Letters to the Editor

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SOCIAL SECURITY: Fund is on solid footing

Letter by George Robison, Gig Harbor on July 22, 2011 at 2:12 pm with 134 Comments »
August 29, 2011 1:15 pm

Re: “System needs overhaul” (letter, 7-22).

The letter shows that there is still a strong effort to undermine the Social Security system through blatant misrepresentations. To get answers to questions about the trust fund one should go here rather than believe the phony talking points that appear in columns and letters to the editor.

The letter writer claims that the special issues to Social Security are “worthless IOUs,” even though the investments held by the trust fund are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. The government has always repaid Social Security, with interest, on demand. The special-issue securities are, therefore, just as safe as U.S. Savings Bonds or other financial instruments of the federal government.

The potential problem of fund shortage is related to the intent of congressional Republicans to block the Treasury from paying out all funds, including redemption of the special issue notes held by Social Security. It is as if your bank declined to fund checks that you had written even though your account held sufficient funds.

The effective interest rate is far above that of any savings accounts or bank deposit and better than most blue chip stocks.

The public needs to become better informed on this important subject rather than accepting the word of persons whose real intent is to undermine the system.

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Leave a comment Comments → 134
  1. George, you hit in on the head. Others, you and I, have pointed this out all along. In order for the redemption of the special bonds to occur, other funds must be raised, i.e., raise taxes or cut spending. It is the position of the conservative voters to NEVER meet the obligation of the bonds. Where is the $2.5 trillion to come from? The Republican Party would rather see social security turned into a 401(k) plan, so corporations may squander ‘retirement’ funds on unsafe ventures in the stock market. Yep, let the hedge fund managers play with the social security funds (and medicare funds),

  2. geeterpontiac says:

    Taken from Mr. Robinson’s site.

    “He was formerly active in the Washington State, Pierce County and 26th Legislative District Democratic Party organizations, serving as a State Committeeman, Precinct Committee Officer, committee chair and other positions”

    Just another misleading Dem stumping for the party, higher taxes, and a bigger deficient.

  3. This guy is lacking in the intelligence department. Yes, the social security fund is stable if we pretend that they have all the money that should be there, and the interest paid from the US Government for all the borrowed money…..its semantics. No, we don’t have 6, we have half a dozen. This is disengenuous at best, and intentionally misleading in reality. LIberals are so typical in their short-sighted thinking.

  4. stetsonwalker says:

    You are delusional, Social Security cannot continue under the present system. It can be propped and adjusted but collapse is eminent. When it started people were having 9 and 12 kids per couple. Now folks are averaging 2 kids per couple. People are also living due to medical science longer than ever in history. Taking those figures, that boils down to 1 worker to support 1 retired person. And if one of those kids gets disabled along the way, they go on SSI and that throws a wrench into that already desperate idea. Simple logical math folks, it cannot keep going!

  5. Using stetson’s “logic”, health insurance can’t work, life insurance can’t work, casualty insurance can’t work.

    As to Tmell……who “borrowed” the money? When will it be paid back with interest?

    According to geeter….only Democrats bang the drum for their causes….:::eyeroll::

  6. “As a result, Social Security now “owns” nearly 18 percent of the federal debt, making it the largest single holder of US debt. The government owes almost twice as much to Social Security as it does to China and Hong Kong.

    Why aren’t the opponents worried about paying back Social Security — why aren’t they talking about repaying this debt to the American people?”

    Now, someone cite which Administration borrowed the most from Social Security

  7. From the New Hampshire Sentinal Source:

    President George W. Bush made a shocking assertion back in 2005 when he was pushing to privatize Social Security. “A lot of people in America think there is a trust,” he said, “that we take your money in payroll taxes and then we hold it for you and then when you retire, we give it back to you. But that’s not the way it works. There is no trust fund — just IOUs ….”

    Actually, working Americans have paid so much in Social Security payroll taxes during the past three decades that they have built up a $2.6 trillion surplus in the account. That money should make the system strong enough to cover the current level of benefits for the next 26 years. In the interim, a prudent government could restructure the program for the rest of the century, perhaps by means-testing benefits and rejiggering contributions.

    Hmmmm….Bush…the same President that said there were WMDs in Iraq…

  8. Mr. Robison (check the spelling geeter) is also a member of the Lions Club. What’s that make him?

  9. From Robison’s citing…… ssa.gov

    “As stated above, money flowing into the trust funds is invested in U. S. Government securities. Because the government spends this borrowed cash, some people see the trust fund assets as an accumulation of securities that the government will be unable to make good on in the future. Without legislation to restore long-range solvency of the trust funds, redemption of long-term securities prior to maturity would be necessary.
    Far from being “worthless IOUs,” the investments held by the trust funds are backed by the full faith and credit of the U. S. Government. The government has always repaid Social Security, with interest. The special-issue securities are, therefore, just as safe as U.S. Savings Bonds or other financial instruments of the Federal government.

    Many options are being considered to restore long-range trust fund solvency. These options are being considered now, over 20 years in advance of the year the funds are likely to be exhausted. It is thus likely that legislation will be enacted to restore long-term solvency, making it unlikely that the trust funds’ securities will need to be redeemed on a large scale prior to maturity.”

    I wonder who the Republicans get their information from?

  10. geeterpontiac says:

    Thanks for the spelling correction KARDNOS.

    I guess it makes him a Dem insider stumping for the party, more taxes, increased deficients who happens to be a member of the Lions Club.

  11. stetsonwalker says:

    KARDNOS
    Using stetson’s “logic”, health insurance can’t work, life insurance can’t work, casualty insurance can’t work.

    Sorry but the things you named are not relevant to working/retired population. Only SS is relevant to those facts.

  12. bobcat1a says:

    Following tmell’s (and ilk) logic, if you invest your money in bonds you are really broke since that’s just paper. I guess a Scrooge McDuck gigantic vault filled with cash would seem more to their liking.

  13. spungamy says:

    stetsonwalker: “And if one of those kids gets disabled along the way, they go on SSI and that throws a wrench into that already desperate idea.”

