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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Such Idiocy

Economic illiteracy and innumeracy is killing this country.

Exhibit 1: A DU thread which begins with a proposal to pay full Social Security benefits at 60 and pay for it by extending the Social Security tax ceiling to wages up to $250,000.

Exhibit 2: The financial "reform" bill (which is pretty much an exercise in non-reform) currently includes an epically dumb proposal to reverse HVCC and allow Fannie or Freddie to select any appraisal by an appraiser selected and/or paid by the mortgage originator.

I am too depressed to post. Our Cr_tt_rs (may their sacred names not be taken in vain by the common herd) are going to extend the housing tax credit.

Update: DU is upping the ante. Here's another thread suggesting that we abolish FICA (and in fact all lower/middle income taxes) and make the rich pay for it all. The only problem is that the rich literally don't have enough assets, let alone income, to pay for a 3 trillion of spending a year. You'd run out of money in less than two years after you confiscated all the assets.

Shoot me now.



Comments:
Yay. A new semi-permanent "third rail" middle- and upper-middle class welfare program.

So we've chosen hyperinflation, then.
 
Regarding "Shoot me now"

Ummm...

How can I phrase this delicately..?

YOU are not the appropriate target.
There are OTHERS who much more deserve to be "put out of OUR {not their} misery".

Not that I'm advocating "Crazy Harry" tactics, or anything. But there are times the ballot box is waaay too slow in my estimation.
 
M.O.M.,

The social security proposal is indeed dubious. However, it is no more dubious than our "positive" inflationary policies which, thanks to CONgress, have rewarded capital at the expense of labor over the past four decades.

In my view, it's not an A or B world as people like Mish believe. It's about balance.

Sometimes you need a bit more of A and other times you need a bit more of B (or C or D....).

It seems clear to me that handing $$$ to Wall St. asset strippers and sham artists hasn't worked out so well.

p.s., similar social security proposals were bandied about during the Great Depression. The idea was to "trickle" down from the retired to the younger workers.
 
The housing tax credit may be bad policy. But it is at least encouraging economic activity ie buying houses. Woukd that the Feds would quit pushing on the string by redistributing money and instead incentivize risk taking again.

How to incentivize?
1.Quit bashing business at every turn.
2. Cut business taxes to 10% or some such. Businesses do not pay taxes, their customers do.
3. Push tort reform. Any party that sues and loses must pay the all the court costs and legal fees of the defedant.
4. Pass a five year program of lower taxes and enhanced depreciation rules for investors that buy foreclosures and turn them into rentals.
5. Freeze income tax rates where they are for all brackets.
6. Begin reducing government spending by capping all non-defense spending at last years levels for at least the next two years.
7. Put in place Paul Ryan's program for overhaull of our entitlement programs. See: http://www.roadmap.republicans.budget.house.gov/
8. Pass a real financial reform bill that deals with Fannie and freddie.

If those steps won't engender some confidence, then shoot me too.
 
MOM,

If we bring Social Security benefits down to 45 I'd promise to trickle down all of the money I receive.

Heck, bring it down to 40 and my girlfriend could trickle money too.

I'm still not thinking big enough. Bring it down to 16 and we could completely solve our unemployment problems!

According to the recent employment report, 26.4% of teenagers aged 16 to 19 are unemployed!

Let's just retire them all!
 
MoM,

If we shoot you now, we won't have to pay you any social security benefits. This may wind up being a policy proposed by Congress.

Of course, if we shoot you now then you won't be paying any more INTO social security. Therefore, the policy will be to shoot every person over the age of 60. This policy also has the advantage of reducing health care costs.
 
Charles Kiting & MOM,

If we shoot you now, we won't have to pay you any social security benefits.

There is one problem though. We need to factor in the costs of our legal system.

How many of us will be shooting MaxedOutMama? How many years in court will we be dragging the trial out? How many years will our children need to support us while we "retire" in prison? Prisons aren't cheap.

