Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Social Security in Crisis: Act Now!

Like many of you, I am deeply troubled by the latest news about the Social Security trust fund. Until this morning, I was mired in complacent ignorance, soothed by the belief that it would be sufficient to pay all benefits until 2041. Now I know the awful truth: because of the current economic downturn, the fund will be exhausted in 2037, a mere 28 years from now.

Unwilling to face reality, my first reaction was denial. Aha! I thought, the prognosticators have overlooked the effects of the Great Boom of 2021-24. This will add almost a decade to the fund’s lifespan and forestall the need for painful reforms. But then I remembered that there will be a terrible slump in the early 30s, and that this would drain the fund once and for all.

Fellow citizens, wake up! There is no escaping the inevitable. We must begin to make major sacrifices now, and I mean today, in order to avert this impending debacle. Cut benefits! Raise taxes! This is your last chance to save Social Security!


Martin Langeland said...

With respect: I believe there is a typo in your snark-o-ration.
To wit:
Cut Benefits! Cut Taxes!
And Privatize! Privatize! Privatize!

Joe K said...

Indeed, it would be a disaster, but you forgot to consider that Barack, embarassed by his smear of Scandanavians and their banking system, adopts a forceful program to lower levels of income inequality to Danish standards (publicly quoting Henry Ford as an example).

The resulting massive increase in payroll taxes resolves the funding problem for both SSO and (the reformed) Medicare.

Joe K.

Rdan said...

...I believe you may have missed the call on the Boom of 2021 by six months however, but I will have the charts done next week to prove the point...NBER should have theirs ready a bit later. said...

Yes, if we have that "bankruptcy" in 2037, social security recipients will only receive about 120% of what current ones do in real terms. Definitely a crisis.

I have long figured out that the smarter of these social security hysterics, especially the Democratic ones like Sen. Kent Conrad, are really playing a shell game. They are worried about the broader deficit situation and are looking for a way to raise taxes. They see social security as the one place they might be able to convince Republicans not to filibuster a tax increase. But, it would have to be a 1983 style deal with the tradoff being an unnecessary cut in benefits. Given how many people have been propagandized into bleary ignorance by this long campaign, these people see this as saleable. It really has nothing to do with social security at all in the end, not to these folks.

TheTrucker said...

The Democrats are lying pigs. The Republicans probably cannot filibuster a tax increase because it is a deficit reduction bill. Then too, the Democrats can utilize the, so called, nuclear option to do away with the Republican stupidity once and for all. The "cloture" rule is currently unconstitutional because the rule must be voted into existence in each new legislative session by a straight up and down vote. The House does this "adoption of the rules" at the beginning of each session. The Senate is __**NOT**__ A CONTINUING BODY. It is a legislature and every legislature is free from any restraint imposed by a previous legislature. So until the NEW Senate (one that is most certainly different from the previous Senate by virtue of the elections) adopts the rules by majority vote, the there AIN'T no rules. The "Nuclear Option" is the insistence on this formal adoption by ANY Senator, and the acceptance of the "point of order" by the presiding officer of the Senate, which is the Vice President.

The "cloture" rule is only valuable to the lock stepped monolithic Republicans. It is worthless to any real democratic party. Seems to me that we have a fake democratic party.