    That wouldn’t affect Social Security payments, though, because SSI isn’t paid for from the trust fund. It comes from somewhere else entirely.

  14. stetsonwalker says:

    spungamy
    That wouldn’t affect Social Security payments, though, because SSI isn’t paid for from the trust fund. It comes from somewhere else entirely.

    Not true, since he is now no longer a contributor his sibling must now support both retired parents. So it matters not, where his money comes from…but now that you brought that up, his sibling must now also pay the plan his money comes from…one person supports 3 now!

  15. blakeshouse says:

    this letter is another reason for the govt to not only legalize marijuana but also to require its use….it is obvious by the statements made that this writer is so stoned that he wears his A S S for a hat

  16. LarryFine says:

    “full faith and credit of the U.S. government”…. we are in deep do-do…

  17. aislander says:

    LarryFine: You beat me to that point. The “full faith and credit” just ain’t what it used to be. There’s a REASON our credit worthiness is about to be downgraded…

  18. Roncella says:

    There are many changes that could be made to help Social Security survive in the future for all.

    One big change would be to raise the age any where from 2 to 4 years before getting a social security check. The sooner this would happen the better.

    Obama has suggested the age be raised 2 years, but that it not take affect until some time aound 2035. Unbelieveable.

    Give the younger folks the option of investing a small percentage of their funds in the Market or other investments.

    There are many additional ways to strengthen Social Security and make it last a long long time.

    The sad part to the story is the dems have grown so use to using Social Security and food cards, unemployment, min. wage as issues to attack those Mean Nasty Cold Hearted Republicans at every election they wouldn’t know how to act without all those props to use against the Conservatives and Republicans.

  19. klthompson says:

    “…the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government”. Wow, that is really encouraging. The letter writer fails to mention that the securities the government offers in exchange for the money collected by the FICA tax are non negotiable i.e., they couldn’t be sold to investors, even for cents on the dollar. What a deal! Now the President says that payments due on Aug. 3rd might not be paid. If this is an example of “…the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government” then I would say those securities should be written off as worthless. Just like the current President.

  20. “stetsonwalker says:
    July 22, 2011 at 9:21 pm
    KARDNOS
    Using stetson’s “logic”, health insurance can’t work, life insurance can’t work, casualty insurance can’t work.

    Sorry but the things you named are not relevant to working/retired population. Only SS is relevant to those facts.

    Working/retired don’t buy insurance???????

  21. “Roncella says:
    July 23, 2011 at 9:12 am
    There are many changes that could be made to help Social Security survive in the future for all.

    One big change would be to raise the age any where from 2 to 4 years before getting a social security check. The sooner this would happen the better.”

    Let’s take the currect 68 year old recipients and make them get a job and work until age 72 to quality. How’s that work for you, Roncella????

  22. “full faith and credit of the U.S. government”…. we are in deep do-do…

    Not sure why some of the biggest Exceptionalists around always seem to be the first to completely disparage our Government…

  23. aislander says:

    Because, beerBoy, when we talk about “American exceptionalism,” we’re not talking about the government. Ever since the Founding, there has been a tension between the government and the people–the Founders didn’t trust government, which is why the Constitution was designed to limit its power–and now that the Constitution has been rendered ineffective in limiting government’s power, that tension is greater than ever…

  24. “aislander says:
    July 23, 2011 at 10:47 am
    Because, beerBoy, when we talk about “American exceptionalism,” we’re not talking about the government.

    Who is “we”? I think our government is quite exceptional. Where else can you get a group of freshman congressional reps that don’t know their keester from a hole and the ground to hold up the financial welfare of the entire world?

    That’s execeptional!!!

  25. I notice that Roncella doesn’t have a quick comeback for my suggestion….

    I wonder why….

  26. “the Founders didn’t trust government”

    The biggest crock of manure yet posted on this forum. “The Founders” WERE the government.

    This is classic TEA party “make it up as you go” Constitutional history.

  27. “LarryFine says:
    July 23, 2011 at 7:11 am
    “full faith and credit of the U.S. government”…. we are in deep do-do…

    Maybe if we didn’t allow Republican Presidents with Republican Congress control to run up the debt by waging wars and cutting taxes, we wouldn’t have to worry about these challenges.

    Just imagine, if we were not $10 Trillion in debt in 2008, when our country needed help…..

  28. Isn’t it interesting that Bush’s record as president parallels his record in business?

  29. aislander says:

    KARD: Suggest you actually READ the Federalist Papers before pontificating, as well as Washington’s well-expressed fear of government (you know: where he compared it to fire…)…

  30. aislander….I suggest you quit manipulating the fact that the Founders WERE the government. Rhetoric has been around since Urg and Uhg developed something more than grunts.

  31. Not sure what “Washington” had to do with the Federalist Papers –

    There were three authors of the Federalist Papers.

    James Madison (28 papers: 10, 14, 37-58 and 62-63) and Alexander Hamilton (52 papers: 1, 6-9, 11-13, 15-36, 59-61, and 65-85) wrote most of the Federalist Papers, but John Jay wrote papers 2-5 (Foreign Affairs) and 64 (on the Senate). All of the essays were signed Publius and the actual authors of some are under dispute, but the general consensus is that Alexander Hamilton wrote 52, James Madison wrote 28, and John Jay contributed the remaining five.”

    When posing the search question “what was George Washington’s fear of government” the following answer turned up….

    “Because after the Revolutionary war, the economy was horrible from being in debt from France.”

    Debt from war, huh? Hmmmmm……..

  32. aislander says:

    Of course the Founders were the instruments of the people and ran the government, but they knew they wouldn’t ALWAYS be the government, so they were scrupulous in limiting its power. They feared that government would become master of the people, instead of the people’s being in charge, but that’s where we are now.

    Refresh my memory: was it corporations who murdered hundreds of millions of people in the Twentieth Century, or was it all-powerful governments?

  33. The quote to which aislander refers –

    “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”

    A rather interesting take from the leader of the government.

