Social Security – Part Duex

Since the last entry generated some dialogue on many different fronts, I had enough more thoughts that I am ready to do another entry on the same topic.

Social Security, as was mentioned by Big Pimp “was actually started as a way of providing a minimal amount of income to keep the elderly out of poverty while recovering from the Great Depression. It was never meant to be someone’s entire retirement income.”

Even so, it was a knee-jerk reaction to a depression caused by incredibly stupid fiscal and monetary policies of the U.S. Government. For instance, it was completely legal to borrow craploads of money and invest it in the stock market. The stock market was hot, so people were borrowing well beyond their means and investing, which created a giant bubble, which eventually burst.

I won’t bore you with lots of history, but my point is, the depression was caused by government stupidity, so of course we should logically expect the government to come up with stupid ideas to fix the problems. The government did many things, one of which was changing the laws, changing how they decide fiscal and monetary issues (I know, I know… the Fed sets monetary policy… we all know it’s all the government), and lastly, creating what they promised would be a safety net should depression ever happen again.

Well, now we know enough about how the regulated market works, and how it reacts to shocks, that the worst we really need to worry about anymore is recession. Depression will only happen again if someone does something incredibly stupid, and even then, it would be tough. Even with the unbelievably huge tech stock bubble in the 90’s, which gave Clinton his years of bounty, the worst we had to deal with was a few years of recession.

Social Security is not a terrible idea, assuming your country is made up of morons. While most corporations, and certainly the government think that the general population is moronic, the truth is, most of us get by just fine. The reason our Social Security system is a flawed design, is that people can conceivably draw more money than they put in. Yes, Mental, population has a lot to do with it, even if you don’t support disabled and families. Everyone gets old and retires, and when they do, the system starts sending them checks. A whole lot more people will be retiring in the next 15 years than ever did while the Boomers were paying the taxes. Cutting benefits for disabled and families might delay the collapse of Social Security, but it’s really just delaying the inevitable.

And while we’re on the subject, let’s talk about potential fixes for Social Security. The most obvious thing that comes to mind is privitization, which is what George Bush and the Republicans are pushing. The Republicans want this because the primary “plank” in the Republican platform is that people are smart enough to take care of themselves. But of course, the libs hate this idea, because they know that there will be a few morons that don’t save, don’t invest privately, and will end up poor… and god forbid we let a stupid person be poor.

A second way to fix Social Security was brought to mind by what Mental wrote about in her entry. Cut the “add on’s” that have been made part of Social Security since it’s original inception. The problem is, her very own Democrats would be the ones fighting tooth and nail to prevent benefits from being cut. That’s because the Democrats primary “plank” in the platform is “A chicken in every pot.” Which is fine. Different strokes for different folks. But ultimately, no Dem will ever vote to reduce benefits for anyone. That’s not what they do. And frankly, they want to continue sucking up to the poor, lazy, old, and infirmed.

A third way to fix Social Security is to leave benefits the same, but raise taxes. You could probably get a Democrat to vote for this, but there isn’t a Republican alive that would want you to raise taxes for a social program. See above where I describe why that is.

My personal fix for Social Security would be to cap benefits. If you put in $500, and then started drawing benefits, you can keep getting benefits until you have received $500 plus the money market interest rate. After that, you’re on your own. You can’t have something for nothing. This is America… you have to work for what you want, lazy.

Our government is made up of equal but opposite idiotic parties, who have no chance of solving anything because there are just enough of each to prevent the other side from accomplishing anything. So Social Security will truck along until we’re paying 80% of our taxes to support it, or some brave new generation (X) comes along and drives the silver stake through it.


  14 comments for “Social Security – Part Duex

  1. August 25, 2005 at 12:53 pm

    OK, I was torn between voting for “cut benefits” or “dump the crappy program”. My question is this: if we dump the entire program, do I get back every cent that I have paid in for 20+ years?

  2. August 25, 2005 at 12:56 pm

    I like your plan, but I think the AARP and the Boomers would do a bit of a better job out-contributing to the political parties to make sure that their “benefit” continues to be just as good of a deal until they croak. Here’s another point about Social Security… The payment is raised every year because it is tied to increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI actually out-paces real inflation by about 0.8% per year, meaning that the value of the Social Security payment just keeps getting better and better. Tying Social Security payments to rises in the CPI was done so seniors wouldn’t be hurt by dramatic increases in inflation. However, if there was a deflationary period, the payment is not brought down. Another knee-jerk reaction with unintended consequences… Just peachy! Incredipete- PLEASE stop making me write things that make me look semi-intelligent. It will hurt my street cred. I am a Big P.I.M.P. for Incredipete’s sake!

