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Discussion: (48 comments)

  1. Reagan the man vs Reagan the myth.

    Funny how we selectively remember what we want to
    and forget what we don’t want to remember:

    I do not think Reagan was a scoundrel by a long shot,but he was better at speeches: “Our Constitution is a document in which “We the People” tell the government what it is allowed to do.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZsLWP9mRdQ

    1. Che is dead

      Emulating Stalin, Mao, and Castro, the Sandinistas took control of everything in the country. They censored all publications, suspended the right of association, and ruthlessly crushed the trade unions. They seized the means of production, and incentives for foreign investment disappeared … Nicaraguans who attempted to protect their property were imprisoned or executed by the new despots … In Khmer Rouge style, the Sandinistas forcibly relocated tens of thousands of Miskito Indians from their land. Like Stalin and Mao, the new regime used famine as a weapon against these “enemies of the people.” The Sandinista army killed or imprisoned approximately fifteen thousand innocent Miskitos. The Sandinista crimes included a calculated liquidation of the Miskitos’ entire leadership—as the Soviets had done to the Poles in the spring of 1940, when, at Katyn Forest and other locations, the NKVD executed approximately fifteen thousand Polish officers.

      The Sandinistas quickly distinguished themselves as among the worst human-rights abusers in Latin America, carrying out approximately eight thousand political executions within three years of the revolution. By 1983, the number of political prisoners in the new Marxist regime’s jails was estimated at twenty thousand. This was the highest number of political prisoners in any nation in the hemisphere—except, of course, Castro’s Cuba. By 1986, a vicious and violent “resettlement program” forced some two hundred thousand Nicaraguans into 145 “settlements” throughout the country. This monstrous social-engineering program included the designation of “free-fire” zones, in which government troops had carte blanche to shoot and kill any peasant they spotted.

      The Sandinistas also institutionalized torture … Prisoners were also forced to stand for long periods without bending their arms or legs; they were locked into steel boxes exposed to the full force of the tropical sun; their wives and daughters were sexually assaulted in front of them; and some prisoners were mutilated and skinned alive before being executed … One Sandinista practice was known as corte de cruz: this was a drawing-and-quartering technique in which the prisoner’s limbs were severed from the body, leaving him to bleed to death. The result of all of these horrifying cruelties was yet another mass exodus from a country enslaved by Communism, with tens of thousands of Nicaraguans escaping and settling in Honduras, Costa Rica, or the United States.

      With Soviet and Cuban aid, Nicaragua developed the biggest and best armed force in Central America. In attempting to export its Marxist revolution, it posed a serious threat to stability and democracy in the whole region, and thus to the United States. In response, the Reagan administration backed a group of rebels called the Contras … The Contras were mostly peasants led by former Sandinistas who felt betrayed by the totalitarian turn of the revolution. Their sole purpose was to bring democracy to their homeland.

      – Jamie Glazov, “United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror”

      Latin America knows all too well the dangerous combination of Mr. Kerry’s arrogance and, to be polite, let’s say, naiveté. In 1985, in the midst of the Cold War, he led a congressional delegation to Nicaragua, where he met with Sandinista comandante Daniel Ortega. The Sandinista reputation as a human-rights violator was already well-established, and the Soviets were stalking Central America. Nevertheless, Mr. Kerry came back from Managua advocating an end to U.S. support for the resistance known as the “Contras.” The House took his advice and voted down a $14 million aid package to them. The next day Mr. Ortega flew to Moscow to get $200 million in support from the Kremlin. — The Wall Street Journal

      Left-wing Democrats the enablers of communist mass murder vs Left-wing Democrats the myth

      1. Che is dead

        Since the American Left yawned when the Venona papers showed that Alger Hiss, the Rosenbergs, and other of their heroes were indeed traitors, the fact that Daniel Ortega, his brother Humberto, and many of their FSLN comrades are mentioned in recently revealed KGB files will probably cause no agonizing re-evaluation … The FSLN began with Carlos Fonseca Amado, author of A Nicaraguan in Moscow and a trusted KGB agent, codenamed GIDROLOG, “Hydrologist.” That information emerges from KGB files smuggled to the West by Vasili Mitrokhin, the official tasked with moving the KGB’s foreign files to a new location. The Mitrokhin archive, published with co-author Christopher Andrew of Cambridge, is the most complete intelligence find from any source. The recently published second volume, The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World, sheds light on key events, including KGB manipulation of Chile’s Salvador Allende, and control of the FSLN, which figured prominently in Soviet strategy … Files reveal that the KGB also recruited Nicaraguan exile Edelberto Torres Espinosa, codename PIMEN, a surgeon and friend of Carlos Fonseca. Torres’ KGB case officers V.P. Nefedov and V.V. Kostikov regarded him as a valuable and reliable agent. An agent, under KGB rules, means one who takes orders and carries out assignments … What the KGB had in mind for the FSLN was a “sabotage-terrorism group” headed by Manuel Ramon de Jesus Andara y Ubeda, an expatriate Nicaraguan surgeon working in Mexico. His codename was PRIM, and he selected candidates for training — Nicaragua’s KGB Party, Frontpagemag

