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Geithner Exposes Obama Administration's Incompetance

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by IcyPatriot, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ------------- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey

    Struggled with the thread title actual. Tim is actually saying this years budget does nothing but push the problem forward ... he is admitting their plan sucks but he admits at the end that the GOP plan is not what they want.

    You have to watch it through ... Obama's own guy being force to throw Obama under the bus
    ... will the media play this up or down heading to the election?

    Tim Geithner to Paul Ryan: "We don't have a definitive solution... We just don't like yours" - YouTube!

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    House Budget Committee Plan
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    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  2. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We don't have a plan to deal with the problem, but that is better than you plan......pretty weak of Timmy the tax cheat responding to P Ryan.
  3. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Pretty clear that in the near-term timeframe, the Administration's budget does what we need to do in terms of debt. I did not see the equivalent charts for Ryan in the "out years," but it's pretty likely it's a pretty picture of tax breaks for the rich, rosy projections that won't happen for GDP "because we cut everybody's taxes so much," and "cost savings" that consist of a book of S&H green stamps you can trade in for one minor surgery if you shop at Ryan's friends' stores.

    Fact is, one way or another, retirement as a national phenomenon is going to cost more, not less.

    Question is, whether we gut our retirement system, or whether we keep it.

    If we keep it, fact is, we need more revenue.

    If we gut it, we don't need more revenue.

    You want to gut it? Don't even talk to me about "unplugging grandma."

    A long time ago, you could predict people would get poor because they get old. That's not what happens today. The Ryans of the world want to return to elder poverty, gramma eating alpo, all that.

    We don't have to. The alternative will have to be stop giving away the farm to the rich on the tax front. You guys are the rumpswaps of the wealthy, and will now predictably complain about the tax burden of people who would never allow you to date their daughters in high school, if said daughters were even at your high school, and didn't make a face like they were smelling dirty kitty litter when your middle class selfs walked by.

    Fine. You're still longing for inclusion by way of lackeyism, knock yourself out.

    For the country as a whole? That's not the way out, and it ain't gonna magically become the way out no matter how you dress it up.

    I see people cheerily talking about how they'll never retire here. Fact is, that's what people say when you ask them what they'll do. They also never do what they say they're going to. And the major bastions of elder security -- social security, medicare, and traditional pensions -- are all under fire.

    If you respond as a society, you can have an America where you age with dignity. You might work a couple years longer on average. You might have to make health care more rational, and force down the cost curve, and embrace (gasp!) greatest good for the greatest number. And horror of horrors, you might have to pay higher taxes, particularly at the richer end of the spectrum.

    In exchange you get independent seniors with meaningful lives, continuing to spend and invest in retirement, in good times and bad, acting as a barometer even in the worst downturn, in terms of demand. This is what smart countries are going to realize.

    The alternative? Surprise surprise, you're still going to get higher taxes, because you're going to have to respond to a massive problem of elderly poverty.

    One-size-fits-all, "no-work-no-eat" ideology is meaningless for those who no longer can work, a cohort most of us eventually fit. It's also counterproductive when work reaches a point of diminishing returns -- but you guys plug right along, and watch the country fill up with "cutting edge" 75-year old tech designers, message-crafters, and what have you, and the recent grads with the best grasp of the newest tools go begging for work.

    Maybe someone in India can hire 'em.
  4. sdaniels7114

    sdaniels7114 Rookie

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    Retirement age needs to be tied to life expectancy. As I understand it the current theoretical limit for people's lives is around 120. IE its reasonable to expect that medical science will continue to push average life expectancy towards that number, so people need to learn to deal with that. How can you retire 30-50 years before death?
  5. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Ryan is trying to make political hay out of a Geitner's 10 year budget plan. It's a 10 year plan, which obviously means that there will need to be another plan. Ryan is an idiot who seems to think that economic plans and policies are unchanging. The reality is that we will have many different political and economic situations, and we cannot plan 80 years out, that Ryan seems to want to do. Geitner's plan merely covers a set period of time; he is not denying that there will be a need for another plan. In fact, that's pretty obvious in any scenario. Ryan's desire to cut healthcare benefits for middle class retirees may be popular among the elderly conservatives will be dead in 20 years, but for many of us who are likely to be alive, it's less popular.
  6. scout

    scout Rookie

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    #15 Jersey

    I don't get all the hype in dealing with social security. People are living longer and as you say, that will only increase with new innovations and research. There will be an increase in people working longer than the previous retirement age. Why would an individual retire from working at home?
  7. PatsFanInVa

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    The average age is inching up. The average is still shy of 65, but that's because there are those who are shooting for 65, 67, or "forever" but find they can't work anymore, or they "planned" to retire later, but figured screw it, who knows how long I'm going to live, I've been saving my whole life... and I deserve to have some fun.

    A few big problems, but first a caveat:

    CAVEAT: Try to remember our "problem" is that we live longer lives, and the lives we live, measuring across the board, are better than say 100 years ago. That's true for the whole west and much of the rest of the world. We're managing our success, not capitulating to our certain doom here.

    1) Life expectancy is higher than it was say 25 or 50 years ago (though America's eating/exercise habits suggest we may have less of a problem than we think ;) )

    2) We are destroying the single feature that is an effective weapon for sound public policy in this scenario: risk pooling. We've moved from risk-pooled pensions to private savings plans (401-Ks). Meanwhile, the pubbies are running around screaming "the sky is falling, gut the entitlements!" You don't know whether you're on the hook for 5 years of retirement, 10 years, 20 years (the average) or 50 years.

