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Reply #92: Doug Henwood has also been on this for a long time... [View All]

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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-22-10 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
92. Doug Henwood has also been on this for a long time...
Henwood is also a contributor to The Nation and other "liberal media" that actually are liberal/leftist (e.g., Pacifica Radio)

From Dec. 1994:
Of some interest is the news, for example, that the higher the rate of immigration, the sounder the system is, since immigrants (legal or not) tend to be young, and swell the ranks of those paying into the system rather than drawing it down. Immigration, however, won't make or break the Social Security's finances. GDP growth will, since the size of the economy decades hence will determine how much money is available to pay retirees. The bankruptcy scenario is based on an assumption that GDP will grow at a rate seen only in depression decades.

As is common in the work of official seers, the trustees present three sets of forecasts, an official guess, an optimistic one, and a pessimistic one. The official scenario assumes the economy will grow an average of 1.5% a year over the next 75 years half the rate seen in the last 75 (2.9%), and a rate matched only in one decade of the last century, 1910-20's 1.4% rate. The economy grew more quickly even during the 1930s, 1.9% (1930-40). The growth rate for the trustees' optimistic vision, 2.2%, is only slightly bouncier than the 1930s rate. The pessimistic guess is 0.7%, slower than population growth, and a rate so torpid as to guarantee a war of each against all. As the graph shows, the system will go bust only if you assume decades of stagnation. If the economy grows in line with the 197394 average of 2.4%, still slower than the 75-year average of 2.9%, it will run a big surplus.

Either the trustees are deliberately projecting slow growth to feed the pension-cutting mania, or they're expressing a deep pessimism about the U.S. economy's future. Big news, whichever it is.
(the link is to the part of the page that addresses "Is Social Security Really Going Under?", but the part above deals with pension and entitlement "reform", including Peterson's arguments, and is worth a read)

From Dec. 1998:
Folks on all sides of the debate accept the basic premise, that Social Security faces certain insolvency when the baby boomers retire. Compelling "facts" are trotted out to prove the point: the system will start running a deficit in 2013, and will have spent down all its reserves by 2032. There will be just 1.8 workers for every retiree in 2075, compared with 3.4 today. We could all do better by buying stock in than contracting with Social Security anyway.

Taking these specious points in reverse order: there's no need to say anything about the stock market approach other than to point to the article on p. 5 . The dependency argument needs a bit of attention though. Yes, it's a fact that the population will age, and the number of retirees per worker will rise. Pointing just to those numbers, though, is a selective rendition of history, since the history of capitalism has been to bring an ever-larger share of the population into working for pay. In 1900, there were almost four nonworkers for every paid worker; as almost everyone left the farm and as most women came to draw paychecks, that number fell steadily to just over one today. As the chart shows, the boomer retirement will raise this number a bit, but not by much in the scheme of things. And these, it should be emphasized, are fairly conservative projections. In 2050 there should be a larger share of the population working for pay than in 1950, when mom was at home and the earliest boomers were in kindergarten.

The Trustees' growth projections have been trending steadily downward since the early 1980s, so much so that you'd almost think there was an intention behind the trajectory (though the system's actuaries deny any political pressure to emit bearish forecasts to grease the privatization agenda). As is typically the case with official projections, there are three scenarios -- a gloomy one, an optimistic one, and an official, moderate one. In 1981, the Trustees projected a long-term growth rate of 3.1% in their middle scenario and 2.1% in their gloomy one. In 1986, the numbers were 2.5% and 1.4%. And this year, they're 1.4% and 0.6%. The Trustees' optimistic prediction for 1998 -- 2.1% -- matches their most bearish forecast from 1981. Aren't lowered expectations a banished relic of the Carter years?

Rerun the projections with more reasonable -- though still conservative -- projections and the "crisis" largely or fully disappears. If the employment-population ratio for those aged 20-64 remains constant, a third of the projected shortfall for 2020 disappears; if it rises, because the share of women employed approaches that of men, then two-thirds of the projected deficit disappears. As the nearby chart shows, if the economy grows at a modest 2.5% rate, red ink will turn to black. And even if the official bearish projections turn out to be true, the shortfall could be made up easily by subjecting investment income to Social Security taxes, and by eliminating the cap that exempts wage income above a certain maximum ($68,400 in 1998). The reason for sparing such income from Social Security tax is that the program is supposed to be financed solely by labor, with no contribution from capital, capital already being so burdened. The "crisis" of Social Security is a political one, not an economic one.

