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Art Cashin Previews Our $202 Trillion Destiny

Tyler Durden's picture


Yesterday's trading was a balance between Italy fears and fiscal cliff hopes-fears-and-hopes-again. While UBS' Art Cashin notes that on the bright side, this will all be over on December 21st when the Mayans predicted the end of the world, he also details what is perhaps even more fearsome - not-the-end-of-the-world as, in his words, demographics, destiny, and the fiscal cliff loom very large not just for the next few weeks but heading out over the next decade as baby boomers retire. As Cashin so wisely points out: "Somewhat lost in the posturing is the fact that the Fiscal Cliff was put in place to force Washington to address the exploding government debt problem. That problem is greatly exacerbated by the rapidly changing demographics in this country. If you fast forward 20 years until all the boomers are retired government debt (taking into account unfunded liabilities) soars to $202 trillion.  Perhaps worth remembering that "The real problem is that regardless of the resolution it will not solve anything. We have passed the point of no return. We cannot mathematically solve this debt problem. We can only slow its progression."


Via Art Cashin of UBS:

Demographics, Destiny And The Fiscal Cliff – Somewhat lost in the posturing is the fact that the Fiscal Cliff was put in place to force Washington to address the exploding government debt problem. That problem is greatly exacerbated by the rapidly changing demographics in this country. Bill Gross, Bill Frezza and others have recently explored this connection and complication. Here's a bit from a tenured veteran of Wall Street, Jim Brown of the Option Investor:

That December 7th attack launched the greatest economic boom of our time once the war was over. That was the baby boom generation. A population explosion in the years after the war increased births by more than four million a year. The "leading edge" boomers (1946-1955) total more than 38 million and the "late boomers" 1956-1964 accounted for another 37 million. Since population demographics have shown the most consumptive years are those between age 40-55 we are heading into a period where consumption (spending) is going to decline sharply as the boomers retire.


Bill Gross penned an article this week showing per capita spending drops off a cliff once people turn 65 and retire. Currently boomers control over 80% of personal financial assets, more than half of all consumer spending, account for 80% of leisure travel, 77% of prescription drugs and 61% of over the counter drugs. Starting in 2011 more than 10,000 boomers retire every day and that will continue for the next 19 years. More than 36% claim they have nothing in retirement savings. More than 35% over age 65 rely entirely on Social Security for their sustenance. A recent AARP survey found that 40% plan to work until they die because they did not plan ahead.


In 1950 every retiree on social security was supported by 15 active workers. By the end of 2010 there were only 3.3 workers for each retiree. The government believes there will only be two per retiree by 2025. A Wall Street Journal editorial a couple weeks ago highlighted the fact the government is facing not a $16 trillion debt but an $87 trillion debt if you take into account the unfunded liabilities of social security, Medicare and Medicaid. If you fast forward 20 years until all the boomers are retired that soars to $202 trillion according to Boston University.


Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner called the fiscal cliff discussions in Washington "orchestrated drama." I call it political theater or basically the same thing. The real problem is that regardless of the resolution it will not solve anything. We have passed the point of no return. We cannot mathematically solve this debt problem. We can only slow its progression. Arguing on whether the 2013 deficit will be $800 million or $1.2 trillion is wasted breath. It is still a deficit. Cutting spending does not mean you only increase the budget over the prior year by $700 billion instead of $900 billion. Until lawmakers can make voters understand the math of ever increasing spending and the disaster that is headed our way, they are just rearranging the deck chairs on the USS Titanic.

Wow! As the Boomers mature, $202 trillion. Hopefully, more on this quandary in coming days.


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Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:40 | 3051689 Whatta
Whatta's picture

does anyone else see a "Good Fed, Bad Fed" scenario developing in our future?

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:43 | 3051701 crusty curmudgeon
crusty curmudgeon's picture

Default is the only option.  Period.

Those who think we can avoid default through hyperinflation don't understand either how hyperinflation works or the nature of our debt, or both.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:52 | 3051731 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

The sad thing is that the establishment media is so cunning and effective in their pushing of ideas that many plebes are calling for more inflation.  Drinks on me, cuz we be fucked.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:01 | 3051758 metastar
metastar's picture

All I can see is a BAD FED.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:18 | 3051812 tsx500
tsx500's picture

All I can see is NO FED .         Then I wake up.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 14:26 | 3052510 CClarity
CClarity's picture

Debt jubilee.  Reset.  Current tax code GONE, then simple progressive flat tax on income that includes all income not just wage; and property taxes that gear to public safety, water, rule of law etc. No mortgage deductions, no charitable deductions, no marriage or child deductions.  Taxes that are rational and therefore people behave more rationally in spending, saving, earning choices.  Do things because you "can" or it "feels good", not because you evade taxes by owning steers or donate a painting to a museum.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 15:14 | 3052655 tango
tango's picture

What is a "progressive flat tax"?  lol  Taxes on income are not rational unless one accepts the notion that we owe it to those less fortunate.  This is why through most of our history, taxes were mostly local.   I agree - get rid of the mortgage deduction and force people to buy houses they can afford.  (This, however, almost surely lead to gov't subsidy of the deduction.) Wealthy donors built our museums and funded colleges, libraries, theaters and hospitals through tax deductions so it's not all bad. 

In America,the "poor" have smart phones & cable, big bellies, cars and plama TVs because of double and triple taxation plus massive debt. The idea of savings is cultural.  what a society deems important makes a difference:  India, Japan, Germany and China save because it is taught from an early age.  The US doesn't because it is not deemed important. 

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:25 | 3051836 Shevva
Shevva's picture

cuz we be fucked - depends when your currency changes to live bullets = dollars and spent bullets = cents, if you don't hold ammo you be funked.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:55 | 3051744 Whatta
Whatta's picture

But, how can we default on ourselves?

Bad Fed takes the old pile of fiat-backed debt and fads into oblivion....debts unpaid.

New Good Fed steps up with a fresh balance sheet and continues the farce ad infinitum!

The perfect Utopia for freeshitters!!!

