When 'Sharing' Becomes Confiscation

Even 100 percent of all taxpayer income would not cover the current spending, the debt reduction and unfunded liabilities.

The convention speeches are full of empathetic phrases underscoring our need to “take care of those who need it” and to “share” what we have.

The government's spending spree “taking care” of us has created a tax burden that is impossible to pay. There aren't enough taxpayers left in the whole country to pay for all the things we need as a nation, plus support half the nation's families. President Obama would have to take 100 percent of all income in taxes from everyone earning more than $60,000 to maintain the government's spending. (American Thinker)

All taxpayers in America earn a combined $5.6 trillion of taxable income. $4 trillion in spending represents over 71 percent of the total taxable income of U.S. taxpayers. That $4 trillion doesn't include paying down the $16 trillion in debt or covering the $25 to $70 trillion in unfunded liabilities. Even 100 percent of all taxpayer income would not cover the current spending, the debt reduction and unfunded liabilities.

The Buffett rule would pay for 11 hours of government spending in 2013.

If I give my time and money to homeless teens, that is “sharing.” If the government demands that I give more money to it so that it can create more dependency, that is confiscation, not “sharing.”

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Ernest Campbell September 15, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Welcome to the club Jimmy. Now that you see the actual Law and SSA's own evaluations of itself contained in these documents, you can see how messed up it is specifically. Stunning isn't it? Now, we can have a real, hopefully constructive discussion of these specifics. For example, in a separate sub-thread, Janet noted that divorced wage-earners get 100% SS benefits and their divorced spouses get another 50%. Its even more messed up. If the wage-earner had multiple spouses (10+ year marriage) then each can receive an additional 50% of that benefit when the wage-earner retires or dies. One wage-earner could result in a 300% liability. Now, that's something specific that we can fix. And as you've learned from your reading, nothing like that was in the original law and, when it was changed, no effective adjustment in contribution or distribution - hence one of the many Unfunded Liabilities. As you read, there is page after page of this. It is not hidden. it is not obscured. It is right there in black and white. Each one needs to be reviewed and satisfactory adjustment made else that "Projected Unfunded Liability" will become "Unfunded Social Security Retirement Check". It wasn't correctly done to begin with; the time to fix it is now. So, pick something specific and tell me how you think we ought to fix it.
Ernest Campbell September 15, 2012 at 02:18 AM
From Wikipedia, Social Security Trust Fund / History that you referenced: "The Social Security system is primarily a pay-as-you-go system, meaning that payments to current retirees come from current payments into the system." In the paragraph immediately above, it says: "The trust funds run surpluses in that the amount paid in by current workers is more than the amount paid out to current beneficiaries. These surpluses are given to the U.S. Treasury (...) in exchange for special U.S. government securities, which are deposited into the trust funds." Further, "Pay-as-you-go" is a hot link to Wikipedia's page on PAYGO which says "PAYGO is the practice in the United States of financing expenditures with funds that are currently available rather than borrowed." From SSA's page titled "Ponzi Schemes vs. Social Security" at http://www.ssa.gov/history/ponzi.htm, look down the page to Pay-As-You-Go for their explanation. Specifically, in 2011, SSA received $698+ billion. Of that, they paid $603+ billion in benefits. The difference of $95+ billion was put into the Social Security Trust Fund which then contained $2,524+ billion (ie $2.524 triilion). Almost all of which is invested in US Bonds which you call "IOUs". And they are IOUs. That's what a mortgage or a car loan is. With a country though, if they default on their bonds, their currency is destroyed also - e.g. Greece now, Germany 1920s. Lets not let it get there!
Ernest Campbell September 15, 2012 at 04:05 AM
I totally agree Janet. Jimmy found a history of SS at http://www.ssa.gov/history/pdf/crs9436.pdf that details its changes through time. You can search out changes for spouses, etc. that are specific to the questions at hand. And then, you can determine exactly how you would have it if you ruled the world. BTW, the 10+year requirement for a Divorced spouse is still in effect so says http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/299/~/qualifying-for-divorced-spouse-benefits. Also, prior to 1977, it was 20 years.
Jimmy September 15, 2012 at 01:28 PM
I guess I misread something you wrote earlier and took it for a defense of the current system...I've been in 'the club' for many years...I knew SS was screwed up 30 years ago and would gladly have opted out of it then if I could have... I think I mentioned my idea for fixing it...start pro-rating benefits according to age, eventually weaning everybody off the system. The federal government has no business in the retirement business.
Ernest Campbell September 15, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Thanks Jimmy. I agree that throwing out many of the current ideas are necessary; but, I don't think that we need to throw out everything. If I ruled the world, I'd establish a system starting as follows (though its negotiable). 1 Pay-As-You-Earn System - must be. Almost all people don't have the discipline to save first. The amount and how/who might hold/invest the funds are separate questions. 2. Old Age, Death or Disability - only available then. Its focused on this (as it is now). Funds to do other things can be established separately So far, these ideas are no different than Social Security then or now. So, help me out. What would you (anybody) add to the above list or change in the current Social Security. Here's something suggested by Janet. 3. One Account/One Amount. The value of the account is fixed by the Wage-Earner and all claimants must divide this among themselves. None of this "you get 100% of the whole, they get 50% and so do some others". If this subsequently creates hardships, then "they" need to apply to the hardship programs. Wha'cha think?


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