Leading the charge is Wall Street, which would make a fortune out of privatization; no wonder financiers have been discreetly showering money on the privatization campaign. A few quick numbers will explain Wall Street's enthusiasm. Chile's privatized pension system, the enthusiast's favorite model, devotes about 30% of revenues to administrative costs, which means everything from paperwork to brokers' fees to marketing expenses. The U.S. life insurance industry is a bit more efficient, devoting about 10% of premium income to administration, which includes everything from paperwork to profits. Social Security's overhead is under 1%. About $430 billion flowed into the system's coffers this year; 10% of that would be a very pleasing $43 billion, and 30% would yield $130 billion, a windfall even by Wall Street's standards. Higher fees, lower benefits, greater gender inequity, and more risk -- no wonder privatization has to be sold with a cooked-up scare campaign.

From 2005:
Speaking of that productivity revolution, it's nowhere in the projections. Over the very long term, output per worker in the U.S. has grown around 2% a year. Some reputable economists project that the infotech has kicked us up to a higher rate of 2.5% a year, though that seems like a stretch. (Some boosterish business pundits are even pushing an implausible 4% rate.) Lost in their gloomy world, the Social Security Trustees are projecting a 1.6% rate of annual productivity growth through 208020% below the long term average. Those differences might not sound like much, but they really compound over time. At 1.6% a year, productivity in 2080 would be almost 230% of today's levels; at 2.0%, over 340%; at 2.5%, almost 540%. Obviously, the bigger the number, the better the economy will be able to afford its retireesbut the Trustees chose a very small one.

Economic growth isn't only a matter of growth in productivity per worker; it's also determined by the growth in the labor force. And the Trustees project that the growth in the labor force over the next 75 years will be about one-sixth as fast as it was between 1960 and 2004. Some slowdown is likely, since women's entry into paid labor is a trend that may have run much of its course (though just 57% of adult women are working, compared with 72% of men, so that gender gap in employment hasn't closed any more than the pay gap has).

But the Trustees' projection represents a stunning drop from historical experience, and one that can only be partly explained by the 60% slowdown in population growth they foresee. (And one reason for the slowdown in population growth is that they also foresee a sharp dropoff in immigrationimportant, since immigrants tend to be young, making them net contributors to Social Security.) Oddly, they're projecting that the labor force will grow more slowly than the population, even though it's grown nearly twice as fast as population since 1960. Maybe the Trustees are implicitly projecting a breakdown in the American economy's prodigious powers at putting people to workbut if that's the case, it's a big deal, and we should really be talking more explicitly about it.

It's historically and theoretically inconsistent to project a slowdown both in labor force and productivity growth; across time and space, lower population growth has often resulted in higher productivity growth. If labor is plentiful, employers are less keen on squeezing more out of the workforce and are less likely to invest in capital equipment. But this inconsistency is fully consistent with the Trustees' outlook, which is as dark as a goth teen's worldview.

When you put all the Trustees' projections together, productivity and labor force growth, you get a sharp dropoff in projected GDP growthfrom a historical average of 3.4% to an extremely sluggish 2.0%, which is little better than what we saw in the Depression-afflicted 1930s. If the Trustees really expect near-depression rates of growth for the next 75 years, we should be talking explicitly about that as well. Were the economy were to grow at a more normal pace, then the Social Security system could easily pay its projected benefits with no cuts or tax increases.

But no, reply the privatizers; if growth were higher, wage growth would be faster, and therefore benefits (which are keyed to wages) would also rise more quickly, so it'd all be a wash. Someone should tell the Trustees: they're projecting no dropoff in wage growth from now to 2080 despite the sharp drops in productivity and GDP growth. And someone should also tell U.S. employers that higher productivity growth means higher wages: workers have gotten only about 28% of the productivity acceleration since the mid-1990s in the form of higher wages. The rest has gone to profits, which is very nice if you're a CEO or a big stockholder.

