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Bush Gives A Gut Punch to the Middle

26 X World Champs

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I really am starting to believe that Bush is delusional! Did you watch his Press Conference last Thursday? He is so out of touch with reality. He cuts taxes to the rich while at the same time he cuts Medicaire for the poor. His answer to our oil dependency is to use what he calls the fuel of the future, COAL! He nominates the one man on record as being totally anti-UN to be our ambassador to the UN. Scary, very, very scary.

In today's NY Times Paul Krugman wrote a seriously upsetting OP-ED piece about Bush's Social Security Dismemberment Plan. While on paper it's truly evil, it has no chance of ever passing. This is what I mean by delusional. First he spends 60 days and God knows how much money traveling around promoting a pathetic SS Private Account plan that after 60 days all of 33% of America got behind. I think Bush could have promoted anything and 33% would agree! Here's the piece, let's all get together after reading this and do what we do best, Bash Bush over another really STUPID attempt at screwing the masses!
By PAUL KRUGMAN

Published: May 2, 2005

By now, every journalist should know that you have to carefully check out any scheme coming from the White House. You can't just accept the administration's version of what it's doing. Remember, these are the people who named a big giveaway to logging interests "Healthy Forests."

Sure enough, a close look at President Bush's proposal for "progressive price indexing" of Social Security puts the lie to claims that it's a plan to increase benefits for the poor and cut them for the wealthy. In fact, it's a plan to slash middle-class benefits; the wealthy would barely feel a thing.

Under current law, low-wage workers receive Social Security benefits equal to 49 percent of their wages before retirement. Under the Bush scheme, that wouldn't change. So benefits for the poor would be maintained, not increased.

The administration and its apologists emphasize the fact that under the Bush plan, workers earning higher wages would face cuts, and they talk as if that makes it a plan that takes from the rich and gives to the poor. But the rich wouldn't feel any pain, because people with high incomes don't depend on Social Security benefits.

Cut an average worker's benefits, and you're imposing real hardship. Cut or even eliminate **** Cheney's benefits, and only his accountants will notice.

I asked Jason Furman of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities to calculate the benefit cuts under the Bush scheme as a percentage of pre-retirement income. That's a way to see who would really bear the burden of the proposed cuts. It turns out that the middle class would face severe cuts, but the wealthy would not.

The average worker - average pay now is $37,000 - retiring in 2075 would face a cut equal to 10 percent of pre-retirement income. Workers earning 60 percent more than average, the equivalent of $58,000 today, would see benefit cuts equal to almost 13 percent of their income before retirement.

But above that level, the cuts would become less and less significant. Workers earning three times the average wage would face cuts equal to only 9 percent of their income before retirement. Someone earning the equivalent of $1 million today would see benefit cuts equal to only 1 percent of pre-retirement income.

In short, this would be a gut punch to the middle class, but a fleabite for the truly wealthy.

Beyond that, it's a good bet that benefits for the poor would eventually be cut, too.

It's an adage that programs for the poor always turn into poor programs. That is, once a program is defined as welfare, it becomes a target for budget cuts.

You can see this happening right now to Medicaid, the nation's most important means-tested program. Last week Congress agreed on a budget that cuts funds for Medicaid (and food stamps), even while extending tax cuts on dividends and capital gains. States are cutting back, denying health insurance to hundreds of thousands of people with low incomes. Missouri is poised to eliminate Medicaid completely by 2008.

If the Bush scheme goes through, the same thing will eventually happen to Social Security. As Mr. Furman points out, the Bush plan wouldn't just cut benefits. Workers would be encouraged to divert a large fraction of their payroll taxes into private accounts - but this would in effect amount to borrowing against their future benefits, which would be reduced accordingly.

As a result, Social Security as we know it would be phased out for the middle class.

"For millions of workers," Mr. Furman writes, "the amount of the monthly Social Security check would be at or near zero."

So only the poor would receive Social Security checks - and regardless of what today's politicians say, future politicians would be tempted to reduce the size of those checks.

The important thing to understand is that the attempt to turn Social Security into nothing but a program for the poor isn't driven by concerns about the future budget burden of benefit payments. After all, if Mr. Bush was worried about the budget, he would be reconsidering his tax cuts.

