Another day goes by, another failure of progressive economics is made painfully obvious. In this case, we’re talking about the state of Illinois and its inability to make payments for Medicare and its Lottery. From the Fox Business news story:
“Illinois will not meet a court-set deadline Tuesday to increase spending on backlogs of Medicaid payments, pushing the problem off until the end of the month as the state’s unprecedented budget impasse is on the verge of entering its third straight fiscal year.”
I thought that proud progs thought that we should give “free” Medicare to everybody? Why don’t they just steal raise taxes some more?
“Illinois owes Medicaid providers $2 billion for care provided to more than 3 million people — a small sum compared to the state’s total unpaid bill of $15 billion, or 40 percent of Illinois’ operating budget. After failing to pass a spending bill for two straight fiscal years, the state has been functioning on appropriations since 2015.”
Illinois can’t pay 40% its budget? Perhaps they should spend less? Don’t tell that to a Democrat.
“Failure to strike a budget agreement by the end of the state legislature’s annual session on May 31 resulted in a critical credit downgrade for the country’s fifth largest state to Baa3, the lowest of any state and only one level above non-investment grade — also known as junk.”
“Additionally, the state currently has more than $250 billion in unfunded pension obligations, annual payments of which could be cut if a deal isn’t struck — a scenario that Moody’s warned would be a negative credit event for bondholders.”
I’m sure that the Democrats in the Legislature have $250 billion hiding somewhere. The capitalist neo-kulak pigs just need to pay up.
“The state legislature’s special session begins Wednesday and will take place over 10 days. The impasse between the Democratic-controlled legislature and the Republican governor has paralyzed the state so severely that Gov. Rauner even compared Illinois to a “banana republic” earlier this month because it cannot manage its finances.”
Greetings comrades! It’s been a while since I’ve made a post and even longer since I’ve made one of any real substance. This post will just be some pictorial propaganda and for the next week or so it’ll be a while before I get back to making posts regularly. As always, don’t forget to vote for the most Stalinist candidate possible, support the Party, give up all your income, and be sure to spread this post amongst your progressive fiends. Enjoy!
I could keep going, but the idea that Iceland is a utopia or is experiencing amazing performance is simply unfounded. Was a country that just experienced a depression supposed to keep contracting forever? Have progressives never heard of the business cycle? Do progressives really think that all bad investments can be avoided?
Today’s post is dedicated to my complex, intelligent, factually-based, and well-thought out debates with the Sandroid Bernout Army. I’m just kidding folks, there wasn’t a whole lot of critical thinking going on in the mind of the Sandroids. Only one of the people I asked questions of was somewhat reasonable. You’ve heard me talk of the folks over at Economic Illiterates for Bernie Sanders 2016 before and this is where most of the discussions took place at.
To start this off here’s a CNN that some Sandroids decided to spam the aforementioned page with.
In the CNN article a single economist by the name of Gerald Freidman claims that under Bernie’s plan the U.S. economy would:
“Friedman, who believes in democratic socialism like the candidate, found that if Sanders became president — and was able to push his plan through Congress — median household income would be $82,200 by 2026, far higher than the $59,300 projected by the Congressional Budget Office.
In addition, poverty would plummet to a record low 6%, as opposed to the CBO’s forecast of 13.9%. The U.S. economy would grow by 5.3% per year, instead of 2.1%, and the nation’s $1.3 trillion deficit would turn into a large surplus by Sanders’ second term.”
I’m fairly certain that most of the Bernie supporters didn’t get past this part (or the title for that matter) since right after that portion of the article was the following:
“Other economists, however, feel that Friedman’s analysis is overly optimistic, saying it would be difficult to achieve that level of economic prosperity. Last week, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said Sanders’ plan to pay for health care would fall short by at least $3 trillion.”
I wonder where the $14.5 trillion is going to come from?
“Sanders’ plan to pour $14.5 trillion into the economy — including spending on infrastructure and youth employment, increasing Social Security benefits, making college free and expanding health care and family leave — would juice GDP and productivity. (Friedman reduces the cost of Medicare-for-all to $10.7 trillion because he estimates the government would save $3.1 trillion by eliminating tax breaks for health insurance premiums.) ”
“‘Like the New Deal of the 1930s, Senator Sanders’ program is designed to do more than merely increase economic activity,’ Friedman writes. It will ‘promote a more just prosperity, broadly-based with a narrowing of economy inequality.’”
“Many presidential hopefuls say their economic programs would boost growth. Donald Trump and Jeb Bush justify their big tax cuts by saying GDP would grow at a 4% rate. But their plans have been panned by experts as overly optimistic. ”
We won’t get 4% growth per year in the economy, but Bernie and his Bernouts will find a way to make the U.S. economy consistently grow at 5.3% every year.
