.

Posted by: Daniel at December 8, 2004 08:43 PM
Comment #38094

Daniel, sorry, I was looking at another chart, and quoted the wrong number. The SSA site quotes the 2003 estimated outlays as 511 Billion, 961 million. About 512 billion. Thanks for the correction. Yes, that would put Admin costs at or slightly less than 9 billion 216 million.

That does sound like a figure that could be reduced by about a couple billion, but, that is just a guess. I keep forgetting that there are brick and mortar SSA offices to maintain around the nation. Those surely account for a lot of the admin costs. But, also, represents an area ripe for consolidation and savings given the internet era.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 8, 2004 10:54 PM
Comment #38141

Bush’s new PRIVITIZATION (a.k.a. PIRATIZATION) plan with Social Security investing and
additional borrowing of $2 trillion dollars
sounds very suspicious to me. A hoax perhaps ?

Why? Because it’s getting very complicated
and very expensive. Over-complication is a
common tactic of politicians to create more
funds to plunder. I’ll bet Congress finds a
way to plunder these funds too !. But, then, that’s only based
on something as flimsy as Congress’ track-record.

And, I’m always against more taxes, because
Congress just spends more and borrows more.
The government is taxing plenty (about $1.75 trillion dollars per year including S.S. taxes).
If U.S. GDP is about $11 trillion, that 16% .
I am shocked and amazed when I hear people say “we need more taxes”. And with a National
Debt approaching $8 trillion, it’s about to
exceed GDP.

Posted by: Daniel at December 9, 2004 02:06 PM