    Washington was also quoted –

    “Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.”

    Note that is small “r” republican.

  34. Just imagine, if we were not $10 Trillion in debt in 2008, when our country needed help…..

    Just imagine, if we were not $14 Trillion in debt in 2011, when our country needs help…..

  35. aislander says:

    Sounds like the answer for fear For government, rather than OF government. Here’s the quote (in case you’ve missed it):

    “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”

  36. “Refresh my memory: was it corporations who murdered hundreds of millions of people in the Twentieth Century, or was it all-powerful governments?”

    What the hell does this question have to do with Social Security being solvent?

    Oh..what the heck, I’ll bite.

    First we must decide what is “murder” in terms of governmental killing. Is using nuclear weapons “murder”? Carpet bombing? Is it only murder when the killing is done by those with whom you disagree or is your cause murder also?

  37. aislander says:

    KARD: I know the difference between capital “R” and lower case “r.” You guys have given lower-case “d” a bad name, though…

    You omitted the last part of the Washington quote, but I didn’t…

  38. “xx98411 says:
    July 23, 2011 at 12:01 pm
    Just imagine, if we were not $10 Trillion in debt in 2008, when our country needed help…..

    Just imagine, if we were not $14 Trillion in debt in 2011, when our country needs help…..

    …..uh…xx….maybe you don’t do basic math, but it would seem that if the money was available in 2008, we wouldn’t be asking the question today. Allow me to create a simple analogy with smaller numbers.

    A person is $1000 in debt in 2008. They have access to $1000 credit because they owe nothing. They have a steady stream of revenue that they are not reducing at will. Chances are pretty good that in 2011, by not reducing the revenue stream, their debt should not increase other than that debt accumulated due to crisis.

    There is no way of avoiding the fact that the cost of two wars and the reduction in revenue created the problem we have today.

  39. aislander says:

    I wasn’t talking about war, but rather political killings carried out by governments, such as those of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Castro et al…

    We WERE talking about reasons to fear and limit the power of government, were we not?

  40. xx….it seems to me that the Stimulus spending was less than $1 trillion, thus if the US was debt free in 2008, at worst we’d be $1 trillion in debt today, unless you’d want to consider that unemployment has added to the lack of revenue.

    :::::waiting for “no revenue problem just a spending problem”:::::::

  41. aislander says:

    WHAT “reduction in revenue?!!” The kind that’s like jobs “saved or created?”

  42. karnos – WTF is up with your math…

    Dude – you borrow 1000 whatever, you owe 1000 whatever plus some sort of interest on an agreed upon rate of repayment upon an agreed upon date.

    This current administration borrowing close to $4,000,000,000,000.00 in mullah didn’t help either.

    We owe a lot of money, we might want to consider shutting down the printing presses.

    Without the twist and shout, it really is that simple.

    Your bush stuff is olde, I only hope the casual reader realizes that too.

  43. “aislander says:
    July 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm
    I wasn’t talking about war, but rather political killings carried out by governments, such as those of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Castro et al…”

    And those dictators would tell you that they were at war….sort of like Bush’s “war on terrorism” or the “war against communism”……on and on…..

    One man’s war is another man’s murder.

    As to “fear of government” how about the creation of a branch of government that controls legislation that doesn’t speak for the majority of Americans?

    It’s called “The Senate”. The creation of such takes the premise of “one person, one vote” and turns it into a situation where 600,000 people have the same voice as 6,000,000.

  44. xx……there is nothing that you Conservative DUDES would love more than to give George W. Bush a “get out of jail free” card in terms of the debt. It won’t work.

    If the government were solvent when the financial crisis hit, we would be less in debt today. Nothing will change that.

  45. “aislander says:
    July 23, 2011 at 12:13 pm
    WHAT “reduction in revenue?!!” The kind that’s like jobs “saved or created?”

    I have to explain???? Tax cuts are a reduction in revenue, just like a cut in your salary would be.

  46. about bush – in 2013 I promise I will not blame Obama for the state of the US when a new president takes over. It’s not fair play, at this point it is simply a dumb argument and/or excuse for any president moving forward… 2 1/2 years out of office dude… I am sorry my IQ can drop no lower to argue this one anymore.

    If the government were solvent when the financial crisis hit, we would be less in debt today. Nothing will change that.

    somehow you think this is a good arguement for your position. I’ll even go so far (against my best interests) to agree that the statement is true.

    but again, sorry dude, that is not the current reality. We were in debt and we are now even lots more in debt… lots…

  47. revenues went up even with the tax cut… jeeze dude, I thought you had access to this information…

  48. aislander says:

    See (typing slowly here), there is a difference between “rates” and “revenues.”

    But let’s pretend you’re NOT talking out of your Biden (would have used the “O” word, but don’t want be accused of…well, you know), and say the Bush tax rates were rolled back to pre-tax-cut levels. According to the Obama admin’s OWN NUMBERS, that would, using a static-scoring model, result in a revenue increase of $470 billion. We have a projected deficit over $1.5 TRILLION, so (say it with me now!): We have a spending problem, NOT a revenue problem…

  49. aislander says:

    Need help with those knots you’re twisting yourself into, KARD, with your apologia for murderous governments? And throwing in the SENATE? C’mon…

  50. xx98411 says:
    July 23, 2011 at 12:30 pm
    revenues went up even with the tax cut… jeeze dude, I thought you had access to this information…

    And you can cite this information….how? Did the revenue increase per capita while the tax rates went down? That would be an interesting mathmatical equation.

  51. aislander…..and your analogy of murderous dictators in other countries is a rational thought in terms of the United States? Let me guess, your next leap is to FEMA camps……

    You want to talk about fear of our government and system, I gave you an example of something I fear – providing too much power to too few people.

    As to dictatorships, it seems that the US gets closest to that when the victims involved don’t have traditional European features. Take for instance Japanese internment camps……

  52. aislander – tell us how you could cut all the revenue and half the spending and come up with a positive number. (dripping with sarcasm)

    The problem with the Conservative viewpoint is that they’ve convinced themselves that government services aren’t necessary.