“Friedman, however, argues that Sanders’ plan would be more stimulative because it is pouring money into the economy, as opposed to cutting taxes. Several of Sanders’ proposals — such as spending $1 trillion on infrastructure — will happen in the first few years of his administration.
The thinking goes: This enhanced government spending would increase demand on businesses, who would then hire more workers to meet their needs. The increase in employment will prompt people to buy more, leading other businesses to hire.
‘If there is more spending, people will have more to do,’ Friedman said, noting that the share of the population with jobs could be restored to its 1999 level of more than 64%, up from its current 59.6% rate.”
So if we take more money from citizens just to give it back to them later the economy will grow? Brilliant…
At the end of the article we see the following:
“Still, some experts question whether the effects would be that large.
Stimulating demand can boost a weak economy during a recession, but ‘it’s harder to accept as a long-run growth strategy,’ said William Gale, the former director of Brookings’ Economic Studies Program.
Also, it would be very difficult to achieve and maintain an economic growth rate of 5.3% per year after inflation. That target hasn’t been hit consistently since the 1960s, when technology was providing big advancements, the workforce was younger and there was increased demand for American products worldwide as other countries fully recovered from World War II.
‘The 5.3% number is a fantasy,’ said Jim Kessler, senior vice president at Third Way, a centrist think tank.”
Now that I’ve established what the Bernie trolls are citing as evidence of their ideas being correct, let’s look at how they respond to my arguments.
Here was the standard response I gave (i.e. copied and pasted) since the Sandroids kept citing the same article without reading it.
Some people never really responded…
Like I said at the beginning, there was one individual who was reasonable and not full of hate.
Then there were the people who would disagree with what I had to say but offered no evidence of their own whilst calling me a liar. The logic that the Sandroids are using is simply amazing…
Concerning a discussion not related to the CNN article Mr. Joe Giansante provided some good entertainment. This postal worker appears to be going postal on me.
Mr. Tanous had some interesting logic as well; the “1%” are keeping Africa to perform sweatshop labor yet also stopping all economic development. I’m not certain how that works, especially when countries like South Africa are ruled by the socialists in the African National Congress and communist dictators rule Zimbabwe. What’s up with progressives and thinking that their opponents base everything off of Fox News?
Then there was a woman by the name of Sally Sallernio who makes some wondrous claims yet is also unable to back them up.
She actually argued that facts don’t matter…
I know what Comrade Sally needs in her life, a lifetime subscription to Poor Me! magazine.
That’s all for now about my conversations with the Sandroid Bernout Army. As always, don’t be scared to share this information with your fiends, I mean friends.
Good evening comrades, it’s time for another round of glorious pictorial propaganda to celebrate Citizen Senator Sanders. The fun never stops at Economic Illiterates for Bernie Sanders 2016. After Bernie is inaugurated next year he will usher in a new era of utopia not seen since the Great Depression. Total government spending will go up from approximately 35% of GDP to double or raise to even greater heights and fully snuff out the private sector. The conversion of the United States of America to the United Socialist States of America will be complete and the last vestiges of capitalism will be purged from society. We will truly live in a paradise. Forward!
“The U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which requires businesses to report all assets held by Americans, aims to recoup the hundreds of billions the U.S. says it loses each year from tax evasion. But it’s also leading global banks big and small to dump U.S. customers rather than wrestle with the complicated law. ”
The CNN Money article just gets better and better:
“Proper compliance — which means reporting everything from basic savings accounts, pension funds, investments, and more — could easily cost institutions millions each year, he estimated. And penalties are severe; businesses face a 30% tax on U.S.-sourced income if they fail to comply.”
Laws meant to take even more money from citizens are backfiring? Who would’ve guessed that one? Certainly not any progressives would see the fault in raising tax rates or adding numerous regulations. I’m sure that progs would say something about everyone needing to pay their fair share even though consumption taxes (sales tax, gasoline tax, etc.) are what is used to fund infrastructure. Loyal Party members (and the Internal Revenue Service) might also find it hard to believe that a citizen should get keep more than a minority of their income. Surely, the United States will soon complete its conversion to the United Socialist States of America (U.S.S.A) and turn into a worker’s paradise like East Germany, Cuba, Detroit, Venezuela, or Greece.
The number of U.S. citizens is still pretty small and I believe that it will increase rapidly. It’s a progressive goal to have less rich people in the United States and they may yet get what they desire. I imagine that the intent was to make us all equal rather than allowing people to leave though.
