Government: A most inappropriate engineer

  • Article by: George Will , Washington Post
  • Updated: December 12, 2012 - 7:23 PM

Temporary tax law does not grow the economy.

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chavistaDec. 12, 12 8:12 PM

From the article: "When Sen. Richard Durbin said "Social Security has not added one penny to the deficit," Charles P. Blahous III, a member of the Social Security board of trustees, wrote to the Washington Post to say that in 2012 this program will add $165 billion because benefit expenditures exceed Social Security tax revenues by that amount and "this gap is filled entirely by revenue that the federal government borrows." ***** Wow, grandma and grandpa save all their life and then sell the farm. They put the whole $2.7 trillion in the bank and now they're going to Florida to live their golden years. According to Charles P. Blahous III they're part of the 47% because they have to "borrow" from their $2.7 trillion dollar nest egg to buy food? What a joke and what is this guy doing on the board of trustees if he doesn't know standard Government Accounting Principles. The United States won't have to borrow money for the Social Security Fund until 2032 or later, and even then it will have sufficient funds to pay 75% of what's owed.

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jdlellis1Dec. 12, 12 8:28 PM

An exceptionally brilliant political satirical writing!

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pumiceDec. 13, 1212:21 AM

George Will, shrill TEApublican shill, should stick to baseball.

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Mippy1Dec. 13, 12 6:15 AM

I've paid the maximum into Social Security for over 25 years and have paid lower amounts for another 20 years beyond that. Don't tell me I'm not "entitled" to it. And lower taxes on the "job creators"? How has that been working out for the past 12 years? Time to try something else.

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ti1310Dec. 13, 12 8:45 AM

-----I've paid the maximum into Social Security for over 25 years and have paid lower amounts for another 20 years beyond that. Don't tell me I'm not "entitled" to it. And lower taxes on the "job creators"? How has that been working out for the past 12 years? Time to try something else.--- Dont tell you? Why don't you explain how you are entitled to a higher level of benefits being paid for by Gen X and Gen Y and then they inherit a program that will pay them 25 percent less. When you started paying in there were about 30 payers to 1 person getting benefits, now its 2 to 1. Don't forget to tell your children or grand children that you mortgaged their future retirement because you are "entitled" to it...

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ti1310Dec. 13, 12 9:09 AM

---- According to Charles P. Blahous III they're part of the 47% because they have to "borrow" from their $2.7 trillion dollar nest egg to buy food? What a joke and what is this guy doing on the board of trustees if he doesn't know standard Government Accounting Principles. The United States won't have to borrow money for the Social Security Fund until 2032 or later, and even then it will have sufficient funds to pay 75% of what's owed.--- He knows the accting, you dont. That 2.7 T is not there, its all special govt IOUs (trust fund bonds) because the govt already spent the money. So now we have to borrow more to pay it back. The fund is not a tangible economic asset it is a claim on behalf of beneficiaries on the goods and services produced by the working population. When SSI redeems the trust fund bonds to pay current recipients where do you think that money is going to come from???

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gandalf48Dec. 13, 12 9:34 AM

Mippy1 - [I've paid the maximum into Social Security for over 25 years and have paid lower amounts for another 20 years beyond that. Don't tell me I'm not "entitled" to it. And lower taxes on the "job creators"? How has that been working out for the past 12 years? Time to try something else.] *** Why do you need SS anyway if you've paid in the maximum amount for 25 years? After all it is the Democrats who are suggesting we need a higher maximum with no increase in payout for high income earners like you. I think we can all agree that common sense changes (like a 1 or 2 year increase for benefits over 2 decades) and a slight change in inflation calculations (CPI instead of salary index) would keep SS solvent for 75 years. To suggest we make no changes to SS is saying that you deserve to take from the next generation without allowing that next generation to use that same government program that you bankrupted.

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hobie2Dec. 13, 1210:26 AM

George, George - you shouldn't tell tales - we do check -- Here is what Charles P. Blahous III, SSIA Trustee, ACTUALLY wrote in the Post - "The [Post] Fact Checker took issue with the statement of Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) that “Social Security has not added one penny to the deficit” and awarded him one Pinocchio for departing from the complete truth....The Fact Checker has set forth clearly the facts of the issue but, possibly because he [Fact checker] is trying to be “fair” to all concerned, has wrongly judged Durbin TO BE OTHER THAN ABSOLUTELY CORRECT [caps mine]. Imagine that Social Security had deposited its surpluses over the years into an interest-bearing account in a bank, rather than into Treasury securities. If one year the bank, because of inadequate reserves and losses on other transactions, experienced a deficit, would any rational person claim that Social Security was responsible for even a penny of that deficit?" THAT is what the Trustee said, Mr. Will. A Trustee for the Social Security Administration said it does not contribute to the debt.

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hobie2Dec. 13, 1210:31 AM

Chavista - Blahouse actually said something totally different than what Will claimed he said. Blahous said what Durbin said, and he said that Durbin was 100% correct.

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hobie2Dec. 13, 1210:51 AM

There was a bit of slight of hand on Social Security the past couple years (which some say was a deliberate attempt to confuse the populace in order to open the door a crack to raid the trusts)... The US government made a deal with Social Security, done to get stimulus money into the hands of the populace - Social Security would lower the FICA rate and the US government would make up the difference between the usual rate and the lowered rate. So the US wrote Social Security a check for the amount that Social Security would have otherwise collected... Move ahead a few months -- instead of saying that the US government had to borrow to pay for Defense spending, or to pay back their Social Security loan, the argument says that the US government has to borrow to pay for Social Security benefits... Notice how the statement conveniently omits the part about covering the check for the money borrowed from Social Security earlier, money owed that the US government has to borrow in the open market?... THAT is why the GOP says the government borrows to pay for Social Security benefits - the government has to go to the open market to borrow to pay back the money they borrowed in the deal with Social Security... Bottom line - it is NOT Social Securities problem if the US government floats checks or has to borrow to pay back loans, NOR is the US government paying for any Social Security benefits.

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