Washington Booms, Lays Waste

John Ransom
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Posted: Apr 19, 2013 12:01 AM

Optimista wrote: I don't like the reference to the 2% tax hike. That reduction was nothing but an Obama gimmick to spike spending. Knowing full well that it wood be taken away soon. It was being stolen from the SS budget which is strained as it is. I wish the conservatives would state it truthfully. It hurts credibility and confuses people not to mention the fodder it gives the liberal morons to argue with. - Occupy and Redistribute D.C

Dear Comrade Optimista,

And I don’t like your reference to Social Security as anything other than theft. In fact, the more you fund Social Security, the more it steals from us.

And your ignorance of the “truth” doesn’t make you a moron, but rather promotes you to “comrade”- whether you lean from the right or left.  Pravda never really meant "truth" to Commies whether they were "rightists" or "leftists".  

Everyone has to stop looking at Social Security funding and spending as some separate program that is different from any other government funding and spending.

It’s not true that we “pay into” the system and, therefore, there is some segregated Social Security account waiting for us. The system was designed originally- and it’s always been this way- for you to pay today for those people who are retired today. When you retire, then other people will be forced to pay for your retirement.

If there is not enough money, either benefits will be cut, or taxes will be increased, or the government can cut spending in other places, or the government will borrow the money and spend it anyway.

In other words, in reality, Social Security is paid for out of general revenues of the government, just like every other program. Just because payroll taxes are designated for Social Security, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come out of the same revenue pie.  Workers who earn wages in the U.S create that revenue pie. 

Any revenue shortfall for Social Security will certainly be added to the deficit in the same way that spending for veterans, green energy, FHA or any other program will be.

This phony idea that somehow Social Security is “special” or “segregated” just allows the government to pretend that payroll taxes aren’t taxes, but more like a savings account into which we pay,and to which we are all entitled.

We'll only be entitled to it if we raise taxes again and again and again.

And here’s the real issue: There’s a retirement crisis going on in America. People will not be able to retire, frankly. In part it’s because of the failure of the Social Security system to produce results.

Guess where the money from payroll tax cuts were going?

Savings accounts. It was helping people address the retirement crisis.

Get’s what’s happening since payroll taxes have been hiked? People aren’t saving as much.

“On average,” says CNN Money, “people saved about 2.4% of their disposable income in January, down from 6.4% in December. That marks the smallest saving rate since November 2007.”

In other words, Americans haven’t stopped spending, they have stopped saving.

“We expect any decline in real [spending] to be pretty modest, however, with households absorbing the loss of income [from the payroll tax increase] by lowering their savings rather than spending,” Capital Economics chief U.S. economist Paul Ashworth said in a note to clients according to IBTimes.

That’s exactly what has happened.

Here’s the contrast between Social Security and your own personal savings:

At a 4 percent rate of return, the average wage earner in the United States would be able to save $402,294.32 for retirement if, instead of paying 12.4 percent in FICA taxes, they were able to have segregated “social security” accounts. At a 4 percent return, those contributions turn into $664,437.14 in retirement income over 27 years. This allows a person to retire at 60, and to die broke at the age of 87, and still pay taxes.

Furthermore, under this plan, it would be your account -- assuming a liberal didn’t poach it via tax policy. By contrast, if you retire at 62 under Social Security you get a little over $1,000 a month.

Now tell me which you would prefer? The government getting that 2 percent payroll tax increase or Americans being able to save their own wages?  

adendulk wrote: John I see you still get your can beat by Ezra Klein. Is that why you are so bittter about everything and have taking your mind completely taken of reporting on economicle writing just slurs and blurs. - Occupy and Redistribute D.C

Dear Comrade Dulk,

I see you’ve missed a dose or two of medication.

Let’s try this easy mental health background check.  

Quick: Tell me how many fingers I’m holding up.

If you guessed one (1), you are right!

Now, guess which one.  

Kalif_Fred wrote: Burn Washington DC to the ground. Spread salt. Then start over.... - What Sequester? Unemployment Claims for Federal Workers Drop as D.C. Housing Values Reach “Highest Point in History”

Dear Fred,

Yum. Salt.

Bernard83 wrote: 44 years ago my brother-in-law told me he was moving to the DC area to sell cars, I said being a car sales man was a hard way to make a living. He told me DC was the best place in the world to sell cars and he was right. He move there sold cars, became a dealer, did very well and now he plays golf while my sister spends her time commuting between their mansion in Baltimore and one of their two homes in AZ. - What Sequester? Unemployment Claims for Federal Workers Drop as D.C. Housing Values Reach “Highest Point in History”

Dear Bernard,

I’ve lived in D.C. off and on since 1976. The city has simply become way too large in the last 40 years. It went from one extreme to another.

In the 1970s, the city was full of vacant and boarded up buildings between the White House and Congress on Pennsylvania Ave.

It was a shame.

Now it’s a boomtown. The census says that the Baltimore-Washington metro area is the fourth largest in the United States. It's like the blob, eating up everything in its path.

Now it’s a shame in an entirely different way. 

It was unlivable in the 70s and it’s unlivable now.

