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The Coming Entitlement Meltdown

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Evan!

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I'm usually loathe to post anything remotely political, but this is downright terrifying. Essentially, our incredibly irresponsible government entitlement spending is killing this nation from the inside. As the Comptroller General says in the interview, our biggest threat is not a guy in a cave in some 3rd-world dirthole, it's our own government's short-sighted actions here at home.

Listen to this 60 Minutes interview, then read Ron Paul's thoughts on the matter. Prepare to get that nasty sinking feeling in your stomach as you realize just how screwed we are. Yes, he said fifty trillion. :(

[YOUTUBE]qaSuL9L_G2w[/YOUTUBE]

by Ron Paul, Dr. March 5, 2007

March 5, 2007

David Walker, Comptroller General at the Government Accountability Office, appeared on the show “60 Minutes” last evening to discuss the federal budget outlook. If you saw the show, you know that he painted a very sobering picture regarding the federal government’s ability to meet its future obligations.

If you didn’t see the show, Mr. Walker’s theme was simple: government entitlement spending is like a runaway freight train headed straight at American taxpayers. He singled out the Medicare prescription drug bill, passed by Congress at the end of 2003, as “probably the most fiscally irresponsible piece of legislation since the 1960s.”

When it comes to Social Security and Medicare, the federal government simply won’t be able to keep its promises in the future. That is the reality every American should get used to, despite the grand promises of Washington reformers. Our entitlement system can’t be reformed- it’s too late. And the Medicare prescription drug bill is the final nail in the coffin.

The financial impact of the drug bill cannot be overstated. Government projections that the program would cost $400 billion over the next decade were a joke, as everyone in Congress knew even as they voted for the bill. The real cost will be at least $1 trillion in the first decade alone, and much more in following decades as the American population grows older.

The Medicare “trust fund” is already badly in the red, and the only solution will be a dramatic increase in payroll taxes for younger workers. The National Taxpayers Union reports that Medicare will consume nearly 40% of the nation’s GDP after several decades because of the new drug benefit. That’s not 40% of federal revenues, or 40% of federal spending, but rather 40 % of the nation’s entire private sector output!

The politicians who get reelected by passing such incredibly shortsighted legislation will never have to answer to future generations saddled with huge federal deficits. Those generations are the real victims, as they cannot object to the debts being incurred today in their names.

The official national debt figure, now approaching $9 trillion, reflects only what the federal government owes in current debts on money already borrowed. It does not reflect what the federal government has promised to pay millions of Americans in entitlement benefits down the road. Those future obligations put our real debt figure at roughly fifty trillion dollars- a staggering sum that is about as large as the total household net worth of the entire United States. Your share of this fifty trillion amounts to about $175,000.

Don’t believe for a second that we can grow our way out of the problem through a prosperous economy that yields higher future tax revenues. If present trends continue, by 2040 the entire federal budget will be consumed by Social Security and Medicare alone. The only options for balancing the budget would be cutting total federal spending by about 60%, or doubling federal taxes. To close the long-term entitlement gap, the U.S. economy would have to grow by double digits every year for the next 75 years.

The answer to these critical financial realities is simple, but not easy: We must rethink the very role of government in our society. Anything less, any tinkering or “reform,” won’t cut it. A good start would be for Congress to repeal the Medicare prescription drug bill.
 

TheJadedDog

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I hate to break it to you but this is nothing new. Our entitlement system needs a major overhaul but no one is willing to either 1) pay for a better system or 2) cut benefits out of the system we currently have. Those are the only options to truly fix it.

Our system was designed at a time when people worked for the same company their entire career, got decent pensions, retired at 65, and died at 70. It just wasn't meant to be the sole source of income for people for 15+ years after they retire. There's also the coming retirement of the baby boomers which will result in fewer workers per person receiving entitlement benefits.

I'm 30 and I'm already well aware that there will be no Social Security check for me when I grow up. As I said there are only 2 solutions, pay more taxes, or get less benefits and nary shall the two sides meet.
 
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Evan!

Evan!

