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September 09, 2011


Rich DuBose

I agree with you on every point. Anytime someone comes out and uses a broad brush to make spectacular claims, as Perry has, red flags start flapping in the breeze.


Brethren, before we verbally lynch the governor, can we baseline the facts since lying is alleged.
I recommend this fact package on entitlements.


We are faced with an enormous challenge.
An increased dependence on SS while young, struggling families are bearing an increased burden. How do we manage generational wealth flow? What moral principle will we apply?


Chris, I am familiar with the data in the Urban Institute paper that shows that the average American will be paid out more than he or she pays into the Social Security/Medicare programs. I think there are a number of ways to address that differential, but is it ever moral to solve this problem by empoverishing senior citizens?

One solution to this problem would be to remove Medicare from the program and fund health care the way every other industrialized nation on the globe has funded it for decades. Why we insist on health insurance is beyond reason, so far as I can see. We could also shrink the gap by means-testing Social Security. And the remaining differential we could probably finance largely by actually investing the Social Security Trust Fund, although that may create problems of further government involvement in the stock market, etc. I doubt that we politicians with enough courage to pull off any of these solutions.

Edwin B

Maybe we should go beyond the simplistic "it's a ponzi scheme" and the simplistic "it's a lie", and actually try to understand his point? I remember back in 2000 Al Gore talked about the "lock box." He was trying to warn us that we are squandering the SS money and soon will run out. No one listened then. Later, when GW Bush tried to make necessary changes, he got 'crucified' by both sides. Now we are trying to infer that somehow Perry is and immoral liar because he is trying to sound the alarm again. Can't we all agree that social security is in trouble and needs fixing?

What is the basis for trying to verbally attack and even impugn the character of Gov Perry? How is that different from physical violence? The Bible tells us that with our tongues we can "kill" people.

I think we are all on the same side. We think Social Security needs to be fixed. Here's a link to what Gov Perry says he wants to do about social security.



Monte, I like the idea of sharing solutions. The collective model for health security is actually being reconsidered in several european models. The rising cost factor without market pressure that comes from consumer choices is being considered.

Let me also join Edwin in sharing an opinion piece of the topic.


Chris, Edwin (and anyone who can help us) ... what I have not seen anywhere is a plan that shows how funding for Social Security will move from an entitlement law to a funded social insurance plan. How much money would be invested and under what terms? (Specifically at what level of risk?) How long would it take to build up the equity in the fund until entitlement spending is no longer necessary, except in periods of fiscal emergency? In other words, we need the data to determine if this concept is realistic or if the cost of it out weighs the downside of entitlement spending. I read a good article this weekend describing three counties in Texas (which Gov. Perry has held up as examples of what he is advocating) that have replaced Social Security for their employees and retired employees. (Which is a small segment of the total population.) The manager readily admits that it is dependent on the real Social Security program as a safety net and that it has one major flaw he would remove if the plan were being launched today. Clearly this does not look like a replicable experiment at a national level.


Monte, Let's continue the conversation. Getting the governor to put his plan on the table would be a first step.

I also saw this piece from the Texas Tribune


My hope is that we avoid the mis step of 2006 and actually have a national conversation about entitlements. Ideas cannot be DOA before the conversation. For sure economic security is driving the debate, but we as a nation needs to get some leadership to move us beyond the emotional shrill, and deeply consider how we refresh and sustain our social contracts


Chris, the article you provided a link to above is the one that I saw reprinted in the NY Times. It is a very interesting read, but the people in charge of this alernative plan evidently do not think it is a solution ready for national adoption. Please check my math: I do not see enough money in cuts (even if we closed down the wars and the Pentagon altogether) to adequately fund the Social Security Trust Fund. If we did make the journey to change Social Security from an entitlement program to an adequately funded insurance plan, would that not be so far in the future that we cannot have any idea of what the issues would be on the other end? Edwin, is my math wrong?


and another solution idea

Renee Hernandez

It is interesting to read the above comments all obviously from men well funded good jobs no worries where next meal coming from..now how about reality check..I receive SSDI(thank God for that) prior to getting it were my fellow believers helping me out? NO!! Were they helping when I continued struggling?NO..If I did not have SSDI I'd be living under a bridge somewhere or worse..

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