What is the Tea Party?

What do you think would have happened if we defaulted? Consider this. Today, October 19th, we would be living is a catastrophe. Air Traffic Control would be severely limited and our police, military, mail, everything would face huge cuts. This would not only be bad for the US, it would have devastated the world economy and if that happened, we would be looking at the US Dollar losing its position as the trade currency. Despite that, 144 congressmen, all republicans were willing to go that far. This is the Tea Party for you. What do they stand for? Well, not a lot, but they are willing to do anything for that. Basically, the Tea Party is simple Anti-Obama and they are against EVERYTHING he stands for or encourages. And Honestly, I don’t think they care about anything else. Religion? The Republican Party? The Rich 1%? It is clear that they are willing to throw all of them under the bus just to remove Obama and everything he touches no matter what the cost. I have never even in the realm of fiction have I seen any group of people more absolutist, stubborn or toxic than these guys.

  1. #1 by Richard Warnick on October 19, 2013 - 6:53 pm

    Imagine if the Tea Partyers stopped getting their Social Security checks, and veterans benefits didn’t get paid. Not to mention a stock market crash, leading to a new recession/depression. Every member of the Utah congressional delegation voted for this, except Senator Hatch and Rep. Matheson.

  2. #2 by cav on October 19, 2013 - 8:48 pm

    I think there are at least four tea-parties.
    1. The dopes who really haven’t got a clue what socialmacism is, who hang tea-bags from their hats and fawn over the likes of T. ‘Carnival’ Cruz and S Palin.
    2. Jim Demint, the Koch Bros,.. THAT tea-party.
    3. Right thinking patriots, who feel their freedoms eroding. These can be of practically any stripe.
    4.The strain of democrats, who go out in their teabag laden hats, who then do stupid things in order to discredit the tea-party and republicans by association. Of course ‘rightists’ do similar shit in order to mock Socialmacists.

    • #3 by Richard Warnick on October 19, 2013 - 9:18 pm

      I never thought of that. I’ll be sure to bring a Confederate battle flag to a Tea Party rally. Except they don’t have rallies in Utah anymore.

  3. #4 by cav on October 20, 2013 - 8:22 am

    Utah’s another breed.

    As much as the Mormon founders valued the communal ideal, there has been a pretty steady up-swelling of the more capitalist / fascist sort over time. They really bought the ‘red-scare’, and their confusion has spread, especially through the presidential run of a famous, monied member, throughout the land. Really, it’s not as though Rmoney weren’t a product of the fascistic tendencies himself.

    I guess it’s that damned ‘Overton Window’ blowing open again. Will somebody please nail that sum-ich shut already?

  4. #5 by cav on October 20, 2013 - 8:41 am

    Richard, I’m thinking the wait is over.

    http://www.gizmag.com/klein-flying-car-first-flight/29448/

    • #6 by Nathan Erkkila on October 20, 2013 - 2:44 pm

      Dear God. Where do I start on that? Well I’ll start by saying it won’t happen. It would take a book to tell you why

  5. #7 by Larry Bergan on October 20, 2013 - 3:52 pm

    What is the tea party?

    It doesn’t exist. It was never a registered political party. It only exists as a fake grassroots fraud. It never warranted a minute of airtime, but eclipsed the REAL grassroots movement called Occupy Wall Street.

    Go figure.

    The uber-wealthy always manage to take over the discussion. That’s why they won’t leave the internet alone.

    • #8 by Nathan Erkkila on October 20, 2013 - 5:25 pm

      What are you talking about? The Tea Party completely caused this shutdown at the expense of the rich.

      • #9 by brewski on October 21, 2013 - 2:42 am

        Obama caused the shutdown.

        • #10 by Nathan Erkkila on October 21, 2013 - 4:26 am

          How? Not a single bill reached his table.

        • #11 by Richard Warnick on October 21, 2013 - 8:56 am

          The only way President Obama could have made the Tea-GOP happy would have been by letting Willard (“Mitt”) Romney be President. I guess he wasn’t willing to go that far. But he agreed to austerity budgeting, chained CPI, etc.

          • #12 by brewski on October 21, 2013 - 12:14 pm

            $685B deficit is austerity?

            I’d hate to see your definition of profligate.

          • #13 by Richard Warnick on October 21, 2013 - 12:39 pm

            Austerity Has Cost The U.S. Economy 2.2 Million Jobs

            There are more than 2 million unemployed Americans who might have jobs today if not for austerity.

            That’s the conclusion of a new study by Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney at the Brookings Institution.

            …And this is all before most of the effects of the across-the-board budget cuts of the federal government’s sequestration, which might cost the economy another 750,000 jobs, the Brookings study notes.

            Austerity is real, and it is choking the life out of the U.S. economy.

            Sequestration = Austerity.

          • #14 by brewski on October 21, 2013 - 12:54 pm

            $685B deficit is austerity?

            I’d hate to see your definition of profligate.

          • #15 by Richard Warnick on October 21, 2013 - 12:56 pm

            You’re repeating yourself. Tell it to the Americans who don’t have jobs because of austerity budgeting.

            In the EU, things are so bad that they have coined the term “austerity suicides” as people kill themselves out of desperation.

