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Guest Post: How About Ending Social Security And Paying Retirees With Cash?

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

Would printing the cash to fund pensions for low-income retirees trigger inflation? It's more of an open question than we might imagine at first glance.

Correspondent D.L.J. recently suggested an alternative way of looking at Social Security--and our entire scheme of central bank-created money. Let's start by noting that the U.S. Treasury does not create new money (commonly known as printing money) to fund the Federal government's deficit spending--it borrows the money by selling Treasury bonds on the global bond market.

The Federal Reserve has the right to create money out of thin air: it digitally creates money which it uses to buy Treasury bonds, mortgages, etc. The new cash ends up in the hands of whomever sold the Fed the bonds and mortgages--usually primary dealers, Wall Street banks, etc.

The Fed also creates credit out of thin by loaning immense sums or establishing lines of credit for "too big to fail" banks and equally insolvent foreign banks. During the 2008-09 global financial crisis, the Fed extended $16 trillion in credit to global banks. That is roughly equivalent to the entire gross domestic product (GDP) of the U.S.

As millions of Baby Boomers start drawing their Social Security benefits, the system has slipped into deficit. The Social Security Administration (SSA) collected $725 billion in Social Security tax revenues and paid $773 billion for benefits and overhead expenses in 2012, a $48 billion deficit. (Recall that employers and employees each pay 7.65% in payroll taxes on earned income, a total payroll tax of 15.3% of which 12.4% is for Social Security and 2.9% is for Medicare.)

The Treasury raised that $48 billion by selling Treasury bonds that accrue interest, basically forever, as the U.S. is running monumental $1+ trillion deficits every year.

Based on the none-too-pleasant historical results of printing money with abandon, many people are convinced that printing money will trigger a devaluation in the dollar that we experience as inflation, i.e. everything costs more because our money is worth less.

Inflation effectively robs everyone who holds dollars, and it is especially destructive to wage earners, as they are less likely to get raises to keep up with inflation as compared to those with capital and unearned income from stocks, bonds, real estate, oil, etc.

High inflation wipes out savings and destroys the underpinnings of the economy. Venezuela is providing a real-time example of what happens when devaluation of the currency and distortions in the economy triggered by that devaluation take hold: the shelves empty of goods and inflation rises to levels that implode the economy (40% to 50% is usually enough to do the trick).

The Fed has created $2.7 trillion in new money since 2008, yet inflation is tame--less than 2% acording to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). There are several reasons why this money creation has not resulted in the high inflation we would normally expect when $400+ billion of new money is created every year:

1. It isn't enough new money to spark inflation in the vast multi-input U.S. economy.

2. Most of it isn't actually going into the economy, so it has had no inflationary effect.

3. The velocity of money is so low that even a few trillion dollars in new money can't trigger inflation.

There are good reasons to conclude each statement has some validity.

The bloated, debt-dependent status quo is so mired in diminishing returns and state-cartel rentier skimming that a strong case can be made that the system needs a rather substantial quantity of new money and credit to be created every year just to keep the system from imploding.

Here is the monetary base, which just hit $3.5 trillion. Note that this is not the same as cash in circulation, but it does show the Fed is still pedal-to-the-metal in terms of creating money out of thin air.

Here is money velocity, diving to new lows.

D.L.J. suggested an alternative to the current system of taxing workers and employers for Social Security, letting the Fed print trillions of new dollars for its banker buddies and borrowing money to fund Social Security deficits that future generations have to pay interest on forever:

Eliminate the Fed (or at least its right to create money) and Social Security, its bogus Trust Funds, its 12.4% (highly regressive) tax altogether and pay retirees with cash printed by the Treasury, not the Fed. Eliminating the Fed (or at a minimum, its ability to create money out of thin air) means there is no "new money" inflationary pressure other than the money printed to pay pension benefits in lieu of Social Security.

Since nobody is paying Social Security taxes, employees and employers both get a hefty 6% tax reduction.

With the system and its promises of a pension to everyone who paid into the system gone, there is no need to pay retirement benefits to those with substantial income from other sources. The program can revert to providing a pension to those with no other substantial income. Those with incomes above $50,000 (i.e. the top 25%) from all sources, earned and unearned, have no need for a Treasury-funded pension; they're hardly at risk of living in a cardboard box. The current system's skewing to lower-income workers would be maintained, so individuals in the top 40% would receive less than those with no other income.

This would slice a major chunk off the annual pension outlays. Let's guesstimate that total outlays would fall to the $600 billion a year range.

The new pension system would not be universal; it would retain the SSA requirement that only those who worked the requisite number of quarters would qualify for a pension.

Would printing and distributing $600 billion a year trigger high inflation? I think that is an open question for the reasons noted above. Is that enough money to unleash inflation in a $16 trillion economy with numerous deflationary pressures? Distributing the newly created cash to retirees rather the Fed's banker buddies will undoubtedly increase the velocity of money, because the new money will be placed in the hands of people who will spend much or most of it.

The government would reduce its liabilities (the bogus Trust Funds) by roughly $4 trillion, and taxpayers will no longer be paying interest on Social Security deficits.

The effect of printing and distributing $600 billion a year is not as straightforward as we might imagine because the economy has many inputs. Consider what would happen once the Fed could no longer print money and use it to suppress interest rates and funnel the cash to its banker cartel.

The stock market would nosedive, interest rates would rise, crushing the bond market, and real estate's current Fed-induced bubble would burst. Trillions of dollars in assets would disappear in a matter of weeks as the economy renormalizes to a state of free-market discovery of asset prices and the end of the Fed's manipulation.

Such a renormalization would be deflationary, as those losing the trillions of dollars in assets will be significantly poorer.

As part of this thought experiment, we can also ask: since the Fed already "prints" $400+ billion a year, would an additional $200-$250 billion in newly created money be enough to tip the $16 trillion U.S. economy into dangerously high inflation?

I think it is fair to say that the answer is contingent on all the other other moving parts and inputs of the economy. If $10 trillion in assets vanishes as a result of the Fed losing its power to manipulate interest rates and reward the bankers, that deflationary tsunami would very likely overwhelm the injection of $600 billion of Treasury-printed pensions.