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:47 | 3051906 indygo55
indygo55's picture

The gold in fort knoz has been removed and taken as collaeral on our national debt. Even if we end the fed we have no claim to our gold since the last thirty years or so the gold has been secured at a new fed facility in Virginia. Even if there is some gold in fort knox or in new york none of it belongs to the US anymore. These foriegn families that own the fed have taken extra precautions to secure the gold before the big bang happens and pissed off americans want their gold back. Read;



Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:14 | 3051799 AmCockerSpaniel
AmCockerSpaniel's picture

I say; Give me hyperinflation before default, or stick it to the bankers first.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 12:18 | 3052033 smlbizman
smlbizman's picture

i dont think its the voters that need to understand our position...the ones paying attention understand it perfectly...its the maxine walters, the pelosis, and on and on and on that do not have a clue...

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 21:37 | 3054156 Mike in GA
Mike in GA's picture

"Until lawmakers can make voters understand the math of ever increasing spending and the disaster that is headed our way, they are just rearranging the deck chairs on the USS Titanic."

You caught that too, huh?  I thought that was pretty brazenly passing off the responsibility from our elected representatives back to us.  Or passing the blame off.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:51 | 3051725 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Well, 48 out of 49 economists agree that the Fed will pump up assets with $4 TRILLION in new Treasury buying.  Deutsche Bank Securities believes this will be open-ended in size.  Jesus Christ! Didn't the Fed recently announce open-ended MBS purchases?  Bad Fed!  Bad, bad Fed!

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:55 | 3051746 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Groundhog Day FED! Oh....we already went all in on bonds equity and MBS purchasing? Ok...lets do that again then!

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:06 | 3051774 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

My pops always taught me, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." He also gave me the advice about instanity according to Einstein.  Ben had a bad childhood apparently.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 13:51 | 3052361 NeedtoSecede
NeedtoSecede's picture

Stealing this from Mike Church (radio guy you can hear on Sirius/XM), but it might also apply: "If at first you don't secede, try, try again!"

USA: A nation in decline since 1913.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:36 | 3051865 Rip van Wrinkle
Rip van Wrinkle's picture

But none of this is, of course, priced into the market...yet.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:38 | 3051876 eclectic syncretist
eclectic syncretist's picture

The time is nigh when a mass exodus of workers simply choose to do nothing and collect checks from home, since the Fed's "everything is imaginary credit-based and money doesn't exist" system allows it to be so and actually promotes it.  We berate the people who are "freeloading" off the system while forgeting or ignoring the long-standing fact that our Federal Reserve system is and was intentionally designed to allow people to freeload.  Initially it was designed for the banksters and politicians to freeload off the work of the common citizen, but today the common citizens are increasingly waking up to the dawning realization of the pointlessness of working hard when the parasitic and dilutive effects of our Federal Reserve/Government system make the "American Dream" an eidelon not worth chasing anymore.  

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:03 | 3051760 LongSoupLine
LongSoupLine's picture

I'm still.waiting on the Art Cashin "coming to Jesus" article on his own fucked up TBTF, UBS. You can't have both fucking sides Art, Piss off you complicit old fuck. You're the floor operations version of fucking Warren Buffett...loving and trusting until the fucking cameras go off.
Fuck you UBS.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 12:03 | 3051977 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

I will have to agree with this opinion. Art talks a good game from time to time, but he can't play worth a shit.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:07 | 3051776 CcalSD
CcalSD's picture

Guns 'n Gold!

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:44 | 3051690's picture

Nobody will be able to retire in 20 years...people will just go into "Re-Hirement" (greaters at wallmart)

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:43 | 3051703 centerline
centerline's picture

In 20 years?  That's seriously optimistic.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:46 | 3051709's picture

true...but I only said 20 years cause thats what the article mentioned....

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:55 | 3051747 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

No offense to anyone but honestly.....whatthefuckever. It is what it is. We are 1 month post election. They were supposed to have held this thing together with duct tape and then it was all going to fall apart right after. The S&P is 1425 and climbing. Gold is being sold off prior to them going double full retard with LSAP. Nothing makes sense and gravity apparently can be suspended. I am sure it will reassert itself but they should change the phrase to "the markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay sane".

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:00 | 3051756 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I hear you. That juicy steak is looking pretty good right now.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:04 | 3051767 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

It certainly does. Prepare as best you can for the worst case scenario's. But don't forget to enjoy the time you have.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:51 | 3051918 ITrustMyGut
ITrustMyGut's picture

so true... endless dooms day predictions.. endless deadlines.. etc.. ad nauseum.. and yet... not a fucking thing has changed...


pretty much over the BS in so many ways

Im convinced of one thing.. no one, has a fucking clue. No oracles, prophets, intel, insiders, you name it.. 99% of it is raw shit peeps make up to get hits and reads. PM's make sense, thats simple. someday.. the paper will fade.. but not one fucking jack wagon has a clue as to when..

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 12:09 | 3052000 jmeyer
jmeyer's picture

Keynes said markets can stay crazy longer than you can stay solvent.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 13:03 | 3052204 Sanksion
Sanksion's picture

There is a say: 'Rome wasn't build on one day'.Rome didn't fall apart on one night either.

Don't expect a doomsday, expect everything to fall apart in slow motion for decade(s): living standards, infrastructures, values shared among society.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:02 | 3051763 centerline
centerline's picture

I figured something in the MENA area would really break loose by now (post-election).  I was wrong there.  The timing aspect sure is a bitch.  Lots of moving parts though.


Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:05 | 3051770's picture


Tue, 12/11/2012 - 12:25 | 3052074 BraveSirRobin
BraveSirRobin's picture

Everyone here talks of immediate gloom and doom. It takes a very long time to destroy a nation as powerful and wealthy as the United States. We can live off our inherited infrastructure and savings for quite some time. It took the Soviet Union 70 years deplete the wealth and prosperity of the Russian Empire. It will take some time for us to collapse. The "system" is much stronger than you think. I think the question is if we stagnate and collapse (probably 15 - 20 years in the future), or a slow glide to general destitution, which will be a long, painful process over 20 - 50 years.

I think the attitudes and processes are in place for our destruction, but it will take a while yet to get there. I think we may have reached the tipping point, and it is a matter of time, but there will be time.

Lastly, going from here to there will not be a straight line process. There will be many false dawns to give us false hope, but unless we fundamentally change what we are teaching our kids and expecting from our government, we are, indeed, lost.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 13:06 | 3052210 ReactionToClose...
ReactionToClosedMinds's picture

"How long can this go on?"

