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(96 posts)

Fiscal Cliff Pt. 2 - the bloodletting

  • Started 1 year ago by wakeflood
  • Latest reply from wakeflood

  1. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    OK, so we've seen this movie several times. Has the same ending. As we approach the deadline for the debt ceiling and sequestration...

    ...Obama will claim to stand firm publicly until he gets the deal he secretly wants. Which will be to:

    1. Make the debt ceiling votes go away for 1 or 2 yrs.

    2. Raise the SS retirement age by at least 1 or maybe 2 yrs.

    3. He'll extract some modest cuts to defense in exchange for either chained CPI or something just as brutal.

    4. Some other Medicare/Medicaid concessions to cost cutting (read reduced benefit) with maybe, if he's very lucky, the ability to negotiate scrip pricing.

    5. A few billion $ for short term infrastructure to placate (read buy) a few recalcitrant Sen/Rep votes.

    6. Little to no change to corporate tax code or subsidies (read no long term revenue relief).

    All of which is to say, hellooo austerity, Democratic style.

    Anyone care to argue this going another way? Please do. I'd like to have some hope but I think Obama's shown his hand several times over the last few years. I think we'd have had a more progressive result if Goldwater was Pres. (half kidding).

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  2. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    The worst(?) part is that he will think this is the "shared pain" that he claims is his core belief.

    I'm going to keep looking for the "pain" that the corporations and the wealthy will endure in this plan. Theirs will feel like a paper cut compared to the deep gash that the rest will absorb, relative to their economic standing.

    Can't wait for the rest of the "lost decade" to play out now. Hey, what's 5 or more years of racing to the bottom amongst friends???

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  3. Do you know where Obama currently stands on the tax increase for people making over 250k? Last I heard, he was hanging tough on that number. If he caves, it will really hurt him. So much so that he may have to make a deal with Satan to bring Bin Laden back from the grave, just so he can kill the guy again.

    ***************

    BTW: If it's austerity we're in for, how can we lay that on the Democrats' doorstep? I mean, wouldn't it be a bipartisan austerity?

    The following graphic illustrates my point:

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  4. hooper1961
    Member Profile

    wakeflood - Scene 1 tax rates on the wealthy go up.

    Scene 2 government spending needs to be cut. the fact is SS, Medicare and Medicaid are huge cost items that need to be tamed. people live far longer than in the past; thus raising the retirement age must be done.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  5. this says it pretty well

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li0no7O9zmE

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  6. oddreality
    Member Profile

    SS is owed more money by our government than any single country we borrow from. Why do you think the repugs are after it all the time? They do not want to pay back what they spent of our hard earned money. The only thing SS has to do with the debt is that it needs to be paid back.
    The government owes over 270 billion to SS. That is why it gets placed on the table at all. It is not an entitlement.It was fully funded by US ,you know, the workers,until the government broke their promise and raided it.

    I assume that you Hoop, being a small business owner ,are paying into SS?? I hope you are. I have a family member that has his elderly in-laws living with him and off him because they lost their business and their investments and are now old enough for SS but sadly never paid in.All conservative republicans I might add..now they get food stamps and medicaid.Even conservative republicans can screw up.

    Make a good decision for yourself and pay into SS for your own future.You could be screwing up your old age and your family but you may not know it for years.
    You never know what life will bring you.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  7. hoop..

    perhaps all of those single item tax breaks that just got passed along again with the fiscal cliff deal would be a better target than some old duffer's food bill..

    just saying.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  8. hooper1961
    Member Profile

    yes oddreality i pay SS and see the true cost since i pay the entire tax (both the employer and employee shares).

    JoB - i just heard NASCAR got some kind of tax break that if true would not be appropriate (thus please sit down; an item we agree on)

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  9. Nascar isn't the only one. Those who don't work for wages or actually produce anything except money just got their tax rate topped at 20%.

    i told you to stop stooping over to pick up those pennies..
    it leaves your back pocket really vulnerable.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  10. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    I just wonder why Hoop seems to think that the dramatic reworking of the tax code over the last 30yrs. that has pushed 90% of the wealth gains away from the lower/middle class up to the investor class, has been a positive change for this country?

