Thursday, February 04, 2010

I warned ya - Hot Air: "Social Security tipping over into the red."


Anonymous said...

Wow. That Hot Air page is a spider's nest of paranoia and misassumptions. Are they all that bad?

Ed Morrissey:
"George Bush and the GOP saw this coming, while Democrats like Orszag insisted that we had nothing to worry about."

Yeah, the Dems are such stupidheads. Why couldn't they be more like the crusading budget-minded GOP, which ended the practice of allowing the Treasury to issue "IOUs" to Social Security when they held the majority? Now THAT was seriousness and principle in action.

From the first Hot Air commenter:
"Isn’t this what Obama’s death panels were trying to address? Only one way to reduce costs in those last few years, isn’t there?"

Exactly. It's because Obama is a secret Kenyan citizen without papers. Those people don't value life the way we do. And their money is like rocks and sticks or something.

Second commenter:
"Correct me if I am wrong:):) (...) Now work for the goverment you do not pay into SS (taxpayer dollars pays the wages)... SS was meant to pay a small income to those who paid into it, now when them DEMS made SS part of the general fund they use it to pay anything they want, since all this admin. is doing is hiring GOV.workers less is being paid into SS."

The commenter's first sentence was their last good impulse. The Social Security trust fund is separate from the general budget. The premise that government workers do not pay into Social Security is incorrect. The premise that "we" pay their SocSec share so they can get a free ride is foolish. In fact, certain government employees can lose their Social Security benefits despite having paid into SSI if their pensions are too high.

Third commenter:
"Yep, sure would have been nice to have an extra 40 million workers in this country to support the old folks. Oh that’s right, they all got their brains sucked out in utero…"

Some people shouldn't talk about brainlessness.

Later commenter:
"So has anyone answered how what Bernie Madoff did is any different from SocSec, besides having the power of government behind the latter?"

Obviously, there is no difference between Madoff and Social Security. Not legally, morally, financially, historically, or any other -lly. None. Zero. Shrewd call.

Later commenter:
"SS has been worse than a Ponzi scheme since early 60’s. It has been a giant fraud perpetuated on those paying in. SCOTUS ruled no one was entitled to a single payment from the system and that the government could use the money any way it pleased. The idea that a trust fund exists is the biggest political fraud of the last 50 years."

The commenter is presumably referring to Flemming v. Nestor (1960), which specifically applies to taxpaying persons who have since been deported from the United States.. That isn't a significant constituency of SocSec payers. Although when they start rounding up the teabaggers for Dear Leader's reeducation camps, it'll be a whole new ballgame.

Vermont Woodchuck said...

Anonymous, you have it right!
So would you give us YOUR explanation of why Soc Sec IS in the hole it is in?

Eric said...

Are you serious? I have to vouch for the commenters on another blog?

Hey, man, I don't complain about your neighbors who don't mow their lawn.

Anonymous said...

"Are you serious? I have to vouch for the commenters on another blog?"

Hey, those are your fellow conservatives you're throwing under the bus. Not nice! They're your dawgs, dawg, and the fleas come with the package. Besides, the Ed Morrissey article up top is the red meat that provoked the rockheads' comments. Morrissey's analysis builds to the same old "Republicans saw the Social Security crisis coming and tried very very hard to fix it, but the Democrats stopped them" song.

Just for fun, let's pretend that the premise isn't phony. In which case, how about the fact that the Republicans wanted to transfer Social Security to the epicenter of the gigantic (and imminent) financial crisis that THEY didn't see coming? That kinda screws up the "wise GOP, feckless Dems" narrative.

"Anonymous, you have it right! So would you give us YOUR explanation of why Soc Sec IS in the hole it is in?"

Demographics, political self-preservation masquerading as principle, and decades of using Social Security as an easy budget patch. None of which has been the exclusive work of one party.

Eric said...

Anon - for comparison, check out the comments for any given Daily Kos post. Talk about fever swamp.

Second, I agree that both parties have exacerbated the SS issue. But look at the post (below) where a desperate Chris Van Hollen tries to use the bludgeon against the GOP just ONE MORE TIME. This is an encore performance of circa 2006 when Dubya got a standing ovation of Democrats cheering on the bankruptcy of the system.

Finally, why is the argument that we would have invested into a stock market crash always valid but the opposite is never true. Over a period of decades, ANY investment in a mixed investment of stocks & bonds is going to return more than the government which - at this writing - is negative for everybody under the age of 40.


Anonymous said...

That's the GOP, always sincere about the historic wisdom of long-range investment planning.

In which case, perhaps they shouldn't be doing things like marvelling about the Dow index going down in the immediate wake of an Obama speech (particularly when it doesn't). Or adopting an intense horror of deficit spending, but only at the precise moment that Bush's helicopter wheels rose off the ground. Or passing an essentially unfunded prescription drug plan, while complaining that the Democrats exploit Grandma for political gain. The messenger does matter, a little.

Then there's the Republicans' apolitical desire to invest Social Security funds into the stock market. Which might be easier to swallow as sound fiscal policy, if we didn't also see arrangements like Rep. John Boehner meeting with the CEO of JP Morgan, offering to trade deregulation for quick cash.

Vermont Woodchuck said...

Ecic, no you don't, Anon ran off about how SS and others. So I ask what he thought was the cause of it getting a toe tag.