Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, January 23, 2020

President Trump appeared open to cutting entitlement spending on Social Security and Medicare in a CNBC interview on Wednesday.

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Is Trump so sure that he can't lose the 2020 election that he's willing to start telling the American public now, before November, that he plans on looking for ways to start cutting back on programs like Social Security and Medicare? Hasn't he ever heard of the 'third rail' metaphor?

OCU

#1 | Posted by OCUser at 2020-01-23 12:49 AM | Reply

just like improving healthcare for all americans

#2 | Posted by truthhurts at 2020-01-23 12:53 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

He is guaranteeing he won't be getting re-elected.
He is making the Dems job easy for them. All they have to do is replay his words.

#3 | Posted by aborted_monson at 2020-01-23 01:03 AM | Reply

^^This

You're so smart, AbMo.

#4 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2020-01-23 01:47 AM | Reply

Why reform them. No one cares about the deficit.

With negative interest rates the deficit will make money.

#5 | Posted by bored at 2020-01-23 01:50 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Yay.

It is possible to make this an even bigger shhthole.

I mean, currently 32 of the 33 "modern countries" and a great many of the rest of them have decided that healthcare is a human right, while we have to say things like:

WebMD, why do my farts smell like blood?

instead of just going to see the doctor.

It's going to be real nice when your grandmothers from sea to shining sea are back on the cat food diet that their grandmothers were on.

America will be great again!

#6 | Posted by MrSilenceDogood at 2020-01-23 02:16 AM | Reply

He is talking about republican reform which just means cut

#7 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2020-01-23 02:55 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Mexico will pay for it.

#8 | Posted by anton at 2020-01-23 04:29 AM | Reply

He wants to re-form it into military spending. Heaven knows we haven't pi$$ed away enough of our treasury dropping thousands of bombs a $60K a pop.

Teachers' salary is gone in a second... do that a thousand times in a day...which they have done...only to lose and be expell3d from the country whose government we've re-formed to suit some obscure need.
Republicl0wn pig brains.

.

#9 | Posted by RightisTrite at 2020-01-23 07:04 AM | Reply

I smell a snafu coming.

Be afraid, be very afraid.

#10 | Posted by fresno500 at 2020-01-23 07:13 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

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Social security is only 75% funded. Reform or fail.

#11 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2020-01-23 07:20 AM | Reply

"Why reform them. No one cares about the deficit."

Exactly. No on cares about the deficit, so just fully fund them now! Easy-peasy!

#12 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2020-01-23 07:49 AM | Reply

This is Trump taking a premature victory lap because of "exoneration". He likes to celebrate by proving his power and he's always enjoyed hurting people to prove that.

It's a pattern. The man is so predictable.

So screw a central campaign promise that helped him get elected. America loves him! His people love him! They won't mind if he just sort of, you know, takes the money they've been counting on for their old age.

#13 | Posted by Zed at 2020-01-23 07:54 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

He is guaranteeing he won't be getting re-elected.

#3 | Posted by aborted_monson at 2020

Trump's mind obviously doesn't work that way.

Let's start dealing with Donald the way his mind does work.

#14 | Posted by Zed at 2020-01-23 07:57 AM | Reply

Congratulations Trump supporters, you've F****d yourselves. Who could have seen this coming, I mean, except for everyone except you idiots. This is totally on you guy. You own this.

#15 | Posted by danni at 2020-01-23 08:27 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

Easy like winning trade wars...

#16 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2020-01-23 08:40 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"He is guaranteeing he won't be getting re-elected. He is making the Dems job easy for them."

That's what he thought it 2016. See how that turned out. Looking at the current front-runner, it appears we're on the same course.

#17 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2020-01-23 08:40 AM | Reply

"Social security is only 75% funded. Reform or fail."

Simple fix, the same way Ronnie Raygun did it.....raise the amount of income subject to SS taxes. There, all fixed.

#18 | Posted by danni at 2020-01-23 08:43 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

See how that turned out.

#17 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at

Trump genuinely hurt himself here. But I get you. The man is a cheat and his truest believers no more think he will harm THEM then they did in 2016.

#19 | Posted by Zed at 2020-01-23 08:44 AM | Reply

Is Trump so sure that he can't lose the 2020 election that he's willing to start telling the American public now, before November, that he plans on looking for ways to start cutting back on programs like

#1 | Posted by OCUser at

Trump has people who tell him he's God's destiny. Hitler had the same sort of people. The man's madness sucks up such nonsense the way ants eat sugar.

#20 | Posted by Zed at 2020-01-23 08:46 AM | Reply

We've never had a genuine megalomaniac as president before. Megalomania is a mental disorder, an exaggeration of Trump's natural personality, which began as warped. It's only going t get worse, not better.

#21 | Posted by Zed at 2020-01-23 08:49 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

So... how long do you think it will be before we get "No one knew that Social Security and Medicare were so complicated"?

#22 | Posted by gtbritishskull at 2020-01-23 09:21 AM | Reply | Funny: 2 | Newsworthy 1

Everything is very easy for the Very Stable Jenius until it isn't.

Better stock up on lube America, your reaming is coming.