A constant refrain that I hear from progressives is that the United States had 90% taxes during the 1950s and the country was still prosperous. Progressives seem to believe that it is a golden era that we need to emulate in all economic facets…
I wonder how many of these proud Party members have actually taken the time to think about what caused the United States to be the world’s pre-eminent economic power during the 1950s. Is it possible that 90% income tax rates on the wretched and vile “1%” led to economic prosperity (or at least didn’t hinder it) or is there something more to the story? Let’s start by taking a look at what taxes were paid to the Federal Government in the post WWII years (I bet WWII took a while to pay off also). A publication produced by UC Berkeley in 2007 entitled “How Progressive is the U.S. Federal Tax System? A Historical and International Perspective”provides much insight into what the “1%” actually paid in taxes in the 1950s. Let’s take a look:
“The 1960 federal tax system was very progressive even within the top percentile, with an average tax rate of around 35 percent in the bottom half of the top percentile to over 70 percent in the top 0.01 percent. This finding illustrates the theme that it is important to decompose the top of the income distribution into very small groups to capture the progressivity of a tax system. Although very top groups contain few taxpayers, they account for a substantial share of income earned, and an even larger share of taxes paid.
Interestingly, the larger progressivity in 1960 is not mainly due to the individual income tax. The average individual income tax rate in 1960 reached an average rate of 31 percent at the very top, only slightly above the 25 percent average rate at the very top in 2004. Within the 1960 version of the individual income tax, lower rates on realized capital gains, as well as deductions for interest payments and charitable contributions, reduced dramatically what otherwise looked like an extremely progressive tax schedule, with a top marginal tax rate on individual income of 91 percent.”
So the actualized income tax rate for the rich was 31%, not really much different from where it stands today. That is a most interesting point to come to terms with. Such results also show that Sandroids don’t actually know what they’re talking about when they claim that the United States had a 91% income tax rate.
“The greater progressivity of federal taxes in 1960, in contrast to 2004, stems from the corporate income tax and the estate tax. The corporate tax collected about 6.5 percent of total personal income in 1960 and only around 2.5 percent of total income today. Because capital income is very concentrated, it generated a substantial burden on top income groups. The estate tax has also decreased from 0.8 percent of total personal income in 1960 to about 0.35 percent of total income today. As a result, the burden of the estate tax relative to income has declined very sharply since 1960 in the top income groups.”
“Second, the composition of top incomes has changed substantially. Figure 2 shows the breakdown into wage income, business income, capital income (including imputed corporate taxes), and realized capital gains. In the 1960s, top incomes were primarily composed of capital income: mostly dividends and capital gains. The surge in top incomes since the 1970s has been driven in large part by a steep increase in the labor income component, due in large part to the explosion of executive compensation. As a result, labor income now represents a substantial fraction of income at the top. This change in composition is important to keep in mind, because the corporate and estate taxes that had such a strong effect on creating progressivity in the 1960s would have relatively little effect on labor income.”
One of the other things that Progressives seem to forget about when discussing post WWII economic conditions is WWII. The United Kingdom had here cities heavily bombed and ended the war nearly bankrupt, France was occupied for four years and also suffered heavily; Germany lost millions, lost Prussia, and was rent in two; the Soviet Union lost 27 million people and had many of its cities decimated, the Chinese lost over 20 million fighting the Japanese and shortly thereafter underwent a Communist revolution; Japan lost millions, had its cities destroyed, and two nukes dropped on it. The only major power left without any massive loss of live or widespread destruction wrought in its homeland was the United States. The destruction of industrialized countries allowed the United States to produce the majority of the world’s economic output for a time without contest. When progressives say that the 1950s were a good time for the U.S. economy they have no understanding as to why.
Posted above is what a Facebook page called Americans against the Republican Party posted up about Socialist Insecurity. Based upon this meme you would almost think that progressives and fellow socialists actually believe in free choice instead of forcing fellow citizens to give up the majority of their income. Based upon how often the Democratic Party Presidential candidates talk about the 1%, taxing the rich, demanding that the Federal Government provide more, and their desire to turn the United States into a copy of Denmark I’m not certain I wouldn’t believe that though. Let’s take a look at some of the comments from the aforementioned Facebook page:
The comments are very revealing into what many progressives believe. The socialists are admitting that: they’re socialists, discuss why socialism is a good thing, think that the government will fix their problems, Rethuglicans are opposing the glorious coming of Next Tuesday™, and that progressives care about proles citizens. Don’t forget to talk about fighting for change some more either. Progressives care about you so much that they’ll take your income, give it to someone else, and then promise to pay you back with interest decades later. Obviously citizens can’t be trusted to save up their own money.
