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S**t maybe I was wrong all along?

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Omnipotent providence has taught us the utter futility of war, we have known the bitterness of defeat and the ex-haultation of triumph and from both we have learned that there can be no turning back, we must go forward to preserve in peace what we have won in war. WAR! the most malignant scourge and greatest sin of mankind can no longer be controlled but only abolished we are in a new era, if we do not find a new and more equitable means of solving our disputes Armageddon will be at our door . . . we have had our last chance - General MacArthur.
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Trajan Octavian Titus said:
Omnipotent providence has taught us the utter futility of war, we have known the bitterness of defeat and the ex-haultation of triumph and from both we have learned that there can be no turning back, we must go forward to preserve in peace what we have won in war. WAR! the most malignant scourge and greatest sin of mankind can no longer be controlled but only abolished we are in a new era, if we do not find a new and more equitable means of solving our disputes Armageddon will be at our door . . . we have had our last chance - General MacArthur.
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Duty, Honor, Country, I bid you farewell.-Douglas MacArthur

This is why this man has a say in my perspective on the war in Iraq while others do not, he served the Republic in a way that I could only hope to serve. God bless him and all that came before and after.
 

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I recommend the excellent biography American Caesar : Douglas MacArthur 1880 - 1964. His service as proconsul in Japan after WWII was positively brilliant, and his land redistribution program was even more radical than Mao's in China. That chapter of his life, and the way he won a permanent peace after a bitter war, gives special meaning to the words you quoted (and to our ongoing efforts in Iraq).

MacArthur understood that military operations were only a necessary first phase on the way to a permanent peace, and the follow-up operations of building a stable framework for a self-governing society were essential if we were to avoid repeating the war. (Contrast this with the post-WWI treatment of Germany that led to the rise of Hitler and WWII.)
 

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GarzaUK said:
Didn't MacArthur want to nuke China during the Korean War?
That's one way of looking at it. He didn't like the idea that the enemy could simply cross the Yalu River to be safe, and took it upon himself to open talks with Chiang Kai-Chek about opening a second front against China - that's what got him fired. Global strategizing was not his strong point and he would have been a very dangerous president, but that shouldn't detract from his achievement as proconsul of Japan following WWII.
 

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Trajan Octavian Titus said:
Duty, Honor, Country, I bid you farewell.-Douglas MacArthur

This is why this man has a say in my perspective on the war in Iraq while others do not, he served the Republic in a way that I could only hope to serve. God bless him and all that came before and after.
OF
The men in the military they all stand up for peace and they will go to their ends to achieve it.
IT is and always has been the boys in the military that are for war and go to their ends to achieve it.
 

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There is not a single thing that McArthur or America has accomplished in any past conflict that is applicable to our inane and poorly conceived invasion of Iraq. The sheer hubris of some people is truly amazing. For the first time in our nation's history we launch a preemptive strike on a country that has done nothing to us, in a situation that cannot be tamed in a matter similar to any of the societies that fell under our jurisdiction in past wars. In fact, just look at Kosovo/Bosnia..that is a fallout from WW1/2. And all of the stuff in the Middle east can be directly attributed to blowback from our past meddling, or the inept administration of the area under the Ottamon Empire by the British and the French. Just ask Winston Churchill. When he formulated Iraq, he left the Sunni minority in control of the three distinct regions and believe it or not was unaware of the amount of oil in the country. Yes, the British screwed up the whole area, down to carving out Kuwait from land that had been part of Iraq..that would be land that Saddam went after when he invaded Kuwait. Of course Kuwait was formed to provide for British seaports. Never mind the fact that Iraq was left with only the single port of Basra for a country slightly larger in land area than California.

