Open thread July 17, 2017 Dan Crawford | July 11, 2017 5:49 am Comments (37) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
Anybody heard anything about the Social Security Trustees Report coming out soon? On Friday, there’s a hearing of the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee on “Social Security’s Solvency Challenge: Status of the Social Security Trust Funds,” which I think is often held when the report is released.
It occurs to me that after waiting out the five years for Chicago’s minimum wage to creep up to $15 ($13.50 adjusted?) the south side will be the same, the west side will be the same; the gangs and the violence will not have changed …
… but yuppie liberals will have a five year hiatus during which they think they wont have to do anything.
What America needs is for its power structure to be pulled inside out — which means rebuilding union density so the labor market can do its job properly — returning wages and benefits to an acceptable level; acceptable for American born workers to be willing to work for it — and returning control of governments to the average person.
Mike B…..from Social Security Works comes this note on the new report expectations…
“As early as this week, the Social Security board of Trustees will issue their annual report on the health of Social Security’s trust fund. It will show that Social Security has a large and growing surplus―$2.8 trillion today, growing to roughly $2.9 trillion by 2019. It will show that Social Security will be able to pay out 100% of benefits owed for the next 17 years and more than 75% of benefits owed after that.
The bottom line is that Social Security has a large and growing surplus and that Social Security is extremely affordable―spending less than a penny of every dollar collected and spent on administrative costs.”
thanks. i’ve been looking for that.
true enough, but what’s important is that SS can be made solvent forever by raising the payroll tax one tenth of one percent. about a dollar per week per year. this is not a “solvency problem.”
it appears to be a conspiracy to promote hysteria about ss solvency in order to get people to accept cutting it to the point where it is no longer meaningful as retirement insurance.
and the progressive left feeds into that Big Lie, by “demanding” the rich pay for SS, thus turning it into welfare, which would be a huge tax increase on the rich, which the rich will not pay for, but will cut SS in order to avoid.
I may have one more SS Trustees Report report in me. But I am getting old, and it isn’t much fun trying to talk to the deaf.
“it isn’t much fun trying to talk to the deaf.”
With all due respect, they are not “deaf” nor are they dumb. They are just looking at it from a broader, and I think more correct, perspective.
When the government is $14T in debt https://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/debt/current
Approaching the 100% debt to GDP number that is the red flag.
And 24% of federal expenditures (the largest component) go to Social Security payments https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-budget/policy-basics-where-do-our-federal-tax-dollars-go
And many of the recipients are wealthier than the people that are paying in. Yes the program is going to come under examination. You are among a very small coterie, mainly concentrated on Angry Bear, focusing on the intracies of the Trust Fund. The rest of the world, political as well, could give a rat’s ass about the Trust Fund. Sorry.
And let’s just assume your math is correct, with it’s ‘small’ dedicated tax increase, and Social Security continues on unchanged, taking a bigger and bigger share of the federal budget. It will then crowd out Medicaid, widows, orphans, poor, sick etc. etc. Who’s the selfish one now?
unfortunately your broader perspective makes you sound like you don’t understand the facts. or even know what they are.
Social Security does not come out of the Federal budget. It is paid for by the people who get the benefits. And it doesn’t matter that some recipients are wealthier than some who are paying in. Each person who pays in gets back what he paid in adjusted for inflation plus general growth in the economy (more exactly growth in average wages subject to the “tax”).
I think “rat’s ass” describes pretty well what your “most people” know about Social Security.
I am grateful that Angry Bear gives me a chance to publish here. But it is not so much a small coterie of people here who care… it is nearly EVERYBODY who does not understand that they can close the “huge gap” in SS finances simply by paying in to SS what they will need to take out of it when they get old (allowing for inflation and effective interest). And that means a dollar a week more than they are paying in now. And yes, because costs are rising and wages are not (relatively) it will be necessary to keep raising that tax a dollar per week every year for about 13 years, and then less often after that, and then much less often after that. We could raise the tax 13 dollars per week now and be done with the tax raises for the next seventy five years. Or we could wait until 2034 or so and raise the tax twenty dollars per week all at once. All of these amount to the same thing. But some are easier to pay (not less) and will affect slightly different people… not enough for any of them to complain about “unfair.” All of them will get their money back when they need it most.