Social Security is not an entitlement...I pay into it.

#23 | Posted by Nixon at 2020-01-23 09:34 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Social Security is not an entitlement...I pay into it.

#23 | POSTED BY NIXON

Meh... the money does not exist. There is no "trust fund", just a pile of IOUs.

You were nice enough to pay for the retirement of the generation before you. With the excess going into the general fund of the US government. And because of that, you think you are "entitled" to have ME pay for YOUR retirement. I am not sure that I feel the same way.

I see the flaws in Social Security, and am not planning on relying on it when I retire (though, if it is available, I will of course take it). Those flaws have not changed. Honestly, it just sounds like you weren't smart enough, or did not care enough, to see them. You are begging for my charity, but saying you are "entitled" to it. That does not tend to make me feel very charitable.

#24 | Posted by gtbritishskull at 2020-01-23 09:51 AM | Reply

#24 -- Wow, I normally agree with you on pretty much everything but this is beyond wrong. Nobody is "nice enough" since it is all taken from us directly off the top. The pile of IOUs needs to be paid back by the government, that isnt what the money was there for. SS is absolutely not and entitlement. It is a forced investment and I expect my return.

#25 | Posted by justagirl_idaho at 2020-01-23 10:12 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

#25 | Posted by justagirl_idaho

Very well put. Between what I have been FORCED to pay into SS and my own savings I could have retired already.

#26 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2020-01-23 10:18 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I notice many posts but no one seems to be interested in discussing the obvious solutions to the shortfall in SS. Trump loves that, he can make people believe there is not easy solution when it is right there waiting be done.

#27 | Posted by danni at 2020-01-23 10:34 AM | Reply

#27 | Posted by danni

The most obvious solution is not a popular one with most people. It means Taxation. Our taxes in all honesty are stupid low vs history and our country's needs.

#28 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2020-01-23 10:48 AM | Reply

"The most obvious solution is not a popular one with most people. It means Taxation."

Fixing the SS equation is easy: adding one point to the worker's 6.2%, and one to the employer's half, will put SS into balance into "perpetuity", which to actuaries is 75 years.

Medicare, however is the elephant in the room.

#29 | Posted by Danforth at 2020-01-23 11:04 AM | Reply

It is a forced investment and I expect my return.

#25 | Posted by justagirl_idaho

This is where you're wrong.

It wasn't an investment. It was you paying for the retirement of the older generations.

If younger generations decide they don't want to fund yours or decide to fund less of yours, you're sort of SOL.

#30 | Posted by jpw at 2020-01-23 11:11 AM | Reply

"Fixing the SS equation is easy: adding one point to the worker's 6.2%, and one to the employer's half, will put SS into balance into "perpetuity", which to actuaries is 75 years."

No, I disagree, let's raise the amount of income subject to SS taxes....let's raise it to infinity and then we would never have this discussion again. And the 1%, in the end, are the employers of most of us though perhaps indirectly through stock ownership, etc., so I find nothing wrong with making them contribute to the retirements of those who actually do the work that affords them wealth.

#31 | Posted by danni at 2020-01-23 11:26 AM | Reply

"If younger generations decide they don't want to fund yours or decide to fund less of yours, you're sort of SOL."

One of the things most easily forgotten is that before SS the next generation was stuck taking care of their elderly parents. SS enabled their parents to live many more years independently, taking care of themselves. I doubt seriously that the generations younger than SS recipients really want to shoulder that burden and will happily support raising the taxes on the wealthy to support SS.

#32 | Posted by danni at 2020-01-23 11:29 AM | Reply

Trump just can't help but say stupid ----, every single day.

The Democratic House will never pass cuts to SS. So he's basically giving away campaign talking points for something that is never going to happen.

The question is, will voters care? Because he will literally just lie and say the Dems are the ones who said this. And his ball-buffers on the DR will adopt his lies and vomit them out profusely.

#33 | Posted by JOE at 2020-01-23 11:35 AM | Reply

"If younger generations decide they don't want to fund yours or decide to fund less of yours, you're sort of SOL."

Two reasons you're incorrect: one, retiring boomers are a huge voting bloc, and two, they turn out to the polls. Until other groups can turn out at much greater percentages, they won't have the electoral sway boomers do.

#34 | Posted by Danforth at 2020-01-23 12:04 PM | Reply

You were nice enough to pay for the retirement of the generation before you. With the excess going into the general fund of the US government. And because of that, you think you are "entitled" to have ME pay for YOUR retirement. I am not sure that I feel the same way.

#24 | Posted by gtbritishskull

Everyone forgets that Social Security is an INSURANCE program (it says that when you read the official name of the program, which is the 'Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance' (OASDI) program). And like other insurance programs, the premiums being paid by TODAY's policy holders are used to pay the benefits of those who are collecting TODAY. When you buy a life insurance policy, do you honestly think that it's your money that is being put into some bank account which will be held there for your heirs until you die? What if you died three months after taking out the policy, don't you think that your heirs will get 100% of the face value of the policy? Of course they will. But is that fair to the other policy holders who didn't die and are still paying their premiums? Yes, because that's the way insurance works.

