POLITICAL: Let’s get the “unfunded liabilities” out of the shadows

Friday, November 13, 2015


Milton Friedman’s Solution for Social Security Would Work for Government Pensions Too
By Lawrence J. McQuillan  •  Tuesday October 20, 2015 3:16 PM PDT  

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Friedman’s approach to Social Security can also be applied to ending the state and local government pension crisis. The programs are very similar: Social Security and state and local public pensions have massive unfunded liabilities; and they promise a stream of benefits after retirement.

Applying Friedman’s solution, state and local governments across the country would close their defined-benefit pension plans and issue bonds to beneficiaries equal to the current expected value of the stream of benefits owed. The bonds would be due today or at retirement depending on the beneficiary’s stage of life.

As with Social Security, this approach would ensure that people receive what they have been promised. It would force governments to acknowledge the true extent of the unfunded pension liabilities and establish a specific financing plan (something they refuse to do today). And it would permanently close these politically mismanaged defined-benefit plans.

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The current 18T+ national debt and the guesstimated 200T+ in unfunded liabilities is what our posterity will have to deal with.

“When there’s an elephant in the room introduce him!” From his “Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch (RIP 2007 at age 47)

Just pretending it’s an “off balance sheet” entry is reminiscent of Enron.

Take the medicine now when it’s just disgusting; rather than dies a horrible death from a self0inlicted wound.

Take off the blinders and wake the flock up. 

“We, The Sheeple” are heading for a slaughter!

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POLITICAL: Tax Change — Social Security taxation

Friday, June 29, 2012

The 5 Best Tax Changes We Won’t See
Bischoff: How Congress could make the tax code simpler and fairer with a handful of easy tweaks.

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Stop Double-Taxing Social Security Benefits

Did you know that you pay federal income tax on the Social Security tax that is taken out of your paychecks? Well, you do. Even worse: When you start receiving Social Security benefits, up to 85% of that money can be taxed again. This is double taxation folks. Retirees who are at very low income levels don’t have to pay this double tax, but those who are further up the retirement-age income scale get socked with it on anywhere from 50% to 85% of their benefits. Is it unfair? Of course! But your Congress likes this revenue stream and isn’t going to fix the problem until millions of seniors start demanding it.

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Social Security was estimate as a negative 5% return. Haven’t seen an analysis like that lately.

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ECONOMICS: True “National Debt” is 211+T$

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


A National Debt Of $14 Trillion? Try $211 Trillion
by NPR Staff
August 6, 2011

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When Standard & Poor’s reduced the nation’s credit rating from AAA to AA-plus, the United States suffered the first downgrade to its credit rating ever. S&P took this action despite the plan Congress passed this past week to raise the debt limit.

The downgrade, S&P said, “reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics.”

It’s those medium- and long-term debt problems that also worry economics professor Laurence J. Kotlikoff, who served as a senior economist on President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers. He says the national debt, which the U.S. Treasury has accounted at about $14 trillion, is just the tip of the iceberg.

“We have all these unofficial debts that are massive compared to the official debt,” Kotlikoff tells David Greene, guest host of weekends on All Things Considered. “We’re focused just on the official debt, so we’re trying to balance the wrong books.”

Kotlikoff explains that America’s “unofficial” payment obligations — like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits — jack up the debt figure substantially. Laurence J. Kotlikoff served as a senior economist on President Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers and is a professor of economics at Boston University.

“If you add up all the promises that have been made for spending obligations, including defense expenditures, and you subtract all the taxes that we expect to collect, the difference is $211 trillion. That’s the fiscal gap,” he says. “That’s our true indebtedness.”

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It’s simple. The “game” is rigged against the little guy. So why do us “little guys” still allow ourselves to be fooled?


It’s like the old joke about the accountant keeping two sets of books!

“Plus shipping and handling”. Like the TV offers that are bait ‘n’ switch. The politicians and bureaucrats throw around deficit, debt, and “cuts” that cut nothing.

Time is running short.

What happens when the Chinese and the rest of the world cut us off. Credit card declined!

I didn’t realize what some unknown executives at AT&T and CSFB by making the defined pension plans fully funded separate legal entities. There was no funny business. Pensions were a sacred trust. The money was taken and invested prudently so that now I’ll get my benefit for the rest of my life.

We’ve “cheated” Social Security recipients, and various Federal and State workers. They are going to get <synonym for the past tense of the procreation act> because the contributions have been stolen by past politicians and bureaucrats to buy votes.


We need an honest accounting. Just how bad is it? I know in the Pepuls Republik of Nu Jerzee, guvs of both parties have not funded the pensions. That’s just wrong. If a private company did that, the execs would be in jail. Why are the guvs and bureaucrats exempt?


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POLITICAL: Irish pensioners targets of revenue enhancement

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Irish pensioners fury over new taxes
Previously “untouchable” state services get cuts
ByPADDY CLANCY,Irish Voice Reporter
Published Thursday, January 12, 2012, 7:57 AMUpdated Thursday, January 12, 2012, 7:57 AM

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Savage cuts to a host of previously “untouchable” state services are now being actively considered by the government as a result of Ireland’s dire financial position.

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In the search for money to feed the Gooferment spending habit, the “pensioners” are a good target. They don’t “move” so quick. But they do vote.

Look for this idea to travel over the pond and get adopted here.

The USA Gooferment is in perpetual deficit, with an incalculable debt, the IRA / 401K total is about 14T$. Look for the politicians and bureaucrats to steal that.

You heard it. Steal it in exchange for an “enhanced social security benefit”.


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RANT: Social Security and other “entitlements”

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Reawakening Virtues: Social Security and The Virtue of Saving by Armstrong Williams

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Let’s be clear. Social security is not an entitlement program. That is, unlike welfare and food stamps, the people who receive social security have contributed to the program over the course of their working career through payroll taxes specifically designated for the purpose of saving for retirement. They are therefore owed at least the amount of money they contributed.

However, problems started to arise when the Federal government, under both parties, began borrowing from the so-called Social Security trust funds to spend on other items in the budget. The trust funds are not like your traditional private trust funds that are fully funded. In fact these trust funds are empty. The government has borrowed every single dime that comes into the trust funds to spend on current expenditures. We have a problem now because our total national debt is approaching (and may have exceeded) our yearly gross domestic product. Most countries that have this level of debt do not enjoy the high credit rating and low borrowing costs that America currently does.

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Now Playing: Social Security “entitlement?”

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Why do many in the media keep referring to Social Security as an “entitlement” program? That’s what a BillOReilly.com Premium Member asks Bill in this excerpt from our newest Backstage Conversation webcast.

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There’s no money for anything.

An insurance executive, that did what the Gooferment has done (i.e., spent the insurance premiums and failed to pay claims), would be in jail. But politicians and bureaucrats get away with it.

So, if there’s nothing in the Social Security Insurance “lockbox” but IOUs “backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government”. That ain’t going to make for a safe and secure retirement unless you’re planning to work in the “mines” until you die!

Sorry to tell everyone. It’s welfare.

Watch for inflation while there is no COLA or phony rates published by “honest” Gooferment bureaucrats, higher taxes on “social security insurance” income (Yeah that was never supposed to happen!), and then just schedule “adjustments” (i.e., higher minimum ages; lower benefit amounts).

It’s worse than a Ponzi scheme because you don’t get NOT to participate. “Made-off” couldn’t MAKE you give him your money!


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RANT: The Social Security ‘Trust Fund’

Saturday, July 23, 2011


The Fraud of the Social Security ‘Trust Fund’ Exposed by a Most Unlikely Source

by DON BOUDREAUX on JULY 16, 2011


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Today’s Wall Street Journal exposes the lie that is the so-called “Social Security Trust Fund” – and further reveals the disgraceful flippancy with which politicians and their go-fers mislead the public about it.

