Social Security

Harry Reid: "Leave Social Security alone."

|

Leave Social Security alone!

What does Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid think we should do about Social Security? More or less what this one-hit YouTube star thinks we should do about Britney Spears: Leave it alone! Reid doesn't quite come out and ask how anyone dar criticize Social Security after all its been through, but he it's roughly the same idea.  

Somewhat disappointingly, Reid's defense of the program does not arrive in the form of a tearful YouTube rant. The Hill reports:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) emphatically rejected changes to Social Security that would improve the entitlement program's solvency, jesting that he'd be willing to revisit the program's structure in two decades, once it's projected to become insolvent.

"Two decades from now, I'm willing to take a look at it," said Reid, 71, in an interview to air Wednesday evening on MSNBC. "But I'm not willing to take a look at it right now."

…"So what I've said, if we want to look at something to take care of the out years, let's do it at the right time," he said. "It is not in crisis at this stage. Leave Social Security alone."

Good plan! Sure, Social Security faces $15 trillion in long-term unfunded liabilities, but why bother trying to prevent a crisis before it happens? It's so much easier to just wait until an actual crisis hits before taking any action. Besides, there's no sense in wasting a crisis—even if you had an opportunity to avert it beforehand.

Sen. Reid isn't the only leading Democratic to shrug at the Social Security crisis: Between the Clinton presidency and Obama's, White House budget director Jacob Lew went from explaining the Social Security trust fund scam to denying it.

NEXT: Limitless and Win Win

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Cue Tony!

    1. But, that’s Tony up there! He’s been cued!

      1. You bastards just want old people to die miserably….and see my naked bottom.

        1. We were planning on burning the old people to death with focused sunlight from our monocles. Do you realize the expense we went to, going out and purchasing special monocles for such purpose?

          1. I bought TWO monocles, just so I could fry TWO old people at a time.

            And I was not able to be reimbursed through my healthcare spending acct (I tried).

  2. Good plan! Sure, Social Security faces $15 trillion in long-term unfunded liabilities, but why bother trying to prevent a crisis before it happens?

    Well, duh! We’re not broke, ya know.

  3. The resemblance is uncanny.

  4. “Two decades from now, I’m willing to take a look at it,” said Reid, 71

    awesome

    1. Looks like we have Zombie Reid to look forward to.

      1. Can we shoot him in the head now, or do we have to wait until he becomes a crisis?

  5. I hope he makes it to 91, just so we can wipe his nose in it.

    1. Therein lies the problem with democracy. You’re politicians have no incentive to plan for the long term, since they won’t be around to suffer the consequences of poor planning.

      However they do have an incentive to buy votes in the next election.

      1. No shit. What really pisses me off is the local Planning Boards who have no vested interest in any construction projects. The local Planning Board in the neighboring town from me actually recommended that a Dunkin Donuts be built by two brothers that recently purchased a prime piece of commercial real estate.

        [Mayor] Baruffi said borough leaders would like to see more than one business on the property. Buena has long talked about luring a Dunkins Donuts to the site and, in fact, that chain did send a letter of intent to the previous owner, the mayor said. Baruffi said he has passed that letter on to the Falascas.

        The fucking arrogance of these politicians is enough to drive me to drink. To think that they should have any say in what private property owners should do with their land. They have no vested interest in whether whatever they build there succeeds or fails, not to mention they have no knowledge of market demands. This kind of shit really pisses me off, and citizens sit back and take it up the ass, and even encourage it.

        http://www.thedailyjournal.com…..dyssey=mod|lateststories

        1. I dunno. I can kinda get behind doughnuts.

          1. I adore donuts, but Dunkin’ ain’t so great. Why you suppose the planning board is so eager to get Dunkin’ Donuts on the property anyhow? The letter of intent?

      2. Unfortunately, the largest voting bloc also is unlikely to be around in 20 years.

      3. Doesn’t that conflict with the “career politicans” and “incumbent advantage” memes?

  6. …in two decades, once it’s projected to become insolvent.

    Correction: It’s insolvent now.

    1. More stupid bullshit from you. SS holds over $3 trillion in special issue Treasury bonds which will require full redemption by 2037 to pay claims in the interim. Then it runs into debt/solvency issues.

      Eventually, politicians will have to decide whether to default on bonds or pay current DoD expenses. Those that go hawk will die an electoral death at the hand of the SS class.

      1. I can’t be broke…I still have checks left!

        1. Re: sage,

          I can’t be broke…I still have checks left!

