Archive for the ‘Social Security’ Category

Public Pensions and Social Security

The theory is that for public employees not covered by Social Security their government pensions should be higher (as should the amount they contribute towards their pension).  Since we have the raw data from actuarial reports* and have now found a website that lists states where public employees are not covered by Social Security:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia (certain local governments)
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • Ohio
  • Rhode Island (certain local governments)
  • Texas (certain local governments)

we can test that theory.  As it turns out the top eight states where retirees receive the largest average payouts are all in the list above.  State number 9 is…

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Disinherited

Subheading of the book being ‘How Washington Is Betraying America’s Young’ and Part I is on “Unfunded Promises” and “Paying for Parents’ Health Care”.

Excerpts follow:

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Debasing Entitlement Reform Debate

The problem with two guys debating issues they have little practical grasp of in a structured format with moderators intent on looking good is that they have no fear of being asked the logical follow-up question to most of their ill-considered points:

What are you – an idiot?

because either the moderators do not know enough to be confident in posing it or the rapid-fire nature of these entertainments leaves no time for reflection.

Such was the case with Chris Christie debating Mike Huckabee on entitlement reform where each made several cringe-worthy remarks obvious only to those who like do a little thinking while listening:

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Loony Left on Social Security

dore

I was enjoying “Failed States” by Noam Chomsky until that final chapter on Social Security* which the left seems to have adopted as their mindless defense of the status quo.  So it is with “Your County Is Just Not That Into You” by Jimmy Dore which made some good points along with one of the dumbest arguments yet for ignoring the impending implosion of Social Security and Medicare.

Below are excerpts from my Memorial Day reading including that referenced inanity:

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The People’s Pension: Designed in secret with bad assumptions

Erica Laursen’s new book about the recent (last 30 years) history of Social Security is a compendium of prior research that provides valuable historical and political perspective on the evolution of a program that is about to abet in the bankruptcy of this country.

As with other books I mark pithy passages as I’m reading and the first three tell a disturbing tale:

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Social Security Propaganda

Robert Greenwald is a great documentary filmmaker. Riefenstahl has nothing on him.

In his new film he paints the Koch brothers as racist megalomaniacs out to bust unions, suppress voters, and destroy the middle class so they can pollute the planet.  I don’t know about all that but I have my qualms when he kicks off his film with a brickbat against those who are worried about the solvency of Social Security and want to do something about it:
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First, let’s kill all the actuaries

From “The Clash of Generations” by Laurence J. Kotlikoff and Scott Burns, page 4:

Second, we’ll suggest that Shakespeare had it wrong when he said, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” The right statement is, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the accountants.”  Government accountants have concealed Uncle Sam’s Ponzi scheme since its inception by focusing attention on the official debt.  But they knew, or should have known, as a matter of economic theory, that official debt is a figment of our language, not a meaningful measure of our fiscal affairs.  As a result, they’ve made sure, with the help of the politicians, that the public (and most economists) would ignore the rapidly metastasizing economic tumor associated with our living beyond our children’s means.

In referring to the Social Security/Medicare Ponzi scheme the authors could have easily wished bloody annihilation upon actuaries as accountants.

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