    Ask the folks that died in the bridge collapse in Minnesota. Oh…they can’t answer, they are dead.

  53. aislander says:

    So…KARD…first you imply that “it can’t happen here,” and THEN you give me an example of when it DID happen here. To quote the philosopher LarryFine: kooky…

    You may also be interested in the 150,000 political prisoners (Americans!) during the Wilson admin, as well as his propaganda ministry, and squads of government thugs pounding down antiwar protestors. Mussolini was VERY appreciative, as was Goebbels.

    The investigation into the collapse of the I-35W bridge concluded that it was a design flaw rather than deferred maintenance that caused the structure to come down.

    Finally, I don’t understand what the hell you’re talking about with regard to revenue and spending, but I am certain you don’t either…

  54. aislander says:

    By the way, KARD, Americans of German ancestry were beaten, murdered, and imprisoned during WWI, and those of German and Italian ancestry (along with the Japanese)were interned during WWII, although only the Japanese internment penetrated the popular consciousness. So your imputation of racism doesn’t hold water…

  55. And you can cite this information….how? Did the revenue increase per capita while the tax rates went down? That would be an interesting mathmatical equation.

    IRS dude, IRS…

    Otherwise I am beginning to smell fish…

  56. You are short changing yourself. This is not the lowest IQ that you have demonstrated on the forum.

    I believe not only were we in the single digit range but we had the stench of a cesspool on us…

    We are in the 50’s heading south… are we done or are you going for the 40’s

    Go check the IRS dude…. it will raise us back to the 70’s

  57. Hey, you usual suspects calling each other names! I do have a legitimate question for YOU lefties and righties.

    Forgetting the $2.6 trillion dollar IOU to the trust fund, why over the years hasn’t investors “invested” in creating jobs. All this money is being sucked up by the government. Duh, is anybody forcing them with a gun to their heads? If I could get a better return on my money, wouldn’t I become a “job creator,” and make bushels of $$$?

    If these investors did NOT give their money to the government, just maybe the country would not be in debt. So, Obama wants to raise the deficit. What if Obama gave a party and nobody came? Just asking for your astute observations.

    Please no name calling for this totally independent voter. :) smile

  58. aislander says:

    The banks can get money from one governmental agency) and lend it to another, all without immediate (but, as we’re seeing, not without long-term) risk. They make money by doing NOTHING. That’s one reason there isn’t a lot of money to lend.

    There isn’t much money being borrowed because of the supply problem, but also because businesses have no assurance that government policies won’t put them at a huge disadvantage TOMORROW. That is called “uncertainty.”

    In addition, the economy at large isn’t showing signs of life, and people invest in businesses based on their assessments of their own markets and the economy as a whole. Jobs are created because someone has specific work that needs to be done, not for the pleasure of providing someone with an income. If the work isn’t there to be done, well…

    I hope you find my view helpful, and I also hope I understood your question correctly.

  59. aislander – did you feel the Japanese were inappropriately interned? How do you feel about Mexican Americans who entered the country illegally as infants, but have lived here all their lives and are productive citizens?

    This is gonna get interesting.

    xx – you can’t cite the exact information that you allege, can you?

  60. “aislander says:
    July 23, 2011 at 3:01 pm
    By the way, KARD, Americans of German ancestry were beaten, murdered, and imprisoned during WWI, and those of German and Italian ancestry (along with the Japanese)were interned during WWII,

    Maybe you can cite something to support your claim. Unfortunately school history classes didn’t talk about German or Italian internment camps.

  61. A32 – wait and see what happens. I don’t expect the Republicans to cooperate on this debt ceiling the way they did 7 times with their guy in office.

    If Obama really wants the debt ceiling raised, he needs to say he doesn’t want it raised and the Republicans would vote against him 100%.

  62. aislander – you left out an important part of the German/Italian “internment”….

    They weren’t American citizens.

  63. 110,000 Japanese Americans versus 11,000 German citizens in the US…..

    Yeah……nothing racial.

  64. aislander says:

    Hey: we WERE a racist country back then. No denying it. But what do you think the Japanese thought about YOUR mom and dad? Or the Chinese? Or the Muslims? It was (and still is, largely) a racist world…

  65. xx – you can’t cite the exact information that you allege, can you?

    (This is actually a compliment… maybe a little back-handed… just a little)

    You are not an idiot karnos. You know the data, it has been presented upteen times before, you typically ignore the initial years and point to 2009 as some proof of some inane point you conjour up from the neither regions of the internet and your brain, I then offer (which aislander explains far better with more patience then me) so with his permssion I will copy that verbatim and provide a nod to the aislander source, you then come up with either another inane point from the neither regions of the internet and your brain… bla, blah, blah…

    on second thought, let’s just move on so that I can get some alcohol and popcorn and watch aislander kick your a…

  66. aislander says:

    Actually, xx, I’ve HAD half a bottle of sauvignon blanc with too much scampi on linguine verde, and I doubt I can still function up to par, whatever level THAT is, so I’ll probably continue this tomorrow. Cheers or ciao or whatever!

  67. SadujTogracse says:

    Kard, you should really do something about that wrinkled old posterior, LOL!

  68. stetsonwalker says:

    http://www3.prudential.com/signature/Social-Security.html
    In 1940, there were 42 workers per retiree. In 1950, the ratio was 16-to-1. Today, there are 3.3 workers per retiree, and within 40 years, it’s projected that there will be just two workers per retiree. At the present rate, as the population ages and life expectancies continue to rise, the system will not be able to sustain itself into the future without major reform.

  69. “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”
    As quoted in The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest (1915) edited by Upton Sinclair, p. 305; no earlier or original source for this often quoted statement is cited by Sinclair, or has yet been found in research done for Wikiquote; it is probably apocryphal.

    Islander,
    “there is a difference between ‘rates’ and ‘revenues’.
    Which is why the ‘revenue’ enhancement Obama wants is to close loopholes in the tax codes rather than increasing rates.
    And the Rpots never talk about loopholes but only about the need to lower rates.