      2. Oh the justifications of POTUS for breaking the law and covering it up are always virtuous..right?

        Reagan got caught in Iran-Contra very similar to Chris Cristie in that he claimed it essentially happened without his knowledge or approval (which would be bad enough) but then.. he had to be “reminded” of meetings attended and memos read that he had “forgotten”…”could not recall”

        I did not reference the video to impugn Reagan but rather to remind that he was not exactly such a virtuous defender of the Constitution – in his actions – even as he did good speeches about it.

        Covering oneself in the flag to justify things illegal and unconstitutional is not cool even if your name is Reagan.

        1. OK spam boy now remind us of how your choice at the ballot box of the Kenyan Kenyan Kommie Klown wasn’t an act of sedition…

          1. JuanDOZE – I’ve voted GOP… guy! I just believe the one-sided partisan stuff is dumb.

            I vote for the individual not the party – all my life.

            In both cases with Obama, the GOP were inferior .. first with the Geezer and Palin and then with Romney, the father of ObamaCare disavowing his own history to assuage the hard right.

            When Romney was nominated.. people like Hannity and Anne Coulter said they’d never vote for him but they did.

            Has Obama screwed up? Yes.. more than once.. worse than Bush, Clinton, Reagan?

            that’s a matter of opinion but what I say is that ignoring what Reagan did and holding him up as a virtuous saint of the right and comparing that false image to Obama is just partisan loon stuff.

            and the lies and hate, .. the “death panels” and “killing granny”, and the Kenyan birthplace, and creating the biggest debt in US history, is just abysmal.

            Give me a principled middle-of-the-road fiscal conservative and I do not care whether he/she has an R next to their name or not.

            Give me a principled, competitive, REAL alternative to ObamaCare and I’d take it. I would have taken the GOP individual mandate approach in 1993 over HillaryCare.

            you cannot win by labelling Kenyan Kommie Klown JuanDoze.

            I can give you lots of just as rude labels for Bush and Reagan but what’s the purpose?

    2. Funny how we selectively remember what we want to
      and forget what we don’t want to remember:

      I remember Reagan tried to roll back government, and largely failed because parasites like Larry G voted scum into office to stymie those efforts. Reagan wasn’t perfect. Nobody ever claimed he was. But compare him to Obama whose entire administration has been devoted to growing government and redistributing the wealth of productive people in order to reward his growing coalition of mouths to feed.

      1. Well like his buddy Margaret Thatcher, neither one of them had the courage to roll back entitlements.

        If fact, Reagan said this ” “The Earned Income Tax Credit is the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress.”

        and his buddy Thatcher said this:

        ” I believed that the NHS was a service of which we could genuinely be proud. It delivered a high quality of care — especially when it came to acute illnesses — and at a reasonably modest unit cost, at least compared with some insurance-based systems.””

        Neither Reagan nor Thatcher had the courage of their claimed convictions…

        the truth – not the the myth is that no one stopped them from righteously pursuing what the believed in – even if they got voted down.

        but neither of them every really walked the walk.. there were all talk… for the cameras…

        Reagan supported Medicare Catastrophic Insurance…

        ” Radio Address to the Nation on Proposed Catastrophic Health Insurance Legislation ”

        ” First, we’re asking Congress to legislate acute catastrophic illness insurance for Medicare beneficiaries, most of whom are 65 and over. Under this proposal, Medicare itself would be amended to provide unlimited Medicare coverage. Moreover, our proposal would establish a limit of just $2,000 for out-of-pocket Medicare expenses that can presently run into the many thousands. And we can do all this by adding just $4.92 to the Medicare monthly premium.”

        http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=33745

        Paul – you guys just believe what ever you want to – no matter the actual history…..

        Both Reagan and Thatcher supported government-sanctioned health care.. no one forced them to and neither one of them proposed to kill it and then got “out voted by parasites”.

        you’re living in LA LA LAnd guy. No Potus now or in the past holds your views.

  2. Benjamin Cole

    Like Ronald Reagan, I want to cut the federal government down to size.

    Here is a list of federal agencies. by number of employees. I added in the number of vets receiving monthly disability checks from the VA, and they are, in a sense, being paid by taxpayers.