(if anyone can give some pointers on creating text boxes that work, I'd appreciate a PM)
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  -Greider at The Nation on how they are "reforming" Social Security without saying it out loud. madfloridian  May-21-10 05:06 PM   #0 
  - How dare Obama turn against Social Security?  CaliforniaPeggy   May-21-10 05:13 PM   #1 
  - This is not what I expect from a supposedly Democratic President.  DJ13   May-21-10 05:17 PM   #2 
  - +1,000 n/t  tonysam   May-21-10 05:27 PM   #4 
  - Some of us saw the "stealth" before, but were attacked if we dared hint at it.  bobbolink   May-21-10 10:20 PM   #40 
  - +1,000,000  zabet   May-22-10 08:00 AM   #51 
  - Exactly  peace frog   May-22-10 09:08 AM   #57 
  - I never attacked anyone,  dgibby   May-22-10 10:18 AM   #91 
  - AMEN!  ShortnFiery   May-22-10 02:11 PM   #146 
  - Yours is the pain that bothers me the most about all of this..... people who have had their trust  bobbolink   May-22-10 07:04 PM   #216 
  - Why didn't they index it to cover increases in life expectancy?  TampaAnimus2010   May-23-10 02:29 PM   #250 
  - Having phone banked and beat the streets for this four flusher  ooglymoogly   May-22-10 11:31 AM   #108 
  - I'm with you......I feel quite betrayed. n/t  whathehell   May-22-10 05:25 PM   #197 
     - We once drove 100 miles to see the 4 flusher now I wouldn't cross the street.  Peregrine Took   May-22-10 05:53 PM   #207 
  - Absolutely  MissDeeds   May-22-10 03:18 PM   #161 
     - Unfortunately, both Hillary (a corporatist hawk) and Edwards (a monumental douche) are as bad  liberation   May-22-10 03:41 PM   #168 
        - It is time for a monumental effort for a write in campaign  ooglymoogly   May-23-10 12:31 PM   #243 
  - I have said that for a long time now. He is a DINO, a hired gun  icee   May-22-10 09:13 AM   #60 
  - Obama not a democrat?  Citizen Worker   May-22-10 09:31 AM   #66 
  - Not just Hillary and Obama,  bvar22   May-22-10 11:14 AM   #102 
     - They are doing God's work  avaistheone1   May-22-10 01:44 PM   #134 
  - The simple fact is  Mike K   May-22-10 02:20 PM   #151 
  - "Brand Obama"...  bvar22   May-22-10 03:18 PM   #162 
  - That's not entirely true  nichomachus   May-22-10 04:19 PM   #178 
  - Just one more betrayal in a very long line, Peggy.  dgibby   May-22-10 10:15 AM   #90 
  - Clinton did the same deal--and except for Monica, would have  bbgrunt   May-22-10 01:46 PM   #135 
  - Beyond forming a committee which doesn't appear to have done anything yet  Telly Savalas   May-22-10 02:11 PM   #147 
     - He didn't get the votes for the binding proposal so he went Executive Order  TheKentuckian   May-23-10 12:42 AM   #229 
  - The notion that the President is secretly reforming Social Security is ludicrous.  ProSense   May-21-10 05:26 PM   #3 
  - Coming from you I take anything you say with a grain of salt.  tonysam   May-21-10 05:28 PM   # 
  - Thanks for letting me know. n/t  ProSense   May-21-10 05:32 PM   #8 
  - +1000!  SammyWinstonJack   May-22-10 08:35 AM   #55 
  - Clearly! nt  ooglymoogly   May-22-10 11:35 AM   #110 
  - Agreed.  closeupready   May-22-10 03:59 PM   #173 
  - Do not be surprised when Grieder is proven correct.  OHdem10   May-21-10 06:47 PM   #20 
  - So far he's batting 1000.  glitch   May-21-10 09:49 PM   #28 
  - Well, he's not correct about it being a secret.  ProSense   May-21-10 10:09 PM   #37 
     - Yeah like not assessing even the barest  ooglymoogly   May-22-10 11:47 AM   #113 
     - that's a senate report, not the report of the deficit commission. & some of  Hannah Bell   May-22-10 01:51 PM   #138 
        - Remember all the good things we were going to get out of  ooglymoogly   May-22-10 07:38 PM   #218 
           - And O gets away with it solely because of that stinking "D" after his name.  bobbolink   May-22-10 09:35 PM   #222 
  - I no longer believe anything you say. No matter what he does,  icee   May-22-10 09:18 AM   #61 
  - + 100000.  freddie mertz   May-22-10 09:55 AM   #74 
  - So the article from the Senate Committee of Aging is a forgery?  Telly Savalas   May-22-10 02:14 PM   #148 
  - Pot meet kettle, when everything you say goes against him, your  treestar   May-22-10 03:43 PM   #170 
