Facebook Fun

We’re not sure what is wrong but the title doesn’t show up.  It is Facebook Fun.

From a Facebook post: “Employed Americans paid into Social Security with every paycheck.  Our benefits aren’t some kind of charity or handout!”  Then it goes on to complain about benefits for Congress Critters and say that that is welfare.

It helps us understand why The Bernie and Herself are the only Democrat choices and The Donald leads on the Republican side.  There are lots of folks out there that are not well informed.  Social security is run on a cash basis.  It is welfare.   Unfortunately, welfare, like fascist, has become an insult.  For a long time, the federal government took money from MWG and gave it to others.  Now the situation is reversed.  Soon the government will need to reduce the payouts or increase the payments received.  We often talk of the unfunded liability of the federal government related to Social Security and so on but it is not a liability because the government can choose to reduce the payments or eliminate payments to certain individuals.

On the other hand, pensions earned from the government are a liability of the government.  The government cannot choose to reduce pension payments unless it is specified in the contract.  For example, in the state of Wisconsin, post-employment increases caused by market increases can be rescinded if the those market increases are undone.  If these obligations are not paid then the worker has a legal right to proceed in court.

It would be great if we could have privatized Social Security but we failed.  It would have been expensive but the two trillion dollars the current administration wasted could have gone a long way towards fixing Social Security.  You can envy the benefits of the Congress Critters but they are what they are.   We could reduce the benefits for future Critters.  Our Social Security payments are welfare or transfer payments or whatever term you find least offensive.  We hope that the government starts means testing soon and includes us.  Social Security payments and taxes are a political problem rather than a legal obligation whereas pensions are a legal obligation.

It would be nice to have a serious discussion of the important economic issues of growth, spending, and taxing in the run for the presidency.  We are not encouraged so far.

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