    Federal Employment By Agency

    Defense (civilian) 772,601
    Defense (uniformed) 1,429,995
    Defense (reserves) 850,880
    VA 304,665
    VA (receiving monthly disability) 3,700,000
    Homeland Security 183,455
    Justice 117,916
    Treasury 110,099
    USDA 106,867
    Interior 70,231
    H&HS 69,839
    Transportation 57,972
    Commerce 56,856
    State 39,016
    Labor 17,592
    HUD 9585
    Education 4452

    Good luck on shrinking the federal government, my friends.

    1. A couple of observations Benjamin -

      add up all the agencies whose function is National Defense.

      then add up all the rest of the agencies and compare numbers.

      2. – we have 2.3 million in prison – almost as much as active duty military and both eat tax dollars 100% – lifetime dollars for both since many released felons and their families need entitlements.

      Defenders will point out that the military/national defense is specifically articulated in the Constitution.

      Fair enough but did the founding fathers intend “defense” to consume half of our income tax revenues?

      We take in about 1.3T in income taxes and depending on how you figure it – to include VA but also SS and Medicare to military retirees – we spend a trillion on “national defense”.

      no other country comes close. In fact, we outspend the next 10 countries – combined…

      and yet the “austerity” advocated want to cut entitlements and the agencies that size and budget-wise are gnats on a dogs butt but not a penny of National Defense.

      and I agree.. “good luck” trying to cut….

      1. Benjamin Cole

        Larry-
        Add up DoD, VA and DHS budgets and you get to $1 trillion. Then pro-rate some portion of debt repayments—and hou are right, the lion’s share of income taxes are eaten up by defense.
        If you want to cut income taxes you gotta cut DoD, VA and DHS. Or keep borrowing money.

        1. @Benjamin -

          totally agree.. and would reform Medicare Part B also.

          we should not be selling guaranteed, full coverage, no lifetime caps health insurance to people who make 85K in retirement income – for 100.00 a month.

          we should also reform MedicAid so that people who own homes and have assets cannot use MedicAid for nursing home care until their home and assets are first used to pay their debts. we should not be preserving their assets with taxpayer money.

          all folks who get MedicAid should have to volunteer in free clinics, driving folks to medical appointments, etc.

          finally – we should properly account for the true cost of “defense” in our budget instead hiding it in other agencies and entitlements.

        2. mesa econoguy

          Add up Socialist Insecurity and Health & Human “Services” and you get nearly $2 trillion.

          http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2013/11/Govt%20Spending%2012-13.jpg

          These will continue to rise, exponentially.

          Unless you deal with these two entitlements, you will destroy the country.

          1. Mesa – SS is paid for by FICA not general revenues and it’s the only budget expenditure than by law cannot pay out more than FICA generates – without changes by Congress.

            The same is true of Medcare Part A which is funded from FICA.

            Medicare Part B is the problem but it spends about 300 billion a year compared to the trillion+ that “defense” spends.

            both have to be cut .. you can’t get there by cutting only one.

          2. mesa econoguy

            Socialist Insecurity is now revenue negative and will be so for the rest of its brief existence.

            Trust fund drawdown is occurring at such a rate that last year – a relatively good economic year by recent standards – the zero date for the fund moved up 2 years to 2029.

            In reality, the fund will be exhausted before that, possibly very soon, depending on the macro conditions in the next decade.

            When the fund runs dry, that will have the fiscal effect of shaving 1.5 – 3% off GDP. It will be violent.

            Socialist Insecurity is dead, it effectively no longer exists.

          3. Socialist Insecurity is now revenue negative and will be so for the rest of its brief existence.

            actually not.. FICA taxes did generate excess revenues and there are still some left…

            you need a course in FICA taxes guy. FICA taxes bring in about 3/4 of what income taxes generate.

            “Trust fund drawdown is occurring at such a rate that last year – a relatively good economic year by recent standards – the zero date for the fund moved up 2 years to 2029.”

            yup.. but remember that money they’re using was generated from FICA taxes originally.

            “In reality, the fund will be exhausted before that, possibly very soon, depending on the macro conditions in the next decade.”

            the “fund” is not what primarily generates revenues for SS benefits.. FICA does ..

            “When the fund runs dry, that will have the fiscal effect of shaving 1.5 – 3% off GDP. It will be violent.”

            where in the double HELL did you get this? FICA will continue to fund SS even after the trust fund balance runs out.

            Socialist Insecurity is dead, it effectively no longer exists.

            well you have to get to reality first guy.

            you’re confusing the Trust Fund which is a fund that was generated originally by FICA when it was producing more in revenues than it paid out in benefits.

            We’re drawing down on that fund right now but FICA still generates 800 billion dollars a year to pay benefits.

            and unlike any other budget expenditures, FICA/SS is the ONLY ONE that AUTOMATICALLY reduces benefits to be no more than what revenues generate and the worst case is 75% not ZERO as you and your propagandist friends imply.

