McGavick wants to phase out Social Security?

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo has a question:

We hear Washington Senate candidate Mike McGavick ( R ) is a big supporter of President Bush’s plan to phase out Social Security. If you know more, drop us a line.

Hmm. If you know more, drop me a line too. Though I’m guessing this might have something to do with the fact that McGavick is a shill for the fucking insurance industry.

Comments

  1. 1

    Daddy Love spews:

    Lib “young people, say those that are 13 or 14 now, should have a choice when they start their working careers.

    So when you mention “personal responsibility,” I hope you’re including the personal responsibility to fund the $1 trillion in transition costs for the last few plans that have been put forward to do as you propose. How about we make that $1 trillion YOUR “personal resonsibility?” That $200K doesn’t go so far then, does it?

  2. 2

    PropagandaFirst spews:

    Roger, your thoughts are too complex to fit into a TV commercial. We’ve got the better PICTURES: Teaming hordes of dirty, dark-skinned immigrants stealing your Social Security money.

    Roger, you’ve been around the block — you know that xenophobia has always worked quite well as a means of social control.

    Check mate.

  3. 3

    wayne spews:

    How long before Mike! claims he is responsible for the FERC ruling in favor of Snohomish PUD against Enron?

  4. 4

    dj spews:

    americafirst @ 62

    “nd while you’re at it, be sure to vote to keep flag burning legal. Since Mexicans can’t burn their flag in Mexico, let them come here and burn our flag. To a Dem, that’s only fair.”

    Huh? You want flag burning banned because it is illegal in Mexico…or are you arguing that there is some kind of epidemic of Mexican’s burning flags?

    You fuckin’ whacked out, amigo.

  5. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    42

    “The Left ran the program into the ground, now that it is bankrup …” Commentby Jimmy Carter— 6/28/06@ 8:44 pm

    Bullshit! An absolute flat-ass lie. Social Security is doing just fine.

  6. 6

    eponymous coward spews:

    I also find it highly amusing that a program that returns based on work history gets slammed for not encouraging “personal responsibility”.

    This isn’t welfare, dumbasses… you don’t work, you don’t get Social Security credits.

  7. 7

    Libertarian spews:

    dj & Roger -

    You guys just don’t get it: it’s about PERSONAL CHOICE! Let people choose to participate in social security with their witholdings from their paychecks or invest as they choose with those funds. The employer contribution goes to the precious government program. What’s wrong with that?

  8. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    13

    A desert island would be good. No government. No taxes. No Social Security. No highways. No politicians. No life forms.

  9. 10

    eponymous coward spews:

    In general, libertarians don’t get it, Roger. The political philosophy boils down to “Screw you, Jack, I got mine”.

    The fact that we tried this already and got a lot of moving Dickens novels out of it (as well as some Upton Sinclair ones, and Hell’s Kitchen), is lost on them.

    And Libertarian, read some Irrational Exuberance by Robert Sciller, and find out about the 20 year periods where the S&P underperformed the rate of inflation (including dividend income). Now imagine that’s your pension money from 45 to 65. I would especially point out the link on the top link on this page:

    http://www.irrationalexuberance.com/

  10. 11

    dj spews:

    Libertarian

    “So I guess you’re saying personal responsibility is not relevant to life?”

    What the fuck? You can play “personal responsibility” all you want with your take-home pay, asshole. Notice the word “social” in “social security?” That is because the program is about a societial responsibility, not about personal responsibility.

    If you don’t like it, go find yourself another fucking society!

  11. 12

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    8

    I’m not trying to persuade you, Lib. You’re unpersuadable, and anyway, why should I try to help an asshole like you?

    No, I’m trying to warn unpersuaded readers about you. You’re a snake-oil salesman. I’m trying to help them, by warning them you’re peddling poison.

  12. 13

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    10

    Could you cite to where I said that? Man you jump to hyperbolic conclusions. I’ve spent a lifetime paying for my mistakes. In addition, I’ve paid plenty for other people’s mistakes. There’s no shortage of consequences in this life.

    No, what I’m saying is, humanity has been on this planet for over two million years and we ought to have put the jungle behind us by now. What the hell is wrong with civilization? What’s so terrible about a society in which people help each other and look out for each other? What’s so great about a political philosophy that says people should treat each other like animals? That society has no business rounding off life’s sharp corners so people don’t get hurt quite as bad when they run into (or get pushed into) sharp corners?

    You don’t get it, do you. No, you don’t get it. I’m confident you never will.

  13. 14

    rhp6033 spews:

    Rabbit, you forgot to add the “Credit Industry Usury Profits Protection Bill”, otherwise known as the Bankruptcy Reform act.

    People who think they can invest in the stock market for all their retirement needs are dreaming, especially if they are under 40 years old. What is going to happen when the baby boomers all turn 65+ and start to sell off their 401(K) and IRA investments to fund their retirement? More sellers than buyers is going to result in a substantial drop in the stock market, reducing those funds considerably. Suddenly the certainty of a Social Security payment, no matter how small, is going to look pretty good.

    What will be really interesting is to see if we can really save and redeem a substantial portion of the nation’s wealth in the form of “savings” from one generation to another, regardless of the form in which you fashion it. Stocks, bonds, T-bills, CDs, all require someone to be willing and able to purchase or redeem them when the time comes. If there are insufficient “buyers” at that time, then the entire system is in jeapordy.

    That’s why I’m so adamantly opposed to budget deficits unless they are specifically tied to long-term infrastructure investments. We cannot afford to have structural deficits at a time when our Social Security system will soon be looking to the Federal Government to make good on its I.O.U.s. The Federal Government at that time, with a lower population base of workers and increasing numbers of baby-boomers on retirement and living longer, will be unable to pay for (a) increased demands on its social services from those retirees, (b) debt-service payment to the Social Security system for I.O.U.s caused by the current budget deficits, (c) debt-service to private investors (many of them foreign) caused by the current budget deficits, and (d) additional taxes to try to balance the budget at the time.

    Privatizing any portion of the Social Security system does not provide a solution to those problems. It only divides the beneficieries into two classes, the young and the old. The older workers paid for their parent’s benefits and expect the younger workers to pay their obligations toward them. This was the way it was designed. After all, in the depression it wouldn’t have made much sense to tax workers and employers for benefits not to be received until decades in the future, now would it?

    Under Bush’s proposal, the younger workers would “save” for their own retirement, and then the existing Congress will decide how much additional to contribute towards their parent’s retirement in the form of payroll taxes. Any idea how that discussion is going to go? In my mind, its a pretty devious attempt to destroy social security at its foundation – by encouraging a class war between the generations, it will make it more likely that public funding for the older generation will slow to a trickle, until the system is bankrupt and then the Republicans will shrug their shoulders and say “See – we said it wouldn’t work. Might as well discard the whole thing”.

    I used to say that most of the big issues in America had already been decided in favor of the Democrats. Social Security, Medicare, Voting Rights, Civil Rights, Minimum Wage, Union Rights, and Employee Retirement Protections (ERISA) were all originally Democratic plans which were adamanatly opposed by the Republicans, but ultimatly accepted by them when they saw the how popular the programs were to the American people. But now its being clear that their hatred of these programs has never abated, and they are continuing to seek any means by which to destroy them, as long as they can do it in a devious enough method so that they will not lose power.

  14. 16

    PropagandaFirst spews:

    Yes, let’s play the immigration card. That’s a great wedge issue to deflect attention from the public’s overwhelming opposition to Social Security privatization.

    I’m proud to be on Karl Rove’s team, because he’s PURE GENIUS when it comes to bringing home the votes. And you can bet that 1) we will keep control of Congress, and 2) we will pass a privatization bill next year. Give it up — go home, get drunk, start a new hobby, kill yourself. It’s all over.

  15. 17

    PropagandaFirst spews:

    67
    What’s with your fixation with truth? We live in the postmodern era, where sliding signifiers of meaning flit across the TV screen, never to be seen again. Truth is infinitely maliable by the wizards of meme.

    The beauty of it all is that we can pay for the best wizards money can buy. And, of course, we come from the corporate world, so have none of your anti-establishment hang ups about using its marketing powers to the fullest extent of the law. (And beyond, when necessary.)

  16. 19

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    62

    “McGavick recognizes that the social security system is in danger of going broke … ”

    Bullshit.

    ” … and offers ideas on how to fix it.”

    Double bullshit.

    “How dare he actually show concern for future retirees!”

    Mike! $14-million-a-year! McGavick! is concerned about future retirees? How populist of him. No, I don’t think that’s on his agenda.

    “Cantwell(D-Mexico) … voted to give illegal aliens social security benefits even if they paid in using a stolen social security number.”

    If they paid taxes, why shouldn’t they get benefits?

    “If social security is going broke anyway … ”

    It’s not, so end of discussion.

    ” … why not pander to illegal aliens … ”

    Now why would anyone “pander” to people who can’t vote? Don’t try to answer that question; it’s too complex for someone too stupid to know the difference between pandering and fairness.

    ” … and let it go broke faster?”

    Maybe you could explain the accounting of how this works, in that more people receiving benefits is matched by more people paying taxes?

    “And while you’re at it, be sure to vote to keep flag burning legal. Since Mexicans can’t burn their flag in Mexico, let them come here and burn our flag.”

    I’m not aware of any Mexicans burning our flag. You make no sense. If they’re came here to work, and want to stay here, why would they do something that pisses people off and attracts attention? You know what I think? I think you’re a piss-poor fiction writer.

    In addition, you must be a very insecure person if you believe the three known instances since the Vietnam War of protesters burning our flag are a threat to our country. I recommend you seek counseling.

