Open thread Feb. 26, 2016 Dan Crawford | February 26, 2016 10:45 am Tags: open thread Comments (10) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
I had a question on year end investments at SS. I got this response from Goss. Bottom line – SSA is doing a bit better than the intermediate case for 2015 and 2016:
Here is a response for you from Stephen Goss, Social Security’s Chief Actuary:
Reflecting benefits due to be paid in 2015, the 2015 Trustees Report projected that the combined Social Security (OASI and DI) Trust Fund reserve assets would increase by $9 billion between December 31, 2014 and December 31, 2015. On this basis, the increase was even higher at $23 billion because Social Security tax revenues were higher than expected and benefit payments were lower than expected for 2015.
However, because over $25 billion in benefits due to be paid on January 3, 2016, a Sunday, were actually provided to beneficiaries on the last business day before January 3, which was December 31, 2015, these benefit payments were shifted into Calendar year 2015. As a result, from an accounting perspective, the Social Security Trust Fund reserves were $3 billion lower at the end of 2015 than at the end of 2014.
But this does not indicate that the Social Security reserves have begun to decline. The projected reserves in the 2015 Trustees Report for December 31 2016 are $31 billion higher than the actual level on December 31, 2014. Given tax revenue was higher and benefit expenditures lower than had been expected in 2015, the growth in the Social Security reserves from the end of 2014 to the end of 2016 is likely to be even more than projected in the 2015 Trustees Report.
Any idea why there was the disparity in outlays vs. projections?
W – Versus 2015 TF Report Intermediate case:
$9B better on tax receipts.
$6B better (less) on benefits.
$1B under on % income.
Net – 14B over.
Here is the Audit of the Federal Debt for FY15, GAO 16-160
Note; GAO cannot do an audit of the pentagon, if anyone over there had fiduciary responsibility for the trillions they would be jailed.
Trust fund/mush fund. Suppose the TF never went down/went back and forth as some years FICA took in a little extra, some years fell a little short (of SS retirement outgo). Why would we need to keep such a (giant!) TF floating on forever (4 years of full replacement now); what for?!
Alternately, why would we have a TF that is supposed to run out other than to cover the retirement of a single segment of the populi (who perhaps build the so-called TF)?
Assumption being that the next retirement segment and the next and the next are all building their own TFs. Why would we have just one run out TF? Did the early 80s Congress make a guess that Jesus would return around 2035?
Only legit reason for a TF is to automatically cover any FICA shortfall (understand it happened a couple of times) while Congress gets around to doing (or not doing) something about it: upping FICA or cutting benefits. Solvency is legally defined as having one year of full payout on hand — more than enough to cover temporary shortfall. What legit reason for having four years?
Someone should explain to the public that by the time the TF is about to run out, the income tax will be cashing as much as a quarter trillion a year of TF bonds. The TF “saved” nothing.
Of course by 2035 — 20 years from now — per capita income could rise 40% — making raising FICA tax rate (upping the cap) no national tragedy (or big deal).
Er, uh, per capita income grew 50% in the last 35 years but the folks who earn the cap or under did not benefit. Umm.
GAO has authority to audit DoD.
Previously they have said they were unable to express an opinion because of problems conducting their audit (2012, I suppose that situation could have continued).
For those who have problems with political speak in government reports.
GAO: Federal Government Flunks Its Audit”
DoD arcane accounting “process” is fast and loose!
They have been trying to no avail to tighten military equipment valuation for years.
Forensic accounting would find a lot of crime and misdemeanor.
GPRA has been around since 1993!
“Tulsi Gabbard left the Democratic National Committee, which has been accused of pro-Hillary bias, to support Bernie”
“America, you’re stupid:Donald Trump’s political triumph makes it official — we’re a nation of idiots”
If it’s Trump vs Clinton , America is double-dumb.
Well at least Hillary’s supporters are getting Hyooge coverage of all those march for Hillary events. http://usuncut.com/politics/media-blackout-as-thousands-of-bernie-supporters-march-in-45-cities/