            SS will always be around.. it just won’t pay 100% of benefits but instead about 75%

            and this has virtually nothing to do with the general revenues budget that comes from about 1.3T in income taxes.. while we spend a trillion on national defense.

            that’s the reality.

          4. mesa econoguy

            Incorrect.

            Socialist Insecurity is now revenue negative, and will remain so until it dies, which will be very soon.

            http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/44972-SocialSecurity.pdf

            Exhibit 1.

            Socialist Insecurity no longer exists.

          5. SS is not spending a dime of money that was not generated by FICA to start with.

            you need to see this:

            http://www.fms.treas.gov/fr/12frusg/12frusg.pdf page 56

            and look at earmarked funds…

            and this:

            FEDERAL TRUST AND OTHER EARMARKED FUNDS

            where you’ll learn that the SS trust fund is one of about a hundred trust funds that work just like FICA including the gasoline tax, military retirement and Medicare.

            you need to pump up your knowledge guy and flush that propaganda.

          6. mesa econoguy

            In order for Socialist Insecurity to become “funded,” a couple of things must happen:

            In other words, to bring the program into actuarial balance through 2087, given CBO’s projections, payroll taxes could be increased immediately and permanently by 3.4 percent of taxable payroll, scheduled benefits could be reduced by an equivalent amount, or some combination of tax increases and spending reductions of equal present value could be used. That shortfall is substantially greater than the 1.9 percent of taxable payroll that CBO estimated last year.

            http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44598

            None of those things will happen. No constituency will allow those changes to happen, and no political will exists to make the required changes before the trust fund is exhausted, so Socialist Insecurity is now effectively dead.

            When people like Larry start talking, understand that they are dangerously ignorant, and are employed to lie. Nothing they say is true.

            It is time to start treating Socialist Insecurity as a relic of the past, and winding it down.

          7. In order for Socialist Insecurity to become “funded,” a couple of things must happen:

            In other words, to bring the program into actuarial balance through 2087, given CBO’s projections, payroll taxes could be increased immediately and permanently by 3.4 percent of taxable payroll, scheduled benefits could be reduced by an equivalent amount, or some combination of tax increases and spending reductions of equal present value could be used. That shortfall is substantially greater than the 1.9 percent of taxable payroll that CBO estimated last year.

            http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44598

            what you posted here was a blog – an opinion of someone who posted.

            there are a RANGE of options

            here’s the one you did not post:

            http://crfb.org/blogs/cbo-releases-report-social-security-reform-options

            but you need to explain what ‘actuarial balance” is in plain language… .. what does that really mean?

            “None of those things will happen. No constituency will allow those changes to happen, and no political will exists to make the required changes before the trust fund is exhausted, so Socialist Insecurity is now effectively dead.”

            no it’s not – SS will continue to pay benefits …
            using words like “exhausted” and “broke” is not the truth.

            the truth is that right now FICA generates almost as mch money as the individual income tax does..

            and if you bothered to actually READ the reform options instead of anti-govt blather…from propaganda sites.. you might actually learn something..

            When people like Larry start talking, understand that they are dangerously ignorant, and are employed to lie. Nothing they say is true.

            I post REAL LINKS from AUTHORITATIVE sources.

            anyone who believe SS is bankrupt need only go to
            https://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0475.pdf

            to see the truth…

            It is time to start treating Socialist Insecurity as a relic of the past, and winding it down.

            here’s the numbers for 2011:

            individual income taxes = 956 million
            FICA TAXes = 806.8 million

            does anyone think FICA taxes that are 50 million less than income taxes is ‘winding down’?

            Mesa – got FACTS? … er… not so much.

          8. In order for Socialist Insecurity to become “funded,” a couple of things must happen:

            In other words, to bring the program into actuarial balance through 2087, given CBO’s projections, payroll taxes could be increased immediately and permanently by 3.4 percent of taxable payroll, scheduled benefits could be reduced by an equivalent amount, or some combination of tax increases and spending reductions of equal present value could be used. That shortfall is substantially greater than the 1.9 percent of taxable payroll that CBO estimated last year.

            [bogus reference to blog entry removed]

            what you posted here was a blog comment– an opinion of someone who posted – not authoritative data.

            there are a RANGE of options

            here’s the one you did not post:

            http://crfb.org/blogs/cbo-releases-report-social-security-reform-options

            but you need to explain what ‘actuarial balance” is in plain language… .. what does that really mean?

            “None of those things will happen. No constituency will allow those changes to happen, and no political will exists to make the required changes before the trust fund is exhausted, so Socialist Insecurity is now effectively dead.”

            no it’s not – SS will continue to pay benefits …
            using words like “exhausted” and “broke” is not the truth.

            the truth is that right now FICA generates almost as mch money as the individual income tax does..

            and if you bothered to actually READ the reform options instead of anti-govt blather…from propaganda sites.. you might actually learn something..