    That was extreme social engineering manifested.

    Where's the great things we all were supposed to get from this grand experiment? What things do we point to with pride about what we've contributed to the world that results from this? What do we do well as a country/society?

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  11. hooper1961
    Member Profile

    the extreme social engineering has created a state infested with welfare dependency. it is time to pull the plug.

    in the distant past the only folks getting a helping hand by the government were the handicap and mentally retarded folks.

    oddreality SS will start to run a deficit in the not to distant future. raising the retirement age and tweaking the COLA formula are the best options available. AND I am fearful that when in 15 to 20 years I retire people who lived frugally and saved will get screwed out of their portion of the payments. better to refine the system overall (treats everyone the same) versus future means testing that would penalize middle class people who save.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  12. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    Really? That's the story you choose to believe after 3+ decades of trickle down? Or "shovel up" as I prefer to call it.

    Way to completely dodge the question...AND more importantly, the DATA that disproves your premise.

    Shaking head.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  13. hoop..

    welfare dependency is what happens to people when you deprive them of the means to earn a living.

    you know.. the end result of trickle down..
    job creation overseas...

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  14. hooper1961
    Member Profile

    JoB as i have said before work is available to those that work hard to find it.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  15. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    Again, I'm just confirming that Hoop suggests that the most significant economic experiment conducted in the last 75yrs. has resulted in one thing of pride, or positivity, or as a point of admiration for our country.

    More people on welfare.

    Well done, you supply-siders! Bravo, ye trickle-downers! Huzzah!!

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  16. hooper1961
    Member Profile

    actually wakeflood you made my point very clear too many people on the dole. and it is time to make the harsh decision to pull the plug on this. it is like amputating a leg with gangrene to save the patient.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  17. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    I don't get what kind of logic methodology you're using to reach that conclusion, Hoop. It's certainly not anything I'm familiar with.

    If trickle down worked, you'd be able to point to lots of wonderful results, yes? But you can't. You point to a negative. So, following logic, you're actually making MY point. But since that's lost on you, I give up.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  18. hooper1961
    Member Profile

    wakefield i think the welfare state ought to be dismantled. it is like gangrene in the leg; if you don't cut it off the body will get consumed and die.

    welfare has created a dependent underclass that is not acceptable and it is time to pull the plug and let people sink or swim.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  19. hoop

    "JoB as i have said before work is available to those that work hard to find it."

    sorry hoop. this statement is an epic fail.
    are you really still this misinformed?

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  20. hoop..

    "it is time to make the harsh decision to pull the plug on this. it is like amputating a leg with gangrene to save the patient."

    no. without jobs all you do is kill the patient.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  21. hoop..

    have you ever stopped to think for even a second about your own personal welfare and safety if half of the people in this country had no shelter or source of income or food?

    you are clearly not thinking this through.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  22. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    Oy, Hoop, your position has been stated on that topic. It IS NOT however, the question I posed to you and virtually any other Righty on this Blog. And one to which this country never seems to get a straight up answer.

    If trickle-down, supply-side, voodoo economics WORKED, you'd have wonderful things to point to as a result of a 30+yr. economic experiment on REAL PEOPLE. What are those things?

    Waiting...

    The answer to anyone NOT blinded by ideology is that it's been an epic and wholesale failure for all but a very precious few.

    You have a neglected and broken down society that has been belching smoke out the tailpipe. There's a root cause to that stuff. Welfare is a symptom, not a cause.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  23. i would add to what wakefield said

    "The answer to anyone NOT blinded by ideology is that it's been an epic and wholesale failure for all but a very precious few"

    who are doing their best as we speak to figure out how to get their hands on whatever assets middle class Americans have left..

    and the pot of gold they have their eyes on is your social security.

    you can give them access to it
    or you can stand up for yourself and tell those idiots we elected to leave social security alone.

    it really is up to you.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  24. hooper1961
    Member Profile

    like i said raising the retirement age and refining the COLA is appropriate and better ensures that everyone (EVERYONE) who has contributed to the ponzi scheme gets something in return. if nothing is done the &*^% will hit the fan when the IOU's are paid back and the system starts running a deficit. then what JoB; screw those that saved during their working years? or cut everyone's benefits by 25%? please tell me? AND do not give me the crap of raising more taxes.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  25. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    Well, we have the definitive position.