  - Way past that with this one... But, clearly, I see where you are.  icee   May-22-10 04:28 PM   #184 
  - There are several like that here  MissDeeds   May-22-10 04:40 PM   #187 
  - Yeah. I understand what you mean. Let's alls stick together.  icee   May-22-10 04:57 PM   #192 
     - Works for me  MissDeeds   May-22-10 05:08 PM   #194 
  - Unfortunately, I don't think so. I think everyone is either too beaten down, or just mesmerized.  bobbolink   May-22-10 09:37 PM   #223 
     - And that, sir, is my greatest fear. For then we are truly doomed. I  icee   May-22-10 11:36 PM   #226 
        - Your scenario gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "Just shoot me".  bobbolink   May-23-10 07:28 PM   #257 
  - Bookmarking. nt  laughingliberal   May-22-10 09:18 AM   #62 
  - If you deny it, there must be something to it.  freddie mertz   May-22-10 09:53 AM   #73 
  - +1  Yuugal   May-22-10 04:09 PM   #176 
  - THANK YOU!  Change Happens   May-22-10 10:06 AM   #84 
  - Considering how your batting average is .000, NOW I'm really worried.  donco6   May-22-10 10:59 AM   #98 
  - Yes, this has been debunked before.  tabatha   May-22-10 04:13 PM   #177 
     - Read who is on the debt commission.  madfloridian   May-22-10 06:42 PM   #211 
  - Correct Me If I Am Misinformed  Me.   May-21-10 05:28 PM   #5 
  - "cannot act without a vote in Congress"  ProSense   May-21-10 05:31 PM   #6 
  - I'm Not Sure About Unsubstantiated  Me.   May-21-10 10:12 PM   #38 
     - Vigilance.... Always.  whathehell   May-22-10 09:18 AM   #63 
  - And that is only because the Senate did not pass the bill for the creation of the commission.  laughingliberal   May-22-10 09:31 AM   #65 
     - A couple of important points:  Lasher   May-23-10 12:07 AM   #227 
        - We dodged the first bullet,  bvar22   May-23-10 02:38 PM   #251 
  - Obama's mother-in-law will straighten him out soon enough...n/t  monmouth   May-21-10 05:31 PM   #7 
  - I'll eat my shorts if politicians actually vote to end Social Security.  Lone_Star_Dem   May-21-10 05:32 PM   #9 
  - Maybe we need to means test it though.  dkf   May-21-10 05:37 PM   #10 
  - No we don't need to means test it, but we do need to remove the payroll tax cap. (nt)  w4rma   May-22-10 08:23 AM   #53 
  - If we did that, wouldn't the people making huge salaries get an even bigger check when they retire?  CrispyQ   May-22-10 09:12 AM   #59 
  - The relationship between paying in & taking out later is not linear.  Jackpine Radical   May-22-10 10:03 AM   #81 
  - +1000 nt  laughingliberal   May-22-10 09:32 AM   #67 
  - removing the cap is a trojan horse intended to dissolve support for the program  Hannah Bell   May-22-10 02:01 PM   #142 
  - Means testing will make it easier for them to completely dismantle it  bullwinkle428   May-22-10 10:09 AM   #87 
  - I believe a 'means test'  femrap   May-22-10 11:59 AM   #119 
  - Thank you for that post, femrap. I agree with you.  bertman   May-22-10 01:51 PM   #137 
  - more means-testing is a trojan horse intended to dissolve support for the program  Hannah Bell   May-22-10 01:59 PM   #141 
     - I guess  femrap   May-22-10 04:54 PM   #190 
        - Social security is financed by workers; the well-heeled pay more (total) going in;  Hannah Bell   May-23-10 01:16 AM   #234 
           - I don't disagree with you.  femrap   May-23-10 03:47 PM   #253 
  - social security is already means-tested through the tax on benefits.  Hannah Bell   May-22-10 01:57 PM   #140 
  - Absolutely.  Radical Activist   May-22-10 02:37 PM   #154 
  - Nowhere did I say they would "end" it.  madfloridian   May-21-10 05:42 PM   #11 
  - Correct. I will eat my shorts if politicians vote to privatize Social Security  Lone_Star_Dem   May-21-10 05:47 PM   #12 
  - No, NO..They aren't going to "END" Social Security.  bvar22   May-21-10 06:02 PM   #16 
  - I've learned to be on the lookout  tango-tee   May-22-10 07:51 AM   #50 
  - None so blind as those...nt  laughingliberal   May-22-10 09:34 AM   #68 
  - Yup, yup. That's it. Lying liars that lie.  TheKentuckian   May-22-10 09:59 AM   #78 
  - Yep  femrap   May-22-10 12:04 PM   #120 