No, this is about ideology: Mr. Bush comes to bury Social Security, not to save it. His goal is to turn F.D.R.'s most durable achievement into an unpopular welfare program, so some future president will be able to attack it with tall tales about Social Security queens driving Cadillacs.

E-mail: krugman@nytimes.com
 

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Krugman is a partisan hack Champ. Take what he says with a grain of salt. :roll:
 

26 X World Champs

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Squawker said:
Krugman is a partisan hack Champ. Take what he says with a grain of salt. :roll:
Partisan or not, his FACTs regarding Bush's diabolical SS Plan are very disturbing. I'm not saying he isn't anti-Bush. What I am saying is that you can be anti something and still be objective if the facts that you're using are accurate.

For example, what facts in this piece are not true?
 
S

sebastiansdreams

26 X World Champs said:
Partisan or not, his FACTs regarding Bush's diabolical SS Plan are very disturbing. I'm not saying he isn't anti-Bush. What I am saying is that you can be anti something and still be objective if the facts that you're using are accurate.

For example, what facts in this piece are not true?
So then all the **** you endlessly feed me about not being able to provide numbers from a non-partisan source is all irrelevent as long as it is you who is doing it? I agree with you, IN THIS POST, because you are stating what I have been working off of all along. Just because the point being made happens to come from someone who is partisan, does not mean that the numbers and statistics they provide are false. You, however, show hypocracy.
Okay, now that I'm done with all that, I have a question for the rest of you. How many of us in the forum believe that Bush is honestly maniacle and devicive, verses how many of us just think he is a very stupid man with good inentions and the wrong crowd? (Or I guess you can argue both points...good luck on that one).
 

26 X World Champs

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sebastiansdreams said:
So then all the **** you endlessly feed me about not being able to provide numbers from a non-partisan source is all irrelevent as long as it is you who is doing it? I agree with you, IN THIS POST, because you are stating what I have been working off of all along. Just because the point being made happens to come from someone who is partisan, does not mean that the numbers and statistics they provide are false. You, however, show hypocracy.
:2bigcry: I am talking about FACTS, not about some right wing christian website that is prejudiced in the FACTS they are reporting. Big, big difference. You don't use facts! Use facts and I will never dispute you. You're also not being very christian by attacking me, again, in your posts. It sure seems like you get off on spitting venom my way. If it does give you an erection please go right ahead and keep it up (get it?)
sebastiansdreams said:
Okay, now that I'm done with all that, I have a question for the rest of you. How many of us in the forum believe that Bush is honestly maniacle and devicive, verses how many of us just think he is a very stupid man with good inentions and the wrong crowd? (Or I guess you can argue both points...good luck on that one).
Great choices to make in a President? Despot or Moron. To suggest that he's so stupid that he's not responsible for his actions is pathetic.

He knows exactly what he's doing, he's lining the pockets of his cronies at the expense of the rest of us!
 
S

sebastiansdreams

26 X World Champs said:
:2bigcry: I am talking about FACTS, not about some right wing christian website that is prejudiced in the FACTS they are reporting. Big, big difference. You don't use facts! Use facts and I will never dispute you. You're also not being very christian by attacking me, again, in your posts. It sure seems like you get off on spitting venom my way. If it does give you an erection please go right ahead and keep it up (get it?)

Great choices to make in a President? Despot or Moron. To suggest that he's so stupid that he's not responsible for his actions is pathetic.

He knows exactly what he's doing, he's lining the pockets of his cronies at the expense of the rest of us!
You mean that noted (even elsewhere) archeological finds are not "FACT?" Or numbers given by pro-life supporters are false, simply based on them being against abortion? Facts are facts man, doesn't matter where they come from. This is very obviously not a down the center report that you presented, so can I say that your source is some left wing anarchist? That's ridiculous, just as your attacks on my sources. As far as my Christianity is concerned, it is not you I am attacking. It is simply your swaying logic. I am holding you accountable to your claims, and if that hurts your feelings I am sorry. If it makes you think I hate you, I don't. I'm simply attempting to show you your hypocracy so that you will stop attacking me for doing the exact same thing you and everyone else on this forum does, site facts from various organizations and websites to support a case. As long as they are not blatant lies, then why can that source not be trusted?