But at least before it was lovable.    

jsullivan154 wrote: Oh John, Your fact is ? "All people in w/IRA's are going to be taxed some point or another" LIAR Are you now going to champion the causes openly AGAIN of all the Poor Millionaires because their Accountants and Bankers aren't doing an adequate job of shirking their Tax responsibility as Americans or Pretend Americans living where ever they choose while collecting their Social Security checks via a cayman Tax deferred carried interest account. John you're so great? Shut the Front Door and don't let the door knob hit you in the ... on the way out? I love it though when You and You're Right way only party show You're true colors...Sociopaths. - Obama’s Success: The Poor Get Poorer, And The Rich Get Poorer

Dear Comrade 154,

All IRAs are taxed to zero eventually. That’s a fact.

“Dividends, interest and capital gain growth within an IRA are not taxable, writes National Educational Services, the retirement group for public employees, but “monies eventually removed are taxable as ordinary income. Withdrawals prior to age 59 1/2 may be subject to taxes, and a 10% IRS penalty.”

Generally speaking, an inherited IRA still has to be emptied by the time the owner’s normal life expectancy is up.

So if Mitt Romney died tomorrow, his IRA will have to be drawn down to zero by the year he would have reached 87, approximately. At the time of each distribution, the money would be taxed at normal tax rates for that bracket.      

Obama’s only two interests are: 1) punishing rich people; and 2) getting money now, regardless of whether it has a negative impact on tax revenues later.  

Stop letting the door-knob hit you on the head on the way out. And stop taking Comrade Dulk’s medication.  

Pamela247 wrote: I wish everyone including John Ransom would stop talking like this has not been a brilliant plan by the Marxists in control. The New World Order has been planning this for 100yrs. You think when Clinton was pres that the two attempts by terrorists and ultimately 9/11 during the Bush pres were accidents? Mr. Ransom don't you read other Enews on your computer? - The Unintended Consequences of Intended Consequences

Dear Comrade 247,

The tin foil hat you have on is preventing me from sending the secret messages I’m thinking right now. Please see Comrade 154 in the pottery room. He’ll be the guy disguised at Son-of-Sam’s dog, a Labrador Retriever named Harvey. He’ll be throwing clay on the wheel with his feet.

Don’t take his medication.

Signing out now.     

kgrammer wrote: Where are Maggie and Ron when we need them? - The Unintended Consequences of Intended Consequences

Dear K,

Rolling in their graves, very, very unfortunately. I would hope they could rest in peace. 

Steve84 wrote: "And what's wrong with that world is that of the two weeds, tobacco and dope, only one is still illegal." I don't quite understand this conclusion, Mr. Ransom. Are you saying that Tobacco should be illegal, or that the problem is that dope is illegal at the Federal level? As you are decrying weed in this particular article, I would think the former, but I don't see how making Tobacco illegal is going to help the national mood (that, and it would set a terrible precedent for Government control). - Charge Pot Use Off to Obamacare and You

Dear 84,

My bad. I wasn’t clear in the end.

My point is that weed is STILL illegal.  The left celebrates- and pushes for- its decriminalization, while taxing, harassing and preventing cigar bars from opening.

Just so I’m clear, I don’t have any issues with legalizing marijuana. But don’t act as if there are no consequences to society.

We don’t live in a mythical world where everything you do- for example- has no effect on me. I wish we did.

The world we live in is a world where I am forced to pay someone else’s healthcare costs by a group of people who say they are trying to lower healthcare costs. These same people push other policies- like legalizing pot, and forced population control- which will raise the healthcare costs we are all paying for someone else.

That riles me.

What also riles me are the people who pretend that marijuana use has no health effects.        

mmaxson sr. wrote: People with these mental illnesses are using cannabis to self medicate, just as they use alcohol to self medicate. It's not causing anything. My wife is bi-polar with extreme schizophrenia. She had the illness long before she ever smoked cannabis. She self medicated with alcohol for ten years before realizing that she suffered from mental illness. I love ya John but this conclusion is way off base. - Charge Pot Use Off to Obamacare and You

Dear Comrade Double M,

While no doubt people who use drugs and alcohol use them to self-medicate, don’t think that the only thing they are doing is self-medicating.

They are also changing their brain chemistry, which is a particularly disturbing thing to do when one has an illness related to one’s brain chemistry.

So, no, my conclusion is not way off base.

Using drugs and alcohol when you are mentally ill is like playing Russian roulette with your brain.

And, by the way: That’s not my conclusion; it’s science:

“Although the number of studies is small,” write Joseph M Rey and Christopher C Tennant, “these findings strengthen the argument that use of cannabis increases the risk of schizophrenia and depression, and they provide little support for the belief that the association between marijuana use and mental health problems is largely due to self medication.”

nawlins72 wrote: Public money is given to the War on Drugs every day. You are paying to incarcerate people who have harmed no one. - Charge Pot Use Off to Obamacare and You

Dear Comrade 72,

You are selling a fairy tale. People don’t go to jail for smoking or selling small amounts of pot.

ReddestNeck wrote: It wouldn't be very nice to have drunks imbibing at the doorway of that place either, but the traditional civilized way of dealing with that wasn't to ban alcohol but to ban getting drunk in public. Niggling details aside (should bans on getting drunk in public also mean bans on getting drunk in a bar?) that's the sane way to handle stoned-in-public issues. And Stuart95 replied: Now you've done it. If anyone from my city's council sees this, they will surely outlaw doorways. - Charge Pot Use Off to Obamacare and You

Dear 95,

HA! Exactly.

That’s it for this week,

V/r,

JR