Plenty of people think that the Federal Government needs to provide even more for citizens and make things “free.” Going back to the Bernie Sanders’ article I linked to earlier:
“Health care in Denmark is universal, free of charge and high in quality. Everybody is covered as a right of citizenship. The Danish health care system is popular, with patient satisfaction much higher than in the United States. In Denmark, every citizen can choose a doctor in their area. Prescription drugs are inexpensive. ”
Back to the initial thrust of this post though; no matter what progressives say about Social Security, not everyone pays into it. For quite a large number of people, including Ida May Fuller (more on her later), almost nothing was contributed to the “Trust Fund.” Let’s look at what Michael Lind had to write in the New York Times article “Social Security as a Ponzi? It’s a Bad Metaphor“:
“Some critics of Social Security seem to equate it with a Ponzi scheme because the growth of payouts depends on growth of the number of future taxpayers, in the case of Social Security, or future investors, in the case of classic Ponzi schemes. By this definition, Social Security is a Ponzi scheme — and so are the private investment accounts that many conservatives propose as an alternative to Social Security. Whether the intermediary is the government or private money managers, in both cases the income of retirees will depend on money generated by the economic activity of succeeding generations in the work force. The main difference is that private investments are riskier than promises by the federal government of the United States to pay benefits to seniors who have paid payroll taxes all their lives.“
The author just admitted that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. I do not advocate for forcing people to put money in private investment accounts either. I simply believe that citizens shouldn’t forcefully have 6.2% (up to $118,500) of their paycheck deducted, nor should employers have to give up their 6.2% either. I feel as if I can manage money better than central government managers, but progressives can’t let people have freedom. They have to take your money for your own good.
“Social Security was partly pre-funded in 1983. This raised payroll taxes above immediate program costs in order to create a trust fund that lent money to the U.S. government, which must repay the trust fund as any other creditor would. Social Security will not become a pure pay-as-you-go system until 2036, according to the latest government estimates. Even then, there will be only a modest shortfall in benefits, which can be eliminated in advance by higher payroll taxes, permanent infusions of general revenue or other non-payroll taxes, or benefit reductions — or a combination of these reforms. A Social Security system funded purely by current taxes would no more be a Ponzi scheme than the U.S. military or the public school system.“
So the Federal Government can take money out of it and promise to pay it back? Sounds promising. The estimates he posted up are also not correct. I can’t verify what he actually linked to, it is now dead. Taking a look at a report by the Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration’s 2014 Disability Insurance Trust Fund Informational Report reveals the following:
“The 2014 Trustees’ Annual Report has projected that the DI Trust Fund reserves will be depleted in the fourth quarter of 2016, and the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds would be depleted in 2033. Although the DI Trust Fund is estimated to be depleted in the fourth quarter of 2016, the Trustees have recommended that lawmakers address the projected Trust Fund shortfalls for the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds in a timely way to phase in necessary changes and give workers and beneficiaries time to adjust to them. Implementing changes soon would allow more generations to share in the needed revenue increases or reductions in scheduled benefits.“
For anyone who’s curious, DI refers to the Disability Insurance Trust Fund and OASI is Old-Age and Survivors Insurance program. The DI “Trust Fund” runs out of money in a year and once the program payments are combined money will run low in 2033. Isn’t interesting how these estimates keep growing shorter? Moving down to page 3, the document illustrates perfectly how Social Security is a pyramid scheme:
“Overall, OASDI costs will rise over the next 20 years as baby boomers retire and lower-birth-rate generations born after 1965 replace the population at working ages. The lower birth rates after 1965 caused a permanent shift in the population’s age distribution, with fewer workers supporting more retirees. Additionally, the baby boomer generation has moved from less disability-prone ages (25 to 44) to more disability prone ages (45 to 64). See Figure C–1 in Appendix C. This, along with other issues, has resulted in the flat projected number of workers per DI beneficiary for the future.“
The last paragraph in Mr. Lind’s piece must have been a joke, right?
“To paraphrase the late David Crockett — as a U.S. congressman from Tennessee, before he died in 1836 at the Alamo during the fight for the independence of Texas — Governor Perry’s claim that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme don’t make good sense. It don’t even make good nonsense.“
Something doesn’t make sense anyway. The fine fact-checkers over at PolitiFact Florida have declared any claims that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme to be false. Let’s take a look at why:
“The term originates with Charles Ponzi, a Boston swindler who conned investors out of millions in 1920 by promising returns of up to 100 percent in 90 days on investments in foreign postal coupons. After first-round investors harvested those profits, others flocked to Ponzi, unaware his ‘profits’ consisted of money paid in by other investors.
