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1. Public Service is Okay!!!
2. You serve the public (all of us)
3. The Wisc Gov proposals were not that bad in fact make a lot of sense.
4. Wisc is the pre-curser for the rest of the nation.


Social Security ran a Surplus last year. What happened to it? We used it (it is called a loan) to fund the rest of the Federal Government. So We don't need to raise the limit. We just don't need to raid it.



Congress borrowed the surpluses from the Social Security system; the Treasury securities held by the S.S. Trust fund are U.S. government "I.O.U.s". Under the law, the government bonds held by Social Security are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.


But if we are broke how do they pay it back?


In 2009 the Office of the Chief Actuary of the Social Security Administration calculated an unfunded obligation of $15.1 trillion for the Social Security program.
That is trillion with a T
Raising taxes or the Wage Base to 180,000 will not make it.

Jeff Mariotte

My fear is that Wisconsin is a precursor to the rest of the nation--that's what makes understanding it important. And the fact is that Gov. Walker is NOT interested in the deficit issue. If that was the issue, then he would have accepted the unions' offer to accept the financial concessions he originally demanded, as long as the state doesn't end the collective bargaining ability of the unions. He refused that offer, making his intent clear--the only outcome he's interested in is busting the unions.

Why? In the last election, the top ten political funding outfits were mostly advocacy groups like the Chamber of Commerce, Karl Rove's operation, and industry groups. Those were all giving to Republicans. The only three groups in the top ten that gave to Democrats were public employee unions. Walker is out to destroy their ability to raise money and be active in supporting Democratic candidates in 2012. If he's successful in WI, the home of public employee unions, that strategy will spread to every state with a Republican legislature and governor.

The last piece of evidence you need to see that this is true is the fact that the WI bill specifically exempts certain public employee unions. Ordinarily, if you were running a state, you might want to select certain groups of employees who CAN NOT organize or go out on strike under any circumstances, and those groups would include police officers and firefighters. The reasons are obvious--they need to be on the job no matter what. But in WI, those groups are the only ones who would keep their unions. Why? Because those particular public employee unions give to Republicans.

Makes things pretty clear...

Jeff Mariotte

Most of that $15 trillion unfunded obligation (or $17 trillion by some estimates) doesn't kick in until after 2078. Raising the payroll tax ceiling now would absolutely make a huge difference in what is really a relatively small piece of change (yes, $15 trillion sounds like a lot, but this is where that figure comes from, according to the trustees' report:

The first line of table IV.B7 shows that the present value of future cost less future taxes over the next 100 years for all current participants equals $17.4 trillion. For this purpose, current participants are defined as individuals who attain age 15 or older in 2008. Subtracting the current value of the trust fund (the accumulated value of past OASDI taxes less cost) gives a closed group (excluding all future participants) unfunded obligation of $15.2 trillion. This value represents the shortfall of lifetime contributions for all past and current participants relative to the lifetime costs associated with their generations. For a fully‑advance‑funded program this value would be equal to zero.

We're talking here about the expectation of people who will draw SS benefits from 2041 to 2108. Since we have only had one year so far of SS input being overdrawn by SS output, making a smallish fix now ought to be able to correct things that far out. The "crisis" is not really, at this moment, a crisis. Medicare is a different matter, and one that should be looked at. But Social Security's instability is not really an issue--it's just one that is blown out of proportion by those who want to see changes made to the program that would result in its destruction.

Of course, if by 2045 people are living for 200 years or more, then that's a different story. But we shouldn't try to adjust for absolute unknowns like that when we have a hard enough time adjusting for what's known.


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