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Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Politics aside for a moment, what are your thoughts about these two statements

Posted Friday, August 21, 2015, at 9:56 AM
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  • Social Security is a ponzi scheme and will collapse like all ponzi schemes do.

    Individuals can, and will, do destructive things outside the values and ideology of a group, the group in that case is not to blame. However, when an individual does destructive things in keeping with ideology of the group, then the group is to blame.

    Common sense, one bad apple doesn't spoil the whole bushel. Birds of a feather flock together.

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Fri, Aug 21, 2015, at 12:06 PM
  • We are a nation of plenty but decades of overspending by trying to make government be everything to everyone has led us to ~200 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

    SS is a pozi scheme.

    It averages 1,5% return. One could get a better return by investing in municipal bonds and retain the "safety" of government investment. If you are wulling to accept a bit more risk, you could earn ~7% by investing in mutilual funds.

    Also worth noting is the massive overspending to keep these programs afloat, causes the inflation that prevents the minimum wage from being a living wage today.

    -- Posted by quietmike on Fri, Aug 21, 2015, at 12:42 PM
  • I can not seem to recall ever being told to judge all gun owners by the actions of the nutty ones. I will, however, say that it strikes me that *everyone* judges groups they don't like by the worst examples, and allows for variance (or even defends the bad examples) from groups they do like.

    -- Posted by lazarus on Fri, Aug 21, 2015, at 11:42 PM
  • Number 2; Social Security is paid from a fund, into which money has already been deposited. Thus, it is physically possible for Social Security to "run out of money," something that the doomsayers have assured us was imminent since 1935... "Welfare" is paid out of current tax receipts, and no fund exists, therefore it is not possible for it to "run out of money" per se. The statement, while obviously generating warm feelings for some, is simply nonsensical.

    -- Posted by lazarus on Sat, Aug 22, 2015, at 12:00 AM
  • Lazarus welfare, or for that matter all spending goes well beyond current tax receipts and is funded through debt by having the Fed Reserve print more money. This, in turn, increases inflation which takes buying power away from you and me. You can look at it as tax receipts if you choose, and really it is, but this tax is hidden in that it is not yet received through the Treasury but instead looms ahead in the future for our children to pay.

    SS is a ponzi scheme pure and simple. It will collapse unless the government greatly increases the strong arm tactics that have kept it alive this long.

    Read this article;

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/richardsalsman/2011/09/27/social-security-is-much-wo...

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Sat, Aug 22, 2015, at 7:15 AM
  • When SS was first established did it not intend to earn interest that was then returned to the original taxpayer when qualified?

    Did it not also count on a certain amount of unclaimed monies building up like insurance payments that lapse And never "cashed" out?

    Would it be solvent if it had never been "raided" by our duly elected representatives?

    These are not statements, but questions to the knowledgeable folks out there in space. :-)

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Aug 22, 2015, at 8:21 AM
  • Steve, possibly. It may have had good intentions, and it may not have. It was sold to the American people under the guise of good intentions, much like the ACA is now. It is hard to determine someone elses intentions. What we are left with is the realities. Those don't always present themselves immediately or as intended.

    The Forbes link above does a good job of explaining the realities of SS. The government has been working to postpone reality but after 80 yrs., It has about ran it's course.

    The ACA is another case where the government had been trying to postpone reality by delaying the increased payments needed to bear the costs. Just yesterday I saw where BCBS of TN wants, and was approved, to raise their premiums by over 30% to cover the costs. This reality is going to come sooner rather than later. In fact, it is here now.

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Sat, Aug 22, 2015, at 11:07 AM
  • Live Light; You missed the point entirely. I did not say that the "Welfare" was entirely covered by current revenues. Only that it was a current transaction, as opposed to having a "fund." At the end of the year, there is no balance remaining, nor is there a deficit specifically related to "Welfare." For that matter, Governmental Accounting (as opposed to Business Accounting) produces absolutely no meaningful reporting. While figures are thrown about with abandon, we really have no idea of the true financial situation of the US Government.

