34 Comments

  1. This argument isn't about social security at all. It's about whether US government bonds count as an asset to the person who holds them. And I would argue that they count as much as any other type of debt. Corporate bonds are exactly the same as government bonds; ALL debt is an IOU, and ALL debt creates, prints if you will, money. If you want to discuss credit ratings, that's a different story.

    There are two ways to look at this. Either social security is separate, and has bought assets backed by the federal government with its surplus, while the federal government owes money it created to pay for an aircraft carrier to social security. Or, if they are combined, the national debt is actually one trust fund less than the headline figure because asset and debt cancel out, and "the depletion of the trust fund" is actually just the government finally incurring that debt after a long delay. The woman was arguing the first, the man was kinda arguing the second, but without that important caveat that the national debt, by his logic, is only $15tn, not $20tn.

    There is an argument for diversifying the trust funds into private or foreign stocks and bonds. But the debate presented in this video is stupid. Either way, revenue has to be raised or other spending cut so that people do actually get their cheques at 100% not 77% or 0%. Unless you want that, of course.

  2. Social Security the money is invested. It invested in treasury bonds so anyone buying treasury bonds is buying their own Social Security when time to cash out you have to pay yourself that interest. The ones who owe towards the national debt are the ones who owned the bonds. You can't get much more confusing than this. Yes Social Security can add to the deficit by investing in the bonds because it's those who own the bonds that owe the debt. This is what I got out of this merry go round.

  3. Remember that the Bush Wars and Bush and Trump tax cuts are what really got us into this mess, never mind the corrupt military and healthcare systems. So much for conservatives knowing how to manage money, lol! If I'm being honest though, it really is just Corporate/Washington corruption that got us into this mess. Go Bernie 2020!

  4. Too bad you republican buffoons can only focus on the politics and not the merit of the logic offered by Teresa. Or you simply don't understand the basic concepts of expected value and inflation. And triple taxes, bullshit – "For the 75-year projection period, the actuarial deficit is 2.78% of taxable payroll (decreased from 2.84% last year). In other words, Social Security taxes would need to increase by 2.78% to fix the problem permanently." Take your pick numb nuts. Gene Epstein is a rambling buffoon. And apparently most of the audience doesn't understand inflation or what an actuary does either, sad.

  5. Gotta hand it to Teresa to strolling into the lion's den when it comes to this issue, on stage with three libertarians who rightly believe social security is a massive immoral scam.

    But yeah she's essentially a propagandist.

  6. The fact that we have to have this debate tells me all I need to know.

    But this is the first time I've thought Gene may be wrong. I'll have to do my own research.

    Saying the law makes social security perform a certain way is a poor defense though, so I don't think social security is safe. Most of the government is illegal already. The law doesn't keep us safe.

  7. What this lady doesn't realize is that US treasuries are the most secure asset is because people in finance can get addition funds through excess TAXATION!!! she brings up the example of saying you have a personal trust fund of real assets but it was made up of Enron and other failing companies…… NO thats not the point. You can't BUY YOUR OWN DEBT and call it a an asset. If this were the case why wouldnt AT&T or literally any other company buy there own bond offerings??? Oh right because it's still a liability because the party to generates the debt cant assume the same risk to turn it into an asset. MY HELL SHE IS DULL!!!

  8. medicare wasn't suppose to use a certain percent of general revenue but they are way over the mark there. congress is one vote away from ignoring from not having it add to the debt or they can just ignore it like they did with medicare.

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    you can contact him via# 4046921186

  10. 54:40 There is a less controversial way to raise money that both parties would agree upon. Stop taxing income of people and companies; tax the stock market 1/10 of one percent and have wealthy people and institutions from all over the world pay our taxes, not working people.

  11. I don't see this as a debate. I see someone fooled by a conman and someone else pull the curtain and display who Oz really is.

    I agree with the male speaker, but when he breathes into the microphone it is so annoying.

  12. So I am only 6 minutes into this thing. Has this woman even listened to the SSA themselves? They themselves are saying they are going broke. When the fund goes negative, massive changes are going to have to happen.

  13. When they passed the income tax one way they did it was to say it would never go over 1%, obviously they the government have been lying to us, our entire lives. One way or the other when the government wants to do one little thing and starts on it, it always spreads like a virus with no cure in sight, plus it always effects something partially unrelated in a negative way. In short the Federal level of government has been out of control for over one hundred years and it's progressive in nature.

    It always seems like the Federal level of government passes bills and even amendments to destroy the first 10 amendments and it's for the purpose of Control, the goal is Control.

  14. Mizz Ghilarducci admitted that the SS "trust fund" is funded by treasury bonds, but because these bonds are debt we owe ourselves, this isn't a real deficit. Comptroller Gen David Walker admitted to the growing debt incurred by our entitlements more than 10 years ago. It is only a mystery to academic hacks like Mizz Gihlarducci.

  15. Astonishing that anyone could argue that "intragovernmental debt" doesn't have a net negative effect on the overall debt. That would assume that all debts affect the economy equally, and/or that putting control of the "trust fund" in the hands of the treasury instead of an "external" location like the private stock market doesn't influence overall federal spending and fiscal irresponsibly.

    OF COURSE, if the government has access to the funds designated by the SSA as a "trust" it will inevitably be less responsible in budgetary concerns than it otherwise would be.

    Only a statist idiot would argue that such access to your money would not be abused.

    The example of the family that sets up a trust for their kids perfectly illustrates this, even though Gene wasn't nearly bold enough on that point. He should have made the point that if the parents bought private investments in their children's names rather than issuing IOU's, the assets would be INSULATED from the parents' own "internal" fiscal irresponsibly. But their ability to control the theoretical assets defined by the IOU's are vulnerable to their decisions being corrupted by their access to the assets.

    The government's control of retirement assets, whether directly or through fictional barriers is the same. Just putting the government in charge of these schemes corrupts the schemes.

  16. Why didn't anyone the governments limited ability to tax combined with social security being politically untouchable? Trust fund runs out, social security taxes go up to maintain benefits. This increase in taxes reduces the federal government's ability to raise revenue, as eventually you hit a point on the laffer curve when higher taxes reduce revenue. If taxes go up 2% to save social security, that 2% could've went to the general fund instead. You're taxing the same people.

    Even if you consider social security and the federal government separate entities that tax, they both tax the same pool that has limited capacity to be taxed. So at the end of the day, if we assume that benefits won't be cut, rising unfunded liabilities from social security contribute to the debt because those liabilities will have to be paid by future taxes that could've went to the federal government.

  17. Imagine you are saving up half a million dollars in a bank savings account to buy a house. You work for years putting part of your paycheck into your account. Finally, the time comes when you want to take out that money to buy a great house, so you go to your bank to take out the money. You get to the bank and ask for your money bank, but the teller says that they don't have enough money to give you back what you paid into your account. You saved up half a million dollars, but you only get $350,000 since the bank has been using your money to pay back what they promised their earlier customers and are now not getting enough money to pay you back in full. That is Social Security.

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