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Killing The "We Paid Our Taxes; We Earned Our Benefits" Social Security Ponzi Meme

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Gary Galles of the Ludwig von Mises Institute,

“We paid our Social Security and Medicare taxes; we earned our benefits.” It is that belief among senior citizens that President Obama was pandering to when, in his second inaugural address, he claimed that those programs “strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers.”

If Social Security and Medicare both involved people voluntarily financing their own benefits, an argument could be made for seniors’ “earned benefits” view. But they have not. They have redistributed tens of trillions of dollars of wealth to themselves from those younger.

Social Security and Medicare have transferred those trillions because they have been partial Ponzi schemes.

After Social Security’s creation, those in or near retirement got benefits far exceeding their costs (Ida Mae Fuller, the first Social Security recipient, got 462 times what she and her employer together paid in “contributions”). Those benefits in excess of their taxes paid inherently forced future Americans to pick up the tab for the difference. And the program’s almost unthinkable unfunded liabilities are no less a burden on later generations because earlier generations financed some of their own benefits, or because the government has consistently lied that they have paid their own way.

Since its creation, Social Security has been expanded multiple times. Each expansion meant those already retired paid no added taxes, and those near retirement paid more for only a few years. But both groups received increased benefits throughout retirement, increasing the unfunded benefits whose burdens had to be borne by later generations. Thus, each such expansion started another Ponzi cycle benefiting older Americans at others’ expense.

Social Security benefits have been dramatically increased. They doubled between 1950 and 1952. They were raised 15 percent in 1970, 10 percent in 1971, and 20 percent in 1972, in a heated competition to buy the elderly vote. Benefits were tied to a measure that effectively double-counted inflation and even now, benefits are over-indexed to inflation, raising real benefit levels over time.

Disability and dependents’ benefits were added by 1960. Medicare was added in 1966, and benefits have been expanded (e.g., Medicare Part B, only one-quarter funded by recipients, and Part D’s prescription drug benefit, only one-eighth funded by recipients).

The massive expansion of Social Security is evident from the growing tax burden since its $60 per year initial maximum (for employees and employers combined). Tax rates have risen and been applied to more earnings, with Social Security now taking a combined 12.4 percent of earnings up to $113,700 (and Medicare’s 2.9 percent combined rate applies to all earnings, plus a 0.9 percent surtax beyond $200,000 of earnings).

Those multiple Ponzi giveaways to earlier recipients created Social Security’s 13-digit unfunded liability and Medicare’s far larger hole. And despite politicians’ repeated, heated denials, many studies have confirmed the results.

One recent study of lifetime payroll taxes and benefits comes from the Urban Institute. For Medicare, they calculated that (in 2012 dollars) an average-wage-earning male would get $180,000 in benefits, but pay only $61,000 in taxes — “earning” only about one-third of benefits received. A similarly situated female does even better. The cumulative “excess” benefits equal $105 trillion, with net benefits increasing over time.

The Urban Institute’s calculations revealed a different situation for Social Security. An average-earning male who retired in 2010 will receive $277,000 in lifetime benefits, $23,000 less than his lifetime taxes, while for females, their $302,000 in lifetime benefits approximates their lifetime taxes. And things are getting worse. By 2030, that man will be “shorted” 16 cents (10 cents for women) of every lifetime tax dollar paid.

While those results resoundingly reject “we earned it” rhetoric for Medicare, the Social Security results, with new retirees getting less than they paid in, could be spun as “proving” Social Security is not a Ponzi scheme. However, that would be false. The reason is that Medicare is still in its expansion phase, as with Medicare Part D, piling up still bigger future IOUs. However, Social Security has essentially run out of new expansion tricks, although liberal groups are pushing to apply Social Security taxes to far more income as one last means of robbing those younger to delay the day of reckoning. That simply means that we are being forced to start facing the full consequences of the redistribution that was started in 1935. That is, the current bad deal Social Security offers retirees is just the result of the fact that it has been a Ponzi scheme for generations, and someone must get stuck “holding the bag.”

In fact, perhaps the best description of the current Social Security and Medicare situation comes from Henry Hazlitt, long ago, in Economics in One Lesson:

Today is already the tomorrow which the bad economist yesterday urged us to ignore. The long-run consequences of some economic policies may become evident in a few months. Others may not become evident for several years. Still others may not become evident for decades. But in every case those long-run consequences are contained in the policy as surely as the hen was in the egg, the flower in the seed.

Social Security and Medicare’s generational high-jacking has become “the third rail of politics” in large part because seniors want to believe that they paid their own way. But they have not. They have only paid for part of what they have gotten. The rest has indeed been a Ponzi scheme. And as Social Security is already revealing, the future cannot be put off forever, however much wishful thinking is involved. Some are already being forced to confront the exploding pot of IOUs involved, and it will get much worse.

The supposedly “most successful government program in the history of the world,” according to Harry Reid, has turned seniors into serious takers. The fact that some of them are now starting to share the pain caused by those programs does not contradict that fact. It just shows the dark side of the most successful Ponzi scheme in the history of the world.


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Sat, 11/23/2013 - 18:44 | 4184062 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

Strength is weakness.  War is peace.  Hate is love.

Curiously, the chiming of the hour seemed to have put new heart into him.  He was a lonely ghost uttering a truth that nobody would ever hear.  But so long as he uttered it, in some obscure way the continuity was not broken.  It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage.

Orwell, 1984

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 18:49 | 4184096 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Most people have taken out way more than they have contributed to either SS or Medicare. You can't pay 100k into Medicare and then have a million dollars of medical care when you are an old fart and think the system will be viable. And you shouldn't get one thin dime more out of SS than you put into it. If you outlive it then you should have saved more during your life.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 19:00 | 4184114 Unknown User
Unknown User's picture

Social Security is a social insurance program that is funded through a dedicated payroll tax - the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA).  SS is an "insurance" program that belong to the people who paid for it.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 19:10 | 4184131 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Insurance works really well when people take more out of it then they pay in premiums. Guess what happens? Either the insurance company raises rates or it goes put of business. Learn how insurance works.

And SS has been raided by your fearless leaders to hand out goodies to the sheeple. It's a great invesent when you give Uncle Sam a dollar today to get 75 cents back when you retire. Learn to save for your own retirement.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 19:19 | 4184150 MeMadMax
MeMadMax's picture

When social security first started it was "voluntary".

When it start failing because not enough people were paying to everyone, everyone was forced to pay into it.

Now it's failing even thou everyone is paying into it, whats next?

You bank accounts! Hand it over, assholes!

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 19:23 | 4184157 Stackers
Stackers's picture

And we do know who to blame for all this too. ........ LBJ and his unified budget


This was what effectively turned SSC into the ponzi scheme it is today

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 19:58 | 4184250 CH1
CH1's picture

I'll settle for half of what they've stolen from me.

When can I expect the check?

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 20:12 | 4184275 JohnnyBriefcase
JohnnyBriefcase's picture

If the government does it then it isn't stealing. Stealing is bad and the government is good so therefore it's impossible for government stealing to be bad.

Shelter in place, Subject. We are sending agent's to your residence to correct your thinking.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 21:11 | 4184394 philipat
philipat's picture

In any "Pension" plan, return on investments should close the in/out gap and so should be factored into the calculations. Yes, I know that SS is a pay-go tax BUT there is SUPPOSED to be a Trust fund that should generate returns?

Of course, now that Bernanke has pushed returns on what used to be "Safe" pension fund type investments down to zero, it is kind of academic. The Benanke transfer of wealth upwards is, similarly, going to result in masssive solvency issues for insurance Companies and private pension plans going froward

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 22:39 | 4184563 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

I love it when 30 year olds talk about subjects they are COMPLETELY ignorant about.

Allow me to fill in the missing paragraph between these two sentences:

"The money you pay towards Social Security does not go into a personal account for when you retire."

"Instead, Social Security is a "pay as you go" program meaning the money that is collected now is used towards current payouts."

