Social Insecurity

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The principal purpose of the Retirement Confidence Survey, of course, was to measure workers and retirees plans and attitudes concerning retirement. But the EBRI study said Americans “are most likely to express confidence in private employers (23 percent of workers and 27 percent of retirees very confident).” They also said they were very confident about banks and insurance companies, but “least likely to feel confidence in the federal government.”

President Obama’s favorability rating has dropped significantly in the past six months according to a Pew Research poll. Obama’s competence has been questioned in dealing with the massive Gulf oil spill, the faint economic crawl-back, the gigantic national debt, his unpopular health care law, and troubles abroad. According to a CBS/New York Times poll on June 16, the approval rating of Congress was only 19 percent, while 70 percent disapproved of the performance of our legislative branch. Citizens have watched fearfully as Congress made deep cuts in Medicare, doubled the national debt, threatened growth-killing taxes, and passed authoritarian energy policies. In early March, CNN said, summarizing the results of its CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, that the majority of Americans say “the government poses an immediate threat to individual rights and freedoms.”

Even the liberal Huffington Post in a June 18 article on pending financial reform in the Senate sounded a pained chord: “Is this the Democratic Party I know and support? Is this the Black Caucus? The Hispanic Caucus? The Progressive Caucus? The Obama Administration? Where is the fairness in this amendment?”

Even Germany joined the critics of deficit spending June 2, rebuking the Obama Administration over its red ink policies, the Washington Times reported, indicating a looming fight over deficits as global leaders headed for a summit of the Group of Eight industrial powers.

Obama in April appointed a bipartisan debt panel to struggle with how to shrink the government’s red ink. At its first meeting, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and then-White House Budget Director Peter Orszag pointed to the potential for our national debt to precipitate an economic crisis. Bloomberg Businessweek reported: “The challenge facing the panel is devising a plan proposing hundreds of billions in tax increases and spending cuts that can get backing from at least 14 of 18 members of the panel.” The federal debt, it noted, is “projected to reach 90 percent of the U.S. economy by 2020. Interest rates are forecast to quadruple to more than $900 billion annually by that year.” The panel’s recommendations are not due until December 1. Panel co-chairman former Senator Alan Simpson (R-Wyo) described the difficulty of reaching a recommendation as “like giving dry birth to a porcupine.”

House majority Leader Steny Hoyer, in a speech June 22 said that Democrats can take care of the country’s debt problems. He said everything from defense spending to raising the retirement age for Social Security is on the table when taking on the nation’s fiscal problems:

On the spending side, we could and should consider a higher retirement age, or one pegged to lifespan, more progressive Social Security and Medicare benefits, and a stronger safety net for the Americans who need it most. It isn’t possible to debate and pass a realistic and long-term budget until we’ve considered the bipartisan commission’s deficit reduction plan…

The top six most important problems facing the nation according to a June 17 Gallup Poll are the “economy in general,” “Unemployment/Jobs,” “Natural disaster response/Relief,” “Dissatisfaction with government,” “Healthcare,” and “Federal budget deficit.” All are testing the competence of President Obama. Meanwhile, it seems, America is expected to play a waiting game.

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  • GOP_Sucks

    Social security was never meant to be a retirement fund. retired people blow their whole check in Vegas and it makes me sick. Makes me wanna push their "f"ing wheel chair down the casino steps

  • K. Bond

    I heard that many years ago, all of the money in this country was backed by gold, yes? In recent years, I've heard that we did away with that system. Is this true? If so, what do we back our currency with? Paper money printed 24/7 by the Treasury Dept.?

    Tell me this can't be!

    • Sprinklerman

      K. Bond, where have you been?

      "During most of the 1800s the United States had a bimetallic system of money, however it was essentially on a gold standard as very little silver was traded. A true gold standard came to fruition in 1900 with the passage of the Gold Standard Act. The gold standard effectively came to an end in 1933 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt outlawed private gold ownership (except for the purposes of jewelery). The Bretton Woods System, enacted in 1946 created a system of fixed exchange rates that allowed governments to sell their gold to the United States treasury at the price of $35/ounce. "The Bretton Woods system ended on August 15, 1971, when President Richard Nixon ended trading of gold at the fixed price of $35/ounce. At that point for the first time in history, formal links between the major world currencies and real commodities were severed". The gold standard has not been used in any major economy since that time."

