February 16, 2008

"I suppose it won't hurt the economy, but it's in many senses like giving a drink to an alcoholic."

Mayor Bloomberg on the federal government's plan to pass out $600 checks to stimulate the economy.

69 comments:

Bissage said...

I don’t know about NYC, but around here $600 will get you a fulsome supply of some pretty decent booze.

Meade said...

First cigarette smoking, then trans fats, and now he won't even let us have enough wine to stave off the DT's?
Mayor Bastardburger

EnigmatiCore said...

Giving people their money back is akin to giving a drink to an alcoholic?

Strange worldview that one has.

Bob said...

Implying that the American people are rummies? That's the sort of sour attitude that got Jimmy Carter a single term in the White House, with his blaming the American people's "malaise" for our economic problems of those days.

George said...

What he means is people will take the money and use it to buy more stuff on credit that they can't afford to have or pay for. People are already way over-extended...that's why some are walking away from mortgages rather than giving up their credit cards.

Mr. Bush is juicing the economy so the hangover comes after November.

Same as in colonial times when House of Burgesses' candidates threw parties to win favor with voters.

[Washington] could not be at the polling place on Election Day, but he delegated a friend, Lt. Charles Smith, to tend bar in his absence. We know from their correspondence what the Washington campaign served: 28 gallons of rum, 50 gallons of rum punch, 34 gallons of wine, 46 gallons of beer, two gallons of cider (probably hard), for a total of 160 gallons of booze. There were 397 voters. Washington won. If you’re not the candidate of Change, be the candidate of Have Another."

Good 'ol George...

Maxine Weiss said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jeff said...

"What he means is people will take the money and use it to buy more stuff on credit that they can't afford to have or pay for"


Uh....what? Well, then clearly the thing to do is raise taxes sky high and remove all that nasty money from our grubby little hands. That way no one will use a credit card. Or something.

Trumpit said...

If we took Mayor Bloomberg's billions away from him and distributed to the needy, quite a bit of good would come from that. Let's do it now!! Sorry Mike if YOU would suffer delirium tremens over the loss of your vast riches. I'll buy you a stiff drink to help you get over it. Pathetic world we live in to tolerate that kind of obscene wealth. I blame it on the sick greed mentality sponsored by right-wing piglets like Bush and his minions.

AJ Lynch said...

Trumpit:

Good idea, I'll buy the Mayor-Nanny-In-Chief a drink too.

Oh hell I'll buy him a whole bottle-this is a cold winter and he will need it to stay warm.

rhhardin said...

A creative government would hand out municipal bonds.

Palladian said...

I recommend buying two bottles of this. Bloomberg is not invited.

AJ Lynch said...

This article claims most Americans have little or no credit card debt:

http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/Banking/creditcardsmarts/P74808.asp

Palladian said...

Or you could get two bottles of 30 year old Laphroaig Scotch and still have enough left over for a bottle of this wonderful stuff.

Palladian said...

Well, not quite, you'd have to chip in a little bit over the 600 dollars but still!

AJ Lynch said...

Palladian:

I just got the mail and checked my credit card bill. Looks like I won't be buying the mayor any bottles with those price tags.

EnigmatiCore said...

"What he means is people will take the money and use it to buy more stuff on credit that they can't afford to have or pay for."

This word, credit. I don't think it means what you think it means.

If a person has $600, then when they spend it, they are not buying on credit.

Tim said...

"Aides said later the mayor was criticizing the government for trying to spend its way out of a complicated problem."

Hmmm. He may be right about that, but isn't that what our governments always do - try to spend their way out of complicated problems? It isn't like there are not endless constituencies for spending in America, is it?

Anyway, although the linked article does not do so, blaming Bush for the probable recession (1: it hasn't happened yet; 2: it may not happen at all) is a clear sign one is economically illiterate and probably, for the sake of the Republic, refrain from voting for fear of making matters only worse.

Middle Class Guy said...

"Aides said later the mayor was criticizing the government for trying to spend its way out of a complicated problem."


Ah, I see, we are not supposed to believe what he says. We are supposed to wait unitl an aide tells us what he meant to say. Politics is wonderful.


Six hundred plus bucks? Hmmm? New shotgun or rifle? Some great cigars? Good booze and or wine? Two or three good date nights? What to do with all that money.

Elliott A said...

Since the folks receiving the checks are teh ones hurting the most at the moment, the recipients of the spending will be teh supermarket and gas station. Neither type of spending does one iota of good for the economy. Those who are not getting checks would spend it on consuption. Those who are not getting checks will also get a 160Billion tax increase to pay for the $600 checks, since someone has to pay it back and who better than the "rich". At 150K you get no child credit, no tuition credit, percentage reduction in allowed deductions, possible AMT hit, etc., and then you get to giver everyone else your money. Very fair. While 150K is a healthy family income in some parts of the US, it's far from "rich" in many places. A lot of folks got royally hosed for a worthless political stunt.