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Oh, I never said it was anything new---I just think more people need to have this at the forefront of their mind, rather than whether a particular candidate supports some meaningless issue.
 

Flyin' Lion

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Evan! said:
I'm usually loathe to post anything remotely political
This is sig-worthy.;)

I too do not expect a Social Security check when I retire. The only thing to do is save for the future and stop buying expensive cars/houses.

Evan!, with all of your political rantings, are you at least somewhat involved in politics or do you just enjoy inciting paranoia?
 
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Evan!

Evan!

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Flyin' Lion said:
Evan!, with all of your political rantings, are you at least somewhat involved in politics or do you just enjoy inciting paranoia?
Which "rantings" would those be?

There's a big difference between "inciting paranoia" and "posting an interview of the COMPTROLLER GENERAL where he says that we are f*cked", would you not agree? It's not paranoia when it's real.
 

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Shoot! I'm 55 and I don't expect SS. I'll qualify just as the system hits the cliff.
 

Flyin' Lion

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Evan! said:
Which "rantings" would those be?

There's a big difference between "inciting paranoia" and "posting an interview of the COMPTROLLER GENERAL where he says that we are f*cked", would you not agree? It's not paranoia when it's real.
You still didn't answer my question. Are you involved in politics other than posting about them on a discussion board?
 
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Evan!

Evan!

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Flyin' Lion said:
You still didn't answer my question. Are you involved in politics other than posting about them on a discussion board?
Officially? My involvement extends to being a member of the LP, writing my reps all the time, and various local stuff in C-ville. Why do you ask?
 

Seabee John

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It's common knowledge that there is no stability in the future of social security. Anyone under the age of 50 is planning and contributing to their own retirement. I have an IRA, and 401K and the Thrift Savings plan.

I have however expended into a 4th retirement plan... in the right circumstances it will out pace any market and overcome all volatility.

It's called the Guns & Ammo retirement plan. You save up all the guns and ammo you can before the tax & spend morons screw everything up. At that point, you have all the retirement power you want to get what you need.
 
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Evan!

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Seabee John said:
It's common knowledge that there is no stability in the future of social security. Anyone under the age of 50 is planning and contributing to their own retirement. I have an IRA, and 401K and the Thrift Savings plan.

I have however expended into a 4th retirement plan... in the right circumstances it will out pace any market and overcome all volatility.

It's called the Guns & Ammo retirement plan. You save up all the guns and ammo you can before the tax & spend morons screw everything up. At that point, you have all the retirement power you want to get what you need.
Damn, your 401k has gotta be hurting right now. What's the Thrift Savings Plan? I've got a nice IRA (woohoo, employer matching!), but I'd be interested in that too.

I'd also be interested in your 4th plan.
When China takes us over, I'll be in Costa Rico with a big house and a bunch of guns.
 

cheezydemon

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The only one who I have heard make any sense is Obama (uh oh political!!!!) I am not saying I support or oppose him. He just stated that americans that make over 97K do not pay a proportional amount of payroll and social security tax, and that equalling that out would fix the problem. Any one know about the legitimacy of that statement?

Preferably from people who don't make that much since they will be financially motivated to oppose it.
 

Chriso

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Man, it's sad that I'm now seeing reminders - on a daily basis - of just how ****ed we are.

There's no "better" time to be young and American! :mad:
 

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cheezydemon said:
The only one who I have heard make any sense is Obama (uh oh political!!!!) I am not saying I support or oppose him. He just stated that americans that make over 97K do not pay a proportional amount of payroll and social security tax, and that equalling that out would fix the problem. Any one know about the legitimacy of that statement?

Preferably from people who don't make that much since they will be financially motivated to oppose it.
Yeah, Obama wants to take more from the people who are already funding SS to the max. This year, the top out is $102K before they stop deducting SS tax from your paycheck. The problem is that there are loads of other people getting far more than they ever paid into the system and the folks paying the cap will get screwed in the end. Each year, more money is taken from them and given to others, some not even paying into the system at all. It is a massive Ponzi scheme. It would not be so bad but LBJ allowed congress to steal the surplus each year and and spend it on more vote buying schemes, so now the SS trust fund is nothing but a bunch of worthless IOUs in a filing cabinet in West Virginia. Congress plunders the difference from what is paid in and paid out each year, so instead of the money growing to take care of future generations, congress has spent it on other entitlement and pork programs to buy votes and contributions. It's outright theft when you borrow money with no intention of paying it back.
 