TwoPops
 

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TwoPops4Sure said:
There is not a single thing that McArthur or America has accomplished in any past conflict that is applicable to our inane and poorly conceived invasion of Iraq. The sheer hubris of some people is truly amazing. For the first time in our nation's history we launch a preemptive strike on a country that has done nothing to us, in a situation that cannot be tamed in a matter similar to any of the societies that fell under our jurisdiction in past wars. In fact, just look at Kosovo/Bosnia..that is a fallout from WW1/2. And all of the stuff in the Middle east can be directly attributed to blowback from our past meddling, or the inept administration of the area under the Ottamon Empire by the British and the French. Just ask Winston Churchill. When he formulated Iraq, he left the Sunni minority in control of the three distinct regions and believe it or not was unaware of the amount of oil in the country. Yes, the British screwed up the whole area, down to carving out Kuwait from land that had been part of Iraq..that would be land that Saddam went after when he invaded Kuwait. Of course Kuwait was formed to provide for British seaports. Never mind the fact that Iraq was left with only the single port of Basra for a country slightly larger in land area than California.

TwoPops
Your statements are further proof of the old adage that those who cannot learn from their history are doomed to repeat it. Both the successes and the failures of the past can provide valuable lessons for the future. Granted that Woodrow Wilson botched the follow-up to WWI by leaving the dismantling of the Austrian and Ottoman empires to the dilettantes of Europe, but a generation later MacArthur (in Japan) and George Marshall (in Europe) showed what could be accomplished by a period of close supervision after a military victory. Bush41 erred when he bowed to the dilettantes of the UN after the first Gulf War, and Clinton erred when he dabbled in the affairs of the Balkans, so Bush43 is taking a MacArthur/Marshall approach to Iraq. To date he is being proven right, much to the dismay of the Left.
 

TwoPops4Sure

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Diogenes said:
Your statements are further proof of the old adage that those who cannot learn from their history are doomed to repeat it. Both the successes and the failures of the past can provide valuable lessons for the future. Granted that Woodrow Wilson botched the follow-up to WWI by leaving the dismantling of the Austrian and Ottoman empires to the dilettantes of Europe, but a generation later MacArthur (in Japan) and George Marshall (in Europe) showed what could be accomplished by a period of close supervision after a military victory. Bush41 erred when he bowed to the dilettantes of the UN after the first Gulf War, and Clinton erred when he dabbled in the affairs of the Balkans, so Bush43 is taking a MacArthur/Marshall approach to Iraq. To date he is being proven right, much to the dismay of the Left.
Make no mistake about it. When I mentioned people with sheer hubris and arrogance, you are one of those I'm talking about. Post WW1 the US had adminstrative responsibility for Armenia. You do remember how that genocide turned out..don't you? There is zero evidence that even if the US had been heavily involved, that the dispostion of the Middle East would have turned out any different. It was all driven by western greed. Our history of manifest destiny clearly demonstrates we are not above economic self interest, the people of the country be damned. Japan and Germany were established homogenous societies. In comparison Iraq is a cobbled together collection of tribes, ethnic groups, and religious factions who historically had no common bonds or institutions. The problems with nation building using military occupation are exponentially more complex. If you want to partisan snipe on Clinton, I do believe Bosnia is at peace without the loss of a single US life in that conflict. And there has never been any doubt that our intentions were nothing but honorable in the Kosovo intervention. That same cannot be said about our constant interference in the Middle East. What few US forces remained as part of the peacekeeping contingent were officially withdrawn late last year. Your grandson will be eligible to stop bullets in Iraq. That would be the territory the British thought they would capture, just as many did in Afghanistan. We don't control Iraq, and Afghansitan is an abysmal failure. It's too bad the "liberal" press just doesn't have the stones to tell the public the truth. It's even more pathetic that we have such an ignorant and poorly informed, and simple minded populace. If you naively believe that Iraq can survive as defined today with democracy at a gun barrel, then it is you who demonstrate no grasp of history or the reality of the dynamics of the region. Saddam Husseins authoritarian style of government is what made that country work. You'll have to stretch to fashion a cogent argument in support of this ineptly planned mission in Iraq. The Marshall plan you speak of was authored by Colin Powell, not the Commander in Chimp. Recall that plan was abandoned in favor of the NeoCon "plunder now, worry about the welfare of the country later plan". It is shear hubris that would make one think that democracy is the best form of government for that country. Similarly, it's geopolitical ignorance, jingoism and succombing to blind partisan rhetoric that is the reason so many deluded fools don't realize that there is no solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict given the present reality of the geography of the territories. Until Palestine is awarded a contiguous and defensible state, all other efforts are superfluous.