Elliott A said...

That is why they need the booze

Slim999 said...

""Aides said later the mayor was criticizing the government for trying to spend its way out of a complicated problem."

That's even more ridiculous than his initial comment.

How is the government giving people their own money back "spending?"

Rather, it's the opposite. The government is instead choosing NOT to spend that money on what it wants. It is instead choosing to give it back to its owners, and allowing THEM to spend it (or not) on whatever they want.

Sounds suspiciously like Freedom to me.

And that's exactly what that billionaire bozo doesn't like about it.

Let's hope he steps in front of a bus, along with the rest of the Republican Party.

Palladian said...

"Let's hope he steps in front of a bus, along with the rest of the Republican Party."

Bloomerburg isn't a Republican anymore. He left the party, like he once left the Democrats.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

If you really pay taxes, you don't get money back; if you don't, you get this money. Bloomberg has my appreciation on this one.

Cedarford said...

EnigmatiCore said...
Giving people their money back is akin to giving a drink to an alcoholic?
Strange worldview that one has.


Conservative Republicans, which abandoned small government decades ago, love to continue to make the claim that 100% of a persons income is "their" money and their elected officials only steal it for more military, agribiz subsidies, Bush's nation-building, schools, roads, medicare, pork returning from DC.

Right now the US taxpayer pays far less in taxes than in all but a few countries. All while the US has become the most debt-riddled, wastrel nation as a government and as a people. Massive defecits. Because we spend more than we make, and the government with our assent as voters, spends more than it collects in taxes on wasteful things, not even items that can be called for the most parts Investments for the future.

Slim999 It is instead choosing to give it back to its owners, and allowing THEM to spend it (or not) on whatever they want.
Sounds suspiciously like Freedom to me.


And there is no mass movement to turn out elected officials and replace them with people that refuse to dole out goodies paid for by taxes or IOU notes to China against future generations taxpayers.

So to all the Egnigamaticores and Slim 999s making the same insipid Reaganite argument - fuck you, open your eyes. It isn't "your money" given the Gov't functions anymore than it is still "your money" once you slap that 500 buck gourmet meal on your credit card when you already owe 14,000 bucks.

One reason why Democrats are poised to do well again is that conservative Republicans continue to slather gov't money at problems while pretending that paying for it is evil since 100% of each American's money is theirs, and not committed by their votes to go elsewhere. And continuing to believe in nutty voodoo economics - where the more you borrow and spend the richer you will be..

That is a bankrupt argument. Conservative Republican hypocrisy.

Bloomberg is right. He is referencing US citizens spending like drunken sailors and not investing for the future. Pissing away their technology, services, and manufacturing economic base for personal gratification and gratification of seeing Gov't spend 100s of billions on people and causes in need.

And a stimulus that does nothing to invest in America, to build critical sectors like energy independence, competing with China, repairing a decaying infrastructure - but instead borrows from China so people can buy more self-gratifying Chinese stuff 5 months after the stimulus was needed.

Bloomberg sees a rapidly declining, irresponsible superpower and irresponsible citizenry hooked on cheap imported goods, houses they cannot afford. Squandering the future generations legacy with failed supply-side theory, the cancer of the Club for GRowth, corporate Bushism, obsolete Reagonomics...utter unconcern about us being able to compete overseas, selling off our wealth -generating assets to foreigners eager to take that wealth offshore rather than spend it here where it has a wealth-multiplying effect.

IMO, he is right.

That the "consumer" wants a better and bigger plasma TV instead of safe bridges and new energy and wants the "Good Times to Roll On" as they see the storm that will submerge them gathering strength is besides the point. Bloomberg is right.

AJ Lynch said...

Cedarford:

If you are right, then why didn't The Nanny in Chief say what you just said?

As to Americans failing to invest, the average American and his employer socks away 12% into social security "contributions" every paycheck.

I have said this before- why the fluff does any American have to save for retirement if I already put away 12%?? Explain that to me buddy or maybe you have to check in with your new best friend the Nanny in Chief and get back to me.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Just think how much money the government would have saved and how much more money would still be flowing in the economy (velocity of money) if they had just kept their grubby little hands out of our pockets in the first place. Hmmmm?

I'm investing mine.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I have said this before- why the fluff does any American have to save for retirement if I already put away 12%?? Explain that to me buddy or maybe you have to check in with your new best friend the Nanny in Chief and get back to me.