          • #16 by brewski on October 21, 2013 - 1:41 pm

            There is no austerity budgeting.

            I will keep repeating it until you get it through your skull.

          • #17 by Richard Warnick on October 21, 2013 - 1:54 pm

            I’ll grant that our austerity is not as bad as some other countries, but it’s austerity alright.

            Definition of ‘Austerity’

            A state of reduced spending and increased frugality in the financial sector. Austerity measures generally refer to the measures taken by governments to reduce expenditures in an attempt to shrink their growing budget deficits.

          • #18 by brewski on October 21, 2013 - 4:12 pm

            Really?

            $685B deficit is austerity?

            I’d hate to see your definition of profligate.

          • #19 by Richard Warnick on October 21, 2013 - 5:08 pm

            The Congressional Budget Office says that the sequester cuts will reduce overall employment by about 750,000 jobs in 2013, and lower the growth rate of GDP by 0.6 percentage points.

            A-U-S-T-E-R-I-T-Y

          • #20 by brewski on October 21, 2013 - 8:15 pm

            Are you kidding?

            $685B deficit is austerity?

            I’d hate to see your definition of profligate.

          • #21 by Richard Warnick on October 22, 2013 - 7:26 am

            You don’t like the deficit? The answer is more revenues. Get rid of the Bush-Obama Tax Cuts For The Rich. Add a millionaire tax bracket. Close corporate tax loopholes. Bring back the financial transactions tax.

          • #22 by brewski on October 22, 2013 - 11:02 am

            Obama already did that.
            The top rate is back to where it was.
            It was in all the papers.
            Try to be better informed so you can keep up next time.

          • #23 by Richard Warnick on October 22, 2013 - 11:43 am

          • #24 by brewski on October 22, 2013 - 2:40 pm

            You are contradicting yourself. Try to keep up with your own statements and your own claims and how you just proved yourself to be wrong. You keep beating yourself and you keep losing. Quite a trick.

          • #25 by Richard Warnick on October 22, 2013 - 3:04 pm

            They didn’t get rid of the Bush-Obama Tax Cuts For The Rich. These were made permanent, at a total cost to the Treasury that the Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated at about four trillion dollars over the coming decade.

            Except for the top income tax rate that was allowed to expire – two years later than scheduled!

          • #26 by brewski on October 22, 2013 - 3:09 pm

            1. False.

            2. Has nothing to do with all the other falsehoods you keep parroting.

            13 Tax Increases That Started January 1, 2013

            Tax increases the fiscal cliff deal allowed:

            1. Payroll tax: increase in the Social Security portion of the payroll tax from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent for workers. This hits all Americans earning a paycheck—not just the “wealthy.” For example, The Wall Street Journal calculated that the “typical U.S. family earning $50,000 a year” will lose “an annual income boost of $1,000.”

            2. Top marginal tax rate: increase from 35 percent to 39.6 percent for taxable incomes over $450,000 ($400,000 for single filers).

            3. Phase out of personal exemptions for adjusted gross income (AGI) over $300,000 ($250,000 for single filers).

            4. Phase down of itemized deductions for AGI over $300,000 ($250,000 for single filers).

            5. Tax rates on investment: increase in the rate on dividends and capital gains from 15 percent to 20 percent for taxable incomes over $450,000 ($400,000 for
            single filers).

            6. Death tax: increase in the rate (on estates larger than $5 million) from 35 percent to 40 percent.

            7. Taxes on business investment: expiration of full expensing—the immediate deduction of capital purchases by businesses.
            Obamacare tax increases that took effect:

            8. Another investment tax increase: 3.8 percent surtax on investment income for taxpayers with taxable income exceeding $250,000 ($200,000 for singles).

            9. Another payroll tax hike: 0.9 percent increase in the Hospital Insurance portion of the payroll tax for incomes over $250,000 ($200,000 for single filers).

            10. Medical device tax: 2.3 percent excise tax paid by medical device manufacturers and importers on all their sales.

            11. Reducing the income tax deduction for individuals’ medical expenses.

            12. Elimination of the corporate income tax deduction for expenses related to the Medicare Part D subsidy.

            13. Limitation of the corporate income tax deduction for compensation that health insurance companies pay to their executives.

          • #27 by Richard Warnick on October 22, 2013 - 3:28 pm

            Not that I would doubt your word, but how about a link to a source?

          • #28 by brewski on October 22, 2013 - 3:30 pm

          • #29 by Richard Warnick on October 22, 2013 - 3:57 pm

            Much useful information on the IRS website. But I didn’t see your list of tax increases. Also, the IRS never uses the terms “Death Tax” or “Obamacare.” Wonder where the list really came from?

          • #30 by brewski on October 22, 2013 - 4:04 pm

            Somewhat ironic coming from the man who considers Media Matters to be a “source”.

            You can show me the link that proves that there will be no generation after 2033 so we don’t need to worry about them.

          • #31 by Richard Warnick on October 22, 2013 - 4:11 pm

            I’m not afraid to give my sources. Unlike some people! And you of course abruptly try to change the subject.