That strategy is unsustainable.
In contrast, Social Security is more like a ‘pay-as-you-go’ system transferring payroll tax payments by workers to retirees. A 2009 Social Security Administration online post stated: ‘The American Social Security system has been in continuous successful operation since 1935. Charles Ponzi’s scheme lasted barely 200 days.’”
It’s different from a Ponzi scheme because it’s lasted thus far. It’s different because rather than my own money coming back to me it’s going to someone else. What sound logic. Continuing on:
“Mitchell Zuckoff, a Boston University journalism professor who has written a book on Ponzi, noted three critical dissimilarities between Social Security and a Ponzi scheme. We will summarize Zuckoff’s comments from an earlier fact-check:
• ‘First, in the case of Social Security, no one is being misled,’ Zuckoff wrote in a January 2009 article in Fortune. ‘Social Security is exactly what it claims to be: A mandatory transfer payment system under which current workers are taxed on their incomes to pay benefits, with no promises of huge returns.’
• Second, he wrote, ‘A Ponzi scheme is unsustainable because the number of potential investors is eventually exhausted.’ While Social Security faces a huge burden due to retiring Baby Boomers, it can be and has been tweaked, and ‘the government could change benefit formulas or take other steps, like increasing taxes, to keep the system from failing.’
• Third, Zuckoff wrote, ‘Social Security is morally the polar opposite of a Ponzi scheme. … At the height of the Great Depression, our society (see ‘Social’) resolved to create a safety net (see ‘Security’) in the form of a social insurance policy that would pay modest benefits to retirees, the disabled and the survivors of deceased workers. By design, that means a certain amount of wealth transfer, with richer workers subsidizing poorer ones. That might rankle, but it’s not fraud.’”
I see why Social Security has lasted for decades now. You pay into the system or you get to go to prison for tax evasion. The journalism professor wrote that there’s no huge returns, even though the Democratic Presidential candidates keep claiming that they’re going to have the Federal Government give out more “free” stuff. It’s not fraud because you don’t have a choice. Yet more sound logic.
In PolitiFact’s own article they essentially admit that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme that forces you to pay rather than going out of business.
“Michael Tanner, an expert on Social Security at the libertarian Cato Institute says that Social Security and Ponzi schemes share some characteristics — for example, in the early stages there is a huge windfall while those later on get smaller returns.
However, Ponzi didn’t have the power of the federal government.
‘In the end the Ponzi scheme collapses and can’t make people continue to give him money, but Social Security can always force people to pay,’ Tanner said. ‘In theory Social Security can always go out and raise taxes to keep benefits flowing.’”
PolitiFact still rates the claim that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme as being false though:
“Curbelo said that Social Security and Medicare are ‘a Ponzi scheme.’
A Ponzi scheme is by definition an illegal crime and an unsustainable set-up that crashes very quickly. Social Security and Medicare, which have been around for decades, are not criminal schemes.
Both programs face the massive challenge of fewer workers paying for the benefits of current retirees, and budget experts say Congress could make changes to make them more sustainable in the future — though many politicians are reluctant to gamble with the support of current senior voters.
Curbelo raises a legitimate point about the need for reform, but that’s entirely different than calling these programs ‘Ponzi schemes.’
We rate this claim False.”
Social Security is legal because FDR did everything possible to circumvent the Constitution and pack the Supreme Court. Social Security is legal because you don’t have a choice. Progressives have some interesting ideas on freedom and what is illegal.
Good evening comrades, today’s post will go over all the wonderful deeds and accomplishments that President Obama has achieved for the United Socialist States of America. Our current piece of pictorial propaganda comes from the fine folks at Occupy Communists Democrats:
“In 2013, there were 26.5 births for every 1,000 adolescent females ages 15-19, or 273,105 babies born to females in this age group. Nearly eighty-nine percent of these births occurred outside of marriage. The 2013 teen birth rate indicates a decline of ten percent from 2012 when the birth rate was 29.4 per 1,000.The teen birth rate has declined almost continuously over the past 20 years. In 1991, the U.S. teen birth rate was 61.8 births for every 1,000 adolescent females, compared with 26.5 births for every 1,000 adolescent females in 2013. Still, the U.S. teen birth rate is higher than that of many other developed countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom.” (emphasis added)
If you look down the article a little further you see that it’s Southern states that have the highest teen pregnancy rates. But before comrades use this as evidence that the dumb, gun and religion clinging, xenophobic, KKKonservatives and Rethuglicans are hypocrites let’s take a look at some state data. In this case, I’ll use Texas.