And I would like to think that even you can see it’s not a “huge amount” of money. It’s exactly what they would need to pay for their retirement however they choose to pay it. Unless of course they win the lottery, or what is almost the same thing… get lucky on the stock market.
Nice thing about SS is that the monthly cost is so low, most people have plenty left over to play the lottery or the stock market or invest in their own business. SS is insurance just in case…
You don’t need to “assume” my math is correct. It has been checked by experts, You could check it yourself. It’s not hard.
SS will not crowd out anything. It is paid for by the workers who will collect the benefits. Has nothing to do with the federal budget.
Or did I say that already? Do I need to speak up?
“SS will not crowd out anything. It is paid for by the workers who will collect the benefits. Has nothing to do with the federal budget. ”
No one else believes this. Here is the CBO: “Social Security, Medicare to Eat Up More Federal Spending” http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2017/03/31/cbo-social-security-medicare-to-eat-up-more-federa
I am sorry that social security and Global Warming! —-> Climate Change! have turned out to be so wrong for you. These are your signature issues. At least you got to hurl a lot of insults to those that offered contrary opinions That must have been nice, while it lasted.
pound for pound i have hurled less insults at you than you have at me. if i tell you you don’t know anything about Social Security, that is not an insult, it’s a suggestion that you learn something about it before you speak about it.
as for the CBO, I am aware that lots of people who should know better talk about SS as if it’s “Federal Spending.” In a way of course it is. It’s the Federal government that manages the program and writes the checks. But the money has nothing to do with the Federal budget. It is money held in trust and earning interest for the workers who pay the “tax” and who will collect the benefits. SS money is legally separate from the Federal budget. Most of the people who talk about it as though it was part of the budget are just careless or ignorant. Some of them know exactly what they are doing. They are lying to fool you.
As for global warming… that is a very different kind of issue for me. I KNOW what I am talking about when I talk about SS. With global warming I am only accepting the consensus of the scientists who say we have a serious problem. I don’t know the science myself. But when I read the publications of the people who say there is a problem they look to me like the science writing I am familiar with. When I read the publications of those who say there is no problem, they look to me like pretty typical lies by people who are taking advantage of the fact that you don’t know anything.
There is no insult intended here. Just my fairly well informed opinion that you don’t know anything about either SS or global warming except what you read from the people who lie for money.
Social Security actually does play a role in the federal budget.
As long as SS is in surplus it invest that surplus in US treasury securities
and thus reducing the sum the Treasury has to borrow from the public.
Sammy, social security and medicare are two separate programs and to
combine the social security surplus and the medicare deficit to demonstrate that social security has a problem is a very dishonest and misleading analysis.
The medicare deficit has no connection to social security.
true. but tends to be misleading to the average person.
“plays a role” is not the same as “is paid for out of the Federal budget.”
Since the Big Liars work very hard to create the impression that SS “causes” the debt/deficit, I think it is important to try to get people to understand that SS is paid for by the people who get the benefits, having nothing to do with the budget.
to say that it “plays a role” is like saying I play a role in your personal debt because I lent you money. or me complaining that my grandmother caused my bankruptcy because she lent me the money to finish college.
unfortunately even people who know better get themselves wrapped up in the “real” meaning of words instead of just understanding what is going on:
SS is paid for by the workers who will get the benefits. It gets NO money from “the budget” or general taxes. Because SS runs a surplus from time to time, and needs a reserve to bridge the ups and downs of income vs outgo, it maintains a “trust fund” (the money is legally dedicated to SS) which like other (private) trust funds is lent to entities that borrow it and pay interest. the SS trust fund is limited to lending only TO the federal government. and the Federal government is legally obligate to pay the money back when SS needs it.
The facts are not hard to understand, except by people who don’t want to understand them, or the occasional “professor” who likes to make himself feel smart by playing games with words.
I don’t know if it will help, but I’d like to try it”
People need to send a TELEGRAM to Congressmen on the committee telling them that SS is paid for by the workers themselves. The “solvency” of SS can be assured forever by a modest raise in the payroll “tax,” best introduced gradually, at the rate of one tenth of one percent per year as needed to maintain “short term actuarial solvency.” When polled people indicate a willingness to pay that greater tax rather than see SS cut or changed in any way that destroys its value as worker-paid insurance.
The committe should know what
“The facts are not hard to understand, except by people who don’t want to understand them, or the occasional “professor” who likes to make himself feel smart by playing games with words.”
