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hardnox604008
Advisor

Re: The trouble that Bush had....

Yeah,but in all fairness I became increasingly crazy back in the later middle part of the past decade when I thought I was seeing daily evidence that the lugs were popping and the axles wobbling on all four wheels of the economy and all you'd hear from people was about how the stock market (ex Nasdaq, conveniently) was back at new highs, the malls were brimming and people would get virtually misty eyed when the'd tell you how much the house down the street had sold for.

 

Just like the the Greenspan Fed for Clinton and Bush, the Bernanke Fed can underprice interest rates and force money to chase yield and create self-fulfilling appreciation. And its the one thing they can do, better than a kick in the ass in most ways.

 

But of course we are forever past the day when you could have people spending 103% of their income because they felt rich from their IRA or house, or could take out a home equity loan to buy a boat or marble countertops or whatever. The weak transmission mechanism is broken- the biggest impact is just bigger numbers on the Forbes 500 list.

 

 In some ways I'd like to see a Republican sweep in the fall just so I could observe the rapid decline of the economy under austerity and further regressivism but I sober up pretty quickly when I imagine us throwing ever more virgins into the volcano in search of the gods' favor.

 

Helluva spot we're in and as I've said, I was one of the voting adults throughout the period where we built this box for ourselves.

 

PS- on what you say about Bush- it is interesting to recall that he barely was re-elected despite Republicans doing well in the congress and statewide races. Then he came out claiming an overwhelming mandate and announced that he was going to fix social security- something he hadn't talked about at all in the campaign.

 

Like I said, it would have been a good time- any time is a good time- to talk about some social security reform and I blame traditional liberals too for the fact that discussion just ground down into the same old muddle very quickly. But you do have to feel good about not letting them pull that one off. In his first term Pharma had been the #1 contributor and out of the blue comes the medicare drug benefit. Term 2, it is Wall Street and here comes a plan to borrow $3 trillion dollars and give it to them.

 

You have to give the guy some credit, at least he knew which lobbyists he was supposed to get his legislative agenda from. Pretty much verbatim, I'm thinking.

hardnox604008
Advisor

Re: The trouble that Bush had....

Probably should mention that Clinton and Greenspan deserve to be in that circle of hell as well. They showed the way on how an administration can stay in power by blowing bubbles- just so you get out of town before they pop.

 

If there is anything that I could weep over it is the lost opportunities of that decade- we had been relieved of the fiscal burden of the cold war and we were in a nice place in time to deal with entitlements before the demographic bulge started to get close to  the python's anus. Blame everyone, really. Traditional libs who wanted to defend the New Deal in its entirety, the Newtites who just wanted to take power at any cost and a president who was infinitely flexible as long as he got to be president.

 

One of the historical wonders that I still ponder is the fact that they made George II take the financial crash hit on his watch. My friend The Oracle got that one wrong- he thought for sure that either McCain or Hillary would be the chump who was scripted to get left holding the empty bag.

 

I'll give this this medium level possiblity of being factual- I think that McCain wasn't seen as very reliable either and when Hillary was out of the game it was more important to get things taken care of by a reliable puppet. So much for burnishing Bush's historical image but those guys are always expendable. And anyway, once the deed gets done you just crank up the propaganda machine and most people will be distracted enough that it doesn't matter anyway.

 

 

schnurrbart
Veteran Advisor

Re: Alternate social security plan

That is exactly what I am saying.  Illinois and 14 other states have their own teacher retirement plans.  If the teacher worked before or works after teaching, they can draw SS but in 1983, a program called WEP was started that penalized people who had a job that they didn't pay into SS.  Research it!  The old Civil Service people didn't pay into SS.  I was one of them.  

schnurrbart
Veteran Advisor

Re: Alternate social security plan

You don't KNOW anything for a fact!!

Nebrfarmr
Veteran Advisor

Re: Alternate social security plan

Was it optional, or manditory?

Nebrfarmr
Veteran Advisor

Re: The trouble that Bush had....

I always thought that the QE bailouts to the banks and their ilk, was mostly for the benefit of the investors and the stock market, so that whoever was in power could blather about the 'good numbers' we have on the economy.  The real reason the stock market is so high, IMHO, is because of all the money being shoveled into it.  I mean, the government says, here, have a couple billion, and I think they had the full knowledge that any excess funds were going to just be poured back into investments, inflating the bubble again, but giving out 'good' numbers for the stat followers to go by.

Kinda like one old timer told me, who was giving me advice. 
Cow prices are up, but don't be in a hurry to borrow too much against her.  Someday, the banker is going to figure out she's only going to have one calf a year, wheter you owe $100 against her, or $1000.  And if the day comes, when he decides your cow is only worth $900, you don't want to be the guy who has a $1000 lein against her.

Red Steele
Veteran Advisor

Re: The trouble that Bush had....

The saddest phrase in the whole English language....."what might have been."

 

Can't argue with any of your post.....a very good opportunity was presented to the USA to get its house in order, and look where we are.

 

Still have to think of the evil genius Osana Bin Ladin, though, and how he played the USA like a fiddle over the "war on terrorism" .

Red Steele
Veteran Advisor

Re: Alternate social security plan

$56000 spread over the 30 years that are used to calculated max SS benefits works out to only $1800 per year, or $150 per month.

 

Price a disability policy and survivors benefit policy once that would equal what disability SS offers if you get disabled, and report back. One can argue if that is all you ever paid in , then every nickel you collect from SS is coming from somebody else and not from what you paid.  You may never have become disabled, at least physically, but you had the insurance in place for if you did.

 

And I bet you have included what you made into the medicare portion, too. I do not even want to begin to go there....That is where actuaries say the multi trillion dollar shortfall really  is ...in the medicare portion of SS, the regulare SS is bankrupt, too, but not nearly like the medicare part.

 

Bart, sounds like you have gotten the bargain of a lifetime, quit whining.

 

 

schnurrbart
Veteran Advisor

Re: Alternate social security plan

Was what mandatory? In 1982, civil service had the option to go to FERS which had the retirement connected to mutual funds AND SS but if you were already Civil Service, you could change or stay. Many stayed. All govt employees hired after 1982, had to go into FERS.
Nebrfarmr
Veteran Advisor

Re: Alternate social security plan

That pretty much answered my question.

I didn't know if the FERS program was something optioned into, or mandated.