Would inflation rise in the future after this renormalization? Possibly. But once again the answer depends not simply on the creation of money but all the other factors mentioned above.

 

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Fri, 11/15/2013 - 15:30 | 4158719 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Git yer libertarian commy hands off my Social Security you pinko,  I'm ENTITLED to that money.

Why don't you go an cut some REAL welfare like all those young people getting money to go party at college!?!

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 15:35 | 4158748 Looney
Looney's picture

What a ClusterCoitus! (please, don’t confuse it with ClusterSCOiTUS or ClusterPOiTUS)  ;-)

Looney

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 15:51 | 4158800 max2205
max2205's picture

We are fucked when ideas like this are thrown against the wall

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:15 | 4158905 r101958
r101958's picture

"The Fed has created $2.7 trillion in new money since 2008, yet inflation is tame--less than 2% acording to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). There are several reasons why this money creation has not resulted in the high inflation we would normally expect when $400+ billion of new money is created every year".

How about obfuscation #4: The Gov't supplied CPI does not reflect current real inflation which is actually about 8% annually.

So, when you are getting a 1 or 2% raise or cost of living increase, you are actually losing buying power. When you are getting paid a paltry 0.05% on your savings you are actually losing buying power. It is called financial repression.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 17:42 | 4159224 BigRedRider
BigRedRider's picture

0.05% on savings?  How white of you.  Try 0.01% at any upscale bank for savings accounts.

Sat, 11/16/2013 - 01:51 | 4160115 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

The 'Bag Man' (whatever he calls 'Not A Real American'), seems to be inciting a duplicitous response on the Zero Hedge website.

You won't be able to serve duplicitous Masters.

Which is more important: Bankster fiat currency debt instrument monies, or True freedom?

Answer by watching this video, and ask yourselves: Do you wish awareness, or Sheep sleep; leading unto perdition and Death?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXcdYBh3hgg

 

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:17 | 4158907 superflex
superflex's picture

How about we take all the Boomers out and shoot em in the head using scary AR assault rifles with 30 round mags.

That will solve the problem this Ponzi scheme has created.

Sincerey,

A Gen X'r

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 20:04 | 4159592 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Do your mom first.

Sat, 11/16/2013 - 01:48 | 4160116 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

S.F.:

You forgot the 'sarc' tag.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:24 | 4158938 Joe Davola
Joe Davola's picture

Hey, how about we force all them rich bastards with 401k's to have to give that money to the Treasury and then the treasury can redistribute that.

Oh wait, VPOTUS already looking into that.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:23 | 4158936 rubiconsolutions
rubiconsolutions's picture

"Git yer libertarian commy hands off my Social Security you pinko,  I'm ENTITLED to that money."

Why don't your read the supreme courts two decisions about social security - Helvering v. Davis and Flemming v. Nestor. Then come back and say you are ENTITLED to that money. You certainly feel entitled but legally speaking you aren't entitled.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:38 | 4158995 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  You certainly feel entitled but legally speaking you aren't entitled.

You must be one of them hippies who hates America, and the troops.

Love it or leave it ya goddamn hippy!!!

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 18:20 | 4159340 rubiconsolutions
rubiconsolutions's picture

Yeah, sure. No, in fact I'm 58 years old and a Vietnam vet. Do I hate America? No, but I have nothing but disdain for the American government. I was one of "the troops" but wised up years ago about the military and military-industrial complex. I discouraged my children and any young person I meet from joining by educating them on the facts about what the military stands for. The military has done a brilliant job of marketing itself as unique, special and morally superior to the rest of government when in fact they are identical. There is materially no difference between a soldier and an IRS agent. One is trained to kill and one is trained to steal. Both are morally reprehensible acts. I threw away my medals/ribbons a long time ago and put my honorable discharge and DD-214 through the shredder along with all other documents related to my time in the military. "Love it or leave it", what a bunch of bovine scat. That's the talk of an ignorant nationalist and not an educated patriot. But hey, thanks for your input. 

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 19:11 | 4159468 Dadburnitpa
Dadburnitpa's picture

You must have been... what, 19 or so by April 30, 1975?  The combat troopers left in March '73.  Were you a jarhead?  Some of those guys were still around until Saigon went.  Many advisors were still there too, but they would have been a lot older than you.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 22:34 | 4159869 PhysicalRealm
PhysicalRealm's picture

Sir -- I understand, but get that DD-214 replaced.  You'll need it when you apply for Social Sec (assuming they still have SS when you're old enough).  Good luck to you.

Sat, 11/16/2013 - 02:03 | 4160125 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

@BAGMAN (N.A.REAL A.):

You fight a losing battle, from within your entrenched basements and deep caves, within the 'MIC'.

YAY, TROOPS! 'MERICUH! FUC YAH?'

How's that 'support' number doin' within the CONUS, you paid schill fuckster?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tX5ZRE26YWM

Tell Netanyahu that WE don't appreciate the shit you pedal, you prick.

 

WE ARE ANONYMOUS.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 18:24 | 4159354 HOBO POTHEAD
HOBO POTHEAD's picture

Let me guess - you must be the "New Normal".

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 21:25 | 4159687 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

" I'm ENTITLED to that money."

I'm always confused as to why Social Security is considered an entitlement.  Do people pay into the SNAP, Section 8 housing and other F$A "rewards" like I have been doing since turning 16 and having a full-time job?  It is nothing more than a forced retirement savings plan that I did not ask for.  I would be happy if I could just get what I have paid in for all these years back.  Now, I can see where the argument comes in that when I retire I would be getting back more per-month than I paid in.  Good point, but if the same government had NOT debased the currency for all of these years, I think that I would be able to get by with a stipend that matched my average contribution.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 15:32 | 4158732 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

I usually don't get baited into the young vs old bullshit but this statement is ridiculous.

"Distributing the newly created cash to retirees rather the Fed's banker buddies will undoubtedly increase the velocity of money, because the new money will be placed in the hands of people who will spend much or most of it."

