[ExI] Donald Trump
spike66 at att.net
Sun May 8 17:10:15 UTC 2016
From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of John Clark
> >…Nor that it has so drained the economy that despite how much it has taken for so long it has put (US) us nearly $20 trillion in debt
>…That reminds me of something from another thread. Under Democrat Bill Clinton the government ran a SURPLUS in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001. Republican George Bush was in power in 2002 and the government ran a deficit that year and has been running a deficit every year since. Ronald Reagan never managed to balance the budget for even one year, but Clinton did it for 4. John K Clark
Heh. John do you recall how that was done? It was done by “welfare reform.” The US removed all those people from the welfare rolls, which resulted in lower federal expenditures and a balanced budget. Hooray, a miracle it was!
Where did all those welfare class people go? Off into 9 to 5s, where they happily labored and became productive members of society? Hmmm? Anyone want to bet on that one?
What really happened is that the huge and growing welfare masses were assigned a disability of some sort. They didn’t miraculously become employable. That whole welfare to work program was an illusion. A bunch of new disabilities came into vogue, certainly into common use: ADHD, post-traumatic stress syndrome, learning disabilities of one flavor or another, BillW might have a more up-to-date list, but no matter, just so long as every unemployable sort could be assigned some kind of disability, even a voluntary one such as drug addiction. Then these conditions become diseases, leading to the helpless victims being disabled. Before they were called drunks, winos, dopers, slackers, such hurtful terms. Now these unemployable masses are victims of disabling conditions, and being disabled, they are eligible for Social Security Disability! Well that isn’t welfare, it is an insurance payment, and that’s an entitlement! So now all those unemployables are no longer on welfare, and they are making even more than before. Oh why didn’t we think of it sooner?
Well… because it now becomes very easy to predict when the Social Security fund will be exhausted. The VP at the time, Al Gore, did exactly that, and realized he might well live to see the day. So he ran in 2000 on trying to figure out a way to undo what his own running mate had done, but for obvious reasons couldn’t state it in those terms. So he came up with some oblique language that was just a little too subtle for the voting masses, that “lock box” business.
Really what he was saying was clear enough: if we continue with this madness of putting welfare masses on Social Security Disability and pretending they aren’t on welfare, then pretending we have balanced the budget when really all we are doing is spending the retirement savings of the young, the long-term but foreseeable consequences are catastrophic.
Fun aside: one of our smarter ExI posters pointed out the obvious and commented on it here. He is German. From the outside looking in, it was perfectly obvious what a tall glass of poison koolaid the USA had guzzled. America had fooled itself into thinking it had balanced the budget, when all it really did was borrow the collective retirement fund and spend it on today’s needs, with no clear means of paying it back. In the 1990s, America converted its retirement system from a savings account pension fund into a Pay As You Go, with an ever-dwindling supply of payers and ever-growing supply of pensioners.
Second fun aside: in 2000, candidate Al Gore was able to give us a date for Social Security going bust: 2035. Sixteen years later, that estimate hasn’t changed much.
The differences now: half the time has passed to catastrophe, yet no one seems to be worrying much about what happens when Social Security runs out of money and it cannot pay. We don’t seem to be the least bit worried collectively about that. Perhaps the voting masses just assume we can raise taxes to cover it, but my own grandfather showed me in 1974 why that strategy fails: by the time this Ponzi scheme collapses and runs out of other people’s money, there are only two earners supporting each pensioner. The government doesn’t end all its other obligations, so those two earners still need to support the government with their earnings while somehow supporting half a pensioner on their meager salary, all while new pensioners come signing up every day, their numbers growing much faster than the employment rolls.
Again John please, what was that you were saying about Bill Clinton balancing the budget?
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