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Seabee John said:
I have however expended into a 4th retirement plan... in the right circumstances it will out pace any market and overcome all volatility.

It's called the Guns & Ammo retirement plan. You save up all the guns and ammo you can before the tax & spend morons screw everything up. At that point, you have all the retirement power you want to get what you need.
+1. I'm glad I live in Texas for the moment.
 

srm775

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Seabee John said:
It's called the Guns & Ammo retirement plan. You save up all the guns and ammo you can before the tax & spend morons screw everything up. At that point, you have all the retirement power you want to get what you need.
Is that federally and state tax exempt now, or when you begin to draw on the plan?:ban:
 

Seabee John

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Evan! said:
Damn, your 401k has gotta be hurting right now. What's the Thrift Savings Plan? I've got a nice IRA (woohoo, employer matching!), but I'd be interested in that too.

I'd also be interested in your 4th plan.
When China takes us over, I'll be in Costa Rico with a big house and a bunch of guns.
Thrift Savings is a government employees' IRA type set up. It's like an ira in the fact that you get to choose what % of your money is in what type of investments. My 401K has like $270. I rolled it over previously, but had two more automatic payments deposited before they stopped. I just haven't moved it yet.


As far as my Guns &Ammo FRA (Freedom Recovery Act) The way I see it, there will come a time in the very near future where the beast that is the government will not be able to support it's appetite. AT that point what else can you do, but defend your interests.
 

Seabee John

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srm775 said:
Is that federally and state tax exempt now, or when you begin to draw on the plan?:ban:
It's the one plan I hope to never use, but it will be most definitely Gov. exempt, if I ever have to use it.
 

srm775

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cheezydemon said:
He just stated that americans that make over 97K do not pay a proportional amount of payroll and social security tax, and that equalling that out would fix the problem. Any one know about the legitimacy of that statement?

Preferably from people who don't make that much since they will be financially motivated to oppose it.

And those that don't make that much are just as financially motivated. Obviously they'd prefer for those making more to pay more.
 

TheJadedDog

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cheezydemon said:
The only one who I have heard make any sense is Obama (uh oh political!!!!) I am not saying I support or oppose him. He just stated that americans that make over 97K do not pay a proportional amount of payroll and social security tax, and that equalling that out would fix the problem. Any one know about the legitimacy of that statement?

Preferably from people who don't make that much since they will be financially motivated to oppose it.
This statement is in fact correct. People making over 97k are actually paying a lower proportion of their overall earnings. What he does not mention is that they are paying a significantly higher percentage of their earnings.

I don't really think this is the problem though. The real issue is that we, as a Nation, seem unable to understand that if you want something you have to pay for it. If we want entitlement benefits we will need some sort of taxes to get them. If we don't want to pay, we shouldn't get the benefits.
 
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Evan!

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TheJadedDog said:
I don't really think this is the problem though. The real issue is that we, as a Nation, seem unable to understand that if you want something you have to pay for it. If we want entitlement benefits we will need some sort of taxes to get them. If we don't want to pay, we shouldn't get the benefits.
Righty-O. The proliferation of a handout/entitlement-based government system has led a great many people to think that the government is this big thing that has an infinite bank account and that they deserve a big piece of that pie. In effect, entitlements have fostered reliance on the government.
 

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I've never relied on SS being there when the time comes for retirement. I have a decently matched 401K and IRA currently running and I'll have some stock options come up this Spring that I need to look into. Retirement for most of Generation X and beyond is going to have to be self-funded. Good thing I'm saving.


On a sidenote, should the day come that the Guns and Ammo fund needs to be utilized in full, I'm hooking up with you Seebee John. I'll bring my own guns, brats, and beer. :D
 
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Evan!