And as for this idea that if I had saved that money on my own, I'd have more what I'm going to be getting back from Social Security, tell that to the parent of young kids when the breadwinner was killed on their way to work one morning. Or the person who worked 30+ year and a few years before reaching the age of 62, they're injured and are unable to work. What about people in these situations? Don't they deserve what was promised to them and for which they've paid, even if it wasn't enough to cover 100% of the benefit that they'll eventually receive? That's part of the social contract which all of us 'signed-up' for as Americans.

OCU

#35 | Posted by OCUser at 2020-01-23 12:11 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Meh... the money does not exist. There is no "trust fund", just a pile of IOUs.

Another GOP talking point.

Those piles of "IOU's" are US Treasury Bonds, the single most safe investment in the world.

Banks own tons of them as they provide a stable return along with security of principal.

What would you rather they invest the money in? Bitcoin? Gold?

#36 | Posted by Nixon at 2020-01-23 12:12 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

The pile of IOUs needs to be paid back by the government,

That money was given to the 1% through tax cuts. Now when the social security fund needs money the GOP wants to cut benefits.

Once again the money flows to the top and the pain flows to the bottom.

"If younger generations decide they don't want to fund yours or decide to fund less of yours, you're sort of SOL."

Except they don't have the ability to say no. It is a payroll tax. They would have to repeal the social security act to get rid of it and that is never happening.

#37 | Posted by Nixon at 2020-01-23 12:16 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"Those piles of "IOU's" are US Treasury Bonds, the single most safe investment in the world. Banks own tons of them as they provide a stable return along with security of principal."

Banks own a lot of Treasury bonds , but not these, which are "special-issue" bonds, which cannot be bought and sold on the open market.

#38 | Posted by Danforth at 2020-01-23 12:20 PM | Reply

"Banks own a lot of Treasury bonds , but not these, which are "special-issue" bonds, which cannot be bought and sold on the open market."

Why can't we convert them into regular Treasury Bonds? What would it take? A bill in Congress? The Fed? Who? What?

#39 | Posted by danni at 2020-01-23 12:29 PM | Reply

Social security is only 75% funded. Reform or fail.

#11 | POSTED BY SITZKRIEG

Yes, because Boomers didn't pay enough in to cover their social security payments. They did the same thing with taxes leaving a massive federal debt.

#40 | Posted by Sycophant at 2020-01-23 01:38 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#24 -- Wow, I normally agree with you on pretty much everything but this is beyond wrong. Nobody is "nice enough" since it is all taken from us directly off the top. The pile of IOUs needs to be paid back by the government, that isnt what the money was there for. SS is absolutely not and entitlement. It is a forced investment and I expect my return.

#25 | POSTED BY JUSTAGIRL_IDAHO

If you get paid Social Security, it's likely you'll get MORE than you put in. That's the issue we are having right now and why its running out.

#41 | Posted by Sycophant at 2020-01-23 01:41 PM | Reply

Trump in 2016:
"We're going to have health insurance for everybody.
There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can't pay for it, you don't get it.
That's not going to happen with me as President. I am going to take care of everybody.
Everybody's going to be taken care of much better than they're taken care of now,
and it will cost them much, much less, believe me. It's so simple."

Trump in 2020:
Has achieved nothing and hopes no one remembers him bragging about how simple healthcare reform is.

#42 | Posted by eightfifteenpm at 2020-01-23 02:55 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

#25 | POSTED BY JUSTAGIRL_IDAHO

#26 | POSTED BY GALAXIEPETE

Who forced you? Oh yes... the government. The one you voted for. YOUR politicians that you CHOSE are "forcing" you to pay for the older generation's retirement. If you had a problem with that, you should have voted them out, and put someone in who would not "force" you.

Again... because you were stupid enough to think that you had to pay for the last generation's retirement, you think that you are "entitled" to have me pay for yours.

Those piles of "IOU's" are US Treasury Bonds, the single most safe investment in the world.
Banks own tons of them as they provide a stable return along with security of principal.
What would you rather they invest the money in? Bitcoin? Gold?

#36 | POSTED BY NIXON

And what is a "Treasury Bond"? It is a loan you give to the US government. So, the US government is "loaning money" to itself and calling it a "trust fund". What happens when that "trust fund" needs to be tapped? Where does the money come from to pay for it? I will tell you. The government either has to issue more Treasury bonds (to the general public) or raise taxes to get the money. Because the money does not exist. Because it is just an IOU.

Think of it like the "trust fund" is a 401(k). But, instead of investing it in stocks or something, you invest in "yourself" by instead lending all the money that you put into your 401(k) back to yourself. So, when you retire, you have this account "worth" $200k, but you are also $200k in debt to your 401(k). So how big is your retirement account? In reality it is worthless because it is just an IOU to yourself. You will still have to work to pay back the "loans" that will allow you to withdraw money from your 401(k). Now doesn't that sound stupid? Because that is what the "trust fund" is.