  - +1  Change Happens   May-22-10 10:05 AM   #83 
  - they won't. they'll vote for "tweaks" intended to divide support for it.  Hannah Bell   May-22-10 01:57 PM   #139 
  - There will never be a vote to "end Social Security."  Mike K   May-22-10 04:05 PM   #175 
  - Recommend - small nuanced changes enacted by congress  xchrom   May-21-10 05:48 PM   #13 
  - Greider's article is also at  bananas   May-21-10 05:53 PM   #14 
  - Thanks for that link. Having trouble staying logged in at The Nation  madfloridian   May-21-10 06:07 PM   #17 
  - Hands Off Social Security and Medicare! We need them !! //nt  Overseas   May-21-10 06:00 PM   #15 
  - The seeds for the destruction of Medicare have already been planted...  bvar22   May-22-10 11:24 AM   #106 
     - that's how they do it. they never do it all at once; that would arouse too much opposition.  Hannah Bell   May-22-10 02:03 PM   #143 
  - Take time to read all of the Alternet article.  madfloridian   May-21-10 06:11 PM   #18 
  - The timing of the commission's recommendations is telling, is it not?  laughingliberal   May-22-10 09:39 AM   #69 
  - IF done, neither he nor we will see a Democratic President in 2012...or EVER AGAIN.  WinkyDink   May-21-10 06:19 PM   #19 
  - He is our Tony Blair, as someone said. He IS in office with an agenda.  Hardrada   May-21-10 09:16 PM   #21 
     - +1,000.  katandmoon   May-21-10 09:25 PM   #23 
     - I am sure he feels he's doing God's work.  glitch   May-21-10 09:52 PM   #31 
     - + kazillion...nt  femrap   May-22-10 12:07 PM   #122 
     - He is beyond your stale tired ideological debates and petty partisan bickering!  kenny blankenship   May-22-10 12:45 PM   #127 
     - I said that. It becomes clearer every day.  icee   May-22-10 04:33 PM   #185 
  - Now you have done it! I had a fairly good day - babysat 4 great  jwirr   May-21-10 09:23 PM   #22 
  - Other than the usual liberal groups, I don't think Senior Citizens have ever organized . . .  defendandprotect   May-21-10 09:52 PM   #30 
     - I don't think that would work this time. The guns will come out  icee   May-22-10 09:23 AM   #64 
     - 'normal teaparty people'  femrap   May-22-10 12:11 PM   #123 
     - When AARP started it was an advocacy group and had some clout  nichomachus   May-22-10 04:22 PM   #179 
     - delete  nichomachus   May-22-10 04:22 PM   #180 
     - seniors organized as the Gray Panthers in the 1970s to fight mandatory retirement  ima_sinnic   May-22-10 05:34 PM   #205 
  - No surprise. Wait til Medicare is privatized now that the new health insurance mandate is in place  Nikki Stone1   May-21-10 09:28 PM   #24 
  - The cuts HCR made to Medicare is the set up for that.  laughingliberal   May-22-10 09:44 AM   #72 
     - Yes thats the way right wing governments do it.  LiberalLovinLug   May-22-10 01:21 PM   #131 
  - Thank you - I'm bookmarking this  dana_b   May-21-10 09:29 PM   #25 
  - Agree and thank you  Carter Hayes   May-21-10 09:39 PM   #26 
  - I like this paragraph from the Greider article:  LongTomH   May-21-10 09:41 PM   #27 
  - +all in. nt  glitch   May-21-10 09:54 PM   #33 
  - Agree with you and, ironically, as far as I know, Seniors have never organized?????  defendandprotect   May-21-10 09:54 PM   #34 
     - ?  Hannah Bell   May-22-10 02:06 PM   #144 
        - Thank you -- hadn't heard much about them . . . even here at DU!!  defendandprotect   May-22-10 11:27 PM   #224 
           - they used to get quite a bit of press -- not so much these days. but seniors also  Hannah Bell   May-23-10 04:14 AM   #235 
              - Thanks for the info -- and I think we should get them back in picture . . .  defendandprotect   May-23-10 02:14 PM   #249 
  - One more reason we need a more liberal/progressive candidate in 2012 . . .  defendandprotect   May-21-10 09:50 PM   #29 
  - Don't you mean 2012? n/t  ColesCountyDem   May-21-10 10:43 PM   #42 
     - Thank you . . . we need a liberal/progressive Dem candidate 2012. . . !!  defendandprotect   May-21-10 10:45 PM   #43 
  - The Nation is so slow tonight...try this link from xchrom above.  madfloridian   May-21-10 09:54 PM   #32 
  - Thanks for this.  sabrina 1   May-21-10 09:58 PM   #35 
