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Old 07-12-2011, 10:09 AM   #41
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Whether we've had a surplus for the last couple decades is a matter of semantics and definitions, I think. Depending on how one defines the terms -- and either way is defensible in some ways -- either we have a surplus, or we spent it all to bring the budget closer to balance year after year.
Doesn't seem like semantics to me. Calling the SS surplus a mater of semantics seems to me to be a technique used by SS opponents to justify doing away with it. The surplus was generated on the basis of a specific legislative promise and was tied to substantial taxes on main stream level wages (15%) above and beyond income taxes. We payees lent that money to the Government to pay for wars, enable tax breaks, etc. To now treat that loan as just a part of the general deficit that should be made up by reforming SS itself is, in effect, to retroactively convert the payroll tax to a very regressive income tax. And proponents of doing this don't want even modest (Clinton era) tax rates to apply to the rich? Shameful.
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:16 AM   #42
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Doesn't seem like semantics to me. Calling the SS surplus a mater of semantics seems to me to be a technique used by SS opponents to justify doing away with it.
Agreeing to disagree and moving on. It's not always an attempt to derail SS. It's sometimes a request to get it off budget and stop using it to mask the true size of deficits (i.e. without the SS surpluses the "balanced" Clinton budgets were $100B+ deficits -- better than most of what we've seen, but IMO not truly balanced). That's all I have.
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:28 AM   #43
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If govt has proven anything, it is they squander away surpluses when they occur as badly as most lottery winners.............
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:11 PM   #44
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If govt has proven anything, it is they squander away surpluses when they occur as badly as most lottery winners.............
I remember when we had the budget surplus. The Dems were talking about how we should "spend" the surplus! The Reps were saying we needed to cut taxes. (I was saying pay down the debt, but I never heard the pols saying that). Not surprising where we are now. I was happiest with the tax cuts because I was figuring I'd be paying down the debt in the future and at least this way I'd have some extra money to do it. Hopefully we can make some progress on the deficit before things really go bad.
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