We all want the answer to that question but with life/'reality' ...will never get the answer.

But we all know 'things happen' ....... often of the most unpredictable kind.  The sub-prime mortgage/MBS (and overall credit binge) was common knowledge.  When Henry Cisneros (remember him - no you don't, I bet) resigned (if you go back .....he kind of 'had to' ....) as Board member at his 'child', Countrywide Mortgage, I knew the 'end' was beginnning.   But it took Bear Stearns weakness two years later to 'alert' everyone ... then the  correct (in my principled estimation) decision to let Lehman fail .... but no one anticipated the rapid collapse of money market obligations liquidity due to Lehman's large amount of short paper, and as short term paper market facilitator, and so the seizing up of the money market funds occurred ........ where everyone nows keeps their savings versus 'FDIC' insured savings banks. 

This 'seizure' of money market instruments and potential of 'breaking the buck' of money market funds funds pricing jumped over to derivatives as everyone became spooked ...... trade out now, ask questions later ...... all of a sudden AIG was not as well-capitalized as everyone had thought .... and the same for every other TBTF bank ....hilariously including Goldman Sachs who had to go to Warren Buffett on bended knee.

Speaking of Warren Buffett, if I recall correctly, a few months ago Buffett (whether via BerkshireH or in combination with it or just personally) appeared to dramatically lessen up his on his 'take-the-other-side' derivatives exposure (risky but a sure profit margin collector trade if there is one .... if no 'shit' is about to happen).   Just prudent periodic adjustment or realization he cannot, even at his massive liquid size, backstop all the liquidity that the western central banks have unleashed into the marketplace? 

The point of the preceding is to advocate reading the two excellent recent postings ZH  re: Eliot's Paul Singer. Those two have to be must reads ...

That is all any of us can do .... try to peer into the fog of the future to spot the icebergs in time to protect your personal interests.





Tue, 12/11/2012 - 16:21 | 3052884 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

In 20 years? It's already happening.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:41 | 3051692 Chief KnocAHoma
Chief KnocAHoma's picture

Awe ... Rat Farts! I knew I wouldn't ever see that money I've been paying in to SS for the last 30 years. Maybe I should quit participating.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:43 | 3051693 Chief KnocAHoma
Chief KnocAHoma's picture

Wait... to do that I would have to quit working, draw unemployment or SSI. Then I could fish and golf everyday. Sounds like a plan worth considering.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 16:22 | 3052886 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Well better that than work so your money can go to fund the biggest terrorist organisation and bank shill on earth (the US government). Help the current system end : go on welfare and drain the system as much as you can.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:44 | 3051700 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"The real problem is that regardless of the resolution it will not solve anything. We have passed the point of no return. We cannot mathematically solve this debt problem. We can only slow its progression."

When I was 17 I found a summer job with an old craftsman who proceeded to teach me many tricks of the construction trade. Near the end of the summer I was on a roof with him as he flashed around a chimney. He carefully explained to me that you can never stop water for very long, even with huge concrete dams. After several hundred years the concrete simply crumbles away. You're much better off trying to divert the flow rather than attempting to stop it or even slow it down.

It seems Art Cashin worked with the same craftsman.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:47 | 3051711 centerline
centerline's picture

In our case, the systems requries growth.  Slowing means not growing.  Not growing means cannabalizing itself for yield.  Fun fun.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 13:24 | 3052263 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture





Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:44 | 3051705 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Well, if you assume that the Health Care spending increases at its current rate you get this kind of number. In other words, Health Care will be ~40-50% of the economy which ain't gonna happen...

Garbage in, garbage out....

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:44 | 3051706 Kaiser Sousa
Kaiser Sousa's picture

and once again b 4 the FOMC announcement we get the "coincedence....

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:46 | 3051710 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

I'm wondering what happens if 'FOMC' is not all in the bag as everyone thinks and we dont get the 'double secret free monies' like everyone has baked in?

Ah, probably like Europe which is suddenly basking in some kind of hockey helmeted full retard euphoria. 

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:51 | 3051726 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

I'd be more worried about truckloads of free money if they started trying to hide what they were printing than if they admitted it. 

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:57 | 3051749 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Problem is, they could never have found the trees and cotton to actually print what they've added in zero's on computer screens in 10 million years time.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:44 | 3051707 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

I just puke at these kind of articles projecting out '20 years from now, blah blah' yea whatever.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:48 | 3051713 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

The problem must be made bigger.  That is the only way to deal with it.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:48 | 3051715 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

"Until lawmakers can make the voters understand the math"

WTF, did they get a public education also? Now all of a sudden they comprehend 3rd grade math? They dug this hole & they are the ones that need to be buried in it. 

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:51 | 3051728 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

'Lawmakers' are attempting to get 'voters' to understand math, thats what the problem here is'.....BWAAA HA HA HAAAAA!

I've been pointing out how their math DOESN'T work for a couple decades now and only got called a kook by the 'lawmakers'! Absolute rubbish....they're CRIMINALS who insider trade and take bribes, THATS ALL!

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:47 | 3051907 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

It's funny, seems to me the lawmakers have been doing everything possible to prevent people from ever even HEARING the math.

Trouble seems to be that if the politicians start being honest, folks will immediately see that these problems were created ENTIRELY at Congress' discretion.  Can't have that.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:48 | 3051716 TideFighter
TideFighter's picture

Soylent Green with Ben Gay Sauce.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:49 | 3051717 holdbuysell
holdbuysell's picture

"Until lawmakers can make voters understand the math..."

FULL STOP. First, I doubt the lawmakers understand the math (or don't care because it gets in the way of them getting re-elected) and the second part is a proven lost cause nonstarter.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 15:36 | 3052731 Blankenstein
Blankenstein's picture

"the second part is a proven lost cause nonstarter"


So true and very sad.   A relative had two occasions this fall in about a two week period where she wanted to write a check for more than the total bill and receive cash back.  Both times the cashier didn't know what to do.  Also, a friend who works in admissions at a junior college said that they recently had several people come in to register who couldn't read time on a regular clock and a few others who didn't know how to write the date in a numerical format.   We are screwed.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:49 | 3051719 jimijon
jimijon's picture

We are at the fork in the road and as Yogi would say, "take it."

