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Normally I don’t unload like this, but framing this as a “right-wing” thing is both stupid and dangerous.

Pensions in this country have made unrealistic assumptions for years.

Just google it. Here’s one for you from the Brits, so no right/left anything: https://www.ft.com/content/456172b4-6b11-11e6-ae5b-a7cc5dd5a...

And here’s another: http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/dallas-county/retired-dallas-...

And another: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert...

And another: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/fort-worth...

And another: https://www.ai-cio.com/news/decennial-commission-seeks-aid-n...

Do I need to continue? I will if you continue on your asinine positions that pensions are just fine in this country. So the idea that Social Security has issues is quite well founded.

And if social security doesn’t pay out, politicians on both sides will be to blame for kicking the can down the road.




State government pensions are totally unrelated to Social Security.

Under Federal law and under many state constitutions, vested benefits under state and municipal employee pension plans are a property right, and cannot be reduced unilaterally (depending on the theory, either because of the Takings Clause or Contracts Clause of the Federal constitution). And because, unlike private pensions and the USPS, Federal law doesn't require state or municipal governments to fully fund liabilities as they accrue, these particular pensions have turned into a disaster.

But Social Security was designed and intended at its very inception to require adjustment to both benefits and retirement age.[1] It's not a form of deferred compensation or other property right. So retirement age and benefits can and has and _will_ be adjusted to keep it solvent.

More over, Social Security was never designed to provide continuity of lifestyle, but rather to keep the elderly from starving and living homeless. All it has to do is provide as much as it can, no more or no less. It's a carefully designed social welfare program that is patterned after, but shouldn't be confused with, pensions and annuities.

The Social Security department has never made unrealistic assumptions, nor has Congress. The problem with Social Security is that there exists a political party that will cynically bemoan the pending collapse of Social Security while refusing to make the simple and obvious changes that were foreseen and expected of them 80 years ago and ever since.

[1] Actuarial tables back then were insanely accurate, and the bureaucrats who designed Social Security understand very well how things would play out. See this 1947 study, which also includes historical actuarial tables from the 1920s and earlier. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/lifetables/life39-41_acturial....

In particular, note (PDF) pages 14 and 18 where it discusses the trends in longevity. I've seen better historical papers to make my point but don't have the references on hand. But I think that document suffices to show how actuarial science was well developed back then. And it's also worth noting that Social Security came about before the post-WWII baby boom. Populations were understood to be able to grow and shrink. Social Security was never predicated on a steadily growing population.


So what you're saying is

People should worry about pensions because they won't fail, instead they'll be adjusted to become much less, both in terms of years (longer work) and in terms of benefits (which will be your only form of income for decades).

This makes me wonder, what, exactly, do you think "failure" means, to normal people, for their pension fund/social security/... ?

In my humble opinion, it is that they'll have to work longer and make more money themselves, after getting a pension. And for various other social security recipients it'll be analogous.

So your long comment essentially says "pensions won't fail, they'll fail !". (Or perhaps one could say that you're being extremely pedantic on the exact meaning of fail versus the common meaning of fail)

Obviously the claim made to the population by social security is that they'll receive benefits for a given period. You clearly agree that that promise is unsustainable, and fail/("will be adjusted").


We just spent 8 years of another party in the White House, and they didn’t solve the problem.

So no, it’s not one party - it’s both. And that’s what the problem is.


The Democrats controlled all 3 branches for less than a year, and they chose to pursue healthcare reform. After that Republican leaders admitted in public that their #1 priority was preventing Democrats from passing any further substantial legislation whatsoever in a bid to make them look ineffectual.

If you want to criticize Democrats, they did choose to expand Medicaid and Medicare without a more comprehensive long-term financing plan. OTOH, unlike the GOP tax reform, these expansions were at least nominally revenue neutral thanks to some targeted tax increases, the insurance mandate, etc. Democrats may spend but they _tax_ and spend, which is better than spending or (as Republicans do) cut taxes and spend.

Republicans could come to the table and attempt to compromise with Democrats. Democrats would want to expand benefits. Republicans would like to cut them, at the very least, if not eliminate benefits or privatize the entire program. But compromise theoretically could be fairly easy. But Republicans are committed to a nihilistic "starve the beast" strategy. That's the crux of the problem. Republican ideology has become so extreme that compromise is literally anathema. It's no coincidence that old-school Republicans have been bowing out left-and-right.

I see similar trends happening on the left with an insistence on single-payer healthcare, but it's early and not even remotely comparable to where Republican politics is at.


The president doesn't write legislation though, that comes from Congress.


> Pensions in this country have made unrealistic assumptions for years.

Why are you talking about pensions? The subject was social security.




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