  70. aislander says:

    Not true, xring! Although I am not a Republican, I believe all special deals should be removed from the tax system, and it should be simplified dramatically. I am in favor of a consumption tax (NOT a VAT!), but would be satisfied with a flat tax similar to that of Russia. The consumption tax, however, DOES tax the underground economy (but I am willing to forgo my current advantage for the greater good…).

  71. aislander says:

    It is quite out of character, by the way, for Upton Sinclair to make (or promote) an argument for limited government, progressive that he was…

  72. aislander says:

    Our current corporate tax rate would be fatal to the economy if there were no way to escape it. It is second highest in the industrialized world, and would BE the highest if Obama gets his way. It is not applied fairly right now, but the 25-odd percent average actually paid keeps us somewhat competitive. I would like to see a realistic rate that ALL corporations pay, without having some, such as GE, escape unscathed, and others paying a rate well beyond that paid by their overseas competitors…

  73. Which is why the ‘revenue’ enhancement Obama wants is to close loopholes in the tax codes rather than increasing rates.
    And the Rpots never talk about loopholes but only about the need to lower rates.

    When you remove the tax deductions (you are calling them loopholes) you increase the rate a person/corporation pays in income tax. It is a slick way of increasing the rate of tax a person/corporation pays without increasing the published tax rates

    Republicans do talk, have prroposed and have voted on removing tax deductions while reducing the tax rate.

  74. geeterpontiac says:

    Interestingly enough, when someone says loophole, we usually tend to think of something that is wrong, illegal, or unfair. That is simply not the case and it is a much bigger issue that many think.

    One important thing to remember is a loophole is very seldom something that is wrong or illegal. It is almost always something that was legislated into existence by the passage of a law.

    Examples are being able to use interest you paid on the house you are buying as an income tax deduction, or, state sales taxes or state income tax (if you live in a state that has one) you have paid over the year. Remember, those are intentional tax loopholes. Landlords write off expenditures they make to maintain rental property. That is a loophole. If that loophole is omitted will the rent rise? Will the landlord be as inclined to maintain a rental property as well as in the past? If you are an individual who works in a trade and are required to have certain tools you must pay for out of your own pocket, you are able to deduct the expense. Companies that buy new machinery, or upgrade facilities, etc, are allow to write off a percentage of initial value based upon a yearly wear factor. That is also a loophole. And, there are many, many more we take for granted.

    So, let’s not kid ourselves. If we remove all loopholes, everyone is going to pay more, directly or indirectly to the government and for services and goods

  75. It was (and still is, largely) a racist world…

    Finally. Someone on the Right acknowledges reality.

  76. This thread is completely derailed…..

    The temporary tax rates (aka “Bush tax cuts adopted by Obama”) really have nothing to do with Social Security. “Fixing” Social Security by changing the age, pay-out, pay-in will do nothing to change the fact that the government has been using the funds to cover their deficit addiction – in fact – increasing the amount of funds available for Social Security will just give them more to “borrow” from.

  77. But…..as long as we have tangented to racism and violence:

    Extreme right winger who was active on a number of fundamentalist Christian website, anti-muslim, anti-multicuturalism, pro-“indigenous” Norwegians bombs a government building and shoots children at a camp that, the day before held a pro-Palestine state rally, in order to “wake-up” the government that has officially come out in support of recognizing a Palestinian state.

    But…..at least he didn’t behead his victims…….

  78. oh just be patient bb… Monday the inevitable letter will come and you guys can then bash not only white people (specifically the males), but also Christians and (goody, goody) the ‘right wing” for the evil racist (and whatever else) that they are…

    getting a new bottle… heck make it two and some more Orville…

  79. Wow! Unfortunately Oregon’s gain is our loss……

  80. LarryFine says:

    “Not sure why some of the biggest Exceptionalists around always seem to be the first to completely disparage our Government…”

    No doubt. Because, as Ai. so thoroughly pointed out… you haven’t a clue what the term means. No surprise there.

  81. LarryFine says:

    “This thread is completely derailed…..” Thanks Kard…

    “But…..as long as we have tangented to racism and violence:” … thanks kettle.

  82. Finally. Someone on the Right acknowledges reality.

    The right has always acknowledge this reality – racism exists… I, nor government just can’t fix “your” soul, nor change who “you” are.

    just gettin’ warmed up for tomorrow….. ;)

  83. Roncella says:

    larryfine, It bares repeating that President Obama and his helpers Reid, Pelosi and the the dems in the Congress are not interested in saving Social Security.

    They use it whenever elections roll around to scare the old folks and paint Republicans as mean and nasty and uncaring, heartless and all the rest.

    Note the latest T.V. add showing Republican Ryan pushing an old lady in a wheel chair off a cliff. This is the dems easy way to get more votes from seniors.
    The sad part is the Democrats adds and lies actually do work for them.

    Both Republicans and Democrats have learned to not touch the third rail which is Social Security.

    If the lame Stream Media would do its job it could be a huge help in actually starting serious discussions on how to save social security.

    Good investagative reporting could problem solve Social Securities problems and how to reverse the short comings in funds needed to support it.

  84. ItalianSpring says:

    I’m so glad I opted out of National Socialist Security when I did years ago. The move has saved me tens of thousands of dollars and I have the bank balance to prove it.

  85. beerBoy says:
    July 24, 2011 at 5:47 am
    This thread is completely derailed…..

    The temporary tax rates (aka “Bush tax cuts adopted by Obama”) really have nothing to do with Social Security.

    Go back to where aislander derailed it.

  86. xx is still not going to cite the information he claims I’m an idiot for not knowing…

    Maybe it doesn’t exist??????

  87. “SadujTogracse says:
    July 23, 2011 at 8:51 pm
    Kard, you should really do something about that wrinkled old posterior, LOL!