          • #32 by brewski on October 22, 2013 - 5:16 pm

            You don’t have sources to cite since your only sources are not sources at all.

            And I am on topic because you keep asserting that it isn’t a problem to screw over young people.

          • #33 by Larry Bergan on October 22, 2013 - 6:42 pm

            I honestly don’t remember Richard ever saying he wants to screw over young people. What young people would those be?

            Also, he’s right when he said you changed the subject when he asked:

            … Also, the IRS never uses the terms “Death Tax” or “Obamacare.” Wonder where [your] list really came from?

          • #34 by brewski on October 22, 2013 - 8:34 pm

            Larry,

            So tell me what did Richard mean when he said:

            “Social Security is just fine for another 23-25 years with no changes.”

            So that means that everyone who plans on being alive in 26 years can just go fuck themselves?

            His position is pretty immoral and explicitly so.

          • #35 by Larry Bergan on October 22, 2013 - 9:26 pm

            I sure hope Richard is right.

            I guess I like the fact that we don’t have to rush into any sick thing Paul Ryan or the Republicans want for Social Security right now. If I were younger, I don’t see how having to come up with money to support my mom or dad would make things better for me in the present OR the future.

            Besides, things go in cycles, and we’ve sort of hit bottom on this care for the least among you thing. AND I know you’re a religious man brewski. :D Jesus will come and explain things to the Republicans. Have faith.

          • #36 by Richard Warnick on October 22, 2013 - 9:48 pm

            Brewski referred to the reports of the Social Security trustees, the CBO and OMB (apparently without knowing what’s in these reports). They all say Social Security will be just fine for 23-25 years with no changes.

            They also say that WITHOUT ANY CHANGES when 2038 rolls around Social Security can indefinitely pay 75 percent of the benefits it now pays, adjusted for inflation. With one minor change (getting rid of the cap on payroll taxes), Social Security will sustain itself indefinitely.

            Bear in mind that forecasts 25 years in the future are inevitably wrong – but THESE forecasts are based on very pessimistic economic assumptions. For example, what if middle-class wages went up instead of staying flat? That changes the whole picture.

            We need to ask why the right-wing is so obsessed with something that might happen 25 years in the future when Americans need jobs NOW, and need a raise NOW.

          • #37 by brewski on October 22, 2013 - 11:04 pm

            “Brewski referred to the reports of the Social Security trustees, the CBO and OMB (apparently without knowing what’s in these reports).”
            False.

            “They all say Social Security will be just fine for 23-25 years with no changes.”
            They all pretend that SS is not part of the Federal Government, which is False.
            They are also paid to pretend that SS is not part of the Federal Government.
            You might as well quote Media Matters to get a less objective source than from the paid kommissars whose job it is to lie to you.

            “They also say that WITHOUT ANY CHANGES when 2038 rolls around”
            So everyone alive after 2038 gets fucked.

            “Social Security can indefinitely pay 75 percent of the benefits it now pays, adjusted for inflation.”
            How is it that you think a 25% cut is OK? Getting a 25% cut is called intergenerational theft. Why are you ok with fucking people who happen to be alive after 2039?

            “With one minor change (getting rid of the cap on payroll taxes), Social Security will sustain itself indefinitely.”
            Also known as intergenerational theft.
            How is it that having one group of people pay $X to get $Y benefits and then charge another group of people pay $2X to get the same $Y benefit? Would you be OK if you went to buy gas and the price was $3.50 a gallon for people born before 1955 and $7.00 a gall for everyone born after 1955? But hey, that’s just a “minor change”.

            “Bear in mind that forecasts 25 years in the future are inevitably wrong”
            Then why are you relying on them to make your point if they can’t be trusted?

            “– but THESE forecasts are based on very pessimistic economic assumptions.”
            Says who?

            “For example, what if middle-class wages went up instead of staying flat?”
            What if pigs could fly despite no evidence that pigs can fly?

            “That changes the whole picture.”
            Yes, then pigs could fly.

            “We need to ask why the right-wing is so obsessed with something that might happen 25 years in the future when Americans need jobs NOW, and need a raise NOW.”
            Because conservatives understand math and liberals don’t. If you want a raise then increase your skills to make yourself more in demand. Don’t sit and whine about everyone who is successful and you aren’t. You have very pecuniary values.

  6. #38 by cav on October 20, 2013 - 8:13 pm

    The ‘tea-party’ gets the credit anyway.

    I prefer laying the blame with ‘Team Red’…McConnel, Paul, McCain, Cantor, Boner, Cruz, Lee, Chaffetz , yes, and even Joe Lieberman and Jim Matheson.

  7. #39 by Larry Bergan on October 22, 2013 - 7:00 pm

    It just drives me crazy when I see the words “Tea Party” used by the media – even public radio and television. It’s confusing the the larger public. I’m sure there are lots’ of people out there who think there is an additional elected party inside the congress.

    It’s high time the majority of congress stops giving the authority and blame for starting wars, shutting down the government, threatening to cut Social Security, ect. to a group of men, one man or a “think tank” run by Grover Norquist. If they’re not all screaming about these atrocities, it’s their fault too, when these things happen.

