Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
Here is the latest addition to the Idiot Patrol: Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) Read all about it:
Washington Post: Sen. Tom Coburn’s cuts: Tackling Social Security
By Walter Pincus, Published: August 4
Editor’s note: Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) released a plan in July that he said would achieve $9 trillion in deficit savings over the next decade. Here we review parts of the proposal.
Wonderful. That’s $9 trillion less in an economy starved for money. What a concept!
“Today, Americans on average live 14 years longer, retire three years earlier (at 62) and spend 20 years in retirement,” Coburn has written, implying correctly that this is one reason the system is running out of money.
No, Tom and no, Washington Post. Social Security is an agency of the Monetarily Sovereign U.S. government, which cannot run out of money. If every man, woman and child received Social Security benefits from the day of birth, the federal government still would have no difficulty supporting the program to infinity.
(And pul-eeeze don’t tell me about inflation. I know. I know. If the federal government spent unlimited money, at some time in the future we’d have inflation. I’m not suggesting everyone go on SS from the date of birth. I’m just talking about federal spending capabilities).
Here is Coburn’s “Work ‘Til You Drop” plan:
Pertinent facts that “better reflect life expectancy,” Coburn argues, justify his plan to continually raise the Social Security retirement age beyond the scheduled bump to 67 in 2027. Those who want to retire early, at age 62, will be able to do so in 2022, but they would receive only 70 percent of what they would have received by retiring at 67.
Coburn would have retirement ages automatically increase, but gradually, one month every two years. Under his plan, someone who turns 62 in 2026 could begin collecting at 68 and someone who hits 62 in 2070 would have to wait until age 69.
This is how Congress will provide a better life for us, our children and our grandchildren: Continually raise the retirement age.
But that’s not all. We need to restrict payments to disabled people, too.
Coburn directs much of his attention in preserving Social Security to two other programs run by the Social Security Administration.
One is the Social Security Disability Insurance program. . . Created in 1956, SSDI was to be “a safety net of last resort for disabled Americans who could not work” . . .Coburn argues that billions could be saved on SSDI if the Social Security Administration conducted “continuing disability reviews” of beneficiaries.
Coburn quotes a Social Security inspector general’s finding last year that eliminating the medical CDR backlog “would result in saving $15.8 billion in improperly paid lifetime federal benefits.”
“Saving” for whom? For a government with the unlimited ability to pay its bills, a government that never, ever, ever can run short of dollars? Or for the American economy that is starved for cash, and sinking deeper into recession?
The second troubled program is Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which was established in 1972 and is a means-tested benefit to the disabled poor, elderly and blind.
Coburn said one serious concern in the program, which sets income limits and the holding of assets, is that payments are going to improper people or at the wrong level. The Social Security inspector general testified in June that in 2009 $4 billion in overpayments went “to SSI recipients who did not properly report assets,” one of the main qualifying elements.
Yes, there must be millions of people who no longer are elderly, no longer are disabled and no longer are blind. They must be getting rich on those meager payments. We have to crack down. The next thing you know, those cheats actually will want subsistence benefits, to pay for food, clothing, housing and (gasp!) air conditioning. The nerve of them! We have to crack down.
The Social Security inspector general said that if redeterminations had been carried out at the 2003 level, his agency “would have saved taxpayers $3.3 billion during fiscal years 2008 and 2009.”
No, Tom. No SS inspector general. Taxpayers do not pay one cent toward the disabled poor, elderly and blind. If taxes fell to $0 or rose to $100 trillion, neither event would affect by even one penny, the federal government’s ability to support every federal agency.
Yes, yes, I know, Tom. Inflation. Zimbabwe, Weimar Republic. Hyper-inflation, big government. Those are today’s real problems. Forget about unemployment, recession, homelessness, starvation, disability, health, education, poverty, the infrastructure, crime, security and food and medicine safety.
We need to cut, cut, cut — drain that money out of the economy — especially during a recession.
Let’s save as much money as possible for a government that doesn’t need it, so we can starve the economy and its people of the money they urgently need. Welcome to the Idiot Patrol, Tom.
And welcome to the mean, cruel world you wish to create for our children and us.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia. The key equation in economics: Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings