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My failing memory...

I thought I read a comment here at Corrente that encapsulated the Social Security issue perfectly: We paid double payroll as a result of the Reagan/O'Neill compromise, and then Bush handed our money away to the rich, with Greenspan rubbing his hands in the background. Can whoever wrote that comment, if indeed I read that here, raise their hand? Thanks.

Because if that's true, then what the Gen-Xers and the millenials should be helping us do is get our money back from the rich so they don't have to bear the load. Not that you'd catch Obama saying that.

NOTE Interestingly, Obama never says "Social Security." He says "retirement security." That makes my privatization Spidey Sense tingle. Am I too paranoid? On this subject, I mean?

UPDATE Thanks to alert reader Bluegrass Poet, the source turns out to be not Corrente, but the great Avedon. The full quote:

[T]he first spate of "the Baby-Boomers will break the Social Security system!" alarmism generated a wonderful plan to double-tax Boomers so that while paying into the system to support their parents, they were also paying into the system toward their own future drawings. And that's what Boomers have been doing for the last couple decades. That money came largely from people who make under $100K a year, and that's the money Bush gave away with his "It's your money!" tax cuts. Yes, it was your money, but he gave most of it to someone else.

We're ruled by thieves. Social Security privatization helps them steal. (As does a lot else, but this is a big one.) And now that the commissions and the fees from the the real estate scam have dried up, they'll be looking for another revenue stream -- "helping" us with our "retirement security." No thanks.

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RedQueen's picture
Submitted by RedQueen on

but I want to kiss them.

And you're not paranoid. What with the capital gains tax caps and the corporate deregulation and the tort reform, reforming "retirement security" is right up his Republican alley.

elayneriggs's picture
Submitted by elayneriggs on

He's mentioned Social Security before. Unfortunately he seems to have bought into the Republican lie that Social Security is in some financial trouble (unlike the ACTUAL financial crises currently in existence) and thus needs to be "rescued."

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

No, his main guy on this is pro-privatization of Social Security=destroy the program.

Follow the money...and the advisers.

Jeffrey Liebman is his name maybe? He's at Harvard...

Did you see that article about how when we get older we get wiser and don't remember--don't sweat!--the little details, right? I think it was in the NYT.

Your Spidey sense is working!

Submitted by lambert on

Anybody with a name like that has a lot to live up to.

So, a link on Social Security, please.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by hipparchia on
  • bloomberg.com on obama's advisors:

    on liebman [social secuity]--

    Liebman, an expert on Social Security, isn't easily pigeon- holed either. He has supported partial privatization of the government-run retirement system, an idea that's anathema to many Democrats and bears a similarity to a proposal for personal investment accounts that Bush promoted, then dropped in 2005.

    "Liebman has been to open to private accounts and most people in town would say he's a moderate supporter of them," said Michael Tanner, a Social Security expert at the Cato Institute in Washington, a research organization in Washington that advocates free markets and often backs Republicans.

    on cutler [health care]--

    Cutler, whom Obama has put in charge of developing such a blueprint, has tried to go beyond the long-running debate between advocates of a government-run ``single-payer'' system and proponents of a market-driven approach based on health savings accounts for consumers.

    Pay for Performance

    Under a pay-for-performance system devised by Cutler, doctors would be reimbursed not for the services they provide but for the improvements they make to patients' health. Patients would be encouraged to take better care of themselves through preventive care and comparison shopping for medical cost savings.


  • the infamous lms plan for partial privatization of social sceurity. the "l" of lms is liebman.

  • article by liebman in harvard magazine: reforming social security - not all privatization schemes are created equal

  • links to some of liebman's other writings

Submitted by lambert on

Thanks.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by hipparchia on

and was probably added to the team after that bloomberg article was written.

Obama's economic cadre, like the candidate himself, is still evolving. The candidate is shopping for a big-name macro economist to join the group, perhaps one with the cachet of former Bush economist Glenn Hubbard, who recently joined the team of Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

chicago school, all of them, as far as i can see.

Bluegrass Poet's picture
Submitted by Bluegrass Poet on

at the NYTimes:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/20/health...

When older people can no longer remember names at a cocktail party, they tend to think that their brainpower is declining. But a growing number of studies suggest that this assumption is often wrong.

...

“These findings are all very consistent with the context we’re building for what wisdom is,” she said. “If older people are taking in more information from a situation, and they’re then able to combine it with their comparatively greater store of general knowledge, they’re going to have a nice advantage.”

Submitted by cg.eye on

and younger workers are being trained by the media to despise those old farts they'll have to support.

Those old farts know it all -- such as a workplace that used to have real benefits and real wage increases, union representation somewhere in the industry to keep wages on a living level, a workplace environment more for adults than for a 'work hard, play hard, never leave the office' population of workers who are given toys instead of cash.

hobson's picture
Submitted by hobson on

One thing that is rarely mentioned is that for people not earning much in the 80's, the saving of SS, as Biden proudly bragged being a part of during one of the debates, took away about as much as Reagan's tax cuts gave. I figured out at the time that I was taking home about $2.00/week more after the tax cuts and the SS raise than I had been before.

I had boldly posted my stupid comments on Maxspeak about SS from time to time only to be told that I didn't understand how it works. I thought I understood that they took more money from me than it cost to run SS and then spent the money. This was happening before Bush's tax cuts. Remember Gore's lock box?

It seemed to me that at some point, those T bills or whatever they are are going to have to be redeemed for actual US currency if all the naysayers are correct. Where does that money come from?

If, on the other hand, the economy grows enough to support SS for another 50 years without having to redeem the surplus, it is not double taxation, but stealth taxation. A lot of people pay more in SS than they do in Federal tax. If it's being spent on something other than paying benefits, it's a tax.

If you want to give people a tax break, why not lift the cap, which I think Obama is for, and then, lower the rate to what it takes to run SS? I'm sure there are good reasons not to from an economist's point of view. But it would stop Republicans and Democrats from using it to mask deficits. It would put money in people's pockets to spend. It would make SS rates the same for everyone and not less the more you make. And it could change the debate on SS.

After all, if it isn't a pay as you go system, then you can criticize it from the point of view of a pension or savings plan. It isn't insurance any more. And damm it, I paid my money in for my old age, not just for my parents. I have been for 25 years. Why do they keep spending it and then telling me how the system stinks?

I want it back.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

they spend dedicated SS money and then presto! it's a "crisis".

then they sell that it should be privatized and put into the stock market.