          +1

          That’s pretty much shrike’s argument, in a nutshell.

        2. As a teenager, I dated a girl who once said this non-jokingly.

          I was not dating her for her intellect.

          1. It wasn’t for her assets either

            1. Not her financial assets, at least.

      2. So the Treasury is just sending out these bonds to recipients when current SS revenues fall short? Do they take those down at the A&P?

        1. Did you ever wonder why the $14 trillion debt we have has roughly $8-9 trillion in public debt?

          Inter-government debt is the answer.

          We will pay (in terms of priority)

          1- Interest on debt
          2- Social Security
          3- other shit

          Eventually – Defense will get slashed unless we go full fascist.

          1. Step on up here, I got a deal for ya. Watch where I put this trillion dollar bond, you see, right under this shell. Then I move this one here, and I move that one there, than a shake and bake, and look at all the money we make! Now, tell me under which shell lies the pea!

            1. A typical vacuous reply.

              Look – we take in about $2 trillion in tax receipts now. The question is how to disperse it given the large deficit the Bushpigs left us.

              All I am saying is the priority will be –

              1- $300 billion in interest payments
              2- $700 billion or so in Social Security
              3- other shit.

              Wail away at that – and your shell analogy sucks.

              1. You’re so fucking dumb, shriek. You consistently amaze me.

              2. 3- other shit

                Isn’t this the elephant in the livingroom? Aren’t we taking on “other shit” at an alarming rate?

              3. Oops! You lose, shreeky. Come again sometime, but leave your shirt at the door.

              4. Re: shrike,

                Look – we take in about $2 trillion in tax receipts now. The question is how to disperse it given the large deficit the Bushpigs left us.

                Never mind the larger deficit the Obamapigs left us… Please, proceed.

                All I am saying is the priority will be –
                1- $300 billion in interest payments
                2- $700 billion or so in Social Security
                3- other shit.

                See how shriek here already shifted the focus from his retort to “SS is already insolvent”

                “SS holds over $3 trillion in special issue Treasury bonds!!!”

                What does that have to do with the other crap he’s posting? You tell me.

                1. $3 trillion in special issue, limited edition, hand crafted, collectible Treasury bonds ($6 trillion value!). Call now!

                  1. They’re artisanal to boot!

                  2. Reminds me of those late nite TV commercials for “commemerative plates” of some sort or another.

              5. I’m pretty damn sure that at some point the American people will say “fuck it” and renege on the interest payments. You really think that the priority of the American voter will be interest payments and Social Security above Medicare, Obamacare, Medicaid, and everything else, including every dime of defense?

                Especially when foreigners will own most of the debt? People will say, “Fuck it, let those foreigners try to collect” first.

                The DoD budget should be cut. Of course, at this point the long-term deficits proposed by Obama ten years out have a deficit larger than the entire military spending, which is astounding.

                1. See, the answers to Shriek by OM and by John Thacker make sense.

                  Calling him a dumbshit doesn’t really do anyone any good. I mean it may be true.
                  In comparison to most the posters here, he may be uneducated and dense,
                  But, he represents at least 25% of the voting public. Holds the same misunderstandings as a large percentage of the voting public, and resorts to the same arguments as most the pundits and experts on MSNBC, and even Fox.

                  And answering Shriek with facts instead of just calling him a dumshit probably answers a lot of the lurkers and casual visitors here also.

          2. I’ll answer for you, since you avoided the obvious: Treasury does not send out the bonds in lieu of cash. It sells the bonds in exchange for cash, which it then distributes. If the bonds did not exist, it would have to create them now and sell them, which means the existence of the “Trust Fund” is entirely meaningless and we’ve been needlessly pumped for $3 trillion since the Reagan adminstration.

            There, now that wasn’t so hard, was it?

      3. Re: shrike,

        SS holds over $3 trillion in special issue Treasury bonds[…]

        Which is just a tad more respectable than Monopoly money.

        Eventually, politicians will have to decide whether to default on bonds or pay current DoD expenses.

        It’s the lady or the tiger, in shrike’s mind…

      4. OK shrike, I’ll bite-

        The SS “trust fund” has no more cash on hand, it consists of Treasuries that SSA received so Congress could spend the money over the last few decades. When SSA starts cashing those Treasuries, as it has to do now to cover monthly deficits, the federal government has to sell more bonds to cover the cost.

        What if we can’t get anyone to buy the bonds?