Yes, and that fact holds for SS and Climate Change.
Strangely enough, the same people seem to not understand both of them.
The climate science that supports the hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming is huge. The science is international, the measurements involve ice cores, tree rings, glacial retreats, polar melting, ocean temperature, surface temperatures, air temperatures, plant and animal species migrations.
In science, there is no such thing as proof, only the weight of evidence. Presently, the weight of evidence supports the heliocentric solar system, a round earth, the theory that life on earth arose by descent with modification, the atomic theory of matter, the germ theory of infectious disease, plate tectonics and anthopogenic global warming.
Manmade C02 has only been extant for 50-100 years; the planet is several billion years old, spanning multiple climate changes from the earth being almost entirely covered in ice to dinosaurs living in Antartica , all without man even being around.
If I were to make a conclusion based on such an infinitesimal sample size for any other issue, you, as a scientist, would/should be screaming “small sample size!”
Besides, what do you make of this?: There has historically been much more CO2 in our atmosphere than exists today. The Carboniferous Period and the Ordovician Period were the only geological periods during the Paleozoic Era when global temperatures were as low as they are today. To the consternation of global warming proponents, the Late Ordovician Period was also an Ice Age while at the same time CO2 concentrations then were nearly 12 times higher than today– 4400 ppm.
the sad thing is that you think you’ve said something smart. the age of dinosaurs was not a good age for man, mice, or even grass. you want to go back to that climate, be my guest. but not on my planet please.
us science types understand that it’s not the sample size that’s important but how representative it is of that which you are testing for.
if you want to go back a few more billion years you might find the earth a great deal hotter than it is today with no CO2 at all.
again, you really don’t know anything.
“Sammy, social security and medicare are two separate programs and to
combine the social security surplus and the medicare deficit to demonstrate that social security has a problem is a very dishonest and misleading analysis.”
It’s not. The current tax rate for Social Security is 12.4% and the current Medicare tax rate is 2.9%, for a total of 17.3%. If the respective tax rates were adjusted to say 9% for SS and 6.3% for Medicare, SS would show a huge deficit while Medicare would be a huge surplus. We’d be talking about a huge problem in Social Security, while Medicare is fine.
In actuality, for the Federal budget and the taxpayer, the situation WOULD BE EXACTLY THE SAME.
Those who claim Social Security is some screened off entity independent from the Federal budget are the one’s who are misleading.
Sigh . . .
It is no claim, SS has its own funding and the funds shall be paid back over time from the TF. Renege on those funds and more than SS will be imperiled. I believe Spencer already explained this.
For you global warming enthusiasts: Did you know that 97% of atmospheric CO2 is natural? https://www.pinterest.com/pin/299559812693138155/
I didn’t think so.
It is true that human emissions of CO2 are small compared with natural sources. But the fact that CO2 levels have remained steady until very recently shows that natural emissions are usually balanced by natural absorptions. Now slightly more CO2 must be entering the atmosphere than is being soaked up by carbon “sinks”.
It is true there is a critical balance. In the scheme of things we consistently push it off balance by adding more C02 or by destroying the environment which would maintain the balance.
“Besides, what do you make of this?: There has historically been much more CO2 in our atmosphere than exists today.”
There has historically been far fewer humans on the planet than exist today. Nobody doubts that the planet will continue to exist if CO2 levels continue to soar. Venus is a planet, too. But humans can’t live there.
Nobody debates that the planet was far warmer in its 4 billion year history. Nobody debates that the planet will continue to exist if surface temperatures were to exceed 400°C. The point is whether human civilization can sustain the current rate of warming for even another century. It cannot.
That’s what I, and other educated and informed people, make of this. YMMV.
Just what this blog needs, a more clueless CoRev.
i don’t know about the blog. but have you noticed we have one in the White House?
