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Old 03-27-2008, 08:34 AM
 
1,839 posts, read 4,709,508 times
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This is a very interesting article, and very well-written, I must say. I'm not normally an advocate of much that CNN produces, but this article deserves a standing ovation. It affects all of us. It's also one of the reasons why I've been living on one paycheck a month and throwing the rest at my debt in order to be debt free by the end of the year.

Glenn Beck: The $53 trillion asteroid - CNN.com

Glenn Beck: The $53 Trillion Asteroid

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Let's say a giant asteroid was headed toward Earth right now and experts say it has a good chance of ending civilization as we know it. Let's also say that we've known about this asteroid for years but even as it gets closer and closer our leaders do nothing.

"Don't worry," they tell us, "The next administration will figure something out."
With the future of our country at stake, would Americans really sit back and tolerate that kind of inaction? Of course not -- we'd be sharpening our pitchforks and demanding answers.

Well there may not be a space asteroid heading toward us, but there is an economic one -- and the threat to our future is just as severe.
You might think that I'm talking about the recession (sorry: potential recession) or credit crisis, but I'm thinking bigger. Much, much bigger.

Let me give you three numbers that will put this economic asteroid into perspective: $200 billion, $14.1 trillion, and $53 trillion.


- $200 billion is the approximate total amount of write-downs announced so far as a result of the current credit crisis.


- $14.1 trillion is the size of the entire U.S. economy


- And $53 trillion is (drum roll please) the approximate size of this country's bill for the Social Security and Medicare promises we've made.

While no one will ever mistake me for Alan Greenspan, it seems to me that the third number is quite a bit larger than the other two. It also seems very few people care.

(Click on link to continue article.)
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Old 03-27-2008, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Great Rep. of Texas
76 posts, read 247,878 times
Reputation: 21
the SS bill isn't due in whole for a little while, but that is about what it'll wind up being worth. The current system is unsustainable without either:

1. An opt out program for younger people who won't benefit.
2. A drastic increase of the age barrier

Even those options don't eliminate the deficit completely. Not to mention that neither of them would easily be passed through the house and senate.
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Old 03-27-2008, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Apex, NC
3,126 posts, read 7,779,259 times
Reputation: 2642
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catsofthebase3 View Post
the SS bill isn't due in whole for a little while, but that is about what it'll wind up being worth. The current system is unsustainable without either:

1. An opt out program for younger people who won't benefit.
2. A drastic increase of the age barrier

Even those options don't eliminate the deficit completely. Not to mention that neither of them would easily be passed through the house and senate.
No way they let younger people opt out. Who would pay for the SS for everyone else that is older than us? My generation (I'm 30) is screwed. I think they'll come up with something, but it'll be less beneficial than even the current SS system would be to me when I retire.

Plain and Simple, SS is really in place to help dumb people who save nothing. Our Government must take our hand and make us realize they are our daddy.
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Old 03-27-2008, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Great Rep. of Texas
76 posts, read 247,878 times
Reputation: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterboy526 View Post
No way they let younger people opt out. Who would pay for the SS for everyone else that is older than us? My generation (I'm 30) is screwed. I think they'll come up with something, but it'll be less beneficial than even the current SS system would be to me when I retire.

Plain and Simple, SS is really in place to help dumb people who save nothing. Our Government must take our hand and make us realize they are our daddy.
Originally, SS was meant to aide people who couldn't work or were injured working *at that time when you retired, or stopped working, you had SS or you didn't eat, lol*. Of course, this plan was designed in the 30's around the notion that people didn't live well into their 90's on average. Moreover, there was far less eligible parties in country too.

By modern standards, it is outdated, and must be changed, or removed.
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Old 03-27-2008, 11:18 AM
 
395 posts, read 406,860 times
Reputation: 30
unless the us govt collapse or everyone stop having babies. dont believe those conspiracy theorists that said social security will go bankrupt in 2040 or something like that.
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Old 03-27-2008, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
281 posts, read 986,276 times
Reputation: 200
I read that also. Neat article. I am happy my retirement is set and I am 34.
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Old 03-27-2008, 01:43 PM
 
1,839 posts, read 4,709,508 times
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Retirement was never supposed to be a permanent option for people. It was a temporary solution to the economic and workforce problems society had back in the days of Teddy Roosevelt. It was supposed to be a temporary solution.
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:13 PM
 
3,698 posts, read 10,589,228 times
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That's $53 trillion over how long a period? 50 years? 80? What does he mean by the "promises we've made"? Assuming that everyone alive now, including infants, will be covered by the program? Does the amount include the adjusted amount for inflation in 2050, or is it in 2008 dollars?

It's a meaningless number if he doesn't let us know precisely what he's measuring.
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Old 03-27-2008, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
1,356 posts, read 5,712,088 times
Reputation: 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by sean98125 View Post
That's $53 trillion over how long a period? 50 years? 80? What does he mean by the "promises we've made"? Assuming that everyone alive now, including infants, will be covered by the program? Does the amount include the adjusted amount for inflation in 2050, or is it in 2008 dollars?

It's a meaningless number if he doesn't let us know precisely what he's measuring.
I wouldn't call it meaningless but I too wish someone would explain exactly what period of time that number covers. Does it cover everyone who has started paying into the system?

I suspect that the problem will get addressed at some point but unfortunately part of the solution will probably include higher payroll taxes, massive immigration (illegal and legal), and Fed-induced inflation.

Raising the retirement age is going to have to be part of the solution but who is going to have the political backbone to propose that?

Here are a couple more links with more details:
Glenn Beck - Interviews - David Walker interview about the economy
Taxpayers on the hook for $59 trillion - USATODAY.com
(the second link alludes to where Enron learned some of their accounting tricks)
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Old 03-27-2008, 09:37 PM
 
395 posts, read 406,860 times
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Listen...as long as the us gov't keep printing money. There will always be social security. The only problem is determining how much u will get and how worthless the dollar will be by the time u retire.
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