Careening toward catastrophe

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Remember the groundswell of public outrage last month about taxes? "Tea party" protests crisscrossed the whole country.

So where's the outrage over the looming crisis surrounding Social Security and Medicare?

Trustees of those two bloated entitlement programs updated America on their status last week, and the latest projections are even worse that had been previously predicted.

Starting in 2016 -- a year earlier than projected -- Social Security will start paying out more in benefits than it collects in taxes. In 2037, the huge trust fund will be depleted -- that's four years sooner than was expected.

And Medicare? The hospital expenses program will pay out more in benefits than it collects this year, and is expected to be insolvent by 2017.

This is huge -- a huge disaster.

Last year, the first 3.2 million baby boomers starting drawing Social Security; over the next 20 years, 80 million more will be eligible for government-sponsored retirement benefits.

It's estimated that, by the year 2030, two U.S. workers will be forking over payroll taxes for each U.S. retiree. In 1945, 42 workers contributed to each retiree.

And the unfunded liability for these entitlements are climbing annually by the trillions.

The ballooning cost of retirement and health care is being unfairly pushed off on our children and grandchildren.

Quote: "The squeeze on the federal budget will begin as the baby boom generation starts to retire. Actions taken today can ease both those pressures and the pain of future actions."

That's from David Walker, former U.S. comptroller general and head of the Government Accountability Office.

And that quote is from 2003 .

The government has known about this encroaching calamity even for years before that -- and next to nothing has been done.

Economists sounded similar calls of alarm in 2005, and were greeted by this response from now-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:

"(T)he so-called Social Security crisis exists in only one place: the minds of the Republicans." According to Reid's tea leaves, "Social Security continues to be strong and remains on solid ground for decades to come."

What a stunning lack of prescience. That quote could rank up there with the words from renowned economist John Maynard Keynes: "We will not have any more crashes in our time." He said that two years before the stock market crash that preceded the Great Depression.

Before you write off these warnings of danger to partisan finger-pointing, know that Walker was a Clinton appointee. And to Walker's credit, he spent the last part of his term as comptroller general, under a Republican president, traveling the country giving presentations about the unsustainability of America's fiscal habits.

The same formula that helped bring down the Roman Empire, Walker has said, is shaping up to bring down America.

The longer action is put off, the more severe -- and costly -- the solution becomes.

And the solution certainly won't be arrived at through the drunken-sailor spending slated for the federal government's foreseeable future.

Our lawmakers should not allow this country to careen into disastrous insolvency.

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jamesj
0
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jamesj 05/17/09 - 01:21 pm
0
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So in 2018, when the Social

So in 2018, when the Social Security program tries to redeem these bonds, the Treasury (having already spent that money over the previous 35 years) won't be able to repay Social Security from any pre-existing store of cash. Taxpayers will be forced to pay extra taxes in order to fund Social Security's 40 million retiring baby boomers.

jamesj
0
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jamesj 05/17/09 - 01:23 pm
0
0
The Social Security surplus

The Social Security surplus is spent each year regardless of whether the budget is in surplus or deficit. When the federal budget is in deficit, the Social Security surplus funds current government programs. When the budget is in surplus, the Social Security surplus pays down the national debt. Either way, nothing is saved for future retirees.

convertedsoutherner
2
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convertedsoutherner 05/17/09 - 02:30 pm
0
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SS and Medicare are going

SS and Medicare are going broke so the blind and gullible dims answer to the so-called health problem is to throw money at socialized medicine - so it can go broke also. I'm sure they must have some rationale for this reasoning but it's beyond the comprehension of most intelligent people.

142
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Dan White 05/17/09 - 03:22 pm
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Wow! Not so fast there AC.

Wow! Not so fast there AC. Bush tried to do something about the coming collapse of Social Security, but he was rebuffed on every turn by the Democrats. It's their baby now.

convertedsoutherner
2
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convertedsoutherner 05/17/09 - 04:53 pm
0
0
If someone loses their job,

If someone loses their job, they can continue their cobra. Between 2008 and Dec 2009, to keep their cobra, they can pay 35% and the government will pay 65%. Guess who that government is that's paying that 65% - you and I (taxpayers), the so-called government. What a sweetheart deal prezbho has given. We continue paying for his vote buying. When will taxpayers say - enough is enough?

Bizkit
34254
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Bizkit 05/17/09 - 04:58 pm
0
0
Universal health care is

Universal health care is provided by every country in the world except the U.S.. The private industry has done nothing but become wealthy at our cost. It is time for government to intervene just like it did with equal rights for african-americans. Fraud is the only reason medicare doesn't work, because of greedy americans. Social Security should be dissolved these people profited off of America's success so they've got theirs. Their money was spent making America work. Watch them whine and scream they paid-life ain't fair fool. Greedy people that is why government has to intervene to usurp the greedy immoral people. It is time to place the last coffin nail into capitalism-well socialism with mixed markets. You know the best places to live are parliamentary monarchs. Perhaps we should make Obama king and adopt a parliamentary sytem that promotes socialism like the U.K., Denmark, and Sweden. The European model is superior to the failing american system in health care, education, etc. But no you fools will hold on to failing methods.

Bizkit
34254
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Bizkit 05/17/09 - 05:15 pm
0
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Now watch the endless

Now watch the endless rantings of the weirdos. Milton the Creeper, PatriciaThomas who is apparently a transexual from what I gather, Jack with continuous references to his drinking problem. But they will attack me. Pathetic. This recession was a mild one but you dummies fell hook line and sinker for Bush's scam. Obama may have to spend our way back to prosperity. Fight fire with fire. As an american I want and deserve my fair share. The constitution guarantees me this right and that is why Obama will fix the problems with the constitution that promote inequality. Of course, it will take a black man to fix inequality. This is evolution in government. Religions failed in dealing with the poor and inequality so the next stage of evolution is inevitable and will hopefully succeed where the other failed.

disssman
6
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disssman 05/17/09 - 05:48 pm
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Should I really put any faith

Should I really put any faith into an article that can't even get the title of the GAO correct? And a quote from 2003 to boot. Isn't there someone, with information that is relevant, say from the 2008 - 2009 timeframe that could be quoted? BTW how can something be pushed off onto future generations? Don't future generations have to cope with then current situations like we do in this day and age? Or are we trying to set them up with a utopian life style with no work, worry or living problems? Seems to me we want our future generations to be communist with no problems to care about.

Bizkit
34254
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Bizkit 05/17/09 - 06:20 pm
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Communism is a form of

Communism is a form of socialism which is adaptive to human existence with large populations. It is inevitable. Give way dinosaur. Government intervention is the only way for true equality to evolve as other means have failed. Today's generation and the past have failed due to greed, bigotry, and hatred, but the youth of today are progressive and not restricted by silly notions like religion or capitalism.

Ode
5
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Ode 05/17/09 - 06:30 pm
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MarathonGirl unless you have

MarathonGirl unless you have lived in countries like the UK, Sweden, and Denmark like I have then don't get on here and spout your nonsense. Healthcare in Britain is pitiful. Their taxes are astronomical and their quality life isn't nearly as good. Again....healthcare, retirement subsidies, and even education are not rights of Americans. They are services and like any other service whether it is having your lawn cut or watching cable tv if you want it then all you have to do AS AN INDIVIDUAL is pay for it.

Ode
5
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Ode 05/17/09 - 06:35 pm
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Geez MarathonGirl go ahead

Geez MarathonGirl go ahead and live in a tree in Berkley and sing Kumbaya if you want but I'll be damned if I will ever be ok supporting others who have had the same opportunities as myself and are just too lazy or stupid to support themselves. Capitalism and greed weed out the strong and survivors from the weak. The weak need to die in order for a capitalist country to flourish and the government is getting in the way of this flourishment by propping up the weak at every turn.

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 05/17/09 - 06:52 pm
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Oh good, another "american"

Oh good, another "american" with the ability to extrapolate that communism, socialism, Marxism or fascism is the inevitable evolution of all societies. Government schools sure are successful. If honesty was to be included in the statement, it would have ended with "failed societies".

Riverman1
90283
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Riverman1 05/17/09 - 06:57 pm
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I was having a blast reading

I was having a blast reading MarathoGirl's posts. Few admit to being communists, but she is pretty open in her preferences. Either communism or a king. LOL

Grasshopper
7
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Grasshopper 05/17/09 - 07:02 pm
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Marathon it must have took

Marathon it must have took you all day to research the progressive blogs to come up with that copy and paste post. I have herd the same from Mr.Williston are you two related, or do you just happen to read the same Progressive blogs?

Pu239
284
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Pu239 05/17/09 - 08:30 pm
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I'm not sure but it would
Unpublished

I'm not sure but it would seem that MarathonGirl may be the love child of a Justus, Williston, and Cain sordid affair!

Grasshopper
7
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Grasshopper 05/17/09 - 08:41 pm
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Riverman want to have more

Riverman want to have more fun go back to her first stance was that evolution was to solve mans problems, and half the world should die to solve global warming. Now it is communism to solve mans problems. Oh, and I am the creepy one?

NotyourDadsBuick
1
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NotyourDadsBuick 05/17/09 - 08:58 pm
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Both programs need to be

Both programs need to be eliminated, but we're each more likely to hit the powerball numbers than for these entitlement programs to end. What a huge waste of money for all of us.

_SisterAbdullahX_
3
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_SisterAbdullahX_ 05/17/09 - 08:59 pm
0
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copperhead......"irregardless

copperhead......"irregardless" is not a word.

humbleopinion
0
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humbleopinion 05/17/09 - 09:08 pm
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Sorry MarathonGirl....There

Sorry MarathonGirl....There is NO global warming. Didn't you get the memo? It's now called "global climate change" so that leaves the whackos open to blame ANY change in the climate on man. If it gets hotter, it's our fault. If it gets colder, it's our fault. If it stays the same, it's our fault. The truth is, this whole talk is nothing more than a diversion to keep us away from what the socialists are really doing to our country. It's sleight of hand....watch what they're doing with their right, while they steal TRILLIONS from our future with their left......

_SisterAbdullahX_
3
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_SisterAbdullahX_ 05/17/09 - 09:09 pm
0
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"Universal health care is

"Universal health care is provided by every country in the world except the U.S.".............posted by MarathonGirl...... Is she a liar, or really that ignorant?

dhd1108
1
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dhd1108 05/18/09 - 04:40 am
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veaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrwww

veaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrwww peeeeough. i have my golden parachute. do you?

stillamazed
1488
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stillamazed 05/18/09 - 06:43 am
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Blaming Bush again, actually

Blaming Bush again, actually money started getting taken from Social Security back around 1973 or so and it has been happening ever since. Social Security is being used for everything except what it is supposed to be used for can't just blame Bush for that. Stop taking welfare funds from Social Security, stop paying disabily payments out of Social Security to people who have never worked and payed in, stop using Socail Security except for what it was designed for originally or stop taking it out of my check, it will not be there for me or my kids anyway so let me put that money in my own 401k where I have control and not the government.

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