And I don't want them to invest the money. It is stupid for the government to invest money (for a future monetary return). It never works. If you want to have a safety net (insurance), then make it one. Cut the benefits. Means test it so that you only get it if you absolutely need it. Because right now it is not "insurance", it is a pension. And government is terrible at administrating pensions. As shown by the boomers, if you give the government the option to put something off into the future (like paying for a pension, or paying off debt) they WILL do it.

#43 | Posted by gtbritishskull at 2020-01-23 02:58 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Also, what does Trump mean when he says "We've never had growth like this." ?

#44 | Posted by eightfifteenpm at 2020-01-23 02:58 PM | Reply

#43 | POSTED BY GTBRITISHSKULL

I respectfully disagree and actually laughed out loud at part of your comment. We are clearly not going to agree here and I am not going to spend more of my time on this topic.

#45 | Posted by justagirl_idaho at 2020-01-23 03:16 PM | Reply

And like other insurance programs, the premiums being paid by TODAY's policy holders are used to pay the benefits of those who are collecting TODAY. When you buy a life insurance policy, do you honestly think that it's your money that is being put into some bank account which will be held there for your heirs until you die? What if you died three months after taking out the policy, don't you think that your heirs will get 100% of the face value of the policy? Of course they will. But is that fair to the other policy holders who didn't die and are still paying their premiums? Yes, because that's the way insurance works.

#35 | POSTED BY OCUSER

You are taking a very simplistic view of insurance. And to answer your question... Yes, they do have big bank accounts that money is put in and invested. Not tied to individual people, but tied to risk pools.

If you were talking about homeowner's or car insurance, then you would be correct. The actuarial risk to insurance companies for those industries is in theory constant year to year (the chance of your house getting hit by a tree this year is in theory the same as the chance it will get hit by a tree next year). But, that is not how life insurance works. As you get older, there is a higher likelihood of the insurance company having to pay out, but the premium stays the same. So, there is no way that it could work unless they can guarantee that they can get an even distribution of people across every age group. And if they were unable to get young people to buy life insurance, then the whole system would collapse and the people who had already paid in would not get their benefits (like SS would if young people stopped paying in).

Instead, life insurance companies rely on investing premiums. If they have all young people, then they build up money at the beginning. And they invest it. And then as people get older, more money goes out than comes in, and those investments get drawn down.

That is kinda like what happened with social security. They had a surplus, so they "invested" it, knowing . But, the investment was in IOUs (Treasury bonds) and the boomers spent the actual money on tax cuts and wars.

#46 | Posted by gtbritishskull at 2020-01-23 03:23 PM | Reply

#45 | POSTED BY JUSTAGIRL_IDAHO

Lol... I appreciate the respectful disagreement. And I will apologize for the "stupid" comment. Not because I don't feel it is an accurate description of a system that you support and help perpetrate, but because I do not actually intend it to be a personal attack.

It is how I feel. Probably the biggest thing that I disagreed with in Obamacare was their attempt at having "long term care" insurance. And luckily that was one of the first things that got axed. And I disagree with it not because I don't think it is needed. But because I don't think that government can administrate it effectively. They can administrate regular insurance just fine (as I touched on in #46) because it in theory can "zero out" every year. But things like life insurance or pensions that require a long term planning horizon and investment I believe are doomed to fail with the way our political system has been shown to operate.

So, I dont want the government administrating pensions (SS is a pension). And I have a couple conservative views as well in that I believe that the government should be encouraging people to take personal responsibility and plan for their own retirement, instead of forcing them into a one-size-fits-all program. I would much prefer that we cut both benefits and the SS tax, and just have it as a safety net, so that if you fail to plan properly for your retirement you still get something to survive on. But it is not an amount intended to live comfortably on. And, if you do save properly for your retirement, then you don't get it because you don't need it.

#47 | Posted by gtbritishskull at 2020-01-23 03:53 PM | Reply

"But, the investment was in IOUs (Treasury bonds) and the boomers spent the actual money on tax cuts and wars."

Oh I see, everyone younger than boomer age voted against Bush and Trump. Sorry but we both know that isn't true. Republicans did that, they passed the tax cuts for the 1%, they were largely responsible for the foreign wars, they have been responsible under Trump of additional military spending. This how wash that it is a generational war is stupid, it was the boomers who protested to get us out of Vietnam against the same basic enemies we face today.....right wing Republicans. That is who slashes taxes, who wastes money on MIC, who starts unnecessary wars.

"Also, what does Trump mean when he says "We've never had growth like this." ?"

He means that his supporters are too stupid to look and see what his actual growth rate numbers are.

#48 | Posted by danni at 2020-01-23 03:56 PM | Reply

Tbills are a promise to pay from the US gov.
The growing US debt makes that Tbill promise more difficult to honor.

There is no justification to renege on SS Tbills and not other Tbills.

The US hardly batted an eye before spending 3 Trillion on a fiasco.

Issue Tbills to fully fund SS and the deal with the budget or cancel all debts evenly.

#49 | Posted by bored at 2020-01-23 04:07 PM | Reply

"SS is a pension"

Not the way it's set up; it's more of an equilibrium equation. For years after the rates were changed to the current ones, more was collected than disbursed. Around the 2nd or 3rd year of Obama's first term, the equation went into long-antipated negative territory. At today's juncture, one additional point increase for both the worker and employer puts the equation back into balance.