    “To a Dem, that’s only fair. Thanks, Maria. Commentby americafirst— 6/28/06@ 11:52 pm

    Unlike Constitution-hating unpatriotic fucks like you, Maria, I think preserving free speech (including speech I disagree with, e.g. yours) is more important than pandering to a bunch of xenophobic whack jobs who abuse the flag by wrapping it around their paranoia and hate. Do yourself a favor, go fuck yourself, you’ll feel better afterward..

  17. 20

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    4

    “Yeah, that’s the whole point: I am perfectly willing to let dolts mismanage their retirement if that is what they choose. It’s not about the Repugnicans or the Demodunces: it’s about making personal choices and accepting personal responsibility.”

    Lib, I understand what you’re saying. But lots of things that look good on paper just don’t fly. (See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.....hopter.JPG )

    The problem is, people DON’T accept personal responsibility. Case in point:

    The Theory: Government shouldn’t force people to wear helmets to wear helmets when driving motorcycles because this infringes on “individual freedom.”

    The Reality: Taxpayers get stuck paying the nursing home bills for these idiots when they break their necks because, of course, people who don’t wear helmets don’t have any money or insurance either.

    The fatal flaw of “personal responsibility” argument is that it assumes the sometimes cruel consequences of bad choices or bad luck are a social good, and will be socially acceptable. Neither is the case. Nothing good or constructive comes of making someone live out the remainder of his life in destitution because some shark stole his retirement savings, nor is it realistic to think society will accept such a result. Society won’t accept that result, which is why our grandfathers created Social Security in the first place, and why the public overwhelmingly (over 70%) opposed Bush’s attempts to raid Social Security.

    Looks good on paper, but this turkey ain’t gonna fly.

  18. 21

    Mark The Redneck Kennedy spews:

    What fucking plan is that? To increase returns?

    So let’s say you’re a typical moonbat who’s too fucking stoopid to make sound investments? OK fine… let gummint do it to get your guaranteed 0.5%. Go ahead. Ya know… there’s a price to pay for being stoopid…. why not add Sosh Security to the list?

    But for those of us who know how to handle money, what’s wrong with letting us manage the investment?

  19. 22

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    44

    “Mark the Thieving Redneck said:

    “But for those of us who know how to handle money, what’s wrong with letting us manage the investment?”

    “Ha, ha, ho, ho, he, ha, ho, he.

    “Mark cannot even pay off a $100 bet that he admits to making and losing. Somehow, I don’t think the fucking thief has ever had to manage more than his weekly $5 allownce from his mommy.

    “Commentby dj— 6/28/06@ 9:27 pm”

    I second the laughter and move to add that Redneck’s bitching and moaning about paying

    F I V E H U N D R E D T H O U S A N D D O L L A R S

    to his meth-whore wife isn’t exactly a testimonial for his financial management ability.

  20. 23

    Daddy Love spews:

    skagit
    Social Security has been robbed to pay for other programs. If the money had been left in the account, it would be more than adequate to pay out all future benefits.

    Wrong. Social Security is a pay as you go program, and part of the larger government. There is no “lockbox.” Al Gore would have instituted one, but you didn’t get him, did you? You got ol’ “Spend the Surplus” Bush.

    But not to worry. Funds in excess of outlays are still accounted for in the SS program in the form of Treasury bonds, backed by the full faith and credit of the USA government. When, in a while, if outlays exceed expenses as some estimates have them doing, those bonds will be redeemed and the funds disbursed.

  21. 24

    rhp6033 spews:

    The question is, is Mike! McGavick! (the Problem Solver!) going to admit his plans for social security prior to the election, or was he planning on just voting along with anything Alaska Senator Ted Stevens wants afterwards? And just what are his plans for increased oil tankers in the Puget Sound, as Stevens proposed?

  22. 26

    skagit spews:

    Social Security has been robbed to pay for other programs. If the money had been left in the account, it would be more than adequate to pay out all future benefits. Why do we let incumbents spend our retirement. We’ve paid for it. I don’t care who manages it; more than enough was paid in and it should have been left to accrue which is what they keep telling us we should do on our own.

    To quote that liar, Stossel, give me a break!

  23. 27

    skagit spews:

    One more thing . . . if social security is changed or eliminated, where’s the gov’t going to get the money to replace what they are taking from SS now? Higher taxes for middle class and lower class people?

  24. 28

    rhp6033 spews:

    By the way, for those those who say “We don’t have a choice”, get real. You do have a choice. You are required only to pay into a plan which provides a minimal safety net if everything else fails. As for the rest, you can do whatever you want. That’s what 401(k)s, IRA, Roth IRAs, Keogh plans, and every other savings plan with a special tax-favored status is designed to do.

    You act like its some awful intrusion upon your personal freedom – yet you really just want to change the formula.