Social Security used to go into a SEPARATE Social Security account. It was such a WELL DESIGNED program it developed a HUGE surplus. Well, it really wasn't a "surplus" it was the money accumulated by ALL the baby boomers during ther working years that was SUPPOSED to be used to pay them after they retired.
The politicians couldn't stand to see all that money just sitting there (when they could be using it to buy votes). So they moved those dollars into the "general fund".......and spent them. Oh, they gave Soc. Sec. IOU's. $3.5 TRILLION worth of them. They all decided it would be easier to convince todays young people that they are being cheated having to pay the seniors their retirement (instead of honoring those IOU's). Now it's a "pay-as-you-go" program, because that HUGE surplus is gone, now that all those baby boomers are retiring.
They say it's because we're living longer, or because there used to be 8 people paying for 1 senior but now it's only 4 paying for 1 retiree, or because of the cost-of-living increases....
Now, taken individually, all these STATEMENTS are facts, but, that is NOT why Soc. Sec. is underfunded. (Typical political doublespeak).


They love to tell you about how much more we're collecting, than we put in. The figure they conveniently leave out of the equation is the COMPOUND INTEREST that money had earned EVERY YEAR for the last 50 years!
It is underfunded because that SURPLUS was stolen and not repaid, the tax that was "cut", (Bush Tax Cuts) that eveyone is now enjoying, was the SS tax, there is a "cap" on the tax. People only pay for the SS tax on the first $108K of there income, no matter how much they make! Many people who NEVER paid into SS are collecting payments from them.
SS is NOT an entitlement, My employer and I paid into it since I was 15 years old. We were FORCED to, it was a LAW. Now they want to make excuses why we shouldn't get it.
I'll tell you what, cut welfare, disability, unemployment, food stamps, free school food programs, public pensions, foreign aid.......BEFORE you cut the retirements of people actually PAID INTO their own program.
And here's a novel idea. Investigate and prosecute fraud. People on disability doubled in the last year or so. NO ONE thinks THAT'S a little suspicious?

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 23:15 | 4184643 Gamma735
Gamma735's picture

Don't worry your little minds, Boomers.  It is all good. The government will never miss a SS payment.   They will just print more money to make your payment and someday soon, your whole ss check will buy you a McDonald's happy meal.  Hope you can make it last all month and with enough happy meal boxes you can make a shelter as well.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 00:25 | 4184770 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

When SS started the retirement age was set so half the would be recipients would have already died prior to payouts.  The current benifit age should have been raised to 72 for men and 74 for women.  If you want to retire earlier save your money and invest it.  If the benefit age had been adjusted for average life expectancy, SS would be running surpluses at much lower tax rates.  It would still be a Ponzi though, best bet phase it out.

Medicare and Obamacare, etc... need to be reformed to a Lifetime Health Savings Account with a very large deductible catastrophic insurance component.  All hospitals should have the ability to refuse treatment or limit treatment to those without the ability to pay.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 02:38 | 4184950 buyingsterling
buyingsterling's picture

Someone could never do a lick of work in their lives, rely on others for all of their needs, treat their own bodies like garbage, create multiple physical and psychological addictions, and Americans would still spend an essentially unlimited amount of money extanding their life with sick care. With regard to health/sickness, personal responsibility is a no-go. Go figure. One could chalk it up to the golden rule, or to cowardice.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 08:33 | 4185163 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture
 half the would be recipients would have already died prior to payouts.


Enter Obamacare.....when we're done.....there will be a handful alive to collect SS.

Of course they'll have to spend it on healthcare....and birth control.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 13:40 | 4185734 Oracle 911
Oracle 911's picture

Why the "partial Ponzi scheme" sounds to me as "little bit pregnent"?

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 14:41 | 4185828 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

The problem I have with the anti-SS children on this website is that most whine about the govt stealing their money, but endorse them stealing mine.

Consistent thinking?

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 12:55 | 4185634 SendMeYourWorth...
SendMeYourWorthlessMoney's picture

You just described the heirs to the Walmart fortune.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 02:14 | 4184931 CoonT
CoonT's picture

does sound cozy..

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 08:48 | 4185175 Cloud9.5
Cloud9.5's picture

We know and If I could dig up Lyndon Johnson and drag him around the capital I would.  He is the guy who screwed us.  And you know what.  He was not a boomer.  He came from the greatest generation.  We had as much choice then as you do now.  All of our choices were pre selected.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 23:27 | 4184664 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

and while they are cutting those other programs before they cut ss, here's a few more: war on drugs, endless war on whomever whoever decides to wage it, all the corporate oligopoly/monopoly protection like this, the monstrosity that is obamacare (every other advanced nation pays half of what the u.s. does for healthcare and, except for the rich or the very best insured here (some overlap there), gets better results), and a good chunk of the standing army, et. al. war is a racket.

and the article above compares taxes paid with benefits received without any consideration of the time value of money/compound interest.  zirp hasn't always been and won't always be.


Sun, 11/24/2013 - 10:12 | 4185262 mrdenis
mrdenis's picture

If there is no "lock box" like Al Gore said ,why in hell does the Gumbment keep sending me thoes little account balances every year ...and how much 

i'll receive when I retire this one of thoes ...If you like your SS you can keep it deals ? 



Sun, 11/24/2013 - 11:54 | 4185487 graspAU
graspAU's picture

Just an estimate of the gratuity the US Congress may send you based on the current rules that Congress may change at any time. Still not a contract, and not insurance. Sort of like an employer who promises severance pay of 1 month for every 2 years you work at the company, with the fine print reading they may adjust or abolish the plan at any time. Then they adjust is down slowly over time hoping noone notices.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 10:19 | 4185271 Dr. No
Dr. No's picture

I junked you since all your comment was basically outlining the things that happened to the money and how it would be great if it was still there.  It ignored the fact the money is gone.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 11:31 | 4185412 ParisianThinker
ParisianThinker's picture

How right you are! Matt Taibbi, in his book, "Griftopia" explains that Social security taxes were raised and paid for by the babyboomers. But politican's auacious power grab, lead by Greenspan, stoled it all.

However, even more interesting is the report from the Congressional Research Service which says those who paid into Social Security won't get a dime more than the bought off Congress says!

There is no contract as to how much money those who "paid for their benefits" will get. Forget the statements that indicate how much you are to receive as well as all the propaganda about working until age 70. So please stop crying, moaning and groaning over what the "babyboomers" will get.

We better work to help our parents and grandparents. We already know we will die young and in poverty unless they help us. Isn't it best to work for the survival of our loved ones as well as ourselves? How can you put any trust into a corrupt system that manipulates morgtages, forex, libor, privacy, and goes against the US Constitution via "secret courts".

The goal of your government, as many have reported, is genocide of its own population. They only needed "give me your poor" for a very short time. Now they have gobalization, software, and robots to replace YOU, me, our parents and grandparents. We were just born into the "wrong era" or the last leg of of bankrupt capitalistm. 

But if we help our parents and grandparents, we will inherit everything from them without working just like the rich do now.

The risks to your life is not Social Security or Medicare. The risk is all the sugar, fat and salt and GMO put into the junk food Americans consume. Our oceans are being destroyed by radiation, oil, toxins, etc. Work locally to clean up your area of the planet.


Sun, 11/24/2013 - 11:43 | 4185453 ParisianThinker
ParisianThinker's picture

The Congressional Research Service says that no one has a contract for the amount of benefits they will receive from Social Security.

It is all up to the "Koch Brothers and their ilk's payoffs to Congress as to how much you will not receive. All those little pieces of paper saying how much you will receive is a joke. You will not receive what they say.

Matt Taibbi, in his book "GRIFTOPIA" tells how the social security taxes were raised twice to make certain the babyboomers paid for their benefits. They did pay, but the money was "used" for "other purposes at the insistence of Alan Greenspan, the bubble creator.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 12:11 | 4185525 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Oh please.  Its the Koch Brothers fault.  ROFLMAO!!  Its your Keynesian money printers that are robbing you of your retirement, not the Koch Brothers.  Between the Keynesians and the Kenyan, they have got it all covered.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 11:43 | 4185454 ParisianThinker
ParisianThinker's picture

The Congressional Research Service says that no one has a contract for the amount of benefits they will receive from Social Security.

It is all up to the "Koch Brothers and their ilk's payoffs to Congress as to how much you will not receive. All those little pieces of paper saying how much you will receive is a joke. You will not receive what they say.

Matt Taibbi, in his book "GRIFTOPIA" tells how the social security taxes were raised twice to make certain the babyboomers paid for their benefits. They did pay, but the money was "used" for "other purposes at the insistence of Alan Greenspan, the bubble creator.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 12:24 | 4185552 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

Yes, you put the money away. It was stolen during broad daylight, and the thieves used the money to buy votes, all of which have been used. There is now nothing left. It is sad and unfair and criminal.