I submit it is you and your ilk who suffer from self delusion on the question of Iraq. What's even better, I want you to tell me why Iraq is even worthy of our attention and just where is the McArthur/Marshall Plan? Hell, we don't even have an exit strategy. You're really going to have to provide a little more here than a declaration of your conviction. And try to avoid the revisionist history, I don't let anything slide.

TwoPops
 
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TwoPops4Sure said:
Make no mistake about it. When I mentioned people with sheer hubris and arrogance, you are one of those I'm talking about.
And you seem to be one of those who cannot learn from history.

Post WW1 the US had adminstrative responsibility for Armenia. You do remember how that genocide turned out..don't you? There is zero evidence that even if the US had been heavily involved, that the dispostion of the Middle East would have turned out any different.
Agreed, if by that you mean dabbling by the ineffective academic, Woodrow Wilson.

It was all driven by western greed. Our history of manifest destiny clearly demonstrates we are not above economic self interest, the people of the country be damned.
Actually, it was much worse. It wasn't western greed, it was soft-headed, academic and patronizing altruism.

Japan and Germany were established homogenous societies.
Neither one of which had any experience with representative democracy.

In comparison Iraq is a cobbled together collection of tribes, ethnic groups, and religious factions who historically had no common bonds or institutions.
That was the argument made by the colonial powers, that the poor benighted heathens were incapable civilized of self-government.

The problems with nation building using military occupation are exponentially more complex.
We could leave them alone, as we did after WWI, or we can get in and do the job right, as we did after WWII. Apparently you are suggesting the first course, in spite of your criticism of it.

It's even more pathetic that we have such an ignorant and poorly informed, and simple minded populace.
You must be referring to those who claim "If you naively believe that Iraq can survive as defined today with democracy at a gun barrel, then it is you who demonstrate no grasp of history or the reality of the dynamics of the region."

Saddam Husseins authoritarian style of government is what made that country work.
I don't accept the racism implicit in that remark.

Obviously there is no point in continuing this discussion.
 

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Peace cannot exist when sin is prevelant. I hate to break it to ya but peace is only temporary in this kind of world. I wish we can only instil peace as a everlasting occurance but it is reality that it cannot. There will never be any such thing as world peace. We can strive for it all we want but this is reality. As a war science student throughout our history there has always been some type of war, battle, revolution, attrocity, genocide, insurection, insurgency, etc etc. I cant think of 1 year in our history dating back the last 2000yrs that we had world peace. Every single year had some unpeaceful unravelment.

On a lighter note, I wish there could be a time of absolute peace. A time when all men are loving towards each other.
 

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Diogenes said:
... so Bush43 is taking a MacArthur/Marshall approach to Iraq. To date he is being proven right, much to the dismay of the Left.
I sitting here trying to thing of *one* thing he has been proven right about ...
 

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Iriemon,

been proven right about
One thing you have give Bush credit for: he is not afraid of the big issues.

> He brought up SS and proposed a solution. Lord knows that is an issue fraught with significance ('heavy' was the appropriate description when I was younger) and with political risk. No resolution yet, but he at least brought it to the forefront.

> War on terror and Iraq: Bush again was brave enough (ok, admittedly some will say stupid enough, but thats largely a matter of perspective, or beauty in the eye of the beholder) to move terror from a 'police' matter (as it was under the previous administration) to a war footing.

Because of the nature of a lot of what Bush has done/is doing, the final verdict on whether he was right or wrong will not be known for years, possibly many years.

Sure, the polls suggest that right here, right now, that Bush is not doing so hot. And yep, the MSM continues to bash at every opportunity. And for sure, he has alienated even some conservatives with the Meirs nomination. But nonetheless, this President's legacy is still up for grabs. It is a very long run thing. Just my opinion - your mileage may vary.
 

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oldreliable67 said:
Because of the nature of a lot of what Bush has done/is doing, the final verdict on whether he was right or wrong will not be known for years, possibly many years.