#50 | Posted by Danforth at 2020-01-23 04:26 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Two reasons you're incorrect: one, retiring boomers are a huge voting bloc, and two, they turn out to the polls. Until other groups can turn out at much greater percentages, they won't have the electoral sway boomers do.

#34 | Posted by Danforth

That's why I lead with the word "if".

The point was that the money idaho paid in all those years wasn't an "investment" in that it sat there waiting for her to use it.

It's gone. Wasn't ever intended to stay there.

When she collects she's collecting money paid in by those still working, who will likely develop the same sentiment.

#51 | Posted by jpw at 2020-01-24 08:18 AM | Reply

Except they don't have the ability to say no. It is a payroll tax. They would have to repeal the social security act to get rid of it and that is never happening.

#37 | Posted by Nixon

You sure? What's the topic of the thread?

The iron is that the Boomer voter block might end up killing it for the younger generation if they keep voting so reliably Republican.

#52 | Posted by jpw at 2020-01-24 08:19 AM | Reply

I respectfully disagree and actually laughed out loud at part of your comment. We are clearly not going to agree here and I am not going to spend more of my time on this topic.

#45 | Posted by justagirl_idaho

Hope you don't get blindsided when SS gets, at the very least, significantly slashed.

Things are changing and not for the better. Best not stick your head in the sand.

#53 | Posted by jpw at 2020-01-24 08:22 AM | Reply

Fixing the SS equation is easy: adding one point to the worker's 6.2%, and one to the employer's half

#29 | POSTED BY DANFORTH AT 2020-01-23 11:04 AM | FLAG:

It's 2.78% for solvency, at current rates, to maintain current benefits.

The problem is that doesn't fund any benefit expansions being promised by the Dem party or any of the primary candidates.

#54 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2020-01-24 10:19 AM | Reply

The iron is that the Boomer voter block might end up killing it for the younger generation if they keep voting so reliably Republican.

#52 | Posted by jpw at 2020-01-24 08:19 AM | Reply | Flag:

I doubt they could get enough Senators to tell people under 50 "You get to keep paying into Social Security, but when it is your time to retire ufck off."

When Fat Nixon talks about "refmorming" it what they will do is ufck with the COLA adjustments to make them worth less than they already are. Probably also an increase to the FICA wage base to "accurately" reflect the pay of wage earners.

Currently the way the system is rigged is that the increase in the FICA wage base has been running 3-4% annually while the COLA for retirees runs 0-1.5% per year.

What should be done is the cap on social security earnings should be removed and S Corporation income should be subject to self employment tax. The biggest game I see is S Corp owners who are the only people working there and not paying themselves wages subject to FICA.

#55 | Posted by Nixon at 2020-01-24 11:41 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

They should also put means testing in for collecting benefits. I see too many people with millions in taxable income AND collecting $35,000 in social security.

#56 | Posted by Nixon at 2020-01-24 11:43 AM | Reply

"They should also put means testing in for collecting benefits."

Only if it's accompanied with an earnings test. It's not fair to penalize someone for saving, while his neighbors are blowing every dime.

#57 | Posted by Danforth at 2020-01-24 12:00 PM | Reply

There's already a type of 'means testing' being applied to Social Security, in the form of using how much you earn to determine whether 85% versus 50%, or perhaps none, of your Social Security payments are subject to federal income tax (and in the 13 states that tax SS payments).

As for actually cutting Social Security payments based on income, I'm not so sure that's a good idea since technically this is a benefit which you've already 'paid' for.

OCU

#58 | Posted by OCUser at 2020-01-24 12:17 PM | Reply

The problem is that doesn't fund any benefit expansions being promised by the Dem party or any of the primary candidates.

#54 | POSTED BY SITZKRIEG

No. The problem is two-fold and easily to look up.

1. People are living longer and out-living what they paid into Social Security.
2. Not enough young people to cover the huge Boomer population.

The first problem is because Boomers refused to pay their due in taxes for decades.
The second is simply because the Boomers were a population anomaly where we had a large number of people born in the same period.

#59 | Posted by Sycophant at 2020-01-24 12:27 PM | Reply

"There's already a type of 'means testing' being applied to Social Security, in the form of using how much you earn to determine whether 85% versus 50%, or perhaps none, of your Social Security payments"

That's not enough. The percentage is only taxed at their marginal rate, which means even the top bracket is paying less than 31.5% in federal taxes, so after taxes, he's still getting over 2/3rds of his payment. Someone making 70K would be paying less than 19%, and keeping over 80%.

#60 | Posted by Danforth at 2020-01-24 12:30 PM | Reply

"People are living longer and out-living what they paid into Social Security."

Yes, but only based on the SS system's lousy return rate. At 6% compounded, even at 5%, they'd be fine.

"Not enough young people to cover the huge Boomer population."

That's why the Trustees recently suggested a slow rise in the payroll tax rate. One point now for both worker and employer would do it; they've suggested a slow rise to 1.25pts on both sides.

"The first problem is because Boomers refused to pay their due in taxes for decades."