We have already started down this path with QE. If you print for the boomers than everyone below the boomers will riot and want their piece. It's not what should happen but I guess it's what may end up happening.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 15:46 | 4158788 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  It's not what should happen but I guess it's what may end up happening.

Eventually tho, it would relegate SS to just another welfare program.   This would be bad for the future OldFarts (who are, uh, now young and have lots of college loans).

SS only exists now because of the fantasy that's it's not welfare, it's considered by most people as a retirement entitlement.   

Remove the fantasy and you've just got another group of losers on welfare that the mean people would love to throw to the ground and kick in the nuts.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:17 | 4158912 Popo
Popo's picture

Eat the old.  They spent their lives fattening up at the expense of future generations.   Let's Soylent Green them and move on.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 17:33 | 4159193 DollarMenu
DollarMenu's picture

How many years do you have until you move into the 'kill zone'?

Can those behind you count on you being liquidated on schedule?

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 20:06 | 4159598 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

 

Eat the old.  They spent their lives fattening up at the expense of future generations.

Just don't tell them about the plan until after they've worked their asses off for 40-50 years thinking it somehow matters.

Sat, 11/16/2013 - 09:32 | 4160307 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Carousel, carousel!

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 17:20 | 4159154 Imminent Crucible
Imminent Crucible's picture

"Distributing the newly created cash to retirees rather the Fed's banker buddies will undoubtedly increase the velocity of money because the old farts will spend it."

Fatal error.  The M2V chart is absolutely useless in gauging money turnover.  Why?  Because the idiot Fed arrives at M2V simply by taking GDP and dividing it by M2 money supply.  Look at the stratospheric growth in M2, and compare it to the pitiful growth in the GDP.  As long as the Fed is adding over $1 trillion to money supply every year just through QE, there is no way that M2 velocity can rise.  At least, not until GDP is growing by much MORE than $1 trillion annually.

The only thing M2V tells us is that the Fed is debasing the currency far faster than the economy is growing.  And since it's pretty much impossible to grow an economy with a currency that's rapidly losing purchasing power,   W E     A R E    S C R E W E D.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:04 | 4158863 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

I always sally forth with the uncomfortable truth when Soc Sec is discussed.

It's profoundly racist.  Retirees are mostly white.

Blacks die early.  Period.  It doesn't matter why or if it is unfair.  They do.  Blah blah inferior care in ghettos, blah blah It Doesn't Matter Why.  They die early.

But they (minorities) are increasingly the majority of the workforce and it is extractions from their paychecks funding the white retirees.  They, the minorities, will not collect their own share.  They will die early.  It's a profoundly racist system.

 

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:10 | 4158888 greatbeard
greatbeard's picture

>> Retirees are mostly white.

Odd, from where I'm sitting, I don't see a problem with that.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:38 | 4158994 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

What's right about extracting money from black paychecks with a promise that they will collect Soc Sec benefits -- WHEN YOU KNOW THEY WILL NOT -- and using that extracted money to pay for white retirement?

Sat, 11/16/2013 - 12:12 | 4160484 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

Because it offsets the white paid taxes funding the minority FREE SHIT programs.........for one !

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:56 | 4159048 RockRiver
RockRiver's picture

The system is not racist.....

 

The participants choose their lifestyles and those that die early are not due to the Social Security program.

 

You have twisted the facts to suit an idea....

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:58 | 4159057 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

What exactly is the black lifestyle choice that makes them susceptible to hypertension more than whites?

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 17:24 | 4159168 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Black on black violence, single mothers, McDonalds, Fried Chicken (and everything else fried), no education and without a doubt, rap music in all its' incarnations. Life expectancy numbers are skewed by black violence amongst males. 

SS is a game of survival. Survival is not racist. 

You want to complain? Go shoot some .001%' ters. They are the master race and everyone else is just trying to support their plantation.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 17:25 | 4159171 ouchtouch
ouchtouch's picture

Their ancestors chose to survive the Middle Passage via hypertension, DUH!

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:59 | 4159059 Wyatt Junker
Wyatt Junker's picture

Nothing is "extracted from the paychecks" of blacks and hispanics.  The blacks sell drugs and the browns pull lettuce, neither of which goes through a payroll program.  Its all cash. 

I wish it was as you said though, but it ain't.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 17:30 | 4159183 Omen IV
Omen IV's picture

Let them eat cake!

 

 

Sat, 11/16/2013 - 02:25 | 4160144 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

@ 'CrashisOptimistic':

Yes, you always 'SALLY FORTH'.

Oh, you WISH you were named 'Sally'.

So, tell me, Sally Forth, which way do you like recieving? I seem to recall a comic strip named 'Sally Forth', back in the late 1960's, that espoused ALL of your views. She used to get it bent over a washer, and in bed, as well, and she LOVED to get all 'risque', as she got fucked over, under, and in between, with multiple lovers.

Tell us, Sally, are white retirees mostly male? Are they heterosexual? Are they intolerant of other worldviews? Does this mean that everyone who retires is a white male heterosexual who is intolerant?

"Retirees are mostly white.", I think I saw you post.

NOW, 'THEY' the MINORITIES' will, I suppose, will 'rise' like cookies from the pan, to ETRADICATE those 'white people' (those that dared to retire, as well as all other whiteys).

YUP. I think this might be an ACTUAL racist comment by you, 'CO'.

 

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 15:34 | 4158740 CPL
CPL's picture

Ummm, SS is broke.  So unless they are handing out a bill to the elderly...nearly ten years of single digit interest.  There is nothing in there.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 15:35 | 4158745 Bear
Bear's picture

Pay cash to retirees, eliminate Social Security Payments ... then devalue ... Priceless

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 15:58 | 4158829 1stepcloser
1stepcloser's picture

Myself, I was hoping for the Death Panel of Retires, Elimate FICA Deduction from my paycheck, return 100% of my money invested plan...then walk away  

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 15:36 | 4158755 Debeachesand Je...
Debeachesand Jerseyshores's picture

As Judy Garland sang in The Wizard of Oz,"Some where over the Rainbow".