    "... and do not give me the crap of raising more taxes."

    JoB, time to stop wasting our breath...again.

    It apparently doesn't matter one iota to Hoop or his ilk that taxes are at 50yr. lows for almost anyone and especially those at the top and for corporations. Facts don't matter. Nothing will break the spell.

    I respectfully suggest that Hoop and his brethren move to someplace off the grid and live entirely of their own making. Maybe start a commune of like minded "off the gridders" with whom you can bargain for building your infrastructure needs.

    Seriously.

    I'm done.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  26. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    I'm assuming that a Gilligan's Island style bicycle generator would be able to power up a TV long enough to gather the day's Faux News talking points.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  27. hooper1961
    Member Profile

    please explain to me why raising the retirement age is not a reasonable position? life expectancy is far longer than in the past!

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  28. hooper...I'm on Medicare, and I got a COLA at the beginning of the year...a whole 13 bucks a month...that's a whole $156.00 per year...wow..it's gonna break the bank...

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  29. hooper1961
    Member Profile

    multiply by millions of people and compound it each year and it quickly adds up

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  30. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    Hoop, I'm curious. When SS age is raised and benefits are cut and you essentially shred the remaining safety net to something threadbare, what exactly is supposed to change and why will it be demonstrably better for our society?

    I'm absolutely serious. I can't for the life of me come up with how this makes us better or more happy or anything positive.

    We'll have more homeless, more crazy people out on the streets, more children hungry, more sick dying far too young. What does that solve? Why is that a better society?

    And don't tell me that churches and charities will pick up the slack. They never have and won't. I've been around lots of church-going folk and they're more interested in who's got a newer Mercedes or a nicer coat from Nordies.

    Go ahead, describe this "better society" you envision. I'll wait...

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  31. Go ahead, describe this "better society" you envision.

    Open up wide, Baby Bird! I have a hunch that Mama Bird is just going to regurgitate some of his crap, instead of actually answering your question.

    Mike

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  32. hooper1961
    Member Profile

    raising the SS retirement age means a person has a few more years to save and and raised retirement and refining the COLA helps ensure SS solvency.

    and my question is what is the end game if SS becomes insolvent? what is it 15 to 20 years from now the government IOU's will (theoretically) been paid back. then what penalize the savers? cut all benefits across the board by 25%?

    the point is minor tweaks now can avoid massive revisions in the future.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  33. hoop

    " if nothing is done the &*^% will hit the fan when the IOU's are paid back and the system starts running a deficit."

    do you have any idea at all when this is supposed to happen?

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  34. hooper1961
    Member Profile

    i have heard in 2030's when i will be retiring. further research i found the following:

    mattbruenig.com/2011/08/16/the-myth-of-social-security-insolvency/

    "The actual issues with the solvency of Social Security are extremely minor. The massive Social Security trust fund will allow the program to pay out benefits at the current level until 2038. At that point — absent modifications to the program — revenues will only be able to pay out 81 percent of promised benefits. That is to say, if the federal government did absolutely nothing over the next 27 years to shore up Social Security, a one time cut of 19 percent in 2038 would make the program solvent into the infinite horizon. This would be a sub-optimal way forward, but it underscores how solid Social Security is: even at 1.9 workers per retiree, the program could pay out at 81 percent of the current, inflation-adjusted rate without increasing revenue at all."

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  35. hooper1961
    Member Profile

    are you ok with an across the board 19% cut in benefits in the future for your kids? grand kids?

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  36. hoop..

    you poor poor baby

    you seem to have ignored the part of your quote which said

    "it underscores how solid Social Security is: even at 1.9 workers per retiree, the program could pay out at 81 percent of the current, inflation-adjusted rate without increasing revenue at all."

    instead of raising the age for retirees it would make far more sense to raise the current cap on contributions...