And it IS.

Wed, 11/27/2013 - 06:39 | 4193201 Not Goldman Sachs
Not Goldman Sachs's picture

So algores' lockbox was not incorrect? Perhaps a day late, dollar short. I say go after the pension funds of the politicians that wrote the IOU' won't be enough but it would be justice and would make me feel better about getting robbed.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 13:22 | 4185695 Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day's picture

I would be happy to forego all my contribution s of the past 20 years if they just leave me alone going forward

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 16:03 | 4186009 Crash Overide
Crash Overide's picture

I will NEVER see a DIME of SS money being as young as I am, nor do I want the tax taken out of my check so...  so what the fuck am I paying for and why should I be FORCED to?

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 19:32 | 4184181 Rubbish
Rubbish's picture

The young boomers, myself included 58 paid for our parents SS and now my kids want to whine. Pussies.....


Self employed 40 years so I got to pay both sides, tell you what, you give me half, no fucking interest and I won't go full retard on your asses.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 19:37 | 4184198 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

I'm in the same boat and I am 45. They will move the goalposts on me and people who are younger than I am. They will make you work longer. They will pay you less. They will lie about inflation so they don't have to increase the COLA. They will do whatever they can to screw the people who paid into it.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 19:17 | 4186433 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

Less than half the men in my family have lived bEyond 65 to collect ANYTHING.  Blue collar working class they've seen union benefits disappear along with their jobs.  

If you're working class - and I mean WORKING - physical labor 'working' - you wear out and die long before you collect much of anything.  Your spouse may outlive you and benefit if you're lucky.  (My mother worked until almost 70 for the extra accumulated benefits but then her Fortune 500 employer changed the rules for non-exec employees shortly after she retired. ) 

I'd love to see how many people have paid in and collect NOTHING because they died first.  I'd also like to see how many truly wealthy people are collecting - people who do not need one dime of government help.

SocialSecurity was meant as a safety net - not to be your ONLY 'retirement ' savings but then companies shirked THAT responsibilitiy and converted defined benefit pensions into defined contribution plans that Wall Street ate up.   no matter what you do now it seems like you're screwed but it does seem that fewer and fewerare paying into a system that benefits more and more.  THAT IS NOT SUSTAINABLE.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 19:46 | 4184222 Errol
Errol's picture

I've always been employed, so I "only" paid half from my pay (my income was reduced by the amount my employer "contributed").  I would take the same deal; give me back the money I "contributed" and I will sign out of the system...

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 00:22 | 4184782 CheapBastard
CheapBastard's picture

"If you want to keep your SS benefits, you can keep your SS benefits."

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 01:12 | 4184851 savagegoose
savagegoose's picture

gimme half of the gold  what i paid in, at the price of gold when i paid it in.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 01:12 | 4184853 savagegoose
savagegoose's picture

gimme half of the gold  what i paid in, at the price of gold when i paid it in.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 01:11 | 4184854 savagegoose
savagegoose's picture

gimme half of the gold  what i paid in, at the price of gold when i paid it in.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 01:12 | 4184855 savagegoose
savagegoose's picture

gimme half of the gold  what i paid in, at the price of gold when i paid it in.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 13:01 | 4185645 mick_richfield
mick_richfield's picture

Lucky bastard!

You just got 2x the amount you paid in, and in gold!

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 03:28 | 4184978 John_Coltrane
John_Coltrane's picture

I feel exactly the same way after paying the maximum amount into the system every year of my working life.  And I always felt that it was the best part of my taxes since first my grandmother and then my Mom both of whom worked over 40 years could benefit.  I always knew it was a ponzi and my attitude is I'll take it as soon as I'm eligible  and invested and saved so I wouldn't be at all dependent on the government.  As for health care, with good genes and exercise if you make it to 65 you likely won't have significant problems (or ones that have an actual medical solution).

But compared to all the other useless government functions, these programs are the best.  Why should people who never worked a day in their life be eligible for disability?  And most qualify for mental problems or back problems, obviously frauds in both cases as they are unprovable.   And free phones?  And food and free rent without any work?  And free medical care for able bodied adults?  Pussies is too soft a term for these lazy bastards.  

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 13:06 | 4185661 mick_richfield
mick_richfield's picture

Of all government programs, these are, indeed, the best -- from a certain point of view.

Because it's very difficult to make otherwise hard-working, self-responsible people look to the government and clamor for something that they 'deserve'.

These programs, and the way they are marketed, accomplish that feat.

The goal of the demons who run the world is to corrupt all Americans, not just the beasts who are happy to live at the expense of others.  Social Security was brilliant. 

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 19:33 | 4186459 Colonel
Colonel's picture

I'd take the quotes off there partner.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 03:38 | 4184986 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

Rubbish     "The young boomers, myself included 58 paid for our parents SS and now my kids want to whine. Pussies.....

Self employed 40 years so I got to pay both sides, tell you what, you give me half, no fucking interest and I won't go full retard on your asses."


Comment: Perhaps you and others in the same situation have it backwards. Those whining kids might actually understand something OUR generation didn't (yes that includes me). We (and you) were being ripped off by being part of the SS scheme. So, it is YOU that is whining that your kids are actually smart enough to see that. The question is, will the kids actually do something about it.


Sun, 11/24/2013 - 04:34 | 4185034 Midas
Midas's picture

Well, if you are one of the millions of kids without a job, it doesn' really matter!  The unemployed probably aren't worried too much about getting back what they are not paying in.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 09:49 | 4185235 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Well they'd better get a job fast.....cause they owe a LOT of money.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 11:46 | 4185466 ParisianThinker
ParisianThinker's picture

Well, the only hope is to leave those pussies one red cent, and nothing more.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 11:45 | 4185467 ParisianThinker
ParisianThinker's picture

Well, the only hope is to leave those pussies one red cent, and nothing more.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 19:32 | 4184159 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

"Insurance works really well when people take more out of it then they pay in premiums...."

This is a false argument.  Pensions and insurance work when premiums account for those who will take far more than they pay AND those who will take less.  If you die at 64 you paid in a lot but get nothing.  The guy who lives to 100 takes much more.   But that is exactly why you have insurance.   No one has to save enough to account for the possibility that they live to a hundred because they have the benefit of shared risk.  Do you think if you have a house fire that you should receive only as much as you paid in premiums?   The insurance company takes premiums from 100 people with the idea being that 1 or 2 will ever have a claim.  The other 98 people paid for peace of mind.  SS and Medicare take in from many people who will never use it.   

The SS and Medicare money was given to oligarchs.  They stole it.  Let's start with taking it back instead of being a douche and saying "they took it fair and square so get over it."

Fucking Mises Institute.  Giving cover to oligarchs and telling the middle class to go fuck themselves since whenever it was formed (don't want to bother looking it up because it's not worth the mouse clicks).

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 19:33 | 4184187 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

I know how insurance works LTER. What happens when everyone does live to 100 though? What happens when everyone's house does burn down? Yes the oligarchs took it and so did people like both of my grandmothers. They got WAY more out then they ever put into it. Why are you defending a worthless .gov program?

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 19:37 | 4184195 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

If you know how insurance works, why are you stuck on the idea that it is somehow a problem that some people get more back than they paid in?   That is the very definition of insurance.  Think about life insurance.  Let's say I take out a $1M policy and pay in a few thousand bucks and then die.  Do you think the insurance company should say "sorry, you only get back what you paid for?"  

The average life expectancy in the U.S. is not 100.  It is telling that you can only prove by your point by making demonstrably false factual claims.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 19:38 | 4184199 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Why is there a funding shortfall then?

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 19:40 | 4184209 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Because the money was handed to the Fed, the MIC, spent on NSA, spent on pointless wars, spent on Homeland Security, and so forth.  Don't you care when your money is stolen?  Shall we blame the victim or the thief?

