Friday, March 18, 2011

Krauthammer on the Social Security "Trust Fund"

Apparently Obama's budget cheif too issue with Krauthammer's assertion that the lockbox is empty.

So he had to go back to the bat boy and get another Clue Bat out to wield at the plate of truth.


Cylarz said...

A lot of sharp people commenting on the CK article.

A lot of others commenting, who aren't nearly as sharp as they think they are.

A handful who apparently are on crack.

I think my favorite poster there is the one who kept insisting that SS payments are exactly like putting money on deposit at a privately-owned bank.

Right...because the government immediately spending the money it takes from you (and which you may or may not get back), vs a bank issuing you a promissory note you can redeem at any time or on a certain fixed EXACTLY the same. An involuntary deduction from your paycheck to fund seniors' retirement benefits is EXACTLY the same as a deposit you voluntarily make and which is guaranteed to be available in cash when you need it. What an idiot....

Two or three people tried to straighten that guy out and he persisted. I haven't seen such hardheadedness in some time.

Some of the other comments were even worse. I especially liked the ones who liken the SS the gov't going into debt to finance a couple of wars aimed at removing madmen from power and punishing a gaggle of terrorist thugs who slaughtered thousands of our people.

A lot of them wrote some freakin' book-length comment which I wasn't going to read anyway.

The only poster I truly agreed with was the one who said the program needs to be phased-out. I've thought for some time now that the best solution would be to:

- abolish the FICA deduction (this gets rid of the "I want my money back" mentality)

- tally up what everyone else has paid into the system and cut him a check, adjusted for inflation (paid from the general gov't fund)

- bar additional individuals from starting to collect SS benefits -

- fund existing beneficiaries from the general fund (the politicians had no trouble spending the surplus all those years; time to pay it back)

- tell anyone who didn't pay into the system that he is out of luck

- elect a president who's willing to serve only one term...because he's willing to tell the American people what they don't want hear, namely: that the party is over, we are broke and it's time to can the BS with regard to entitlement programs

Thanks for sharing, Philmon. I don't always agree with CK but his perspective is always interesting.

philmon said...

CK and I probably agree ... oh... 90% of the time. I can't say that about too many people.

There's no doubt the guy's mind is sharp. When he's on your side on an issue, he's a great ally to have. He has a way of cutting to the chase, often with a subtle wry smile hiding in the undercurrent.

jeffmon said...

Ok, it's time to roll out the Jeffmon Social Security Reform Plan.

Starting in 2018, raise the Social Security payout age by one year every three years. Keep collecting OSADI from payroll checks. This ensures that there's no outcry about "takin' away grandma's check". People who are close to the Social Security payout age have time to plan and adjust their retirement plans. People can still retire whenever they want, just no Social Security payout until you reach the new JSSRP payout age.

So, a guy who is 45 years old today won't be able to collect a check from Uncle Sam at 65, he will have to wait until he is 72. But he will have 27 years to prepare for that change. I'll wager a lot of 45 year-olds don't plan five years ahead anyway, so 27 years should be plenty. In 2050, the Social Security payout age will be 76. In 2100 it will be 93. As fewer people collect, annually reduce OSADI withholding to match expected annual payout. Eventually there will be no Social Security checks. We didn't get into this mess overnight, and it will take a while to get out.

Social Security has always been unconstitutional anyway.

philmon said...

Sounds like a reasonable plan to me.

nightflyblog said...

Regarding paying back everything everyone put into it and killing Soc Sec outright - I'd actually be willing to NOT adjust that for inflation, and just take X amount of dollars, even depreciated. What's more, I'd be willing to not get a dime back. It would be unjust, but I wasn't ever going to see dime one of it anyway. This would make it official. I would still come out way ahead because I would no longer be losing those FICA deductions. My employers would come out ahead because their contributions aren't being taken, and they can use that money for stuff like giving me a cost-of-living raise, or something.

That, to me, is the chief reply to the objection that I'd just waste the money if I had to invest it myself... even if I did, I'd be ahead a couple thousand dollars every year; my boss would be ahead several times that. I could get a "this closes your Soc Sec Acct" check from the feds tomorrow and set it on fire, and still be better off.

(W/v - "comoonsd" - I guess that supermoon thing is even affecting blogger.)

philmon said...

@Nightflyblog ... You're about where I am on Social Security. I don't expect to see it at all where I am concerned. Because I don't expect it to be solvent when I hit 67.

nightflyblog said...

Every year the Social Security Administration sends me a letter that straight-out says, "We're going to be totally out of money the year you turn 70; here's how much of that came out of your paycheck!"