Since Reagan's code in '86, boomers have overpaid in the equation.

"The second is simply because the Boomers were a population anomaly where we had a large number of people born in the same period."

Meaning we've known this tsunami was heading toward us for six decades. The perfect time to address it would've been with the surpluses left by Clinton to Dubya. The latter chose income tax cuts instead.

#61 | Posted by Danforth at 2020-01-24 12:39 PM | Reply

Meaning we've known this tsunami was heading toward us for six decades. The perfect time to address it would've been with the surpluses left by Clinton to Dubya. The latter chose income tax cuts instead.

#61 | Posted by Danforth

You mean boomers decided that they wouldn't fix the problem they themselves represented...all while refusing to reduce what they'd get.

#62 | Posted by jpw at 2020-01-24 12:45 PM | Reply

"You mean boomers decided that they wouldn't fix the problem they themselves represented..."

Not boomers in general; Dubya and Cheney specifically when they had the chance, but that $2 Trillion went in income tax cuts instead. Also, the systemic "problem" is this money "earns" ~2%. We'd be much better off changing to a 401-type system...but that $2 Trillion cost to shift over was blown on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

"all while refusing to reduce what they'd get."

I'm all for means testing, if it also comes with an earnings test: It's not fair to be penalized for choosing a lesser lifestyle while saving for retirement.

#63 | Posted by Danforth at 2020-01-24 12:54 PM | Reply

Not boomers in general

Overall I would disagree.

The problems haven't been over the horizon for some time now. They've been very clearly right in front of us.

But the boomer generation has, in net, voted to keep things the way they are (ie most beneficial to them) while simply pushing off the very real and visible problems.

They don't care how much the problem is compounded by their inaction or active avoidance of them, so long as their benefits aren't modified.

History will record that the overarching theme of the Boomer's time as the primary drivers of our government as one of economic inequality, extraction and largess. They were handed an amazing thing and have decided to hoard it all for themselves.

#64 | Posted by jpw at 2020-01-24 01:02 PM | Reply

#64 | POSTED BY JPW

I tried to find something in that post to challenge, but I was unsuccessful.

Well stated.

#65 | Posted by JeffJ at 2020-01-24 01:08 PM | Reply

SS is absolutely not and entitlement. It is a forced investment and I expect my return.

#25 | POSTED BY JUSTAGIRL_IDAHO

That's why it's called an entitlement. You're entitled because you were forced to pay-in.

#66 | Posted by JeffJ at 2020-01-24 01:12 PM | Reply

Medicare is a bigger funding problem than SS.

This is what I think needs to be done:

1. Raise FICA taxes 1 point on each side.

2. Raise the FICA cap by $10k.

3. Raise the age of eligibility by 1 year starting 2031, another year starting 2036 and 1 more year starting 2041.

The looming unfunded liabilities are massive and can only be tackled by a combination of revenue increases AND the simple reductions in spending that I laid out. Revenue increases alone won't get us there and spending reductions alone would need to be far too draconian. The ratio of recipients to payees is getting more and more skewed and a comprehensive approach is necessary. What I am suggesting is simple. It doesn't require and fancy calculations and it's gradual and incremental enough that I think it could be implemented without too much undue pain or economic blowback.

#67 | Posted by JeffJ at 2020-01-24 01:17 PM | Reply

"History will record that the overarching theme of the Boomer's time as the primary drivers of our government as one of economic inequality"

That's if history is generalized. If it gets specific, it'll point to the moment Dubya and Cheney reset our fiscal sights from Surplusville to Debtsylvania. SS could've been shored up. Republicans chose income tax cuts instead, and a $2 Trillion war of choice.

#68 | Posted by Danforth at 2020-01-24 01:32 PM | Reply

That's if history is generalized. If it gets specific, it'll point to the moment Dubya and Cheney reset our fiscal sights from Surplusville to Debtsylvania. SS could've been shored up. Republicans chose income tax cuts instead, and a $2 Trillion war of choice.

#68 | POSTED BY DANFORTH

What was done about unfunded liabilities from 1993-1995?

How about 2009-2011?

#69 | Posted by JeffJ at 2020-01-24 01:38 PM | Reply

Sure is telling when the word "appears" is in the headline. My God.

#70 | Posted by wisgod at 2020-01-24 02:34 PM | Reply

Raise the FICA cap by $10k.

Why only $10k?

Why should someone who earns $50k/year have 100% of their income subjected to FICA, yet someone who earns $1MM/year have only 13.3% of their income subjected to FICA?

The person earning $50k likely has to spend 100% of their net just to get by. The person earning $1MM doesn't.

And i know the response about SS being a personal retirement program. But let's not pretend we aren't just all paying taxes into the black hole of government and getting whatever government decides to deficit spend to give us. As long as that's the case, the only non-regressive and defensible position is that 100% of everyone's income should be subject to FICA.

#71 | Posted by JOE at 2020-01-24 02:34 PM | Reply

It's easy to knock things over.

It's what Trump specializes in.