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An I.O.U. that you write to yourself and that you yourself hold might be a useful accounting device, but it is not wealth. Unfortunately, many politicians and bureaucrats enamored with Social Security lie (the word is not too strong) repeatedly about the nature of these bonds and what they imply about the solvency of Social Security.

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Using the word “trust” in connection with ANY politician and or bureaucrat is the height of stupidity.

As I tell jobseekers, “the only paycheck you can count on is the ones that you have cashed”.

How can we convince “We, The Sheeple” that there is no “Trust Fund”. If the money was given to MetLife, Prudential, or even used to buy a farm or a factory. That has a chance to bear fruit in future years.

Even if one bought an annuity with their “Social Security Insurance” “contributions”, then you’d have a chance of a return. Even a Ponzi scheme is more moral; the scammer can’t MAKE you give your wealth away. The Gooferment will kill you if you don’t.


Frau Reinke paid in for years, got 8 months back, and I got her $225 death “benefit”. For decades of “contributions”!

Disgraceful. Robbery.

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RANT: A smart guy doesn’t think Social Security is broke

Sunday, January 30, 2011


My Life in Key West


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I hit Social Security hard. The American people are getting a crock of improper information from the right. Social Security is not insolvent. It will be either 8 years or 24 years before there is a problem. Deal with the other issues at this time which are critical at the moment. Deal with Social Security later in a precautionary fashion to make sure no problems occur down the road.

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Social Security isn’t insolvent?

Guess we have different definitions of what “insolvent” means!

in·sol·vent adj \(ˌ)in-ˈsäl-vənt, -ˈsȯl-\

Definition of INSOLVENT

a (1) : unable to pay debts as they fall due in the usual course of business (2) : having liabilities in excess of a reasonable market value of assets held

b : insufficient to pay all debts <an insolvent estate>

c : not up to a normal standard or complement : impoverished

We’ll just go to that “lockbox” each month an take out what’s needed to pay the pensioners.

Oh, there is NO lockbox!

That proverbial lockbox is full of IOUs from the Treasury.

Surely the Treasury has a “treasure room” to redeem these IOUs against? Fort Knox?

No, Treasury thru the FED borrows money from China!

Now, I know it’s hard for folk to think of their precious Gooferment as being “broke”. But it is.

Not that it doesn’t have resources. Not that it is without people.

It’s short on clarity.

It all starts back in 1913 with the creation of the FED, with stops along the way at FDR’s gold confiscation, Nixon closing the gold window, and “Helicopter” Ben with his “printing press”.

What we are calling money has no intrinsic value. No scarcity. We’re lucky that we’ve pulled the proverbial wool over the world’s eyes with the “Dollar as the World’s Reserve currency”. Our new modern Dollar is worth whatever you can exchange it for. We kid ourselves that it has “value”.

(Saddam whispering, that he wanted to be paid for “his” oil in the golden dinar, was enough to get him overthrown.)

The OPEC countries and China are wising up to the scam. Their problem is how do they hit the exit from the Dollar while it still worth something. And, they are not in a position to go without the USA markets. Yet. Why do you suppose that China is buying everything in sight with its dollars? Much like the Japanese in the 80’s who bought Rockefeller Center, golf courses galore, and stuff. It didn’t save them.

Now, back to Social Security. When I was on Wall Street, everyone always worried about “counter party risk”. If I do a trade with you, will you complete the deal. Us old folks have a “moral IOU” from Uncle Sam that says we have sort of a claim on future generations for an annuity. (An annuity that pays a negative interest rate, I might add. But, let’s keep it simple.) Congress can with the stroke of pen change the terms of that annuity. (As it can with any public servants’ pension.)

Now there are any number of reasons that they abrogate the deal. It’s too expensive. It’s inconvenient. Or, there are not enough future taxpayers to make good on the promise.

So how can you say that Social Security isn’t broke? It’s not like a real Insurance Company. It makes Bernie Made-Off look penny ante.

Did you skip MC’s eckynomics class?

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