    Your nose is in the way

  88. xx is still not going to cite the information he claims I’m an idiot for not knowing…

    Maybe you actually do have a reading comprehsion problem… I wrote the following:

    You are not an idiot karnos. You know the data, it has been presented upteen times before, … blah, blah, blah…

    Maybe it doesn’t exist??????

    IRS.gov, CBO.gov, OMB.gov for the umpteen time and we’ve already covered this a few times before

  89. xx98 and geeter,
    .A tax loophole is an EXPLOTATION of a DEDUCTION. The original intent is not illegal, but the definition or other wording in the tax-law can be exploited for personal gain.

    For example:
    Several years ago, a substantial TAX-BREAK (deduction) was offered to small companies who invested in SUVs and other heavy vehicles FOR THEIR TRANSPORTAION FLEET..

    But because the tax law allowed for 50% personal use, small business owners could upgrade their own personal vehicles to SUVs and still receive a tax credit.
    The original TAX-BREAK was a DEDUCTION.

    The LOOPHOLE a company to provide SUV for the owners personal use AND STILL CLAIM THE DEDUCTION.

    And I’ll wager it was just the owner who got a company owned SUV, nor was his SUV exactly the same as the other company SUV’s

  90. you know xring I should have been more technical in my response as you have…

    yes, I like that A tax loophole is an EXPLOTATION of a DEDUCTION.

    Ok, we kinda agree… but it is still legal (an attempt is sometimes made to portray “loopholes” as illegal)

    Second, loopholes will always exist, hence the need to review the tax code and make the necessary changes.

    Or better yet, lower the overall tax rate and remove many of these specialized, focused tax breaks that are choking the effective administration of the system.

  91. But because the tax law allowed for 50% personal use, small business owners could upgrade their own personal vehicles to SUVs and still receive a tax credit.
    The original TAX-BREAK was a DEDUCTION.

    The LOOPHOLE a company to provide SUV for the owners personal use AND STILL CLAIM THE DEDUCTION.

    What the heck, a little parsing this fine Sunday morning…

    If the tax code specifically said 50% personal use, then how is it a “loophole”? It was designed into the code.

    Now if you wanna argue that this allow larger, more exspensive SUV’s to be bought (I would have) then OK, but then again that poor abused auto worker in Detroit will be real happy with you and your “super-size it” SUV purchase.

  92. geeterpontiac says:

    “xx98411 says:”

    “If the tax code specifically said 50% personal use, then how is it a “loophole”? It was designed into the code.”

    xx98,

    That’s really the point I was trying to make in one of my posts yesterday.

    Many people, when they hear the term “loophole”, immediately think there it is something dishonest involved. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Loopholes are essentially tax breaks that were designed into the code. Like being able to claim interest paid on a home mortgage as a deduction on your income tax at the end of the year. Or, being able to use the cost of personal tools purchased out of your own pocket used in your job as a deduction, etc, etc. There is nothing illegal here.

    So, when some politician talks about closing loopholes, they are talking about rewriting taxes codes to prohibit deductions such as I just mentioned.

  93. There it is….

    “aislander says:
    July 23, 2011 at 10:47 am
    Because, beerBoy, when we talk about “American exceptionalism,” we’re not talking about the government. Ever since the Founding, there has been a tension between the government and the people–the Founders didn’t trust government, which is why the Constitution was designed to limit its power–and now that the Constitution has been rendered ineffective in limiting government’s power, that tension is greater than ever… ”

    Where the dialog changed from Social Security…..

  94. xx….you made an assertion that revenue went up when tax breaks took place.

    Quit dodging the real challenge of citing THAT. Your vague “irs.gov” and what have you is a sure sign that you pulled that assertion from nowhere.

  95. Detective kardnos on the scene…

  96. LarryFine says:

    Dic, you mean… ;)

  97. Quit dodging the real challenge of citing THAT. Your vague “irs.gov” and what have you is a sure sign that you pulled that assertion from nowhere.

    Ok, it’s official… I am well beyond being a jerk pulling your chain to bordering on a-hole hooking the chain up to a truck and pulling hard…. real hard…

    If this was the first time we covered this karnos, I would provide a pointer to that source as I have in previous posts… but talk about a dead horse subject. We have covered this crap at least three times before.

    Second, I rarely, if ever provide specific sources unless they are obscure and difficult to find. Tax revenues and what happened in 2001/02 to about 2008/09… sorry, one would have to be gogglely challenged to not be able to find that. (that code for an “idiot”)

    Frankly I am bored with this one and if you wanna talk about literally anything else but friggin’ taxes and why you want to pay more… or more accurately why you want others to pay more, that will be fine with me.

    How about the weather today. I just took a long walk and am now in the sushine actually wasting precious battery juice here when I could be surfing the latest Kim Kardashian shots… J-Lo is single again, their is hope… :)

  98. LarryFine says:

    Just for factual correction, this is where the thread went sideways…

    KARDNOS says:
    July 22, 2011 at 8:31 pm
    Mr. Robison (check the spelling geeter) is also a member of the Lions Club. What’s that make him?
    ……

    beerBoy says:
    July 23, 2011 at 10:42 am
    “full faith and credit of the U.S. government”…. we are in deep do-do…

    Not sure why some of the biggest Exceptionalists around always seem to be the first to completely disparage our Government…
    ……
    and then here’s where it goes south…

    KARDNOS says:
    July 23, 2011 at 11:14 am
    “the Founders didn’t trust government”

    This is classic TEA bag “make it up as you go” Constitutional history.

    … kooky huh ?

  99. MarksonofDarwin says:

    bB,

    No, no, no! When a thread derails, (and yes…thanks to the sock puppet troll) THIS is what you’re supposed to do:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbHeNkqRWtI

    Turn it up and enjoy!

    **now, it’s your turn**

  100. aislander says:

    It may be poor etiquette to pursue an interesting tangent, but the operative word is “interesting…”

  101. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Kard, as stated that has been proven dozens of times here. If you have some form of memory loss I understand. The stress of supporting failed policies must be great.

    It has also been shown that as a percentage pf total taxes paid, the evil rich pay more than ever and the middle class and poor pay less than ever.