  25. 29

    Yossarian spews:

    Yeah, skagit, we’re gonna swoop down on you and seize all of your assets to pay for rich Republicans to retire in style! We’re gonna take every nickel from the lower and middle classes so the rich don’t have to work or worry about anything! forget that social security shit, man, cause you ain’t gonn get it!

    Three cheers for capitalism and the idle rich! Let’s take from the poor and give to the rich!

  26. 30

    Daddy Love spews:

    Lib
    It seems like you left out the management and transaction fees from your index, didn’t you?

  27. 31

    Daddy Love spews:

    Ah, I’ll bet in Libertarian’s world the $1 trillion in transition costs suddenly becomes a “societal obligation.” Uh-huh.

  28. 32

    Libertarian spews:

    It seems like you left out the management and transaction fees from your index, didn’t you?

    Commentby Daddy Love— 6/28/06@ 4:12 pm

    ==

    But I sure as heck used some pretty conservative (sorry, but it’s the best choice of a word to use here) techniques to actually understate the total return. I DID NOT include dividends or the reinvestment thereof. I used 110% of losses and only 90% of gains. I DID NOT include any contributions made by employers. I ROUNDED DOWN on the actual rate of contribution to the nearest whole percent.

    Heck, I stacked the deck IN FAVOR of social security!

    OK guys, if you don’t want to change things, then don’t. The ones who will pay the price are the younsters coming up now who’ll be hitting working part of their lives in about 5 or 10 years. It won’t matter for the rest of us.

  29. 33

    Daddy Love spews:

    McGavick on SS (from http://www.mikemcgavick.com):

    “The viability of the Social Security system must be protected for those who need it. The system was intended to help the elderly poor and the disabled. Not all of our elderly are poor. A voluntary system should be instituted allowing those who can afford to do so, to return their Social Security payments. ”

    Hmmm: “The system was intended to help the elderly poor and the disabled.”

    Roosevelt when he signed the Act:
    “This social security measure gives at least some protection to 50 millions of our citizens who will reap direct benefits through unemployment compensation, through old-age pensions, and through increased services for the protection of children and the prevention of ill health…We can never insure 100 percent of the population against 100 percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life, but we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-stricken old age.”

    Seems he saw it as somewhat more expansive that McGavick.

  30. 34

    rhp6033 spews:

    A fly on the wall reported to me the contents of a discussion among the major financial brokerages:

    Lynch: So how’s the Social Security Reform program going? There’s trillions of dollars there which we don’t have control over. When’s that going to break lose?

    Scwhab: Not so good. Our dimwit in the White House was making a stab a convincing people to turn at least half of it over to us, but then when the hurricane came everybody saw how incompetent he was, and the subject has been dropped until after the November elections.

    Lynch: Dropped? What happens if the Republicans lose control of Congress! It might be decades before we get another chance to get that money!

    Schwab: I know, but Rove told me he had everything under control Something about flag burning and gay marriage. It’s hard to understand him when we gets on a roll like that, but he’s usually right.

    Lynch: You mean people would be willing to give us their last-chance retirement money instead of seeing somebody burn a flag or a couple of gays get married? Are they really that dense?

    Schwab: Well, that’s what we are counting on, isn’t it? After all, we’ve got MTR, Libertarian, and their cohorts trolling the blogs, and talking about “personal responsibility” and “taking control of their investments”. It works some of the time, too. You just kiss people’s ass a bit by telling him how much smarter they are than the government, and that they can do a better job managing their retirement fund than anyone else, and eventually they agree to turn over all their money to us.

    Lynch: And people are really buying it? God, what a great country this is! We make people think they are making their own choices, but in the end we will be the ones making hundreds of billions of dollars off front-end and back-end fees. And that’s if we do nothing – when the people lose their money, we will just tell them it’s their own fault!

    Schwab: And that’s not counting the money to be made by churning the accounts, insider trading, and the other usual ways to milk an account. Sure, we will let a few do well – maybe one in ten. That way we can always point to them and say, “He did pretty well in the market…. I guess he was just smarter than you, its your own fault!”. It’s like the nickle slot machines that make a big noise when they pay off – it encourages the others to play even faster. In the meantime we will drain the accounts of the other 90% over a period of twenty years or so.

    Lynch: But what happens when everyone is broke, and there is no social security system left?

    Schwabb: What do you care? We’ll be living the high life, or dead. We won’t be broke, and we won’t need social security!

  31. 35

    Living in the 8th spews:

    I would be open to getting rid of the SS ponzi scheme as we know it. The taxes are way too high and you never get it in an account of your own. Politicians just spend the money on whatever. It’s a bad deal for taxpayers. We would be far better of if we were allowed to have it in our own names.

    If a private company were running this program, you guys would demand govt. investigations up the wazoo. It’s a PONZI SCHEME, you guys!

  32. 36

    Jimmy Carter spews:

    The Left ran the program into the ground, now that it is bankrup what’s next? Selling apples on the street or begging for pesnuts at the ball game?