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 19:49 | 4184228 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Since when am I condoning what the politicians have done with the money? Even if they didn't get their grubby little fingers on it the program would still go insolvent. Sure it would take longer but it would still happen. The fact it becomes insolvent at any point means people are taking more out than they put in in the long run.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 19:57 | 4184235 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

And I suppose you have factual data to support the argument that the "premiums" are not high enough if the premium money were not stolen by the oligarchs?  I didn't think so.  And even if that was true, the proper remedy would be fix the premium shortfall after taking the money back that was stolen and/or adjust benefits down, not to tell us all who paid in to go fuck ourselves while the oligarchs keep the loot.  I am 47 and I've never received a penny of government money.  I don't expect I'll ever get back what I paid in even if I need it.  And that is largely because people like you cannot see the elephant in the room that our money was stolen, thus no one is trying to take it back.  So instead, I continue to pay while the money is siphoned off by people who fund groups like the Mises Institute that write inane articles giving cover to their funders, while readers like you lap up their vomit and say "thanks, Master."

Not only are you owned by the oligarchs, but you say "thank you sir, may I have another."  You are their bitch.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 19:58 | 4184249 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

I'd rather abolish the whole program and quit putting MORE money into it so they can continue to steal it. Again, not sure where you get the idea I think it's ok that they stole the money. This is just another example of an abused government program that you think you can't live without.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 20:04 | 4184251 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

"Again, not sure where you get the idea I think it's ok that they stole the money."

Thank you sir, may I have another.   If you abolish the program that is unfunded because the money was stolen, how does that not play into their hands?  Don't you understand that they are selling this idea that the program should just be abolished and everyone can go fuck themselves so they get to keep the loot?

For me to save enough to live comfortably to 100 with no Medicare and no SS, I would need literally millions.  And I would need to save that money even knowing I may die and never use it. I would be working just to save money in the unlikely event I live to 100, because people like you tell me I can't pool my money with others.   I would rather have shared risk.  

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 20:13 | 4184276 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

You kicking and screaming about them stealing the money isn't going to make them give it back. And you want them to be able to not only steal yesterday's SS taxes but today's and tomorrow's as well. Keep throwing good money after bad. In the end you will still be fucked. I'd rather take my chances taking care of myself than worrying about shared risk. Parasites live off of shared government risk.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 20:25 | 4184289 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

So collecting insurance you paid for if you need it is parasitical?  

Enjoy the oligarchs up your ass and good luck with taking care of yourself with no shared pension or insurance if you live to 100.  Hope you make a few hundred thousand a year and don't mind socking most of it away, and that you don't mind that you do not get to enjoy your money while you're alive even though you may die at 64  Because you don't want shared risk.  And yes, you may have another since you keep asking.  And I'm sure you'll squeal like a pig for them if they ask, so long as you are told that the squealing supports your bullshit ideology of being fucked up the ass by oligarchs.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 20:28 | 4184305 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

LTER, I completely understand where you are coming from. I think what makes you a genuine good guy is that you actually have some hope for a system where we can help each other out. But unfortunately it seems like that system always gets hijacked along the way and we end up where we are. Which is why I am sympathetic to the "lets call it off and fend for ourselves" argument. 

But you gotta realize that in order for your scenario to play out the oligarchs have to be dragged out into the street, and have LOP decide their fate. Then, when their estates are liquidated, sane and well meaning people have to start the system over again. 

What are the chances of that happening?

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 20:31 | 4184312 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

None.  And alot of those so called "sane" people will rise to power and act like those that came before them.  There is no such thing as a "benevolent" dictator.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 20:34 | 4184318 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Maybe I have become too jaded, but I agree. I have lost faith in people. 

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 22:47 | 4184581 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture


Let me put this some way even you may be able to understand.

Govt programs are about buying votes, right?

There is no larger or more devoted group of voters than seniors.

Tilt at another windmill, there, Quixote, because Soc. Sec. is here to stay.

The BEST you can hope to do is get all the dirty little undeserving fingers out of it.


Sat, 11/23/2013 - 23:51 | 4184722 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Oh I get the reality of it.  But when everyone says what you are saying in your post above, then the program stays in place.  The funny part is, the majority of people are going to be screwed up the ass by SS, and yet they "believe" in it.  Even here on ZH, where most people want the whole system to "crash" people are mindlessly in love with Social Security.  Its the worst investment you can possibly make, yet everyone down arrows me for saying it.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 00:36 | 4184805 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

The couple of tea party rallies I went to were made up of these "cut everything but our SS and Medicare" geysers, I didn't bother to argue with them.  They will fuck them with real inflation vs COLA.  Soylent Green for the masses, unless they release a new and improved Spanish Flu to solve the problem.   

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 06:55 | 4185114 new game
new game's picture

spot on-too god damn many fucking people still fucking...

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 10:46 | 4185285 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

classic argument in this chain. My favorite piece of evidence that "thieves" are running the system is that they call it a "trust" fund. If lawyers did to a trust fund what Congress did to SS, they would never get out of prison.

Forcing employers to fund an individual's retirement, giving it to the government, and keeping that money out of other productive places has always seemed a little odd to me. Society has had old people for a long time. Only recently did they start what may be a fantasy that all of them can live independently through a government program. The best thing a society can do to encourage people to take care of themselves (and their family) is a straight game, a healthy and fair economy and criminal laws that stick. Push it beyond that, and the game begins. 

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 20:41 | 4184323 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

"What are the chances of that happening?"

Zero if everyone throws in the towel and says "they won."  I don't have a road map for fixing things, but articles like this one deliberately fail to address the cause of the problem.  If the public knew what was going on, and if asshats like this author did not have such a wide audience, the solution would probably manifest.

I'm with you in thinking it's probably hopeless, but mostly because so many people don't understand the cause of the problem which would only get worse if we abandon the one thing that could keep oligarchs in check (an elected government whose purported function is protecting Life, Liberty and Happiness).

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 20:48 | 4184342 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture


Sat, 11/23/2013 - 20:57 | 4184365 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

I'm often in your camp on thinking it's hopeless.  At the moment I'm just irritated that anyone believes what this author has to say.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 20:58 | 4184369 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

If it helps you I am pretty sure his reach is not far at all. I think people are just too stupid now.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 21:01 | 4184374 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

I agree on all counts.  What I really meant to say is that his basic message is widely accepted.  And, yes, unfortunately the population is probably too dumbed down at this point for anything ever to change.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 21:05 | 4184381 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

my wife just dragged me to Target. I swear to god I started sweating and almost had a panic attack walking around there looking at everyone. It was like the walking dead except they were harmless.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 21:08 | 4184392 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

It really makes me wonder if Alex Jones is on to something with the flouride thing (that flouride in the drinking water has lowered the IQ of the population).  I formerly thought he was bat shit crazy and just selling survival food and jeans with metal in the crotch.  Lately I'm not so sure.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 21:16 | 4184399 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Not sure if you ever saw this. Not bad.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 21:44 | 4184443 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Great stuff.  Thanks for the link.

I am now an AJ fan because he's one of the few national voices that sees beyond the Red Team/Blue Team stuff.  I take a lot of grains of salt of course.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 21:48 | 4184453 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

You want to see something funny though....go back and watch from 17:20 till the end. Look how confused AJ is while Billy tries to carry him over the finish line. I am okay with AJ but it was really funny to see him start to drown in the deep end of his own interview.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 14:31 | 4185810 King_of_simpletons
King_of_simpletons's picture

I am trying to figure out how thin this message box can get.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 14:34 | 4185816 King_of_simpletons
King_of_simpletons's picture

Does it read like Japanese yet ?

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 22:46 | 4184585 Sam Clemons
Sam Clemons's picture

Fluoride, aluminum, lack of trace minerals, PUFAs, lack of red light (flourescent light lacks most of the light spectrum), hormones in the water all are worsening our ability to be alive.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 10:38 | 4185296 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

don't forget GMOs  :}

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 05:07 | 4185061 Serenity Now
Serenity Now's picture

Good Lord, if Target makes you have a panic attack, DO NOT step foot into a Walmart.  You are too young for an infarction.  ;)

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 13:16 | 4185683 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

so when Kmart went bankrupt, they were only thinking of us 

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 10:12 | 4185263 meterman
meterman's picture

Re: Letthemeatrand - Well said - This author does not understand yje original intent and purpose of SS and he has no knowledge of how an insurance plan should work aa well as the power of compound interest on a reasonable investment. Almost immediately at the beginning of the UNWANTED SS PROGRAM the liberals started to use the fund to buy votes. The SS plan now has no resemblance to the original. It has become "just another tax. 


