Again, Bush Misleads into F****ing Folly

From Factcheck.org (a non-partisan consumer advocate effort)
President Bush and Vice President Cheney have told audiences that Social Security faces an $11 trillion shortfall if nothing is done to fix the current system. But they fail to mention that this is over the course of the “infinite future.” Over the next 75 years — still practically a lifetime — the shortfall is projected to be $3.7 trillion.
The “infinite” projection is one that the American Academy of Actuaries says is likely to mislead the public into thinking the system “is in far worse financial condition than is actually indicated,” and therefore should not be used to explain the long-term outlook.

Heh. And even better than that, the following from an email:
The Center for Disease Control has issued a warning about a new virulent strain of sexually transmitted disease. This disease is contracted through dangerous and high risk behavior. The disease is called Gonorrhea lecthim (pronounced “gonna re-elect him”).
Many victims have contracted it after having been screwed by the Bush-Cheney-Rove-Ashcroft administration for the past four years and failing to have taken adequate measures to protect themselves.
Cognitive sequellae {sic — and I couldn’t find a definition] of individuals infected with Gonorrhea lecthim include:
Antisocial personality disorder traits; delusions of grandeur with a messianic flavor; cognitive perseveration; inability to incorporate new information into a rigid idie fixee; xenophobia; inability to accept responsibility for actions; and a strong propensity for categorical, all-or-nothing thinking.
This epidemic is out of control. MMWR reports it has already resulted in brain death in over 59,000,000 Americans. Excessive exposure to trailer parks, country gospel music, and yellow ribbon asphyxiation are thought to be contributing factors. New CDC Director Archbishop Burke has ordered a halt to research into the disease after determining the disease is incurable and is merely God’s will.
Apparently, however, at least 55,000,000 of us have natural immunity and are poised to lead a brief, but exciting life right after the rapture begins and our afflicted fellow Americans ascend to their eternal reward.
[Editor’s Note: I put in the links. I also apologize for the negative associations overlayed on trailer parks, country gospel music, and yellow ribbons, but the whole piece was just too good to ignore. And it sure does seem like those associations with the recent election are valid nonetheless.]

6 thoughts on “Again, Bush Misleads into F****ing Folly

  1. The world can be seen as a complete mess at times but the love and our creativity will save us or mutate us.. Look at som Art Prints relax and hope that the madness will end soon. How come the USA really believes the myth of Terror that is being used to manipulate and beguile themselves.. If you can keep the people you represent in terror then you will be able to control them completly.

  2. Yes, Mark, I believe that is old news to the 50+% of us that didn’t vote for the fear-monger; however, this government manipulation of propaganda to rip us off in even more creative ways, using our tax dollars, by the way, is just pouring salt into our already festering wounds.
    We have become the unwilling participants in the meticulous Rove House of Design brand of a bloodless coup.
    Spread the word! I dare ya.

  3. It is funny that now all of a sudden there is no problem with social security. Why was Bill Clinton to worried about it when in his state of the union address 1/19/99 he stated “First, and above all, we must save Social Security for the 21st century.”
    Social Security is NOT solvent in it’s current state, Clinton told us that and Gore said we need a “Lockbox” to fix it. However, now that President Bush wants to advance a real solution, suddenly to liberals, there is no problem.
    Do the math, if the current social in-security tax stolen from a 22 year worker who makes only 23,000 a year (and never gets a raise)and is invested at 7% until that person reaches 65, there will be $961,000.00 and an anual cash flow of $65,000.00 per year without touching principle. 7% is very conservative over the long haul; the stock marker averages 10% a year. With social in-security, the most a retiring worker today can hope for is what $900.00 a month?
    The only way to make Social Security solvent is either raise taxes and lower benefits, (which helps nobody) or fix the problem with mathmatically sound ideas. I personally choose the later, I think the Federal Government steals enough of my hard earned money.

  4. In his State of the Union Address, President Bush said again that the Social Security system is headed for “bankruptcy,” a term that could give the wrong idea. Actually, even if it goes “bankrupt” a few decades from now, the system would still be able to pay about three-quarters of the benefits now promised.
    Bush also made his proposed private Social Security accounts sound like a sure thing, which they are not. He said they “will” grow fast enough to provide a better return than the present system. History suggests that will be so, but nobody can predict what stock and bond markets will do in the future.
    Bush left out any mention of what workers would have to give up to get those private acounts — a proportional reduction or offset in guaranteed Social Security retirement benefits. He also glossed over the fact that money in private accounts would be “owned” by workers only in a very limited sense — under strict conditions which the President referred to as “guidelines.” Many retirees, and possibly the vast majority, wouldn’t be able to touch their Social Security nest egg directly, even after retirement, because the government would take some or all of it back and convert it to a stream of payments guaranteed for life.
    Click the link below for the full article:
    http://www.factcheck.org/article305m.html

  5. This article from Factcheck.org states that if nothing is done, social security will be able to pay 75% of current promised benefits through 2042. This is the point. Benefits need to be reduced – 25% by Factcheck.org’s calculations or taxes need to be raised to support current levels of commitment. Another problem is the cost of living will continue to increase and we are talking about 75% of TODAY’S benefits.
    Therefore, by your named source, the system IS broken. Bush did not mislead anyone on social security. The title of this entry, “Again, Bush misleads into F***ing folly”, is inflammatory and without fact.
    Where are the solutions from the Democrats on this issue? I have heard nothing.