As far as Bush goes, I was not suggesting that he was too stupid to be held accountable, everyone should be held accountable no matter how high or low their intellect. But, what I was suggesting is whether or not he himself is the puppet master, or the strings apply to him too.
 

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PAUL KRUGMAN, TIMES COLUMNIST, DECLARED INSANE
CATEGORY: Media
Famed New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, shouting “I’m just as sane as any other liberal,” was dragged off to Bellevue Mental Hospital this morning after it became clear he had gone stark, raving mad.

“If you want my professional opinion, he’s as loony as a June bug,” declared Dr. Ishmael Ahab, Director of Clinical Psychiatry at the famed institution. “Right now, he’s resting comfortably in our deluxe ‘rubber room’ where he’ll stay until his symptoms moderate.

Dr. Ahab said those symptoms included paranoid delusions, frothing at the mouth, excessive talking, and according to sources “barking like a sick puppy at the moon.”

Daniel Okrent, readers representative for the Times said that Krugman’s current column entitled “What’s Going On” in which Krugman posits the theory that Christian conservatives are going to start assassinating liberals will not be pulled from later editions.

“Just because he’s nuts doesn’t mean he’s wrong,” said Okrent. “We run stuff from loons all the time. Look at Maureen Dowd”

Okrent is referring to another well-known Times columnist who, while not declared officially insane, is reportedly under 24 hour suicide watch due to a lack of sex and a hatred of men.

Krugman’s column, which appears in newspapers nationwide, gives several clues as to how the famed liberal’s mind slowly degenerated into what Dr. Ahab calls “a persistent moonbat state or PMS.”


Funny stuff
Partisanship on both sides obviously

He has a funny debate with Bill O'Reilly that degenerates to a
"You lie. No you do." contest.


Here is another Paul Krugman, Around the Bend
 

26 X World Champs

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sebastiansdreams said:
You mean that noted (even elsewhere) archeological finds are not "FACT?" Or numbers given by pro-life supporters are false, simply based on them being against abortion?
Your archaeological site was a Christian biased site. You were unable to provide any mainstream site. Your pro-life numbers were inaccurate, and you know it.

To compare a religiously biased site to the NY Times seems to me to be a slam dunk...sorry....NY Times vs. Right to Life Sites? Slam dunk again.
 
S

sebastiansdreams

26 X World Champs said:
Your archaeological site was a Christian biased site. You were unable to provide any mainstream site. Your pro-life numbers were inaccurate, and you know it.

To compare a religiously biased site to the NY Times seems to me to be a slam dunk...sorry....NY Times vs. Right to Life Sites? Slam dunk again.
No I wasn't. Did you not see that in that thread I posted like eight seperate sites all saying the same thing, and none of them with Christian lean. And the site is irrelevant, the idea is that there is always going to be slant. But just because there is slant does not make something not true. Believe me, I would not post something if I even susptected in not to be true. If I didn't think those were the numbers I would not have posted them, but it was the only site I could find in my search that provided the statistics I was looking for. I am honestly not lying to you just to prove the point. I just went with the things I could find.
 

26 X World Champs

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sebastiansdreams said:
No I wasn't. Did you not see that in that thread I posted like eight seperate sites all saying the same thing, and none of them with Christian lean. And the site is irrelevant, the idea is that there is always going to be slant. But just because there is slant does not make something not true. Believe me, I would not post something if I even susptected in not to be true. If I didn't think those were the numbers I would not have posted them, but it was the only site I could find in my search that provided the statistics I was looking for. I am honestly not lying to you just to prove the point. I just went with the things I could find.
I never thought you were lying. I think, as you just stated, you found a site that supported what you said, ignoring all the other sites that disputed what you said.
 
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sebastiansdreams

26 X World Champs said:
I never thought you were lying. I think, as you just stated, you found a site that supported what you said, ignoring all the other sites that disputed what you said.
But no other sites dispute, nore commented on what I said. The problem is not the information dissproving my argument, rather just the lack of information available on the subject from any source.
 

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What "facts" did Krugman provide. I read that article when it was first printed, and all I saw was a lot of baseless accusations and opinions.