Sun, 11/24/2013 - 11:28 | 4185405 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

And this is the problem with all of the programs you doogooders want to foist upon us.  Everything .gov does is a vote buying scheme.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 23:05 | 4184624 Professorlocknload
Professorlocknload's picture

"What are the chances of that happening?"

  Oh, 'bout the same as forcing civil service welfare recipients and military to share their fat pensions with those of us who paid for them, as well as SS. In fact, we have paid so much into those black holes, it made it pretty difficult to scrape up enough to provide for our own old age.

 Treasury bonds are swapped for funds taken from SS, standing as IOU's to the account. Defaulting on SS at any given point, is defaulting on Treasuries.

 When that happens, not much else matters in this argument, because we'll be presented with a brand new government, the old one forgiven in a sort of natural bankruptcy process.

 We can only hope for a legal remedy in that case, but it won't really change much, except maybe keeping the new masters honest a bit longer, than without such persuasion.

  Government is a Ponzi Scheme. It steals because it can. The empire builders keep adding layers, all on credit, even as the system topples. 

  Any way it's sliced, there are only two choices to be made by pols at this point.

 A. Stop spending and default on what can't be paid back.

 B. Keep adding more debt, and devalue the currency into oblivion.

 Either way, I think we can kiss all the utopian Social Programs adios. We will have run out of other peoples money.


Sat, 11/23/2013 - 20:40 | 4184309 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Go make your own system then and quit avocating for the government to do it for you.  After all, this is a free contry right?  Problem is, you don't want a voluntary system, because it will FAIL.  If I outlive my savings you can laugh at me dying in the snowbank.   Fact is, you can take care of yourself.  Most people quit working when they are still very much capable of working.  Why are you entitled to a 10 year retirement?  Or a 20 year retirement?  If you are able bodied, you should be working, not driving around in your RV spending your retirement money at the casino while you demand more in SS and medicare be paid to you.  And if you think you deserve a retirement, thats fine, but YOU should save for it, not ME or the "pool".

A good analogy is kids.  Have all the kids you want, if YOU can afford them.  But don't think you are going to have 10 kids because YOU love kids, and then tell me I have to pay more in taxes to help your sorry ass out.  Maybe you should have only had 5 kids or 1 kid, instead of standing there with your hand out.  And thru government you aren't standing there with your hand out 'asking" me for some help, you are DEMANDING it.

Less govenment and more personal responsiblity would go along way toward solving alot of those problems.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 21:06 | 4184334 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Yes, we should all work until we drop.  Great plan.  And how coincidental that this is the very system being foisted upon us by the people who stole our money.   And don't invest in lube.  You obviously don't need it as your asshole is clearly as big as the Lincoln Tunnel.

My mother has Alzheimer's.  She was diagnosed in her early '60's.  She loved her job and gave it up because of her disease.  She is now almost 80.  How would your plan have worked out for her?  I guess I'd need to find a snowbank.   Fortunately, she bought a shared risk Long Term Care policy.  The premiums every year are around $7K, which I pay.  Her husband died of cancer a few years ago, and her former husband (my dad) lives on a pension and he's in his mid-80's.  My mother receives medical treatment through Medicare, thus her medical expenses do not exceed her benefits.   Having started my own business a couple of years ago and struggling with a difficult economy, I no longer earn enough to care for her on my own and save high five figures every year to account for the possiiblity that I may live to 100.    But fuck her and fuck me, right?  You're young and assume everything will work out for you.  Guess what.  It may not and telling me here that I can laugh at you won't do jack shit for you if it doesn't work out.  

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 21:57 | 4184471 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

We have all lost people we care about and always will. Is the answer to force others to pay for our illnesses and tragedy? If we could voluntarily enter to socialist, income redistribution schemes that would help take the edge off of bad circumstances without bankrupting us, most probably would. Unfortunately, voluntary is not enough as we now have Obamacare. We must be forced, and this force must be directed and applied by people who suffer the same issues as all others, greed and power. Life is full of injustice but it really only becomes truly unjust when people are deciding justice for us rather than luck or God doing it. I'm sorry for your mother and the troubles you face. I watched my grandparents pass some fifty years ago. There was little argument then about justice or wealth distribution back then. You got sick and you died. I lost both parents in the last ten years and it was more difficult for them. Now we have many more choices, very expensive choices. They ultimately chose to die rather than endure what they saw as torture compounded by robbery.

If we discover a means to live forever at an ever increasing cost, will the old enslave the young to live forever? This is one potential for the future of healthcare, and if none of us ultimately gets to decide except our rulers, have we truly advanced?

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 22:48 | 4184584 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Fuck you.  That's what you just said to me, so back at you.

How very sad for you that you have to pay into a system that helps people who need it, including probably you some day.   

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 00:01 | 4184742 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

No Fuck You.  He tried to say things in a logical way, and you are just being a fucking jackass.  You are a typical progressive tool.  More government is NOT the answer.  How do I know your mother spent every dollar she earned wisely?  Did she buy all kinds of shit on credit cards?  Did she live in a house way beyond her means?  Who knows.  She might have spent every dollar wisely and never asked for another from someone else.  But there are ALL KINDS of irresponsilbe people out there that are taking the very money you suggest everyone else pay for.  You don't want to end the waste and fraud, because you think its easier just to raise everyones taxes.  I see all kinds of irresponsible behaviour out there, and you know what?  I don't care if those irresponsible people suffer at some point in their life for it.  They can live with their decisions.  Im ok with a social safety net.  But im not ok with a social safety hammock.

I have made decisions in my own life.  I don't expect you to pick up the peices for me if I screw up.  I could be retired RIGHT NOW if I lived in a smaller house and didn't have any kids.  But I made life decisions and go to work every day to pay for the house I live in and my kids and their education.  Im not telling .gov to go rob your bank on my behalf.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 01:02 | 4184781 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

No.  Fuck you.  I hope I run into you on the street you fuck.  My mother was born poor, put herself through school, and worked 12 hour days and made a nice career out of it.  Then she got dealt a bad hand and got Alzheimers.  And she faced it with a grace you could only imagine in your narcissist head up your ass world.  Did I say fuck you?  Fuck you.  And fuck that Rand that rode you in.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 01:37 | 4184888 TheMeatTrapper
TheMeatTrapper's picture

How much of my money is your mother entitled to? Can you answer it without a telling me to fuck off and that you'll take from me damn well what you want? 

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 01:51 | 4184907 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

My mother paid in more than she is taking.   She worked her entire life, including during school.    And the private insurance that she bought (that I now pay for) was all after tax income.  Now go fuck off and stop using the roads she paid for while you were in freshman class masturbating to Ayn Rand.  

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 01:56 | 4184916 TheMeatTrapper
TheMeatTrapper's picture

Just as I thought, you, as usual, refuse to answer a simple question and respond with a personal attack. You liberals are so open minded, aren't you? 

The simple fact of the matter is that you, your mother, nor anyone else is entitled to a single penny of mine - or anyone elses. 

Once you decree that you are entitled to my money for healthcare; then others are entitled to my money for food, housing, their childrens free school lunches and everything else. At that point you have complete and total redistribution of wealth - i.e. communism. 

I can see your anger growing with each of your responses in this thread. It's obvious you are in a difficult position; but putting a gun to your fellow mans head and demanding his gold is not the answer to your problem. 

Is it time for me to fuck off again for stating the obvious? 


Sun, 11/24/2013 - 01:59 | 4184918 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

How old are you?  Serious question.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 03:09 | 4184969 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Meattrapper, LTER doesn't want to think about those things.  Its HIS mother for fucks sake!!   She walked uphill both ways to school DONT YOU KNOW!!??  We can NEVER KNOW the struggle she had to give birth to a human being who is so adamant that his fellow human being slave for his benefit!!

At some point LTER, you are your own problem.  Add up all of the Social Security that your mom ever paid into the system.  And then subtract what she has taken out.  I'll just about bet she's taken out FAR MORE than she ever came remotely close to putting in.

Do you know what a ponzi scheme is?  Its good to be an early investor, and get what you put in and more back out.  The last ones aren't so lucky.

The money was stolen from EVERYONE.  Why should she get hers back, and the rest of us should GET NOTHING?

