Social Security will last longer ...maybe


Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
Apr 8, 2004
South Texas~29N/98W Just West of Woman Hollering C
Last week, the Congressional Budget Office released a report suggesting that there will be a slightly lower actuarial deficit and a later insolvency date than had been previously estimated by the Social Security Administration (search) itself.

Opponents of Social Security reform immediately seized on the reported improvement in Social Security's finances to argue against taking action to fix the program. Rep. Robert Matsui, D-Calif., said the report proves "radical reforms are unnecessary." Barbara Kennelly of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security (search) said, "It would be absurd for policy-makers to drastically alter the program based on those numbers."

But one wonders if these critics of reform actually bothered to read the report. If they had, they would have seen that CBO's analysis is simply more bad news for the nation's troubled retirement program.

Among the report's findings:

The report, which uses more optimistic technical assumptions than the Social Security Administration, indeed shows a tiny improvement in Social Security's fiscal outlook, albeit at the price of lower benefits. For example, under CBO's assumptions, Social Security will begin running a deficit by 2019, one year later than estimated by SSA. That hardly seems like something worth celebrating.
Hey Mickeyd, your problem is that you believe all this
crap! You can prove anything with numbers
and I should know, I did it for years. You give me the
result you want............I'll give you the numbers to
back it up. Don't be so naive. It will hurt you in the
long run (or maybe even the short run).

John Galt
Congress will not 'fix' a problem until the very last minute. They're only concerned about getting re-elected, not in doing what's right.
Doing what's right could cost them their job.
Of course, if they screw me, I won't vote for them.
Most of the 'experts' that have a handle on the Social Security problem agree that the SS is probably solvent into the 2030's (and predictions beyond 10 years are useless) -

What they seem to agree on is that Medicare is the big bugaboo because it does not have a predicatable payout - the sky is the limit here. The medical industry has us in a bind here -

There seems to be no ceiling. This is Capitalism at it's finest - Whatever the market will bear! - How much will you pay to stay alive?
. . .Of course, if they screw me, I won't vote for them.

Hi Ray,

They are screwing you every day that passes without them addressing the problem. Do you vote against every incumbant?

I'm sorry for being so cynical, but it reminds me of a survey result I saw several years ago. The survey indicated that an overwhelming majority of voters believed that most US representatives were corrupt "pork barrel" politicians and needed to be voted out of office. The same survey found that a majority of voters believed that their Congressmen and Senators were good.

Of course I often vote for encumbants too. I often feel like I don't seem to have enough choices and it comes down to a lesser of evils. Maybe I should just take the John Galt strategy and quit voting entirely. :D
. . .There seems to be no ceiling. This is Capitalism at it's finest - Whatever the market will bear! - How much will you pay to stay alive?

Hi Cut-Throat,

I agree with most of what you said, but it seems to me like our medical industry has nothing to do with Capitalism. With all the AMA control and government regulation, we have a system with all the greed motives of capitalism but without any of the competition that would bring down prices.
Hello salaryguru! You have a good point about the
"medical industry", i.e. it is no longer really subject
to the laws of supply/demand and is not really free
enterprise. Other "industries" are following suit.
Free enterprise is on life support. The outlook
is grim.

John Galt
There seems to be no ceiling. This is Capitalism at it's finest - Whatever the market will bear! - How much will you pay to stay alive?

This question is taboo in our society. The only answer that seems acceptable is, whatever it takes. Of course, the beneficiary is rarely spending their own money.

Not that I have a better answer, and I expect that would be my attitude exactly were I fighting for my own life. Another great unanswered question is age. How much should we spend on a new liver for an 80 year old? Should that number change if the recepient is 20? Should it change if the recepient more or less destroyed their own liver over years and years of alcoholism?

None of these questions matter if you are only spending your own money. But in our current system, we need to start to get a grasp on some of this. We've been considering only the benefit side of the cost-benefit analyis when it comes to health care.
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