Because....the slush fund that the government invests your 12% is not earning diddly doo squat. (a technical investment term). It isn't enough to compensate for inflation. You could get a better return by putting your money in a coffee can in the back yard.

If you want to live on a stipend doled out to you by the government that is barely enough to buy cat food laced with melamine, I guess it is your choice. Personally, I'm deducting everything I possibly can from my income, incorporated so my operating costs and overhead isn't taxed for Social Security, paying the very least amount I possibly can into what is basically a gigantic Ponzi scheme and investing for the long term.

Also the 12% you are "putting away" (actually being robbed from you) is being spent faster than you can put it in. When you are retired, just try asking for your investment back in one lump sum. Fat fucking chance. Nope. You get to have it dribbled back to you AND if you die early without a dependent spouse, it is possible that your "benefit" will just evaporate into thin air. You can't will it to your beneficiary, use it for your own benefit, take a lump sum for emergencies because YOU DON'T OWN IT.

El Presidente said...

Buying votes with stolen money?

Think of the money I could have saved on jackboots if I had thought of it.

Gary Rosen said...

C-fudd, you going to own up to your heartbreak that Mughniyeh got killed? Tell us about his "heart and courage" for murdering innocent civilians and US Marines. You know that's what you think but you don't have the balls to say it now, weasel.

Off-topic maybe, but no more so than C-fudd's compulsive, shrieking, psychopathic rants about the Joooos.

AJ Lynch said...

DBQ:

Thanks for providing more pointed ammunition to my argument.

Americans must start to understand this picture. When they earn $1.00, their employer kicks in $0.06. Then the federal government takes $0.12. Bottom line is for every $1.00 you earn, the government gets $0.12 for your (that is a misnomer) social security.

Then 40 years later, the government sends you a measly check if you are still alive.

Americans need to do the math because $0.12 is plenty to ave for retirement!! BUT their elected reps have been stealing their money.

This is the main cause of economic anxiety in this country IMHO. The biggest challenge to the average American is building a next egg! Well no wonder- we need a revolution in this social security plundering!

Fix that before you F-up universal health care or create more IRA types or freeze someone's mortgage interest or create a Tax for The Greening of America or Infrastructure.

Thanks again DBQ.

Chip Ahoy said...

Robin Hood was a criminal, no?

rhhardin said...

Because the social security tax is just a plain tax, and has nothing to do with social security.

All funds go into a general fund, and must be instantly returned to the economy, either by spending it or by buying back debt, lest the money supply fall.

Moreover the social security tax is the best kind of tax, a flat tax. It should be made applicable to all income, and increased, and simultaneously the regular income tax removed, and things would go much better.

The social security benefits are an annuity, by the way ; they guarantee that you won't outlive your income. Moreover it's inflation-adjusted, something it would be very hard to buy in the private market, inflation being an uninsurable risk.

As a final straw to the anti-SS argument, not only can't the government save in principle, but individuals can't either, if they all do it at once. The physical mechanism is that everybody's buying stocks now, driving up the price ; and selling at once at retirement, driving down the price. That reduces the return on investment.

How much does it reduce the return on investment? Enough so that there's enough working people (buying stocks) to buy the stocks sold by the retiring people (selling stocks), namely the age of retirement has to go up.

The same thing would rescue the existing social security ``crisis'' : just raise the retirement age.

Future workers will be supporting the future retirees, and nothing you can do now will change that.

Money is not wealth. It's a ticket in line to say what the economy does next, presumably something for you. The Fed regulates the number of tickets circulating to match what the economy is capable of doing at once. If there are too many tickets, the Fed sells debt and burns the tickets it takes in. If there are too few tickets, the Fed buys back debt with newly printed additional tickets.

When the Fed is creating or destroying tickets, it's not creating or destroying wealth. It's just matching what the economy is capable of.

So the solution to SS is keep those retirees working a bit longer. Problem solved.

If you personally want to retire earlier than that, you can! Just do it on your own dime, to bridge the gap until the new social security benefits age.

vnjagvet said...

Bloomberg is a common scold and a spoilsport. And Cedarford is right there along with him. I think they both should send their respective $600 back to the US Treasury.

Or they can email me for my address and I will accept their donations.

Gary Rosen said...

vnjagvet:

C-fudd won't be getting the $600. People who peddle their ass on the street for a living don't file income tax returns.

AJ Lynch said...

RRhardin:

Spare me your Ivory Tower Doctor of Economics analysis. This is an arithmetic problem not economics. It has nothing to do with supply and demand, the mney supply or the governments inability to invest money.