  33. 37

    Billy Carter spews:

    Jimmy, you’re shit-faced drunk. Why do you embarrass yourself with such bellowings? Even Mark the Redneck can belch with more dignity.

    When you’re sober perhaps we can talk about how Alan Greenspan was the architect of the current funding structure for Social Security. Then again, I don’t want to look at the barf streaks in your hair.

  34. 38

    dj spews:

    Mark the Thieving Redneck said:

    But for those of us who know how to handle money, what’s wrong with letting us manage the investment?”

    Ha, ha, ho, ho, he, ha, ho, he.

    Mark cannot even pay off a $100 bet that he admits to making and losing. Somehow, I don’t think the fucking thief has ever had to manage more than his weekly $5 allownce from his mommy.

  35. 39

    PG spews:

    What’s this, more ratfucking by Goldy? Yeah, a shill for the insurance industry — that’s it — that’s why he wants to reform social security. Aw shucks.

  36. 40

    Mark The Redneck Kennedy spews:

    LT – So you agree with Clinton that people are too stoopid to manage their own fucking money and that gummint can ALWAYS do a better job.

    Fascinating how the librul mind works…

  37. 41

    Dr. Lemming spews:

    Even more fascinating is how the “conservative” mind doesn’t work. C. Wright Mills called it “fatal conservativism” — an intellectual hardening of the arteries that keeps the elite from adapting to a changing world.

    My distinguished colleague Mr. Redneck espouses policies that sound strikingly similar to those that dominated during the 1920s and early 1930s. And what did those policies lead to? The utopia of unending growth?

    To the contrary — they caused the Great Depression. Would Mr. Redneck like a repeat performance that puts throws the Republicans out of power for a generation?

  38. 42

    Green Thumb spews:

    If you do go to a McGavick meeting and ask him a question it is crucial that you read up before-hand on the finer points of the Social Security debate.

    Many Republicans, particularly of the less neanderthal variety in swing districts, are quite scared of this issue because Social Security is so universally popular. That’s why many in Congress have attempted to either avoid taking a public stance on privatization or have talked in such obtuse or even contradictory terms that the average voter — or even reporter — wouldn’t be able to tell their real stance.

    Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo has done some outstanding reporting on the subject.

    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/

    If you plug “Social Security” into the search feature, you’ll find an archive of his writings on this topic. Only one item deals directly with McGavick, but it can be useful to read about the machinations of the White House and other congressional Republicans.

    I agree with Josh that this is a crucial issue. Next year is really the last time that the Bush administration will have a shot at passing privatization legislation, and it is becoming increasingly clear that it intends to go balls to the wall again if the Republicans maintain control of both houses of Congress.

    I hope no one who reads this blog is so complacent as to assume that the Democrats have a lock on taking back either house.

  39. 43

    LeftTurn spews:

    It’s about personal choice? Can we choose to let our women have abortions if they think it’s best? Can we choose not to fund illegal wars like Iraq? You for that kind of choice too Lib? Didn’t think so.

  40. 44

    eponymous coward spews:

    17-

    Um, because it’s a bad deal for them?

    Consider that the overhead of Social Security would be flat-out impressive for an index fund, for instance. (We’re not even going to compare to mutual funds that eat up a percent or two in various fees).

    Needless to say, brokerage firms who realize that 1 or 2% in fees for managing of a half trillion dollars (the sort of money SS represents in annual terms) is a LOT of money are also heavy advocates for privatization. Gee. Wonder why.

  41. 45

    Two Dogs spews:

    $200,000, or even $400,000 (if you include the employer contribution) will not support you very well in retirement. This doesn’t prove that SS is better than personal management of your own retirement, but it does help explain why SS both provides both an inadequate income for retirees and is going broke. People simply need to set aside much more than the SS amount if they expect to save for an adequate retirement.

  42. 46

    Libertarian spews:

    Here’s one that will gall the piss outta you guys. I go through about a zillion tax returns each year and see quite a few folks with VERY, VERY substanttial pensions and retirements getting social security on top of everything else. Talk about gravy!! It’s particularly prevalent with people in high-paying professions that have contributed the max each year to social secuity, based on their earned incomes.

    BTW, do you guys favor Roth IRAs? do you think the govt should reneg on that one and tax withdrawals?

  43. 47

    LeftTurn spews:

    Yes I can see it now. An entire parking lot full of right wing Bremalos at WalMart making “informed” investment decisions like “Which big screen should I buy with my social security money.”

    Then I end up having to pay taxes to feed the fat right wing sluts into their 80s. No thanks!

  44. 48

    dj spews:

    Mark the Thieving Redneck @ 46

    “So you agree with Clinton that people are too stoopid to manage their own fucking money and that gummint can ALWAYS do a better job.”

    Sorry asshole, Clinton never said any such thing.

  45. 49

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    15

    Yeah, I know that. I also know it’s useless to argue with them. Like I said, I’m only trying to warn innocent readers of this blog that Libertarian and his ilk are snake oil peddlers — their medicine kills ya.