We either have mass war or a renaissance.

The reptilies need blood and death. The angels need love and creation.

Without a major "change" we get the reptiles outcome. If, however, the aliens do exist and have "free energy" we could get the second. And then yes, all humor aside, to Mars and beyond. After all, it is our destiny to go out. If we don't, we as a sentient, blessed, life form turn into dust.


Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:51 | 3051724 Mr. Magoo
Mr. Magoo's picture

That is why the Govt is taking over health care which includes the death panels which they denied at first but are now reality. They wont let anybody continue to live if they are not fit to work for the slave state. Modeled after the concentration camp idea

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:52 | 3051733 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You really should stop believing everything you hear on right-wing talk radio...

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:57 | 3051751 Gamma735
Gamma735's picture

My wife lived in Japan for ten years.  Sure they have socialized medicine, but there are many people that never fully recover from injuries we commonly recover from, because the government does not put anyone in physical therapy.  Too expensive.  And if you are diagnosed with cancer, the Doctors tell you that you are healthy and to go home and eat and live as you want.  Cancer treatment is too expensive.  Only well connected people in Japan get real healthcare.  The common people get good acute health care as long as it is not too expensive.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:00 | 3051757 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Mere hearsay....

Not a very good argument, now run along and refresh yourself on argumentative fallacies...

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:40 | 3051882 Rip van Wrinkle
Rip van Wrinkle's picture

Sounds like the NHS in the UK. 'Death Pathways' are the new thing. Just stop letting patients eat or drink for long enough and they go off to meet their maker. And the sheep just nod their heads and say how wonderful our health servcie is. Unf'ing believable.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 16:01 | 3052836 Maghreb
Maghreb's picture

I have heard and seen the stories as well. No one i know has ever survived Chemo-therapy. Alot of people go in and get sick and die of something else they picked up inside. I'm not tin foil-hat but I don't quite trust them.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:49 | 3051916 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Remember: Mr. Magoo was a blind bumbling fool.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:52 | 3051736 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Yea exactly! Too bad only about .01% have any idea of whats actually going on in all this.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:32 | 3051856 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

wingers crack me up... 911 ! 911 !

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:51 | 3051727 cabtrom
cabtrom's picture

I'm confused? Why then if we have no money for ss and other various programs did we pass Obamacare? So will I not get my free doctor visit? Wow, I was conned!

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:53 | 3051734 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I can see the Bernank's eyes light up now when he thinks about hitting the ctl-p button for 202 trillion dollars. It's like giving a nuclear powered dildo to a nympho.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:52 | 3051735 Gamma735
Gamma735's picture

"they are just rearranging the deck chairs on the USS Titanic." - Art Cashin from the Article.


I have been saying that for years.  Rome did not just disappear in a day.  It's decline came in fits and spurts until it morphed into the Dark Ages. 

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:54 | 3051739 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Yea really, we've been saying that shit for years....hell by now the deck furniture is worn to little nubs from all the shuffling around.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:34 | 3051864 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

The deck furniture was repossessed in 08'.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:55 | 3051742 youngman
youngman's picture

Actually its a numbers thing....pretty easy statistics...easy math..except if you are a politician

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:57 | 3051748 odatruf
odatruf's picture

Any so-called economist who thinks the "$87 trillion unfunded liability" of SS, Medicare, etc. is at all meaningful doesn't understand the programs, American policy making or the problem with simple extrapolations.


Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:58 | 3051753 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

It's 'meaningless' to THEM because they dont realy on SS, Medicare, etc....thats for the plebes!

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 14:03 | 3052412 odatruf
odatruf's picture

They will rely on Medicare. Very few people have private insurance that doesn't turn off as soon as the person hits 65 or stops working, whichever is later.


Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:58 | 3051752 Tirpitz
Tirpitz's picture

"We cannot mathematically solve this debt problem. We can only slow its progression."

Got to take remedial classes then. Ten years ago, a trillion deficit was unthinkable, and now they run it regularly. In twenty years Shalom Whoever will print the hundred trillion notes on a weekly basis, so no need at all to worry about.

Remember, please: (r)evolutions move exponentially...

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:59 | 3051754 spanish inquisition
spanish inquisition's picture

Timmay thinks the best way to delay is to remove the hinderance of a debt ceiling.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 13:29 | 3052279 Commander Cody
Commander Cody's picture

He's right.  Debt is wealth in the New Normal.  So, I'm with Timmay and Buzz on this one.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:03 | 3051761 NEOSERF
NEOSERF's picture

And while some of that 202T can be mitigated by moving the SS age up to 90 years old and raising taxes, the slow rot in this country that began decades ago is complete.  All you can do is ride this idiot reality TV show forward but make sure your kids and grandkids have a Plan B.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:08 | 3051783 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

If you fast forward 20 years until all the boomers are retired government debt (taking into account unfunded liabilities) soars to $202 trillion.

Our debt and unfunded liabilities are $138.2 trillion today.  At current rates of growth they will be at least $306 trillion in 20 years and probably closer to $400 trillion.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:18 | 3051811 shuckster
shuckster's picture

This country, in its current manifestation, has two to three years tops

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 12:25 | 3052066 MyBrothersKeeper
MyBrothersKeeper's picture

Exactly!....don't know where they are getting 87 trillion...unfunded liabilities are 121+ trillion and counting.  In fact 7 million is added every minute...that's 420 million an hour or 10 billion a day

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:16 | 3051806 shuckster
shuckster's picture

Most people who collect SSI paid very little in. So shut it with "I paid for it, now let me collect". It's called taxes fuck head. There is no lock box there never was. Social security paid for Vietnam and Iraq, and the Gulf War and all the other stupid fucking excursions. The Boomers fucked this country good - went from having everything to having nothing AND being in debt up to their big fat noses

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:21 | 3051821 proLiberty
proLiberty's picture

The only reservation that I have about the alarming number of trillions our debt will add up to is that nobody nets that against the future earnings stream over the same number of years.


Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:25 | 3051833 FLHRS
FLHRS's picture

Plan B - reorganization by war.  They are already choosing teams.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:38 | 3051873 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

The Yen is strong and they are in the shitter. I see this playing out for a very long time... unless it don't.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:49 | 3051913 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Oh you can mathematically solve it alright, just not in any kind of humane or equitable manner.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:52 | 3051920 JR
JR's picture

"Currently boomers control over 80% of personal financial assets, more than half of all consumer spending, account for 80% of leisure travel, 77% of prescription drugs and 61% of over the counter drugs… the government is facing not a $16 trillion debt but an $87 trillion debt if you take into account the unfunded liabilities of social security, Medicare and Medicaid. If you fast forward 20 years until all the boomers are retired that soars to $202 trillion." – Art Cashin

Congress demonizes 28 percent of the population (boomers); why, so that they can take their property!

The baby boomers are the target (now that they’re beginning to “retire”) and the shooters are the same lying class of politicians who made the promises, who forced by law those 77 million babies born in the U.S. during the “boom” years of 1946-1964 to surrender their earnings for government experimentation, and, now, are back, with more promises, more lies, and more stealing.

And after they’ve stolen the money, now it’s the taxpayer’s burden: “you have to understand the math, you have to understand the crisis, we are all going to suffer, and you have to fix it.”

Never mind that the ones who stole the money have demonized the concept “baby boomer” until it’s become an inflammatory word. What we are really talking about is the middle class, that 28% of the people, those 3 in 10 Americans, who have worked all their lives, earned money, bought houses and, generally, are responsible citizens.

"Boomers" are targeted now because they are the ones with the money to pay off these bad promises and provide the politicians with largesse to buy votes by handing out free cell phones. Nobody else can pay it. The irresponsible welfare class and the young people don’t have any money; there’s no reason to demonize them.

Why did Willie Sutton rob banks?  “Because that's where the money is.” Why is Congress robbing boomers? “Because that’s where the money is.”

Here the Democrats sit with their Cheshire cat grin, purring we won and we don’t need to negotiate, and the Republicans as usual are "caving" in. Boehner with his Washington DC haircut and deep tan and Obama with his “you didn’t build that” mentality,  the two of them knowing there’s no place to get the money now except from the people who worked and earned it.  Otherwise these corporatists and lobbyist and welfare “moms” will have to take this awful fiscal cut.

As to why “in 1950 every retiree on social security was supported by 15 active workers” and  “by the end of 2010 there were only 3.3 workers for each retiree,” here' the math - and the politics:

When did Social Security start?

The Social Security Act was signed by FDR on 8/14/35. Taxes were collected for the first time in January 1937 and the first one-time, lump-sum payments were made that same month. Regular ongoing monthly benefits started in January 1940.

When did Medicare start?

A:  Medicare was passed into law on July 30, 1965 but beneficiaries were first able to sign-up for the program on July 1, 1966.

Has Social Security ever been financed by general tax revenues?

A:  Not to any significant extent. (See detailed explanation.)

Q24:  How much has Social Security paid out since it started?

A:  From 1937 (when the first payments were made) through 2009 the Social Security program has expended $11.3 trillion.

(See detailed tables of annual Social Security payments 1937-2008.) (See also detail for Q26)

Q25:  How much has Social Security taken in taxes and other income since it started?

A:  From 1937 (when taxes were first collected) through 2009 the Social Security program has received $13.8 trillion in income.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 12:15 | 3052025 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

I don't think Boomers are targeted because they have the means to pay off bad promises. The issue is that they have the means to actually take care of themselves - or nobody has. Do you think the generations proceeding the Boomers have the means to bail out "bad promises" while trying to raise families and make mortgage payments, and paying off student and CC debt as well? Do you think their regression in take-home pay, the precipitous drop in employment and the enormous number of underwater properties - in short negative equity and flagging income - is going to bail anybody or anything out?

Here's some simple math to contemplate: If you push a wheelbarrow of cash to the bakery to buy a loaf of bread, and there are none on the shelf, then how many wheelbarrows of cash will you need to buy two loaves of bread?

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 12:24 | 3052065 Tirpitz
Tirpitz's picture

Don't need any wheelbarrows - there's enough money sitting in offshore tax-havens, all robbed from the working class.

JR is right, the demonization of the boomers is only to grab what they have left, without affording them a retirement for which they already have fully paid!

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 12:40 | 3052125 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

The retirement for which you have fully paid has been fully spent. You have nowhere else to get money to replace what the politicians you elected stole from you EXCEPT from generations that have less than you.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 13:48 | 3052353 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

   retirement for which they already have fully paid!

A lot of that money they "already" paid in was returned to a few of them who had really big bucks.  They called it "tax cuts."

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 15:48 | 3052790 JimBowie1958
JimBowie1958's picture

No, that $2 TRILLION difference between what SS paid out and took in is still there sitting in I.O.U.s from the federal government because the feds BORROWED all that money without anyones permission...just did it and took the fact that voters didnt string them from tall trees to be an implicit agreement from them.

So with $2 TRILLION in federal I.O.U.s sitting there for Baby Boomer's to draw on, you dont think there will be enough money for their retirement? Bullshit, they damned well better find some other fucking way to get that fucking cash. I didnt give them a god damned gift of it, nor did anyone else.

If the federal government defaults on its Social Security obligations the United States will erupt into violence and chaos that none of these ass hats have ever seen before or have even conceived of happening in this country.

And you skeptics can disagree all you want, but killing SS is not going to go over smoothly AT ALL.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 16:29 | 3052908 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

You go on with your bad self.  When that war you expect erupts between retirees and the government, I'll bet on government.

I do look forward to it, though.  At least it would be something INTERESTING.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 21:56 | 3054258 Mike in GA
Mike in GA's picture

Might wanna hedge that bet, BDog, the gov't can't hear the calvary coming in their electric medicare scooters! :)  The element of surprise don'tcha know!






"Get back here!  I meant charge your SCOOTERS"

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 18:38 | 3053447 Lednbrass
Lednbrass's picture

And neither is trying to take money from people who don't have it. Good luck squeezing the pint of blood you demand from a rock- after all it is your God given right to feed on the young!

You and the rest of the Free Stuff Army really seem to have trouble facing the reality that what you voted for yourself does not and will not exist.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 20:02 | 3052114 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

Q25: How much has Social Security taken in taxes and other income since it started? 

A: From 1937 (when taxes were first collected) through 2009 the Social Security program has received $13.8 trillion in income.


Q67 and 68: How much in mortgage interest has SS contributions cost the American people by diverting principal from the mortgage and stretching out repayment time?

Our bean counters have found this a difficult thing to calculate, being preocupied as we are with internet porn. However, we admit that without SS taxes the average mortgage would be 20 years, even 15 years, saving a boatload in interest. If 70% of all SS taxes come out of the same paycheck as a mortgage payment, and interest is roughly equal to principal on a 30-year note, then about $10 Trillion in wealth has been transferred from the American homeowner to the banks as mortgage interest because of principal payments being diverted into SS taxes. That is almost equal to the amount paid out in SS since its inception, and enough for the financial industry to own us all. Thank you for your enquiry, sucker.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 21:59 | 3054273 Mike in GA
Mike in GA's picture

+10 on Questions 67 & 68!

That was back in the day when Chicago meant a wall of sound.  Tx for the memory!

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:56 | 3051949 realitybiter
realitybiter's picture

"Welcome to Costco, I love you"


"Welcome to Costco, I love you"



Tue, 12/11/2012 - 12:07 | 3051976 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

"What's the problem? So America will need to print $200 Trillion over the next few decades to meet her obligations.  The resulting inflation will make our $16 Trillion National Debt insignificant. That's the Power of Printing; question neither it nor me."

- Paul Krugman

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 12:28 | 3052083 BraveSirRobin
BraveSirRobin's picture


Look, $200 trillion created and done. It's that easy.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 12:41 | 3052128 JR
JR's picture

Or just have AIG insure Congress’s $200 trillion in bets as it did the investment bankers’. The US taxpayer bails out both either way, via the QE inflation tax.

Why not? At this point in time five banks, according to ZH, own $250 trillion dollars in derivatives of the $600 trillion time bomb, a sum 15.3 times larger than the entire GDP of the US. – about the same as Congress’s $200 trillion bet>

In short, most of the wealth of the wealthiest is tied up in gambling, as is Congress’s, because, as Paul Craig Roberts shows, “bets on interest rates comprise 81 percent of all derivatives.”

Here’s how E. Michael Jones explains it:

“A derivative could be a bet on interest rate or currency fluctuations, but it could also be a credit default swap, which is a form of insurance. The term credit default swap was created to avoid insurance regulations. A house can be insured by its owner according to its market value. A credit default swap can insure anything at any value. To stay with the house analogy, the man who buys a credit default swap is not like a man who buys insurance for his house. He is like an arsonist, who thanks to this particular kind of derivative, could insure your house for 100 times its value with the intention of burning it down and collecting the insurance, which is why Warren Buffett called derivatives weapons of financial mass destruction.”

And it’s these folks – Goldman Sachs’s “$44 trillion in derivative bets is covered by only $19 billion in risk-based capital, results in bets 2,295 times larger than the capital that cover them,”  --  to whom Obama  promised his “friend Bob” (Rubin) in 2006 at The Hamilton Project more NAFTA-type agreements and cuts in entitlements, such as Social Security.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 12:53 | 3052172 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

None of those Trillion$ of wealth you say is tied up in gambling has been printed into existence - yet. That is why the whole financial edifice has been propped up as if otherwise there'd be no tomorrow. Printing that money to pay off those bets will not do much for the spending power of seniors.

Personally, I think that if it all fell to shit none of those bets will be paid off. First, the money isn't there. Second, the resultant FDR-scale interference in the market will result in losses negotiated evenly across all derivative gamblers. No different than what would happen to your health insurance company if every policy holder remitted a $100,000 hospital bill on the same day.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 13:17 | 3052232 JR
JR's picture

The derivatives are a doomsday bomb. Like other aspects of our natural world, it has a shelf life. There is an ending to this story. In the meantime, the bankers are stealing the money from American citizens that have worked hard and trusted an economic system that has begun to be consumed with cancerous poison.

Your analyses of printing is missing the devastating produce that has already occurred – Americans lost 40 percent of their net worth because of Wall Street chicanery -- and  seem to minimize the spectacular dangers that are still to come. Perhaps you noticed the government bailouts of the financial sector insiders, and their favorite industries, who created this toxic mess and have used QE largesse to resume taking 45% of all domestic corporate profits.

And perhaps you are following the equities indexes which keep not only the bankers rich from the market with ZIRP and QE but preserve the socialists in power and fund the non-producers as America’s new well-heeled consumers.

Maximum thrax, that’s printing! And it is our era’s most significant cover-up with the cartel fiddling and feasting while the economy burns.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 14:33 | 3052456 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

Americans lost 40 percent of their net worth because of Wall Street chicanery

That's half the truth. The other half is that Wall Street chicanery enabled people to double, tripple, quadrouple their net wealth by purchasing real estate they couldn't afford in order to extract equity that, due to skyrocketing home prices, they never invested. In order to dance the tune they had to pay the piper.

How many retirees, or near-retirees, who saw their home value go from $200,000 1999 to $500,000 in 2007, only to crash back to $250,000 in 2010, got hurt? Answer - nobody who didn't do a cash-out refinance in order to live the lifestyle they felt entitled to.

People in their 50's traded $800/mo mortgages for $1000/mo mortgages in cashout refinancing schemes. That $1000/mo then adjusted to $1800/mo. And the suckers paid the bank for the financial instrument that made it so.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 15:53 | 3052815 Blankenstein
Blankenstein's picture


Periodically I'll do a case study on a block in my suburb looking up house sale prices, mortgages, etc.  It was surprising to me at first how many people who had "owned" their home at least 15 years, had mortgages for more or approximately the same as the amount they paid for their McCrapSchack.  The boomers were able to keep up their lifestyles of Escalades and carribean trips while paying ever-increasing property taxes, college tuition, health care, etc. through equity extraction.  

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 12:18 | 3052036 jmeyer
jmeyer's picture

There are only two realistic solutions. First, devaluation of the dollar ( with gold confiscation ) and second war.