  102. aislander says:

    KARD: Let’s say your fee for services is $500 per hour, but you see only one client per week for one billable hour. Your RATE is high, but your REVENUE is low. So, as anyone should be able to see, rates and revenues can be very different, and, really, one doesn’t have much to do with the other…

  103. aislander says:

    Trouble is, you’re making only $26,000 per year. How to increase your income? A conservative would say to lower your rates, but a liberal would say you should raise your rates to $5000 per hour, which, using static scoring, translates into $5000 per week, or $260,000 per year. Sure works on paper, but how many clients are you really going to have with your new, higher rate? See, higher rates reduce activity.

    Higher TAX rates reduce activity, too, so the Treasury never gets as much new revenue from a tax increase as the projections seem to promise. So, how do you increase activity? How about LOWERING rates? It’ll work for your LLC, and it will work for the treasury–as it has in the past.

  104. Xx and g-p,
    Legal – yes, moral and ethical ????

    The intent of the law was to encourage small business to buy SUV’s FOR THEIR TRANSPORTATION AND FLEETS.

    The loophole is the 50% personal use that allowed the company to buy a SUV to transport the Boss and still claim the deduction on it.

    To close the loophole one needs only remove the personal use phrase.

    Now consider this “What kind of product would be best transported by a SUV?”

    If the organization I work for authorized me to use my assigned vehicle for personal use 50% the time I would be running around in a 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee and not a 97 Ford Ranger.

    Actually XX there are two things we agree on. If we simplified the tax code and did way with most of the specialized deductions we could lower the tax rates and still increase the revenues.

    Before you ask; two that would keep is home intrest and deductions for kids and education.

    And now I’m agreeing with Islander, some of the best posts come from pursuing interesting tangents.
    But all is not lose:
    Islander, check your water or other utility bills. When demand (use) goes down rates go up. But the reverse is not always the case.

  105. aislander says:

    THAT’S because utilities are monopolies, and government ones at that, xring. NEXT CASE!

  106. Higher TAX rates reduce activity, too, so the Treasury never gets as much new revenue from a tax increase as the projections seem to promise.

    Isn’t that what happened to the increased gas tax the Queen imposed, after she said no new taxes before the election? Now there is not enough revenue coming in with the increased gas taxes, and the queen wants to raise them.

    There is never enough of other peoples money.

  107. ai – oh yes….I remember when in California we were promised that our electricity would be cheap and plentiful as soon as we privatized it.

    Cost went up and rolling brown-outs due to the manipulations of PRIVATE (not government) companies.

  108. aislander says:

    Still a noncompetitive situation, beerBoy. As I said, utilities are monopolies…

  109. “LarryFine says:
    July 24, 2011 at 12:58 pm
    Just for factual correction, this is where the thread went sideways…

    KARDNOS says:
    July 22, 2011 at 8:31 pm
    Mr. Robison (check the spelling geeter) is also a member of the Lions Club. What’s that make him?”

    Nice editing LF…..as usual you misrepresent the context of the forum. A previous comment took information from Robison’s website and left off his Lion’s membership…..sort of like you edit to your “advantage” If you are saying that the letter writer’s membership in Lions isn’t part of the issue, then I guess his affilitation with the Democratic party isn’t.

    Social Security isn’t for Democrats only.

    Question, LF….when are you ever going to comment in context to the subject of the forum?

  110. xx is still avoiding proof to support his assertion that when the tax rates went down, revenues went up.

    Since the debt doubled during the Bush Administration, I’m left to accept that xx is making crap up.

    If this is such a “fact” as claimed by aislander and xx, why can’t one of them find a website that would verify their claim?

  111. “concernedtacoma7 says:
    July 24, 2011 at 1:47 pm
    Kard, as stated that has been proven dozens of times here. If you have some form of memory loss I understand. The stress of supporting failed policies must be great.”

    Oh…I forgot “concerned” in that lump. Another that says things without the slightest proof of the assertion…..OR….will show us an opinion piece on a Conservative website and call it a “fact”

  112. “Isn’t that what happened to the increased gas tax the Queen imposed,

    More misrepresentation. The Washington State gasoline tax was approved by a vote of citizens. The Governor doesn’t legislate laws, anyway. There are elected officials called….amazingly….”legislators” that do that sort of thing, along with senators.

    I quote – “Voters in Washington State defeated Initiative 912, a ballot measure which would have repealed a recent gas tax increase passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Gregoire. The tax funds transportation projects throughout the state.

    The drive to repeal it was led by local two right wing talk radio hosts, along with a cadre of organized anti-tax zealots.”

    I suppose the Conservatives could find a “second amendment remedy” to opposing the citizenry’s vote……

  113. aislander says:

    KARD: You are ridiculous. Sorry, but you are. I have linked to a) “tax revenues by year,” several times in the past. Apparently you never clicked. I have linked to “tax rates by year,” several times, as well. You have Google? Use it! (especially now that I have provided the search terms). I know you memorized the years of the Bush tax cuts and probably those of Reagan. Go forth and Googlefy! Sheesh!

  114. http://www.factcheck.org/taxes/supply-side_spin.html

    Now, take a good look at the chart for the years 1999 to 2005 and try to tell us that tax cuts resulted in more revenue.

  115. Nothing like a good old factcheck to cut the crap.

  116. “ridiculous” is bluffing your way through an argument. I gave you plenty of chances to get out of the hole you dug for yourself.

  117. LarryFine says:

    LMAO… really.

  118. aislander says:

    Okay. The tax cuts were enacted in 2001 and took effect in 2003. Revenues had been trending downward since 2000. 2004, the first year after the cuts took hold saw a large increase in revenues, and revenue growth continued until the current downturn. Downward fluctuations in revenues were never close to the size of the deficits. Here’s the link. Knock yourself out…

    http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=200

  119. If this is such a “fact” as claimed by aislander and xx, why can’t one of them find a website that would verify their claim?