 

Too elegantly simple to work.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 15:38 | 4158760 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

The Bernanke is three years ahead of you.

 

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 15:44 | 4158772 Ham-bone
Ham-bone's picture

Pulled data from ’00, ’08, and ’13 trying to understand the rapid growth in public debt and the slow down of non-marketable debt.  Alongside the Fed and it’s huge increases in QE have been foreigners buying even greater amounts of US T debt at ever lower yields. 

I have no visibility or insight as to who these foreigners are (CB’s?, foreign PD’s?, institutional?, retail?.) or what $'s they are using (currency swaps, QE from US branches of foreign banks, recycling, etc.). 

If the Fed intends to be credible regarding a tapering (market moving) it would seem that the only party left to buy these T’s would be these same foreigners, at ever greater % of outstanding US T debt, and at ever larger loses on their existing T holdings?  If not foreigners, who exactly would be the step-in buyer?

And of the interest to be paid on this debt, given 50% of Notes/Bonds are foreign held, all this interest will exit the US economy not creating velocity or money multipliers...and assuming foreigners are the primary buyer for future T debt @ higher rates, this interest paid will become a greater and greater sucking sound on the economy??? 

Likewise, with the deceleration of the SS "surplus", the growth of non-marketable debt will cease and potentially begin declining neccessitating even more public T issuance to pay for this...putting even greater pressure on someone (foreign someones?) to soak up this issuance?  And ever less remitance from the Fed and intra-gov debt returning to the Treasury resulting in even larger budget deficits???

Seems a few of these questions of Janet would have been in order on how exactly the Fed could taper, much less, normalize to pre-GC Treasury levels???

'00

  • GDP $9.5 T
  • Marketable debt = $3.3 T  (blended interest rate of 6.4%)
  • Non-marketable debt = $2.3 T
    • Fed           2% of Notes/Bonds/TIPS ($50 B)
    • Foreigner 30% of Notes/Bonds/TIPS (890 B)

'08

  • GDP $13.7 T
  • Marketable debt = $5.1 T  (blended interest rate of 5%)
  • Non-marketable debt $4.1 T
    • Fed  4% of Notes/Bonds/TIPS ($200 B)
    • Foreigner  42% of Notes/Bonds/TIPS ($2.2 T)

'13

  • GDP $16 T
  • Marketable debt = $12.2 T  (blended interest rate of 2.3%)
  • Non-marketable debt = $4.9 T
    • Fed           22% of Notes/Bonds/TIPS ($2.2 T)
    • Foreigner  50% of Notes/Bonds/TIPS ($5 T)
Fri, 11/15/2013 - 15:50 | 4158783 maskone909
maskone909's picture

strange because from what ive been hearing is that forigners have been net sellers as of recent

btw those gdp figures should be held as different variables as they have "changed" the way they calculate it

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:44 | 4158922 Ham-bone
Ham-bone's picture

I have a hard time looking @ the TIC data but looks to me as if...

From Jan '08 through March '11...there was not a single monthly decline in foreign holdings of Treasury's but so far this year there has been a decline of about -$50 B through August data (Apr/May/June were -$75 B before increases in July/Aug of $50 B). 

This tiny decline so far this year could simply be that w/ QE continuing @ $45 B a month but budget deficits being smaller, there is simply less debt avaialable to foreigners to purchase???  Certainly no signficant selling on $5.1 T base in foreign T holdings (Notes/Bonds).

welcome to read this data yourself and help determine heads / tails...http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/tic/Pages/ticp...

Agreed, GDP is garbage in / garbage out but it is what it is.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 17:35 | 4159202 Seer
Seer's picture

If my theory that the Fed is intentionally looking to control everything is correct then it would make perfect sense (and correlation).  Better to have someone closer to home ready to forgive your debt than some evil commie country (or such).  I'm taking the Fed "taking it" for the "win."

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 18:00 | 4159269 Ham-bone
Ham-bone's picture

Yeah, that's possible but the Fed (@ present) is splitting control of the Treasury market with foreigners and in truth is slightly losing control as foreigners buy ever greater overall % of US T Notes/ Bonds/ TIPS...For the Fed to take control, they will need to simultaneously increase QE while new issuance declines (allowing them to focus on mopping up all rollover debt).

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:49 | 4159028 odatruf
odatruf's picture

Hi Ham-bone, a good set of questions and bit of work laying it out.

In your third graf, you ask who might buy T's if the Fed were to taper. In my view, I think they would lay off the MBS first before they ever pulled back on being the buyer of last resort (increasingly the only buyer, in fact) at Treasury auctions. I've never seen it said that there was any plan to specifically stop buying T's.

Who would sop up the MBS is another question. No one, I would think. At least the way the junk is bundled and sliced now. I don't have any idea how much that would dial back liquidity and credit, but I don't think it would be that much since really the only place it is sloshing around is between the open window, the PDs and the Fed's owners. It isn't making it very far downstream, IMO.  At least I don't see it.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 17:33 | 4159065 Ham-bone
Ham-bone's picture

Hey Oda -

Ben introduced us to the "Taper" meme May 22 - the initial discussion was when the taper would begin.  Then July 19th Ben followed up his previous statements in the press conference that followed the Fed's meeting...While stating that the quantitative easing policy remains in place for now, the Fed Chairman also the policy remains dependant on incoming data. Given the improvement in the U.S. economy, he expects this data-driven approach will prompt him to begin to taper QE before the end of 2013, with the program ending entirely in 2014 (it was never clear if MBS or T purchases would be first or in what amounts monthly decreases were to be).

Absent the $45 B in T purchases or $40 B in MBS, interest rates would move up until buyers of this stuff were properly enticed (aka, what was formerly known as a market)...that could be a lot of movement as present holders of this debt would see the upward move coming and seek to sell before losses in addition to ongoing new issuance...hard to say where rates would equalize???

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 17:41 | 4159218 Seer
Seer's picture

I'm thinking that Taper is all about just mixing things up a bit so that folks don't get so complacent and make this entire thing look as ugly as it really is.