Sure, the polls suggest that right here, right now, that Bush is not doing so hot. And yep, the MSM continues to bash at every opportunity. And for sure, he has alienated even some conservatives with the Meirs nomination. But nonetheless, this President's legacy is still up for grabs. It is a very long run thing. Just my opinion - your mileage may vary.
Very true. Very true indeed.
 

cnredd

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oldreliable67 said:
Iriemon,



One thing you have give Bush credit for: he is not afraid of the big issues.

> He brought up SS and proposed a solution. Lord knows that is an issue fraught with significance ('heavy' was the appropriate description when I was younger) and with political risk. No resolution yet, but he at least brought it to the forefront.

> War on terror and Iraq: Bush again was brave enough (ok, admittedly some will say stupid enough, but thats largely a matter of perspective, or beauty in the eye of the beholder) to move terror from a 'police' matter (as it was under the previous administration) to a war footing.

Because of the nature of a lot of what Bush has done/is doing, the final verdict on whether he was right or wrong will not be known for years, possibly many years.

Sure, the polls suggest that right here, right now, that Bush is not doing so hot. And yep, the MSM continues to bash at every opportunity. And for sure, he has alienated even some conservatives with the Meirs nomination. But nonetheless, this President's legacy is still up for grabs. It is a very long run thing. Just my opinion - your mileage may vary.
That is spot on...

The Social Security thing really baffles me...

I don't like the idea that "it's not a crisis now, so we'll just pass it along to a future President so he can deal with it when it actually becomes a crisis"...I'm 35, so I see this as a VERY legitimate issue...

What a President does rarely has immediate consequences...President Kennedy sending troops to Vietnam is a perfect example...

And Lincoln was not described as one of our best Presidents at the time either...He won his second term with 39% of the vote...

I'm not comparing WHAT he's done to Bush...Just saying that the results of what happens is more clearly defined afterward, and not during...
 

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I see this as a VERY legitimate issue...
Not just SS, but the whole scheme of entitlements. Grist for new (thread)mills.
:cool:
 

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cnredd said:
That is spot on...
The Social Security thing really baffles me...
It's easy. In 1983 Congress raised the social security taxes so they could build up in a trust fund to help pay for the boomers when they retire. However, since about that time (with the only exception being 2000) the govt has run defits, spending more than taxes brought in. This problem was especially pronounced when the Govt cut taxes, like in the 80s and 00s, when it had huge deficits.

So .... there is this huge pile of extra money (SS excess taxes were about $175 billion last year) and the Govt is spending money a lot faster than taxes brought in ... shoot, why not just take the SS money and use that! And that is exactly what they have been doing for 2 decades ... in the neighborhood of $1.5 trillion dollars. And we are still running deficits, and the politicians are still stealing the money from *our* SS trust fund paid for by extra SS taxes *we* pay.

So now, our leader tells us there is a SS "crisis" -- because there are no real assets in the fund. Duh.

Thanks Ron, George and George for giving us this crisis.
 

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Iriemon said:
It's easy. In 1983 Congress raised the social security taxes so they could build up in a trust fund to help pay for the boomers when they retire. However, since about that time (with the only exception being 2000) the govt has run defits, spending more than taxes brought in. This problem was especially pronounced when the Govt cut taxes, like in the 80s and 00s, when it had huge deficits.

So .... there is this huge pile of extra money (SS excess taxes were about $175 billion last year) and the Govt is spending money a lot faster than taxes brought in ... shoot, why not just take the SS money and use that! And that is exactly what they have been doing for 2 decades ... in the neighborhood of $1.5 trillion dollars. And we are still running deficits, and the politicians are still stealing the money from *our* SS trust fund paid for by extra SS taxes *we* pay.

So now, our leader tells us there is a SS "crisis" -- because there are no real assets in the fund. Duh.

Thanks Ron, George and George for giving us this crisis.
Two points...

1) Bush43 wants to put some of the SS $ into the private sector, which would prevent Congress from running up said deficits...It tough to draw from their federal account when its not there...

