Originally Posted by asleep.at.the.oars
Social Security money isn't held in trust, it's a pyramid scheme where current retirees collect from current workers. The "trust" is an accounting fiction resulting from imbalance between the revenue and expense over the past couple decades that has already been spent, and that balance is now negative thanks to the baby boom starting to retire. If Social Security were removed from the unified budget today, either taxes would rise or benefits would fall.
Demanding a balanced budget is a call for higher taxes, unless you are willing to call for specific cuts. I would cut Medicare & Medicaid (i.e. institute death panels) and defense. I would change Social Security to a means tested welfare program and include food stamps for recipients. I would increase spending on early childhood and environmental protections. I would tax all income as income, except for capital gains from actual venture capital, and eliminate all deductions (likely increasing basil's taxes...). I would eliminate business taxes (big companies dodge them anyway).
I would NOT whine about how "Federal" money is actually "our" money, and that "they" should just somehow do it better, but without being willing to give specifics of what I want changed.
Well, your look at Social Security is interesting, but in my opinion, misguided. See, when it was set up in 1934 Social Security was a contract of sorts between Government and the labor force. The deal was, during your working life you pay into the system, and so does your employer. Then when you retire, you collect a pension based on your earnings.
And the system has worked well since then, doomsday predictions aside. What started most of the problems was President Johnson "unifying" the Federal budget (I.E. he grabbed the trust programs, like Social Security and unemployment and rolled them into the general budget to hide the cost of the Viet Nam War). Since then, administrations have seen fit to "borrow" from the trusts to fund stuff.
Social Security works as designed. It needs to be kept what it is; a separate trust and program relying on sound financial basics. If raising taxes is required, so be it. I don't think so, but then everyone else loves to scream about how Social Security is a failure. It isn't. Think about this; the baby boomers have been paying into Social Security since about the 60's. Now, 50 years later, they are collecting. The money should be there for them. If it isn't it's because someone (Government) has been spending it somewhere besides on pensions.
A balanced budget doesn't have to mean just higher taxes or just cuts in programs. Probably both, but again, that's not my job, it's Congresses job along with OMB.
Prioritizing expense is a basic budget strategy; what must we pay, what should we pay, want would we like to pay, and what do we not care about. When times are tough, maybe only the must pays get paid. In good times, you can have a new bridge to your golf course or whatever.
The point is, whatever level we tax at, and whatever we spend it on has to balance. Otherwise, we end up
And I've given specifics. Read what I've posted.