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 06:22 | 4185095 Curiously_Crazy
Curiously_Crazy's picture

In actual fact he did answer you:

"My mother paid in more than she is taking."

In other words you are not paying a dime for her.


Sun, 11/24/2013 - 09:29 | 4185210 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

Then 1) he must be taking care of her in his own home and paying for a nurse or 2) she went from rags to riches.


Sun, 11/24/2013 - 09:17 | 4185195 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Sorry if I offended you as I did not intend to. I am simply trying to point out what I believe is an unsustainable system. It seems obvious to me, but obviously not to others. It reminds me of the common comment we used to hear at every injustice, "there ought to be a law!". Well we have lots of laws now, and we seldom hear that comment because the government identifies every possible injustice and says it themselves before we have a chance to. At some point, sooner or later, things will go their natural way. I want to live free range and you are content as a couped chicken. There is no reconciliation to that. I will go in natures way and time and you will go when the farmer says so. Its just a choice. Unfortunately when the farmer decides, with the confirmation of all of the caged birds who apparently enjoy their captivity (and recognize the demand on their population may well decline with increased conscription), that for the sake of their own welfare the free range fowl must be trapped and penned. What threat does the free range bird pose to the couped? None other than reminding the couped birds that freedom exists, and the farmer sees this. I don't want your coup. Don't coup me bro.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 11:36 | 4185432 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Im not sure why LTER doesn't just pack up and move to Venezuela.  I mean, they have  a Ministry of Happiness and everything!! And they are even entitled to free HD TEEVEES!!   I'm sure thats where Utopia is, thats where they have every .gov program you could possibly dream of, and MORE!!  PARADISE!!

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 13:55 | 4185737 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

As he often does, LTER brings up valid points but as others point out, solutions can be worse, and carry more risk than the crimes themselves. Growing up I have been all over the political / philosophical economic spectrum. I sometimes think we all should to explore the possibilities and keep your mind open.  

I definitely think I've been influened, for better or worse, by two things - studying crime, and working in it, and studying nature and working in it.

I have come to conclude, and I might just be wrong, that any system, is only healthy when it operates on natural principles. We live in a "real" world and we spend most of our time pretending we don't. We're the only species that does that. I'm not sure any more if our larger brains are a blessing or a curse. The real world has massive competition, bad guys and good guys, checks and balances, resiliency and redundancy all for something  called, for a lack of a better word, balance.

errecting things, like giant corporations or giant governments or giant government programs,  giant financial powers, or the worst, giant unsustainable energy systems disconnected with how energy works on this planet (because they're all the same thing) will never work because it is not how the real world works. The giant global system is actualy a massive number of systems all competing down to the microbial level which is the only thing that allows us to survive and literally grow things in the soil. Take out that competition in the dirt, and you have Monsanto and literally, dead earth.  Apply the same principle to money and crime and you have the Federal Reserve, Goldman, and the IMF. It's all the same thing with different labels.

That is the real world. Why should anything in the real world operate on any other principle? The most dangerous thing you can do to your offspring ( or yourself) is delude yourselves into thinking one magic system, or political party or new political party, or president, or program or company is the ticket out or the ticket in.

Like this debate, LTER has legitimate beefs. These goddamned criminals have ruined a lot of lives and alot of this fucking planet. But giving them more power or trusting them again, for the one-hundredth time, to do what is "right" is not something I'm prepared to do. Nature doesn't really "trust" the other guy or place its life or its health in the others hand. Why should I ?


Sun, 11/24/2013 - 13:34 | 4185722 mick_richfield
mick_richfield's picture

It's more than sad, it's horrible.

What could have been charity, freely given, instead makes enemies of us all.

Burn it down.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 21:23 | 4184409 emersonreturn
emersonreturn's picture

fuku will impact ss, medicare in unimagined ways.  many will die sooner, many younger than insurance wizards may've anticipated...the impact on cancer centers will be huge, i expect on many aspects of health, but also on various revenue sources (fishing being the obvious, tourism ultimately another)...i doubt we can judge what is going to happen to ss, medicare.  short term and for the next 5yrs, i expect hospitals to be strangely overwhelmed.  hillary may have sufficient hubris to imagine she can steer the nation through this...unfortunately i suspect even hubris of that order won't be enough.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 21:59 | 4184476 PrintemDano
PrintemDano's picture

I've payed into this government scheme for 36 years, got 0 out.  Plan on retiring soon, print me my fking money you government scumbags or else.   Canceling the program now would mean I've got nothing for my money.  FK That.  Stop giving money to illegal alien scumbags, and lazy non working scumbags.

If you're young and want out you should be able too, just don't tell me I have to kiss my money good bye.

Fuck Obama.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 23:52 | 4184724 Drifter
Drifter's picture

You'll probably get all the money your benefits statement says you have coming, no problem there.   But those dollars will be worth far less than the dollars you paid in.   If they let young people opt out of SS, they'll have to print the dollars they pay you, which will reduce the value of those dollars even more.  If they keep printing dollars to pay benefits and USD loses reserve currency status, dollars they pay you might be nearly worthless. 

This is how they screw everybody, by debasing the currency.  They'll pay you the number of dollars they owe you even if they have to print them, but they won't be worth much, maybe not worth anything by that time.

And no, they won't pay you more dollars to make up for loss of value.  SS colas are way below actual inflation.     Cola might be 1% - 2% where true inflation is 10%.

Currency debasement is the smartest way to loot a whole nation of people.  They don't even notice it. 

If I was a politician, that's exactly how I would do it.  Just print more currency and spend it for whatever I want.  Don't have to raise taxes at all.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 04:14 | 4185013 geoffb
geoffb's picture

"For me to save enough to live comfortably to 100 with no Medicare and no SS. . ."

So your willing to take money from unlucky people, those who only live to 64, so you can have a comfortable retirement??? Thats not risk sharing, its a lottery. Big difference from insurance.  Insurance, theoretically, protects all in the pool, lotteries take advantage of the unlucky. Funded or not its perverse.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 19:08 | 4186398 shiftless
shiftless's picture

"If you abolish the program that is unfunded because the money was stolen, how does that not play into their hands? Don't you understand that they are selling this idea that the program should just be abolished and everyone can go fuck themselves so they get to keep the loot?"

So what's your solution then, you economic genius you? Just keep throwing good money after bad?

The system needs to be ended BECAUSE IT'S A FUCKING SCAM. If the politicians "get to keep the loot", guess why that is? Because useful idiots like you FUCKING LET THEM!

"For me to save enough to live comfortably to 100 with no Medicare and no SS, I would need literally millions."

Well then, I guess it's a good thing you can steal those millions directly out of my pocket, now isn't it? And by "you", of course I don't literally mean you, because you're too much of a chicken shit coward to actually point a gun at me and force me to give you money. No, just like a typical parasitic weakling you just hire goons to do it, at my expense.

"And I would need to save that money even knowing I may die and never use it."

Poor fucking you! Imagine the disaster that would be, having millions of dollars to pass on to your maggot offspring, instead of being robbed at gunpoint by the government!

"I would be working just to save money in the unlikely event I live to 100, because people like you tell me I can't pool my money with others. "

If you want to start your own "opt in" social security program...nothing is stopping you, DUMB ASS! Well, other than a government full of armed thugs pointing guns at your face to force you to contribute to the current Ponzi scheme, that is. And the fact that nobody with any fucking brains would sign up for it, of course.

You are one stupid asshole. Please consider suicide.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 20:09 | 4184268 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

This article, like many of Jim Quinn's stuff, is total misdirection. It's meant for 65 year olds to get mad at 20 year olds and 37 year olds like me to get mad at everyone. 

But they have this thing rigged perfectly from the top. There will be no avalanche of the system, We will starve one by one fighting each other for crumbs.



Sat, 11/23/2013 - 23:24 | 4184663 Professorlocknload
Professorlocknload's picture


conspiracy or not, ultimately, what can't be funded won't be. It's just one of those pesky laws of nature.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 13:52 | 4185752 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

great post Fonz. That's exactly what these fuckers want.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 21:56 | 4184467 mathdock
mathdock's picture

LTE Randy, there is an implicit assumption in a program like SS that tax revenues would grow at a rate comparable to non-governmental GDP growth in order that tax rates would remain stable.  Inflation doesn't have to be discounted to make this work.  However, take a couple decades of sub 2-% growth, and the assumptions are violated.  Which gets to the meat of any fed program:  Any non-terminating unconstrained fed program must, by the law of compounded effects, run out.  The corollary is that there should never be a non-terminating unconstrained government program; its growth needs to be constrained to match perfectly the growth in tax revenues of the previous year--a true pay-go program. Recession? Sorry, it shrinks too.