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/Jaafar_1946 Jaafar_1946

        Take a look at the book "Econoclasts." All will be explained to you.

  • Turbeaux

    I don't know what the deal is with all this new page turning we have to do just to read an article, but I hate it.

    • trickyblain

      Gives the site more clicks (in theory). More clicks = more ad revenue!

  • sflbib

    Re: "Even among current retirees, only 11 percent expressed confidence that Social Security benefits will continue to pay current benefits to them."

    I would wager that this 11 percent is beyond the average life expectancy, so the odds are in their favor. Those who are pessimistic are probably the younger people.

    The numbers might have shifted somewhat, but these attitudes have been this way for decades, so I don't see what's new here.

    • Lori

      sflbib, This Is nothing new, Just A Social Program being called on the carpet,truth is finally coming forth, We Americans have put our trust in A Program that was never regulated, Fear seems to be fallen! Fear is the motivation to control all it ! They are pushing people around the tree putting people in A whirlwind so they can take the green.So Sad !

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Rifleman Rifleman

      What's new is SS is now paying out more than it's taking in, and it came about a decade before they predicted.

  • 080

    Do you remember that the baby boom post-WWII was like a pig in a python. First they provided a boom in elementary schools, then high schools, then colleges. Now they have hit the retirement system. Retirement almost certainly will be set back to age 70 because you can't get blood out of a turnip, or more simply, the government doesn't have the money.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    I often wondered where the old people came from pushing carts with who knows
    what hanging over the sides, shuffling along towards nowhere. How was I to know
    that I was prescient, it never occured to me that I could see into the future. Buy into
    small cart manufacturing, the baby boomers will be a great market, I might have
    to steal mine…………………..William

  • USMCSniper

    I bet that by 2014 the retirement age will be 67 and the 62 early retirement will be gone. Watch massive fake disability claims start about then for thise in their early 50;s and late 50's as the wconomy tanks.

  • tpaine3

    The deifcits are being created by CORRUPT LAWMAKERS(CONGRESS). Take away THEIR assets and jobs. THEN they will be FORCED to help this COUNTRY RATHER than their special interests TRY it.

  • andy

    What about the government workers who are able to retire with pensions that pay almost as much as they were making, and some cases more than when they were working, after 30 years of work. They could be 50 years old! Greece here we come!

    • badaboo

      uh…Andy , a pension , comes from a pension plan , and if it is well mananged , just like a 401 or several others , then after 30 years of contributions , one should be able to retire near full pay ….any plan above full pay is certainly a-typical for govt workers , unless say a soldiers puts in 30 years -retires and then works elsewhere and get a second retirement pension . btw , someone on a govt pension cannot collect full SS pensions benefits .

  • Rob

    Is there a gov. program that's not over budget? I'm trying to think of a gov. program that has actually been eliminated.
    The gov. is a money making machine that is simply doing what it does best, promise big, deliver little and never, ever go away.
    The current administration is just getting started. They are fascists (communists, socialists, warlords, what ever "ist" you want to use) and they want your freedom and your wealth. History is simply repeating itself, wake up America. We are experiencing a take over of our country. Our Constitutional Republic is on it's death bed because of our lack of diligence. There have always been crooked politicians, we just stopped caring about the real world once we became hooked on TV and every other thrill we could buy into.

  • badaboo

    ..uh , "the government " owes about 2 TRILLION to theocial Security Administration . It's never been a matter of babyboomers or more paying out thern coming in , it's ALL a matter of politicos [from both sides of the aisle turning SS into a piggy bank .

    LOL…and I 'd love to see the politician , no matter the stripe , who tries to sell the retirement age going to 70 . There's a sure pick , for who will lose that election .

  • badaboo

    I'm just glad that the idiots who proposed using SS funds to invest in the market , didn't get that passed .
    No need to stretch the imagination on that one , it would have been a disaster .
    This aint Greece , although it almost was due to Wall Street . And HEY ! What the matter with retiring at 50 ?
    What happened to all that capitolism and free market stuff ? You work anywhere in this country for 30 years , and you've earned a retirement , because you've been paying into it .