  46. 50

    Mark the Red Dick spews:

    dj, you are correct, Clinton did not. I just made it up. Just like I make up pretty much everything I say. That’s my MO — make up something outrageous and force you guys to challenge me on it.

    No matter what you say, I stick to my guns. That just infuriates you all, so you try ever harder to “prove” I’m wrong. But I just ignore your facts and repeat myself endlessly.

    Why do I do this? Because it keeps you guys from talking about something real. Stupid old me has you wrapped around my little finger. Ha.

  47. 51

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    17

    “You guys just don’t get it: it’s about PERSONAL CHOICE! Let people choose to participate in social security with their witholdings from their paychecks or invest as they choose with those funds. The employer contribution goes to the precious government program. What’s wrong with that?” Commentby Libertarian— 6/28/06@ 3:29 pm

    What’s wrong with it? Society ends supporting the people who go broke in the investment markets, that’s what’s wrong with it.

  48. 52

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Libertarian — what’s wrong with having private investments for retirement AND Social Security? I do, and so do many other folks, and for most people it takes both to make ends meet in retirement.

  49. 53

    GS spews:

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

    And of course spoken with a full deal meal guvment pension that is guranteed to be paid for lifetime in the rabbit hutch. No wonder he is a tax happy liberal…he can’t wait each month to get his next guvment check in the mail so he can sit on his tail and spew his pellets!

  50. 54

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    22

    “I … see quite a few folks with VERY, VERY substanttial pensions and retirements getting social security on top of everything else.” Commentby Libertarian— 6/28/06@ 3:39 pm

    So what? Why shouldn’t they get the benefits they paid taxes for? By what rationale do you think Social Security ought to be means tested? Would you argue that corporations should means-test dividends? If not, why do you have a double standard, one for private investment, and another for earned benefits under a government program?

    “Talk about gravy!!” Commentby Libertarian— 6/28/06@ 3:39 pm

    How is Social Security “gravy”? You don’t get it unless you worked and paid taxes. You get it in proportion to the number of years you worked and the amount of taxes you paid.

    You want to see gravy? I’ll show you gravy. “Gravy” is inheritances. Absolutely unearned. Absolutely undeserved. Absolutely untaxed up to $2 million. Now there’s an example of “gravy.”

  51. 55

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    22 (continued)

    ““I … see quite a few folks with VERY, VERY substanttial pensions and retirements getting social security on top of everything else.” Commentby Libertarian— 6/28/06@ 3:39 pm

    This is exactly the same disingenuous argument I heard Rush Limbaugh use to attack Medicare. One day, I listened to Rush for 90 minutes and all he talked about was that Bill Gates would get Medicare someday. So fucking what? Hasn’t Gates paid enough taxes to deserve Medicare? But the real problem with Rush’s rant is that, for 90 minutes, he NEVER ONCE mentioned the millions of elderly people who are not wealthy and who need Medicare.

    In post #22, we see Libertarian using the same bullshit tactic. He talks about wealthy retirees who don’t need Social Security as an excuse for trashing Social Security, but never mentions the millions of retirees who desperately need Social Security. Out of sight, out of mind. How convenient. How dishonest.

    Let me spell that out for you, Lib: Your argument @22 is

    D I S H O N E S T

  52. 56

    GTS spews:

    But, Roger-baby, inheritance “gravy” is OUR gravy. Don’t you see? It’s all about the microeconomic model of maximizing one’s own personal utility. That’s a fancy way of saying that we don’t believe in an egalitarian society. We WANT to return to the golden days of yore, when there was only a small middle class that didn’t cause us so much trouble.

    So stop your belly aching. We obtained political control, and now we’re going to translate that into greater economic control. You don’t like it? Move to Sweden.

  53. 57

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    23

    “People who think they can invest in the stock market for all their retirement needs are dreaming, especially if they are under 40 years old.”

    There’s that, of course, but there’s an even larger problem that nobody has addressed, so I’ll address it. Namely, how valid is the assumption that America will keep getting wealthier and the stock market will keep going up indefinitely?

    There’s a simple explanation of why the stock market has steadily risen for the last 100 years: Plentiful supplies of cheap energy enabled the economy to continually become more efficient.

    But what happens if we enter an era of expensive energy, and economic efficiency goes backward? If that happens, the stock market doesn’t rise steadily over time, it declines steadily over time and by the time a person retires his investments will be worth considerably less than their starting value.

    We Americans have had optimism bred into us, and we take it for granted that our economy’s output will rise and our investments will grow in value. But is that a reliable prognostication of our future, or just blind hopeful faith not justified by probable future realities?

    I don’t know the answer to that question. But a little voice inside of me says an eternally rising stock market is a hope, not a guarantee.