Something that you, or rather, Krugman, neglected to mention is that the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities is an extremely biased liberal interest group.

Want to see something pretty funny? Go to their website here

http://www.cbpp.org/info.html

And look at the bottom where it has "testimonials." Guess who the first name praising this site is. Paul Krugman.


Read a thing or two by John Tierney at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/30/o...Opinion/Editorials and Op-Ed/Op-Ed/Columnists

Or this one:

I made a pilgrimage to Santiago seeking to resolve the Social Security debate with a simple question: What would Pablo Serra do?

I wanted to compare our pensions to see the results of an accidental experiment that began in 1961, when he and I were friends in second grade at a school in Chile. He remained in Chile and became the test subject; I returned to America as the control group.

By the time we finished college, both of our countries' pension systems were going broke. Chile responded by pioneering a system of private accounts in 1981. America rescued its traditional system in the early 1980's by cutting benefits and raising taxes, with the promise that the extra money would go into a trust to finance the baby boomers' retirement.

As it happened, our countries have required our employers to set aside roughly the same portion of our income, a little over 12 percent, which pays for disability insurance as well as the pension program. It also covers, in Pablo's case, the fees charged by the mutual-fund company managing his money.

I visited Pablo, who grew up to become an economist, at his office at the University of Chile and showed him my most recent letter from the Social Security Administration listing my history of earnings and projected pension. Pablo called up his account on his computer and studied the projected retirement options for him, which assume that he'll keep working until age 65 and that the fund will get an annual return of 5 percent (which is lower than its historical average).

After comparing our relative payments to our pension systems (since salaries are higher in America, I had contributed more), we extrapolated what would have happened if I'd put my money into Pablo's mutual fund instead of the Social Security trust fund. We came up with three projections for my old age, each one offering a pension that, like Social Security's, would be indexed to compensate for inflation:

(1)Retire in 10 years, at age 62, with an annual pension of $55,000. That would be more than triple the $18,000 I can expect from Social Security at that age.

(2)Retire at age 65 with an annual pension of $70,000. That would be almost triple the $25,000 pension promised by Social Security starting a year later, at age 66.

(3)Retire at age 65 with an annual pension of $53,000 and a one-time cash payment of $223,000.

You may suspect that Pablo has prospered only because he's a sophisticated investor, but he simply put his money into one of the most popular mutual funds. He has more money in it than most Chileans because his salary is above average, but lower-paid workers who contributed to that fund for the same period of time would be in relatively good shape, too, because their projected pension would amount to more than 90 percent of their salaries.

By contrast, Social Security replaces less than 60 percent of your salary -- and that's only if you were a low-income worker. Typical recipients get back less than half of their salaries.

The biggest problem in Chile is that many workers don't contribute regularly to their pensions because they're unemployed or working off the books. That's a common situation in the developing world, no matter what the pension system is. But if you contribute for at least 20 years, Chile guarantees you a minimum pension that, relative to the median salary, is actually more generous than the median Social Security check.

Still, you may argue, Chileans may someday long for a system like Social Security if the stock market crashes and takes their pensions down with it. The relative risks of the Chilean and American systems are a question for another column. But I can tell you that Pablo is an economist who appreciates the risks of stocks and has no doubt about where he wants to keep putting his money.

''I'm very happy with my account,'' he said to me after comparing our pensions. He was kind enough not to gloat. When I enviously suggested that he could expect not only a much heftier pension than mine, but also enough cash to buy himself a vacation home at the shore or in the country, he reassured me that it would pay for only a modest place.

I'm not sure how much consolation that is, but I'm trying to look at the bright side. Maybe my Social Security check will cover the airfare to visit him.
This plan will be making cuts in the benefits of the rich, benefitting the poor, and holding the middle class steady. Doesn't SOUND like a republican plan, but it is.
 

26 X World Champs

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sebastiansdreams said:
But no other sites dispute, nore commented on what I said. The problem is not the information dissproving my argument, rather just the lack of information available on the subject from any source.
And what does say about the authenticity of such historic and life changing "facts"?
 