#72 | Posted by ClownShack at 2020-01-24 02:35 PM | Reply

-Why should someone who earns $50k/year have 100% of their income subjected to FICA, yet someone who earns $1MM/year have only 13.3% of their income subjected to FICA?

because the SS benefit at retirement means the whole world to the guy making $50K and the benefit will likely be 60-70% as much as the guy who paid in the maximum....which is more than double.

IOW, the guy who pays the maximum in to SS (anybody making more than $130K right now) gets the least amount of it back (% wise) when they retire.

That's why.

#73 | Posted by eberly at 2020-01-24 02:38 PM | Reply

Let's elect a Socialist. Hell, between Healthcare, Green new deals, college tuition forgiveness we have plenty of money for all this stuff! Enough left over to pay illegal immigrants, felons and abortions for all. Good times!

#74 | Posted by wisgod at 2020-01-24 02:41 PM | Reply

And every time someone starts complaining about the guy making $1 million a year and not paying enough.....remember every damn solution you're suggesting hurts the folks making way less than the guy making $1 million.

As much as I hate it, I would prefer the % go up a point on each side over raising the cap significantly.

and you can forget about eliminating the cap on income subject to FICA. There is zero political chance of that happening.

"the only non-regressive and defensible position is that 100% of everyone's income should be subject to FICA."

yeah, in fantasyland. Not here though.

#75 | Posted by eberly at 2020-01-24 02:44 PM | Reply

the guy who pays the maximum in to SS (anybody making more than $130K right now) gets the least amount of it back (% wise) when they retire.

Doesn't make the funding mechanism any less regressive, but thanks for not being a 100% jagbag in your response.

#76 | Posted by JOE at 2020-01-24 02:45 PM | Reply

And really your argument boils down to SS being necessarily regressive because the people at the bottom need it most. But that's not how we fund much anything else in this country that's recognized as a social good. It benefits everyone to have a strong retirement system.

#77 | Posted by JOE at 2020-01-24 02:47 PM | Reply

No. The problem is two-fold and easily to look up.

#59 | POSTED BY SYCOPHANT AT 2020-01-24 12:27 PM | FLAG:

You missed the point. That was addressed in the 2.78% bump required. That takes care of the issues you listed. Promises of expanded benefits mean more points on the increase.

#78 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2020-01-24 02:59 PM | Reply

Maybe it would be worth talking about the earned income limitations the rules of Social Security impose if you want to address people without any other means of retirement income. You know, lower class folks?

#79 | Posted by wisgod at 2020-01-24 03:00 PM | Reply

Jesus Christ.

Wisgod has become the angry old guy yelling at the clouds.

Your mental breakdown is fascinating to observe.

#80 | Posted by ClownShack at 2020-01-24 03:00 PM | Reply

I'm not shouting at anyone, Drama Queen. It's not a simple problem so a simpleton non-resident like you wouldn't understand

#81 | Posted by wisgod at 2020-01-24 03:04 PM | Reply

"How about 2009-2011?"

Obama was cleaning up the Bush Bust & Bailout. Get your head out of your ass.

Did Dubya and Cheney reset the fiscal sights to deficits or not?

#82 | Posted by Danforth at 2020-01-24 03:31 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I think it could make sense to completely restructure the way we finance Soc Sec so that US workers and businesses aren't the ones paying into it. Right now US businesses finance half of the SS fund. Their foreign competitors aren't on the hook for that tax. Meanwhile high earners also stop paying in due to the cap on the payroll tax. Maybe a value added tax on all goods and services or national sales tax or some combination.

#83 | Posted by johnny_hotsauce at 2020-01-24 03:39 PM | Reply

Sure, after we pay for free tuition and Medicare for all as well as unemployment for the Healthcare industry. Not to mention every other promise for vote proposals. I'm sure business wouldn't leave, right?

#84 | Posted by wisgod at 2020-01-24 03:46 PM | Reply

"Right now US businesses finance half of the SS fund."

Not really: the worker finances all of it, since if the employer doesn't pay, the worker is still ultimately the one responsible. Your "hourly" rate is actually your rate X 1.0765. If you're a household employee, rate X 1.0828384.

"Maybe a value added tax on all goods and services or national sales tax or some combination."

Now you've just screwed over every Roth IRA owner, who paid income tax up front, only to be hit with a replacement on the back end.

#85 | Posted by Danforth at 2020-01-24 03:48 PM | Reply

I'm also sure we'd need to subsidize the medical profession after nobody wants to get into that. And of course the public teachers union will be way cool on the back burner. You folks are economic geniuses

#86 | Posted by wisgod at 2020-01-24 03:50 PM | Reply

The worker finances all of it. God, you need a blood thinner for that stroke

#87 | Posted by wisgod at 2020-01-24 03:53 PM | Reply

"The worker finances all of it.

Legally, yes. Don't you know what happens when your boss doesn't pay "his share"...? The IRS comes after YOU for it.

Tell us all who's legally responsible, Einstein.

#88 | Posted by Danforth at 2020-01-24 03:56 PM | Reply

Now you've just screwed over every Roth IRA owner, who paid income tax up front, only to be hit with a replacement on the back end.