        Then what happens?

        1. Exactly.

          If no one issues new debt to us its a cold turkey Gramm-Rudman balanced budget deal.

          And the real fight over the $2 trillion in tax receipts starts and any politico that fucks over SS gets canned in the next election.

          1. Throw into the mix the thought that maybe the Japanese will want some of their savings – held in US Treasuries – back to rebuild their country and the near-term picture darkens a bit more.

          2. I think we’ll see QE-3, QE-4, …, QE-12, … before that happens. Wealth will get redistributed via inflation.

            1. I think we’ll see QE-3, QE-4, …, QE-12, … before that happens.

              Marc Faber predicted QE18 the other day on CNBC. Those idiots on in the morning (Steve Leesman) were speechless. About 8:40
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns2QEqOUi4A

            2. Well, you just threw a monkey wrench into the system with the Fed.

              The Fed could monetize a temporary deficit for sure but if it became apparent that the practice would continue then investors would demand interest premiums in the order of 15-25% on new debt – thus increasing interest payments and defeating the purpose of borrowing.

              A death spiral would result.

              Mild QE = fine. Desperate QE = disaster.

              1. Re: shrike,

                The Fed could monetize a temporary deficit for sure but if it became apparent that the practice would continue then investors would demand interest premiums in the order of 15-25% on new debt – thus increasing interest payments and defeating the purpose of borrowing.

                Something like saying that once the investors wise up to the fact they’ve been had, then they will demand that good ol’ Ben kiss their hairy asses.

              2. The Fed could monetize a temporary deficit for sure but if it became apparent that the practice would continue then investors would demand interest premiums in the order of 15-25% on new debt – thus increasing interest payments and defeating the purpose of borrowing.

                Interest on the bonds will remain low because the FED will buy whatever percentage of new issues that is required to keep interest low.

                Even if it’s 100%.

      5. Shrike, I kind of view you like my crazy old grandmother. So I’m always willing to give you just one more chance- especially when you make a post that doesn’t mention Rush. So here goes:

        In finance, a bond is a debt security, in which the authorized issuer owes the holders a debt and, depending on the terms of the bond, is obliged to pay interest (the coupon) and/or to repay the principal at a later date, termed maturity. A bond is a formal contract to repay borrowed money with interest at fixed intervals.[1]

        Thus a bond is like a loan: the issuer is the borrower (debtor), the holder is the lender (creditor), and the coupon is the interest.

        In the case of SS, if SS holds the bond, then the Treasury is the issuer.

        So what I’m understanding is the government has essentially issued itself a loan to pay itself back?

        1. That’s exactly what happens. To pay off that “special issue” bond, the Treasury has to sell another bond to buy it.

          It’s the equivalent of taking out a cash advance on your credit card to pay back a loan you borrowed from your best friend–not only are you STILL in debt, but you’ll end up paying more in the end due to the interest.

          Shrike is essentially saying that all this debt won’t matter in the end, since we’ll inevitably default on it anyway. I hope he assumes this line of argument when somebody with an “R” after their name takes over the Oval Office again.

        2. Enron did this and the Left went apeshit.

          The government does it and the Left cheers maniacally.

        3. And an IOU in the hands of it’s maker represents nothing of any value whatsoever.

          That is just as true for government entities as it is for anyone else.

          There are no “special” principles of economics for governments.

      6. Those that go hawk into hock will die an electoral death at the hand of the SS class.

        You were so close.

  7. I don’t know why you Libertarians refuse to embrace denial.

  8. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) emphatically rejected changes to Social Security that would improve the entitlement program’s solvency, jesting that he’d be willing to revisit the program’s structure in two decades, once it’s projected to become insolvent.

    In the long run, he will be dead!

  9. Sure, Social Security faces $15 trillion in long-term unfunded liabilities, but why bother trying to prevent a crisis before it happens?

    It would be in tune with the normally American spirit of procastination that has been brewing since 1935…

  10. It just so happens that our government knows something you so-wise libertarians don’t know. Aliens are going to save us from ourselves in 2020.

    1. Re: Pro Libertate,

      Aliens are going to save us from ourselves in 2020.

      Uh, oh…
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WudBfRa0ETw

      1. Well, our problems will be solved, either way.

    2. Is that before or after the Norks invade and make our women wear assless chaps?

      1. I, for one, welcome our Nork overlords. Unless I’m behind Rosie O’Donnell.

  11. Don’t pick at Social Security. It’ll heal on its own.

  12. Between the Clinton presidency and Obama’s, White House budget director Jacob Lew went from explaining the Social Security trust fund scam to denying it.

