We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
John C Goodman: Government insurance for the elderly is invariably run like a Ponzi scheme.
Social Security is not a Ponzi scheme. It is an income transfer program from the young to the old. Shortfalls in Social Security over the next 75 years will be about $11 trillion, but U.S. GDP (assuming 2.1% growth) will be $3000 trillion. There is no financial reason the U.S. can't afford to shore up the program.
John C Goodman: Power To The People: Can We Privatize The Welfare State?
It's certainly possible, but keep in mind that you would have to continue paying benefits to current recipients while beginning the process of setting money aside. That will require significant taxes or borrowing over the next two generations or so.
At the end of the Clinton Administration, the U.S. was running huge cash surpluses which had the effect of shoring up transfer programs. During the Bush Administration, the U.S. turned away from this policy to an unwise procyclical deficit policy. The Bush administration attempted to implement an unfunded Social Security privatization scheme not long before the U.S. led the world into a global economic meltdown.
Quite right about the taxation needed to support privatization of retirement benefits, however, if done right, might affect income inequality. Another drawback would be the government guarantee which means a whole new bureaucracy to vet and supervise the various investing firms and ensure an adequate level of fees, etc.
Stephanopoulos, his mistake is that flow of cash and favors is supposed to be other way, insider access, boozy off the record/on background briefings, free dinners, fixing traffic tickets, campaign swag etc comes from the candidate.
Mattis, he's right, however, long term geopolitical strategy is seldom discussed by the candidates.
Yes SS is a Ponzi scheme and if you had asked me to agree to end it back in 1958 when I first started paying into it I would enthusiastically agree. Now that I'm 71 and paid into SS for 55 years or so and I get this small return on that investment every month... not so much.
What is "wrong" with SS? To many free loaders. When Jimmy Carter took in 100,000 Cubans from Castro's Cuba all those who were over age 62 were "awarded" SS. Well it seems that's the tip of the ice berg because the millions of legal and illegal immigrants since then who qualified by age alone also got the freebie that you and I must contribute to for a lifetime to qualify for. That is just wrong! Don't tell me how SS is going broke (the politicians I mean) and vote to give it to people who never earned it.
What else is wrong? If you work hard and make a nice middle class income and put into SS $9000 a month (your contribution and your employees contribution) you will be rewarded at age 67 with $2000 a month. Pretty cool, huh! However if you don't work so much and collect welfare half your life and work at part timejobs making sure to be fired every time you qualify for unemployment and yur yearly contribution is "maybe" $500 a year including your emlpoyers contribution. The good news is when you retire you will get about $1400 a month. Wait a minute! That does not compute. SS is "welfare".
So what else is "wrong" with SS? During the great Obama depression the Democrats, who controlled congress, in their infinite wisdom dramatically reduced payment into SS! WTF! It is almost like they were trying to destroy the system and create a crisis or something... Naw! They wouldn't destroy SS just so they could rewrite it alland sieze control of it.
Fixing the SS system is easy. So easy it's hardly worth explaining. Pay out ONLY to those who paid in and pay out to them in direct proportion to what they paid in. Second step: Pay no more each year then the system takes in. Yes that means your SS retirement payment could actually decrease but that would be perhaps 1000% better then having your SS retirement payment ending because the government mismanaged SS. Run the SS like an investment and use standard accountng principles.
Zach I'm starting to think you are not a human but some kind of an "app" that responds to comments with key words in them. If you read my comments you would see that I am a supporter of SS. I did indeed "resent" it when I got my first payday and I still to this day feel that it was never constitutional. But except for all the things our congress has done to loot it I would say today that the idea of a forced contributary retirement system is a good thing. You could say that my thinking has evolved since I was 13 working at the local car wash.