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I'm not counting on SS either, but as the Comptroller says in the interview, the real probalo is medicare---which costs 5x as much.
 

shunoshi

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Evan! said:
I'm not counting on SS either, but as the Comptroller says in the interview, the real probalo is medicare---which costs 5x as much.
That is a major concern. Good thing I shell out all that medicare tax, right? /sigh Thinking about this makes me consider moving to Canada.
 

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cheezydemon said:
The only one who I have heard make any sense is Obama (uh oh political!!!!) I am not saying I support or oppose him. He just stated that americans that make over 97K do not pay a proportional amount of payroll and social security tax, and that equalling that out would fix the problem. Any one know about the legitimacy of that statement?

Preferably from people who don't make that much since they will be financially motivated to oppose it.
Yea lets throw all our money into a pot and divide it all up equally between everyone, that way everyone pays the same taxes and get the same benefits. It would also give both the wealthy and the poor less incentive to work hard and make more money :drunk:
 
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Evan!

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SuperiorBrew said:
Yea lets throw all our money into a pot and divide it all up equally between everyone, that way everyone pays the same taxes and get the same benefits. It would also give both the wealthy and the poor less incentive to work hard and make more money :drunk:
From each according to his ability, to each according to his need...right?
Ain't socialism grand?
 

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shunoshi said:
I've never relied on SS being there when the time comes for retirement. I have a decently matched 401K and IRA currently running and I'll have some stock options come up this Spring that I need to look into. Retirement for most of Generation X and beyond is going to have to be self-funded. Good thing I'm saving.


On a sidenote, should the day come that the Guns and Ammo fund needs to be utilized in full, I'm hooking up with you Seebee John. I'll bring my own guns, brats, and beer. :D
Wow... getting my own beer brewing posse together... LOL better keep it under wraps in case Big Brother is watching. We'll meet at the secret hiding place and talk... don't forget the super secret password!
 

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So the real question for the moment, is when are we gonna break the news to our parents and grandparents. We keep saying that the young working American is going to be the one to suffer the consequences of the collapse of SS and medicare.... But that's not entirely true. We, the working class, are preparing for the collapse... But my gramma never intended to live as long as she is. The bulk of her income has been from the government for 20 years, and she's still in great shape. Eventually, someone is going to pull the plug. The people who will suffer the most are those that are already dependent on the system. You and I will be fine, since we're already planning on not having this system. She is one of the people who were promised paradise, and like the all guys/gals that have watched their pensions dissapear, will be left in the cold. So do you really think any of our current politicians have the balls to be the one to turn off the check printing presses?
 

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I've lost over 10K in my TSP just over the past 2 weeks...lost several more thousands last stock market hickup...I'll NEVER get any of that back...:mad:

I'll be retiring under the old Civil Service Retirement System in 18 months when I turn 55.

Leaving my $$$ in TSP for another 10 years without touching it should leave me on firm ground.
 

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homebrewer_99 said:
I've lost over 10K in my TSP just over the past 2 weeks...lost several more thousands last stock market hickup...I'll NEVER get any of that back...:mad: .
You are not alone. I've lost over 30K in my 401K in the last 3 months. Been there, done that. It will be back though. It always has. The good thing is that units costs are much lower and I'm able to buy more with my contributions at the moment. Gotta think positive since I won't get a pension and SS will be bankrupt or they move the eligablity age to 85. :confused:
 

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shafferpilot said:
So do you really think any of our current politicians have the balls to be the one to turn off the check printing presses?
Absolutely not a single one has the cajones. They will just let it spiral and keep taking more and more till we start tossing empty beer cases into Boston harbor (no one in their right mind would toss full cases of beer into the harbor to simulate the Boston Tea Party).
 

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EdWort said:
Absolutely not a single one has the cajones. They will just let it spiral and keep taking more and more till we start tossing empty beer cases into Boston harbor (no one in their right mind would toss full cases of beer into the harbor to simulate the Boston Tea Party).
well maybe full cases of lone star light...lol
 

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Or Beer 30 Light. There are a couple other cheapo banditos in WI that would qualify too, I just can't remember them.
 