    -- Posted by lazarus on Sat, Aug 22, 2015, at 12:05 PM
  • As for SS having good intentions, when originally implemented the payout age was higher than the average life expectancy.

    SS was designed to get more money to a bankrupt government through nearly interest free long term loans.

    -- Posted by quietmike on Sat, Aug 22, 2015, at 1:23 PM
  • Lazarus I am sorry, you said "Welfare" is paid out of current tax receipts", which lead me to believe you meant um, "current tax receipts". Which in my mind means it is "current". Of course, you could assume that the current tax receipts are used to pay welfare and that the unfunded outlays are the ones being borrowed??

    I understand your point that there is no "fund" for welfare, in as much as there is no welfare tax unlike the SS tax.

    I agree we have to use the numbers that the government gives us and that we have no real idea what the true financial situation of the government is, but, the numbers they do give, such as the deficit and national debt, leads me to believe it is not in very good shape all. If it was, why have deficits and constantly increase the debt?

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Sat, Aug 22, 2015, at 5:30 PM
  • I don't know technicalities, but at almost 70 and being laid off my job, if I didn't have my late husbands ss, I would be living on the streets! HP

    -- Posted by horsepoopperson on Sun, Aug 23, 2015, at 7:24 PM
  • I am glad the SS system is there for you HP. It can be for future generations as well, but the cost vs the benefit makes it a bad deal for younger people. There will be some painful decisions made in order to keep the SS system alive and those decisions will most definitely impact younger people the most.

    Like any Ponzi scheme the ones who get their money the quickest profit the most. Ida Fuller, the first one to receive a SS check in 1940, received $22,888.92 in benefits and paid in $24.75. Of course, many have paid in and died without receiving any benefits for themselves or family.

    The below "comments" were copied from this article and address one of Steve's question about intentions. http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2013/08/28/how-accurate-is-the-concern-that-so...

    "It's a great example of a well-intentioned idea that becomes a massive one-size-fits-all government program that solves problems that don't exist and creates new and bigger ones."

    The SS tax started at 1% and is currently 6.1% with an additional 6.1% per employee being paid by the employer. So, actually the government is taking 12.2% from every working person for their entire life just for SS. Even at this rate the fund is currently projected to be depleted by 2033. There are options to keep it going but the reality of it is; The tax will have to increase again,, dramatically, and/or the benefits will have to be cut an equitable amount.

    FDR quoted;

    "We shall make the most lasting progress if we recognize that Social Security can furnish only a base upon which each one of our citizens may build his individual security through his own individual efforts."

    Now, if we, as individuals, had been saving 12.2% of our money for our entire life, I am fairly certain it would be a much greater benefit than the SS checks that we might receive if we live long enough to collect.

    So, anyone who is reading this and has some time before retirement, I HIGHLY suggest you begin saving for your retirement! Now, the conundrum is, how do you save the 12.2% that the government is taking?

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Sun, Aug 23, 2015, at 9:24 PM
  • *

    1. We have a right to bear arms and that right can not be infringed upon. Registration is an infringement on your right to bear arms.

    2. Where was everyone or the past few years when Obama had to get congress to raise the debt ceiling so he could pay for the entitlement programs to the tune of 1 trillion dollars per year?

    -- Posted by sui on Mon, Aug 24, 2015, at 12:13 AM
  • Sui ..... go and research raising of the debt ceiling, if you do you will be shocked when you learn that this happens under ALL presidents.

    "Number of requests for increase

    Depending on who is doing the research, it is said that the US has raised its debt ceiling (in some form or other) at least 90 times in the 20th century.[11]

    The debt ceiling has been raised 74 times since March 1962,[12] including 18 times under Ronald Reagan, eight times under Bill Clinton, seven times under George W. Bush, and five times under Barack Obama. In practice, the debt ceiling has never been reduced, even though the public debt itself may have reduced.