  8. #40 by cav on October 23, 2013 - 8:04 am

    Despite the math,which brewskin can site all he wants, there’s little doubt Social Security is way more popular than any of the political that have been bought for the short term application of oligarch interests.

    All the while, in the background, on top of over half of the budget going to the military, they are trying to fast track two trade deals that will cost us more jobs then NAFTA and leave us with less control over our lives and environment by giving corporations veto power over our laws.

    If these things – at minimum – do not change, there may very well be problems with Social Security – all of which are, or could have been, prevent(able)ed.

    http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/top-five-ways-lobbyists-will-win-and-we-will-lose-if-major-corporate-trade-deal-goes

    • #41 by brewski on October 23, 2013 - 9:02 am

      Of course it was all preventable. It could have been designed not as a Ponzi scheme. It could have been designed as a savings plan as is done in other countries.

  9. #42 by Richard Warnick on October 23, 2013 - 10:49 am

    OK brewski, no need to get overwrought when reality contradicts right-wing orthodoxy. Happens all the time. Let’s go point by point:

    1. The Social Security Reform Act of 1983 took the program off-budget. That’s why the Republican Shutdown did not affect Social Security, and all the Tea Partyers still got their checks.

    2. As I pointed out, the forecasts are all based on very pessimistic assumptions. Even if the forecasts prove correct, Social Security won’t run out of money in 2038 – benefits will be reduced.

    3. The piteous cries of “generational theft” from the right-wing fool nobody. Young people know that without Social Security and Medicare, they will be directly and solely responsible for supporting their aging parents.

    4. As a result of the massive trend to inequality in America more income is concentrated at the top, but the payroll tax is capped at the first $113,700. It’s a regressive tax. The effective tax rate is 12.4% for those with incomes up to the cap, then falls as one’s income exceeds the cap. Earnings other than wages and salaries—such as dividends, capital gains, and interest, all of which are concentrated among high-income individuals—are not taxed at all.

    5. My point is precisely that the forecasts are most likely too pessimistic because they assume a bad economy for the next 25 years.

    6. The Social Security Administration trustees report provides three economic scenarios-one pessimistic, one optimistic, and one intermediate. They assume the intermediate scenario has a probability of 90 percent. Every four years, an independent panel of distinguished economists, demographers, and actuaries reviews the methodology and assumptions underlying the trustees’ report. The most recent panel, which issued its report in September 2011, found that the trustees’ projections for the next 50 years are too pessimistic.

    7. In recent years inflation-adjusted average hourly earnings have remained flat while productivity has risen dramatically. This is not consistent with historical trends, and something has to give.

    8. Obviously, higher wages would mean more revenue for the Social Security trust fund.

    9. Right-wingers are busy trying to impose austerity and government shutdowns, in order to crash the economy and blame it on the Obama administration. Dems should ignore calls to cut earned benefit programs, and do everything possible to create jobs and higher pay. For example, the President could issue an executive order raising the minimum wage for federal contractors.

    • #43 by brewski on October 23, 2013 - 11:13 am

      Please tell me you are joking.

      “1. The Social Security Reform Act of 1983 took the program off-budget. That’s why the Republican Shutdown did not affect Social Security, and all the Tea Partyers still got their checks.”
      False. The Treasury Department specifically said that SS checks would not go out if the Treasury Ceiling was not increased.
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/03/social-security-debt-ceiling_n_4037870.html
      So if you contend that somehow SS is not part of the US Government, then why is Obama stating that SS checks will stop if the US Treasury can’t borrow more?
      Your own false point just proved that I am right.
      Face!

      Nothing else you say matters if you can’t even understand basic history and arithmetic.

      • #44 by Richard Warnick on October 23, 2013 - 12:06 pm

        As you must know, Social Security benefits are not congressional appropriations. That’s why the Tea Partyers still got their checks during the Republican Shutdown.

        Because the Republicans are sabotaging the economic recovery from Bush’s Great Recession, payroll taxes are not quite enough to cover Social Security benefits.

        If the Republicans had caused the federal government to lose its borrowing authority on October 17, the Treasury would have defaulted on the $2.5 trillion Social Security Trust Fund. Of course, that would have been just one aspect of the catastrophic worldwide financial collapse – that was averted at the very last minute.

        But you get all this. You’re the master of the obvious.

        • #45 by brewski on October 23, 2013 - 12:28 pm

          As a master of the obvious I know that the only assets in the accounting fiction known as the trust fund are obligations from the US Treasury. So if SS wants to send out a check then it must redeem some of the US Treasury obligations. The US Treasury can only redeem those obligations by issuing new debt.

          So lets pretend there was no accounting fiction called the trust fund. And all SS payments had to come from the US Treasury and not the SS trust fund. If that were the case then the only way the Treasury could send checks would also be by issuing new debt.

          In other words, ignoring all the internal mechanics intra-government departments, the result is identical. No matter what you call it, SS checks can only be sent by issuing new debt by the US Treasury.

          So to pretend that somehow SS is different and apart ignores the fact that with or without the intra-government departmental transfers, the end result is the same. If they are exactly the same, then there is no real difference of pretending that there is a fund or not. If this was not the case then why would the liberal Jesus say so?

