Sunday, May 25, 2008

Social Security Posts on Angry Bear: Baker's Dozen Index

The following represent a series of posts on Angry Bear over the course of May 2008. They more or less recapitulate the content of this blog and my thinking as it has evolved over time.

0: Basics Revisited and Three Myths (though numbered zero this actually came mid series)

I: Bruce Webb's Take on Social Security
II: The Shape of Low Cost
III: The Numbers of Intermediate Cost
IV: A History Lesson
V: What does Lenin have to do with this?
VI: LMS and the Infinite Future
VII: Present Value vs Present Values
VIII: Calculating the Cost of Inactivity
IX: The Paradox of Benefit Cuts
X: The Danger of Low Cost
XI: Seven Good Questions by Reader Arne
XII: LMS, Solvency and 'Crisis'
Adding to the Baker's dozen.
XIII: 'Crisis' at Shortfall; or Show me the Money
XIV :Why Benefit Cuts and Cap Increases Backfire
XV: Why Do They Care
XVI: Democracy and Reaction
XVII: Cap Increases and Donut Holes
XVIII: Social Security Advisory Board Technical Panel Report
XIX: Narratology of Crisis
XX: Reframing the Trust Fund
XXI: When Personal isn't Private
XXII: What If? Low Cost as Fairy Tale
XXIII: Low Cost, a Follow Up on the Fairy Tale
Posts XXIV and beyond are indexed at More Social Security Posts from Angry Bear

And just in the interests of meta-self-referentialism here is the link back to this page from Angry Bear: Index: the Baker's Dozen


Anonymous said...


BTW reguardless of our disagreements on some topics, I'd like to thank you for your series of posts on SSI. I learned a lot.

Thanks again.


Anonymous said...

I have yet to hear anyone discuss the number of boomers who will die in the next 25, 30, 35, 40 years. Gee, does not death cause cessation of social security retirement benefits as well as life? Seems to me that within 50 years all but a hand full of boomers will be alive to collect social security. Then the crisis is over. I for one will not collect for more than 20 years, based on longevity tables. Government certainly plans more than 20 years out. We paid in, give us our money that was corruptly diverted to other agencies. Bring it back home where it belongs. Sounds like another ripoff scam by government and business totally out of control.
Comments, please.

Anonymous said...

In lieu of the current fiscal scandal and outright thievery on wallstreet and the bailout with our tax money, who in their right mind can believe the politicians anymore. In other countries around the world, the citizens would be in the streets, demanding that heads roll. Americans, wake up and stand up. You are losing everything and you do not even know how to vote. Two party system is a scam on you. And the social security is in trouble? Please..... Its you, the citizens, who are in trouble. DO SOMETHING BEFORE ITS OVER. The U.S. will not be the U.S. you were taught to believe for much longer.

Bruce Webb said...

Anon @5:04

I have in fact commented on this many times though perhaps not as directly as you. Generally I just put up the range of Boomer ages in any given future year and point people to the mortality tables. That is if we take Social Security's projection for Trust Fund Depletion date in2041 we would see remaining Boomers aging from to 77 to 95. If instead we take the CBO's 2049 date we see those people ranging in age from 85 to 103 and so clearly not the ones driving 'crisis'.

My next post at Angry Bear was going to be devoted to how 'Crisis' has had to be redefined in the fact of TF depletion moving out so dramatically when compared to Boomer Demographics. But the dramatic activity on Wall Street made it for the time being anti-climatic. But lets just say that the whole notion that coming up with $20 billion dollars in 2017 to repay Social Security is going to cripple borrowing markets has been made laughable by this instant committment to find a $trillion right away to bail out Wall Street.

Anonymous said...

Twas the night before Washington Mutual crashed.I transfered my 92 year old mothers finances to another state, same bank. This changed the direct deposit routing numbers. Social security has stopped payment and won't accept my power of attorney to give them her new routing #. She has Alzimers. Soc.Sec. recommends I hire an attorney.????

watergate said...

The soc. security is like a giant ponzi scheme. Everybody understands that a person born today won't get what the government promised now. What shall we do about it?

Bruce Webb said...

Watergate what "everybody understands" includes a bunch of people in an information vacuum. Like you. "What shall we do about it?" Well start by reading numbers and not slurping down talking points. Social Security is no more and no less a giant ponzi scheme than New York Life. Except that SS has better credit backing.

Try harder.

Anonymous said...

This latest news that there will be no Social Security COL for the next two years is one of the many dirty tricks by the White House and the power hungery progressive movement to pressure older citizens into curtailing their opposition to the proposed Obama health care. They flat out lie when they says there is no inflation and therefore no COL.

Milt Paul said...

I can't understand why there are riots in the street over "no COLA increase" for two years.

How about the government bigwigs put a price freeze on EVERYTHING for two years so those of us on a very limited fixed income can survive.

Bruce Webb said...

Well I belong to a mail list including a lot of the big time liberal SS people (you would recognize some names) and mostly they didn't share the outrage.

In retrospect the 5.8% 2008 COLA was the result of a mis-reading of core inflation, it reflected increases in food and energy prices that were not sustained. In effect everyone got an early and permanent increase in their check. Until and unless inflation catches up every retiree actually comes out ahead of where they would have been. Additionally the rules for Medicare Part B premiums means they will not go up for about 75% of recipients. (the other 25%, mostly higher in income get smacked, something that could be addressed). For most retirees the net result will be a $2 per month increase in Med Pt D premiums.

We do expect some demogoging on this from that sector of the Right that gives a crap for retirees in any context that doesn't get them riled up when all of a sudden they get all concerned about Medicare.

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