Thursday, November 15, 2012

Generation X: Punk'd

Here's the conclusion to an otherwise good editorial in the WashPost: "Entitlement reform must be on the table".
At his news conference Wednesday, President Obama called for “a serious look at how we reform our entitlements,” advocated “compromise” and pronounced himself “ready and willing to make big commitments” on debt reduction. Sounds like a man who understands what is needed.
Sweet Fancy Moses.  Really, WashPost?  Did he also say "we must protect our sacred promise" or "the time for action is now" or "we must overcome our differences"?  Because if empty platitudes are the hallmark of understanding, then Obama's got a surplus.  Also, dear editors, name a single entitlement reform that Obama has offered in four years at the helm.  Just one.  Oh, but the "understanding".  That wisdom will be of great comfort for the baby busters when the Trust Funds dry up and benefits are automatically cut.

Extra - Ace: "Media distressed to learn that Democrats are quite serious about their shameful pandering on entitlements."  Funny how that works.  Pre-election: insouciance.  Post-election: concern-trolling.


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Ida May Fuller said...

We must cut Social Security benefits now, or else they will be automatically cut in the future!

Because if empty platitudes are the hallmark of understanding, then Obama's got a surplus.

Remember when we had to "reform" and "modernize" Social Security to "build a nest egg for your future" by making "safe, sound investments" while "honoring our commitment to our seniors" because "the money is yours" and "the government can never take that away"? Truly, we could all have been "part owners in the American dream," because "there's a better way."

Annoyingly, I lapsed into a coma in the summer of 2007 and only just woke up 5 minutes ago, so I've missed the news. How would that full, non-pandering, non-platitudinous plan have worked out, nest egg-wise?

Eric said...

Well, good news Ida May: Bush managed to pass reform so Americans can divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal accounts. And although the value of the accounts have dropped by about 10% (IF you put it into the stock market) that money cannot be arbitrarily withheld by a bankrupt federal government and the balance can be passed on to family members.

So rejoice since your money has been put into bonds and Treasury bills and has earned a small but steady gain.

You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

Average return rate on T-bills, 2011: 0.03%
In 2010: 0.13%
In 2009: 0.14%

"Small but steady": Woo hoo, Grandma's getting a Maserati!

Despite the horrible return (much less than inflation), the Financial Times reports that U.S. bond dealers and institutional investors are asking the U.S. Treasury to allow debt sales at negative rates of interest. Translation: the U.S Treasury could offer a bill at a negative rate of 0.10%. If an investor buys this bill for $100, they would get back $99.90 (on an annualized basis).

In other words, the demand for T-bills is now so strong that investors are willing to pay the government for the right to hold their money.

Something to consider while saying that America's economy is "unsustainable." Just because we also offer ouzo and gyros doesn't make us Greece.

Eric said...

Wow, do you know what's worse than a 0.1% return on investment? "Less than Zero" - the 80's movie with Andrew McCarthy. And this:

"But it is now official: Social Security is a lousy investment for the average worker. People retiring today will be among the first generation of workers to pay more in Social Security taxes than they receive in benefits over the course of their lives, according to a new analysis by the Associated Press."