Then make an exemption for Roths. At the end of the day high net worth individuals are the ones who should be salvaging this system rather than increasing the burden on people who need every dollar they earn to survive, so however that needs to be accomplished is what i support.

#89 | Posted by JOE at 2020-01-24 04:09 PM | Reply

I wouldn't know, Danforth. I worked for a reputable Company. You explain it seeing as it appears you're an expert on getting bent over at work. Maybe they thought your posting here had a value as a trade

#90 | Posted by wisgod at 2020-01-24 04:15 PM | Reply

"I wouldn't know, Danforth. I worked for a reputable Company."

That doesn't change the law, or the liability, one iota. You should've stopped after your first three words.

#91 | Posted by Danforth at 2020-01-24 04:36 PM | Reply

"it appears you're an expert on getting bent over at work."

I'll defer to your expertise on getting bent over, especially after you admitting Wisconsin was doing that to you.

#92 | Posted by Danforth at 2020-01-24 04:39 PM | Reply

"Maybe they thought your posting here had a value as a trade"

Of course my boss believes that; I've been self-employed for nearly 35 years.

Any other stupidity to display?

#93 | Posted by Danforth at 2020-01-24 04:41 PM | Reply

#93 | POSTED BY DANFORTH

Have you ever given your boss a hard time?

#94 | Posted by JeffJ at 2020-01-24 04:46 PM | Reply

-And really your argument boils down to SS being necessarily regressive because the people at the bottom need it most.

yes, that' show I see it and since the formula benefits those at the bottom more significantly compared to the guy who pays in the maximum...I think the changes should involve those at the bottom.

and not by raising the age or lowering the benefits.

I would rather not raise the age nor lower the benefits. Rather, add % to contribution from the first dollar for both employee and employer in order to allow blue-collar workers to not keep swinging a hammer past age 65-67.

#95 | Posted by eberly at 2020-01-24 04:49 PM | Reply

since the formula benefits those at the bottom more significantly compared to the guy who pays in the maximum...I think the changes should involve those at the bottom.

At a superficial level, maybe. But think about how a strong retirement system benefits the top by giving them dedicated workers who don't (all) need to go to a second job after work to make sure they're saving enough. There are many indirect but very tangible benefits to a strong SS system for top earners beyond the direct monetary payments.

#96 | Posted by JOE at 2020-01-24 04:51 PM | Reply

Sorry, Danforth. I don't know or care about you personally. I'm stupid because of an Internet goof that can say whatever that's unverifiable? You rock your little world, little man!

#97 | Posted by wisgod at 2020-01-24 05:20 PM | Reply

"I'm stupid because of an Internet goof that can say whatever that's unverifiable? "

It's easily verifiable, dumbschitt.
www.irs.gov

That took all of ten seconds to find, less time than it took you to post. You're stupid because you're stupid.

#98 | Posted by Danforth at 2020-01-24 09:24 PM | Reply

"Have you ever given your boss a hard time?"

Well, sometimes he touches me in inappropriate places.

Frankly, that's one of the perks of the job.

#99 | Posted by Danforth at 2020-01-24 09:27 PM | Reply

"Well, sometimes he touches me in inappropriate places.
Frankly, that's one of the perks of the job.

#99 | POSTED BY DANFORTH "

LOL I know what you mean. People bitch about being selected for the "special" pat down at the airport by the TSA. I hope for them. I got a great one when I went to Green Bay at Christmas. I even chubbed up a bit for the guy.

#100 | Posted by goatman at 2020-01-24 10:23 PM | Reply

#99 Danforth

Holy hell, dude. That was absolutely hilarious in context. I can't think of a better response to my "question."

#101 | Posted by JeffJ at 2020-01-24 10:52 PM | Reply

#101 -- gotta agree. It literally made me LOL. A rare one from Danforth for sure. Glad to see he's lightening up.

#102 | Posted by goatman at 2020-01-24 10:57 PM | Reply

Trump is now saying that it's the Democrats who are trying to destroy Social Security and Medicare, and that he's the only one who can save those programs:

Donald Trump Vows To Save Social Security " From Himself

A day after he said he's considering cutting Social Security benefits, Trump now insists it's the Democrats who want to "destroy" the program.

www.huffpost.com

And in this same article, Mulvany stated that after Trump wins reelection in November, there will be another round of tax cuts, which begs the question, how will that help save Social Security and Medicare? But then Trump has recently suggested that by then, the economy will be doing so well, people won't really need any of those so-called 'safety-net' programs anymore.

OCU

#103 | Posted by OCUser at 2020-01-25 01:33 AM | Reply

"People bitch about being selected for the "special" pat down at the airport by the TSA. I hope for them."

Not me. I passed on the "full body scan" at LAX once (thyroid), and the guy found places on me I didn't know existed. No thanks.

#104 | Posted by Danforth at 2020-01-25 11:41 AM | Reply

"And in this same article, Mulvany stated that after Trump wins reelection in November..."

Look out: JeffJ will be here any minute decrying ANY further expansion of the deficit until we get a handle on unfunded liabill---

Wait, what's that? Mulvaney is an (R)?!?

Never mind.

#105 | Posted by Danforth at 2020-01-25 11:43 AM | Reply

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