Exactly my point, and the point of the link.
re SS Trust Fund:
reneging on the money owed TO the Trust Fund would be bad, but not nearly as bad as cutting benefits or otherwise changing the program so that is no longer “worker paid” insurance.
renegging would destroy “full faith and credit” and have whatever effects that would have (mostly temporary I think, because for now people who lend money to the government have nowhere else to go that is as secure and they would rationalize that money owed to Social Security was “not really” the same as money owed to “the publiic.” they would tell themselves that it’s just “reducing the deficit/debt and so good for the economy (stock market).
on the other hand cutting benefits would leave people with no “if all else fails” way to save “at least enough” so they could hope to retire before they were ready for the rest home or poor farm. that would ultimately be catastrophic not only for those who actually ended up too poor to live when they were too old or worn out to work or even find a job, it would also mean all workers would be less willing to spend money while young (need to save it for their old age) and less willing to take risks with the money they did save. unfortunately those risks cannot be avoided, absent Social Security. Inflation will destroy ordinary savings, and the stock market or even reasonable personal business investments will go bad at the worst possible time for at least a very large minority of people, and of course those who never make enough to save enough in the first place will not have SS insurance to bail them out.
so, yeah, try to get people to understand that welshing on the Trust Fund is not a good idea, but try to understand that the Trust Fund is not the important part of Social Security: the payroll deduction is what makes it work: the workers get their money back, and it is adjusted for inflation and earns an effective interest automatically from the growth in the economy by the magic of “pay as you go.”
on the other hand don’t expect the Sammys of the world to understand that. including the Sammys in the White House and Congress and the New York Times.
The Trustees Report is out.
“That’s what I, and other educated and informed people, make of this. YMMV.”
Thank you. It would be so nice to actually have a debate on this, rather than a bunch of name calling.
“When I read the publications of those who say there is no problem, they look to me like pretty typical lies……”
This sounds like you are going by your “gut feel,” which is decidedly Unscientific. You claim to be a “science guy” and this is what you’ve got?
it’s not “gut feel.” it’s experience. i have read a lot of scientific papers and a lot of science textbooks and spent a lot of time around real scientists. i know how they think and talk and write.
and i have also spent a lot of time around liars. and i have read a lot of liars … people trying to put one over on me becausethey think i don’t know the facts… or at least enough facts to tell when they are lying or “misleading.”
it is something you will never understand, because your “gut feel” always leads you into the warm intestines of the people who tell you what you want to believe.
“It would be so nice to actually have a debate on this . . .”
The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence points to anthropogenic global warming. The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence points to a rate of global warming that, if unabated by human intervention, will destroy human civilization and much of the plant and animal life on earth within 150-200 years.
There is some basis for “debate” about whether wars or starvation will be the dominant factor in the destruction of human civilization and the pace at which billions of humans will die.
You forgot “Cats and Dogs living together!…….” 🙂
thanks for letting us know the Trustees Report is out.
I wrote a brief comment on the next open thread. The basic point is that nothing substantial has changed since last years report, but you should be careful of the distortions that will come out trying to show that we are facing an existential crisis.
You can still pay for your own Social Security forever by raising your payroll “tax” contribution by one tenth of one percent per year… for about ten years, then at increasing intervals after that.
or you can pay for your own Social Security by raising your payroll tax by about 1.4% one time only if you do it this year.
or you can pay for your own Social Securiyt by raising your payroll tax by about 2% one time only if you wait until about 2035.
None of these are really a lot of money, especially if you keep in mind that you will get it back (two or three times over) when you retire or become disabled or die with dependents, and they are exactly and no more than what it will cost you to live when you retire, or for you or your dependents to live if you die or become disabled.
The alternative is to stand by and watch while the political people destroy Social Security and leave you at the mercy of the “market” or the charity of “the rich.”
That one tenth of one percent per year is the cheapest and easiest option because you pay less now, and more, gradually, as your income increases, and the interest from the Trust Fund is preserved to help lower the ultimate tax rate. It is also the fairest because it puts the tax on the people who will get the higher benefits and be the ones who are expected to live longer.
but that is all covered in the details.
Sammy writes:”You forgot “Cats and Dogs living together!…….” ”
And this is what you’ve got?
In other non Social Security related news, according to the folks over at Bloomberg, JP Morgan just reported a 26.5B$ profit. https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2017-07-14/jpmorgan-proves-wall-street-bank-profits-don-t-depend-on-traders
Since this represents the largest profits ever reported in history by a US bank I suspect it can only mean one thing: JP Morgan has invented and delivered a package of services that represent a value to millions of consumers that is as yet unheard of.
I mean that’s the only explanation that makes sense right? Because capitalism works right?
Ok can someone explain what that is? The Bloomberg story didn’t add that detail.