  3. August 25, 2005 at 3:01 pm

    Now Pimp, have I mentioned lately how moist Smart Men make me?

  4. August 26, 2005 at 9:08 am

    OK…in order to read Pimp’s response, I just had to shut off Radio Margaritaville. So now I’m mad at him for making me do so and mad at Incredipete for forcing me to think on a Friday. All I know is that I’m not planning on havnig squat come from Social Security when I’m old and infirmed. I’m saving based on that assumption. My kid ain’t gonna want to pay for all us jerks. Imagine how bad they have it? Why can’t we just buy the Middle East and get rich off of all the oil?

  5. August 26, 2005 at 10:04 am

    Well I hate to jump in here but I feel that I have to. Social security needs to be a voluntary 401K style plan. Turn it off right this second, the gen X’re and the nothing generation of the 80’s just need to stop dreaming about getting government money and if they want to put into it they can and if they don’t then too fucking bad. And we on’t keep the national 401K money anywhere near the US government. We set up a national bank account in Switzerland and let the Gnomes of Zurich tend our cash.


  6. August 26, 2005 at 10:58 am

    Nightmare, while I may agree with you…wait until we’re all 65 and some jackass refused to save up along the way. I know neither you or I care if they starve to death, but I get the feeling that a lot of people will disagree with our sentiments. We’re all screwed. Simple as that. As long as people know that there is no consequence for fiscal irresponsibility; there’s always a bailout, those of us who save up will get shafted. I need a beer

  7. August 26, 2005 at 11:06 am

    We won’t get shafted if we just move to an island I plan on buying and setting up my own government!

    Nightmaetopia…it’s a beautiful thing! Gambling, sun, fun, booze legalized prostitution, and weed. not to mention our own distillery for fun and fuel. Our main export will be T-shirts and funny hats.

    Who’s in?

  8. August 26, 2005 at 11:17 am

    Right now, the Social Security Administration takes in quite a bit more money than it pays out in anticipation of the coming Boomers retirement (Something the government actually had the foresight to plan for back in the 90’s.) Now, that surplus is, by law, invested in government T-Bills, which is really a loan to the government. So, take away the SS system as it is currently and you will be taking away a few hundred Billion dollars a year from loans that the government is recieving. The government doesn’t just stick that loan in a bank and earn interest. It actually spends that money to support the federal budget. So, when the loans come due, guess who gets stuck with the bill? The taxpayers (all of us). At the time when the loans (T-Bills) come due, the taxpayers will be footing the bill to repay this amount as well. Then, when money paid into the Social Security system equals the amount that is paid out to retirees, the government will no longer be loaned that money that was created from the surplus. I think it is a given that government spending isn’t likely to be scaled back any time soon, so that means that the government will have to make up that shortfall in income by raising taxes or cutting spending (which isn’t going to happen) or getting additional loans. This is one nice little pickle that we will be in! Can’t wait to try to continue paying towards my retirement while paying higher taxes to support government spending and to pay for the Boomers to be able to keep that Mercedes in their driveway during retirement, as well as paying for my kids to get through college. Who isn’t excited about THAT prospect?

  9. August 26, 2005 at 11:25 am

    Sweet Jesus Christ those are some long comments. WTF? Just go write it on your own site. Anywhooo…I sure hate it when I say something bad about the Republicans and in turn get branded a Democrat…that really chaps my hide.

  10. Wendy
    August 26, 2005 at 12:28 pm

    Yeah, okay. Hi anyway!

  11. August 26, 2005 at 12:47 pm

    I’m moving to Nightmare’s island. Can I be the Secretary of Hawaiian Shirts and Rum Drinks?

  12. August 26, 2005 at 3:19 pm

    Mental, I was trying to be nice… I almost branded you a *gasp* liberal.

  13. August 26, 2005 at 3:34 pm

    Hehehe. As if anything I’m branded with would offend me…considering it’s coming from A REPUBLICAN. You HAVE seen who you most recently voted to stay in the white house right?

  14. August 26, 2005 at 4:09 pm

    Yes, he’s dumb, but loveable.

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