    Congress has raised the debt ceiling 14 times from 2001-2013. The debt ceiling was raised a total of 7 times (total increase of $5365bil) during Pres. Bush's eight-year term and it has been raised 7 times (as of 10/2013 a total increase of $5385bil) under Pres. Obama's term as of 2013 (five years in office)."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_United_States_debt_ceiling

    My question to you here is -----why haven't you or why are you not now complaining about the other instances under OTHER PRESIDENTS when the debt ceiling was raised? IS it prejudice, party politics or ignorance of the fact that raising the debt ceiling is a very common practice - well at least it was under every other president up until PRESIDENT Obama was the leader of this country....? Any explanation as to why he is being treated differently than the others were?

    -- Posted by wonderwhy on Tue, Sep 1, 2015, at 2:18 PM
  • *

    wonderwhy,

    You pretty much answered your own questions.

    I was waking people up to the fact that your measly Soc. Sec. deductions from your pay check doesn't even come close to covering your Soc. Sec. checks.

    So where does the money come from? Most people are brainwashed to believe it comes from the Taxpayers.

    Taxpayer money doesn't even pay the interest on the debt of the United States Corporation.

    Do the math or go research Taxpayers. It has been said that over 50% of the people don't pay taxes.

    So how can Taxpayers be the super beings that pay for the food stamps that feed 47% of the population, or the construction repairs, Soc. Sec., Low Income Housing, and etc. and etc..

    It's all hog wash Lies by the government agencies.

    So to answer your question, I was not just referring to Obama but to the debt ceiling being raised to cover the expenses not only for Soc. Sec., but other entitlement programs that can't pay for themselves. There is no reason I can see for not having the money available to pay Soc. Sec. and all the other programs available to the people, even the less fortunate people as long as congress can raise the debt ceiling for all the presidents - former, present and future.

    Here is a reason for treaty President Obama differently, He has spent more money in just 5 years than all the presidents put together, with no improvements in our country, our Military, our health care, unemployment nor our economy.

    -- Posted by sui on Tue, Sep 1, 2015, at 11:20 PM
  • *

    Steve, I choose to not judge the muslims by the acts of a few "lunatics" or as the faithful

    would say "faithful". I choose to judge them on their acts. Since they are unfaithful if they don't kill us, then maybe we should kill them first.

    Regarding SS and welfare, SS is somewhat of a ponzi scheme but it was never intended as THE retirement plan. I feel very sorry for any one that looks to the govmnt for their well-being. I guess they get what they deserve.

    -- Posted by fair share on Thu, Oct 15, 2015, at 1:47 PM
  • From what we see in the grocery line, some people must deserve a LOT.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Oct 16, 2015, at 7:30 AM
  • *

    What we see in the grocery line is Obama's Failure to create full time jobs or help the economy.

    He has created jobs but most of them are government jobs. He has added more Regulations on small business making it impossible for businesses to hire new people full time.

    What happened to "You didn't build your Business, Obama did!" If Obama build all those businesses why are they not able to hire people? Just another Obama Lie! Obama didn't build anything except a Nation against itself.

    Obama has taken credit for so many things that he didn't do and blames his mistakes on everyone else that he won't have anything good to brag about when he leaves office.

    Irony of it is all the things he takes credit for are all becoming Failures. Go figure. Another of his plans gone bad.

    Just because the price of gas came down doesn't mean anything else has come back down in price. It still cost more at the grocery store, Walmarts and repair shops, etc.. How does the government think the cost of living isn't up. Oh yeah, I forgot for a minute, they are Brain Dead.

    Just another Socialist way of spending their money on something else or giving it to gov. employees.

    I have to say people deserve a whole lot more than what they are getting in the grocery line. Some people are conning us, but most really do need a helping hand up.

    Have you ever wondered what they do the last couple weeks when they don't have any money left on their card and no job? You won't see them in the grocery line then, unless a friend helps them out with a couple dollars to pick something up. A lot of people had jobs, but were laid off.

    I like to think I would have a few extra dollars on me if I am standing behind them and they don't have enough to cover their bill. I would help if they allowed me to.

    I believe Trump can put a stop to this madness if we will just put him in office.

    -- Posted by sui on Sat, Oct 17, 2015, at 12:10 PM
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