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shunoshi said:
That is a major concern. Good thing I shell out all that medicare tax, right? /sigh Thinking about this makes me consider moving to Canada.
Tough luck, I heard about 2 months ago that an actuarial study by McGill University found that the retirement fund of Quebec would be empty by 2050 at the current rate. I'm not sure for other provinces, but everyone other than Alberta (Oil capital of Canada) is probably in the same boat. One of the good things is that Health Care is free, but we will have the same problem as government spending for healing the elders will just be too high, and eventually we're probably just gonna have to pull the plug after a certain age. Would a politician ever tell you that now, nope. Didn't even hear anyone talk about the retirement fund being empty (even the opposition parties) cause everyone knows we're f***ed up.
 

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EdWort said:
You are not alone. I've lost over 30K in my 401K in the last 3 months. Been there, done that. It will be back though. It always has. The good thing is that units costs are much lower and I'm able to buy more with my contributions at the moment. Gotta think positive since I won't get a pension and SS will be bankrupt or they move the eligablity age to 85. :confused:
I'll start getting my pension in 18 months...no bills and 50+K a year...:ban: :rockin: :mug:
 

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EdWort said:
Absolutely not a single one has the cajones. They will just let it spiral and keep taking more and more till we start tossing empty beer cases into Boston harbor (no one in their right mind would toss full cases of beer into the harbor to simulate the Boston Tea Party).
It really wouldn't make any difference if any of them had the stones for it or not, we'd vote them out of office immediately as soon as they tried to cut off the gravy train.

We The People, dudes... Its nice to blame politicians, but we get what we deserve.
 

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Mutilated1 said:
...We The People, dudes... Its nice to blame politicians, but we get what we deserve...
Not true...do away with the electoral college and you'll get the most popular candidate in there...

America has the best government Big Business can buy...they are all owned by somebody...:mad: All they do is tell us what they think we want to hear...

I think we should DEMAND a citizens referendum that requires all politicians be hooked up to a polygraph whenever they open their mouths...no difference than an ankle bracelet for criminals. ;)
 

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homebrewer_99 said:
Not true...do away with the electoral college and you'll get the most popular candidate in there...
Yep, voted in by the two states with the largest number of people dependant upon the nanny state (New York & California).

Luckily we are a representative republic and not a democracy or we would have gone the way of Rome years ago.

"A Democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only last until the citizens discover they can vote themselves largesse out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that the Democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy, to be followed by a dictatorship, and then a monarchy." Prof. Alexander Tytler
We are nearing the point where the takers outnumber the producers.
 

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cheezydemon said:
The only one who I have heard make any sense is Obama (uh oh political!!!!) I am not saying I support or oppose him. He just stated that americans that make over 97K do not pay a proportional amount of payroll and social security tax, and that equalling that out would fix the problem. Any one know about the legitimacy of that statement?

Preferably from people who don't make that much since they will be financially motivated to oppose it.
He is correct people who make over 97K do not pay a proportional amount of payroll tax, in fact it is highly disproportionate.

Basically the top 5% pay about 55% of income taxes. The top 10% pay about 66% and the top 50 % pay over 95% of income tax. Imagine the bottom 50% only pay 4 - 5 % of income taxes ! Now that is disproportionate and grotesque.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/04in06tr.xls

In a democracy once 50% or more realize that they can vote themselves their neighbors money ( stealing without the guts to do it oneself ), how can you survive?

Now they discuss giving a tax "rebate" of up to $ 1,200 dollars to those WHO DON'T PAY ANY INCOME TAXES.
 

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homebrewer_99 said:
Not true...do away with the electoral college and you'll get the most popular candidate in there...
The fact that doing away with the electoral college is an extremely bad idea aside...

Having the most popular candidate in there will solve precisely squat. The most popular candidate is more than likely worse than the most unpopular.

People are going to vote in the politicians who promise them the most, and the politicians once they are voted in are going to spend like there is no tomorrow to justify their existance and protect their job.... Thats the problem and that will not change if you elect them via the electoral college or a call in show like American Idol.

:mug:
 
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