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/03/social-security-debt-ceiling_n_4037870.html

          Obama is doing a good enough job sabotaging his own non-economy. Punishing employers for hiring people and suing companies from building new plants, all the while shuffling billions to your bundlers and cronies is no way to build an economy.

          • #46 by Richard Warnick on October 23, 2013 - 2:12 pm

            I can assure you, in my capacity as a taxpayer who has paid into Social Security for more than 40 years, that if the U.S. Treasury does not make good on its obligations to my generation there will be Hell to pay. And I’m not talking about a handful of geezers with teabags stapled to their hats!

            I know that the 1 Percent don’t want their taxes to go up, but I do not care.

          • #47 by brewski on October 23, 2013 - 5:07 pm

            Thank you for admitting that you advocate intergenerational theft. Why didn’t you just make this easier and admit that earlier?

          • #48 by Richard Warnick on October 23, 2013 - 6:13 pm

            Thirty years ago, President Reagan declared an “ironclad commitment” to Social Security when he raised the payroll tax rate and changed the retirement age (emphasis added).

            “This bill demonstrates for all time our nation’s ironclad commitment to Social Security. It assures the elderly that America will always keep the promises made in troubled times a half a century ago. It assures those who are still working that they, too, have a pact with the future. From this day forward, they have one pledge that they will get their fair share of benefits when they retire.

            That’s what the trust fund is all about. It’s our money. There is no such thing as “generational theft.” Rich people borrowed our money to give themselves lots of tax cuts. Now it’s time for them to pay the money back. Default is not an option.

          • #49 by brewski on October 23, 2013 - 7:07 pm

            Trust and anything else has nothing to do with math. Math is math. It matters not what Reagan said or did. The only math that matters is this:

            http://www.socialsecurity.gov/policy/docs/chartbooks/fast_facts/2010/chart35.gif

          • #50 by Larry Bergan on October 23, 2013 - 7:10 pm

            Stopped Social Security checks would end this “generation gap” we’ve been drilled with for – well – generations. Just sit back and watch the generations unite against the ones who did that to them, and right now, it’s definitely the Republicans.

            Remember when that rich-bitch met with Scott Walker and confided to him that she was all in with the “divide and conquer” plan.

            The congress doesn’t give a crap about future generations enough to do a damn thing about global catastrophe, class inequality, jobs for Americans or any thing else over the last 40 years. Why would they be concerned about SS checks for our poor, future, children. They won’t even see to it they have food security from day to day.

            Of course fetuses are a different MORAL matter.

            All the time, forgetting what Bush’s little war cost us. And we all know that even if the debt ceiling had been erected, the war effort wouldn’t have lost a penny.

            God, brewski. Who are you?

          • #51 by brewski on October 29, 2013 - 1:39 pm

            From the Social Security Administration:

            “The excess of the present value of cost for past and current participants4 over the present value of dedicated tax income for past and current participants produces an unfunded obligation for past and current participants of $24.3 trillion. Table IV.B7 also shows an unfunded obligation of $23.7 trillion for past and current participants, including past and future general fund reimbursements. Future participants will pay dedicated taxes of $0.6 trillion more into the system than the cost of their benefits ($51.0 trillion of dedicated tax income as compared to $50.4 trillion of cost). The unfunded obligation for all participants through the infinite horizon thus equals $23.1 trillion.”

            http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/tr/2013/IV_B_LRest.html#267528

        • #52 by Richard Warnick on October 23, 2013 - 8:07 pm

          Larry, you said it. I have always credited brewski as the guy who can be counted on to comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted, wherever they may be.

          • #53 by brewski on October 23, 2013 - 8:47 pm

            Larry,
            Richard is the guy who just admitted to intergenerational theft as well as being a fan of murderous dictators. And you have a problem with me?

          • #54 by Richard Warnick on October 23, 2013 - 8:50 pm

            Just what we expect from you. There is no “generational theft.” Rich people borrowed from the Social Security trust fund to give themselves tax cuts, now they have to pay back the money – simple as that.

            Cynthia McKinney may be eccentric, but she was the Green Party presidential nominee in 2008. There is no reason to vote for either major-party presidential candidate in Utah, because the election is a foregone conclusion. Boosting the Green Party makes sense in terms of national politics. Certainly McKinney’s argument that the government of the United States fails to represent the interests of the American people rings true.

          • #55 by brewski on October 24, 2013 - 1:20 pm

            Now you are making no sense at all. People who are 5 years old now and not rich and now don’t have any tax cuts now hope to make money in 30 years from now and you want to tax these 5 year olds who didn’t do anything to you other than be born after you, but you want to raise their taxes to pay for you Boomers irresponsibility. That is intergenerational theft. You are a static thinker.

          • #56 by brewski on October 24, 2013 - 1:21 pm

            That is why I voted for Gary Johnson.

            Voting for those who worship murderers seems like a bad idea.

          • #57 by Richard Warnick on October 24, 2013 - 1:39 pm

            There is no “generational theft.” That’s utter nonsense. My generation paid extra payroll taxes to finance our own retirement as well as the generation ahead of us.