Again, I figure the Fed to be buing up shit that no one else will (because it's really WAY overpriced and likely represents stuff that will, as the future unfolds, become less and less meaningful [McMansions when nobody can even manage to maintain them? high-end leased cars to go to jobs that don't exist or can't support their payment?]).  It's quite possible that the Fed will end up looking like the saint (for all) rather than the devil and that it'll swallow all the debt and then toss itself on the funeral pyre- debt jubilee (the system is going down no matter what anyone does).

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 17:52 | 4159249 Ham-bone
Ham-bone's picture

Hey Seer,

the whole "Taper" is mystifying...

Regarding Debt Jubilee - cancelling debt is a nice idea but you are also cancelling someone else's assets at the same time...assets millions are counting on for their pension funds and and and...cancelling or not cancelling has the same net impact - one persons asset they counted on for future income is gone while one persons debt they owed is gone - are we better off?

Sat, 11/16/2013 - 00:16 | 4160004 YC2
YC2's picture

Well, considering the disproportionate share of financial assets at the top, the destructive influence that inequality has on a society, and the amount of interest siphoned off the ultra leveraged economy, I am going to go with "probably"

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 15:43 | 4158776 maskone909
maskone909's picture

garsh

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 15:47 | 4158790 Solon the Destroyer
Solon the Destroyer's picture

This is a horrible idea and is the sort of political move that would guarantee hyperinflation.  Jesus, Charles.  The currency would be still fiat, the velocity of fiat money would go through the roof as would lack of faith in said fiat.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:03 | 4158812 daemon
daemon's picture

" Would printing and distributing $600 billion a year trigger high inflation? "

Of course not !

As soon as they will have paid their "affordable Obamacare insurance", they won't have any money left to spend elsewhere .

So, no inflation .

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 15:53 | 4158814 malek
malek's picture

Crap piece.

It is all based on "well so far inflation has been low (and even with Shadowstats 9% annual inflation estimate, lower than expected for this vast FED money printing), so it will never pick up suddenly if we keep doing so or even increase print rate."

It works until it doesn't. Then it will get interesting.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 15:53 | 4158817 arkady
arkady's picture

I never knew that CHS was actually a chartalist in diguise.  Ellen Brown is calling, she wants her ideas back.

Whats next, the merits of MMT?  Goodness, I always thought he was a bit off - but this seals the deal. 

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:17 | 4158913 acetinker
acetinker's picture

It was a thought experiment, after all & no more insane than the current scheme, imho.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:00 | 4158837 Gringo Viejo
Gringo Viejo's picture

I've been drawing SS retirement benefits for 13 months. I would GLADLY give that up if the government would give me the money I've paid into it since 1964, with compounded interest (keeping in mind that interest rates in 1980 alone reached 18%). I still work part-time and never had any illusions about anything other than working until I die. That the fund is empty is not on me; it's on the government. I simply want what was mine to begin with and apologize for nothing.

 

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 17:00 | 4159061 odatruf
odatruf's picture

I have another quarter century before I can collect SS (at current age rules). I'd settle for a 50% haircut off the current value of what I've put in to be able to walk away from it.  And I'd even willing to continue to pay the actuarial value of bying a SSI/disability annuity or buy one on my own if that's what it took.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:01 | 4158845 0b1knob
0b1knob's picture

"The velocity of money is so low..."

When the velocity of money starts to increase the inflationary shit will truely hit the proverbial fan.   

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:04 | 4158855 djrichard
djrichard's picture

With this proposal, spending by the Fed Gov doesn't radically change.  If anything it goes down, because there's less payout to retirees.

But what changes is that this is no longer sterilized spending.  Because there's no more taxes to offset that spending, nor is there issuance of bonds to offset that spending.  Basically the Fed Gov has taken the power of the printing press that used to be owned by the Fed Reserve.

That said, one can argue that the spending by the Fed Gov wasn't sterilized anyways, because it was being monetized by the Fed Reserve.  I can't remember the ratio, but I think roughly 50% of the $85B QE per month is for swaps with Treasuries - which is roughly $500B per year.  That is functionally equivalent to $500B per year of unsterilized spending by the Fed Gov (if the Fed Gov were going to supplant the Fed Reserve).

The assumption in the article is that the payout to retirees would be $600B per year.  We're playing pretend so let's call it a wash with the unsterilized spending by the Fed Reserve of $500B per year.  So the net effect is that spending by the Fed Gov goes down and the unsterilized spending injected into the economy stays roughly the same.  So inflation isn't an issue with this proposal.  However, it does put more money into the hands of the little guy as there's no more fica tax - in contrast to what QE does which is put more money into the hands of the guys who're holding bonds. [Edit: so velocity of money should increase significantly - that would be very healthy.]

The above ignores the impact of other effects from shutting down the Fed Reserve.  As mentioned in the above, the Fed Gov essentially takes over the unsterilized spending that is the equivalent of what QE does.  But what happens to the "naked shorting" process that the Fed Reserve has for issuing currency (in response to demand for debt)?  Functionally, that process is broken right now as there's little demand for debt, so presumably taking it away wouldn't have significant effect right now.  But it is that liquidity pump that truly underlies our economy's ability to create bubbles - is the market ready to give that up?

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:10 | 4158857 Dre4dwolf
Dre4dwolf's picture

I think it would work.

It would certainly work longer than the current system.

 

People have this fear of interest rates going up.

I say, if you can't afford to borrow the money, the intereest rates will follow demand, there are no borrowers out there willing to pay such high interest rates.

 

Interest rates will float 7 to 15%,  government bonds would no longer really need to exist if the treasury could just directly print currency.

Corporate Bonds would rise in interest offerings.... Corporate bonds would be sold at a nice discount.......... and would probably spur real investemnt (from the public into corporations , isntead of from centrap banks to corporations) allowing the public to share in the profits of civilizations labor.

 

Its a better system..

Anything is a better system than what we have now.

 

If you just got rid of the fed, there would be no central banks to borrow from, the banking branches would have to borrow from eachother, investors, the public, or the deposits.

 

Banks would shrink to sustainable sizes, you wouldn't have the bloated government backed banks.... and that would be a good thing.

