Fat Steve's Blatherings

Monday, January 17, 2005

Bashing, part two: more on the Strib and Social Security.

      In my immediately previous post, I said "the Strib seems to be the one who's lying [about Socialist Insecurity], not the President."

      Some more on the SS system, as seen by the Strib.

      In the editorial I quoted before, the Strib insists:
The system is not in crisis; it has money to last for about the next half century,
and the Sunday paper had a signed piece by Dave Hage, asserting:
Social Security is running very large surpluses at the moment and it will have enough money to pay full benefits until the year 2042.

      What somehow doesn't get mentioned in all this is what happens to the surplus.  Answer, it goes into U.S. government bonds.  But the surplus is forecast to vanish around 2019.  So a more honest way of putting this would be:
The system will have plenty of money for the next fourteen or so years.  We hope.  After that, the SS administration will have to "redeem" bonds with the Treasury.  Unless the govt. is running truly massive surpluses at that time, general taxes will have to be raised sharply, or general government spending slashed, or SS benefits slashed, or we'll have to pay for SS by printing money.  All of these are likely to be real tough on the economy and the citizenry.

      Don't know about you, but that doesn't sound quite so rosy to me.

      Second, concerning the period after 2042, the Strib goes on to say:
and even then, if nothing is done the required benefit cuts would still leave retirees better off than those getting benefits today.

      Again, a more honest way of saying that would be:
If you're alive in thirty-eight years, and your SS benefits suddenly go down by 20-30%, that's fine with us.  And the fact that those now receiving benefits will do much better than those retiring later doesn't bother us either.  We love this big government program because it's a big, government program.  Keeping you from having non-govenrmental alternatives is our priority.  If that means fourteen years of status quo,twenty three years of severe economic stress, and then maybe stability, we say Go For It!

      Think you'll be seeing anything like that said in the Stribsoon?  Me neither.



Post a Comment

<< Home