Social security was looted from Day One, and you are saying it should not or can't be fixed?

In 1,000 years, it should still be broke and bankrupt? Is that what you are saying?

By making it dependent on a growing number in the workforce, it is incredibly risky and is insolvent from any actuarial
standpoint.

Re raising the age, I disagree. I think everyone should get their cehck at the same age -let's say 65. Some are actually proposing to raise the retirement age past the average life expectancy! Do you think that is fair? ....In other words, here is your social security plan but heh heh most of you will be dead before you get even one check.

Do you think it is fair to take 12%from someone who dies at age 60 and not pay them a red cent? If you were an invstment adviser and a 25 year-old asked you how much they needed to save to retire at age 65 (and assuming there is no social security), what would you receommend they save as a % of their income?

vnjagvet said...

RHH:

Well done, sir. As one who is over 65 and whose retirement plan thankfully was to continue to work at my profession (although on a reduced schedule and with people I enjoy working with) I understand your point.

I saved for my retirement for over 20 years (from age 30 to age 50), but my considerable IRA and 401k nesteggs were wiped out when I was between age 51 to age 57 because I had to use them when to cover business reversals and the education of my five adopted children.

Now I am trying to build up again. Social Security has come in handy, because it has kept the pressure off. I am not as concerned about getting top dollar. The fact that creditors couldn't get to that money made a big difference to my piece of mind. I knew that was a foundation from which I could build up my income.

Slim999 said...

" ... but my considerable IRA and 401k nesteggs were wiped out when I was between age 51 to age 57 because I had to use them when to cover business reversals and the education of my five adopted children."

Wiped out? Really?

Don't you mean that you spent it? I mean, your kids got the education, didn't they.

You're retirement wasn't wiped out. It was spent by you on things you wanted. Now, I have no doubt that you are pushing for COLA increases in social security so that I can pay you for your kids college tuition.

Thanks schmuck.

EnigmatiCore said...

Cedarford,

"So to all the Egnigamaticores and Slim 999s making the same insipid Reaganite argument - fuck you, open your eyes."

No, Cedarford, fuck you.

My money is my money. When we pass laws to take my money, then I am contributing to the government. When we pass laws to give me back what I contributed, I am getting back my money.

You have no right to my toil, or to tell me the benefits of it aren't mine.

People like you can say that you want to raise taxes, and depending on what it is for, I might agree with you. But don't for a second think that what I earn is inherently not mine. It is. Taxes take from people what is theirs. We would be better off as a nation if we kept that in mind.

I think it is really interesting that when you first started posting on Althouse, you were a 'more conservative than anyone here' type, with a big problem with Jews. I remember this because I butted heads with you quite a few times and had dismissed you as a right-wing lunatic, the way I have dismissed LuckyOldSon as a left-wing lunatic. Over the past few months, you have turned into someone who consistently argues every single point from not just the left, but a fairly far origin on the left (but still with a Jew problem).

Oh, and one more thing.

Fuck yourself.

rhhardin said...


My money is my money. When we pass laws to take my money


What you want is a flat tax.

Surveys reveal that remarkably across all economic lines, people agree that about 25% is the largest amount anybody ought to pay in taxes.

A flat tax has the benefit that all the people who vote on the rate also pay the rate.

Sudden agreement!

No more votes to tax the other guy!

Of course even if you got it, somebody would propose taxing a minority more and saving the majority a bit of money, and once again you'd have buying votes with their own money.

That's supposed to be why democracy can't work.

Pogo said...

It's more than a little disgusting for the super rich like Bloomberg, reportedly worth from $5 to $13 billion, to bitch about an amount that represents 0.000004% of his wealth.

he would have to spend $600 every 1.5 seconds for a year to spend it all.

Prick.

George said...

The question is whether or not the moolah is going to keep the economy out of a recession. As it is, we're all sliding backwards...

"FACED with tightening credit and a slowing economy, America’s consumers are being forced to scale back their purchases, but high prices of necessities are keeping their overall purchases rising at a reasonably strong rate....Over all, Americans are spending about 13 percent more on food and energy now than a year ago...The biggest cause of that increase is gasoline, of course. Americans are spending 22 percent more now at gasoline stations than they did a year ago. Food costs are up nearly 6 percent, a smaller amount but still a drain on budgets."

Everyone's glad to get the money back, but it doesn't change the fact that Americans as a whole are too dependent on credit and have too much debt...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The social security benefits are an annuity, by the way ; they guarantee that you won't outlive your income. Moreover it's inflation-adjusted, something it would be very hard to buy in the private market, inflation being an uninsurable risk.


A forced annuity with a very very shitty return.