2) I, nor has anyone else, said there IS a crisis...Many have mentioned that there WILL BE a crisis..."When" is a topic for debate...The two dates I've heard are 2017 and 2042...

When SS started there were 16 workers giving in to the fund for every 1 retired person taking out...Now it is less than 4...and the "baby boomers" will soon make that ratio even less...

If SS had every single dollar replaced RIGHT NOW and never touched again for other purposes, the crisis would still be forthcoming...what you report is just an acceleration of an issue that would still be looming...
 

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I, nor has anyone else, said there IS a crisis...Many have mentioned that there WILL BE a crisis..."When" is a topic for debate...The two dates I've heard are 2017 and 2042
While the above is an accurate statement, I hesitate to criticize anyone who see's the 'coming' crisis in terms of what action is needed today to alleviate that coming crisis. We have all seen how partisan politics quickly rears its ugly head to obfuscate and delay any solutions. Plans/solutions/contingencies need to be developed sooner rather than later.

Reagan, to this point, probably did the best job of attempting to do something, due to his creation of a bi-partisan commission that (for the most part) stuck to its knitting.
 

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cnredd said:
Two points...

1) Bush43 wants to put some of the SS $ into the private sector, which would prevent Congress from running up said deficits...It tough to draw from their federal account when its not there...

2) I, nor has anyone else, said there IS a crisis...Many have mentioned that there WILL BE a crisis..."When" is a topic for debate...The two dates I've heard are 2017 and 2042...

When SS started there were 16 workers giving in to the fund for every 1 retired person taking out...Now it is less than 4...and the "baby boomers" will soon make that ratio even less...

If SS had every single dollar replaced RIGHT NOW and never touched again for other purposes, the crisis would still be forthcoming...what you report is just an acceleration of an issue that would still be looming...
I certainly would have supported investing the excess SS funds instead of the Govt stealing them.

I agree that (depending on the projection used) we may have had a problem with SS funding anyway. We would be in a *lot* better shape however if in 10 years from now the SS trust fund had 3 billion in actual assets instead of a bunch of meaningless IOUs.

It is really outrageous that the Govt has been stealing *our* SS trust fund to fund its deficits for years, for decades, and nobody says anything about it ... You don't even hear it raised in the press. I don't think many understand what has been going on.
 

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oldreliable67 said:
While the above is an accurate statement, I hesitate to criticize anyone who see's the 'coming' crisis in terms of what action is needed today to alleviate that coming crisis. We have all seen how partisan politics quickly rears its ugly head to obfuscate and delay any solutions. Plans/solutions/contingencies need to be developed sooner rather than later.

Reagan, to this point, probably did the best job of attempting to do something, due to his creation of a bi-partisan commission that (for the most part) stuck to its knitting.
Exactly.

In retrospect, it is kind of amazing that Reagan and the Dems in 83 had the foresight to be aware of this problem decades in advance and try to address it and prepare for it by creating a SS trust fund. I wonder if any of them anticipated that it would end up as a meaningless act with the Govt stealing it all for its deficits.

My deep dark cynical side sometimes wonders if there is more too it, if the politicians knew exactly what was going to happen. SS is a regressive tax on the working poor and middle class. The guy making $15k pays an effective 12.4% SS tax on the very first and very last dollar he makes (tho he probably does get an EIC refund). Those making over $90k do not pay another dime of SS tax. Guys making a million do not effectively pay SS as a percentage of their income.

I wonder if what was going on in 1983 is that this was a good way to raise taxes on the working poor/middle class, shift a big chunk of the tax burden to them while cutting the income tax rates which benefit the rich guys, pretend like its for their own (working poor/middle class who pay the SS tax) benefit to build up a SS trust fund, while the politicians knew that the SS trust fund would never have any value to it because the funds would be stolen by them to use as general revenues. At some time down the road, they could talk about the "crisis" and use that as an excuse to cut SS benefits.

Whether my dark cynical side is correct about the intent -- that is what has happened.
 