  - I think their job should be the least they lose.  glitch   May-21-10 10:05 PM   #36 
  - Not just the Cato Institute, but the Republican Wing of the Democratic Party, the DLC.  bvar22   May-22-10 11:44 AM   #111 
  - Amazing , this is something I would  Autumn   May-21-10 10:17 PM   #39 
  - TPM's Josh Marshall once called it "phasing out" Social Security.  madfloridian   May-21-10 10:23 PM   #41 
  - exactly. if they abolished it all at once, people would be up in arms. it's  Hannah Bell   May-22-10 02:09 PM   #145 
  - Not so sure Obama is a Democrat, not at this point.  SammyWinstonJack   May-22-10 08:47 AM   #56 
     - After his speech  Autumn   May-22-10 09:58 AM   #77 
        - I find myself more and more unable to listen,  dgibby   May-22-10 10:31 AM   #93 
  - K+R Thank you for keeping us informed again Madflo.  saracat   May-22-10 02:50 AM   #44 
  - Privatizing  bonnieS   May-22-10 06:43 AM   #45 
  - This is what I am saying.  Enthusiast   May-22-10 07:50 AM   #48 
  - Is Obama even a  Enthusiast   May-22-10 07:36 AM   #46 
  - Wow! The news gets worse all the time.  Time for change   May-22-10 07:39 AM   #47 
  - k&r  blindpig   May-22-10 07:50 AM   #49 
  - If Obama's picks on that council try to support cutting benifits then Obama is toast.  w4rma   May-22-10 08:10 AM   #52 
  - Guess who is exec director of the debt commission. Bruce Reed.  madfloridian   May-22-10 08:33 AM   #54 
  - How many here are within "shouting distance" of retirement?....I am and this REALLY pisses me off !  whathehell   May-22-10 09:12 AM   #58 
  - This would be an attack on the Baby Boomers....Wow.  whathehell   May-22-10 09:41 AM   #70 
  - The time for raising hell is now  laughingliberal   May-22-10 10:02 AM   #80 
     - I agree...What can/should we do?...For one thing, should we re-institute the CFA's Pledge?  whathehell   May-22-10 10:38 AM   #94 
        - CFA pledge would be a good start  laughingliberal   May-22-10 11:11 AM   #100 
           - I believe Campaign for America's Future started this...They may be the people to go back to.  whathehell   May-22-10 11:16 AM   #103 
              - Good information. Thanks. nt  laughingliberal   May-22-10 11:22 AM   #105 
              - Your very welcome.....I've got more information here about the convention.  whathehell   May-22-10 11:53 AM   #114 
              - I think it starts about June 7 this year.  madfloridian   May-22-10 11:46 AM   #112 
                 - Yes, it starts on June 7th...Check out the post below yours. I have more details.  whathehell   May-22-10 11:55 AM   #115 
                 - Sorry...I meant the post Above yours...I've got the details here, at any rate.  whathehell   May-22-10 11:57 AM   #116 
                 - peterson's group is planning a major propaganda offensive in june - with town halls, etc.  Hannah Bell   May-22-10 02:16 PM   #149 
                    - That is so disturbing.  madfloridian   May-22-10 03:28 PM   #165 
                    - Thanks for that....We should prepare for it. n/t  whathehell   May-22-10 05:32 PM   #203 
                    - yes. organizing & getting the word out should be happening now.  Hannah Bell   May-23-10 12:47 AM   #231 
                    - Thanks for posting this link - looks like a great site! n/t  Peregrine Took   May-22-10 06:05 PM   #208 
  - K & R  Dinger   May-22-10 09:43 AM   #71 
  - The first post-baby boom, Reagan-era president.  freddie mertz   May-22-10 09:57 AM   #75 
  - I've long felt that  femrap   May-22-10 12:51 PM   #128 
  - One IMPORTANT thing, the money you speak about is not there --- Already spent by our government(s)  Change Happens   May-22-10 09:58 AM   #76 
  - Fix it without privatizing it. Fix it without destroying it.  madfloridian   May-22-10 10:07 AM   #85 
  - Agreed..nt  Change Happens   May-23-10 06:50 AM   #236 
  - Yes, they have 'borrowed' from the fund constantly...  laughingliberal   May-22-10 10:11 AM   #88 
  - So true...Yes, and very sad for our country  Change Happens   May-23-10 06:52 AM   #237 
  - True...but isn't this exactly where the "fight" has always been?..  whathehell   May-22-10 11:14 AM   #101 
  - Like HELL it's not !!!!!  westerebus   May-22-10 11:59 AM   #118 