Excuse me if I'm not impressed with SS being inflation adjusted. I can beat inflation in a well managed portfolio, hands down. I've been doing it for 20 years.

The money the government is stealing from us is being used to fund benefits for people who haven't ever worked or paid into the fund and who are sometimes not even citizens of the US. I prefer to invest my own money for myself and have control of the payout.

but my considerable IRA and 401k nesteggs were wiped out when I was between age 51 to age 57 because I had to use them when to cover business reversals and the education of my five adopted children

At least they were there for you to use, unlike Social Security where we NEVER get to use the principle for our own purposes. It was your decision to spend your retirement savings. Why should the rest of us have to suffer (pay more into a Ponzi scheme) because you made bad decisions?

Jason said...

Actually, inflation risk is very easily insurable. Anyone who buys TIPS is doing precisely that. Annuity companies do it every day, in exchange for a premium.

Good God almighty. Who was the idiot who told you inflation risk isn't insurable? Muddle-headed libtards.

Now, it may not be insurable in the AGGREGATE. But then again, nothing is. Insurance means risk is transferred, not that it vanishes.

Elliott A said...

I have yet to find one person to give me a good reason why my "contribution" to the general welfare should be more than most because I may work more, smarter, harder, better, or I spent a gazillion dollars and went to school for eight years. Of course, the interest on my unsubsidized loans would be non-deductible because I earn too much. I don't drive over more bridges, get more sick, or call the police more than anyone else. I have eleven well paid employees with good health insurance, provide tens of thousands of dollars of charitable services, donate to many causes, and try to be a good citizen. Yet my reward is to pay for ten other people during each year. Why should I? (Other than to stay out of jail)

vnjagvet said...

Slim:

You are right, I did spend that money. Mainly because I chose not to take the bankruptcy route that was available to me. Had I done that, I had at least a 50-50 chance of protecting the IRA and 401k.

I was not suggesting otherwise, btw.

I was somewhat surprised by the vehemence of your reaction to my comment. I thnk I have earned the right to take my SS after nearly 50years of maximum contribution into the system. I fully intend to collect all that I am entitled to under the law, and am thankful it is available to me. Does that offend you?

I suspect Bloomberg with all of his billions will do exactly what I am doing. And why shouldn't he?

You don't plan on sending your SS checks back or declining them, do you?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I fully intend to collect all that I am entitled to under the law, and am thankful it is available to me. Does that offend you?

The issue is that you most unlikely to ever collect what you put into the SS system. If you were allowed to invest those contributions over your lifetime in even a modest portfolio of US Government Bonds, you would have been so much better off.

The government takes our money, spends it wildly, charges us tons to administer the funds and the net result is a return on your forced investment less than that of a bank savings account. Certainly you are entitled to the stipend, the dole that the Government wants us all to be on.

Don't you feel even the least upset, cheated, gyped, screwed blued and tattoed about losing control of your life and your opportunity to invest in a future?

vnjagvet said...

DBQ:

I am not sure how you are effected by my decisions. I surely am not taking out of SS any more than I would have had I not used my IRA and 401k to discharge unforseen business obligations (in my case personal guarantees of operating loans to a family business which failed when a large customer went bankrupt and stiffed our company).

Further, I am not arguing that SS is a fair, necessary or well-thought out program.

I surely would have rather been able to access the money I had paid in SS Taxes instead of the IRAs or 401k.

My only point is that I am not unhappy I am now getting the check I earned.

Is that so wrong?

vnjagvet said...

As I said while you were commenting, DBQ, I certainly am not arguing that the current system is a good one, and cannot be improved. I am in favor of the suggestions made by GWB early in his term that met with such vehement and stupid resistence.

I fully agree with your suggestions that my SS contributions should be my money.

Another point, is that at least the law does not permit creditors to access SS contributions or benefits in circumstances I faced.

In some instances, OTOH, IRA's and 401ks may be available to creditors. E.g. The IRS can get to these assets to satisfy back taxes.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I am not sure how you are effected by my decisions

Not your decisions exactly. But I am affected by the entire SS system. The system is going broke. The cap on income subject to SS taxes is likely to be raised ever higher and higher. The age at which to begin receiving even a little of what was stolen from me over the years is likely to be raised as well.

If people had been allowed to invest even a portion of their contribution into other vehicles than the Model T that the government is using, I wouldn't be affected as I am now.

The Social Security system is a rip off. A Ponzi scheme. Robbery of my income to pay for YOUR and others benefits and it is not too likely that I will ever see a penny of return on an investment that I had NO intention of ever making.