            Apparently you think the USA should go into an offensive war without congressional authorization, just on the say-so of the President. I disagree.

          • #58 by brewski on October 24, 2013 - 5:23 pm

            You paid “extra” payroll taxes? I thought you said there is no such thing as intergenerational theft. Ha!

          • #59 by Richard Warnick on October 25, 2013 - 9:07 am

            Paying for your own retirement is not “generational theft.” Opposite of that, in fact.

            Josh Marshall once said that right-wing ideology ought to be named “up-is-downism.” We see it all the time.

          • #60 by brewski on October 25, 2013 - 3:02 pm

            Then why did you say “extra”?

          • #61 by Richard Warnick on October 25, 2013 - 5:11 pm

            Because President Reagan raised my payroll taxes as part of his “ironclad commitment” to paying full benefits to my generation. It’s our money.

          • #62 by brewski on October 28, 2013 - 4:46 pm

            So how is it “extra” if it is your money?

            If it is your money, where is it?

            It’s gone. You’ve been lied to. Deal with it.

          • #63 by Richard Warnick on October 29, 2013 - 10:07 am

            The money isn’t “gone.” It was borrowed by millionaires and billionaires in the form of massive tax cuts. I expect them to pay it back. The reason I expect them to honor their debt is that they will suffer the most if the U.S. Treasury defaults and brings down the world economy.

          • #64 by brewski on October 29, 2013 - 10:11 am

            They will be dead.

            How are you going to get them to “pay it back” when they are long gone?

            You are expecting future congresses to tax future people some of whom are in their diapers now. Mathematical fact. Generational theft.

            Tax revenues today are no different as a percent of GDP than they have been for the past 50 years.
            http://sayanythingblog.com/files/2013/01/U.S._Federal_Tax_Receipts_as_a_Percentage_of_GDP_1945–2015.jpg

            So where is this $70 trillion going to come from?

          • #65 by Richard Warnick on October 29, 2013 - 10:16 am

            If rich people refuse to pay their fair share of taxes, and this causes a Treasury default that crashes the world economy, they have a lot more to lose.

            For the Last Time, the Social Security Trust Fund Is Real

          • #66 by brewski on October 29, 2013 - 11:14 am

            Kevin Drum has a degree in Journalism from CSULB. And this is the guy whose word you are taking on this?

          • #67 by brewski on October 29, 2013 - 11:32 am

            “workers gave money to the federal government, which turned around and spent it. In return, the Social Security trust fund received bonds that represented promises to repay the money later out of the federal government’s income tax receipts. In effect, it gave workers a claim on the income tax receipts of the government at a later date in time.”

            Kevin Drum, Mother Jones

          • #68 by Richard Warnick on October 29, 2013 - 12:32 pm

            Yes, and failure to honor Treasury debt would trigger a worldwide collapse of the financial sector. I know the Republicans in the House of Representatives are threatening to do exactly that, however a phone call from Wall Street is all it takes to rein them in.

          • #69 by brewski on October 29, 2013 - 12:57 pm

            Yes? Yes? Yes?

            Yes, intergenerational theft.

          • #70 by Richard Warnick on October 29, 2013 - 1:11 pm

            You can’t just stick your fingers in your ears and cry “generational theft.” Reality intrudes.

            I am glad that Medicare and Social Security were there for my parents, because I could not afford to support them and me. Under the right-wing YOYO system we would all have been out on the street.

            Billionaire hedge funder Stan Druckenmiller is full of crap. Nobody is buying his crap, either. The 401(k) experiment foisted on us by Wall Street has been a huge fiasco. Maybe that explains why we don’t believe a word he says.

            Paul Buchheit:

            The free-market alternative is everybody for themselves. That’s fine for people with good jobs and retirement plans. But stunningly, the number of private sector workers covered by a pension with a guaranteed payout has dropped from 60 percent to 10 percent in a little over thirty years.

            … George W. Bush took our retirement money to pay for his two wars and his tax cuts for the rich.

            …In effect, the middle class is being told to replenish its own savings account after those savings were passed along to the military and the super-rich.

          • #71 by brewski on October 29, 2013 - 1:13 pm

            You can’t just stick your fingers in your ears and cry “no generational theft.” Math intrudes.

            Paul Buchheit? Really?

          • #72 by Richard Warnick on October 29, 2013 - 1:16 pm

            Let me quote you this part:

            Tax Expenditures — subsidies from special deductions, exemptions, exclusions, credits, capital gains, and loopholes that move tax money to the richest taxpayers — are estimated to be worth up to 8% of the GDP, or about $1.2 trillion.

            That alone is more than enough to pay for Social Security ($883 billion).

            Funny how billionaire Stan Druckenmiller never mentions this, instead claiming “generational theft.” Reverse Robin Hoodism is the problem.