    Just like when a man in the Maury show goes from being there for the birth to fully denying he’s the father of her baby.

    1. You know, it’s funny, but I still refer to him as Murray, like Letterman used to do in the 80s when Connie Chung was on his show. Apparently, that really pissed off Murray–I mean, Murray.

      1. I always refer to him as Mr. Chung.

        1. Murray Chung. Murray Wang Chung.

  13. Since I’m unlikely to see any SS checks, why am I paying again?

    1. To keep the people receiving checks now from voting out the currently sitting pols.

    2. Because the government will put you in prison if you don’t.

      1. The Men with Guns will come for you.

      2. Nah. I know people who have owned small businesses that never paid the “self-employment” tax. They don’t come after you for that. Pass it on.

        1. Really? I had a $5,000 stipend for an internship one time that the God Damned Government came after me for self-employment tax on. I never even got a 1099 from my internship location!

          1. Came after you, or just sent you a letter? If you didn’t get a 1099, how did the IRS even know you received the money?

            1. What money? I don’t know what you’re talking about…

    3. Pound
      Me
      In
      The
      Ass
      Prison

      Oh, and so the wealthiest segment of the population won’t starve in the streets.

      1. Sounds like a scam to me. Did I vote for this?

        1. H&R commenters are hilarious. It’s very unfortunate that it’s gallows humour and that we’re all completely fucked, but funny nonetheless.

          1. If I could unfuck us, I would.

            1. There is no spoon.

            2. I guess we have to wait for R. Lee Ermey to come unfuck the USA for us.

              1. He’s an unfucking hero.

  14. “Two decades from now, I’m willing to take a look at it,” said Reid

    Good, because you’ll be looking at it for a long time.

  15. So is the “leave Brittney alone” person a man or a woman?

    1. He is the most effeminate man you may ever see. He was on an episode of Tosh.0 for a “web redemption”.

  16. I liked Harry Reid better when he was explaining the importance of government funded cowboy poetry festivals.

  17. So is the “leave Brittney alone” person a man or a woman?

    Why? Are you planning to fuck it?
    Women generally don’t have that ghostly cartoon-Mexican-mustache upper-lip thing going. So, grease up.

    1. So I guess you haven’t know many Greek or Italian women?

      1. He did mention the Mexicans….

  18. Why these idiots would invent a SS crisis when they know perfectly well that fucking with SS is the fastest way to lose an election completely escapes me. I guess defunding NPR really is that important to them.

    1. I was asking myself the same question with regards to the democrats and obamacare.

    2. Re: Tony,

      Why these idiots would invent a SS crisis[…]

      It appears the financially-challenged here has asked a question…

      Maybe you did not get the memo, but SS has been in the red since 2010. The “lock box” is just a sham, if you want to try to bring that up.

    3. You and MNG exemplify the liberal ethos: in the face of an enormous problem whose solution is going to be painful, pounce on anyone who tries to solve it.

      1. Enormous compared to what? We’ve solved energy, healthcare, wars, education, climate change, incarceration rates, the drug war, etc., so now it’s time to tackle the problems that are decades out and easily fixed?

        1. I CALL SPOOF TONY!!!

          We’ve solved energy, healthcare, wars, education, climate change, incarceration rates, the drug war, etc

          C’mon, you’re spoof Tony, right? RIGHT?

          1. Is there a real Tony?

    4. You answered your own question. They wouldn’t invent an SS crisis because they know “fucking with SS is the fastest way to lose an election.”

      Isn’t it just possible that it really is in crisis and you are the one inventing a non-crisis?

    5. Why these idiots would invent a SS crisis when they know perfectly well that fucking with SS is the fastest way to lose an election completely escapes me

      W Bush tired to fuck with it and won a second term.

      Reagan did fuck with it and won a second term as well.

    6. To be fair, there was a financial crisis under Bushpighitler.

      But now that we’re spending more money, it’s all good.

  19. The “lock box” is just a sham…..

    BS Old Mex….I remember Gore talking about it during the 2000 election ! It must exist….it must…!

  20. Observing that about 75% of H&R comments consist of beating down stupid arguments from trolls, I have to wonder: are the trolls here really this stubbornly dumb, or are they just sockpuppets the Reason writers use to increase traffic?