So indirectly I am affected by you receiving SS. You paid into the system, involuntarily, and so yes you are entitled to receive benefits. Just don't be so grateful. It's like an abused spouse who is grateful when they are not being beaten.

vnjagvet said...

Admitting I am happy I have reached the age of 65 and am collecting twenty some grand a year is not in my mind the same as saying I am grateful the SS system was implemented, Dust, my dear.

I am not grateful at all that you and I have been robbed of freedom of choice over the years.

I would have been even more pissed, though, if I had nothing at all after being robbed and dutifully putting money away for my retirement.

EnigmatiCore said...

"What you want is a flat tax."

I would prefer a national sales tax. But barring that, I would prefer a flat tax rate, with the only people not paying taxes being those who make so little that collecting the percentage from them costs more than what they would pay.

Want to soak the rich? Make them pay 40%? Fine. Everyone pay 40%.

But either way-- a sales tax or an income tax-- have everyone pay exactly the same rate. Regardless of marital status. Regardless of children. Regardless of home ownership. Regardless of tax shelters (have none).

I'd prefer the sales tax because people could choose not to pay it by choosing not to buy things--- government decides to tax too high? The economy tanks and we decide not to elect such foolish politicians.

vnjagvet said...

I am with you on that one Enigmaticore. That is one of the few things that the Huckster is peddling that I agree with.

Middle Class Guy said...

Not your decisions exactly. But I am affected by the entire SS system. The system is going broke. The cap on income subject to SS taxes is likely to be raised ever higher and higher. The age at which to begin receiving even a little of what was stolen from me over the years is likely to be raised as well.



The system is going broke because the government has be raping it since the mid-sixties. They have used it to pay for every thing from failing welfare to wars. Clinton used voodoo accounting to balance the budget. He took the money from SS and placed it in general revenue.

If the government had left it alone, it would be healthy, with surpluses. Instead, they lie to us and tell the tale that the baby boomers are going to bankrupt the system. They would raise the age to death if they could.

rhhardin said...

The trouble with the Fair Tax is that you can't move the point of collection in the earn-spend cycle later without taxing something twice.

In particular it would confiscate 25% of retirees' savings instantly. They paid tax on it already, and now they have to pay tax again on it when the spend it.

So it's not likely to be possible to implement, even if you want to.

A flat tax on income stays at the same point in the earn-spend cycle and so avoids that.

rhhardin said...

To repeat, the government must spend every penny it takes in instantly. It cannot save.

It can neither raid the SS trust fund nor fail to. Nothing can be put into it.

This is one of those ``if everybody stands on their toes, everybody can see better'' cases.

Money to the entire economy does not function like money to an individual.

EnigmatiCore said...

"that you can't move the point of collection in the earn-spend cycle later without taxing something twice."

Never let the perfect become the enemy of the good. Especially when there is creative politicking that can be done.

Make it that seniors are exempt from the sales tax for a period of five years. Then make it that people above the age of 70 are exempt for a period of five years. Then make it 75, or 80, etc.

That gets seniors behind it because they are suddenly tax-free. And the younger you get, the less the impact is on this double taxing.

Heck, even phase it in coupled with an income tax phase out. Regardless of if technically there was double-taxing, if people by and large do not feel as if they are paying more, then they will be happy.

Bruce Hayden said...

Conservative Republicans, which abandoned small government decades ago, love to continue to make the claim that 100% of a persons income is "their" money and their elected officials only steal it for more military, agribiz subsidies, Bush's nation-building, schools, roads, medicare, pork returning from DC.

The assumption here seems to be that because conservatives believe that they own the fruits of their labors, that is automatically wrong. I would ask though, for you to defend that proposal better than on an ad hominem basis.

AJ Lynch said...

And let me clarify this point. I don't care about social security for myself. If my plans pan out, I will be done with fulltime work in 5-6 years and won't depend on social security.

I do care an awful lot though about the 25-30 year-old kids today who are being robbed and will be robbed for another 40 years.

I say to the Dems and the Reps "fix it for them". Let that be a good legacy from the baby boomers afterall we got an awful good life from our parents who won WWII.

Pogo said...

This is a crucial difference between conservatives and liberals. Conservatives, like the Founding Fathers, believe that the right to property is critical to our Republic.

Once the government thinks that your wealth is not yours, but actually belongs to the State and permits you to keep some only at its sufferance, then the American experiment will fail.

And statements like Bloomberg's indicate we are well down that path already.

Bruce Hayden said...

There are a lot of problems with SS, but one big one is that it is sold as a retirement program, but there is not a very good relationship between what you put in and what you get out. Raising the cap is only going to increase what those in somewhat higher incomes put in, and not what they get out.