          • #73 by brewski on October 29, 2013 - 1:39 pm

            Wrong place:

            From the Social Security Administration:

            “The excess of the present value of cost for past and current participants4 over the present value of dedicated tax income for past and current participants produces an unfunded obligation for past and current participants of $24.3 trillion. Table IV.B7 also shows an unfunded obligation of $23.7 trillion for past and current participants, including past and future general fund reimbursements. Future participants will pay dedicated taxes of $0.6 trillion more into the system than the cost of their benefits ($51.0 trillion of dedicated tax income as compared to $50.4 trillion of cost). The unfunded obligation for all participants through the infinite horizon thus equals $23.1 trillion.”

            http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/tr/2013/IV_B_LRest.html#267528

            Funny how innumerate feelings-master Richard Warnick never writes sentences about anything he knows anything about, especially anything with a number in it.

            By the way, I am awaiting for even one Democrat to propose that we get rid of all the tax expenditures you linked to. Pelosi would get about 0.0001% of the vote if she suggested we tax employer provided benefits, eliminate the state tax and mortgage deduction, etc. So who are you arguing with on this? Is Cynthia McKinney saying we should tax employer provided benefits and take away the state tax and mortgage deductions?

          • #74 by Richard Warnick on October 29, 2013 - 2:06 pm

            When reviewing the reports of the Social Security trustees, you have to consider that they themselves are members of the 1 Percent. They’re not on the side of regular Americans who depend on Social Security for retirement.

            The Social Security program ran a surplus from 1984 through 2009. It is not “unfunded.” The Social Security Trust Fund holds securities valued at $2.7 trillion. Overly pessimistic economic assumptions are the basis for the dire predictions of the trustees. The fix is simple – get rid of the cap on the payroll tax.

            Factbox: U.S. tax loopholes targeted by Obama, Democrats (List of 11 Democratic proposals to eliminate tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations)

          • #75 by brewski on October 29, 2013 - 2:44 pm

            “When reviewing the reports of the Social Security trustees, you have to consider that they themselves are members of the 1 Percent. They’re not on the side of regular Americans who depend on Social Security for retirement.”
            You mean Obama’s appointees and other people like Robert Reich are lying to us?

            “The Social Security program ran a surplus from 1984 through 2009.”
            Short term timing differences are not surpluses.

            “It is not “unfunded.” The Social Security Trust Fund holds securities valued at $2.7 trillion.”
            $2.7 trillion is a whole lot less than $23.1 trillion.

            “Overly pessimistic economic assumptions are the basis for the dire predictions of the trustees.”
            Source please.

            “The fix is simple – get rid of the cap on the payroll tax.”
            Otherwise known as intergenerational theft. Thank you.

            Your link didn’t even touch on any of the large tax expenditures you previously referenced. So you can’t even support your own argument. You lost to yourself.

          • #76 by Richard Warnick on October 29, 2013 - 3:50 pm

            Who are the Social Security Trustees?

            Timothy F. Geithner, Managing Trustee. Author of the bankster bailout. ‘Nuff said.

            Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security. Former biotech lawyer, former associate counsel for Reagan & Bush, former Deputy Counsel Health & Human services.

            Carolyn W. Colvin, Deputy Commissioner of Social Security. Has been in various positions at the SSA since 1994. Most of career in government.

            Hilda L. Solis: Former Secretary of Labor. Has left the administration to return to California. Seems to have been pro-labor, but “not a member of Obama’s inner circle” & reportedly not a power player.

            Kathleen Sebelius: Secretary of Health and Human Services & former Democratic Kansas governor. According to ‘Conservapedia’ she’s considered “pro-business, pro-military & fiscally conservative”.

            Charles P. Blahous III: “Bush’s point man on privatization” & “employed by the Koch Brothers’ funded Mercatus Institute at GMU.” Research fellow at Hoover Institution. Former aide to George Bush, Alan Simpson, Judd Gregg. Ex-Hudson Institute.

            Robert D. Reischauer: “‘deficit hawk’ and ‘entitlements crisis’ promoter”. Has been described as “Peter G Peterson’s representative to the Social Security Trustees”. Former director of CBO. Urban Institute, Brookings Institution.

            I already covered the issue of pessimistic economic assumptions. That’s from an independent review by economists. We’re going in circles again. There is no “generational theft.”

          • #77 by brewski on October 29, 2013 - 4:45 pm

            So Obama is lying to us?

            No you didn’t cover the issue.

            Your own links proved it is intergenerational theft. We will go in circles until you learn that $23 trillion is bigger than $2 trillion. What part of that confuse you?

          • #78 by Richard Warnick on October 29, 2013 - 5:35 pm

            Don’t trust the trustees, is what I am saying. This whole discussion is off-topic but it’s important. I’ll make yet another post about Social Security when I have time. :-)

          • #79 by brewski on October 29, 2013 - 8:50 pm

            Another fictional piece linking Journalism majors who don’t know NPV from a hole in the ground?

            Save your fingers.

            On second thought, why don’t you at least answer my questions?

          • #80 by Richard Warnick on October 30, 2013 - 4:29 am

            I did answer all of your questions. The pessimistic economic assumptions of the trustees reports are designed to generate alarming predictions. Because the trustees have an agenda.

          • #81 by brewski on October 30, 2013 - 8:08 am

            Source please.

          • #82 by cav on October 30, 2013 - 8:34 am

            Can we get a ‘nut-shelled’ version of that agenda out on the table AGAIN? For the people with short memories.

            See: Powell memo.

