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RIP President George H.W. Bush

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by UPChip, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    It was a load of nonsense then, it would have amounted to an incredibly useless distinction today. Let's say that in 2000, Social Security had decided to totally segregate itself from general government operations. We would have just gone into deeper debt on all the other stuff to pay for all the government expenditures we have racked up since then. And we'd be in exactly the same place we are today, except the government's balance sheet would have things sitting on different lines.

    We'd still be mired in debt. The same amount of debt we have now.

    Social security itself having cash on hand, rather than an IOU from general operatoins, wouldn't solve the fundamental problem with social security -- which doesn't live in a vacuum. We have too few current workers trying to pay too many former workers (who are living longer) a benefit that there isn't enough revenue being brought in for. The "lock box" concept solves a useless accounting issue, at best. But it doesn't create money from nothing or address the fact that in the aggregate, we spend more than we bring. We have a diminishing tax base with the recent tax cuts, and we have a government whose spending has just gone way up since 2000 -- including on entitlements like social security.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  2. Hermes

    Hermes Well-Known Member

    I think you're underestimating the psychological and educational benefits to solving these "accounting issues." What the basic isolation of our most important spending from less important spending can do to make priorities clearer. And I think the lockbox could spur change in a way Gore never intended.

    I'd like to isolate entitlements so the public better understands exactly what they cost and why we need reform and shared sacrifice. Yes, the money would theoretically "protected" in the lockbox, but by itself it would become so much clearer to the average person that it is unsustainable for the very reasons you spell out.

    My great dream is a grand bargain of entitlement reform/1950s taxation levels on the rich to steady this ship. I think letting people know how much water we're taking on and what it will take to keep these programs solvent could only do good. Whatever Al Gore thought his program was going to do doesn't matter much to me.

    I've long had a separate savings account for the most important things I need to sustain my life and a separate account for less pressing things. I think the government doing the same would do good.
  3. Slacker

    Slacker Well-Known Member

    That shared sacrifice is all but inevitable. And all those tax cuts for the rich sticks it to the rest of us even more.
  4. justgladtobehere

    justgladtobehere Well-Known Member

    The effective tax rates were much lower than whatever figure you are referring to. Taxpayers used inefficient tax dodges to get out of paying the top rates.
  5. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Perhaps a nasty custody dispute over who gets ManBearPig.
    Batman likes this.
  6. Big Circus

    Big Circus Well-Known Member

    It’s super cereal!
    HanSenSE likes this.
  7. micropolitan guy

    micropolitan guy Well-Known Member

    Getting back on topic ... the train procession today between Houston and College Station brought back memories of RFK's procession from NYC to DC, albeit RFK's was under much sadder circumstances.

    Seeing people standing on the side of the tracks paying their respects seems like something out of the 19th or 20th century, but yet very appropriate.
  8. John B. Foster

    John B. Foster Well-Known Member

    OscarMadison likes this.
  9. Hermes

    Hermes Well-Known Member

    I miss campaigns via rail. I'm not that old, but I remember Bush riding through Ohio to Michigan on a whistlestop tour during the 1992 campaign (I saw his stop in Bowling Green) and it was a really cool way to see a candidate.
    OscarMadison and garrow like this.
  10. britwrit

    britwrit Well-Known Member

    Still, while I'm not a conservative, this would've been an excellent bargain for them. Keep Social Security solvent and in return, you get to hack and slash away at the rest of the government. Making deep cuts at the Department of Energy doesn't resonate with voters the way any possible effect on their parents/grandparents might have.
    OscarMadison, Hermes and heyabbott like this.
  11. Hermes

    Hermes Well-Known Member

    It was insane to me that they didn't realize they were being handed a political victory.

    Dubya was too concerned about getting all of our entitlement money into the sure hands of Wall Street to even consider it.
  12. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Those were the cleanest train cars and engines I've ever seen. They looked like they came straight out of a box from Lionel.
    OscarMadison likes this.
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