MaxedOutMama, I must therefore ask that if anyone needs to shoot you then take some personal responsibility. Shoot yourself. Oh, and don't even think about trying to make it look like an accident. That just puts the burden of higher insurance premiums on the children too! Do the right thing. Don't be selfish. ;)

Talk about gallows humor. This cost/benefit analysis can get a bit dark. Sorry about that!
 
How many of us will be shooting MaxedOutMama? How many years in court will we be dragging the trial out? How many years will our children need to support us while we "retire" in prison? Prisons aren't cheap.

The shooting will be done by the police or armed forces. No court time or prison time necessary. Reducing accounts payable will be part of the performance figures.
 
And then too, the "Clean Up The Environment - Eliminate M_O_Ms" stimulus program will require more police, thus it will further relieve employment.

Given that aspect, not to mention the increased bullet sales (heck, I move surprisingly fast for my age - it might take quite a long while to the hunt to close in), I think we do not need to start the M_O_M clearance campaign until about 58, or until the worthless M_O_M in question starts seeking medical care or asks a worthy citizen to clean up his or her room.

Also, this sort of thing could make a great reality show. Think of the royalties.

The sky's the limit!

And then there are the humanitarian aspects of the program. I think I might prefer it to having to read Fannie financials after we dump appraisals again.
 
This is unbelievable! In order to save SS, we were told that we would have to cut benefits and delay retirement. My wife who turns 60 in September, 2010 will absolutely love the extra $1400 per month!
 
"Also, this sort of thing could make a great reality show. Think of the royalties."

Oh no! More unintended consequences!

We're going to need an energy policy just to address the power consumption of all our big screen TVs running 24/7!

Then there's the added boost to the trade deficit as our TVs wear out ahead of schedule thereby requiring us to import even more of them!

This will require expanding the earth's vast supply of cargo ships too!

It never ends!!
 
If we bring Social Security benefits down to 45 I'd promise to trickle down all of the money I receive.

Stagflationary Mark,

You bring up a good point. If we are getting so much wealthier under the current system, why are we CONtemplating cutting social security benefits and raising the retirement age?

Oh wait, now I remember. It's so we can CONtinue to pay banker bonuses and inflate the price of Manhattan real estate and Summer homes in the Hamptons!

I for one am fed up with watching Wall St. piss (trickle down) on people and then tell them it's raining!

Something else to consider. The incidence rate of violent crimes is much, much higher among 16 to 30year olds than 60 years olds. Especially so when the 16 to 30 year olds are unemployed.

I don't think we're quite wealthy enough to pay retirement benefits to 40 & 45 year olds. Maybe we can pay them to build prisons for the 16 to 30 year old group though.

Just thoughts.
 
Shoot me now.


Right action, very much the wrong target. Look to Pennsylvania Avenue or Wall Street, both truly target-rich environment.
 
Angry Saver,

Maybe we can pay them to build prisons for the 16 to 30 year old group though.

Haven't you heard? We're done!

From 2006...

10 Reasons to Oppose Plans for More Prisons

California officials on June 1 last year officially unveiled the controversial Delano II prison, stating that it would be the state's "last prison" and proudly declaring the end of an unprecedented 20-year prison building boom. That was then.

See! All done! Woohoo!

Only 14 months later, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger -- who spoke of closing prisons during his first State of the State address -- will open a special session of the legislature with just one proposed "solution" to the debacle that is the California prison system: build and build some more.

Oops. I guess I should have read it all first. Never mind.
 
Problem,Obesity. Solution,repeal the Law of Gravity. Simple,elegant, and our Congresscritters will love it!
 
I'm not against eliminating FICA, although I realize
those funds have to be replaced. FICA is a huge
disincentive on both employer and employee.
Sporkfed
 
I'm not against eliminating FICA, although I realize
those funds have to be replaced. FICA is a huge
disincentive on both employer and employee.
Sporkfed
 
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