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  37. hooper1961
    Member Profile

    minor tweaks now can avoid major changes in the future. raising the retirement age is far more equitable because it treats everyone exactly the same and would help keep SS solvent. frankly i am ok with an across the board cut of 19% in the future if this were to play. what i am most concerned about is seeing those that saved being penalized in the future by having their benefits cut more extremely than those that did not save.

    from data i see on line the first $767 contributed is factored at 90%, $767 and less than or equal to $4,624 by 32% and it is only 15% at amounts over $4,624. thus it is clear from the formulas the more you contribute the less the return on the last dollar contributed. further SS has a maximum payout amount.

    all i here you say is to increase the cap but nothing regarding the inequitable payback formulas!

    the SS formulas are:

    Step 1:
    Enter your actual earnings in Column B, but not more than the amount shown in Column A. If you have no earnings, enter "0."

    Step 2:
    Multiply the amounts in Column B by the index factors in Column C, and enter the results in Column D. This gives you your indexed earnings, or the approximate value of your earnings in current dollars.

    Step 3:
    Choose from Column D the 35 years with the highest amounts. Add these amounts.

    $__________________
    Step 4:

    Divide the result from Step 3 by 420 (the number of months in 35 years). Round down to the next lowest dollar. This will give you your average indexed monthly earnings.

    $__________________

    Step 5:

    Multiply the first $767 in Step 4 by 90%.

    $__________________

    Multiply the amount in Step 4 over $767 and less than or equal to $4,624 by 32%.

    $__________________

    Multiply the amount in Step 4 over $4,624 by 15%.

    $__________________

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  38. hoop...

    I am all for paying attention to the serious problems in our society..
    but social security is way down on the list of urgent problems...

    get a grip
    better yet, get a life

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  39. hooper1961
    Member Profile

    JoB you are correct SS can easily be fixed by raising the retirement age to reflect the fact people live longer! SIMPLE SOLUTION

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  40. WorldCitizen
    Member Profile

    zgh2676

    Does the fact that people live a little bit longer on average equate to the ability to earn a wage which allows them to save more before retirement? I have a hunch what the answer is, but I would like to hear some good solid numbers from those of you out there who believe this to be so. You do have numbers, right? You're not just pulling these ideas out of your ass, are you?

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  41. and would the loss in wage before retirement affect the amount of their social security check?

    well.. yes.. it would.

    world citizen...
    i don't know if hoop pulls those ideas out of his ...
    but i do know that he puts his words into my mouth...

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  42. hooper1961
    Member Profile

    world bank life expectancy data in the US. in 1960 life expectancy was 69.77 in 2010 it was 78.24

    this is 8 years longer and is significant from a SS standpoint. in 1960 a SS could be expected to draw SS on average about 5 years and in 2010 about 13 years that is more than double! this is very significant!

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  43. WorldCitizen
    Member Profile

    zgh2676

    Ah, but it doesn't answer the question, does it?

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  44. hooper1961
    Member Profile

    it more the answers the question; btw i see very active people in their 70's every day!

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  45. hooper1961
    Member Profile

    you simply do not want to admit it when the hoop proves with actual data you are wrong.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  46. Of course you see very active people in their 70's, hoop.

    What you may not see, are hidden issues such as arthritis, or other painful conditions, that may limit the amount of time they can be at that level of activity.

    Yet these folks continue to be active, whether it's participating in some activity for exercise, or doing things that help others, and probably quite often over-doing it, until the point of they are "paying for it" the next day...

    Mike

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  47. hooper1961
    Member Profile

    the hoop provided the stats that proved the point. not everyone lives to be about 78 years old; it simply is the average with some longer and some shorter. the point is the average is far higher than in the past and raising the retirement age to reflect this fact is flat out appropriate.

    SS already has provisions (that are abused in some cases) for disability. thus your argument miws is simply hot air!