  54. 58

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    25

    “I just love pissing Roger off!” Commentby Libertarian— 6/28/06@ 3:55 pm

    You have a greatly inflated perception of the effect you have on me. I’m nowhere near pissed off. I’m merely slapping you down, as I would a buzzing fly, almost without thinking about it.

  55. 59

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    29

    “Yeah, skagit, we’re gonna swoop down on you and seize all of your assets to pay for rich Republicans to retire in style! We’re gonna take every nickel from the lower and middle classes so the rich don’t have to work or worry about anything! forget that social security shit, man, cause you ain’t gonn get it! Three cheers for capitalism and the idle rich! Let’s take from the poor and give to the rich!” Commentby Yossarian— 6/28/06@ 4:07 pm

    Thank you for your candor, Y’o. I appreciate your honesty in admitting your evil intentions. Of course, the evidence is there for all to see that this is exactly what the GOP is up to.

    Exhibit A – the share of total U.S. wealth controlled by the richest 5% has more than doubled since 1970, from 22% to 45%.

    Exhibit B – Republicans are doing everything they can to destroy unions, the social safety net, and everything else that lifted the working class from poverty into the middle class.

    Exhibit C – from the moment Republicans got in power, they commenced to run the most corrupt administration in over 100 years, and have literally pocketed hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money.

  56. 60

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    33

    “Ah, I’ll bet in Libertarian’s world the $1 trillion in transition costs suddenly becomes a “societal obligation.” Uh-huh.” Commentby Daddy Love— 6/28/06@ 4:22 pm

    I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure what these fuckers have in mind is that it becomes a welshed obligation. You know — like Redneck’s bets.

  57. 62

    americafirst spews:

    McGavick recognizes that the social security system is in danger of going broke, and offers ideas on how to fix it. How dare he actually show concern for future retirees! Cantwell(D-Mexico) has a better idea to save social security. She voted to give illegal aliens social security benefits even if they paid in using a stolen social security number. If social security is going broke anyway, why not pander to illegal aliens and let it go broke faster? And while you’re at it, be sure to vote to keep flag burning legal. Since Mexicans can’t burn their flag in Mexico, let them come here and burn our flag. To a Dem, that’s only fair. Thanks, Maria.

  58. 63

    Libertarian spews:

    Yeah, Roger, I’ve heard it all before from you. Got anything new?

    Notice that I DID NOT include employer contributions to social security. I didn’t include those because THAT is where the other-than-retirement costs go – the disability and survivor stuff. (Incidentally, to get social security disabilty is pretty tough to do: you pratically have to be paralyzed and blind!)

    You and I are stuck in the current system, Roger, so you have nothing to worry about: you’ll get your $$$ when you hit 65, if you’re not getting it already. I just think that young people, say those that are 13 or 14 now, should have a choice when they start their working careers. I’m not trying to boost the stock market here. All I’m suggesting is people should have choices, not just one-size-fits all retirement planning, courtesy of the government.

  59. 64

    Libertarian spews:

    I did a little math, computing what just MY potion of FICA witholding might have been had I invested the money into the S&P 500 Index. To make it fair, I used only 90% of positive years’ returns (good years, when the market was up for the year), but if the market had a bad year, I used 110% of the loss. I also rounded down to the nearest whole percentage for the FICA witholding from my earnings (the employer portion was NEVER included in computations). I figured those condidtions would be a fair basis for calculations.

    As of the end of 2004, my hypothetical account would have been about $200,000. That certainly would have been nice to add to my IRA and continue on my merry way towards retirement

    I don’t think it’s wrong for people to have choice when it comes to social security. It was FDR’s intent that workers have something, but time and SCOTUS decisions have overridden this noble idea. Let’s give people choices. Let those who wish to manage their social seucrity do so and those that wish to stay with the current system continue.

  60. 65

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    34

    Sorry, Lib, I’m not drinking the right-wing kool-aid that Social Security is going broke. It’s a lie.

    Here’s the truth:

    1. Future projections of Social Security shortfalls depend on economic forecasts thirty or fifty or seventy years ahead. It’s not possible to make accurate economic forecasts that far out. It’s little more than guessing.

    2. Bush manipulated the forecasts. To wit, he used worst-case figures to argue that Social Security “has a problem,” and based his privatization argument on assumptions of future economic growth that most reputable econimists said were fantasy.

    3. Even if the widely circulated (and probably false) assertion that Social Security will be able to pay only 75% of promised benefits after 2042 (or something like that) came true, future Social Security beneficiaries — meaning today’s young people — will still receive higher benefits (after adjusting for inflation) than today’s retirees. That’s because Social Security COLAs are tied to the rise in average wages, not the CPI.

    4. There probably is no Social Security “problem.” If you disregard the worst-case and best-case economic forecasts, and pick a forecast from the middle of the probability curve, Social Security will meet its obligations without a tax increase or any other “fix.”

  61. 66

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    4

    No, you won’t be okay by putting your retirement savings into CDs, because inflation will destroy your principal. You never keep ahead of inflation with CDs or passbook savings.