  - + a few trillion. nt  laughingliberal   May-22-10 12:27 PM   #125 
  - I didn't want to count all the mortgages we own.  westerebus   May-22-10 01:50 PM   #136 
  - I fear  femrap   May-22-10 12:57 PM   #129 
  - I know how you feel.  westerebus   May-22-10 01:18 PM   #130 
     - Thanks for reminding me....  femrap   May-22-10 01:24 PM   #133 
  - Well Said!  KoKo   May-22-10 01:22 PM   #132 
     - thanks.  westerebus   May-22-10 02:17 PM   #150 
  - the money in your bank account is also "spent".  Hannah Bell   May-22-10 02:29 PM   #152 
  - The only fix is to be accountable and call in the IOUs. n/t  Catherina   May-23-10 12:42 PM   #246 
  - fuck him  fascisthunter   May-22-10 10:02 AM   #79 
  - Who?  Change Happens   May-22-10 10:04 AM   #82 
  - I participated in a focus group and the gist of it was to figure out how to inform  flamingdem   May-22-10 10:08 AM   #86 
  - Interesting...I already knew of that option, but I wanted it to be a choice, not a mandate. n/t  whathehell   May-22-10 10:57 AM   #97 
  - Part of the plan is to have private investment firms benefit more....  madfloridian   May-22-10 12:33 PM   #126 
  - the problem with that is that additional life expectancy has mostly accrued to the  Hannah Bell   May-22-10 02:37 PM   #155 
  - Obama's Ugly New America discards the elderly, poor, sick- a national disgrace.  n.michigan   May-22-10 10:12 AM   #89 
  - Doug Henwood has also been on this for a long time...  JHB   May-22-10 10:20 AM   #92 
  - great charts. these facts need to get out there.  Hannah Bell   May-22-10 02:39 PM   #156 
  - Oopps, a dupe  John Q. Citizen   May-22-10 10:47 AM   #95 
  - Thanks for the great articles on Social Security,  John Q. Citizen   May-22-10 10:49 AM   #96 
  - JUST sent a clip from this to WHITEHOUSE.GOV... asking HOW DARE YOU.... please do as well  happygoluckytoyou   May-22-10 11:08 AM   #99 
  - While it's true that the math surrounding Social Security  customerserviceguy   May-22-10 11:17 AM   #104 
  - Our payroll taxes financed the tax cuts for the wealthy.  laughingliberal   May-22-10 11:34 AM   #109 
  - They financed all kinds of things  customerserviceguy   May-22-10 12:06 PM   #121 
     - Retirement age has already been raised and benefits are already barely enough to stave off ...  laughingliberal   May-22-10 12:24 PM   #124 
  - the money was borrowed by capital; over 1 trillion in income tax cuts to the top 1%  Hannah Bell   May-22-10 02:41 PM   #157 
     - Agreed, they don't want to pay it back  customerserviceguy   May-23-10 11:39 AM   #239 
        - it's not a ponzi scheme.  Hannah Bell   May-23-10 11:45 AM   #240 
           - It's being run like one  customerserviceguy   May-23-10 11:58 AM   #241 
              - it's not a ponzi scheme. my retirement plans are immaterial to this discussion.  Hannah Bell   May-23-10 12:07 PM   #242 
                 - OK, you keep on believing that, if you want to  customerserviceguy   May-23-10 12:40 PM   #245 
                    - i will continue to believe it because it's true. SS is nothing like a ponzi scheme,  Hannah Bell   May-23-10 12:55 PM   #247 
  - K&R  amborin   May-22-10 11:26 AM   #107 
  - The BEST fix.  bvar22   May-22-10 11:57 AM   #117 
  - Lots of big rhetoric without specifics here.  Radical Activist   May-22-10 02:34 PM   #153 
  - there's no scenario under which young people wind up paying 1/3 of their income to subsidize  Hannah Bell   May-22-10 02:46 PM   #158 
  - We're nearly there already.  Radical Activist   May-22-10 03:21 PM   #163 
     - exactly the same % taken out of my check: 7.65%. Medicaid is funded through income taxes & state  Hannah Bell   May-22-10 03:39 PM   #166 
     - I'm an hourly wage worker.  Kermitt Gribble   May-22-10 04:23 PM   #181 
        - That's a very big chunk.  Radical Activist   May-22-10 05:28 PM   #200 
           - income tax has nothing to do with social security. social security tax is 6.2% of your paycheck.  Hannah Bell   May-23-10 12:33 AM   #228 
           - And when you're old and retired,  Kermitt Gribble   May-23-10 12:32 PM   #244 
              - I'd pay more  Radical Activist   May-23-10 02:48 PM   #252 
  - Wrong thread..  KoKo   May-22-10 02:46 PM   #159 