            When people like Larry start talking, understand that they are dangerously ignorant, and are employed to lie. Nothing they say is true.

            I post REAL LINKS from AUTHORITATIVE sources.

            anyone who believe SS is bankrupt need only check the US Budget

            to see the truth…

            It is time to start treating Socialist Insecurity as a relic of the past, and winding it down.

            here’s the numbers for 2011: GOOGLE “Table 475. Federal Budget Receipts by Source”

            individual income taxes = 956 million
            FICA TAXes = 806.8 million

            does anyone think FICA taxes that are 150 million less than income taxes is ‘winding down’?

            Mesa – got FACTS? … er… not so much.

          9. mesa econoguy

            Liar Larry, the link is CBO, one of your favorite sources.

            If you have an issue with them, then take it up with them. And do please at least try to learn basic reading comprehension.

            Your stale 2010 link says much the same thing:

            As the population of the United States continues to grow older, the number of Social Security beneficiaries will continue to rise, and the program’s outlays will increase faster than its revenues. Long-term projections are unavoidably uncertain but, under a broad range of assumptions, benefits that are scheduled under current law will consistently exceed revenues.
            CBO projects that beginning in 2039 the Social Security Administration will not be able to pay those scheduled benefits, however. If revenues were not increased, benefits would need to be cut by about 20 percent in 2040 to equalize outlays and revenues. Those proportionately lower payments, which would be made to all Social Security recipients once the trust funds were exhausted, are known as payable benefits.

            No one will vote for reductions in benefits, and no one will vote for payroll taxation above current levels (but the likelihood that automatic tax increases certainly exists, and is elevated due to severe political division and dysfunction, but that will have diminishing returns).

            The deterioration in Socialist Insecurities finances even since your out-of-date 2010 info is significant, and will worsen.

            Socialist Insecurity is now dead.

          10. re: ” Liar Larry, the link is CBO, one of your favorite sources.

            If you have an issue with them, then take it up with them. And do please at least try to learn basic reading comprehension.”

            not written by CBO – written by a commenter on their blog site.. a personal opinion misrepresented as something written by CBO.

            “Your stale 2010 link says much the same thing:

            As the population of the United States continues to grow older, the number of Social Security beneficiaries will continue to rise, and the program’s outlays will increase faster than its revenues. Long-term projections are unavoidably uncertain but, under a broad range of assumptions, benefits that are scheduled under current law will consistently exceed revenues.
            CBO projects that beginning in 2039 the Social Security Administration will not be able to pay those scheduled benefits, however. If revenues were not increased, benefits would need to be cut by about 20 percent in 2040 to equalize outlays and revenues. Those proportionately lower payments, which would be made to all Social Security recipients once the trust funds were exhausted, are known as payable benefits.”

            yes.. it does say that but it says more.. including the options available -none of which is 3.4%.

            “No one will vote for reductions in benefits, and no one will vote for payroll taxation above current levels (but the likelihood that automatic tax increases certainly exists, and is elevated due to severe political division and dysfunction, but that will have diminishing returns).”

            bull feathers.. here are the options:

            Increases in the Social Security payroll tax
            Reductions in people’s initial benefits
            Increases in benefit for low earners
            Increases in the full retirement age
            Reductions in COLA’s that are applied to continuing benefit

            and here are their projections:

            This leaves a program imbalance that grows from 0.3% of GDP in 2020 to 1.3% in 2040, staying in the 1%-1.5% range throughout the rest of the projection. The total imbalance over the next 75 years is 0.6% of GDP or 1.6% of taxable payroll. ”

            The deterioration in Socialist Insecurities finances even since your out-of-date 2010 info is significant, and will worsen.

            Socialist Insecurity is now dead.

            no.. what’s dead is the truth.

            why do you do this MESA?

            it’s one thing to debate on the merits -but you’re not using facts. but instead blatant propaganda..that is outright disinformation.

            if we do nothing at all – benefits reduce to 75%

            tell me what other program in the Federal budget has a 75-year horizon . Does DOD have a 75 year horizon?

          11. mesa econoguy

            not written by CBO – written by a commenter on their blog site.. a personal opinion misrepresented as something written by CBO.

            What the fuck are you talking about?

            http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44598

            posted by Joyce Manchester on September 24, 2013

            Joyce Manchester is Chief of the Long-Term Analysis Unit in CBO’s Health, Retirement, and Long-Term Analysis Division.

            Larry, you’ve already shown yourself to be one of the dumbest people in existence, but you’ve set a new standard entirely with this crap.

            It is absolutely astounding that you can use a computer, much less breathe.

          12. you are correct and I am wrong on that – she is a CBO person.

            she’s talking about actual mortality vs predicted mortality – a valid issue that affects not only SS but a wide variety of things including private annuities and life insurance.

            but I do acknowledge my error – UNLIKE Mesa on things he is proven wrong on!

            when Mesa says SS is broke – he’s clearly demonstrably wrong.. but he never acknowledges it.