 Just a thought...

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 19:57 | 4184247 Wahooo
Wahooo's picture

Exactly. Imagine the outcry if insurance companies spent premiums on obama phones, wars, handjobs and other things having nothing to do with paying out the insurance claims.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 20:07 | 4184265 Jendrzejczyk
Jendrzejczyk's picture

This article, specificaly the title Tyler gave it, is total horseshit.

How can you title this,

"Killing The "We Paid Our Taxes; We Earned Our Benefits" Social Security Ponzi Meme"

when the article clearly states: " An average-earning male who retired in 2010 will receive $277,000 in lifetime benefits, $23,000 less than his lifetime taxes, while for females, their $302,000 in lifetime benefits approximates their lifetime taxes."

You're not killing anything here but the truth, fucker.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 21:17 | 4184400 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

Your calculations neglect present value for interest payable on lifetime taxes.  Including the opportunity lost, the return is even poorer.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 22:16 | 4184514 mathdock
mathdock's picture


    Half the working population don't earn what an "average" or "median" worker does.  Those above the median get increasingly less relative benefit, a lower ROI, if you will, while those below that line do get breakeven or above bennies, including those with earned income credit.  If the SS program was only about the individual earner, that breakeven number would go higher, but because we confuse SS with social welfare, the wrong pot is paying for dependents, nonworking spouses, and other SSI-like programs. If we had a designated pot called "Money and Bennies for those who can't pay into it", SS would be VERY solvent.  There's no hope for Medicare--it should be completely within the "Money and Bennies"pot. Nobody's paying for it right now, just as nobody's paying for about 40% of DoD's budget, called Deferred Income and Medical Care for those no longer in active service. They are simply deficit items, and should be part of the "Money and Bennies" pot.

This would be an interesting exercise, Tyler--how big is that "Money and Bennies pot for those that can't pay into it"? Taking the FY 2013 continuing budget resolution and other authorized expenditures? In rough terms we know the size of the pot is about 40% of the approved budget. Items that are nongovernmental GDP-suppressive....that obligate states and muicipalities to redirect their taxes away from state or municipality functions (mandates, e.g.)

Just a thought....

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 12:06 | 4185509 PT
PT's picture

Let me summarize and translate this article for yas:  

"Next week, we're gonna steal all your money but we're telling you now so you'll get angry now, get used to the idea now and then you won't complain too much when it happens.  By the way, you must let us steal your money because it is against your principles to claim it back again."  That is why JD et al is richer than you.  All they have to do is say the magic words and they can steal as much as they like, as long as the sheeple think there is a "reason".

We live in a world where certain people can afford to build houses but no-one can afford to buy them.  I suggest that the author, and most people here, are the types that will critique sound by looking at the wave form instead of listening to the music.  Let us look at the problem from a different angle.

Most people should have paid off their house by the time they retire ( cough! cough!, err, yes, I know.), plus pensioners aren't paying for school kids, the older ones tend to eat less, they've already bought most of the stuff they ever wanted etc etc basically they can generally survive on a lower wage than most workers.  So tell me again, what percentage of the population is involved in the production of food?  What percent would that be if doubled?  The point being, it is current production that feeds pensioners.  Money flow is a secondary thing.  If the pensioners cannot afford to feed themselves, it is a "lack of money in the right places" problem, not a "impossible to produce for them" problem, just like homelessness is currently a "money in the wrong place" problem, not a "physically unable to build more houses" problem.

Now re pensions and superannuation.  Personal super may be a good idea, but what does it really mean when 100% of the population invests, say, 10% of their wage into compulsory superannuation?  Neglecting the effects of demographics, inflation and compound interest, it means that after 40 years, for every dollar you earn, there are four dollars invested in the stock market.  Does that make sense?  Previously the stock market survived, production and investment survived, with minimal superannuation.  Now it has 4 dollars for every dollar the workers earn (and spend).  What is that extra 4 dollars really doing?

Seriously, I really want to know!  What the fuck is that extra 4 dollars doing?  Inflating the P/E?  Inflating real estate prices?  Being totally absorbed by bankster bonuses?  Being totally annihilated by being on the wrong side of a derivatives bet?  Building more factories?  In that case, where is the extra production? ...

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 21:12 | 4184396 Barking Spaniel
Barking Spaniel's picture

Did LTER not get the memo about the demographic shift? Besides, the federal govt. has no business getting involved in this crap to begin with.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 21:36 | 4184423 W.M. Worry
W.M. Worry's picture

quote: Because the money was handed to the Fed, the MIC, spent on NSA, spent on pointless wars, spent on Homeland Security, and so forth.  Don't you care when your money is stolen?  Shall we blame the victim or the thief?


You nailed it right there. Our Government borrowed trillions for the war on drugs, the war on terror, the war on (you name it). A lot of Congressmen, Generals, lobbyists, and Defense contractors got rich, now they want the rest of us to fuck off and die. Those cock suckers might be in for a surprise.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 22:20 | 4184522 mathdock
mathdock's picture

The word "borrowed" is mighty generous of you, and likely a technical lie.  Those holding 2000-vintage long-term notes aren't getting what they "loaned" US, except in nominal terms, and some in hedonic transfers--"like that dog food with yer ham-hocks?"

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 00:32 | 4184797 NIHILIST CIPHER

LTER        Don't worry that's why Ozerocare showed up just in time to not care for boomers. Have you seen the "mandatory end of life counseling clause"?

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 20:03 | 4184257 Unknown User
Unknown User's picture

Social Security is a self-financed program that currently has over $2.5 trillion surplus.  The reason the right-wing media is spreading disinformation that the system is “broke” is because the funds were used, since the time of Ronald Reagan, to lower upper bracket income tax from 75% to effective level of 16%.  Since we are at a point when Social Security Administration has to cash some of the $2.5T in Treasury Bonds, the right-wing is trying to preserve their tax cuts for the wealthy.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 20:31 | 4184311 caShOnlY
caShOnlY's picture

Unknown, few remember 2 wonderful Ronnie Raygun programs:  trickle down economics and the star wars initiative - the wealthy and Military Industrail Complex.    2 areas still held in great regard by the politicians.    

The real war is when that 2.5T comes due:  either the bourgeois ante up or the prolitariat take the hit.   From the prepping most of us have seen the gv't doing recently not only are the prolitariat going to lose their guns, but also their financial asses.

Maybe I'll go listen to Hannity and he will play another one of Ronnie Raygun's terrificly feel good speeches which was written by one of his 26 speech writers.   Chimerica, here we come!!  

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 22:30 | 4184541 natty light
natty light's picture

This one: it's a car;might want to hold on to that one.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 03:47 | 4184991 John_Coltrane
John_Coltrane's picture

The underlying problem is demographics.  Not enough workers compared to retirees.  This is the unsolvable problem and why the article is quite correct in defining both programs as Ponzis.  Only the early "investors" can get their investment back in the ponzi because like all socialism, "pretty soon you run other of other people's money".  In this case the workers taxes. 

LTER, Its nonsense to say undefined oligarghs stole it.  LBJ stole the  future funds by creating a unified budget so he could steal from SS taxes to fund the "great society" programs and the Vietnam war without raising income taxes to actually pay for them.   Like Nixon abrograting the gold standard this was the death knell of SS and medicare.  But, the root cause was Wilson and the creation of the FED and the income tax in 1913.  Without debt backed money the welfare (and even the warfare) state isn't possible.

And what is the reason for the current deficit?  Not SS, nor really even medicare.  The great society programs of medicaid, housing foodstamps etc. and of course useless unfunded wars from Vietnam onward.  Eliminate the social welfare state programs created by LBJ on forward and there is no deficit.  Personally, I'd like to see all the social welfare programs from FDR forward eliminated including SS and medicare.  Let people work and save or suffer the consequences for not doing so.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 12:17 | 4185538 PT
PT's picture

Sure we got a demographics problem.  We also got machines that let one man do the job of a hundred.  Tell me again, what percent of the population is growing food?  I have no problem asserting that we can afford to feed our pensioners.  The only problem I see is escalating medical bills to squeeze that last extra year or two of life out of them.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 05:05 | 4185059 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

Why are you defending a worthless .gov program?