26 X World Champs

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RightatNYU said:
This plan will be making cuts in the benefits of the rich, benefitting the poor, and holding the middle class steady. Doesn't SOUND like a republican plan, but it is.
Oh really? So you know something now that no one else knows? You've figured out that a cut in benefits means holding steady?

Check again! The ONLY people not having benefits cut are those making under $37K per year....Spin that for us, please?
 

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26 X World Champs said:
Oh really? So you know something now that no one else knows? You've figured out that a cut in benefits means holding steady?

Check again! The ONLY people not having benefits cut are those making under $37K per year....Spin that for us, please?
How about I do one better?

http://www.factcheck.org/article323m.html

Read that.

•Workers averaging $25,000 a year or less (in today's dollars), and retiring after 2012, would continue to get full benefits promised under current formula. This would apply to the lowest 30 percent of earners.
•Workers averaging $113,000 or more (in today's dollars), and retiring after 2012, would see their benefits rise only enough to compensate for the rising cost of living.
Explain to me how on earth you get that.

Pozen's progressive indexing plan would mean a "cut" – compared to what's in the current benefit formula – of varying amounts depending on average salary levels and the year in which retirement begins. Here are some examples taken from table B-1 of the chief actuary's analysis:

*
For workers with average earnings, a "cut" of 6 percent for those retiring in 2025, rising to 28 percent for those retiring in 2075.
*
For those at the top, making more than $133,000 in today's dollars, a "cut" of 11 percent for those retiring in 2025, rising to 49 percent for those retiring in 2075.
*
For low-income workers, those making $25,000 a year in today's dollars, no cut whatsoever.

And compared to what?

It is important to remember that these figures are in relation what the current benefit formula promises, not what current law can actually deliver . The current level of payroll taxes can't support the promised level of benefits beyond 2041, according to latest official projections.

If nothing is done, benefits will automatically be reduced for all persons receiving them. Without a tax increase or some other additional revenue, those built-in reductions would start at 26 percent in 2041, rise to 32 percent by 2078 and keep rising every year after that. And that would apply to everybody receiving benefit checks – rich and poor alike.

So, compared to the levels that current taxes can actually support, low-income workers would actually get substantially more under progressive indexing than they would under the current system, starting in 2041.


High-income workers would still get less, even compared to what current taxes can bear. High-income workers retiring in 2045 would see a "cut" of little over 28 percent under the current system, and a "cut" of 29 percent under progressive indexing.
To summarize, Bush's plan proposes a "cut" for the rich in what SS SAYS it can deliver. However, compared to what SS can ACTUALLY deliver, the difference is miniscule. Reality is a pesky thing.



Next time, why don't you try looking up your own facts before your reliance on someone else's makes you look foolish.

I'm really looking forward to this response.
 

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RightatNYU said:
To summarize, Bush's plan proposes a "cut" for the rich in what SS SAYS it can deliver. However, compared to what SS can ACTUALLY deliver, the difference is miniscule. Reality is a pesky thing.

Next time, why don't you try looking up your own facts before your reliance on someone else's makes you look foolish.

I'm really looking forward to this response.
New math I see? So the current formula for SS, if not changed pays more benefits than the Bush plan (that will never pass)? You sir, are the master of SPIN.... :spin: :spin:

A cut in benefits is a cut! Wow! Perhaps you need to go ask one of your professors what it means when a law is changed and because the law is changed people will receive less income? Ask the professor if that is a cut in benefits?

Hey, maybe you can spin it into a benefit increase? C'mon, keep looking on the Web, surely you can find a site that says that too?
 

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26 X World Champs said:
New math I see? So the current formula for SS, if not changed pays more benefits than the Bush plan (that will never pass)? You sir, are the master of SPIN.... :spin: :spin:

A cut in benefits is a cut! Wow! Perhaps you need to go ask one of your professors what it means when a law is changed and because the law is changed people will receive less income? Ask the professor if that is a cut in benefits?

Hey, maybe you can spin it into a benefit increase? C'mon, keep looking on the Web, surely you can find a site that says that too?
Did you even read the site that I offered to you? Not only is it a non-partisan, highly respected group, but they offered both sides of the argument.

I honestly cannot believe that this was your response. I thought that it was pretty clear exactly what was happening.

Social Security, in its current form, promises X for the lower classes, Y for the middle class, and Z for the rich.

