Collective suicide

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Many Americans cope with their misery by pretending to be one of the rich, contemptuously looking down at the other peasants beside them. One way they do this is by echoing things like, “You are entitled to nothing,” which translates as, “I am entitled to whatever I get, but you are not.”

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Hatred and selfishness among the lower classes makes society boil like a cauldron that the rich float on top of.

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That’s why we frequently see items in right-wing blogs that are designed to foment hate. Here’s an example

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America’s principal health and retirement programs for the elderly, Social Security and Medicare, are placing a massive fiscal burden on its youngest generations and crippling the country with debts that cannot be paid.

The article claims that when we include “unfunded liabilities,” the “national debt” is not $18 trillion, but $200 trillion.

The Social Security trust fund is projected to reach insolvency in 19 years, and Medicare in 15 years. Young Americans are stuck paying into programs that, absent reform, will only partially be there for their retirements – if they’re around at all.

“Reform” means cuts or privatization.

To cover the ballooning costs of these programs, workers in 2050 will have to pay nearly a third of their hard-earned income just to cover their FICA tax obligations. This and other taxes will make it impossible for many workers to save for their own retirements.

Oh those thieving, larcenous seniors!

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Some seniors believe that they are entitled to their Social Security and Medicare benefits since they paid into these programs throughout their working careers. However they will receive an average of between $3 and $7 more per dollar paid in Medicare benefits than if they’d invested in private markets. Social Security is no different. Due to a series of unfunded promises, current Social Security payments do not have the chance to accrue interest, as they are immediately paid out to retirees. Our payments are simply too generous.

Such lies could not seduce the peasants if the peasants were not already inflamed with hate. But it gets worse…

These entitlement programs function not only as wealth transfers from the young to the old, but from the poor to the wealthy. Today’s seniors have an average of 47 times the wealth of households headed by adults under the age of 35. This is a drastic increase from 1984, when seniors held only 10 times the wealth of young households.

Our entitlement programs have morphed into massive, unfunded promises. It is time for politicians and retirees to stop placing massive fiscal obligations on young Americans.

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The author, Jared Meyer, writes garbage like this for the “Manhattan Institute,” a right-wing propaganda mill in New York City.  Meyer is another one of those little worms that make extra money by championing the Gap between the rich and the rest.

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Incidentally, presidential candidate Chris Christie is mad that the other candidates are getting positive attention, while Christie alone is demanding cuts in Medicare and Social Security. In the video below, Christie says, “No one else in the race has an entitlement reform program. No one.”

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A lot of people share the delusion that, “If the federal government had a budget surplus, then we could pay off the national debt!”

Here’s a reader comment at the “Naked Capitalism” blog…

“Bill Clinton left the incoming Bush administration with a projected federal budget surplus of $5.6 trillion dollars over the next 10 years. This surplus would have eliminated the national debt at that time.”

Wrong. Since the so-called “national debt” is simply the amount of money that has been deposited in Fed savings accounts via the purchase of T-securities, we could have a quadrillion-dollar federal surplus, and still have a “national debt.” That is, the U.S. government could still sell T-securities.

The money deposited in Fed savings accounts poses no spending constraint on the U.S. government. Besides, the Fed itself has deposited a lot of that money in Fed savings accounts, since the Fed buys many T-securities.

It all goes back to the myth that a money creator is the same as a money user.

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