          • #83 by Richard Warnick on October 30, 2013 - 9:04 am

            Check out my post about “generational theft.”

          • #84 by brewski on October 30, 2013 - 9:24 am

            None of your links address that point at all.

          • #85 by Richard Warnick on October 30, 2013 - 9:53 am

            Yes, read it and weep. The trustees have an agenda, and it’s Peter G. Peterson’s agenda.

          • #86 by brewski on October 30, 2013 - 1:08 pm

            I read your links and none of them address your point. The only weeping I’m doing is for your circle jerk unsupported reasoning and tangential links. You have never once supported your own point.

          • #87 by Richard Warnick on October 30, 2013 - 1:50 pm

            Hedge fund billionaires are trying to destroy Social Security. They won’t succeed. They are up against tens of millions of desperate Americans who need the money they paid into the fund. Literally can’t live without it.

          • #88 by brewski on October 30, 2013 - 2:24 pm

            There is no fund. Stop saying that.

            Your government stole from you and lied to you. Deal with it.

          • #89 by Richard Warnick on October 30, 2013 - 2:40 pm

            The rich borrowed our retirement funds in the form of generous tax cuts for themselves. They will pay it all back, with interest. So no, the money was not “stolen.”

          • #90 by brewski on October 30, 2013 - 2:57 pm

            Make up your mind. I thought you said you have been paying “extra” and that it was all there safe and snug in the Trust Fund. So income tax cuts have nothing to do with this, according to you. But now you are telling me that people not yet born have to pay it back. Well pay what back? Pay future income tax revenues to offset the SS shortfall? So intergenerational theft.

          • #91 by Richard Warnick on October 30, 2013 - 3:11 pm

            I have been saying the same thing all along. The rich borrowed the money, and they will pay it back. The alternative would be a default on the National Debt that will make Bush’s Great Recession look like a walk in the park. The 1 Percent won’t get bailed out again by their victims, either.

          • #92 by brewski on October 30, 2013 - 3:20 pm

            No, you said there is this trust fund and everything is fine for the next 20 years.

            The alternative is not defaulting on the national debt.

          • #93 by Richard Warnick on October 30, 2013 - 3:33 pm

            Even the pessimistic, gloomy trustees say everything is fine for 20 years. Because it is. Well beyond 20 years, in fact.

            Stop The Social Security Stupidity: A Q&A With Bernie Sanders

          • #94 by brewski on October 30, 2013 - 4:01 pm

            We’ve been through this before.

            It can’t be fine for 20 years because it doesn’t exist.

          • #95 by Richard Warnick on October 30, 2013 - 4:42 pm

            Senator Bernie Sanders (because you didn’t click on the link):

            Is the Social Security Trust Fund “real,” or is it just a pile of IOUs?

            The Social Security Trust Fund is very real. Social Security invests the surplus money it receives from workers and employers into U.S. government bonds, the same bonds that China, other foreign countries and wealthy investors have purchased. These bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Here is what the Social Security Trust Fund government bond says: “This bond is incontestable in the hands of the Old Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund. The bond is supported by the full faith and credit of the United States. And the United States is pledged to the payment of the bond with respect to both principal and interest.”

          • #96 by brewski on October 30, 2013 - 8:33 pm

            Ask Bernie Sanders what is the US Treasury going to do when the SS Admin wants its cash.

  10. #97 by cav on October 24, 2013 - 8:21 am

    The distinction between wealth that is produced and that which is spun off and siphoned away through financialization is one worth making. Who knows how much ‘real’ wealth supports all the ‘money’ that’s out there, anyway?

  11. #98 by Frank Kafka on October 24, 2013 - 3:24 pm

    Intergenerational theft on the order of 17 trillion times..with nothing but more on the way..at least the hole is so deep it will kill us when we fall…wouldn’t want to linger in miserable doubt..

  12. #99 by cav on October 24, 2013 - 4:29 pm

    Somewhere in my admittedly frail mentation, is the notion that the ‘boomer’ demographic, like the porcine consumed by the anaconda, will eventually fade away – and that that date – wherein the whole shebang will go to 75% mode, will simply pass, the demographic returning to the smaller normal. And, when it does, won’t it have been nice if all of the younger generations, had had jobs, made their own contributions, and that the situation wherein the ‘trust-fund’ money was extracted governmentally to support illegal wars, torture and banker bailouts, will have been corrected, the money returned, the perps prosecuted.

  13. #100 by Thomas Atwater on October 24, 2013 - 5:42 pm

    So you are certifiably insane or forgot to swallow your meds this morning?
    We are already just a dead man walking there cav.

  14. #101 by cav on October 24, 2013 - 9:23 pm

    Unless, of course, we’re still busy being born.

    Men of our age!? Pshaw!

  15. #102 by Frank Kafka on October 25, 2013 - 11:02 am

    Wealth is what is left after the money is gone…or goes bad.

    For as history shows it is but one or the other. Right now American wealth can be seen in its stupid school children, rotting cities, falling bridges, and the armed goon looters of freedom here at home and abroad.

    Yet there are some still willing to trust their health to such a filthy animal. Dopes spring eternal.

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