    Dude, the subject is well known, the sources are well known, I’ve pointed the way… at this point if you can’t find what I am referring to, then the operative word is – pitiful.

    Why I know you are being an a-hole about this is that you commented on it before.

  120. Kard Kard Kard, parsing again?

    What you chose to reply to, was not the point of my comment. But, par for the course with you.

    And you wonder why no one takes you seriously here. Well, that is not the only reason…..

  121. Government receipts rose 20.9 percent between 2001 and 2006, and they were up 35 percent between 2003 and 2006.

    from your own source karnos… jeeze

  122. aislander says:

    Lefties love to whine that the stimulus wasn’t big enough, or wasn’t done correctly, or somebody stomped on the kitchen floor and the souffle’–er–stimulus fell.

    Well here is the counterpoint to that quacker: According to Nobel-Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman, the ONLY tax cuts that are truly stimulative are those at the highest marginal rate. Bush’s mistake was not in cutting taxes, but in whose taxes he cut. Most of the Bush tax cuts were for the non-rich, with the greatest percentage cut (50%) being for the lowest bracket. The Obama administration estimates that rolling back the tax rates would net $70 billion from the “rich,” but $400 billion from everybody else.

    But, in spite of the egregious error of cutting taxes for the poorest taxpayer, the Bush tax rates STILL increased revenues until lately.

    If KARD were right (and I employ the subjunctive mood to indicate that supposition is QUITE contrary to reality), revenues and rates would have stayed in lockstep, which even the link he provides shows they did not…

  123. aislander says: “…The Bush tax rates STILL increased revenues until lately.”

    Since when is “until lately” good enough? It’s ok to pick out the years of the Bush tax cuts that support your agenda and discard the ones that don’t?

    There were four years of increasing federal revenues after the Bush tax cuts, and then the economy tanked while those cuts were in effect, so the declining revenue years need to be included.

    There were seven years of increasing revenue after the Clinton tax increases of 1993, which increases, were mostly directed at the wealthy. (Increased the highest bracket to 39.6%, repealed the cap on medicare taxes, raised the corporate income tax rate to 35%, phased down itemized deductions as salaries increased, increased the taxable portion of SSI benefits, increased tax on gas 4.5 cents per gallon.)

  124. LarryFine says:

    “Government receipts rose 20.9 percent between 2001 and 2006, and they were up 35 percent between 2003 and 2006.”

    … and we all know what happened next… Nancy, Harry, and co. took over.

  125. karnos – I don’t even remember the details of what we are arguing anymore but your own sources gives some credence to the previous tax revenue issues we have talked about.

    Following the 2001/2003 tax cuts the revenues rose. The chart does not show 2007 but they were higher. I believe @2500bn, even 2008 was @2500bn.

    Even during the horrible early years of the Bush administration, revenues were on par and even higher that the wonderful, lollipop sucking days of the Clinton administration.

    Relatively higher (or lower) tax rates don’t necessarily prevent bad things from happening to an economy (lots of other variables dude). From your own source, tax revenues fell beginning about 2000. If you remember during that time we had the dot-com bubble pop, a corresponding fall in business outlays and investments, Enron, WorldCom, followed by 9/11.

    If anything you should be on your knees thanking the evil Bush for his vision, foresight and courage from the Pelosi/Reed stink-eye at reducing taxes.

    That’s it… I am taking donations for my altar to President Bush and Vice-President Cheney. It won’t be as big and grandiose as Reagan’s… a tear comes to my eye…. anyway…

    karnos – this is from your own source… yours man… and they got some of their information from the Congressional Budget Office.

    It is not the magnitude of your sources man, but what you do with them that counts.

  126. It’s a reading and sight deficiency….

    If one looks at the chart, it’s simple to see the drop of revenues right after the tax cuts.

    Now…here is where it really gets fun….

    “When we contacted the McCain campaign, aide Matt David responded in an e-mail that Sen. McCain was referring to the increase in federal revenues between 2001 and 2006. Government receipts rose 20.9 percent between 2001 and 2006, and they were up 35 percent between 2003 and 2006.

    McCain’s aide responded???? What was the factcheck for? To debunk McCain’s claim…..LOL

    Try to find the 35% jump during 2003, 2004 and 2005….it doesn’t exist.

  127. Let’s just try the first paragraph of the summary…

    “Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain has said that the major tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 have “increased revenues.” He also said that tax cuts in general increase revenues. That’s highly misleading.”

    HIGHLY MISLEADING. A favorite reading for Conservatives.

  128. aislander says:

    I don’t give a rip what McCain’s campaign said (and this is my last post on this subject since you refuse to accept reality–up is up, and down is down). I would have preferred a different candidate, although I did want him to be President if it would have kept Obama from the office.

    Not dealing with reality is considered a sign of insanity, but the classic definition is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. The latter is true of Keynesian stimuli and of engaging with KARDNOS on any subject…

  129. aislander says:

    cirrus: Revenues fall during a recession. Again–Sheesh!

  130. If one looks at the chart, it’s simple to see the drop of revenues right after the tax cuts.

    karnos – you have to know that things take just a little time to take effect. I am really trying hard here not ot think the “i” word karnos, but statements like this… come on man.

    About McCain – why are we now talking about McCain? This is supposedly about what I or you said not McCain??? WTF???

    Try to find the 35% jump during 2003, 2004 and 2005….it doesn’t exist.

    I didn’t make the claim… your own source did!!! Talk to them.

  131. LarryFine says:

    … he seems unable to stay on topic.

  132. old_benjamin says:

    Uh, I think the “system” was undermined when the guvment started using the SS revenue to buy votes in exchange for pork.

    The “full faith and credit of the the U.S. Government” is exactly what is at issue–or so say Moody’s and Standard and Poor.

    The governemnt of the U.S. is no more immune to bankruptcy than Greece, or the State of California.

  133. aislander says:

    Hey! old_benjamin! I was just wondering where you’ve been. I enjoy your opinions and the manner in which you express them…

  134. old_benjamin says:

    Likewise, aislander.

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