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cnredd said:
2) I, nor has anyone else, said there IS a crisis...Many have mentioned that there WILL BE a crisis..."When" is a topic for debate...The two dates I've heard are 2017 and 2042...
2017 is usually mentioned as the date when SS will no longer be piling up the surplus for Congress to spend on bridges to nowhere and sculpture gardens in Washington state; the "surplus" goes away and Congress will have to start producing the money they've stolen from us (and guess how they will propose to do THAT). If they do manage to produce the stolen money, the entire trust fund, 2042 is the estimated date it will run out.

Iriemon said:
In retrospect, it is kind of amazing that Reagan and the Dems in 83 had the foresight to be aware of this problem decades in advance and try to address it and prepare for it by creating a SS trust fund. I wonder if any of them anticipated that it would end up as a meaningless act with the Govt stealing it all for its deficits.
The SS trust fund used to be separate from the general budget and wasn't available for spending on pork (although it was invested in treasury notes and bonds, so it financed much of the national deficit). In the mid-eighties it was incorporated into the general budget, and Congress was free to spend it while crowing about "deficit reduction."

My deep dark cynical side sometimes wonders if there is more too it, if the politicians knew exactly what was going to happen. SS is a regressive tax on the working poor and middle class. The guy making $15k pays an effective 12.4% SS tax on the very first and very last dollar he makes (tho he probably does get an EIC refund). Those making over $90k do not pay another dime of SS tax. Guys making a million do not effectively pay SS as a percentage of their income.
The ones who could look ahead knew what was coming, but most of them don't look past the next election cycle. As it is now set up, SS is a giant Ponzi scheme and the only way to break it is the solution Bush suggested of privately held accounts - and it will become more painful as we put off addressing the problem.
 
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Duty, Honor, Country, those three hollowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, and what you will be. They are your rallying points, they give you a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions, a freshness of the deep springs of life, and a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity and an appetite of adventure over the love of ease, in this way they will teach you to be an officer and a gentlemen, from your ranks come the great captains that will hold the nations destiny in their hands the moment the great war toxin sounds. The long gray line has never failed us, were you to do so, a million ghosts in olive drab, in brown khaki, in blue and gray, would rise from their white crosses, hollering those three magic words: duty, honor, country! This does not mean that you are war mongers, on the contrary, the soldier above all other people pray's for peace, for he must suffer and bare the deepest wounds and scars of war. But always in our minds ring the ominous words of Plato: "Only the dead have seen the end of war." - General MaCarthur
 
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Diogenes said:
The SS trust fund used to be separate from the general budget and wasn't available for spending on pork (although it was invested in treasury notes and bonds, so it financed much of the national deficit). In the mid-eighties it was incorporated into the general budget, and Congress was free to spend it while crowing about "deficit reduction."

The ones who could look ahead knew what was coming, but most of them don't look past the next election cycle. As it is now set up, SS is a giant Ponzi scheme and the only way to break it is the solution Bush suggested of privately held accounts - and it will become more painful as we put off addressing the problem.
I think the answer is in your first paragraph. Undo the law that says Congress can treat is as their own trough, and require SS funds to be segregated and invested in assets other than those of the US Govt.

We already have private accounts. They are called 401k, IRAs, etc. We don't need yet another law complicating the tax code for more private accounts.
 

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Iriemon said:
I think the answer is in your first paragraph. Undo the law that says Congress can treat is as their own trough, and require SS funds to be segregated and invested in assets other than those of the US Govt.

We already have private accounts. They are called 401k, IRAs, etc. We don't need yet another law complicating the tax code for more private accounts.
Agreed in principle, except that I don't like the idea of the government investing in anything other than treaury notes. IMO it would be a disaster for the government to invest directly in the stock market.

Part of the problem with social security is how it is indexed. Should it be indexed to prices, or to wages? Wages are a function of worker productivity, which rises about one percentage point faster than prices, and are the way SS is indexed now. I've read that the coming crisis could be postponed for at least a generation, perhaps indefinitely, if SS was indexed to prices rather than wages. I don't know for sure whether that may be true, but it does sound reasonable to re-examine some of the fundamental assumptions of the entire system.
 
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