    Inflation is not an act of God, or an act of nature. It’s not something that randomly happens, like lightning strikes, or is beyond human control, like earthquakes.

    Inflation is premeditated theft. Inflation is a tax. Inflation is created by politicians who want to spend more of your money than you can afford, and lie to you about how much of your money they’re taking by giving you a “tax cut” and putting their spending on a credit card. And then, later on, when you pay for their credit-card spending with lost jobs, higher interest payments, and devaluation of your financial assets — they tell you the other party did this to you. It’s the biggest fucking political racket ever invented.

    Do your CDs give you COLAs? How about your stocks? Real estate? No, I didn’t think so. Mine don’t. Neither does my state pension. But Social Security does. The portion of your retirement income that comes from Social Security isn’t 100% inflation proof (because SS increases are tied to wages, not prices), but it’s as close to inflation proof as you can get in this world.

    And you would throw that away for CDs or investment market products? You’re a damn fool.

  62. 67

    ArtFart spews:

    The question remains that if investing on Wall Street is such a sure path to riches, why wouldn’t the pros–investment fund managers, pension managers, insurers, the government–be perfectly willing to manage our retirement money, guarantee us a fixed payout, play the percentages and pocket the difference?

  63. 68

    LeftTurn spews:

    Yes Libertarian and if you’d put that money into Enron and like companies I’d be paying the bills for your future care. No thanks. While it sounds like a good idea, the fact that there are millions of morons who’d spend that money on big screens and confederate flags means we all pay in the end so I’d rather see a system in place that works. And by the way I don’t believe in god but I PRAY the GOP keeps talking about this shit come election time. America will shove it right back up the GOP ass which is where this idea came from.

  64. 69

    Libertarian spews:

    Yeah, that’s the whole point: I am perfectly willing to let dolts mismanage their retirement if that is what they choose. It’s not about the Repugnicans or the Demodunces: it’s about making personal choices and accepting personal responsibility.

    Heck, if you’re worried about it, LeftTurn, how about certificates of deposits? Those are insured by the FDIC. A person could choose these investments over equity investing and probably do OK. But the problem is that he or she doesn’t have a choice under current law. What’s wrong with choice?

  65. 70

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    1

    Did you factor in the cost of purchasing enough disability insurance and life insurance in the private market to make up for Social Security disability and survivor benefits? No?

    Oh … you forgot that Social Security isn’t just retirement, it’s THREE programs. Benefits for you, if you become unable to work. Benefits for your widow and children, if you die.

    One more thing. Investment involves risk. These days, it also involves greedy CEOs, corporate thieves, and outright fraud. The private sector doesn’t protect you against any of those things. If you lose it all — and some people will — then what? Will you be willing to starve in your old age, or will you expect taxpayers to bail you out of your misfortune and/or bad choices?

    Hmmm … let me see. Who is ALWAYS first in line at the public trough with their hands out for public largesse? Why, the rugged individualists, the go-it-alone capitalists, the REPUBLICAN FREELOADERS … that’s who.

    Exhibit A: The S & L bailout.
    Exhibit B: The Chrysler bailout.
    Exhibit C: Sports promoters.
    Exhibit D: Corporate welfare.
    Exhibit E: Pension bailouts.

    I rest my case.

  66. 72

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The bottom line is that right-wing arguments for “reforming” Social Security are dishonest. They’re based on lies. The wingers are bullshitting us. Furthermore, they don’t want to “reform” Social Security, they want to destroy it — and loot it.

  67. 73

    LeftTurn spews:

    We should do our best to put people in audiences where Mikey is speaking and ask him about SS as well as his ties to Alaska oil interests and the big insurance companies. He’ll either lie or he won’t and if he tells the truth, he’s doomed. My guess is he’ll lie so we can then use that against him during the campaign. Should be easy.

  68. 75

    rhp6033 spews:

    “A voluntary system should be instituted allowing those who can afford to do so, to return their Social Security payments. ”

    That’s his answer to social security? If only people who really don’t need the money will please voluntarily contribute the money back to the social security system (but are not required to do so), then the problem will be solved????????

    God, he’s denser than I thought.

    Besides, there have already been two sytems in place to “voluntarily return” the money to the social security system. In the first place, you don’t have to file for social security benefits unless you want to. You have to make an effort to get the money. Secondly, anyone who wants to voluntarily contribute money can do so, simply by sending a check to the U.S. treasury. They will accept it. Since the U.S. Treasury is borrowing money from the Social Security Administration to finance the budget deficit, any money sent to the treasury will benefit the Social Security system. It just cuts out the middleman.

    But Mike! The Provlem Solver! wants to set up a new beaurocracy to handle the handful of individuals who want to give money back to the government, but cannot figure out how to do it from among the two examples I just mentioned? I thought the Republicans were supposed to be against bigger government!