    3) Having shifted risk to individuals, we look to every possible source of income to pay the bills.

    3a) Notice how as 401(k)s replace pensions, we've created a reverse-mortgage industry? Notice how people all "Plan" to work until they die now, where before people "planned" to retire? Notice how every other ad is now about "your number," which is usually north of a million bucks? People don't all have a million bucks sitting around, nor will most of them -- especially if they really do have to look at low-growth assumptions for the known future. That makes personal saving expensive for the same future dollar, just as it makes pension funding expensive for the same future dollar. Unfortunately, we don't have big exposes on "underfunded personal savings expectations" like we do on "underfunded pension plans."

    4) Legs of the 3-legged stool are being removed. It's traditionally a pension plan, personal savings, and social security. About 70-80 million of today's retirees/people married to them rely on a traditional pension. The time-bomb hasn't hit the elderly yet.

    5) Take away legs of the stool and what happens? No pension, gutted medicare, gutted social security... you're down to personal savings, and the research shows we don't save enough.

    I'd say that as automation takes away more and more of the jobs that are physically demanding, we can come up w/slight gains in the "norms" of retirement age (indeed, we already have.) I don't doubt that the norms will continue to drift higher. But that's nothing like the gains in life expectancy we've been adding - something like 5 years longer on average in the last 50 years.

    That combines with the well-trodden ground of the demographic shift: There are just a sh1t-pot of baby boomers, as compared with generation X. There are also, however, a lot more Generation Y than there are Generation X (or, for that matter, boomers.)

    What we have to admit to ourselves is that we have a system built to handle a societal fact: People get old enough where from their perspective, and from the perspective of their employers, having the possibility of retirement is desirable.

    Yet even though retirement is becomming more, not less, expensive, we continue to view it through the prism of a "source of fat to cut".

    It's not. It's something we'll need to fund better, not less well.

    Look around you. We have older people working in McDonalds and as Wal-Mart greeters. We have them selling their houses back (under immediate pressures -- so, not with real bargaining power.) That's just the middle-class old (who will begin again soon to be the elderly poor.) And that's before the impact of pension-gutting and entitlement-gutting we've started on.

    What solutions would I advocate?

    1. Whatever we do has to include risk-pooling. Whether that means annuitized 401(k) options as the default choice, or whether that means some new form of the traditional pension plan, an actuary can plan the average life expectancy of 10,000 people. Only a clairvoyant can plan for one.

    2. Whatever we do, we should be encouraging workplace retirement programs. Currently we are moving toward workplace matched personal savings only. I would advocate defined benefit pension plans with some features of savings plans like 401(k)s -- especially portability.

    3. We should be enhancing our entitlement programs, not decreasing them, knowing that they have to last longer per-person.

    4. On the savings side, let people "opt out" rather than "opt in." Have automatic savings set aside unless people really, really want to pull it out to pay bills instead. The average 401(k) is south of 100K, to pay for an average of 20 years of actual retirement.

    Here are things you cannot do, regardless of how fondly you remember the days when these things were the norm:

    1. You cannot return to the golden age of the Waltons or whatever, where everybody lived less long.

    2. You cannot return to said golden age and expect a family unit to work "like it use to." Regardless of the fact that we don't want to live that way, we can't live that way. Families are atomized, and beyond that, both people usually have to work nowadays. That leaves nobody back home taking care of mom or pop if they're incapacitated. If they can live independently, likewise, it's better from a lot of points of view -- not least of them personal -- if they do live independently.

    3. You cannot expect elderly poverty to be "free." We will end up spending more on poverty relief to keep people alive and miserable, than we would if we planned as a society to give people the chance to be secure/dignified in retirement.

    4. Baby boomers can't go back in time and have more kids. So we have to keep the discussion one of how we deal with variable, not constant, generational changes in a retirement system that's built to last. We can't have a productive discussion based on woulda coulda shouldas, and we can't expect the whole country to accept your preferred prescription about their personal sex lives and marriage habits. Let's deal w/a system that can allow us our personal choice in such matters.

    Other than that, I'd love to hear people's ideas -- just don't tell me what we use to do and how it's all this person's fault and that person's fault, and I'll be happy :)

    PFnV
  8. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    Life expectancy is climbing so that means there'll be more people working longer with fewer and suckier jobs available. Meanwhile, the young ones who are coming out of college looking for work will be competing with these seniors. The seniors will be digging in because their retirement savings will not be enough for them to move aside.

    So we have a population problem, while we approach the growth ceiling.

    Tell me again why birth control is a bad thing.
  9. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    #24 Jersey

    One thing everyone seems to be forgetting is the elephant in the room - yes, life expectancy is rising - but good health isn't.

    A recent survey found that eighty-six per cent of the elderly population had experienced at least one of nine chronic and debliltating medical conditions.
    (And by "elderly," they mean 70 and above.) Not all of those people suddenly got sick at age 70, either. Many chronic diseases start in a person's 50s and 60s and worsen with time.

    Many people may be willing, but unable, to work much past 65.

    The study goes on to say that:
    People with heart disease or vascular disease aren't going to be real productive or reliable workers, even if they want to - their heart just isn't going to be in it. People with CNS - they simply aren't going to have the head for it.

    (Bad puns, sure, but you get the picture.)

    Prevalence of chronic disease in the elderly based on a national pharmacy claims database

    Increasing the retirement age may work for some, but it's going to backfire on the whole. If you raise the retirement age more people are going to have to opt for early retirement via disability and monthly disability payments are higher than a regular retirement check.

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