Tue, 12/11/2012 - 12:27 | 3052076 Tirpitz
Tirpitz's picture

or war on tax havens and inherited billions

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 14:21 | 3052485 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

How about a War on Gibsmedat FTW?

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 13:34 | 3052239 notadouche
notadouche's picture

These "leading edge boomers" are the most selfish generation on the planet.  Their parents "The Greatest Generation" are rolling over in their graves because of their offspring.  First generation to expect cradle to the grave entitlements.  First generation to turn their backs on their parents.  First to turn their backs on their spouses.  First to turn their backs on their children.  They coined the term "don't trust anyone over 30"  They fucked up the 60's with their acid trips and "tune in turn on and drop out".  The 70's when they started having children, they abandoned those kids because they had to find themselves with shit like EST and then coked it up in the 80's and again it was all about the "me generation"  Their generation has been the major power base in Washington for a few decades and now they are crying about the shape the country is in and wanting to point the finger at everyone else.  Cry me a river you cocksuckers.  You are now about to find out what it feels like to die a sad lonely life where no one gives a shit just like most of you did with your parents and your children.   Nursing homes became big business when your parents got old.  Though your parents didn't treat your grandparents that way and they ended up raising most of your children to boot.  Now I know not every single one of you did this but when we are speaking generationally the facts don't lie.  And the best you got is to complain about how your kids turned out, meanwhile most ended up raising themselves because you were too self involved to give a shit about them.   The world will be so much better when your generation departs the earth.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 13:41 | 3052328 JR
JR's picture

 RSBriggs last month on ZH gave this answer to a similar disgruntled: “I'm 26 with a baby on the way (December). I'm watching the central bankers (Baby boomers), politicians (baby boomers), and finance chiefs (baby boomers) pumping trillions of tokens in to the system just to prop up the 'savings' of the other baby boomers.”

Here’s Briggs:

What gives you the idea that the trillions of tokens being pumped into the system are being used to prop up the savings of the boomers?  Unless you're counting the billions of dollars of bonuses going to Wall Street bankers, you're mistaken.

"The current economic policies are literally robbing the young people to pay for the old people.".   Exactly wrong - the current economic policies are robbing the old people to give to freeloaders, welfare and O'Phone recipients, and social security disability abusers.

I've paid in over $380,000 to social security over the last 40+ years that I've been working, and I still have 6 years to go before I can start drawing my $1500 per month social security.  Do the numbers - I'm NEVER going to be able to get out what I put into the system, much less what I might have gotten if I had the opportunity to invest that money at some moderate rate of return (say, 3%) over those last 40 years.

Young person, the majority of boomers have had their life savings and property stolen from them over the last few years and most of us are facing a future with zero dreams other than not subsisting on dog food for however long we manage to continue to live.   Sure, I'll step aside - how are you at writing UNIX device drivers?  Doing system level work in several assembly languages?  Can you write a thread-safe shared library for a multi-user operating system from scratch?  Do kernel hacking in 'C'?  Do embedded programming? Get back to me when you can do these things (since they're part of my job description) - my employer is DESPERATE for ANYONE with this mix of skills - I can probably get you 70-80k as a starting salary as my assistant.  Oh - at least 15 years’ experience and a proven background required, however. 

You'll also need to pass a logic / aptitude test that many so-called programmers (usually web developers) look at and simply get up and walk away from without even answering any questions on.  (Question # 1 - Two trains 100 miles apart are headed towards each other - one going 60 mph and the other going 40 mph.  How many minutes elapse before they collide head-on?)  Typical comments - "What kind of fucking question is that supposed to be?"  "What's that got to do with programming?"  "I'd program that as a web page to answer the question." 

You are missing a point here - EVERYONE has had their future stolen from them, young, old, black, white, it makes no difference.  Don't fall into the mind and class warfare games being played by TPTB - EVERYONE is being stolen from...

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 13:57 | 3052385 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Dude, if you've been paying $9500/year in FICA taxes, you were making more than enough money to save for retirement.

Yes, you were robbed, so were the rest of us.  No, you will NOT be "eating dogfood" because of that robbery unless you squandered many decades of an extremely high income on who-knows-what.

Cry me a river and all that. 

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 14:10 | 3052440 notadouche
notadouche's picture

I think it's catfood that everyone eats not dogfood.  Plus I might disagree with you on how much money one would have to save for retirement if you pay 9500/year in FICA.  Say you have 3 kids from 11 to 6.  Your in your 40's and you've been financially taking care of your parents and even your grandparents getting them to their graves without them having to live in the streets.  Plus, while you maxed out 401k you do take a beating in the financial crisis.  Don't be so quick to assume high "income people" have "more than enough" to save for retirement.  Especially if you would like for your children to go to college when they become of age.  That's the problem with most is they assume they know best on how much other people should have and how they should spend their money.  Of course I could've made the choice to abandon my parents in the same manner they did me but my grandparents taught me that's not what your supposed to do.  

Not crying poor or anything but assumng all is without peril and everyone is "Daddywarbucks" if they make 250k per annum is one of the biggest mistakes many people and Washington is making. To equate the 250k guy to the Warrent Buffets, which Obama is doing is fucking asinine.  Of course he thinks 250k is rich because he doens't have to worry about paying for food and housing and travel and is given million dollar prizes for just breathing.  

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 15:41 | 3052756 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

If you were earning big bucks out of the chute, and you never learned the value of a dollar, and you were taken advantage of by every "financial services" company on Earth, and you bought overpriced homes with poor terms, and you drove overpriced cars, sure... $250K gross income might not be enough to save some money for retirement.

If you're YOUNG, I understand why you'd feel you were lied to and ripped off and deceived.  That is a really big part of what "growing up" feels like.

Now that you have experienced that feeling, you are grown up, and you can save your breath.  $250K/year is working class in my view, but if you don't save any of that money, that's a *personal* failing.  It's not impossible to save for retirement on that kind of income. 

Don't even *try* to claim that it is.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 16:06 | 3052845 notadouche
notadouche's picture

The only one's claiming that are the douchebags in Washington that want to create class warfare and look for more ways to extract money from we the people and justify to the non tax paying citizenry in this country.  Now if you were smart enough to not have children and were luck enough to have parents that died in car crashes as opposed to lingering on with dementia for years it might just be possible to have a good retirement on 250k.  You make an excellent point that I haven't seen stated anywhere.  It's just assumed that folks making 250k per came out of the womb making that as opposed to climbing the ladder to get to that point later in life.  