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  48. oddreality
    Member Profile

    People live longer...sometimes ..not everyone does. I guarantee you few are living longer without some sort of illness.A lot of those living longer wish they were not but get trapped in a system that values money over people and get more treatment than they want. I have seen this up close. Treatment for the truly old is awful..I could write a book about it after my recent experiences. All about money thanks to the "for profit" healthcare industry. Disgusting.
    Most of my friends in their 60's would be unable to work by 67.Some maybe a few hours a week, some not at all. Some might manage full time.They are crippled already or too sick. They likely will not live as long as their parents did because even though our parents generation did live longer than their parents they also had less chemicals in the air, water and food,less pesticides, as they grew up. Not to mention all the chemicals used in our baby boomer workplaces now prohibited to use due to their cancer causing properties..Not to mention all the drugs given with deadly side effects.A lot of boomers are dead already and never even received their SS. Money still in the collective pot.
    Both people in a couple made up of baby boomers generally worked thus they paid a lot more into the system then their single worker [in most families]1950's/60's parents .When one dies, and one will go first no doubt about that unless they go in a car wreck or something, the survivor gets only the highest SS amount..not both.So a lot of money will be staying the pool and not paid out to them . Unlike our parents,at least for many more of us 50's babies parents, we ALL worked.

    Do you honestly believe people should work till they die?Believe me we boomers all started working when we were young like you did.I had real jobs [jobs with an actual paycheck] starting when I was 15.When do you think people should be allowed out of the workforce and into retirement so they can enjoy those precious few years?? How sick do they have to be before you think they should be able to enjoy their golden years? How crippled?
    The problem with SS is not the people that paid into it getting it back,it is the fact it was stolen out of OUR fund.The government needs to pay SS back the billions upon billions they owe and it would be solvent. Why do you not screech about that ??Why is it ok that the money that was paid into SS by us was stolen??

    There are really no jobs out there for old people. Only so many Wal-mart greeter jobs and believe me they let you go from your good job way before you turn 70.That actually is the way it should work as young people would have fewer jobs in the job pool if older people worked a long time past when they ought to be retired.Where is everyone supposed to work? As it is there are 4 people looking for work for each job available.

    Hoop you remind me so very much of my father.The only value he placed on people was how much they made. He cared not that you might be doing something worthwhile with your life it was all about the money.He always had side businesses and when he retired from the big corporate world he continued with his small businesses...guess what?? He got alzheimer's and then my step mother had to stop work to care for him.They spent a fortune on care. He died a miserable [and lonely I might add] death in a hospice facility .His wife left with only one SS payment lost half her income. All their savings spent on his care. He did no better than any one else in the end.He could not foresee the future you see. Neither can you. You are so much like him I chuckle at you.You have no idea what your future holds and you may also get your financial comeuppance.He was sure he was set for life with all his saving and hard work.He reaped as he sowed. We all do.

    I am tired of simplistic black and white no shade of gray thinkers. People need to learn their critical thinking skills and really think things through..all the way through,the way things are in actuality not the way they wish things were.Critical thinking is a very important skill.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  49. WorldCitizen
    Member Profile

    zgh2676

    First there's the infant mortality stats which skew the numbers quite a bit. But let's just pretend that doesn't actually exist. (It does, though and you should check it out here: http://www.ssa.gov/history/lifeexpect.html )

    When was the last time you hired a 70 year old? A 65 year old?

    Then there's the question of what time at the end of your life would be appropriate for not working a job. Is it unreasonable to think not everyone should be working after age 65?

    You see the basic logic of your argument is sound..you say we live longer (not much actually) so should theoretically be able to work longer. What I don't see you acknowledging is the very real situation most people find themselves in at an older age which has always existed. People get sick. They have nagging injuries that have worsened over time. There is dementia, Alzheimer's, arthritis, bone density loss, poor vision, muscle loss, short-term memory loss, energy loss, etc. Yeah, we may be alive, but the responsibility of a job is not suitable for everyone past 65. Some, yeah, but let's at least attempt to be realistic here. It's the minority that should work, but only if they WANT to.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  50. hooper1961
    Member Profile

    the older people i know in their 60's and 70's are all active and healthy, many still work! i think the key word here is ACTIVE

    Posted 1 year ago #         

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