The problem is that it also has a welfare portion, that covers the poor and disabled. Maybe that is a good cause, but it also significantly skews the payout curve, with those at the bottom getting out much more than they pay in, and those capped already paying in more than they will get out.

So,in the short term, raising the income cap would bring in more money, without increasing the max benefits accordingly (which is unlikely) would result in less legitimacy of SS as a retirement program, and the govt. has done this sort of thing enough that we see a lot of complaints already about the disparity of results based on income and contribution, that many here are complaining already.

What the govt. should do is separate out the welfare component and pay for it with general revenues. But that won't happens, since the funding would have to compete with all the rest of the priorities in govt. spending, running from ethanol subsidies through all those earmarks that Congress uses to buy votes.

I just don't see a lot of room to maneuver here, for the govt. to increase revenues without increasing payout, without totally losing whatever creditability and moral justification that the program has.

Bruce Hayden said...

I am still waiting for someone to really explain how this giveaway is supposed to help the economy. For one thing, it is a one time giveaway, and that is not nearly as effective as a long term cut, since rational taxpayers are far more likely to spend a long term tax cut than a one time thing like this.

Also, Congress is not about to raise taxes to fund this. So, to the extent that the money is spent, it is likely that we will find ourselves borrowing money from China to pay for Chinese goods. (And note that a tax increase to pay for this would be a bigger drag on the economy than this giveaway could ever provide in benefits).

Besides, what is the problem in the first place?

On the other hand, this plan is at least quite a bit better than Obama's plan to create 2 million jobs through building bridges and highways. That sort of plan has been discredited for most of a half a century. The reality is that it would be countercylical (given the time it takes to get these sorts of programs started), and end up costing significantly more jobs than they could conceivably create - if for no other reason than lower paying jobs are being sacrificed to fund union (e.g. Davis Bacon) scale jobs .

Cedarford said...

What Bloomberg said - In his answer, he praised Democrat Barack Obama for the plan the Illinois senator outlined on Wednesday that would create a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to rebuild highways, bridges, airports and other public projects. Obama projects it could generate nearly 2 million jobs.

Last month, Bloomberg and Govs. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania announced a coalition that would urge more investment in infrastructure.

"I don't know whether Senator Obama looked to see what I've been advocating, or not -- you'll have to ask him -- but he's doing the right thing," Bloomberg said.

But then the mayor went on to say that while the presidential candidates appear to be talking more about the economy now, they are looking for quick fixes to please voters instead of focusing on the roots of the problem.


You know, Enigamaticore, Slim, at one point Bush could deceive the people and state the implausible lie; "It's Your Money!" when the Republicans decided to embrace Clintons accounting lies of a Huge Surplus for their own purposes. Mainly for the tax cuts for the rich he promised his multimillionaire donors. But the public lapped that bullshit up for the crumbs they got, believing the Clinton Surplus was true. And as the myth of the Surplus dissolved, we got fed the old Supply Side crap about the more a government spends and the less they tax, the more financially solvent the government gets. And the masses loved the idea of Bush as the New LBJ growing government and them never having to pay for it because "magic" new revenue would happen through "growth".

(Our lenders, principally China, have rates of growth of 5-13%, America is mired down at 2-3% as it borrows to both Grow Government and free private citizens to buy American goods...err...sorry, CHina goods.. to meet Supply Side theory)

All as the trillions in IOUs American elected officials obligated present and future Americans repay to China, Japan, and Saudi Arabia piled up since the 80s, and dramatically worsened under Dubya.


Pathetically, even with the taxes collected fully spent on Bush and the Congress's splendid ideas, it really isn't "Our Money" even if you think American voters through their elected offcials aren't fully complicit in their creation of a sea of red ink. That is because "Our Money" isn't enough to keep Bush and the Congressional Aprropriators demands fed(who we voted for as a people and are collectively responsible for their financial misdeeds).

We conservatives used to stand for prudent financial management. We drank the Club For Growth snake oil and Reagan's crazy "money of nothing" idea, began deindustrializing America, then capped it all off with the greatest Big Government spender in history, Dubya.

Now we likely will see Obama raising taxes to what Gov't Bush and Co created actually cost. Then facing the 5 trillion Bush indebted us for with his spending coupled with tax cuts, the 6 billion before from mostly Reagan and Clinton...and the 42 trillion in unfunded SS and Medicare liabilities cooked up mainly by LBJ and worsened by new goodies Carter and Bush piled into it.

And the fair thing to do may be to take virtually all of the baby boomers estate value when they die and hand that off to China and Saudi Arabia to erase as much as possible of the boomers debt, so future generations are not cursed by their financial recklessness and Bush's wastrel years.