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 14:50 | 3052569 JR
JR's picture

If you're going to take money from people with a gun (the full police power of a nation controlled by bankers and new laws exercised by corrupt politcians), at least have the decency to wear a mask and admit that your philosophy of life is Marxist.

Unless one pays what is demanded, the sheriff comes to visit and he has the gun to take your property.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 15:34 | 3052722 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

See, I actually know what Marxism is, unlike you, and you are mistaken in your interpretation that it's "Marxism" that expects the state to redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor.

That's not the point, tho, so let's not get sidetracked....

The point is, and I stated it very clearly: "Yes, you were robbed, so were the rest of us.  No, you will NOT be "eating dogfood" because of that robbery unless you squandered many decades of an extremely high income on who-knows-what."

You're no "more" of a victim than *I* am, and given you're the responsible type who did what you could to save some money to retire with, you have far less to piss and moan about than the vast majority of people who were ALSO ROBBED and never earned anything like the income you did for 40 years.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 14:37 | 3052538 notadouche
notadouche's picture

I understand that everyone is being stolen from.  I ask about who the theives are?  I'm not complaining as I know I can sleep at night knowing I did what I was and am supposed to do when it comes to my family.  I'm not young I was just unfortunate to have parents that were "baby boomers" and they sucked cock as far as parents went.  They both ran away. One before I was even born and the other when I was a jr in high school.  I put myself through high school working in warehouses in the morning before school and college working as a framer and did alright for myself in corporate america so don't assume you know jack shit about me either.  I was raised never to expect anything from anyone.  Expect the worst and hope for he best.  Always expect to get fucked over and I'm generally never disappointed.  So you can take your condescending tone and stick it.  

Your faulty premise is the notion that you are supposed to get back what you put in to SS?  I've never seen that written as a promise from SS.  You put in to help pay for your parents  retirement and to supplement your own saving so you won't be eating catfood.  That comment about not getting back what you put in is the exact selfish BS attitude that had me railing to begin with.  Write a program about that on your computer and you must be high on acid to think I would ever stoop so low intellectually to be your assistant.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 14:43 | 3052573 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

Yep. There is a means by which one can "get out what they put in" - it's called a bank account, FDIC insured. Why would anyone need SS if everyone broke even with it? Its whole premise was to balance winners against loosers, so those who die early leave money for those who live long, and those who can afford large payments can balance out those who can barely contribute, or who never contributed.

SS recipient will never accept he/she dwells within Entitlement Nation. It will always be, "I just want what I paid in." Fine. I just want that front landing gear off a B1B that my taxes paid for, and I'll be on my way.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 16:56 | 3053023 slightlyskeptical
slightlyskeptical's picture

If you have paid in over $380,000 over 40 years then your social security benefit is greater than $1500 per month. The max benefit in 6 years will be about $2700. Your earnings history will have to be close to this level with that amount of contributions. I assume you are self employed and paid both sides as if you were an employee paying that much you qualify for top benefits easily.


So let's say the correct number is $2500 per month. If you collect for 20 years you will collect $600,000 in total. 25 years $750,000. 30 years $900,000. You will also recieve medicare for all those years at another $10,000/yr. All in all you are not getting as bad of a deal as you think. Much better off than those who saved their own money and lost it all in one or several of the stock market crashes or to one of the Madoff types.


As far as the government spending our social security money, that is the same for every single investment. You buy bonds you give someone your money to spend now. Buy a CD, banks lends the money to someone else. Every dollar in the Social Security Fund is invested in US Treasury Bonds. The defacto "safest" investment in the world. Social security defecits are easy to make up with a few small changes.

Medicare is a bigger problem. The most obvious ways to save money are negoitiating drug and equipment prices with the pharmacuetical and equipment makers. For some reason that is off limits even though every other developed country forces negotiation. Our politicians and many here would just rather us cut things that are really needed so these companies can continue to suck up fat profits on the taxpayers dime.

As to the $120 trillion defecit in the future you all do realize that number includes no revenue collected during the entire period?

There will not be any solution until the real problems we face in these programs are dealt with.


Tue, 12/11/2012 - 15:38 | 3052743 malek
malek's picture

 The government believes there will only be two per retiree by 2025.

Count yourself lucky.
That ratio is believed to hit "one per retiree" by 2030 in Germany.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 17:01 | 3053064 slightlyskeptical
slightlyskeptical's picture

I call BS on this statistic as well. how exactly can we have mor epeople in college and our education systems as a whole buy yet consistently fall behind in this measure. Plus if we truly have decreased labor supply, the higher wages paid will make up for much of the difference. That is if you believe actual supply / demand actually effects anything the way it suppose to.

"Enrollment in degree-granting institutions increased by 11 percent between 1990 and 2000. Between 2000 and 2010, enrollment increased 37 percent, from 15.3 million to 21.0 million. Much of the growth between 2000 and 2010 was in full-time enrollment; the number of full-time students rose 45 percent, while the number of part-time students rose 26 percent. During the same time period, the number of females rose 39 percent, while the number of males rose 35 percent. Enrollment increases can be affected both by population growth and by rising rates of enrollment."

Wed, 12/12/2012 - 22:38 | 3058184 malek
malek's picture

The number of people in college and higher level education system is the only important measure? Oh, and as a "nurture" guy you surely expect that anyone can get a degree, even without simplifying exams as is becoming epidemic.
When we finally made everyone get their degree, then... oh no, it's different this time, supply and demand has no effect on value of degrees, just ask your nearest college counselor.

Good troll or incredibly stupid, that is the question.

The statistic for Germany is true, by the way.

Thu, 12/13/2012 - 00:36 | 3058423 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Plus if we truly have decreased labor supply, the higher wages paid will make up for much of the difference.

#1 skill-sets vary across generations
#2 markets vary across generations: if there's no demand for the older products there's no assured replacement. e.g. who wants a toaster if there's toaster ovens?
#3 machines automate lower-level manufacture & assembly
#4 cheap labour OUTSIDE the USA market replaces USA workers forever

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