 

Everytihng in America that has to do with money and the economy is in a bubble.

The size of the banking sector is in a bubble, there is no way the banking sector could of gotten that big without government protection and central bank printing presses.

The size of government is in a bubble, there is no way the government could of gotten that big without a central bank to print money and allow it to spend itself into oblivion.

The size of homes, cars, boats are in a bubble, people do not need 10,000 square feet for a family of two, and a mother certainly does not need a 12,000 lb 9 foot tall Hummer to take her kids to school up the block.

 

All parts of the economy are thrown into dis-proportion by the act of fractiona central reserve banking trickle up from the poor to the rich economics.

Get rid of the central bank and YES there will be some minor suffering, prices of equities will dive to what they SHOULD BE based on supply and demand and corporate earnings.

The stock market is in a bubble, it should not be 16,000 .... it should be 3000~ 8000 , the central banks have bloated it to double what it should be.

Homes that were 20,000$ in the 80s are now 600,000$, thats a bubble..... not enough new people were born to justify that price....... 20 million empty homes out there....... more empty homes than people who need homes, prices should be going down.

 

Everything is in a bubble.

EVERYTHING..

If you get rid of central banking the rose colored glasses come off and you see what things are "really worth".

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:04 | 4158864 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Is there a responsible adult anywhere in the realm of finance............??

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 20:11 | 4159603 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

The last one was killed and eaten at the weekly TBTF poker game back in August 2008.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:05 | 4158865 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

The FED owes every household $3 million tax free considering the bailouts and the gravy slathered on Wall Street with QE 1, 2, 3.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 17:02 | 4159066 odatruf
odatruf's picture

As soon as they pay it, that $3 million would buy you a cup of coffee. Venti size only.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:05 | 4158867 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

CHS's idea just doesn't go far enough.  The government should be prevented from ever borrowing moeny.  If it needs more than it is receiving it should print it.  That way inflation rages instantly instead of in ten years. It gives U.S. citizens a quick measure of how much rope to cut for lynching parties.

 

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:14 | 4158900 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  If it needs more than it is receiving it should print it.

Yes indeed,   which is exactly why both Team would be against it - but, of course, there'd be different bullshit delivered to their dumbasses about exactly why.

The magic of the current system is that the political sociopaths can spend without consequences and (as you pointed out) the citizens have no feed-back effect on the spending.  

You've really got to handing it to them smart-n-savvy people, they sure know how to run scams on the dumbasses.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:07 | 4158877 andrewp111
andrewp111's picture

The proposed scheme is identical to the use of a Trillion Dollar Coin to fund federal deficits. It would eventually become very inflationary for one very simple reason - if the funds did not have to be borrowed or taxed, but merely minted, the Congress would continually increase spending until wild inflation took off. There is no way to predict the threshhold value, but it would happen.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:19 | 4158916 slightlyskeptical
slightlyskeptical's picture

It's not a question pf paying social security or not. It is a question of if we should simply create our money ourselves or let the Fed create it and create IOU's.

I am of the camp that we should just print our defecit annually rather than borrow it. An economy run properly would allow the majority of citizens to enjoy a decent level of purchasing power and the ability to save for the future as well. Inflation shouldn't occur until we get beyond those levels. We are currently well below those levels for probably at least 250 million americans. If we print a trillion that works out to $400 per person. $400 per person in need will do nothing to stoke inflation even if it is done into perpituity. I wouldn't imagine seeing much inflation until we printed say $15 trillion that was distributed.

This leads me to the point that not only should we print our annual defecit, but we should print the money to pay off all our debts. Without debt service and some smart budgeting, tax proceeds would be enough to completely run government and even to fund most of the social programs. Still wouldn't cause inflation.

This still doesn't get the money to the people. So we would need even more stumulus printed. Probably need about $5,000 per household to really get things going. To combat any inflationary effects simply ratchet back fractional reserve banking to whatever point is needed.

Time to build a new paradigm - printing the money and eliminating fractional reserve banking would be a good place to start.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:28 | 4158917 lasvegaspersona
lasvegaspersona's picture

In the end the money is still created. As I am understanding CHS the only change is that it does not make a trip through the Fed....and maybe screwing some  benficiaries?

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:23 | 4158931 GreatUncle
GreatUncle's picture

Imagine a central banker coming up to you and say here's a million dollars? What would you do?

Throw it back at them saying not enough and whatever you offer would never be enough if you have the power to devalue it to nothing. Think Zimbabwe dollars.

It really is that pointless and definitely worthless.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:26 | 4158947 PubliusTacitus
PubliusTacitus's picture

How about ending Socialist Insecurity?  Full stop.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:27 | 4158955 syntaxterror
syntaxterror's picture

When worried about inflation, just change how it's calculated. Problem solved.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:35 | 4158985 lasvegaspersona
lasvegaspersona's picture

In the end there is so much misunderstanding of the monetary system and so much disagreement about how it should function that it will require a complete failure of the system to address it. There are huge winners and mega losers no matter what changes you make. There will never be consensus to make even small changes. 

Collapse allows those changes to be addresed. At that point the winners and losers are known and the changes to the game will be acceptable to all. Kind of like allowing designated hitters. You just can't do that in the middle of a game.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:39 | 4159000 docinthehouse
docinthehouse's picture

Why not

1)Balanced budget amendment

2) 5% sales tax to eliminate deficit (rescinded when paid) (on all sales) (buyer is charged)

3) 5% income tax on all sales (Seller charged income tax)

4)NO MORE CASH.  All transactions are electronic.  Any hacking/messing with accounts is rewarded with execution. 

This brings in all the shadow economy, drug money etc.  Hell, we don't care where you spend your money.  You want drugs.....have em!

You want nookie....enjoy!!!  Get government out of our lives.   Take that fucking hell hole DC and sink it.  When you take away the checkbook, the thieves will leave.

If you need the social security, you can have it.  If you don't ....move on.  Good for you!

EVERY LAW IS A FORM OF SLAVERY.  For order sake, and safety sake, it is good to abide by some common sense rules.