  - I've already paid a huge chunk of my income to social security  northernlights   May-22-10 03:10 PM   #160 
  - You didn't "pay into" anything. No one did.  Radical Activist   May-22-10 03:25 PM   #164 
     - Um, I didn't write "paid into" anywhere...kindly don't put words in my keyboard  northernlights   May-22-10 03:39 PM   #167 
        - you wrote: "I'd BETTER FUCKING GET BACK WHAT I PAID IN"  Radical Activist   May-22-10 03:59 PM   #172 
           - What I paid INTO THE SYSTEM  northernlights   May-22-10 05:27 PM   #199 
              - Becuase its all about you personally and your story.  Radical Activist   May-22-10 05:33 PM   #204 
                 - in fact, we paid for the benefits of others & over 1 trillion extra, which was funneled to the top  Hannah Bell   May-23-10 12:51 AM   #232 
  - Given your posting history...  liberation   May-22-10 03:42 PM   #169 
  - People who think that being progressive  Radical Activist   May-22-10 04:02 PM   #174 
     - You are posting a lot of accusations about me. Please back them up.  madfloridian   May-22-10 06:45 PM   #213 
  - Overreaching accusations from me? Do you have examples?  madfloridian   May-22-10 06:43 PM   #212 
  - I'm not going to win any friends here by what I, (as a Soc Sec recipient) say ..but  activa8tr   May-22-10 03:59 PM   #171 
  - thanks for sharing your story nt  flamingdem   May-22-10 04:27 PM   #183 
  - I am absolutely not. If Obama handles SS reforms like he did HCR,  icee   May-22-10 04:42 PM   #188 
  - Well, I'm not sure how you arrived at that, but of course Obama had to deal with  activa8tr   May-22-10 04:55 PM   #191 
     - Deleted message  Name removed   May-22-10 05:05 PM   #193 
     - Deleted message  Name removed   May-22-10 06:47 PM   #214 
     - How about dealing with the REAL "problem"....Senseless, bankrupting wars?  whathehell   May-22-10 05:28 PM   #201 
     - Yeah, I'm all for that, and so are most seniors who are veterans  activa8tr   May-22-10 06:53 PM   #215 
     - social security is almost 3 trillion in the black. it's not broken.  Hannah Bell   May-23-10 01:04 AM   #233 
  - You are very wrong.  madfloridian   May-22-10 05:31 PM   #202 
  - What am I "so very wrong" about? I'd love to learn something I don't  activa8tr   May-22-10 07:16 PM   #217 
  - SS isn't a ponzi scheme. This is a right-wing meme.  Hannah Bell   May-23-10 12:43 AM   #230 
  - Until we get corporate money out of politics, nothing will change n/t  nichomachus   May-22-10 04:23 PM   #182 
  - Ironically enough, a Republican president had some wise words on this subject (among others)  Sebastian Doyle   May-22-10 04:36 PM   #186 
  - True enough. But where do people posting here on this thread get the  activa8tr   May-22-10 04:43 PM   #189 
     - It's been on the DLC's list for years.  Sebastian Doyle   May-22-10 05:09 PM   #195 
  - Now _this_ is the loony left. Exhibit A.  stevietheman   May-22-10 05:19 PM   #196 
  - wow--a real "deep thinker," aren't you?  ima_sinnic   May-22-10 05:41 PM   #206 
  - He certainly is a man of his word. We know that, right??????????????  Peregrine Took   May-22-10 06:06 PM   #209 
  - You forgot the little sarcasm thingie, huh? nt  laughingliberal   May-22-10 06:32 PM   #210 
  - First time I have been called the loony left.  madfloridian   May-22-10 11:35 PM   #225 
  - Maybe we should have paid more attention to his reagan adoration fetish.  Jakes Progress   May-22-10 05:26 PM   #198 
  - I've thought that for a while now.  icee   May-22-10 09:21 PM   #221 
  - The comedic genius of Alan Greenspan  Usrename   May-22-10 09:09 PM   #219 
  - DISASTER CAPITALISM  Odin2005   May-22-10 09:12 PM   #220 
  - Obama and Congressional Dems are already skating on the thin edge of not getting my vote  MadHound   May-23-10 07:03 AM   #238 
  - If they do that...  dajoki   May-23-10 01:29 PM   #248 
  - A look back at a Greider video, Feb. 2009. Looting Social Security.  Jefferson23   May-23-10 04:21 PM   #254 
  - Social Security funds/Medicare clearly are the target and the prize.  stillwaiting   May-23-10 05:34 PM   #255 
  - Wow. Too late to rec.  inna   May-23-10 06:00 PM   #256 

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