          13. mesa econoguy

            Larry, you are wrong on everything you say.

            This minor item is emblematic of your overall incomprehension and stunning, extraordinary stupidity.

            Socialist Insecurity is in very serious trouble, and is on its way to extinction.

            The decline message is being managed, and will become more forceful in the coming 5 years, if major macro problems are avoided.

            If we do have an event, Socialist Insecurity could expire very quickly.

          14. Individual income taxes. . . . . . . . . 956.0
            Social insurance (FICA) . . 806.8

            this is the truth Mesa… not the blather.

            no other program in the US budget looks “ahead” 75 years.

            the last time SS needed to be adjusted, guess who did it

            Ronald Reagan…

            changes will be made per the reform options:

            http://www.urban.org/retirement_policy/sstaxableminimum.cfm

            even the Tea Party folks LIKE social security MESA!

            polls: Eight in 10 Americans think Social Security has been good for the country, with 70 percent of young adults agreeing and almost nine in 10 senior citizens saying the same.

            CNN

          15. “SS is not spending a dime of money that was not generated by FICA to start with.”

            I’m not sure that’s true. Isn’t the bulk of the trust fund accumulated interest on the excess FICA taxes? If so, isn’t that a form of kiting?

          16. re: kitig.

            If excess FICA revenues had been “invested” like treasury notes for private buyers.. is that “kiting”?

            ALL Trust funds that are lent to the Treasury receive interest because if the Treasury borrowed the money externally, they’d also be paying interest.

            but if you have a problem with it – would you have a problem with it for the highway trust funds or military trust funds also?

          17. and this has virtually nothing to do with the general revenues budget that comes from about 1.3T in income taxes.. while we spend a trillion on national defense.

            Uh, yeah it does, dipshit. It all really comes out of the same pocket and gets dumped in the same pile. Bureaucrats just label a chunk of the pile as “Social Security” which is somehow sacrosanct because..”trust fund!”

            It’s nothing more than a shell game designed to allow greedy geezers exemption from the pain they caused by voting for swine like your boyfriend their entire adult lives.

          18. MikeK

            I’m not sure that’s true. Isn’t the bulk of the trust fund accumulated interest on the excess FICA taxes? If so, isn’t that a form of kiting?

            Well of course it is. In the private sector, such dishonest accounting slight-of-hand would end with the perpetrators in prison.

            By design and by law, SS excess “contributions” (note 1) over and above necessary “benefit payments” (note 1) have always been spent as they are collected, so there are no actual assets in the fund, only accounting entries and IOUs.

            Now that “contributions” are no longer sufficient to cover “benefits” due to an ever increasing number of beneficiaries per working contributor, money will be spent from the SS Trust Fund as it redeems IOUs from the Treasury general fund, which means from general tax revenue. Now workers will be required to pay even more, as not only their FICA taxes but their income taxes will be used to pay SS benefits.

            The interest accruing on the Trust Fund is, of course, also borrowed in the form of IOUs.

            There is no good end to this. There must be some limit to how much current workers will tolerate in withholding, as they see their future benefits decreasing and becoming less certain.

            note 1:

            The Social security act was intentionally written in separate Titles so as to avoid Constitutional challenges to the US government operating an insurance and retirement plan business – something it is forbidden to do. In reality, there is no direct connection between euphemistically named ‘contributions” and “benefits, but instead a tax on earnings and a separate welfare benefit for retirees.

            Even though we are led to believe we are entitled to a benefit based on our earnings, it’s just not so. That was made clear in 1960 in “Fleming v Nestor” in which the US Supreme Court ruled that there is no contractual right to a benefit based on contributions.

          19. Ron – you lost this same argument 2yrs ago.

            http://pgpf.org/Issues/Spending/2010/08/05/Federal-Trust-Funds

            there are more than 100 Trust Funds in the Federal govt and “trust fund” has a different meaning than private sector trust funds.

            the money that is in the trust fund is a legitimate debt BECAUSE FICA money is what created that surplus.

            The very same thing happens when the Federal gas tax is collected and put into a trust fund – it’s get immediately spent and IOUs are generated.

            Coporations put money into interest-bearing account also and it’s not called “kiting” when they do it.

            You’d be claiming that paying the money back to the transportation trust fund with general tax dollars means the was funded originally from general tax dollars but it was not. it was funded from the gas tax and t’s the same with FICA and it’s the same with the Military Retirement system and 90+ other trust funds.

            with regard to the REASON you are NOT entitled – look to the formal NAME of SS – Old-Age & Survivors Insurance.