BUT A 2300  PAGE LAW IS TOTALITARIAN SLAVERY.  EVERYONE WHO VOTED FOR THAT IN CONGRESS AND THAT WHITE HOUSE DOPE IS UNDER HOUSE ARREST 

UNTIL THEY PASS A 2300 QUESTION QUIZ 100% CORRECTLY ON  OBAMACARE.  WHEN YOU ARE FUCKING 330 MILLION OTHER PEOPLE'S LIVES, IT WOULD BE NICE TO KNOW

THEY REALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY ARE DOING.  They would never leave house arrest. Really Really Really too dumb....Really dumb.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:46 | 4159016 Sonic the porcupine
Sonic the porcupine's picture

Lets not get rid of cash, unless you want the gov to be able to track absolutely every transaction. Plus your plan would never work, because Washington has no restraint, and you didn't mention that we need to slash 95%+ of all government programs.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:51 | 4159009 Sonic the porcupine
Sonic the porcupine's picture

Would printing the cash to fund pensions for low-income retirees trigger inflation?

The correct definition of inflation is "a general increase in the money supply." By this definition, printing cash doesn't cause inflation it is inflation. Although, all else equal, it will also result in observed prices rising.

The wrong (although generally accepted) definition of inflation is: "a general increase in prices and fall in the purchasing value of money."

Under this incorrect, although generally accepted definition, printing cash wouldn't necessarily result in observed prices rising, but it would put upward pressure on whatever people who receive the newly printed dollars decide to buy. To illustrate this point, consider that the price of computers has been steadily falling, even though the money supply has been increasing, because despite inflation (by which I mean monetary expansion) the cost to make computers continues to fall even faster than the dollar is devalued.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 17:02 | 4159067 Wyatt Junker
Wyatt Junker's picture

No one discusses the real issue.  We can talk about the Fed, but the Fed was a creation of the govt. 

All this time the govt. needed the Fed in order to back up its(the govt's) promises. 

The Fed was never the devil.  It was the neutral vehicle used by govt. to issue debt in order to lie to voters with FDR/LBJ/BHO legacy bullshit in order to expand the voter client base and lock in power.

The govt. is the problem.  The Fed is the invented bitch of govt.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 20:13 | 4159610 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

The Fed is the invented bitch of the people who own the government.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 17:07 | 4159093 surf0766
surf0766's picture

How about no

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 17:39 | 4159211 mark mchugh
mark mchugh's picture

Dear Chuckles,

You can cash me out without any interest, as long as you do it IN PHYSICAL GOLD!!

Just add up my annual contributions divided by the average price of gold for each year.

Since gold "isn't money" no one should have a problem with that, right?

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 17:38 | 4159214 BigRedRider
BigRedRider's picture

"The Social Security Administration (SSA) collected $725 billion in Social Security tax revenues and paid $773 billion for benefits and overhead expenses in 2012, a $48 billion deficit."

 

Hey, you forgot to add the juice for all those loans the fed took out on Social Security.

 

YOU DIDN'T FIGURE IN THE VIG!

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 17:45 | 4159235 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

pensions are ponzi schemes

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 18:25 | 4159353 magne13
magne13's picture

Great idea, but your are merely talking about redistribution of wealth, that is all the asset holders get haricuts of about 70% from the deflation, prices fall to intrinsic demand levels and the divide between the wealthy and poor shrinks as more overextended wealthy asset holders lose their values and if they are rehypothecated may go under.  So I dont think the TPTB are interested in the solution, as much as there are interested in the status quo of QE...it will take a revolution to do this, but I would be all for it...

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 20:02 | 4159589 TwoHoot
TwoHoot's picture

Please say it ain't so CHS. Did you sneeze your brains out and let the dogs eat them?

The FED can't print tortillas. Neither can the treasury.

They can't print haircuts or plumbing repairs or electricity or meds either. Or anything else we need to live.

Quit worrying about money and think about where real goods and useful services might originate.

Venezuala has paper money out the yazoo but can't get toilet paper to wipe their ass. Money makes piss poor soup, won't unclog a sewer line and won't run your car (electric or otherwise). In Zimbawe they can print more zeroes on a piece of paper than Yellen can count but it still won't buy a tortilla.

Mexicans might be able to build anything out of money since they can do everything with nothing. But gringos and everybody else is fucked.

Get real folks. Grow up and face the facts. It has been tried many times before and IT DOESN'T WORK!!!

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 20:14 | 4159613 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Oh yeah?

I hear that with a good 3D printer, you can print up your own sewer lines, cars and soup. So who needs workers anymore?

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 21:23 | 4159709 RMolineaux
RMolineaux's picture

Hugh-Smith's correspondent DLJ is not very good at arithmetic, law or economics. 

The 48 billion excess of benefits over contributions in 2012 were not paid for by Treasury issuance of new bonds.  They were paid by refunding some of the special Treasury bonds held in the Social Security Trust Fund, thereby reducing modestly the balance in that fund, which holds over a trillion dollars.

He correctly cites three reasons for the small amount of price inflation currently being experienced, but omits two important ones:  Cost push and demand pull.  Corporations have been reducing costs by laying off workers and installing greater efficiency.  Demand is stagnant because of high unemployment and deteriorating wages.

The SS trust fund is established by law and has functioned successfully for 70 years.  Does DLJ propose to abolish the fund and return its assets to employers and employees who have faithfully paid their contributions into it for those same 70 years?  And if the Treasury issues new currency to pay pensioners, would this not double the fiscal deficit, already close to 1 trillion per year? 

In my opinion, this article is amateurish in the extreme and certainly not up to zerohedge standards.

 

Sat, 11/16/2013 - 01:49 | 4160117 0b1knob
0b1knob's picture

A more interesting idea would be to give people a big cash settlement to leave the social security system.    Did you ever see those relentless commercials on TV from JG Wentworth offering money for structured settlements?    Most people are too dim witted to do the math and take what is often a very poor cash payment.   Might work for SS too.

