NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Too Much Hot Air - No Debate

Jim Groom is concerned about Generational warfare, February 26, 2005
Bush and Congress are selling Social Security reform to the young. Why the young? Simple: Selling requires "generational warfare." Remember "class warfare?" Hold onto your wallets; we are in for a bumpy ride. Wake up America. Don't be fooled again!

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Have you really listened to the radical and bizarre offerings from Washington? Hearing Bush offer simple figments of imagination, fantasies of the air without clarification is disturbing. The issue demands serious debate and Bush's conclusion is my way or the highway. Purely ideologically driven nonsense and wrong for America. Be vigilant, America.
Mr Groom demands serious debate, yet he adds little to the discussion. If President Bush is wrong, Social Security does not need to be repaired, what is Mr Groom’s solution? The math is quite simple, the young will have to shoulder the burden of baby boomer generation, when there will be only two workers for every retired person on Social Security in 2050.

Michael Tanner, CATO Institute, points out in USA Today, 1 February 2005, that the problem was recognized long before President Bush took office.
Social Security will begin running a deficit in less than 15 years — that is, it will begin to spend more money on benefits than it brings in by taxes. At that point, to continue to pay promised benefits, the program will have to draw on the Social Security Trust Fund.

Crisis deniers have made much of the trust fund recently, suggesting that it guarantees Social Security's solvency until 2042, or even 2052, according to some projections. However, it was President Clinton — not President Bush — who pointed out that: "These trust fund balances are available to finance future benefit payments … but only in a bookkeeping sense."

Clinton's fiscal year 2000 budget explained that trust fund assets are not "real economic assets that can be drawn down in the future to fund benefits." Rather, these funds are "claims on the Treasury that, when redeemed, will have to be financed by raising taxes, borrowing from the public, or reducing benefits or other expenditures."

Thus, in less than 15 years, the federal government will have to begin finding billions of dollars to continue paying benefits — by cutting benefits, raising taxes or borrowing even more money. Overall, Social Security's unfunded liabilities total nearly $12 trillion, and the longer we wait, the worse it gets. Estimates suggest that each year that we wait to reform Social Security costs between $150 billion and $600 billion more.

Lets start the debate, what is your solution Mr Groom? More details on the crisis here.

Tell me what you think

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