            It’s INSURANCE. it was explicitly designed as INSURANCE from it’s inception. If not only pays retirement. It pays disability if you become disabled. It pays survivor benefits to your family if you die.

            No one “led you to believe”.. other than the propagandists that you prefer over real documents of which have been provided to you.

          20. “Coporations put money into interest-bearing account also and it’s not called “kiting” when they do it.”

            Of course not. The corporation doesn’t pay ITSELF interest. That would be kiting.

          21. If the Corporation has multiple funds that it pays bills with, say a fund that it pays for employee retirement benefits, they may well have that fund in an interest bearing account until they expend it.

            this is just anti-govt blather here nothing more.

          22. mesa

            Liar Larry, the link is CBO, one of your favorite sources.

            If you have an issue with them, then take it up with them.

            Heh! I appears that the troll saw the word “blog” at one of his favorite sites and then stopped reading and made up the rest of his story to fit. Typical of his offensive dishonesty.

            And do please at least try to learn basic reading comprehension.

            If I had a nickel for every time someone has made that request…

            You continue to throw perfectly good arguments into a black hole of illogic, poor reading skills, blatant dishonesty, and a determination, against all contrary evidence, to cling to a viewpoint he cannot support, all the while fleshing out his comments with irrelevance.

            It’s a fascinating process to watch.

            Then, as if to remove any doubt, the self-professed Social Security expert who is so fond of schooling others, asks for clarification of a term – actuarial balance – that is used almost exclusively in reference to Social Security, and is well understood by anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of SS. The mind boggles.

            But be of good cheer. Failure to penetrate that wall of willful ignorance is in no way a stain on your positive reputation as a commentator. No one else has ever done it either.

          23. I note that Ron was totally ignorant of how the trust fund works and it took a while for him to comprehend…

            but even then would not admit it.

            MESA has a better handle on it … marginally…but still refuses to admit that 850 million in FICA taxes is what primarily funds the benefits – not the 2 trillion and change in the trust fund.

            when MESA or RON provide convincing evidence that the 850 million FICA is going to go away- they might have a leg to stand on.

            until then.. they both still trade primarily in blather and propaganda… while shouting “DISHONEST” as if it applies to others.

          24. mesa econoguy

            Thank you Ron.

            I’m actually not interested in what Idiot Domain thinks, rather to get the information out that Socialist Insecurity was an idiotic program from inception, and was guaranteed to fail, and is doing so now.

            Slowly, people are starting to get the picture, but not enough people understand the current status, and how dire the situation is.

            I was half expecting the moron to attempt to argue that a CBO department head doesn’t actually speak on behalf of that organization, is only part of the organization, and that somewhere there is a CBO alien who creates all output for the organization.

            That would have taken too much effort and Larry simply isn’t capable of that kind of exertion, so I may have discovered the edge of his event horizon somewhat.

          25. “I’m actually not interested in what Idiot Domain thinks, rather to get the information out that Socialist Insecurity was an idiotic program from inception, and was guaranteed to fail, and is doing so now.”

            are you DAFT?

            “Slowly, people are starting to get the picture, but not enough people understand the current status, and how dire the situation is.”

            the only thing DIRE is the abject ignorance of the program…

            “I was half expecting the moron to attempt to argue that a CBO department head doesn’t actually speak on behalf of that organization, is only part of the organization, and that somewhere there is a CBO alien who creates all output for the organization.”

            it was still a personal view.. but with authority.

            “That would have taken too much effort and Larry simply isn’t capable of that kind of exertion, so I may have discovered the edge of his event horizon somewhat.”

            but you ONLY believe what you want to and ignore the other CBO data and that’s the problem guy.

            you and Ron, view the world through a purposely blinded eye.. just so you can satisfy your biases…

            you’re totally out of touch with the realities – on purpose!

            the worst case for SS is 75% of scheduled benefits.. and that’s if we do NOTHING. Only in the most virulent wet dreams of the wacko birds does FICA get repealed.

            but motor on.. what is life if not what you believe, right?

          26. mesa

            I’m actually not interested in what Idiot Domain thinks, rather to get the information out that Socialist Insecurity was an idiotic program from inception, and was guaranteed to fail, and is doing so now.

            Indeed it is. I suspect the architects of this ponzi scheme knew full well what they were doing, and that it would fail eventually, but: “Not on our watch, guys. this POS won’t hit the fan until sometime in the future, when we’re long gone.”

            Slowly, people are starting to get the picture, but not enough people understand the current status, and how dire the situation is.

            Yes, and it’s worth repeating the message even though the bullshit predictably rises around one’s waders.

            I was half expecting the moron to attempt to argue that a CBO department head doesn’t actually speak on behalf of that organization, is only part of the organization, and that somewhere there is a CBO alien who creates all output for the organization.