  6. In case you don’t have a subscription to the Chicago Tribune and can’t get to the article where the following appears here:
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0502060425feb06,1,6185606.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true
    Q: So how would Bush’s plan be different from traditional Social Security?
    A: Bush’s plan, like Social Security as it originally was envisioned, seeks to maintain an income floor but at the same time give workers choices that might generate wealth. In 2011, when the plan would take full effect, workers who were born after 1949 would have the option of annually investing as much as 4 percent of their wages, to a maximum of $1,000, in an individual account. The other 8 percent of their wages would be invested in the current system. Workers 55 and older would remain in the current system. (Under the gradual phase-in, workers born between 1950 and 1965 can participate in 2009, and those born before 1979 can participate in 2010.) Over time, the amount that could be invested in the accounts would grow slowly, by a little more than $100 a year.
    Q: Can I use the money for any kind of investments?
    A: No. Under the plan, you would choose from a small number of diversified funds, all relatively conservative. They would be administered by the government and modeled after the Thrift Savings Plan now available to federal workers. The standard option would be a “life cycle” fund, which reduces the percentage invested in stocks as you get closer to retirement.
    Q: What happens when I retire?
    A: Upon retirement, workers would be required to trade in their investment portfolios for an annuity so that a combination of traditional benefits and their annuity payments would meet the poverty level, which was about $11,400 for a couple older than 65 in 2004. But if that income stream is higher, under Bush’s proposal, retirees could use the additional money in their accounts as they wished, such as continuing to invest, increasing the size of the annuity payment or taking a lump-sum payment.
    Q: What if you decide that you don’t like individual accounts after you started investing?
    A: You can choose to redirect the money to Treasury bonds, which are the investment vehicle of the traditional Social Security system. They currently earn about 3 percent a year. A worker opting for individual accounts gains if he makes more than that 3 percent rate and loses if he falls below that level.
    Q: Would Bush’s plan give me more in benefits than the current system?
    A: That’s unclear. It would depend on whether the performance of the investments over time exceeds the benefit reductions necessary to bring the traditional system into balance. Under a variety of scenarios, the benefit cuts could be dramatic, but administration officials also say that the current level of benefits is unsustainable in any case. Workers can choose to stay in the traditional system, but the White House has said those benefits will be reduced by an unknown amount.
    Q: What if the stock market swoons and my total benefit is below the poverty level?
    A: The administration has not addressed that scenario. Under some proposals, there can be a poverty benefit. But at the same time, officials do not want to reward bad investment choices.
    Q: Wouldn’t creating individual accounts require more government debt?
    A: Yes. If the accounts are funded out of existing payroll taxes, as the president proposed, then creating the accounts would require Social Security to tap the trust funds even sooner. That is because the system would need to keep paying current beneficiaries while also funding nascent accounts for people who probably will not retire for decades. The borrowing costs of Bush’s plan would be more than $1 trillion in the first 10 years of a fully phased plan, and then $3.5 trillion in the next 10 years. The White House believes the costs will even out over the next 75 years–that any debt incurred will be balanced by gains later–but in the short term the country’s debt burden would rise. The costs would really begin to soar about the time Social Security is projected to begin withdrawing money from the trust funds.
    Q: Are there other ways to deal with a financing gap in Social Security?
    A: In the past, payroll taxes have been increased and benefits have been reduced (such as raising the retirement age). Bush has ruled out any increase in taxes. Participants in an individual-account program would be required to accept some benefit cuts to help reduce the transition costs, but the administration has not revealed the size or scope of those cuts. Administration officials acknowledge that individual accounts themselves would not solve the long-term financing gap in Social Security, so other, still-unannounced steps would be needed.
    AND, as CNN reports here:
    http://money.cnn.com/2004/12/27/retirement/surplus/
    For two decades, the Social Security system has been creating a “surplus,” and that reserve is widely thought to be available to make up for shortfalls projected to begin in 2018, when more money has been promised to beneficiaries than will be taken in through payroll taxes.
    But that surplus isn’t a pile of cash waiting to be used. In fact, the money — $1.5 trillion plus interest to date — has already been spent.
    In accordance with the law, the extra money Social Security takes in is loaned to the U.S. Treasury, in exchange for which it receives special-issue Treasury bonds. The actual cash goes into the government’s general revenue pool.
    The bonds are special because, unlike other government bonds, they can’t be bought or sold on the open market, and they can be redeemed at any time at face value.
    But just like other government bonds, the special-issue Treasurys pay interest and are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, which has never defaulted on its debt.
    When Social Security looks to tap those special securities, starting in 2018, the government will have to come up with a way to pay the money.
    SO, AGAIN, IT’S NOT THE WAY SOCIAL SECURITY IS SET UP. IT’S THE WAY CERTAIN ADMINISTRATIONS SHORT-SIGHTEDLY MISDIRECTED THE FUNDS SUPPORTING IT.

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