    If Chad/Tony/MNG didn’t exist, Reason would have to invent him/her/it.

    1. It is not like no one watches Micheal Moorer’s movies.
      The opinions of those individuals matches the opinions of a large percentage of the population.

      Not engaging them, not knowing how to debate them is a mistake.

    2. I’ll have you know my sockpuppets are fully unionized and receive benefits–especially the benefit of knowing they are helping me save the world from capitalism.

  21. If Chad/Tony/MNG didn’t exist, Reason would have to invent him/her/it.

    and Sheik, and Edward, and so on!

    You broke the code! There is one very highly paid, very disturbed intern who is all of these people….and more! Many many more!

    1. very highly paid, very disturbed intern

      Highly paid indeed….i hear it gets 5 billy goats a week, delivered right to his bridge.

  22. http://factcheck.org/2011/02/d…..s-red-ink/

    Facts: They’re whats for dinner.

  23. “It is not in crisis at this stage. Leave Social Security alone.”

    The IPCC’s AGW hobgoblin is much more pressing for demturds.

  24. Dear Harry,
    To the Senate’s sole protector of the noble rhyming set,
    The patron of our poems, the bard’s own baronet:
    In hand I take my laptop, to pen a piffling plea
    For your assistance, Harry, in making my Art free.

    I know I have a talent. I know I have a gift.
    But how am I to versify amidst the graveyard shift?
    My foreman is a hater, who’s never heard a rhyme.
    He cares but for production, and works me double-time.

    My wife has found a lawyer, my income to divest;
    I’ll soon be old and single, alone and dispossessed.
    I haven’t slept a wink at night for nigh on thirteen years,
    My writing surely suffers; I’m shunned by all my peers.

    I know I can’t write cowpoke, or tell Nevada tales,
    My verses tend to run to sea, with boats and ships and whales.
    But, Harry, I am desperate, I need to get away;
    A Cowboy Poe’try Gath’rin would surely light the way.

    I heard you swore off earmarks ? at least the public kind ?
    That Washington is broken, and Congress is maligned.
    The GOP is fighting to tighten up the purse,
    And every week the jobs report is pointing bad to worse.

    But cinch not yet those purse strings, and rope not yet that cash.
    Let’s herd a little bill on through before the markets crash.
    We’ll call it Jobs for Poets, funneled through the NEA
    To get me to Nevada, or perhaps, at least, halfway.

    I’m counting on you, Harry. Keep up the fight that’s good!
    Stand tall like old Horatius. Be brave like Robin Hood.
    For hist’ry doesn’t give a hoot if budgets did survive.
    It only cares of poetry and whether Art’s alive.

    thebardofmurdock.blogspot.com

  25. why bother trying to prevent a crisis before it happens? It’s so much easier to just wait until an actual crisis hits before taking any action.

    But that’s true, isn’t it? If there’s something you’ve already decided you want to do, but which requires the cooperation of other people, it’s easiest to get their cooperation if a crisis is demonstrable, and it’s most easily demonstrable if it’s present, not at some future date.

  26. “let’s do it at the right time,” he said. “It is not in crisis at this stage. Leave Social Security alone.”

    You bet! Why, S/S is oh, a year or so from tanking, let alone its cost to the overall debt! let’s not cut it until it eats the entire budget!
    Sleazebag.

  27. Here is the thing about Tony/Shriek/Chad, they are not a crazy 1% of the population, they are a huge percentage of the population. They are about an exact replica in their arguments as two of my immediate family members.

    Max is just a troll.

    MNG… Well you all should wish liberals were generally as smart and engaging as him. He answers questions, he understands what your point of view is. Like most people including many of us he has his blind spots of his own beliefs.

    Point is:
    It makes more sense to engage the non Max leftwing posters, and not just hurl insults at them.

  28. Here is the thing about Tony/Shriek/Chad, they are not a crazy 1% of the population, they are a huge percentage of the population. They are about an exact replica in their arguments as two of my immediate family members.

    Max is just a troll.

    MNG… Well you all should wish liberals were generally as smart and engaging as him. He answers questions, he understands what your point of view is. Like most people including many of us he has his blind spots of his own beliefs.

    Point is:
    It makes more sense to engage the non Max leftwing posters, and not just hurl insults at them.

  29. MNG is by far our highest-quality statist commenter.

    But, you gotta give Tony some props just for the volume of posts he generates.

    I agree, there could be lurkers that could learn something from our good-faith efforts to engage them.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.