RE: O/T: GOP Eyes Changes to Food-Stamp Program

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On 02/15/2015 10:33 PM, Baxter wrote:

OK, you are aware that these SS "special Treasury bonds" account for $2.7 trillion of the national debt and that the bonds in all the "trust funds add up to around $5 trillion of the debt.
So, a couple of questions:
1. What happened to the actual tax money that these bonds were traded for?
2. When the "trust" funds need to redeem these bonds for cash to pay benefits, where will the federal government get that cash?
3. Is this $2.7 trillion enough to cover future SS liabilities and if not, how much more will be needed?
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I'm absolutely aware of this.

Your question makes no sense. The SS tax money was invested in the most secure bonds on the face of the planet.

"The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned."

Future liabilites of SS are not fixed. SS is prohibited by law from borrowing. There are 5 remedies for the current forcasted shortfall: http://tinyurl.com/mca4xcq
---------- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Tuesday proposed raising Social Security taxes to extend the life of the entitlement program and increase benefits.
In a 12-page report, Sanders, the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee and possible presidential candidate in 2016, argued Social Security's solvency problems could be solved if lawmakers simply lifted the cap on the tax that funds the program.
?If Republicans are serious about extending the solvency of Social Security beyond 2033, I hope they will join me in scrapping the cap that allows multi-millionaires to pay a much smaller percentage of their income into Social Security than the middle class,? Sanders said.
http://tinyurl.com/qyx2qn8
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On 02/16/2015 08:46 AM, Baxter wrote:

You're avoiding the question: What did the federal government do with the money they received from the SS trust fund in exchange for the bonds?

Sigh, once again avoiding the question.

You can lead a horse to water, but if he only drinks cool-aid...
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It doesn't matter what they did with those dollars any more than it matters what the bank does with the dollars you deposit from your paycheck.
Yes, we know, you're trying to claim those dollars are spent - and that you don't want to pay them back, you want to reneg on legitimate debt.
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On 02/16/2015 11:08 AM, Baxter wrote:

The point is that either the feds will need to borrow more to pay the SS adminstration, thereby converting the intra-governmental debt to real debt or they will have to tax US taxpayers a second time for the same purpose to get the money or a combination of both.

Who's this "We" Kemo Sabe? The part about those dollars being spent is very true, but your mind reading abilities are sadly lacking.
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Debt is debt whether you owe to a family member or to a third party.

No, it is not "second time". They should have levied a tax for whatever it was they spent those borrowed dollars on. OR they could have borrowed that money from a third party to begin with.

And you're the one who is objecting to paying back those dollars borrowed from the SS Trust Fund. You're the one trying to portray those SS Trust Fund dollars as being spent and not recoverable.
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On 02/16/2015 03:29 PM, Baxter wrote:

So far, the only sensible thing you have said.

We're talking about SS as it exists under current law, not what should have or could have been done. Suppose you made a payment to a contractor to add a room to your house. A few months later he comes back to you and says he spent the money on a Hawaiian vacation, but all you have to do is give him some more cash and he'll get right with it. I'm sure you'd have no objections.

Horse Shit! Go back through any of my responses in this thread and quote what you just said.
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Nope. You have a contract. The contractor has to borrow the money from somewhere else to finish your job - you do NOT have to give him more cash, and he DOES have to finish the work. Perhaps you're some sort of sucker who would give the contractor more money, but in the Real World, real people call their lawyers.
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On 02/16/2015 11:35 PM, Baxter wrote:

A more apt analogy would be the contractor going to my kids and demanding they replace the money he had already spent.
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And the same legal situation holds - the contractor is still responsible. You can use a bank anology too - SS puts surplus funds into the bank, the bank MUST allow SS to withdraw those funds when it needs/wants to.
We've heard this claim for decades, and it is nothing but a con. That you fall for it does not speak well of you - you should never hire a contractor.
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On 2/17/2015 8:46 AM, Baxter wrote:

Do you really believe that the government has surplus funds to put into SS? Federal taxes and SS taxes are paid to the government with one check. The money actually goes to where ever it is needed the most but owes countless debtors including the SS division. There is no surplus when your owe more than your income.
I think it is pretty common knowledge that the government prints extra money to pay its debts, umteen trillion now, and as a result we see the dollar buy less and less.
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wrote:

The problem is that through all the smoke and mirrors bookkeeping, SS trust funds have been used to offset the deficit spending. So if you remove SS fund from the equation, you are now more indebt being an American.
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On 2/17/2015 9:16 AM, Markem wrote:

Exactly, smoke and mirrors.
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The amound of debt does not change - only to whom the debt is owed. 'Course the government has other options: it can change policies so that the economy grows and brings in more tax revenues, it can increase tax rates, it can end tax breaks, it can print money, etc.
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----------- For the Last Time, the Social Security Trust Fund Is Real
Now, suppose this surplus had been invested in corporate bonds. What exactly would that mean? It means that workers would be giving money to corporations, who would turn around and spend it. In return, the Social Security trust fund would receive bonds that represent promises to repay the money later out of the company's cash flow. In effect, it gives workers a claim on the cash flows of the company at a later date in time. When that time comes, the company would have to pay up, which would make it less profitable. If the company was already unprofitable, it would make their deficit even worse.
If that's what had happened, there would be no confusion about the trust fund. Everyone agrees that corporate bonds are real things, and that the corporations who sell them have an obligation to pay them back, even though it means less money for shareholder dividends.
Now let's change a few words in this story. What actually happened is that the Social Security surplus was invested in treasury bonds. What does that mean? It means that workers gave money to the federal government, which turned around and spent it. In return, the Social Security trust fund received bonds that represented promises to repay the money later out of the federal government's income tax receipts. In effect, it gave workers a claim on the income tax receipts of the government at a later date in time. When that time came, the federal government would have to pay up, which would make it less profitable. If the government was already running a deficit, it would make the deficit even worse.
These two stories are identical. Treasury bonds are real things: They are promises to repay money at a later date out of the government's cash flow. The federal government has an obligation to pay them back even if it has to raise income taxes to do it.
http://tinyurl.com/bvbealr
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On Tue, 17 Feb 2015 15:39:43 +0000 (UTC), Baxter

For the last time, the only thing in the "Social Security Trust Fund" is a gigantic IOU that can be canceled at the whim of Congress. You are not owed a damned thing but your children (scary thought) will certainly pay.

You're more clueless than even I had suspected.
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snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote in

Insofar as SS is not written into the Constitution, you're correct - BUT, the right-wing has been trying to cancel SS for over 50 years and has only succeeded in ending the careers of many of those politicians. Do you really imagine that Obama wouldn't veto such a bill? Do you really imagine that the Senate Dems wouldn't fillibuster such a bill? Do you imagine that the voters wouldn't rise up in rebellion? Do you really imagine that Congress would destroy Laws regarding Bonds and financial contracts? Meantime, the Social Security Trust Fund is settled law and can only be dealt with by lawful means.
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Actually - in Perry v. United States, the SCOTUS decided: ------------ The Fourteenth Amendment, in its fourth section, explicitly declares: "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, . . . shall not be questioned." While this provision was undoubtedly inspired by the desire to put beyond question the obligations of the Government issued during the Civil War, its language indicates a broader connotation. We regard it as confirmatory of a fundamental principle, which applies as well to the government bonds in question, and to others duly authorized by the Congress, as to those issued before the Amendment was adopted. Nor can we perceive any reason for not considering the expression "the validity of the public debt" as embracing whatever concerns the integrity of the public obligations. -----
And the Social Security Trust Fund is Public Debt.
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On 02/17/2015 07:59 PM, Baxter wrote:

Wrong again. The SS trust fund contains non marketable intragovernmental debt.
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---------- By law, income to the trust funds must be invested, on a daily basis, in securities guaranteed as to both principal and interest by the Federal government.
Marketable securities are subject to the forces of the open market and may suffer a loss, or enjoy a gain, if sold before maturity. Investment in special issues gives the trust funds the same flexibility as holding cash.
Far from being "worthless IOUs," the investments held by the trust funds are backed by the full faith and credit of the U. S. Government. The government has always repaid Social Security, with interest. The special- issue securities are, therefore, just as safe as U.S. Savings Bonds or other financial instruments of the Federal government.
http://www.ssa.gov/oact/progdata/fundFAQ.html
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