*************
As Bloomberg says, the Team Obama approach to Investing foreign gov't and bank borrowed money rather than give it to consumers to be wasted on China toys makes a lot of sense.

I'd rather have financial discipline and restraint coming from an American like Bloomberg, Obama, or Romney than wait another 10 years for China and Saudi Arabia to impose bad credit risk terms on us and what behavior they will countenance in our budget - or call our debt notes, destroy the dollar, and run the world on Euros.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I do care an awful lot though about the 25-30 year-old kids today who are being robbed and will be robbed for another 40 years.

If you care about that, then consider the inequities of mandated health insurance. Does an 18 year old really need a comprehensive health insurance policy. NO. Maybe a catastrophic accident coverage but in reality the young and healthy will be FORCED to buy insurance coverages that they will most likely never need for 20 to 30 years. Thereby subsidizing the health insurance claims by us old farts.

Completely unfair and burdensome. If I were 20 years old right now, given the burdens of SS and now mandated health insurance, I would seriously consider offing the older generation.

Bruce is quite right. The SS funds are spent on not just reimbursing those of us who have paid into it. Much is spent on people who have never paid into the fund, people who were not citizens and immigrants.

I personally know of one woman whose family brought her in from China who is now collecting SSI and who never worked a freaking day in her life. My husband's former brother in law collected SSI for years because of his disability....alcoholism...until he finally died from a failed liver transplant, provided by public assistance/welfare tax payer dollars.

It just goes on and on and on. If they do go to a "fair tax" I expect the underground/cash economy to bloom. Cash IS king.

AJ Lynch said...

DBQ:

I don't favor mandated health insurance at this time but I do have some ideas on how to change it.

Re SS going to the lazy- you can't eliminate that completely so I favor a form of privatizing one's contributions into three buckets called Yours, Mine & Ours.

4% of your 12% goes into the Yours bucket and it is used for the disabled and unlucky born in the same year as you. That is why it is called Yours (it is not mine)- you never see it again but it is a form of disability insurance.

4% goes into the Mine bucket and that is Mine 100% to spend when I want after age 65. And I can spend it however fast or slow I want to spend it.

The remaining 4% goes into the Ours bucket (a community pool) and is whacked up equally with all others born in your year. Each citizen (born in the same year) will get the exact same check amount as everyone else starting with your 65th birthday. This is the life annuity.

Of course, this plan could only be applied or started for those Americans under let's say 45 years old. It is too late to change horses for those much older than 45 years old.

One last thing - I would raise the cap on contributions to a LIFETIME cap of $5 Million. Once you have made $5 Million, you are out of the social security program and no longer make contributions. Just think - some girls will be quite impressed when they meet a 30 year-old guy who can prove he has already reached the cap!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

4% of your 12% goes into the Yours bucket and it is used for the disabled and unlucky born in the same year as you.

Sorry. I don't agree. This is what charity is all about. Giving DIRECTLY to those less fortunate. I do it all the time. I don't want the government involved in this process because there is such waste and graft that less than 10 cents on the dollar goes to those who need it. The rest goes to bureaucracy.

Besides..... if I want to give to charity...shouldn't that be MY choice. Some charitable causes (and people) I don't necessarily want to support.

I do agree that there should be some component of the forced contributions that go into a common pool for future payout. Mainly for safetys sake so people are forced to save some in a Model T type plan and the rest to be invested prudently into moderate mutual funds or bonds that can actually provide some growth of capital.

Gary Rosen said...

Does anyone actually have the patience to read through all of C-fudd's logorrheic, incoherent bullshit? Life is too short.

Middle Class Guy said...

Cedarford
I'd rather have financial discipline and restraint coming from an American ...



Which is why we should eliminate the estate tax, the capital gains tax, and the alternative minimum tax as a starter. If the government gets less of OUR money, they have to enforce discipline. They cannot borrow forever.

As to the rest of your nonsense, the reason we lost out to places like China is our onerous and conflicting regulatory system, pandering to the unions, and the highest corporate tax in the world.

It does not pay to be in business, especially big business, in America. Business is about profit. It is not about breaking even and being in partnership with the government.

EnigmatiCore said...

"On the other hand, this plan is at least quite a bit better than Obama's plan to create 2 million jobs through building bridges and highways. That sort of plan has been discredited for most of a half a century."

I like this portion of Obama's (and Huckabee's) plan.

I am fully aware that there are better ways to create jobs.

But we've neglected infrastructure spending for too long (and not just for highways).

PatCA said...

So now the mayor is going to ban alcohol too. Can't be too careful or too well meaning.