Sat, 11/16/2013 - 05:56 | 4160215 the tower
the tower's picture

Switzerland will vote on a basic income: every person gets a monthly amount in the form of a negative tax. In return all social security will be scrapped.

It will cause huge savings because government can be made smaller.

It will make employees much cheaper to hire, and the overall system much fairer.

Many might (probably will) opt to work part-time, so full employment would be possible.

 

Sat, 11/16/2013 - 08:55 | 4160282 graspAU
graspAU's picture

The Supreme Court has established that no one has any legal right to Social Security benefits. The Court decided, in Flemming v. Nestor (1960), that "entitlement to Social Security benefits is not a contractual right". In that case, Ephram Nestor, a Bulgarian immigrant to the United States who made contributions for covered wages for the statutorily required "quarters of coverage" was nonetheless denied benefits after being deported in 1956 for being a member of the Communist party.

The case specifically held:

2. A person covered by the Social Security Act has not such a right in old-age benefit payments as would make every defeasance of "accrued" interests violative of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Pp. 608–611. (a) The noncontractual interest of an employee covered by the Act cannot be soundly analogized to that of the holder of an annuity, whose right to benefits are based on his contractual premium payments. Pp. 608–610. (b) To engraft upon the Social Security System a concept of "accrued property rights" would deprive it of the flexibility and [363 U.S. 603, 604] boldness in adjustment to ever-changing conditions which it demands and which Congress probably had in mind when it expressly reserved the right to alter, amend or repeal any provision of the Act. Pp. 610–611. 3. Section 202 (n) of the Act cannot be condemned as so lacking in rational justification as to offend due process. Pp. 611–612. 4. Termination of appellee's benefits under 202 (n) does not amount to punishing him without a trial, in violation of Art. III, 2, cl. 3, of the Constitution or the Sixth Amendment; nor is 202 (n) a bill of attainder or ex post facto law, since its purpose is not punitive. Pp. 612–621.[65]

Sun, 11/17/2013 - 21:20 | 4163806 RMolineaux
RMolineaux's picture

This is an interesting interpretation of the Supreme Court's decision.  I am sure there are many who disagree with this interpretation.  The purpose of the denial of benefits was clearly punitive.  It is not clear who this author is citing.  Clearly, each participant in the SS system does not sign an individual contract with the government.  Apparently, this fact was siezed upon by the shysters who arranged to deny this worker the benefits he was entitled to.

Sun, 11/17/2013 - 21:51 | 4163874 RMolineaux
RMolineaux's picture

The grandiose statement that "The Supreme Court has established that no one has any legal right to Social Security benefits."  is clearly false.  If true, the government has been violating the Supreme Court's decision for 50 years by paying out billions in benefits to participants.  All the Supreme Court did in this decision (if reported correctly), was to re-affirm that individual workers do not have a legal contract with the government that would be parallel to vesting under a private, individual retirement contract.  The absence of individual contracts with vesting in the Social Security system, has enabled the system to make adjustments, approved by the Congress, in the payment of benefits to workers within the provisions of the original law of 1935.

 

Sat, 11/16/2013 - 08:58 | 4160283 graspAU
graspAU's picture

In 1953, a subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee conducted hearings for the express purpose of settling the question of whether social security was contractual in nature; see Hearings of November 27, 1953 entitled "The Legal Status of OASI Benefits," (Part 6). The witness at the hearing was Dr. Arthur J. Altmeyer, who held several offices in the Roosevelt administration. He was a member of the first Social Security Board, and by 1946 became the Social Security Commissioner, retiring in 1953. During this hearing, various parties stated that social security was not a contract:

At page 918:

"Mr. Altmeyer: * * * There is no individual contract between the beneficiary and the Government.
"Mr. Dingell: Congress knew that, did it not?
"Mr. Altmeyer: Yes, of course. I am sure it did.

* * *
"Chairman Curtis: The individual * * * has no contract? Is that your position?
"Mr. Altmeyer: That is right.
"Chairman Curtis: And he has no insurance contract?
"Mr. Altmeyer: That is right."

At page 937:

"Chairman Curtis: We came to an agreement on one of our major premises, that this was no insurance contract, and the words did not come from me. They were volunteered by Mr. Altmeyer."

At page 968:

"Mr. Winn: * * * Mr. Altmeyer, there being no contractual obligation between the Government and the worker, it follows, does it not, that the benefit payments under title II of the Social Security Act are merely statutory benefits which Congress may withdraw or alter at any time?"

At page 969:

"Mr. Winn (reading): ‘These are gratuities, not based on contract * * *. Moreover, the act creates no contractual obligation with respect to the payment of benefits. This Court has pointed out the difference between insurance which creates vested rights, and pensions and other gratuities, involving no contractual obligations, in Lynch v. United States, (292 U.S. 571, 576-577)."

At page 994:

"Mr. Altmeyer: I have answered your question, sir. If you will refer to section 1101, you will find, as you read into the record, that there are no vested rights, that Congress may create different rights * * *."

At page 996:

"Mr. Winn: We have also established that there is no insurance contract between the Government and the worker within a covered wage whereby the rights and obligations of a party are set; that is correct, is it not?

"Mr. Altmeyer: No. You did not establish that. That has been self-evident since the law was passed in 1935."

At pages 1013-14 (the Chair's concluding remarks):

"Chairman Curtis: Mr. Altmeyer, it is apparent that the people of the country have no insurance contract. That does not mean that I do not want to do my full part to do justice to them and to carry out and make good on the moral commitment that has been made to them. Yet, notwithstanding the fact that they had no insurance contract, it remains true that the agency under your direction repeatedly in public statements, by pamphlets, radio addresses, and by other means, told the people of the country that they had insurance. I think a number of people were misled by that."

Sun, 11/17/2013 - 21:34 | 4163843 RMolineaux
RMolineaux's picture

Note that Altmeyer contradicts the Chairman's notion that the committee has "established" that the individual worker has no contract with the government.  The relationship is established in the original law of 1935.

 

Sat, 11/16/2013 - 21:10 | 4161496 Vin
Vin's picture

I would love to be cashed-out.  I could then take the play money and buy gold at these stupid prices.

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