Because he's a government shill, duh.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 19:41 | 4184212 toady
toady's picture

All the males on both sides of my family died before they made it to SS age, except one great grandfather. A total of 10 people who never got a dime. If I somehow beat the odds I'll take the money and sleep like a baby.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 21:49 | 4184454 Serenity Now
Serenity Now's picture


You are suffering from Ponzi Scheme Victim Mentality.  The victims who paid into a Ponzi scheme always want the money back.  It's gone.  Ponzi spent it.  It will never be taken back.

Also, Social Security was never an insurance program.  Your basic premise that it was an insurance program is wrong.  Americans did not pool their money in order to mitigate the risk that 1% of the population would live past the age of 65.  THAT would have been insurance.  The first recipients of SS had paid NOTHING into the system.  GOVERNMENT took that money from young working people, and it has been that way ever since.  They can call it insurance all day long, but you (nor I, nor anyone else) has ever paid into an insurance program where the money is used to mitigate the risk that we will live past the age of 65.  It has always been a scheme of the young working people paying for the SS recipients.  

Ponzi called his scheme an investment, but we all know that was a lie, too.

I'm not sure why you blame the oligarchs for this, but it was GOVERNMENT who took your money and GOVERNMENT who spent it.  

Even the Supreme Court admitted it was just a tax.

Hey, I'll concede that the IDEA of a social security program looks good on paper.  And when it was designed, it was meant for the very few people who lived past 65, which was almost nobody.  Now that almost everyone lives way past 65, the idea that an entire nation of people can pay $100k in and get $1M out is a very screwed up math problem.  Math doesn't care what the government promises.

Anyway, you can believe this or not.  Personally, I find that getting out of denial is the strongest path to survival.  I'm younger than you are, and I've known my entire life that SS wasn't going to last.  It's been a known known for a very long time.  You seem like a decent person (even though I don't agree with a lot of your views), and I don't want you to be like one of the Madoff victims wondering when and how they are going to get their money back.  They (like us) were just victims of a math problem gone wrong.  The last wave of suckers IS the last wave of suckers.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 22:03 | 4184491 PrintemDano
PrintemDano's picture

The only problem with your Ponzi arguement is that this Ponzi was FORCED upon us!  We didn't voluntarily play this game, I've known it was a government run scheme for a long time.  I don't want my money back, I fking DEMAND it. Turn on the printing presses Uncle Benny, and sop taking other peoples money too!

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 22:47 | 4184587 Serenity Now
Serenity Now's picture

My Ponzi argument was just to make the point that it is a pyramid scheme (forced, yes) rather than insurance.  Like a pyramid scheme, the math won't care if you demand the money back or not.  I'm not condoning that, by the way.  This should be an extreme lesson in why NOT to give government control over our money or retirement or anything else for that matter.

But the vast majority of people want something for nothing, so they will keep playing the game and believing in magic.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 23:00 | 4184615 AmCockerSpaniel
AmCockerSpaniel's picture

Which one(s) of you duck heads thinks they can "live" on $1,200 per month? For 40 years I payed the SS tax. What would that be in today's dollars? You all don't see that the biggest issue today is jobs, and the amount they pay. What would we have in funding SS, if the one tenth of one percent at the top payed the SS tax (with NO cap that the government gives them) be?? So here we are being baited into this, when we should be staying focused on equal taxation of ALL.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 23:12 | 4184636 AmCockerSpaniel
AmCockerSpaniel's picture

Which one(s) of you duck heads thinks they can "live" on $1,200 per month? For 40 years I payed the SS tax. What would that be in today's dollars? You all don't see that the biggest issue today is jobs, and the amount they pay. What would we have in funding SS, if the one tenth of one percent at the top payed the SS tax (with NO cap that the government gives them) be?? So here we are being baited into this, when we should be staying focused on equal taxation of ALL.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 08:45 | 4185173 unrulian
unrulian's picture

I know how insurance works...its a ponzi scheme legitimized by the gov't run by criminals the only way it works is if you don't use it...just pay moar

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 19:39 | 4184203 rubiconsolutions
rubiconsolutions's picture

Social Security is not an insurance program. At least according to the Social Security Administration itself and affirmed by the Supreme Court. I would suggest you read the two biggest decisions on the matter - Helvering v. Davis and Flemming v. Nestor. Just because the government calls something by one name doesn't mean it really is that. See: the Department of Defense which is really the Department of Offense. Not to mention the Defense Intelligence Agency which, uh, is the opposite.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 19:47 | 4184227 koncaswatch
koncaswatch's picture

+1 This subject has been thrashed here at ZH previously. Social Security is about as secure as your bank deposit. Your contributions/ deposits in both cases no longer 'belong' to you.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 19:51 | 4184239 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Correct. At least I have a choice as to whether I keep my money on the bank or not. I don't have a choice with SS.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 20:10 | 4184273 koncaswatch
koncaswatch's picture

+1 Right you are, which makes a bank deposit over the hedge (the FDIC) limit a real act of cognaitive dissonance.

BTW my grandfather explained chain letters, pyramid schemes and C. Ponzi's scheme to me while I was in junior high. He also took the time to explain SS as a ponzi. I grew up thinking everyone new SS was a ponzi. 

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 21:32 | 4184420 emersonreturn
emersonreturn's picture



grandfather undoubtedly explained new vs knew.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 19:49 | 4184234 Bangin7GramRocks
Bangin7GramRocks's picture

And it is necessary because Americans are fucking idiots and they would never save a dime if not for this involuntary program. Telling Americans to save money is like telling the monkey not to fuck the football.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 03:19 | 4184976 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Ding Ding Ding, Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner.  Most Mericans are fucking idiots.  They want to free load while you work nights and weekends.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 11:29 | 4185408 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Would Americans be like this if they hadn't spent the last 100 years marinating in an ever-expanding welfare state? I say NO.

People are, by and large, products of their environment.

Sat, 11/23/2013 - 21:58 | 4184465 ZH Snob
ZH Snob's picture

I guess we should simply let the elderly fend for themselves or be forced to continue working jobs that should go to younger and more able people to do.

this is exactly how the baron robbers of our wealth get us to blame and fight with one another.  the truth is that if these leeches were not permitted to siphon off the earned wealth of their debt slaves there would be plenty to take care of all who could not care for themselves.  greed is in actuality a by-product of fear.  as things get tighter and deflation appears you can be sure we will once again be pitted against one another by our puppet masters who caused the whole thing.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 09:23 | 4185204 YHC-FTSE
YHC-FTSE's picture

"Greed is in actuality a byproduct of fear". Nicely put. Although I'm not sure whether we'll see deflation rearing up. Deflationary economic models due to lower aggregate demand, and low/negative return on assets leading to cash hoarding - all have basis in the premise that money itself has value, or is considered valuable. It has no intrinsic value, and the FRN is definitely being rejected globally as the reserve currency.  

I can see why many people see a deflationary spiral, because stimulus (the usual way to increase aggregate demand) has been the central bank's answer to the stalling economy, and there are other signs too, such as bonds giving negative rates (a debt that pays for itself!). But the wider picture is that stimulus has no effect on main street because it's all going to Wall St through the POMO to pump up the Dow Industrials, while at the same time the multinationals getting the benefits of that liquidity and zirp, are down sizing their work force adding to unemployment, adding to the burden of entitlements,  reducing the disposable income available to families,  and iterating the whole stalling economy with added debts, added unemployment,  reduced demand,  and diluted dollar. To me, it looks like a hyperinflation scenario, rather than deflationary spiral. It all depends on whether enough people have faith and trust in fiat money - a trust I no longer hold - but I understand that tradition and a lifetime of believing in the supremacy of bits of paper are hard habits to break.

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 10:30 | 4185284 ZH Snob
ZH Snob's picture

Dr Jim Willie wrote an excellent piece on this whole inflation v deflation scenario.  in essence, he claims that they are both happening at the same time.


Sun, 11/24/2013 - 10:53 | 4185321 YHC-FTSE
YHC-FTSE's picture

Thanks for the link mate. That certainly tallies with observation. 

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