The proposed plan would make it better than X for the lower, slightly lower than Y for the middle class, and much lower than Z for the rich.

HOWEVER, this is all assuming that the current form of SS continues without fail, which it will not.

Under current law, once SS begins to draw a deficit, it will AUTOMATICALLY reduce benefits for all levels.

The end result will be much lower than X for the lower classes, lower than Y for the middle class, and lower than Z for the upper class.

So, when offered the Bush plan, (which is actually the Robert Pozen plan, who is a Democratic professor at Harvard, btw), which will significantly increase the benefits of the lower classes, increase the benefits for much of the middle class, and cut them for rich, I will take that

Perhaps you need to go ask one of your professors what it means when a law is changed and because the law is changed people will receive less income? Ask the professor if that is a cut in benefits?
Let me repeat this line again, because you don't seem to get it.

It's not a cut compared to the original if the original won't exist.

If I tell you I'm giving you a million dollars, when I actually can only offer you 500, then instead offer you a thousand, and follow through, that's not a cut. That's an increase.

Aside from all that, do the rich need social security? No. The point of social security was originally to prevent any elderly people from falling into poverty.

20% of the money now paid out in SS benefits is enough to end ALL elderly poverty.

The new Bush plan is doing a VERY democratic thing in recognizing that the rich/upper middle class do not need SS, and reallocating that wealth to the lower classes, while at the same time, shoring up a program that would fail otherwise.

You can bitch and bitch about "spin" all you want, but until you actually address any point I made or present a fact or two, you just sound stupid.
 
S

sebastiansdreams

26 X World Champs said:
And what does say about the authenticity of such historic and life changing "facts"?
Nothing more than nobody else is interested. Which realistically makes sense. No one other than Christians care what is found supporting the Bible. Obviously it means a lot to us, because it only goes to reaffirm our case. But for non-Christians, why would they have any reason to report a find that would support the claim of a Bible they choose not to have faith in? It is simply logical that none but Christians are overly concerned with factual evidence regarding the Bible. However, like I said, I listed eight + websites that all had seperate articles or information regarding the finds that I was discussing on the Christian site. So if you still doub the Christian site, you can always turn around and look at the non-Christian sites and see the exact same information.
 

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RightatNYU said:
Did you even read the site that I offered to you? Not only is it a non-partisan, highly respected group, but they offered both sides of the argument.

I honestly cannot believe that this was your response. I thought that it was pretty clear exactly what was happening.

Social Security, in its current form, promises X for the lower classes, Y for the middle class, and Z for the rich.

The proposed plan would make it better than X for the lower, slightly lower than Y for the middle class, and much lower than Z for the rich.

HOWEVER, this is all assuming that the current form of SS continues without fail, which it will not.

Under current law, once SS begins to draw a deficit, it will AUTOMATICALLY reduce benefits for all levels.

The end result will be much lower than X for the lower classes, lower than Y for the middle class, and lower than Z for the upper class.

So, when offered the Bush plan, (which is actually the Robert Pozen plan, who is a Democratic professor at Harvard, btw), which will significantly increase the benefits of the lower classes, increase the benefits for much of the middle class, and cut them for rich, I will take that



Let me repeat this line again, because you don't seem to get it.

It's not a cut compared to the original if the original won't exist.

If I tell you I'm giving you a million dollars, when I actually can only offer you 500, then instead offer you a thousand, and follow through, that's not a cut. That's an increase.

Aside from all that, do the rich need social security? No. The point of social security was originally to prevent any elderly people from falling into poverty.

20% of the money now paid out in SS benefits is enough to end ALL elderly poverty.

The new Bush plan is doing a VERY democratic thing in recognizing that the rich/upper middle class do not need SS, and reallocating that wealth to the lower classes, while at the same time, shoring up a program that would fail otherwise.

You can bitch and bitch about "spin" all you want, but until you actually address any point I made or present a fact or two, you just sound stupid.


Nice post. Well said.


:applaud
 

RightinNYC

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akyron said:
Nice post. Well said.


:applaud
Thank you.

I'm still curious as to what Champ has to say about it.

He'll probably explain to me that I'm a tool of the right wing :spin: machine.
 
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