            Nah, he just opened that CBO link and saw the word “blog” in big letters and quit reading. Later he defends that major fuckup as if it was just a minor typo or something. There’s no shame in the man.

            That would have taken too much effort and Larry simply isn’t capable of that kind of exertion, so I may have discovered the edge of his event horizon somewhat.

          27. Ron, you’re slipping guy.. you used to be much better.. losing your edge?

          28. “If the Corporation has multiple funds that it pays bills with, say a fund that it pays for employee retirement benefits, they may well have that fund in an interest bearing account until they expend it.”

            The interest bearing account would not be run by the corporation themselves, that would be kiting.

            Just more left-wing blather here.

          29. re: ” The interest bearing account would not be run by the corporation themselves, that would be kiting.”

            what other “entity” would you suggest the US use ?

            would you want FICA/SS to lend funds directly to the public to earn interest?

            the point here is right wing blather because of the 100+ trust funds – they all work this way.

            this is nothing unique or untoward about this to SS .. it’s the standard practice of the US govt and not about SS –

            which is what you want to make it about..

            it’s not about SS guy..

            have you read this?:

            http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3299

            are you REALLY interested in understanding the facts here or just using whatever you can grab to oppose the concept of SS?

            How about reading it then coming back with comments?

    2. First, we’re not your friends. We’re strangers on the internet that laugh at you. Secondly, only the HHS is the only department that is growing out of control. As a percentage of GDP the other departments are in line with historical spending. Others, like the DOD, are nearly at an all time low.

      1. re: DOD vs National Defense all time lows

        not really true.

        DOD is National Defense but it’s wrong to think that’s all we spend on National Defense and therein lies the problem.

        we count things like the VA, military retirement benefits, NASA military satellites, DOE nuke weapons and ship reactors, Homeland Security, and more as “not DOD” .

        when you add up ALL of the expenditures that are truly expended as “Defense”, it totals over a trillion dollars and our current income tax receipts are about 1.3T.

        That’s about 75% of our current available revenues – spent on “defense”.

        People want taxes cut but they do’t want to cut “defense” and think all the cuts should come out of other govt spending and entitlements.

        that’s won’t work. We spend more on DOD ALONE, not even counting all of our National Defense spending, just DOD alone is more than the next 10 countries combined including all of our allies and major adversaries!

        that’s why we have a permanent deficit and an ever increasing deficit – and this is something Congress decides in their budget..not the POTUS.

        so we have folks who propagandize that Obama has more debt than any prior POTUS – which is at best, technically true except that he did not create a penny of it. Every penny of it is created by Congress who cannot agree to cut BOTH entitlements AND National Defense.

        we could easily “cut” entitlements by requiring retirees who make 85K in retirement income pay more than 100.00 a month for health insurance!

        We could require people on MedicAid to put in volunteer hours at free clinics.. etc..

        we could stop using MedicAid to provide free nursing home care for people who own their own homes.

        we could at least think about why people in the military who have never served in combat or in an armed conflict should be able to retire with full benefits at 20 years. 25 years for people who have served but never in combat or a war zone is not a terrible thing…

        we simply cannot afford the sheer size of the “volunteer” army we now have.. we have too many people “serving” in desk jobs compared to those who are actually boots on the ground. 3/4 of the military is not people putting their lives at risk..but rather civilian type desk jobs. If we want a “ready” force, “just in case” then let people volunteer for the reserves!

        instead, we have one side lined up to defend entitlements and the other lined up to defend National Defense and no one willing to compromise at all…

        but more than willing to litigate them as wedge issues to divide the country.

        defending the spending of a trillion dollars for National Defenses when our total available tax revenues are 1.3T is ….._not_ …. patriotic… it’s dumb.

        I keep asking people – what percent of our available tax revenues do you want to spend on National Defense.

        It’s a simple question but I have never gotten an honest answer from the pro-National Defense types.

        1. Benjamin Cole

          If a police department said to a mayor, “Hey, police pensions are not really part of the police budget,” who would accept that argument?

          Why do right-wingers turn into bungholes when the DoD says “VA is not part of the defense budget”?

  3. spam boy claims: “JuanDOZE – I’ve voted GOP… guy! I just believe the one-sided partisan stuff is dumb“…

    LMAO! Yeah, I believe you… ROFLMAO!

    Good one spam boy!

  4. re: 7. Disgusting: I saw another interesting link from the same site that just reenforces my opinion of why NYC sucks…

    Cops Arrest Professors Who Called 911 Over Medical Emergency

    What a paradise NYC is…

  5. chuck martel

    “…lawmakers are wary of touching the forfeiture issue, fearful that it will make them look soft on crime.”

    That’s not really their problem. The cops know the details of every little peccadillo in a politician’s life and aren’t afraid to use it, if necessary. They hold the threat of blackmail over the heads of all elected officials. That’s why the pols don’t mess with them.

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